I Became The Pope, Now What? - Chapter 607
Sylvester once again donned his mitre and dressed in more regal clothes. He didn't dare take the dragons lightly since they were very different from the elves. Furthermore, dealing with elves was easier since the man who led them was his father. There was some room for emotional manipulation and negotiations.
However, when it came to the dragons, they only understood the language of strength and straightforwardness. For that, he had to look imposing despite looking young. In moments like these, he really cursed the fact that he didn't have an imposing beard.
As per his plan, he ensured that the elves and the dragons saw each other, face to face, at least once before they entered his hall. This created conditions where the dragons knew what to expect from Sylvester and what it would cost to ask for his help.
"What do you want me to do? Fight them?" Asked King Highland as he walked beside Sylvester and entered the Holy Court.
Sylvester took his throne and firmly held his magical staff, "Stand beside me as my shield. I honestly have no idea how they would react to my demand. According to the rumors, there are chances they might just attack me without a word."
'That's why King Rathagun is still waiting outside.' Sylvester felt a little reassured by the presence of his father. As the Dragon King was also a Supreme Wizard named Malisius.
Once again, the huge hall, brightly lit with torches and sunlight from outside, was crowded with Clergymen. The Guardians and any powerhouse that Sylvester could muster availed themselves that moment. He even borrowed the Grand Wizards of Gracia for this moment.
"Don't make any sudden movements," Sylvester warned those standing beside his throne. "Unless I give a signal, don't react to any provocation from their side."
This time, the air felt even more oppressive and suffocating in the massive hall. The crowds lacked murmurs, and everyone's eyes were fixated on the large double doors. It was understandable since elves, despite being a different species, looked almost like humans. Meanwhile, the dragons were just—dragons.
"In the house of Solis!" The herald began shouting. "A King of the dragons of Greenpeaks, King Malisius, has arrived!"
The twin doors opened, and a tall humanoid figure entered the halls. The red scales appeared like crimson fury. The aura he had was wrathful, a power akin to none. With confident, purposeful strides, he walked in while staring around at the various faces. His breath fumed with fire, and the low grunts he made were deafening despite his size compared to the space.
"Quite the palace you've built for yourself, ruler of humans."
"Pope, that's what you should refer to His Holiness as," Gabriel quickly spoke up, as his job was to maintain the decorum of the Holy Court.
King Malisius smirked in ridicule, "I thought the one in the little chair was the Pope. Why are you speaking?"
It wasn't easy to read the man, as the scent of fury shrouded everything. The dragon had even come alone, so that raised uncertainties; was he here to seek aid or to provoke a fight? However, following Sylvester's orders, nobody reacted to the provocative acts of the man.
"And I expected a king to choose his words more wisely," Sylvester retorted. He had to since he was sitting as the Pope. "I won't extend a welcome since your words lack the sense that you wish to be welcomed. So, why have you come?"
Malisius squinted his eyes in anger. He wasn't used to people talking to him like that, and since his interaction with other species was non-existent, he didn't like it. "You know why I'm here."
"I don't," Sylvester replied, although it was apparent that he knew it.
"Ugh…" Malisius grunted. "I'm here to warn you humans about a Demon in the Divider Swamp. With the might of a Supreme Wizard, it has spread its tentacles into the Merkin lake. If not stopped, it will first devour Beastaria and then your continent."
Sylvester proudly raised his chin, "So you have come to ask for my aid? The Holy Land is the strongest faction within light magic, so you wanted our help?"
Malisius' expression was worth seeing. His strong hands clenched, and his face burned red despite his scales being red. The tension continued to rise in the room, and everyone expected the dragon would attack the Pope anytime now.
"I spoke no such words," Malisius said.
Sylvester scoffed, "But you implied it."
With that, Sylvester abruptly stood up and walked down two steps. Of course, not too close to the dragon. He used the same trick he had done with the elven king and began to sing a hymn to form a halo behind his head.
♫Dragon from the land beyond—you desire my aid?
Only in death, you come here since you're afraid.
Words, hollow promises—Just a dishonest appeal,
You want my aid—show resolve and kneel!♫
Yes, it was the same hymn he had spoken to the elven king, just a few minor changes. The Clergymen also noticed it, but they couldn't help but feel frightened as the Dragon King began to emit steam from his body. Burning in anger and annoyance, it was an expected reaction from someone like him.
"Pope, do not forget I am a King too… Your suggestion could lead to serious consequences."
Sylvester continued to sing, gesturing behind himself with a meaningful expression.
♫Kings, queens, stand plenty behind.
How puny in death, must I remind?
Suffering doom, yet you stand blind.
Dragon, there's a price for me to be kind.♫
King Malisius gritted his jaws and looked at the crowd behind Sylvester at the sides of the throne. As far as he could discern, there were the Guardians of Light, but also some monarchs. In essence, he was equal to them, and in the eyes of humans, the Pope was above him—a King.
It was unacceptable, annoying, and enraging. His pride wasn't something to be trifled with, nor was he to kneel to someone he knew was weaker than him. He glared at Sylvester in anger and raised his hands toward him.
"If that's what you came here to do, I suggest you return, Malisius."
A voice came from behind. Alerted, Malisius turned to see, "Don't stand in my way, elf!"
"He defeated two Supreme Wizards to become the Pope. You believe he's scared of you?" King Rathagun said, raising his palm toward King Malisius, clearly hinting that he'd attack if any harm came to Sylvester. "I'm here for a cure for my people. I won't allow you to attack the Pope and ruin it. If you wish for his aid, kneel—or go back to Greenpeaks!"
Malisius' instincts felt a twinge of danger, provoking his fight-or-flight response, "That Demon will destroy the elves too!"
Sylvester interjected right then, "A magically enforced pact has been signed. The elves are now free to trade with us and visit us—all inter-species slavery is now banned. If that Demon does attack them, I will welcome the elves here—I doubt the Demon can cross the ocean."
"What if it can?"
"We can only watch and wait," Sylvester replied, indirectly saying he'd watch them die first.
The Dragon King fell silent after that and silently looked around at everyone. Contemplating what to do, he seemed to consider the offer. His kneeling could save Greenpeaks. Personally, he didn't care, but it was the ancestral land, and it was his duty to protect it. The Demon had already fouled most of it, so he found himself walking on thin ice.
"How would you defeat the Demon?" Malisius asked.
Sylvester raised one hand and emitted light from it, "With the warmth of the Lord, of course. Solis has never faltered against evil, and once again, we shall witness his majesty through me."
Malisius felt disgusted by the mention of a human god. However, he didn't ridicule it, as it was the last hope to save Greenpeaks. His breath grew ragged as he gazed down at the marble floor.
"As a King, it is my duty to protect Greenpeaks—The existence of my home is at risk, and for that, I shall do anything, no matter how much I despise you."
Slowly, Malisius' giant body lowered to one knee, and he finally fully knelt. But he didn't look at Sylvester, as shame weighed heavily on his heart.
An otherworldly, blinding flash of white light enveloped everything and blinded Malisius for a few seconds. Yet he saw no harm to himself, nor did others seem to react. So he ignored it and talked while kneeling.
"I, King Malisius of Greenpeaks, invite Pope Sylvester to come and help defeat the mighty Demon of Divider Swamp."
'I still don't feel like going closer to him.' Sylvester stayed put, close to his throne.
"Arise, King Malisius, no more are we enemies, for we have a common foe. Together, let us prepare to deal the Demon a fatal blow." Sylvester eased his tone of speech and became much more friendly. "When you return to the Greenpeaks, I have a task for you to do before I arrive. I shall give you a special rune that will be used to block solarium for the Demon, limiting its magic. I hope the dragons can draw the runes around the borders of the area controlled by the Demon."
"Such a rune exists?" King Malisius was pleasantly surprised.
"For me, it does," Sylvester didn't reveal he knew elder magic. "You will be escorted to a mansion near the sea to rest. My wazir will bring you the rune schemes by tomorrow morning."
Malisius simply nodded and left the hall without saying a word. Of course, his pride was hurt that day. But at least for Sylvester, it was a day worth celebrating.
"The Holy Court is adjourned." Sylvester dismissed everyone and walked over to Gabriel to drag him away, for they had much work to do.
"Fire up the printing press—this photograph should reach every corner of Sol. Tell Cardinal Lazark to use one of his stronger and faster undead birds to throw a stack of it in Greenpeaks as well—Let's see how King Malisius gets welcomed back home." Sylvester, with a devious, scheming smile, instructed his good friend.
Gabriel merely nodded in silence the entire time, used to Sylvester's calculating smiles. In all honesty, if he didn't know Sylvester was the Pope, he would've considered him as someone evil.
"Understood, Your Holiness."
Close to the Holy Land was the Barony of Loveland. The Baron was called Lee Da Loveland, and he had an interesting past with Sylvester for being the first man to paint Sylvester and Mother Xavia in the early days.
He enjoyed relative peace and wealth since Sylvester shared some inventions with him that helped his clothing business. But, there was another business that he was heavily involved in—the painting business.
It was just another morning as he sipped some exotic tea on the terrace of his castle. Life had never been better, as the new Pope brought great peace and tranquility to the realm. However, the moment a sheet of paper fell from the sky onto his face, he couldn't help but spew out a mouthful of tea.
"Pfoooo… He got the dragons too?!" Baron Loveland exclaimed and stared at the sheet of paper. "Such impeccable artwork… If this new invention becomes famous, nobody will want my paintings…"
However, at the same time, he couldn't help but scratch his head in confusion about the future.
"It's been what? Three months? He already made the elves and dragons kneel and united Sol—He's not even thirty years old and has become the Pope. But now what?"
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