I Became The Pope, Now What? - Chapter 653
"I won't accept you…" Sylvester interrupted and revealed his condition. "Unless you teach me how to fly."
Flabbergasted, shocked, bewildered, confused, amazed, call it what one may, but the scents were clear. Any hostility that was being exuded by Julius vanished that very second. The man stared at Sylvester's with creased brows, his emotionless eyes showing amusement.
"You don't know how to fly?"
Sylvester, feeling embarrassed, nodded, "More like I haven't been able to practice it enough yet."
"Practice?" Julius exclaimed. "You don't need to practice. It comes naturally once you become a Supreme Wizard. I could fly the moment I ascended to the supreme."
Sylvester frowned and looked at his palms, 'That can't be the case… I felt nothing like that. I'm not even fat.'
"What elements does it require?" Sylvester inquired.
"None," Julius answered straightforwardly. "The ability to fly is related to your physical body, not manipulation of magic. After ascending to Supreme Wizardhood, one's body becomes pure enough to be able to naturally float in the solarium all around us."
Sylvester almost cursed at that information. But it made sense because otherwise, flying would have also consumed a lot of solarium. Making it a problematic ability to use in the middle of a fight.
Julius stroked the white beard on his chin and asked a few questions, now being genuinely curious why Sylvester couldn't fly. "What elements have you mastered? You also know Elder Magic, I presume?"
"All elements except darkness," Sylvester answered since it was common knowledge in the Holy Land that the man would soon learn in any case. "Yes, I know Elder Magic."
"A first in history," Julius mumbled. "I don't remember there being a Supreme Wizard with this many masteries coming naturally to them. Perhaps too many magical affiliations are reacting negatively in your body, not allowing your physical biology to adapt to the supreme rank."
'There is a thing like that?' This was the first time Sylvester had heard of it.
"In that case, I believe there is nothing we can do," Sylvester accepted his condition and continued moving toward the Holy Land. "Let's reach the Holy Land then. But before we go, I need your word that if you have any issues with me one day, you will come straight to me and not harm the Holy Land or the faith. There will be ups and downs, but I stand firm on my path, and you must have some faith in me."
"You have my word," Julius softly nodded without moving. "If I didn't have high hopes for you, I would have killed you long ago when I was called Jax, and you were a mere Sanctum Inspector Archpriest."
"What made you believe in me?" Sylvester asked as the two began moving at the same speed.
"Your willingness to help anyone who came to seek your aid, all for nothing in return but their blessing and worship. Helping the drought in Highland, helping the North with Mountain Barbarians, and healing the sorrow inflicted on the Blackhart Kingdom. Your inventions for medical aid and further discoveries aimed to improve the lives of all—like the recent abolishment of slavery," Julius listed a few things he remembered. "Despite your many flaws, you have accomplished more than any Pope in history."
"I just ended the Thousand Year war," Sylvester barked proudly. "Dragons have lost their only Supreme Wizard, and the elven King lost to me in a private duel in front of all his Elders."
"Which increases the burden on you to prove yourself. From now on, not only the humans, but the non-humans also depend on you," Julius said, not showing any hint of dislike towards the non-human species.
'The fate of the world depends on me, I am afraid.' Sylvester told himself. He knew it sounded very corny and felt like a hero complex. But the truth was that he knew he was a reincarnator. He had no idea who brought him into this world, and there were two Primordial Gods he knew nothing about, who wanted the world ruined.
"I understand that," Sylvester said, and journeyed the rest of the way in silence, thinking about the tough days ahead. Getting into the Demon World was the only clue he had at the moment because Zama'tar's words implied they were aware of the two gods.
Over the Divine Desert, then flying above the flourishing and healing lands of the Gracia Kingdom, the two eventually made their way to the Holy Land. However, there weren't any protective means set against someone entering the Holy Land from the sky. So the two neatly landed in front of the Pope's Palace instead of the terrace.
The guards were alerted but calmed down at the sight of Sylvester. However, when they noticed another person who was flying, they grew nervous and quickly sent men to buzz the silent alarms to prepare for any sudden movements.
"Have you ever been to the Holy Land before?" Sylvester asked.
Julius shook his head, "I was a nobody before I was turned into your enemy. Lowly people like me weren't welcomed in this 'pure' land."
"Things have changed," Sylvester said, leading him into the massive building, through the beautiful central hall, and then towards his personal office in one of the corridors.
Almost every person walking by stopped and watched as Julius was wearing dirty, brown robes that were closer to being called rags than clothes. Even from his face, he appeared more like a homeless man than anybody important to be walking beside the Pope.
Just as Sylvester entered his office complex, he saw his personal assistant, a Bright Mother, who sat outside his office and prepared his schedule.
"How are you, Anya." Sylvester was almost the same age as Anya, a trainee Bright Mother he had met years ago, and the one who took care of Xavia when she was injured. "I hope you're not being lazy."
"N-Never… Your Holiness," she stuttered in defense, still not used to being the Pope's personal assistant. Being Sylvester's friend before was different, but now the burden on her young mind was too great.
"Relax, and inform the Sanctum Council to report to my office immediately. Oh, tell the Bard's restaurant to send two premium combo meals… no, make it three with banana smoothies. Wait… It's lunchtime, so get some for the whole Sanctum Council and yourself," Sylvester quickly changed his order at the cat's grunt near his ear, then entered the office.
Anya Moller, the young Bright Mother, sat back in her seat, picked up the prototype magic communicator to contact the staffer's office, and made history's first on-call food delivery order. Before her, nobody had the guts to use it for something so trivial, but the Pope's food was important enough for it.
"I expected more… luxury," Julius commented as he glanced at Sylvester's room while sitting.
"Luxuries are useless. They don't increase our efficiency in any way," Sylvester replied, taking his seat behind the table and waiting for the Sanctum Council members to arrive. "Let's discuss what you'll do as a new addition to the Holy Land. We are lacking many Guardians of Light, but the new first Guardian of Light has already been chosen to be Emperor Raz Mi'ul Naseer."
Julius looked interested, "An undead Emperor Lich will be your First Guardian of Light?"
"That man has more warmth in his bones than most people I know," Sylvester openly complimented the extremely old undead man who loved stylish clothes, writing jokes, and playing with orphans. "The man single-handedly used his tens of thousands of undeads to build gigantic orphanages for children who lost their families in all the chaos."
"A respectable being."
Sylvester nodded and wrote down an appointment letter, "Instead, I'm making you the Fifth Guardian of Light. Years ago, an old man we used to call Grandpa Monk held this position. He was loved by all, good or bad, me or the past Pope. It's a number closer to me, so I hope you will continue his legacy of kindness, honesty, and wisdom."
Just then, the door opened, and all the Sanctum Council members poured into the room. Each of them went ahead as usual, picked a chair from the side, and set it around Julius and behind him, neatly surrounding Sylvester's table.
The members looked at Julius with questions as no one recognized him.
However, Sylvester didn't keep them in confusion for much longer, "Saint Gabriel, anything to report?"
Gabriel pulled back his focus from the strange new man and forwarded a file, "These are the experiment results from the research and development. Cardinal Robert and Jinn have started a friendly competition with each other, hence the increased productivity."
"Ah, my Oppenhimers," Sylvester smiled proudly, reading the report. "The dam's structure is also complete? That's brilliant news. Let us first showcase the miracles of controlled electricity across the Holy Land and nearby villages. But why do I see no work being done on propagating the electric current? Everything is useless if we don't lay down wires to connect the regions… those fools!"
In the middle, Sylvester cursed at the two men, "Why are they fighting for the type of current? Ah… I didn't give them the concept of a transformer..."
Sylvester mumbled to himself continuously as if he were an old man rambling from insanity. His words were complex, and no one in the room understood it. However, none interrupted Sylvester or appeared annoyed by their inability to understand.
"It happens a lot. He's too smart for us mere mortals," Aurora jokingly mumbled to Julius in hopes of making small talk and learning who this man was. "Have I seen you before? I feel I have..."
"Saint Keymaster, Darius. How is our treasury?" Sylvester suddenly placed the file aside and questioned his chief economist.
Darius proudly gave the statistics, "Economic activity has risen six hundred percent overall through the entire Sol, Your Holiness. Holy Land is seeing the highest growth ever recorded, and soon, we will be able to trade with Beastaria. The treasury is being drained, but it's also filling up faster."
"Brilliant! I'm planning for one more Holy Land to be set up in the Marashia region of the west. The place boasts a massive population, and they can't be left out of the Light of Solis just because of distance. Furthermore, that place requires keen oversight to ensure corruption, depravity, and unholiness do not dwell. Beyond this, we shall be making two Grand monasteries in the Warsong Kingdom and Blackhart Kingdom.
"Every year, during the Season of Solis, the pilgrims will be recommended to make it their life's goal to see all five Holy Sites in one season. This will boost economies all across Sol due to increased activities from the movement of the people. Businesses to carry people, shops, taverns, rest houses—everything will be promoted," Sylvester concluded by revealing his grand plan to not only increase the wealth of the continent but also his control.
Darius wrote it down and agreed, "Costly, but if long-lasting peace prevails, I believe we will earn it back many times over."
"Just use First Guardian Raz's undead for construction. Moreover, since we'll have three great Holy Lands soon, I have decided to house at least one Supreme Wizard in each of them at any given time," Sylvester announced.
"But how?" Felix questioned.
All the Council members looked at Sylvester in confusion.
"Ah!" Sylvester remembered just then and pointed at the new face in the room. "I forgot to introduce him. Everyone, this is the new Fifth Guardian of Light, a Supreme Wizard, Julius Aurelius Alexander—previously known as Chief of Anti-Light."
Every member of the council jumped to their feet, their hearts caught in their throats, hands reaching for their weapons of choice.
Thank you for reading. Gifts and GT votes are highly appreciated.