Extra 14 <Intermission> The Assault on the Pope Part 1

Translator: Jay_Forestieri

Editor: Tseirp

 

The day after the papal election concluded and Graham’s appointment as the next pope was announced.

In Graham’s office at the Papal Palace.

 

The office’s master, Graham, and his right-hand, Archbishop Stefania.

The leaders of the three Central Countries’ delegation: Count Oscar Ruska, former King Roberto Pirlo, and Hugh McGrath, were all gathered together.

 

“As you have heard, I will be the next pope.”

Graham announced.

 

“Congratulations… if that’s appropriate. I’ve heard about what happened in the Tower of Silence.”

Hugh said, grimacing.

“Yes, it is not a joyous occasion.”

Graham replied with a wry smile.

 

During the papal election, they were attacked by what appeared to be vampires, and many cardinals were killed in the Tower of Silence.

 

It is no exaggeration to say that the appointment of the young Graham as pope was a result of this incident.

 

 

“The events that occurred during the papal election, namely that the cardinals were attacked by vampires and killed, will be publicly announced at noon today.”

Graham stated, sending shockwaves through the three leaders.

 

A minute of silence followed.

 

It was Hugh who broke the silence.

“You mean… to disclose everything to the public?”

“Yes. Without hiding anything.”

Graham affirmed clearly.

 

 

Informing the public of everything.

 

 

On the surface, it sounds like an exceptionally enlightened policy.

 

But they know.

It is not so simple.

 

 

“It’s sure to cause chaos.”

Former King Roberto Pirlo murmured.

Graham nodded silently.

 

Undoubtedly, the populace will fall into panic.

 

This is inevitable.

 

It’s not the kind of panic where people hastily pack up and leave the holy city en masse…

Outwardly, things might appear unchanged.

 

 

But their minds will be distinctly altered.

 

 

Their thinking will halt.

They will no longer be able to think for themselves.

 

Above all…

They will become emotional and unable to engage in discussions.

They will lose their calm.

 

 

Even if reasoned explanations are provided, the panicked populace will not understand.

 

That is the nature of such things.

No one is to blame.

 

 

Those present are aware of this.

 

The count, the former king, the grandmaster, and the future pope and archbishop.

All of them are on the side of those who ‘disseminate information’, not on the side of the populace who ‘receive information’.

 

 

The people cry out.

“Reveal all the information!”.

 

But if all the information is revealed, the populace will panic and be unable to make rational decisions.

Those in responsible positions know this.

 

 

The panicked populace will begin to harm innocent, unrelated others.

Of course, without a sense of guilt.

Believing they are acting correctly.

 

At that time, no one will pay attention to the side of the populace that is being harmed.

That is the nature of a panicked populace.

 

Thus, disclosing all information is terrifying.

 

 

The solution is the passage of time… there is no other way for the populace to regain their composure.

 

 

There is only one reason why the populace falls into panic.

Because they are scared.

 

They are scared because they cannot foresee the future.

They are scared because they do not know if they or their families will be okay.

They are scared because they do not know what will happen next.

 

Thus, they fall into a state of mental paralysis, become emotional, and start to reject all opinions different from their own.

 

 

So, is there no way to prevent this?

 

Of course, there is.

 

The populace itself must continue to think.

They must avoid falling into a state of mental paralysis.

 

They must keep questioning, “Why did those people take such actions?”.

They must keep pondering, “Why did those people not take this action?”.

 

This is the first step in not becoming a panicked populace.

 

 

However, the troublesome part is that it must be the populace itself who takes these actions…

 

 

“In reality, it is impossible to keep it hidden, so there is no other choice.”

Graham shrugged.

 

In practical terms, apart from Graham, who will become the pope, there are no other cardinals left except Adolfito.

Sooner or later, various things will have to be made public.

 

Given that, it would be better to reveal everything at once.

 

“Moreover, I do not think the populace is foolish. Once the madness passes and they regain their composure, they will return to normal. That is what I believe.”

Graham said with a smile. Hugh shrugged, Roberto Pirlo gave a small nod, and Oscar closed his eyes.

 

 

 

“And so… why exactly did you call us here?”

Hugh asked, shaking his head slightly.

 

“Originally, after the announcement of the new pope, the enthronement ceremony is held the next day. The new pope then appears before the populace.”

“The enthronement ceremony is held immediately, and a year later, the inauguration ceremony is held as a public event, right?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

Graham nodded.

 

The delegation from the Central Countries had come for that inauguration ceremony.

For the previous pope.

 

“This time, it is believed that the vampires who attacked will launch further attacks.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah. Because they failed to kill me.”

Graham replied with a smile.

 

Despite his smile, Hugh found it somewhat unsettling.

(It reminds me of Ryo’s smile.)

 

For some reason, the water-attribute mage, often referenced for his eerie smile, came to mind.

It was unfortunate for him.

 

 

“Why did they attack the church at this particular time? The church had been peaceful for the past century, hadn’t it?”

“Probably because they saw the church as weakened and vulnerable after the recent inauguration ceremony.”

“I see. They had been lying in wait and saw this as their chance.”

Graham’s explanation was easily accepted.

 

 

“More details will be provided after everything is formally decided… but this time, I intend to hold the enthronement ceremony not inside the papal palace, but in the amphitheater.”

“The amphitheater, where the recent inauguration ceremony was held?”

“Yes.”

Graham nodded in response to former King Roberto Pirlo’s confirmation.

 

Although parts of the amphitheater were destroyed during the recent inauguration ceremony, thanks to the papal palace’s wealth and influence, resources and personnel for the repairs were gathered from across the Western Countries, and it had been almost completely restored.

 

“Conducting the ceremony outdoors rather than indoors, you’re deliberately setting it up for an attack, aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Graham, you’re using yourself as bait, aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

Graham nodded in response to Hugh’s question.

 

“Are you asking us… to help strike against the vampires?”

“Not exactly. I want the members of the delegation to attend the enthronement ceremony as they did before. If the vampires attack, please protect yourselves. Assisting the church personnel will not be necessary.”

“Are you okay with that?”

“Yeah. Your presence alone will serve as a deterrent to the attackers.”

With Graham’s words, the three leaders fell into contemplation.

 

The delegation carries the weight of their home countries.

The Central Countries are expected to eventually formalize trade agreements with the Western Countries centered around the Theocracy.

They must consider this request from their prospective partner.

 

No one wants to endanger their subordinates.

 

But they also understand their roles.

Allowing emotions to dictate their actions is not permissible.

 

 

“The Union agrees.”

Former King Roberto Pirlo was the first to respond.

His swift decision was likely shaped by his extensive experience in weighing the lives of himself and his subordinates.

 

“The Empire agrees as well.”

Oscar Ruska answered almost immediately after.

For him, the decision was simpler, he trusted in his ability to protect his subordinates if it came to that.

 

“Haa…. The Kingdom agrees too.”

Hugh McGrath answered last.

It was clear from his expression that he was reluctant.

Of course, he was deliberately showing his reluctance.

While it was true he was not enthusiastic, he could hide it if necessary.

But this time, he chose not to.

 

“Thank you.”

Graham said, bowing his head to the three leaders.

 

 

 

After the delegation leaders left the office, three archbishops entered.

These were Archbishop Schlotter, Archbishop Balthasar, and Archbishop Goon, all members of Graham’s faction.

And Archbishop Stefania, who had been standing behind Graham.

 

Facing the four archbishops, Graham announced.

 

“Upon my ascension as pope, Stefania, Balthasar, and Goon will be elevated to cardinals.”

Balthasar and Goon bowed silently.

 

Only Stefania looked flustered.

Which was a rare sight.

 

“Schlotter, you have just become an archbishop. So you’ll have to wait a little longer.”

“Understood.”

Young Archbishop Schlotter replied, bowing respectfully.

 

“Out of the twenty-one archbishops, eleven will be promoted to cardinals. Your ranking among the archbishops will also rise, Schlotter.”

Graham said kindly.

 

 

However, one person was visibly uneasy…

“Your Holiness… elevating me to a cardinal is a bit…”

Stefania finally spoke up.

 

“A bit what? Because you’re too young? When I was appointed to the Hero’s Party, I became an archbishop… in terms of years of experience, you are well qualified to be a cardinal.”

“But, I’m a woman…”

“A female cardinal since Pope Anna? That sounds progressive and good.”

Graham said with a laugh.

 

“Her Holiness Anna is almost a lagend…”

“It’s fine. Promoting the three of you to cardinals isn’t about factions. It’s necessary.”

“Necessary? Could it be for our combat abilities against vampires…?”

Stefania whispered, and Graham nodded.

 

 

“As a vampire hunter, my becoming pope must be quite unfavorable for the vampires.”

Graham said, smiling.

He was aware that the vampires hated him.

 

“If they have an opportunity to kill me, they’ll want to do it as soon as possible. And doing so in front of the clergy and the delegation at the amphitheater would be highly symbolic.”

The four nodded.

 

“Frankly, ordinary clergy cannot fight vampires. But inquisitors are different.”

“Yes. I heard that the Inquisition was originally established to combat vampires.”

“Exactly. Stefania, even after you become a cardinal, I want you to continue leading the Inquisition.”

“Uh…”

“In the future, I plan to triple its size and make it permanently under the direct control of a cardinal.”

“I understand.”

Stefania now comprehended that Graham was serious about fighting the vampires.

 

Strengthening the organization, not just individual combat ability, was necessary.

 

 

However, that was a future plan.

With no bearing on the present.

 

For now, they needed immediate measures.

 

“Well… we suffered greatly at the Tower of Silence. This time, we will set a solid trap.”

Graham said with a smile that even Stefania, who was accustomed to his expressions, found terrifying…

 

 

TLN: Please read my translations at tseirptranslations.com, I did not give permission to any site to host my translations. 

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