In the center of the Holy Imperial Palace which was covered with white rock. It was a building that had moved from elsewhere into the palace.
Aside from being white, the rock, which had no distinctive feature, was a significant relic that was said to be a platform where the first saint El Kassel denomination had been preached for the first time.
On the sacred rock was a clean and beautiful woman seated with innocent eyes.
Veronica III, Pope of the Holy Empire.
Looking up into the night sky, she muttered to herself.
“Luke de Rakan…”
A platinum-haired man seated in the throne of a black castle, someone she saw in her dreams.
At first, she thought that he was an unknown person.
But after she had said out his name, she realized that she had forgotten about him.
Who was he? What kind of a person is he?
The more she thought about it, the more familiar Luke felt, and she pounded with nostalgic feelings.
“Holy Pope, it is time to study the doctrine.”
Veronica, who nodded her head at the words of her escort, got up and moved to the Imperial library.
Veronica III studied doctrine three times a day unless there was anything special that she had to do.
Because of the constant nagging from Constantine for the past two years, all the basic doctrines had been mastered and was now moved to intermediate levels.
“Come here, holiness. Please study very hard now too.”
A middle-aged lovely looking priest who was in the library welcomed her.
He was a professor called Osram, who was based in the Royal Academy of Theology. He had stepped away from that position to be the personal instructor of the Pope.
“Today, we will study about charity and tolerance. See page 173 of the..”
“Yes, holiness. Please speak.”
“Is there a lot that Osram is aware of?”
“In addition to theology, I have learned a lot of miscellaneous things. Is there anything that you are curious about?”
Hesitating for a moment, Veronica opened her mouth.
“Maybe, just maybe, do you know who Luke de Rakan is?”
“Luke de Rakan? Well. It seems like I have heard about him somewhere…”
Osram who thought for a while kept tapping his finger as if he had come up with something.
“Ah, the name of the warrior who had defeated the Devil King Saymon was Rakan. He was the ultimate knight of the sword skills, Sword Emperor, who surpassed the Sword Sage, after which no human had been able to achieve.”
Names that she has heard somewhere.
However, when she heard of the name Saymon, her eyes turned dark and her heart felt bitter.
A vicious being called the Devil King, yet she wasn’t able to understand why such feelings were rising in her.
“According to one theory, Rakan was a member of the Saint Guards. Rumor was that he was an illegitimate child of a high priest who was sent to war with the Devil King. Indeed, he had gone to the Libiya Kingdom to see Saymon, but he couldn’t return back home after Saymon’s death as things had turned into a complicated matter.”
“But, his kin still remains… ah, that is it. He is the person.”
At Veronica’s question, Osram told her about the rumor that he heard the other day.
“Luke de Rakan. He was said to have raised his near to death Rakan family into a foremost force of the Baroque Empire. It is a very popular place among the merchants because it is active for its mine development and trade.”
Why would such a person appear in her dream? Why did she know her name and why did it feel nostalgic?
“But, from whom did you hear that name?”
“That… someone told me about it.”
Veronica had trouble explaining to him about the other self in her mind.
Osram, however, didn’t think of it to be very suspicious or strange.
“Did you hear it from the paladins? It is always worth mentioning to a Rune Knight. That too, a descendant of the famous Sword Emperor Rakan.”
Osram spoke with a very heartily smile.
“I am glad that you are listening to the words of so many people. In order for one to be a good leader, it is a must to listen to people and look at their lives.”
“Surely it is you. The only guy in the world to prioritize useless stuff!”
There was a man standing behind Osram.
He was Archbishop Constantine, who didn’t have a great impression of the professor.
Appearing with a bunch of paladins belonging to the army, his cheeks shaking with anger while looking at Osram, who didn’t seem to have a great expression too.
“Arrest him right away!”
Osram went scared the moment he heard the orders befall.
Startled, Veronica III rushed over to stop their actions.
“Stop! Osram isn’t a bad person!”
The paladins had no choice but to withdraw.
Seeing that happen, Constantine frowned.
He couldn’t help it. The paladins of the palace who guard the palace and the Pope were educated to never disobey the Pope.
The reason they followed the orders of Constantine was because he was known to be the regent of the Pope.
‘Tch, this useless doll. I’ll have to change her later.’
While Constantine was in his thoughts, he approached Veronica who was standing in front of Osram with her arms wide open.
“Holiness, do you remember the assassin who infiltrated the palace three days back?”
“Yes, the one caught with a knife in his hand.”
The case wasn’t told to the public yet.
They were interrogating the assassin to find out the details before releasing the news into the people.
In the course of their interrogation, a surprising fact had been released.
“The pass into the imperial palace by the assassin was forged by Osram. In addition, the poison and dagger used by him were brought into the palace by importing books from the outside.”
Surprised by the truth, Veronica turned over to Osram.
“Is that, is that true, Osram?”
“It is true, Holiness.”
Osram confessed in a low tone. But he revealed another truth.
“But the target of the assassin was never the Holiness, but Constantine, who always stayed by your side.”
“Kuk, this man…!” Constantine was furious.
Whether Constantine shouted or tried to scream, Osram told everything that he wanted to say.
“Constantine! Your sins against the will of God, for covering the eyes and ears of the apostle and the Holiness, aren’t short for death of a hundred times! How long do you think that your power over her will prevail?! There are many people in these nations and in the city and the Imperial Palace, you seek your neck!”
“What, what kind of talk is that?!”
Constantine, whose face was red with anger, looked back at the paladins.
“What are you people doing?! Aren’t you suppose to draw him out right away?!”
When the paladins hesitated, Osram stepped forward.
Surprised with his act, Veronica tried to stop, but he shook his head.
“It was just an act to kill someone, it still broke the laws of the country and disturbed the Imperial Palace. I don’t want to avoid the responsibility as an excuse for some cause.”
Speaking out sternly towards Constantine, who was the cause of it, he was acting proud to be arrested.
Rather than just taking him into custody, Constantine who got furious seeing him act like that shook the paladins near Osram.
“Cut his neck right away!”
“No! Don’t kill him!”
At the immediate opposition from Veronica, Constantine shouted.
“Holiness! This is a work which has to be taken care of by me…”
“Didn’t I tell you not to kill him?!”
Constantine wasn’t able to speak again.
The pope, who had just cut his words with severe anger in her voice, he had never witnessed the innocent figure act such a way.
Clarity and intensity in her eyes, stating that she was full of dignity as a leader for the nation.
Why would she suddenly behave like that?
Constantine’s face hardened seeing her like that.
If he was going to clash words with the Pope in there, there would be nothing good that he could get.
If there was even a little truth to the rumors that the Pope was disagreeing with her regent, the hyenas would go looking for a regent position.
“Ah, understood. We will punish him without killing.”
“I hope that happens.” Responded Veronica.
The blast that finally struck the Imperial library had subsided.
Veronica III, who was left all alone, sat down and sighed.
‘I have never thought about grandfather, no, the regent, never before…’
Wouldn’t Constantine get angry with her later?
Veronica was frightened as if she did something wrong and she was feeling restless.
But on the other hand, she kept telling her.
-You did well. You did what had to be done.
It was the voice that spoke to her the other day.
Veronica felt a little relieved at that. And though she didn’t realize it, a little confidence rose in her heart.