"Oh, have you gotten them, then? If you have, hurry and go back, dont let Archbishop Domingo wait for too long," Rina said with a look of impatience. While displeased, her manners and good upbringing allowed her to adjust her emotions quickly.
"Not yet. I happened to see you here, so I decided to wait for you. Well, you know that my knowledge in pharmaceutics cannot be compared to yours. If I collect the wrong herbs, I will be reprimanded by Teacher," Siddarth said as he scratched his head embarrassedly. As if he had suddenly discovered Lin Lis presence, he then asked Rina, "Rina, is this your friend? Why dont you introduce us to each other?"
"This is President Felic from the Tower of Dusk, and Im showing him around here," Rina explained, trying her best not to flare up.
"Mage Felic? I think I heard of you somewhere," said Siddarth, who acted like he tried hard to recall something. All of a sudden, he looked up at Lin Li in surprise, and exclaimed, "Wait, youre that mage who likes using filthy Undead creatures as your servants!"
As Siddarth yelled, the other clergymen nearby hurriedly turn to look at Lin Li with unconcealed disdain and contempt. For the believers of the Holy Light, the mages who were labeled as blasphemers were already extremely unpopular, what more a mage who was often in close contact with filthy Undead creatures? That made him no different from Necromancers, and they absolutely detested them.
Siddarth had a good mindset. Rina was the only Judge Paladin of the Brilliance Shrine, and devout believers of the Holy Light would never befriend a mage who recruited Undead creatures. He reckoned that Lin Li had to have deceived Rina, and thus thought that Rina would definitely stay away from Lin Li immediately after he exposed him.
"Rina, you must have been deceived by him. This person is raising Undead creatures in the Tower of Dusk, and his hands are stained with the blood of countless humans!" Siddarth exclaimed while pulling out his magic staff and pointing it at Lin Li sternly with a sense of justice. He yelled, "How dare you enter the Holy Mountain of the Brilliance Shrine. Now, get ready to be purified by the Holy Light!"
However, he did not expect Rinas face to grow sullen as she flared up at him, not at Lin Li. Not only did Rina not walk away, she even stood in front of Lin Li, and scolded Siddarth, "Shut up, Felic is a guest Archbishop Martin invited."
She naturally knew that Lin Li was the one who gave the pope the antidote, but before Pope Rosario recovered fully, the matter would still have to be kept under wraps. Hence, she could only say that Lin Li was a guest invited by Archbishop Martin. Anyway, that was what a lot of people wanted to see.
Seeing that Rina didnt express any repulsion or disdain towards Lin Li, and had even mentioned Archbishop Martin, Siddarth dared not clamor about purification. After all, Archbishop Martin was an archbishop just like his own teacher Domingo, yet he actually brought a heretic to the Holy Mountain. Hence, he believed that Domingo would stand on Lin Lis side. He stopped making a fuss because he could clearly feel that the magical waves coming from Lin Li seemed to be nowhere inferior to his teachers. If he were to fight Lin Li, he would be the one doomed, especially since Rina wasnt on his side.
He could be a hero, but itd be impossible to be a martyr. Siddarth slowly put away his magic staff while keeping his guard up, and said to Rina, "Okay, since he is a guest of Archbishop Martin." He then muttered something and carefully walked past Rina, ignoring the fact that he had lied to Rina about coming to the mountain to collect herbs for Domingo. Instead, he simply left the mountain cowardly.
So what if hes a guest of Archbishop Martin? Even if hes an archbishop, he cant intervene with the rules of the Court of Heresy!Siddarth thought, not wanting to let Lin Li, the damned mage, off just like that. Hence, he felt that the best solution now was to report to the Court of Heresy. Mages were seen as heretics in the first place, what more a mage who liked interacting with Undead creatures.
"Felic, Im so sorry. I wanted you to see the scenery here. I didnt expect to encounter such a thing," said Rina, who knew the reason for Siddarths appearance. Having known exactly what was going on, she wasnt afraid that the pope and the other higher-ups would subject Lin Li to harsh treatment, and simply felt regretful because her good mood was ruined.
"Its alright. When we arrived, Ive already expected there to be such a misunderstanding," said Lin Li, who didnt hold it against her, nor allowed such a trivial matter to affect her mood.
The Court of Heresy could be considered the only place on the entire Holy Mountain that would feel cold and spooky to others. Even though it was in the direction of sunrise, and would be shrouded in sunlight throughout the day, even the believers of Holy Light would shiver uncontrollably when they were there.
Although Siddarth was a disciple of Archbishop Domingo, and had become a bishop at a young age, he would still feel his legs turning into jelly whenever he stood in the small square in front of the Court of Heresy. There had been numerous times when he felt like giving up. Ever since the establishment of the Court of Heresy more than 1300 years ago, the demons and Necromancers who had been judged never made it back outside after entering. Out of the believers, there were many bishops and even a few cardinals who had been tortured badly. There was even an archbishop who died from being tormented in there.
The Court of Heresy was a terrifying existence in the eyes of not only the heretics, but also the people of the Brilliance Shrine. Of course, be it a heretic or a believer in Holy Light, they were all labeled as heretics once judged.
Actually, Siddarth knew clearly that although marriage between clergymen was not prohibited in the Brilliance Shrine, it was impossible for him to have any relationship with Rina. The fact that she could become the only Judge Paladin meant that she had already dedicated all her life and soul to the Holy Light that she believed in, and thus it was impossible for her to accept the courtship of any mortals. Siddarth was not the only one; in fact, numerous young men who had a crush on Rina were well aware of that too. However, seeing that Rina who was often aloof and standoffish was walking together with a heretic and they chatted frequently, Siddarth could not help but feel extremely jealous.
At the thought of Rina standing in front of Lin Li to defend him, Siddarth gritted his teeth angrily and strode towards the Court of Heresy, which looked like the mouth of a beast.
"What? Theres a heretic on the Holy Mountain!?" exclaimed the Chief Judge Fergor, who was holding onto a list of pharmaceutics problems that he was about to consult a pharmaceutics Guru about. However, he didnt expect to hear such groundbreaking news from a young man wearing a bishops robe.
Fergor was rather shocked to see someone taking the initiative to visit the Court of Heresy. However, he was also astonished to hear the news. The poison in the popes body had just been removed, and although the popes power had already been restored to the Sanctuary-realm, there was still a great distance from his past pinnacle. If the news were to be leaked at this juncture, it would definitely not be a good thing for the Brilliance Shrine.
"Yes, Im sure that person is definitely a heretic. Although he is not a necromancer, everyone knows that he rears Undead creatures," said Siddarth, who secretly rejoiced because he did not expect to run into the Judge of Heresy Fergor. He thought,That mage is dead this time.
"Do you know him?" Fergor asked. He was about to send some of his subordinates to find out more, but he paused when he heard Siddarths words which seemed to imply that he knew the so-called heretic.
"No, no." Siddarth quickly waved his hands. If he were to be associated with a heretic, he probably wouldnt be able to save himself from the Judge of Heresy even with the help of his teacher. While denying profusely, he got a grip on himself, and carefully said, "Many people know about that heretic. I dont know what method he used, but he actually managed to deceive Archbishop Martin and Judge Paladin Rina and win their trust. Theyre on their way to the herbal plantation on the Holy Mountain."
Fergor frowned slightly as he found the description of the heretic rather familiar, especially since he was associated to Archbishop Martin and Rina. He thought about it carefully, and asked Siddarth, "Who is the heretic youre referring to, and why are Martin and Rina involved? Since youve recognized him as a heretic, why didnt you do what a faithful should?"
"No, no, I was already preparing to purify the heretic, but Judge Paladin Rina defended him. I reckon that she should have been deceived. After all, that heretic is allegedly Archbishop Martins guest," said Siddarth.
Hed initially just wanted to put Lin Li behind bars in the Court of Heresy. However, after speaking to Fergor, and realizing that he was not as terrifying as the rumors made him out to be, he decided to pull a scheming trick. He thought,If Rina got stripped off of her position as Judge Paladin, would I stand a chance with her
"Martins guest?" Fergor asked as he felt like he was starting to get a clearer idea. Martin did have many guests, but recently, he had only had one, and that was the pharmaceutics Guru Felic from the Breezy Plains. He wondered,Could he be the heretic that this kid is talking about?
"Yes, it is a mage from the Breezy Plains. Its said that he owns a force called the Tower of Dusk. Many people know that he has raised a lot of Undead creatures, and once killed thousands of innocent people in the Breezy Plains. The people there compare him to the butcher Osric," said Siddarth. He had already seen some hope of success, and was just waiting to hear the Chief Judges order for him to nab Lin Li.
Anyone the Judge of Heresy deemed a heretic would be considered one. Unless the pope himself forbade it, no one would be able to stop the killing of a heretic, not even an archbishop. Of course, Siddarth was mostly thinking about how he should get his teacher to help if Rina were to get arrested. He felt that his teacher Domingo would be able to reduce her sentence. Otherwise, if she were to be sent to the Court of Heresy, she would lose her title as Judge Paladin, and he would have no chance of winning her heart.
However, while Siddarth was still full of fantasies and letting his imagination run wild, the Chief Judge Fergor suddenly laughed, and said, "I was wondering who you were talking about, turns out its Master Felic. Hes not a heretic, but a guest of Martin and Engloss friend. How could he be a heretic? Go back, dont let your imagination run wild."
Siddarth was instantly dumbfounded, and his mind was sent into a whirlwind as the voices around him gradually disappeared while he seemed to have lost his wits at this moment.Master Felic? The Chief Judge actually called that heretic Master Felic!? Why? In the eyes of the followers of the Holy Light, even an ordinary mage is considered a heretic. Why is that mage whos often associating with Undead creatures not considered a heretic to the Chief Judge!?
Staring at the dumbfounded Siddarth, Fergor didnt think much about it. In fact, that was not an uncommon thing, because the higher-ups usually determined if one was a heretic from the perspective of interests. Siddarth, who had never seen much of the world, was making his judgment based on the doctrine. Once he rose to a certain position, he would understand how naive he was now.
"Okay, just leave if you have nothing else to say to me. I still have things to do," Fergor said after hearing that Rina and Lin Li were at the mountain behind. He was extremely eager to ask Lin Li some questions about pharmaceutics, and could not be bothered to entertain Siddarth, whom he regarded as a joke.
However, Siddarth was clueless, and he could not figure it out at all. Seeing that the Chief Judge Fergor was about to leave, he quickly chased after him, and yelled, "Sir, that person really is a heretic. He has dirty Undead creatures for servants, and he killed plenty of innocent people in the Breezy Plains. He deceived Archbishop Martin and Judge Paladin Rina, he"
Siddarths voice was getting softer and softer because he realized that the Chief Judge, who he tried to stop, was growing increasingly sullen. He emitted an icy cold vibe that made Siddarth shiver despite standing under the sun.
"Kid, I remind you again that Master Felic is not a heretic. This is the decision that I have made as the Judge of Heresy. I dont want to hear those words from you again. Otherwise, I wont mind locking you up in here," said Fergor, who would definitely deal with Siddarth if he were to go overboard and upset Lin Li before he left, even though he saw his behavior as nothing but a joke.