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Seduce The Villainess (GL)
Chapter 8 The Fallen Saintess (4)

"Impossible… Isn't Saintess Elisa the real saintess?"

"What is going on? But the pope is the one who said it…"

"Who is she? Has anyone seen her before?"

Whispers and speculations filled the room. The same pious believers who just a few moments ago knelt down and prayed to a merciful and benevolent God were now baring their fangs.

Confusion, disbelief and maliciousness…

These emotions were directed towards the frail figure sitting down in the front row.

Saintess Elisa opened her eyes and stared at the woman standing on the raised platform.

Her face was expressionless, but Claire could see her fingers slowly curl up into a tight fist.

White hot anger bubbled up in Claire's chest and she subconsciously dropped her right hand near the hilt of her sword.

How dare the pope do this… how dare he… HOW DARE HE!

Claire had to take several deep breaths in order to calm herself down. Now was not the time to let her emotions go out of control.

She needed to keep a clear head and plan out her next moves carefully. What she was about to do next would have significant consequences for both herself and Saintess Elisa.

Pope Emmanuel's words had thrown the congregation into disorder as no one knew what was going to happen next.

Saintess Elisa had been treated as the next successor of the Varion Church for five years and now the pope claimed that the true saintess was the woman behind him.

Pope Emmanuel raised his hand once more in the air and the noisy hall quieted down as the congregation waited for the pope's next words.

"My faithful flock… I know that this may be difficult to understand but I have received a sign from our God," Pope Emmanuel spoke solemnly.

"Five years ago, in my arrogance I wrongly believed that a duke's daughter with slightly above average holy power was the saintess."

"I can only pray to Lord Varion that he may forgive me for my hubris. For how can a flickering candle compare to a roaring flame?"

The pope cleared his throat and gestured towards the back of the hall. The wooden doors swung open, and a procession slowly entered the room.

Dozens of heavily wounded civilians and soldiers with missing limbs were carried into the room on stretchers.

The paladins that escorted them inside walked silently with no regard for the cries of pain and moans of agony coming from the injured.

The scent of death and blood filled the Hall of Light and several of the believers almost threw up in disgust.

A worried expression flashed across Saintess Elisa's face, and she got up to treat the injured.

Claire gently held her hand and stopped her from going.

Saintess Elisa looked down in confusion, but Claire tightened her grip on her palm and refused to let go.

This was all part of their plan. A demonstration of the gap between Saintess Elisa and her replacement.

In the original Claire's memories Saintess Elisa had rushed towards the injured in order to heal them but was stopped.

Then the mysterious woman on the raised platform would demonstrate her strength and make Elisa a laughingstock.

Saintess Elisa struggled for a moment but something in Claire's eyes made her sit back down with an uneasy expression on her face.

Claire kept holding her hand in fear that the kind-hearted saintess would escape when she wasn't paying attention.

She took a casual glance at the raised platform and saw a brief expression of disappointment flash across the silver-haired woman's face.

Claire narrowed her eyes thoughtfully and burned that image in her mind.

"Please Saintess Marie… channel the light of the Lord to heal the injured and the sick," Pope Emmanuel loudly cried.

The silver haired woman slowly walked towards the edge of the raised platform. Her lips curved into a graceful smile and her breathtaking beauty made the hearts of the believers skip a beat.

Even the cries of the injured seemed to fade away into the background.

A holy beam of light shone down on the new saintess, and her eyes were filled with purity and righteousness.

Saintess Marie raised both hands in the air and whispered a few words of grace. Strange runes and symbols floated in the air above her body.

A wave of bright yellow light washed over the congregation. Claire could feel the holy power inside her mana heart tremble in ecstasy as it quickly absorbed the pure energy.

She was clearly not the only one to feel this way as expressions of surprise and joy flashed across the faces of the holy knights and high priests.

Only Saintess Elisa furrowed her brows in pain as the holy light dug into her body.

Claire opened her mouth to ask her what was wrong but got interrupted by the cries of joy that filled the hall.

"My arm… it grew back! Bless you Saintess Marie!"

"I can feel my legs! I can feel my legs!"

"My face… is it healed? Oh, thank you Lord… thank you for your grace!"

The wave of bright yellow light instantly healed the injured men and women who were lying down on the stretchers.

Their illnesses were healed, their missing limbs regenerated before their very eyes, and they were grateful to the one who had provided this miracle.

One of the men rose up from the stretcher and knelt down on the floor. He placed his forehead against the ground and shouted loudly.

"Thank you Saintess Marie!"

He was soon joined by the others who also got up from their stretchers and knelt down facing the direction of the saintess.

"Thank you Saintess Marie!"

"Thank you Saintess Marie!"

"Thank you Saintess Marie!"

Their thunderous cries echoed through the hall. The silver haired woman lowered her hands and stepped back with a kind smile on her face.

She accepted the thanks as if it were natural and there were no extra emotions in her eyes.

Pope Emmanuel allowed the cheering to go on uninterrupted for several minutes and the other members of the congregation could not help but get affected by the mood.

Those who were initially distrustful of this new saintess were now completely convinced from the bottom of their hearts.

And for good reason.

Saintess Elisa was also able to heal the injured and the sick but needed to touch them in order to channel her holy power.

She could only heal them slowly one at a time.

In fact, never in the history of the Varion Church had there ever been an individual capable of doing what Saintess Marie had just done.

It was this fact that made this grand assembly all the more incomprehensible to Claire. She could not understand why it was even necessary in the first place.

Saintess Marie possessed unmatched holy power and a deep connection to the God of Light.

There was no need to compete with Elisa because truthfully, they were not on the same level.

So why in the original Claire's memories was the pope willing to compare the two and drag Elisa's reputation in the mud?

Something was wrong here…

There was a dark conspiracy hidden behind this display of holiness that Claire was determined to unravel.

"Saintess Elisa… no … Elisa Berierse please approach me," Pope Emmanuel suddenly ordered.

Elisa got up from her seat and walked towards the raised platform while clasping her hands together.

The hall was completely silent.

On one side was the saintess who had loyally served the church for five years but…

She was not the real saintess.

Gazes of pity fell on the Elisa with every step that she took. Claire took a few deep breaths and gently exhaled.

Do not get angry… do not get angry… remain calm…

Elisa reached the bottom of the raised platform and stood there with her head held high and a steely glint in her eyes.

"Elisa Berierse, you have been blessed to enjoy the position of the saintess for five years now," Pope Emmanuel sternly declared.

"It has been an honour that you did not deserve but in recognition for your service to the church I am prepared to forgive you."

He paused for a moment, and you could hear a pin drop in the silent hall. Claire briefly imagined slamming her fist into the face of this disgusting old man.

The way Pope Emmanuel was speaking implied that it was Elisa's fault, and she was the sinner for enjoying Saintess Marie's rightful position.

But who was the one that brought her to the temple to become the saintess in the first place?

Pope Emmanuel coughed twice, and his hands trembled for a moment. Saintess Marie placed her slender palm on his back and his body was engulfed in holy light.

The pope let out a light sigh of relief and turned around to smile gratefully at the silver haired woman.

The brief feeling of hesitation in his heart faded away as he stared at the beautiful woman who would lead their church into the new era.

Pope Emmanuel faced Elisa once more and the grateful smile on his face was replaced by a serious look.

"From hence forth you will no longer be referred to as the saintess and your position as the next successor will be stripped away," Pope Emmanuel commanded.

"You will be required to vacate the inner sanctum immediately and your personal guards will transfer over to Saintess Marie's side."

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Seduce The Villainess (GL) Chapter 8 The Fallen Saintess (4)