Tsukihime II Prelude
The following translation is done by Evospace.
Dead Apostle Louvre.
A vampire who dwells in Norway who's over 500 years old.
A big aristocrat who is about to succeed the empty 10th spot of the 27 Dead Apostle Ancestors.
The number of sacrifices he extracted blood from: Approximately 5000 lives.
If you include the spread casualties resulted from the infection, several times of that.
An immortal monster whose layer upon layer of diabolical magic is indeed a supreme of the supreme.
The center of such sect is this ancient castle lightened by a red moon.
Normally, the home castle of these Dead Apostles can't be found by human beings.
The magical castle enshrouded by darkness, by shadows, by longing for rationally, and by fear towards the taboo, only shows itself to its guests.
Multiple layers of bounded field, a sanctuary hidden by the strong magical powers.
The invisible protection that fools even nature, is close to the alternate world that fairies live in.
The castle of Dead Apostle Louvre was no exception.
Although not as far as an Ancestor's magical castles, this lake was a castle of delusions that avoided countless armies of heretic hunters.
A proof of an untouchable indestructibility.
Just like how the past 500 years have been, the owner of the castle believed his prosperity will be everlasting.
---like a clown.
Until the night "she" led her army here to return that history to nothingness.
Numerous shadows surround the ancient castle floating on the lake.
About 50 in numbers. This was the first, and the last time so many people appeared in this demonic territory.
"Right wing troop #3, succeed in breaking into the bounded field base. Left wing leader assistant, completed scouting inside the castle. All, tune in the second hand of the magic circuit. 10, 6, 3, 0 case completed. --Alright, tell the vice commander that it's according to schedule."
The mages that surrounded the lake were all coordinated perfectly. They were like an army instead of mages. A group that disposed of individualism. But in reality, all of them were mages who were in charge of their respective branch.
Therefore, they were known as the "Battalion of Kron".
Naming themselves a "battalion" with just 50 members shouldn't be a bluff but being modest.
"We have all the spell bases around the lake under control. 30 minutes to reverse the bounded field. If you wish to eliminate the whole land, we can begin in about an hour."
The vice commander who was in charge of the battalion, waits for his order from the girl next to him.
A perfect victory or a complete annihilation?
Should they proceed into the castle and eliminate the vampires dwelling in the darkness one by one--- or return this whole land to nothingness along with them?
The results were the same, but the latter was the more definite method. Even if they surrounded the old castle and setup a brilliant formation, their enemy was a vampire who lived for hundreds of years. There's a slim chance that they might escape.
Maybe it is overdoing it, but erasing this land from the map is the logical step this battalion should be taking. It took them several years to find this castle. It's pointless if the head of the vampires escapes to a new hideout. But she said...
"We're doing neither. Be ashamed of yourself, vice commander."
and disposed both plans.
It was sinful just to make such foolish thought. This wasn't heretic hunting. It's a pilgrimage to show our dignity. No matter how strong he was, it was intolerable to use followers against a vampire who wasn't even an Ancestor. He was nothing but a pitiful bug that needs to be stomped on by the girl herself for mercifulness.
"Let's begin. All of you secure the outer wall. Do not let any of them escape."
"Lady Barthomeloi, by yourself? But that's..."
The mages of the battalion whole heartedly trusted the girl. They understand that she has the power to annihilate the clan of Louvre while having time to let out a sigh.
But that truth and the method of annihilation was a different story.
The battalion always took the most logical step. It will maybe take half an hour for the girl if she did it alone, but if the whole battalion cooperated, they should be able to accomplish it in half the time. A battle should be won even during its process. Wasn't that the policy of the Barthomelois?
"Do not misunderstand. This is not a trial nor a battle."
Leaving the battalion behind, the girl walked upon the lake.
With one swing of her hand, she destroyed the castle gate that never let any human beings through for hundreds of years.
"It's our duty to play a game at times. Hunting is something that should be done elegantly and with pleasure."
Without moving her eyebrows one bit. With hateful cold eyes the girl marched into the castle.
In the Clock Tower, there's a young queen.
The current head of the renowned Barthomelois. Even though she hasn't arrived at magic, she has the talent to almost reach the level of a miracle with just sorcery. If it was just magical circuits, Lorelei was said to even surpass the school's headmaster.
Although she literally reign supreme over the Clock Tower, she had a bad habit.
No, maybe it wasn't her's, but a problem with all of Barthomelois.
They see vampires as their enemies without exceptions.
Perhaps the hatred without reason could be from the dignity as a human being, or the pride of an aristocrat. The Barthomeloi heads always take the lead in a mission to hunt a Dead Apostles, and just like how it was the natural thing to follow, the girl spent all her time annihilating the Dead Apostles.
To a sickening level. Even if it means neglecting her duty as an assistant director, she has been hunting vampires... vampiric creatures who were classified as Dead Apostles.
Even the girl herself didn't know where that hatred comes from.
That was an obsession greater than any of the Barthomelois in the past, and an emotion that she had no control over.
The main hall of the castle. Her 18th target happened to be the Dead Apostle called Louvre.
The line of events that just took place could be finally labeled as a "sport" compared to the mutts up till now. Although it was no battle, at least she wasn't bored.
"Useless. I've waited till the red moon, and this is it? A human leecher after all. You have wasted your last 500 years.
For a Dead Apostle, a night of a red moon is when they reach the height of their strength. Even the mediators of the Church who excels in vampire hunting don't dare to fight under the red moon.
Barthomeloi who tramples upon her enemy, even breaking that taboo.
The Queen - The Supreme Mage of the Present Era, a holy maiden who equals the strength of the 27 Dead Apostle Ancestors by herself.
The whip of the holy maiden makes a slight hesitation. She sensed a powerful aura from the upper floors of the castle. It shared the same color as the Dead Apostle in front of her, yet it was sign of a stronger vampire.
"---P, please help me, Father!"
In that short opening, the girl let Louvre escape.
Even though it was in a critical condition, she was a Dead Apostle living over a hundred years. At least she had some strength left to do that.
"...How rude, to run from me."
Even though she made an unpleasant comment, she swiftly marched after the Dead Apostle that ran away in a frenzy.
Her face looked a bit happier than a moment ago.
"What, you're telling me there was someone else who entered the castle before us?"
The vice commander who was left with the battalion received an unbelievable report.
"So it true? It must be. How did he get in? Inside the body of Louvre's horse? He sneaked in with the carriage?"
Supposedly the intruder entered the castle along with the relatives of Louvre who were invited. Hiding himself within the stomach of the horse pulling the carriage.
It was a typical plan, but horses of Dead Apostles aren't just pets. Being able to control those beasts, he was obviously not a normal human being.
"...But by that method, they would know the moment he entered the castle. Since nothing happened until Barthomeloi went in, Louvre never noticed the intruder. That means..."
That intruder must be the same kind as those Dead Apostles. He's not a mage or a mediator. As long as you are human, you can't deceive the vampires' sense of smell.
In other words... this intruder was all by himself, and even though he's a Dead Apostle, an enemy of Louvre. One "Dead Apostle" knight who fills all of those criteria certainly exists.
"Sent the message to Barthomeloi. The intruder of the castle is a Dead Apostle... and there's a high chance it is one of the 27 Ancestors."
With her powers, it was obvious she would have noticed another guest being there. But she won't know who until she meets him. Even though she could, she doesn't like doing trivial matters such as scouting and searching.
"Why the surprised face? Louvre is a Dead Apostle who is about to succeed the empty 10th spot. It's natural for another Ancestors to pay him a visit. Hurry with the message. If she fools around too much, a fire would lit inside Barthomeloi."
However. It looks like that wasn't the only report the mage brought.
As he tilted his head even further,
"There's... another peculiar finding."
With a spaced out tone that's unfitting for a member of the battalion, he reported a trace of a magecraft that he has never seen before.
The highest floor of the castle. Inside the bedroom where she cornered Louvre, the girl encountered a demon.
A black shadow enshrouded in the curse of rage.
A blood drinker with a remaining scent of a human being was equipped with a long sword and a shotgun.
"Eek, F, Father...!"
In front of the black vampire was Louvre whose body was half blown away.
Even though their genders were different, when she recognized that it was the same Dead Apostle she cornered,
The girl and the black vampire acknowledged each other as the mightiest foe within this castle.
The girl's magical circuit howled as it spun.
The black long sword scattered clumps of malice as it was swung.
The magecraft of blade sliced a piece off the ancient castle.
The black shadow engulfed the furious wind even as it was repelled and torn.
Additional 4 shots echoed in the room.
The holy mithril gauntlet repelled the assaulting magical bullets with its silver sparkle.
The battle only lasted an instant.
But each of the crossed blows can easily take the wall of the castle down.
The bedroom was carved out by a single shot of the girl's magecraft and became a patio.
"...A mage, I see."
Clunk. The black vampire unloaded his shotgun with a snap of his wrist, while the Demonic sword transformed itself to the next stage. Although he was soaked in a curse that even wrinkles the girl brow, the black vampire's piercing eyes was that of a human.
It was as if, his hatred itself was his reasoning.
His shape that couldn't remain conscious without his hatred perfectly fit the name of the Fukusyuuki - Vampire of Revenge.
"...Enhance. The vampire who hunts Dead Apostles."
His rumor started spreading just recently.
There is a Dead Apostle who hunts Dead Apostle.
It wasn't surprising to see a fight between Dead Apostles. They find territorial wars and power struggles as entertainment. A Dead Apostle killing another Dead Apostle isn't something wrong for them. The overall number of vampires doesn't change after all.
But the man in front of her was different.
He destroys vampires themselves. Killing off the head, annihilates the clan, and burns down all of their land.
His way of things was closer to the girl and the mediators. For the Dead Apostles, those who causes a quarrel in order to "destroy the Dead Apostles" are unforgivable traitors.
That is this black shadow, Dead Apostle Ancestor.
One of the 27 Ancestors, Fukusyuuki - Knight of Revenge who killed his master.
"...I was thinking I was the first to arrive, but I was second."
But even this beast wasn't enough to scare this girl. She understood his strength. He was powerful indeed, but not enough to defeat her. Twice as strong as Louvre at most. He doesn't even have any super natural ability like the other 27 Ancestors. With such a mediocre skill, she was rather irritated.
But what angered her the most was the fact that she wasn't the first one to be there.
"Well, I'll forgive you this time. We came here almost at the same time. You should thank yourself for not going in front of me, vampire."
The black shadow doesn't answer, but searches for the Dead Apostle that he had cornered.
Was it caught in the struggle and perished, or luckily escaped?
The answer was bitterly the latter.
"He's good at running at least. ...Even if he had a help from a stray dog before the check."
The girl's target had changed long ago.
She did allow him to come inside the castle. But she's not going to let him interfer with her hunt. The girl lit a flame inside her Mystic Eyes and focused on the vampire in front of her, and...
"They are his children."
She understood the meaning of his words immediately.
The two sprung on their way.
The girl went after the route the Dead Apostle escaped, the corridor to the tower.
The black shadow climbed up the outer wall like a bat, just like a vampire would.
Her instant decision and accuracy. The girl had pride and arrogance as a powerful mage, but she also had the coolness to disregard those emotions.
The meaning of the words, "They are his children".
Dead Apostle Louvre has already chosen his successors.
The Louvre that the girl cornered was his daughter, and the Louvre that the black vampire cornered was his son.
It was understandable that their strength were lacking. They were just new borns who just acquired his powers. The real one who needed to be killed was his father, and if the father and the children fought together, it would make them a bit closer to the current strength of the girl.
The powers of the blood shared relatives of Dead Apostles are not calculated by addition but by multiplication. Right now, killing Louvre took an higher priority than the Knight of Revenge.
But she won't make it in time.
Accepting that the hunt has become a battle, she entered the tower that her enemy awaits.
And inside. As you might have expected.
As if they are sleeping together.
The dead bodies of the 3 family members were cut up into pieces without any trace of blood.
"--Tonight, Death will appear before thee."
The message was passed on to Louvre, three hours before Barthomeloi showed up.
The reason that the 27 Ancestors still existed after years of repeated killing and destruction among each other; was that there was an Ancestor who played the role of a prophet. It's said that she always foresee the death of those Vampires and warn them, so they can prepare a successor immediately.
Having this warning in front of him, Louvre laughed.
I see, it's true one cannot let his guard down against those Barthomeloi's sorcerers schooling around the lake. If the luck was not on our side, we could be the ones killed. However, this is not an unavoidable death. It seems the renowned Rose prophecy wasn't absolute like they say.
While Louvre was having his lovely children prepare the welcoming, he unseals his secret weapon.
Even Louvre himself believes that he doesn't have what it takes to be appointed the 27 Ancestors.
It'll still take him at least two hundred years to be called an Ancestor. In order to make up for the two hundred years, he has been restlessly stealing Magical Equipments and Conceptual Weapons from the magis.
As a result. Using this artifact that even the collector, Demon Summoner Merm Solomon, envies, killing off a little girl of that level is not a problem.
"Hmm, I thought they would use surrounding tactics, but you're coming here by yourself? You are lucky, Barthomeloi. If you've tried to break the barrier, it would have been you who would have fallen into the pits of earth"
He plays with his beard.
While old Louvre was having fun seeing the girl enter the castle, a faint wind flew by his face.
In this completely sealed room, there is, wind?
At that moment, he falls back in an ultra speed, reacting quicker than he can think of those questions. Even though he was rather young, he still possessed the ability that would not shame his title as a great noble.
Just like that. As he landed on the floor, his body from waist down, slid off.
Falling, falling, falling.
He almost died of disbelief.
What surprised him though, was feeling the sense of not being able to recover from the wound like when he was once a human being.
Or rather, he felt nostalgic.
Horrifying but splendid. Very much like the moment that he was no longer a human being. The location he was cut was completely "Dead".
When he looked up, there was a round hole poked through the indestructible ceiling.
An eye-dazzling crimson moon.
In the room. There was a knife that cannot be any simpler, a face wrapped in bandage, and even though it's the first encounter, to anyone, that was the silent, God of Death.
The room inside the tower was quiet.
When the girl entered the room, it was all over.
Corpses of Louvre and his children.
The black vampire who stands silently.
And without realizing herself, Barthomeloi grinds her teeth from irritation.
"...He must have been after the mace that Louvre had."
The black vampire mumbled.
Even though it was unmannerly, the girl bit on her right index finger. It was to stop her annoying teeth grinding and...
"Leave. I'll let you go this time, vampire."
You don't need to tell me that.
The black shadow jumped up to the hole on the ceiling, sprouted out a miserable pair of wings that didn't look like a bird's nor an insect's, and flew away.
...She was left alone in the space of brutal murder.
Blood smeared on her leather gloves.
She almost passed out from humiliation. Although she thought she was the first one to be there, she wasn't even the second one there. This wasn't a hunt nor a battle, but just an headless chicken running around in circles.
"...I'll find you for sure. When I do, I'll give you my gratitude for your victory without even showing yourself and..."
I'll make you pay for this blood and pain.
The girl... Lorelei Barthomeloi sung to that someone she had yet to meet.
That block of iron was a mismatch in the plain environment.
A moving fortress weighing 35 tons. A wild horse with a combustion mechanism that probably never passed through in such a countryside road. An American Monster/Coast to Coast Super-sized Giant Vehicle with striking headlights and engine sound, pulling the devil's box.
"Sympathy for the Devil".
Carrying steel weapons, crosses, medical equipments and an "exorcist", it was literally the state of the art monster.
In the 4 days after landing at United Kingdom, it has always been under the people's attention.
To be exact, people weren't surprised at the gigantic trailer called the "Sympathy for the Devil", but at the man behind the wheels. It couldn't be helped. The one driving the vicious machine was a peaceful looking priest.
While letting out a screech in the countryside road, he controlled the monster with ease. If there was one thing he needed to be careful of, it was the temperature inside the trailer box behind him. It was currently in normal temperature, but if by any chance it goes below 20 degrees Celsius, he needs to abandon it and blow it up.
Of course, it was a situation that he want to avoid if possible.
He would hate losing half of his beloved vehicle. It wasn't much of a problem causing a fuss in the quiet countryside and his partner being blown to pieces though.
"Dawn. Aren't you receiving a signal on the radio?"
A voice through the inter phone from the box.
Did she sense the wicked idea that he had? Hearing the voice of his partner that he didn't care if she burned to ashes, the priest turned on the radio.
"Oh, hello Mister? Do you mind if I add something to the order?"
He made a deep sigh hearing the noise full of transmission.
It was the 3rd call he received since he got on this mission.
He reminded her so many times to order the equipments all together, but this woman kept on bothering him one after another.
Thanks to her, he hasn't even reached his destination.
Adhesive grenades, dozen boxes of M60 ammo, and her order goes as far as an out dated potato masher (Burial custom). It's natural for him to stray away from the route if she keeps on requesting without minding the time and cost.
...Well, actually she's the only person who makes such requests and this was like the only time he we was needed.
Personal firearms have little effect on vampires.
They are show offs who dodge the bullets after they see them. Since surface based attacks can't even touch them, they freely feed on their prey even up to this day.
However. This woman was a fantastic monster who is able to land a shot on their forehead with a hand gun; a point based attack.
It almost sounds like a joke, but it was good for him that the items he stocked didn't go to waste. Besides, black humor was something the priest loved. It wouldn't hurt to listen to a few of her selfish requests.
"I have no choice. You sure are a difficult person to please, but you're my important customer."
After stopping the truck, he takes out a note.
To his surprise, her request this time wasn't something so dangerous.
It might not be in a small village, but they're all something that could be found in a town with a market.
"I could get you the first four, but I have to say no to the last one. Moreover, you should be able to purchase that at where you're at."
The transaction ended right away.
Although it looked like she wanted to say something, she accepted and he was relieved.
"Then it'll be another two additional days until I arrive. Now that I need to make an extra trip."
The priest ended the transmission and left the driver's seat.
If he remembered correctly, his partner in the box had a few of the items that were just requested.
"Excuse me. May I enter, my lady?"
"Please. I was a bit bored, Dawn."
The door of the box opens.
It was darker than the darkness of the night, inside.
The tiny blinking lights were the only thing indicating its depth.
Sleeping inside the darkness were firearms, electronics, words of God, and the devil's stomach.
He closes the door behind him so the holy air won't spill out. The priest saw his partner lying on the bed for the first time in 2 days.
"You look sick more than ever."
"Yes. The people in the countryside are superstitious so I'm easily affected. But their shape is prettier than the ones in the urban cities. Although their form changes in a swift manner, the pain feels pleasant."
After smiling with gratitude, the priest mentioned the special order he just received.
"Huh? What was that? Turme..."
"Oh, it sounded like a herb of some sort. Oh, she did say it was for eating. Do you happen to have some?"
"...No. the only thing I have that I can eat in powder form is Sichuan pepper."
"Hmm... Is that so. Well, they sound very much alike to me."
"...You're absolutely wrong. Don't even think they are the same thing."
His partner was in a bad mood. It was a rare thing for her as she was always passive about things. Unfortunately, the priest lacked the ability to sense those emotions.
"That's too bad. I'll give up and make a side trip. It will be another 2 day until we arrive there, but are you able to bear it, my lady?"
"That's the reason you are here, Dawn. When it happens.
Making an oozy sound, something lying on the bed moved.
A deformed figure. The priest secretly worshiped the unsymmetrical shape. How beautiful. Smeared with blood, yet white skin.
A malformed Virgin Mary who is penetrated by demons yet giving ease to demons at the same time.
"...More importantly, do you know the details of your mission? Since we were the ones summoned, does it means I can look forward to it?"
In other words, the Virgin Mary is asking if she is able to have a feast.
"Unfortunately, no. We came here to hunt vampires, basically. Unless something exceptional happens, we have nothing to do. However..."
This time, it wasn't just about the Church.
A decisive battle that was being prepared for years.
The development of Aylesbury that not only the Church, but the mage's association stood and watched as it built up.
A countryside village of England has transformed itself to an industrial region in merely 10 years.
By just using human power, by legitimate funds and labor, although out of date, a band of factories were built in the commercially worthless land.
It's a shame, but even if that was a farm for the Dead Apostles, even the Magicians won't be able to touch them as long as it was run by innocent people.
How can existences on the side of the super natural can interfere with something that was built by the hands of the people using fair and square methods, without the use of mystics? The only time they can, is when that fair and squareness has collapsed.
"Geez. I wonder who came up with that idea. Everyone knows that the gate to Hell is opening, but they can't do anything until it does."
...Actually, the priest knew whose idea it was very well.
The company that invested in the factory construction at the village that was on the verge of perish by declining population, was V&V Industry. It was a nostalgic old home of the priest.
"Hell... What about you, Dawn? At least I can hold myself, but you're only a transporter. If you go to such town, you'll be the first one to be eaten."
By this Virgin Mary, before anything at least.
The priest was a normal human being.
He wasn't a monster like his co-workers. There's no guarantee that he'll come out alive from Aylesbury.
"Well, it was a direct order from the boss. And not everything looks bad. Supposedly, there was a prophecy that I will be able to find my lost name."
The priest shares his story cheerfully. His real name. His name before he was called Dawn.
"? Dawn, you don't know your real name?"
A puzzled reply.
The priest answered yes.
"Huh? But your name is XXXX."
A moment of silence. With troubled expression, he places a hand on his forehead as if he has an headache.
"See. Everyone knows your name..."
"I'm sorry. What did you just say, my lady?"
With a smile still stuck on his face, he said in a chilly emotionless voice.
"I couldn't hear what you just said now.
Please use words that I can understand."
He gave out an awfully, distorted cry.
I see, the Virgin Mary makes a prayer for him
This man still hasn't returned.
Oh lord, please have mercy on this soul.
While trying to remember only his name, this man is unable to recognize only his name, eternally.
He was in hell in the past. Even being the only survivor, his soul was still possessed. He should have brought back his soul along with his body, but because he lost it once, it would never return to him.
"...Dawn, who else is coming to Aylesbury?"
She brings back the topic to work. It was pitiful for the priest if he wasn't placed in torment all the time.
"3 others. 1 mediator already went ahead. The other 2 should be arriving after us."
"The one who's ahead of us, is it her?"
"Yes, since she has the lightest load, she's able to move right away. An outstanding forward of the squad I say. On top of that, it seems like there's something personal about this mission and she was very excited about it saying that she'll beat the crap out of someone this time."
The priest said cheerfully.
Half a day before.
A nun was walking the streets of a medieval town with unmatched concrete factories.
Black hair and glasses. The sound of the tough looking woven boots echoes in the street.
"I see. There's a pub that unfamiliar people gathers in the west street? And there are pretty ladies in the 2nd floor? ...How naughty. I hope it doesn't last from dusk till dawn."
It was suspicious how serious she was, but she was making a small talk with a boy in town. The boy was friendly enough to show her around the town too.
"I see I see. Thanks, it was very helpful. It's not much, but here's something for you."
The nun handed him an accessory worth cashing in, but the boy was looking at the paper bag full of bread she was carrying. Although calling him a big eater, she shares the bread with the boy.
"Good bye then... oh I forgot to ask you something.
Is there are a big restaurant in this town? One with a collection of international dishes. To be specific, I'm looking for a something like this..."
The boy was troubled on how to answer the nun sparkling her eyes.
A few minutes after the hopeless reply.
The nun turned on the radio as soon as she returned to her lodging.
"Oh, hello Mister? Do you mind if I add something to the order?
Turmeric, cilantro, cumin, and red pepper. Of course I carry around my own garam masala so that's OK. Also carrots, onions, apples, and beef. Eh, find those things on my own? Hmm… that's too bad. But at least get me extra spices. High quality ones. Oh, and put the tab on Narbarek please."
It was a small shrine.
There were no light, no smell of oil, nor any presence of people.
The ones who gathered there and let out a cry were their acquaintance, rats.
In the middle of the shrine, near where he was once hanged like a bagworm, the priest was having a little chit-chat.
"Although they would form a pact temporarily, they won't fight alongside...? That's amusing.
Even though their priority is destroying the Dead Apostles, the truth is that everyone else around them are enemies?"
...Geez. Hunting vampires was the reason we exist and our goal, but now that's mere duty. They have someone else who they want to really kill. People like to see the blood of others, no matter how long they've been around."
The priest lets out a sigh.
A special apostle wearing a white garment with golden embroidery who never appears in public.
The one wearing such an elegant outfit was a little boy and the ones listening to him were little animals who don't speak the human language.
"Thanks for your hard work. Say hi to my right hand. Tell him to suck up to the chief. Give her a lot of work so she'll be busy. It's a war that she loves; she might jump in there if there's a chance. Then it'll be all over. An one-sided annihilation is just boring to watch."
The rats nod to his words.
A few of them ran out to see their star.
Even though the priest and his right hand were bonded with a strong relationship, they couldn't exchange information without their help.
And those who were left quivered and lowered their voice as if they are paying respect to the priest.
Sensing the approaching presence of death just now.
"...Oh thank you, my friends. But don't worry. He's my old friend; He won't assault me without any verbal message."
As he told that to the rats, a huge flap of wings landed on top of the shrine.
"Long time no see. You came to talk about that right? The Church or the Mage's Association. Who do you think have the upper hand? Oh, don't tell me that's us. I'm not looking for an obvious answer."
Without looking at the ceiling, the priest spoke to his friend that he's known for a millennium.
There's no point in asking how he found this shrine at the tip of this world.
The owner of the wings was a member of the Ancestors, just like the Priest.
No matter what kind of sacred place it was, it was no different for him as visiting a next door neighbor.
"The mages, you say? Well that town is right next to the Clock Tower and they have an advantage in supplying reinforcements but... oh, Barthomeloi is coming? That's surprising. I'm sure they are hiring freelancers, and the Magicians should show their faces once it starts. ...You're right, the Church is lacking manpower compared to those guys."
A grand ritual that was being prepared from decades ago.
The land was sort of like a holy ground where the Mage's Association and the Church have stood still and watched; To take over if they had a chance.
That balance was about to disappear soon.
"But the Mediators aren't a problem? You're saying too much.
Consider the location. They won't care what they do in that country. They will annihilate Dead Apostles, mages, and even innocent protestants. You see, if we are out of fresh blood, wouldn't we be in trouble? They say starving the enemy out is the best tactics from the old days. I wonder if the bird head over there understands that?"
It's true the power of the Mage's Association surpasses that of the Church.
But for the Dead Apostles, the mediators of the Church were the most difficult enemies to face.
It's a bit of a stretch, but the mages are the same type of existence as the Dead Apostles. If their understanding of the super natural was the same, the Dead Apostles who were at a higher point would simply have the upper hand. Then those who are threat to them are humans who speak the words of god.
So obviously, the Dead Apostles want the Church to be crushed by the Mages as soon as possible, but it wouldn't be that easy.
Although it wasn't a deadlock, there was a delicate balance between the three organization.
...In the midst of that.
The priest was waiting for the arrival of the princess, who was only an enemy of all of them.
For the priest, the golden princess was the one and only main heroine.
Everyone else was unworthy of his respect, no matter how strong they were.
The same goes for the owner of the wings.
The priest was treated as a traitor among the Ancestors. There's no one who sees him, who took on the side of the Church, as an equal naturally.
"Oh what, are you defending White Wing? He deserves the credit this time? Hah, don't be ridiculous. He doesn't have the talent to prepare something so playful. With his brain, the most he could do is to make the village full of Deads and getting it wiped out by the Church. The thing at Aylesbury was all thanks to Van who achieved his position in the human world without using the power as a Dead Apostle.
...Geez. He said that White Wing's ideas were too old himself and broke away. Why is he friendly now? I don't get it. I want to eat his headquarters. Huh? They are still in bad terms?
I see... so Van just invested money. He's busy on his casino boat lately? That's fine. He was a bit hard-headed recently, but he's back to being lazy."
The priest giggled.
Van-Fem. The priest loved the strange Ancestor.
He was new, smart, and knew when to step away.
It was painful to hear that this fresh Dead Apostle was obsessed with such an old fashioned ritual.
He wanted to be friends with him a little longer. As standing on the side of those who will be destroying the ritual, it was fortunate for the priest that he wasn't serious.
"Then the main host is White Wing. He's really dumb though. Then I'm afraid..."
...the ritual might possibly succeed.
White Wing was a Dead Apostle who's calling himself the king of the Ancestors, but he had that much power and influence in reality, unfortunately.
He's dumb but it doesn't mean he doesn't have the capability.
It gave the priest an headache to think that such man has a completely wrong idea about the Sixth.
"Hey, do you know who are invited? It's White Wing after all, so I'm sure he's bringing all his little followers. Well these days, Louvre comes to mind. Oh he's already destroyed? That's good to hear. The idea of triplets disgusted me.
But last month? It was faster than I imagined. I thought he would put up a better fight... I guess I have to review my ratings."
Nevertheless, the time was approaching.
At least 6 Ancestors are assembling.
The Sixth is the earnest desires for the Dead Apostles. And invited by White Wing, who is leading them, no Ancestors can say no.
...I feel a bit sorry for the 10th Ancestor.
If he was going to die, it was better off to die in a real game, than a game that was born from a game.
"...Well, I suppose he wouldn't have been invited since he's coming from a mage background. Those with the original blood are limited. Although they say they are the oldest Dead Apostles, there are very few real ones.
Then I am guessing you received an invitation as well? Gransurg Blackmore."
Irritated by being called by that name, the wings flapped once.
"How about yourself? Did you agree to be there?"
A manly voiced echoed in the shrine.
"I will. But as a member of the Church. It was a direct order from the chief. Not to mention the war will be more interesting that way. ...Oh, we'll finally be enemies, Lord of the Black Wings. I always wanted to fight you seriously. Because you know. Isn't it rather complicated to have two kings of the sky?
"I see. We don't get along, after all.
I always wanted to rip you apart. "
The black bird replied with a silent black murderous aura.
"Is that so? But I find it strange. Why didn't you do that right away then? How come you waited for 1000 years?"
"I don't fight for personal reasons. The one and only basis for my action is for the sake of my master, Crimson Moon."
Ah. The priest happily nods in nostalgia.
That was their similarity.
They had sworn their loyalty to one master. The ways of the Dead Apostles was nothing compared to that sacred devotion. It was an absolute conviction that no one could taint.
The owner of the wings was against conflicts.
The only way he would be in a battlefield is to amend the Dead Apostles who have forgotten the teachings of his master, or by the wish of his master.
Therefore, he will not fight the Four Great Demons, no matter how much he hated him.
This year, this month.
By participating in this ritual that his master established, he is finally able to kill the Ancestor without holding back.
"You still remembered, even though you're a bird head. You're old fashioned as well."
There was some friendliness in his words.
The priest regarded the owner of the wings as his lifetime friend because of this one reason that connects them.
Even though the shape of their faith were different, they swore loyalty to the same master. There's no way he could hate him.
"The imposter (Altrouge) should be coming to Aylesbury as well. Our only master is the golden princess. You do understand that, right?"
"Indeed. I have the same vision as you, in that account."
"That's good to know. Even if I might end up fighting you, I'm glad you'll be there, Gran. If I was by myself, the most I could do is kill one of the bodyguards while sacrificing myself. If you, the Dead Apostle killer, will be there, this time for sure..."
He can destroy the Eclipse Princess of Black Blood who took away the beautiful hair from his dear princess.
"See you there then.
I'm looking forward to seeing you for the first time in a hundred years."
The priest said in a satisfied manner. The Black Bird flapped his wings coldly and flew off. ...The priest didn't realize that a fixed future was determined at this moment. He was too simple hearted to notice.
For the owner of the wings, because they share the same master, he couldn't forgive the boy mixing affection in his loyalty. He would realize that his shape of loyalty was unacceptable...
..in his last moment.
After the demons that was said to be imperishable were all gone.
At the instant he returned to the mere object that only watched dreams before he met his master.