Chapter 182: Tranquility
I suddenly felt my mouth rigid.
My lips were strangely dry and my cheeks were cold. I sensed a stick and unpleasant feel in the mouth. I wanted something to clean my mouth, whether it was water or liquor, it did not matter. I wanted to get rid of this creepy feeling by putting something in my mouth.
I opened my eyes to see my surroundings. At that moment, the sun shined into my eyes. After blinking my eyelids reflexively for several times, my unclear vision finally regained its clarity.
Where was I? What was this place? I stared at the stone ceiling while thinking about it.
Apparently, my body woke up, but not my head. Actually, thoughts that seemed to be normal thoughts did not come to my mind at all. It was as if the head itself was saying that I should lie down for a while without thinking much about my circumstances. Yet, my curiosity did not subside.
My heavier eyelids squinted, and only my right hand covered my face from the bright light. Then, I tried to reach something that resembled a jug.
If I was bedridden, it would not be strange to have a jug or a liquor bottle by the bed. Something got entangled in my fingers as I began to search for it. It felt like threads. I shook my fingers lightly, but the threads did not disentangle.
I wondered about these strange threads, so I turned my gaze. Something silver entwined around the fingers of my right hand. The thoughts that were supposed to be barely functioning ran in my head, making noise.
…Were those threads silver?
They certainly looked silver in the sunlight. Those silver threads were smooth and beautiful, and each one of them probably had great value.
But it felt strange. Why did they use silver threads for this bed? It looked somewhat expensive and not within my reach. The Heraldic Order would not have been so lavish to the point of using luxury goods and gold. Then, why was there silver threads right next to my bedside?
Suddenly, I had a feeling. A very, very unpleasant feeling. My lips were about to cramp. There was a high possibility that those threads were not actually silver threads.
I opened my eyelids wide while feeling a little bit scared. I turned my face to the right. Then, she was there.
The knight, who lavishly exposed her immaculate face to the sun while taking a nap without any disturbance. Caria stood right next to me, almost touching my body. And what the fingers of my right hand touched was actually her flowing hair.
I see. Was this my death?
I heard my chest ringing unknowingly. I didn’t know why, but just looking at Caria’s sleeping face up close made me feel a sense of crisis in my body. What was happening to me? Why was I in such situation?
I turned away from Caria’s sleeping figure in order to escape. It was not good for me to keep watching her that much, even if the sense of crisis in my body told otherwise. Was I worrying too much? Anyway, it was not good.
I wanted to get out. Rather, I wanted to run away.
Even if I searched from one end of my thoughts to the other, I didn’t understand how I came to be in this situation. At least, I was not sure how she was by my side while I stayed in bed. Even so, I must have crushed that monster made of meat at the Lord’s House in Belfein. From there, I did not really understand what happened.
I tried to get up while taking my hand carefully so as not to pull the hair entwined in my fingers.
Immediately, I noticed that my left arm did not move as if it was solidified. That didn’t mean that my arm wasn’t usable anymore, but I felt like something was holding my elbow down. Moreover, something that was warm.
I swallowed dry. My lips were still strangely dry.
This time, I turned my gaze to side opposite of Caria. To my left hand. I could see a long black hair waving comfortably on the white sheet.
The Sorceress, Filaret La Volgograd, seemed to be quite comfortable curling up by my side. She held my left arm tightly as if it was something natural.
This was a lot more troublesome than I thought. Suddenly, a few questions came to my mind.
Why were these two sleeping together on the same bed that wasn’t very large? And why was I stuck in the center? I did not know the answer to these questions. I clearly didn’t know.
It was around this time that my brain finally began to understand my deadly situation. I began to wonder if this room was in Garoua Maria.
…Are you awake, employer. I brought you some food.
At the same time as the knock, which sounded a little rough, a voice that seemed to belong to my best friend Bruder echoed in the room.
「…Ann. How is he? 」
Largud Ann, the administrator of the Heraldic Order and the right arm of Saint Matia, responded upon hearing Matia’s sharp voice in her ears.
「Yes, Saint Matia. According to the medical officer, there are no special problems. He will wake up soon enough.」
Meanwhile, Ann’s gaze lingered on the parchment on top of the office desk. Her fingertips touched the quill. The same happened to Saint Matia, who first spoke to Ann. Neither of them slowed down the movements of their hands for even a moment.
After all, for a while, Matia herself, which was the central figure of the walled city of Garoua Maria, was away from the city. No matter how good Ann was, she could not cover all of its functions. At best, the only thing that she could do was control the management that Saint Matia left to her. A makeshift governance of internal affairs.
Naturally, Ann could not deal with political affairs and projects. The parchments and other documents piled up.
Therefore, Matia spent every single time of the day in her office, even sleeping, at the cost of freeing Ann. No, to be honest, it was still not enough. Ann managed to swallow a deep sigh into her throat that was about to leak from her lips.
Still, it would have been good if Garoua Maria only had one project. But Ann realized that new problems continued to pile up.
The mercenary city of Belfein became a blank area after the Lord who was in charge of the city’s affairs met his demise. At the same time, the Steel Princess who controlled the mercenaries disappeared. The Heraldic Order was now trying to take control of the city. That was why most of the political affairs were devoted to measures against Belfein.
Naturally. After all, a big city like Belfein would be difficult to control. But after that chaos happened, the Heraldic Order could no longer wait. It would not be so difficult now for the Heraldic Order to exert influence.
After all, in the midst of turmoil, the people could not choose the people who governed them. They would obey blindly if there were somebody who took the lead to govern. It was like a sheep being led by a shepherd at the head of a flock without knowing where it was going.
Today, Belfein was like a sheep. The city was just waiting for the wolf’s fangs to bite it away from the flock.
In other words, it was no exaggeration to say that the Heraldic Order could now guide the megacity of Belfein along with Garoua Maria. That in itself was great.
The amount of political affairs continued to increase significantly.
“…Maybe I will die in here.”
Ann rubbed her eyes lightly, remembering such premonition in her fingertips. It felt as if she lost all of her senses.
“The work of Saint Matia and that hero is certainly wonderful.” Ann distorted her eyes because of their reckless actions, but there was no doubt that they had done a great job for the power of the Heraldic Order.
“If I were to write history with a pen, I would write about the hero’s actions with applause and praise.” However, Ann also felt mixed-feelings about it.
It was unquestionable that Largud Ann suffered from the appearance of wrinkles because of Lugis’ heroic but thoughtless behavior.
Ann felt her vision swaying for a moment. She opened her lips to relieve her fatigue.
「Actually, the one I’m worried about is Lady Vestaline. Her condition is stable now, but it can change anytime. Lord Bruder goes to check on her condition regularly.」
The Steel Princess Vestaline.
Ann understood that she was the best card in this uproar. In the mercenary city of Belfein, it was of course the Lord, Mordeaux Gon, who had a substantive rule behind the scenes. However, the one who reigned at the front was Vestaline Gon, the bearer of two titles, the undoubtedly Steel Princess and Iron Devotee.
Ann eagerly wanted the Heraldic Order to rule Belfein. This wish, of course, would be the same for Matia.
It was an attractive story that the Steel Princess Vestaline, who ostensibly lost her father, devoted herself to the governance while sheltering her injured body. People liked such good stories. If people liked a good story, then it would be easier to govern. For the people, it did not matter who was behind them in substantive governance.
The Steel Princess Vestaline on the front and Heraldic Order on the back. If both Matia and Ann could maintain this coalition, the concerns over Belfein would almost disappear. Therefore, she and her immediate family, Bruder, were the people whom they wanted to hold hands with, all for the sake of the Heraldic Order. Ann believed that using them would transform the Heraldic Order into a powerhouse.
That was why Ann turned her gaze up for a moment and muttered in her chest.
“…Please hold all the reins, Lord Hero.”
At the same time, Ann could not help but hope that wish would never come true.
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