《Saharan Successor》Vol. 1 - Chapter 5 - Emperor Juander Reminiscence
Vol. 1 - Chapter 5 - Emperor Juander Reminiscence
Mathias could barely explain the beauty of this church that was larger than Rouen Cathedral using a gothic style along with renaissance elements. There were even some ancient roman architecture elements into it.
Moving closer like a bee drawn to honey, he could see how small he was in the face of such a behemoth. However, he still kept moving forward toward the Cathedral until he began climbing some stairs leading to the main area of the Cathedral of Light.
Step by step, he became even smaller than the church that seemed to release some bright light from its surface.
"This is a church blessed by the Goddess Rebecca herself. I think so. I can't explain this aura I just saw when I finished climbing the stairs."
Looking around himself, he could see that the area around himself was empty. There was no step of ordinary people moving toward the Cathedral or outside of it. Only a giant statue of a beautiful woman with long white hair that almost cascaded down the ground.
She had a white dress that complemented her beauty even more.
Even if she was just a statue with life-like colors, it was enough to make Mathias gulp his saliva when standing in front of her, gazing at her warm expression that almost made him feel that she was staring at him.
'No way in hell that a statue can actually be alive? Right? Well, let's do something preventively if she isn't just a concept of the game and is a goddess, like any NPC. She for sure would like me to do that for a "cursed one" who barged into her world.'
Taking some steps back, he did a cross and bowed respectfully to her, as if he was doing a small prayer to Rebecca.
"Ohh, Goddess Rebecca, while I don't know any prayers to sing for your glory and beauty. I offer you this respectful bow from this humble man."
While not looking at Rebecca's face when doing his prayer, the eyes of the statue seemed to be shining with light, and her face shifted, gaining flesh all of a sudden, at which she smiled at Mathias in a warm, gentle manner, even so, more lovingly.
[Goddess Rebecca has warmly received your prayer. She opens up to you in a gentle manner.]
"Cursed one, you surprise me. Among the cursed ones who came into my world, you are the only one who actually believes in my status. Blessed may your journey be and wise your choices in life.
After she ended saying that, another string of notifications entered his vision.
[You have been blessed for one month with 15% bonus EXP]
[Intelligence has risen by 1]
'I was right about that. This warm light, don't tell me she is looking at me right now?' thought Mathias.
As he ended thinking that, he raised his head a little bit to look at Rebecca's face, and he could see that it was the still sculpted expression, only that it had a bit of light dissipating.
'Ahh, this is a bit creepy, not going to lie. But knowing she is a beautiful lady at least helps me a bit. There were some famous pictures with statues that turned all demonic and smiling creepily at unfortunate characters.'
After waiting for a bit more, he got up and started walking toward the Cathedral entrance that was closed from outside.
Getting in front of the gigantic door, Mathias spotted a smaller door inside the bigger one. In this awkward moment of staring at a door inside a door, he gentle knocked on the door and stood in place, waiting.
"Don't you know that Sunday's are special days when the Cathedral would remain closed for purification?" said a man that looked like a priest from his attire while opening the small door.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you."
"Huh, you seem to be a "cursed one". What do you want from Rebecca's Church?"
Feeling the question being passed at his net, he only asked the priest.
"Father, can you help me with some sheet paper and an inkwell where I could write something? It doesn't matter what quality of paper you give me. I'm fine with anything, as long as I can write."
"You want what? Sheets of paper? You didn't come here to ask to join Rebecca's Church?"
"Unfortunately, it isn't my calling to be a priest or person that would serve under the brilliance of Goddess Rebecca."
The priest seemed to be taken a bit by surprise, he expected those cursed ones to be drawn by power and influence, yet this black-haired young man, who had calm green eyes, only seemed to want an ordinary commodity.
"Sigh, fine, I will help you a bit."
Saying that the priest entered back in the church while also closing the door, and soon after making Mathias wait for some minutes, arrived while holding a stash of paper. They had words written on it, while others seemed to be a bit roughed up.
Mathias, who saw this suddenly, had his expression brightened and could only thank the priest.
"Thank you, father. I can't express in words how thankful am I."
After Mathias said that, he took that stash of paper from the priest along with the inkwell that had a quill pen inside and sprinted towards a bench close to where the central statue of Rebecca was.
The priest saw all of this and could only shake his head and say to himself while entering the Cathedral.
"That young man is amusing. Don't tell me he only wanted to write something? Is he some sage or composer? Also, why did I feel a slight divine light coming from him? Did he receive Rebecca's Blessing? Or is it because of the emperor who is inside the Cathedral?"
"Hah, whatever, I hope the Emperor doesn't get upset about the boy that he would imprison him."
"As for Archbishop Julius, as long he doesn't exit the cathedral, he wouldn't have to be bothered with this kid."
It didn't take long for Mathias to make himself comfortable at the bench. That was all for his taking. However, there seemed to be a slight miscalculation in his plans. The wind wasn't helpful while writing and keeping in check the manuscripts.
"Tsk, not now. All I got is about two weeks of paper material here, I can't afford to lose it. This place is my gold mine."
Saying that Mathias took one of his shoes off his feet, the game system alerted him that he was barefooted and unprotected.
He took the laces and started enveloping all the paper he wasn't using in a tie, later using another tie to keep them safe and close to him.
"Let's start writing something and check how writing here compares with outside."
Following that thought, Mathias placed the quill pen in the inkwell and, taking a sheet of paper from the bundle attached to his body, he began writing on his historical novel that was based upon the times of Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian.
Mathias, who was writing like a possessed ghost, couldn't feel the hours pass at all like he was in a trance hard to break. The priest who helped him with the tools exited the Cathedral walking to the courtyard where he could still see Mathias writing with smooth movements.
After approximately 2 hours since he began writing, Mathias took a break, slowly halting his fast running thoughts that flooded his head, and with the pause he did was an end at the moment between Justinian and Theodora after the end of the Nika Revolt, along with talking about Belisarius and his killing spree.
[Disposing of the Green's]
'With these series of chapters done, I should take a break. To think I would be faster here, how long have I been standing here?' thought Mathias while looking at his creations with a satisfied expression.
What he didn't know was that inside the Cathedral, a man in his late 40s with snow-white hair was seated in a praying position while his crimson eyes looked a bit lost in his prayer.
"Aria, if you can hear me. I pray for your peace in heaven while you are besides Goddess Rebecca."
As this man was praying in a silent state for a woman called Aria, someone walked toward him. It was a middle-aged man who had jet-black hair, and his features made him look cold.
"Your Majesty, it is time to go. Your schedule is busy as always, especially with the appearance of the cursed ones."
"I understand, Bain. Let's go. I have to settle the problem with the cursed ones."
Hearing this, the white-haired man slowly rose to his feet. With a slight nod towards the man who reminded him about his schedule, he began moving toward the cathedral exit.
His clothing was quite simple, but there was also splendor to the ornaments on them. While his body was releasing a red aura around himself when walking.
Getting out of the Cathedral without seeing a single person in his path, the white-haired man noticed a young man with jet-black hair seated on a bench in the vicinity of Goddess Rebecca church who was wearing rags, but his features made him look very clean.
'This young man seems to be one of the cursed ones from his appearance and behavior. I thought they would go hunting monsters and wild beasts, but it looks like there are also exceptions.'
The white-haired man kept moving forward, not being bothered by Mathias's presence at the court of Cathedral of Light. He even looked at him for a short time with his crimson eyes, intrigued by his behavior.
Keeping his path forward in a stable manner, he later heard the man next to him say in a cold tone.
"Your Majesty, should I eliminate that person? He seems to be a cursed one, those that Archbishop Julius and Pope Drevigo have warned about."
Hearing this request from his close bodyguard, the white-haired man shook his head lightly, and while moving forward without disturbing Mathias's concentrated self, he said.
"Don't bother with this, Bain. Do you see that boy as a threat to my safety? They are not threats for us, at least not now. Let's go to the palace before more people see me and a commotion happens in the city."
"Understood, Your Majesty. However, I will still put Eclipse to watch over these cursed ones, and monitor their behavior, at least the ones inside Saharan."
"As you wish. I think it will be a good idea to have a good grasp on those newcomers and check their weaknesses." replied the white-haired man in a calm tone.
After the white-haired man and his bodyguard left the Cathedral zone, Mathias raises his body slightly from the strained position that he used to write while on the bench.
"Huh, why do I just now got the feeling someone passed past me and looked at my work?"
"It might be just me, or is Goddess Rebecca interested in my work?"
Asking himself that, he turned his head to look at Rebecca's large statue overlooking this small plaza and could see that she wasn't releasing bright warm light from her body.
Suddenly, when he had his head turned, a wind blew harder from nowhere which took Mathias by surprise. He quickly grabbed hold of his sheet papers, yet before he could catch the last one, it got out of his grasp and began drifting away in the air.
"Nooo, that was the last part where Justinian and Theodora had their intimate moment! Sigh, good that I at least activated the recording when I finished those parts of the chapter."
'Ahh, this is so realistic. Even the wind blew like in reality, I didn't expect this. While it is indeed my fault, I didn't think that the wind would blow this hard at such an elevated part of the city.'
Mathias could only sigh at losing his last work for today, but in another place, that moving paper drifted around and climbed down from the high platform that the Cathedral was situated toward the lower ground of Titan City.
This piece of paper that was moving aimlessly and seemed to be floating smoothly toward the ground did some weird turns rising to the sky before dropping down on the floor. This sheet of paper was drifting in the direction the white-haired man was taking.
This person was moving in the direction of a large palace and sensed this sheet of paper drifting, using a swift movement, he grabbed it in his hands, later starting to look at the writing with curious eyes.
He looked for a bit before his expression seemed to shift to a serious expression, and later gently packing this sheet of paper and later placing it in his pocket.
"Your Majesty, what was that sheet paper?" asked Bain, his close bodyguard, looking a bit confused at Juander's action.
"Nothing much, just a small reminder for myself." replied the white-haired man as if nothing important happened for him.
This white-haired man kept moving toward the palace that looked magnificent, showing the status of the person sitting upon the throne of this palace as ruler of the world.
As he moved in the palace's proximity, some guards in red armor stationed at the entrance of the palace that, when seeing this white-haired man, quickly dropped in one knee and bowed down.
"Welcome back, Your Majesty."
Nodding his head at the guards, he kept moving toward the palace where a young man who seemed to be about 11 years old, had black hair and brown eyes, appeared in front of him and did a respectful bow.
"I greet you, father. Where have you been? Mother has been worrying about you."
The white-haired moved toward this young man and ruffled his hair a bit. "Son, what are you doing here? Weren't you supposed to be at your classes with Jean?"
"I don't like Jean that much. He seems to be teaching me something useless."
When the white-haired man heard that and looked at his son's eyes and face that resembled his mother a lot, he told him with a harsh yet calm, cold tone.
"Edan, you should respect your schedule and responsibilities as Prince of Saharan. We are the rulers of this world, and any mistake shown to our people and subjects would be viewed as a weakness. Do you understand, Edan? If you do, go back to Jean and start listening to what he has to say. He is the brightest tutor in the entire Saharan Empire."
When the young man heard the white-haired man say that in a serious and even a bit of coldness in his tone, he could only lower his head and still ask him. "I understand, father. Yet, what about mother? Will you see her in the future?"
"If my schedule allows for such a thing, I will see her. Now go, son, we Saharans don't have time to waste around."
After he ended talking for a bit with his son, the white-haired man ignored his son's expression and began walking the stairs toward his private chamber.
"No need to enter inside Bain. I want to be alone for a bit." said the white-haired man to his bodyguard that followed him until the entrance of his private room.
"Understood, Your Majesty."
Entering inside, the white-haired man moved to his large desk and sat down on a luxurious chair. He put his hand in the pocket and took the stuffed sheet of paper that flew toward him and brought from his desk the portrait of a beautiful woman with golden hair.
He slowly began reading the letter, and along the way, he would release some chuckles while stroking the portrait of that beautiful woman. Juander experienced many emotions he thought were lost to him and said with a melancholic tone while looking at the portrait of the blonde woman.
"Isn't this just like how we were, when young Aria? Before our sons came into our lives? Always quarreling about small things, yet always returning to embrace each other after calming down."
"You are Theodora of this story, while I am Justinian. Who would have ever thought that someone would know my life in such a way? Those two went by so many harsh moments in their lives together, but their love for one another keeps them closer, just like us two.
Yet you are no longer close to me, dear. I can't even face our sons properly, be a father to them, just like when you were together with me."
The white-haired man kept reading the letter while his crimson eyes began shedding tears. After he was done, he looked at the beautiful golden-haired woman, caressing it with a loving expression.
He took that portrait along with the letter and brought them to a safe location, a hidden compartment inside his desk that had a lock mechanism. After placing them in the locked department, he extended his hand and said something in an unknown language that later developed into a red energy wave enveloping the lock.
Whipping his tears, the white-haired man got up from his chair and began moving toward a balcony. Once inside the balcony, he had a perfect view of the entire city of Titan, and with a dignified and firm tone, he said while staring in the direction of the Light's Cathedral.
"I don't know who you are, young man from the Cathedral, you who managed to bring tears into my very being who I thought was dried of them. You who brought a jolt in my heart after my eternal love disappeared from my side, know that I, Juander von Saharan, will watch you."
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