From next to Mommy Elizabeth’s side, I quietly complained, “That execution method is far too cruel, is it not? I wouldn’t mind a simple pierce, but why the burning and leg snapping? It’s too cruel, isn’t it?”
Mom turned to the side to look at me with a slightly surprised look. The way she looked at me made me feel somewhat uncomfortable.
“Does Mom see me someone cruel, or does she not consider that to be cruel?” I wondered.
Mom lingered for a moment then turned back to look at the scene. With a quiet laughed, she replied, “No, Son, the execution can be overlooked. The biggest problem is the pope’s speech. He went too far with what he said. Such a provoking speech is likely to trigger the fanatical people into taking action. That’s what I’m worried about. As for the execution method, it doesn’t matter to me. I’d actually say that a little cruel would be for the better. The cruelness will remind people what the consequences of offending my dignity are. Isn’t that convenient?”
“If the new church and old church’s conflict intensifies as a result of this execution, what do we do?”
“The conflict between the two churches will undoubtedly intensify. All that they need is a spark, and this just happens to be the one that they needed. Owing to your presence, however, Mommy must suppress this matter. Mommy will resolve this matter afterwards. My current goal is to contain their rage. After you leave, Mommy will completely resolve the matter.”
“I see… But I still don’t hope that blood will be spilt. It’s not worth it to spill blood over religious matters.”
“Son, do you think you’ve seen just a small amount of blood spilt?” asked Mom, after giggling. “I thought you were no longer naïve. Son, if you want power and eternity, blood must be spilt. You should say that merely spilling blood is already a big win. The two religions wish to pass on their teachings for eternity; therefore, spilling some blood is totally worth it to them. Violence is always the simplest method to resolving things. You should be aware of that already, right?”
“I don’t like violence, though.”
“Including in the North?”
“Of course.” My frustration was hinted in my voice.
Mom then stood up: “It’s already over, so I don’t want to stay here and bathe in the sun anymore. Son, let’s head back. Look at Nier. She no longer can resist her desire to return to her daughter.”
Nier went red in the face. I nodded then stood up, as well. Mom gave Valkyries some sort of order, presumably to have them deal with the corpse in the plaza. A corpse that was pierced from below, all the way up through his mouth and had his legs snapped was horrific. Lots of vultures would flock to the plaza if his corpse was left there.
I turned to look at Nier. She looked nonchalant, so I presumed that such a scene wasn’t anything unacceptable to her. Nevertheless, Nier was concerned. She quietly queried, “Your Majesty, you look down. Do you feel hot?”
“No, I just can’t accept the scene… I feel that it’s too cruel. His last groan was really heart-wrenching for me.”
I could see that Nier couldn’t comprehend my feelings. I didn’t want to explain anything, either. Seeing the corpse was disgusting, nonetheless. I wanted to leave long ago. Nevertheless, a strange man then walked up to our side. After he saluted us, he hastily went over to Mom and whispered something in her ear. I turned around. I felt that the man watched me the entire time. Mom nodded then looked at me, too, but there was no expression on his face to speak of.
I was bemused. After the man finished speaking, he bowed and then hurriedoff. I went up to Mom. Puzzled, I asked, “What’s the matter, Mom? Who is he? What did he say? I feel that it’s related to me.”
Mom caressed my face with a smile: “It’s not appropriate to talk about it outside, Son. I’ll tell you when we get back to the Royal Palace. It does indeed have to do with you and Troy City. Let’s go; let’s go home now.”
I nodded: “Uhm.”
Since Mom said that it wasn’t appropriate to talk about outside, I didn’t ask. I was anxious to know what it was about. It was a time when the new church and old church were most likely to fight. At the same time, something happened at Troy City. Whether by coincidence or not, that was where the new church’s headquarter was located. Logically, then, the situation was urgent.
When we reached the horse carriage, somebody standing on the side of the street yelled out my name. I turned my head around to see the new church’s pope. A Valkyrie glanced at him then asked me, “Your Majesty, do you have an appointment with him? If you do not, please allow me to drive him off. This is Her Majesty’s personal carriage.”
“Mm… No, I don’t. I don’t know what he’s calling out to me for, either. With that said, since Her Majesty has something to say to me, I shall return to the Royal Palace first. You don’t need to drive him off, though. I’ll just get into the carriage.”
I didn’t intend to meet in private with the new church’s people while investigations were pending. The first thing Castell told me still applied. Lots of people in the Royal Palace had keen senses. If I didn’t want to be involved, I couldn’t interact with those related to the matter. The old church’s people were around at the moment; hence, if I interacted with the new church’s pope, the old church would have justified reasons to conjure up ideas.
I entered the carriage and ignored the new church’s pope, but he didn’t seem to be in any rush, a presumption that I made, as he stood on the side of the road and sent me off with a bow. I sat down and pinched my chin feeling confused. I didn’t understand what exactly the new church’s pope was looking for me for. He should’ve been aware that I couldn’t interact with him.
Meanwhile, in Elizabeth’s carriage…
“Your Majesty, the report is definitely accurate. I am sure the Shadow Squad would never fabricate such a rumour. They stand to gain nothing from saying this. Rather, nobody would dare to fabricate things about His Majesty.”
“I know; it’s just that guns delivered from Troy City may not be my son’s command.”
“As the royal family’s seal was on it, it must be His Majesty’s order, right…? After all, there are no extra seals in this world. Nevertheless, the biggest question is what His Majesty is planning to do. You see, the new church’s pope even went looking for His Majesty just now. I suspect…”
“Shut up, Castell! This isn’t something you can make wild guesses about! He’s my son. How could he possibly hurt me? I will ask my son about it. You, stop with your wild guesses!”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”