The cave at the entrance to the Scripps Cemetery was very dark and showed no signs of artificial digging. It looked similar to an underground cave.
Bella was temporarily cooperating with Randall’s team. There was nothing she could do. Randall had so many people with him. If he insisted on shamelessly blocking the door, Bella couldn’t beat them up since they were in a public area of the St. Louis Church Academy.
Although their cooperation was only temporary, Bella never planned to return the 100,000 gold coins. Randall probably wanted the money back since it was a loss to hand over 100,000 gold coins to a girl he didn’t know.
After everyone had entered, Scripps Cemetery was suddenly surrounded by people from the Radiant Church. These followers, who were all wearing the mark of the Pope, were the personal guards to the Light Pope and had a higher rank than the Law Enforcement Team.
Over the past few years, there had been many problems with the Law Enforcement Team, resulting in insufficient combat strength so the Light Pope had to concentrate his efforts on building up his office. The leader of this group of Radiant Church followers was Ellen, one of the three Catholic Cardinals of the church. He was the representative of the Ellen Faction.
Bishop Stanley was assisting Archbishop Ellen. He was the old man who had recognized Bella as his granddaughter at sea. He was still rather confused about the whole matter of Bella being the Duchess Bellina.
The Light Pope wasn’t assured in handing the power entirely to Archbishop Ellen. Because Bishop Stanley was one of the few people in the Radiant Church who was not part of any of the factions and loyal to the Light Pope, he was appointed to monitor Archbishop Ellen under the disguise of assisting him.
This was the usual method of the Light Pope. Since this mission couldn’t be known by the other two cardinals, he could only send Archbishop Ellen and Bishop Stanley in. The two had similar styles and could cooperate well with each other.
“Brother Stanley, tell me, is this betrayal of my faith… It’s very difficult to deal with this sort of thing…”
“Archbishop Ellen, it’s not my place to say anything. I think it’s best you do as His Holiness requested!”
Archbishop Ellen looked torn. This mission was a difficult one for anyone tasked with it. After learning that Bella had third generation Light Pope McPherson’s proof of identity, the current Light Pope was a little restless. In the church’s historical records, the previous generation Light Popes had all been killed in the doomsday war ten thousand years ago.
The relic of the third generation Light Pope McPherson that Bella had threatened the status of the current Light Pope. He was afraid that Bella would use the third generation Light Pope’s forced resignation as a basis for his own resignation. In order to avoid this, the current Light Pope decided to silence her forever.
Through various channels, the Radiant Church had managed to obtain information about Bella’s intention to enter Scripps Cemetery and take part in the expedition. The current Light Pope finally decided to bury Bella alive under Scripps Cemetery so that the secret about the third generation Light Pope would be buried forever with her underground.
Archbishop Ellen, who had received the order, was in a rather difficult position. The covert assassination of the previous Light Pope ran counter to his belief but he didn’t dare to disobey the orders of the current Light Pope. In a dilemma, Archbishop Ellen finally ordered his subordinates to block the entrance of Scripps Cemetery with rocks.
They would consider this incident an accident in the future. The truth of the matter couldn’t be exposed, or else the Radiant Church would have offended the underground dark forces of the Human Continent. The Blood Skull, Skeleton Tower and Horrorshow Group had all sent teams into Scripps Cemetery while the Eye of Darkness had helped the church release the mission.
When the Radiant Church decided to kill Bella, it had also dragged all these dark organizations down with her. If the incident came to light, the situation would definitely be irreversible. Bella was the Duchess of Sarnia Duchy, the largest duchy in the southern region of the Gabriel Empire. She was also backed by Prince Frauer. Once exposed, the Radiant Church would’ve offended them all.
As for their partners, when the time came, the entire matter would be blamed on the chief of the Law Enforcement Team, Gralen.
In order to hide this from the public, Archbishop Ellen sent the members of the “Door of Truth”, the biggest society of St. Louis Church Academy, to the walls around the campus to form a blockade with the incomplete Radiant Church Law Enforcement Team.
However, the confrontation between the Radiant Church was likely to erupt today. Near the entrance to Scripps Cemetery was a small hill hiding another group of people. They were a combination of some members of the Radiant Church and a large number of followers from the Darkness Church.
The one leading them was the successor to the Pope and president of the Student Union of St. Louis Church Academy, Maria. Beside her were the four Holy Maidens of the Radiant Church and Holy Swordsman Cynthia.
Those who belonged to the Radiant Church were all close supporters of the Four Holy Maidens, as well as a large group of armed forces that only obeyed Holy Swordsman Cynthia. In partnership with them and leading the Darkness Church followers was one of the three Dark Holy Maidens of the church, Dark Holy Maiden Liz.
This was the first open cooperation between the Radiant Church and the Darkness Church in many years. Holy Maiden Susan and Holy Maiden Hayley, who had just returned to report to Archbishop Ellen, had accidentally discovered the Light Pope’s secret order before the archbishop could destroy it.
After a fierce struggle with their conscience, Hayley and Susan finally chose “betrayal” and disclosed the plan to Bella’s subordinates who had gone back to the dormitory to report. Now, the situation had evolved to this point.
“President Maria, can you spare our master later…”
“Hayley, Susan, what are you two thinking of? I don’t intend to make things difficult for our master but perhaps I can use this to threaten the stubborn old man and stop him from having any ideas about our marriages.”
President Maria comforted Holy Maiden Hayley and Holy Maiden Susan while contemplating how to make an issue of this matter to coerce the current Pope to give up planning their marriages. Worried they might be lacking in strength, Holy Maiden Daisy had specially invited people from the Darkness Church to help them.
Dark Holy Maiden Liz was already with Bella so after receiving the information, she didn’t hesitate to bring all her subordinates in this area. With the help of the Holy Maidens of the Radiant Church, the Darkness Church successfully set foot in the main territory under the control of the Radiant Church for the first time since their separation.
“Cynthia, are Elder Ellen and the others going to block the entrance to the Scripps Cemetery? Do you think it’s time for us to take action now… With the reinforcements brought by Liz, we are prepared for any accidents. You can use your Holy Swordsman power to…”
“No, Maria, wait! Bella has already made plans! She told us to wait here for her to come out…”
While the people at the entrance to Scripps Cemetery were embroiled in the tense undercurrents, Bella and the others who were exploring the underground passage of Scripps Cemetery had also encountered a lot of trouble. Most of them weren’t aware that the path behind them had been blocked by the “boss” of the Radiant Church who had invited them.
The passage was really different from the usual ones encountered in a tomb, instead it was more like the tunnels in a cave. There were no traces of artificial digging. Could the entirety of Scripps Cemetery be fake?
Under the limited illumination from their torches, it took a long time for this large group of people to arrive at an area with artificial digging marks in the underground area of Scripps Cemetery. This place was a huge underground maze. Bella almost felt dizzy looking at the passage.
Just by looking from the entrance of the underground maze, the inside was hazy and light didn’t seem to provide visibility into the distance either. Tomb raiders often encountered mazes but this particular maze was much larger than what they were used to. The walls of the maze were made of solid granite so the usual method of destroying the maze to find their way which was employed by the tomb raiders of the other world was useless.
A lot of bloody marks were visible on the ground at the entrance to the maze. The color indicated that the blood was still very fresh and must have been left by the tomb raider team before them.
“Is this place really the cemetery of an ancient church? Why does it look more like a demonic lair…”
The loud scream made the team who were already nervous even more so. Bella turned around and saw the last two people of the team being swallowed alive by a demonic type giant earthworm.
When the mages saw this, they quickly launched all sorts of magic attacks at the hard body of giant demonic earthworm, exploding into a burst of sparks. The demonic earthworm seemed to be enraged. It opened its big bloody mouth full of fangs and charged at the crowd.
A green colored venom flew out more than ten meters and spattered on the lower backs of more than a dozen people who were caught off guard. They melted away without so much as a scream.
“Damn it, that monster… Kleina, we need to hurry… Where are you?! You bitch… Just you wait!”
When Randall turned around once more, Bella and a bunch of them had disappeared. It seemed that they had entered the underground maze passage ahead of him. Of course, Randall’s 100,000 gold coins were also gone.
Bella ignored Randall’s roars and pulled Kleina into the maze, followed by Noreya and Elaine. There was nothing in the world that was more enjoyable than kidnapping someone else’s fiancee and taking away a huge sum of his money.
Despite using Randall’s men as cannon fodder, Bella and the others entered the underground maze without any guilt. Puppet Master Elaine knew a little about the earthworm-like demonic beast, although she wasn’t sure what it was called. It’s strength made it at least an S level demonic beast.
Bella took out a beautiful lampstand shaped like a cup, which was a Sacred Object she had “borrowed” from President Maria. Only the successor to the current Pope of the Radiant Church was entitled to have the “Meredith Holy Lamp.”
The Meredith Holy Lamp was a legendary artifact used to prove the legitimacy of the pope’s successor. It was made out of unknown material and had a very miraculous function, that is, to ignite a flame that would not move in the direction of the wind, but would point to the nearest Light Pope.
The holy flame lit on the “Meredith Holy Lamp” would change colors according to the attribute of the Light Pope it was pointed towards. Bella had already secretly verified it with President Maria and the third generation Light Pope McPherson. It worked just fine.
Considering that the God World was destroyed after the doomsday war ten thousand years ago, the reincarnation passage was no longer working. Bella speculated that although it wasn’t known whether the bodies of the previous generation Light Popes had decayed or not, their souls were probably the same as that of third generation Light Pope McPherson, who didn’t leave the Human Continent. And the “Meredith Holy Lamp” was effective on the soul of the Pope.
“The Meredith Holy Lamp! Black Knight, where did you get this sacred object… This is only something the successor to the Pope, Holy Maiden Maria would have. You…”
“That’s enough questions, silly girl. You can just look at it. Assassin, help guard the surrounding area. Puppet Master, you help me light the flame!”
“There you go again, you mean knight! Why can’t you just use my name?! It’s not like I mind.”
Except for a few well known tomb raiders, the temporary teammates of the tomb raiding team basically used code names to refer to each other so as to avoid revealing their true identities.
Bella abided by this rule. All four of them used aliases. With her wicked humor, Bella had changed Kleina’s name to “silly girl.” Obviously, Kleina was still bitter about it, but there was nothing she could do.
Elena knew a bit of beginner’s magic and could conjure up fireballs. A small fireball condensed on her fingertip and ignited the Meredith Holy lamp. Under the scrutiny of Bella and the others, the indicator flame on the lamp appeared as it was supposed to.
Unexpectedly, the indicator flame on the “Meredith Holy Lamp” was actually a mixture of four colors with erratic directions. Within the four-color flame, a flame of the fifth color could be faintly seen.
The faint fifth colored flame was the President Maria’s color. Bella had seen it during her last experiment and quickly recognized it. Most likely, President Maria was now near the entrance to Scripps Cemetery so the “Meredith Holy Lamp” happened to have caught her breath.
After excluding President Maria’s holy flame, the remaining four colors of the flame weren’t illusions at all. It was very likely that there were four previous generation Light Popes here. The third generation Light Pope McPherson’s soul had already been found by Bella.
Starting from the sixth generation Light Pope, the bodies of the Light Popes were all kept in the forbidden area of the holy land after they died so there was no way their bodies would be here. Only the first, second, fourth and fifth generation Light Popes were unaccounted for. There were four holy flames, so could they be…
Bella was startled by her bold idea. The time between the disappearance of the first generation Light Pope to the disappearance of the fifth generation Light Pope spanned over several decades. How could they be buried in one place?
The guiding function of the “Meredith Holy Lamp” was no longer useful since the direction indicated could change at any time if there were four targets. The ancient Light Popes might still be active. After 10,000 years, God knows if they would have transformed into something else or still retained their human memories.
“I’ll send my little friends to investigate. Follow me and hide behind that wall. I’m afraid I’ll frighten you.”
They went along with Elaine’s instructions. Bella and her teammates hid behind a maze wall with Elaine in the back. She threw a small white sack in the direction of the place they were just standing at. With the light from the holy flame of the “Meredith Holy Lamp”, Bella peeked out and saw Elaine’s “friends.”
It was a group of puppet insects of all kinds, eyes shining with a faint red light. Most girls were afraid of insects which was why Elaine had warned them. Of course, Bella was the exception.
The puppet insects soon melded into the darkness. With their help, Bella’s group would soon be able to figure out this dark maze path. Before Bella and the others could breathe a sigh of relief, there came a sound of heavy footsteps in the dark maze.
On the passage, a group of tall black figures were moving. Their feet seemed to have been bound with iron chains. The sound of the iron chains rubbing against the ground could be heard from a distance. Bella couldn’t see what those things were since there wasn’t enough light.
Kleina’s body was covered in cold sweat. She instinctively felt that the dark figures resembled the experimental mutated monsters of the Skeleton Tower. They all had the same smell.
Among the girls present, only Kleina was a pure human while the other three were obviously not anymore and didn’t feel any fear.
Bella pulled Kleina into her arms and whispered in her ear to remind her to hide her face in her arms so she wouldn’t see what was happening. Kleina didn’t refuse either. Without much thought, she buried her face in Bella’s chest.
After Bella had motioned a confirmation with her eyes, Elaine opened a summoning door behind her out of thin air. A large number of mutated demons with deformed bodies rushed out from the door. When dealing with terrifying creatures, it was best to use the same.
Elaine’s summoning door seemed like a bottomless pit. After a large number of demonic beings had gone through the door, they poured into the maze like a virus spreading. Right now, the maze was filled with mutated demonic beings battling each other.
The confrontation between mutated demonic beings was extremely violent. Most of them directly tore up the enemy’s body. Bella could only see all kinds of horrifying figures fighting in the darkness but details beyond that weren’t clear. It was better not to see such a bloody scene anyway.
“Black Knight… this maze is an empty underground plane. The puppets I sent to investigate have sent back information. There isn’t a tomb… This is a simple underground maze. “
“Also, no human bodies were found… They couldn’t find any people from the expedition teams that entered the maze before…”
Elaine’s voice sounded a little tense. Such strange findings were hard for her to calmly accept.