Claire was conversing quietly with the Dark Pope at a quiet room.
"You are the emissary sent by the god of Darkness, the future of our Temple of Darkness. I hope that you will become the important Divine Princess and guide us to the future." He revealed a sliver of excitement. Earlier, he could not permit himself to show any emotion.
"No." Claire refused flatly.
"W-Why?" The Dark Pope had not expected Claire to refuse so simply. He thought that the girl had a very complicated, intertwined relationship with the god of Darkness. Afterall, it was simply unbelievable that the god of Darkness would protect of a human!
"There's nothing in it for me." Claire said softly. This reply almost made the Dark Pope faint.
Nothing in it? Nothing in it?! The words echoed in his mind.
"Miss Claire, you are favored by our might god of Darkness. Only you can accept such a heavy responsibility, conveying the will of the god of Darkness." Favored by the god of Darkness, this was simply too unbelievable.
"Why must I be your Divine Princess? What's in it for me? When I became a Priest of the Temple of Light, at least I took the gift of the goddess." Claire sat down. There was no reason why she would have that shameless bastard. That fellow had been eyeing her spirit for such a long time. She wouldn't even know when he would steal her spirit.
"Huh?" The pope finally could not restrain himself, his mouth gaping open.
"Old man, I'm not a believer of the goddess nor the god of Darkness. The reason why I can summon the god of Darkness is because of a contract between us, but don't misunderstand. I am not favored." She cursed in her mind, what fucking "favored"? That bastard wanted her life!
The pope was stunned for a moment. A contract with the god of Darkness!
Claire's next words almost made him faint again.
"But I guess it would be interesting to see the goddess scorned and the god of Darkness worshipped. However, old man, if you want me to be the Divine Princess, there should at least be some advantages."
This, this young girl, why did it seem like she was haggling as if she were shopping at a marketplace?
How could such an important position, the Divine Princess of Darkness, be haggled over? And wasn't her reason for becoming the Divine Princess too unreasonable? Just because she thought it would be interesting?!
"Oi, old man!" Claire frowned, trying to get the Dark Pope's attention.
The Dark Pope stared blankly at the girl. It was the first time, the first time in his entire life he had felt such a sense of defeat. He had already planned out the rise of the Temple of Darkness, confident in himself, but today, for the first time, he felt defeated.
"Uh, then Miss Claire, what kind of advantages do you want?" The Dark Pope gritted his teeth.
"What can you give me?" Claire's eyes became slits.
"If you become the Divine Princess, you can deploy personnel and have control over our resources."
"Oh? Resources?" Claire's eyes slitted. "The Temple of Darkness cannot even appear in the legal world without fear of getting caught. How are you able to get resources?"
"We run our own business. Not all believers of the god of Darkness know Dark magic or Dou Qi and not all of them have Dark auras," the Dark Pope explained. "We also take in and assist people persecuted by the Temple of Light, such as girls with black hair and black eyes."
"Do you believe in that thousand year old prophecy?" Claire frowned slightly.
The prophecy that a girl with black hair and eyes would lead the Darkness to overtake the Light!
"I did not find anything out of the ordinary about those girls."
Claire sighed. "They carry out such horrendous actions simply because of a dubious prophecy."
"Only those idiots of the Temple of Light believe in such stupid things," the Dark Pope said disdainfully. He stroked his chin, mumbling, "If you had black hair and eyes, I might have believed in this prophecy, but it seems it is completely unrelated to you."
When she heard these words, Claire's heart suddenly started to pound. Black hair and black eyes..."
"What is it? Divine Princess?" The pope noticed the change in Claire's expression. His eyes glinted with suspicion.
"N-nothing." Claire shook her head. "Wait, who did you call Divine Princess? I didn't say I agreed yet."
"Oh, haha. We will definitely treat you well, not like the Temple of Light, only giving praise." This was the truth, the difference between them and the hypocrites.
Claire started to mull over it. The fight between the first and second prince would become more intense in the future. The Temple of Light was watching from the sidelines and the Hill clan's standing was unclear as of yet. But there was one thing Claire was certain of; whether as a member of the Hill clan or a Reverend of the Temple of Light, she was bound to be involved, so she needed a power that truly belonged to her. The Temple of Darkness was the perfect candidate!
"Okay, old man. I agree to become the Divine Princess. My only condition is that I must be able to mobilize personnel whenever I want."
"No problem!" the pope agreed immediately. He laughed in his heart. Even if Claire didn't tell him to, he was going to send people to protect her in secret. After all, this was the command of the god of Darkness.
That easily? Claire eyed the pope with slitted eyes, making him feel uneasy.
"Venerable pope..." Claire suddenly started to smile, her gaze shifting to the ring on his finger. The pope followed her gaze. "No, you can't do this! This is my only storage ring!"
"I didn't say I wanted your ring," Claire snapped with annoyance, seeing his nervous appearance.
"Then what do you want?" The pope asked cautiously.
"Do you have anything good? Don't tell me you don't. You are the stately pope of Darkness, so you should at least have a few good treasures. The Temple of Light had the goddess's gift at least." Claire eyed the pope slyly.
The pope stared straight back. Claire didn't say anything either. They simply stared at each other.
"Fine." The pope finally gave in. A small dagger materialized in his hand, ancient with mysterious designs on it. He handed it over while looking away, very unwilling. "The Clouye Dagger. It can destroy any magic shield."
Such a good item?! Claire was astonished! This old man had such a good thing? This weapon must be the dream of all assassins, the enemy of all magicians. If an assassin wanted to kill a magician, it would be easy without a shield. However, if the magician had a shield, there was almost no way around it. But with this dagger, things were different. Even if a magician was cautious and set up a magic barrier, he still would not be able to block it.
"Thank you." Of course Claire wouldn't decline it. To her, his dagger was the icing on the cake! Although skilled in assassination, Claire hadn't had a good dagger up until now.
The pope had a grieved expression. Claire reached out to accept the dagger, but it wouldn't budge. The pope was gripping it tightly, a bitter expression on his face.
Claire pulled hard, but the pope gripped it harder.
"Old man, what are you doing?" Claire humphed coldly.
Only then did the pope let it go sulkily.
"Wh-what else do you want?" His heart was already bleeding. But he understood that it wouldn't be appropriate if he didn't have anything else good to bring out.
Claire thought about it, but there really wasn't anything she needed currently. "Nothing for now."Under the resentful gaze of the pope, Claire unsheathed her original dagger, replacing it with the new one, then put the old one into her storage ring. Seeing this, the pope was shocked. Claire had a storage ring?!
Currently, Claire needed to become stronger and stronger. The question was, how? She had only broken through the eighth level on the brink of death. The ninth level would be even more difficult.
The pope let out a huge sigh of relief in his heart. "Good. We shall hold the coronation ceremony immediately," he said hurriedly, afraid Claire might change her mind. To him, Claire who would summon the god of Darkness so easily was a huge, huge asset!
"No need. Let's make it as simple as possible. Just make sure to inform everyone. Send me and my companions out now." Claire stood up.