Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 349: Passing On (Part I)

Chapter 349: Passing On (Part I)

Chapter 349: Passing On (Part I)

Translator: Meh/TransN Editor: - -
Standing on the top floor of the Tower of Babel, Mayne peered through the window towards the snow-covered city of Hermes.

Since the last attack by a large group of demonic beasts on New Holy City, peace temporarily returned to the icy plains, and the fall of snow weakened. The citizens of Hermes were able to enjoy an unlikely, but timely respite.

Even though this was supposed to be a time of happiness and celebration, Mayne continued to feel nothing but emptiness in his heart. During the attack, in order to kill the terrifyingly-large, hybrid, demonic beasts, a platoon of warriors from God's Punishment Army dashed out from the side entrance of the city wall and fought them head-on. In total, 19 warriors were wounded and two were killed. As for the two beasts, they laid on the ground, growling for a long time after the warriors hacked off their limbs. Eventually, the city wall's guards killed them with spears. Rather than the loss of the warriors, it was the timing of the demonic beasts' attack that terrified Mayne.

After remaining silent for some time, he let out a long sigh and returned to his seat beside the table. He wanted to flip open the Canon and read through it carefully one more time.

"Even if you flip the book until it breaks, the result isn't going to change." Tayfun said as he walked into the circular room holding two hot drinks, and placed one in front of Mayne. "His Holiness O'Brien hasn't agreed to meet you?"

"I've sent my request to the Pivotal Secret Area three times already, but there's still no reply." Mayne said anxiously. "And I have no idea what His Holiness is up to at such an important time..."

"Don't worry," Tayfun interjected, "as you've said yourself, the Canon was written by the first Pope, and hence there are bound to be mistakes. After more than four hundred years, who can guarantee that everything in the book is accurate?"

"But this time it's different." The Archbishop shook his head. "If the time is miscalculated, it'll be a serious catastrophe for us! We're investing a lot of strength and energy in unifying the kingdom to gather all the power of the mainland against the demons. But, if the time is shortened by half, we have no way to build up God's Punishment Army sufficiently after the war!"

"Quiet, Lord Mayne." The old bishop laughed and slowly sipped on his hot drink. "What's done cannot be undone. We can't change the fact that Fang of Hell appeared before us. But there might be two reasons for this."

"What reasons?"

"Drink first and I'll speak," Tayfun said, stroking his beard.

Mayne picked up his cup. It looked like goat milk at first, but when he brought it closer, a spicy smell rushed into his nose. "What did you put in it?"

"Coltsfoot." Tayfun tilted his mouth. "Although you aren't able to directly drink Dreamland Water, drinking a bit of this will be beneficial for you. It'll help you to release your tensions, soothe your nerves, and sleep easier."

With one gulp, Mayne emptied the cup and soon felt a fierce burning sensation in his throat. Although the savory taste of the goat milk was supposed to dilute the coltsfoot juice, it was still extremely uncomfortable for someone who did not consume such drinks often. He coughed twice, wiped his mouth, and said, "Even a cup of Dreamland Water wouldn't make me fall asleep. Can you speak now?"

"One possibility is that the Pope made a mistake in writing. Old men get dizzy spells and moments of amnesia very often, as I know very well." Tayfun shrugged.

"That's unlikely." Mayne frowned. "This concerns the layout and arrangement of the Church, and more importantly, determines the destiny of Man. I'm sure he took great care in writing this down. What's the second reason?"

"The second possibility is that there are circumstances we don't know about that have changed everything."

The Archbishop waited for a moment, and upon realizing that the old bishop had no intention to continue speaking, he questioned, "That's it?"

"Well, that's it." Tayfun repeated.

"Is this... a joke? Everything changed? For this simple reason, all of our efforts will go down the drain! How can you be so cursory..."

"Lord Mayne!" Tayfun raised his voice a few notches. "What exactly do you insist on getting? Is it a sure-fire way to defeat the demons? Or do you think that you're the only person who wants to defend Hermes and prevent the demons from entering the icy plains?"

"..." Mayne froze.

"In any battle, everyone wants to win. But so far, we can't even assure victory in every battle against the Four Kingdoms, not to mention the demons from hell." Speaking in a louder voice, he said, "Have you forgotten the Supreme Pontiff's teachings? The consequences of over-insistence and fear aren't too different. What you should do is accept reality and take things step by step till the end - the eventual result isn't for us to control.

Fear of... the result. Mayne's heart palpitated. "He's right, I'm indeed afraid. Afraid that after becoming the Pope, I'll be unable to fend off the demons, and watch the death of Mankind under my charge."

"I used to be like you," Tayfun suddenly lowered his voice, "but Heather's death made me understand that the result is often unpredictable. The Months of Demons came earlier than usual without warning, yet we were still able to capture Wolfheart City before the big snowfall, as planned... but Heather died and the nature of the war changed. Even so, we still have to carry on." He stood up and let out a long sigh, then patted Mayne on the shoulder and walked out of the room. "So... whether for five or ten years, you must be unrelenting in your mission, not for the path of certain victory, but to fulfil your duty even if the result turns out to be not what you desired."

After hearing the door closing, Mayne gazed at the empty cup in front of him and remained silent.

He had to admit that Tayfun's words were reasonable, but now that he was about to shoulder this heavy responsibility, how could he not feel afraid?

Suddenly, a Presiding Judge walked into the room. "Lord Mayne, the Supreme Pontiff wishes to see you."

Finally!

He stood up immediately, and said eagerly, "Take me quickly to the Pivotal Secret Area."

...

Hidden deep beneath a plateau, the Pivotal Secret Area was a cold and quiet place.

Walking into the hall of the Pivotal Secret Temple, Mayne seemed slightly dazed. Although there was no incarnation ceremony arranged for the day, all of the candles in the hall were lit up and the resultant candlelight sketched out an orange-yellow silhouette for the hall. The overhead chandelier seemed like a gathering of stars in the Kingdom of God.

His Holiness O'Brien was sat on the throne, silently gazing at Mayne.

Mayne felt something was not right, but suppressed his suspicions, and walked up to the throne. He knelt prostrate with his forehead touching the floor.

"Rise, child." The Pope's voice was very delicate, and without paying attention it would be difficult to hear what he was saying.

Mayne straightened his body, and saw that the Pope's face was ridden with age and fatigue, as if he had not had a rest for a long time. "Your Holiness, please take care of your body."

"No need." He laughed, and deep wrinkle lines covered his face at once. "I'm going to die soon."

"Your Holiness, you aren't..."

"No, listen to me, child." O'Brien labored to interrupt the Bishop. "I understand the condition of my own body, and without question, my time is soon up." He paused for a moment and took a deep breath. "The purpose of calling you here today... is to pass on the Pope's position to you."