V2 Chapter 52: That Name

After hearing Joel’s story, I harbored doubts about the Temple of Law.

However, I also understood that my doubt was based on one-sided information from the Black Knight before me. To take one side’s opinion as the truth and to direct doubt towards the other side, wouldn’t be fair.

Joel did not seem to be lying, but then again, neither did Cardinal Sylara.

Moreover, there was something crucially missing in Joel’s story.

The motive for the Temple of Law to assassinate Arrow.

The first thing that comes to mind is that Arrow knew some sort of conspiracy or scandal of the Temple of Law, and they silenced him. But the Temple of Law is the largest sect on the continent and the state religion of the Adoastera Empire. The pope, who stands at the pinnacle, is also the king of the Holy Kingdom of Caritas.

Would there truly exist a deadly conspiracy or scandal that the Temple of Law, who holds even secular power beyond the bounds of religion, would decide they had to assassinate Arrow? I find it hard to imagine.

Even if the Temple of Law were to harbor such a secret, another question arises. That is, where did Arrow obtain crucial information that could be fatal to the Temple of Law?

Unless this point is clarified, Joel’s story remains within the realm of speculation.

“I would like to hear Cardinal Sylara’s opinion as well.”

Saying so was a declaration that I did not intend to believe one side’s opinion unconditionally.

Joel seemed to understand this precisely and shrugged his shoulders lightly.

“They’d probably give you an earful, just like that priestess girl who was with you. Ah, speaking of which, the silver-haired elf who was with you. That’s the one who got into a scrape with my guys, right?”

Joel abruptly changed the subject. He was referring to the elf criminal I had heard about briefly before.

By the way, the answer to his question is yes. I heard it directly from Wisteria, so there’s no mistake.

Apparently, when Wisteria was walking around town seeking information about the Behemoth, she was suspected by a group from the “Desert Hawk,” and during the ensuing scuffle, she ended up injuring one of them.

I could have played dumb in response to his question, but I nodded without much hesitation. Unlike being wanted by the Temple of Law for the crime of city destruction, being wanted here isn’t a big deal. This was clear from the words of the guards from the other day. I was confident that I could handle whatever Joel had to say.

Seeing me nod readily, Joel grinned.

What the Black Knight mentioned next was not a reproach, but a deal.

From now on, the “Desert Hawk” would not get involved with Wisteria and would withdraw the warrant. In return, we would pay the medical bills and consolation money for the injured party. That was the deal.

I accepted it. As mentioned before, the “Desert Hawk” warrant isn’t a big issue, but if we let it go, it would cause trouble for unrelated elves visiting Berka in the future. If the “Desert Hawk” is willing to drop it for a small amount of money, there was no strong reason to reject it.

…This story will probably be passed around within the “Desert Hawk” as “the captain made the dragon slayer admit his wrongdoing,” boosting Joel’s reputation. Well, if it calms the situation, it’s fine. If the captain and the dragon slayer reach an agreement, the lower ranks of the hawk won’t complain.

Looking at Joel, who was still sipping his fire liquor, I shrugged my shoulders lightly.


At the same time.

In the Aluet Oasis located in the western part of the Catalan Desert, one of the night watch soldiers was yawning greatly, attracting the attention of another soldier.

“Hey, if the captain sees you, you’re going to get scolded. I’m not saying don’t yawn, but at least cover your mouth. I don’t want to get in trouble because of you.”

“Oops, my bad. I was looking at the moon because it’s so clear tonight, I just couldn’t help it.”

The yawning soldier apologized while scratching his head. Encouraged by his voice, the admonishing soldier also looked up at the sky.

A large moon was floating in the cloudless desert night sky, its golden glow obscuring the stars. It might have inspired poetry in a bard, but at that moment, what the soldiers felt was not poetic sentiment, but fear.

“…It’s kind of like a huge monster’s eye. Feels like we’re being stared at from the sky.”

“Haha, what are you talking about?”

The soldier, who had been laughing at his partner, was about to retort, but quickly thought better of it and resumed his duty by looking through his spyglass.

Aluet is the oasis closest to the unexplored region, and is often attacked by monsters. The responsibility of the lookout is great, especially the lookout on the west side where the unexplored region is – which is where they were. Many of the monsters that attack Aluet appear from the west. There’s no time for jesting.

The desert tonight is well lit by the brilliantly shining moonlight, and it doesn’t seem necessary to be too nervous, but it’s better to be alert than lax.

While dealing with his partner who kept striking up casual conversations, the soldier continued his watch. After a while, his eyes, which had been peering through the spyglass, narrowed.

“…The ‘Sand Wall’ seems to be settling down.”

The giant sandstorm that frequently occurs in the unexplored area could be seen even from this lookout post. Especially on a night like this, when the moon is bright, it’s particularly visible.

In fact, until a short while ago, one could see the dust of the sandstorm looming in the distance. It has gradually become less visible. At this rate, it will probably have completely settled down by dawn.

“If the ‘Silver Star’ was still in existence, they would have surely been delighted to head towards the unexplored area” – the soldier thought, laughing with a hint of melancholy.

Suddenly, the silence of the night was broken by the intense ringing of a bell.

The sound, which seemed to reverberate throughout the oasis, was the alarm bell warning of the approach of monsters. Of course, it wasn’t the two of them who rang it.

The soldier exclaimed in a sharp voice,

“From the north?!”

“…No, isn’t it ringing from the south as well?”

At his partner’s words, he furrowed his brow and strained his ears. Indeed, the alarm bell could be heard coming from the south as well.

The soldier clicked his tongue.

“From the north and the south? That’s not good. Usually, when this happens, they also come from the west.”

His ominous words soon became reality.

Illuminated by the moonlight, a cloud of dust was surging from the west. It was more clear than daylight that this was a horde of monsters, forcing the soldier to click his tongue once again.

“As expected! Hey, ring the bell!”

The soldier, instructing his partner, leaned over from the lookout post and shouted to his colleagues below, “They’re coming from the west too!”

To reiterate, it’s not unusual for the Aluet Oasis to be attacked by monsters. However, a simultaneous attack from three directions was indeed rare. If they also appeared from the east, the oasis would be completely surrounded. In that case, they wouldn’t even be able to retreat to the Reero Oasis.

“It’s not a monster stampede, is it…?”

A mass emergence of desert monsters. At times, this engulfs all the oases scattered throughout the Catalan desert, even reaching the walls of Belka.

He wanted to believe that it wasn’t an attack of that magnitude. However, while the soldier was thinking about this, the surroundings suddenly fell quiet. His partner had stopped ringing the alarm bell.

The soldier glared at his partner, who seemed to be in a daze, and sternly told him,

“Hey, don’t stop the alarm! If you stop here, they might misunderstand that the attack from the west was a false alarm!”


“Hey, this is no time to be dumbfounded! Pull yourself together!”

Now, the soldier’s voice was completely filled with anger. But even then, his partner didn’t move. His eyes were wide open, and he was staring blankly at the western direction.

Noticing that something was off, the soldier hurriedly looked in the direction his partner was looking at.

In his line of sight were the approaching horde of monsters, visible even to the naked eye, the night desert illuminated by moonlight, and the “wall of sand” visible in the distance. As he considered this, the soldier was struck by a strong sense of discomfort. He hastily peered into the lookout telescope.

The “wall of sand,” which he had judged would soon subside just a moment ago, is about to reappear?

No, that’s wrong. That’s not a “wall of sand” – not a sandstorm. What appeared to be a sandstorm is a countless number of monsters. Innumerable monsters swarm, huddle and wriggle together like a single creature…

No, no, that’s not right either.

There are countless monsters. They certainly exist. However, there is also a much larger monster.

It’s big. So big that it takes your breath away. That enormous figure, even at this great distance. How large must it be up close?

If faced with that, the Aluet Oasis would be kicked away with a flick of its toe. The Reero Oasis would be crushed under one foot. Even the town of Berka probably couldn’t contain that colossal figure.

What the soldier thought was the “wall of sand” was the figure of a giant beast covering the horizon and countless monsters wriggling around it as if to protect it.

“W-What is… What on earth is that…”

The bewildered soldier’s voice echoed emptily over the lookout tower.

If, at this moment, the soldier had continued to observe more calmly, he might have noticed that some of the monsters forming a swarm were biting into the giant beast. The giant beast was striding through the desert while being eaten by the monsters.

If he could have realized this fact, he might have been able to identify the giant beast from the legends of the desert.

…Of course, even if he had been able to identify it, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the impending attack on the Aluet Oasis.

It is the principle of the world that bears the name of mythical,

A beast that drains rivers, sucks fertile soil, and tears primates apart – the incarnation of gluttony.

Its howling up at the sky is to consume the light of the stars.

Its groaning on the ground is to declare it will eat itself.

Turning its body into meat, its blood into water,

It wards off hunger and thirst and reigns over the sandy land.

Its name is Gluttonous Behemoth.

Its name is Devoted Behemoth.

The king of beasts that is the mother of the desert.

Liked it? Take a second to support WordyCrown on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!