As being in the center of the Rhodesia continent, several denominations were located in the capital of Nemesis.
Along with the small and medium-sized denominations including the El Kassel having the largest number of believers on the continent, the Mars/Marius sect worshipping the God of War was established with shrines.
And among such denominations was a thing called Arahan.
The Arahan denomination which began in the Barat, a great power in the southern continent, was the one which believed that anyone could gain enlightenment through meditation and mental practice could escape the reincarnation and become a true god.
Already in the Southern continent, not just the Barat Empire, but also in the Song empire and Yemaek it was preached, but in the Rhodesia continent, small and medium denominations with unusual doctrines weren’t considered to be weird.
Even then, due to the trade which happened, there were believers in the Rhodesia continent and Nemesis, and the denominations were able to maintain their reputations.
In the dark.
A carriage with dozens of knights stopped in front of the Arahan’s Shrine in the Nemesis.
The knights were all in black cloaks and pulled down their hoods to cover their faces.
All of the knights’ sharp gazes fell on the man who was getting off the wagon.
The man who got off from the wagon was unexpectedly the Emperor of Baroque Empire, Rudolf.
A day ago, he had moved to the Arahan shrine to cure his wounds which he had suffered during the fight with the higher demon Kauren, a general of the Vampire King Leviathan.
“You have come, Your Majesty!”
At the entrance of the huge shrine, an old priest with a gray beard and shaved head greeted Rudolf.
“I am asking you to take good care of me, today too, Nanda.”
“Yes, please come inside.”
There was a reason for Rudolf to visit the Arahan, even though there were other more prominent denominations.
The health of the Emperor had always been a secret from the Empire, and Rudolf was the one who was known to stop Arch Duke Gregory of the Holy Empire from entering their region.
And if news went out that the Emperor had been seriously injured, noblemen or the enemies of Baroque would react right away.
Which was why there was no other way than to hide about the Emperor’s health.
And thus, it was why Emperor Rudolf hasn’t looked at the El Kassel or the Marius denomination which were connected to the Holy Empire or the noblemen.
Instead, he visited the Arahan’s shrine, which was politically unconventional yet highly supportive.
Nanda, who was in charge of the shrine, had a mysterious divine ability which was different from the divine power of a high ranking priest, and had a considerable reputation in the Southern Continent, and was always referred to be an ‘ambassador’.
At first, it was considered to be a kind of technique which involved the magic of the southern continent, however, Nanda was stern in saying that it was no magic, but the physical body’s effort.
He stated that if one could devote themselves to mental practice, one could learn the six abilities which belong to the realm of the Gods, and can notice things which weren’t seen to human eyes or even heal men.
‘Huh, how is this any different from magic or the divine power?’
Rudolf, who wasn’t familiar with the doctrine of Arahan denomination, had no choice but to feel so.
However, he was interested to know that one could become a god through practice even without learning anything specific.
And of course, he didn’t like the doctrine which said that he had to cut off from ‘Five desires and the Seven Emotions’ to attain enlightenment.
“Your Majesty, did you take your medicine?”
Rudolf nodded at the question of Nanda but looked down.
“Well, because there have been a lot of things I need to look after and then there are those issues with the noblemen.”
“Is it true that you have been drinking alcohol these days? Alcohol needs to be avoided as it increases burning in the body.”
“Understood. So stop nagging and come heal me.”
As always, Rudolf was initially treated with a method of acupuncture and moxibustion.
And he knew it because Rudolf had already gone through the treatment several times, and the escorts who followed around too knew how stinging and moxibustion were done.
At first, the escorts thought that Nanda was trying to assassinate the Emperor, all of them pulled out their swords.
After completing the treatment through acupuncture and moxibustion, Nanda seemed to have treated to Ruduolf’s internal conflict along with the physical trauma.
‘It is something that I feel every time, but it seems very physical.’
Nanda was a native from Barat Empire, and he was well versed in the workings of the Southern Moorim.
It was said that their bodies were strong enough to destroy the mountains and that they could go past the seas crossing all the human limits, however, Rudolf could never sense the same obsession of power and greed which he had in him.
‘Maybe I pursued it stronger than anyone else. This obsession would have given the power to me one day, but…’
From Nanda’s view, Rudolf was less in terms of his spiritual power than his power.
The trauma he was in wasn’t difficult to deal with. And it was a wound that would be healed after a considerable amount of time even without treatment.
However, Nanda was concerned about what kind of frustration and confusion the Emperor was experiencing to not be able to solve it with a little self-confidence.
He wasn’t aware if Rudolf was facing in adversity, but if the Emperor decides to distance himself from work for a little while, people under the Emperor would have to go through a lot.
‘I feel it. Sooner or later, great anguish will come over the Baroque Emperor. But what can you do about the bad karma of your ancestors?’
Nanda was in the Empire because of his wish to preach.
In addition, since he was the master of physical awakening, it was possible for him to look at the fate and future of the others.
Nanda, who finished the treatment, stood up and spoke.
“I have done all the procedures which I can do. For the coming time, it depends on His Majesty’s efforts. Paying attention to your meal, and taking your medication on time, you will be able to shake off your injuries.”
“Really? How long will it take to be cured?”
“It will take around 1 year as soon as possible, and you will be back to your original state by three years at the latest.”
Rudolf’s injuries were attributes of Magi.
Unlike the physical trauma which had been cured, it would take time to drive out the Magi which was invading the vitality of the Emperor.
“Hmm, a year at the earliest…”
Rudolf could only frown.
Being a Sword Emperor, he won’t be able to demonstrate his abilities.
Of course, if he reached out to another healer, he might get treated much quickly, but there was a guarantee that the healer would keep the treatment a secret.
“You worked hard. Though you had been through unpleasant situations.”
When Rudolf clicked his fingers, the escort knight approached Nanda and pulled on his sword.
A cold, sharp-edged sword pointed at him, however, Nanda wasn’t taken aback.
Rather, he seemed calm, as if he was expecting it.
Rudolf opened his mouth.
“I have no intention of letting someone else know about my situation. So please understand my reasons.”
“Are you trying to accumulate bad karma in the end?”
“Huhu. Bad Karma you say? I am just trying to help you with achieving the God stature.”
He just shook his head as if he was unable to comprehend the words of the Emperor.
“Your Majesty, before leaving I would like to give you a word of advice.”
The man was going to die anyway.
And Rudolf was willing to listen to it, it was because Nanda wasn’t willing to struggle.
“There isn’t much time for Your Majesty to prepare. So hurry up and send the treasures that you cherish to another place. If you aren’t able to send them to the remote places, then send it to a place which is closest to the God.”
At the words of Nanda, Rudolf frowned.
“That sounds like a riddle. Are you trying to pretend as a prophet? Can’t you speak normally?”
“You have already given out a lot of energy. Don’t forget my advice, your Majesty, for the sake of the people living in this Empire!”
“Well, fine, I’ll do that.”
Rudolf replied with no sincerity and gestured the knight to strike Nanda’s neck, and the escort did so immediately.
But something surprising had happened.
When the knight’s sword slashed the neck of Nanda, in a place where red blood was supposed to fill, white petals began to fall.
And the body of Nanda disappeared without falling on the ground.
‘How, how could this be?!’
The knights, as well as Rudolf, were amazed at what they witnessed.
No high ranking wizard could disappear with deception like that.
However, Rudolf could show agitation in front of his men, so he tried to look calm.
“Your Majesty, how could this be…?”
“Magic. The magic only used by the priests.”
Responding very calmly, Rudolf instructed out the next orders.
“Burn it down. Don’t leave even a single piece of wood behind.”
“… Yes, Your Majesty.”
As long as he got his hands off on Nanda, he couldn’t leave behind any evidence.
The reluctant escort knight went out to carry the orders of Rudolf.
After a while, fiery flame soared at Arahan shrine, from where the emperor moved out.
The advice Nanda had passed onto Rudolf kept echoing in his ear.
“Hurry up and send the treasures that you cherish to another place. If you aren’t able to send them to the remote places, then send it to a place which is closest to the God.”
‘Tch, no need to concern myself with those words. I guess I am a little weak too.’
Rudolf, who grumbled to himself, covered the curtain over the window.
Despite his unsuccessful mind, Rudolf didn’t take Nanda’s words much seriously.