“The pope has arrived!” The servant’s loud voice sounded from the doorway again, trembling a little. Obviously, the servant was also shocked by the status of the people arriving.
Duke Gordon came back to his senses and hurried out to welcome the pope.
Everyone else in the hall also overcame their shock and started gossiping. Everyone wore a different expression, all guessing why the pope was here.
Lingyun Leng leaned against the wall quietly, his expression neutral. He knew beforehand that the pope would come.
Xueqing Liu tried to control her excitement; on the surface, she was still cool and quiet, but she was almost exploding inside! Every time she saw Xuanxuan being exceptionally nice towards Claire, a sense of danger would would appear in her heart. The only reason why Lingyun Leng would treat Xueqing Liu differently was because his only sister was under the care of Xueqing Liu. In other words, Xuanxuan was the winning card Xueqing needed to get closer to Lingyun Leng. But if this card disappeared, Lingyun Leng would be cold and indifferent to her also! Every time Xueqing Liu thought about this she would grow worried. Now that Claire, a hidden threat, would be gone forever, how could she not be excited? Even the tiniest threat would not be left to grow! Because in Xueqing Liu’s heart, Lingyun Leng was her sky, her everything!
Claire also stood up and looked towards the entrance of the Grand Hall. The pope had come himself! Was this good or bad? There must be something more than merely congratulating her. Claire knew clearly that she wasn’t that important in the pope’s heart! So is it about the Gift of the goddess?
Dragon Ben squinted at the solemn and dignified pope and yawned indifferently. This pretentious old man had to stand through his saliva the other night. So who was he putting such a serious face up for?
Behind the pope came a red-robed cardinal, a person whom Claire knew — the cute old man Lawrence. Lawrence was dressed seriously, a pretty silk box in his hands, following behind the pope closely. His face was also very solemn. Claire almost felt sorry for him that he had to put up such a poker face.
“I didn’t expect your Holiness to visit, sorry for not preparing beforehand…… ” Duke Gordon smiled apologetically while greeting the pope. He was nervous, since he didn’t know why the pope had come.
“Your grace, it’s nothing. It is I who came without telling you. I apologize for any inconvenience.” Surprisingly, the pope smiled kindly. Though the more he smiled, the more nervous Duke Gordon became.
The crowd in the hall started gossiping even more. What was happening? Even though Claire made headlines these days, she was only a young girl just turning fourteen. Why did her birthday bring the pope here?
“So many people have come, what fun.” The pope moved his eyes over the crowd of people. Most of them were aristocrats he knew; the Divine Prince and Princess were also there. He looked at Claire, then at the black-clothed man behind her, a light flashing through his eyes. So that black-clothed man was that black dragon the other night! Remembering how he was sprayed with saliva, the pope felt uncomfortable. But now he was almost absolutely sure of the guidance of the goddess. Claire was not powerful, but she could command a strong and haughty dragon. That means Claire is special, and the goddess must have her reasons.
“I never expected the pope yourself would come. This is such a blessing.” Duke Gordon continued making conversation, both happy and worried at the same time. The pope couldn’t have come just to say these greetings?
“Today, I’m here because of the guidance of the goddess.” Suddenly, the pope straightened his face and said quietly to the Grand Hall. His voice was very small, but with the help of magic, everyone in the hall heard each word clearly.
In an instant, the whole hall quieted. Everyone was surprised. The guidance of the goddess? In the hearts of these people, the goddess was their faith, their mental support. Now that the pope said this, how could they not be surprised?
Duke Gordon also paused, not sure what the pope wanted to do.
Xueqing Liu tightened her fists, held her breath and stared at the pope. Her heart was jumping out of her throat. The pope had already glanced at the man in black clothes, so the pope must know his true identity now. So now was the time to for that fearless thief Claire to accept her punishment!
Lingyun Leng took a sip of wine, bored. He leaned against the wall, expressionless, while watching the pope in the middle of the hall.
Claire looked at the the pope’s smiling face, and an ominous feeling arose in her heart. It was as if she were facing an old fox!
“The guidance of the goddess?” Finally, someone came back to his senses, and then the whole hall boiled. The goddess had guided the pope here, and now they can all see what the goddess guided the pope to do! The crowd stared intently at the pope, waiting for his further actions.
Dragon Ben blinked, a little confused. Did this old man realize that he was the black dragon who spat all over him? It didn’t seem like it, since the pope’s gaze only lingered on him for a moment. And his gaze wasn’t interested.
“Everyone, quiet. I’m honored to have so many people as witness for the guidance of the goddess.” The pope’s solemn voice sounded again, successfully silencing the crowd and gaining their attention.
“Today, with the witness of everyone present, I sincerely invite Claire Hill to become a member of the Temple of Light, taking the job of the priest. To help the people and benefit the country. This is the guidance of the goddess, and the Gift of the goddess will be given to Claire Hill. This is the will and grace of the goddess.” The pope’s controlled voice resounded in the Grand Hall and in everyone’s heart, staying there for a long time.
This message was like a thunder on a sunny day. Everyone froze. The Grand Hall was silent enough to hear everyone’s heartbeat. The will and grace of the goddess?! Such grace fell on Claire?! Why? Why?
Duke Gordon’s expression finally changed! The Temple of Light picked such an occasion to make this decision! Pulling Claire under the Temple of Light publically! And with such a dignified excuse. The guidance of the goddess?! The job of a priest? Never had a job been granted so suddenly to anyone!
The next moment, the Grand Hall exploded, almost bringing off the roof. Such a shocking scene happened just like that, they couldn’t not believe it! And the pope was giving the Gift of the goddess to Claire, the treasure that allows a spirit grow out a new body! People have only heard of it, never did someone set eyes on it. And now the pope was giving it to Claire with one sentence? Giving it to this young girl who was just fourteen?! And it was the will of the goddess? Why does the goddess grant Claire such grace?
Intense gazes landed on Claire, almost melting her. How was Claire special that the goddess cared so much for her?!
Claire felt the intense stares. Her expression remained unchanged, but her eyes were dark.
This old pope guy already knew that she was the person who stole the Gift of the goddess! And came now to set her up! Even though Claire didn’t know why the pope wanted her, she was sure of one thing: the pope had found out that she stole the Gift of the goddess, and that box in Lawrence’s hands was definitely empty. This was so cunning of the pope! So cunning! Claire wanted to go crazy. She was always the person who sets others up! She never thought that she would be set up in front of so many people, set up in such a righteous and public way. Most importantly, she couldn’t refuse!
Xueqing Liu was pale. She stared at the scene in front of her, shocked, unable to accept it. Didn’t the pope come to announce the identity of that black-clothed man and use the law on Claire? But why did it turn out to be like this? Pushing Claire into an even more glorious position! For the world to see! The people’s gazes and actions has explained everything. Claire’s blinding light had stunned everyone again!
“Your holiness, this…… ” Duke Gordon was still trying to make a last struggle. In a second, his most important granddaughter Claire became a member of the Temple of Light. How was he supposed to accept this? The crown and the gods always had a unique relationship and never interfered in each other’s businesses. What was the pope trying to say by such an act?
“Your grace, this is the guidance of the goddess. Are you doubting the will of the goddess?” The pope turned his head towards Duke Gordon and said sternly. With the pope’s words, everyone turned their attention to Duke Gordon.
“No, of course not. How could I doubt the will of the goddess?” Duke Gordon waved his hands, but was sick with worry inside. The way things were going were absolutely out of his expectations and control. Could he only watch as Claire became part of the Temple of Light?
“Then, let everyone present be a witness.” The pope cleared his throat and spoke, an indefyable stateliness in his voice.
Duke Gordon panicked. Never in his life did he expect the Temple of Light to take action during such an occasion, giving him no time to prepare. It’s no use to try to stop it now. Could he defy the will of the goddess in front of so many people? The only thing that Gordon didn’t understand was why the Temple of Light was willing to pay such a high price to get Claire under their wings. Is it because they found out about Claire’s potential? But if that was the case, they would have known during the competition with Lagark and wouldn’t wait until now. So why did they want Claire? Gordon had no answer. Now he could only wish that this party would end soon and then come up with a plan.
Envious gazes fixed themselves on Claire, almost shooting her through. Claire’s smile was calm as she walked up slowly. She looked into the eyes of the pope, both of them understanding the other’s intentions.
Under the witness of everyone, the pope gave the silk box, a priest robe, and a medal to Claire personally. Everyone stared at the silk box in Claire’s hands. Such a precious treasure was gone like that? Not to mention that Claire’s status was blinding. The priest of the Temple of Light, the castellan of the city of Niya, the new star of the Hill Clan, and the disciple of Master Cliff. How could people not envy when many halos enveloped this young girl?
Claire bowed slightly to accept the baptism from the pope, then stood up and smiled brilliantly: “Your holiness, with such a valuable treasure in my hands, thieves and thugs would find their way here. Maybe the pope could keep it for me?” Claire wasn’t stupid; this silk box was a hot potato. She knew the box was empty, the pope knew, all members of the Temple of Light knew. But the Temple of Light blocked that piece of information and no one knew that the Gift of the goddess was stolen. Leaving it in Claire’s hands would invite thieves and robbers, so Claire gave it back to the pope.
Of course, the pope understood, so he smiled and nodded and took it back. Everyone in the hall sighed and exclaimed.
This banquet pushed Claire to an even higher status. A fourteen year-old girl became a favorite of the goddess and a priest of the Temple of Light! What an honor. Even for a long time after, everyone who attended that banquet still remembered that the green-eyed blond girl was like the brightest sun, shining light everywhere, stunning everyone.
Before the excited people could calm down, a servant rushed from the doorway, looking scared.
“What hath made you so scared!” Duke Gordon was frustrated and so rebuked the servant.
“Your, your grace, come see for yourself.” The servant seemed to have been pushed over the edge.
Duke Gordon frowned and walked out, everyone else following behind him.
When the people saw the long string of carriages outside, they were all stunned. There were so many carriages that they couldn’t see the end. Each carriage was filled with red roses, stunning and beautiful. On the first carriage, a few big letters spelled out: Claire, happy birthday!
Who was crazy enough to do this?
Everyone was again shocked. The pope talking about the guidance of the goddess had already overloaded their hearts, and now with such a grand sight, the people felt their brains were shattered.
“Claire?” Duke Gordon turned around, wanting to ask Claire about it, but found that Claire, who had followed him out, had disappeared.
And Claire vanished quietly from the banquet. Alongside her, Summer, Chuxin Qiao, Jean, Walter, and dragon Ben also disappeared.
Outside the East gate, a small, ordinary looking girl, in ordinary clothes, with a delicate bow on her back, left the city with a bunch of ordinarily dressed people following her.
“Moon White, why choose such a name?” Summer looked at Claire in confusion. Then turned her head towards a beautiful man with a warm smile, her lip twitching, “And why is teacher Camille also here?”