“Thirty-thousand gold coins?!”
See? I wasn’t joking. Even a Valkyrie who has no concept of money and gold is shocked by the sum. Nier looked at me with astonishment. I’m honestly a little proud since that’s the first time I’ve managed to shock Nier like that…… Okay, it’s nothing to be proud of, nor is it something good.
“Yes, thirty-thousand gold coins. If he can’t pay it off in a month, the orphanage will probably be torn down.” I snuck a glance at Nier who was walking beside me. Nier wore a very interesting expression. Nier isn’t incapable of showing expressions. It’s just that there’s rarely ever anything that could give her a reaction. Nier only reveals various interesting expressions if it’s related to kids.
I got fifty gold empire coins as pocket money today. Why does this matter? If I gave my wallet to the kids in the slums, they wouldn’t suffer from the cold for the entire winter. They would even have enough to eat the things they usually can’t. I could buy any single thing at the market with fifty gold coins, and offer quite the challenge at an auction. My wallet is refilled every day. If I were to spend all fifty in one day, it would be refilled with fifty gold coins the next day. However, if I didn’t spend any on a particular day, it wouldn’t be topped-up.
Mom doesn’t care how I spend the money. These fifty gold coins are honestly just spare change for her. I could use these fifty gold coins to help the kids in the slums. However, if I want to help the orphanage, I’ll have to save my pocket money every day. And six-hundred days later, in other words, in fifty months, I’ll have thirty-thousand gold coins. That’s fifty months with humanity by the way. Otherwise, I need a hundred months. A hundred months is… about eight years. Yeah. We won the anti-Japanese by then.
The children probably wouldn’t need these funds anymore either, and who knows what this floor would be covered in.
There’s no way that will work.
The reason I want to help this orphanage isn’t because I’m a nice guy. I only have one reason. This orphanage is being threatened by the church. The block of land is owned by the church. Since it’s related to the church, it should be connected in some way. If I start investigating from here, I might discover something.
But that’s just “if”, because I need to be able to get thirty-thousand gold coins first. I don’t think donations will work. After dinner comes the reckoning. If I use the money donated by others to help the orphanage, I won’t be able to turn down requests to do them favours afterwards. Castell also warned me that I needed to maintain neutrality between the two factions if I didn’t want to get dragged into the political battle. If I start a charity, I’ll become the one the two factions try to win over, and end up getting dragged into the whole affair.
There were so many princes in Chinese history that got ruined due to faction wars. I need to keep myself safe right now. I need to avoid letting myself become part of any schemes, and peacefully be mom’s obedient baby. Now that’s the best route to keeping oneself safe.
Now here’s the problem. How else am I going to get thirty-thousand gold coins? Donations won’t work. I don’t have the ability to earn. Is there anything I can sell? I don’t have anything that’s worth thirty-thousand gold coins. If I had a phone or some time-travel gear with me, I might be able to swindle my way to thirty-thousand gold coins, but I don’t have anything.
“So… your majesty, a-are you going to help the orphanage?”
Nier looked at me carefully. It was the first time she’d spoken to me in such a gentle voice. I got swept off my feet for a moment. I then frowned, sighed and said: “I want to help as well… it’s just that thirty-thousand gold coins is no small sum. I need to think of a way to get thirty-thousand gold coins. In short, let me juggle it in my mind for a bit.”
Nier nodded and looked forward with a hint of worry, not speaking a word. Maybe Nier and I have a lot of conflicting things between us, but our stance in terms of benefits and losses were aligned right now. And that was that we wanted to save the orphanage. However, Nier is a Valkyrie. She shouldn’t have any savings, and while I have money, I can’t pay thirty-thousand gold coins all at once.
We were powerless at the moment.
I looked at the sky. It should be around four o’clock right now, right? But the sky was already getting dark, and the wind blowing was cold. Perhaps it was because the sun had set. Nier and I wrapped our capes around us tightly and sped up. At that moment, a staggering silhouette from the side of the road quickly rushed towards the front of us.
“Your majesty, watch out!”
Nier rushed out in front of me and pushed me behind her. Her right hand swiftly drew her sword from her waist and her white cape whistled in the wind. Without any hesitation, Nier slashed at the silhouette rushing towards me. The silhouette stumbled. In his hand was a wooden crutch which clanged against Nier’s blade. The crutch slid up the body of the blade and came over. He tried to elbow Nier in her face, but Nier reacted extremely swiftly. She lowered her head to avoid his elbow strike and then she gave him a hard punch with her left fist on the side of his back. The man retreated one step. Nier’s sword chased him down like a venomous snake and cut his crutch held in front of his chest to guard himself.
Nier’s sword was already pressed against his neck. She looked at me shocked. I shook my head, picked up his cut-in-two crutch, waved it and said: “It’s nothing. It’s just a crutch. Or rather, a wooden stick. I don’t think he tried to assassinate me. He must be a drunk who charged over. Also, I feel that his combat skills aren’t bad. Maybe he’s a drunken soldier?”
Nier looked at the person before her and so did I. He had what looked like a sack on him. His limbs were almost as rough as the wooden stick. His face was covered with his beard, which was messy and bushy, making one feel disgusted. He was panting heavily because of Nier’s attacks. He looked at me with his muddy eyes while he muttered something under his breath that I couldn’t discern.
“It looks like you’re mistaken, your majesty. He is not a drunk soldier, but a vagrant.”
Nier snorted, sheathed her sword and looked at him. She angrily adjusted her cape and said: “Get lost. Do not get in our way. You dare get in his majesty’s way? I’ll give you a few seconds to scram!”
A husky voice spoke out, seemingly struggling to make out those few words. He looked at me wearily and rubbed his muddy eyes. He then knelt down with a thud, and shouted: “Your majesty, I beg you… I beg you… I beg, please save my child… please save my child… She… she went to the church… and then she vanished… she vanished… she went to the church… and then she vanished. She vanished… you……”
Nier didn’t have the patience to finish listening to him. She viciously kicked his head into the ground. The cracking sound of his bones colliding with the ground made me frown. But I didn’t say anything. I lowered my head and looked at the pitch-black blood slowly flow out. The old man before me didn’t budge. The guards who heard Nier’s shout came running over, picked up the body or corpse, something I was unsure of, and then apologised to me before leaving.
Nier looked at me and said: “Let’s go, your majesty. Do not concern yourself with these vagrants. No one knows what they’re talking about.”
“….. You’re right.”
I kept silent for a moment. I then nodded and continued walking back to the palace.
It’s just that in my mind, I already had a vague feeling about what was hidden underneath the angel. There was definitely nothing good to be found hidden in that holy place.
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