The Bishop didn’t mind that we made another copy of the document and signed it once again without hesitation, before returning it to us.
I was bewildered by what would happen, but it didn’t seem as though something would happen soon. We headed home after getting it signed. My gaze would drift over to Veirya every now and then, but she never paid any attention to me while we walked together. She maintained an upright torso and trained her eyes ahead. She never shifted her line of sight.
I wasn’t too happy about her not paying me any attention.
‘Don’t people say that if a guy and girl walk together, then they’ll sneak glances at each other? Why am I the only one glancing at Veirya, while she pays me no heed? I’m a little bit upset about this.’
I didn’t notice a horse carriage pass by our side when I was slowly walking along the path, thinking about a bunch of things. As the carriage passed by, Veirya grabbed me and pulled me into her embrace, so the mud that was flung up by the carriage zipped past me. I looked at the mud that flew up with surprise. Veirya looked at me, “Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t just keep looking at me.”
I was so embarrassed in the moment that I couldn’t utter a word. I didn’t know she was looking at me! Also, if I look at it that way… Veirya was paying attention to me, too.
‘If that’s the case… Veriya… does care a lot for me, too… In other words… Doesn’t that mean…’
The carriage then stopped in front of us all of a sudden. The door opened, and out came Achilles. He certainly was tall. His physique was slightly surprising to me. I started to wonder how he managed to squeeze into the carriage. He stepped into the mud with his clean shoes, yet seemed indifferent to it. He then straightened out his hat and looked at us with a smile, “How coincidental to run into you on the road. I was planning to go see you directly.”
I suddenly realised something when I looked at him.
‘Angelina is on the chapel’s side, but she usually follows this man in front of me. The chapel will personally act this time. Angelina is on their side, which means this man is colluding with them. Otherwise, Angelina must have some sort of relationship with this man.’
‘I don’t think Angelina and him would have some sort of relationship, would they? That must mean it’s a relationship between the chapel and merchants. Subsequently, the chapel and merchants actually have a deal going on. In turn, that means that their goal in coming here this time also has to do with this business.’
‘Why did I forget about Angelina’s connection…? Angelina is with the chapel, but I didn’t consider why she was with this man.’
He walked up to us and with a smile, “This is perfect timing. I came to ask how the preparations of my deal with you are coming along.”
I gave him a small nod, “I told you the address last time. It’s around there.”
If this was just about the chapel, then fine. But if this man is involved then I think that this is going to get complex. My reasoning for saying that is I don’t know how what the chapel is doing is directly related to this business, even now, and I’m even more clueless as to who the mastermind behind the scenes is.
“I heard that the chapel has come here, too, though. Are they planning to build a chapel?”
“Yes. However, I don’t think you need to put on this act, do you? For Angelina to be protecting you, I think I can safely assume that you’re linked to the chapel.”
I nodded, and then looked at the man. He smiled then nodded, “My, my, this is bad, this is bad. You noticed it, after all. You can rest assured, however, as neither I nor the chapel have any ulterior motives. We aren’t affiliated or colluding. You could even say that we’re completely unrelated. Angelina is just helping me, since we have a decent relationship under the table. Further, we want to make money, so we must maintain good relations with the chapel. That’s all there is to it.”
I made a small nod, “So you purpose in coming here this time is to discuss the business deal from last time?”
“Correct. I am very pleased with the location you provided me with, so let us go with it. We will be able to commence work in spring, then. I have also contacted merchants. We will be able to have a good deal go through at the end of the year. Additionally, the fur from this area has always been of premium quality. You would be aware of the price of this sort of luxury item.”
I nodded, “I am.”
I then tried to confirm it with him again, “Are you and the chapel really unrelated? Are you sure that your trip here this time is unrelated to the chapel?”
“Nothing good comes out of merchants and the chapel getting tangled together. They will only have merchants pay them infinite taxes, financial tributes for God’s blessings or whatever they prattle about.”
The man sighed, and then looked at me, “I don’t want to be involved with the chapel myself. We require the chapel’s protection for us to conduct business. Without them… you should know how they treat heretics. We are trading our fur this time, though. Oh, right, if the chapel gets involved with our business, just send them off with some business. I cannot help but feel that they want to impose their religion upon the people here…”
“I’m not actually worried about that. What I’m truly worried about is whether they will interfere with our business or not.”
“I would think not. If they do disturb our business, just settle it with some money.”
I gave a small nod, “Uhm…”
The man looked at me as though he was pleading me, but the truth was that neither of us trusted each other.
I don’t believe his claim that he was uninvolved with the chapel, while he doesn’t believe that I was so easily convinced. But nonetheless, this won’t impact what we discussed previously. I only have some clues and assumptions right now, but I won’t be able to figure out anything if they don’t do anything, either. I want to know what they’re plotting, so that I can benefit from it.
I’m not some sort of law enforcer, so I don’t intend to judge him with the law. Whatever the chapel does to the heretics is none of my business, unless the fire burns me, too. Otherwise, I won’t stick my nose in anything not to do with me. I just want to know what the chapel and this merchant is plotting. If I can figure out what they’re up to, I’ll be able to leverage the secret to multiply my profits. That’s my true goal.
When it was just the chapel, they were incapable of doing anything that’d interest me. Now that this merchant is involved, however, I’ve understood why the chapel didn’t have the slightest interest in religion. With money in their hands, they’ll be able to depend on God, regardless of heretics, followers, Bishops or whatnot. After all, God only helps those who offer him sufficient tributes.