Volume 3: Chapter 186 – Battle of Cultidian (1/2)
Cultidian, headquarters of the Kushain believers and hometown to the late patriarch, Benem Nemush, was currently in a state of unprecedented chaos.
Their defeat at Kruzel, dubbed the Nightmare of Kruzel, and the fall of Fatina has led them to lose many of their prominent generals and martial artists, not to mention the loss of their beloved patriarch himself. They even lost a city. It was a nightmare, indeed.
After being driven into a corner, Elrain Kingdom went and declared war, and a letter demanding their surrender came from the commander of the Imperial Guards, Goudal Gaschall, bringing the already chaotic state of Cultidian to another peak.
“We should accept their demands and surrender! We can’t win like this!” Said a cardinal.
“Don’t be stupid! Are you telling us to hand over victory to them!?” Said another.
Even the cardinals themselves weren’t unified.
The death of Patriarch Benem Nemush was simply too effective a weapon against the inner workings of the Kushain believers.
But in the midst of what seemed to be a bleak situation, a ray of hope appeared.
A messenger from Burnen Kingdom had come,
Cultidian had become a city-state just a year ago due to Patriarch Benem Nemush’s holy war.
Which is why this messenger was essentially from their former lord.
“Hear, hear, I bring the words of the Priestess Princess!”
The Kushain believers was a faction that worshiped a saint called Kushain. As the legend goes, Saint Kushain once defeated a dragon in Burnen Kingdom and brought peace to the lands.
Though only a subsidiary line, Kushain’s blood was inherited, and as the Kushain believers grew in fervor, that fervor reached even the Burnen Royal Family.
A person who has inherited the blood of Kushain was currently among them, and Patriarch Benem Nemush skillfully made use of that to take the seat of patriarch while forming a friendly relationship with Burnen Kingdom.
Patriarch Benem Nemush wasn’t merely a fanatic, he was also a calm man with an observant eye.
Honor to the blood! Patriarch Benem told his adherents when he came to power.
But though the lineage of Kushain was respected, the believers were kept within the hands of the church, and because he did not think it would be good for them to be caught up in the war, Patriarch Benem Nemush did not hand the authority over to Burnen Kingdom.
It was curious whether he truly did not wish for Kushain’s blood to get caught up in the war or if he simply wished to keep the power to himself, but regardless, his actions led to the preservation of Kushain’s blood, or more precisely, the only daughter of Burnen Kingdom, Mira Vi Burnen, who was currently about to visit.
She was a young girl of only 16, but she understood both her beauty and the importance of her blood.
With a noble blood and a beautiful appearance, it was only natural that most of the people would kneel before her.
And she knew that full well for she was both a woman who understood her worth and a woman willing to make use of it.
For example, before coming here, she had enticed her father to send a messenger to Cultidian to announce her visit.
By doing so, the people of Cultidian had already bowed their heads before she had even arrived.
If even the panicking cardinals would act so meek before her, it was only a given that the people would as well.
She appeared at the conclave meant to elect a new patriarch, and she spoke words that brought much joy to the pious believers.
She told them that the blood of Kushain was with the people.
That declaration was no different from saying that she herself would be standing in the frontlines. Of course, she would be doing so under the supervision of her father.
But the people and the cardinals didn’t know that, and their fervor grew even fiercer.
In the end, it was decided that she would take the position of cardinal and an army of about 30,000 was created from the people.
The whole event was like a beautiful play, and when the curtains were drawn, Saint Mira retired to her assigned room.
Away from prying eyes, in the comfort of her own room, she looked at the young boy, who was acting as her chaperone, with a mischievous smile like that of a cat’s.
“Everything seems to be going well. Now, all that’s left is the war, right?” She said.
“Princess, forgive me, but I do not have such abilities…” The boy pleaded.
Mira pinched his cheeks as she smiled a predatory smile at the boy.
“You’re not allowed to say you can’t. Otherwise, those hateful men from Elrain Kingdom are going to make this body their toy. Or could it be that’s what you want to happen?”
“O-Of course not, but…”
The saint released the boy’s cheeks and lifted up her lascivious skirt.
The polished skin of a young girl, the porcelain legs of a maiden… The arousing sight of such marvelous works dyed the boy’s cheeks in red and caused a scream to rise.
But the princess ignored him and smiled.
“Vil… Vilan Do Zul!”
His name called, he stood straight up as if a rod of iron had been impaled into his back.
“Tee hee, if you want me, then destroy all my enemies. This body shall be given to the victor.”
The boy did not miss the slight quiver in his young lord’s fingers before kneeling.
“On my honor!”
After that Elrain Kingdom suffered a great loss outside Cultidian, and the Kushain believers, who were now supported by Saint Mira’s popularity and Vilan Do Zul’s ingenuity, made an explosive comeback. It was almost as if their previous two defeats did not happen as they tore through the 20,000 soldiers of Elrain Kingdom’s military camp.
Against all odds and the predictions of the onlookers, the Kushain believers managed to turn things around.