Chapter 308 Fear
In recent days, Theo had kept in daily contact with Prince Roland.
In spite of the many incredible things he had seen during the last year he had worked for His Royal Highness, this new order felt a bit inconceivable and had also left him feeling… puzzled.
Announce the attack on the imperial palace as Roland Wimbledon’s punishment on Timothy Wimbledon?
At the time the militia which had attacked the Western Territory returned to King’s City, he had naturally also heard of the “warning” that they had brought along with them. However, Theo had merely thought that it was His Highness’ bluff, or perhaps a plan to threaten the east and strike the west – getting Timothy to increase the defenses while he sent out troops to attack other cities. Just like Garcia had done, going out to loot one of the enemy’s cities before the approaching winter.
But the following orders sent from Border Town gave him the impression that he’d been mistaken. In fact, it seemed that His Highness really did intend to attack King’s City, and had thus asked him to be ready to spread some propaganda. This latest command had made it clear that the attack would be launched on the first day of autumn, at exactly the same time as announced in the “warning” message.
Taking a look at this sentence, “The attack on the imperial palace could be considered as punishment”, in other words, His Highness would forcefully enter the King’s City inner city – but how could that be possible? King’s City possessed Graycastle’s mightiest city walls, with a thickness that could accommodate two houses set side by side, which even for His Highness’s artillery would be difficult to destroy. Furthermore, with the kingdom’s best Knights, personal guards, as well as the enlisted militia as defenders, it would be hard to set even one step into the city without already having an army that was more than ten thousand people strong.
Even using witches to initiate surprise attacks would have a similar outcome. Within the imperial palace there were as many God’s Stone of Retaliation as there were hairs on an ox. In addition, in the palace’s grand hall and in the other parts of the palace all had giant God’s Stones of Retaliation installed in them. So as soon as a witch set even one foot inside the room, she would immediately be stripped of all her powers. This was also the reason why Timothy could hunt and kill witches wantonly while being fearless of any retaliation – wishing to ever assassinate a member of the royal family was simply an unattainable dream.
Furthermore, even if there was a method, it still held some hidden dangers to it. If Timothy Wimbledon really was to die under a witch’s hand, most likely the Church would be the party to receive the greatest benefit… With only a little bit of guidance, they could start to claim that the 4th Prince, a pawn of the Devil’s minions would sit on the throne, which would result in all of the other nobles unifying against him. But Theo believed that a person like His Royal Highness already possessed enough intelligence to see hidden dangers such as that.
So, in the end, how will His Highness get into and attack the inner city?
“Sir, what kind of instruction do you have for me to come over?” Opening the half-closed door, Hill Fawkes walked into the living room.
“We are waiting for a new order,” Theo said and spread out his hands, “So go and take a seat first.”
Theo could only smile helplessly when he saw the flabbergasted expression on the former member of the acrobatic group. Usually he would only inform these people when he had received precise orders; but this time, it would be inconvenient for him to inform them of His Highness’ mission ahead of time – in case they were unable to launch the attack on the imperial palace, this seemingly absurd instruction could easily reduce the other party’s level of trust.
But on the contrary, if His Royal Highness was able to be true to his claim it would become an unprecedented shock to them, which could also greatly enhance the confidence of these people – especially if they could see with their own eyes that His Highness was able to shake Timothy’s throne even from a thousand miles away, and thus cause a real threat to the throne. Compared to spreading propaganda from mouth to mouth, this kind of action would be several times more effective.
So, Theo chose to go with a compromise and called Hill over to the house in the inner city before waiting for His Highness to fulfill his warning. If they were successful, it would naturally be to everyone’s delight, but if they failed, he just had to lie and say that the messenger had been delayed during the journey.
“Have some tea,” Theo offered laughingly, “Don’t always show your doubt all over your face, as an intelligence officer the most important thing is –“
“To mask yourself, Sir.” He took the cup in response, “Oh, by the way. Recently there have been much more patrols visible on the streets, even the guards defending the city wall have been doubled. Don’t tell me… do these maneuvers have something to do with His Highness’ order?”
“Indeed, Timothy –”
Just half of Theo’s words had left his mouth, as a sudden clap of thunder from above rolled over the mansion. A sound that was so loud and clear that the glass in the windows began to tremble. At the same time, the ground also began to faintly shake with distinct tremors for a short duration. As he was caught off guard, Hill’s hands began to shake, the teacup fell to the ground, breaking into several pieces.
“I’m sorry, Sir… But,” Hill stuttered stupefied, “This is… what just happened?”
“Come with me,” Theo ordered, wearing an earnest expression.
The moment they ran out of the residence and entered the garden, their gazes was immediately attracted to a pillar of black smoke that was rising from the palace. Apparently, that was where the thunder had come from. Theo had experienced when cannons and firearms released their might, he naturally knew that only the alchemist’s fine powder could give rise to this sound of heaven’s anger. What’s more, such a violent tremor was unlike anything that an artillery bombardment could have caused. Instead, it was more like those explosive packages they had originally used to deal with the heavy armored demonic beasts.
Hill stood beside him, his mouth opened wide and unable to believe what his eyes were telling him. “Could it be that His Highness’ declared warning was real?”
“That’s right,” Theo was finally able to control his racing heart, he turned, pretending to be profound as he stated, “This is the new order His Highness wants me to give you.”
Timothy could only look on with an ashen face as the chandelier fell in front of his eyes, and was struck speechless for a long time.
“Your Majesty, keke… Are you alright, Sire?” The Imperial Prime Minister said coughingly from somewhere from within the dust that had flew up and was filling the whole sky. “What the hell just happen outside?”
Timothy didn’t answer, he merely felt a terrible pain in his throat. The chandelier just now had fallen on top of a silver armored knight. At that time, the man had still been in the process of giving a report of the refugees that were enlisting, yet his neck had been broken by the chandelier. If I had gone one step further, I am afraid I would…
Thinking until here, all the hair on his back stood up straight.
“Is this an earthquake?” The Finance Minister said, still locked in a panicked state, “We have to get out of the castle and reach an open place.”
“That’s right Your Majesty, it isn’t safe here!”
“Everyone shut up!” Timothy shouted. The moment he opened his mouth however, he discovered that his voice had turned hoarse, becoming difficult to understand, as if he was speaking while pinching his own throat, “Sir Weimar, take me to the basement immediately!”
“Yes, Your Majesty.” Although he looked a bit nervous but compared to the performance of several other ministers, he could still be regarded as very calm. He immediately walked over and helped Timothy up, then they walked together the stairs leading further down.
Along the way, the new king saw that the aisle was covered with pieces of shattered glass and also that the blue dome of heaven behind the damaged windows had ceased to exist. In the midst of the still soaring smoke and dust, only a few pillars from this former magnificent building could still be seen. This wasn’t caused by an earthquake, but by an explosion caused by a large amount of snow powder!
If I leave the castle now I would undoubtedly step on my own path of doom. Only god knows where Roland has buried snow powder. I’m only safe behind the thick walls of the basement.
Damn it, Timothy thought hateful, how on earth can my brother be in possession of such an alchemic weapon? Could it be, before her departure of Clear Water, Garcia had given him the formula, so that he could use the snow powder to make both sides suffer?
But even then, how was he able to bring the snow powder inside of the palace? Even with the ability of an extraordinary witch it still wouldn’t have been possible!
“Take some knights along with you and thoroughly search the whole palace. Especially the sewers, gardens, and warehouses; anywhere that it would be easy to hide snow powder!” Timothy immediately ordered toward Knight Steel Heart after reaching the basement. “If you find any suspicious character, noble or commoner, immediately arrest them. All attendants and servants who enter or leave the palace should be thoroughly searched, none of them can be spared!”
“As you bid, Your Majesty.”
After Sir Weimar had left, the new king discovered that his back was now covered in cold sweat.
Roland has actually done it!
Regardless of how he had done it. Since he could hide the snow powder inside the palace this time, does that mean that he can reach the castle as easily as turning his hand the next time he comes?
“Your position is not as safe as you think, everyone will see that your throne is already crumbling.”
Recalling the words of the warning, Timothy could not help but shudder.
As his anger gradually subsided, he felt fear come rising from the soles of his feet, bit by bit it was taking hold of his heart.