In the reception hall, Clyde who had changed into his formal administrator attire met the visiting Light Church secret special envoy squad that had two leaders, one being one of Clyde’s acquaintances, “Radiant Saintess” Suhiya.
Clyde had already met quite a few saintesses of Light Church such as “Punishment Saintess” Tiffany and “Light Saintess” Maria who were building branch cathedrals in Steinbeck Fief. Now, another two saintesses had come. One was Suhiya, and the other one was a beautiful young girl, “Ice Saintess” Shirley. Shirley had sea-blue-colored, shoulder-length hair and azure blue pupils. She wore a sea-blue-colored priest dress that had a sea wave ripple emblem.
At present, Ximengsi Continent’s Light Church had seven saintesses. Clyde had seen that sky-high-priced blackmarket namelist given to him by Bishop Nicholas, so he knew all seven saintesses. They were “Radiant Saintess” Suhiya, “Punishment Saintess” Tiffany, “Light Saintess” Maria, “Ice Saintess” Shirley, “Earth Saintess” Kalan, “Blaze Saintess” Finina, and “Lightning Saintess” Olena. So far, Clyde had seen four of them.
The previous three saintesses Clyde had come into contact with had all belonged to the light or holy-class categories Among them, Suhiya gave priority to defense, Tiffany prioritized to offense while Maria favored blessing and support. As for the remaining four saintesses, they belonged to the four-element series. “Ice Saintess” Shirley who had come with Suhiya was a young woman. She seemed to be just 15 or 16 years old. Her face was immature and pure, and her azure pupils bright and clear. Compared to the three Light Church saintesses Clyde had seen before, Shirley looked incomparably innocent. At first glance, she looked like a beautiful young girl who couldn’t hide any secrets. What she thought in her heart could be judged from her eyes.
“You are Clyde? I heard about the matter of Atad. The Undead calamity sounds terrifying! Did a large group of strange people… Ouch, Big Sister Suhiya, why did you hit my head? It hurts.”
“Shirley, we came here for a mission. Don’t forget our proper business!”
“I know. I just wanted to ask… Don’t… Don’t hit me. I will become stupid.”
Suhiya wore a relatively formal white Light Church priest dress; however, she didn’t dare to look at Clyde. Nevertheless, during the investigative operation, her entire body had been seen by him, allowing Clyde to filter out her clothing. Relying just on his imagination, he could draw Suhiya’s alluring figure in his mind.
“You two, let’s go to the living room. The tea has already been prepared!”
Clyde led the party to a hall in the palace for receiving guests. Several tea-tables dotted the room, each with a pot of green tea. The entourage of these two saintesses were all beautiful priestesses and nuns. When they were hastening on their journey before, all of them had covered their faces with headscarves in order to not attract attention. Now, after relaxing, they took off their headscarves, and Clyde discovered that their attractiveness indexes were very high, as was often the case with Light Church’s priestesses and nuns.
“Clyde, this is a “Light Knight” Medal issued by His Excellency the Pope. Please, accept it. May the blessing of Light Goddess always accompany you!”
“Okay, I’ll accept it.”
In the reception hall, Shirley gave Clyde the “Light Knight” Medal in the contemporary Pope of Light Church’s stead. Clyde reluctantly accepted it. Considering Shirley’s pure look, Clyde honestly couldn’t find any reason to refuse it. Honestly speaking, Clyde didn’t want to accept this glittering medal. He was a Great Old One, an Evil God. Words like “Light Goddess’s blessing” were like a curse in disguise to him.
“Suhiya, I remember Bishop Nicholas promising our Steinbeck Fief Needham Plain. Why did he go back on his words now?”
“This matter… let me explain this to you. Clyde, you don’t seem to know much about the politics of Victor Alliance’s nations. Do you know Douglas Clan?”
“I haven’t heard of it. I… I came from the countryside. Why should I know these clans?”
Suhiya patiently explained it to Clyde. As it turned out, in most of the nations of Victor Alliance, there existed some wealthy big clans. These big clans had amazing wealth and great political influence in the nation. Many nation’s imperial families didn’t have the wealth these big clans had. Most of the time, the emperors had to give face to these moneybags and give consideration to their interests when making decisions.
Comparatively speaking, those nations of Clark Alliance practiced slavery, and their aristocrats and bigwigs were very particular about blood lineages. Basically, all imperial families and aristocrats had their positions determined via blood lineage. The nobler the blood lineage, the greater the power. The nations of Victor Alliance, however, relied on financial resources to determine position. The greater the wealth, the higher the position and political influence. Those rich big clans were exactly like Earth’s western tycoon groups that could affect a nations’ policies via money. Which side was better, Clyde didn’t comment. In any case, he felt that all was black, so he had nothing to say. It was unnecessary to compare.
The nations of the third party, Olan Treaty, practiced a sharing of power between a parliament and imperial family. It was comparatively more democratic. However, because the imperial power and parliament power seriously opposed each other and generally had equal statuses, a very awkward scene predominated in nations of Olan Treaty. The emperor and parliament verbally attacked each other all day long. Both sides always thought of ways to make trouble for the other, which caused the nations of Olan Treaty to seriously lag behind. From the capital to the smallest village, the emperor and his officials at all levels fought the parliament and its agents every day, so political decisions progressed very slowly.
Altogether, there were three tycoon clans in Adrian Empire. They were Morston Clan that monopolized the empire’s grain industry, Stuart Clan that monopolized the empire’s iron mines and weapon forging profession, and Douglas Clan that completely controlled the empire’s trade. These three clans secretly controlled the politics of Adrian Empire.
At present, after the successive defeats of Adrian Empire against Augusta Empire and Franconia Empire, the authority of the imperial family had declined. Most of the local aristocrats had seized this chance to carry out their plans. They wanted to rely on the military strength in their hands to coerce the emperor to give them greater political power. The three tycoon clans were secretly adding fuel to the flames from behind the scenes.
Originally, Adrian Empire had promised to make the Needham Plains a part of Steinbeck Fief, but now it was being given to the great aristocrat Marquis Charles who had Douglas Clan behind his back. Bishop Nicholas who had obtained benefits from Clyde was secretly bought over by Douglas Clan at a higher price. Clearly, after getting a higher price from Douglas Clan, as a perceptive person, Bishop Nicholas, had seen that Steinbeck Fief, which was just a new, weak fief, was incomparable to Marquis Charles, so he had happily betrayed Steinbeck Fief. Now, no one knew where the bishop had fled with that huge sum of money.
“Clyde, don’t be angry! Bishop Nicholas is like that. If you have any complaints, then you can tell us!”
“No, I am not angry; I just felt that I spent that money in vain.”
Clyde finally understood why Light Church’s secret special envoy squad was just girls. They had sent customer-service ladies to give him an explanation. He could not proficiently complain to girls, especially in front of Shirley who had a pure and cute look. However, he wouldn’t drop the matter just like this. Like that, he would lose tens of thousands of gold coins!”
“Then… Suhiya, is this your only mission, or is there another matter? For instance, compensation…”
“No, the higher-ups just ordered us to give you an explanation, nothing more. What’s wrong, Clyde?”
Clyde had nothing to say. Bishop Nicholas was too ungrateful. He had swindled his tens of thousands of gold coins without any offering compensation. If these two saintesses of Light Church along with the entire special envoy squad were given to him, then he would have regarded as nothing having happened and let the matter drop. But now, there was no need to speak about letting the matter drop.
Although Clyde didn’t know why Marquis Charles and Douglas Clan wanted those barren plains, without compensation, Clyde didn’t plan to give up. He planned to dispatch troops to snatch the Needham Plains. When the time came, if Adrian Empire asked him for an explanation, he could say that he didn’t know anything. However, with the current situation, it was hard to say whether the words of Adrian Empire counted.
“Suhiya, Shirley, you all can do whatever you want. My palace is pretty big, It’s fine to stay and play around for several days. You all can just go to bed after getting tired. I have some urgent matters to deal with now.”
“I plan to go see Big Sister Tiffany and Maria. Then, I will take my leave first!”
“Go. Shirley, remember to send my regards to them on my behalf. Clyde, you aren’t thinking of looking for Marquis Charles, are you? Don’t be impulsive. It’s not good for your fief.”
Out of concern, Suhiya persuaded Clyde to not impulsively argue with Marquis Charles. In accordance with what she knew, Marquis Charles belonged to the higher-level aristocrats within the great aristocrats of Adrian Empire. Only some Grand Dukes could restrain him. In this Marquis’s hand was an army of over 100,000 people. In addition, he had over 20,000 reserve troops, giving him at least 120,000 soldiers.
Among the great aristocrats of Adrian Empire, only dukes had over 100,000 troops in their hands, so Marquis Charles was privately known as the “Uncrowned Grand Duke.” The actual number of his troops had already reached the level of dukes. Because the duke quota in Adrian Empire was already filled, he had not been promoted, nothing more. At present, the entire population of Clyde’s Steinbeck Fief had not even reached half the number of Marquis Charles’ troops. Basically, the two sides weren’t on the same level.
“Suhiya, I am clear about this. Don’t worry. Well, this is a rare visit. Since you didn’t have time last time, I will guide you to properly look around my fief.”
“Okay then. I am sorry to bother Sire Light Knight.”
“Eh, don’t bring up that title, please.”