It was about the time when the ground was dark.
In front of me was a majestic building of dragonwood architecture.
It is the residence of Pope Gorloana and also the place where he performs his holy ministry.
Standing at the entrance are myself, Arcana, Diedrich the Swordsman of Agaha, Nafta the Future God, and Bishop Milan, who has guided us to this point.
''This way, please.''
Milan leads us into the cathedral.
The ceiling is high and the interior is lined with countless bonfires and pillars.
We walked straight to the back, and eventually we saw a large gate.
By the side of the gate, people in blue vestments and armor are lined up to pray.
Stopping in front of the gate, the bishop slowly turns around.
'Beyond this Great Sacred Gate is the place where the Pope prays for our country, the Seika-Saedan.
Again Milan turned towards the Great Sacred Gate and touched his hand there.
'Pope Gorloana, I have brought Pope Gorloana, Anos, the Demon King of Dyrheid, and Diedrich, the Sword Emperor of Agaha. Here, too, you foolish Ahide, who disrupts the commandments of Geordar.
Milan was not surprised to see Diedrich, Arcana and Nafta at the same time, but he seemed to have grown quite accustomed to the miracle of yesterday, and immediately informed the Pope.
As he had promised to arrange a meeting with me, he showed me around after the liturgical service had been completed without a hitch.
'Thank you, Bishop Milan.
A voice comes from the Great Sacred Gate.
It is a neutral sound that can neither be taken as a man nor a woman.
"As the Almighty Goddess of Splendor wills.
With that uttered, the bishop retreated from the front of the Great Sacred Gate and joined the line of holy knights lined up at the side to pray softly.
'Anos, the Demon King of Dirheid. Diedrich, Sword Emperor of Agaha. I am Pope Gorloana Delo Geordal. I have been given the title of Redeemer by the God of Selection, and I am one of the Eight Selectmen.''
Without opening the gate, Gorloana let her voice ring out.
'I've been informed that you wish to meet with me, but what is the purpose of your meeting?'
Diedrich turns to me.
'Go ahead and state it.'
As he said this, Diedrich stepped forward and raised his voice.
''The Sword Emperor of Agaha, Diedrich Kreitzen Agaha. Pope Gorloana. Are you already aware that the former Cardinal Ahyde of Geordal stole the King's Dragon of Agaha?
Then you will have to clean up your act. You must show that Zioldar had nothing to do with this. It was Ahide who stole the royal dragon, and you have nothing to do with it, no matter how the Agaha judges this man.
Diedrich laughs, eagle-eyed.
Otherwise, he'd be a warrior.
'We have stripped the man, Ahide, of his baptismal name. He is not a clergyman to be protected by the Order. Let us swear here to my God that, in accordance with the commandments of your country, your judgment will not be contrary to the doctrine of Geordal.'
That one is superimposed.
Diedrich could see the future.
He should have prophesied that Ahide had already been stripped of his baptismal name, but even so, the fact that he came here like this means that if he doesn't hear an oath from Golloana here, he will have a future where he will be taken advantage of on the pretext of Ahide, I guess.
If you think about it that way, the Pope is not just a man who believes in God.
At that moment, Ahide's head, which I had been holding onto, shook slightly.
A crazy laugh rang out from Ahide's mouth.
'Pope Golloanah! At long, long last, we've come to this place. The time to say a few words to you! Listen up! Listen up! There is no God! ＜The Almighty Glittering Eques and others are just delusions made up by the ancestral dragon people!
The scene is silent.
The clerics lined up next to the Great Sacred Gate all looked down on Ahide.
But most of all, it was he himself who had a despairing expression on his face.
''Why.........why is this nightmare.......never ending......''
He went around blowing up the people of Geordal that there was no God.
Even the head of the Order, the Pope, was told directly about it.
There was nothing more he could do.
'Ahide. I don't know what spell he has cast on you, but I'm sure you've realized it by now. I don't know what spell was cast on you, but I'm sure you've figured it out by now. This is real.
I'm actually... actually...
As if he had lost his future, Ahide muttered to himself.
He must have been aware of it dimly.
Even so, he continued to desperately turn away from it.
But at the earliest, it's the limit.
It's not just a matter of time before you get to the point where you're going to be able to get the job done. My faith, my faith that I have accumulated, my status is...
'God sees everything. You should ask yourself why this happened. Everything is a consequence of karma, isn't it?
Ahide jittered and flailed around while I grabbed the back of his head.
When I threw him off, he rolled on the floor and hung on to the Great Sacred Gate as if pleading with me.
'Pope Gorloana, please, please forgive me! You may have heard that I said that I didn't want to be called by my baptismal name when I was arrested in prison, but I lied! It is a lie! I did it because I thought it was all a dream! In fact, I believe in God! I am the poor lamb who was tricked by this tyrannical demon king, please help me.......I repent......!
With tears mussing his face, Ahide repented to the Pope.
'Ahide, the word "repentant" is not something I would say to myself.'
Coldly, Gorloana says out.
"If you are a believer, even in a dream, you should believe in God with all your heart and keep praying. Isn't it?
"...all by this tyrannical demon king, seduced by the devil...!
'Your mind has always been free. Are you sure? Believing in God is not something that is done by talk. How could you think that God didn't see the lie in your foolish nature when even we can see it?
After being told sloppily, Ahide's face is tainted with despair.
''.........Oh, please wait--''
"You are hereby excommunicated. I will never again allow you to set foot on this Geordar soil.
Diedrich grabbed the stunned Ahide by the head.
''That's what I'm saying. You will be sacrificed as punishment for stealing the king's dragon.
"....stupid...! No, God would not allow such an outrageous practice.....
Diedrich dug his fist into Ahide's abdomen.
He was shaken to the core by the powerful magic, or he let go of his consciousness and gagged.
"This is not the kind of thing that people who don't even believe in God say.
Tossing Ahide aside as if he were in the way, Diedrich turned to the Great Sacred Gate again.
'I have one more matter to attend to, Gorloana. We have a talk to have. Let me just say it here.
Diedrich raises his voice proudly.
There is a scripture that has been handed down from generation to generation to the Pope of Geordar. Will you share it with us?
Instead of the Pope's reply, a disquieting air hung around the area.
The Holy Knights of Geordal all had a grim expression on their faces.
''........Do you know what that means and are you saying it? The Sword Emperor of Agaha
Of course. Of course, I don't want to give you a free pass. I'm prepared to teach you the scripture that has been passed down to the Sword Emperor of Agaha. I'm prepared to teach you the scripture that has been handed down to the Agaha Sword Emperor.
As I recall, Geordal, Agaha, and Gadeisiola have a scripture that has been handed down only by oral tradition.
But I can't read it.
What are you going to do, teaching each other a different scripture than the one you believe in?
Something useful is being conveyed there?
'I'm not going to tell you. The scriptures, which have been handed down only to the Pope for generations, are for the salvation of the Ziordal faithful. If it leaks to the outside world, it will not be able to save them.'
Do you really think so?
In a heavy tone, Diedrich says.
'Can a congregation be saved by following the scriptures of Geordal?'
That is the teaching of Eques.
Diedrich exhales with a snarl and puts a hand to his chin.
'That one, I wonder? Well, Zioldar has his own teachings. You don't ask me to look at the scriptures. Instead, let's open this door and talk. We will talk amongst ourselves about the future of the underworld.
After a moment of silence, Gorloana said.
''Diedrich, Sword Emperor of Agaha. I understand your business. Before replying, let me ask you first, Demon King Anos. Or would you prefer to be a non-conformist?'
I don't mind.
"Then let us turn to the title bestowed upon us by God. What brings you to this geordal, Nonconformist?
In layman's terms, you're here to see. In layman's terms, we have come to find out what the people underneath the earth think and how they live.
After saying this, the Pope then asks: 'Then what do you want from me?
'Then what do you want from me?
I have a question for you. About the Tribunal and where is this Lieberschneid?
After a beat, Gorloana said solemnly, as if to teach the congregation a lesson.
'God has said. To him who does salvation, many people will ask for the hand of salvation. But if you take all their hands, your prayers to God will be neglected and salvation will not be possible. Choose only one of them in your own way. His hand, the Savior will take it.'
'Hmm. Since we'll only listen to one of us, me or Diedrich, you guys are going to decide who gets to talk?
That is correct, sir.
It's a troublesome thing to say.
However, it's not like he's going to turn on me.
The quickest way to do this is to break down this door and force them to talk to you, but that's not going to happen.
Well, it's a good thing that one of them is willing to listen to you.
It's a pity, Diedrich. I'm sorry you had to come all the way to Zioldar.
Turning to the Sword Emperor of Agaha, I continue.
'Well, you've drawn the Pope's oath out of Ahide. You can go home and not be greedy for today.
Diedrich gives a broad smile.
'You're a tough guy, Anos. You don't know which one of you will be leaving yet.
What do you mean? You're a prophet.
Diedrich stands firm, and I say to him, "You can't be a prophet if you don't know how to choose.
"It wouldn't be a prophecy if you didn't know that I would be chosen, no matter what the method.
Diedrich laughed his words off with a flourish.
Well, well. Well, well, what do you think?
Law. You can see the future, but you don't want to back out.
Then you'll have to make a choice.
We can't have a slingshot holy war here. How about a battle between the gods of selection and the selectors, and whoever can hold out longer wins?
So, I'm fighting Nafta and Diedrich is fighting Arcana.
The gods and the Selectmen are inherently separated by power.
I guess that means I'm confident I can hold out against Arcana for a long time.
But how far do you see my power?
When I responded and turned around, Nafta, the future god, was already there.
I guess I could see the future like this.
As I said the words, she disappeared like a light and moved in front of Diedrich's eyes.
Me and him are back to back, facing each other's selection gods.
'Perhaps the man is strong. Fight him with all your might.
I will follow you.
She quickly lifts her hands and slowly returns her palms to the heavens.
Although I can't see her directly because I'm indoors, the Moon of Creation floats in the underground canopy.
"I prophesy, king of the demons.
The god, with both eyes closed, turns the crystal in both hands towards me.
'When these eyes open, Nafta will see all the future. All the futures that are to happen, all the miracles, are in the hands of Nafta, the god of the future. The future of victory will spill out of the cracks in your hands, and the possibility of even resisting it will vanish.
As if it were obvious, she says.
'Some people catch a cold and die. Some people fall and die. All kinds of people have rolled God's dice and live in this world as a result. If you take on Nafta, your worst day will be upon you.
Yeah. Well, I'll tell you a prophecy, god of the future.
I thrust the words at Nafta as he stands there.
'The moment you open those eyes, your defeat will be confirmed.