Chapter 375: The Nephilim Church Arrives
(Earth Federation- Artificial Planet X-837)
(Temporary Military Outpost- Main Hall)
The main hall was built to entertain any visiting high nobles or important individuals. It was a large room filled with impressive stone statues and magnificent columns.
Commander Stewart stood silently in the middle of the open hall wearing a plain black uniform with several medals prominently displayed on his chest.
He held up a metalloid tablet right hand while absentmindedly looking over the information on the screen.
It was important that he made a good impression on the guests that were about to arrive.
“Announcing the entrance of the members of the Nephilim Church,” a serious voice announced from outside the hall.
The metalloid door that led to the hall swung open as numerous figures entered the room with slow but steady steps.
“It is an honour to see your holiness,” Commander Stewart smiled politely as he greeted the hooded figures that strode into the room.
The Nephilim Church was one of the few official religions of the Earth Federation and was considered quite an impressive political force.
One of the hooded figures removed his baggy robes to reveal a hulking six feet tall muscular man with sickly pale skin.
There were bulging veins across his body that wriggled furiously with every movement that he made.
It would be impossible not to notice the horrific open wounds on both of his palms that bled profusely.
Oddly enough, the blood that dripped constantly to the floor would vanish immediately as if nothing had ever happened.
Commander Stewart continued to smile while secretly hiding an intense feeling of disgust. It was only due to his years of social expertise that he managed to conceal any change in his expression.
Bishop Walsh was a freak whose physique was rumored to have been mutated due to the cultivation method that he practiced.
The other members of the church also removed their hooded clothing to reveal identical blackish-red armours with unholy runes engraved on their exposed skins.
The infamous ‘demon knights’ of the Nephilim Church. Brutish warriors that allegedly fought by channelling the demonic powers of the seven deadly sins.
Commander Stewart was not a believer himself but it was an undeniable truth that there was just something unnerving about those runes that sent shivers down his spine.
There was one key exception to the sea of armoured soldiers. In the middle of the crowd was a beautiful angelic girl with long curly hair wearing a pure white battlesuit.
The girl’s eyes were a deep hazelnut colour which matched her dark brown skin. Two golden wings sprouted out from behind her back which radiated purity and grace.
A ceremonial sword with strange but beautiful patterns carved into its metalloid exterior was held in her right palm.
Was she a saintess? No…
Commander Stewart’s elderly face showed some confusion since he had encountered a saint once before.
The feeling was similar but it was significantly weaker. The intimidating aura of the saint that he had made before had enough strength to force him to his knees and worship.
This was clearly a saintess-in-training. Commander Stewart nodded politely at the girl who just stared back expressionlessly.
There was something in her gaze that made him shudder. It was as though he was an open book and this girl could see right through him.
Commander Stewart hurriedly averted his eyes and focused his attention back on the muscular man in front of him.
“I received the message from Archbishop Ezekiel so I understand that you wish to conduct a training exercise here?” Commander Stewart spoke softly.
“Yes. The saintess must prove herself worthy in battle so we wish to join the battlefield,” Bishop Walsh hoarsely replied.
Commander Stewart tapped his fingers as he mulled over the matter in his mind. The relationship between the Imperial Army and the Nephilim church was one of mutual benefit.
Many foot soldiers were recruited through the church and the Imperial Army in turn would provide occasional donations to the religious order.
It was a common occurrence for the Nephilim church to send out their young warriors to low-risk battlefields in order to gain experience.
As long as their starships did not hinder the Imperial Army during their operations, the higher ups were willing to close one eye to the matter.
Commander Stewart’s only reason to hesitate was the matter of the assassination. It was more than likely that Duke Peterlor’s daughter was probably dead by now.
He was confident that his powerful sponsors would be able to erase any evidence that connected the Imperial Army to the ambush but…
What if the church managed to discover something?
Wait… that was it!
Commander Stewart’s smile widened as he gazed at Bishop Walsh with a tinkle in his eyes. There needed to be a scapegoat in case of emergencies and the church would be the perfect bait.
Duke Peterlor in his anger would challenge the Nephilim Church and that would provide the justification needed to arrest him or at the very least turn the two sides into enemies.
The high nobles that supported his rise through the Imperial Army would definitely be grateful for such a brilliant plan.
“Well, there should be no problem with your request,” Commander Stewart spoke kindly.
The elderly officer pressed a button on his wrist communicator and summoned a few logistic officers into the room.
His men were already informed about the church’s visit so it was a simple matter to arrange a few spare warships.
Bishop Walsh bowed his head and thanked Commander Stewart softly before turning around to speak to the logistic officers.
Commander Stewart stayed in the room for a few more minutes to make sure that everything was proceeding smoothly.
He only left when the last member of the church had stepped out of the room. The elderly officer quickly returned to the command center.
Although the current spatial battle with the Unova Syndicate should be a straightforward win for the Federation, it was important that the commander at least be present in the war room.
He couldn’t have known at that time but years later Commander Stewart would regret ever agreeing to the Church’s request.