“Ehh... I was joking. Please ignore what I said earlier.”
Joshua shook his hand in hope that Herolia wouldn’t mind about his joke.
The nun lady was quite capable of controlling her emotions. There was no trace of displeasure on her face.
“Then, Mister Joshua... I wish to know the real reason why you refused. Is it because my bargaining chips aren’t enough to satisfy you?” Herolia was not planning to give up so easily.
“No, I am more than satisfied with your offer. If my elder sister is sitting here instead, she will definitely agree to your proposal out of consideration for the Demon Realm’s future.” The smile disappeared from Joshua’s face. With an expressionless look, he stared at the nun lady across from him, “I’m also considering accepting your proposal. But, even if I agree to it, did you really think the Nation of the Holy Church would agree to it?”
“I will personally sweep up those stubborn old things,” When Herolia said those words, Messai once again felt the urge to say something. But, in the end, she clenched her teeth and restrained herself.
“But what will happen after I help you sweep up the upper echelons of the church? Are you planning to promote to the citizens of the Nation of the Holy Church that demons are friendly neighbors? Or are you going to issue a law offering protection to demons?”
Joshua has been staring at Herolia the entire time. However, he was unable to determine anything from her expressions.
This woman was truly proficient in disguising herself.
“At least... I am able to prevent the war between the Nation of the Holy Church and the Demon Realm,” said Herolia.
“Do you believe that a temporary armistice will be able to resolve the hatred the believers of the Nation of the Holy Church held toward demons?”
Joshua’s sudden question caused Herolia to enter a brief moment of contemplation. In the end, she shook her head to express her answer.
“That’s the reason for my refusal. The reason why the Nation of the Holy Church exists is because the citizens held faith in the God of Holy Light. Their faith had told the citizens that demons are evil. If one wanted to change the opinion the citizens of the Nation of the Holy Church had of demons, there is only one method.”
Joshua picked up the originium crystal on the table. He placed it in his hand and gently clenched it.
The frail originium crystal shattered into fragments and scattered onto the ground.
“That would be by destroying the belief that you all had established.”
“That is no simple task,” Finally, Herolia’s voice grew cold.
Her powers came from the Faith Energy of the citizens of the Nation of the Holy Church. What Joshua wanted to destroy was the fruit of her hundred-plus years of effort.
“That’s of course. But, I am not giving up on it... I will have the citizens of the Nation of the Holy Church realize the true appearance of your ‘god.’ There are multiple methods for me to employ. Magic network is only one of them.”
Joshua walked over to the dress Herolia was wearing on the stage earlier. He picked up the shabby dress and tossed it to Herolia. Messai extended her hand and caught the dress for Herolia.
“Miss Herolia, why not join me directly? If you seek for the faith of the populace... I am able to utilize even more effective means to make the masses like you.”
Messai was no longer able to continue listening. She wanted to bring the saintess away from this place. But, Herolia remained unmoved. She instead took the clothes Messai caught from her.
“And what I refuse like you did?”
Unknowingly, Herolia’s eyes had changed from brown to gold. Perhaps gold was the original color of her eyes.
The girl standing before Joshua was a hundred times more dazzling than the ordinary neighborhood girl who stood on the stage earlier. Of course, the deer of light behind her also contributed to her dazzle.
“That’s simple... I’ll just go and find another girl with a ‘tragic experience’ and a pleasant singing voice.”
Joshua shrugged his shoulders to express that he was not concerned if Herolia refused.
“Those Blackwood Elves? Their singing cannot compare to mine,” Herolia was able to guess who the ‘girl’ Joshua spoke of was.
“While their singing might not match yours, their songs could make up for the deficiency. The songs you wrote are old-fashioned and soon-to-be-retired. Miss Herolia, if you don’t believe me, you can go and check out the stage later.”
Joshua made an inviting gesture toward Herolia. It was like he was inviting her to be his dance partner in a ball.
Unfortunately, Messai stepped between them. Because of that, Herolia wouldn’t be able to accept Joshua’s invitation.
“I will consider your proposal,” said Herolia with a soft voice.
“In that case, if you’re ever tired of your aloof church lifestyle and wish to return here as ‘Lia,’ my place is always open to you.”
After leaving those words, Joshua opened the door to Herolia’s room and walked out. Ciri also followed him out.
Joshua did not directly proceed toward the competition stage. Instead, he passed by the contestant lounge and arrived at Norland National Theater’s dining room that seemed to be used for afternoon tea by the theater performers.
Joshua found a seat in the dining room and sat down. He called for the attendant to bring over a glass of lemonade.
“Joshua... am I allowed to know the real reason why you refused that Herolia?”
Ciri placed her staff to the side and seated herself across from Joshua.
“Real reason? Ciri, how did you manage to guess my true thoughts?” Joshua spoke with a thought-provoking tone.
“Intuition. I simply felt that you wouldn’t give up on such an enormous World Tree,” Ciri recalled the giant deer that was behind Herolia, “Whenever you encounter a World Tree, you have the same expression as the dwarves when they opened a golden legendary card.”
“Well, Miss Ciri, you’ve guessed right. Back then, I had the urge to accept Herolia’s demands. But, in the end, I gave up on that thought.”
Joshua believed that if he was to enter a cooperative relationship with Herolia, the magic network would immediately ascend to 3G speed. It might even be possible for him to start on the development of video websites directly.
“Then... why did you refuse her?”
“Eh... it’s very simple actually — I can’t deal with that woman,” Joshua confessed to the mage lady with an extremely sincere tone, “I am not proficient in scheming. I feel that every single sentence said by Herolia are lies. In short, she’s a very troublesome woman to deal with. If I am to ally myself with her, the dangers will surpass the benefits. Perhaps my elder sister will be able to manage. But that’s out of question for me.”
“In other words, that Herolia woman is a little bitch?” Ciri translated Joshua’s lengthy explanation with one simple word.
“You can comprehend it as such. My goal is to develop my entertainment industry at ease. However, the threat posed by the Nation of the Holy Church forced me to declare war, a war of belief, against them ahead of time.”
“If another woman like her decides to seek you out in the future, do you need my help?” asked Ciri.
“Of course,” Joshua raised the glass of lemonade brought over by the attendant and clinked glasses with Ciri’s beverage.
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