Chapter 280 “Maximos” (Part two)
How can a person like he say that about himself, was he trying to show off his integrity? Du Wei has never had good impressions of the Temple of Light and its members because in his opinion, those guys are nothing but frauds. Among the priests that he knew from the local chapels in the northwest, all of them appeared compassionate in the public, but behind the scenes, they are always basking in luxurious indulgences at the price of the ordinary folk’s sweat and blood.
Both are levying taxes, but handing money over to the authorities was vastly different from handing it over to these fraudulent swindlers. At the very least, Du Wei can say for himself that he can face the people without feeling guilty. Today he will repair a bridge, tomorrow he will fix a road, there are plenty of civil affairs he needs to do for the people from those taxes.
But those overly fat swindlers are doing what with those taxes, sit in the cool temp cathedrals and pray a few words during a hot summer day? Just like that and they can take the hard earned wealth of their believers?
This Archbishop Maximos…. He’s showing a completely different face of integrity than those swindlers.
This an act, or was this the real him?
From Du Wei’s view, this person was either a true compassionate, a role model of the ages, or a true evil with a black heart!
Looking at Du Wei’s expression, that Vice bishop Lamu made a smug face and began opening his mouth to speak. He’s not only vulgar, that tongue of his was sharp and caustic, very unpleasant to interact with: “I do not deny that in other places some clergymen have put shame to their robes. But in Archbishop Maximos’s jurisdiction, including ourselves and every clergyman under our watch, we all live under a strict guideline within the means of our salary. There are definitely no acts of misappropriation of funds and no ugly acts of corruption.”
At the mention, this Bishop Lamu points to the delicacies on the table in front of his plate: “It’s thanks to your lordship’s blessing that we were able to enjoy such fine food today. Normally back in the chapel, I and Lord Maximos can only enjoy a bowl of stewed beef with beans for lunch.”
Du Wei’s face became strange as Lamu continued: “As for wine… Lord Maximos have always advocated saving. Wine is a luxury, and a food that wastes a lot of material to brew. Therefore, in our central northern diocese, lord bishop has always exhorted the believers not to advocate drinking. ”
After listening to this, Du Wei carefully inspected the group and began doubting himself. Maximos and Lamu both wore robes that had clear signs of aging, and this Rhine, the style of his armor was also very old, even those leather boots of his were obviously worn.
Thinking about it, these guys only came aboard his ship on a momentary notice, there shouldn’t be anything for them to hide since they had no correlations with him.
Moreover, with a mere glance, one can tell this Rhine was the honest type, unable to lie even if he tried.
Can it be … These few men here from the Temple are truly the compassionate type that could only be found among one in a million?
Thinking of here, Du Wei’s heart couldn’t resist showing a form of respect for them. Calling for a servant to bring another barrel of wine, he laughed: “Since it’s like this, then so be it. Today on my turf, let us and Knight Rhine here drink to our heart’s content.”
But this Rhine, instead of asking for more after drinking a barrel, modestly places the wine down and said: “Thank you Duke, but…. One barrel is enough. I am in charge of protecting Godfather’s safety; I cannot let myself become drunk.” He states this firmly.
Du Wei glanced at Maximos, and in return got a smile: “Hmm, yes, this child was raised by me, I have officially baptized him and he also recognizes me as his godfather.”
Du Wei nodded in understanding. Looking at this Rhine, his heart suddenly moved and his sight fell upon the knight’s badge on his chest. Watching it, Du Wei was a little stunned by what he saw.
Du Wei’s Hussein, who was once the leading figure of the Holy Knights order, had long taught him how to identify the insignia of the Holy Knights.
In general, a Holy Knight would wear two badges on their chest, one symbolizing their ranking in the Knight’s Guild, the other representing their status in the Holy Knight’s order.
But on Rhine’s chest, there’s no badge of the Knight’s Guild … In other words, he’s not a formal knight with rank?
And even his only badge that symbolizes the identity of the Holy Knight … According to what Hussein told him, this emblem was of the lowest rank!
A “backup Holy Knight” badge!
That was to say, such a huge man, incredibly, still wasn’t considered to be an official Holy Knight, but merely a backup.
Du Wei wasn’t a fool to judge a person by their outer appearance, and of course he wouldn’t believe this guy’s ability was amazing just because he’s big.
However, for this Maximos to have the courage to bring only this single convoy with him on the road, this can conclude Rhine must be of great skills.
It’s just that he’s a … Backup knight?
Coming down with a thought, Du Wei deliberately asked: “Since Rhine’s a Holy Knight, he should also have a salary right? I have heard that the Temple is extremely privileged to the Holy Knight’s Order, so shouldn’t he have money to drink?”
Lamu seems to be very good at observing and discerning others. Upon hearing his question, he smiles and explained: “This… Rhine is not officially part of the Holy Knight’s Order. In order to follow his grace around, we merely hanged the name on him for convenience sake.”
Maximos smiles too and softly said: “Rhine’s been following me around for a long time, I also don’t want him to leave my side. Duke, you also know this. If he wants to become a true Holy Knight, he will have to leave me and undergo rigorous training at the Holy Knight’s headquarter. Since ten years ago when he came to me, he’s never left my side. I couldn’t bear to let him go, and he himself doesn’t wish to leave.”
Pausing, he laughs again: “And, Rhine is really not suitable for martial arts and swordplay, he merely relies on his brute force. Therefore, I’m afraid that even if he wanted to receive the training of the Holy Knight’s, he would be unable to pass the examination. Lamu is correct. Hanging the Holy Knight’s status on him is merely a mean of convenience for him to stay by my side.”
Reaching here, Du Wei also couldn’t ask any further, otherwise that would be impolite. Their conversation moved onto things like the local scenery of the Northwest and some topics concerning the diocese’s function.
After dinner, Du Wei was about to send them back to the cabin for rest when Old Smoke suddenly barged into their room, “My lord… Above the river.”
“What’s the matter?”
Old Smoke hesitated but Du Wei didn’t mind: “Go ahead and be direct.”
“Yes!” Old Smoke’s face was solemn: “This is the narrowest part of the river, and there is a big ship parked in the middle of the passage. We flagged to ask them to make way, but their reply was that their ship’s broken.”
“Can’t we bypass them?” Du Wei frowns.
“My lord” Old Smoke inhales deeply: “Their ship is not small, and is horizontally parked on the river with a lot of smaller rowing boats moving about. Our flag bearer told me they are readying their boats to ship their cargo ashore. But then, we wouldn’t be able to pass for they are blocking our passage. And I also found their boats to be a bit odd… I ordered our brothers to slow the ship down and be on guard to see what they are planning.”
Du Wei made an “hmm” sound, his face unreadable without any change in his complexion. The only thing he did though was to give Maximos and his people a slight glimpse.
Sure enough, Lamu’s face immediately took on a major change, but Maximos’s remained calm as he sighed: “Duke, it seems we’ve caused you trouble.”
“Trouble?” Du Wei smiled.
Maximos looked a little embarrassed. Pondering for a moment, he proposed: “Duke, please stop the ship and give us a boat, we’ll go ashore. They are aiming for us; it would not be good to involve someone as honorable as yourself.”
That said, Du Wei’s heart became tied: “Good sir, what are you saying in the middle of the day… As an Archbishop of a diocese, who would dare intercept you on the way? Is it the Pope’s order?”
Vice bishop Lamu grunted, “How could the pope have done such a thing! Humph, his Majesty has always appreciated our bishop. It’s just…”
Speaking up to here, Maximos coughed to cut Lamu off, warning him to close his mouth.
“Duke, please give us a boat, I’ll go ashore.” Maximos’s face looked sincere: “This is the Temple’s internal affair. If the matter somehow drags you into this, it will cause you great trouble. I thank you for the boat ride, but I’m not going to let you get involved.”
Finishing his words, he cries out to Rhine: “Rhine, the guys from yesterday has come again, let us take our leave.”
“Yes godfather, you wait here while I first take care of them!” The giant man immediately lost the beef leg in his hands and stood up to head outside.
Meanwhile, Old Smoke was looking at Du Wei, awaiting his lord’s command.
Du Wei first glanced at Maximos, then back at Old Smoke.
His words are correct, he have no need to get involved…..
However, if he goes and throws his guests out the moment trouble comes knocking, how will he continue being the prominent Duke of Tulip? He will lose all face at this rate!
Besides, looking at it, this should be the Temple’s internal conflict.
Internal conflict … Good, very good!
Thinking of it, Du Wei’s facial expression turned emotionless: “Your grace, please sit. Since you are aboard my ship then you are my guest. I, Duke of Tulip, may not be some great person, but I’m no coward.”
Then Du Wei also stood up, giving his command to Old Smoke: “Go, raise my Tulip flag. I want to see who will dare intercept my ship!”
Waiting until Old Smoke left the room; Du Wei gave Maximos a deep look again and spoke in a stern voice: “Sir, you don’t have to say anymore words about disembarking! Regardless of you leaving my ship or not, I will not be able to avoid this trouble since you are aboard my ship. Anyways, if I allow my guests to be hurt while under my care, then I won’t have the face to continue on as the Duke of Tulip.”
Then he stepped forward a couple of steps and whispered: “What trouble is it? I think you have the obligation to give me some details.”
Maximos’s eye flashed a hint of gratitude. Giving out a long sigh, he indirectly answered Du Wei’s question with an understating sentence:
“The pope’s body is getting worse and worse over these past two years…”
These words sounded as if it had no correlation with Du Wei’s question, but with a quick thought, Du Wei finally got it. Making a seemingly smiling face, he turns around to Lamu and inscrutably asked: “Is it the people from the south?”
Lamu hesitated for a moment, and whispered: “Should be the people from the southeastern diocese.”
Hearing this, Du Wei’s heart relaxed a bit, but an idea soon surfaced from his mind.
The Temple’s infighting?
Since that’s the case, then I won’t dodge it even if you wanted me to!
Deliberately making an angry face, he cries out: “The people of the southeast actually reached their hands into the north, do they seriously believe we don’t have people of our own?!”
After that, Du Wei strode out of the cabin without looking back.
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