Anthony has been reborn! Placed into the remarkable game-like world of Pangera. However, something seems a little off. What's with these skills? Bite? Dig? Wait.... I've been reborn as a WHAT?! Follow Anthony as he attempts to adjust to his new life, to survive and grow in his new Dungeon home!

RinoZ · Fantasy
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1264 Chs

Chapter 1347 - Anthony On Tour - Weight of Gold

The Seneschal was a reserved man, usually. In this particular moment, he found he was having difficulty maintaining his smooth-faced facade, such was the anger bubbling away inside him. As he stood in the antechamber within the Great Cathedral, observers noted the man was tapping on his right leg with a single finger, though he seemed unaware of it.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. 

A regular rhythm for a regular man. The Seneschal represented order, represented stability. To have his gaze fall upon you in anger meant you had disturbed the sacred balance of peace within the Golden City.

One should never disturb the peace within the Golden City.

When at last the door opened and the Grand Priest emerged, radiating satisfaction, the Seneschal finally snapped. With two great strides, he crossed the distance between them and, without warning, sunk his fist deep into the priest's gut.

Though he wasn't a low level, far from it, Alir Vinting immediately doubled over, his face twisting in pain as he gasped and spluttered, eventually falling to his knees. The Holy Knights who had escorted him within the building snatched up their weapons and moved to advance, but they halted in their tracks as the Seneschal turned his glare on them.

The urge to spit on the priest, or kick him while he was down, was overwhelming, but with great effort of will, the Seneschal mastered himself and turned his back. To occupy his hands as much as anything else, he smoothed his golden robes and adjusted the sleeves, ensuring no spittle had dirtied the pristine garment.

After a minute of groaning and spluttering, the priest managed to suck in enough air to release a pained chuckle.

"I take it the Child-Emperor was not pleased with my unilateral intervention?"

Another flash of anger seared through the Seneschal, but he let it burn itself out before he replied.

"You have no idea what occurred outside, do you?" he asked.

Alir Vinting, Grand Priest of the Path, shook his head. "I have been concentrating on the extraction ritual, which only just completed," he said.

Wordlessly, the Seneschal strode across the room and sat, indicating the priest should sit opposite him. Alir hesitated for a moment, irritated at this official of the crown ordering him about within the sacred Cathedral of his order, but he couldn't exactly protest the behaviour of the emperor's Seneschal, even if the man punched him square in the face. The gut wasn't even worth mentioning. Without a word, he walked to the chair and sat, resting his hands on the small table between them.

"I'm glad to catch you then, before you have had a chance to report to the Cardinals. I suppose they had granted you leave to undertake this action?" the Seneschal asked.

Alir raised his brows.

"Of course, my lord Seneschal. Even I would not be so bold as to commit such an act without the blessing of my superiors."

"One would hope," the Seneschal replied mildly, "you would recall that within this city, your superiors include the royal court, and the Child-Emperor above all."

Grand Priest Alir bowed low in his seat.

"Of course, I meant no offence," he said smoothly, despite the radiating pain through his gut, "I only intended to say I would not act on church matters without the approval of my superiors within the order."

He smiled ingratiatingly. 

"If I may, could I enquire as to what occurred outside that has… disturbed the Emperor so?"

"Don't misunderstand," the Seneschal said, "the Child-Emperor is not disturbed… the Child-Emperor is furious."

Despite all that had preceded this moment, only now did the Grand Priest feel a hint of true danger. The Church of the Path was a welcome and esteemed friend of Atreum, but also existed in some form or another across the entirety of Pangera. They were not without power, far from it. Acting against the will of the Golden City in small matters wasn't much of an issue, but how would abducting a single ant monster possibly anger the Child-Emperor so?

"The ants noticed what you had done," the Seneschal told him. "Rather quickly too. They found out even before the Court. We aren't sure exactly how."

Alir suppressed the urge to shrug. What did it matter if they found out? They couldn't do anything.

"The tier seven took particular offence at your actions, and decided to attack the Cathedral."

Alir tried not to laugh. He wore the expression of a man who had been told a sheep had attempted to bite the face of a lion. He was bewildered.

"I assume the offending creature was struck down instantly," he said, leaning forward in his seat. "Might I inquire as to what happened to the remains?"

If he could put his hands on the body, there would be a wealth of knowledge that could be extracted. A pity the experience had already been claimed. How much elixir could they extract from such a creature?

"It was indeed struck down," the Seneschal said, "but only after it forced Rammon to reincarnate."

The final words were stated with the finality of the headsman's axe. Only now did the Priest realise just how much danger he was in. Immediately, he bowed his head low, touching the table.

"I sincerely apologise if my actions, or those of the church, have led to this painful outcome. My sympathies are with the Child-Emperor at this time."

The Seneschal openly glared at him. It wasn't common knowledge just how the guardian beast was tied to the golden city, but it was known he drew his power from the Heart Gold the city itself was made with. To reform himself, the beast needed to draw deep on the energy contained within the metal, weakening it. It was basically the same as spitting in the Child-Emperor's face.

As much as he would love to try and deflect the blame onto the ants themselves, Alir knew it was useless. The Church of the Path would be blamed for this incident, no matter what he did. Even from the grave, that detestable monster was reaching out to strangle them!

The Seneschal reached out a hand, and Alir looked at it blankly.

"The Elixir," the Seneschal said shortly. "Give it to me."

Several emotions flickered across the grand priest's face, but he settled finally on acceptance. He stood, walked back into the adjoining room, then returned again with a shining goblet held reverently in his hands.

Despite his anger, the Seneschal was visibly shocked.

"You gained this much from a single ant?" he breathed.

Alir grinned triumphantly. 

"They are rich in experience and energy, these ants. Just imagine how much could be harvested from the entire colony. This city would drown in Elixir."

It was hard for the priest to keep the overwhelming want from his voice. This colony represented an unprecedented offering from the Dungeon to the peoples of Pangera. To not harvest it in full would be sacrilegious! He already knew what the cardinals would say on the matter. A Crusade would occur, the only issue was when.

The Seneschal took the cup, and cut the priest's hopes down.

"Atreum has no desire to engage in conflict of any kind while the threat of the rising Waves is upon us," he informed Alir. "I will meet with the cardinals next and tell them the same. Any action, any action, that could bring conflict of any kind to our doorstep, will be seen as an act of treachery against the Child-Emperor. Have I made myself clear?"

The priest bit his tongue. He could wait for his moment.

"Of course, Lord Seneschal," he said, bowing low.

The servant of the emperor turned and took his leave, cup of golden elixir held firmly in his hands.