Chapter 3 - I Adopted My Father
Generally, ‘adoption’ meant a guardian was choosing a child to be placed in their care.
But…did you know the definition of adoption is ‘the act of legally recognizing relationships and identities, such as biological parents and children.’ No law states parents must adopt children.
That meant it was possible for me to adopt my dad!
‘A life of choosing, not being chosen. An active life is the best life.’
“What’s going on here?”
“This is absurd!”
“Huh, how is this…”
Unlike my satisfied self, everyone else was in chaos. The elders were particularly upset.
Because of the bomb I set off in the temple, I was in an emergency meeting with the Pope and the twelve elders.
They called it a meeting, but my participation was forced.
I tried to break the ice by laughing, but the pope and the elders didn’t smile or say anything.
‘Hmph, it isn’t working.’
“Excuse me, Saintess…” Elder Dominic looked at me with a complicated expression. “The way you chose your family was quite original.”
Historically, the pope and the senate would fight to have a saintess under their protection. That was the reason today’s system had been established.
‘But choosing randomly is too much. Especially because it’s all rigged!’
After some silence, Pope Raphael opened his mouth and said, “Saintess, the family you’ll choose to live with will have to show you the world, teach you about it, and protect you from it. It’s an extremely difficult and great task.”
The pope and the elders were telling me something in a roundabout way.
‘We can’t respect your decision.’
Well, I was already expecting something like this.
The pope and the twelve elders looked at me as if they wanted me to say something.
However, it wouldn’t matter even if I said something, so I smiled as if I were unaware of what was going on.
“I can’t accept this decision that ignores procedures!”
“It seems that the saintess hasn’t grown up enough to attend this ceremony yet.”
“The procedure and the result are both important.”
“However, we can’t proceed with the ceremony without the saintess.”
“Something might go wrong if we restart the ceremony from the beginning.”
The elders lowered their voices and discussed the issue with fervor. I let them be and smiled. The reason I was calm was that I had already prepared an explanation that the pope and the elders could not refute.
‘I bet they wanted me to be adopted into a family that’d experience a disease within three months.’
If I’m being honest, that family had the best conditions.
But who am I? An avid fan who had read every single word about how Priscilla, who was later named Ludia, had struggled.
‘I’ll never let that happen!’
I didn’t want to walk on the promised path of despair.
Never! No matter what!
“What happened today is unusual.”
“There is no precedent for it.”
“How should we handle it?”
Unlike the confused elders, the pope was calm, and that bothered me more. I looked at him and smiled, but not even a crack appeared in his steel-like expression.
‘Is he mad?’
“To send our precious saintess to Emperor Miltiades!”
The elders’ concern didn’t stop there.
“Why was Emperor Miltiades one of the final candidates?”
Miltiades Rekshai Rochelle Rahel.
The emperor who ruled Rahel in the North, which was rapidly emerging as a newly powerful nation, had earned unprecedented achievements and conquests, like the unification of the North, at a young age. He did not have a good relationship with the Holy Empire. Many people of the Holy Empire believed he was the most villainous emperor, and this was the reason the elders were unhappy.
After looking through some documents, one elder found out how Emperor Miltiades became one of the final candidates.
“He’s not one of our candidates. It was a request from Rahel, and we had to accept it to keep our relationship from going south…”
“How in the world did you choose that person…”
Nobody in the room could accept my decision. The elders were worried about how to persuade me. Although I was a saintess, I was just a little child.
“I can’t send our precious saintess to that shameless man!”
As the elders’ protests got louder, Pope Raphael raised his hand. It was a signal to be quiet. His blue eyes swept over the elders and finally landed on me.