It wasn’t something unexpected.
The village that was created to study the farming method of Karam crops consisted of about 20 households. There were no large families like ordinary villages. Still, the population exceeded 80.
It is not 80 trained soldiers or informants, but 80 ordinary villagers.
It is strange that the information does not leak out. It would most certainly be best to kill all of them to cover their mouths.
Nevertheless, there are two reasons for Artizea to not suggest killings; believing in the words of Hannah and Cedric that they can control information.
The first is that Cedric cannot accept the means of annihilation.
It’s something they can’t even commit, anyway. Rather, as a result of that, if the confidence in oneself decreases and the liberty to speak is weakened, they will not be able to do what they should do at an important time in the future.
Second, the traffic between the north and the mainland was inconvenient.
The second reason wasn’t too small: There is virtually no way for the peasants living at the northern end of the colony of the Evron Grand Duchy, to leak that information to the mainland.
Evron Grand Duchy is a place with poor traffic. The spread of information was also very slow.
Even if one talks to those around them, it is unlikely that it will reach the mainland across the wide Grand Duchy.
Even if it arrives, it will be after the work in the West have already been completed by then.
Perhaps there is an imperial spy inside the Grand Duchy.
However, unless information gathered was targeting Karam crops and the northern town of Thold, the probability of finding out about this was low.
Hannah showed confidence in controlling the people involved.
However, there is something that no one in the world can stop. It was a religious spirit.
Perhaps the one who confessed to the priest had not even realized that he had leaked secrets.
This is because, in the thought of a pious person, confession is not about shedding secrets. Like no one thinks that confessing the sins to God, who they pray to before sleep, would be revealing secrets.
Of course, the priest who received the confession took a different position.
“Your Grace, the Temple defines Karam as the devil. Karam belongs to the devil.”
The priest said with a righteous face.
“It is a felony that the Grand Duchy’s vassals are trying to bring in the devils. Moreover, it is said that this is why the war broke out.”
Forgetting that he was in front of the Grand Duchess, he swept his face with both palms.
“It’s divine punishment. It’s natural that we attracted the devils because we coveted the things of the demons. Unlike other times, Karam suddenly appeared beyond Thold, it must be because of that.”
“Have you spoken to the bishop?”
Artizea asked with a low, soft voice. It was to know the policy of the priests.
The priest shook his head.
“I didn’t tell him. The Bishop is a weak man. Besides, he is someone who takes the unity of this region more important than supporting the will of the temple.”
“I see. “
“Of course, there are cases where it is unavoidable in order to survive, and I know that there are some people who help Karam.”
“But I’ve told him that we have to preach more intensely about the fact that it is forbidden. But the Bishop said that wrong good deeds are also good deeds. First of all, he is the one who always says that we have to live.”
The priest once again stroked his face. But then there was a determination in his face.
“That’s why I’m speaking to Your Grace. I know it well because I’m a person from here. The bishops, the other priests… maybe the majority will stay quiet to cover this for Evron.”
“But this has led to war. How can I bury it? There must be someone who caused the war.”
“How does the priest want me to help you? I am ignorant of the situation here, and I don’t know much about Karam.”
“Please tell the mainland Abbey about this, Your Grace.”
The priest bowed his head deeply.
“The Abbey is too far from here, and I think, even if I write a letter to the Abbey, someone in the middle is likely to intercept it.”
“If the Abbey demands, the Bishop will not forgive the devil and the fool who communicates with Karam for their own good. We have to find them out as soon as possible. We must not have the Evron Grand Duchy abandoned by God because of its vassals, do we?”
Artizea still looked at the priest.
There seemed to be no malice. He is sincerely concerned about Evron Grand Duchy.
If this was known to the mainland, it would have been unthinkable, the crime of communicating with Karam and excommunication of Evron Grand Duchy.
‘I’m glad you discussed it with me.’
“It’s hard to say anything right now.”
She replied calmly.
“Because it is not yet clear that the cause of the war really is because of that. And… the confessor may have said something wrong to the priest with a bad meaning?”
“You don’t have to doubt the confessor’s identity.”
“Okay, but if some of the Grand Duchy’s vassals did something secretly, I couldn’t interfere with it too quickly. It doesn’t seem like a normal problem.”
“So, first of all, I’ll find out a little. Please keep this a secret until then.”
“Yes, Your Grace’s careful words are correct.”
The priest nodded.
Artizea stood up and greeted him lightly.
“I’ll see you again soon. It’s okay if you don’t see me off.”
The priest stood up after her. Artizea left him in the room and went out alone.
After closing the door, a sigh leaked out.
Alphonse raised the lamp without saying anything.
Artizea quickly stepped out of the temple.
Priests are pretty troublesome.
The temple had a considerable level of centralized system. It is impossible for farmers at the northern end to pass information to the mainland, but it is very easy for a priest to contact other temples.
For this time, the letter can be intercepted. But someday it will reach the temple.
If Artizea responds in vain, this priest will no doubt come up with a different way of sending the news.
And the priest’s words will be taken more seriously than the farmer’s words. It’s a shocking story for people from the mainland to interact with Karam.
It is possible that not only the Karam crop is a problem, but all the communication that took place in Grand Duchy Evron will be treated as crime.
If it were not the priest who was talking about this now, but some other person, Artizea would have simply killed them and bound their mouth. Because the dead cannot speak.
But she can’t do that against a priest.
All priests have their names on the Abbey’s list. If they die, they must tell the reason for their death.
And if a priest suddenly dies for an unacceptable reason, the Abbey will surely try to investigate the reason.
‘If I had known one day earlier.’
Artizea felt pity.
If that was the case, she would have killed the priest with the weapon of the South Sea people, which was held by the dead Cadriol’s men. If we said that it was the casualty that occurred during the raid, would it have been possible to deal with it?
However, the funeral has already been held, and the body could not appear immediately after this.
It was fortunate that the priest had confessed. The priest appears to be a devout principled man who is faithful to the temple.
So he wouldn’t easily let the confession out.
Anyway, the first thing to do is finding out the reason for the war.
Artizea came out with a scary face.
Lysia and the maids waiting outside the temple looked at her with anxious faces.
“What’s wrong, Your Grace? What happened inside?”
“When the funeral is over, tell Viscount Agate and Hannah to come to my place. It doesn’t matter how late it is.”
Lysia replied with a tightly tense face.
Artizea quickly returned to the stronghold.
The two people gathered in Artizea’s parlor, well past midnight, and it was about 3 o’clock in the morning.
Artizea sat in front of the fireplace without taking off her mourning clothes. Her mind was complicated trying to organize her thoughts.
After everyone was seated, Artizea first asked Viscount Agate.
“What’s the situation at the Thold Gate?”
“As far as the last messenger announced, there is no conflict yet. However, the number of warrior-class Karam gathered in front of the fortress is estimated to be over 20,000 and under 25,000.”
“Generally, when a war breaks out, I know that a lot more would gather than that, but it’s not even less than 20,000.”
Lysia added more explanation. Artizea looked at Hannah this time.
“I heard something today.”
“They said that the war broke out because of the village north of Thold.”
Artizea said so in a cold voice.
Hannah’s face turned pale.
She looked at Viscount Agate. Viscount Agate hesitated and looked at Lysia.
“Did the Grand Duke tell you to hide it from me? Or are you randomly hiding it?”
Artizea asked in a cold voice.
Lysia replied instead.
“I don’t know what this is about, but I know for certain that the Grand Duke has said to take good care of the stronghold.”
Then Viscount Agate lowered his head.
“I’m sorry, Your Grace.”
Hannah jumped up and knelt down.
“Yes, it’s my fault. In the process of dismantling the village, I accidentally kidnapped a child of Karam.”
“There was a new Karam village not far away. It is said that children from both sides often played with each other. On that day, in the process of dismantling the village and moving residents, some of the children came into the Thold Gate together. The military officer who made the mistake said that he was wearing a hood covering his upper eye, so he thought he was mixed race and brought him in.”
Artizea exhaled greatly.
It was a sigh of relief.