I Became The Pope, Now What? - Chapter 631
Time passes by quickly when you get lost in work. Although Sylvester hated paperwork, he wasn't someone who would do a job half-heartedly. He read every document with utmost focus and wrote down replies and corrections wherever needed. He gave approvals and stamped his seal on some others.
For the entire night, he worked tirelessly and, occasionally, oversaw the creation of a directory to account for the slaves and compile data about them. The plan was to head out in the morning since there wasn't much time left before he needed to be in Beastaria.
"Mewmewmew… B-banana… hehe…"
Sylvester enviously looked at Miraj sleeping on his desk, spreading his paws wide and resting on his belly as if he were made of jelly. The furball snored and mumbled in sleep as always—truly, his joys in life were quite simple. As long as he had his Maxy beside him, life was good.
Eventually, Sylvester finished his work and headed out to see how everything was going. Thankfully, to his satisfaction, everything had been managed well. The sellers and buyers had been interrogated well, and all those connected with any noble families were soon going to be used as traps to lure those families into accepting their crimes. Meanwhile, the slave sellers were shown no mercy. They were tied with long chains and made to march toward the Holy Land for their joint trial.
But at last, as the sun dawned on the horizon, Sylvester got ready to leave as well. He looked for Felix, who was to remain behind and manage the Tower of Solis and ensure the children who were going to stay behind were treated well.
"Felix, I'll speak with you daily, so prepare a report at the end of each day. If anything happens, I'll instruct you on how to handle it." Sylvester readied himself to head out with the long convoy of carriages prepared to move the non-human slaves, "Wish me luck in Beastaria."
"May God bless those fools in Beastaria so they don't end up on your bad side," Felix prayed.
Sylvester simply laughed and left his good friend. He knew Felix was a much more mature person now, far more professional, but the little jokes were something that made him unique and likable.
He went out and climbed into the massive, six-horse-drawn carriage of the Inquisitor High Lord and took a seat. They were at the lead of the almost one-hundred-carriage convoy.
"We shall only stop at our destination. For each carriage has been provided supplies to deal with any situation." The Lord Inquisitor informed him as soon as they started to move.
Sylvester settled into the spacious seat and gazed out the window. It felt somewhat nostalgic as he remembered the first ride in the very same carriage as a baby. He got to see the world for the first time. Now, here he was.
"Do you remember the first time you told me about the Divine Desert and the Wall of Void?" Sylvester asked him.
"As vividly as if it were yesterday—It's a memory that shall never go away." Lord Inquisitor replied.
Sylvester smiled gently, nodding his head, "We've come so far, and yet so much still remains—My next journey shall tell us what Sol's destiny contains."
"Solis is with you, and your light is with Sol. I am certain, with you, we all shall surpass our goal." The Inquisitor High Lord replied, maintaining that rageful voice and fervor. "I have never seen such trust as the people of Sol have in you—they truly believe in everything you choose to pursue."
Sylvester sighed and agreed. But deep down, he knew how that loyalty had been earned. Through unending propaganda and his occasional actions that solely focused on gaining popularity—it was a loyalty he had coerced from the people.
With countless thoughts swirling in his mind, they journeyed and passed by Green City, undergoing reconstruction. The non-human ex-slaves noticed all the development from the windows of their carriages, seeing human society like that for the first time.
Eventually, almost a day later, they reached Happy Village, which was close to the Holy Land. Aurora was already there with a group of soldiers, as a small number of the non-humans wanted to remain in Sol since they had been born and raised in captivity. Other than the language of humans, they knew nothing about their own kind.
"Live here with the non-humans and help them settle. Remember, they are no different from us, so treat them with kindness," Sylvester warned Aurora and resumed his journey forward.
Without delay, they entered the Holy Land, and the carriages stopped at the port. Large, three-mast ships were waiting for them there, a part of the Holy Land's navy.
Soon, the non-humans were guided into the ships in lines. Luxury couldn't be afforded at that moment, so simple hammocks were provided for each person to sleep during the night.
Meanwhile, Sylvester went to the Pope's Palace for a quick visit to find the two Grand Wizards joining him. Additionally, he needed armor to look imposing. So he went directly to his private armory, picked a neat golden armor, and wore it over snug, leather clothing. Then he draped a red cape on his back and looked at himself in the large mirror.
"How do I look, Chonky?"
"The best!" Miraj chirped, something he'd say even if Sylvester looked homeless.
"Alright then, let's go to Beastaria, " Sylvester picked up the Pope's staff in one hand and left for the port again.
However, Gabriel joined him on the short walk,
"Anything new?" Sylvester asked.
"Everything has been prepared in the ship marked with a cat's paw on the flag. It has everything you requested," Gabriel informed discreetly. "Are you sure that bringing such technology to them won't be seen as an attempt to attack?"
"Haha, they won't if they can't see it. Don't worry, Gab," Sylvester patted his Wazir's shoulder and boarded the ship with Bloodrain and Soulbreaker. "If everything goes well, I should return within a month."
"And if it doesn't?" Gabriel asked.
Sylvester waved his hand, "My friend, did you forget the rule I follow when picking a fight?"
"Never pick a fight you know you can't win," Gabriel sighed and waved back, replying in a low hum so no one could hear him. "Ah, he probably already plotted the hidden schemes for a fight before any of this."
With that, the fleet of ships began moving through the Blood Sea. It was a slow journey as all the ships traveled in a close formation. And since they wanted to reach Alfia directly, they had to go way into the south and circle around the west coast of Beastaria.
However, since it was the Holy Land's fleet, they utilized magic to push the sails forward and water magic to smoothen the ride on the waves. Where the normal travel time for such a distance would have been over a week, the fleet was able to make the journey in three days and two nights.
A few of the non-humans fell sick on the ship ride, having never been through that experience. Sylvester healed most of them and tried to uplift his image in their minds. Again and again, he kept telling them that if they felt ostracized in their communities in Beastaria, they could return to Sol, and he'd give them a home and respect.
Even if there was hate toward humans, the ex-slaves at least felt somewhat positive about Sylvester due to that. And by the time they curved around the land of centaurs, a region inside Alfia, the ex-slaves began to give off the scent of some reverence as well.
Noon came as they began approaching the secondary port of Alfia. It was a river port, sitting between two walls that divided the land of dryads and the High Ragnum, the elven capital city. As expected, they weren't given direct entry into the elven capital, and Sylvester didn't mind it—seeing so many ships, such a reaction was expected.
A deep-sounding horn resounded just then as the ships began to dock at the port. History in the making as a fleet bearing the flags of the Holy Land arrived in the land of the elves. The elves working around at the docks or the nearby town came to watch the commotion with interest—however, most who recognized the flag maintained their distance.
The sailors had been advised beforehand not to disembark the ship no matter what. Only Sylvester, Bloodrain, and Soulbreaker moved out along with all the elven ex-slaves, which mainly included elven women who had tears in their eyes at the sight of familiar faces belonging to their own species.
There were almost a thousand elven ex-slaves there, although some had stayed behind as well. Sylvester walked into the lead and quickly spotted a familiar face.
"A pleasure to see you again, Prince Avanss."
Avanss smiled and shook Sylvester's hand while looking at the crowd behind him, "Welcome to Alfia, Pope Sylvester. Out of all things, this was not a present I was expecting."
"I didn't like them having 'Godless' in their name," Sylvester replied.
"That's great to hear. Now, please follow me." Avanss said and began walking with Sylvester toward the gate that led into the High Ragnum. Along the way, a good number of elves began to gather to observe the young blonde man they had no clue about. He looked handsome, like an elf, but the lack of ears was confusing.
Though elven guards were also present, just in case someone had any funny ideas.
Just a short walk later, they stopped before massive bronze gates adorned with rune inscriptions. With Sylvester at the front and the ex-slaves behind, he watched as the gates parted open, revealing the distant city with its towering towers. But first, there was a large crowd of elves in regal clothing, some even supporting white beards. Leading them all was a tall, black-haired elf sporting silver armor and a green cape on his back.
No words needed to be said when Sylvester and Rathagun locked eyes. A son and a father, harboring the fear of their hidden little secret being revealed.
"Pope Sylvester of Sol," King Rathagun talked with respect and grace. "As the King of the elven race and the ruler of Alfia, on behalf of myself and the Elder Council, I welcome you to this land. By the grace of Remira, may this historic meeting turn into something beneficially grand."
Sylvester bowed his head a little in reply, but the words that came from his mouth echoed as a holy sermon. In no time, a magnificent halo of bright golden, simmering light formed behind his head, enveloping all the ex-slaves behind him in warmth—an otherworldly experience they were feeling for the first time.
♫Greetings, my friends, from distant shores and lea,
I come as bearer of a message, pure and free.
Against the evil of godless, I vehemently decree,
Hoping for equal benevolence here; I will see.♫
Rathagun and the Elder Council were taken by surprise. They couldn't help but gawk at the magnificent sight. Sylvester looked perfect with that shining radiance, his face seemingly carved to exemplify elven brilliance.
Just then, Sylvester stepped forward and crossed through the gate, proceeding closer to Rathagun with an outstretched hand.
♫In this epoch-making, sacred hour we're lent,
For far too long, we stood as foes, proponents.
With clasped hands, our unity shall be divinely potent,
For lives lost senselessly, let this be atonement.♫
Rathagun, taken aback by his meaningful words and the awe-inspiring halo of light. No matter what, he couldn't bring himself out of being quiet. As if Mother Remira herself moved him, and his hand rose. Before he could comprehend it, he stepped close.
Pope Sylvester Maximilian and King Rathagun Xeek Eldaron—Two names that shared a secret bond—greater than blood and beyond.
History was made without the use of a blade. No inquisition or crusade, but simple words were the mode of trade—enough for all thoughts to be conveyed.
[A/N: See Sylvester]
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