Inside church.

There, Shuron was nibbling at the bread that lay before him with an anxious expression.

The table at which he sat was set with fruit and bread prepared for him.

Perhaps the invitation to join the Church was not an empty word.

The food on the table had been prepared with care.

It was the least they could do for their guests.

“Does the food suit you?”

“Ah, well… I guess so.”


Still, there was one reason Schron couldn’t eat comfortably.

The screams continued to echo from the corner of the room.

The screams were coming from his coachman.

The coachman, who had been brought to the Church with Schron, had been seized by the cultists and tied to a pole.

And now he was being whipped by them.

He didn’t think he was going to die from the whipping, but couldn’t help but feel creeped out by the screams.

“You look very uncomfortable.”

Archbishop Roan, sitting across from Schron, asked him in a friendly voice.

It was obvious why Roan was showing him the image of a coachman being whipped.

It was a warning to Schron to make his own decisions.

If he offended Roan too much, he might be next.

He had no desire to be dragged to this place and whipped.

Schron stuffed the bread into his mouth, pretending to be fine, and pointed a finger at the coachman.

“It’s just a little noisy around here.”

“Haha, it’s a church event, so don’t be too bothered.
I’ll make it as unobtrusive as possible.”

“Do you really have to go to such lengths?”

Despite the occasional mistake, the coachman was strictly Schron’s subordinate.

There was no way Schron was going to be comfortable with a bunch of people swarming around him and harassing him.

He tried to talk to Roan without offending him.

He wondered if Roan had noticed.

Roan replied with a smirk.

“That’s just the process of seeing the fruits of your faith.”

“Fruits of faith……?”

“There are unbelievers who do foolish things in the service of the Great One, and it’s all to confirm their faith.”

In other words, the coachman was being whipped because he was not a member of the church.

Schron’s heart sank at the thought of the coachman being whipped.

Both the coachman and Schron were far from being members of the church.

Besides, one of the higher-ups was waiting outside with the luggage.

Still, the fact that the coachman was the only one to be whipped meant that the others didn’t know when their turn would come.

Roan was the first to speak up, pointing a stern finger at Schron, not even bothering to ask why he wasn’t being whipped himself.

“Never mind those lowlifes.
Our Lord is a devout believer, isn’t he?”


“So I don’t think it’s necessary for us to go out of our way to confirm your faith.”


Shuron let out an awkward laugh with a stiff face and looked at Roan.

Of course, Roan’s words didn’t end there.

He clasped his hands together and looked at Schron with a serious face.

His eyes were fierce, not the same as they had been just moments before.

“But if the Lord above says I’m a foolish unbeliever…”

“Kuu, what happens to an unbeliever……?”

I gulped.

Swallowing, Schron waited for Roan’s next words.

Would he be whipped like the coachman.?

If not, would he be taken somewhere in the Church and tortured?

He could barely breathe as he waited for Roan’s words.

“Even so, we wouldn’t treat the you like that, would we? You’d have to sit through a series of boring sermons instead.”

“…Archbishop …… knows how to tell a good joke.”

“So which side are you on?”

“Oh, of course I believe in the Great One!”

When dealing with crazies, it’s always best to play along.

That was Schron’s rule in business.

Of course, it was best to avoid them if you could, but this was not a situation that could be avoided.

Apparently satisfied with Schron’s answer, Roan nodded and stuffed the bread into his mouth.

“I’m glad to hear it, indeed.
You are a faithful man who serves the Great One!”

“It is natural to serve the Great One, and all heretics and unbelievers deserve a thousand punishments.”

“By the way, does the Lord know the name of the Great One?”

“The name of the Great One….?”

Hearing Roan’s question, Schron felt a cold sweat break out.

The name of a god worshiped by pagans.

There was no way he could have known that.

Besides, he didn’t recall hearing the name of a god in any of their previous conversations.

Schron’s eyes darted around the room, tension suddenly returning.

“You don’t know?”


“Haha, I’m kidding! How can a mere mortal dare to speak of the Great One’s name?”

“That, Hahaha..

Once again, it was Roan’s prank on Schron.

A sigh escaped Shuron’s lips.

Every time Roan played a nasty prank on him, it felt like he shortened his life by ten years.

He wanted to get out of here as quickly as possible.

And in order to do that, he had to find out what they were after.

“So, as for why we invited the Lord this time…”

As if he could read Shuron’s mind.

Roan began to ramble on about the reason.

If someone suddenly grabbed the passer-by and stopped them, I actually had a pretty good idea why.

It would likely be about money.

“As a matter of fact, Lord, as a devout member of the Church, haven’t you been missing a lot of donations lately?”

“… donations.”

This is a situation where Shuron himself admitted to being a member of the Church.

As far as the topic of offerings goes, Schron doesn’t have much of an excuse.

If he went on a long rant here, he was likely to get slapped down for saying the wrong thing.

It was a trap that made me think that how fearsome this guy was.

“I’m afraid we don’t have enough money to build the church, so we’re going to need a lot of donations.”

There was only one way to avoid this.

Schron would call out the amount first.

If it wasn’t enough to make the other person feel insulted, he would probably be embarrassed and move on.

So Schron tried to tell Roan a modest sum that he had calculated in his head.

“If we’re going to build a temple, of course I’m going to make an donation, for the sake of the Church and Great One……!”

“A 30% of the tribute you brought should be enough.”

But Roan was quicker to speak up.

Just as Schron was about to say the amount, Roan interrupted and declared the amount.

Moreover, the goods they were carrying were called tribute.

It was a particularly patronizing choice of words, even though the goods were all his.

Upon hearing Roan’s words, Schron’s voice broke.

“No, it’s…”

“And there’s one more thing I’d like to ask of the Lord.”

Of course, Schron was not given the opportunity to make excuses.

The atmosphere in the room was already overwhelming.

There was no point in dragging the subject back to the previous stage.

Schron bit his lip, realizing that the Archbishop in front of him was no ordinary bidder.

The bread in his mouth felt like it might regurgitate.

He would have to pay 30% of the goods he was carrying for the soft bread and the fruit they had picked up nearby woods.

It was like paying a toll to a bandit.

“Huh… How else may I assist you?”

Schron sighed again.

By now, he felt like giving up.

What difference would one more favor make, he thought, when he’d already given them everything he had to give?

I should be thankful that they hadn’t taken it all away.

As Schron stared at the table, head down, Roan brought up the next matter.

“We would like to use the Lord’s carriage to bring four people into the city.”

“??? Wait, you want me to let them into the city?”

The next matter of the archbishop’s order was about the city.

Use Schron’s loaded carriage to avoid the city’s checkpoints.

Schron looked puzzled at this change of subject.

It made sense why the Archbishop had insisted on a tribute of 30% of the cargo.

It seemed to be a plan to ensure there was room in the carriage for people.

“That’s right.”


Letting people in without being inspected proved to be a challenge for Schron.

The difficulty of getting people inside aside, the very act of engaging with the cultists inside was dangerous.

It would be difficult for even Schron to escape punishment if caught associating with the cultists.

What words should he use to refuse Roan’s offer?

As Shuron pondered the question, Roan added something significant.

“Of course, once inside, you needn’t worry about the rest, for among the nobles of the Count’s household are devout followers of our God.”

“You said the Count has… followers of our God?”

There is a slight misunderstanding that is preventing us from entering, but it is a misunderstanding that will be resolved once we enter.”

The Count, who rules the city, stands behind the cultists.

Schron’s chest tightens as he realises that the situation is even more complicated than before.

Coming from a cultist, it was hard to believe.
But if what he said was true, the situation was exactly the opposite of what it had been before.

If he did not grant their request, his position in the city would be disadvantaged.

As Schron weighed the options, the screams of a whipped coachman echoed in his ears.

“Can I really trust you?”

“You lack faith, for I was about to tell you that the Lord, a faithful followers of our God, would be able to gain the favour of the Church and the Count.”

“N-no, how could I have doubted the Archbishop’s word? I just wanted to be sure.”

“You are a thorough man, my lord, and of course, if this matter is settled, your lordship will be granted a nobleman’s favour.”

Your lordship had already suffered a great loss.

If there was anything to be gained, it had to be gained somehow.

It was a risky proposition, but one that could pay off handsomely if it worked.

Tap.! Tap.! Tap.!

Facing Schron, Roan’s fingers slowly began to tap on the table.

It moved faster with each passing second, seeming to hasten Schron’s response.

How many times did Roan’s fingers tap on the desk?

After a long pause, Shuron made a decision.

“I will do it.”

Of course, Shuron’s choice was to accept Roan’s offer.

Not that he had other choice.

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