The capital Bless of Holy Arthenia.
Over the central boulevard was a giant carriage being escorted by paladins.
Densely lined side to side, people couldn’t take their eyes off the carriage; ornately decorated with gold leaves and jewels.
Some were cynical, some were angry, but most of them were curious and in awe.
“Dad, is the Pope in there?”
At the child’s question pointing to the carriage.
The middle-aged man who was holding the child on his shoulder said, “Yes, an angel from heaven.”
“Yes! The bishop has said that El Kassel has sent her to look after the poor people like us.”
At the end of the words, a man standing nearby him laughed.
“Angel, what the… I heard that it was the daughter of the Pope.”
“What? Why would you lie?!”
The man enraged, turned around and grabbed him.
“Kuak! Why, why are you doing this?! I am saying the truth!”
“Shut up, will you? Say the truth, you are a spy from the Baroque empire, right?”
The controversy about the new Pope’s identity did end with the home nation. Many people were talking about it.
“Is the new Pope really an angel? Do angels really exist in his world?”
“I wish it was really honest.”
“It is real! My cousin is a paladin apprentice and I heard from him about the things the seniors talked to him about.”
“Really? Bringing the princess from a foreign land and placing her as a Pope?”
“Right, is there anyone who knows about the Pope?”
Politically defended, Archbishop Constantine presented the new Pope before the people.
The new Pope had made an appearance in the central square of Bless, which was called Holiness Square.
But, the face of the new Pope wasn’t shown.
He said that she blessed thousands of people who had come to see her.
And just because the Pope was said to be a young, beautiful woman, the controversy intensified.
“But, is that really true? The thing about her coming down from the sky?”
The man next to him answered, “It is, I was in the square at that time.”
“I saw it happen too. It all happened in a very short time, but she definitely fell from the sky.”
“Rather than flower, she was more like a blessing. My friend was suffering from illness but he got cured after that.”
“Hey! That sounds like a lie!”
“Ah, it really is true. I too had injured my leg 10 years ago on a bridge, but since that day, I can walk normally again!”
As people talked, the virgin Pope in the carriage, took a peak while sneaking past the red velvet curtains covering the windows.
But then, Archbishop Constantine, who was seated opposite to her, raised his voice, “Holy Pope!”
“I was feeling a little frustrated…”
“No, you can’t do that. How many times have I told you not to do those things when you are inside a carriage?”
At the words of Constantine, Veronica III moved away from the window seemingly upset.
“Keep in mind. You are an angel. At the command of the Lord, you became the ruler of this divine land. It is his mission to purify the world and remove the foolish people according to his wish. You don’t need to show interest in the lowly people and their dirty conditions.”
“But, I need to know how the people live and then awaken them…” Veronica said.
“That is our job. So the Pope should also stick to what you need to do.”
“…Understood, grandpa. Ah, Archbishop.”
As the virgin pope nodded, a satisfied smile came on Constantine’s face.
Compared to the time when he first met her, there was a difference between earth and heaven.
Two years back, Veronica didn’t know her own name.
She had the intelligence of a 5 to 6-year-old; curious to look around and see how things had to be done.
To giving the life to a statue, or to run away or spread her wings of light and fly around.
‘I thought angels were pure beings, but she was just an idiot.’
At any rate, she couldn’t be introduced as the Pope.
She still lacked in many things, but he did educate her enough, so she could be shown to the people.
‘The problem is with the local rebels. They don’t believe what they can’t see…’
The miracle of the Virgin pope succeeded in bringing the people of the capital Bless to their side.
But the problem was with the local ambitious nobles or the minority races which were excluded from the seven tribes of El Kassel.
They sought political assaults against the Pope’s authority on the ground or rebelled with the local nobles.
The most troubling ones were the Sanctity of Holiness.
Luther, the head of it, even after witnessing the Pope’s miracle in the square the last time, he kept denying by saying.
“Real salvation cannot be accomplished with miracles. It can only be done when people begin to take care of one another.”
He criticized Constantine for being a merchant and not a bishop. In other words, he meant that the Archbishop was selling God.
It would have been nice if they rebelled, he could send a paladin and take him down.
They were strengthening their service and devotion to the poor people, rather than trying to revolt during the Empire’s turmoil.
It was reported that the believers of the Sanctity of Holiness were increasing.
‘Yeah, wag your tail all you want. I will bury you without anyone knowing, just like I did with Michael.’
When Constantine was grinding his teeth thinking about Luther, the Virgin Pope was dozing off. She was tired of all the studying she did the previous night.
Seeing her, Constantine sighed but didn’t wake her up.
In a little while, they would arrive at the cathedral and proceed to the mass, so he thought that it was okay for her to close her eyes for once.
And that allowed Veronica III to sleep for some time.
‘Where am I?’
Veronica III stood in front of a burning palace.
After passing the palace, people with ignominious behavior reached out and begged her.
The old people were surrounding her.
It seemed like the first time, but she didn’t feel it to be strange. Rather, all of it felt much familiar than having the Archbishop on her side.
As she was looking at it, she and the old man in an armor pointing to somewhere.
A black castle on the hill.
With a single step she managed to get to the castle, and the large gates opened spontaneously.
Veronica III arrived at the castle, she passed through the corridors of the castle where she never went.
In the end, inside of the castle was a young man with silver hair sitting on the throne.
Upon the first time seeing him, or maybe she saw him somewhere before; he felt like a very precious and kind person.
When Veronica’s heart began to beat rapidly, she heard someone talk inside her head.
-You belong to me, and I too belong to you.
She didn’t understand what the voice was talking about.
While Veronica was bewildered with that experience, the young man approached her.
She looked at him rather cautiously, yet hoping for something to happen.
Then again, the voice said.
-Call his name.
‘I don’t know!’
-Just as I know him, you know him too. So call his name.
The voice kept on prompting the same thing.
Veronica was troubled, she wondered if she really knew the name or if she could really call for him.
However, contrary to her concerns, her closed lips soon opened and the name came out.
“Luke de Rakan…”
Veronica III or Reina’s consciousness was still intact in her dreams.
From her eyes which were shut with heaviness, a drop of tear out of longingness flowed.