Thank you to raw provider: angelstars5 Thank you Theresa Frances for the Ko-fi! (3/4)
So, when Gunner was called back into the tea room, his morale was shattered.
Human psychology is particular. When you put someone in a time out, they will first be indignant and then embarrassed. In the end, they will be desperate.
‘Please give me one chance.’
Gunner entered back into the room thinking that.
“Oh, I thought you were dead, but you are still there. Well done. I’ve made a new batch of tea, so have a cup.”
“Thank you so much for the tea, ma’am. You are thoughtful.”
He expressed his gratitude twice more with the utmost politeness. As he spoke, the corners of his lips were trembling. Usually, he was a handsome middle-aged high priest, practically worshiped by the goddesses.
But now, he looked completely different, tired and his legs shaking. Lucerne and Elisha did not pay him any mind.
“My wife is polite to everyone, so I want her to be around only mature adults who treat her with respect,”
Lucerne announced curtly. Gunner quickly acquiesced with a bow of his head.
“Indeed, you’re right. Manners. Etiquette is important… … . ha ha.”
Elisha filled Gunner’s cup with tea only after hearing that. Even though he was grinding his teeth on the inside, on the other hand, he breathed a sigh of relief.
“So, you have a proposal for us,”
Elisha queried. Gunner knew he was completely ensnared. At first, when he had come, he had expected that the Lucerne’s side would plead to offer financial aid.
‘A crazy bitch and a crazy bastard, you can’t handle them according to common sense.’
Fortunately, Gunner was better than most of the Cartiers. It was because he reached conclusions the others took many beatings to come to, rather quickly.
“As you know, the general and I are distant relatives. Shouldn’t relatives help each other?”
“Doesn’t aid arise when there is mutual interests and there is something to support, Lucerne?”
“Indeed. My wise wife is always right.”
“… … .”
Was he a fool or a madman? Was he genuinely insane or pretending to be insane? Gunner paused and had to think for a moment.
“So what will you suggest?”
“If I become the Great Pope, I will support the general in the future. Of course, if someone else becomes the Duke of Cartier, we’ll have to hide our relationship. However, I can help improve the general’s standing within the imperial court and within the House of Cartier. So… … . Let’s get on the same boat!”
Gunner quickly confessed what he was going to do, fearing that he would be kicked out again. Elisha nodded.
“To do that, you must become the Pope.”
“… … .”
It was all very direct.
“What do you think you need in order to become the Pope?”
“Merha… … . We must win the election against him. So– uhm– First of all, the election of the Pope requires a lot of money… … .”
“Ah. You seem to have no sponsors.”
Gunner’s eyes twinkled at the feeling that he could now speak.
“So, if the general could be my supporter—”
“I won’t do that,”
Lucerne cut him off curtly. Gunner’s brow twitched.
“Then what shall we do?”
“Not something like that,”
Elisha explained softly. Blue eyes stared intently at Gunner.
“We’ll get rid of Merha.”
“… … .”
“We can make sure Merha is not a candidate.”
“How are you going to guarantee that?”
“Do you believe we would tell you? You are so naive,”
Lucerne clicked his tongue. Elisha casually savored her tea. The following words from her continued to surprise.
“Are you confident that if Merha is gone, you will become the Grand Pope?”
“Then, who is on your side?”
Gunner looked to Lucerne.
“My wife’s will is also my will,”
he declared. They dazzled Gunner’s ears by skillfully and deftly taking turns talking to him from both sides as if they had been practicing for a long time on how to deal and squeeze him.
Gunner couldn’t come to his senses. He finally spoke desperately:
“If that happens, I will never forget your grace and stand by the general for the rest of my life.”
“It’s a good choice.”
Elisha glanced at Lucerne.
“I think my husband wants to make you the pope.”
“… … .”
They talked about bestowing the position of the Great Pope as if it was regarding the role of a rural village chief. Lucerne glanced at the dumbfounded Gunner and remarked:
“They say when a man gets married his ambitions grow. This is all thanks to listening to my wife’s advice.”
“… … .”
Elisha explained in a softer voice.
“Of course, it’s not free. We want these conditions.”
Gunner listened to their terms.
‘It’s not something that can’t be done.’
Make temple donations transparent. Ask for advice before the most significant event in the future. After that, they would not meddle with the management of the temple.
The conditions were conventional and sensible.
“And all of these conditions… if Merha really can’t be nominated for the Pope. Then I can listen.”
“Right, if that really happens.”
As if he was under a spell, Gunner nodded.
A small smile appeared on Elisha’s expressionless face, it was as if a flower had bloomed on the still water.
“What are you looking at?”
If Lucerne hadn’t growled, revealing his teeth with a snarl, Gunner would have stared at that smile a little more. Instead, with a ferocious energy radiating from his body, Gunner quickly looked at the table and pretended not to know.