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"The Church of Light members are shallow, but even they aren't people who will keep everyone in the dark if there was a threat like this. There was probably something more to it, which only they know."

****

While the Head Council Members were trying to guess the reason behind the Church of Light's actions, the Church was also going through some changes.

The Church of Light had mobilized most of its strength. White a lot of Church Members had moved out of the city, finishing a few Head Priests, as if they were going for a war.

Only a few Head Priests and members were left behind in the Church to protect it. Their sudden action and the Explosion in the Academy... It all gave the citizens an impression that the city had been attacked, and now the Church was mobilizing to take down whoever dared to attack the Church.

Out in the forest near the city, Lira also noticed many Mages of Light from the Church leaving, being led by the Head Priests. She kept her distance and ensured they couldn't sense her as she saw their strange actions.

She could also see that the city had been sealed entirely, and no one was allowed to enter the city now. She couldn't help but wonder if it was because Gabriel had been caught. Did the City find out about Gabriel and their plan? Was that why they sealed the city?

That could explain why the Church of Light members were leaving the city. If they actually found out about their plan, they were also going to know that Lambard and she were involved.

What was worse was that this was going to be the evidence for them that someone was trying to recreate the Church of Darkness, which was enough of an excuse for the Church of Light to ask help from the other Churches to take down Lambard, who was now proven to be helping the return of the Church of Darkness.

Last time, it was only the Church of Light that attacked Lambard's city. It was only the Power of one church, and that too when the Holy Priest of Light hadn't joined the attack properly due to his deteriorating health.

The other Churches didn't consider this matter of grave importance, like destroying the Church of Light. However, if they knew their plan, then they definitely had the potential to convince the other Churches to get involved in this matter, bringing a union just like there existed during the days when the Church of Darkness was destroyed.

Before that kind of coalition, even Lambard was going to have a hard time, even if he never left his city. Despite the city being a Fortress Numen, before the combined strength of all the Head of Churches, that impenetrable defense could also be broken.

"That doesn't make sense though. If he was caught, why didn't he use the stone to call me for help?" she wondered. "Just what is happening inside the city?!"

****

"That idiot!" Lambard was furious, raging in his room as he paced back and forth. It was just now that he received some information from his spies, which was infuriating.

"Here, I was preparing to welcome him back, and there he was, pulling such a stupid trick? That naive idiot! You know, people are right! Even if you give an idiot the greatest strength in the world, he'll still find a way to die due to his own stupidity!"

Maria stood at the other end of the room, surprised. She had never seen Lambard so angry in her lifetime. Lambard was someone who always had an ice-cool mindset, no matter what kind of troubles there were.

Even when he was attacked by the Church of Light, he hadn't been this angry.

"What happened?" Maria asked, trying to understand just what could've made him so angry. From his words, she was sure that it was related to Gabriel. But in what ways? Just what did Gabriel do that had managed to upset him this much?

"What happened? That idiot happened!" Lambard scoffed. "He had all the treasures of the Academy. All he had to do was leave and come here. But that idiot chose to stay behind!"

"He can come after a few days. Is it really that upsetting?" Maria asked. The only reason he was so angry was because Gabriel decided to stay at the academy for longer.

"It's not that he just decided to stay behind. I would've been fine with that since it's understandable he would want to spend a few more days using the ring! But that idiot entered the Tower of Challenges and revealed his identity!" Lambard's face was red in anger.

He had so many expectations. He was already dreaming about having all those Numens in his hands. However, thanks to Gabriel, all those Numens were now far out of his reach.

He had tossed away everything just to climb the tower. Now it was impossible for him to come out. It was one thing to steal all the artifacts from right under their noses, but now that they knew about him, there was no way for him to be able to leave!

The entire academy was sealed at the moment, including the space around it. This was the end! According to Lambard, it was inevitable that Gabriel was going to be caught, and all the Numens were going to be taken back by the Academy.

"I was so close to having all those precious artifacts! But because of the stupidity of one person...!"

Lambard didn't have even one percent hope that Gabriel could escape safely. Not only was he caught, but he was caught because of his own stupidity! Moreover, now that he was going to be caught, there was no way he wasn't going to expose all their plans, including his involvement in it!

"Maria! Cancel the feast. Instead, prepared for a war," Lambard declared, clenching his fist. He knew what was coming.