“Huhuhu. She is caught!”
Archbishop Constantine, who was in the plaza of the underground, smiled when he felt the ground under his feet tremble because of the shockwaves.
He knew what the explosion meant.
In the underground of Bremen, there were mana bombs made from enormous amounts of gunpowder.
They were all disguised as natural materials and placed in the places.
In addition, Baymon, the leader of the Grey Order, even built an explosion magic on the wall.
The magic circle was supposed to work when Archbishop Antero would be rescued by Holy Empire’s men.
“Everyone must have gone to the ground along with that sanctuary. Who got crushed? Is it the witch or that Gregory?”
Constantine was sure that either of those two would be the ones to come for Archbishop Antero.
And it was most likely going to be Gregory.
He was a terrifying follower of Veronica III, so he would never let her go alone without making sure that the place wasn’t dangerous for her to step in.
“Gregory isn’t a great loss. If we are planning to get rid of them, it is better to tear off the limbs of everyone who follows that wench and finally make her life miserable till the end.”
He wouldn’t just kill the woman who had betrayed him or the God.
Using the hidden zombies and then the Saint Guards whom Baymon had brainwashed earlier, he was going to take down everyone on her side. That was Constantine’s plan.
“Brother, the army of that fox is waiting outside the city. How about we move slowly?”
Constantine nodded at the words and ordered Count Marcus.
“Let Baymon and the others release the zombies!”
When his orders fell, the zombies who were lurking in the underground waterways began to move to the ground.
The explosion in Baymon’s sanctuary was clearly seen by Reina’s eyes, who was outside the city.
When the dark smoke filled the sky, the wizard, who was placed on watch, came back with a pale expression.
“The sanctuary blew up!”
“Ahhh, then he…”
Reina couldn’t stop her trembling legs.
Arch Duke Gregory, who supported her and made sure she didn’t fall to the ground, asked.
“What about Majesty Luke and his Guards?”
“The Gigants which were being used by the Knights of the Symphonia seemed to have survived the explosion. However, Majesty Luke was nowhere to be seen. We aren’t sure, but maybe he went inside the…”
If that was the case, he must have been engulfed by flames and the explosion.
And the previous explosion was huge.
The sanctuary itself blew up, could a human body survive such an explosion?
Even if he was riding a Gigant, his safety wasn’t something that could be confirmed.
“I… I need to go and see for myself.”
Reina, who was still in shock said.
Hearing that only made Arch Duke Gregory jump up.
“Holiness! We haven’t figured out what is going on in there. So how can…”
It was almost as if the enemy trap was placed in Bremen, and entering it would only bring death.
Gregory who looked stern couldn’t hold back Reina who was stubborn.
“Majesty Luke has been my ally even before the alliance of our Holy Empire with his. How can I feel at ease knowing that he’s out there in some unknown condition? If something did go wrong, at least his remains…”
When she spoke that.
All of a sudden the ground began to shake along with the troops.
“What is going on?!”
Arch Duke Gregory who couldn’t calm himself, asked.
His lieutenant, who was talking with the messenger, understood the situation and explained it to him.
“It is the zombies! It was said that zombies are constantly pouring out of the city, forests, and the allies from the front!”
For a second, Arch Duke Gregory couldn’t understand anything.
Just a short while before, he had sent his troops to all the areas around them and scouted the region for zombies.
However, all the reports which came back from his wizards and the knights who scouted the area contained zombies who were rarely seen in the city of Bremen.
It was the same with the nearby forests and allies where the troops were stationed.
However, all of a sudden, zombies were pouring out!
“If they were buried in the ground or summoned through some magic circle, there must have been a way in which the zombies were hidden!”
Upon the words of the confused lieutenant, Arch Duke Gregory said what he could understand.
“Kuek! This was a trap!”
If that was the case, the magic communication which Archbishop Antero said was likely to be fake.
“Arch Duke! It would turn into a mess if we get surrounded and enter a battle. Please hurry up and give us the orders for retreat!”
At the prompt of his lieutenant, Arch Duke Gregory was flustered.
What they were running away from would be the zombies.
An innumerable number of zombies.
Although they had 1,000 troops along with the 3rd squad of Saint Guards, fighting there was a bad option.
Even if they won the battle, the loss would be too great.
And if they lost, they would be wiped out.
He too wanted to retreat right away, however, the problem was Reina.
He wouldn’t be able to do much if she kept on insisting to do what she wanted.
Maybe she realized that he was turning anxious, or understood the situation calmly, Reina gave out the order.
“Arch Duke, we will take your troops to a safe area right away. If we enter a fight, there is a chance for the soldiers to turn into zombies, and that isn’t something we should let happen.”
“Understood, Holy Pope.”
Listening to the pleasing orders, Gregory ordered for retreat immediately.
Thanks to the decision, the Holy Empire’s troops were able to retreat before the zombies surrounded them.
However, they weren’t completely out of the crisis.
Zombies that came out of the city continued to chase after them, and the ones who were coming from the forests would close in from their side.
And another enemy appeared there.
“There is a new report! An unidentified Gigant troops have appeared and blocked our retreat path!”
“What? Who would come…?!”
They would have been the ones who probably dug the trap and made the spread of the zombie disease.
To Arch Duke Gregory, who was holding the hilt of his sword in rage, Reina ordered.
“Lead the knights and open up a path as soon as possible. Also, capture the enemy riders if possible. We need to figure out who is the one doing all this.”
“But if I leave…”
“Arch Duke is the only one who can give us an opening quickly. And I have Sir Victor with me, and the other Saint Guards too. So you don’t need to worry.”
Gregory looked over at Victor who was standing beside Reina.
Although he was old, he was a reliable knight which had followed Reina ever since the Volga Kingdom fell.
In addition, he was seasoned and experienced.
At least he wouldn’t put her in a risky position.
“Sir Victor, I ask you to look after Her Holiness.”
“Understood. You can trust me.”
Gregory, who entrusted Reina to Victor, rode his Hero class Gigant Veda and ran towards the enemy Gigant unit.
Maybe the combat power of the enemy was much stronger than imagined, or it was too sudden, but, by the time that Gregory arrived towards his men, his men were taking considerable damage.
In addition to hundreds of soldiers being slaughtered, more than a dozen Gigants were defeated by the enemy.
“Those bastards, I will never forgive them!”
Arch Duke Gregory, who spoke with anger in his eyes, ran towards the enemies.
Along with the harsh and loud noise, the enemy Gigant units began to be wiped away in an instant.
The enemy rider’s skills were substantial enough to prevent the retreat of the Holy Empire.
However, once Arch Duke Gregory and his Saint Guards joined the battle, the situation took a quick change.
After the short battle, nearly a third of the enemy fell, and the Gigants of the enemy began to retreat after giving out signals to their troops.
“You cowards! Where are you running to?!”
Gregory went after them.
However, the gunpowder which was buried in the forest grounds was lit up once the enemies retreated, and the chase was forced to be given up.
The Gigant troops of the Saint Guards were composed of Hero class or Knight class Gigants, which were too huge to enter the forest, and if they ended up encountering more enemy troops on that side, it would turn dangerous.
Moreover, the most important aspect for the Holy Empire troops was their retreat and not to annihilate the enemies.
Gregory, who returned back to the troops, went to the place where the fight had started.
In addition, he looked at the enemy Gigants and ordered the commander who was clearing the region.
“Take in the prisoners.”
“Was there any problem?”
In response to Gregory’s question, the commander spoke with a hint of regret.
“When they were caught, they ended up committing suicide.”
“What the?! They really are the worst kind of men.”
The best way to keep their confidentiality was to commit suicide.
That was why some kingdoms and their knights, who held the information on the officials would do such things when they encounter some situation like, ‘a situation where it feels like we are getting caught by the enemy, kill yourself’.
However, that wouldn’t work always.
Rather than trying to fulfill their mission by dying in the end, people would sometimes want to survive.
And what Gregory witnessed was a rare case.
“It looks like they have been brainwashed.”
“Any belongings or their Gigants?”
“Yes, the Gigants had parts from all of the ten top Magic Towers and there were no personal belongings which would help us identify them.”
While Gregory was in thoughts, a messenger ran towards them.
“What is it?”
“Ar- arch Duke Gregory, Holiness…”
“What about Holiness?”
Looking at the messenger, an ominous feeling washed over him.
With a scared and frightened expression, the messenger said, “Holiness has disappeared.”
“Disappeared, what the…?!”
Gregory’s expression hardened in an instant.
Before he entered the battle, Reina was acting too stubborn and wanted to head to the downtown of Bremen and check about Luke’s state.
In addition, she acted all calm and gave out orders to secure a path for retreat.
Maybe, all this while Reina was making up a plan in her head to walk away.
“This- all this! This shouldn’t be done, at all!”
Words of anger burst out of Arch Duke Gregory’s mouth.
Subsequently, he gave out orders to the officers and the various commanders who were equally shocked at the news.
“Cancel the retreat! Enter the city of Bremen!”
“But Arch Duke, Holiness has ordered for our retreat…”
“Holiness went into Bremen! Do you really think that the Holy Empire has any future without the Holiness?”
Gregory’s question was answered with silence from everywhere.
They all witnessed how much the Holy Empire had changed since Reina took over the position of Pope.
And if they lost her as Arch Duke Gregory said, all the changes would cease to exist, and once again their Empire would crawl back to hell.
“I will not be punishing those who don’t want to follow me.”
It was no help to take in people who didn’t want to help.
Gregory, who spoke so, took his Saint Guard knights and entered Bremen.
The commanders of the army hesitated for a moment and followed them, the soldiers and knights too looked at the others and then headed towards Bremen.
Even though they were afraid of the Undead, no one in the army wanted to lose their only hope, the Pope.