“What an outrageous lolicon bastard…”

“No, they were all boys.”

What a monster. I can’t help but pray from my heart so that he fells to the depths of hell.

“There were also sisters who said chastity is only there to be broken and—”

“Stop, I don’t wanna listen anymore. I don’t want to listen to it in detail.”

You will regret it if you come to know of it carelessly—an unspoken truth of history.

When I looked ahead with a distant look to escape reality, I could see the vast Galahad mountain’s shadow in the distance. We only departed from Spada a while ago, so it is only apparent.

We are supposed to arrive at our destination, Galahad fort, the day after tomorrow. And since we have to reach there with all the adventurers gathered here, we can’t go ahead alone either.

And so we should just advance slowly here to not be fatigued.

For now, I just settled down by patting Lily, who was sleeping peacefully on my knees.

“However, if the apostles start doing stuff like that, other believers would be pretty angry, huh?”

The apostles are like an extension of the clergyman, and I already know that they don’t live according to their religion’s teaching. That apostle called Ai was also fooling around by imitating an adventurer. I also heard from Fiona that there were other apostles as well who were living as they please.

It’s still okay if they do as they please, but if they perform any treacherous deeds, a tragedy like in Alsace might occur in Sinclair republic.

“Yes, there are several infamous apostles who have done inhumane acts. However, the 2nd apostle Abel has been regulating it aptly, and so there have been next to no problems from the apostles.”

What an unnecessary skill. If they had just kept on having internal trouble because of the apostles, they wouldn’t have time for the Pandora invasion.

Even still, if the apostles can keep their divine protection even when they perform evil deeds, that might be proof that they are not bound by the religion’s commandments. After all, if that were the Pandora shrine priests’ divine protection, it would have disappeared at once.

“Do the divine protection of the apostles not disappear no matter what they do?”

“It hasn’t happened even once in history but—”

Fiona continued, with a severe expression.

“It is possible, I think.”

“Well, the apostles are like the symbols of their religion so they can’t really say that ‘ah we have lost our divine protection’.”

I also heard from Fiona that the apostles can’t give their divine protection to others unless they die.

The fact that their divine protection doesn’t disappear until they die might not be a complete lie—just that it’s fundamentally like that. Even if that weren’t the case, apostle members changing every now and then wouldn’t be so well accepted. In the worst case scenario, the believers might start fighting among each other for the apostle’s sat.

At the very least, for their religion’s image and system, they must conceal such a fact which can shake the whole foundation of the apostles.

“That might be true but… since I received divine protection myself, I can’t help but feel that way.”

“Ohh, the witch’s perception?”

“Half of it, yes. However, the other half comes from a deduction I came to upon my understanding of the divine protection.”

Hmm, it has been close to half a year since I received my first divine protection from Mia-chan, but I haven’t really thought about it at all. I was too desperate about learning how to use it and so didn’t know about its system itself.

In that sense, Fiona has… befitting of her title, she thought about it intellectually.

“And what is that?”

“I feel like the divine protection is like a thread of contract connecting the people to the Gods.”

Contract, eh? I can somewhat understand it but…

“–In this world, the existence of Gods is nothing but a system which bestows strength upon the people, we just receive the power befitting of ourselves.”

Suddenly, a scene played out in my head—that time when I encountered demon lord Mia in a back alley of the slum city.

That was the answer to my quibbles towards the God who didn’t extend a saving hand.

System. That’s what Mia had said.

“You mean it’s not something you can automatically get if you complete the test?”

“I think that even if one has the qualifications to receive divine protection, it might be turned down depending on that person’s will.”

That is true. In my case, I feel like I wouldn’t have received the divine protection if I rejected the evidence in my dream. I think there was a choice.

Then if it’s not a like a game where you can get the skills if you just level up–

“I see, it might be a contract based on both party’s will.”

“And only the God and that person know the details of that contract.”

At the very least, Fiona’s words made sense with the connection between Mia-chan and me. In the first place, the conditions to receive divine protection from a demon lord hasn’t even been made clear in all of Pandora’s history, so it’s most definitely a secret between my God at this point and me.

Although, Mia-chan has only told me of one condition.

“However, there are probably a lot of people who have the same divine protection.”

Currently, no one I know has the same divine protection, but it’s a well-known fact.

I also heard that 5 people in Avalon also have Nell’s super rare ‘Tenyu Imperial Princess Aria’.

“I think that’s because a lot of the conditions to receive the divine protection have been made clear or their situations are similar.”

“It might seem the same at first glance, but maybe there are small differences in the contract itself?”

“There are probably completely same people as well. No, most of them are probably similar, but the ones who can use that divine protection at a high level probably have a deep connection with the contract.”

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