Cthulhu Gonfalon - Chapter 98
Chapter 98: Chapter 98
Translator: Sigma Editor: Sigma
“That piece of the crossbow arrow embedded in the wall was shot by an enhanced heavy crossbow, correct? This crossbow is extremely regulated; I am afraid that the entire Golden Tower City only has one or two. Why did someone use that to cause you trouble?”
Liv was silent for a moment and sighed deeply.
“…It is a long story!”
Because she already felt that they were reliable friends, she no longer hid. She told them the whole story.
About five years ago, the Church of the God of Aristocracy sent a highly skilled senior priest to come and strengthen its power management in the Golden Tower City. The God of Aristocracy was an active member of the human deity system. Although her ranking with the deity was not high, the goddess who was apotheosized more than 200 years ago had been actively promoting the faith. On the one hand, her church strengthened its cooperation with adventurers; on the other hand, it took advantage of the aristocracy to crowd out the church organizations of other Gods.
However, she also had opponents. Including those from afar, there was a God in the human deity system that had a very bad relationship with her: the God of Knights and Exploration.
In terms of divine power and mighty power, the God of Knights was a veteran strongman in the human deity system. It has been tens of thousands of years since he had been apotheosized, and his qualifications were even higher than the holy king of the contemporary human deity system. He symbolized the pioneering and safeguarding of the human military organization. In ancient times, he was once even the holy king of human deities. The subsequent decline in power was due to the continuous development of human society, the emergence of new Gods, the differentiation of his clergy and fields, and the reduction of his faith. Even so, he was much stronger than the God of Aristocracy.
The strength of Gods could not directly determine the outcome of the competitions between their churches in the human world. Knights, because of inherent disadvantage in status, were fatally suppressed by the aristocrats, so that the Church of the God of Knights was also at a disadvantage, and almost became the vassal of the Church of the God of Aristocracy. However, in some pioneering territories, homeless knights and church knights were the main force, so their church could not be suppressed.
The missions of the Church of the God of Aristocracy often started by invading and annexing belief in the Church of the God of Knights. The city of Quinta was no exception.
In the face of an overbearing Church of the God of Aristocracy, Knight Parne was the most prestigious knight in the Golden Tower City. He was not allegiant to any one of the lords, and had certainly become the mainstay of the Church of the God of Knights against aggression. As the leader of the secular forces of the Church of the God of Knights, he fouled the conspiracy of the Church of the God of Aristocracy again and again, and firmly held the position of faith. Despite the various tricks placed by the newcomer senior priest of the God of Aristocracy, he never gained the upper hand.
This situation lasted for three years, until the accident.
About two years ago, a well-off businessman who had been operating for many years in the local area decided to make a big sale. He prepared a lot of magic materials from demon beasts, and intended to travel by sea to the Kingdom of Blue Moon in the eastern part of the continent, and trade with the Gars City that was rich in fragrant leaves (an edible middle and low-class spice).
The trading of spices and magic materials had always been the most profitable business, and of course, the most dangerous. Mostly, the business required people to travel a lot on the ocean where storms, horrible sea creatures, and an endless stream of pirates all could lead to tragic shipwrecks and casualties. In order to ensure the security of the trades, the businessman issued an invitation to almost all of the relatively reliable adventurers in the entire Golden Tower City. In the end, a dozen or so masters, including Knight Parne, decided to trade together. At the suggestion of the businessman, they also took out almost all their savings, purchased the magic materials, and set off together.
Normally, there were so many masters, and the businessman had specially invited several experienced master captains, so the safety of the fleet would be relatively high. However, they did not understand why the fleet encountered so many terrible monsters. They passed Undercurrent Timsar while bypassing the Great Wild Horn, the Iron Cliff Mountains in the southeast. Undercurrent Timsar was the most horrible and most dangerous sea monster on the southeastern coast, and it was said to be a nightmare at sea. Fleets that encountered it almost never survived.
It is said that in ancient times, there was once a powerful demigod named The Living Tsunami, or Sarament, who was the embodiment of the storm and the waves. It was one of the most horrifying hegemonists on the sea. But it failed when it tried to be apotheosized, and countless years of accumulated terror and resentment tore its body as a demigod, dividing it in two: Angry Tide Heimsarah and Undercurrent Timsar.
Angry Tide Heimsarah was a cranky but rational demigod, who liked to wander in the offshore areas. Whenever people saw a sudden rainstorm accompanied by a huge wave sweeping the wasteland and islands, they knew it was coming. At this time, people often offered sacrifices to it and prayed for its blessing. Generally, a third of the prayers were replied to, but as long as it responded to people’s prayers, it would temporarily stop drifting to protect the sea from dangerous monsters and storm attacks. About a year or two after that, it would drift away in a rainstorm, and people wouldn’t know where it had gone.
Undercurrent Timsar, on the other hand, was a monstrous beast that only knew about destruction and killing. There was absolutely no way to communicate with it. Whenever it appeared, a huge shadow was cast across the sea floor, and the sea would be overwhelmed by decaying fog and icy cold waves. Countless souls of innocent people and immortal creatures surrounded it in the water, crazily attacking all creatures in the sea and eventually dragging them all into the abyss of death. It came without a warning and left without a trace, and if there was a sudden darkening of the sky and darkening of the sea beneath it, it was usually too late to escape its clutches.
Knight Parne’s fleet encountered this terrible monster. They tried their best to fight it, but ultimately only one boat escaped. The remaining ships, including the flagship of the fleet (the businessman on the flagship) and the ship Knight Paine was on, failed to escape and sank to the seafloor. The senior priest of the Church of the God of Aristocracy, who was also in the fleet at that time, was said to have fought bravely but could not save his own life.
Almost a year ago, the fortunate escaped ship was returned to the Commonwealth of Mifata, the maritime commerce route was established, and future sea merchants would be able to reap sumptuous profits. But those who died in the search for the commerce route could not come back.
When bad news spread to the Golden Tower City, at least a quarter of the city’s families were devastated. But before anyone could recover, the Church of the God of Aristocracy suddenly came forward with pre-signed contracts to collect debt from all of them.
According to the contracts, adventurers, including Knight Parne, were participating in this voyage by way of buying shares. If they earned money, they could get dividends in accordance with their shares; and if they lost, of course, they would lose money in accordance with the shares.
There was nothing inherently wrong with the contracts; but until then, people were surprised to find that the businessman actually borrowed a staggering amount of money from the Church of the God of Aristocracy.
According to the original contracts, Knight Parne and others held a lot of shares, and so their families were deep in debt. The various families that lost dividends and capital because of the shipwreck could not find so much money, so they suddenly fell into trouble.
The Church of the God of Aristocracy was not made up of good men and women. The members immediately pressed the families for the debt. The families of two of the adventurers were forced to commit suicide, and many of the rest were forced to sign contracts, betraying their faith and labor and becoming subordinates of the Church of the God of Aristocracy.
The crossbow arrow on the corner of Knight Parne’s House was left by the debtors, in order to threaten Liv during a conflict between them.
Fortunately, some families, including the family of Knight Parne, still had some contacts. A senior mage intervened and convinced the Church of the God of Aristocracy to allow for a grace period. They hesitantly agreed but also asked for interest.
In order to pay off the debt, Liv became an adventurer who set up an adventurers’ group with children from families that also bore huge debts. They worked hard to hunt dangerous monsters and make money to pay the debts. However, the Church of the God of Aristocracy used commercial means to greatly suppress the city’s magic material procurement prices. Often, the children risked their lives fighting, only to come up short on paying off their interest!
Under such circumstances, the boys and girls were, of course, getting increasingly anxious. The Church of the God of Aristocracy pressed for the debts occasionally by reminding them that their debts were increasing, and their repayment dates approaching. They were like ghosts hammering nails in someone’s coffin.
“So… when we arrived, did you think that we were from the Church of the God of Aristocracy?” Ray asked.
Liv nodded and angrily said, “Damn those guys!”
“Didn’t anyone else visit you?” Ray asked again.
Liv shook her head with some frustration. “No, my father’s friends either died in the voyage, or got cut off from us because they were forced away by the power of the Noble Maid (the God of Aristocracy), and now only we young people can help and encourage each other… But I could not see any hope.”
“Sister, do not be sad! Now we have money!” Little Nice, seeing her sister again get depressed, hurriedly grabbed a few gems to show her. “Look, so many gems! You could pay off the debt! ”
Even a little girl is intuitive: although she could not estimate the price of these precious stones, her resourceful nature told her that the gems were worthwhile and sufficient for paying off their debts.
Seeing Nice’s look of care and happiness, Liv could not help but laugh.
“Yes, as we are blessed by Mr. Satan, we do not have to worry about the debts,” she said. “But it is hard for me to be happy thinking about my partners’ situations.”
She did not want to borrow money because everyone’s collective debt was so large. Even if Mr. Ray and Miss Steele were willing to lend them money, they could not carry such a huge sum of money with them from far away.
Ray pondered and slightly frowned.
“I still feel there is something wrong with all this…”