She felt depressed, even a little scared.
Fear came from the unknown.
In fact, a priest was held in high regard in the Papal Kingdom.
That was because this was a country without any “traditional aristocracy”.
The authority of the Papal Kingdom was not passed down based on “family” lineage, but rather it shifted constantly among different churches.
Perhaps today, the jurisdiction over the “industrial” region was under the Grail-holding Lady’s bishop. However, next year it might be reassigned to the followers of Father Flint. The year after, the jurisdiction would fall over to Mr. Ray’s side.
On an annual basis, the House of Purity would reallocate the jurisdictions.
Under the watchful eyes of the Seven Deities, the popes would make a “work report” to the Supreme Pontiff and true deity. Based on the summary and discussions among the Seven Deities, adjustments would be made to the work direction for the coming year.
Afterward, the popes would promote bishops who had been performing well within the church and reward those who had outstanding achievements. The rewards were naturally holy light engravings.
In the Papal Kingdom, regardless of faith and denominations, all priests had a strict and systematic path for promotion: the Supreme Pontiff, Pope, Cardinal Bishop, Archbishop, Bishop, Chief Priest, Deacon, and Scholar.
Upon graduation from a church school, one would become a scholar. Outstanding graduates would be directly promoted to deacon. However, if an individual started working for the church directly, they must receive recommendations from the head priest for three consecutive years to become a scholar.
Upon becoming a scholar, the individual would be included among the “priest” group. However, being a scholar was still in the elementary stage. After becoming accustomed to the specific requirements of various denominations and becoming well-versed in their scriptures, he would be promoted to a deacon by the chief priest and begin the formal study of divine art and purification of nightmares.
Only those who had made enough achievements——referring to the chief priest and deacon involved in the purification of nightmares—could be promoted to the bishop position. Afterward, in addition to their abilities in purifying nightmares, their administrative capabilities as bishop were also taken into consideration before any further promotion to the rank of archbishop.
For the promotion from archbishop to cardinal bishop, there would be an assessment of the depth of purification of nightmares. The minimum requirement included at least 100 holy light engravings at disposal while mastering at least two advanced divine arts.
Besides having the authority to appoint and dismiss “archbishops,” the popes were also elected from among the cardinals.
Under the unique governance system of the Papal Kingdom, theoretically, any priest could become the Supreme Pontiff. Therefore, the social status of a priest was higher than that of a non-priest.
Of course, Longjing Tea had also looked into it deeply.
This did not mean that the promotions of the Papal Kingdom were fairer than other countries. Although under the watchful eye of the deities, they might be a little more honest. However, people could never be absolutely honest.
People sought fairness on the one hand and inequality on the other. When they pursued justice or inequality depended on whether they found themselves above or below the line.
According to Longjing Tea’s research, the succession of power in the Papal Kingdom did not form a pattern of blood and kinship.
However, they had formed another model similar to the Japanese “academic clique”.
However, that was theoretical.
Priests who graduated from different church schools and were mentored by different bishops developed varying levels of personal abilities and had distinctly different initial networks and resources at their disposal.
“Mentors” in the church schools could likely be anyone ranging from ordinary bishops to cardinal bishops. Students taught by a cardinal bishop, once they managed to secure a position as a bishop, often found themselves conveniently placed by their mentor in jobs that facilitate easy promotion.
On the flip side, if a cardinal bishop had a poor impression of a particular bishop, that bishop essentially had slim chances of being promoted to archbishop unless they achieved remarkable results in the less desirable assignments where it was hard to gain credit.
This meant that at the level of “bishop”, there would be a considerable promotion gap from “one year” to “lifetime”.
Since the bishops held power in the church schools, cliques between teachers and students were inevitable after graduating. Graduates of these schools were inclined to work at the same institutions, which further led to the formation of “cliques” or “factions” within the organization.
When the bishops, who were busy with government affairs in a certain area, acquired support from their colleagues and superiors, their work would naturally become much easier.
Thus, different church schools would also have their clique due to the administrative area where the “cardinal bishop” was located in the school, personal preferences, and the job type of the archbishops.
Once the cardinal bishop was appointed, he would not leave unless he made a serious mistake.
This meant that a long lifespan would lead to a situation where more than half of the cardinal bishops in a church were appointed due to mentor-student relationships.
That made it even harder for other people to run for the pope.
The governance trend highlighted how astonishing it was to have the pope lend out “the Joyful Class” airship and even dispatch several priests. One of them was a chief priest who also fell under the pope’s faction.
The receiving lady’s mentor was a cardinal bishop with an alias called “Red Crown”—and the mentor of “Red Crown” was the current pope of the Grail-holding Lady Church.
Brunette ladies were not dumb.
She could tell that the person who borrowed the airship… probably had a status far beyond her imagination.
Maybe the person behind them is another upright deity’s pope?
However, as the pope of the Grail-holding Lady, who does she need to please?
Could it be the Mysterious Lady’s pope?
That’s not impossible. After all, both wizards and ritualists belong to Mysterious Lady.
The brown-haired and beautiful lady thought so, and her smile when she looked at the four of them became more sincere and heart-warming.
Leaving aside these aspects, for now, their party composition was impressive.
A Sword Saint, a Great Wizard, a Beast Summoner, a Wind Dancer…
These were four Silver Rank Transcenders, all young as hell.
Why could she recognize that these people were young but not the disguise of a veteran?
Because she could tell that half of these four people were virgins…
Also, these people had unique profession lineups, with two having the rare elf legacy professions.
The brown-haired female deacon was in a trance. She even thought she had returned to the mythical age of the Third Age.
“Just to reconfirm, you’re going to travel to Elegy Dukedom, right?”
The lady with a charming smile confidently adjusted her proud long hair—pure brown hair with natural curls, fluffy but not dry, “Then let me be your guide.”
However, their answer was far beyond her imagination, “Yes, but we are not going on a vacation.”
The big cat cradled in the arms of the summoner spoke in human language, “We might have to make an emergency landing, so you all better get ready.”
“…Emergency landing? Plunging directly into the Gray Mists?” She was a little dumbfounded.
Are they planning to dig the Venerated Skeleton’s grave, or are they up to some other big deal?
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