After breakfast, the holy knight was performing his after meal prayer. I asked him about his religion.
He gladly told me about his religion.
However, he casually skipped the parts about holy spells or holy power.
He seemed hesitant to tell me about them because they were directly related to combat.
I didn’t want to insist on having him tell me everything. Instead, I asked about his religion in general.
The holy knight said the god he believed in was God of Balance.
Instead of asking about the God of Balance and his religious organization’s complicated philosophies, I asked about the religion’s common knowledge.
In Urphan Continent, which was the setting of the 16th Floor stage, people believed in many gods. On the contrary, only the people of holy temples worshiped just one god.
Also, he said that it was a common practice for people to pray to a specific god depending on the situation.
He said that because holy knights and priests believe in one specific god, they are able to use holy spells by borrowing the god’s holy power.
Uniquely enough, there were priests and holy knights who did not belong to any particular religious organizations.
In this world, it seemed that the relationship between the believers and the gods were more important than the organizations and the gods.
The holy knight said there are many great holy knights who never even walked up to the door of a religious organization’s building. He also said there are priests who never once read the bibles of their churches and just run meditation temples or care centers for elders or children.
He said the religious organizations do not doubt the people’s faith.
It was because the people would not be able to reach the gods if they lacked faith.
I found it intriguing.
All these were very new to me.
I was just as intrigued when I heard the knight’s story yesterday, but I was reminded yet again that this place was a different world and not Earth.
While explaining about the religions, the holy knight said something else.
“It looks like you really don’t know anything. I honestly thought you might have been a holy knight or a priest who does not belong to any particular religious organization.”
Was there anything about my behavior that were becoming of a religious man?
I asked why the holy knight thought so.
“It’s nothing unusual. I thought I felt a trace of holy power from your mana. Perhaps I was mistaken.”
Now that I think about it, the Master Monk from the 13th Floor told me about this.
The priests could feel the holy energy from others’ mana, and it serves as identification among the priests.
“You probably did feel holy power. I am not a priest, but I am going through the trial to become an apostle. I possess Power Skills as well.”
“An apostle! You also possess Power Skills! Are you talking about the power of a God?”
The holy knight was excited to hear what I just said. He drew the holy symbol with his hand.
“If you really are an apostle of a God, then I can understand your incredible power. The Priestess of Ausoli, the one who worships the God of Sun, is said to be an apostle of the god. Considering the amazing exploits she achieved, I am not so surprised by your strength.”
The knight snuck into the conversation and said that.
Could this Priestess be someone who completed the trial and became an apostle or could it be that she is still in middle of the trial?
I should ask the holy knight about the Priestess’s history later.
“Excuse me, but may I ask about the god you believe in?”
I guess I can mention either the God of Adventure or God of Slowness.
He said priests only worshipped one god, so he will be confused if I mention both.
Who should I mention as the one I believe?
[God of Slowness is desperately trying to look casual while watching you.]
[God of Adventure is looking at you with high expectations.]
They are responding right away.
Let’s think about this first.
Considering the characteristics of the God of Adventure, many people might know about this god in this world.
If there are many religious organizations about the God of Adventure spread across the continent of this world, I will look suspicious for not knowing about them if I tell the holy knight that I worship the God of Adventure.
On the contrary, I don’t think the God of Slowness is well known.
When Kiri Kiri explained about God of Slowness, she said being an apostle for the God of Slowness is not something a human being should do.
Also, when I talked to the Master Monk at the 13th Floor, he said he never heard of the God of Slowness.
It’s anecdotal information, but they all indicate that the God of Slowness is not well known.
I gave my response while hoping not much was known about the God of Slowness in the Urphan continent
“I believe in God of Slowness.”
“Um… I have not heard of this god…”
“I have not heard of this god either. I know most of the hundred gods of the continent, but this is the first time for me to hear about the God of Slowness.”
This is good.
As I thought, God of Slowness is a manor god who is not well known among the people.
“The God of Slowness values perseverance and patience. Most of the believers are isolated deep in the mountains, so our god is not well known. We don’t know much about the outside world either.”
“I see. I can understand why you don’t know much about the outside world. Did you come here after receiving a divine message? Perhaps you are here as a part of your trial to become an apostle.”
“Well, it is something like that.”
I haphazardly muttered.
[God of Slowness is flexing.]
[God of Adventure is disappointed.]
[God of Slowness is making fun of someone.]
[God of Adventure is rushing out of someone’s room.]
* * *
“That is…! I am sorry, but my swordsmanship is… not something I can teach to an outsider…”
It seemed there was some secrecy involved in his swordsmanship.
“Will you tell me after receiving a beating?”
“No. I’ll just tell you.”
The knight panicked and responded promptly.
Afterwards, he started explaining.
You should have done that from the start.
The mercenary looked dumbfounded, doubting if this man was really a knight. However, both the knight and I ignored the mercenary.
It’s good, so it is all good.
Eyes sparkling, the knight began his passionate lecture about his swordsmanship.
Starting with the basics, he explained while including his personal preferences and experiences.
It was a passionate lecture that grew from a small desire to avoid getting beat up and his strong desire to blabber mouth.
I didn’t know what was the average swordsmanship level of this world. However, I could easily tell that the contents of the knight’s lecture were definitely not on an amateur level.
He didn’t just talk about the basic swordsmanship. He also explained the meanings of the movements, their applications, and methods which were high level information.
Now, he was explaining in detail about things that I didn’t even ask. Looking at the man, the mercenary’s face was completely .
He was thinking, ‘didn’t you say it is a secret?’
Although the mercenary and the adventurer found the knight’s behavior to be ridiculous for a while, they eventually joined me and actively listened to the man’s lecture.
It was an extraordinarily high-quality lecture.
“We should have asked you to tell us about your swordsmanship sooner.”
Compared to some random story he told us about some master craftsman of dining utensils starting a family with a widow from some family, this is far more useful and educational.
I wondered if this man was born to be a storyteller who ended up becoming a knight instead. Anyway, I think he would be perfect as a swordsmanship teacher.
He explained things in detail interestingly, so it was easy to understand.
Because he was also a skilled swordsman, he explained the moves by executing them in front of us, so his lectures were even more effective.
I think I should have a duel with him later and have him teach me all of his moves.
Judging from the knight’s attitude, I don’t think he will say no.
“Explain the move you used yesterday too. The one where you focused your mana to the sword.”
Before long, he was selling off his super move, which could be considered as the life itself of a knight.
However, it seemed the man had forgotten his words earlier about his swordsmanship being a secret to outsiders. He was only focused on explaining the technique.
“Isn’t the Empire going to come after us if we hear this?”
“Who is going to know that we know if we keep our mouths shut?”
I calmed the mercenary who was concerned about this and directed my focus at the knight again.
It seemed the mercenary was also interested in hearing the explanation, so he didn’t try to trip up the knight.
Meanwhile, the knight seemed unaware that he was leaking a critical information. He started explaining excitedly.
“The key is efficiently concentrating mana on to the sword.”
From what I have observed, it seemed like you gave away the efficiency to your family’s dog.
“Even with all of the mana focused on the sword, it is a difficult feat to achieve visible formation with it. So, you need to minimize the waste and efficiently pour in mana to the sword. First, if you look at the wrist area… You know all about the mana circuit’s pathways, right?”
“No. I don’t know about that very well. I only know about the heart and left shoulder areas.”
The adventurer said he didn’t know much about it, so the knight kindly explained the mana circuit pathways.
It was very interesting.
The pathways that the knight described were not the conventional ones.
The pathways through the wrist and palm completely different.
In addition to the mana circuit pathways, the knight also explained the methods for using the technique.
After hearing the explanations, I brought out a great sword and tried it out. My mana waste definitely streamlined, to a greater degree than I thought.
I think it will be useful when operating a smaller amount of mana in addition to pouring great amount of mana to the sword.
[You acquired Mana Circuit Lv. 16]
“Sir Apostle… I think what the knight just described was a secret royal mana utilization technique. If it becomes known that we heard it, not just that knight, but all of us will be hunted down and executed.”
That would be bad.
Who is going to know if the group keeps their mouth shut? However, that knight is probably be able to keep this a secret.
He will run his mouth off somewhere and tell people that he told us about the secret technique.
Of course, I don’t give a damn.
I ignored the mercenary and continued to ask the knight.
“I agree that the mana circuit utilization is very creative and efficient. However, don’t you think this technique is too difficult to use in a real combat? The opponent would either run away or attack you while you prepare the technique. Also, instead of focusing such huge amount of mana to the sword, it would be better to use it by spreading your mana into the surrounding.”
“What are you talking about, Sir Apostle? This technique is incredibly useful in real combat. Most small fries bow down when it is used once. Also, it is really stylish. Don’t you think it would be great to exhibit your power to the higher ups?”
“I agree. This technique is used more often than other complicated swordplay. Its power is proven too. The position of a knight within the Order of Knights changes depending on the mastery of this technique.”
Ah, so it is for just showing off one’s power and looking stylish.
For knights, who are not warriors, I guess it would be useful.
Actually, how many people would be living their lives like I do, always being in middle of deadly battles?
The technique is probably extremely useful for knights who reached high levels like this man.
It could be used to convince the opponent to surrender. It was also stylish and powerful. I think it is the most important skill to have for the knights.
It would be useful to show off in front of the nobilities and for ceremonies.
Also, knights would have subordinates or comrades with them at all times, so they don’t have to worry about being attacked while preparing the technique.
I understood what it was for.
The knight’s swordsmanship lectures continued through the lunch and even the dinner time. The lectures were very useful.
In particular, the mana pathways he described were unnatural paths. This was a priceless information.
In the past, I never once thought about making the mana flow through paths outside their designated passages.
There was a lot to learn from the swordsmanship itself as well.
I learned swordsmanship from swinging the sword in battle for survival and roughly improved based on the spear techniques I learned from Idy.
The depth of my knowledge in swordsmanship was completely different from the swordsmanship of the knight which was taught, used and improved upon through many generations for decades. It was incomparable.
I think it will be very helpful just to think about the meaning of individual movements of the techniques and studying them.
Thanks to the knight, now I have a lot of homework to do.
I brought out dinner from the dimensional bag.
There was someone missing in the dinner table, so I looked around. The holy knight was healing the mage who was lying on the ground.
If the mage does not wake up tonight, I think I should use the Elixir.
I don’t know about the other people, but I have so much I want to hear from the mage.
“That man sure have a good heart.”
The mercenary said that. I turned to look at him.
“You know. During the battle yesterday, that mage used his magic even though the holy knight was within the effective area. Despite this, that man is taking such a good care of the mage. I think it is odd, so…”
I think so too.
When the mage shot the fireball at me, the holy knight was inside the area of effect, and he was utterly defenseless on the ground.
If I just avoided the fireball, the holy knight would have burned to crisp and died.
Afterwards, after raising the barrier, he didn’t give a damn about the adventurer and the knight who were collapsed on the ground outside of the barrier. The mage just continued to recite the spell to prepare the next magic which would have killed everyone outside the barrier.
Personally, I am most suspicious of the mage. He might be the doppelganger.
He did everything so far to fight me, but ultimately, he put not only my life but others’ lives in danger as well.
The doppelganger’s goal is to kill as much people in this dungeon as much as possible before being discovered. His behaviors so far align with that goal.
Still, I cannot be certain if he is the doppelganger either.
The knight over there is holding the adventurer hostage to his blather mouthing. I think the knight is suspicious too.
No, he is very suspicious.
I’m so suspicious of him that I would say in a calm voice ‘I knew you were the doppelganger’ if the knight revealed himself to be the doppelganger later.
As for the adventurer… I just don’t like this bastard. He looks like the doppelganger just because I hate him.
I cannot exclude the mercenary either.
Whenever anyone showed suspicious behaviors, he whispered to me about it.
Also, the mercenary was inside the barrier. He was closely acquainted with the adventurer, yet that didn’t stop him from deciding to sacrifice the adventurer.
The holy knight seemed to be the most unlikely character to be the doppelganger. He is maintaining conventional behaviors and benevolent attitude. However, I have some doubts about this man as well.
Well, it is probably all right if I think about this later.
I still have six days left.
My priority is gathering information, not finding the doppelganger.
I organized my thoughts and approached the holy knight and the mage at the corner.
I was about to tell the holy knight that the dinner was ready. However, I noticed something strange.
Sitting on the ground, the holy knight had his hand on the mage’s stomach and was using the holy power. The mage was laying down, limp.
The problem was the mage.
I didn’t notice this before. The mage had long hair… and the curves of the body protruding under the clothing…