It was foggy out at sea today.
The outline of the mast gradually emerged in the fog. The first ship approached the reef, and then three more ships sailed out of the darkness.
The anchor was dropped.
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The ship stopped some distance from the coast and had no plans to dock. Charles, with a professorial temperament, appeared at the bow of the ship. With him was a witch wearing a peaked cap and had a crow on her shoulder.
“Is this distance enough?”
Charles asked the witch.
After being “pardoned” by the King, the envoy ship from hell that originally cursed them now became a new addition to the Walway pirates’ ghost ships. Charles took a group of Walway pirate elites, and sailed a ghost ship across the Abyss Strait to explore for the King.
In order to avoid being spotted by the ships of Bressi and the Holy Court, they only sailed at night. After arriving at the east side of the Abyss Strait, they continued to advance southeast, bypassing the Gulf of Noginia and boldly entering the Hopeless sea which was under the great influence of the Holy Court.
At this time they were in the waters of the Kingdom of Ayr, which was at the junction of the mainland.
According to the calculation of the witch during this period, if the Black Death really broke out, here in the east would be its source.
The sea breeze lifted the witch’s hood. Under the hood was a face with profound facial features. She had dark purple swept across the ends of her eyes, which contrasted with abnormally pale skin. The witch put on a pair of thick glasses and looked towards the city that faintly appeared in her field of vision for a moment, before nodding.
Charles had a feeling in his heart.
The place they chose was relatively concealed, and they could see the faint outline of that side of the port——which was very quiet, with boats moored and no moving figures at all on the dock, as if they were all in deep sleep.
The witch raised her hand.
The crow fluttered its wings and flew up.
Her dark green pupils enlarged slightly, connecting the crow’s eyes with her own.
The sea breeze was blowing, and the crow circled high in the air twice. After determining the direction, it flew towards the city of Florenia.
The city was dead silent, the church bells did not ring, and there was none of the noise that a city should have. Looking down from a high altitude, scattered figures stumbling towards the mountains and plains could be seen. Some of these running people just fell to the ground and couldn’t get up anymore.
The crow lowered the altitude of its flight.
The dark red eyes reflected a cemetery not far from the city——if it could be called a cemetery——many trenches were dug in the wilderness, and hundreds of corpses were piled up inside like goods. Some of these trenches were just thinly covered with a light layer of soil, but more corpses were directly exposed to the air.
There were also some hearses lying on the side, the dead bodies inside yet to be unloaded.
Because the undertaker did not have time to finish his work, having died next to his own hearse.
The crow flew into the city.
Many houses had their doors and windows wide open, and the owner of the house and any guests had either died or just died, with no one to carry their bodies away to be buried. Corpses were also lying out in the streets. Occasionally, a few hermit priests in the city of Florenia wearing dark robes and holding crosses praying over those terrible looking patients who were about to die.
The patients groaned in pain.
Some of them were covered with lumps as big as eggs, and some were covered with dense carbuncles. The patients shouted weakly while vomiting black blood. The priests, nuns and doctors in charge of taking care of the patients all looked bleak.
Some people begged the few pedestrians passing by to help bury the bodies.
The crow flew lower and listened clearly to what those people were saying.
“Help us send the corpse to the tomb!” They were almost crying, “If we die, someone will come to carry it!”
The crow hovered and landed on the window of the newly deceased patient’s house. It tilted its head slightly. In the dimly lit room, a woman had just died. Her child was scratching at the lumps on her body and rolling on the ground painfully. Putrid breaths exhaled out of her mouth with the black blood.
The crow fluttered its wings and flew up again.
Just after flying a little bit, the crow suddenly fell straight down from mid-air.
It also died.
On board the ship.
The pupils of the witch suddenly regained their clarity.
“How was it?”
Charles asked immediately.
“The city is dead.” The witch replied concisely.
A huge gloom shrouded them, and Charles stared at the dead city not far away, letting out a sigh after a while.
“Return to sailing.”
Under the leadership of the hell envoy ship, the three ghost ships quietly retreated into the mist as they did when they came. And when they sailed out a certain distance, they came across a merchant ship with the sign of a certain chamber of commerce emblazoned on the sails in front of them.
The merchant ship had sailed out of the city port where the plague broke out, struggling to escape from this cursed place.
“Charles.” The witch stared at the ship with thick glasses, “That ship has been infected by the plague.”
Charles frowned slightly: “All?”
“Some people are still alive, very few, but they won’t be able to live long.” The witch stated.
A cold and terrifying meaning was revealed in those concise words.
“Give it a final sending off.”
Charles, the elegant pirate first mate, was silent for a moment before he made a decision.
There was no objection.
The trebuchet obtained from the Five Port Alliance was set up on the envoy ship, and the boulder whistled through the air and smashed into the desperately fleeing epidemic ship. The merchant ship was not big, and most of the sailors on it had died. The hell envoy ship and the ghost ships were some distance from it, but still sunk it easily.
The ship infected by the plague sank, and the sick, the corpses, and still alive struggling people were all swallowed by the sea.
Charles and the witch stood on the bow, watching this scene in silence.
Their hearts sank slowly.
The Black Death.
The great plague, the great disaster, had come.
“…..The plague appeared in the eastern city of the Hopeless Inland Sea. When we arrived, there were already places that were turned into dead cities due to the plague. At present, the plague has not spread out quickly because the initial contact between these places and the outside world was not frequent, but it will be soon.
On the way back, we sank several epidemic ships. In order to avoid attracting attention, we could not do more.
The plague is spreading, and once it reaches the intersection of the Hopeless Inland Sea and the Abyss Strait, it will be the moment of the major outbreak……Griselda has already understood what the “flock of fish” in the prophecy refers to——that is the death that spreads from the Hopeless Inland Sea to the outside.
Your Majesty, may God bless Legrand.”
The King finished reading the letter that Charles sent back quickly from the sea by special means.
Charles had tried his best to write the letter calmly, but the pain and sorrow of the Black Death still involuntarily flowed out of his writing ——this was a disaster.
The King lightly rubbed his forehead, his head starting to ache again. Perhaps Charles’s somber tone had infected him.
Although the King had tried his best to think about what the Black Death could mean, there were some things that could only be seen in person in order to image its terrifying qualities.
“What are you worried about? My dear Majesty.”
The Devil’s cheerful voice sounded, and black mist flowed into the room. The Devil, wearing a black formal wear and a red rose tucked on the front of his coat, came out of the shadows.
“I feel your dissatisfaction with me…..How did I upset you?”
He stretched out his hand to press it against his chest, and bowed to the King in salutations.
“The Black Death has appeared.” The King’s eyes still rested on the letter paper in his hand, “Do you have any explanation for this? Mr. Devil who is full of lies.”
“My dear Majesty, you cannot condemn a knight who has done his duty for you in such a way.” The Devil was very calm, he smiled, “I have never deceived you, you see, isn’t the complete outbreak of the Black Death going to be in January?”
“You are really a brilliant artist of language, Mr. Devil.”
“Thank you for your praise?”
“So the solution you spoke of is to wait until the plague breaks out in Legrand in order to solve it, am I right?” The King passed over the issue about the time of the outbreak of the Black Death, and went straight to the crux of the matter.
“Ah…..” The Devil who was exposed spread his hands helplessly, “Why must you be so keen.”
“You are indeed a typical representative of hell. Should I put countless question marks on everything you say? Should I invite my former Commander of the Knight Templars again?” The King asked softly, “A knight like you is truly deserving of being the number one hell knight.”
“This is for your benefit, Your Majesty.”
The Devil retracted his smile slightly.
“I am afraid that the credibility of your words is worth less than a penny.”
“You have wronged me.” The Devil’s smile faded, and he walked closer to the King. “Aren’t you planning to close the customs? But do you think those selfish humans——those short-sighted ants would be grateful to you?”
He let out a cold laugh, laced through with undisguised sarcasm.
“Ah, my dear Majesty, you are willing to save their lives, but just look at them, they won’t appreciate your greatness…..What would they say? They would say! It’s all that violent tyrant of a king, he is responsible for my bankruptcy, making us impoverished and forcing us to starve to death!”
“Let me think about what else there will be. When you have blocked off all the ships, how many saints will there be——Aha! Saints!——who would jump out and accuse you of being coldblooded!…..You blocked the plague for them, but as long as they don’t see those deaths with their own eyes and stay behind the warm safety line from beginning to end, they may not be all that grateful to you.”
His voice was not as frivolous as it used to be, but rather mocking.
It seemed that there was a deep hatred hidden under his ridicule.
“How rare. Are you actually feeling angry about injustice?” The King caught the hatred for something hidden in the Devil’s words, but he couldn’t figure out where it came from. “This is rather incongruous to your usual image.”
“Your Majesty, how is there any incongruence?” The Devil said softly, and he knelt down on one knee in front of the King. “If you want, I am willing to do anything for you…..Who else is more loyal to you than me?”
No need for kindness, no need for a bottom line, no need for right or wrong, no need for any kind of reason…..
Apart from the Devil, who could serve you so insanely loyally?
Something flowed in the air, carrying the turbulent secrets in its undercurrent.
The King and the Devil looked at each other. The Devil had a mask-like smile on his face.
“That said, I still have to compliment you for your painstaking efforts?”
The King frowned and looked away.
“If you want to.” The cold hatred in the words just now seemed to be just an illusion, and the Devil’s tone lightened up again. He smiled, “Look, I’ve painstakingly thought it over for you…..in any case all the countries that are hostile to Legrand are harassed by the Black Death.”
“Everyone is dying, so wouldn’t it be more beneficial for you to let the Black Death break out in the southeast for a little bit?”
The Devil tried his best to convince his Majesty.
“It only needs to break out for a period of time, which not only prevents Legrand from attracting envy from other countries, but also allows you to do things you want to do next more smoothly. Isn’t that good?”
“What do I want to do next?”
The King asked back.
“Aren’t you trying to take back the power from those stupid nobles?” The Devil laughed and said sincerely, “Look, simply wait for the Black Death to take away some people, for the tenant serfs who are dominated by the manor lords to be even more powerful. And then with just a slight push from you, you can make those old fuddies forever disappear from Legrand’s stage.”
“Without the foundation of the manor, what do they have to make trouble for you?”
“You are so smart, naturally you would know the changes brought about by the reduction of manpower? How naturally and easily you can promote the emergence of new production systems, your ideas…..the big factory, steam engine, gunpowder, it will all be several times easier to realize in Legrand.”
“The old chambers of commerce in the Southeast will completely die out, but your Free Chamber of Commerce can be re-established and become a chamber of commerce that will completely control the ports. All ships will only fly your flag, and only your will shall be the direction that guides the ships. If you want, I am also willing to help in opening up your new trade routes.”
“At that time, from the Hopeless Inland Sea to the Abyss Strait, only your ships will be able to weave a net of power and commerce.”
“You see, all this is the benefit of this plague, and you just need to treat it as if you don’t know anything, let it erupt on the land for a few days, and then let me solve it for you.”
“Isn’t this the most advantageous option?”
The Devil was the most excellent persuader in the world.
He sketched out the shadows of the grand plan, peeked into the human heart all that it wanted to achieve and realize, and then put all the tempting interests on the table one by one.
The King clearly understood one thing.
Regarding the Black Death outbreak, the changes that would be brought about after the mass death of the population…..the benefits. The Devil did not lie, this was indeed the case.
“Hell is willing to serve your empire, my dear Majesty.”
The Devil was smiling.
“I do not need it.”
The King lowered his eyes and said slowly.
The smile on the face of the Devil faded.
The King’s icy blue eyes made contact with his own.
The Devil sighed in distress, “Why do you need to choose a thankless road of infamy? My dear Majesty.”
“Because I don’t need it.”
“You are too proud. The people of Legrand should be grateful that they have a King like you.” He stood up like he was making a compromise, and bent slightly. “Well then…..As you wish, the Black Death will not break out in the lands of Legrand.”
General Sheehan and his first Iron Rose Cavalry were about to arrive in Koszoya.
He was terribly silent along the way, even feeling a little lost.
His subordinate followed him, not knowing what he was thinking, and could only alert him that they had arrived when Koszoya appeared in front of them.
General Sheehan raised his head and looked at the city that appeared in front of him with a complex expression.
This time, only a few people know the real purpose of the army’s arrival here, and General Sheehan was one of them.
Before departure, the Duke of Buckingham met him and told him the true purpose of the trip——he must assist in the blockade of the city. All those who obstructed the blockade of the sea were to be put to death regardless of their identity or reasons.
“I know that justice is above everything else in your heart.”
In the cold winter wind, the Duke of Buckingham sat face to face with him.
He deeply respected the old man who had guarded Legrand for many years, so he remained silent.
“Block the harbour and behead all those who oppose. Many of those who oppose will be innocent. They have never stolen, never killed or robbed. They abide by the law. They just want to prevent their goods from rotting in vain, so that his wife and children would not starve to death.”
The Duke of Buckingham said lightly, his voice low.
General Sheehan did not answer.
“I once told His Majesty that you are too idealistic.” The Duke of Buckingham sighed, “You think that the duty of the knight is to guard and not to slaughter, for justice, not for crime, yes?”
“If the person wearing armor and holding a sword does not protect the weak, what qualifications does he have to be called a knight?” General Sheehan finally said, “Isn’t this the vow we swore when we were knighted?”
“His Majesty’s evaluation of you is correct.”
The Duke of Buckingham smiled faintly.
“What do you think of my royal brother, William?”
General Sheehan solemnly replied: “He is a hero of Legrand, a promising and great monarch.”
In his view, it was William III who unified the 36 states and ended the chaos of endless war.
“Heroic? Promising? Great?” The Duke of Buckingham said again, “You are correct in saying that he is promising, but heroic? Great? These are not words that can be used to describe a king.”
General Sheehan looked at the Duke of Buckingham with confusion. With the relationship between the Duke of Buckingham and William III, it was impossible that he would show contempt for his brother.
“Do you know about the Battle of Cassien?” The Duke did not explain, but asked instead.
General Sheehan replied.
That was a battle that took place in the third year after William III’s coronation. All those who admired William III would remember it in their hearts.
“That time I went to battle with him.” The Duke’s thoughts seemed to have returned to a long time ago. “Our enemy was the Northern Alliance Army supported by Bressi. Less than seven thousand on our side while the enemy had fifteen thousand.”
The Legrand people knew that in that battle, William III and the Duke of Buckingham defeated the strong while being much weaker and shattered Bressi’s plan to invade through the rebellion in one fell swoop.
When the news of the victory came back to Metzl, people were ecstatic and celebrated on the streets, shouting “God Bless Legrand” and “God Bless My King”.
The court poets wrote odes of admiration: “There has never been a King of Legrand who managed to turn the tide and achieve such an important victory in such a dangerous situation. He guarded Legrand’s freedom and prevented all the people of Legrand from being reduced to subjugated slaves. When he returned with great glory and victory, and this kingdom only bows to him.”
“Is this not great enough, not heroic enough?”
General Sheehan asked in puzzlement.
“The only thing that is remembered by the people is the glorious side.” The Duke of Buckingham said lightly. “At the end of the battle, we had less than two thousand people left, and there were more than two thousand prisoners of war and wounded enemy soldiers. Do you know what order he gave at that time?”
General Sheehan suddenly became nervous.
“He ordered the killing of all prisoners of war.”
The Duke of Buckingham said slowly.
General Sheehan looked at him in astonishment.
Killing all the surrendered prisoners of war and the immobilized wounded…..This was an order that could only be described as “cruel and ruthless”. The spirit of the knight and the basic human morality were trampled by such an order.
The Duke of Buckingham closed his eyes slightly.
He seemed to have gone back a long time ago, when he was still young, and followed his royal brother onto the battlefield. He watched William take the longbow in his own hand, drew the bowstring, and shot and killed the first wounded and groaning man in the mud——his royal brother, who was such a proud knight, took the lead and violated the principle of “not bullying the weak.”
So everyone picked up their weapons in silence, and swung their butcher knives at the enemy who had already put down their weapons.
“Kill prisoners of war, kill the wounded.”
The Duke of Buckingham opened his eyes abruptly, and his voice was deep and powerful.
“Yes, this is cold, ruthless, and contrary to justice.”
General Sheehan sat there, his body cold all over, feeling that the heroic image he admired in his heart gradually collapsing.
“But what can we do? Legrand’s army had only two thousand people left, and we had less than a day’s ration. Could we take them with us? Could we guarantee that they would not rebel again?”
“Behind us was Legrand’s royal city. We were surrounded by countless dead comrades-in-arms. Could we risk losing our country because of a little justice?”
The Duke of Buckingham asked General Sheehan aggressively.
General Sheehan was speechless.
“It was His Majesty who ordered the closure of customs, because he is the King of Legrand. People in the future will only remember what order the cold and ruthless King gave during this year, but they will not remember who executed the order. Either infamy or accusation, it will only fall on him.”
The Duke of Buckingham glanced deeply at General Sheehan.
“If the person who is king only upholds justice, who will bear the sins of innocent sacrifices for the people?”
The Duke of Buckingham stood up and patted his shoulder gently: “You are the first general selected by His Majesty. Don’t let him down.”
“Does His Majesty understand what his order represents?”
General Sheehan asked in a low voice.
“He knows better than anyone.”
The Duke of Buckingham turned around and walked into the blizzard.
——Everyone could long for salvation, and anyone could expect to enter paradise, but the King could not.
The King’s robe was destined to be dyed red with blood…..the blood of the innocent, the blood of the enemy, and the blood of his own.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
“Sheehan? Sheehan?” His subordinate called him twice, “We are here.”
General Sheehan suddenly woke up.
He tightened his hands on the reins hard:
He executed the King’s order.
AN:  From the “Pizza Chronicles”, it is a true record of the second pandemic of the Black Death.Previous