Chapter 147 – How about a cup of warm tea? (3)
Howard Kensway was a high-ranking priest of the Asteric Empire.
He is in the second highest position after the high priest, but Howard was not satisfied.
He was expected to become the high priest.
Howard was an arrogant and delusional man who thought that way.
For the past thousand years, the seat of the high priest had been occupied by the Kensway and the Bangye family.
That lasted for a thousand of years.
Of course, depending on the family or the political situation, they could have a replacement, but the big picture never changed.
This time, it was Howard’s turn to become the new high priest.
Tenstheon however, ordained Marron, a fallen noble, as the high priest.
Marron was not even a high-ranking priest, let alone one of the top ten priests that represented each region.
He was an insignificant man. Anyone barely even knew of his existence, yet he became a high priest overnight.
When Marron became the high priest, he investigated the Duke of Cassil’s case and the people favored him.
As a result, Howard and other high-ranking priests were unable to protest. They were forced to comply with Tenstheon’s order.
The thousand-year rule had been cut off.
However, Howard had no intention of becoming the disgrace of the Kensway family, to be called the first person in the family to fail in getting the high priest’s position.
“The selfishness of that hillbilly has gone over the top.”
“I should’ve realized back when he attacked the Count of Cornwell.”
The priests on Kensway’s side often complained about Marron.
The Count of Cornwell colluded with the church and led numerous trials. He also used it to eliminate his competitors.
As a result, the Count of Cornwell made a fortune and married a young woman, abandoning his old wife.
All of it was only possible because of the protection of the Kensway family.
The Count of Cornwell bribed the Kensway family and maintained a close relationship with Howard.
However, as soon as Marron was ordained as the high priest, they began to investigate the Count of Cornwell.
The Count of Cornwell begged for his help, but his appeal was completely ignored by Howard.
He was in a haste to remove all the evidence that connected him to the count.
The Count of Cornwell was sentenced to death. All the people who were involved with his deeds were taken to the guillotine.
He managed to keep himself and the Kensway family from death, but Howard suffered a devastating blow.
The people’s confidence that the Kensway family can protect their allies has vanished, and many people turned their backs on them.
Other priests, whose paths were blocked because of the influence of the Kensway family, were on Marron’s side.
The honorable status of the Kensway family, which they maintained for a thousand of years, declined rapidly.
To top it all, Marron personally went to many churches in the empire to completely eliminate the Asmodian Trial.
Because of this, the power of the Kensway family was diminished.
“Priest, please save us.”
“If it goes on like this, all the high-ranking priests in the West will die.”
The high-ranking priests in the western region, which Marron slowly took care of, came day after day to irk Howard.
Howard, who was listening to the priests with an irritated face, shouted.
The people bowed and apologized. However, Howard knew that these people were trying to curry his favor while silently insulting him.
Everyone used to believe in the power of the Kensway family and offered them bribes.
However, it was only a matter of time before the Kensway family collapsed.
“I don’t want to see any of you! All of you, go back!”
Howard kicked out the low-ranking priests. At last, only Howard and priests from the Bangye family remained in the spacious hall.
“Can we really leave that hillbilly like this?”
Someone finally broke the silence and spoke after much deliberation. Howard snorted.
“Marron is nothing but the emperor’s puppet.”
Even if they get rid of Marron, the emperor will still control the situation through a different puppet. In the end, the mastermind was the emperor.
Tenstheon had long been hostile to the church.
He ignored the church when his son was cursed by the goddess, but as soon as the curse was lifted, he tried to reform the church.
To solve this situation, Howard had to target the emperor, not Marron.
“Did you do what I ordered you to do?”
Gail, a young priest, replied.
The church had grown to become a respectable yet feared entity at the same time.
The people were afraid of the curse and the door of darkness.
They were also afraid of getting dragged into a trial.
But everything ended in an instant.
The crown prince’s curse was lifted and the door of darkness disappeared. Now, even the trial was losing its strength.
Tenstheon intended to weaken not only the Kensway family, but the entire church.
In order to make the imperial family the most powerful and influential in the empire, he tried to dominate the church by using a brainless hillbilly.
Tenstheon announced the empire’s alliance with Chang. Howard can use that for his own gain.
All he had to do was plant fear in the society.
If they were scared, their reasoning and ability to judge objectively would disappear.
The corners of Howard’s mouth raised arrogantly, but the expression of the young priest was skeptical as he stared at Howard.
“But will that be enough…?”
It’s true that the public sentiment will be shaken by the rumor. However, a rumor is nothing but a rumor.
If the peaceful days continue without anything happening, the people who believed in the rumor will eventually lessen.
Rather, it may even backfire.
However, unlike the concerned priests, Howard had a relaxed smile on his lips.
“There’s nothing to worry about. The goddess will bring a disaster soon.”
“Sir Collin, thank you for accepting my invitation.”
“It is an honor for me to be invited by Your Highness.”
Collin bent on one knee and kissed the back of my hand lightly.
“I will cherish this glorious moment forever.”
He couldn’t stand the seriousness that was so different from usual and burst out laughing.
“You take such a serious confession with laughter. I’m hurt, Collin.”
He tried to hold back his laughter.
“It’s okay. You look very happy today, by the way.”
“Because I’ve been invited by Your Highness.”
What a smooth talker.
In the original story, I had no idea that he was like this because he was so serious and obsessed with revenge for Tenstheon.
“Other than that, there seems to be another reason.”
“Because you came back, my work was greatly reduced. I’m having a bit more time to relax thanks to you.”
Blake spent most of his time in the valley of chaos, so he never really took formal lessons as a crown prince.
Now that there was no longer a reason to leave the palace, he began to take formal succession lessons under Tenstheon.
Tenstheon gave Blake a number of duties and taught him strictly, which greatly reduced Collin’s working hours.
That said, he was still overworked, but Collin seemed satisfied.
“It’s all thanks to you.”
“What did I do? You’ve had a hard time because of me.”
Blake had just started his crown prince lessons, which he should’ve taken seven years ago. It was not something to be thanked at all.
“Come on, sit down. I’ve prepared a special confectionery for Sir Collin.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
When Collin saw the confectionery in front of him, his face was filled with curiosity.
“I’ve never seen this confectionery before.”
“It’s called yakgwa. It is an Eastern cuisine.”
“I see, it has a beautiful shape. Did you make it yourself?”
“Yes, so eat a lot. It’s fresh out of the oven so it’ll taste better.”
When I was a child, I saw one of my neighbors making it, but I only saw how to make it step by step on YouTube when I became an adult.
Fortunately, I succeeded in making the yakgwa similar to the ones I had in Korea.
“His Majesty and His Highness haven’t eaten any of these yet?”
“Yes, Sir Collin will be the first person to taste it.”
“They’ll kill me if I eat before them, but I’ll risk my life because you’re the one who made these.”
He looked at the yakgwa with a grim look and took a huge bite.
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