Chopped bramble sticks were laid in the grand hall of Thorn Temple, forming a bed of thorns and Archpriest Sirontu was lying on top of them with a peaceful look on his face.
Priest Einderson led the others and knelt before the elder.
They appeared sad yet respectful.
If it wasn't for the elderly archpriest's decisive move by sending them into the secret passage, the "seeds" of Thorn Temple would have been wiped out and the "fire" of Thorn Temple would be completely extinguished.
"Oh respectful archpriest, you have fulfilled your vows in this life, with your life!"
"May you be at peace after returning to Lady Vanessa's arms!"
Priest Einderson prayed.
It was a simple prayer and ritual without the slightest bit of complications.
Simple and unsophisticated for Thorn Temple was the tradition, they were willing to spend more time pursuing other meaningful things in life and not spend their efforts on other kinds of things, including funerals.
The brambles were lit up not with common fire but the divine fire that Lady Thorn's statue released.
With the divine flame burning away at Archpriest Sirontu, his body quickly disintegrated and turned into a faint green smoke, floating towards the tall statue.
A faint light gathered around the statue and when the green smoke touched the light, it transformed into Sirontu's face.
Despite its faintness and illusory feel, it was really Archpriest Sirontu without question.
Beside the archpriest, the officiant, Barrion who died without an intact body appeared as well.
The souls of the two good friends smiled at each other before waving at the crowd in the grand hall and vanished into the air.
Though the faint light didn't go away, Lady Thorn's voice sounded.
"Ryan will be my next archpriest and Einderson will be my officiant."
Her voice echoed in the grand hall, everyone could hear it clearly, including Kieran standing in the corner.
Kieran was not good at handling rituals or gatherings with many people, he wasn't good at weddings as well as funerals.
So, Kieran hid in an inconspicuous corner from the start, seeing the respectful archpriest off as he returned to Lady Thorn's arms.
Kieran's Pro [Mystical Knowledge] couldn't even tell how did the whole process happened but he was sure that was Sirontu's soul.
Where did it go though? Lady Thorn's divine kingdom? Or somewhere else?
Kieran really did not know, he never even saw what the divine kingdom looked like.
Still, he wished the archpriest had gotten what he wished for because he was perfectly clear that without Sirontu's help in stalling the enemies, his plans wouldn't have succeeded.
In a certain aspect, Sirontu was also one of his collaborators but compared to this one, the other collaborator was causing more of a headache for Kieran.
After being thrown into the main stream of the River of Fate by Lady Thorn, he didn't only choke on the river water, he almost drowned. It was when he was floating in the river that Kieran realized Lady Thorn had been watching him from the start where he was still playing hide and seek and when Kieran slightly noticed her presence a few times, Lady Thorn bared it all out and came under the spotlight.
For almost half a day, Kieran was being watched by her, as if he was a monkey in the zoo or some experimental sample that required close surveillance.
Whether it was the former or latter, Kieran was unsatisfied but he couldn't resist at all.
He didn't forget what Tiki asked of him.
"Am I doing extra for this mission now?"
Based on how close Lady Thorn was watching him, Kieran was sure that Lady Thorn had no time to observe other things.
Kieran criticized everything silently before stepping out, saluting in his knightly way and accepting his appointment as the new archpriest.
"Yes, my Lady."
The crowd in the grand hall bowed down respectfully when they saw Kieran came out from the shadows. One of the young knights was being extra frantic about it.
The title had shaken all of Naveya City, the fall of Wealth Temple and Lady Wealth was something unconcealable.
Just like how Sin Temple had withered from the battle.
In contrast, Thorn Temple grew larger and stronger.
There was not only an increase in believers but the ranking of temples as well, Thorn Temple had returned to the top by replacing Wealth Temple as the second to Lightning Temple.
Therefore, everyone thought it was reasonable and didn't object the appointment of Kieran being the archpriest since he did most of the heavy lifting and played an important role.
However, the next scene shocked the crowd.
A figure walked out from the faint light.
Everyone in the grand hall knelt down, touching their foreheads on the floor as a grand salutation before they straightened their backs.
Therefore, none of the others saw her showing her true face while they were kowtowing.
She frowned and looked confused at Kieran, Kieran looked at her the same way as well.
He didn't understand why Lady Thorn did what she did.
A mortal and a God stared at each other.
When the crowd lifted their heads up, everything returned to normal.
"Receive my blessings."
Amidst her face voice, her shining figure raised her hand and touched Kieran in between his brows.
The light then faded off and the grand hall returned to normal.
Everyone else looked at Kieran with envious gazes.
After a series of events, everyone knew Lady Thorn would show extra favor to Kieran but they never thought it would be to this extent: he received her blessing while he was being appointed as archpriest!
The event was unprecedented since the creation of Thorn Temple.
"Surprising and admirable."
Einderson who was promoted to officiant walked towards Kieran without hiding his admiration.
From how Einderson viewed it, being able to receive blessings from Lady Thorn was much better than being appointed as archpriest or officiant.
"I didn't expect it either," Kieran said in a partially true, partially false manner.
He had received Lady Thorn's blessing once before, she wouldn't need to go through all this trouble again, let alone showing her real self before Kieran again.
Kieran wouldn't believe it if Lady Thorn was just purely here to deliver her blessings.
No matter how Kieran viewed her, Lady Thorn wasn't a God that would perform an unnecessary move.
"What will it be?" Kieran wondered in his heart while his face was unchanged as he conversed with Einderson.
"Archpriest, we need to replenish our knights, gather more servants, and train more deacons!"
"The Lady told me just now that our commandment has changed as well."
"The Lady has changed the decision of fate to a more casual way but I don't know how to use it… wouldn't it be too cheap to buy "decisions" with a gold coin?"
Einderson said as he took out a gold coin with a troubled face.
Obviously, it was hard for the elderly officiant to add in something new to the original commandment but not Kieran.
Looking at the gold coin that was glistening under the candlelight, Kieran instantly understood Lady Thorn's thoughts.
The gold coin was no longer a currency that represented value, it would also represent the dictation of fate.
An example that fit the situation at hand popped up in Kieran's mind.
After hinting towards Einderson, Kieran took the gold coin and placed it on his index finger, his thumb them flung the coin up high.
A clear ping later, the coin was tumbling high in the air, emanating a dazzling shine.