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Home > I Am the God of Games

220 The Archbishop

 Angora arrived at the guest room to meet Hadro, the archbishop and leader of Tunaya's Brilliant White Church.

The man was in his seventies. He could be considered a centenarian in this world where the average lifespan was 40 years old, although archbishops of the God of Light aged much slower than mortals, with Hadro himself looking like he was just pushing fifty.

"May the Lord's grace be upon you." He slowly got to his feet when he saw Horan and Angora enter, making a sign before his chest.

It was a polite gesture of the Brilliant White Church. It was also usually paired with a bow, but the archbishop presumed that he did not have to lower his back since he was an individual of rank and old age.

Moreover, the church he held stewardship over was the strongest religion at present.

Nevertheless.

"My apologies, but the God of War has graced my family with his blessing, so we don't recover your Lord's grace," Horan replied stiffly, and it was clear that he wasn't on good terms with Hadro.

"I see... but wasn't it also true that Lord Kratos did not aid you when the bandits attacked your castle?"

It was clear that the archbishop had refined temper-not only was he unprovoked by Horan's remark, he actually offered a counterpoint. "According to what I've heard, your eldest son fell in that accident. Surely you should know now: the fellowship at the Temple of Glory may consist of strong, burly folk, but they are all unreliable when push comes to shove."

Angora noticed that the face of the respectful new butler darkened just then while clenching his fist.

He understood right away that the butler was sent here from the Temple of Glory.

'No wonder old dad would send him off before speaking to me...'

Meanwhile, Horan raised a hand to stop Hadro from continuing.

"Save your breath if you have come only to persuade me to convert. But do stay for dinner if you don't mind-harvest is just over, and there is much stored food we need to get rid of immediately."

Even if Horan did not put it out there, his undertone of 'get-the-hell-out-after-you-eat-your-fill' was unmistakable.

"Understood, please calm down. You can't blame me for trying." Hadro chuckled cheerfully without taking offense, although his face turned a little serious. "I knew all along that the Silver Eagle Duke would not so easily be converted..."

As a matter of fact, it wouldn't be easy for Horan to convert even if he wanted to. Although the Temple of Glory was nowhere as wide-reaching as the Brilliant White Church, they wouldn't just sit and watch one of their believers-who was a duke at that-run off to join their rivals.

"So why have you graced us with your presence, Your Excellency?" Horan asked rather impatiently.

That was an act, naturally-the old duke could have dragged the conversation on for a whole day without really talking about anything that mattered if necessary. The reason he adopted this approach instead was to convey 'stop-going-round-in-circles-and-say-what-you've-come-to-say'.

Hadro clearly understood that. He ceased his roundabout approach and went straight to the point. "Young Angora here hasn't been baptized by those brutes, has he?"

Angora, who had merely been wallpaper until that moment was taken by surprise.

'I'm just here to make acquaintance. Why am I getting mentioned?'

Still, after training himself so extensively in the Unnamed Town as well as having exchange and instruction from old Vanke himself, Angora's nose for politics had matured to quickly pick up the reasoning underneath.

Cecil, the heir his father had formerly chosen died in his own rampage, while his second brother was murdered by the Black Whip even before that.

Angora was therefore the only heir left of the Faust family.

As long as he didn't kick the bucket halfway through, inheriting the title of Silver Eagle Duke is a mere matter of time.

Since having his father, an old believer of Kratos for decades convert was virtually impossible, Angora in theory could be converted without any cost since he wasn't baptized in the name of the God of War. And that was why the archbishop had set his sights on him.

Even so, the geezer had miscalculated.

It was true that since Angora never received Horan's favor (or as he would put it, deliberately given the cold shoulder by Horan), he wasn't baptized early on at the Temple of Glory like Cecil. And now that Angora had long since been molded as a believer of the God of Games and most willingly so, why would he become a convert of some shining deity?

Even when sentiment wasn't taken into account and only benefits were taken into account, the System from the God of Games provided every form of convenience. On the other hand, the God of Light had so many believers that he wouldn't be given special treatment even if he really inherited the rank of duke.

At best, he would be surrounded by a bunch of other believers like his own father wherever he went, which was merely changing staff sourcing from the Temple of Glory to the Brilliant White Church instead.

With that thought in mind, Angora spoke out directly.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in joining the Brilliant White Church."

Beside them, the new butler had a sparkle in his eyes, seemingly pleased with his young master's reaction.

'I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in the Temple of Glory either.' Angora retorted inwardly when he noticed that.

"Why? Instead of the stuffy, stinking Temple of Glory, us Brilliant White Church is definitely better, you know?" The old archbishop continued his persuasion.

Angora also noticed that Hadro was ever so discreetly throwing glances at the new butler. It appeared that the archbishop knew that he was from the Temple of Glory, and was therefore deliberately trying to provoke him.

And in the blink of an eye, Angora knew what Hadro was thinking.

If the new butler would endure the provocation, the old archbishop would only have the pressure of running his mouth. On the other hand, if the new butler couldn't just sit and watch and decided to argue or even brazenly resort to physical measures, he would only prove the archbishop true about what poor characters fill the Temple of Glory.

And considering that Hadro was an archbishop who just might prove very formidable, it might turn out to be an almighty beatdown with which he could lure Angora to convert.

Understanding that, Angora certainly wouldn't let the archbishop run his mouth.

"I'm digressing," he smiled cheerfully at old Hadro, "but what I love to do the most is to say 'no' when someone is holding my head and forcing me to convert to some new god."

The composure on the archbishop's face disappeared at his clear hostility, and he began to study Angora carefully.

And yet, his eyes did not show anger, but there was a look of appreciation instead.

"I see. It appears that I have neglected your feelings-"

The old man was about to continue when an uproar echoed from the outside.

A guardsman then hurried into the room. "My Lord," he reported, "A bishop from the Brilliant White Church had arrived outside, claiming that he has urgent news to relay to the archbishop..."

"Let him enter."

Although Horan wasn't on good terms with Hadro, he gave the newcomer permission since he wasn't the type who resort to cheap tricks.

And soon enough, a flustered man in a cassock entered.

"Kuffon, you are a bishop. Have I not told you that you should watch your manners at all times? Or have you forgotten?" Old Hadro stared at the white-robed bishop in displeasure.

"Your Excellency, it's an urgent matter," Kuffon replied, seemingly hesistating if he should whisper the news into the archbishop's ears.

However, the archbishop instructed to the contrary. "Speak freely. I have faith that Duke Faust and his heir apparent don't have loose tongues."

At those words, the white-robed bishop no longer hesitated. "It appears that undead monsters had appeared at the mass grave near the Sotimi border..."

The bishop paused and gulped before continuing. "And we've completely lost contact with the sacred corps who have gone ahead to pacify the situation!"