|“||This was all due to the Radiant Church!!! Radiant, radiant, haha! The Radiant Church is radiant? If it was radiant, then why would they murder people with pure, innocent souls and offer them to the Radiant Sovereign? [...] Radiant Church, just wait. There will come a day when I will pull you out by the roots.||„|
|~ Linley Baruch sworn revenge on the Radiant Church, the true murderers of his parents.|
The Radiant Church (simplified Chinese: 光明教廷, the Brightness Church) is a church on Yulan Continent, and the main antagonistic faction of the Chinese fantasy novel Coiling Dragon series and its comic adaptation. It is a holy church of brightness opposed to the Cult of Shadows. However, the Radiant Church is soon revealed to be the most pivotal antagonistic faction of the series. It served as the main antagonistic faction from volume 7 to volume 12. It is also the primary and final antagonistic faction in its comic adaptation, as the comic versions ended after the War of Parley.
The church captured pure hearted souls and sacrificed them to please their god, the Radiant Sovereign. The foremost thing is that the members of the church are the driven force of the murder of House Baruch and the mastermind of King Clayde's heinous crimes. Therefore, this Holier-Than-Thou chruch is often considered as the true primary villain of the whole series by many Chinese fans.
What is more, the god they worshipped, known as Augusta the Radiant Sovereign, is a major antagonist of the later parts of Coiling Dragon series, and the Radiant Sovereign and Olf the Fate Sovereign (the final boss of the novel series) are in fact one and the same.
Role in the Baruch tragedy
The Radiant Church was founded, possibly by Heidens - or his preceeder(s) if he had, to worship Augusta the Radiant Soveregin and fight against the evil Cult of Shadows. The Radiant Church soon became famous and received acclaim throughout the land of Yulan. However, unbeknowest to anyone, the Radiant Church is a corrupt church which is nothing better compared to its rivals.
The Radiant Church is connected to the Kingdom of Finley, where King Clayde started his reign of terror. As the house of Baruch gained their fame throughout the land due to Dragonblood, a plan committed by the Radiant Church had struck it down. The Church committed human sacrifise by giving innoncent souls to their god. At the year when Linley was just a child, a day before the Yulan Feast, King Clayde set out for this dirty work. He soon spotted Lady Baruch and felt the purity inside her soul. Clayde ordered his brother, Duke Patterson, to capture Lady Baruch. Patterson also killed Lord Baruch in process, making Linley and Wharton orphaned children.
Soon, the sacrificial begun. Heidens killed Lady Baruch with "mercy" and gave her soul to the Radiant Sovereign, making an angel to possess her corpse. The Radiant Sovereign rewarded Clayde a magic scroll and made him into a nine-level warrior. After this tragedy, Linley and Wharton were seperated, and the former was raised by his uncle, Hillman. House of Baruch fell to ruins.
At an unknown period of time, possibly after the Baruch tragedy, a man named Deslie once joined the Radiant Church as an Asetic in order to become stonger, and he later became the legendary leader of Asetics, but soon he found out that the Radiant Church committed human sacrifise. Horrified and disgusted, Deslie was determined to abandon his faith to the Radiant Sovereign, so that he defect and left the Radiant Church, due to the fact that he witnessed the Church's true inhumane nature and rejected it.
However, Deslie was hunted by the Radiant Church due his crime of apostasy. Deslie soon lived as a solitude, in order to hide from the Radiant Church, and continuing his studying to become stronger. Later, he was invited by Beruit and started a secret rebellion.
For Linley, nevertheless, the truth had been hidden for a decade. However, during his study in magic acadamy, Linley's talent was appreciated by King Clayde, and he lied to the boy about his mother's death, claiming that she died during giving birth to Wharton. The Radiant Church also offered "help" in order to conceal the truth. Pope Heidens showed curiousity to the child's amazing talent. Cardinal Guillermo, who is unaware of the Baruch Tragedy, gave Linley a grimoire of Earth Magic to seal their friendship. After Linley was injured by the cultists from the Cult of Shadows, Guillermo invivted Fallen Leaf, the legendary asetic, to heal Linley and then he trying to persuade the old man to teach the boy. However, Fallen Leaf had read through Linley's heart and knowing Linley had a thirst for kill, so that he refused to teach Linley. Linley knew the true reason.
There is an old saying, "The paper cannot conceal the fire." It means the hidden truth cannot be concealed forever. Unbeknowest to the Church and the Crown, Linley's uncle, Hillman, had knew the truth of Linley's tragedy and inform his nephew about it. After knowing Patterson was responsible for his mother's capture and his father's death, a angry Linley began to hate Clayde and realized everything he told was a lie, so that he began his road of revenge. He soon killed Patterson after the latter told Linley that his crimes was done under order of the king.
The twisted alliance
After Linley killed Patterson, the shocking news had been taken seriously by the members of the church. To avoid failure, Linley then plotted an assasination attempt while recovering a fake injury. After making Guillermo left without meeting Clayde inside the hospital, Linley prepared three cups of red wine and put poison inside them, a poison which is harmless for Dragonblood Warrior, so that it could only kill Clayde and his guard, before Linley spat out the wine to avoid effects and suspicion. However, Clayde was soon revealed to be inmmue to the poison as well, as he had wielded the magic scroll, the same scroll he recieved after he made the Radiant Church sacrifised Linley's mother. They had a bitter fight and Clayde finally revealed that he had Linley's mother killed by "another person" (referring Heidens).
Broke down in rage, Linley attacked Clayde fiercely, and not even Clayde's royal servants or the members of the Radiant Church could defend his power. However, just as Linley was about to slay Clayde, the very same man who made a fool out of him, he was interrupted by Heidens, who defeated Linley with ease and locked him within the deep dungeon. Later, in a talk between the king and the pope, the true color of Radiant Church was about to be revealed. Heidens then ordered the Divine Baptism on Linley as soon as the Yulan Festival on December 28 had arrived - with no second thought. Even Mr. Dawson's arrival and pleadge could not help either. Linley began to realized that there was a twisted alliance between the Crown and the Church.
Heidens prepared the ritual for days and as he was about to put Linley on stake, an army of magical beasts, led by Dilin, the prince of beasts, attacked the Radiant Church and Finley army, causing them to retreat. Linley seized the chance and escaped. After a beast killed Linley's love rival, Kalan Debs, Linley rushed to Debs Mansion to save his former lover, Alice and escorted her to safety. After that, Linley escaped from the gaze of Radiant Church for now.
Meanwhile, Clayde was cured by Fallen leaf and hid into a town under the asthetics' protection, which Linley was also coincidently there after making a new sword with a blackstone he recieved from a battle. Linley lurked inside the town to wait until Fallen Leaf had left. Meanwhile, Clayde knew about Linley's survival during his chat with his son, and he quickly alarmed and persuade the asthetics to stay. This was proved to be futile, and Clayde realized that he was abandoned by the Radiant Church. He immediatly escaped to the back door, but Linley had already lurked at there and ambushed him. After an interrogation, Clayde finally revealed that it was the Radiant Church who ordered him to sacrifise Lady Baruch.
Filled with anger and sadness, Linley used Bloodviolet to slice Clayde in pieces, killing the king and completing the first step of his revenge. However, as Linely moved on to persuit Fallen Leaf, a group of six Special Executors of Radiant Church had arrived to execute Linley. Linley had a very hard time dealing those powerful people, but the battle soon over - tragically. Master Doering sacrifised himself to defeat and kill the executors, so that Linley could survive and moved on his life.
After losing his beloved master, Linely fell depressed. His friends were all worried so that they blamed him for his current depression, but then they knew about truth of the death of Linley's parents. Soon, George began to encorage Linley to seek revenge upon the murderers instead of staying in the ruins and depressed. Linley then realized what he should do. He must do something to stop the Radiant Church and wipe out his family's shame brought by it. Then, Linley stood up and immediatly went to the mountains of beasts and became a solitude for two years, waiting the day for him to seek vengeance.
|“||The Radiant Sovereign, as a Sovereign, one of the most powerful entities in existence, could extend a thread of his divine, faith-based power to totally cleanse a person’s soul, causing them to be wholly devoted and faithful to the Radiant Sovereign. Only a person who had already reached the Saint-level and was able to crystalize his soul would be able to resist the effects of this Divine Baptism.||„|
|~ Volume 7|
|“||To tell the truth, Linley, if you want to challenge the Radiant Church now, it will have no possibility! The true elites among them are so powerful, that they can even stand against me. The Radiant Church have so many elites, that you, alongside your brother, two monsters, those immortal warriors and that necromancer... will all die if you challenge them!||„|
|~ Hordan to Linley and Wharton.|
This list is incomplete. Most of the Radiant Church members' status below are depending on books. In the current comic version, most of them are still alive.
The only known Radiant Holy Emperor (Pope in Chinese version) so far is Heidens, an elderly yet still powerful radiant oracular - and yet another holier-than-thou hypocrite, being the main antagonist of the series until his final death. He was blessed by the Overgod of Fate who passed down Oracular Magic.
- Pope Heidens (leader; deceased) - Killed by Linley.
- Osenno (deceased) - Killed by Buck.
Osenno, the Praetor of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal, was one of the other pillars of the Radiant Church. He was also the hidden secondary leader of the Radiant Church. In truth, it should be said that the Radiant Church actually had two leaders; the public leader known as the Holy Emperor, and the hidden leader in charge of killings, slaughters, and eliminating heathens and apostates – the Praetor of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal.
- Cardinal Guillermo (Cardinal; captured) - Surredered and spared by Linley.
Special Executors of the Radiant Church
Special Executors of the Radiant Church are powerful agents of the Radiant Church. They often gathered in six a group and fought together. They can detact anything, even something underground. After Linley successfully assasinated Clayde, six Special Executors arrived for execution and nearly killed Linley. In the end, Master Doehring commit a fatal attack in order to save Linley, which killed all of the executors with a tragic result - the vaporization of Doehring's own soul.
- Stehle (deceased) - Killed by Linley.
- Six nameless members (deceased) - Killed by Dohering with a suicidal attack.
The angels of Radiant Church, also known as the Ascending Angels, are one of the hidden powers of the Radiant Church (alongside Fanatic Army). They are the angels who used human body as a host after the sacrifise is over. They cannot ascend on Yulan Plane without a human host, but their power had only limited at Saint levels. Even so, they are still horrendous and powerful. The strongest angel had four wings. The more wings they have, the stronger they are.
During Linley's ten-year-journey in the Graveyard of Gods, the Radiant Church managed to produce an army of four-winged-angels, and Heidens led them to attack Linley in their final battle.
- Lyndin (deceased) - Killed by Linley.
- Alfanso (deceased) - Committed suicidal explosion after Deslie defeated him.
- Thunder (deceased) - Sacrificed by Heidens.
- Fallen Leaf (deceased) - Killed by Linley.
- Deslie (defected)
- Cult of Shadows (former enemies) - Defected
- Alphlec - Defected
- King Clayde (deceased) - Killed by Linley.
- Duke Patterson (deceased) - Killed by Linley.
- Five Servants of Clayde (dissolved)
- The Radiant Church is the first primary villainous organization in the works of Zhu Hongzhi (also known by his pen name, "I-Eat-Tomatoes") that is designed in a Western fantasy theme, due to Coiling Dragon itself to be the first works by I-Eat-Tomatoes to be a Western-themed fantasy story.
- It bears similiarities with the Order in Silent Hills, as both were zealots and falsely accused a innoncent person to be evil. In the Radiant Church's case, it is Linley Baruch; in the Order's case, it was Alessa Gillespie.
- Due to the revealation right at the finale of Coiling Dragon that Linley is the future Hongmeng Creator appeared in the end of a earlier novel by the same author, The Legends of Immortals, the Radiant Church is highly responsible for most of the major events in "I-Eat-Tomatoes"' earlier works and thus a prequel arch-villain for The Lengends of Immortals.
- It is partly based on Roman Catholic Church, thus having similairties with Order of the Sword and Roman Orthodox Church, which are both based on Catholic Church itself.
- By the end of comic version, before his wedding, Linley told Berulet that he let Cardinal Guillermo go free (instead of arresting him like that in novels) because Guillermo is the only Radiant Church member that is forgivable, and he will wait if Guillermo strikes back with the remnants of the Church. This hinted that the Radiant Church was not destroyed in comics like that in novels, even possibly redeemed under Guillermo, who is possibly become the new Holy Emperor (since Guillermo is much more heroic than Heidens).
|Coiling Dragon Villains|
Cult of Shadows
Graveyard of Deities