When I arrived downstairs at the pope’s house, Ascilia looked at me with a surprise countenance. She shyly touched her face and softly said, “Mister, you came a little too early… I… I have not had the chance to put on my make-up yet…”
“It is my honour to see you sooner. I was really eager to see you. After our last meeting, I always looked forward to this afternoon.”
I adjusted my hasty tone and expression so that Ascilia couldn’t read my true thoughts. I was dying inside from anxiety, but I couldn’t show that when dealing with Ascilia. You can’t allow others to notice you’re anxious if you’re trying to deceive them. Ascilia shouldn’t be aware of what happened, which meant I need to maintain a normal demeanour.
Ascilia dawdled for a moment. She covered her mouth and softly giggled. She made way and said, “Truth be told… I, too, felt the same way… I looked forward to your arrival… It is so embarrassing to say…”
I went inside with a smile. The medicine, my ace to defy fate, was in my pocket. If I wanted to take Ascilia away, the pope would unmistakably do something for his daughter, as he loved her. I doubt he was aware I had figured out his entire plan. He thought I was searching for Leah.
I had no idea where to start searching for Leah from. Nonetheless, someone had a clue for me. I assumed the succubus watching the carriages had some clues for me. Succubi had a strong connection to each other. They could also smell each other. I didn’t take Leah to the brothel, yet the owner noticed Leah was in the imperial capital. In other words, the succubus, who appeared to be searching for something, might’ve noticed Leah’s troublesome predicament. I decided go take a look at the brothel later; I was sure I’d find something.
“Ah, Sir, you are here.”
When I entered the house, Ascilia’s mother got up from her armchair. I detected her unsettled emotions. I presumed that she found out my true identity. The pope, who loved his family, might not have told his daughter, but he’d tell his wife to be wary of me. I could easily harm Ascilia, after all.
I knew that nothing I said to Ascilia’s mom would mean much. Knowing I was a man who opposed the chapel, she’d definitely stop me from getting closer to Ascilia. I, consequently, had to win her trust again.
“I came to bring you good news. I have found the medicine you asked me to find.”
I took out the medicine the elves gave me from my pocket. The lady covered her mouth; she nearly let out a high-pitched shriek. Meanwhile, Ascilia, who was next to me, actually shrieked. She hugged my arm and looked at me with a thrilled gaze. It was the first time hot flushes appeared on her face. She then wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me on my cheek. She loudly said, “Fantastic!! Fantastic… You… you… *cough*. You… helped me, *cough, cough, cough*, thank you!!”
Ascilia loudly coughed again. The pain seemed enough to bring her to her knees. I gently supported her body while looking up at her mom. With a mocking smile, I said, “I obtained it. Additionally, I have contacted the elves in the elven lands. Besides taking medicines, your daughter needs to go to the elven lands and reside there for some time. I have arranged everything for you; we can leave tonight.”
The lady was literally ready to get on her knees to thank me. She held her handkerchief up to her eyes. I could see she was emotional from the fact that she nearly pierced her gloves. Feeling weak, she used the wall for support. She couldn’t hold back her tears.
“Thank you… thank you… Esteemed Sir… Thank you… Thank you… H-How… how can we thank you…? While I know about the conflict between you and my husband, you were able to selflessly help us. How can we thank you…? How… can we…?”
“Please stand up, Madam. You have mistaken one thing; the pope and I are not clashing. We are strangers who have never crossed paths. At most, you can only say that the pope and the Queen are clashing, which puts us in different positions. However, please believe I genuinely truly like Miss Ascilia. That has nothing to do with my stance in the matter. I will not let Miss Ascilia die.”
“Is that… your love confession?” asked Ascilia, face red – though I wasn’t sure if it was due to her coughing just before or if she was shy.
Ascilia looked serious. Eager and nervous, she gripped my arm. I looked into her purple eyes that resembled shining amethyst gems. I quietly said, “No. Ascilia, you are still a child. It’s still too early for you to be talking about love. Further, we’ve met only twice. It would be somewhat rude to be in love with a young lady.”
Anxious, Ascilia exclaimed, “I believe in love at first sight, though. I am already sixteen. It is not too early for me to be in love. You do not have a wife yet, do you? If you do not mind… you saved my life, so I am willing to be with you forever!!”
I never expected the young girl to be so hasty to confess to me. She thought I’d confess, but I surprised her with my response. I must say, compared to the world I came from, the females here were more assertive…
Ascilia was very pretty, and being sick wasn’t an issue. She would recover after going to the elven lands, anyway. She’d be a beautiful flower if she spent some time taking care of herself. It didn’t matter even if she was the pope’s daughter. As I initially said, the pope and I didn’t have any deep-seated enmity for each other. The conflict was between him and Queen Sisi. I admired the pope. He bore with it in silence, yet remained determined to accomplish a big feat. I understood my own desires, though. I liked Veirya. Although she never confessed to me, I was happy to stay with her.
“Sorry, Ascilia. I can take you to the elven lands first. Sixteen is a little too young for me. Wait until you grow up. If you still feel the same way after you grow up, I will sincerely consider it. At the very least, wait until you’re eighteen. I should be in the North by then. If you still feel the same way, come and visit me.”
I touched Ascilia’s long hair. She tightly clung to my arm and gently bit her lip. She lowered her head with a broken heart. Voice soft, I said to her mother, “Please take Ascilia’s to the elven lands tonight. I will arrange for a carriage to come and pick you up. It will be a tumultuous capital tonight. I do not know what will happen, but I hope that you and Ascilia can leave.”
“You and my husband…?” The lady tightly gripped her clothes and softly confessed, “Umm… umm… to tell the truth… previously… previously… I lied to you… when… I said the elves…”
“I already know. I figured it out long ago,” I replied before leaving.
When the elf gave me the medicine, I figured it out. Ascilia’s mother lied to me last time; the chapel lied to everyone. The medicine that could heal the girl was with the elves in the imperial capital. Why did she still give those swindlers money to have them ask them to try and buy the medicine from the elves? It was all fabricated. The chapel bought legitimate statues from the dwarves. That was all a smokescreen, however. Everybody thought dwarves were the best with weapons. In reality, it made no difference whether they purchased the dwarves’ weapons or elves’ weapons, as they never had any intention of waging a real war. The people they gave money to weren’t tasked with buying medicine but weapons!! The real weapons weren’t with the dwarves. The chapel was already in possession of them. Achilles wasted time keeping an eye on the dwarves’ warehouse, for the chapel never intended to pick them up!!
“I wonder if Achilles has figured that out,” I remarked to myself.
Current time at the imperial palace.
“Your Majesty, are striking tonight?”
The sudden change in plans perplexed the officer, so he decided to confirm it with Queen Sisi one more time. Queen Sisi responded with a small nod. She then examined her fingernails and absentmindedly replied, “Correct. Tonight. Oh, right, remember to search the warehouse that the chapel uses to store goods purchased from elves. At the very least, lock it down, and forbid anyone from going near it, understood?”
“Think about it carefully. Would someone looking to purchase weapons blatantly loiter by the entrance of the best store? No matter how good they may be good at hiding it, it’s inevitable someone would cordon it. So, what would be the safest place to purchase them from? If you came out of a candy store that sold swords, people would think you came out after purchasing weapons,” explained Queen Sisi. She gently dabbed her finger into a bit of blood-red nail paint, which was placed by the side. Then she gently spread it on her nail. She didn’t look at the officer when she continued, “Therefore, I suspected the chapel purchased from the elves a while ago. Didn’t they buy medicine from the elves? I bet they didn’t purchase medicine. Or perhaps the pope’s psychological medicines were swords. Little Doggy went to the dwarves warehouse once, and then never went there again. Further, he also stated there might not be weapons there. That proves the weapons are definitely with the elves. Little Doggy sure is very astute. Achilles may be loyal, but he lacks the same sagacity.”
After examining her hand, Queen Sisi gently shook it, and then narrowed her eyes. She giggled in a soft voice then carried on, “Create a new Demon King? Now that’s a surprise. Little Doggy didn’t disappoint. He turned a mere ordinary scheme into something so interesting. I am very pleased.”
“Why? Why do we need to check the elves? Would the chapel not purchase weapons from the dwarves?!”
“Correct. I shall proceed as per what Little Doggy said. There may be heavy rainfall tonight…”
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