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“The accurate usage of formalities and the mastery of titles and honorifics at different levels is a complicated subject,” Anthony wiped the small blackboard behind him, “Before we begin the course, I would like to introduce a respected deity to you.”
Anthony fished out a badge from his chest pocket. On it was a sacred logo in the shape of a book which had a dim luster.
“Can you recognise this?” Anthony asked softly.
“I recognise it! This is the emblem of the almighty God of Knowledge, Oguma!” Leylin nodded earnestly.
The smile on Anthony’s face spread even wider, “That’s right! All of us scholars believe strongly in the almighty God of Knowledge, Oguma, who is also the origin of all knowledge.”
He shot a profound glance at Leylin, “It is also the religion that the Faulen family believes in. Do you pray frequently?”
“I’ve seen my parents do it!” Leylin replied. After all, you couldn’t expect much of a child.
“Very well. Now, follow my actions.” Anthony’s expression grew sincere, pure, and holy, “Almighty God of Knowledge, you are the origin of all knowledge, the controller of truth…”
Leylin was secretly rolling his eyes vigorously, but he could only follow Anthony and pray, “Your glory will be scattered upon the entire world, driving out barbarism and ignorance, and bringing about the golden age of civilisation…”
A young voice continuously reverberated in the small drawing room. Jonas and Sarah, who were hiding outside the door, had smiles plastered on their faces.
‘So apart from giving me language lessons, this teacher is also here to give me lessons on the divine…’ Leylin was secretly gloomy, but didn’t express the slightest bit of impatience on his face. Instead, he was conscientious and focused, at which Anthony couldn’t help but nod approvingly to himself.
In actual fact, Leylin knew that there was totally no way for him to avoid this. After all, the influence that the deities had on this world was honestly too deep. If he wanted to continue living under his false identity, he had to transform into a believer.
A person without faith in the World of Gods would be considered a freak, and would have absolutely no room for survival.
Fortunately, the deities only had great influence on and branded the souls of their own devout followers and fanatics. They didn’t pay much attention to the general believers who had only been slightly influenced by the glory of the gods.
What was even more ingenious was that unless one assumed the position of a priest, it was practically impossible to tell the extent of faith that one had. Anyway, all he had to do was just pray at fixed times and occasionally make donations at the church. Leylin felt that he could totally act out such superficial deeds very well.
Based on what Leylin knew, the God of Knowledge, Oguma was a deity that many noble families and scholars believed in. It could be said that he was rather someone all cultured people believed in.
Of these two specific types of people, one set cared only for their interest while the other laid special emphasis on practical laws. They definitely weren’t as religious as they claimed to be. Leylin wouldn’t stand out if he mixed with them, thus this deity could be said to be the best option.
‘There’s only one other option in the Faulen family’s territory… The God of Sufferance Erma…’ Leylin shuddered.
Erma was a deity brimming with devotion and sacrificial spirit. Most of her teachings advised her believers to exercise patience and compliance, making her a deity that many rulers liked to introduce into their territory.
Naturally, the same applied with Baron Jonas. These two churches were the only ones currently in his fief, resulting in a scenario where the upper class prayed to the God of Knowledge and the farmers and sailors prayed to Erma.
Although the Baron also wished to introduce the church of the Goddess of Wealth Waukin into his territory, he hadn’t been successful.
The island’s trading industry wasn’t very prosperous yet, and was even boycotted by the combined resistance of both the current churches. The wealthy pastors who knew how to earn money more than they knew how to preach naturally wouldn’t be attracted to this place.
‘Excellent!’ Upon seeing a white cloud of holy light floating up from the religious emblem and draping itself over Leylin, every single wrinkle on Anthony’s face was smoothened out with a smile, “The almighty God of Knowledge has received your prayers. In the future, you may follow your parents to the Knowledge Shrine and Church to participate in scripture-related activities and donations.”
“That would be my honor!” Leylin replied methodically as he secretly rejoiced, ‘Sure enough, my soul is now wholly native to the World of Gods, and I haven’t aroused even the slightest amount of suspicion from Anthony. As long as I maintain this level of faith in future, and do not attract his attention, there definitely won’t be any problem.’
Of course, Leylin also knew that he had no path as a priest. After all, priesthood demanded great faith. Not only were priests expected to understand the entirety of their deities’ doctrines and follow them, even their souls belonged to the deities themselves.
If his own soul was laid bare under the gaze of the deities, Leylin wasn’t certain if he’d be able to conceal the truth.
‘However, with my attitude, I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to achieve even the lowest level of a priest…’ Leylin grew speechless at these own thoughts of his.
“Alright, let’s begin today’s lesson. I’ll just mention that the remuneration I get from your father is three golden coins every time the hourglass runs out!” Anthony started to write on the blackboard. He wrote in cursive, which appeared highly complicated and beautiful.
“Three gold coins?” Leylin deeply exhaled. Even a young child like him knew that the purchasing power of gold coins in the World of Gods was extremely high.
“Knowledge is priceless…” Anthony nodded satisfactorily at Leylin’s show of poor manners, then began the morning’s lesson.
This level of teaching was simply considered nothing in Leylin’s eyes. He had even specially lowered his speed of learning by a great deal in order to conceal how exceptional he truly was.
Even so, the abilities that he displayed had earned exceedingly high praise from Anthony. He strongly commended Leylin in front of the Baron and his wife, and even predicted that he would become a mighty scholar one day, which made Lady Sarah’s eyes twinkle with delight. The Baron lifted Leylin up and tossed him around in the air many times.
After enjoying a sumptuous lunch under the maids’ care, Leylin followed the Baron to a small field behind the manor.
This was the place where farmers usually lay their grains under the scorching sun. It was very spacious and empty, a wooden frame upright at the side holding hammers, daggers, pikes, knight spears, and other kinds of weapons.
A warrior dressed in leather armor was already waiting in the centre of the field.
“Leylin, this is the chief imperial bodyguard of our family. You may call him Uncle Jacob!” The Baron introduced him to Leylin.
Leylin could distinctly sense a menacing aura from him, one that could only be cultivated by traversing mountains of corpses and oceans of blood. He also felt his formidable strength; Jacob clearly possessed some sort of extraordinary ability, and was a Professional.
“Uncle Jacob!” Leylin immediately shouted sweetly.
“Your Uncle Jacob has always been in charge of the patrol team at the harbor. I specially transferred him here to take responsibility and teach you martial arts. He is your instructor from today, understood?” The Baron’s voice grew stern.
“Teacher Jacob,” Leylin secretly rolled his eyes as he greeted him seriously once more.
“Jacob, I’ll hand Leylin over to you!” Jonas hit Jacob’s shoulder
“Rest assured, Sir, I will definitely teach the young master all that I know!” Jacob straightened his chest.
After the Baron left, only Leylin and Jacob were left on the small field. “Before we start on the warrior training, I have a question for you, young master. Do you know what a Professional is?”
Jacob had a very boorish face. Having had a long-term job that required him to oppress others, he was brimming with a deadly aura. Even if he tried hard to make himself look gentle when he smiled, his looks would intimidate many imps, so much that they would cry.
“I’ve heard about it before…” Leylin scratched his head.
“A so-called Professional is someone who possesses formidable strength. Even in other countries, they receive preferential treatment, especially so for Professionals who are rank 5 and above.” The muscles in Jacob’s right hand bulged, as though trying to make him more persuasive. They were covered in a misty brilliance.
“Look carefully! This is an ability that only rank 5 warriors and above possess. Fighting Spirit!” With a loud bellow, Jacob smashed his fist onto the ground.
*Rumble!* Smoke and dust scattered throughout the air, as though a small-scale earthquake had occurred in the field. When the smoke and dust dispersed, a huge sunken pit could be seen next to Jacob.
“Wow…” Leylin’s jaw dropped open, and he appeared to be extremely shocked. He reacted in about the same way as other children would, but he was actually secretly estimating Jacob’s capabilities.
‘Such destructive power… It’s almost the same as knights who’ve activated life energy. There’s no doubt about it; the harsher restrictions on extraordinary powers in the World of God means that Jacob’s true strength should be even greater than this. He should be close to a rank 1 Magus in strength…’ Leylin made secret calculations as the A.I. Chip immediately revealed Jacob’s stats.
[Jacob, Warrior. Rank: Rank 5 or above (insufficient information). Estimated stats, Strength: 3, Agility: 2, Vitality: 3, Spirit: 1.5. Evaluation: Dangerous!]
Leylin sighed in silence. At the same time, he had also roughly gauged Jacob’s strength. ‘This body is too weak. Even the A.I. Chip’s scanning abilities are limited.’
“I’m only a warrior, thus I can only show you the strength of a warrior, young master.” Jacob said regretfully, “There are many different types of Professionals, who possess strange yet mysterious abilities.”
It was clear that Jacob was faithfully fulfilling his duty and using his formidable strength to lure the young master into walking on the path of strength.
“Then… what is your rank as a warrior, Uncle Jacob? Can you tell me?” At this point, Leylin fully put his advantage as a young child to use, and constantly tried to acquire information.
“Me? I’m just a mere rank 6 warrior!” Jacob laughed, seemingly embarrassed.
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