The carriage headed for a dense forest on the north side of the capital.
We were on our way to the Vatican where the Pope resides.
Unlike most temples which were in the center of a city, the capital had an imperial palace in the center of the city.
Instead, behind the Imperial Palace, on the high mountainside, was the Vatican, which was more than twice the height of the Imperial Palace.
Standing in front of it, I realized how small and insignificant humans were.
It was so natural that I thought it was made for that purpose.
“Welcome, dear Cartina.”
Perhaps the timing was right, Nathaniel, who was about to leave, and I, who was about to enter, just ran into each other.
He recognized me right away.
“Hello, Holy Father.
Long time no see.”
I greeted him as gracefully as possible.
He had a kind smile.
As his benevolent smile flowed from his boyish face, I felt a sense of detachment.
“What did you come here for?”
“I have come to see the Holy Father.”
I’m not a talkative person.
“Oh? It’s an honor.
But what is it about? I’m on my way out.
If it’s okay with you, how about making an appointment next time?”
He answered politely.
I remembered Detheus’ words.
He said he was going to war soon.
Maybe he’s on his way now.
Before that, I had to figure out if Nathaniel was going to help Rodrigo, or if he was going to throw him into the abyss.
“Is that so? If so, can I accompany you in a carriage to the place where the Holy Father is going? That amount of time is enough.”
Nathaniel’s eyes narrowed, perhaps because I was being aggressive.
He stared intently at me, as if to pierce through me.
I prayed earnestly to myself.
Nathaniel opened his red lips as if he had finally decided.
“Let’s go together.”
Nathaniel did not turn down my offer.
He escorted me and went into the carriage.
As I sat down, he sat on the other side and looked at me.
There was no conversation for a while.
“The weather is great.”
Nathaniel opened the window.
I glanced out the window.
The sky was high and clear.
The scent of greenery wafted out from the forest.
I took a deep breath.
My excitement before meeting Nathaniel calmed down.
“Why did you come here, Miss Estiya?”
He looked straight at me.
The golden eyes were amazing.
It was characteristic of the Pope.
It was said that the manifested divinity changes the color of the eyes.
“I heard you are going to war.”
“Ah, that’s right.”
“Is there anything I can do to help in Cartina?”
Nathaniel laughed softly.
“You have a really beautiful heart, Miss Estiya.”
He added words of blessing.
“I want to fulfill my duties as a nobleman.”
I didn’t want to be liked by him.
So I said it coldly on purpose.
“You’re modest, but I don’t need your help this time.”
I was surprised.
The temple always said that money was scarce, so they liked the nobility.
This was because nobles bring money with them.
It was natural that the rank of the priest who prayed for blessings would change depending on the amount of money paid.
Whenever there was a special event in the temple, the priests openly wanted money.
But you don’t need money to go to war? There must be a lot of space for the attendants to ride, food to eat, and money.
“But, it’s a war, so things should be used more modestly than usual.”
I threw in words to question him.
“There must be many wounded, but I have brought a lot of priests who can use divine power.”
He only smiled at my words, but didn’t say anything.
“Prince Detheus said that His Holiness would end the war.
As a citizen of the Empire, I have high expectations.”
His smile faltered for a moment.
It was a look I would have missed if I hadn’t been staring at him the entire time.
At what point did his smile waver?
“Prince Detheus is a very pleasant person.
He also has a deep love for his people.”
“Is that so?”
My mouth, which had to praise Detheus to see his reaction, made me feel sorry for him.
Unfortunately, Nathaniel did not respond much to the story of Prince Detheus.
“Better than that.
Are you trying to end the war that has been going on for three months already? What secret technique do you have?”
This is it!
Power entered Nathaniel’s lips.
His smile was as unchanging as a mask, but I could see it now.
He gives strength to the tip of his lips as he deepens his smile.
“I can’t help it.
It’s God’s plan.”
He said so and looked out of his window.
He was unequivocally unwilling to talk to me any more.
He was hiding something.
“More than that, Prince Detheus must have liked it.
Well, Sir Erhardt… He is a dangerous man.”
As his destination drew nearer, he pulled the thick doctrinal book he had set aside and placed it on his lap.
“Sir Erhardt is dangerous?”
Instead of answering, he laughed.
“If you have any regrets, it is better to just forget about them.
If you need help, come to me.”
He made a muffled noise, and as the carriage slowed down, he opened the door and jumped out.
“Take Miss Cartina to the mansion.”
He shouted at the driver and disappeared into a narrow alley.
I called out to him, but he didn’t look back.
I floundered and sat down on the carriage chair.
His last words struck me.
(3rd person pov)
A cry of pain resounded over and over in the quiet forest.
The terrifying screams were Gunther’s.
Blood flowed like a fountain from his thigh.
Rodrigo, who had been running earlier, returned and quickly started to stop bleeding.
Devlan looked around and discovered the cause of Gunther’s injuries.
“Is it the witch’s thread?”
Two months after infiltrating to shake the interior of the Veloki Peninsula, the king of the Veloki Peninsula will now change.
The emperor of the Empire, Tereo, may not know, but Rodrigo was behind this.
As King of Veloki, Frans realizes that the forces trying to harm him are trying to oust him by using this war as an excuse.
Rodrigo contacted him secretly, showing him how to live both for himself and for Frans.
He took responsibility for losing the war and backing away.
The new king will declare that he will become a vassal of the empire.
Then, let him revolt.
It was not a war that has lost the head of the enemy king.
Rodrigo tried to escape the trap of Emperor Tereo by making it a war that was neither won nor lost.
Frans readily agreed.
He also knew that the situation in the country was dire, and he also received reports of frequent meetings between those who plan to rebel and the people of the Empire.
With the help of Rodrigo, Frans slowly prepared to descend.
Having roughly arranged his work, Rodrigo was on his way back to the front line.
For two months, he was not able to write a letter to Estiya by day as a battlefield general and by night as Frans’s scrivener.
Now that he no longer had to work for Frans, tonight, he was going to quietly write a letter to her.
“Ugh, it won’t stop bleeding!”
Devlan, who was taking turns with Rodrigo to stop bleeding, shouted.
Gunther writhed in pain.
Because of that, his hand kept moving away from the area of pressure.
“Where is the nearest temple?”
A curse was hung on the witch’s thread.
It could only be washed away with the divine power of a priest.
Devlan spoke as if something was wrong.
Rodrigo recalled that this was the Veloki Peninsula.
The god of the empire and the god of the Veloki Peninsula are different.
If they are treated by a priest here, they become heretics.
But there was no other way to save Gunther.
As soon as he made the decision, Rodrigo activated his magic.
He used healing magic to stop the bleeding and put his pain to rest.
Günther closed his eyes and fell asleep when his pain was gone.
Rodrigo stopped Devlan as he tried to support him with his bloodstained hands.
Devlan wrapped Gunther around him.
They went to the nearest temple in Veloki.
With a serious expression, Jane told the rumors circulating in the Imperial Palace.
“Is Rodrigo a heretic?”
“Yes, that’s why people say that the Holy Father is leaving.”
Oh, so that’s why he said Rodrigo was a dangerous man, and to be careful.
“That can’t be true.
He doesn’t believe in God, and he won’t believe in another God either.”
He was an atheist.
That alone was a great sin, but in any case, he was not someone who would serve the gods of the Veloki Peninsula.
Jane shrugged her shoulders.
“He may have waited for a while since the war is not going to end.”
When I scolded her, Jane turned her head away, avoiding my eyes.
I have to help.
But I couldn’t come up with a proper way.
“How far has this rumor spread?”
I have to plan for the worst-case scenario.
I decided that the Pope’s move was for a witch hunt, and I decided to come up with a plan.
“I guess only a few people in the palace know yet.”
It is worth taking Jane every time I go to the Imperial Palace, so she could find out such secret rumors.
“I must go to Erhardt’s mansion.”
When I arrived at Erhardt’s mansion, August was loading a carriage with things.
“Hello, Miss Estiya.
I was about to go to the Cartina mansion.”
“Nice to see you, August.
How have you been?”
We exchanged traditional greetings.
“I’ve been good.
I apologize for the late gifts.”
Augustus pointed to the three carriages with a proud expression.
“What is all that?”
“These are gifts that Sir Rodrigo ordered to be sent to Miss Estiya before going to the battlefield.
Those in that carriage over there are the specialties of the Loewen’s Kingdom, and this one is the fabric and jewelry! Designers were also hired.
As Yves Saint Laura Designer! You don’t know how hard it was to convince.
I was only able to get it after I told her that I was going to give it to Miss Estiya.”
A look of pride spread across August’s face.
You went out to the battlefield where you could die, and you left with my presents ready?
“There are many more than this.
We had a lot of trouble finding the quantity, but they are arriving one after another, so we will send them out as soon as they arrive.”
Augustus continued speaking, even though I interrupted him.
I couldn’t understand Rodrigo.
Even if it was a show, it was too much.
And it was strange that the person who took such special care did not contact me for two months.
“I’ll check the presents later.
There’s something I need to talk to you about.”
August, who has been protecting Erhardt for a long time, was a wise man.
He was also a loyal man who stayed by Rodrigo’s side until the end of the novel.
I know how valuable it was to have the few people you can trust in situations where no one could be trusted.
“Is it true?”
Hearing my story, August’s wrinkles deepened.
“I’m sorry, it’s not that I don’t trust Miss Estiya…”
He apologized, thinking it was rude.
I said it was okay and picked up the mug.
August seemed to need time to organize his thoughts.
He must be afraid of the repercussions my words would bring.
Since that the family that contributed to the founding of the country played a decisive role in establishing the country.
Not only will he lose his status as a duke, but he will also be pointed at by the people of the Empire.
It was a fatal blow for Erhardt, who values honor the most.
“What would you like to do?”
In fact, I came here because I couldn’t find the answer either.
Read only at pm tl.
However, one thing was for sure,
“We need to save Rodrigo.”
Only way was to save him.
“We need to check the facts first.”
We must first check if he really had a connection with the temple of the Veloki Peninsula.
“I will go.”
I shook my head.
“It takes a week to go there on horseback day and night.
You never know when the Holy Father will move.
I can move faster.”
I felt Jane twitch beside me.
Sorry Jane, let’s run away one more time.
“August should take care of the situation in the imperial palace here.”
If he had been serving Rodrigo for a long time, wouldn’t he be able to do something like this?
“Yes, we will do our best to find out.”
After I delivered the business, he got up.
It is enough just to inform the people of Erhardt’s mansion of the danger.
Now, if anything happens, August will take care of saving the people in the mansion.
“Ah, the gifts!”
I stopped going out and looked back at August.
August, who was following me to see me off, stopped.
“Yes, please tell me, Miss Estiya.”
“I don’t care about the presents.
I’ll get it from him all at once when he comes back.”
Are you worried that you’ll get scolded for breaking Rodrigo’s orders?
“Don’t worry, I’ll meet Rodrigo and talk to him in person.”
I reassured August, who looked dazed, and headed for Cartina.
And that night, while trying to run away again, I got caught.
“Where are you going, Estiya?”
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