“What was it? By Constantine, you mean him? I can’t believe that!”
“But it’s the truth!”
The incident in the central square soon spread to the palace.
Rather than hearing of the rumors from the mouth, the crowd of the palace was excited with the incitement of Count Marcus’ instigation and attempt to enter the palace.
The riots were suppressed as the guards and the Imperial Palace Saint Guards advanced.
However, the expression of the officials and the priests weren’t bright.
It wasn’t that long since Veronica III had risen and become the pope. She had just garnered the people’s favor, and now they began to rebel in large numbers.
The bigger problem was that it wasn’t nobles or the high-status people but the general public.
“They must be very worried about the zombie disease than we thought.”
At the end of Reina’s words, Arch Duke Gregory nodded.
“It isn’t unreasonable to feel fear because of the disease that is spreading at a horrible speed with no measure to counter it. However, I never thought that the public sentiment would change this quickly.”
At that, Luther spoke, “They haven’t changed sides completely. It was only those who saw the miracle performed by Constantine.”
“What if that group grows? If I was Constantine, I would be going around showing the miracle of turning zombies back into humans.”
And indeed, Gregory’s assumptions of Archbishop Constantine was on point. He was gathering people in Bless and close by regions to attract his followers.
However, the public sentiment didn’t change as Constantine had thought.
It could have been because the people remembered the past where Constantine used a similar situation, or maybe they were head-over-heels for Reina’s reform policies.
“But, where did Constantine even get those powers?”
Through priest Keaton, they came to know that the conversion of zombies into humans wasn’t fraud or deception.
“Well, maybe he held hands with the men who are responsible for spreading the zombie disease.”
As a response to Reina’s question, Arch Duke Gregory grunted.
However, he didn’t know the truth.
The fact that his guess was almost right on the mark.
Whatever was the situation, the pope and her closest figures such as Gregory and Luther didn’t believe that the zombie disease was God’s punishment or that Constantine was the true disciple of God.
It was because they knew him better than anyone.
“Pope, we need to catch Constantine who is out there spreading rumors on us.”
“That is true. We need to catch him and find out what role he played in the zombie disease and the cure. Please give us the orders!”
Despite the demands from her officials, Reina shook her head.
“We shouldn’t be doing that.”
Everyone was in despair after hearing her answer. However, Reina spoke her thoughts, “Even I want to know about the cure as soon as possible, but I don’t think that arresting Archbishop Constantine will give us the answer.”
Reina didn’t consider the situation to be God’s Will.
For some reason, it seemed like the work of someone who wanted to destroy the peace of the Holy Arthenia Empire.
‘Who was the one who spread the zombie disease? Was it the Baroque Empire? From what he said, the Baroque did have an ancient plague called Vers spreading, maybe this is related to it.’
Moreover, the Baroque Empire had a very good reason to place the Holy Empire in such a tough spot.
The Holy Arthenia Empire competed with the Baroque Empire for the past 500 years for supremacy over the other, and the Holy Empire constantly put pressure on the east side of Baroque.
Also, the Baroque Empire might have gotten the news that the Holy Arthenia Empire was having a close relationship with the rebellious men of Symphonia Kingdom.
Considering the fact that Count Ferrero was sent to the Holy Empire to rage the civil war, it was likely that Constantine too had been encouraged by them.
However, the method of execution was completely unknown.
“If there is a certain force behind the zombie disease, the moment we put our hands on Constantine, we will end up digging our own graves.”
“Right. There is no reason to make him into a martyr.”
At Reina’s words, Gregory nodded his head.
Even if it wasn’t Constantine’s actions, there was some dissatisfaction with the pope.
In other words, there were many who would replace the rebellious role of Constantine.
“Pope, in that case, what should we do?”
They had no other way to stop the zombie disease.
And what would happen if they couldn’t push back Constantine nor know how the zombies were being turned back into humans? What could they even do?
When asked by priest Luther, Reina thought for a moment and spoke, “For now, we will encourage Constantine. If what he wants is power, he will be willing to sit down and talk with us.”
“It is more important for us to save the people and put their anxiety to rest.”
Reina was willing to give up the position of pope if people could be saved.
The day after they had thorough discussions, Reina sent a messenger to Constantine’s mansion.
However, the pope’s messenger had to return back from the gate itself.
“Holy Pope, Archbishop Constantine said that he had no intention of talking to you.”
“Any reason? Was it because I am a false angel or a witch?”
The messenger couldn’t say it out loud and just nodded at Reina’s words.
Honestly, Constantine had said much worse remarks.
“I guess there is no other way. I will meet him in person.”
No one seemed willing to. However, they couldn’t break Reina from her decision.
Yet, she wasn’t able to meet Constantine.
Maybe it was because he was scared of getting arrested and went into hiding.
Hours after his disappearance, rumors spread that ‘the silver-haired witch from the palace was trying to kill God’s disciple.’
“What are you going to do now?”
At the question of Luther, who was troubled, Reina answered, “I will go to Jackson along with the Grail Guardians.”
“Huh? B-but why there…?”
“What do you mean why? It’s to save the people of course.”
At Reina’s words, her officials strongly opposed her plans.
Firstly, it was dangerous as the place was swarming with zombies. And the second one, the divine power could adversely affect them.
“If your divine power can work miracles, then maybe you could save those who are infected with the zombie disease. But if that isn’t what your power does, you will be the lady who slaughtered thousands, the angel who murders.”
“It could be either, but I don’t intend to stay here without doing anything.”
That said, Reina gave them another reason to leave for Jackson.
“And we might find Archbishop Constantine there. If he has the power to save people, he will be trying to get as many followers as possible.”
‘Surely, if it is Constantine…’
Priests began to agree with Reina’s words, yet they kept asking her to rethink her thoughts about visiting Jackson.
However, time and again, she proved herself to be a stubborn lady.
Instead, for the sake of her safety, in addition to the Grail Guardians, she went with Arch Duke Gregory and the Saint Guards instead.
And all her plans were kept secret.