The young boy saluted me properly, which gave me a strangely awkward feeling. I crushed the last person dressed in the same fashion, while the pursuers he sent after me, brutally insulted me. My conflicts with others weren’t considered grudges resolvable only through death; however, the church insulted me, Nier and almost killed the two of us, which was why I hated the church to their very core. The young boy didn’t do anything wrong, but I was never fond of him.
The last time I went to the church, I reduced it to smithereens. This time, they were going to conduct my daughter’s baptism. It felt awkward no matter how I thought about it.
“Ah, it’s you. I’m glad you’re still the pope.”
Due to the pope being a young boy, Nier was fond of him from the start. He matured a bit after a year. He was no longer as frightened as he once was and also behaved a lot better in regards to etiquette. Nier cheerfully greeted him. He responded to her with a smile then refocused on me, who didn’t utter a word. He was worried about me, especially since the old church and new church were in the middle of a conflict. Last time, Mommy Vyvyan even killed an envoy. Though that was due to him trespassing into the elven spring’s area, the boy was probably worried I’d retaliate.
I nodded. Mom was behind me, so I didn’t want to express anything. Sure, the boy was unrelated to the previous incident, and he had always tried to be friendly with me, but I really didn’t want to think about the incident. For that reason, I couldn’t erase the previous animosity from myself. The church permanently lost my trust after what they did. That was why I didn’t intend to interact with them any further than letting them baptise Daisy. That was plenty for me.
Mom explained, “My son came here to check up on the chapel’s safety and your arrangements. Can you satisfy him?”
“We can show His Majesty anytime. We and the Valkyries have always protected the things we will need for Archduchess Daisy with our lives. Therefore, I am confident no matter when you visit.”
I nodded again.
The boy made way. He respectfully explained, “Please come and have a look, then, Your Majesty. This is our program. Archduchess Daisy will never leave your sight at any point in time. Additionally, we have ensured that Valkyries will always accompany her.”
“You’re not bothered that Valkyries will freely moving about in the chapel in spite of them not believing in your god?”
The Valkyries believed in Her Majesty. They didn’t believe in anyone besides her. While some began to think about romance – courtesy of Nier – their loyalty to Her Majesty would never wane. Nier remained loyal to Mommy Elizabeth in the latter’s presence, albeit no longer being her Valkyrie. It should’ve been unacceptable for the Valkyries, who didn’t believe in God, to freely move about in the chapel. Not to mention it was a place they considered to be holy.
The pope shook his head: “Despite being different to us, they, too, are God’s citizens. Our fates have been linked thanks to a child. They are also our friends. Further, what could be more important than a child’s safety? Our church shall do everything in our power for a child.”
I gave him a solemn nod: “Had your predecessor shared that sentiment, we might have a much better relationship right now. Let’s get going, then. Let’s go see your program as well as your holy water. Daisy is my daughter; I must ensure her safety.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.” The boy nodded and led the way.
Current time at an unknown area.
“Her Majesty has already refused to discuss any religious topics, while we can’t expand our influence in the Royal Palace. In saying that, we do have good news, which is that they can’t either.”
“But, Brother, the worst part is that Her Majesty has accepted their baptism offer. That means everyone will pay attention to them as opposed to us. This baptism is, in essence, the royal family’s stance. The royal family considers them to be more persuasive. Although we all understand why, it’s merely because they existed before us that Her Majesty chose them. If we can’t expand our influence, though, their influence will be bolstered as a result of the baptism. The sadder part is that, if they mend their relationship with the royal family thanks to the baptism, we will never be instated as the state religion.”
“What you mean to say is that we can’t allow the baptism to proceed?”
“No, if we ruin the baptism, we will incur the wrath of Her Majesty. We can’t do that. Always bear in mind that we must never oppose Her Majesty with anything we do. We mustn’t provoke her. There is nothing in this nation that she isn’t capable of destroying.”
“Uhm, you’re right. What should we do, then? It’s pointless for us to recruit citizens. This competition lies with the Royal Palace; it lies with Her Majesty.”
“There’s one thing that we can do: we can destroy the old church. The guard is strictest during the baptism and before it. We can’t allow conflict to occur during these periods. Once night falls, after the completion of the baptism, all of Hilles City will be in a state you could call a carnival. The Valkyries will have returned to the Royal Palace by then. We’ll take advantage of the window to assassinate the finance official that night. Remember, the old church has had their military force destroyed; therefore, we can successfully accomplish it. All the red robe bishops will be present during the assassination. They’ll be enraged over the assassination. Subsequently, they’ll wage a war against us in Hilles City. Think about it. Openly starting a war under Her Majesty’s nose, right in her very city, Her Majesty would be so enraged that she’d obliterate them, wouldn’t she?”
“I see. That’s an excellent plan. Furthermore, the next finance department head will be one of our own, which means that we’ll have more power in the conference hall. Empress Elizabeth doesn’t bother with religious affairs. As long as we grow our power enough, she’ll tacitly acknowledge our new church’s status. By then, we’ll be able to obtain what we want.”
“Amazing! That’s genius. Let’s do that, Brothers! That will be the plan! For our God! For our future! Brothers, cheers!”