Release that Witch - Chapter 685: Overwhelming Disaster
Tayfun had not slept well for over two consecutive months.
Every time he closed his eyes, the screams of Ayr Archbishop would reverberate in his ears. She had got shot in her stomach by the enemy’s weapon and been dragged back by the Judgement Army. All her intestines had been in a mess, and no herbal treatment in the holy city had been able to cure her wound. After two days’ struggle, she had finally died in great pain.
Tayfun had become skeptical about the Graycastle’s real power when the church’s spearhead led by Soli Daal had suffered a sharp defeat. He had repeatedly suggested His Holiness Mayne think twice and do more investigation before the action, but the Pope had remained unmoved and ordered the church’s main force to immediately launch an attack against the defense line of Graycastle at the foot of Coldwind Ridge.
He had expected that the church was going to pay a price for this hasty decision, but he had never thought that it would be such a terrible price.
More unexpectedly, the church’s elite troop, the invincible God’s Punishment Army had also been defeated.
The moment he had heard this unbelievable news, he had coughed out blood and passed out on the top floor of the Tower of Babel.
He had found out more inconceivable things after that.
None of the Pure Witches had come back and His Holiness Mayne had been no where to be found after the war. Not until he had taken a bold decision to break into the Pivotal Secret Area had he known the truth from the guards there.
They had told him that Mayne was not the real successor of His Holiness O’Brien and the one who had received scepter and crown from the previous Pope was Pure Witch Zero.
Given that, the Holy City had even lost the Pope at that moment.
Under such circumstances, the only thing that Tayfun had been able to do was to keep this secret underground forever. He had made all the people who had come down here with him join the Pivotal Secret Temple. He himself had started to serve as the Pope temporarily.
In the following month, Tayfun had spent all his time on restoring the order of the Holy City and reading the secret history stored in the Library.
His reading had enabled him to know all the truth, including the secret reasons for hunting and killing witches, the creation of God’s Punishment Warriors, the origin of the church and the collapse of the witches’ empire.
These records had overthrown his worldview.
He had never thought even in his wildest dreams that the church had been built by witches.
Such a powerful witch empire ruling the whole Barbarian Land still failed to eliminate the demons. What about the church? The God’s Punishment Army and the Sigils of Magic Stones we treasure are nothing but a legacy of those exiled ancient witches.
Tortured by these unsettling thoughts, he had quickly fallen into a torpor. After two months which had seemed like two years to him, his face had become heavily wrinkled like the old Bishop and his movement slow like a dying man.
However, knowing that if he fell down now, the church would be finished, he had kept on working and refused to stop.
He had promoted many soldiers of the reserve force as Judgement Warriors and chosen new Archbishops from middle-ranking believers at the fastest speed. He had called on his people to defend the Holy City to the last man, stabilizing the situation at a very difficult time.
However, he himself was clear about all the troubles behind the stable facade. Nothing could rapidly compensate for the loss of the God’s Punishment Army. The young soldiers from the reserve force could hardly compete with the experienced warriors in terms of fighting capacity. If it was during peace-time, he would get a chance to make up for the loss; but now Months of Demons were approaching, if he could not stop demonic beasts, the church would have no future.
To survive the coming Months of Demons, he planned to assemble all the nobles’ troops in Wolfheart and in Everwinter to defend the Holy City in the same way the Four Kingdoms had jointly defended on the Hermes defense line before.
He expected that it would not be an easy thing. When those nobles who still kept their domains and knights got the news about the church’s defeat, they would probably plan to fight against the church again. Given that, after most of the Graycastle’s army left the Northern Region, he sent out the remaining God’s Punishment Army of over 100 soldiers in the Holy City to the kingdoms with the emissary delegations as a means of forcing the nobles to obey his orders.
After those God’s Punishment Warriors left, both the old and new Holy Cities’ defense was weak as never before.
Now, Tayfun had no choice but to pray that the emissary delegations would bring Hermes reinforcements before demonic beasts started to attack.
He rubbed his sore eyes and closed the ancient book about the incarnation ceremony of God’s Punishment Warriors. When he was about to make himself some coltsfoot tea to relieve his headache, he heard an outburst of fighting sounds.
Trembling with shock, he dropped his teacup and smashed it into the ground.
How come invaders could get here?
With this question in mind, he walked to the window and looked down. In the dim light of the prism of magic stone, he saw a crowd of people continue to move toward Pivotal Secret Temple.
They were incredibly fast and killed every guard who came up to stop them with only one strike. The guards’ armors seemed completely useless in protecting them from the invaders’ blades. Soon, the grayish-white steps were covered with blood and the invaders arrived at the gate of the temple in the blink of an eye.
At this moment, he heard a loud bang on the door. A Praetorian Guard rushed in and said to him, “Your Eminence, Pivotal Secret Temple is under attack. Please leave right now!” This guard was the Pope’ bodyguard. He was followed by a dozen God’s Punishment Warriors.
Tayfun shouted in a hoarse voice, “how did they get in here?”
He could not believe what he saw. “To come down to this underground area, they’ve got to take the cage or get through the secret stronghold of the old Holy City. Nobody, even the soldiers of the Graycastle, can unobtrusively capture both the old and the new Holy Cities and control the entrances to this place unless they have wings!”
The Praetorian Guard looked pale. “The enemies are from the depths of the cave. Please, Your Eminence, come with me immediately. Otherwise, it’ll be too late.”
“The depths of… the cave?” Tayfun echoed in disbelief, as he knew that place had nothing except some circular holes.
Shocked and puzzled, he followed the Praetorian Guard to a secret tunnel along the wall and quickly got to the bottom floor of the temple.
The Praetorian Guard opened a stone trapdoor at a corner and said to him, “Your Eminence, as no one guards the cage, it may not be a safe passage now. I’ll escort you to the tunnel leading to the old Holy City. Please take more people here to defend the Pivotal Secret Temple as soon as possible.”
When he got of the tunnel, his heart sank to the bottom.
A dozen invaders already waited there with their swords, seeming to have known they would come out from there.
A man came up and said, “I thought I would never get a chance to set foot in the Holy City again. The successors of the Queen of Starfall City are nothing more than this.” He wore strange-looking armors which looked like a stack of sheetmetal and carried a sword whose blade was stained with black-blue blood.
When Tayfun fixed his eyes on the man’s face, all his blood froze in a second.
He had seen this man before.
“He’s Ellington, the Chief Justice of the Sixth Legion’s advance force. This brave man volunteered to join God’s Punishment Army three years ago. Before he went to his incarnation ceremony, he came to say goodbye to me,” Tayfun recalled.
He felt that a strange chillness crept up through his spine and burrowed into his head. Terror seized him and made it hard for him to move his tongue.
“Wh-What… monsters… are you?”