“Thirty-thousand gold coins, right?” Mom placed a piece of bread into her mouth and looked at me.
I nodded and tried to fight the headache from my hangover. In the end, I made the request of mom.
After listening to my reason, mom thought about it. She chewed on her bread as she looked at me. A moment later, she picked up her tea cup, took a sip and said: “No.”
I looked at mom and asked her in a slightly disappointed tone: “Why mom….? Is thirty-thousand a bit too much?” While I never expected her to consent, getting rejected was still somewhat saddening.
“It’s not an issue of money, son. Thirty-thousand gold coins isn’t a big sum for mommy. It’s just that mommy doesn’t want you to get involved with the church in any shape or form. The royal family and church do not cross paths. But it’s not good for you to contest the church on their lands.” Mom looked at me with concern and continued, “Son, mommy will definitely sort out your matter. However, don’t get involved with anything the related to the church. The church does not belong to mommy and they are the backbone of the people’s spirit. It’s best to avoid getting involved with them.”
“You heard me, son.”
I wanted to make a case for it but mom cut me off resolutely. She frowned slightly and said: “Mommy is doing this for your sake, son. Mommy will help you find out who exactly made an attempt at your life. It’s just that you shouldn’t go and get involved with the church during this time.”
“So mom, does that mean the church was involved with the attempt on my life?”
“I didn’t say that because mommy isn’t sure. It’s great that you’re so kind, son, it’s just that kindness is sometimes utterly useless. While you feel hurt that something is happening to an orphanage in front of your eyes, the truth is, sadness happens every moment in life. It is impossible for humans to not experience sadness.”
Mom stroked my head to comfort me. She then continued, “Of course, if you have another way of obtaining thirty-thousand gold coins, then that’s another topic. It’s not that mommy forbids you from saving the orphanage. Mommy just doesn’t want to let the royal family and the church come into conflict.”
“Mom… I haven’t come up with any ideas to obtain thirty-thousand gold coins.”
I smiled helplessly as I looked at mom and added: “I… I don’t think there is a way……”
“That’s not something for mommy to help you think up now, is it, son?” Mom winked at me, chuckled and continued, “This is a good opportunity to train you, son. I’ll leave it in your hands. Since saving the orphanage is your wish, it would be meaningless to rely on someone else’s strength to realise it, right?”
I nodded and replied; “Yes.”
I had no rebuttal for what mom said. Mom didn’t stop me. She just refused to use her money as the empress to help me. It appears I’ll have to rely on my own competence to save the orphanage then.
Plus, since the empress wasn’t willing to let me get involved with the church, it looks like the church really does manage the spirit and psychology of the denizens. From the standpoint of the denizens, the empress is far away in the imperial capital while the church is right by their side. If the church were to get angry and protest, I imagine the empress would probably retreat too.
It looks like the enemy I’m facing this time is inexplicably powerful.
But I don’t intend to take a single step back. If the church is involved with this, then I’m not backing down. It’s just a church, I’m not scared. I don’t believe in any gods. I don’t believe that the denizens can’t live without religion. If I must spend my entire lifetime to get people to drop religions, I would.
I’ll do anything for revenge. This is my wish.
But right now, I need to think of a way to obtain thirty-thousand empire gold coins. These are the places I can think of where I could get that amount: mom, Castell and the bank. I don’t know if the bank offers payment for goods though. And even if they did, I don’t have anything I could trade.
What other ways are there?
I don’t have anything I could sell, and I imagine thirty-thousand gold coins is a large sum for a business. If I were to write a letter to my elf-mom to ask for money…… Maybe she really would give me the amount. But I imagine the empress would explode with jealousy if I did that.
Alright, so what other ways do I have…?
“I thought so…….”
I told Nier about it. Nier, who was by my side, sighed and then followed me to the markets. The atmosphere between us was somewhat saddening since we were both hopeless in this regard.
“Your majesty…. here.”
Nier suddenly pulled me to stop me and handed me a small pouch. I hesitated for a moment before accepting it. Inside it was a gold coin and a few bronze coins. I looked at Nier. She looked back at me and said: “These are all of my savings. Valkyries do not have a salary. Everything that her majesty gifts us cannot be sold. This is the money I obtained by selling my belongings. If this can help, that would be fantastic.”
I looked at the small pouch in front of me blankly. The small pouch was virtually empty. It swayed with the breeze of the wind as if to tell of its own despair. The coins inside lied in peace. Some of them started turning somewhat black. There were so few coins it was pitiful. A common worker would be able to save this much with two months of work.
But this was Nier’s everything.
Nier didn’t give me much, but it was her everything. Her entire fortune was right here. She sincerely wanted to protect the orphanage even if it meant sacrificing everything she had. Unfortunately, the young girl’s everything was painfully hopeless before the large number. This small resolve would be crushed to pieces by the heavy gold coins.
But Nier wore a determined look as always. However, I believe that her determination will soon become pain, disappointment and helplessness. She couldn’t help the children. Her efforts were futile. Her determination made my heart ache.
I gripped the small pouch tightly, clenched my teeth and asked: “Nier, what did you sell?”
“My clothes. All of them.”
Nier looked at me and continued, “Alice and I went shopping during my time off. She bought me clothes but I rarely wear them so I sold them”
“Let’s go buy clothes then. Let’s buy back some of the clothes you sold off.”
I don’t know where I got the courage from, I just grabbed Nier’s hand. Nier’s hand and Lucia’s are pretty much the same in size. However, her firm muscles and the calluses from wielding her sword tormented my heart. Nier quickly pulled on me to stop me. I turned my head around and looked at Nier’s lifeless gaze.
“That won’t be necessary, your majesty. I don’t need all that excess clothing. I am a Valkyrie. What the empress bestows me with is sufficient.”
Nier threw my hand away, looked at me and continued, “If you wish to reward me, I am very thankful. However, I cannot accept presents from anyone else. Please forgive me for rejecting your offer.”
Nier looked at me nonchalantly and proudly as she replied: “Because I am her majesty’s Valkyrie.”
I looked at her blankly. I don’t know where the anger came from, but I wanted to scold Nier. However, I didn’t know why I was angry at her and why I wanted to scold her.
Perhaps it was because she was too correct that I got angry at her?
A moment later, I smiled helplessly and suppressed my anger. I looked at Nier and asked: “…… You’ll accept me buying candy for you though, won’t you?”
This time, Nier nodded and followed behind me.
*When Troy refers to gods he doesn’t believe in here, he’s referring to gods specifically for humanity, not some sort of never-before-mentioned god that rules over all gods or something. He has already acknowledged that elves have a god and goddess whom give them their bodies which can contain mana, not to mention acknowledging Vyvyan is a demi-god. For some reason, it was a thing for a good number of people to take the entire statement out of context and twist it to mean he was referring to some grand god figure that’s never been mentioned or no gods at all.