Chapter 876: The Exiled Nobles
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
On a small road to the south of Havenwright, a horse carriage rushed on at full speed.
The surroundings were extremely wide and spacious; there was nothing but barren land nearby. Not another soul could be seen. However, the driver of the carriage continued lashing out violently with the whip in his hand, speeding up in the whistling wing, as though he was afraid that there would be people chasing them from behind.
"Can, can we really escape?"
The six nobles, including Duke Collin, and a few mages were squeezed together in the carriage, looking rather nervous. One of the nobles had a little girl sleeping soundly in his arms. He could not help but glance out the window, and upon turning his head back, asked thus.
At that moment, their emotions had not yet been completely calmed.
As nobles with quite high positions, they had seen a lot of the world and were able to maintain their composure no matter what happened. However, just an hour ago, they had kidnapped the Princess from the palace and rushed to the city gates, forcing their way out the city under the protection of those mages and escaped from the capital... This series of actions was completely beyond their previous limits.
Even though their plans had been smooth and they had successfully escaped, but after the initial surge of adrenaline had passed, the nobles could not help but feel their hands shake when they thought about the Church.
From here on out, they were no longer nobles of the Kingdom of Helius.
The Church was going to hunt them down to the ends of the earth.
Fear and doubt crept into a few hearts involuntarily. Although everything had gone smoothly so far, would they really be able to escape when the Church returned?
"We can," Duke Collin nodded, speaking in a way that seemed as though he was talking to himself, "we've shaken the pursuing soldiers off, the Church does not know where we are at all."
The nobles nodded quietly, and the people in the carriage fell into silence, as though everyone was digesting thoughts about their current circumstances.
After keeping quiet for a while, someone spoke again, "Then... Duke, sir, since you were the one who had proposed this plan, have you thought of our next step as well?"
Duke Collin lifted his head. "We're going to leave the Kingdom of Helius."
"How do we leave? Her Highness is in our hands, so it's impossible for the Church to let us go that easily. And since things have come to this, it's very difficult for us to pull the strings or use the power we had before."
Duke Collin immediately answered, "We'll find Mage Benjamin. He knows how to get people out."
"What if he dies in this battle... Or he completely disregards us, then what?"
"Then we return to our fief. Before the news spreads, we still have some exercisable powers, and use them to contact other forces outside of the country," Duke Collin took a deep breath and looked at the sleeping little girl. "No matter what, as long as we have Her Highness in our hands, we will be able to survive."
The nobles exchanged looks amongst themselves, and finally quietened down, most probably to consider the situation before them now. As the cartwheels turned, carrying them towards their fiefs in the south, they slowly vanished in the dying light of the setting sun.
After a few hours, probably pursuing after them, the shadows of Holy Knights appeared on the small road, under the moonlight.
"...what tracks have you found?"
Having chased them all the way from the capital, the chief narrowed his eyes, doing his best to look around the area in the dim light. The entire team of Holy Knights had been combing the region, so anxious that it was as though they had ants in their pants.
However, the result they obtained was not good at all.
"The wind here is very strong, and there is a lot of sand and dust being blown up. The tracks of the cartwheels have vanished here, perhaps covered. It is difficult for us to determine where their subsequent direction was."
"Damn it... Continue the search towards the south, then," the chief immediately became nervous, "you've seen the look on His Highness the Pope's face yourselves, if we do not find their tracks, we're all going to die!"
As he spoke, he could not help but think about the situation a few hours ago.
After receiving news that Her Highness had been kidnapped, and not finding anyone in the district of Pearl Lake, the royal army had returned to Havenwright dejectedly, after having set off only a few hours ago. It had been downright embarrassing. His Highness the Pope had sat on his horse, as though his entire person had been covered in a cluster of dark clouds. No one dared to step within a few meters from him.
The great army had begun returning to the capital, while they and a dozen of other Holy Knight troops had been separated during the journey to be sent out first, rushing the investigation into the entire matter. The chief still remembered the unusually dark expression on the Pope's face when he had given them his orders.
...He dared not think about it any further.
"Quickly, search in that direction. We must find the tracks of those people!" Because of that, he spoke once more, urging them on. Under the night sky, the Holy Knights continued their hunt with weary faces.
At the same time.
Under Pearl Lake.
"...They've left so quickly."
Using the water elemental sensing technique to check out the area, and having snuck out secretly to investigate carefully, there was a rather surprised look on Benjamin's face. A few hours ago, the royal army, which had been so full of oomph, had now cleared out completely, leaving only a few sentries to patrol the area here.
This had caused him to feel rather perplexed.
They had seen the parade Grant had put on at first; he had even looked as though he had been about to fight to their deaths here. So, even if they could not find them, was it necessary to withdraw after waiting for only a few hours?
The System emerged, speaking in a lazy tone, "Isn't it a good thing that they've left? What if he really digs three meters into the ground after drying the lake out? They could really dig you guys out."
"Of course it's good that they've left... I just feel it's a bit weird."
"Why are you thinking so much about it? Go do what you're supposed to do."
Finally, Benjamin shook his head helplessly.
He suspected that there could be a hidden agenda behind the Church's retreat, but based on their situation so far, it was still best for them to remain underground and wait for more information. In actual fact, this situation, where the Black Nightmare Army had once again gone into hiding and the Church had cast their net upon nothing, was more advantageous for them. There was nothing for Benjamin to worry about.
Because of that, he did not think about it further, and returned to his camp to begin planning the next round of attack. The other exit of the underground tunnel led to a place near the Crusader's Gateway, and Benjamin was prepared to attack the cities and town in that region.
The next morning, the latest news arrived from the Black Operation of the Academy outside.
"...Director, sir, are you guys alright? The Church had just announced publicly that their great army had set out last night and fought a great battle next to Pearl Lake, inflicting heavy damage upon the Black Nightmare Army. The actual situation isn't clear, but the priests in a lot of places are saying that you've been grievously hurt by the Pope and has escaped back to the Academy of Magic?"
When he received the news, Benjamin had a 'what the hell' expression.
The Church was getting good at making up nonsense.
Was it really difficult to accept that he had fooled them this time? Was Grant really so unwilling to admit that he had pounced onto nothing? The Church was really pushing their limits to maintain stability, if they had to come up with such things.
"Don't worry, they haven't found us at all. They're just exaggerating," after sending this message back to the Black Operation of the Academy, Benjamin rubbed his chin and pondered for a while. There was a slight hint of a smile on his lips.
If the Church truly believed... that giving out such an announcement would maintain peace in Kingdom of Helius, they were too naive.