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Chapter 274: Calculating

 Chapter 274: Calculating

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

"This is your fault, my lord," Entos said. "Should a problem arise, we should try to find a solution as fast as possible. Denial will not only not solve the problem, it will worsen it."

Entos's tone was gentle, but his words made Slanbrea feel frustrated. For him, Entos's attitude was very irritating. He narrowed his eyes and was about to say something when Saul took a step forward and said, "Do you have a solution, Entos?"

"Yes," Entos said, bowing. "As you know, Master Saul, I always enjoy discussing topics relating to humanity and our existence. It is easy to understand a normal man, but it is the stubborn ones that are interesting. Their minds shift and change, filled with contradictions and foolishness. These are the minds I love. Therefore..." Entos grinned and turned his gaze to Slanbrea.

"When will you start being serious?" Saul frowned and interrupted Entos. He knew that the young man wanted to take this opportunity and humiliate the Church of Light, but his words may cause strife between him and one of the most powerful men in the world. Saul was a righteous man, and he knew what was appropriate to say under what circumstances. Even if he did make Slanbrea his enemy, he would not humiliate him, either.

"You are always right, Mast Saul," Entos said, smirking.

Slanbrea realized who Entos was after hearing him refer to Saul as master. Of course, Saul's student was already infamous. When he was dealing with the nobility of Ellisen Empire, Slanbrea had heard several times that a real archmage should not have a student like Entos. Entos's words were infuriating, but Slanbrea chose to ignore them. He did not have the power to remove the Divine Punishment spell, and the only way out was to ask the pope.

"Tell me about your plan," Saul said.

"Divine Punishment is a hard spell, my lord. The success rate is low enough, but combined with the rigid requirements, it is almost impossible for most of the population to endure this spell. If a person is a commoner, the strength of the angel would decrease significantly. If the power of a person is too great, the person may overpower the angel. An angel in spirit form cannot do whatever it wants. Powerful men like yourselves would be dangerous to these angels."

"Get to the point," Saul snapped. He never lost his patience with his students, but Entos was an exception. He knew Entos too well. When he was with others, Entos would act his age, but when he was with Saul, he would act like a child. Saul knew he had to be stern with him.

"It's easy. The angel's form is contained in the Scepter of Light. You can banish the angel if you destroy the Scepter."

Slanbrea frowned at Entos's comment. There should less than five people who knew the Scepter's secret, and they were all leaders within the Church. Slanbrea could not fathom who had spilled the secret. Slanbrea wished he could simply kill Entos and keep this secret, but Saul was present, and his hands were tied.

Before Maho Empire and Ellisen Empire went to war, many thought Saul was no match for Newyoheim. Even the pope chose to simply observe. Yolanthe was too stubborn and had rejected the Church's advancement. Ellisen Empire was much more open in comparison. The pope had favored Ellisen Empire from the beginning, but he did not choose a side. In the end, Saul shocked everyone by defeating Newyoheim. This showed how much he had grown, even though Saul did not care about politics and his rank.

The nations had came to a truce because of the return of the necromancers. The nations felt the need to band together against a common threat. Moreover, this was to prevent Yolanthe from further expanding his power.

"That should be easy," Saul said quietly.

If Entos's statement came as a shock, then Saul's came as a blow to Slanbrea. The Scepter of Light was a holy artifice in the Church of Light, and what did it mean to destroy something regarded as holy by the religion with the most believers in the world? Wars, revenge, countless deaths. Was Saul really willing to take responsibility that would claim the lives of hundreds of thousands of people?

"It is easy," a voice said as a figure stepped into the clearing. Ernest appeared through the light, his entire body covered with light, as if wearing an armor of light. He walked slowly and confidently, but was in front of Slanbrea within seconds.

"This is the Church's holy artifice," Slanbrea said, taking a step back. "I will not give it to you."

"You can stay," Ernest said. "I don't mind."

Slanbrea took a deep breath. He knew that Ernest had spent a lot of time with Saul lately, and he was the only one who dared to talk to Slanbrea this way. Slanbrea always knew that there was no way to reason with the brute. If Ernest wanted to do something, only death could stop him. Slanbrea stared at Saul, and finally said, "I hope you can calm down, Lord Saul." He did not want to further excite Saul.

"Look who's talking," Entos said mockingly. "It's not a situation where we should calm down. You are at fault here. One of our people is furious."

Slanbrea felt his body growing cold, and turned his gaze to Bruzuryano. If words were losing their power, then the only thing he could do was to fight. However, the curse placed on him by the necromancers was still bugging him. The only way he could win was to enlist Bruzuryano's help.

Bruzuryano had already transformed back into his human form. He lifted his head when he felt Slanbrea's gaze, then lowered his eyes again and shook his head slightly. Everyone was selfish, and Bruzuryano was no exception. He had let Anfey borrow the Heart of Nature not only because he was good friends with Saul, but also because he needed connections. Everyone loves secrets, and even if they could not be the only one who knew the truth, they could at least share it. He was a religious leader as well, but the followers of Goddess of Nature tended to be more passive and would not seek glory the way followers of the Church of Light did. The two religions were examples of passiveness and aggressiveness when it came to their ways of life. A majority of Goddess of Nature's followers resided in Maho Empire, more than followers of the Church. If Bruzuryano really helped Slanbrea now, he would make Saul his enemy, and he knew Yolanthe and Saul would not hesitate killing all those followers of Goddess of Nature.

Slanbrea was, of course, in the wrong. He had made the plan to lure out the necromancers using Saul's students in order to make himself more famous and win glory for his church. He did not even wait to defeat the necromancers to put another plan into action. He kept everyone in the dark, as well. Slanbrea wanted to keep the secrets to himself, and did not treat Bruzuryano with the proper respect.

"Fine," Slanbrea spat. He suddenly remembered what his teacher once told him, that he focused too much on creating plans to win himself glory and it would one day destroy him. He learned what would happen to someone who was not cunning. A cardinal who could use the ultimate forbidden spells without the help of the papal crown would surely be seen as a threat to the pope and his power. In the end, Slanbrea's teacher was framed for crimes he did not commit and was incarcerated.

Who knew his words would one day come true? If he wasn't so calculating, maybe everyone would walk away from the situation unscathed. Now it was too late. There were only two ways to end the effects of Divine Punishment. One was to destroy the scepter, the other was to ask the pope for a blessing. Ernest and Saul obviously chose the quicker route. For them, asking the pope for blessing was too much work.

Slanbrea suddenly waved the scepter in his hand. If he was facing another foe, the best option might have been to hide the scepter away in his dimensional ring and defend the honor of the Church. However, he knew that was not a good plan, since his opponent was Saul. He knew the structure of dimensional rings too well for that plan to work. As long as he was alive, Saul would know how to open a separate dimension that would lead into his dimensional ring.

Saul stepped forward and shielded Niya with his body as the bright ball of light appeared. "Why?" he asked Slanbrea with a sigh. Slanbrea did not reply. Saul's magic staff was still in his hand, and as he waved his staff, a dozen wind blades shot towards the ball of light. He knew what state Slanbrea was in. Light magic could overpower death magic, but a powerful enough necromancer could defeat a light mage, as well. Even if he was facing a cardinal of light in his prime, Saul knew he could still win. After all, elemental magic was more powerful than light magic. Slanbrea could not pose a threat to them.

Suzanna started moving as well. However, before she could reach the battle, Ernest had already stopped her. Two swords clashed with a loud thud, and a ball of light enveloped the two. Both of them took a few steps back, but Ernest recovered quickly and dashed towards Suzanna again. His sole mission was to keep Suzanna away from the fight.