Thank you raw provider: Laylie
That after divulging everything she had been privy to, she would probably have to leave the North. It would be dangerous to linger after daring to betray the High Temple.
But…… It wouldn’t matter, though. To have a fresh start by residing in a place where no one knew her…. didn’t seem like a bad idea.
‘I’m so glad I didn’t die that day.’
Louise was deeply grateful that she was alive. So it was her turn to give something back to those who protected her life and a future.
“To sum up… … It is true the High Temple wants more power and deliberately utilizes the ‘Great War’ against the ‘pollution’ to gain leverage without firmly unrooting the blight. That way they can continue to take the South hostage and continue to gain power and influence.”
No one was surprised. Not to mention Lessid, who was a priest, Damia was also able to guess this fact.
“May I ask you one thing, Miss Louise? But why did you try to drug Cecil? She has nothing to do with the pollution.”
“… … Did you know that too? No wonder.”
Louise looked at her with a slightly startled expression. She only then realized why Cesare had suddenly canceled the ‘Get Cecil Addicted to Drugs’ plan.
‘Damia had caught you.’
It was instead a relief since Damia already knew everything; it would be easier for Louise to confide the truth.
“Actually, the High Temple regularly transports certain ‘things.’ It’s probably something related to pollution… … I think they are sending it south.”
This was news to her. So naturally, Damia’s ears perked up.
“Originally, it was an item that was delivered cautiously by reliable priests. But it seems the volume and need is increasing, and it’s now hard to have it simply transported by individual people on their person.”
“Ah, that’s why they need a new mode of transport.”
Damia immediately understood.
Cecil’s family was in the business of transporting northern minerals to the capital. Therefore, they already had a means of transportation.
“Once you recruit Cecil… … .”
“Right. Then it would be effortless to transport the ‘objects’ for the High Temple without the fear of the secret leaking out.”
There was silence for a moment. After hearing Louise’s answer, she was momentarily lost in thought and asked:
“Then, is that why you chose my father over Cecil?”
“I think so,”
Louise readily affirmed.
“The business of the Primula family is closer to the supply industry than a transportation business, but… … . Anyway, you have a way to carry things, right? That’s why Count Primula was chosen as the ‘next best’ option.”
The second-best option.
It felt very alien to refer to her family and only father as such. Her face clouded with worry as she remembered her recently emaciated father.
“Actually, I don’t understand, Miss Louise.”
“What is it?”
“Was there even a need to give my father drugs? I mean… … Our family has always worked for the High Temple.”
“… … .”
“Perhaps my father, if not drugged, would have readily agreed to ship as many ‘things’ as wanted….so why…?”
“Oh. Are you really asking because you don’t know?”
In response to the question, Damia simply blinked, not knowing what to say. Seeing this, Louise scoffed, lightly snorting, and added softly,
“As you said, there was no need to use drugs… If it had been only about those ‘things’.”
“I don’t quite understand what you mean.”
“Fool! Think about what Cesare did after drugging Count Primula.”
At that moment, a look of shock appeared on Damia’s face. He wasn’t drugging her father just because of the High Temple and their supply chain.
“Yes! He drugged the Count because of you. He was nervous because you kept hanging out with Akkard Valerian, that dangerous man. He was afraid he might lose you.”
Louise’s voice, which uttered the fact that she didn’t want to admit, was bitter.
Cesare’s goals were extremely private and lowly. So the High Temple had no reason to condone his actions.
But Cesare had craftily intertwined his self-interest with his duties, hoping his tricks would lead him to obtain both objectives simultaneously.
“First, Count Primula was to be drugged and taken hostage… … After intimidating you to do what he wanted, he was planning to eventually bring in Cecil Evergreen as well. When his original plan has already been discovered, wouldn’t he decide to take a detour?”
Hearing Cesare’s plan, like a well-woven web, gave Damia goosebumps. She still felt dizzy when she thought back on how she had narrowly escaped becoming betrothed to Klaus Hwari.
She couldn’t believe this was all because he wanted to keep her away from Akkard. Cesare was insane.
“But you, how did you manage to run away from Klaus that day? I was always curious.”
Louise asked since they were on the topic. Damia was surprised and replied with a question,
“Didn’t you hear anything from Klaus? Sir Akkard helped me.”
When she briefly explained what happened, Louise burst into laughter and grabbed her stomach. She had never liked the narcissistic Klaus Hwari, who was constantly preoccupied with his looks.
‘An idiot who is obsessed with his appearance but has no qualms in besmirching a woman’s honor and reputation.’
So, there was no reason to feel sorry for Klaus’s misfortune. On the contrary, after her hearty laugh, Louise happily briefed her on what had happened afterwards.