Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 227: Twenty-fifth Episode: Chapter 5
Chapter 227: Twenty-fifth Episode: Chapter 5
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
It was the 5th day of the 7th month in the Year 801 of the Church's Calander. It was O'Neil Andrew Morisette's first visit to the Kingdom of Italia, his first visit to the Holy City of Rome. In this ancient kingdom and this deeply religious city, Andrew's family elders were held in legendarily high regards. Even before the Titan prince departed for his trip, merchants around the cities and villages of the Kingdom of Italia fervently sold little booklets detailing O'Neil's great exploits.
Reading about those vivid stories, the citizens of the country had no trouble believing that O'Neil Andrew Morisette had all of the characteristics and virtues of a warrior and a saint. Even though he suffered some setbacks when he was younger, his fearless spirit remained unbent, and his incredible tenacity and fighting spirits were recognized all over the world. When he was doing battle with the world, he defeated invaders and rebels alike with a great brilliance. He led the God-chosen warriors to conquer the entire Great Plains of Anatolia, thus reclaiming the land that was the birth origin of the Religion of Light, which had been under the rule of other religions for the past seven centuries…
"Long live St. O' Neil Andrew Morisette!" he truly deserved the praises given to him.
In O'Neil's eyes, Italia was undoubtedly a prosperous and leisurely nation. The fields that were scattered all around the courtyards and vineyards showed a dazzling display of colors under the sunlight. The red-bricked houses proudly show off its cultural heritage, and the beautiful little houses half made of wood, found scattered around the city and the villages, produced a sort of picturesque disorder. This was Italia: a Kingdom of Fields and Gardens; rolling open fields, rich in culture, and full of churches steeped in history.
Whether one was at the countryside or in the middle of one of its beautiful bustling cities, there would surely be a visible spire punctuating the skies wherever one looked, be it that of some ancient temples, or the newer churches, or even the traditional Roman churches. It was as though all of Italia's architectural wisdom was accumulated together just to worship the God of Light.
That's right, it was worship! Oscar felt this was one of the ways that Italia's citizens expressed their devotions to this divine land. Whether one wandered off to a richer or a poorer part of the country, its churches remained beautiful and elegant. The churchmen and clergymen, though large in number, were all meticulously cared for by its people. No wonder the Manuel royal family would secretly curse these churchmen as bloodsuckers. If such a bunch of people like them, who could not distinguish between right from wrong and only knew how to congregate at one's doorstep, stretched out their hands and demand for money, probably even the most pious of believers would also feel frustrated.
Italia's Manuel royal family sent a palace chief to lead a huge welcome delegation. Ever since the Titan Prince crossed the border into Italia, everyone along his journey treated him as they would an emperor. In fact… all the monarchs in Westland more or less treated O'Neil Andrew Morisette as if he was a coronated king. This had nothing to do with his Empress wife, rather, it was his strength that determined it all.
Think about it, other than the vast territory which rightfully belonged to the center part of the Empire at the south of Titan, Andrew's family elders, in reality, controlled the traditional feudal fiefdoms of Narcissus County, the entire Great Plains of Anatolia, and including the newly acquired Balgan Peninsula… Oh heavens! With the control over such a vast area of territory much more than any of the sovereign monarchies, who would dare question whether O'Neil Andrew Morisette was a true Emperor?
The 5th day of the 7th month, the date of the Titan Prince's visit. The Italia Royal Family made an exception and announced that day as a public holiday. Whether it was to celebrate the arrival of a hero or to celebrate the defeat of the people of another religion, the Holy Roman City was aroar with cheers usually only seen during carnival celebrations.
Every road in the city, both large and small, was packed with spectators who had rushed over to watch the ritual. The city buildings were decorated with strips of ribbon, and the Manuel royal household, who were known for their pleasure in luxury, made sure that the Palace and Caeser Square were decorated extravagantly. Every member of the Manuel Royal Household was on the move, with His Majesty the King in the lead to welcome the Titan Prince. The members of both the royal family and the important ministers of the court arranged themselves into lines on either side of the steps of the country's palace. The throne was placed at the end of Caeser Square. As long as the Titan prince and his party crossed the triumphal arch, they would be able to catch sight of the highest ruler of Italia.
A few Red Tiger knights who had rushed over from the war zones cleared the way ahead of the magnificent carriage carrying the Head of the Family. The knights were clad in ancient armor, in their hands, they wielded similarly simple, yet unusually sharp weaponry. Amidst the great cheers of the crowd, they passed through the triumphal arc, just like the Roman warriors who once conquered the entire Westland.
Historically, the people of Titan admitted that this race was entirely of the ancient Roman descent. They did not have any different views from the Italians in terms of the ancestry. The Narcissus Knights had always been regarded as descendants of the Roman warriors. Generations ago, Andrew's elders had even personally gone to Italia to look for the origins of their clan. Of course, the result was tainted by the embellished version of history from others. It had always been the foreign policy of Italia's leaders to forge blood relations with its stronger neighbors, having nothing to do with the civilization of the nations stereotyped in history.
From his window, Oscar looked out at the scenes unfolding before him with great wonder. He and his wife exchanged glances speechlessly; regardless of how much they had anticipated it, they were nevertheless unprepared for the enthusiasm of the people of Italia, as if they were saints who had just saved the world.
However… we all know that O'Neil Andrew Morisette was never a self-assuming man. He knew that he could not be on par with the saints! The unusually-enthusiastic reception before him was merely hype-generated by the Vatican as well as a display put up by the Royal Household of Italia. The Vatican needed the Titan Prince's plundered territories and gold, whereas the Manuel Royal Family needed strong neighbors to make a guarantee against violating one another… in other words, this was business! It is just that simple.
The year 791, if anyone still remembered, was the year in which the commander of the Liszt Front of the Narcissus Knights, Lieutenant General Virgil Blaze, was the first to cross under the triumphal arch. And now, O'Neil Andrew Morisette and his knights were similar. Together, they witnessed the glory of the holy city of Rome, or perhaps one could say, the acknowledgment of allegiance of a certain meaning.
After passing under the Hordon triumphal arch, a great Roman Colosseum towered over the boulevard on the right, and the largest church in the traditional Catholic world, St. Roflus Cathedral, towered on the left. At the end of Caeser Square, stood Italia's National Palace and the looming silhouette of Caeser Palace under the glorious sunlight.
The guards opened the awning of the carriage of His Imperial Highness the prince, and O'Neil Andrew Morisette held his wife and stood up. Once they passed the triumphal arc, they smiled and waved gently at the crowd on their left. The Roman citizens reacted to Saint Andrew's arrival with the most exalted of cheers and a sky raining flowers. The crowd wrestled their ways to the center of the street, and the Italian soldiers on either side of the street kept pushing forward with their shields. The atmosphere at the scene was intense; it seemed as if it would soon get out of control.
The beautiful open carriage stopped in front of the Caeser Palace, and the senile king of Italia, His Majesty King Manuel XIII, walked out onto the palace's pavement along with his Queen. Both parties proceeded to greet each other according to royal protocol. When they had more or less exchanged enough pleasantries, O'Neil then introduced his entourage to the king of Italia. The king of Italia returned the gesture by introducing each of his sons and daughters to the Titan prince.
Teodoro Manuel and Her Royal Highness Princess Caro Arsia were both old friends of O'Neil, especially the latter. Not many people were aware that Her Royal Highness Princess Caro Arsia maintained a close correspondence with the Titan Prince by virtue of exchanging letters. This was fairly frequent when His Imperial Highness Prince was studying at Sparjoxin and only stopped after Oscar was imprisoned by the Deiss.
The Head of the Andrew Family especially took note of Caro Arsia who was beautiful, elegant and had already matured into a great lady. Although the memories of the younger days were, to one's surprise, no longer vivid, the lingering embrace and kiss they shared at the edge of Swan Lake were like a past in heaven.
"Still doing okay?" Oscar asked.
"All good!" the Princess of Italia replied with a smile.
This time it was Caro Arsia's turn to ask, "And you?"
"Still the same!" O'Neil replied while kissing her the back of her hand.
"If you are good, so am I…" Andrew's mistress suddenly appeared in between them. Perhaps both parties thought that they had hidden their feelings quite fittingly, but Sasha, or anyone else who used their heads would be able to tell otherwise.
The Titan Prince and the Princess of Italia were making sheep eyes at each other, particularly Caro Arsia, whose chest and eyes were spewing fire, like an estrus female dragon.
The brief meeting came to an end, and King Manuel XIII escorted the Titan Prince's party to call on the Pope. Although Andrew Morisette did not say anything, in his heart, he harbored plenty of ill feelings towards His Grand Eminence Pope Elamos I. According to protocol, the leader of the Church should have greeted the Titan Prince outside the triumphal arch, before the king. And yet, this pope, born of a certain small noble leader, would only sit on the throne of the Saint Roman Lovran's Cathedral, unwilling to even move his butt.
Baron Sandinand Wollums, who was good in understanding body language, at the moment, suggested to his master, "We should find an opportunity to give him a good kick in the butt!"
Oscar was not interested in the buttocks of His Grand Eminence the Pope. He was only concerned about the saint's crown that would be forced upon his head.
Regarding the conferring of Saint, the Vatican of Light had an entire set of rules and regulations. The number of people that fulfilled these rules and regulations on earth was but a few. Most of the saints were only conferred this honorary title by the bishop group when the person involved had passed away. However, a living antecedent of a saint was also common. Just like the ruler of the Kingdom of Engels, Charlie the Great personally took part in the eastern crusades. He was the first Head of the Andrew Family who established the Narcissus Knights and expelled the Persians until Church's year 801. History or perhaps human effort had contributed to the remarkable achievements of O'Neil Andrew Morisette. Even though he had committed extremely cruel crimes during his youth, after twenty-one years later, no power in the world today was capable of judging his mistakes, because the religious leader would crown him with a holy name!
"Saint O'Neil Andrew Morisette…" the Titan Prince needed only to mouth that title to feel a surge of excitement beyond description.
"Kick the pope in the buttocks!" This was such a good suggestion! Just as O'Neil had predicted, His Grand Eminence the Pope of the Faran kingdom had set his heart on giving him a hard time. Compared to the warm welcome given to him by Italia's Manuel Royal Household, the Vatican's welcome was pitiful, to the extent that the chairman of the bishop delegation, after personally seeing the decorations put up in the holiest church, chased after the Titan Prince from behind, shouting his apologies.
His Grand Eminence Pope Elamos I made the Titan Prince and the Italia bigwigs that filled the seats wait for a full hour. During that time, he was even invited by Bishop Lileula three times. Although O'Neil had prepared himself to be met with such a sharp rebuff, he nonetheless did not expect the other person to land a slap on his face.
Just as the Titan Prince was about to lose his patience, His Grand Eminence the Pope, who was late, came in at last. In the thousand-people sanctuary, Elamos I welcomed the Head of the Andrew Family with a smirk on his face. Both sides exchanged pleasantries and proceeded to introduce their entourage. Oscar did not bring along any nobodies. He only brought knights and military men. Among those who had an audience with pope were the renowned Commander of the Red Tigers, Murat Bedoya, the Chief of Staff, Laurier Nedgabel, who had four hundred thousand Narcissus knights, the Brigade Commander of the Military Intelligence First Special Combat Brigade, the most well-known offensive unit of the Titan Empire, Luke Citel…
In other words, Oscar had brought a group of 'butchers' to the altar. Even though these generals, who followed him through fire and water, appeared to be heroes on the outside, the truth was that their hands had been tainted by the blood of countless souls, perhaps even holy water would not be able to wash them away.
After a brief exchange of conventional greetings, the scene died down. Oscar could not find any topics. His Grand Eminence Pope Elamos I also did not want to socialize with the crafty people of Titan. Since the Head of the Andrew Family wanted to be a Saint, then let him be! However, this was not because His Grand Eminence the Pope admired O'Neil Andrew Morisette's character and feats. Instead, it was for the name of god and for the gold! Heavens!
Thinking about the gold… the Pope suddenly did not find the situation altogether that intolerable anymore. The sacred conferring ceremony started in the morning. The Vatican had made fairly adequate preparations for it. O'Neil Andrew Morisette's position was as a Prince of Titan, equal to the status of the Imperial Household. Saint Roman Lovran's Cathedral opened all its doors for him. Before the commencement of the ceremony, they even rang the massive bell in set up in the steeple.
The sound of the bell washed over the hearts of the people. It passed through the eaves, through the rubble, through the thick walls and the spacious hall. Close to a thousand candles were lit in the church. Aside from the statue of the God of Light, there was not a soul in sight in the vast space, only waves of quiet and hoarse sobbing blended with the sound of the miserable bell.
Kachev Drakas Ferdinand sat limply on the seat in the Church. The double blow brought on by having his reputation swept away and being a fugitive had completely crushed him mentally and physically. As if this was not enough, his prostitute of a daughter had also abandoned him! His flirtatious Erdogan had already engaged in a passionate romance as soon as she arrived at the Kingdom of Engels. However, ultimately this prostitute with a husband chose to follow a merchant out to sea, leaving behind her young son and her sickly father. Of course… there was still a whole lot of debt.
The Old Duke Ferdinand had not left his sickbed in a long time. Moreover, when he left his sickbed, he would only go to one place. The Church was a place of repentance. This quiet and serene place was a perfect match for a man like him who was already at death's door.
"Pardon me… Forgive me…" the old man repeated over and over again as if that was the only thing he knew how to do.
As the ringing of the prayer bells faded, the fire on the church's altar danced fiercely at the sudden opening of the great doors. A flurry of footsteps could be heard drawing near. The old man was grasping a sword in his hand that had his most beloved pendant while the other hand was tightly clutching the wound on his shoulder. Blood was oozing out from the wound, and the young man turned away in a panic. The cries and sounds of the battle outside the Church were drawing ever closer. He knew that the family bodyguards were no match for the Engels Marine Commando Unit.
"Grandfather! Grandfather! We should leave this place!"
Viscount Minsk Drakas Ferdinand was no longer connected to the glory and honor of the handsome man of those days. Even though he was the flesh and blood of the Titan Empire's Emperor, His Majesty Alpha III, who asked him to have a prostitute-like mother? There were some things had already been decided by the God of Light! Initially, he thought that his fleeing to the Kingdom of Engels could give to him a lifetime of peace, yet the sly Fur Seal, after exploiting Titan's military secrets that the Ferdinand Family knew, turned on him!
O'Neil Andrew Morisette's drafted blacklist of death had already been made a hot topic in public earlier on. The Ferdinand Family had gathered together all the faithful servants and martyrs willing to sacrifice their lives. However… it was all too late!
"Grandfather…" not receiving a response, Minsk tapped at the old man, horror-stricken. Kachev Drakas Ferdinand's frail body inclined to one side and the old man slowly collapsed. The once all-powerful political alligator had already departed a long time ago.
Without paying attention to the throngs of professional military personnel pouring out from all four corners of the Church, or the weapons trained on the vital parts of his body, Minsk Drakas Ferdinand embraced his old grandfather tightly. His grandfather was Titan's Secretary of State, a world-renowned politician, a conspirator and a traitor! And yet, to him, his grandfather was just a kindly old man whose beard he had once pulled out and he had once fooled before.
The soldiers of the Kingdom of Engel surrounding the young man suddenly stepped aside to make way for an important figure. Sir James strode over indifferently, "According to the orders issued His Majesty the King of my country, I hereby arrest the great criminal, Duke Ferdinand to be handed to Titan Military Intelligence Bureau led by His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette for a public trial…"
Minsk continued to stroke his grandfather's forehead. He did understand a lot, but he knew the sort of ending for having fallen into the hands of the hypocrite, O'Neil Andrew Morisette. Thinking back about the complacency while he was in Dulin, recalling the people in the world who had loved him before and those whom he loved, everything was nothing but a meaningless dream…
The young man reached his hand into his shirt and aggressively pulled out a pistol that was not yet loaded. Swords from all sides hacked at him simultaneously. Blood spilled onto the floor of the Church, spreading rapidly as if it had been granted life. The fiery red of the blood reflected the candlelight, appearing even more striking.
After the person in charge of Fur Seal had verified the death of the targets, he left the scene with flagging interests. His subordinates then beheaded the two culprits according to the old ways. Their heads were placed in a delicate wooden box. Sulfur and potassium nitrate powder were also sprinkled onto them…
The God of Light standing erect in the church should have borne witness to all of this. However, the God did not seem to harbor any dissatisfaction. He evaluated the world with kindly eyes. Evidently, the Almighty Creator had his eyes on another show!
O'Neil Andrew Morisette knelt down on one knee before the altar. He was not dressed in a uniform that signified the commander of the soldiers. Instead, he had on a ceremonial palace robe befitting the occasion. He wore a red robe made of swansdown. On the back of the robe was cross-weaved with a golden thread, while the collar had the totem of the Andrews woven with silver thread.
"Almighty Creator… Great God of Light!" His Grand Eminence Pope Elamos I who had just completed the mass prayer suddenly stood before the golden image of God and opened his arms. "Please, listen to the voices of this world. Kneeling before you is your pious disciple, his name is O'Neil Andrew Morisette!"
Following the lead of the pope's opening remarks, the congregants in the thousand-people church began to recite the name of the saint.
"O'Neil Andrew Morisette is your most devoted soldier! Your gospel commanded him to conquer cities and reclaim lands and defeat the evil Pagans! Your Spirit guided him, freeing your believers suffering from slavery and the territories that belong to you!"
"Almighty Creator… Great God of Light…"
The crowd once again followed the lead of His Grand Eminence the Pope and cried out even louder. Elamos I dipped his hand into the holy water in the golden bowl and proceeded to place his palms that were dripping with holy water onto O'Neil Andrew Morisette's forehead, "Please bless this man! If you grant him a spirit of goodness and love, he will return you with unswervingly loyal to the faith…"
"O'Neil Andrew Morisette!" His Grand Eminence the Pope's palm left the Titan prince. "Will you take on the blessings bestowed by God and love all living things in the world?"
Having felt the coolness on his forehead and the light before his eyes, O'Neil Andrew Morisette nodded repeatedly, "Yes, I will!"
"O'Neil Andrew Morisette!" His Grand Eminence the Pope once again used holy water and taped both of the Titan Prince's shoulders. "Every living thing is equal and the people of God are brothers. Will you uphold God's law and protect God's people with a heart of love, humility, and fairness?"
"Yes, I will!" Oscar vowed loudly. "I will use my own flesh and blood as a shield, love, and justice as a sword and campaign against the injustices of the world, to uphold the divine law, faith, and all the buildings that are under the basis of this faith."
"O'Neil Andrew Morisette… Please rise!" Pope Elamos I gestured to the clergymen to the collect the golden bowl filled with holy water. He helped the Titan prince to his feet. According to the rules of the ceremony, the Head of the Andrew Family, who had been baptized with holy water, could already communicate face to face with the gods.
O'Neil approached the altar and placed his palms on the feet of the golden statue of the God of Light, and then to rested his forehead on the back of his hands. Just then, the voice of His Grand Eminence the Pope appeared at his ear.
"O'Neil Andrew Morisette, please tell the Almighty Creator! Will you rid the world of injustice… hatred, bloodshed, and war?"
"I… I don't know!" A gasp of horror traveled out from the vast indoors. The sound of boots stamping on the ground awakened the seemingly-sleeping manor. The soldiers wrapped fully in black cloaks dragged the victim out of the house. They threw the pitiful, blood-covered man out onto the winding corridor of the manor, and then came a period of a violent beating!
"That's enough! That's enough!" a voice could suddenly be heard, only then did the attackers in the winding corridor disperse one after another, leaving only the man who had encountered such a torture lying on the ground, breathless.
Summertime in the south of Faran was hot beyond reason. Any slight movements and one would be dripping with sweat. The attackers who had barged into the manor were sitting and lying around, chewing on a bitter wormwood and taking huge gulps of iced grape wine that had just been retrieved out from the cellar.
The family that owned this manor was very famous. The Faran villagers, both near and far, had heard of them. The average laborers at the lowest rung of society extremely admired the people who were brave enough to issue a challenge against the strong! The Boustead family originated from Titan and was the motivating leader behind the Great Uprising of the Southern Craftsmen in Year 791. Even though the Boustead Family eventually decided to come to a compromise with the ruler, the persecution the Boustead Family suffered then after, again earned a great reputation among these opportunists. Only in Faran, the freedom faction, which supported this family that was met with misfortune, was more than a dozen.
However… there was no need to bring up these things anymore! The blacklist of death that the Titan Military Intelligence authority had made actually had the names of twenty-one members of the Boustead family printed onto it. The shrewd and ruthless O'Neil Andrew Morisette had given this blacklist a veritable status. The twenty-one names on the blacklist included both men and women, young and old. It even included the name of a neonate just born on the 11th month last year.
"But… there are still two more!" said the Military Intelligence operations officer who was in charged of making an inventory of the bodies, seemingly distressed.
In the open space of the valley before him, corpses were piled into a stack. Looking at those sinister faces that had lost all expressions, it indeed included all sorts of people, including the men and the women, the old and the young.
"Hey, old fellow! Do you have any suggestions?" The Military Intelligence operations officer turned toward old Boustead who was settled limply to one side. The former great business alligator had suffered a stroke last winter and become paralyzed; he could not even speak, so there was no need to expect any good suggestions from him.
The secret agents of the Titan Military Intelligence cleared the bodies from the pile of corpses one by one. If they had known earlier, they would not have simply disposed of these meaningless people. When the Boustead family members who had died in all sorts of manner were arranged out in rows, the answer finally came out.
"It's those two little brats; the nine-year-old and the one-year-old!"
The executioner present nodded his head fervently but remained motionless. The Military Intelligence operations officer was a little impatient. He glowered at his subordinate, "Well, go look for them! What are you waiting for? This is the supreme order from the Marshal of the Guards, Head of the Military Intelligence Bureau, His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette. Do you know the price that we have to pay if we do not fulfill our duties?"
The people of Titan dispersed. They entered the huge house that had blood stains scattered all over, one after another. The operations officer shot a glance at the elder of the Boustead Family, who was lifeless and trembling uncontrollably. He spat under his breath, "Don't worry old man, once those two little ones are found, we will send all of you on your way…"
In the end, the detailed search amounted to nothing, and the operations officer had lost patience. A morning had passed and it was difficult to guarantee that the locals would not discover that a group of strangers had arrived at the place of refuge of the Boustead house.
"Where are they, the two children?" The operations officer grabbed the hair of the survivor. It was fortunate that there was still a living mouth in the Boustead house.
The bloodied prisoner wiggled his lips. He exhausted all his strength to spit a mouthful of blood at the executioner.
"They're found! They're found!"
The head operations officer cast aside the living mouth while cursing loudly. He was cursing the agent who was late for not voicing out earlier.
"The two little brats were in the chimneys of the prayer room. There was a dark compartment in the flue. We heard cries through the stethoscope and then only…
"Shut up!" The operations officer was already even more impatient. He took out his dagger and swiftly stabbed the only living person in the heart. The man was convulsing. This member of the Bousteads used the last of his strength to grab the slaughterer's shoulder. The vengeance in his eyes actually dissipated. His life was seeping away, his eyes were begging!
"Let the children go... let my son go..."
The military operations officer was expressionless. Even though he had to admit that he had a moment's of compassion, he still twisted the dagger he had thrust into the other's heart twice.
As he discarded the corpse, the operations officer heard the cry of the children. His team members carried a child that was as tall as a chair and an infant as big as a cushion over to him. This officer of the Secret War subconsciously kept his distance. He merely ordered his team members to make the two children shut up. The Military Intelligence secret agent covered their huge hands tightly over the children's mouth. After a while, the children calmed down as if they had fallen asleep, except that their tearful eyes were still innocently wide open.
The bodies of twenty Titan serious offenders were thrown into the deep wells in the manor, and the wells immediately turned into blood.
The Military Intelligence secret agent placed the Bousteads' paralyzed elderly into a wooden barrel and then lowered both the elderly and the wooden barrel into the well. From the looks of it, the elderly would be the only survivor of the Boustead Family. However, the Military Intelligence secret agents used fire to seal the mouth of the well with mud and then placed boards and laid rocks onto it…
"Finally, it's over..."
O'Neil Andrew Morisette groaned. His forehead was almost frozen by the icy gold statue. Damn this summer! However, the golden body of the God of Light was instead exuding chilly cold air, not the least easy-going!
His Grand Eminence the Pope gave a faint smile. The giant gold statue in front of him was carved out of a thousand-year oak. The foundation penetrated more than ten meters into the ground. The Titan Prince had probably already suffered enough from the bitter cold.
"Please..." Elamos I once again stretched out his hand and gestured. O'Neil then reluctantly knelt down.
"The Almighty Creator has heard your wishes!" His Grand Eminence the Pope tried his best to make himself appear amiable and kindly. "And the last question. Will you keep your God-given teachings and creeds all the time, and share the wealth that the Gods have given you with the people of the world?"
"Yes, I will..." Oscar's voice was weak. The statue froze him to a point that he had a headache.
"By the Gods!" His Grand Eminence Pope Elamos I suddenly gave a thunderous shout, and the crowd in the sanctuary responded again! Meanwhile, the hall of Saint Roman Lovran's Cathedral suddenly lighted up. The thousands of candlelight flickered in the breeze. Stained glass windows and religious figures on the frescoes of the hall seemed to come alive. They clung to the Holy Grail, the holy tool, the holy fire, and the sacred spears charging towards O'Neil Andrew Morisette who was kneeling on the ground.
The Titan Prince's body swelled up instantly. He was completely enveloped in a dazzling ray of light falling from the sky. Although he knew that it was because the sanctuary's mirrored skylight was opened up, the symphony formed from the singing of the masses, the murmuring of the servants of God, the pipe organ and artifacts still made him have an out of body experience.
"By the God of Light... in the name of the Virgin, the Holy Spirit, and the Son, the name of the saints of the Titan Empire, the leader of the Andrew family, Saint O'Neil Andrew Morisette, may the believers attain eternal life, the believer O'Neil Andrew Morisette… receive protection, true knowledge, peace…"
The church opened its doors, and rays of dazzling light poured in. Ear-splitting cheers and resonant carols rang out in Caeser Square.
The sunlight crossed the threshold and the floor. It spilled softly onto the bed like a spread-out carpet.
Lying on the bed was an old woman with gray hair. It was difficult to believe that this woman in a sloppy dress, who was inarticulate in speech, was once the noble Empress of the Titan Empire.
The sudden sunlight stung Rolyn Kate's eyes. She moved her body with difficulty, using her shoulders to shield the swaddling clothes in her arms. Although those who had met her had reminded her that there was nothing inside the swaddling clothes, the Empress of the Titan Empire was still stubborn, like a competent mother, waiting upon a non-existent child with all her heart. Perhaps she had really lost it, or perhaps she did not, but the main point was aside from those who had ulterior motives, who else would bother?
Now, which idiotic maid opened the curtains? Rolyn Kate thought. She and her child were both afraid of the light. Only in the stillness of the dark would she feel a moment of peace. Light would sting her skin and cause the wrinkles of age to emerge on her skin. If there were no light, she would not see these; she would still be a dignified mother of the Titan nation with radiant beauty.
"Behold, it's the Deamo White Rose!" the stupid maid was holding a bouquet of a variant of roses. Rolyn Kate gave a faint smile. She knew that the days of living under one's charity were difficult. Even if it were in treating a stupid maid, she would put on her arrogant and bossy attitudes as before.
"It's my favorite Deamo White Rose!" cried the Titan Empress. She sized up the delicate and charming flower. If this were true, then she had not forgotten that this wretched place was the capital of the Kingdom of Weden. Weden was located at the coast of the North Sea. During a sizzling hot summer, it was also chilly. Who sent the Deamo Rose that grew in the greenhouse? This prominent figure was indeed thoughtful.
"Who do you think it is?" The shadow of the maid finally left the sunlight in front of the window. She said this while making the bed for the old lady living here.
"I... I've never seen you!" Rolyn Kate hugged the swaddling clothes in her arms tightly. She was not lost it yet. Not only did this maid who had just barge in disturb her afternoon rest, she also had a face which she had never seen before.
The maid smoothed out the creases on the pillow. Her voice is light and soft, "This is a greeting from the motherland, Titan..."
Rolyn Kate was suddenly emotionally-driven. She wanted to call for help, but the other person was already stuffing the pillow forcefully against her face. The old woman struggled wildly. Her chest rose up and down rapidly. Even so, she did not release her arms hugging the swaddling clothes! So… if it was not her who had gone mad, it was this world that had gone insane! Finally, the skinny arms that were flailing ceaseless in the air hung down the side of the bed. The assassin who had come from the motherland of Titan then released the pillow.
The maid skillfully checked the pulse of the Empire's Empress Dowager. The result was very satisfying to her. When she went out, she subconsciously waited and watched the activity in the hallway. When she had ascertained that there was nothing out of the ordinary, she turned around and pulled the curtains at the window tightly closed. The room was once again plunged into thick darkness. After that came the gentle sound of the door closing…
As soon as the door closed, the carriage gradually started moving. Thinking about the scene a while ago made O'Neil Andrew Morisette break into a fit of laughter. The Prince of Titan was the kind of person who held on to grudges and did not want to be a true saint. Considering the fact that His Grand Eminence the Pope racked his brains to make things difficult for him, he must return the favor by many folds
Just a while ago, the Prince of Titan and the King of Italia walked out of the massive arched doors of the Saint Roman Lovran's Cathedral accompanied by the clergies. Oscar deliberately slowed down, and the ignorant His Grand Eminence the Pope senselessly rushed ahead. Thus… a bold defending knight used the rowels of the spurs on his boots to hook the highest servant of God's gold-lined cloak.
Under the cheers of thousands of people in Caeser Square, His Grand Eminence the Pope fell onto the ground with his face towards the sky. The "clueless" Narcissus knights then screamed loudly, much like a bunch of ladies, "Assassins! Assassins!"
Since an assassin had appeared on the scene, chaos would naturally ensue. The battalion of defending knights rushed forth. They used their chests, shields, and weapons to surround the important figure, placing him in the center. After a brief period of squeezing, O'Neil Andrew Morisette ruthlessly stamped on His Grand Eminence the Pope who had collapsed onto the ground, twice. He stepped once onto his knee and for the other… let's just say His Grand Eminence the Pope was not intending to get married. There was no need to get into detail about the placement of the other foot.
O'Neil Andrew Morisette, fully content with his accomplishment, brought along his wife, who was just as excited to mount the carriage. As for His Grand Eminence Pope Elamos I who encountered the inexplicable assassination incident, he hid in the church in a panic. Thus, the entire Holy City of Rome was cheering for only one man. From the public square to the main streets and small alleys, the people of Italia rang all the huge bells of churches. The people cheered loudly under the long drawl of the bells. Praises of "Saint O'Neil Andrew Morisette" rose and fell.
After a short journey, the Prince of Titan once again arrived at the National Palace of Italia. His carriage first opened its awning. Thereafter, the two paladins of Italia opened the carriage door.
When the silhouette of the Saint was revealed under the sunlight, the voices of the people at the square once again turned into overwhelming waves of cheers. Oscar did not hurry in dismounting the carriage, but instead offered his hand to lead his wife and waved continuously at the enthusiastic crowd.
"Louder... a little more effort... it's not enough... far from enough!" O'Neil Andrew Morisette looked at the sea of cheering people and gave a faint smile.
Yes, everything was not enough at the moment! A pair of white hands stretched out from the open carriage. The owner of the hands was that of the Queen of Hoilland's His Majesty Luth VII. The noble Queen was once the eldest princess of the Titan Empire, and she adored her. When she was pampered, bossy and went on a rampage in Dulin, the young Alanis had not even hit puberty yet. So… the former elder princess could not help but mull over why a little girl who could not even get right a two-digit summation could also ascend the throne of Titan, while she, as the elder princess, could not.
With this as the basis, the things that came next were easier to handle. The Queen of Hoilland became the most resolute supporter of the Anti-Titan Alliance. She put forward plans and ideas for her husband and lived frugally so that her country could produce a cannon. Her attitude was as if she was going against a foe who had murdered her father!
The exemplary role of Her Majesty the Queen for understanding reason and being ready to punish her own family if justice demanded it earned her a good reputation both internationally and domestically. After she entered the main battle, the cheers of Titan rose louder and louder, plus she had just borne a young prince for the King of Hoilland. Hence… a better future became just within reach.
The arrival of the little Prince nulled the tense atmosphere brought on by the Kingdom of Hoilland, raising all its land forces with the intent of invading Titan. The day Her Majesty the Queen's little prince was baptized, the country as given a public holiday. When she and the young child who had just been baptized, rode in an open carriage out of the church, the citizens of the kingdom's capital generously offered their fervent cheers to the future ruler of Titan.
On the heavily-guarded streets of the capital of Hoilland, a small tavern was occupied by a group of bored spectators. They debated at the top of their lungs. All that they talked about was how to conquer the most powerful country in the world. The owner of the hotel readily catered to the guests' pickiness and prolixity, but his expression changed after he went into the completely deserted second floor.
"Are you ready to sacrifice your life, brave child?"
A boy of a different race, with deep brows and a tall nose, strode out from the shadows. He lifted his white robe that did not suit his figure. Beneath the pure white cotton cloth, he was strapped full of explosives.
The owner of the hotel nodded. He took the little boy to the balcony on the second floor. The impassioned and joyous crowd was welcoming the Royal Household's ceremonial procession.
"Have you seen the open carriage?"
The boy dropped his gaze and nodded.
The owner of the hotel held the child in his arms. He pointed toward the carriage carrying the Queen of Hoilland.
"The man in the carriage is your most hated enemy! May the True God bless and protect you. You will step on the enemy's head and ascend into the heavens! Do you know what is waiting for you in heaven?"
The boy blinked, and his long-term malnourished face suddenly appeared red.
"A hundred virgins...and eternal life!"
"Good boy!" the hotel owner kissed the boy's forehead. He did not have to understand why the woman and child in the carriage were the enemies of the True God. As a holy warrior, knowing the time the enemy would appear, the place, and his face was enough.
The open carriage would soon pass the tavern, and the fuse of the explosives in the boy's arms would soon burn to the end.
"Go on, child!" The hotel owner suddenly shouted. The boy in his arms was immediately tossed into the air.
The city residents who had witnessed it all had no time to neither cry out nor cover their mouths. A heavy boom transformed the magnificent royal carriage into pieces of wood. The debris filled the air, mixed with bone dust and a bloody fog…
The wine exuded an alluring luster and a rich aroma. The representatives from the Holy See took the lead and lifted their wine glasses. Bishop Liluela congratulated O'Neil Andrew Morisette from across the long dining table. "Your Imperial Highness, your reputation and past achievements have already shown that you are entirely deserving of being a Saint!"
"Thank you..." O'Neil Andrew Morisette smiled slightly under the flattery. If it was not mistaken, the Titan Prince's smile was as that of a devil having gotten his way through a crafty scheming.<script>chaptererror();</script>