Who is this Pope?
She couldn't help but wonder who live in this large mansion, or like Vasco said this city, guarded by strong man, all the time.
Then they meet his attendant or perhaps another Priest. She didn't really know the term so she let Vasco talk to him
But she could hear what Vasco is saying
"We would like to meet His Holiness" Vasco said his voice is gentle and deferring. Hearing his ton, no one would believe he hated the church
"The Holiness has ready himself for you'
The priest led them through a long corridor, and then they entered a wide dimly lit hallway.
As she walks, guided by the priest she could see beautiful artwork on the walls, angels she mused, the bust of the Emperor of Holy Zun Empire, a puppet Emperor, Vasco told her, and a lot of tapestries of Ariana, all worth a fortune if sold.
Vasco was right. This Papacy is a nest of gold.
"Here you are. Office of the Pope" The voice brought her back and she finally arrived in front of the Office of the Pope.
He knocked the door
"Permission to enter Your Holiness. Your visitor has arrived" the Priest asked.
Then a childish voice answers.
The priest excuses himself and went away as Vasco first step into the room and she followed. She enters and she found the office was luxurious and grand.
White marble floors sprawled out in all direction while the wall is adorned with vivid, and fill with life frescoes.
A huge chandelier hung overhead while the arched windows, beautiful designs of colors offered a stunning view of St Alex Square.
It is a room with a view to die for. At the far end of the hall, is a short man sitting on a chair that resembles a throne chair.
She then squinted her eyes and she was shocked.
No, not a man. She thought to herself as she clearly looks at that person. It is not a man. It is a kid.
She almost blurted it out but she held her tongue.
This is the Pope? The one controlling all of the South and possess all these wealth and power?
But as she come closer to the Pope she could feel the holy aura around him.
he wears his clothes befitting of a head of a religious institution
He wears a tall folded hat, something called mitre, Vasco taught her the term a week ago.
It is made of pure silk, adorned with precious stones that seems to glimmer when the sunlight hits the hat, with a little fringe, a thin woolen shawl, on his shoulders and extends down to his small body, and his shoes brown, festooned with a gold buckle.
She looked at the back and she can see a tiara, an ornate three tiered crown. Whether he is a kid or not, he sure looks like someone with authority
"So this is the woman you say will bring glory to the Church and to the Faith?"
He gestured to Vasco.
"Yes, your Holiness.' He said bowing reverentially at the Pope.
'Let me speak with her' The Pope said
"Yes your holiness" Vasco replied as she gestured Tatiana to come forward.
The Pope get up from his throne chair and walk away. Vasco gesture to her to follow him.
She takes a deep breath and she walked with the Pope while Vasco stay on the office
First they talk small talk.
They talk about the current condition of other nations, the war in Vanheim and the pagan war against the church.
He wanted to know what she thinks about all those stuff. The mood seems jovial and relaxed and she nearly fall for it.
Then suddenly he attacked her by saying
'What is it you want Lady Leliana? I heard you are of noble birth, hail from the descendant of great warrior. You also have a backer like Lord Vasco backing you so gold and silver is not your problem. So what is your heart desire that you would seek the Church help?'
She knows this is the right time to said it
"Your holiness, I would like The Church to help finance my expedition to the New world." The Pope look at Tatiana with curiosity before he said
"And in return?" the Pope asked
Ask for the moon, Vasco word rings to her ears
"I want the title of grand admiral, three percent of commerce for the found lands and the office of viceroy over the lands that I found under the church."
As she said it she doesn't know whether Vasco plan would work or not. She has no qualification whatsoever.
Not only that, she also could not steer any ships, neither do she know how to read map and she can't chart her own way on the sea
She declares her pitch telling the Pope of vague promise instead of telling him any achievable plans.
The Pope smiled and then he calmly said
"I'm sorry but I have to politely decline" he said
But Tatiana noticed something. Something that changed her views.
The Pope, probably the highest authority in the Empire treated her as legitimate. He did not laugh at her; neither had he questioned her background or credentials.
Vasco words are true. She remembered Vasco telling him.
Unless you set a high price, a man of such stature like the Pope will either think you're crazy to ask so much from him, or he or she must be worth the prince.
The Pope however did not leave her without any hope.
"Maybe after the war ended, we could talk again about this matter. The New World is a whole new land and we could spread the Faith there more easily" the Pope added.
Then the Pope walked back to his office.
She follows him from behind and then they return back to the office. Tatiana exchange glance with Vasco. She nodded and he smiles for a second before he wipes that smile out of his face
"Your Holiness" Vasco said when the Pope walked beside him. The Pope turned around and look at Tatiana and said
"Lady Leliana, if you would come after the war, then maybe…though I'm not promising anything, but maybe then I would reconsider my decision'
"That would be generous of you Your Holiness" Vasco said. The Pope just nodded
"Now I have matters to attend to" And Vasco and Tatiana got the cue as they exited the Pope office.
Then the Pope closed his office door.
She was about to say what happen but Vasco made a sign with his mouth for her not to say anything
"The walls have eyes and ears, Tatiana" he whispered. She nodded and then as they walk outside she finally tell him about her conversation with the Pope on the way back.
"He must felt comfortable being around you. He clearly was impressed by your boldness and the way you carried yourselves, just like him"
"A noble?" she asked
"No, he is not a noble. Far from it' then he added
'The Pope is stronger and more influential than any noble that the South have. The nobles felt no need to assert, they knew they always deserved more, and they are not afraid to ask for it. When you carry the way you carry yourself like that, they felt an instant affinity with you, for you acted like they are. You might not be a noble but the Pope believes that you are"
Vasco is smart. He kind a remind her of the Chancellor of Vanheim. He is not strong like the Chancellor but he is smart enough.
"Why do you hate the church?" she finally asked the question she has been thinking about
He looked startled
"What gives you that idea?"
"Just something" she said
"Hmm…" the carriage hit a bump and she hit herself in the head
"Are you alright?" he said
"So why?" she asked again. Vasco shakes his head and only smile
"A story for another time Tatiana"
"So, did it work?" The man seems hopeful but he also seems ready no matter what the answer was.
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he said looking at Takashi face via video conference. There is hope in his voice hoping.
"There are still some calculations that I need to make but in time it will work"
"We don't have time" Matsuo said, his hair looks messy, result of all-nighters probably. They are connected to each other, talking about Takashi new discovery.
There is a solution that might save a lot of people.
"The meteor? How long?"
"Faster and faster. I have some connection in NASA that confirmed our suspicion. The meteor may crash early than expected" Takashi said
"Like I said we have no time to waste" Matsuo retorted again
"How about your side?" she said to Matsuo, in charge of creating the device that would suck everyone on it, probably also taking many lives with it.
"Almost finish. Thank God, people play your game. The money I pour on this research is astronomical." he gestured to Takashi
"From the report it might be that your calculation is wrong about the time of the arrival of the meteor"
"What do you mean Takashi?"
"I mean instead of another one and a half year; you might be looking at one or three months"
"But that is too little time" Takashi and Matsuo nodded, their face solemn.
"Yes, but we have to make do. And I have managed to convince key officials in the world, ministers and world leaders to debate this and tell the truth."
"Did you tell them about our solution?" she asked
"No." Matsuo said
"I wouldn't bring them into that world"
"We are not judge of that Matsuo" Takashi said his voice stern
She looks at Matsuo in the video and she sighed. She always felt that Matsuo has a God Complex.
"I will not let dirty politicians taint the world we created." Matsuo said. Takashi just shakes his head
'If you can, please calculate the possibility of taking everyone into the game."
"I will try"
Then she closed the transmission and there is silence again in her room.
Then for a while there is only silence in her room. The fan on the ceiling is the only thing she could hear.
"They surely would be surprised."
Truly a brave new world will open for them
"A brave new world.' She said to herself with a sad smile as she opens her laptop and began her calculation again
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