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Chapter 740: The Original Meeting of the Grand Cardinals
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
In Lance, the Holy City.
The whole Bright Hall was caught in awkward silence as if it had been frozen. Whether or not they were involved in the operation to capture artificial planets, all the Grand Cardinals lowered their proud heads, ready to embrace the fury of His Holiness.
The operation this time was too great a fiasco. It had been destined to be a failure since the very beginning. The risks that His Holiness took were pointless. Somebody had to be held responsible for that!
Compared to the legendary sorcerers of the Congress of Magic, the saint cardinals and divine knights of the Church enjoyed less immunity. Their positions and the powers under their control restrained the increase of their strength. The higher their position was and the greater power they had, the closer they would be to the Lord and the faster their strength would grow. The dependency was fundamental. Therefore, the punishment that they suffered was not insignificant and simply symbolic.
Also, before they grasped the mysteries of faith, the previous popes had the “divine method” to cut off the connection between the punished saint cardinals and Mountain Paradise. They could only use their own heart of faith without being able to replenish it. Very soon, they would turn into the legends who were in a high level but lacked the corresponding strength.
The legendary sorcerers, on the other hand, were purely based on their own strength. Even if they lost their ident.i.ty as a member of the Highest Council, nothing would be changed. They relied on the Congress of Magic for the combination of resources and an environment of arcana and magic studies. Therefore, they enjoyed much more impunity, and their punishment wouldn’t really hurt them.
That was also one of the reasons why the Congress had been divided into many factions, and the internal conflicts could never be completely ignored. The supremacy of legends had both advantages and drawbacks.
Of all the Grand Cardinals, Philip was the most uneasy one. He was the one who came up with the plan. Benedict III gave him the greatest freedom and even personally took part in it, but he had screwed it up!
The intense explosion when the artificial planet detonated itself sounded like the mocking and malicious laughter of the Congress of Magic, which echoed on in Philip’s heart, making it impossible for him to relax.
Even though he was a newly-promoted saint cardinal and a “young man” who had the potentials to be a Saint, he had to consider how he should bear the fury of the pope and avoid “losses” as much as possible.
After Pope Viken had united and stabilized the Church by introducing the ways to transform the body status via the feelings of believers and the ways to make use of the power of faith, they had all achieved a thing or two. They were able to steal the power of faith on their own, and their strength had been greatly increased. They no longer feared the disconnection from Mountain Paradise. However, it also meant that they were more dependent on the Church right now!
With the Saint Truth behind them, they were much happier than the experts who had to gather the power of feelings and disseminate faith on their own stealthily and arduously. They could openly steal the power of faith from the parish under their control according to a certain ratio without doing any extra things. If they were punished and dispatched to a remote parish, it would be a severe loss for them!
With the holy crown on his gray head and a platinum staff in his hands, Benedict III looked at the Grand Cardinals indifferently and did not say anything for five minutes.
He did not release the intimidation of a demiG.o.d, but the invisible pressure from him still froze the hall. None of the Grand Cardinals dared to speak.
Suddenly, he heaved a sigh. “The accident this time had nothing to do with you. It was not your fault. Your plan was almost perfect, and the grand arcanists were distracted and stalled. Our only mistake was that we did not foresee that the evil sorcerers were so cunning that they set up such weird self-detonation devices on the artificial planet.”
His peaceful tone and his interpretation of the matter immediately thawed the grave atmosphere. Philip heaved a long sigh of relief from the bottom of his heart in sincere grat.i.tude. His Holiness was indeed broadminded, farsighted, and reasonable.
“Your Holiness, what are we going to do now then? Plan a similar operation?” Philip intentionally asked a question with an answer he knew in order to shift the focus of the discussion from the previous failure.
As if he did not know what was on Philip’s mind, Benedict III said with an equally peaceful voice, “Until we figure out the weirdness of the self-detonation device, no similar plans will ever work out.”
“His Holiness is right. When the magic effect is eliminated, it may result in such a powerful explosion. That’s not something to be underestimated. If we cannot figure out the reason, it’s possible that somebody will be killed next time,” Astira, the Angel of Wind, said somewhat in fear. If the power of the explosion was close to “Eternal Blaze”, they probably wouldn’t be obliterated. Since an artificial planet, which was not a legendary item, could generate an explosion on the same level of “Atomic Fission”, there was certainly a small chance that it could give an “Eternal Blaze”.
Melmax also nodded his head. “Unless the G.o.dly Eye arrives in person and controls it with the divine power such as ‘Sacred Hourgla.s.s’, I cannot think of another way to capture it by brute force. Also, capturing them by force will take too long, and the operation will escalate into a total battle.”
“G.o.dly Eye” Arvin, one of the six seraphs, was one of the only two experts who were capable of time-stop divine powers in the Saint Truth. The other expert was, naturally, Pope Viken.
His ability to control time and s.p.a.ce seemed to be a gift from the G.o.d of Truth. Therefore, even the knights who inherited his blood power and Astira, who had the power of the Angel of Wind, could not create the real Time Stop. The best they could do was to slow down or accelerate time.
“We can choose ways that are more indirect and inconspicuous.” Philip looked at Benedict III. “Your Holiness, the ways to become a demiG.o.d that you released in secret must’ve shaken some of the high-level sorcerers, right? We can make use of them…”
He did not finish, but every Grand Cardinal on the spot knew what he meant. It was no different from stealing secrets and carrying out a.s.sa.s.sinations through spies as they did in the past.
In the emergency meeting at the beginning, Benedict III “informed” them of the origin of the Saint Truth. He described Thanos, the Sun King, as the holy son of the G.o.d of Truth on earth. He was a holy son who was in trinity with the G.o.d of Truth and the pope and a holy son who tried to eliminate the evil Magic Empire and save the people. Thanos’ studies on the mysteries of G.o.ds were described as an experience where his memories were awakened after being summoned by the G.o.d of Truth. The failure of his experiment in the end, his integration with Mountain Paradise, and his loss of self-awareness were described as a self-sacrifice to save the world by opening the Chamber of Immortality and awaken human beings.
Such a “story” could only half convince the Grand Cardinals, but Viken’s key point was not the story itself but to make them realize that the G.o.d of Truth was truly a real G.o.d who mastered the supreme power although he was asleep. That was evident from the overwhelming power of Mountain Paradise that they perceived. Also, since Viken released the mysteries of demiG.o.ds and faith voluntarily, they were naturally “fully convinced”.
Viken did not keep it a secret that he had been secretly disseminating the ways to become a demiG.o.d, and the Grand Cardinals were not too reluctant about that. After all, they had a huge territory of faith that was under their control, and they did not have to compete with anybody else. They could watch other people fight each other as bystanders and even intensify the compet.i.tions by aiding different forces that would be in their favor. If other people joined their hands, they still had a pope who could perform G.o.d’s Arrival on their side!
Benedict III shook his head. “I did not propose any demand when I offered the ways to become a demiG.o.d to them, and they would not do anything that is against their own interests for us. As a matter of fact, I’m more glad to see this. When they are close to success, it will be the fragrant bloom of flowers. Things will become very interesting, and we will have greater trophies. Therefore, I don’t want their ‘endeavors’ to be sensed just for artificial planets.”
“Are we going to give up just like that?” Philip was a bit disappointed.
Benedict III smiled. “It will be a different matter if they reveal the secrets on their way in exchange for other things. I know that the Bird of Death is in desperate need of some power of faith. Also, he has been hiding very well. Even if he is exposed, there will be scapegoats who will die for him. On the other hand, I need to meet another person. It’s possible that we can obtain the secrets of artificial planets directly from him…”
He paused there and announced the end of the meeting of the Grand Cardinals.
Melmax, Maria, Kati, Astira, and the other Grand Cardinals were very confused, wondering who the person that the Bird of Death and His Holiness were trying to meet was, but they had to drop all their thoughts and left the Bright Hall without a sound.