“Son, do you have any clues?”
“I would say that it’s clear as day now. The water came from elven waters. It’s the result of an accident. Someone produced elven mana and inadvertently spilt it into their river. As a result, the mana in the water drifted to humanity. In fact, it came from Troy City.”
“Will there be any impact as a result?”
“To be honest, I’ll need to ask M-, Queen Vyvyan; after all, I’m not the expert on mana. However, I think the mana should be fine… The effects are only the equivalent of ordinary mana. It can boost the mana in magical creatures but is definitely ineffective for humans. It’s mana that can heal humans’ wounds. Hence, in my opinion, we shouldn’t need to worry. It’s just fake mana water.”
Mommy Elizabeth nodded. She knew less than I did about mana. That said, she was able to feel at ease because I said that. While Mom didn’t care about the religions’ issues on the surface, she did pay attention to the strange water. The mana water happened to be meaningless, though. That was all it was capable of, after all.
“I will still need to go to Troy City after all of this. The people here only used a portion of the water that flowed here and treated it as a miracle. We can safely infer the new church’s main camp must be at Troy City. Since they’ve organised a religion that I don’t even know about in my city, I have some business to sort out. I may not necessarily run it into the ground, but I, at least, need to ensure they aren’t harbouring any ulterior motives for my city. My people at Troy City cannot be met with misfortune. That’s a city named after me. I must ensure they don’t forget me.”
“Just send a letter, and it’ll be solved.”
“That won’t work. I didn’t leave anyone there. All the people I trust most are in the North, which is why I don’t know who to address the letter to. Am I supposed to address it to the maids in the palace or something? They’re not my people; hence, I don’t trust them whatsoever. I have to make a trip, myself. It’s fine, though, Mom. I’ll do it on the way back to the North.”
I knew Mom was worried about whether or not I’d leave beforehand to investigate the matter, but I decided against it out of consideration for Mom. Further, I wanted to spend some more time with her. The new church may have used the water, but nonetheless, it didn’t seem as though they were crazed cult followers trying to mislead the people and then start a revolt. I, therefore, didn’t perceive them preaching at Troy City as something negative. It took three days to go between Hilles City and Troy City. If the two religions could get along amicably, they could amicably control the humans in the South and North. Even if they couldn’t get along harmoniously, staying in their own lanes would be fine, too.
I didn’t want to interfere with it for the aforementioned reasons. Until then, the new church’s aim appeared to be peaceful. Plus, they were respectful to the royal family. I didn’t plan to take any action against a religion that wasn’t causing trouble, and I was also unwilling to get involved with their conflict with the old church. For that reason, I didn’t prioritise the matter.
What was of utmost importance to me at the moment was Daisy’s baptism. I spoke about it with the new church. Their pope indicated that, although they were disappointed we didn’t opt for them, they recognised the importance of Daisy’s baptism and wouldn’t drag Daisy into their conflict with the old church. Put another way, there shouldn’t be anyone who would interfere with Daisy’s baptism. Despite that, I still didn’t completely trust him. Mommy Elizabeth shared the same view. As a consequence, Mom sent another five Valkyries to guard the venue.
While the pope left me with a positive impression, I already had my fair share of people who left me with a good impression sticking a knife in me.
Current time at some place in Hilles City – the temporary gathering spot for the new church.
“How was it? Did Her Majesty and His Majesty accept us? Or did you get along cordially with them? Has their attitude changed?”
“I guess you could say that. Actually, I would say that we’re friendly with each other. However, we didn’t take a step forward from a practical standpoint. His Majesty just spoke with us about the holy water. He didn’t mention what we wanted. I would say that His Majesty doesn’t believe in gods; in fact, I’d go as far as to say that he even belittles gods to an extent.”
“God protects all the people, though. His Majesty just hasn’t seen how noble and great God is. That would explain why he’s somewhat confused. I’m sure he’ll become one of us down the road. Among us, there used to be non-believers, but they’re our good brothers now.”
“Put that sort of distant-future thinking aside for now. What’s important now is the elimination of the old church in this operation. We didn’t take a step forward from a practical perspective, but we left them with a good impression. Thus, we definitely can’t act at the baptism ceremony, got it? We absolutely must not. Inform all of our brothers. We mustn’t do anything. I repeat: we mustn’t do anything. We are not to take any drastic actions even if the old church defames us. Bear with it. We aren’t attacking the royal family. We’re just after the fraudulent believers, those who don’t believe in God and don’t serve God. They’re just after the power that God offers, and they’re hypocrites who use God for money. Brothers, our aim this time is the old church’s high-ranking finance vassal and him alone, understood? Him alone!”
“We all understand.”
“Henceforth, what we will do is provoke the enemy. What we need to do next is aggravate them. Her Majesty will side with us. She definitely will. We will suffer losses, we will face challenges, but those are the treasures God has bestowed us with. We must hold hands and stand side by side. Once we get through this, we will enter our era! Brothers, Sisters, our era!”
Current time at the chapel.
“Your Excellency, you should rest now.”
The young boy gently pinched his forehead and gently set down the Holy Scripture in his hands. The Holy Scripture accompanied him through his most painful and helpless days. He couldn’t fall asleep. As a matter of fact, he didn’t want to leave the holy water in front of him. He didn’t know what the new church was planning. Only by guarding the place and by watching over the holy water could he feel at ease.
The baptism was his church’s last hope. The royal family’s support was his final weapon. If he slipped up, he wouldn’t be able to face his god who rescued him when he was in a pinch. He stood up. He then looked at the young girls guarding the holy water with their arms folded. Voice quiet, he said, “Valkyries.”
He sounded as if he aged prematurely that didn’t belong to him. The young girls turned their heads around gave him a nod.
“May god bless us.”
“Only Her Majesty will bless us.” The Valkyries turned back to face ahead and stopped speaking.
“Yes… Yes… Yes, indeed… Only Her Majesty will bless us… Only Her Majesty, only Her Majesty…”