It was different from the previous “battle” with Nicholas.
Despite Bernardino being a pope, the Paper Princess showed no sympathy when She attacked him.
A large part of the reason for this was that Bell Ringer Oik, the “Deity of Terminal Illness and Fleeting Lifespan”, was a false deity without any backer, no thriving church, and no true deity’s backing.
Although the Bell Ringer Oik and the Paper Princess were false deities that ascended in the same epoch, they were not familiar with each other.
It was different from the Paper Princess, who accepted the invitation of the Elegant Elder and was promoted to a subordinate deity and granted an asylum day. Bell Ringer Oik was invited by the three upright deities: Bone Burying Grandma, Silent Lady, and the Motherly Moth. However, He did not accept the recruitment.
[TN: Asylum day allows the deity to resurrect on a set day (refer to Chapter 179).]
Being invited by the three upright deities was not because of His good character or strong capability.
It was because its realm was critical, and its classification was vague.
The Paper Princess remembered that Bell Ringer Oik’s Book of Truth was titled [The Gray Blood]. There were truths involving many fields such as disease, apoptosis, blood, frailty, aging, and fate. It was a mighty Book of Truth.
When Bell Ringer Oik completed the sublimation ritual, He chose “the Preset Death” as His core concept.
So He eventually ascended into “the Deity of Terminal Illness and Fleeting Lifespan”, the “Bell Ringer Oik,” who sounded the death bell marking the deaths of the mortals.
He was a loner false deity who was eccentric, lonely, and had few friends. Not only did He not create churches on His initiative, but even those who create churches for Him would not receive any additional benefits and protection. He rarely gave holy light engravings to His believers. Only those who purified nightmares would acquire the corresponding holy light engravings.
Generally speaking, false deities would issue holy light engravings to the believers they were pleased with. After all, false deities churches did not have so many rules and regulations, and they would not have a fixed territory, thus acting more freely.
The false deities would issue holy light engravings to their favored believers and even mortals and transcenders who were not their believers. As long as it was pleasing to their eye, there was nothing that could not be done.
After all, the essence of holy light engravings was the authorization of believers to borrow the deities’ power. Holy light engravings would be given after purifying the nightmare because the deities would get some benefits after the nightmare purifications. They would provide the believers with the corresponding reward.
It was like buying the original material; the factory dedicated to secondary processing gave the seller of the original material a certain amount of remuneration.
The holy light engraving was a form of “currency”.
It was not something that could only be obtained through nightmares.
Even upright deities churches rewarded holy light engravings to those completing the church’s missions.
It was just that upright deities churches had officiated rules, rewards, and punishments. The pope would record every holy light engraving given. Even deities could not give their blessings at will and could only reward the people in the church. Otherwise, it would interfere with the authority and work of the pope.
In other words, the deities were not involved in the management of the upright deities church. Instead, the administration was entirely entrusted to the pope.
It was like the celebrity’s relationship with his fan base.
And so do subordinate deities.
Subordinate deities would not just get asylum days.
Their true deity would also direct some of the people from the main church to help them take care of the believers and the priest. It was like signing a contract with a big company. They would not need to be concerned with the follow-up operations.
This was also the reason why the authority of the upright deities’ pope was much higher than that of the king/
Pope and Saint of upright deities were the real rulers of this world.
They were different from the stray false deities.
The false deities would directly participate in the management of the church.
Only the pope, as a secret keeper, would not easily betray the false deity. However, the cardinal bishop might defect. There were no rules for them to choose cardinals. Basically, it depended on the pope or false deities’ liking.
In other words, it would be fine as long as it was pleasing to the eye.
The examples included the Tragedy Writer or the Pale Princess.
Given the need to relocate at any time, false deities’ churches were small. Most false deities had their priests count under three digits. From this point of view, the Rotten Man was unique on its own as a false deity.
At the same time, the Bell Ringer Oik was another outlier in common sense.
However, He did not distance Himself from His believers because He abided by the rules.
It was because of His eccentric character.
He did not communicate with anyone other than necessary socializing and did not count on His believers to assist Him.
He even did the act of maintaining His realm by Himself.
There was folklore that when mortals were tortured to death by a terminal illness or were about to die without disease, they would occasionally hear three bells ringing from outside the door before going to sleep the night before they died. No others could hear the bell except the dying.
This was the Bell Ringer Oik’s mercy to the dying.
He revealed the final death, giving man the last day to write his will.
This was why it was inconsiderate for those ignorant children to ring the bell in front of the elderly or the sick on Mist Continent.
This was also the reason the Bell Ringer Oik’s priest was unwelcomed.
Even so, He also had some fanatic believers who believed that “the end is inevitable”. Those believers would craft bronze bells with bronze handles, rely on divine art to determine the dying people, and go to their door to ring the bell.
Even if they did, the Bell Ringer Oik would not give any reward.
He believed that the end was inevitable.
There was no help needed in the process.
There was no need to announce it.
No resistance could do anything.
Therefore, He also did not need any believers.
He even gave Himself the name “Bell Ringing Oik”. In fact, “Oik” was a somewhat derogatory term indicative of a “lowly and despicable person” in the context of the United Kingdom.
[TN: The United Kingdom refers to the Denizoya & Fildes Archipelago United Kingdom.]
At the same time, the Little Oik referred to the poor boys who steal and rob; the Boat Oik referred to those who smuggle goods and kidnap women.
Bell Ringer Oik’s believers were even less welcomed than the Cup-holding Lady’s believers. Once someone who held a bronze bell, was bandaged and wore a black hood said nothing if he entered the village, it meant that someone was going to die.
Bell Ringer Oik was not an evil deity and had never done anything illegal.
However, He was just not likable.
No deity would befriend Him after He had rejected the invitations of the three upright deities. On the contrary, several deities were irritated by His eccentric temper.
Being the pope of the Bell Ringer Oik was not necessarily a great identity.
Considering this point of view, Annan did not think the Bell Ringer Oik behind Bernardino was looking for the Book of Divine Transporter.
“So, what is the purpose of you looking for me?” Facing Bernardino, whose ghosts were wiped out by the Paper Princess and who was bound by countless silver chains, Annan spoke out all of his interpretations.
Standing behind the Paper Princess, Annan asked calmly, “The Book of Divine Transporter is with me. What are you going to do about it?”
“I warn you not to have an ill idea on Annan.” Before he could answer, the Paper Princess warned, “Not even the Bell Ringer Oik can save you.”
Bernardino, on the other hand, just gave an odd smile.
He laughed and asked, “If you can’t rest at ease, why don’t you just kill me on the spot?”
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