Luke and his group traveled to Bless, the capital of the Holy Empire, at once with the use of long-distance teleport gate.
Since he had already contacted them before his departure, Priest Luther was in the Holy Palace on behalf of Reina to meet him.
“We welcome you, Your Majesty.”
Luther, who greeted Luke gladly, looked at Luke and Hwang Bo-sung.
“I always wondered what kind of person the king was… I never thought that it would have been you.”
“Hut, my identity was only known to you.”
Luke was a mercenary during the civil war in the Holy Empire.
At that time, he met with Priest Luther at Baron Prier. That was the time when Hwang Bo-sung was Luther’s escort.
“By the way, where is the pope? Isn’t it too dangerous?”
Luther smiled at the appearance of Luke, who was asking about the welfare and comfort of the pope.
Not long ago, he learned about the relationship between Luke and the pope.
There have been rumors regarding that for a very long time, and he did have his suspicions about it, including the intentional visit of the pope to Symphonia Kingdom to present the crown and Luke’s sudden visit when the news of the pope passing out in the magic tower spread.
However, he didn’t want to meddle into the matter.
He knew there was nothing good that would come out of knowing such matters and didn’t think it was right on his part to ask when she didn’t feel the need to tell him.
However, a few days ago, after he received reports that Luke was seriously against the idea of the pope’s personal decision to visit Jackson, he could no longer hold his thoughts.
That ended up with Luther making a magic communication with Arch Duke Gregory and ask about the matter.
Arch Duke Gregory was silent at first, but as Luther kept on asking about it, he opened his mouth, and in the end, Luther managed to find out that the rumors that were wandering in the empire were true.
Pope Veronica III was the last princess of the Volga Kingdom, Reina Petrovna Kirillov, and the lover of Symphonia Kingdom’s ruler, Luke, no, the truth that she was currently married to him.
Suddenly knowing the truth made Luther feel shocked and troubled.
Soon, however, Arch Duke Gregory convinced him that ‘everything was God’s will’.
There was nothing bad that happened after Reina took on the role of the Holy Pope in the Holy Empire. Well, when Constantine was the regent, she was nothing but a scarecrow, which made Gregory and many other like him concerned about the turn of events, but when she began to expel the corrupt priests and nobles and began taking steps to renew and revitalize the Holy Empire, they began to trust her.
‘The pope wasn’t a priest from the very beginning, so what’s wrong if she marries like a regular woman? The most important thing is that she can understand God’s will and take care of the people.’
One didn’t have to be tied to the habit of being a priest or keeping their chastity.
Luther, thinking like that, managed to get his thoughts together, which was why he didn’t take Luke’s sudden visit or his outburst to be an offense.
“At the moment, the pope is in a small town called Wolfs in Jackson. She is out looking for cure while staying in an open shelter to prevent the spread of the zombie disease.”
“Did she take enough escorts with her?”
“All 80,000 troops with 300 Gigants who have started out in advance to protect the troops against the spread, including Gregory, his Saint Guards, and the Grail Guardians are guarding and protecting her.”
‘Then, it wouldn’t be dangerous.’
More troops had been dispatched from the empire to prevent the zombie disease from spreading; a lot more than Luke had expected.
All of the divisions of Saint Guard’s knights were mobilized, and nearly half of the army was being placed in action.
In addition, priests and paladins near Jackson were mobilized to prevent the further spread of the disease.
It was a sign that that Empire viewed it as a huge disaster.
‘She… She should have asked me for help if things were this bad!’
Although he was grumbling to himself, Luke wasn’t stupid enough to not know why Reina had to do that.
She knew that the Symphonia Kingdom was at war with the Baroque Empire, so she couldn’t get herself to ask for help.
“But, Your Majesty, is this the entire party?”
Luke’s party was a lot less than Luther imagined.
There weren’t any huge men, or his escorts too weren’t that huge in number.
And Hwang Bo-sung, who was the commander of the Guard Knights, Luther knew well about his skills, yet the small number made him feel nervous.
“More will come. We decided to join with them near Jackson.”
“Is that so?”
“Rather than that, is the guide, who I asked for, ready?”
Before moving through the long-distance teleport gate, Luke asked the Holy Palace to provide him with a guide to Jackson.
Jackson was never a place he had been to or heard about.
As a result, he was unable to move with teleport magic, so he intended to fly from Bless to Jackson as fast as possible instead.
To do that, someone who knew the place well was essential.
“I will guide you.”
“You will? Then what about the Holy Palace?”
At the end of priest Luther’s words, Luke was a bit shocked.
“I already asked for a trustworthy priest, and the Jackson region is something I am well aware of as I was there during my younger days.”
At that time, the faces of people to whom he handed out food and help came to Luther’s mind, which made him look bitter.
“Then, I feel relieved. Is it fine if we leave right away?”
In response to Luke who was in a hurry, Luther nodded his head.
“Yes, Your Majesty. I knew you would ask that and prepared myself in advance.”
Luther pointed back to the small backpack he had on his back.
It looked like the bag had a change of clothes and some extra food.
Luke, who seemed glad at his preparation, spoke to his men, “First, we leave Bless. From there, we will fly to Jackson.”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” The Guards and Hwang Bo-sung replied in unison.
After a while, Luke who began to use magic flew to the sky with Luther and his attendants.