Chapter 72 Holding court as a King
Timothy Wimbledon sat on the throne, rubbing the scepter in his hand while overlooking the ministers within the pantheon.
This is the feeling I have striven for, he thought, instead of being held back in Valencia, where I had to oversee the endless tangle between merchants, who only fought for their own benefit.
He stopped the rubbing of the scepter, and began tapping its end on the floor, letting it sound through the hall. When all eyes were focused on him, he nodded and ordered, "You may begin."
"Your Majesty, I have something important to report." The first to step up was Knight Weimar, nicknamed "Sir Ironheart," who was responsible for everything regarding King City’s defense.
"Can the witch hunts be temporarily stopped?” Your Majesty, the recent raids have become more and more excessive! I heard that yesterday, several women were taken out of their houses, were arrested, and later assaulted in the dungeons. One of them even died while being in prison! Later it turned out that none of them were actually witches! Now panic has broken out within the outer city. If it goes on like this, I'm afraid there will be a significant number of fugitives."
Timothy frowned, he was the one who had ordered the witch hunt. He was still unable to unwrap the truth about his father’s death, and was still unable to believe that his father would commit suicide. The strange smile his father had on his face before he killed himself caused him to feel especially creepy. His father wore the God’s Stone of Retaliation of the highest quality, furthermore the Church had also confirmed that the stone was genuine, but this didn't mean that no witches were involved.
Even if the theory was strange, he hadn’t a better theory than it was plotted by witches.
He looked toward Langley, the officer and his pawn in training responsible for the raids. The latter immediately stood up and said, "Your dearest Majesty, it was just an accident, and I have already severely punished the relevant personnel," he started cracking his fingers, "the warden, castellan, and guards have been given ten lashes and have been fined twenty-five silver royals."
"One woman dead and three extremely brutally tortured, and you think some slashes and some money will be enough as compensation?" asked Sir Weimar in a cold voice, "And who gave you the right to judge? Was it the former Prime Minister Vic or the Minister of Justice Lord Padro? "
"Your Majesty! We are currently facing extraordinary times, so I had to act fast," Langley claimed innocence and fell to his knees, "When ignoring some minor setbacks, the raids have shown great success. We have already caught at least fifteen witches who were lurking in King City and now they are currently being tortured, so you will soon be able to know whether your father - no, I mean, if they have planned a conspiracy."
Timothy glared at him, you idiot, you almost told everyone our true intentions. While the ministers standing in this hall had most probably already guessed that he was the true mastermind behind the plot, but the outside world was only allowed to know his version, where Prince Gerald killed the King, this point wasn’t permitted to be overthrown.
"Fifteen witches?" Sir Steelheart sneered with contempt, "Well, it seemed that King City has already become a witch stronghold. A few years ago the Church had started a witch hunt in the forest east of King City, but they were only able to catch six witches. It seems that your men are much stronger than the Church’s own men."
"You…!" Langley shouted loudly but was immediately interrupted by Timothy.
"Enough!" Langley is such a fool, just like the other fools under my control, thought Timothy, who was annoyed that no one with skills was available. If he hadn’t needed him at the beginning for the battle of the throne, he wouldn’t have promoted this fool. Even if you want to take false credits, don’t make up such unbelievable numbers. I'm afraid these 15 women had to face the same treatment as the unlucky commoners. He didn’t want to involve the Church, but at the moment he saw no other way, so he ordered, "You will go to the Church, and pay a priest to come over, so he can confirm the identity of these fifteen women. Until then, stop the torture. Afterwards you will let the priest confirm every woman you catch! If I later hear that you people have not followed my orders, I will throw you into the city moat to feed the fish!"
"Uh, yes, Your Majesty." Langley confirmed, "I will immediately follow your orders!"
After Langley had left the hall, Timothy turned toward the finance minister, "If there is anyone else who has been wronged together with the previous three, they will get three gold royals each. Regarding the women died in prison, send the money to the family, "he paused," multiple times."
"As you wish." Said the Finance Minister as he nodded in confirmation.
"Your Majesty is very kind." Praised Sir Weimar while saluting the Prince.
"Next question." Timothy waited for a moment, but when he saw that no one had something, he said, "Since no one has a new issue, I will start with my own." He looked at the Minister for Diplomacy, "Yoshua ‘Sir Bullet,’ it has already one month since the recall order was issued, but no one has come back to King City. Tell me, what news do you have to say?"
Sir Bullet came from the Flynn Family and held his position for thirty years. He had gray hair, an old face, and stood already with one foot within the grave. He cleared his throat, "Your Majesty, your 3rd sister Garcia Wimbledon has yet to answer. Your 4th brother Roland Wimbledon has replied. The letter said that, when his people are safe at the end of the Months of the Demons, he will consider his return..."
"And what else?" asked Timothy, annoyed.
"He addressed the letter to Prince Timothy and not King Timothy."
Timothy couldn’t stop himself from sneered loudly in disdain. He is as ignorant as before, such a hopeless brother. He thought, if you intend to come back, you will take your instruction from me as your new King. I will give you a good place to live, just like the pampered prince you are. If you don’t come back, you won’t get an easy death. It will be the same as playing chess, regardless what you do I will have the right answer.
"Just let him be," Timothy dismissively waved his hand, "What is with my fifth sister?"
"Your Majesty, she ... is gone." answered Sir Bullet ashamed.
Hearing this answer Timothy asked confused "What? What do you mean by ‘she is gone’?"
"She was the first one who promised to come back, but a week later Her Highness disappeared from the palace where she lived, along with her her butler and her two maids. I already arranged staff to find her, but they still have yet to find her whereabouts."
What could this mean? Such a waste, she only needed to believe in me! Timothy felt that his heart was full of pain, he had set high expectations for his sister; he had hoped that she could become his adjutant. After all, while growing up, Tilly always performed exceptionally cleverly, and her performance was even more dazzling than his own. She only lost her place as Crown prince because she was a girl.
In the beginning, Timothy had an excellent impression of her when looking at the arrangements made by his father; it was very clear that the King didn’t want Tilly to be involved in this storm. Because of this, he gave her Silver City, which was near King City and had an ordinary business environment with no possibility of training troops. But who could have ever guessed that she would run away? Was this a choice made by a wise man?
"Now that she is gone, the former Lord should take over Silver City once more. You should also let the search continue, I cannot permit another person with royal blood to wander among the common people." He gritted his teeth, trying to suppress his raging emotions, "Well, until now, only my 3rd younger sister refused to obey?"
"Yes, Your Majesty," answered Sir Bullet.
"Since she was so stubborn, we have to take some rough measures," said Timothy while looking at Prime Minister Vic. To start a war, the Prime Minister and the King have to approve it. Since he was his biggest supporter, getting his approval wouldn’t be a problem, "I'm going to let Duke Ryan guard the South Border and force Garcia to give up Port of Clearwater and escort her back to King City."
Sure enough, Marquis Vic replied, "This should not be delayed, please give the order for war, so that the Minister for Foreign Affairs can carry out the order."
Timothy nodded with satisfaction. At the moment when he wanted to order the secretary to write the drafting order, hasty steps could be heard from outside the hall. Then, with a burst of noise, the doors were opened and a Knight wearing a blue-striped cloak strode into the hall.
Timothy immediately recognized him, he was the famous "Cold Wind Knight" Naim Moor. He walked straight up to the center of the hall, went on one knee and said, "Your Majesty, I have just received news from the south," he gasped loudly and his voice was clearly anxious, "Your sister Garcia Wimbledon, in just five days, defeated Duke Ryan’s troops and had occupied Eagle City! ... She also declared herself as the Queen of Clearwater, and all the Lords in the South have responded and declared their territory as independent!"
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