Flowers of Worship - Chapter 34
The carriage is not enough. I was so desperate to run away that I couldn’t get by a carriage. The carriage would only slow down my desperate heart.
“On a horse, now?” Rosemary asked in a voice as if she would stamp her feet and cry but couldn’t.
“Yes.” I started going down the stairs at a fast pace, followed by Rosemary and Thane. Paul was also running behind them. Although he was surprised and a little behind, he was not a person who forgot his duty as a servant of mine. He ran right after and followed me.
“It’s a little cold outside right now. If you’re going to ride a horse, you’ll have to wear something thicker.” At Paul’s words, Rosemary’s face brightened.
“Ah, ah! Right! That’s right, your highness. As Paul said, the days are very cold. This girl will bring your overcoat,”
“I do not need it.”
“Your highness.” Rosemary tried to placate me charmingly. I used to listen to her, but now I don’t want to.
I have to explain.
Only that thought filled my mind. Even when I went to the stable and got on my horse, that thought was still in my head. I have to talk to her. I must tell her that I didn’t laugh at her.
I was in a warm room, so my clothes were thin. The early winter wind was strong, but it was still a cold and heavy wind. Besides, the wind grew stronger when I started running on a horse. It was so cold that my body was shivering. It was a breeze that would one’s fingers and skin ache. But I didn’t want to go back.
There was no time for that.
“The Hastred Yenson branch is in the outer palace!”
As I started to run my horse, Thane yelled out to me where I was going.
“Why is Hastred in the palace?!”
“It’s the King’s Knights Templar!”
To be precise, it would mean that the knights made a contract with the king.
The Royal Palace was the tallest, most splendid, and massive structure in Yenson. The palace was visible everywhere, so I ran towards the place I could see. People screamed as we sprinted through the city. Some people almost got hit, and some threw things. Rather than feeling sorry, I just had to go to Cili.
“Stop your horse!”
When the capital guards pointed at us with their crossbows and shouted, Thane, screamed.
“It’s the Grand Duke Irsias!”
The guards were startled by Thane’s shout and pulled out the crossbow. Meanwhile, we were already out of their sight.
Yenson, called the city of fairies, was beautiful even in early winter. But as I drove straight to the palace, I passed shabby houses.
“Be careful; it’s a slum.”
Thane cautioned me. He started running in front of me, telling me not to stop the horse no matter what and get out at full speed. And as I ran, I was forced to look around.
Come to think of it, I’ve never seen poor people. I lived in a barn, where I was treated worse than the poor, but in the end, the only places I stayed were mansions because the people who secured me were all-powerful. Except for me, even the servants wore decent clothes and lived well. It was the first time in my life that I had ever seen a place where hungry people were living together.
It was shocking. Is that a home? There was no door, and I could see people sleeping inside. There were more places without straw than those with straw on the roof. The wooden frame was exposed, and even the straw on it looked rotten. The house was made of wood, and the trees were rotting. There was also a pungent stench on the street. And on that stinky narrow street, people lined up the clothesline to hang the laundry. The first floor, the second floor, and the third floor were all hung on the clothesline to hang the laundry, and it was almost impossible to see the sky.
If you are poor, do you not have time to look at the sky in front of your house?
There is no right..to see the sky. There is none. You will have to need a lot of money to see the wide sky and the vast garden. It was shocking.
“Your highness, are you alright?!”
As I was moving forward, Thane looked back at the slum, wondering if I had a strange feeling behind me.
“It’s…alright.” As I mumbled, Thane, who didn’t understand what I was saying, yelled and asked again.
We couldn’t stop talking. I could feel the eyes looking at us from all corners of the alley. Children and adults alike looked at us well dressed, and their eyes were shining. It looked nothing like that of a beast whose eyes glowed in the dark.
Who makes them like that?
“Alright! Let’s get out of here quickly!”
How can such a disparity exist within the same city? What is it? Is it because of the difference in status between aristocrats and commoners? But Hessint Fjord was also a commoner. How should the gap between commoners be explained?
Someone threw a stone sling at us. It looked like they were trying to tie the horse’s paws, but we managed to avoid it and left the slum. As soon as we left, we stopped talking and looked at each other, sighing heavily. To be honest, I was petrified.
“I… I’ve never seen a place like that.”
At my honest words, Thane reached out. He thought it was disrespectful to touch my body, so he felt my horse’s mane a couple of times and then withdrew his hand and replied.
“I heard only words.”
“What did you hear?”
Surprisingly, my mind calmed down a bit. I was finally able to drive my horse at the following speed to the city. Maybe it’s because my mind has calmed down; as the royal palace approaches, I had difficulty figuring out what to say to Cili. Previously, I had only thought of explaining, but as the royal palace got closer, I didn’t know what to say.
“It is said that a royal family tried to pass through a slum before, and even though they knew he was a royal, the poor came running in and killed him and took everything he had. Of course, the royal palace tried to catch the criminal, but from the poor’s point of view, it’s just that they don’t have to be caught, or because there’s no tomorrow to live like this anyway, if they die, they’ll just die… .”
“… … .”
“Everyone was very uncooperative and didn’t blink even if the person next to me died, so I heard that it was an abandoned place.”
Thane’s face was expressionless, saying that it was best not to go. I wondered how it could be. If I had only lived as a crown prince, I probably wouldn’t have had any interest in the slums. But I have never lived such a life. I couldn’t think like anyone else even though I know that I am completely different now and another species.
There’s no such thing as tomorrow, so if you die, just die.
I just can’t get caught.
Does everyone live in such a slum-like that in the middle of the capital? Pretending to be invisible?
Uncle, what is the king doing?
I was troubled by the reaction in my heart. It’s as if I’m not a noble person, but a person like those dirty and lowly people. But I don’t understand. After all, I almost didn’t live like that. If it weren’t for Cili, I would have died in a barn or barn-like in some mansion. In the end, my life would have been no different from theirs.
Cili saved me.
That said, maybe they also need someone to save them.
My heart darkened.
When I met Cili, I didn’t say anything and just looked at her. She was surprised that I had come to her and even more surprised that my clothes were thin. She took off the robe she was wearing, draped it over my shoulder, sat me down by her fireplace, and asked what was going on; then, she handed me warm wine. I looked at her but didn’t say anything. I know it’s time for me to make an excuse. But as I walked through the slums, I was utterly exhausted. Therefore, nothing came out.
I’m supposed to comfort you, but I have to say that I didn’t mean it and that I did you wrong. It was up to her to soothe and appease me, but I became distant when I saw her maturity. When will I be able to embrace her? Can I become such an adult? Is that possible?
“Your highness?” Cilli, who sat next to me, filled my empty glass with hot wine, pushing a plate of nuts and dried fruit in front of me, then she urged in a friendly voice.
“… I have passed the Aypur.”
“You did something dangerous.” Cili frowned at me once, and I nodded my head gently.
“Yes, I apologize.”
In the end, it was a dangerous thing to do, considering that I was almost stoned. When I apologized to her, she patted the back of my hand with her two fingers and asked, “What happened in Aypur?”
“There’s something that happened in Aypur, but it’s too… .”
What should I say? It was dirty. The people couldn’t see the sky. What can I say to describe the atmosphere? After choosing a word, I was able to pull out the word that looked the most similar.
“They looked desperate.”
“… … .”
“Is that what happened there when my father ruled?” Cili, who seemed to ponder my question for a moment, answered gradually.
“A little less, but not much difference.”
“Is it less?”
“In fact, Queen Anne was a little better when she was alive. The queen was a merciful person, and she worked hard in welfare matters. Back then, she knew that hospitals and shelters for the poor were better to run for the country.”
“I’m sorry, but now the facilities have been transferred to the Temple, the Wizards’ Association, or other charities. However, everyone had their reasons and took over the facilities, so compared to the queen, who was purely engaged in welfare projects, the benefits returned to her are small.”
“Why isn’t the state doing welfare projects now?”