Nier was surprised and happy to see me return to the outer court. She got up from her chair and, with a smile, inquired, “You’re back, Your Majesty. Do you want to have dinner, albeit it being a little late now?”
I didn’t make it in time for dinner. After leaving the watchtower in the afternoon, Mom and I didn’t stop. We, instead, went to the headquarters of the military currently stationed around Hilles City to meet the chief officer. Mom filled him in on the possible outcomes and had him prepare well. We then returned to the Royal Palace and met with the finance minister’s family. Mom gave them money as consolation and met the new finance minister. Afterwards, she organised the Valkyries and had her intelligence sources dig up information. She had them find out if any of the countries that were capable of producing and transporting guns into Hilles City.
If the churches wanted to start a war, weapons were necessary. Aforementioned weapons would be the current guns. Hilles City regulated guns. In essence, every exported gun could be traced and could only be sold to those who had resided at Hilles City for over three years and possessed city citizenship identification. The old church might’ve been able to purchase guns, but if they wantonly bought guns, then it would never be a secret. As for the new church, it was impossible for them to purchase guns. Therefore, if the two wanted to start a war, they had purchase guns from other cities and transport them to Hilles City. There weren’t many nations that were capable of producing guns. Thus, we could prevent them from transporting guns to Hilles City if we tightened up our inspections.
Mom didn’t trust the two popes. While the old church expressed they wouldn’t start any trouble, the way Mom reacted as though a strong opponent was approaching proved that she didn’t trust them. Hilles City was the Phoenix’s Nest. Mom put in all the stops to settle the matter and circumvent a riot.
After finishing with everything, I chose to return to the outer court instead of eating with Mom. Mom was disappointed with my decision, but she understood my reasons. I didn’t hate Mom, no. I was just worried she’d take the opportunity to cook for me. I decided to avoid Mommy Elizabeth when it was time to eat in the future.
“I’ll be quick.” Nier came up to me to give me a kiss on my cheek then quickly headed to the kitchen.
I sat down in the chair and let out a sigh of fatigue. At the same time, Daisy, who was in her crib, scanned me. She looked as though she wanted to ask me what happened during the day. When I looked at her perfectly twinkling eyes, I couldn’t help recalling the corpse that died from drowning without his eyes shut. As a result, I shuddered. It happened on the night of Daisy’s baptism. Whatever the culprit was thinking, if he wanted to hurt Daisy… I was glad that Daisy was safe.
I picked Daisy up. Somewhat unhappy, she looked away. However, her body was honest. She leaned in toward my chest. I gently stroked her tiny hand and kissed it: “I’m so glad you’re okay, Daisy. Dad will definitely protect you. Dad definitely will.”
“Did something happen today? Did something happen to Her Majesty?”
Nier returned to my side. She looked at Daisy, who took the initiative to hug me, and then looked at me with a surprised expression. I shook my head: “Not really. Strictly speaking, everything worked out. I just thought, what I would do if it wasn’t the finance minister who was attacked but Daisy.”
“I watched over her the entire time. Daisy will be fine.”
“I’m not worried with you by her side but just a little afraid after the fact.”
Nier placed the bread on the table then continued to the kitchen without another word. I pinched Daisy’s tiny face before returning her to her crib.
I didn’t know what exactly would take place in the clash between the two churches. They might’ve been in meetings already. I didn’t know what they were thinking, but I was sure the old church’s people were plotting retribution.
Not only did Mom forbid armed warfare, but also vocal protests from the old church. Not even maintaining silence was accepted. The Empress meant for the entire incident to be forcibly quelled. She wanted to let the old church vent on someone, and end it there. At the same time, it was intended to deter the new church from trying any crafty tricks. Any protests that broke out in Hilles City could cause a disturbance. If the two religions wanted to wage war against each other, Hilles City didn’t want to be part of it. Mom was furious the culprit assassinated someone in her Royal Palace; however, before investigating the truth behind the matter, she needed to settle things in her city to ensure that it wouldn’t be in trouble.
My beloved wife’s dinner cooked with love was soon served up. I picked up my eating utensils then looked to Nier: “NIer, if you don’t feel safe, take this chance to return straight to the North.”
“This is the Royal Palace at the end of the day,” Nier responded. She then picked Daisy up and played with her. With a soft giggle, she went on: “How can I go back when you’re here? As your wife, I must stay by your side. Since it’s so dangerous, how can I leave you here, alone? If something happens to you, I’ll be able to protect you. Furthermore, nothing major has ever happened at Her Majesty’s city; hence, this place is the safest place.”
I heaved a heavy breath. I peered outside the window. Thick clouds covered all of Hilles City under the dark blanket. Man’s darkness had covered God’s light. People always said that the most holy followers established religion, but all they produced and nurtured was outstanding businessmen and ambitious people.
I really wanted to know where said holiness has disappeared off to. Maybe there were no holy people in the first place, and there were only ever sketchy merchants and ambitious people. Perhaps that was the true nature of religion. By that I meant using their so-called hope to deceive and mislead people so that they could fulfil their ambitions. If possible, I didn’t want a lick of religion in the world. With that said, I wasn’t Mommy Elizabeth. All I could do was ensure that my North was free of religion.
Perhaps Freya was right. The people didn’t need to believe in religion. They just needed to believe in me. I was their King. It, therefore, was fine as long as I granted them hope. Fortunately, Freya despised religion, which was why religions in the North were shut down for the most part. Even the prayer hall was out of bounds.
I could put aside the North for the meantime. I had to settle things at Hilles City first. Someone was assassinated in the Royal Palace. Subsequently, my wife, child and Mom were all at risk…
No way… If you want to assassinate Mommy Elizabeth, you’re going to have to bring an army…