I Became The Pope, Now What? - Chapter 625
The Clergymen and the nobles in the Holy Court felt bewildered as to what the seven men were even thinking in the first place. It was common knowledge by now that the Pope hated slavery, and anybody who attempted it only faced his wrath.
Perhaps they were confident they could sway the Pope with their offering of wealth. But now, whatever the consequences the seven faced, they had brought it upon themselves.
"So you want me to resume the slave trade?" Sylvester's cold, frightening voice reverberated in the hall. A sudden chilling aura covered the whole crowd.
"Five million a month? Still earning a million?"
Sylvester stood up and began walking down from his throne. His eyes shined golden, and a halo formed behind his head. His right and left hands started to form a sword, each made of solidified light magic.
"In my rule, there is no place for slavers—nor men like you!"
Sylvester vanished from his spot for a split second and then returned to his throne once again. Instantly, the seven men shrieked in agony as they found their torso falling to the ground. All of a sudden, they couldn't feel their arms and legs—only pain.
Their blood-curdling screams echoed in the hall, and blood oozed out of their open wounds. However, Sylvester merely waved his hand, and a fire started at their open wounds, burning them and cauterizing them.
"If you still earn a million, then that means the slave trade is ongoing—A crime punishable by death. But death is a waste on you," Sylvester bellowed. "Lord Inquisitor! They must be holding slaves somewhere and keeping money hidden away. I want it all—be quick."
Lord Inquisitor stepped forward, tapping his staff on the floor, "Such heresy in the house of the Lord, a sin that none wish to afford. I shall be quick, Your Holiness, and make them sing their records."
Immediately after, a few inquisitors entered the hall and dragged the bodies of the seven slaughtered pigs. The floor was then quickly cleaned by a court wizard, and the court returned to its usual activities.
However, Sylvester looked at Gabriel and whispered something to him, "Order Bloodrain to prepare himself with a Field Army. We're holding a military exercise at the second Holy Land."
Gabriel eyed Sylvester strangely, already having guessed what Sylvester's plan was, "So it's finally time? I will forward the order right away."
Sylvester nodded and continued the Holy Court proceedings. Since it was the Season of Solis, there were some groups of commoners who came just to see him and get his blessings. Not all came with a request, and some even came to give or show something. For example, someone made a special dagger for the Pope, a special robe for the Pope, or perhaps an invention that they wanted to show.
From morning until evening, Sylvester met with almost eight hundred people and conversed with each to some degree. Hundreds of pictures were also taken with the magical camera so the propaganda department under Gabriel could spread the word. As of now, Sylvester and Gabriel were planning on starting a real newspaper business. But the only issue was information gathering, and for that, Sylvester eagerly waited for the wireless communication equipment to complete the research cycle.
As the sun went down, Sylvester decided to prepare for the silent mission with utmost seriousness. This time, he didn't want to leave things to luck or improvisation because so many lives depended on his actions. He could guess that some hidden ploys were likely involved that stopped previous Popes from dealing with the issue for so long.
Sylvester's office door opened. It was almost night, and most of the Clergymen had gone to their rooms to rest. However, Sylvester remained engrossed in various books and records, planning his next move.
"Take a seat," Sylvester gestured at Bloodrain and Lord Inquisitor. "You two are the oldest living high-ranking men in the Holy Land. So I need you to tell me anything and everything you know about the Tower of Godless."
"So Saint Gabriel presumed correctly," Bloodrain said. He was now healthy and back in his fighting form. His face was covered with a dirty silver visor, and his head was covered with a conical helmet. He and Lord Inquisitor somewhat shared a similar style.
"I had decided to take it down the day I learned about it. I have outlawed slavery, but as long as the Tower of Godless, the biggest source of slavery, isn't eliminated, my work remains unfinished. But what amuses me is why no Pope in the past dared act against them. Was it merely because of political reasons? Or is there some secret involved?" Sylvester questioned them before deciding on a plan.
The Inquisitor High Lord spoke first without holding back, "Your Holiness, when a castle is built upon venom, only evil would be the outcome. It isn't often that there's a Supreme Wizard Pope; they were usually Grand Wizards. And the painful aspect of such is that they changed minds like color-changing lizards. Slavery had the support of the realm; each Lord and lady wanted to have some for work or to entertain themselves. Once the Great War began, the Church promoted it to benefit ourselves."
"Indeed," Bloodrain added. "The Tower of Godless was still under construction during that time. Once the war began, the Church lost all its focus on what occurred within Sol and placed all efforts into fighting Beastaria. Money was being spent like water, and eventually, the Church had to think of a way to keep its coffers filled.
"It was then that the Tower of Godless offered to give a percentage of their income to the Holy Land. The amount was so massive that we readily agreed, turning a blind eye towards them. The war continued, and for a thousand years, the Tower of Godless grew in floors. Their hold on the slave trade tightened, stronger than the finest chains—Until now, we simply couldn't afford to take action against them—be it economically or militarily."
Lord Inquisitor seemed saddened by that as he made a low grunt. "And above the tower lies the Slave Imperia Council, made up of 5 Slave Gods—three of them being Grand Wizards and two being Diamond Knights. They are old, and their greed is such that they'd do anything for more gold."
Sylvester sighed and looked at the map before him, "All the historical accounts say that no Clergyman has ever gone beyond ten floors above and ten floors below. This tower is said to have fifty floors in each direction. I'll be going there personally in disguise and gathering as much information as I can.
"If they cherish their creation this much, I can imagine there being a self-destruction mechanism to destroy everything before we can take it. This would mean the death of tens of thousands, and it would be troublesome for my new policy regarding Beastaria."
"Beastaria?" Bloodrain interjected.
Sylvester immediately elaborated, "Human slavery was a common, ordinary thing. The Tower of Godless specializes in more extreme forms of slavery to derive higher profits. Children, and especially the species from Beastaria, are what they trade in most. I plan to return the non-human slaves to Beastaria and earn some goodwill in order to force them to reciprocate my generosity."
With that, Sylvester stood up and picked up his things to head home and prepare for the mission, "Tensions between us and the Tower of Godless are fated to increase. Before they can put together a scheme, I want to erase their existence. The seven pigs who came to my court today were only bolstered because the Tower of Godless still stands—but no more."
The two Guardians stood up and saluted as Sylvester proceeded to leave. They both had received their orders beforehand. A 'military exercise' was to be held in Miraj City, after all.
"Maxy, are we going to save kiddies again?" Miraj chirped while eating the wind on his front seat of the bicycle.
"And much more," Sylvester replied, patting the furry cat. "Chonky Bank will also be receiving a lot of donations. All that money will help me modernize some aspects of the world and create some semblance of law and order."
"And then?" Miraj inquired.
Sylvester shrugged, "We take over Beastaria."
"What then? We'll keep fighting until we have our calm peace. We'll also search for others of your kind wherever we can," Sylvester replied, very aware of what Miraj wanted to hear.
Right away, Miraj giggled and melted in the little basket, "Hehe… I can't wait to meet more like me. I'll make them all Maxy's good friends."
'I do hope your dream comes true, buddy. Being left alone is a curse worse than a painful death.' Sylvester sighed and paddled his way home.
However, it was all a ruse. He went to his home and informed Xavia about a routine, harmless mission. After that, he sneaked out of his home using light manipulation for invisibility. With that, he walked away in the air using Light Tiles and secretly arrived at The Bard's outside the Holy Land.
There, standing before a mirror, he started to craft a disguise for himself. He went with the stereotypical look of an old enslaver since he wanted to blend in. So, using magic, he created fake prosthetics from hardened soil. He gave himself a large belly and a general thick stature. Then, with fake hair, he gave himself a brown, ugly beard with no mustache and colored his hair brown as well.
At last, no slaver was complete without their expensive clothing. So Sylvester wore fine silk clothes and hung a few gold chains around his neck and similar bracelets.
To enter the Tower of Godless, one needed tokens that only a few registered buyers had. Thankfully, the seven pigs who had come that morning were one of them. The tokens were similar to gold coins but had runes that helped identify people. However, with Elder Magic, changing that was easy.
"How do I look?" Sylvester finished applying his disguise.
Miraj's ears twitched, "Woah! You look pregnant!"
"Fat is the word, Chonky," Sylvester replied and slowly began changing his entire demeanor to that of an older, slimy man. With a big, nasty laugh and a hoarse voice, he erased any trace of 'Sylvester.' "Hahaha… Look at these fine muscles. But not a silver more—throw in his wife and daughter too, and then we'll talk about two silver… Hahaha…"
As Sylvester trained and got better and better, his tongue increasingly got vile with each second. Miraj began to doubt if this was still Sylvester.
"Good day, nice to meet you." Sylvester practiced shaking hands. "I am John Lincoln—Ah, of course, bring me to the finest slaves."
"Maxy?" Miraj meekly questioned.
Sylvester looked down at Miraj's confused face and laughed, "Hah, don't tell me you got fooled."
"Good," Sylvester picked Miraj up and secretly left the building. "Let's go then—Time to end slavery for good."
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