Emperor of Steel

Chapter 540 - The Path She Took 4

Wolfs was a town which was to the south of Jackson.

As it was the town of Jackson, which was known to be the key point for transportation, Wolfs had roads leading to the other southern parts of the Empire.

The population of residents there was about 100,000.

Soldiers and Gigants crowded the town, which should have been crowded with wagons and merchants carrying goods.

After the Pope reached there, Wolfs managed to turn the stronghold against zombie disease.

“The 1st squad of Saint Guards will patrol around the city and destroy any remaining zombies!”

“The 2nd squad will advance to the north to prevent the zombies from moving here!”

“The wizards from the Holy Arthenia Imperial Magic Tower will build a flame magic circle in front of the walls to block the access for the Undead!”

Arch Duke Gregory who went to Wolfs along with the Pope, was giving out military orders to the Saint Guards and the wizards at the city hall, which was considered to be their quarters.

In addition, he was conducting operations around the state of Jackson by diving the army into four units.

“Have the wizards who went to Bremen come back from scouting?”

A knight responded to Gregory’s question.

“They have just returned, but the villages and the cities around the place were said to be full of undead. And then…”

“Did they see something else?”

“It was said that they collected the remains of the Saint Guards who went there in the beginning. And they confirmed that the soldiers who went there for reinforcements the other day turned into zombies.”

“Huu, they got wiped out.”

Prior to their departure, one squad of soldiers of 30,000 troops were sent in as reinforcements, who were now declared to be wiped out.

They were expecting a few survivors, but they only heard bad news.

“How does the situation look? Do you think that Jackson estate has already fallen into the hands of the undead?”

“Jackson is a really large area. It has dozens of cities, large areas, and villages. As you can see from the map, there will be some safe places where the population is low like the mountains or the forests.”

Which meant that there could be a manor or a village which managed to survive the zombie disease.

And that was the only hope.

According to the reports of wizards returning to and from Bremen with fly magic, the places were completely covered with Undead.

In addition, there didn’t seem to be any place that was receiving the magic communication even after trying for the cities and villages of Jackson.

Some of them thought that it could have been because the wizard of the magic communication ran away or went to fight the zombies, yet, there were a lot more pessimistic thoughts.

“Just a little bit of good news will make the heart of Pope feel at ease… did any manage to find out anything about Constantine’s whereabouts?”

“The Grail Guardians are out searching, but they don’t seem to have any information yet.”

When they reached Jackson, they thought that finding Constantine would be easy, but surprisingly, the man wasn’t easy to find.

Or, maybe he was out of the reach of their eyes.

“Since he is pretending to be the disciple of God, he will show himself soon enough. Rather than that, what is the Pope doing?”

After reaching Wolfs, Gregory hadn’t seen Reina’s face.

Although he was busy conducting the military actions, Reina continued to stay outside the city hall.

“She is studying about the captured zombies along with Marquis Reas and turn them into humans at the nearby sanctuary.”

“Ah, that so? Was it successful? Don’t bother, I will go and see it myself.”

After taking care of all the matters, Arch Duke Gregory seemed to relax and moved to the place where Marquis Reas and Pope were creating their lab.

A small to medium-sized magic tower called Ford was near the Wolfs city hall.

The tower was made up of several workshops, wizard rooms, and labs, the magic tower was empty with no wizards in sight as they fled with the fear of zombie disease.

Reina, who reached Wolfs took over the place and was conducting her work along with the Arthenia Royal Wizards to cure and research zombies.

“We’ll start then.”

Reina, who heard Meister Reas’s words, nodded her head.

Raising her hands, she focused her mind and raised her strength.

Woong!

The divine power began to shine mildly out of her hand and spread to the zombie which was chained.

Kiakkk!

The zombie began to scream the moment Reina’s divine power touched it and ended up burning itself by turning into ash.

Poof!

“Aaa!”

Tears began to flow from Reina’s eyes as she watched the zombie disappear in front of her eyes.

“Pope, it is inevitable to sacrifice a few subjects when developing a cure. I hope you don’t feel too heartbroken over this.”

“I know that. But to kill someone with my own hands, someone who could have been turned back into a human, it just tears my heart.”

“Surely I understand what you feel… if we let them go, it is likely that someone else would get infected. Rather, it is best to take rest under the hands of the Pope.”

Despite Reas’s attempt to comfort her, Reina’s expression didn’t seem to settle.

She couldn’t get herself to stand still, till the knights found out about Constantine’s whereabouts, which was why she tried to work day and night in helping the wizards of the Holy Imperial Magic Tower in finding the cure.

In addition to the various attempts, she tried to cure the zombies by changing the Aether in her body little by little.

However, it was a situation in which they were constantly failing.

“How did Archbishop Constantine even manage to turn the zombies back to humans?”

“It could have been possible, but unfortunately, we still haven’t been able to find an infected person near Wolfs.”

Wolfs was already full of zombies.

Thankfully, the center of the city was evacuated by the people before the disease spread, and those caught up in the situation ended up turning into undead.

They thought that they could find some survivor who was hiding, so they dispatched troops to look around, however, they couldn’t find anyone.

“Huh, I never thought that it could be easy for us, but this really puts us in a tight spot.”

“I agree. From the very beginning, it felt like we might have made a mistake in the approach of this aspect.”

“Mistake?”

At Reina’s question, Marquis Reas spoke out what he was thinking.

“Divine power and divine magic don’t work well, you might have seen that too. Zombie disease is deeply related to dark magic and the dealings of the undead. Rather, if we approach with the theories of dark magic… Sh*t!”

Marquis Reas, who was staring at the Pope was shocked at what he was speaking and began to bow his head repeatedly.

“I-I apologize, your Holiness. I was just thinking about the possibilities, I have no intention of studying dark magic!”

“I know, Marquis. So, you don’t have to be so scared.”

Reas sighed with Reina’s words and lifted his head.

It wasn’t unreasonable for him to feel overwhelmed.

The Holy Empire was founded to preach about El Kassel.

As a result, the wizards of the Holy Empire too had a mindset of ‘receiving God’s will and exploring truth’.

Such a wizard of the Holy Empire was Reas, who turned out to be the Meister of Arthenia Imperial Magic Tower and hated dark magic.

He could have been accused of having ill-intended thoughts and wouldn’t even be excused for those words.

However, Reina didn’t seem to take it seriously.

Luke, her better-half, was learning dark magic, and the other was because Reas’s thoughts might be valid.

‘Should I ask him for help? I can’t do that, he must be very busy with the post-war preparations…’

In addition, with the acquisition of Sherwood city, the first step for the Symphonia Kingdom was accomplished, but it was unlikely for Emperor Rudolf to stay silent.

It was sure that Rudolf would retaliate and try to punish Luke in one way or another.

‘But, asking for advice might be alright, it should be fine…’

When Reina was in those thoughts, Arch Duke Gregory came to the lab.

The rest of the wizards, in exception of Marquis Reas quietly left the lab.

“Pope, how is the research going on?”

As a response to Gregory’s question, Reina replied with a sigh.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t found any answer.”

“Is that so.”

No one in there thought that they would find the cure in an easy way, which was why Gregory nodded with a calm face.

Rather, he tried to comfort Reina, who seemed disappointed.

“I know your feelings, but don’t overdo it. If your Holiness collapses, we won’t be able to raise your head when the escort comes.”

“Huh? what do you mean? Escort coming, you don’t mean…?”

At first, Reina thought that Gregory was joking to make her feel at ease.

But seeing his expression, she realized that he was serious.

“I received a report from the Holy Palace before I left for the lab. All things aside, they are headed this way.”

“Really…?! I intentionally didn’t even contact him because he would…”

“Isn’t he the kind to come over even when told not to?”

“He is.”

Reina smiled.

Luke was leaving behind the state affairs of Symphonia, yet, she was feeling excited and happy.

Even though she was the uppermost positioned leader called Pope, she was a woman who was in love.

“He might even scold me.”

“Huh, isn’t he the kind to be prepared to solve everything for you?”

It was when Reina and Arch Duke Gregory were having cheerful talks about Luke.

Marquis Reas who had taken a step back intervened in their conversation.

“Holiness’s escort? Who might he be?”

Marquis Reas was someone who was yet to know about Reina and Luke’s relationship.

While Arch Duke Gregory, who had forgotten about his presence was shocked, not knowing what to answer.

Reina gave out the truth.

“… all that happened.”

“That can’t be!”

At Reina’s expression, Reas’s eyes and mouth were opened wide.

The story he heard was the most shocking story he had heard ever since he touched the 8th circle.

With his mouth open, Reas stared at Gregory with the expression ‘How could that happen?’.

However, Arch Duke Gregory’s words were.

“Everything is God’s will.”

‘God… you mean?’

Reas had no idea on what to even say.

However, his confusion and doubts didn’t resolve.

And he ended up deciding to accept God’s will.

Because thinking that would at least calm his heart.

And like that, there added another person who knew about the truth of the Holy Pope.