I Became The Pope, Now What? - Chapter 145
"The Devil's Manifesto? What is that supposed to be about?"
Sylvester didn't explain. Instead, just give him the following few words in the book title. "The full name is 'The Devil's Manifesto: From Faith to a Wraith'. The book will be about how some clergymen fall from faith and commit sin in the name of Solis."
"What is the aim of this book?" Felix asked.
Sylvester didn't answer truthfully, however. "Just to educate the masses."
'And create an image among the masses that I stand against corruption in the church and with the masses instead. That's the only way they may one day accept a young Pope. But… I need to somehow mass produce these books?'
"Sweet, if I ever write a book, it will have me be a seven-foot tall, mighty man, on whom women throw themselves at." Felix babbled.
"To stab you because of how hideous you are?" Sylvester added, taking a jibe.
Felix's brows twitched, but he didn't get angry. "No, my virgin princess. It's to get my mighty seed."
Sylvester, disgusted, decided just to ignore this young boy's horniness. He was too excited to be able to go and work near his homeland.
They walked through the crowded streets, full of life as the various shops did their business, and folks went in and out from time to time. There were clergymen, Bright Mothers, and armor-clad adventurers as well. The Guild Peninsula was a place to have fun and spend money. The only place for the formal life of clergymen to become fun.
They soon walked into a bookshop and bought three hundred parchments. In total, all that cost him around five gold graces, nearly one-fourth of his salary.
"Paper is truly so expensive." He muttered and also bought a holder for the pages, made of leather and resembling a journal.
Felix shrugged and also bought a hundred pages with his filthy rich pockets. He wished to write a book about his life as well. Whether it resonated with the actual facts or not was something only time would tell.
After buying paper, they headed to the second-hand armor shop and found Gabriel waiting for them in front of it.
"What took you so long? I've been waiting for an hour." Gabriel barked, seeing them.
Felix scoffed. "You uncultured fool shan't understand the hobbies of us learned men. We were preparing to write the chronicle of our life."
Gabriel looked at Sylvester. "One of those days?"
Sylvester nodded. "Let's go in. We need to prepare to head out quickly before the two Counts start fighting. It's a high profile case since a Countess was murdered and r*ped."
The three walked into the big shop and started to look around. Most of the armor there belonged to men who had discarded them or had died at the hands of thieves or in a battle. The market for second-hand armors was actually larger than the recently made ones.
"I'm going to get this one. It looks good with my hair." Sylvester noticed a golden armor with questionable blood stains on it and decided to take it. It was light armor, with good torso guards, waist plates, knee guards, and sabatons. It looked a bit rusty, but he reckoned a little polish would be enough.
His wish was to not stand out too much anyway, at least not at the beginning of a fight since it would lose him the element of surprise.
"Gabriel, get yourself some upgrades too. This time the assignment may involve skirmishes or a field battle."
"That's what I'm talking about! Yeah!" Felix cheered instantly, pumped for finally finding an opportunity to showcase his knightly talents, the part he was good at. It had been months, and he was a bit disappointed in himself because he never got to do anything. It was always Sylvester saving the day with his brain and magic. So, he just wished to do something on his part.
After all, even if he was not as bright as Sylvester, he was still a God's Favored and a Sanctum Inspector. He was not a dumb man but just acted goofy to lighten up the mood. Otherwise, living would be too dull.
Sylvester didn't tell Felix to get armor since he was sponsored by his family with powerful, well-made, and runed armor. But there was something that Sylvester needed from Felix. "Did your brother write back to you? We need the shipment as quickly as possible. Even if they get it to us on our way, it's fine."
Felix showed a thumbs up. "Don't worry. My brother said the items would be dropped in Pitfall town. We just need to reach it in time."
Sylvester nodded in relaxation. Felix's elder brother was the point of contact for Sylvester to buy the various precious crystals illegally with his black money. Since it was Felix, they had already decided that they'd never ask where the money came from. After all, in the end, those crystals had saved their lives many times by now.
"Let's head back then. We need to plan for this mission." Sylvester went to pay the shopkeeper, an old blacksmith. The funny part was that the whole armor cost him less than the three hundred pieces of parchment.
"Why not check with the Guild as well? Maybe we can do a few quests on our way and make some money?" Gabriel suddenly suggested.
That made the two boys laugh as initially, Gabriel was against the idea of double work as he felt it'd be in conflict with the faith's interests. But, since Gabriel had seen the benefits of having a little more gold, he was now fully complicit.
Sylvester agreed. "Let's head to the Sacred Arms Guild then."
So they arrived at the largest castle-like building in the Guild Peninsula. Scared Arms Guild being the biggest Guild in the world, it boasted of having some of the strongest guild members in any place, with a few members going as strong as the Grand Wizards, but none got as close as the last ranks.
"The quest board is too big. Let's check a segment each and return here with the quests that will all be on our way." Sylvester suggested the two.
Sylvester went to the left side and started to look at various quests. He could also go to the reception and ask there directly, but there was too much crowd gathered, so he remained away.
Soon enough, he found a quest that made him grin ear to ear. 'Haha, that Count Jartel has actually put forward a quest to catch his wife's killer? Great, I can make him pay me for just doing my job then.'
He looked for a few more quests around there and noticed one from Duke Grimton of Duchy of Colorwood region. It was about killing a boar infestation in the fields. But since the money was too low and the task too beneath him, he ignored it.
'Why are all these quests so bad? Chopping wood, hunting thieves, killing animals, helping dig wells.' All of the tasks were just little meaningless ones.
He reckoned the more dangerous ones were kept with the reception since the Guild had learned its lesson after his cave incident years ago to not put any USP quests on the common board.
So he walked to the reception. But to get ahead of the crowd, he just used his right hand and created a beam of light. As if a bearded old man was splitting the sea, he split the crowd and walked forward. The adventurers just bowed their heads in respect, as they didn't really have any other option. The church's matters come first in the Holy Land.
"May I get the list of all the quests in the region of Duchy of Colorwood of Duchy of Zon?" He asked the pretty woman at the counter.
She obviously knew who Sylvester was as he was a regular there. So she picked a booklet from underneath her table with loosely kept parchments. Then opened one section and showed it. "These are all the ones, Lord Bard. Are you going to be headed that way?"
He nodded and looked at the list. This time he found some really juicy ones, which paid anywhere from a thousand to ten thousand Gold Graces. 'Alright, another investigation for murder, another one… I should not take another murder investigation as it may be seen as a conflict of interest.'
He looked further and noticed a few strange requests. 'Baron Strongarm offers five hundred coins to anyone who can defeat him in physical wrestling? This is easy money.'
But he didn't stop and looked for a few more. However, only disappointment got to him as there were no nearby quests.
'Well, it'll just be wrestling then.' He took the paper and moved back to let the crowd do whatever they were doing and returned to Gabriel and Felix.
Both of them seemed to have some papers in their hands. Felix first shoved a few at him. "I found one asking us to hunt a Great Lion for a noble and another asking to repair houses."
Sylvester instantly rejected all of them. "I will not hunt a lion just for some noble's fun. As for repairing the house, we can't do it. They will not pay us after work since we're clergymen, and service is our duty."
Gabriel put away the papers after hearing it. "Well, I got one that is asking to clean Pitfall town's sewers' rat infestation."
"We'll take it!"
"What? We can't hunt lions, but will we enter sewers to kill rats? What's that all about?" Felix barked.
Sylvester, however, knew the importance of keeping the rat infestation in check, for the middle ages were full of teachings. "Rats bring disease and can start a plague, my friend. Don't worry, we will use some higher spells to wipe clean all the rats without entering the sewers."
They headed back to Pope's Peninsula after that to end their preparation. Sylvester also had to fix things about the production of the undergarments. He didn't know if the Great Mother could get permission, so the least he could do was help Xavia before leaving.
"Ah! Lord Bard? Is that you?"
Sylvester turned back on his way as soon as they arrived on Pope's Peninsula. He noticed an old man in a noble's toga. But he could not remember who it was.
"It's me, Lee Da Loveland! I must say you have grown quite marvelously. Do you mind if I paint a portrait of you… as a grown young man?"
Like a light bulb lit up, he remembered the man. "Ah! Baron Loveland! How are you? And is the portrait going to cost me?"
"Oh, I can't take money from you, Lord bard. I just want to encapsulate your majesty with my brush.
"Let's do it then." Sylvester was all onboard. He needed these portraits for the future, after all.
So all of them moved to the place Loveland was making his paintings. It was just a small amphitheater in the Pope's Peninsula where some clergymen would sit to bask in the sunlight and share their ideas.
Sylvester donned his armor and stood like a good model for the portrait.
"Lord Bard! Can you please make the halo as well? And also hold the sword in front of you?" Loveland asked.
Sylvester's weapon of choice was a spear, but he got the sword with the armor, so he used it and placed it in front of him, its tip resting on the ground.
Then he started to sing a hymn under his breath and let the artist make art. But the clergy that was resting nearby soon circled around Sylvester, and before anyone knew it, they started chanting some hymns that once Sylvester sang. The scent of high worship also hit his senses.
He was startled by this, however. 'This is… amazing! I never knew I was this famous.'
"Maxy is so famous," Miraj muttered while resting on his shoulder plate.
Sylvester just nodded and whispered back. "Yes, but I hope there is no hidden cost attached to it."
[A/N: One more incoming.]
400 GT = 1 Bonus chapter.
1 Super Gift = 1 Bonus chapter.
APE TOGETHER STRONG!