31 The Fallen Saintess (27)

(City of Galrannor)

(Temple of The Varion Church)

Tap… tap… tap…

Claire's footsteps echoed through the hall as she slowly approached the elderly priest who shivered in horror.

Tap… tap… tap…

Corpses lay scattered across the ground and the heavy scent of blood filled the air.

Claire's golden eyes shone with purity and righteous as holy runes floated around her body.

"Stay… stay back!" Father Simon roared as he stumbled backwards and tried to flee the hall.

Claire's figure vanished from the spot and reappeared directly behind him. She moved at a speed faster than what the human eye could detect.

She used her sword to sever his tendons and the elderly priest collapsed on the floor.

He hollered in pain but the cold expression on Claire's face did not crack even for a moment.

She gazed at the terrified children in the hall and saw the wounds and scars on their bodies.

Some had obviously been starved since their ribs could clearly be seen against their skin.

"Please… mercy… mercy…" Father Simon begged as he gripped his legs in pain.

A silent rage filled Claire's heart as she stared at the priest who was begging for mercy.


He wanted mercy for what he had done to defile this sacred place of worship.

He wanted mercy for the children whose lives he had destroyed for profit and greed.

Claire darkly chuckled as her piercing blue eyes locked onto the terrified priest and seemed to stare into his soul.

A man who swore to devote himself to the God of Light deserved forgiveness and a chance for redemption.

But that forgiveness would have to be earned in his next life…

Claire narrowed her eyes and with one smooth motion, she thrust her sword directly into the elderly priest's chest and killed him.

The holy knight pulled out her blood-soaked blade and turned her attention to the only adult left in the hall.

"Wait! My name is Robert Bruno! I am the young master of the Bruno family… you can't afford to hurt me!" the young man stammered fearfully.

He wore an expensive black suit and Claire quickly judged that he must have been one of the clients who visited the church.

The Bruno family…

Claire was not familiar with the local powers that controlled the city but knew that there were five major crime families.

Was the Bruno family one of them?

Well… it did not matter…

"Did this man ever touch any of you?" Claire coldly spoke as she turned to the children.

Her voice echoed through the hall and a desperate expression appeared on Robert's face.

There was a brief moment of silence before one brave boy tremblingly stepped forward and pointed at the well-dressed man.

"He… he… killed my brother…" the little boy whispered softly.

His finger trembled but a silent rage burned in his eyes.

"He's lying! This is my first time here! Why would I ever kill one of these stinky brats?!" Robert pleaded frantically as he saw Claire walking towards him.

"I'm not the only one! Why me?! Father Simon has been running this place for decades and there wasn't a problem!"

"If you hurt me then I promise that the Bruno family will never let you go!"

The translucent wings on Claire's back lazily flapped up and down as the paladin held out her long sword and swung it forward.

A burst of holy light erupted from the tip of her blade and slammed into the neck of the well-dressed man.

Robert's head crashed to the floor with an expression of disbelief still on his face.

Claire closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths.

The translucent wings on her back slowly disappeared and the holy aura that was covering her body gradually faded away.

Perhaps what she did was foolish.

No… it most certainly was…

But when she felt that strange power flow through her body…

Claire felt a rush of pleasure as she slaughtered those who disobeyed and betrayed the will of Lord Varion.

Claire opened her eyes and saw Elisa slowly walk into the hall with her priestess robe swaying gently from side to side.

She stepped over the corpses without an expression of discomfort and walked over to the injured children.

The former saintess went around the hall and place a warm palm on each of their foreheads. She channeled spiritual light to heal any hidden injuries or bruises on their bodies.

One girl in particular required extra attention because her body was on the verge of death. The young girl whispered her thanks to Elisa before passing out.

Elisa furrowed her brows and decided to mix a thin thread of black magic in the holy light.

This was a memory modification spell that would blur certain memories that the caster wished to conceal.

These memories would not be deleted but rather the victim would see the details as fuzzy and unclear.

It was difficult for young children to deal with such heavy trauma at their age, so Elisa wanted to give them a fresh start.

She softly comforted the children who were crying and tried to calm down the ones that stared at Claire with fear in their eyes.

Claire took a well-worn rag out of her pocket and wiped down her blade.

She placed her sword back in its sheath and then crossed her arms.

This was a bad situation. They had just arrived in the city and had already formed an enmity with one of the crime families.

Claire recalled the look on the merchant's face who had given her direction to the church and let out a heavy sigh.

Clearly the church's poor reputation was already known in the city so it would be hard to gather support from the local population.

Slaughtering the major crime families was an option but who would take their place?

A power vacuum could throw the city into even further chaos.

Claire did not plan on killing them all but those who had played and toyed with the bodies of children in the church could not be forgiven.

There must be a ledger list or at least some records of the transactions that took place in the church.

A voice in her mind kept whispering softly to punish the sinners. It whined quietly in the background but was gradually driving Claire insane.

She didn't even notice Elisa as she silently walked over a placed a warm hand on her shoulders.

The voice disappeared when Elisa touched her body and Claire was finally able to think normally once more.

"We should send the children to bed and then figure out what to do next," Elisa suggested as she gestured at the small figures huddled together.

"I will send a message to the main temple in the capitol tomorrow and describe the current situation here."

"Hopefully the pope will dispatch additional forces so that we may restore the reputation of the church."

Claire opened her mouth to respond when the doors at the back of the banquet hall swung open and several nuns and priests entered the room.

They walked into the hall with confidence and their loud voices broke the quiet atmosphere inside the room.

"We heard some noise… is everything okay?"

"Father Simon… you promised that I could watch this time!"

"Wait… what's that on the ground… AHHHHH!!!!"

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