“Veirya, you and Angelina find a horse carriage to hide in for now. Don’t move. I’ll operate on my own here on out.”
There was a strong stench of blood in the air. The city that never slept was dead silent. Queen Sisi’s rage figuratively razed it to the ground. Nobody dared to have their doors open. Everyone out for fun was at risk of being killed by soldiers. At this point, the situation was comparable to a cat barging into rodents’ banquet, and then all of the rodents fled back to their den. The massive chapel’s main doors were open. Corpses were littered at the door. An inferno devoured the inside. Soldiers went in and out, carrying those unconscious people or those who had been restrained and tossed them into the wagons waiting outside. The wagons were used to transport them away. In some cases, they threw corpses on the ground without a second thought.
I also noticed a chair placed by the door of the chapel. The chair and the atmosphere at the chapel were completely different. I recognised the resplendent and stunning; it came from the imperial palace. Specifically, it came from Queen Sisi’s dining table. I, in fact, sat in one just yesterday.
I presumed it to be another one of Queen Sisi’s bad-tasting ideas. She wanted to have the pope watch his believers and friends murdered or taken away in addition to watching the chapel he gave his entire life for burning to the ground. Queen Sisi didn’t want to just kill but to also mentally destroy him. She wanted to enjoy the process of having her enemy’s lungs ripped apart, and she’d rub their blood on her rosy lips.
The blood pouring down the street could almost cover the entire bottom of my shoe. I helped Veirya settle down. Perplexed, she asked, “Your foot?”
“It’s all right. I can let you see what I have to do next; rather, you can’t be seen. I doubt we can find a carriage now, so just stay at a corner of the street. I should be able to finish up soon.”
Veirya was reliable and of few words as before. She continued dragging Angelina along to a dark street and didn’t appear again. I couldn’t allow anyone to see Angelina. Plus, she was someone Queen wanted dead. If someone spotted her, I wouldn’t be able to protect her. As long as Queen Sisi had yet to see her, I could still turn it around. I still had an ace to deal with Angelina. I was cognizant of the fact Queen Sisi wouldn’t spare her, but what if Angelina didn’t exist? What if Angelina never served as the chapel’s knight?
I leaned on my cane and went up to the chapel’s doors. The soldiers were quite surprised to see me, but they immediately lowered their heads and minded their business after glancing at me. I, too, didn’t bother with them. We were allies at the time. As a matter of fact, I was their leader. I, personally, met Queen Sisi, and specifically instated me.
I crossed over the corpses littering the ground. Honestly, it was quite difficult for me to walk over all the corpses in my current condition. I stepped on a fair number of corpses, causing them to roll over. Empty gazes of pain, despair and desire for mercy were fixed on me. I could see their misery the moment before they died in the chaos. I didn’t dare to look them in the eye nor did I care to, because they had nothing to do with me.
They were innocent people. They didn’t do anything wrong. Strictly speaking, not even the pope or chapel did. The only possible wrong was not acknowledging Queen Sisi’s might, and not having their believers worship Queen Sisi as a goddess. That was it.
They weren’t a chapel that exploited others as written in other novels. They were just ordinary fathers, husbands and children, who died for nothing more than to satisfy Queen Sisi’s pride. As for me, I happened to be one of her blades. Furthermore, I took the initiative to have everyone I the chapel killed. If people faced retribution after death, I was definitely going to hell when I died. Actually, maybe not even hell would accept me.
I climbed the steps. I almost slipped over due to the slippery surface the blood left. The pope was restrained in the chair. He had his head down in silence. I quietly approached him from behind. I placed a hand on his shoulder and whispered in his ear, “I’ve sent your wife and daughter to the elven lands. You don’t need to worry.”
The pope gently moved around, but he didn’t look thrilled. He softly chuckled and muttered, “Is there any point in telling a man about to die that? I’m going to die. If you’re here, it means Angelina failed. I have to admit I failed. I don’t know how you saw through it, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of when I lost to someone smarter than myself.”
I didn’t mince my words: “I want Angelina’s file now. Listen. Listen to me. I have no way of saving you, but I didn’t defeat you, either. Nevertheless, if you want your daughter and wife to live, give me Angelina’s file. I promise to protect them. I’ll protect them even from Queen Sisi!”
“What you do want?”
“I need to do something for my master.”
The pope gently shook his head: “Every knight’s file is stored in the literature room. They’re placed on the third row of the bookshelf against the window. Go. I have no hope and no longer have any secret that I need to hide.”
“Rest in peace. I will tell your daughter the truth.”
I patted the pope on his shoulder then straightened up. There was a fire out the front of the chapel’s main door. Soldiers were in the process of moving things from inside the chapel that could be burnt, including artwork, flags and robes into the fire. The blaze devoured everything the chapel was once proud of and protected. There were a number of books by the side that had yet to be burnt, which must’ve been things that Queen Sisi needed.
Queen Sis needed the chapel’s right to preach, the original copy of their doctrine and the names of some of their members. The list of names would tell her who to kill. If I burnt Angelina’s file, everything proving her connection to the chapel and everyone related was killed, then Angelina never existed in this world.
I went to the literature room. There were soldiers looking through the documents up above, recording as they moved them. I looked over to the bookshelf I was after. The soldiers had yet to get to it. I said, “Sorry, you two, I am here on Her Majesty’s orders to search for some documents. Please leave for a moment. I will be quick.”
The two turned around to silently nodded and left. I slammed the door shut then grabbed a chair to lock the door in place before going over to the bookshelf. There were numbers on the shelf, which I presumed to be the numbers assigned to the members’ files. Every book’s spine had a name on it, as well. I presumed the leader should be the chapel’s knights.
I ran my finger along the names, going from one end to the other and finally located Angelina’s name. I opened her file. The first page contained her picture and name. The following pages recorded her accomplishments and deeds. I didn’t have time to examine the contents, so I stuffed it into my shirt then turned around to see a flame in the fireplace. Perhaps the soldiers didn’t put the flame out for lighting.
I walked over to the fire and threw the file for knight number one hundred and twenty seven. into the fire. I silently stood in place as I watched the expensive parchment slowly burn and ink disappear before becoming black fragments that then flew off. Everything containing Angelina’s information as a knight was in the record I threw into the fire.
They’d find knights number one hundred and twenty-six and one hundred and twenty-eight, but they wouldn’t know who one hundred and twenty-seven was. Queen Sisi would know who it was, but she would aware what I implied. I could pass on a reward, so I hoped she could turn a blind eye to it. Nobody would know she spared Angelina.
I went back to the bookshelf and looked through the names and numbers. I grabbed the file for knight number three. While I was at it, I took some files related to the chapel before opening the door.
When the two soldiers saw me, they asked, “Did you find it?”
I smiled as I waved the books in my hand: “I did.”
The two looked at the cover but didn’t comment. I walked past them, across the corridor and fire. I didn’t say a word as I walked past the chapel in ruins. I had no need to waste my breath on those about to die, show sympathy or admit to my wrongs. This ending was inevitable the moment I sided with Queen Sisi. If she wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be there.
As I walked, I contemplated, “I wonder what the Queen is currently doing. She might be standing at the balcony in the Imperial Palace, softly giggling as she watches this place burn. According to her personality, she wouldn’t be happy unless she saw these flames. Her favourite scene is seeing her enemy slowly die in despair in front of her’
What do I do if Veirya is next on her list? Can I stop the Queen? I’m on her side right now. Will this burn also devour the North? I don’t know. I need to settle Angelina’s matter first. Next, I’ll probably need to speak to Queen Sisi. I’m absolutely sure she’s aware I pulled some strings. I’m sure she knows who I spared. “
It was obvious who spared Angelina and the pope’s family once you think about it. I needed to ensure that Queen Sisi wasn’t angry, I guess.
Oh, right, why did I need the file for knight number three? Simple. His surname was the same as Veirya and Angelina’s.
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