Chapter 2 - 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 that parents must adopt children.
That meant I could 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.
“Saintess,” when the pope called me, I grinned and nodded. “Is there something you want to say?”
Thirteen pairs of eyes turned to me. I smiled even brighter after feeling all their gazes.
When I raised my hand and laughed, a smile appeared on everyone’s face.
They warmly looked at me as if I were their granddaughter.
“Yes, what does the saintess want to tell us?”
“Grandpas, I don’t know what you guys are talking about.”
The atmosphere in the room changed as I tilted my head.
“I see! We were speaking about a difficult subject you didn’t understand.”
“Please speak comfortably! We will carefully listen.”
All the elders parroted the pope’s words.
“How did you choose that person?”
Everyone was focusing on my words, but it was what I was waiting for, a chance to finally persuade these people.
‘A way to persuade the thick-skulled Pope and the elders.’
There was no way a six-year-old would have such amazing power. The most important thing was to ‘justify’ my decision.
“I heard a voice;” the elders held their breath, “As soon as Daddy walked into the temple, my vision got brighter and a warm voice told me, ‘This is the one.’”
Actually, that didn’t happen. But I did experience something like this before. Three years ago when the “Fan Accident” occurred.
The elders all started to pray at the same time.
“Please show us your glorious judgment and shine your truthful light on us.”
I also started to pray with them.
‘Merciful God, please forgive my small lie for wanting to be with my favorite character. There’s only one family I want to be with in this world. That man is the only person who can be my dad. I won’t allow anyone else! No one can go against my words.’
* * *
The Holy Empire wasn’t the only place that was baffled because of this current situation.
The young emperor of Rahel, Miltiades, was also confused.
“What? Your Majesty, you were chosen as the saintess’s father?” A handsome young man grimaced over the magic tool as he asked another question. “Will the Vios Empire walk on the road to destruction?”
“Shut your mouth.” Miltiades frowned at Achillios’s harsh words. He should be more outraged than anyone else.
How did this happen? He hadn’t gone to the temple to become a saintess’s father.
“Your Majesty, are you being serious? Is it true? You’re not playing a prank on me?”
“I told you to shut up.”
“Wow, is this foreshadowing this world’s destruction?” Achillios could not stop his mouth, and he was slowly going over the top. However, since they were not in the same place, Miltiades’s bloodlust could do nothing. “Your Majesty, please be honest. Did you threaten the saintess?”
“Anyway, get a room ready within this week. She’ll be staying for three months.”
“Excuse me? Does that mean you’re returning soon?”
“You’re bringing the saintess?”
Achillios couldn’t believe what was going on. But who could reject him?
“It’s been three thousand years since a saintess has appeared. It looks like the Vios Empire is at its end,” Achillios muttered to himself with a nervous expression. “Your Majesty, what will you do?”
“Will you really reject their proposal?” There was a slight tremble in his voice along with the nervousness.
Achillios knew better than anyone that Miltiades was pure, but Miltiades had a grim expression on his face.
A laugh rang out next to Miltiades.
After seeing the emperor’s expression, his guardian knight, Callian, could not hold in his laughter.
“About that, Sir Achillios.”
“The saintess had wrapped His Majesty around her finger.”
“?!?!?!?!??!?!” Achillios’s eyes opened wide, and from his expression, it seemed as if he wanted to bring in the saintess to see if it was true.
“To tell you the truth, what happened was…”
“Shut up, Callian.”
Callian glanced at Miltiades and shut his mouth.
“Wait, you can’t just interrupt him! What happened yesterday?!” Achillios screamed inside the screen.
Achillios’s tantrum had to end.
He had heard a knock on the door where Miltiades was staying.
“Your Majesty, the saintess is here.”
Callian turned off the call. A moment later, he opened the door. However, he could only see a maid bowing.
While everyone was waiting, a little child appeared behind the maid.
She smiled as soon as she saw Miltiades.
“Daddy!” The little child threw off her embarrassment and ran over to Miltiades’s arms. “Grandpas said that you can go see them!”
The bright smile on the little girl’s face, the frozen expression on the man, and silence!
Only these lingered in the room.