After finishing breakfast, I went into the tavern. Angelina came with me. Angelina is unlike Veirya, in that she doesn’t always wear an expressionless look. When she’s on duty, though, she’ll keep a cold expression on. Perhaps she remained focused.
The interior of the tavern wasn’t what it once was. After the Fire Torch Festival, there were always people somebody in the tavern drinking regardless of time of the day. While there few people during the day, they had a continuous influx of customers. Now, however, there wasn’t a single resident of the town in there. All of the people drinking and resting in the tavern were the soldiers of the chapel. The chapel’s cross symbol could be seen at every corner of the tavern now. They showed off their prestige with their items on the tables, shields and even the back of their capes. It would seem that this tavern was the chapel’s most different region.
The tavern’s people weren’t averse to them, since they all paid. Moreover, after the last incident, the chapel really had abided by the agreement we sighed. They didn’t interfere with the beliefs of the people at the tavern nor did they gotten physical with anyone in the town. As a matter of fact, they rarely left the tavern.
When we entered, lots of soldiers didn’t show much dislike for us, either. Some didn’t even look up.
I looked at Angelina and said, “I won’t go up for now.”
“I want to take a look at the vicinity of the tavern.”
I paused then looked at Angelina. She didn’t appear to know what I wanted to do, but precisely because she couldn’t comprehend it, she revealed a look of slight discontent. She dawdled for a moment before responding, “I don’t hope to see you running around randomly near the tavern. Since you’re already here, why won’t you see our Bishop? If you come here, yet don’t see our bishop, that would be very rude.”
“All right, all right, I’ll see your bishop first.”
I sighed then hopelessly went upstairs. As soon as I reached the second floor, a soldier with his arms folded gave a nod, “Our bishop is already waiting for you, Mister. Follow me.”
I nodded, “All right.”
I followed the soldier and Angelina to a room. Inside the room was relatively dark. The curtains weren’t open. The only light was from a candle to the side. The bishop sat behind the table with a strange tobacco pipe dangling from his mouth. Angelina extended out her hand to stop me. She entered the room and said, “Your Excellency, Mr. Lin has arrived.”
“Okay, okay, okay, hurry and let him in.”
The bishop nodded, and then turned around to look at me. He revealed a small smile behind his beard.
I didn’t know if it was my overthinking that gave me the vibe that he was up to no good.
I gave a small nod and spoke up, “Good morning.”
“Good morning, Mister. I called you here this time, as we have settled on a location for our chapel. If you think it is feasible, we shall prepare to start construction. One thing I need to inform you of is, please allow us to conduct the construction. We do not really want for others to know of our chapel’s design. What do you think?”
I gave a small nod. Better to be less one trouble than more one. I replied, “We shall not provide you with materials and labour in that case. We will not interfere with your construction period, either. With that said, your construction activities cannot affect our townsfolk’s daily lives.”
The bishop nodded, and then he spread out a map. I was slightly surprised, as not even I had a map of the town. I had to climb to higher ground to get a view of the town, yet the Bishop had a map that was very detailed. Virtually all of the buildings were marked on said map. In fact, even empty buildings were marked.
‘I’ve never seen the people here leave the tavern; how did they draw this map?’
“This is the location we have chosen. It is a block of land that is close to the entrance of the town. This location is relatively more suitable for us. We need to promote here. Additionally, if we were at the centre, we would disturb the lives of you heretics, right? Moreover, we will be able to smoothly leave should something happen.”
I had a look.
I didn’t have any problem with the location they chose. It wasn’t at the centre of the town or close to our residential places. It was close to the town’s entrance. There was nothing inappropriate about that. There weren’t many people there either. As opposed to saying they were here to preach, you might as well say that it was a place for ascetic practice.
“But this is the place those merchants chose. We would construct a building for you nearby, but whether or not your location of choice disturbs the merchants or not, you’ll have to speak to the merchants.”
“That is fine. As long as we can construct a chapel here, then it is fine. Nevertheless, I hope that you can abide by our agreement, in that we will not interfere with each other. We have always abided by that agreement. We will not interfere with your lives; so similarly, we hope that you will not interfere with ours.”
I nodded, “That is fine.”
Although the agreement of ours was incredibly peculiar – since it didn’t serve any purpose or have any meaning – the two of us have stuck to the terms of the worthless agreement. Perhaps we respected it, as it meant that we wouldn’t influence each other.
The discussion was very quick. After I gave my nod, I got up and bid him goodbye. The bishop didn’t keep me. After exiting the tavern, I didn’t leave straight away. Instead, I went a lap around the tavern. Garbage was very orderly dealt with in this town. Everybody throws their garbage into a barrel, and then places it at the door. In the early morning, a horse carriage picks it up. The horse carriage dumps the garbage into a large hole nearby and buries it. I was looked at the tavern’s garbage barrel.
I really wanted to get my hands on the flavour that Angelina mentioned. She recognised the taste of the flavour, which proved that the chapel should have something to do with the flavouring.
Owing to the climate, the food in the rubbish barrel didn’t spoil. With that said, I still didn’t exactly want to go close to it, but I ended up going over anyway. I took out a small piece of bread from inside. I took in a deep breath then pinched my nose with the resolve to die. I then had a light lick.
That, alone, was enough to sicken me enough to give me goose bumps and gag over and over. The disgust caused me to lean over and puke next to the barrel. I saw my breakfast a second time, in addition to my bile. The more I puked, the sicker I felt. I continued puking until my mouth was filled with the bitterness of bile, and I couldn’t puke any more. I then stepped back and weakly sat onto the ground, panting for air.
“Ah! It is you, Mister! What is the matter?!”
I suddenly heard a surprised exclamation from behind. I swiftly turned my head around to see the daughter of the tavern owner run back inside to come back out with a big cup. She nervously looked at me and handed me the cup. I took it and knocked it back without caring about what it was. It was wine, probably a fruit wine. The taste wasn’t that intense.
She nervously looked at me and asked, “Mister, what is the matter?”
“No… I’m good. I’m fine… It’s just… just… have you added something extra to your foods recently?”
“Mm… The chapel’s people gave us some elven flavouring… Could there poison in it?!”
“No, it’s not poisoned, but… but… I think that the origin of this is very questionable. In fact, where it’s being used is very odd… I think that I understand what the man meant now…”
I took in a deep breath.
I finally realised what was in it, and I finally figured what the chapel’s aim was.