Chapter 58: Perhaps It’s Fate
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Saint Faron Church.

This was an old building with several centuries of history behind it. It should have looked a little weathered, but to Roel’s surprise, it looked tremendously resplendent and beautiful.

There was a brilliant source of illumination within that was as stable as the light bulbs in his previous world, allowing those walking through the corridors to marvel at the uncountable murals covering the walls and ceiling alike.

Roel’s understanding of the Genesis Goddess Church was still quite limited, so he couldn’t understand a lot of the depictions in the murals. Nevertheless, as a noble, he had come into contact with a lot of artwork ever since his younger years, which cultivated his appreciation for fine works. In his view, these murals were wonderfully exquisite, and many of them were indubitably the magnum opus of famed painters.

For so many masterpieces to be placed side by side with one another, it was definitely a haven for art lovers.

This was a testament to the long history behind the church, as well as the influence it commanded. It demanded deference from those who stepped through its doors.

Under the lead of the church’s staff, Roel was brought to the assembly hall… and he suddenly found himself left all alone there.

It was not that the church’s staff were intentionally snubbing him, but they were simply too busy preparing to receive the crowd for the prayers, and the severe lack of manpower wasn’t helping at all. Left with no choice, Roel simply took a look around the church by himself for an hour before he finally went to meet Holy Eminence John Xeclyde.

John Xeclyde was a white-haired old man who looked surprisingly unkempt, even though that was just by the standards of the more straight-laced nobles. In terms of appearance, he looked no different from any of the citizens he met outside the church earlier. However, if one were to take a closer look, one would realize that despite the lack of a smile on his face, he still gave off an air of benevolence.

Wearing a set of white holy robes, he sat upon a stone chair placed atop a red carpet. The illumination in the room was slightly dim, but it somehow felt like the light that was there was focused on the man. It was a mysterious feeling, indescribable by words. It was almost as if meeting a character who had walked straight out of an epic saga.

However, Roel knew the reason behind this feeling.

Origin Attribute Compassion.

This was one of the Origin Attributes that had remained firmly under the control of the Xeclyde House since ancient times. Carter once told him that a high-level transcendent of Compassion would appear like a sage before the eyes of mortals, while lies and sins couldn’t hope to deceive his eyes.

“Roel Ascart from the Ascart House pays respects to Your Eminence. It’s my deepest pleasure to meet you.”

Faced with a man who wielded powers far beyond his imagination, Roel wouldn’t dare to show any disrespect. He placed his palm on his chest and reported his own background, displaying how well brought up he was.

On the other hand, witnessing the serious look on the adorable black-haired boy’s face, John burst into laughter.

“There’s no need for this, child. Come here. I have heard of a lot about you from Nora.”

John had a deep voice that came with age which felt comfortable and set people at ease. When he mentioned Nora’s name, Roel suddenly had a feeling as if he was meeting the grandparent of a classmate.

He carefully approached, and to his surprise, the latter really was just like a neighborhood grandpa.

“Would you like to have some fruit?”

“Ah, no. I had dinner before I came.”

“Mmm. Our fruits are all there, so feel free to take them when you’re in the mood for it. We just brought them in today, so they’re still fresh.”

Roel was rendered speechless by this conversation. It sounded almost as if His Holy Eminence was coaxing a child!

What he didn’t know, though, was that he was indeed a child in John’s eyes. John was over a hundred years old whereas Roel was only 10, the same age as his granddaughter. In truth, he didn’t have any real business with Roel. He simply wanted to get closer to the Ascart House and meet this rare ‘good friend’ of his granddaughter.

“How is the short sword? Have you tried it out yet?”

“Yes, the sword is very handy. I heard from Her Highness Nora that it acquires an adaptation effect from the absorption of my blood.”

“That’s right. Ascendwing is a rather special weapon even amongst holy artifacts. It has the unique strength of incubating abilities. I believe that the incubation should be completed within the next few days… Wait a moment. Hmmm?”

John was speaking while stroking the featherlike inscriptions of the short sword when he suddenly halted. He lowered his gaze to look more closely at the blade and blinked his eyes. He could sense the vibrant vitality of the ones contracted with the short sword—Roel and Nora’s vitality. These were the basic elements required to form an ability within the sword. However, what was unusual about this was that the sheer amount of vitality was overwhelming.

“A high level of compatibility? I didn’t expect that it would…”

John Xeclyde began muttering under his breath as he examined Ascendwing again and again. All of a sudden, he raised his gaze to look at Roel.

“Child, your sword could very well incubate two abilities.”

“Two abilities?”

“That’s right. Your power has a high level of compatibility with Nora’s…”

John Xeclyde swiftly began to fill in the details for Roel. According to him, the purpose of the blood tribute ritual for Ascendwing was for the royal family to use the power of their own bloodline to bestow a special ability to the receiver of the sword. In other words, it was a buff.

From time to time though, there would be a recipient whose bloodline was exceptionally compatible with that of the royal family, thus leading to another outcome—double buffing. With two powerful bloodlines complementing one another, there was a high chance that the short sword would develop a second ability.

Such a happening was extremely rare though. It had only happened once in known history.

“Good friends with powerful bloodlines that complement one another. Bless Sia. The two of you are destined to stand alongside one another.”

(Affection Points +200!)

This unexpected surprise delighted John greatly. He felt that this could be guidance from the great Sia. Even the look he directed toward Roel became far more amicable than before.

The one who was smashed with the news, however, looked nothing less than dumbstruck.

Compatible? Me and her? That’s impossible! Are you insinuating that I’m a masochist?

Son of a banshee! I must never let her know of this matter!

Oblivious to Roel’s horror, John was still immersed in the delight from stumbling upon such joyous news. Due to that, he decided to talk a little more than he intended to.

“Child, I have heard of your affairs. You have done well. There aren’t many young nobles like you who embrace justice in their hearts. Decades of peace has bred a swelling whirlpool of desire and corruption that has tainted far too many people.”

John sighed as he thought about the times when he was still a hot-blooded young man.

“I have spent my lifetime fighting against the darkness, and that might be the fate awaiting both you and Nora too. Different eras have different darknesses. The darkness I had to face was on the battlefield, but it seems unlikely to be the same for you. However, that doesn’t mean that your enemies are weak. On the contrary, they are furtive and hidden deep among us.”

John lowered his sight to look into Roel’s confused golden eyes, and he seemed to be seeing something different from what others did. There was a short moment of silence before he continued.

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“You belong to a house with a very long history, but time has erased far too much from your lineage… I pray that you’ll, one day, be able to revive the greatness of the past.”

John sighed once more after saying those words. Roel could smell the scent of a mystery in those words.

Lineage? Revive the greatness of the past? What does that mean?

“Your Eminence, it’s about time.”

“Yes, I’m coming… Child, let’s end our conversation here. May Sia’s blessings be with you.”

Hearing the reminder from an attendant outside, John concluded their conversation. Before he left, he placed his hand on Roel’s head and gave away his first blessing of the year. Then he headed off to conduct the New Year Prayer.

On the other hand, Roel found himself ushering in the new year with a load of doubts on his mind.

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