"Your majesty! Your majesty!" I turned my head around to see an individual dressed in a courteous and exquisite robe panting as he ran toward me. Discussions had just ended in the conference chamber and I had just escaped mom's embrace. Just as I was about to return to the outer court, the individual in question called out to me. Nier looked at him and I with puzzlement. She subconsciously drew her sword half-way out. I pressed my hand on Nier's shoulder, and then looked at him and asked: "You are?"
He desperately tried to catch his breath before removing his hat, bowing to salute me and asked: "I… I am in charge of Melda company. I have come to greet you. Would you happen to have some time to discuss something with me, your majesty?"
I considered it. I've never heard of this company. He took out a small card from his s.h.i.+rt and handed it to me. I took it, but before I could read any of the letters, my eyes were fixated on the code heraldry.
It was the same one as the one on Mera's box.
I took in a deep breath as a surge of anger surfaced from all my veins. I looked at him and really wanted to shoot him dead on the spot. But killing him now would be impulsive of me. There are some details I still need to find out. I looked at him and nodded. I replied: "I have time. Come meet me at the conference chamber in the outer court."
"Understood. I shall head back and make some preparations!"
He wiped his sweat off his forehead and showed a look of relief before bowing and leaving. I watched him from behind and clenched my teeth tightly. The look in Mera's eyes appeared before my eyes once again. The company is just an empty sh.e.l.l. The church must be behind the now bankrupt Melda company because there would be repercussions if the church were to come out and do business with their faces shown to the public, hence why they need a company to carry out jobs for them. It looks like me distributing salt has successfully caused them to start to panic.
This further confirms my theory that the church is involved with salt dealings. They must've been privately trafficking salt previously. Now that Castor's salt business is out of the picture, it's impacting their profits, and therefore they need to h.o.a.rd salt to b.u.mp up its price. Now, how did the church smuggle the salt in? I think I've already got my answer. It has to be those statues of G.o.d."
"Let's head back, Nier."
I turned around and headed to the outer court. Nier looked at me and hesitated for a moment before asking: "Your majesty, your face looks pale. Are you not well?"
"It's actually my mood that's foul right now."
I gave Nier a simple response and then we returned to the outer court. Luna happened to just come back from outside as well. I paused for a while. Luna doesn't usually leave the outer court, so why did she suddenly leave today?
I called out to her and she stopped to turn around to look at me. She smiled as she bowed and replied: "Your majesty, Miss Gilliante, welcome back."
"Luna, what did you go out for?"
"Erm…… Someone asked to see your personal servant and then the head-maid came to look for me. I went to see him. He wanted to give me a small container with pearls inside, but I turned him down."
Luna looked at me with a smile and said: "Your majesty, it looks like there are people who want to get on your good side. Perhaps they do not know what you like so they tried get on my good side."
"It looks like that's the case. But I think it's pointless regardless if they get on your good side or Nier's." I laughed and then led the two of them into the outer court. Luna is definitely loyal to me. As long as I'm alive, she'll never do anything that could put me at risk, while Nier wouldn't spare them time of the day. I'm a hundred percent safe with these two by my side. They wouldn't use illicit drugs or gamble.
When we returned to my bedroom, Luna looked at me pacing back-and-forth inside the room and asked: "Your majesty, you look slightly anxious. Did something happen?"
I gave her a simple reply: "Probably so. I'm waiting for someone."
I then looked at Luna and said: "If it goes well, I'll be able to confirm lots of things, and soon solve all my problems."
"Although I do not really understand… you must remain calm, your majesty. Do not let what happened previously happen again. Of course, that is if it happens again." Luna placed a tea-cup down with and smile. She then looked at me and continued, "I can comfort you again your majesty, if you do not mind that is."
I looked at Luna's smiling face, shook my head and said: "I won't. I won't be so rash this time. Thank you, Luna, but I won't again."
I gently grabbed hold of Luna's hand. Luna's slender white hands were like a pianist's hands. The white skin of elves is like transparent skin that hadn't been damaged. If we're just considering appearances, Luna looks very beautiful and elegant like an eloquent flower in bloom. But I knew what cruel treatments her body had been subjected to.
I also know that pity and love aren't the same. I let myself betray Lucia once because of it, but that won't happen again. I love Lucia, so I won't betray her.
"I understand, your majesty."
Luna smiled and then held my hand gently. She then continued, "I really envy your lover, your majesty. I think she must be very happy to be able to always be by your side, just like Miss Gilliante… she must be happy to be by your side……"
"What are you saying…? Nier is definitely happier by the empress's side. She's Nier's reason to live."
I let go of my hand and stood up. I adjusted my collar and wore on my robe to receive the guest in the outer court's guest room. I touched my Earth Dragon armour at the same time. There was a damaged spot thanks to Mera. I never patched it up with Earth Dragon armour. It was just sewn back together through normal sewing means. However, I don't think that someone would coincidently stab that same spot at the next a.s.sa.s.sination attempt.
I don't know what this company is looking for me for, but I never felt it was for anything good. The moment I started distributing salt, I basically publically declared war to the very end. The church probably thought I'd just be an obedient little boy after I took the money. They never expected me to purchase all the stores around like a madman. Now, all the denizens who go to the church to pray and whatnot get attracted by the salt, thus lining up and going home instead of donating. Instead of bothering with some G.o.d from obscurity, it's more realistic to go home and look after your own kids. This should reduce the feelings the people have for G.o.d significantly.
If everyone has enough to eat and can stay warm, n.o.body would have to entrust their hopes with G.o.d. People entrust their hope to G.o.d because precisely because there are things they want yet can't get.
Nier knocked on the door and then came in and reported: "Your majesty, the company's representative has arrived in the conference chamber."
I nodded, took in a deep breath and clenched my fists tightly. While I think the church is probably panicked, the speed at which they responded still surprises me. But I guess it's good. This is my goal after all. I can't forcefully tear the church down, so let's sit down and negotiate, except I'm not going to calmly and harmoniously negotiate with them now.