Tatara only started his introduction when they left through the side door. That wooden door actually led to the main chamber of the church, containing statues and artwork that were literally a thousand years old. That room could fit three thousand people praying at the same time and that was where ten pastors took turns preaching every month. The Pope only personally preached during the new year.
Leaving the side door, they arrived at the inner church square. This square was surrounded by the church’s main blocks which were tall towers that separated this place from the outside world. This square was larger than the square outside, the wall and twelve connecting buildings were circular. Apparently every building belonged to one archbishop and the tallest tower was where the Pope lived.
“The tower in the north belongs to the highest-ranked people of the church and contains prayer rooms as well as stores generational sacred treasures, the meeting room of senior church members and also the administrative centre. The building in the south is where the court is… Hmm, don’t go there if you don’t need to, that’s the most terrifying part of the church. It audits the other followers across the mainland, performs inspections. Every time they find extremists or traitors that betray the values of the church, this is the department that issues the punishments… Hmm, you saw all the pillars outside there but everyone in the church knows the most famous pillar isn’t any of those carved pillars but… the stake! I don’t know how many people they’ve burned at the stake these hundreds and thousands of years.
“In the west is the church library with ancient religious texts and documents, teaching materials from preachings and also educators that are responsible for training church workers.
“In the east… that’s the Magician’s Association. The association is directly controlled by the church and is responsible for monitoring all the magicians in the empire, assessing their ranks, and also enforcing industry rules. It’s also an academy but for training low-ranked magical disciples and they only teach the basic theories and magical magician. After you pass, you would be a qualified magical disciple. As for becoming an actual magician, you would have to think of a way to become a disciple to a magician to learn true magic.”
Tatara introduced the buildings quickly, at the same time whispering, “But the association says that only intermediate-ranked magicians can take in disciples. Years ago, I graduated from this magical academy and was qualified to become a disciple. My teacher saw potential in me and taught me some real magic but it is unfortunate that I am just not talented enough. I only achieved Level 1 Magic and never ascended… Afterwards, my teacher gave up on me…”
Tatara sighed as he recounted his past, deeply hurt that he was abandoned by his teacher because he was not talented enough.
“Magical academy, magical disciple…” Shaar stroked his chin curiously. “Can all graduates become magical disciples? What do these people do after graduation? If someone graduates but no teacher wants to take them in, what do they do? Switch jobs?”
Tatara smiled. “Master, that is extremely rare. People are needed for the association’s daily operations too. They can work in the Magician’s Association too, because regular people can’t! If regular people take these positions, would that not be a slap to the magicians’ faces? Every year, they take in graduates. If there really are no teachers willing to take the disciples in, they can still work in the association. They could do odd jobs but at least they’re working for the association! Then again, there are many aristocrats that are interested in magic too. They would hire graduates if they can’t get a magician to work for them since it’s better than nothing. Even if the graduates here don’t know much real magic, they are definitely qualified in magical theory and medicine. As long as you’re good at magical medicine, you’ll be useful to society! You can be a doctor, or serve in some mercenary group.”
As they spoke, they had already walked to the group of buildings on the east of the square. Shaar looked up at the six-sided star carving hanging before the main steps, then strode through the entrance under Tatara’s urges.
What they did not know was that someone was watching them walk into the Magician’s Association.
On the other side of the square, a tall and slender figure hid behind a pillar by the wall, pressing her hand tight on her chest with widened eyes. Then, she turned to peek from behind the pillar, her eyes glued to the door to the Magician’s Association!
After Shaar and Tatara entered, the slender figure walked out slowly. Behind her was the main entrance to the library and at this moment, a man in black robes walked out. Skin-tight soft armour could be seen underneath his robes. This man was handsome, his beard cut neatly and his robes fit him well. Although it was just black robes, its edges were embroidered with gold. Walking up to the slender figure, he smiled. “Adeline, what are you doing?”
Adeline, also known as Pitiful Creature, leapt up and almost yelled out. She patted her chest again when she turned to see him clearly, sighing in relief. “Uncle Tryp, you scared me.”
The man behind her was the Sir Tryp who took Adeline away at Primal Wildfire Plains. As a master close to the Crown Prince, Tryp had pledged to protect Adeline and was today here at the church for prayer. She had been at a castle in the country, protected by the Crown Prince but was going insane after spending too many days there. After much begging, she was finally allowed to come to the church to pray. The Crown Prince had sternly reminded Tryp to protect her and not let Adeline talk to anyone.
Adeline felt like a bird out of its cage the moment she could step outside. Even though she was not allowed to talk to anyone, she felt much better breathing in fresh air outside. Although the church was a boring place, as long as she could get out, she was already overjoyed.
She had been reading some religious texts in the library alone for a while, thinking to get some sun outside. Never would she have expected to see the person she would never forget!!
Although she forced a smile to answer Sir Tryp’s question, other questions echoed in her heard:
Why must it be him?
Why is he here?
The hillbilly… He… Is he here looking for me?
When she thought about it, her beautiful pale face suddenly reddened…
Her gaze turned unfocused, then her eyes darted at the Magician’s Association several times.
Ah… Right! He’s actually with that magician Tatara though… That Tatara has probably told him about my true identity. Did… did he come all the way to the capital for me?
Is… he here for me?
Her heart struggled, unsure to feel joy or concern but could not help asking herself another question.
If… if I can actually meet him, would I be able to elope with him? He… he…
Sigh, even if I can only see him for a while, to have a short conversation, that would still be good…
Pitiful Creature thought anxiously, her heart thumping.