I Became The Pope, Now What? - Chapter 611
Sylvester continued to train inside the void realm of the Elder God. The answer to what Chonky was, was something only time would tell. For now, he focused strictly on becoming a Supreme Wizard or at least getting closer to becoming one. Otherwise, going to Beastaria to deal with the Demon would be too risky.
At the same time, he lacked time, since the elves had already taken the cure for the plague he had spread. If the two Supreme Wizards of their species came together, there was a chance that they'd be able to stop the Demon. However, from what he could see, the Demon was also quite strong since it had already taken over territories larger than entire kingdoms.
'Birth… School… Sanctum Inspector… Crusader…' Sylvester tried to remember his memories as a singular thought. The best he was able to do was compile memories into various segments. However, it wasn't enough because, in true essence, the training was supposed to become his second reservoir of memories—rendering him immune from mind and soul attacks. The most dangerous for any budding Elder God.
'Family… friends… enemies… competitors…'
In various segments, he continued to try and recall everything. He had to do it in order at first. Otherwise, the memories tended to devolve into a mess. It was clearly not something his human brain could achieve that easily.
"I'm limited by my physical biology," Sylvester told the Elder God. "At this rate, I'll merely repeat the same memories and mistakes. A human mind can't suddenly start processing extra information. To do what you're asking me to, I'll need to enhance my brain to expand my mental capacity."
"That is what this preparation is for," Nehilius intoned, his voice echoing unearthly. "The process of physically mutating your mind will be agonizing, a crucible of spirit and flesh. It will fracture your very essence and rend you asunder from the realm of mortality, yet no matter what, you must harbor your entire memory as a fleeting thought. Otherwise, you risk obliterating it all in the mutation process."
Sylvester's brows rose, sensing the danger, "I wasn't informed of this. Mutation? Don't tell me my entire body will be going through alterations!?"
"You lack the luxury of time," the Elder God reminded him, a reality check he scarcely needed. "Indeed, the natural path of evolution would demand eons of endurance, tirelessly forging strength from weakness. Yet, if you harbor a desire to expedite this process, embracing a forced mutation is the solitary route. Each grueling training session you undergo here is steering you towards that inevitable transformation."
Sylvester sighed and remembered something ridiculous, "Physical mutation is one of the banned forms of Dark Magic."
"For a valid reason, an unchecked mutation can leave behind abominations. Akin to some Elder Gods I know, who appear significantly more grotesque than I, endowed with deranged minds and fractured souls. Despite their status as ancient deities, their insatiable thirst for dominion remains unquenched, perpetually pursuing the perfection that has forever eluded them."
Sylvester listened to the Elder God's words carefully and reflected on them. He knew that even if he were to become a Supreme Wizard, he would still be far from being able to oppose 'them.' Heck, even the Elder God wasn't sure about fighting them. So, for the monumental task ahead, he had to suffer.
"Alright then, but I need to become the Supreme Wizard quickly. Otherwise, the golden opportunity to unite the world will slip through my fingers," Sylvester reminded the invisible soul of the powerful god and returned to his training.
Inside the void, it was hard to keep track of time. Aside from Miraj's occasional reminders of boredom, there was no timer. So, his time spent strengthening his mind went smoothly, and before he knew it, his time to exit the void had come.
"I'll see you tomorrow." Sylvester waved and vanished from his spot, reappearing at the door. He opened it and crossed over, returning to the underground chamber, left behind as it was two hours ago.
He shut the door and went up to his office, "Chonky, I'll be leaving you with Mum from now on. You distract me from my training too much."
"No!" Miraj pouted. "What if that Welder God is lying? He's scared of me. That's why he never harmed you. What if he harms you when I'm not there?"
'It does make a little sense. If Miraj is some sort of Elder God, then there's a reason for Nehilius to be careful around him.' Sylvester silently agreed with Miraj's argument.
"Then perhaps we need to find a hobby for you to keep busy with when I train. Come on, we'll figure something out."
First, Sylvester went to his office and did some usual administrative work. But after that, he decided to do something he had postponed for a while now. Over the years, he had saved a few children as he came across them. Finally, he wanted to see how they were doing.
So, Sylvester headed to the Guild Peninsula, where the biggest protected orphanage was located. As usual, he bought carriages full of supplies, from clothes to educational materials, books, and even toys. He didn't need to, as the orphanages were well-funded now. Too many soldiers had died over the years, leaving families poor and kids orphaned. Various lords and ladies understood that issue and regularly donated to orphanages.
A little kid with buck teeth exclaimed when Sylvester entered through the gates. The kid was playing with his friends and apparently had come over to pick up a ball.
"That's right, young man," Sylvester greeted the kid and walked forward. "What are you playing?"
"C-C-C… Ca… Cath…"
"Haha. No need to be nervous because of me. I'm just another random man today, here to play with you all. Playing catch? Will you let your Pope play as well?" Sylvester acted as kindly and gently as possible with them. The kids had already been dealt a heavy hand in life. It was a sin to not be kind to them.
"Play with… us?" The little boy hesitated. "But the ball is dirty."
"Boy, I'm not some flowery maiden. Now, let's race to your friends. The loser will have to tell everyone who they like." Sylvester played along and made a run for it. The boy soon realized it and chased, but he fell behind for the most part.
"I like Sister Amy, and I'll marry her one day!" In the end, the boy lost and confessed whom he liked the most with a red face.
As soon as Sylvester heard that name, it rang bells in his head. He looked around at the large multistory building in the middle of the green grassland and trees. 'Is this the same Amy? She must be sixteen or seventeen by now… I hope she was able to forget that horrible past."
"Where is your Sister Amy?" He asked the boy.
"She's always in the library—She's very smart and kind. I like her a lot…"
Sylvester threw the ball in the air and started the game before heading toward the building. He knew the layout since he was the one who designed the overhaul. So he walked towards the library right away, ignoring the various Bright Mothers who worked there or the matron.
Amy was the girl he had saved from the beastly-minded Baron back in the Sorrow Kingdom. Sadly, the Baron had already harmed her by the time he saved her. Mentally, she was broken, but still, he was able to heal her a little bit.
'I wonder if she still remembers me.'
Sylvester entered the library and looked around. It was an immense space with all sorts of books, mostly donated to the orphanage. Education was free and mandatory for all the children there, so there was a use for it.
He walked around, looking for the black-haired girl. He had no clue what she looked like now.
'Is that her?' He soon noticed a black-haired girl sitting by the large window. Around her were multiple heavy books while she wrote down something on sheets of paper. 'Modern Law, Basics of Constitution, Flaws Of Over Punishment… These are all new books… Is she preparing for the Judge examination?'
Keeping his steps light, he moved a little closer to get a better look. And sure enough, he understood the girl was trying to become a new Judge as per his advice. He felt proud of Amy but, at the same time, decided not to disturb her.
'Her determination to make me proud must be a driving force. Seeing her preparations, I can already imagine myself handing her the appointment certificate—That should be the day we meet again.'
In the same way he came in, he retreated his steps and exited the library. There was a big smile on his face, feeling quite hopeful for the future.
'Now let's see where those two golden-eyed assassin kids are.'
It was a day full of playing with kids, telling them stories, and singing poems with them. Sylvester thoroughly enjoyed his day as much as the kids. Of course, with Miraj's help, he was able to do some cool magic tricks that earned a lot of awes and gasps.
But once again, he found himself sitting in his office room just an hour before dinner time. It was an emergency meeting requested by none other than his new Saint Seer, Cardinal Lazark, the necromancer.
"So, what's the emergency? Did Beastaria attack us?" Sylvester asked while taking his seat and placing a blank piece of paper in front of himself to write down any orders.
"Worse," Cardinal Lazark responded bluntly, "The threat comes from within, Your Holiness. My little birds have begun reporting cases of attacks on Holy Land-related facilities and convoys across Sol by groups of anti-light faction soldiers. The attacks seem erratic, lacking any discernible purpose."
"Did they attack the southernmost outpost?!" Gabriel jumped to his feet, being a member of the private meeting as well.
"They obliterated it," Lazark answered.
"No wonder," Gabriel rubbed his forehead. "I was confused when no weekly report came from the southernmost. Now it makes sense. Why are they doing this? That outpost had nothing there, not even money."
"You're right. This isn't their usual approach. It doesn't align with what I know about the Chief of Anti-Light." Sylvester stood up and walked to a massive map of Sol on the wall. "I have a suspicion, but I can't confirm it before Emperor Raz and Felix return."
"What should we do in the meantime? I don't want our men to die," Gabriel asked him. "What if they start attacking Bright Mothers too?"
Sylvester's eyes flashed with a dangerous red hue, "True, we live in unpredictable times. Place all Church assets on high alert, and order all Bright Mothers to leave minor monasteries and gather at Grand Monasteries in cities only."
"Understood, Your Holiness," Gabriel quickly saluted and left the office.
With just the two of them left, Sylvester looked at Cardinal Lazark, "What happened? You need to send out a word of caution to all monasteries."
"Bright Mothers," Lazark spoke. "Quite ingenious of you to use them, Your Holiness. But you seem to have a soft spot for them."
Sylvester chuckled and poured his favorite necromancer a glass of water, "So you found out? Well, yes, I do have a soft spot for them. I'm emotionally attached—They're like my mothers and sisters, a huge family I never had. Even if I don't know them all, I cherish them equally."
Cardinal Lazark took a long, deep breath, "Then it makes sense why they are so loyal to you."
Sylvester's brows rose, "What happened? Did you find something?"
"A record in the previous Saint Seer's books. Near the end of his career, he found out about your secret intelligence network. He… He caught a few Bright Mothers and tortured them to gain more names and name you as their head. But…" Lazark glanced at Sylvester's expression first. "The Bright Mothers chose to end their lives by strangulation with the chains that held their arms."
Sylvester clenched his fist, feeling strange anger full of helplessness. "Give me their names… They shouldn't be left as nameless martyrs."
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