Fort of Decadence – Series 43

Back in the Vatican, Leon visited the Archbishop of his zone and before he got chase out like before, he handed the letter that Barlowe had given to him earlier on. As the Archbishop read the letter, his facial expression change. His mouth drop as he look at Leon.

Archbishop :: “Guards! Give this man the prism arm band”

The Archbishop’s guard place a prism colored band on Leon’s arm. It looked like a rainbow and no matter how he saw it, the color will always start red followed by orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Whether it is from the top , middle or bottom.

Archbishop :: “I apologize for my rudeness yesterday Leon Belmont. I did not know you were associated with Aria’s Mansion.”

Leon :: “That’s alright Archbishop, I forgot to give to you the letter of introduction which Barlowe left me with. By the way, what is this band for ?”

Archbishop :: “ The prism band allows you access to everywhere in Central except the Pope’s office and residence. Consider it an all access pass”

Leon :: “But why am I getting this ?”

Archbishop :: “Long ago, I knew Barlowe’s parents and they took care of me when I was training as a member of the Holy Order of the Vatican before I became an archbishop. Consider this as token of gratitude from an old frail man.”
The two spoke at length and soon it was dinner time, the archbishop invited Leon to stay and have a meal before leaving. After the meal, Leon left and went back to his inn with words that the Archbishop left.

What did he mean that the Vatican was in trouble? All the question in his head was conquered by the need to sleep.

In the following morning, the bells rung and this time it came with bells inbetween bells. According to locals, there will be an announcement. Everyone went to the church, including the so called heretics to listen to the news.

Newscaster :: “We regret to inform you that Anubis has fallen to Dracula’s army of demons and the king has fallen. The Holy Order of the Vatican has manage to stop the army’s advancement temporary. Because of this the Pope will be on emergency leave from the capital.”

People were talking and mumbling, Leon was curious and he asked. One of the people there mentioned that the King of Anubis was the brother to the current Pope. The person then excuse herself and Leon thank her for the information. It was natural to go off and pay respects to a fallen, more so when the fallen is a family member.

However, couldn’t the Pope get his men to bring his fallen brother to the Vatican? What ever the reason was, this was something between the Pope and his own worries. Leon left the church and walked to the main entrance leading to the central zone.

Sentries standing guard saw the prism arm band, they gave Leon a respectable salute before letting him in to central. While Leon walk into the open door, he held his hand above his head. Brightly shining downward was the sun up in the middle.

Vatican is known for the perfect noon. Where when the sun is right above the central region it will be 12th hour of day light. No one knew how the builders were able to do this but time all around the world is based from this central zone in the Vatican.

Central looks so different from the other 8 zones. Here in the epicenter was the main building where the Pope who is now at Anubis resides. At each of the 8 gates that connects to the central building stands statues of angels with their wings pointing to the 8 points of the compass.

Leon was guided by one of the guards towards where the Holy Order of the Vaticans were based. That is the North-West zone. The entrance stood a warrior cloaked in white armor and with one wing protuding outwards and another convering people with it.

Before becoming an order known for its ferocity, Holy Order of the Vatican was a group of defenders until a decade ago. Their stance from defence to offence came when the current Pope sat in the throne of power. There were several training grounds that change their mission because of this, one of which was Aria’s Mansion.

Maybe this is why Barlowe’s father left that will, what ever the history was of the Holy Order of the Vatican back in the days is now history. Leon, went through as much archive as he could before the library close.

Elswhere in the same zone, Agnes and Elle were wrapping up wounds of a soldier who just got back from battle. A pyrrhic victory, though the batallion manage to quell a Dark Master’s army, they too suffered heavy losses. That injured soldier kept on mumbling about the Pope and the need of protecting the Vatican.

Too concentrated with her work, Agnes did not notice the soldier slipping something into her pocket. Elle on the other hand was intrigued with the color of the blood that is seeping into the bandage. Not your ordinary blood red but it had a purple hue to it.

The doctor who was in the infirmary, quickly took the soldiers sword and hacked his arm off before sealing the gaping wound with magic. Elle and Agnes was shocked by the doctor’s action. This also cause the patient to lose consciousness.

Doctor :: “That was too close…”

Elle :: “Why? Why did you do that ?”

Doctor :: “The arm was infected with lycanthrope blood. He could turn into a were-beast. Now I hope that it did not enter his main blood stream.”