A golden ceiling and white exterior walls. Three big and ornate buildings like palaces were situated on the hills of Rolling. They were in harmony with the forest and landscape. There was a small waterfall behind each building. A golden statue of Rebecca rose in the center.
It was the center of the Rebecca Church, the most important religion on the continent. This was the Vatican.
Damian returned to the Vatican and sought out Isabel. It was to check her status.
Isabel's health hadn’t improved. No, it was worse. She seemed to have completely lost her hearing and vision. There was no reaction when he called from right beside her.
She coughed up blood. The crumbly platinum hair was pulled off with a single touch, and the skin was pulled tightly over her skull. Isabel sat on a shabby bed like a doll without a soul.
Damian’s eyes crumbled at the sight.
“Dammit... Why is this room always cold…?”
A priest with a faint presence approached. His emotionless eyes gave off an ominous feeling but unlike his appearance, he could be trusted.
It was Cassus. He had been taking care of Isabel when Damian wasn’t present.
"The mission to destroy the Yatan Church found in the west of the empire... I thought you would finish it in 40 days and come back.”
It was a week later than expected. Goddess' Agent, Damian. Maybe his skills didn’t meet everyone’s expectations?
Damian explained to the concerned Cassus. “I accomplished my mission more than a month ago. I was delaying my stay in the Eternal Kingdom.”
More than a month ago? He spent only a few days destroying one of the Yatan Church’s temples? Cassus felt thrilled.
"But why the Eternal Kingdom...?”
"I met Grid.”
The only person able to seal Lifael’s Spear. In the past, he saved the Rebecca Church by bringing down the corrupt Pope Drevigo.
"He’s coming here now.” Just as he did in the past, he would save Isabel. She would regain her beautiful smile. "I will start competing with Pascal in that gap.”
There was 42 days left until the pope election. Damian thought this was sufficient. Thanks to the class effect of Goddess' Agent, many members of the church believed in and followed him.
‘I will base the campaign on them, defeat Pascal, and become the pope.’
Pascal from the Judar church was the number one candidate. He was politically strong and experienced. He also had the honor of being 5th Pope Franz’s direct descendant. His father was even an earl of the Saharan Empire.
‘But he’s corrupt.’ He wanted to use the Rebecca Church to strengthen his family’s power. ‘If he becomes the pope, the Rebecca Church will walk a worse path than when Drevigo was in charge.’
Many members of the church already knew this truth. Those members would choose Damian for the future of the church.
An innocent Damian believed so.
The elders assembly.
They were the agency that acted on behalf of the empty vacant pope position. It consisted of 23 of the highest ranking elders.
They summoned Damian and ordered. "There’s a report that the Yatan followers are active in the Gauss Kingdom. Goddess' Agent, Damian. Immediately go to the Gauss Kingdom, then search and destroy the Yatan Temple.”
“There are 42 days left until the pope election. I am a pope candidate. You want me to leave during such an important period in the campaign?”
Damian was 30 years old. He lived his life in his own way so he lacked social experience. He wasn’t accustomed with such irrational practices.
The elders laughed at his naive self. "You can’t do your duties because of the election? You’re confessing your own incompetence.”
"This is a task you should do as a dutiful son... Tsk, how pathetic.”
“You shouldn’t cause trouble with your work just because you are registered as a pope candidate. Why don’t you just resign your candidacy?”
"Or Isabel will do the work.”
Being ignored, mocked, provoked and looking at him with contempt. It was obvious that the elders assembly were hostile towards Damian.
'They are fully with Pascal. But this is still too much.’
Damian was honestly shocked. He was afraid since they opposed him so plainly.
'I was thinking too easily.’
Damian was doing Isabel’s missions to save her. On the other hand, the elders assembly were trying to get rid of Isabel. They wanted Isabel to die so they could find a new master for Lifael’s Spear.
‘In this situation...’
He needed to neglect the campaign for Isabel’s mission? If Isabel performed this task, then she would die. He couldn’t allow it.
Damian wanted to become a pope for Rebecca’s Daughters. He couldn’t throw Isabel away just because of the election.
“...I understand. I will go to the Gauss Kingdom immediately.”
He was desperate. This mission included searching for the temple. It was doubtful if he could find the Yatan Church before the pope election day.
'In the first place, this temple might not even exist.’
It was an obvious trap. But he had no choice. It was impossible to disobey the command if he wanted to protect Isabel.
‘Isabel needs to survive until Grid arrives and seals Lifael’s Spear.’
Four days. From Reidan to the Vatican, that was how long it took running nonstop. Grid had sent a whisper yesterday that he was leaving Reidan, so Isabel needed to survive three more days.
Damian left the assembly room with powerless steps. He inwardly begged.
‘Please save Isabel-chan, Grid.’
By the time he got back, Isabel’s health would be restored. He would be able to see her smile.
The gigantic door of the room opened by itself. It seemed to be urging Damian to leave. The moment that Damian was about to walk out the door.
A voice he wanted to hear was heard from outside the door. Damian’s gaze moved upwards from the floor.
She held Lifael’s Spear in her hand and blocked the door. She was standing straight on her own. Her eyes were also clear.
This was the power of White Transformation. The transcendental divine power was restoring her broken body.
Of course, this was only temporary. Now that the spear was in her hand, Isabel would be in greater pain than before. No, she would die.
“Why...? Why? Why are you here?”
Three days. She could’ve lived if she waited three days.
As Damian felt frustration and despair, Isabel smiled.
“Thank you again, Damian.” She had dimly heard his cry. She knew that he struggled alone for them. "You must become the pope.”
It must happen. If Pascal became the pope, there would be more miserable children like her.
“Don’t you know this? Damian, you can’t miss the opportunity to become pope because of me.”
Damian was well aware of this. If he didn’t want the second or third Isabel to be born, he must become the pope. Now was the time for Isabel to sacrifice herself.
‘But I don’t want you to die.’
Damian was confused.
Isabel stroked his head as he hesitated.
"I will go to the Gauss Kingdom. In the meantime, you should become the pope. Please succeed for Rin, Luna, and my successor. Be sure to protect those children.”
She stroked his hair. It was a bony hand. But it was warm. Tears formed in Damian’s eyes as he felt Isabel’s hand.
Then a man laughed at him. "Someone who wants to become pope is shedding tears in front of others?”
It was Pascal. He touched his thin mustache and ridiculed Damian.
“You truly don’t have the dignity of a pope. It will be a disgrace to the church if this crybaby becomes the pope. Isn't that right, Elders?”
“Damian is a small bowl."
"The pope must be Pascal.”
The 23 elders chimed in to support Pascal. They mocked Damian. Then Isabel glared at them.
"Daring to disparage the Goddess' Agent, isn’t this no different from blasphemy?”
"Your attitude is bad. Isabel, the Yatan Church is your enemy, not us.”
Pascal approached Isabel who was holding Lifael’s Spear.
“Know your subject. You have forgotten your position. You are Goddess Rebecca’s daughter only because you can handle the divine artifact of our church. You are only a tool. A weapon of war to fight for the goddess and our church.”
Pascal’s eyes were as cold as ice as he faced Isabel. It didn’t seem like the eyes of a person.
"Just like this spear, you are a weapon of slaughter. Don’t think and don’t talk. Do you understand?”
Damian exclaimed. He wanted to beat up Pascal right away. But if he did that, he would be immediately kicked out of the church. It would ruin everything.
Damian clenched his fists as Pascal looked at him.
"Rebecca’s Daughter, who you love so much, is being abused in front of you. But you are swallowing your anger? You are just a coward who can only shout.”
“Put away that cheap provocation.”
Damian, Isabel and Pascal. The eyes of everyone present widened.
"You are having a lot of fun after grabbing the weapon point. Is it fun to harass people?”
180 cm tall with a solid body. Black hair and sharp eyes. The eyes and voice that were filled with confidence.
Pagma’s Descendant, Grid. He was walking from the other end of the hall.
“Multiple people are bullying one person? Huh?”
“W-Why are you here?”
Pascal and the elders were disturbed by the emergence of an unexpected person. Isabel was stunned.
Damian smiled widely. Grid’s appearance was exquisite timing and he patted Damian’s shoulders.
“You endured well.”
Grid arrived at the Vatican much faster than expected thanks to Huroi’s drake. He declared to the frowning Pascal and elders.
“From now on, I am behind Damian.”
Pascal couldn’t properly understand Grid’s words. Huroi translated it for him. "As of this time, I, Duke Grid of the Eternal Kingdom, am the guardian of Damian, the Goddess' Agent.”
Orator Huroi’s voice was filled with charisma. It pierced through the spacious building and made Pascal and the elders feel sick.
Grid declared, “Don’t bother him. Or you will be scolded by me.”
"If you ridicule pope candidate Damian again, you will be punished accordingly.”
“Do you have any complaints? Then bring it on, you masses of experience. I’m in a different position from Damian, so I can deal with you as I like.”
It was hard to wrap their heads around it. Even Huroi was speechless as silence filled the room.
OG: Glossary Link.
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