Chapter 101: Starting Our Investigations in Toran

 

Faron’s church is a very welcoming place, even followers of the old gods are not excessively shunned unless they cause trouble like the ones we are looking for, so getting in and asking around is very simple. However after a bit of time we are asking some peculiar questions so one of the priests asks to speak with us privately.

Faron himself sent us so we have little to worry about with one of his priest. Then again we can’t exactly say that so we still have to be careful with our answers.

Priest: “You don’t seem to have any ill attentions, but with the type of gear you are wearing and the types of questions you are asking we have to ask. Just what are you doing here?”

“I am sure you heard about the fire in Lindlore? But what if I told you that wasn’t an isolated incident and more churches of Faron have suffered the same fate. We received the request to get to the bottom of what is started to look like deliberate attacks against the churches of Faron.”

Priest: “A request?”

“Yes the person is high within the church, but with the deliberate attacks against the church they might become a target as well if it is known they are investigating, so they wish to remain unnamed.”

Priest: “You have been asking about a group of beastkin beggars? Do you believe they might be the culprits?”

“They haven’t actually begged at all. They have had the appearance of beggars, but that may just be a way for them to move around without anyone being the wiser as they have seemed to have no problems traveling to several different kingdoms.”

Priest: “That is rather unfortunate… After the capture and execution of a highly dramatic beastkin thief, relations between beastkin and humans have been pretty strained as it is. If words gets out beastkin beggars are attacking the church it might be the grain that tips the scale.”

Belinda: “There are humans among them as well, but the majority of them do seem to be beastkin.”

“More than their race, the thing that tends to make them stand out is they worship the old gods.”

Priest: “There are plenty of old shrines and the like to the old gods. Many people still have objects related to the old gods in their homes, but they are little more than keepsakes. I haven’t heard of any person actually worship any of the old gods in the last century at least.”

“This group seems to be, or at least are using that excuse to cause a commotion in the towns they are in. It usually gets them kicked out of town, and then about a month later the church burns.”

Priest: “We haven’t received anyone at the church like that, but with the size of the city there is no way to know if they are somewhere in Toran.”

“By the way it sounds if they stick to the smaller outlining churches, and if they were here I think they would head here and cause problems.”

Priest: “The church of Faron has recently acquired a means for the smaller churches, we can only contact the churches of Faron within Adra however, or directly to the Grand Cathedral at Faron’s Lake.”

Belinda: “You are talking about a Gowen Communication Parchment?”

Priest: “So you have heard of it?”

Belinda: “Something like that…”

“You might try contacting the others to keep an eye out, but other than this church the only one that looks to be a target in Adra would be the church in Bohiem. If one of the others is attacked it might just mean we are looking at this all wrong.”

Priest: “Bohiem?! The church in Bohiem is little more than a small shrine in the Bohiem Fortress. What makes you think that they would attack Bohiem? If they truly wanted to cause problems I am sure many of the other churches, temples, or cathedrals of Adra would be higher on their list of targets.”

“We have our reasons, but as I said they might be incorrect so it wouldn’t hurt contacting the others just in case. It may also prove beneficial to send a message back to grand cathedral as well, but I think that will be our next stop. If all the churches of Faron have Gowen Communication Parchments it may be better to have a direct line of communication.”

Priest: “If we find that one of the Adra churches has become a target how are we to reach you if you leave for the Grand Cathedral?”

“You can just inform the Grand Cathedral, and I will give them a means to contact us.”

Priest: “The person that sent you must really be powerful in the church if you are capable of so much… But what if one of the churches of Adra becomes a target before you reach the Grand Cathedral?”

“Well like I said that will be our next stop, we have means of teleportation, so it won’t take any time at all.”

The priest seems greatly impressed, and after a bit more about we have learned about the group we then part from the church.

Belinda: “You really think it would be that easy to get the Grand Cathedral of Faron to just give us information like that?”

“Well I can talk to Faron himself… Surely he has a way to speak to his followers to get us in the door.”

Belinda: “I know he is a dungeon core, but after all these years growing up as Faron as a god, it just seems odd that you can just talk to him…”

“You told me the Elders once called you after I disappeared right? So in turn you have spoken with “god” as well haven’t you?”

Belinda: “I never even thought of that… Which one was he? They made me so mad at the time I never even stopped to think about it. Faron isn’t the dragon man is it?”

“No that is Draco, he is the other one that we have to help. If they were sitting on their chairs in the neutral zone though he should have been the one between Draco and Madam Erin though.”

Belinda: “That was the “god” Faron… That’s not really how I would have pictured him… I guess though he is just a dungeon core and not a god after all.”

“Well with the Elder’s strength compared to our own he might as well be… I guess I should send him a message and let him know what is going on.”

(We have begun our investigation into the destruction of your secondary dungeons. There seems to be a common pattern to the attacks, but without knowing which is next, catching the culprits or finding out their motives will be quite difficult. If we could speak with the one responsible for keeping track of things with the Gowen Communication Parchments at the Grand Cathedral it would make things much easier.)

Faron: (Not only is this your task but it is also a test, why is it I should assist you at all?)

(For one, your churches wouldn’t even have the Gowen Communication Parchments if it wasn’t for me, and unless you plan to supply me with xp enough to put some eyes in every one of your churches including the ones that are not your secondary dungeons then the only chance I would have to completing this task is hoping by dumb luck I am at the right one at the right time.)

Faron: (Well you might be surprised to know, but I have very little to do with my actual followers. I only use what they have built to continue to flourish, so for me to get you an audience with a high ranking church official would be quite hard.)

(You are saying you have no control over your own religion…?)

Faron: (If I did, do you think I would allow them to take care of the starving and weak? If anything it’s those with power that benefit me the most, the rest of them are a waste of space.)

(Then what if they do things in your name that you don’t agree with?)

Faron: (You really think what I care what humans do?)

(You will if it means they start destroying all your secondary dungeons!)

Faron: (Fair enough. I might have a way. I used to get bored many years ago and would send messages onto a mirror in the Grand Cathedral. Of course it’s been many years since I last bothered and it is considered one of the greatest of holy relics, so I don’t know what kind of reception you will receive if I do send another message.)

(At least try not to make us sound like some kind of divine followers or something. Say that a few of your churches have come under attack and a group of normal adventurers have caught wind of the pattern and to ask the priests to assist us in catching the culprits or something.)

Faron: (I will do what I can.)

I let out a deep sigh.

“I can’t believe the Elders….”

Belinda: “What is the problem, will he not let you meet with the priests?”

“It’s not that…”

I then explain to her the conversation I ha with Faron.

Belinda: “That is absurd! I was disappointed to find out that the god Faron wasn’t more than a powerful dungeon, but even then I still thought he at least played the role. Are you saying he does absolutely nothing for his own religion?”

“That is the way it sounds…”

Belinda: “I feel like attacking a few of his churches myself now! But I guess even without him they have still managed to do quite a bit of good.”

“Well I am sure it will take a while for his message to get across, and then have to give it time to spread. What do you say we have a leisurely look around Toran while we wait?”

Azami: “If I am not needed I would rather return to the forest. Either that or I rather return to the forest as I am no longer needed.”

Belinda: “I know you don’t like humans much, but there are even elves here wouldn’t you at least like to associate with a few of them?”

Azami: “If it is an order…”

“You know I think it is. Don’t do anything crazy, but I order you to at least if not friends at least make some acquaintances around town. You need the social interactions. Now get out there and we will meet back up here, say 2 hours before dark.”

Azami doesn’t look pleased but she just says. “Very well.” And then she sets off into the city. Roxy and Zoey seem excited as well.

Zoey: “I am sure Adra has lots of food I can try that I never have had before!”

Roxy: “Is that all you think about is your stomach? What about doing something romantic for a change? We haven’t even had a date in over a year that I didn’t feel like a third wheel to your plate of food.”

Zoey: “Well I can’t eat you in public, so I have to settle with the food!”

Roxy: “Oh you’re impossible! But you know I heard in Adra that have interesting…” –The rest she whispers into Zoey’s ears which cause them to twitch as Zoey grows quite excited.-

Zoey: “Yea yea! Let’s find some of that!”

Roxy: “Well I guess we are off to, we will see you soon.” –Zoey then drags Roxy off.-

“What do you think she was talking about…?”

Belinda: “Knowing Roxy and Zoey there is no telling, but are you sure you would even want to know?”

“You’re probably right… So Mrs. Two-Twelve Gowen, what would you like to spend the day doing?”

Belinda smiles a bright smile, kisses me on the cheek, wraps her arm in mine, and we set off into town.

We have been so busy since I returned without my memories I don’t often get to spend time alone with Belinda outside of the house. We spend most of the day just window shopping, but Belinda does buy a few varies items from several shops.

We don’t really manage to accomplish anything, but even still I can’t bring myself to say that even a single second of it was a waste. The old me must have had countless experiences like this with Belinda, and if I never get all of my memories back it will be ones like these that I will regret the most.

It is a bit reassuring when I have a few flashes here and there when Belinda makes a certain move, or shows off certain items she has picked out, but it is nothing like the memories of Amy that returned or even like the ones of Belinda and my intimate moments.

It is more like split seconds of time that I feel that I have done this before more than actually seeing it. For instance one time it happens when she holds a dress up to herself I not only can describe the dress she is holding but the one she did the time in my locked away memories. To say I actually remember the event isn’t quite right…

When we return to the meeting place that evening it appears Zoey and Roxy beat us back, and while Zoey is eating away on some kind of roast meat Roxy is holding close a few small bags.

Roxy: “We were worried we were late, but Zoey wouldn’t leave the line till she got her food.”

“Well you still beat us, so I guess it worked out. Have you seen Azami yet?”

Zoey: “We seen her once while we were traveling around, but it could have been another elf. They all look the same to me.” –She says while scarfing down on the piece of meat she is holding.-

Roxy: “No I am pretty sure it was her, but that was hours ago.”

Belinda: “You don’t think something happened to her do you?”

“I would feel sorrier for the person trying to do something to her…”

Belinda: “But she isn’t around humans much, maybe she got turned around or lost?”

“She said she was with Dyson for over a decade, but nobody knows about it and she never became one of his monsters, so surely she has had experience in human towns even if she doesn’t like them.”

I have to admit I am a little worried that is until we finally see her turn the corner heading our way. When she arrives she is hiding something behind her back however that is a bit cause of concern.

Belinda: “Azami… Who is that?”

Azami: “I did as you ordered. After determining the elves around here have become to accustom to humans I decided this was the only way to follow orders. I have given him the name Moss.” –She says bring out an elf boy from behind her.-

Elves are pretty short. Azami is taller than most and is still only reaches the base of my chest, but this elven boy is even smaller only reaching my waist. His hair is short and a greenish brown that makes it seem that was Azami’s muse for choosing his name as that is what his hair reminds me of. Other than the ragged clothes he is wearing the only other thing on him is a small steel collar around his neck.

Belinda: “Please tell me Azami you didn’t buy a slave…”

Azami: “It seemed the practical thing to do. For companionship Zoey as well bought a slave. Either that or to copy Zoey’s example I too bought a slave.”

Roxy: “But he looks young.”

Azami: “Well I do not plan to mate with him like Zoey did, but he was the only elf slave that met my criteria for an acceptable companion.”

“And what exactly was that criteria…?”

Azami: “He had to still be elf, not whatever you want to call the things around town were, he has to have at least have the ability to use basic magic, and most importantly he had to be bound to a dungeon so that once we take possession of him Two-Twelve will gain the ability to summon elves.”

Belinda: “Wait he is a dungeon monster? Just how many dungeon cores deal in slaves…?”

“With the way most dungeon cores think, it actually is quite a profitable why to acquire xp or monsters that they cannot summon themselves.”

Belinda: “Well dungeon monster or not, I am not going to have anyone forced into becoming part of our dungeon. Azami, give me his key.”

Azami hands over a small key to Belinda. When she steps forward to remove the boy’s collar he hides behind Azami’s back.

Belinda: “It’s ok… I’m just going to remove that collar alright?”

The boy looks up at Azami.

Azami: “It is what Belinda has ordered.”

The boy then allows Belinda to remove his collar but he never turns loose of Azami.

Belinda: “Now, being a dungeon monster I am sure you have nowhere else to go, but if you want to, you may leave. If you want to stay with Azami for now till you at least make up your mind that is alright as well.”

The boy without saying a word wraps his arms around Azami burying his face into her chest. Because of the boy we don’t really have much choice but to return home for a least a little bit, so once we [Gate] to the area we usually pick Azami up from I receive a message.

Monster Moss has changed ownership from Dungeon Core #112 [Keegan] to Dungeon Core #212 [Archjusticar —— Gowen]. Would you like to change Moss’s name?

The elf boy hasn’t spoken or turned loose of Azami since we met him, but I crouch down to his level and ask him.

“Azami gave you the name Moss right? Do you like that name or would you like to pick another?”

He looks up to Azami then buries his face back into her chest. I sigh and then accept the name Moss. After closing the screen about being able to now summon elves I then stand back up.

“Well this has cost us a bit of time, and we can’t spare any more to get him situated. We are just going to the church, so I guess I will have you stay here with him to get him acclimated, alright?”

Azami: “If that is what you wish.”

Belinda: “You will take care of him right? We don’t have to worry about you doing something to him?”

Azami: “All of Two-Twelve’s monsters are family so I shall follow orders and treat him as such. Either that or I will treat him as family to follow the orders that all of Two-Twelve’s monsters are to be treated in that manner.”

“I guess if Roxy and Zoey want to go home as well they can, if something does go wrong at the church we might need someone that can still use teleport to help us.”

Zoey: “Can we try that stuff you bought!?”

Roxy:  “I will think about it, why don’t you go home and get things ready. I would like to ask Two-Twelve something.”

Zoey: “Right!” –She has already begun to pull off her clothes as she transfers away.-

Roxy: “I know you are pressed for time, but can I ask you a private favor real quick?”

I look to Azami and Belinda.

Belinda: “It’s ok.”

Roxy: “Belinda is alright, but could we go back to the house?”

I nod and transfer us to the living room of the house.

Roxy:  “I don’t know if you are aware or not now that you have lost your memories, but Zoey and I were borrowing a non-sentient beastkin for our… Nightly activities.”

I am trying to piece together what I just heard and I can only determine that to mean one thing and I shake my head.

“I wasn’t aware, but I mean if it was ok with the old me then…”

Roxy: “It’s not that, it’s more… Well it’s just not normal to have a naked, brainless, man stored away in your bedroom closet until you need him. I mean I love Zoey, and I think I would even be ok without Bo now, but I thought with all the progress you have made with those rings. That well maybe you wouldn’t need that cuff anymore, and we could use that as a replacement for Bo.”

“There are still things about the cuff I am worried about. I don’t know if that is a good idea…”

Belinda: “What about the ring you were going to give Inari? Madam Erin gave her one right, so you still have the one you were going to give Inari?”

“But to use it for something like this…?”

Belinda: “Zoey jokes a lot, but they don’t ever ask for anything from us, please Two-Twelve, if not for them do it for me?”

I take the ring from the dungeon inventory and hand it to Roxy. I explain to her to make sure she knows that once the form is set it can’t be changed so make sure if they do plan to use it make sure it is something they can be happy with. Roxy then hugs Belinda and me thanking us both and then thanks us again before transferring from the house.

“What did I just do…”

Belinda: “You made two of your girls very happy, which in turn makes me happy, so just don’t think about it and say you did a good job. Now… It’s getting quite late. We should go to church.”

“Yea sounds like we have a lot to ask forgiveness for after today.”

Belinda hits me in the shoulder and we then cast [Gate] heading to Elder Faron’s primary dungeon, or at least on top of it, The Grand Faron Cathedral.

Faron’s dungeon runs underground deep under the Cathedral, there is an entrance to it that adventurers use to explore but from my understanding the church highly regulates its usage as they think the dungeon is a place that Faron seals dangerous creatures so they won’t be turned loose on the world. Well he does control the monsters within so I guess they are partly right.

The cathedral over the top of the dungeon is in the middle of a lake. There is large city surrounding the lake, but from my understanding Faron hasn’t bothered to add it to his dungeon. The only access to the cathedral is a long bridge the spans the lake, but only those authorized are allowed to enter.

To make up for the city folk unable to enter the grand cathedral there are at least a dozen smaller churches or cathedrals within the city itself. We have no use for them so we head straight for the bridge spanning the lake.

Grand Cathedral Guard:  “Only high priests are allowed beyond this point. If you wish to pay your respects there are a number of places within the city to do just that.”

“We were actually wanted to speak with one of the high priests. It is in regards to the destruction of several of Faron’s churches around the continent.”

The Grand Cathedral Guard quickly grows nervous and says. “You are the Archjusticar of Faron…? Your gear is quite good, but I… I apologize, right this way!”

Archjusticar… Ah what is Faron even doing… Belinda seems to get a bit nervous as well as she grabs my arm holding me tight as we follow the guard across the bridge. As we cross the long bridge I send a message to Faron.

(What are you planning? To even call me your Archjusticar…?)

Faron: (You serve as the Archjusticar to the elders, so indeed you are my Archjusticar. Your job is to make the elder’s jobs easier. You were the one that convinced me maybe I should have someone in the church, and since you seem to care for humans so much it seemed like a perfect fit.)

(I have my own dungeon to worry about on top of this new title, I don’t have time to also be a in between you and your church.)

Faron: (I just told them my churches are being destroyed and I am sending my Archjusticar to take care of it. What you or they do with that information is up to you.)

(What if using your name I decide to tell them that dungeon under the cathedral has become dangerous and needs to be purged?)

Faron: (Then I will simply wipe the entire city off the map, it would be a bit of a shame, but I could always then decide to expand my secondary dungeons to make up for the loss of xp, isn’t there one close to your dungeon…?)

I did threaten him first, so I can’t really be mad about that, but being tied to the Faron church like this…? This wasn’t part of the headache I signed on for. We are lead into the grand cathedral and into a very well furnished room.

The guard then says he will go inform them of my arrival and quickly bows and exits the room. I sigh and drop into one of the chairs.

“Faron got me good…I can’t deny being the Archjusticar or we might not then be able to complete the task. If I do say I am the Archjusticar though what does that mean for our peace from now on? Not only will we have the Elders sending us on tasks but the Church will do the same.”

Belinda doesn’t even have a chance to say anything because the door quickly bursts open and an overweight man in robes runs into the room. He is sweating quite badly and quickly says.

Overweight Priest: “Please forgive me, but I will need to ask for proof of your identities. The Holy Mirror of Faron said even a simple look at the adventurer’s IDs that you carry would be enough to prove your divinity.”

My race as a divine being… He really did get us good. At this point we don’t really have a choice so I show him my adventurer’s ID while more sweating priests quickly begin to enter the room. After looking it over the overweight priest quickly hits the floor bowing. The other priests just entered but after seeing the reaction of the overweight priest they quickly hit their knees as well.

Overweight Priest: “Oh please Archjusticar forgive us for our failures.”

“Wait just a minute… What do you all think is going on here?”

Overweight Priest: “The Holy Mirror of Faron spoke and told of the arrival of the Archjusticar of Faron who was coming to cleanse that in which damages the name of Faron.”

“You misunderstand the situation. I am just an adventurer, I am not even a follower of Faron, but after finding a pattern to the destruction of several Faron churches, of course I couldn’t just turn a blind eye. That’s when my adventurer’s ID changed. I am not some destined hero or anything like that just a man that wouldn’t sit by while watching people get hurt when these churches were destroyed.”

Overweight Priest: “That is impossible, the Holy Mirror of Faron said…”

“What exactly did the Holy Mirror of Faron say?”

Overweight Priest: “It said that Faron’s chosen Archjusticar was coming and that he would put an end to those who cause damage to his holy name, so we are to follow your instructions.”

“What is an Archjusticar? Because I don’t know, I have never even spoken to a god, so to say I am some holy figure it just too much. I promise I will do what I can to end the destruction of the churches of Faron. As to putting an end to those who damage his holy name, maybe it is just as I said. Put an end to those who are destroying his churches, and that is it.”

The priests seem to calm down a bit after that, but they are still seem rather worried. I think more than stopping the destruction of the churches they thought I was coming to clean house or something, so they are worried I might just be evaluating them or some such nonsense.

Overweight Priest: “We were told by Faron himself to follow your instructions, so what is it you want us to do?”

“I just need to speak to the priest that is in charge of your Gowen Communication Parchments.”

High Priest: “How do you know…”

“Well if you take a little bit closer at that ID there it might give you an idea why.”

Overweight Priest: “Wait Gowen. Like the Gowen kingdom Gowen’s?”

Belinda: “Yes I am the third princess of Gowen Belinda, and this is my husband.”

High Priest: “Not only chosen by god, but royalty as well…”

“Please, none of that is important right now. Your people may be in danger if we don’t talk to the priest in charge of the communication parchments.”

One of the priests in the room steps forward.

High Priest 2: “How can I assist Archjusticar?”

I then explain to him about sending the messages out to all the churches and what to look out for. I then tell them if anything that matches the descriptions I gave the cathedral at the Gowen capital could contact the Gowen Castle, and then they could contact us.

That means we are going to have to pay a visit to the Gowen castle, but that can wait for the morning as I am beat… I don’t know how the priests really feel about me, but I don’t think there will be any problems at least not yet, so after graciously declining their invitations to staying at the grand cathedral we finally are able to retreat back home.

“This is so much more then I bargained for…”

Belinda: “What was Faron trying to pull with that?”

“I don’t know. We will need to inform your brother about the need to contact us, but after that we should begin working on the other task at Draco’s dungeon until we get some kind of information from the Faron churches.”

Belinda: “After all that you are still going to go through with all this?”

“We don’t really have a choice at this point. I just hope we are able to get the church to let us be after we get this matter taken care of.”

Belinda sends a quick message to Logan telling him to let us know if the Faron church is looking for us, but that we will explain more in the morning. We then head to bed.

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3 thoughts on “Chapter 101: Starting Our Investigations in Toran

  1. Thank you for the chapter.
    Btw, you seem to be fairly adept with the aspects of memory, considering how you are presenting 212’s brainwashing, and his memory loss and stuff. Did you study in that field or is it some other reason?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is awesome for you to say. No I just am fascinated with knowledge and try to pick up as much as I can. I am a master of useless information and it seems it really has paid off when it comes to novel writing. Lol

      Like

      1. Conditioning someone to not think about their past and waiting for the memories to become unused memories, and then be forgotten altogether….
        That seems extremely logical, and not at all something fictional. I was really impressed.
        But as one may expect, I really want 212 to regain his memory regardless of how impressive the brainwashing is.
        Maybe hypnosis to help him remember? Whatever.

        Anyway, Excellent work so far. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

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