A niggling feeling tickled Su Shi, and he abruptly looked back.
The windows were high so there was no way to look in and see the situation inside the prison.
The prison door has been opened, and the guard was still frozen. As long as the protagonist wanted to leave, he could go out at any time.
The pope had some misgivings but he was busy putting out the fire in the file library. He probably wouldn’t act rashly like this.
Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.
Nothing was going to happen…
His heart thumped inexplicably.
Suddenly, the sound of orderly footsteps came from not too far away.
The guards on patrol were coming over.
Su Shi quickly darted into the shadows. He glanced back once more and finally walked away quickly along the shadows.
The pope walked out of the darkness and silently looked at the cardinal in front of him.
The black energy in his eyes was already becoming too difficult to conceal. An eerie chill spread rapidly with every step he took. The guard who had been frozen was instantly turned into powdered dust and scattered silently onto the ground.
Several tendrils of extremely insipid black energy merged into his body.
Esmond looked at him. Contrarily, his expression became more and more calm: “I thought you were planning to take it slowly, Your Majesty.”
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The pope’s expression was dark, and he stared for a long time before speaking in a deep voice.
“I was originally planning to do so—until just now, your child of God just burned up all of my undead knights.”
Hearing about the holy paladin’s glorious accomplishment, Esmond could not help but be surprised. His eyebrows went up and a faint smile appeared in his eyes. “That really sounds like something he would do.”
Seeing the smile in Esmond’s eyes, the dark energy in the pope’s eyes became even darker, and he suddenly walked towards him swiftly.
Losing the disguise of fake compassion, the pope’s eyes have completely become cold and cruel. His originally lenient and gentle voice had also chilled.
“He really disrupted my plan. The power I had accumulated so hard was destroyed. The church will soon be aware of the escaping demonic energy. At a time like this, I have to present a scapegoat.”
As he said this, a triumphant smirk curled the corners of his mouth: “Obviously, I can’t use the holy paladin that was pardoned by an oracle—but what a coincidence, there is someone who pleaded guilty for attempting to assassinate me.”
Esmond did not answer. His pupils slightly contracted.
A brilliant golden flame ignited silent at his aide.
The familiar burning temperature made the pope stop. The pope raised his eyebrows with interest as a mocking smile entered his gaze.
“My cardinal, I have to say that your mastery of disguise is really too shallow.”
As he said this, he took out the scepter that belonged to the pope and faced the cardinal standing in front of him.
“From now on, in everyone’s eyes, you will be the demonized fallen one. Your flames will appear pitch black, just like a devil’s wings…”
As his voice fell, the originally brilliant golden flames flashed and became a pitch-black color that made people feel cold.
A strong chill spread from the bottom of his heart, and Esmond’s breathing turned stagnant. His face abruptly paled.
It was just a smokescreen. It didn’t affect the power of the move itself. It just changed the people’s perception of his powers.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
If he defeated the pope, the people will only see a degenerate Fallen attacking the cohesion of faith. And if the pope killed him, it will be a happy event of punishing evil and promoting good. Then the mainland will be completely controlled by the pope.
He could not win, but he must not lose.
For an instant, he felt some weakness in his heart. He closed his eyes and said a name silently for the last time.
The pope smirked and flung out his sleeves. Then he brought Esmond into the Holy Arena*.
[*T/N: 圣域角斗场 – Not quite certain how to translate this. Google gave me Sanctuary Area, but individually 圣 means “holy or sacred,” 域 means “field or area,” and 角斗场 is a “wrestling ring.” In the end I went with Holy Arena.]
Su Shi’s heart suddenly jumped.
The white-haired archbishop was slowly looking at the file that Su Shi had presented. After reading it carefully, he cautiously pushed his glasses up.
There were always convicts pleading their cases, but for someone that was already pardoned to return and accept the crime, this holy paladin before him was really the first.
“Your Excellency Ivan, according to your statement, you did indeed attempt to assassinate the pope, and Bishop Esmond was just framed and threatened, which was why he had to bear the charge for you.”
The young paladin lowered his gaze and said respectfully, “Yes.”
The archbishop’s eyes flashed. He raised his gaze to look at Su Shi.
“If you had really tried to assassinate the pope, then how could you be pardoned by the God of Light?”