Compared to the divine light of the Gods outside the temple district and the gazes from all of them prior, Kieran had another kind of feeling while he was bathing under the brilliance of Lady Thorn.
He seemed to have seen a river.
The river had branched out into countless streams, flowing ceaselessly but he couldn't see the origin or the end of said river.
He was standing in the river, not in the main stream but the many smaller branches below. The spot where he stood was just slightly better than the river's edge.
While Kieran was standing there, he instinctively wanted to take a step but the moment he moved, a wave crashed down at him, dragging him back to the spot.
Kieran didn't have any kind of abilities to resist throughout the process, despite him trying his best.
The gushing river was echoing in his ears, he felt like he could literally feel the river itself but at the very next moment, he returned to the grand hall of Thorn Temple while a voice was talking beside his ears.
"Are you willing to be my knight?"
The voice was soft but the mysterious and dignified feeling that was hidden in the voice made the archpriest, lord officiant, and the elderly priest kneel down on the ground.
Kieran quickly put away the uneasy feeling that he had because of the illusions he felt and quickly saluted respectfully in a knightly manner.
"Of course," Kieran replied seriously.
"I will grant you honor that matches your strength and rewards that you deserves."
The voice from the light sounded again.
The voice and the light then faded away after that last sentence but Kieran's sight had new notifications notifying him of what happened.
[Acquired Vanessa's Favor!]
[Vanessa's Favor: While facing your fate, Lady Thorn's favor will provide you with unexpected benefits. Of course, it won't secure your victory but it will make you luckier than usual.]
[Note 1: Vanessa's Favor is only effective in this dungeon world, it's effect will go off when you leave the dungeon world.]
[Note 2: When you return to this dungeon world, Vanessa's Favor will be in effect again.]
"Luckier than usual?" Kieran sized up the title in a strange way.
He never thought Vanessa's reward would be a buff like this and he didn't expect Vanessa was able to affect a person's luck.
"A deviant product of fate? Then... what I saw before was the River of Fate? But why wasn't therea start and end? And those branches of streams, what are those?" Kieran was pondering upon the question.
The River of Fate flowed through a person's life and left traces behind.
There was a start and there was an end.
Nikorei's book, "Astrology and traces of Destiny" had precisely stated that point but it was different from what he saw, which baffled him.
However, Kieran didn't express his confusion.
He smiled at the archpriest, the officiant, and Priest Einderson.
"Chief Knight Ryan."
Priest Einderson saluted first.
Although he was older than Kieran, his priest rank was a rank lower than a chief knight.
"Chief Knight Ryan."
The archpriest and officiant addressed Kieran with smiles as well, their expressions had a sense of passion that they didn't show before.
No doubt after accepting Lady Thorn's blessing and honorary title, they had treated Kieran as one of their own.
Therefore, the topics that they discussed after that were no longer secrets to Kieran.
"After that divine lord's intervention, the battle between Lady Vanessa and Carricanton have temporarily ceased but it is far from over. We still need to be cautious of them all the time."
The archpriest spoke first.
No one objected what the archpriest said. Everyone understood after the previous battle, new hatred and old grudges were mixed together—Thorn Temple and Wealth Temple did not get along well a long time ago anyways.
If a new war broke out at any time, it wouldn't be a surprise.
"I think we should seize the initiative! We should take the chance to lay a full assault on their temple since their knights were annihilated!"
The middle-aged officiant's suggestions were obviously much more extreme than the archpriest who was older.
"Barrion, is this from you? Or?" The archpriest asked.
He didn't finish his words but everyone knew what he meant.
If it was Lady Vanessa's idea, there was nothing else to discuss, the war must go on.
"Lady Vanessa didn't show any further of intentions to me, but I can feel her rage from the battle and towards that divine lord! That divine lord seems to have been biased towards the Wealth Temple. It was Carriconton who started the war but after failing, there were no follow up punishments. It isn't right!"
As a temple officiant, Barrion's responsibility was to communicate with the God they served, so it was natural that he understood Lady Thorn's real thoughts more than others.
"I know." The archpriest sighed and nodded, he then turned his gaze to Priest Einderson and Kieran.
"Ryan, Einderson, what do you think? You can speak freely here. We, Thorn Temple, are not as harsh as Sin Temple," the archpriest smiled.
Kieran and Priest Einderson exchanged gazes before Kieran made an "after you" gesture.
The education received since his youth forbid Kieran from taking the speaking rights from an elder, moreover, both of them had no conflict of interests.
"Archpriest, lord officiant, and chief knight, my level of knowledge doesn't allow me to provide any constructive suggestions in terms of decision making, I only can speak from my own perspective and what I think we need to do is comfort and compensate! The knights, deacons, and priests who lost their lives should be granted respective honors and return to their rightful place," Priest Einderson said after bowing again.
Just like how he stated it, it was a suggestion from a priest's perspective.
"Hmmm, Ryan, what is your opinion on this?"
The archpriest and officiant nodded and threw their gazes at Kieran.
It was quite different from the previous gazes because this time, the words that followed had a sense of testing.
The appointment of Lady Vanessa was absolute and divine but as Lady Vanessa's archpriest and officiant, they had the duties to make sure the appointment was not wrongly made.
In simple words, Kieran needed to prove himself.
If he couldn't, he would still remain as chief knight but the one who managed and controlled the knights would be another elected candidate.
"My opinion is to refill the temple knights. We can select some potential candidates from the reliable ones and refill the numbers of the temple knights," Kieran said slowly.
When Kieran voiced out his opinion, the other three instantly showed a disappointed look.
The answer was the standard of standards, there was nothing special at all, even a common knight could figure out that point.
Kieran caught a glimpse of their expression and continued, "Then…"
He purposely prolonged his tone, which instantaneously attracted their attention.
"I can do what I do best!"
When the three gazes landed on Kieran, he uttered out word by word.
"What he did best?"
The three of them were stunned but right after that, their eyes glimmered.