Calm Before the Storm
“Where’s Veirya?” I asked Achilles.
I properly put away the handkerchief I used to wipe my face. Achilles was bored to death with waiting. He replied, “Veirya went back to Leah. She has left. It is time for the two of us to discuss work.”
“There’s something very problematic about what you just said. It can’t possibly a matter concerning the two of us. You go keep watch on the warehouse to see if the chapel takes any statues from there. Meanwhile, I need to pay the elves a visit. In the afternoon, I’ll drop by the pope’s place. I only received a one day extension from Her Majesty. If I waste it, it’s not going to be pretty.”
“You managed to ask for one more day from Her Majesty? You have my admiration. Nobody has ever been able to ask her for a one day extension before. She has never changed her mind. I think you’re the first to have made her change her mind.”
“I only came to learn more about what Her Majesty desired,” I explained, patting Achilles on his shoulder. “Go and do what you should; leave the chapel’s plans to me, though I’m not confident… Nevertheless, if you can confirm where the chapel is hiding their weapons, we just need to ensure they remain there.”
“Mm… what exactly is the chapel trying to do, an assassination? If they want to assassinate Her Majesty, we need to prepare to retaliate, do we not? At the very least, we must find what the weapons intend to be used for. Actually, we need to locate the weapons first.”
“No, that’s just one part; there’s something more important. The chapel couldn’t possibly be planning to assassinate Her Majesty. There’s absolutely no way the chapel would attempt to assassinate her in the imperial capital. That’s such a retarded plan. What do you call that? Shortcut to failure? No matter how you think about it; the chance of its success is slim, isn’t it? The chapel wouldn’t do that. No, no, I mean the chapel is definitely planning something more realistic.”
“And what would that be?”
“What do you think I’m going to be doing today?”
Achilles and I left the palace, with him leading the way. I went to the elves’ building. The building was still in the same state as yesterday. The elves didn’t stop me, as they remembered my appearance. I went upstairs to meet with the elf again. He looked somewhat happier today. He turned around and, while pinching his chin, cheerfully said, “Hello, Mr. Lin. I am very happy to see you this time. Did you have business with me this time? Please speak your mind.”
“No, I wanted to ask about the medicine that I mentioned last time. Do you happen to be capable of any incredible magic spells that could deliver it here now?”
“After I sent news from here last time, Consul General immediately organised it with an elven merchant here. Fortunately, the merchant happened to have some, and just had it delivered to me. This is the medication she needs. Consume it after boiling it into a liquid. Send her to the elven lands afterwards so that she can rest up, and she will be fine. Consul General has organised a room and servants to help take care of her. You just need to send her there.”
“Wait, wait, I’m very grateful for your excellent efficiency, but I’m very curious as to who your Consul General is.”
“Ah, I did not tell you, did I? Madam Lucilia is now the elven consul general. She is in charge of commanding the entire military. It is a very important post. She specialises in combat and possesses superb leadership skills. Moreover, she is the heroine who saved elves and twice for that matter. Madam Lucilia is a perfect fit for the post.”
I took the bag handed to me. My visit’s outcome was unpredicted. I merely came to ask about the medicine’s effects. That way, I could deceive the family. But nonetheless, since I got my hands on it, I had no plans to hide it. I couldn’t see what harm there was in saving a life. When I don’t have a choice, I don’t have a choice. If I could help it, yet chose to hide the medicine, I practically committed murder. Deceiving and hiding are two different things.
“Thank you very much for your help. Please pass on my gratitude to Lucia. If possible, I’d like to see her again.”
I only said that out of courtesy. I thought it was best to not meet the elf again… The more we meet in the future when conducting the flavouring trade, the higher the likelihood of running into problems. Business associates should stick to pure business conversations. You should do your best to minimise interaction with each other.
“All right. You, too, are a very important friend to us elves. If you have any requests, please do not hesitate to ask. We may not like humans, but we will certainly help friends.”
The elf bowed. I answered with a small nod. After I turned around, he said, “Oh, right, right, I almost forgot. Consul General specifically prepared a big present for you. You will receive it when you return to the North. Actually, perhaps present is not the best term for it, as it is troublesome to us elves. However, we believe that you would consider it a present.”
“What is it? You sound awfully mysterious”
“You shall find out when the time comes. All right now, I must busy myself with work. If there is nothing else, please pardon me.”
The elf bowed and showed me to the door. I knew I couldn’t stay for too long. With that said, I obtained what I wanted. Hence, I left the building.
I didn’t expect the elves to give me a riddle. I pondered, “What’s the so-called present? Lucia has just taken part in a revolution; what present could she give me? Gold? More flavouring? I can’t think of anything else besides those things. Let’s put it aside for now”
I needed to wait until noon to see Ascilia, the pope’s daughter. I was glad I obtained the medicine, because I could save a child’s life. Still, I needed to get what I wanted through Ascilia. At the very least, I needed to know what the chapel was striving to achieve.
The entire matter involving the chapel was extremely baffling to me. I had no idea if they purchased weapons or not. There was no doubt they were planning something; they wouldn’t feed the adventurers for nothing. The questions were, what did they want, and did they need weapons? If they needed weapons, what was their goal? If they didn’t need weapons, what was their goal? I didn’t have the foggiest idea. The chapel utterly lost. They hadn’t taken the statues. The statues, therefore, were just decoys. It begged the question: did they actually get their hands on weapons from the statues?
“Are you Mr. Lin?”
While I was walking on the road, I suddenly ran into two individuals. I was surprised to see them, especially since they wore the chapel’s symbol. The two armoured and armed knights blocked my path.
I frowned, wondering, “What does the chapel want? Are they going to kidnap me? What, under Queen Sisi’s watch? I just met with Queen Sisi. Is this actually wise?”
“Yes, I am. Do you have business with me?”
“His Excellency wishes to see you. The matter is somewhat urgent, so we hope you can come along. Please rest assured. I have no intention of forcing you to come. If you are busy, His Excellency will pay you a visit.”
The knights didn’t hold their weapons and spoke in a very harmonious tone.
They didn’t plan to let anything in the imperial capital threaten them. I knew I had to see the pope after what they said. I, indeed, was willing to see the pope to talk with him. If we could reach a consensus, that would be for the best. If otherwise, I could try and pry for information.
“All right. However, I need to make a trip back beforehand, as these clothes are not very comfortable.”
I couldn’t take the medicine with me, for it was my final bargaining chip. If the pope took it from me, then I was done for.
“All right, we will wait for you downstairs at your place.”
The two made way and an invitational hand gesture. With a smile, they said, “Please lead the way.”
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