Volume 5 Chapter 239: Recruiting for the Scripps Cemetery Expedition

Olsylvia Academy’s Southern Branch Academy, St. Louis Church Academy. Last night’s chaos had finally settled down, but the security had tightened up even more. To Bella, it seemed as if the situation weren’t so simple; she decided to bring the Holy Maidens and Chairman Maria back to the dorm.

The dean of the academy had just issued a three-day cessation of studies. Classes would be postponed for the next three days here. This only applied to the St. Louis Church Academy branch, not to the entire Olsylvia Academy. 

“Halt, what is the meaning of this! Duchess Bellina, these girls can’t leave.”

“Oh, aren’t you… Sorry, my memory isn’t that great. Anyways, is there a problem with going back to my dorm with my roommates? Fellow student…”

Bella’s carriage was stopped by members of the “Doors of Truth”. The four Holy Maidens of the church were all on this carriage; there was no way that these society members would let them go easily.

Chairman Maria and Holy Swordsman Cynthia were both hiding behind the seats, being out of sight. If Bella were seen taking away not only the four Holy Maidens but also Maria and Cynthia, then all hell would break loose.

The four Holy Maidens of the Radiant Church were wearing dark priest robes to hide the fact that they were naked underneath. While recalling the wild events of last night, the four Holy Maidens were embarrassed. The enmity between them, which was a result of their different factions, was gradually decreasing. Thanks to the events of last night, their personal relationships were also becoming closer.

Dozens of beautiful knights gathered outside of St. Louis Church Academy’s gates, their arms bore the emblem of the Rose Society. They were new initiates, students from the Knights Branch, and they were here to escort their Vice-Chairman.

“You girls are…”

“Get out of the way. We’re here to escort our Vice-Chairman. Why are the Doors of Truth blocking us Rose Society.”

“This is our territory. You Rose Society girls are too…”

“If you don’t get out of the way then we’ll charge through… Are you sure you can stop us?”

The gate guard was getting nervous. Although there weren’t that many Rose Society members, they were all knights. In a close-quarters combat situation, the priests of the Doors of Truth society wouldn’t be able to stop them.

Right before the two sides were about to fight, a high-level official of the Radiant Church appeared. He was wearing a set of red priest robes and was surrounded by a crowd of white-robed priests. Bella had seen those red robes before, worn by the leader of Salo’s faction, Andrew Salo.

“A red-robed priest? Or is it an archbishop? Someone with some authority has finally shown up.”

Anthony Ellen, the leader of the Ellen faction and one of the three red-robed archbishops of the Radiant Church, could be considered Hayley and Susan’s master. The two Holy Maidens wanted to stand up and bow in greeting.

However, Bella shot them a glare that stopped the two from rising. They belonged to Bella now, yet they still wanted to worry about their old relationships. Later, when they would return to the dorm, Bella would teach them a good lesson.

“Everyone, please don’t be hasty. Our church has always preached understanding and compassion between people. Our God is always silently watching over us!”

Daisy and Sophia looked away. Those were the views of the Ellen faction; it had nothing to do with the Salo faction or the Micah faction. How could you say that as if it were the stance of the entire Radiant Church!

The archbishop stood there, awkwardly. Although he could command his own faction’s holy maidens, he had no authority over the other two. If Daisy and Sophia really wanted to leave with Bella, he couldn’t do anything.

Bella didn’t want to give this kindly old man too much trouble. He was a conservative member of the church and steadily believed that the Gods were still watching over humanity. However, the God Realm had already collapsed. Even the second-generation Gods that wandered on the earth, like Death Goddess Maureen and Water Goddess Serna, could barely take care of themselves, let alone humanity.

“Duchess Bellina, you aren’t a member of the Radiant Church. The church has rules even if you aren’t a member…”

“Archbishop Ellen, this thing allows me to take part in your church’s affairs, you recognize it right…”

“This is… Impossible, Duchess Bellina, you are…”

The archbishop stared blankly at the delicate cross in Bella’s hand. She was holding the personal cross of the third generation Pope of the Radiant Church, Pope McPherson, the “Lonely Light”. Starting with the first generation Pope, each Pope of the Radiant Church would wear a personalized cross, representing their rule.

It was only during the rule of the sixth generation Pope that the church decided to standardize the current Pope’s cross, the “Guardian Light”,  as the church’s symbol of inheritance. Before then, the five previous Popes each had their own personal crosses.

Bella was holding up McPherson’s personal cross. Archbishop Ellen had only seen drawings of the cross in ancient records of the Radiant Church; this was his first time seeing it in person.

Bella’s relationship with the church was clear, now that she held the cross of Pope McPherson. Ellen motioned at the gate guards to let Bella through. He was only an archbishop; he didn’t have any status to stop someone who bore the holy cross of a pope.

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“Duchess Bellina, could you tell this old man where your cross came from?”

“Archbishop, what are you saying? Are you suggesting that I stole this cross, or raided his tomb? This was gifted to me by the original owner… If you want, I can take you to see him…”

“No… This old man will leave first. I’ll leave Hayley and Susan in your care, Duchess.”

The archbishop wiped away the cold sweat that had formed on his head as he rushed away. He had to report to the Pope that the cycle of reincarnation had been destroyed and that many former human powerhouses were still wandering the world. As one of the three great archbishops of the Radiant Church, Anthony Ellen still knew some things.

News of the existence of the third generation Pope, McPherson, wasn’t good for the current Pope. No emperor would like it if their predecessor suddenly appeared to pressure them during their rule, and the Pope was the same.

Susan and Hayley stared at the retreating figure of the archbishop, confusion writ across their faces. They had thought that he had come to rescue them, yet he had left almost as soon as he came. Bella had revealed the cross away from them, leaving the Holy Maidens in the dark as to what happened.

Not only that, but she had talked to the archbishop in a whisper so that no one other than the two of them had heard anything.

“Lord Father-in-Law has left the two of you in my care, Hayley, Susan, you two better be prepared! Don’t have any more stray thoughts of escape in this life!”

Bella returned to the carriage and gently pinched Hayley and Susan’s cheeks, leaving them blushing. Susan lowered her head in silent acquiescence, but Hayley turned her face away.

Bella’s “Lonely Light” had indeed been obtained from Pope McPherson, Bella hadn’t lied about that. Even so, Archbishop Ellen didn’t dare to confirm it, with McPherson, himself. Bella felt that this cross was on par with the current Pope’s power.

The members of the Door of Truth society could only watch as Bella’s carriage pulled away. Even the archbishop had given his approval; they had no further recourse to block Bella. Under the escort of the knights of the Rose Society, Bella’s carriage rode towards her dorm, the “Pure White Heaven”.

Noreya, the assassin, had been hiding undetected on the roof of Bella’s carriage this entire time. In the entire academy, the number of people that could see through her stealth state was not more than ten. Earlier, if they hadn’t been able to compromise, it was very likely that Archbishop Ellen would have been the first red-robed archbishop in history to be stabbed to death.

There was a secret underground market in the central area of Olsylvia Academy, in Frank Civilian Academy. All of the customers here were wearing grey capes to conceal their identities.

The number one exchange here, the Swinburne Underground Exchange, didn’t accept magic storage cards here, only hard cash. This territory belonged to the Mask of Darkness society, and it was another society that had prior conflicts with Bella’s Rose Society.

In the Swinburne Underground Exchange, all transactions except for slavery were allowed. Bella’s carriage was one of many that were rolling along the Exchange’s roads.

In the carriage rode Bella, Noreya, and Elaine. This type of place was suited to the assassin and the puppet master. Earlier when she had left, Lisha and Kriss had also wanted to come, and Bella had barely managed to convince them to stay.

The three girls were dressed the same in black cloaks and black masks. This area was usually too chaotic; normal girls wouldn’t come here. Noreya and Elaine were two of Bella’s more boyish roommates; they never even wore perfume, making them even less likely to be outed as women.

“Elaine, is what you said true?”

“Of course! When have I ever lied to you, Bella? Even if I lie to other people, I would never lie to you. Wait, Noreya, put down your dagger, let’s talk it out!”

“It’s not a big deal even if you have lied to me before, calm down… Stop messing around. We’re on a mission.”

Noreya didn’t particularly mind that Elaine had lied to her before. It was just that, as soon they had gotten on the carriage, Elaine had latched onto Bella’s hand. Elaine knew that Noreya liked to put on a cold exterior, and took advantage of this to be intimate with Bella. This was too despicable.

According to Elaine, the Radiant Church’s Law Enforcement Team had begun excavating Scripps Cemetery last night, when Bella had been stirring up trouble in the St. Louis Church Academy.

She didn’t know what happened after though. She only knew that after Bella stopped causing trouble, the ghosts that had continued to wreak havoc in St. Louis Academy had come from within the Scripps Cemetery.

The fact that dark ghosts were emerging from a ruin of the Radiant Church was extremely abnormal. The Doors of Truth society was only able to repel the spirits with the aid of the knights of the church, along with great personal sacrifices.

Since Bella was also a partner, her money had been wasted. However she was only here for fun, the real losers hadn’t given up either. They reorganized private excavation parties.

Captain Glaren had apparently received word from the church. This time, they would allow the participating parties to recruit their own crew to excavate the ruins.

Bella didn’t care about what happened with the Scripps Cemetery anymore. If she couldn’t find the first generation Pope, she would just bury the Seed of Life along with the golden box it was sealed in. The effect would simply be lesser…

However, the work supervisor was Captain Mathilde of the Law Enforcement Team that Bella had just met. She had some good feelings toward this little captain.

After entering the Scripps Cemetery last night, Mathilde had never come back out. Bella hadn’t planned for that at all. She decided to investigate the cemetery and look for the inheritances of the previous Popes as well.

Graverobbing was a very complicated job. It was the same in this world too; you couldn’t do it without a team. The reason that Bella had come to the Swinburne Underground Exchange today was to look for a graverobbing team.

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Exploring the Scripps Cemetery was a hugely popular mission right now, and people were spending big money to look for teammates. The number one spot on the Exchange’s notice board was the exploration of the Scripps Cemetery. Yesterday, the pay had only been a couple of thousand gold, yet today, it was 100,000 gold. The price had shot through the roof.

The exploration mission only required a party to find the correct path to the main hall of the cemetery. The employer would send their own trusted subordinates to excavate the treasures. This kind of simple exploratory mission would be considered overpaid at a couple of thousand gold, let alone 100,000 gold. There must be some other reason for its astronomical payout.

After dismounting the carriage, Bella and company quietly made their way into the Exchange’s most opulent Sorro Hotel. It was run by the Mask of Darkness organization, and the boss lady, Sally Roy, was the older sister of the Chairman of the society, Samson.

Bella had originally assumed that as the sister of Samson, who was built like an ox, Sally Roy would also look menacing. Yet after meeting her, Bella began to suspect whether the two were even blood-related.

A chilling beauty sat at the counter of the Sorro Hotel. She wore a black tuxedo, and if her long hair weren’t draped across her shoulders, Bella might’ve mistaken her for a certain handsome man.

Sally Roy wasn’t wearing any of the typical female accessories. She wasn’t wearing any accessories besides an oversized monocle over her right eye.

Due to the contrast of her black tuxedo, Sally’s skin looked exceptionally fair and delicate. She was currently reading a magic tome and looked like a scholar instead of the big sister of the “Mask of Darkness” society’s chairman.

Although Sally Roy was dressed like a man, this didn’t detract from her femininity at all, mostly due to her chest. A beauty with her figure, wearing a black tuxedo, showed off the beauty of contrast.

Bella didn’t go up to talk to her; they were in opposing societies after all. She had even fought with Sally’s little brother. If Sally were a bro-con, then things would get complicated.

Noreya and Elaine quietly flanked Bella and dragged her into the inner area of the hotel before finding an out of the way spot to sit.

Sally lifted her head and reached up to adjust her monocle. She absently swept her gaze across Bella and her friends before quickly looking down again. Bella thought that they had been discovered, though thankfully it looked like Sally wasn’t going to do anything.

Although Bella and the girls were all wearing masks, they didn’t cover their eyes. Sally was able to tell that they were all girls at a glance, based on their eyes. Sally had many years of experience in the underground society, and had a sharp eye for people, despite only being around twenty years old.

Furthermore, she deduced that the girls should be fairly beautiful. If their eyes were beautiful, then the person wouldn’t look that ugly either.

“Charlie, give that table 40 percent off their order. Also, give them the number two menu, not the number one menu.”

“Understood, Miss.”

After giving out a few brisk orders, Sally Roy returned to reading. Even though she ran an underground hotel, she still liked to look out for fellow women. In her eyes, Bella and her friends were simply a couple of young ladies out for some shopping.

The Sorro Hotel menu had two versions. Menu number one was meant for male customers, whereas menu number two was meant for female customers. The first one was used to squeeze money out from their customers, and only the second menu had normal prices. Sally didn’t want to scam fellow women for money, so she arranged for Bella to receive the second menu.

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