248-Chant festival

By the way, if you'll allow me to ask you one more question.

 I call out to the bishop, who is staring dumbfoundedly at Eldmead and Naya.

'How do I get to see the Pope of Geordal?'

 But I don't know if he didn't hear it, but the bishop quickly passes in front of me.

''Oh........Great Heavenly Father God.... And the chosen saint who made a pact with that God........

 Kneeling before Naya and Eldmead, he prayed to them.

'I am deeply grateful to meet you and to the heavenly life. Hopefully, you will listen for a moment to the words of this pitiful congregation of God-believers.

 Naya looks anxiously at Erdmeade.
 He said in his usual tone.

'Oh come on, don't get me wrong. You've got the wrong person to bow to, don't you?'

 The bishop just looked back at the Cutthroat King in a daze, with a blank expression on his face.

I'm a servant of that man. I am a servant of that man. Is it proper etiquette for you guys to bow down to his men in front of your lord? Hmm?

 Puzzled, the bishop returned the words.

''But God is the supreme being who stands above the king. If you say he is the king, then you must have given him that kingship. If it is the maiden with whom you have made your pact, I, as a believer, would think it polite to bow to you first.

Kaka, then, you must remember. A demon king is a being who stands above his god. In the first place, the Heavenly Father's order was also usurped from Nowsgaria by that demon king, Anos Voldigordo, and given to me here.

What a...

 The bishop looked at me in awe.

'Something that stands above God. One that takes away God's power and gives it away. Well then, isn't it just like Eques........

 The bishop walks up to me, kneels grudgingly, and prays.

'I, being a meek man, cannot see the truth. Therefore, let's just believe in the word of God. I'm sorry," he says, "but I'm late. I'm sorry I'm late. I am Milano M. Sisalad, Bishop of Zioldar, and I would like to ask you to forgive me for my disrespect. I ask you to forgive me for my earlier disrespect.

I don't mind. But you'll make it easier on yourself. I am not Eques. I'm just an earthly demon, unworthy of your faith.

 Silently Milan nodded.

It was you, Your Excellency. But even if you are not the almighty brilliance, you are still the one who stands above God. I cannot doubt the word of God.

Then do what you will.

I will talk to the Pope of Zioldar, Demon King Anos. If you, the ruler of the gods without a bead, wish to meet with him, I am sure he will agree with you. But first, will you please listen to the words of this poor layman?

You can tell me.

 While praying, the bishop opens his mouth.

'There is a fool who has fallen into paganism in this land of faith, Geordal, where we believe in God, honour him and sing to him. He goes around disgracing the Pope, ridiculing the faithful, and denying the existence of the Almighty Glittering Eques, as if he were blaspheming God. There is no unbeliever in the city who would take that to heart, but he has interfered with the various rituals and cannot be left behind any longer.

Hmm. What is the name of the one who has fallen into this paganism?

'The former Cardinal of Giordal, Ahyde Alobo Agatze. He was stripped of his baptismal name by the Pope because of his fall into paganism and is now known as just Ahide.

 I knew it, Ahide.
 I guess he was stripped of his baptismal name, which means he is no longer a clergyman at the earliest.

'He appears at every festival and blasphemes God. Once he was captured and imprisoned as a sinner. But it is horrible to remember what he was like then.

 Milano said with a shudder.

'What happened?'

'It was as if he was possessed. He kept repeating deliriously, 'Wake up from your dreams, why don't you wake up', and his expression was like a demon tainted with madness. This was so strange and eerie that the congregation hated it and were afraid to even look at it. And so, as soon as they took their eyes off him, he fled.

How do you think he'll be able to escape on his own, even if his watch is relaxed?

 The bishop nodded.

'As you may have guessed, sir. The foolish Ahide seems to have gone to Gadiçiora. They are pagans who believe in a god without bows. They have no idea what they are capable of.

 Hmm. I see. So you've joined forces with the pagans to blow the whistle on the absence of God.

 But I don't think he's been able to do that in the short time since I put the collar on him. It's more likely that he has been secretly working with Gadeisiola for some time.

We are tracking Ahide's whereabouts with the Geordal Order. He would have difficulty escaping the city or even appearing in public. His punishment will be to die hungry and slurping in the mud. But there is a great festival in this city tomorrow.

 They can hunt down and capture Ahide, but they don't want him to interfere with the ritual.

'So you want me to help you?'

It's nothing more than a prayer and a wish. It is only a prayer and a wish. Everything is the will of the great God. Whether this prayer reaches you and your wish comes true or not depends on the will of the Almighty Splendor.

 But it looks like you're more of a handful for one Ahide than I thought.
 If the Pope was the selector, he would be able to find someone who has lost his god in no time.

 Are the Gadeisiola dragonmen who are cooperating with him that troublesome?
 Or is there some circumstance that the Pope can't act on?

What's the big ritual?

In this Geordar, there is a festival of chanting that takes place every 100 days. It is one of the holiest rituals in Geordar, where sacred songs are offered to the gods and prayers are made for the prosperity of the subterranean world. This is the only thing that must be done discreetly, no matter what happens... but that fool, with his strange obsession with blasphemy, will come again, without regard to the danger...

Where is it?

'It takes place in various parts of Geolheise, but the place where the chant is sung is the sacred place of the divine dragon. Would you like me to show you the way, sir?

 Ask Arcana and she'll tell you where it is.

Good. The meeting with the Pope is yours.

 Saying that, I drew a magic circle that will cover this entire basement and the destroyed church.
 <With Ibis, I'm going to rebuild the entire building and completely restore it.

Oh.... oh... what a miracle... this is an act of God...

 The bishop also said a prayer on the spot.

"As the Almighty Glittering Will.

 I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the words, but I think he's going to give us a chance to meet.

'Then I'll drag Ahide back tomorrow as a souvenir of the Pope's visit.

 I was about to leave the church, when a thought occurred to me and I stopped.

'Speaking of which, do you have any good lodgings around here?'

 The bishop replied with trepidation.

'....Tomorrow is the Feast of Chant, and many pilgrims are coming to Giolhayze. The churches and lodges will already be full. But if you request, we will make rooms available. How many people would you like to have?

 Hmm. If you leave it open, you'll have to kick out all the other pilgrims and churchmen.

No problem. Can I rent some space? I don't care if it's underground.

If you are in the vicinity of the Dragon's Landing, it is a piece of land that I have the authority to manage. Please feel free to use it as you wish.

That's helpful. I'm grateful for it.

"As the Almighty Goddess of Splendor wills.

 Grudgingly bowing our heads and parting with the bishop in prayer, we left the church.

 Outside, one girl was waiting quietly.


 When I call out to her, she turns to me.

''Where is the Divine Dragon Spiritual Land?''

Follow me.

 As I walked after her, I began to hear the faint echoes of the dragonman's song more and more clearly.
 We arrived at a raised square.

 There was a huge, shallow, wide hole in the center, where there was a large bonfire.
 The flames, which are several dozens of meters high, are burning a long standing pillar.

 It's probably the bones of a dragon.
 Surrounding the huge bonfire are people singing an unfamiliar song.

'Huh? It's Ellen and her friends.

 Eleonor points to it.

'It's true. What are they doing?

 Sasha gave him a questioning look.
 In front of the altar, presumably mixed in with the Geordal choir, a group of Fun Union girls were singing a song.

 They sang it happily, even though it was probably the first time they had heard Geordal's chant today.
 Eventually, when the song ended, the girls shook hands with the choir.

'That was a wonderful song, Ellen. I heard you guys were in the choir as well, but where were you from?

'Dillhade. It's the country behind that canopy...

 With a snap, Ellen points above her head.

'Beyond the canopy?'

 The woman in the choir gives her a strange look.

'Silly, Ellen, are you allowed to say that?'

'Oh, I see. Err... hahaha...

 The choir lady smiled as Ellen laughed and fooled her, and the choir lady smiled.

'You are an interesting person. I'm Giolheise Choir Captain, Irina Ars Amina.'

This is Ellen Mihais of the Demon King's Choir.

 The girls of the Fan Union said their names and shook hands with each other.

'If you guys had come to Geolheise a little earlier, we would have asked you for tomorrow's chant festival, the Lai Seong Ho Ka,'

The Coming Sacrifice...?

Didn't you know? During the festival of chanting in the holy city of Georheise, there is a ceremony where pilgrims visiting from outside the city are asked to dedicate a new song to the land. It's called the Coming Sacrifice.

 As Eren and the others nodded in agreement, Irina continued to explain.

'It is the most important ritual in the festival of chanting, beginning with the songs of the saints who once came to this land and became gods and dispelled the plagues. The constant influx of new songs from outside means that God will protect us, which is the will of the Almighty Glittering Eques.

It's hard to say, but it's nice that the song is God.

 Irina smiled at Ellen's answer, which she liked.

'I'm sure the chant will reach you no matter where you are in the city, but if you'd like, you can come here tomorrow to see it. May the bless you all.

 Irina prayed so.
 The Fun Union girls bowed their heads in horror and came down from the stage where the altar was located.

'You're doing something interesting,'

 When I called out to them, the girls in the Fan Union shrank back as if they were afraid.

''Ah, Anos-sama........I'm sorry too. For doing something so selfish........

I don't like free movement. You're really good at that. That was your first song.

'Yes but it was an easy song to sing. Now Irina and the others are like the choir in this town, and I saw that she sings a very beautiful song, and she asked me to sing with her.

 So they were singing together.

'There is a lot of singing in Georheise. Through song, the dragon people interact in various ways.

 Arcana explained.

Hey, do you have any free time tomorrow?

Do you want to come to see the Festival of the Chant?

 The girls in the fan union nodded.

'Oh, but only if I can, and really, if you have something else to do, I don't mind at all.

'It's a unique opportunity to experience the culture of Geordal. Let's all come to see it tomorrow.

 Ellen's face lit up in a flash.

'Yes! Thank you!

 The Fun Union girls happily high-five each other.

''But one thing to keep in mind,''

 Ellen looks at me curiously.

''I'm told that some stranger comes to interrupt the ritual.