“…What?” Annan was shocked.
The answer surprised him.
He was deeply lost in confusion.
How the hell did Nicholas do it? A human who doesn’t need a parent.
“Before answering this question,” whispered Bishop Daryl, pulling a book from the shelf, “Have you heard of the [Gift of the Cup] ritual?”
“Sounds like the Cup-holding Lady’s ritual.”
“Yes, indeed,” replied Daryl as he sat back on the sofa.
Maybe it was because he was old, or perhaps because he had gained weight again; walking a couple of steps like this made him a little tired.
After the fat and bald bishop sat down, he put the thick book on the table and took a long breath. He gulped down the slightly cold black tea in his cup.
Later, he turned the page and explained in a low voice, “The Cup-holding Lady is an upright deity. She proclaims her domain, desire, is the cornerstone of humanity. But in many places, the public openly perceives the belief in the Cup-holding Lady to be frivolous and even degrading.
“However, many noble families still openly display their faith in the Cup-holding Lady. But this does not necessarily mean that they indulge in sensuality. Instead, they do so to practice the [Gift of the Cup] ritual.
“To perform this ritual, one must openly believe in the Cup-holding Lady for at least nine years and hold a formal, public worship ritual every September. Then, they have to prepare a pure gold cup. Finally, the ritual’s host has to fill the cup with one portion of uncorrupted blood for each month within the nine months.
“Then, the ritual practitioner will add a tube of “liquid” with his genetic information and then close the lid. After each month, the liquid level in the cup will drop by one-ninth, gradually revealing the embryo in the cup; after nine months, a newborn baby will appear in the cup.
“They’re the so-called ‘Child in the Cup’.” Daryl replied.
This should be an emergency measure when the bloodline cannot be continued, something like infertility?
Annan was stunned for a moment, then asked, “Then, is the ‘Child in the Cup’ the same as the ritual practitioner?
“Roughly so. On this basis, their bloodline will be optimized, their appearance will become more beautiful, and their intelligence and physical strength will be more outstanding. Although they are not called the Cup-holding Lady’s children, they will also receive a part of Her blessing traits.
“Therefore, when some families have their bloodline completely cut off for some reason.” Having said that, Daryl took a deep look at Annan and then slowly replied, “They will hold the ‘Gift of the Cup’ ritual.
“The Cup-holding Lady doesn’t ask them to keep their faith in Her. So after the baby is born, they can claim to renounce their faith in the Cup-holding Lady. However, as long as this ritual is used, the ritual host will show the Cup-holding Lady’s Traces — that is, the eyes turn red.
“The family with red eyes will still get a child if they hold the ‘Gift of the Cup’, but the bloodline will not continue to be optimized. It will only get a child with a similar talent to the ritual caster.
“Supposed, some merchant families can afford to buy gold cups or aristocratic families have a rare-to-come-by ‘genius’ being born in the family. They will run this ritual in the hope of continuing the glory of their families. However, this ritual is still a ‘last resort’ used to leave a seed when the bloodline is about to perish in most cases.
“This is a typical ‘artificial human that needs a sample of a father or mother’. Although the ritual borrows the power of an upright deity, the Cup-holding Lady doesn’t operate it, nor does She possess this technique as Her divine art.
“Ritual belongs to the power of man, not deity. This kind of artificial man still belongs to the life of unnatural birth in essence.”
When Bishop Daryl said this, he paused, “I think you’ve guessed it.”
“For example, the royal family of the Noah Kingdom?” Annan asked softly.
Noah’s royal family was the only red-eyed family Annan could think of.
Bishop Daryl nodded slowly.
I see. This statement answered one of Annan’s doubts.
That was why Philip dared to publicly proclaim his faith in the Cup-holding Lady as a royal heir in a country that widely believed in Silver Sire. His action wouldn’t even be considered bad conduct by others.
Instead, it had become a tradition.
Noah’s royal family had their bloodline endangered once. Now it was a bloodline continuation effort.
When exactly did the bloodline stop?
Annan pondered deeply and realized that he didn’t seem to have heard of His Majesty’s brother or sister.
Perhaps the natural bloodline was cut off in Henry VIII’s father’s generation.
Suddenly, an idea popped into Annan’s mind.
Could it be that Nicholas appeared in the Noah Kingdom and nowhere else because Henry VIII was an artificial human?
“What about Nicholas?” After understanding that there are artificial humans in this world, Annan immediately noticed the problem, “Is his technology for creating humans better than the ones made by the Cup-holding Lady?”
Hearing what Annan said, Daryl sighed. “You’re really smart, Your Highness Annan. And you’re very sharp.
“You may have been right previously. What Nicholas created is indeed a monster.
“But it’s not because they’re ugly, and it’s not because they’re not sentient. It’s quite the contrary.
“The human Nicholas made is handsome and beautiful even by the strictest aesthetic standards. You could call them synths – easy to craft in a flask with Hermetic Sage’s Stone and some cheap material.
“They are strong, healthy, smart, and free from disease. They are in solidarity with each other. Nicholas also gives consideration to common sense and the ease of living, so he started his project by tying their minds together and sharing one soul. Therefore, there will be no conflict between his creations, and the efficiency of work and study is also superb. Instead of calling his creations ‘them’, it’s more accurate to call them ‘He’.
“I have to admit that this is indeed a better species than humans. Nicholas did create new life, a new race… just like a deity.
“However, there is a fatal problem with his creation. The person who discovered the problem was the Motherly Moth, in charge of the Truth of ‘Breeding’.”
“Although these creations can be born only by relying on Sage’s Stone without the need for human flesh and blood, they can reproduce with each other through the normal means of reproduction after being born, as normal as human beings. However, they can’t produce any offspring with human beings.” Annan’s pupils dilated slightly.
Annan then realized, “So they became out of control?”
“No.” Daryl said forthrightly, “If the situation is out of control despite having twelve upright deities overseeing the world, it’s an Epoch Disaster.
“But it’s actually not too far from the Epoch Disaster. They didn’t run rampant. It wasn’t because they didn’t, but because we found out in time.
“The creation is a spiritual consciousness instilled in the human society as a high-ranking substitute for all aspects of human beings which looks the same as humans, but has reproductive isolation from humans, and can reproduce as quickly as humans. Undoubtedly, they’re a significant threat compared to the elves and centaurs.
“That’s how Nicholas died and what he’s guilty of.
“Finally, after his death, all his research and writings were eradicated. All the Hermetic Sage’s Stones were destroyed; all the synths were captured, executed, and burned; their corpses were laid into waste. The Transcended knowing this has their memory cleared. Hence, even if a nightmare is born, there will be no traces of this incident.
“From the point of view of an alchemist, Nicholas is indeed the most extraordinary alchemist in the world, the second Hermes. He truly accomplished the great deeds that belonged to the deities as human beings.
“But he betrayed all mankind for his greatness.”
Daryl said slowly, “That’s why I said if that person is really Nicholas, even if he is merely related…
“Then we’re in big trouble, Your Highness Annan.”
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