The morning came, and Sylvester met with Bloodrain and Soulbreaker, who reported to him in his room. The two informed him about what occurred the previous night.

"You killed him? But I only asked you to look for him," Sylvester exclaimed in a hushed tone. "How did you kill him?"

"Nobody saw us," Bloodrain assured.

"The corpse was disintegrated with my soul magic, Your Holiness," Soulbreaker added proudly. "The entire guards' resting hall was put to deep sleep, so no one heard what occurred."

Sylvester sighed and shrugged as it wasn't a matter to worry about too much. "In that case, good job, Guardians. Let's go and see how the Elder Council's discussion regarding abolishment of slavery is going."

Putting his armour back on, Sylvester fixed his hair and prepared to leave. He picked sleepy Miraj up, placed him on his shoulder like a sack of rice and moved.

"What if they insist on keeping it?" Soulbreaker inquired.

"Then I'll be forced to start my second plan."

"How many plans are there, Your Holiness?" Bloodrain stoically asked.

Sylvester merely smiled as he walked on, "Almost a dozen."


At that moment, the two men remembered who they were speaking to. And realized why he was the Pope, and they were the Guardians. Counter plans for plans, and plans within a plan, prepared for contingencies that could arise in another contingency—that's how he became the Pope at a young age.

Meanwhile, inside the meeting hall of the Elder Council, an intense discussion was in progress. The elders and the King discussed the matter of slavery and what to do about it. However, before the debate on how to remove it could start, the opposition against removing it had already begun.

"You cannot be serious about opposing this!?" King Rathagun roared in frustration. "If we do not end slavery, the war will never end. The peace will never be permanent."

"The peace you talk of will be achieved from the destruction of our society, Your Majesty. We cannot allow you to ruin the kingdom we have built through our years of hard work." Ellitran opposed Rathagun as usual. But this time, he had more than half of the Elder Council supporting him, as none of them wanted slavery to end.

Right then, another elder spoke, this one being the only fat elf in the room with black hair and no facial growth other than his triple chin, his name being Folmer Torhorn, "Elder Elittran is speaking the truth. How do you expect me to accomplish my daily tasks without slaves? Who will bathe me, put clothes on, feed me, or help me with countless other tasks? Do you want us to take in those hideous goblins and orcs as slaves now?"

King Rathagun rubbed his face in frustration, looking at the group of elves who failed to understand what he was even proposing, "No—What I want is outlawing all slavery of any kind. Elders, the humans have done it already. They have not only ended slavery of non-humans but also humans. If they object to our practices now, we shall have no moral high grounds. If a war over slavery occurs, the entire human race will stand by each other on this, including the Beastkins."

"Humans are humans, and elves are elves. Our society cannot function without slaves!" Elittran raised his voice again, refuting Rathagun. "By a report from your own administration, it was revealed that, according to per capita numbers, each elf owns two slaves on average. Now tell us how all the tasks performed by these slaves can be maintained after they're gone!"

"By that number, we have more slaves than there are elves. That's a good enough reason for humans to attack us in the name of abolishing slavery. As for the tasks performed, we shall take the same route as the humans and hire workers and give them protective rights—no more torture or mistreatment. They shall work for us as it shall be their jobs," King Rathagun proposed the only offer that made any sense.

However, King Rathagun was a man who never had firm control over the Elder Council. There was a lack of fear and a general contempt towards his leadership. Despite being a Supreme Wizard, he never levied his power and enforced his decisions. The years of subpar leadership had rendered the council to have more weight in their words than the King himself. Especially when it came to topics such as now.

"I refuse," Ellitran raised his hand. "Let's not waste our time on this matter and reach a conclusion. All those who refuse to abolish slavery, raise your hands with me."

Soon, out of ten elves, seven raised their hands. Only the First Elder, General Zelphar and another elder kept their hands down.

King Rathagun sighed and rested back in his seat, looking upward. His fist clenched, and anger controlled, he soon stood up to leave, "If that is your choice, then I shall respect it. But when the war comes to our shores, I want each of you to raise your swords and join me on the battlefield—because this time, the war is of your choosing, not mine!"

The elders uncomfortably looked at each other, feeling nervous as it had been centuries since they stored their weapons away for good and became politicians.

"Elder Ellitran, please speak with His Majesty. He cannot send us to death with his impulsive decisions," Elder Folmer complained.

Ellitran silently nodded and left, following the King, wanting to speak privately about the matter. However, he stopped as he reached the doors of the King's private chambers and heard Sylvester's voice inside. Taking the smarter approach, he decided to listen silently.

Sylvester was waiting for King Rathagun outside his office. As soon as he noticed the frowning King had returned, Sylvester opened the door and followed him inside the private chamber. He could see it already; the meeting did not go well.


"That damn Ellitran! He will doom Alfia!" Rathagun boomed in anger, smacking the table. "He can't see what's right and wrong. If you humans stop torturing elves, we can't justify capturing humans as slaves!—any incursion into Sol's shores to capture human slaves will be an act of war!"

Sylvester folded his arms and stood in front of the table, "So they disagreed?"

"A majority of them did. They do not wish to empty their coffers when free slavery is much more lucrative. Forgive me, Pope Sylvester, but I don't think I can end slavery in Alfia." Rathagun apologized.

"Are you not the King?" Sylvester questioned him in a ridiculing tone.

"I am!"

"Are you not a Supreme Wizard?"

"I am, b—"

"Is there another Supreme Wizard elf?"

"No, there isn't. But it's much more com—"

"All I see is the weakness of your heart and mind. The inability to stand for what's right is called a spineless act in Sol. You have left me with nothing but disappointment, King Rathagun," Sylvester overbearingly said. His aura showed nothing but anger, felt by anyone near him.

King Rathagun reacted in kind and stared at Sylvester with hostility, "Do not forget you stand in my house, Pope Sylvester. We don't want the incident of Pope Desmond to repeat."

"Are you suggesting elves killed Pope Desmond?"

Rathagun sneered and turned around to look out of the massive window behind his chair, "You are not welcome in Alfia anymore—You may leave and return to Sol, or anywhere but Alfia."

Sylvester let out a loud sigh, "So you stand by what your council of spoiled children decided?"

"They are my elders, and I will not stand disrespect towards them—Leave!"

"How much I regret allowing you inside the Holy Land... Perhaps I should have rejected your request for the cure to the plague. Maybe I wouldn't have had elves to worry about then—and my people freed from your vile fetishes," Sylvester said scornfully and turned to leave, reaching the door. "I will see you on the battlefield, King Rathagun."

"What of the Demon?" Rathagun question at last.

Sylvester shrugged and opened the door, "Such is the warmth of the Lord—his bard shall triumph even when his mercy you cannot afford."


But just as Sylvester tried to leave, he bumped into Delimira. He held her hand to stop her from falling and helped her.

Her eyes sparkled at the sight of him, her son in all but blood and name, "Pope Sylvester, where are you going in such a hurry?"

"Home," Sylvester replied.

Her brows furrowed, and she looked inside the room at the angered face of her husband, "Did my husband say something to offend you, Pope?"

"Rather, it is a combination of your Elder Council and your husband," Sylvester replied, letting her walk in to speak with Rathagun angrily. Meanwhile, he looked around to see if the person he sensed was still there.

He ignored the scolding Delimira gave Rathagun for no particular reason, even leaving the man in shock as this was unlike how his wife usually behaved. Above all, Rathagun was amazed that she was defending the human Pope.

However, Rathagun ignored her and looked at the door, Sylvester still standing there, "Is he gone?"

"I think he is," Sylvester replied and retreated, closing the door again. He then turned around and stared at the man he shared his blood with, and smiled ear to ear, "You did good, King Rathagun."

The elven King sighed in relief and rubbed his face before breaking out in laughter, "Haha… I didn't know I could do that either."

"Do what?" Confused, poor Delimira stared at her husband and her stepson's faces.

"And that is how you play the game of politics," Sylvester smirked, stretching his neck and cracking his knuckles. "A little bit of wait, and some well-placed bait."

Thank you for reading. Gifts and GT votes are highly appreciated.