IBAWWMB (Novel) Chapter 195

                                                      


C195 - Side story #3 – An incident that occurred in the Great Temple

"What? Is the Pope coming to the capital personally?

One day, as the biting cold gradually subsided and sleet soaked the ground, I received unexpected news.

"Leading that aged body?"

Meanwhile, I had stubbornly rejected the temple's invitation letters. The temple had not helped from one to ten in the past, and there was a high probability that it would continue to do so in the future. Additionally, my current state of unstable divine power also played a role in my decision to decline.

"It will be troublesome if he complains about me demonstrating my divine power. Better not to get involved."

I thought he would give up even if his pride was hurt because I rejected all letters from bishop to the Pope, but it was my mistake. The Pope sent a letter saying he would personally go to the capital of Azutea, not to us, who gave no response, but to the imperial family.

He even revealed the reason for his visit.

"Why do you want to meet me even though you have to swallow your pride?"

Suddenly, I wondered why he came to the capital while informing the world of the unpleasant fact that he had been constantly rejected.

"Isidor, why is the Pope making so much effort to find me?"

I went directly to Blanchia and consulted Isidor. He narrowed his eyes.

"..."

"Since the imperial nobles' public opinion about the temple is not good, are they trying to compensate by using me?"

"... Of course, there could be a hidden motive, but I guess it's due to an issue within the temple."

Isidor seemed to know something.

"An internal issue?"

"Last month, high-ranking priests who had been sent to each region secretly returned to the Temple. Not only the high-ranking priests but even the fasting priests."

"Was there a major internal event? Something like a New Year's Mass."

"Even if there is a major event, fasting priests don't move. If you leave the training ground, you have to start fasting again from the beginning."

He hit the desk and spoke slowly.

"Still, the temple's behavior was strange, so I grabbed one of the priests and tried to interrogate him, but it seems there was a problem with the sacred relics stored in the temple."

"If it's a sacred object, when it was the incense burning ceremony...."

At his words, unknowingly, I straightened my back.

"Yes, the white rosary brought by the cardinal during the incense ceremony is a sacred object."

"Ah."

I sighed briefly.

If the Pope comes to ask me about the sacred relics, then I'll have to go. I am probably the only one who knows the true meaning and value of the white rosary, called a sacred relic, as I have a previous life as a saint.

First of all, to explain the sacred relic, we must point out where the imperials misunderstand. The imperial people know that Nayla cut her body into six pieces and built a barrier, but it was exaggerated and inflated in later generations to emphasize the saint's sacrifice, and it didn't actually happen.

"A pyre... No, although the spirit of sacrifice was strong, it wasn't that much."

But it wasn't a story that didn't exist at all. Saint Nayla gathered the remaining divine power for the future of the empire and her friends to create a barrier against the devil.

"I didn't cut my body into six pieces, but divided the divine power into six equal parts and placed each bead in the rosary..."

The white rosary passed into the hands of the temple that normally handled Nayla's personal affairs, and the priests began calling it a sacred relic. Sacred relics were usually stored in the Grand Temple and only released to the outside world during large-scale Masses led by the Pope himself or during the incense burning ceremony in honor of Saint Nayla's sacrifice.

The reason I was able to awaken my tremendous divine power at the opportune moment during the last incense ceremony was that the white rosary was so special that it stimulated memories of my previous life.

".... It's because it's infused with the blood of Nayla's lover, Lock Visconti."

When I thought of the white rosary, the strong desert sand wind and the smell of the man's blood stung my nostrils. The sight of Isidor being pierced in the chest also flashed in his eyes at the same time. As similar memories overlapped, a cold sweat broke out on my palms.

I shook my head, ignoring my traumatic nervousness. I guessed what kind of problem the priests had with the rosary and why the Pope was coming here.

I don't like it much, but I'll have to meet the Pope.

At that moment, as if he had read my mind, Isidor squeezed the back of my hand tightly and resolutely illuminated his eyes.

"So far, the princess has done enough. Not once, but twice. Let the temple handle problematic matters."

"I was going to ignore it, but the Pope is coming personally."

"The Pope is also a person, and if you rob him, anything will come out. The temple seems to be going downhill. Aren't you curious how much faster it will roll down if you push it from behind?"

Isidor casually threatened the Pope and further aggravated public opinion against the temple.

"Sometimes I don't know who the villain is."

He assured me that there were many people around me who were indulgent with me but infinitely harsh with others.

"You don't have to work. And in my heart, I think it's good."

"Good? Why?"

"Yes. The sacred object that the temple originally had was mine."

I tend to separate Nayla from my previous life and my current self, but let's skip it this time.

"Then you have to take it back."

Perhaps it's an opportunity to recover the rosary beads that flowed to the temple after Nayla's death.

"If I'm lucky, I might find a clue to restore my depleted divine power."

-----------------------

"Where does this old man want to go?"

Upon seeing the letter from the imperial family, my father immediately reacted with anger. The letter stated that the Pope was staying in the royal reception room and eagerly awaited the visit of the saint.

"Still, since the Pope came personally from the Domain of Heleia to the capital, I must also go to the imperial palace. In respect for the elders."

"Why do you respect an elder who is not worth his age? If you reject it because you are too busy, he should understand with moderation."

"I have something to say too."

"What do you and the old Pope have to talk about? Even if I die, I won't see you in the temple, forcing you to sacrifice yourself like a saint."

"Mmm...."

It was an expected reaction, so I had already prepared a response.

"I didn't want to tell you for fear of worrying you, but my sacred power is not returning."

That was true. Like there was a leak, the recovery was quite slow.

"What?"

Surprised by my words, my father's eyes contracted slightly.

"Why didn't you tell me something so important...?! Could it be that there's something wrong with your health?"

"No. My body and mind are healthier than ever. I rest well, eat well, don't worry, and am always with the people I love."

"Mmm! Then... if you rest well and eat well, your divine power will return."

"If you have a problem with your body, you go to the doctor. Similarly, since there's a problem with divine power, wouldn't it be faster to ask the Pope, who is an expert in that field?"

"The people from the temple aren't very reliable..."

"If it's not really trustworthy, should I ask Isidor to detect the Pope's weakness in advance?"

"That's a good idea."

Only then did my father ease his rigid expression, and I was able to arrange a meeting with the Pope.

--------------------------

"I know the saint. My name is Maurice, the servant of the Lord. I was appointed bishop this year and have the honor of serving the saint."

A lanky man approached the Seymour mansion and introduced himself. He was a high-ranking priest sent by the Pope to escort me to the imperial palace.

"I am the princess of Seymour."

I looked at him, subtly emphasizing that I was not a saint but the blood of Seymour.

"He looks young... and he's already a bishop."

His gently drooping eyes and the soft mouth with a smile emitted a docile feeling. He seemed to be quite popular among believers.

"I am more than happy to see you."

While Maurice made the sign of the cross, his father, who was standing beside him, coldly opened his mouth.

"Supporting my daughter is an honor that I begrudge because it is not too much. Bear this in mind and live with a grateful heart for the rest of your life."

"Yes, Duke Seymour. I will."

Maurice, who still had a smile on his face despite his father's curse, led me to the VIP carriage.

"I will take you to the Pope."

I looked into his light brown eyes for a while, then he escorted me into the carriage, and after a while, I met the Pope.

"The great divinity that led the darkness like the noonday sun has come to Heleia. It moved me deeply. It is an honor to meet you, saint."

The Pope I met in the VIP room of the Imperial Palace had gray hair, and compared to his small stature, his voice resonated so much that I thought he would be perfect for missionary work.

"Pleased to meet you, I am Deborah Seymour."

After exchanging the usual greetings, I sat in front of the Pope. While sipping my tea without saying anything, the Pope spoke first with a somewhat embarrassed look on his face.

"So far, I hadn't been able to recognize the person posing as the saint due to my poor health. Even when the devil was summoned, the temple responded late. I know very well that this broke the saint's heart."

I smiled faintly.

"I expected nothing from the temple, so there's no reason for my heart to break."

Contrary to his expression, the sarcastic remark made the Pope look a bit nervous, but he quickly regained his composure.

"As a servant of the Lord, I will do my best to serve the saint from now on. The priests will spare no effort in preaching to everyone so that the saint's name is praised by future generations."

"I didn't expect such a response. I didn't mean that."

I quickly waved my hand.

"What I mean is that if you don't want something from the other person and treat them with a pure heart, you won't get hurt. Don't you think?"

The corners of the Pope's mouth twisted slightly at my words. It's embarrassing, but I could see how he forced himself to smile.

"As expected, it was good to ask Isidor in advance."


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