Once he heard Leng Lingyun's words, the pope's expression was very interesting to look at: mouth opened wide, his eyes staring straight ahead. He just stared at Leng Lingyun, frozen.
The pope suddenly feel like the earth shattering news was unbearable. The person he had sentenced to death in his heart a moment ago was suddenly now the person the goddess had always been looking for. The average person wouldn't be able to bear such a feeling. A moment ago, his heart had hit rock bottom. Now, it shot up to the sky.
"Your holiness?" Leng Lingyun frowned slightly, somewhat puzzled as he saw the expression stuck on the pope's face. It was the first time he had seen the always expressionless pope display such strong emotions.
"Oh, oh, oh?" Only after a while did the pope finally come back to his senses. Then he stuttered, "Wha, what did you just say?"
"I said...." Leng Lingyun was about to repeat the words he just said, but was stopped by the pope with a wave of his hand.
"I know, I heard you. Claire Hill is the person the goddess was looking for." The pope had already accepted this fact.
Leng Lingyun fell silent seeing the pope act abnormally, not understanding what exactly was wrong with the pope.
The pope tottered over to a chair, then sat down. He started to try to remember everything he knew about Claire. Usually, the pope didn't have any impressions of nobles, but Claire Hill was an exception. In his eyes, the battle Claire hand with the Lagark student didn't count as much, because she was just a double classed magician warrior and her skill level wasn't very high either. Then he heard that she was originally some kind of useless idiotic man-chaser, but she had become Cliff's disciple. What else was there?
He rubbed his temples. "Lingyun, find everything you can about Claire Hill for me, as detailed as possible." The pope said, somewhat at a loss.
"Yes, your holiness." Leng Lingyun agreed and withdrew, leaving a very conflicted feeling pope alone in the room.
In the empty room, the pope stood in a daze by the window. Seeing the blue sky, he muttered to himself, "Goddess, are you playing a joke on me? Or, mighty goddess, are you testing me?"
Soon, all information about Claire was sent to the pope.
The pope read the information attentively, afraid of missing any details. Leng Lingyun, who was standing beside him, was puzzled, not understanding. He had never seen the pope so cautious before. No, to be more accurate, he had never seen the pope so cautious towards a single before. What exactly was going on? But there was one thing Leng Lingyun was sure of: currently, the pope had no intention of hurting Claire. Eliminating a single person didn't require understanding their past in such detail.
As he looked, the pope's hands trembled, the look in his eyes changing constantly. Sure enough, Claire Hill was no normal person! She had always been looked down upon as an idiotic man chase, but she had rose quickly in status: she had gained fame from the battle against the Lagark student, became Cliff's disciple, became the Niya city's castellan, and quickly dealt with the plague. Double class magician warrior, and her skill level was already high. As a magician, she was already a wizard, and as a warrior, she had already advanced to a grand warrior! Could a normal person improve so quickly? Did she change suddenly? Or had she been concealing her strength and biding for time,?
After he finished reading the information, the pope stood up abruptly, already having made a decision. Seeing Leng Lingyun's confused expression, he smiled. "Lingyun, in a few days it's Claire's birthday, right?"
Leng Lingyun nodded. It had been written very clearly in the information, so why was the pope still asking this?
"Let's send her a grand gift." The pope smiled mysteriously. He set the information aside, a glint in his eyes. He said quietly, "Then, we'll be welcoming a new priest."
A grand gift?
A new priest?
Leng Lingyun was amazed seeing the pope smile profoundly, feeling a premonition.
"Achoo, achoo, achoo....." Sitting next to the window in a rocking chair, only after Claire sneezed three times did she stop.
(TL: In manga and stuff, sneezing means someone's been talking about you.)
"Claire, are did you catch a cold?" Katherine, who was nearby, hurriedly got up to close the window.
"It's nothing, Mother, only an itch in my nose." Claire smiled, waving offhandedly to stop what Katherine was doing. Seeing Katherine's gentle gaze, Claire's heart warmed. Once Katherine found out that she had been wounded, she immediately returned from the palace along with princess Maurice. Only after she was soothed for a long time did she return to the palace. Meanwhile, Katherine had been left behind to take care of Claire.
"Is someone talking about you behind your back?" Summer, who had originally paring a fruit, now hid it behind her back carefully because she was afraid Claire's three sneezes would make the fruit dirty even though she had been paring it for Claire to eat.
"Maybe it's that annoying idiot, Alice Roman." The nearby blonde girl, Lashia, frowned.
"Oh?" Claire froze. Why did Lashia suddenly mention her?
Katherine glanced towards Lashia, but Lashia didn't see. Instead, she said proudly, "Elder sister, you still don't know. Last time when that idiot tried to murder you, she had been pardoned by the emperor reluctantly, but her grandfather had been fired from his position and all the officials of the Roman clan had their statuses lowered by three levels.
Claire nodded lightly. "I know, I was there."
"Haha, you don't know the wonderful thing that happened afterwards. A few days ago, the whole Roman clan actually deserted the country, all disappearing in one night seeking asylum in Lagark. The emperor was so angry, he ordered for their arrest, but Lagark didn't take any actions......" Lashia said excitedly, not noticing Claire's eyes darkening.
The entire Roman clan actually fled? Surely, it was due to the emperor becoming extremely angry. It seemed that it was because of her that the situation had been exacerbated to this point.
"Elder sister, it's not because of you. It's said that it was the young man who had tried to murder you with Alice that day persuaded them to seek asylum at Lagark...." Lashia said hurriedly, finally noticing the change in Claire's expression.
"Lashia!" Katherine raised her voice a bit, stopping what Lashia was going to say.
Lashia stuck her tongue out and shut up.
"Mother, I've troubled you." Naturally, Claire understood that Katherine didn't want her to feel guilty, so she shouted at Lashia to stop.
"It's your birthday in a few days. Don't think too much of it." Katherine smiled gently.
"Yes." Claire nodded lightly, a faint smile on her lips, enjoying the current peaceful atmosphere.
Summer and Qiao Chuxin, those two girls, disappeared without a trace for the next few days, saying they were preparing presents.
Time flew by. In the blink of an eye, ten days had passed.
This day, the Hill mansion had become unusually lively early morning. There was an endless stream of horses and carriages before the mansion. Luxurious carriages entered constantly, the chamberlain's voice was about to yelled hoarse. At the entrance, the hands of maids who were welcoming honored guests and helping accept presents were about to go soft.
Duke Gordan stood at the entrance, his face rosy red, his mood extremely good. In comparison, Marquis Roger was very calm. He only stood behind Duke Gordan and assisted welcoming guests.
"His highness, the second prince has arrived, her highness, the princess, has arrived!" The chamberlain announced loudly, drawing his words out. The second prince and princess were both peers from Claire's school and also friends secretly, so attending the banquet was normal. Everybody smiled towards the second prince and princess, greeting them.
"Sir Cliff has arrived!" The chamberlain said loudly with all his energy, successfully attracting everybody's gazes over.
Cliff was wearing a set of new clothes, energetically getting off his carriage, attracting everybody's gazes. As a master, naturally he had to attend his darling disciple's birthday.
Nobles arrived constantly, the carriages already crowded together so much there was no room in the mansion. Even Gordan himself didn't expect that there would actually be so many people attending. Many aristocrats and influential figures had even brought their children. Of course Gordan knew what it meant. Claire would definitely have an arranged marriage, but because he still hadn't found the most suitable candidate, he didn't worry about it for now.
"The divine prince and divine princess have arrived!" The chamberlain's voice was excited, almost hysterical. Influential figures of the Temple of Light had actually also appeared!
After Duke Gordan finished greeting Cliff, he immediately welcomed and greeted Leng Lingyun and Liuxue Qing.
"Your highnesses, we are honored with your presence." Duke Gordan laughed, obviously in a very good mood.
"Your grace, you invited us so sincerely, we were bound to attend." Leng Lingyun smiled faintly.
"Please sit." Duke Gordan proposed happily.
"Your grace should be busy. We'll just take care of ourselves." Leng Lingyun nodded.
"So many people have arrived. Just a moment ago, we had even seen carriages of the royal family." Liuxue smiled as gently and elegantly as before.
"Yes, Claire is classmates with the second prince and princess..." Duke Gordan smiled as he replied. Naturally, he didn't understand the deep meaning behind Liuxue Qing's words.
Liuxue Qing inspected the surroundings, unable to suppress the joy in her heart. The more people, the better. Once his holiness exposed the black clothed man's true colors and convicted Claire, would Duke Gordan still be able to smile? Stealing the goddess's gift was a capital offense. No matter who it was, they would all be punished. Even the emperor wouldn't be able to shield her! Liuxue Qing was secretly pleased. His holiness sure knew how to pick his timing choosing this day in particular to punish Claire. Today, basically all the nobles of the capital had come, even the pope was going to come. What tricks could she play when being exposed before so many people? Soon, she would experience dropping from heaven to hell.
The formerly extremely spacious grand hall was now bustling with activity. Luxurious clothes moved everywhere. The upper class women separated into groups and conversed with elaborate fans. The gentlemen were holding wine glasses and elegantly discussing together. Many high grade fruits and delicious foods were laid out on a long table. Fragrant wine, lovely music, this time, Duke Gordan had spent quite a bit.