Silent Crown Chapter 658: Believers
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It was a tricky issue.
At the moment, Schubert's scepter had turned into a seed and was hiding in her consciousness. If the one-legged man dared to do it, even Ye Qingxuan wouldn't let him off, not to mention the Sacred City.
It seemed that they really couldn't do much about it.
Ye Qingxuan sighed and gave a wave of his hand. "It's already midnight. Go get some rest, everyone, no need to keep vigil here."
Soon, the masters all left.
Ye Qingxuan reached out and adjusted the brazier next to the stone bed, making the fire burn more vigorously. The flame burning in the air brought light and illuminated the music theory pages in his hand.
He might as well make good use of the time to study something since he couldn't fall back asleep anyway.
It was just nice that Schubert's scepter had provided him with plenty of inspiration in the earlier half of the night. He already knew what sort of Symphony of Predestination he wanted.
Ye Qingxuan planned to make haste in perfecting it. Ideally, he hoped to settle his Symphony of Predestination completely in one go in two days. Then, he would just have to wait to hitch the ride to attain the Level of Scepter.
It wasn't long before Ye Qingxuan heard the sound of breathing become steady.
He put down the manuscript, looked back, and saw that the expression of the old nun on the stone bed had become peaceful, as if she had descended into a long slumber, her fingers trembling slightly.
Finally, she opened her eyes once more.
This time, her eyes no longer had an empty look in them. Instead, they were old and murky, with shadows cast by the erosion of pain.
She looked at the broken ceiling sluggishly, then her eyes fell on Ye Qingxuan. Seeing the Church's emblem on his collar, she murmured softly, "Is this... heaven?"
Ye Qingxuan shook his head slowly. "Regretfully, Sister, you have not ascended to heaven because of your piety and good deeds. God has not accepted you, so you have remained in the mortal realm."
"Where is this place?" she asked.
"The Ultimate," Ye Qingxuan replied.
Confusion flashed across the old nun's eyes. She seemed unable to comprehend his words, nor did she understand what exactly the Ultimate was.
Ye Qingxuan sighed. "In a nutshell, it's a very troublesome place."
The old nun was momentarily surprised, and remained silent for a long time.
"Oh, I see. I'm still alive..." She looked at the wrinkles on her palm and murmured softly, "God loves me."
"Don't you hate them?" Ye Qingxuan looked at her peaceful expression and suddenly asked. "You still have your memories, right? You still remember what they of the Church did to you."
The old nun fell silent for a good while.
"I still remember those days. Many archbishops spoke to me, and the Holy See also praised me — " She said softly, "It is probably my destiny. For me, having such talent is a lucky thing.
"At least, I'm not totally useless in everything other than praying..."
Looking at the old nun's unperturbed expression, for some reason unknown, Ye Qingxuan was somewhat displeased. "How could someone be destined to become a consumable?"
Seemingly sensing the dissatisfaction in Ye Qingxuan's words, the old nun gave an awkward smile. "In my opinion... someone has to offer themselves up to be consumed, no? What's more, it's for the sake of the world..."
The corner of Ye Qingxuan's eye twitched.
He withdrew his gaze and didn't want to say anything more.
To be honest, he sort of regretted his choice.
Although he had long since prepared himself that the old nun would be a fanatic, even fanatics came in many different varieties. Many were shepherds who sacrificed everything, but many others were sheep that could take anything lying down.
She was the latter.
Of the countless types of people out there, only such people were the least valuable.
They couldn't even live their lives for themselves.
But soon, Ye Qingxuan discovered a merit of the old nun that made him a little less upset.
No, it was simply an irreplaceable forte in the Ultimate.
— She could cook.
At the wee hours of dawn, when the masters woke up from meditation, for a moment, they almost felt that they were having an illusion.
After a long time since it last happened, they smelled broth.
It was a steaming hot fragrance.
Mabel had conveniently made the soup pot and provided the kindling spark for the fire, the meat used was air-dried meat, the only spices were a few peppers, and a few odd onion pieces were sprinkled over the broth.
The salt in the meat dissolved in the boiling water, and the smell of onion blended in. The stone-like compressed food melted in the broth, forming thin porridge.
To be honest, it was very simple and crude, but after putting one's teeth through the ordeal of eating compressed food for one week straight, being able to drink such a bowl of gruel almost made the masters tear up.
A master of the school of modifications even made dozens of bowls and spoons specially for the occasion, ready to sit down and properly enjoy the meal.
Soon, everyone sat in front of the makeshift dining table, and the old nun served breakfast.
Ye Qingxuan cupped his hands around the soup bowl, but noticed the gaze of the old nun.
She looked at Ye Qingxuan and furrowed her brows in confusion. "Your Excellency, why aren't you saying your morning prayer?"
"..." Ye Qingxuan's expression twitched, and for some reason unknown, he felt somewhat guilty.
It seemed that he hadn't said any more prayers after leaving Father Bann and his church. From various aspects, he really didn't live up to his title of archbishop.
Even so, he still bit the bullet and replied, "I'm not in the habit of doing so."
As he said so, he lowered his head, ready to drink his soup, but felt the gaze watching him.
Inexplicably, his conscience was uneasy.
It wasn't just him, everyone present felt guilty for some reason unknown.
The old nun looked at the masters at the table and softly suggested, "Everyone, let's pray."
The masters looked up at the old nun in surprise. With a serious expression, she proposed gently and patiently, "Saying grace before meals is necessary etiquette."
Although she was an old nun, for some reason unknown, at the moment, of all times... she had an inexplicably dignified air.
Ye Qingxuan could swear that it was definitely the meal that he had eaten most piously in the past year. After eating, he even got up subconsciously to wash the dishes and only remembered that he was no longer in the church when he looked up.
He sighed softly and put down the bowl.
To cover up his blunder, he softly ordered, "I have something on during the day, don't disturb me."
Having said so, he turned and left.
Inexplicably, he missed the priest a little.
I wonder if he is doing well.
More than ten hours ago, in the northern wilderness, the sun was scorching.
A few hundred kilometers away was the endless desert. The hot, burning Föhn wind blew from afar, passed the thorns and bushes, and blew through the gates of the village.
In such a hot summer, even the villagers were unwilling to come out. They all made use of their time by sleeping during the day, letting the fields crack, burned by the scorching sun, and weeds grew everywhere.
Below the parapet made of loess, only a thin boy was riding his wooden horse in the sparse shadows.
The colored paint on the wooden horse had already peeled off due to prolonged exposure to the sun, leaving only vague traces. Even the eyes were blurred, and his young friends made fun of it, calling it a blind horse.
The child knew not of boredom. He had always enjoyed himself in his own world, fantasizing himself to be a noble knight, just like the group of adults stationed in the desert.
Waving his wooden knife, he fought bravely against the demon in his imagination.
He once saw the knights. They rode black horses and galloped past the village. One could hear the thunderous hooves from a few miles away.
As dust rose, a brilliance reflected from their armor under the scorching sun, and on the white cloak on their back was a blood-colored emblem of a cross.