Chapter 261: The Battle 2
When he was thinking about going to the balcony to get a cool breeze rather than staying in the banquet hall, someone said, "Aren't you Lev of Albertville estate?"
Luke's eyes drifted to a dozen nobles who asked him.
Most of them were in their mid-50s, and the one who asked Luke seemed to be the head of the nobility.
"Ha ha ha, I am Telman of the Central knights who served for the Volga Kingdom. I was very close with your father Belik, the vice knight."
"Ah, that so?"
Luke took a clear look at the elderly noble.
He wore a tailcoat, but the look didn't seem to suit the man.
And as he had left the sword a long time back, the calluses which might have formed had long disappeared.
‘I don't know what kind of a man he was, but now he might not even be a sword user.'
As Luke was making judgments on him, Baron Telman approached Luke and opened his mouth.
"I had seen you just once when you were still a baby. I knew that you would find great success in life."
"You went against advanced Sword Master Schmidt in a Gigantic Duel?"
"Surely you are the son of the Fire Storm Belik, what more can we expect from him?!"
When Luke remained there kindly, the other nobles began to approach him acting to be all friendly. Some of them even patted his shoulders as if they were well-known.
Victor and Pavel were the ones who told Luke that when the Volga Kingdom was showing signs of destruction and downfall, the nobles had fled from the kingdom.
Some of those fleeing nobles had moved to the Holy Arthenia Empire and lived their life comfortably by bringing their fortune before their country was destroyed.
But in the very few years which came after that, they fell from the luxurious life to a normal one and shamelessly sent letters to Pyotr II and princess Reina asking them to help them out by creating an uncomfortable situation.
‘Surely the rumor about me belonging to the Volga has spread out very wide.'
"This time the nobles are going to make a ‘Volga Kingdom's Revival' and, you too, you will be leading… Uh, you, you!"
Telman was very earnestly trying to get Luke into the game when he suddenly seemed shocked.
Right then came Victor wearing a paladin's uniform.
"It has been very long, Telman."
"Victo, Sir Victor? There have been rumors about you being in the Baroque Empire, how, how are you in here?"
"Why? shouldn't I be in the Holy Empire? And you are a Baron? You sold out your money and your empire for it, right?"
"That, it wasn't like…"
"I am never going to let Lev participate in your useless group. So don't bother the busy man and go away!"
Looking at the cold expression of Victor's, the self-exiled nobles of Volga moved to another part of the banquet hall.
Looking at their backs, Victor couldn't help but sigh.
"Phew, I am sorry that you had to see that."
As a loyal man to the Volga royal family, Victor wasn't very fond of those men.
And they dared to approach the lover of their princess and tried to trick him!
He really wanted to stuff them somewhere.
"It is alright. Rather than that, when is Reina coming?"
"Very soon she'll be here."
"Really? Anyway, the uniform looks really good on you. When were you appointed as the paladin?"
"Huhuhu! It hasn't even been a few days. Only the paladins can pass through the Holy palace."
While the two were talking for a while, the music in the banquet had been stopped along with a bell ringing and voice announcing.
"The Apostle of the Great Lord and the representative of the Seven Tribe, Pope Veronica III of the Holy Arthenia Empire!"
The door of the banquet hall opened wide and Reina, with a white dress, had entered inside.
She was as beautiful as ever, but this time she looked like the snow queen, wearing a white dress and a tiara with pearls and precious stones of her head.
"She, she is the Pope?"
"Isn't she exactly opposite from when we saw her in the throne room?!"
The young nobles who saw her for the first time drooled over her, and even the middle-aged nobles and the priests couldn't take their eyes off her.
No one could even blame them.
Even the noblewomen and other beauties who never thought that anyone could overpass their level of appearance were jealous of Reina's elegance and beauty.
Reina looked around and greeted everyone.
"Thank you to everyone in the room who has come to attend this despite their busy schedules."
Everybody listened to Reina's exuberant voice and answered.
"Not at all, Pope."
"It was obvious that we had to attend the victory banquet held by the Pope."
"Thank you so much for making this place so lively."
The sweet responses from the nobles, Reina smiled and said.
"If that is the case, I am glad. Before we head into the celebration, I want us all to remember the soldiers and the people who had to lose their lives in the civil war."
While Reina was done saying, at the gesture from Archbishop Constantine, the court orchestra began to play a grand and solemn tribute.
Reina knelt down and prayed.
"The Holy and Great order, and El Kassel, the God of light and justice! Today we are…"
The moment she opened her lips for saying a prayer in her beautiful voice, divine power began to flow around.
The nobles were surprised to see the divine power gather around her like petals of a flower.
"Oh oh! This is!"
"Surely the Pope is an Angel!"
Some of the nobles who were in the banquet had witnessed her miracles in the main square of Bless.
But most of them were witnessing it for the first time in the banquet. So, they could see it for themselves, and they were able to erase their disbelief.
At the end of the words, Reina rose from her position and opened her mouth.
"It has been long since we had a peaceful atmosphere, have fun for a long time."
As she clapped her hands, the pedestals were removed and the banquet began in earnest.
Right then, apprentice priests entered into the banquet hall with boxes in their hands.
"What are they up to?"
Count Marcus seemed to frown upon the actions which were being done in the banquet.
"To receive donations to help the soldiers and the people who were injured in the war…" Said an apprentice.
"What? Donations? How dare you try to reap something in this occasion?"
When Count Marcus seemed angry, the apprentice responded with a calm expression.
"Hu! Really, really?"
"Yes, everyone gathered here love the Holy Empire and the people in it, so you can give as much as you want."
At those words, Count Marcus and the others turned towards the Pope.
When she was completely ready, Reina sat in a colorful chair and smiled looking at the members in the hall.
The hearts of the nobles, and seeing the angel smile the most beautiful smile could feel their hearts turn heavier.
"Obvious, obviously I am going to give donations. But I haven't brought much money with me right now."
"It doesn't matter, anything of help works." Replied the apprentice.
At those words, the nobles sweating offered up expensive jewelleries, such as rings and necklaces.
Luke and Victor couldn't help but smile.
"Hahaha, this is amazing. I love this act!"
"Right. You can't just waste the taxes taken from the people to create parties."
With such laughter, the apprentices tried to fill up the donation boxes.
"We, we too?"
"Yes, Pope, the Pope has said that if it was you two, you would pay a lot of sum."
Belfair, who looked at his master finding things to donate realized the woman of his Master was very different from the people he had come across.
Dancing and music were indispensable at a banquet.
With cheerful dances in the middle, young men and women began to dance hand in hand holding onto the other and walking to the center of the hall.
As Luke watched the scene, not realizing what he was doing, approached Reina.
As he approached the chair, the paladin escort allotted to her stopped him.
"Please step back. The ideal approach…"
"It is alright. He is the God's warrior, he won't ever hurt me."
At Reina's assurance, the paladin seemed flustered but soon withdrew.
Luke approached her and politely bowed his head extending his hand.
"Can I ask you for a song?" Asked Luke.
"This is burdensome! How dare you harass the Pope, the Apostle of God!"
Archbishop Constantine who was right beside Reina was upset.
He was tensed with the change in the attitude and behavior of Reina.
She has been growing more mature lately, and she was turning into a completely different person from the one whom he met on the first day.
Having her at the banquet itself was crazy enough, but for letting the mercenary approach her!
"It is alright. One song isn't very tough to perform."
"What are you even saying, Pope. An apostle of God…"
"Didn't the Pope herself say that it's alright?"
At the low question from Luke, Constantine's complexion changed.
He had been trying to fix Veronica III's words and acts which were like a kid's for the past two years. And if he didn't get the Pope to fit with him, he would be losing the dignity of holding the Marius faction, for which he used the Pope.
And he made sure to talk only where there were no eyes to see. Even if she made any mistake, he never pointed it out.
It was because he could be asked by the opposition for restricting the opinion of the Pope.
He was so careful all that time, but he couldn't stop himself from making a mistake.
Was it because he was flustered with the changes that were happening with the Pope and to the Pope alone?!
‘Did that mercenary intentionally do this?'
While Constantine was unable to sort out his thoughts, and Reina walked to the middle of the banquet hall following Luke's hand which was directed to her.
When she appeared, both the nobles and the priests were shocked. A Pope had never danced in the banquet till then.
It was customary to just leave the hall with a very stern expression. Veronica III was a young woman, so it was different from the previous Pope's they had.
"This was never done in history…"
"It isn't like he hadn't proved himself to be a man, but Viscount Lev doesn't know fear."
"Ahh! If I knew, then I would have asked first!"
While the young nobles felt shocked and jealous, the middle-aged nobles were eager to interpret the situation politically.
"No matter what, I feel like Archbishop Constantine is done for!"
"The Holy Pope no longer wants to listen to him."
"This might be a good opportunity for someone…"
Voices were all around, but Luke didn't care for anyone other than the woman who was right in front of his eyes.
"I wanted to dance with you just once."
Seeing Reina smile, Luke couldn't help but break into a smile.
"But there is so much work that has to be done."
"Ho ho, the Pope too is a human, you can surely dance for once. Maybe everyone will understand this." Said Luke to calm her nerves.
"Well, if that is the case, then it is all good."
The two were dancing beautifully to the melody.
The two were stepping and moving as if they had known each other for a very long time, and there was no single second of awkwardness in them.
"They are a perfect match."
"The God's warrior and the God's apostle?"
Those who were staring at the Pope and Luke were surprised for a second and began to join in on the melody.