“But, the church also recognized that he is the human incarnation of Saint Val.” The personal guard hated the King, but at this moment he tried his best to defend the King. “They also held a grand baptism for him in the Cathedral of Saint Westa.”
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Baron Sheehan smiled and shook his head.
He knew his good partner too well. Just like most Legrandians and Bressians, they were extremely pious and had a firm trust in the church…..Admitting that the church lied and deceived everyone was more painful to them than accepting a tyrant.
However, shortly after the King was born, William III, who had always been strong and unyielding, conceded to the church and the church gained a greater say in the appointment and removal of church clergy.
Baron Sheehan stopped talking.
He rode the horse forward another two steps and while the flames flickered, something caught his attention.
A scarlet figure appeared in the front.
Baron Sheehan did not forget that there were at least five vow knights beside the King. He held a torch in one hand and a sword in the other, leading the vigilant group forward.
Unexpectedly, they were not attacked in any way.
The scarlet figure turned out to be the cloak of the King.
It was hanging on a slightly lower branch, swaying slightly from the cold wind. It looked like the King standing there from a distance. The cavalrymen spread out around the baron. Baron Sheehan reached out and took off the red cloak. Flipping it over to the back of the cloak, two holes in the material appeared.
The positions were slightly downward on the shoulders and at the back of the heart respectively.
It seemed that his arrow did hit the King.
But the King was nowhere to be seen, leaving only the cloak hanging on the tree branch.
At this time, the hunting dog made a discovery.
The hound barked at a place on the ground. Baron Sheehan got off his horse, walked over, reached out and brushed away the thick leaves on the ground. He saw that it was his arrows dropped here. He picked up an arrow and touched the arrow head. It was stained with the sticky scarlet liquid of blood——it really did hit his target.
“They should be not far from here, search!”
Baron Sheehan stood up and ordered.
The cavalry nodded and were about to disperse.
The hounds suddenly rushed to the side of the horses, pressing close to their owners and making a strange and nervous growling noise from their throats. It was not like a warning but as if they had been overcome with some kind of huge fear. They trembled as they looked towards the darkness in front.
“What’s the situation?!”
The cavalry looked with horror in the direction where the hounds were looking at.
There was a thick darkness……don’t know if it was their illusion but at this moment, the darkness seemed to be expanding and it was as if something in it was waking up little by little to then salivate at these uninvited guests……What was it?!
The horses also became uneasy, and all the cavalrymen had to tighten their reins.
“What is that? My lord, what is that?!”
The personal guard asked in a panic.
Baron Sheehan grabbed the iron arrow and cloak and jumped up onto his horse. His horse was one of the best of Legrand’s famous horses, but it was also trembling at this time.
A strong sense of crisis swept through him, and Baron Sheehan gave orders without hesitation.
The war horse rushed out of the mysterious Konosen forest, almost without even needing its owner’s urging.
After leaving the Konosen forest the feeling of being watched suddenly disappeared, but everyone still had lingering fears when they looked back at the black forest shrouded in darkness.
“Seal off the forest.”
Baron Sheehan was not completely without any gain. He had obtained the King’s cloak and the blooded iron arrows and could now confirm that he had indeed hit the King——in truth this was already enough. The cold rain, the dark forest, no medical aid……Baron Sheehan could not imagine how the King would be able to survive in such a situation. However, out of caution, he decided to seal off all the paths leading out of the forest.
“In the name of……”
Baron Sheehan pondered for a while and smiled.
“In the name of guarding the royal forest.”
The cavalry laughed.
Raindrops fell on the mossy ground and every breath they took was wet and cold.
Baron Sheehan’s estimate was actually wrong. The King was not anywhere near the vicinity where they had found his cloak. They had already gone even deeper into the forest. Almost at the moment when the horses stopped tiredly, the King and his knights rolled off their horses, falling to the ground exhausted.
Thanks to the thick moss and fallen leaves, they didn’t suffer any new injuries.
The King listened for a while and concluded that the cloak he left to confuse their enemies should have worked.
The chasing soldiers no longer dared to follow after them into the forest.
The rain also stopped at this time, but the place they were in was still very dark. Even after their eyes got used to it they could only vaguely see each other’s outline. They didn’t have torches, they were cold and tired, and they were all injured.
This night was truly terrible.
A vow knight spoke up, saying that things would be better when dawn came and they could meet up with other people.
Upon hearing these words, the King sneered in the darkness and said coldly: “Then that’s indeed excellent, no need for Baron Sheehan to do anything at all.”
For the sake of their master, they hoped not to meet other people. Although the forest was also a refuge for the hermits, it was often the vicious thieves and desperate criminals who favored the forest more than those hermits——no matter which kind they would all be unfavourable for them.
Nor could they expect the woodcutters to help.
Like most countries, Legrand’s forest laws were harsh. The forest belonged to the royal family and all living things in the forest belonged to the King. Any felling of trees and undergrowth must be carried out under the supervision of the Chief Forest Officer. For those who depended on the forest for their livelihoods, it was very difficult for them to pay the permit fee to the royal family.
As a King, Pureland I was definitely a master of exploitation. Before Zhu Chi transmigrated over, Pureland extended the forest law to nearly one-third of Legrand’s territory. The levy had also doubled in comparison to the previous kings.
Most people began cutting trees privately.
It was hard to say how these people would react when they came across the King.
No one dared to speak for a while.
Everyone thought of the forest law. But to say anything about this at this time would undoubtedly be equivalent to accusing the King of tyranny.
In truth, the King was more annoyed about this thing than anyone at this time. He gritted his teeth in the dark. When things settled down, his first target was the damn royal forest law.
Let those forest officers go to hell.
“Tell me, your comrades……” In the silence, the King spoke up, pausing slightly, “Their names, ages, and where they came from——including yourselves.”
It seemed that there would never be words like “weak” in his dictionary. Even in this darkness, the King’s voice was still cold and imposing, and this was exactly what was needed at this time.
It eased the hearts of the tired knights.
Their Majesty was born arrogant and he didn’t know what being “amiable” was from birth, his eyes always sharp and imperious. It made people feel that His Majesty was like the rose ring on his finger, a heart as cold as metal. By saying this, it was evident that the King remembered their loyalty and sacrifice.
They originally didn’t expect the King to remember this.
After a moment of silence, the knight commander spoke in a low voice. He knew his comrades better than anyone.
“Kohen, seventeen years old, from Saxony……”
The King interrupted him: “Is he the one just now?”
The knight commander quickly understood what the King meant: “Yes, he is the one who blocked the longbowmen.”
The King remembered the vow knight who yelled at him in the mud——he was very young, with a round face that still had a boyish innocence.
“There are two younger sisters in his family. His mother was suffering from a cold last month……” The King only asked the name, age and where they came from, but the knight commander suddenly had the courage to talk to the King about these trivial things. His voice shaking slightly he said, “He originally wanted to take a leave of absence for a week……”
The King did not interrupt him.
The knight commander’s voice calmed down.
He began to talk about his comrades, trying his best to describe their habits, speaking about them as if they were still present. Gradually, other vow knights also joined the conversation.
The King rarely spoke, but the occasional inquiries let them know that he did listen and remember. Their eyes reddned slightly.
The knight commander only talked about himself last.
“……Twenty-nine, I am from the North,” the knight commander said naturally.
In the dark, the King’s voice was not colored by any emotion and it was difficult to distinguish whether he was pleased or angered.
“You are not from the North.”
The slightly lively atmosphere suddenly ended, and the others were at a loss, wondering what the King meant.
“Yes.” The knight commander admitted bitterly, “I am from Ingres.”
The other vow knights inhaled sharply and realized something.
Ingres was a small state that Legrand conquered before, but it had repeatedly rebelled and angered the royal family. As early as in the law laid down hundreds of years ago, the people of Ingres were prohibited from occupying land, serving as royal officials, and even not allowed to wear armor……The status of the Ingres people was extremely low.
However, the knight commander became the King’s vow knight.
After the hidden secret was spoken out, the knight commander only felt relieved. He said in a low voice, “Your Majesty, please allow me to escort you back safely. After that, I am willing to accept any punishment……”
“Don’t bother me with such trivial things.” The King said indifferently, “Tell me about the situation in Ingres.”
The other vow knights cheered.
The knight commander wiped his face harshly. He couldn’t believe his ears. He could only try to express his feelings in an incoherent mess, but the King just interrupted him impatiently and had him quickly say what he should say.
He stumbled slightly over his words as he talked about the rebellious region shrouded in wildness. Because he was too excited it was barely even coherent.
The King listened quietly.
This time he was silent for a long time. It wasn’t until the knight commander finally calmed down did he notice that something was wrong.
“Your Majesty? Your Majesty?”
The King did not answer.
The joy retreated cleanly, and inexplicable fear surged up. The knight commander struggled and crawled in the direction of the King.
The heavy rain had already stopped for a long time, but unexpectedly it began to rain once again at this time.
The moonlight fell through the gaps in the tree branches, and the knight commander’s breathing suddenly stopped.
Their King lay not far from them, his face pale as an ice sculpture.
“Your Majesty! Your Majesty!”
He couldn’t care about the pain in his whole body at all, shouting while throwing himself to the King’s side. He lifted a trembling hand to test the King’s breathing. It was as light as a breeze.
A frightening dark red color soaked through the fabric over the King’s shoulders and even the moss where he lay appeared dark brown.
A terrible thought appeared in everyone’s minds and their minds completely blanked out by the shock.
An even worse situation had befallen them.
A faint blue fog began to pervade the air close to the ground. From the fog there was a horrible sound of bones colliding against each other. The knights jumped up, shielding the unconscious King in the middle and holding their swords with their cold, stiff hands.
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The sound was getting closer.
The fog was getting thicker.
They saw the outline of a carriage appearing from the thick fog.Previous