I Became The Pope, Now What? - Chapter 655
Sylvester quickly tried to do some damage control. "I meant that as a fellow human being, not as your son, Mum. I learned her story—she was brought up since childhood to be Rathagun's queen and bear him children, the future of Alfia. But over the years, Rathagun has only looked at her scornfully, ignored her, doubted her love, and refused to touch her, allowing rumors to foster in Alfia that she's the thorn at Rathagun's side—a woman who can't bear children."
Xavia sighed and resumed massaging Sylvester's head, "I think… I can understand her feelings to a degree. She tried to kill me once, but I think if I were in her place and had the power, I'd have tried it too."
Sylvester chortled, "Mum, you think twice before even killing an insect."
"Well, all lives are created by Solis, aren't they? So they deserve respect from us—even an insect," Xavia proudly replied, adhering to the teachings of the church.
Sylvester sighed and relaxed, not countering her words. Instead, he decided to get a little playful. "Mum… what would you do if I were to suddenly bring home a wife out of nowhere?"
"I would dance and pray to Solis six times a day."
Sylvester sighed, realizing it was pointless to ask in the first place. Xavia only wanted to see him have dozens of children. Sadly, it was the one thing he couldn't give her.
"I'll go and take a bath now."
"Wait!" Xavia suddenly stood up and sprang to a bookcase on the wall nearby. She took out a small diary from it and handed it to Sylvester, taking her seat. "Aurora handed these things over. It came with the belongings of the late Sir Dolorem."
"His diary!" Sylvester recognized the thing right away. "He used to write in this for as long as I can remember."
He took it and opened the first page while Xavia continued to massage his scalp. However, as soon as Sylvester glanced at the words, the handwriting; his emotions and memories flooded into his head, rendering him fully lost, reading it under his lips.
'Memoirs of Sir Dolorem—year 5100 of the Lord—I have been completely loyal to the faith for so many years. I have fought with my life on the line. I have given it my all. Yet, I'm merely seen as worthy of being a babysitter. I hope this is a test from the Lord, for…'
A big smile appeared on Sylvester's face as he guessed this was written just after he was saved from the Deserte village. It amused him to see how Sir Dolorem saw him in the initial days. But he continued to another page and read it.
'I have no doubt this child is destined for greatness. Not only Lord Inquisitor but the Pope was mesmerized with his holy hymns—perhaps it's a duty given to me by Solis to watch over this young one until he's ready for the world.'
'May your souls rest in peace, my Nicolas, my Livia.'
That was all he found in the diary that talked about the tragic death of Sir Dolorem's son and wife. For no reason, Sylvester felt quite emotional since he knew how hard it must have been even to write this small string of words.
But then he turned the page, and a cherishing memory left him in a daze. The scenes, still so vivid, flashed before his eyes. The first time Sir Dolorem tried to teach him magic, Whirling Storm and Whirling Fire—the subsequent hymn he sang to lure the knight to become his servant.
He read the words written while holding back some "sweat" in his eyes. 'I have begun to teach the young bard how to wield magic, and he has already surpassed me in comprehension. A true master, a genius of no equal—it fills me with a thrill to imagine the future. May the Holy Light guide him through all the trials. May the Lord bless this small knight with enough strength to stand by the young bard no matter how scarred, no matter how marred, no matter how charred—I will always stand as his guard.'
Sylvester closed the diary immediately and wiped the corners of his eyes before Xavia could see him being so emotional.
'So many people I befriended and manipulated for the sake of my own benefit—now I cherish them with my life. Years have passed, and I still have nothing to show them but strife.'
"Thank you for giving it to me, Mum." He sighed and stood up, "I'll read this whole thing later. But I will return to the Pope's Palace after dinner."
"You won't be sleeping here?" Xavia asked with worry, seeing his red eyes.
'I can't afford to.'
He shook his head and looked down at his dirty clothes, "No, I have some important work to take care of. I'll take a quick bath and… bathe Chonky as well."
Sylvester grabbed the relaxed cat and dragged him along to the bathroom. With a simple wave of his hand, the bathtub was filled with hot water. He felt a hurry to do things before something unforeseen struck the world again, but at the same time, he didn't wish to hurt Xavia and held to his promise of having dinner with her.
After a small grumpy bath with Miraj, the two boys came out fresh and smelled good. Having cheered himself up again, Sylvester sat with Xavia to eat, and Zeke also returned home by then from his work at the School of Dawn.
"Maybe we should find Zeke a wife. He's not a Clergyman, after all," Xavia suddenly brought up the matter. If not Sylvester, she wanted to see her other adopted son get married.
Zeke suddenly choked on his food and looked embarrassed, "Zeke can't marry anyone… Zeke only likes Lady Iris."
The simple-minded man, who had now grown into a mighty knight with a tall and sturdy body to back it, had shocked Sylvester and Xavia.
The mother and son stared at each other's faces, amazed that Zeke was showing so much cognitive progress as he socially mingled with people and grew in strength.
"Who is Lady Iris?" Sylvester asked.
"Wait!" Xavia suddenly exclaimed. "Is it the healer at the School of Dawn?"
"A teacher?" Sylvester inquired.
"No, she's assigned there to heal children in case they get injured performing magic or during knight training. She doesn't teach."
'Zeke fell in love with the school nurse?' Sylvester realized and glanced slyly at his brother in all but name. 'Should I manipulate a few things? No… that's low even for me… love should be natural to be long lasting.'
"Does she like Zeke back?" He asked.
Zeke shyly looked up, "Zeke gave her flowers, and Lady Iris kissed Zeke on the cheek."
Xavia folded her arms, "Already kissing? Perhaps I should speak with this Lady Iris."
'A background check should be in order. She could be someone trying to get closer to me through Zeke.' Sylvester made a mental note to order Saint Lazark later. He in no way doubted that Zeke couldn't pull in a girl. Heck, he could pull princesses with his knight rank alone. On top of that, he was quite handsome. But Sylvester still feared for Zeke's well-being since he was too gullible.
"Let them be, Mum. He's not a child. His interests should be his to pursue. Let the romance grow naturally, and if something comes out of it, I shall give my blessings to their union," Sylvester warned Xavia not to interfere and stood up to head out. "I'll see you in the morning then. Good luck, Zeke."
He changed into another set of work robes and left the house on his usual bicycle. This time, there was no carriage waiting to take him to the Pope's Palace as it wasn't in his schedule. The roads, the buildings, and most of the places were desolate. However, as he passed by the Administration building, he noticed the lights in the top floor's windows, it being Gabriel's department.
'When they're giving it their all, I have no excuse to relax now.' He muttered and quickly reached the Palace and went downstairs towards the secret room with the door to the Elder God's void.
He used the key and walked in. As always, he got sucked into the darkness and soon found himself floating before the massive body of Nehilius, larger than planets combined, larger than a star.
'How can I eat all of this? It'll take me centuries.' Sylvester always felt lost and defeated when remembering what he needed to do.
"I hope it was a triumph that you achieved," Elder God Nehilius' echoing, muffled demonic voice reverberated through the void.
Sylvester nodded, being respectful to the creature while not fully trusting it. "Thankfully, your training helped me quite a lot. I've defeated Beastaria, and almost the entire world is now under my direct or indirect influence. I've also secured the carcass of a Supreme Wizard dragon for my evolution process."
"Then let us begin with the process for the elder power that you must harness," the Elder God's planet-sized orb on the head shined a little brighter.
"I need your help in training my Metal Manipulation and the Electromagnetism manipulation. It's a power I discovered that can destroy planets," Sylvester requested before starting anything new. "I have reasons to believe the two Primordial Gods have done something to the Demon World as well. Through a Demon, I found out the monarch of that world is trying to speak with me, and I plan to go there. But… if they turn out to be enemies, I wish to end their civilization, their entire planet by manipulating the magnetic fields."
"Evil to some, but effective in my eyes."
Sylvester agreed, "But first, can you help me find a path to enter the Demon World?"
"Enter through where demons come out," Nehilius suggested.
"You mean the Void Anomaly? It's not reliable. Only two Void Anomalies have been recorded, and there is no telling when a new one will appear," Sylvester argued, having already thought of many plausible ways.
The Elder God fell silent for a few seconds before speaking again, "A door must lie within your world, a key you must possess to open it. A part of your world where creatures appear otherworldly, akin to none elsewhere, mysterious and worthy of striking fear?"
"The Darkpit Sea?!" Sylvester exclaimed. "It does possess creatures with impossibly high levels of strength."
"And the key?" Nehilius questioned him as if the otherworldly godly being knew the answers before Sylvester spoke of them, and he was merely guiding him.
Sylvester rubbed his chin and remembered a meeting with Solis. The words rang in his ears, the mention of the girl being the key to his destiny.
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