Another side chapter! 😀 Unlike before, side stories will be sprinkled here and there.
His silvery eyes stared intensely to the north-east, where the sudden wave of golden mana had come from. Anticipation, fear, and curiosity filled his heart like never before. That was the real filling of Divinity, the power he desired most. It had lasted for a moment, but he felt it. Just as everything else in the world had felt. A wind of change that all felt.
He could feel it. The world was calling to her, him, or whoever Cyril was. He could feel the world beckon to her like a babe to its mother.
Maybe… Maybe I could- His thoughts were interrupted by an agonizing plea from behind him. He turned from the large open balcony he had been staring out of, only to turn to a large extravagant room filled. It was plain in his eyes with four walls with large double doors on the north, east, and west side respectively. The south was the stairwell that went down his tower.
The room was illuminated by the rising sun and all the doors had been opened to allow the fresh morning air to ventilate the smell of blood.
On the red polished floorboards knelt a naked and bloodied old man. He seemed a frail thing that would have never survived the beating, but he did. A resilient rat in his eyes. He only managed to stay knelt by way of his two hands that propped his upper body up. Blood pooled around him and Alistar half-heartedly praised him in his heart for his tenacity.
“Your… Your holiest…” The man groaned weakly. “I… I have fulfilled my penance…”
“It was not a penance.” He replied, his deep voice held disappointment. “The Judicator had to issue your punishment. If not for the threat of death and my will, you would have just brushed it aside like your other transgressions.”
“L-Lord Alistar!” Disbelief perked the man as he tried to raise his head. The Judicator was quick to tap his head with the hilt of the whip and a warning.
“Pope Reef.” Alistar said. “Do not think that because I do not intervene immediately; That I do not know what you have been up to. You are not the only one who whispers in my ear.”
He did not answer, but Alistar noted that he may just be finally half in the grave. For all this man had done to ruin his plans, he wanted to dispose of him. Luckily for this rat, Alistar wanted to honor his own promises. Should the man have done so too, he would not have been here.
“Your sins have been forgiven.” Alistar said. He wanted this man dead, or out of his sight. Either would appease him. He would never have power again though.
“Y-Yes…” Reef said before he motioned to the Judicator. “Help me.” The Judicator did not move. “Help me! I am the pope and-”
“Not anymore.” Alistair interrupted him. “Cardinal Maria will be taking the black. You’ve proven to me that you are incompetent. You’ve ruined the relations between the Dragon Empire and Us, now, I must personally intervene. No member of the church will help you and from what I’ve gathered, no one will care about you.”
The man wept, a few tears dripped into the pool of blood and Alistar felt even more disgusted. This was the man that had raped children and women, embezzled thousands of gold coins, and even had his adversaries murdered under the guise of witch hunts. Yet, he dared to weep in front of him after all this?
“If you cannot leave on your own power…” Alistar looked to the burly Judicator who wore nothing by leather boots, thick black pants, and the steel helm of the Order of Judgement. “Our Judicator here will see if you can fly.”
The sudden threat of death spurred the man, though weakly, he did manage to get to his feet. Though, it was an agonizing feat for the injured man. He paid no more respect to Alistar, there was fear and anger in his eyes. He also knew that this man never really believed in him, but he had been useful in his youth. It was just unfortunate that he did not age wisely, or he could have had a pleasant retirement, with a few blind eyes to his… tastes.
But he grew bold and arrogant. He was not a man of faith, but of his own desires. Yet, he failed to see that Alistar would never let a man like him go unsupervised. He even cleaned up after him because he was such an important figure. However, the man managed to pick the wrong woman to rape. Even Alistar had to intervene with his “Divine punishment”.
If he walked away now, he would die later. Very painfully. O’ so painfully. If he failed, he would get to make a public show of force; one that would show his believers that he was not idle.
And the world smiled upon him.
The old man fell to the floor with a loud thud as his legs gave way. He tried to crawl, but he had not the strength to do it. His nails only clawed at the floorboards. No one else occupied the room, yet he still pleaded for help. A dangerous smile bloomed on Alistar’s lips as he motioned for the Judicator to bring him. The man wailed like a dying pig as the man dragged him by his foot to the terrace he had been looking out from earlier.
The man cursed as he wailed. He damned Alistair, he damned the church, and he damned everyone in the world. It wasn’t until he mentioned a certain someone that Alistar finally intervened.
“Cyril will kill you!” He wailed. “We all know that was her earlier! You-”
“And?” Alistair stepped in. “Her and I have no qualms or reason to fight. We’ve never met nor clashed.”
“B-But!” He managed to look up as the Judicator turned him over. “The book!”
“Tsk.” Alistar grimaced at the mention of the Sun Church’s bible. “You believe those little birds? I thought you were not a man on faith.”
Reef only stared at him in confusion.
“Most of what’s in that book is a lie.” Alistar admitted. “Your previous Popes have been tweaking the truth to the point that no one ever knew the truth. Did you know it use to only be a small list of things on a single paper? Now it’s over three hundred pages. Not even I know what they’ve been putting in it.” He huffed in contempt; the smile replaced with a sneer.
The ex-pope could only resign himself to the fate he had brought onto himself now. Now he had the knowledge that he was not even aware of the truth, but he had also been played with by this god. He was never a man of faith, but he did like that he served under such an accomplished god, but if the book was not true…
He never got to finish those words as the sprawling capital spun into view. It was like he was looking into the reflection in the lake… It was beautiful.
Screams followed afterward as servants watched the man splatter on the flagstones, tens of floors below. It was only after the Knights saw Alistar’s figure on the top floor of the Sun Tower did they make quick work to calm the grounds.
Both men looked over the railing before the Judicator looked to his god. He knew he had to die, or his god would never be at ease. As if to confirm, Alistar turned to stare back.
“You know what has to happen now, right?” Alistar asked.
“That I am to die with your secrets?” He asked.
“Yes, my smart Judicator.” Alistar had a hint of sorrow in his voice.
“I understand.” The judicator asked without hesitation. “Shall I jump as well?”
“No, no.” Alistar said as he parted from the railing. “Come and kneel. I shall end it painless and quick.”
The judicator nodded, pleased that he would at least not suffer for having to bear witness to that conversation. He praised his god in his heart for his mercy. He knelt just inside the room; Alistar’s hands caressed his head from behind, and the Judicator closed his eyes – ready for his life to end.
“Is there anything you would like to know?” Alistar asked, pained he would have to lose such a faithful man, but secrets can only be kept between two when one was dead.
“Are you really a god?” The Judicator asked. It had been a question the filled his heart once he heard about the bible’s falsehood.
“Yes.” Alistar said. “But not by design and not truly. I am this way by the power of millions of people believing in me. The power of faith has can elevate someone into pseudo godhood. A real god does not need the help of others to be a god, but I can only stay powerful so long as others believe I am a god. Satisfied?”
“Yes.” he replied, peace in his heart and voice. “I am ready to be sent to heaven, My Lord. I have served you to my final moments and I am glad to have been given eternal peace.”
Once he finished his words, his neck was jerked violently as Alistar snapped his neck and crushed his head in one go. It was quicker than one could blink, so the man would not suffer needlessly. A man who could carry out his duties without the threat of violence was a man Alistar could respect. It was just unfortunate he had a moment of bad judgment. He was still a flawed human after all.
“Sadly, my faithful one, there is no heaven that I know of…”