Chapter 191: 2 Years Later – 3
After the regular meeting, Luke entered his office at the permanent manor.
Inside was Hudson, the head of Argos, who was already waiting for Luke.
“Hello, rather than greetings…”
As the greetings were done, Luke asked for the whereabouts of Reina, which he had already ordered them to do.
Hudson, with an eager expression, opened his mouth.
“I have sent a few intelligence men to some other nations, but we still can’t figure out where she is.”
“Is that so.”
Luke seemed very disappointed with the news.
After 2 years, the Dark Elves were still unable to find the whereabouts of Reina, so Luke asked Argos to gather any possible information.
However, it didn’t seem like they could do anything either.
Argos still hadn’t been able to establish an information network on the entire continent, so it was possible that they couldn’t get information throughout the continent.
Seeing Luke disappointed, Hudson hurriedly added some other news.
“Recently, we have been trying to gather information which was coming in from the south. You said that the princess had definitely come back here on earth, but there is no guarantee that she had come back to our continent.”
“That is true. Find where ever she is. Whether you use the information guild or the intelligence agency of the nations, I will support you no matter how much money you need,” said Luke.
“Ah, there is another thing about the Magic Federation which I want you to find out…”
Luke told Hudson the entire story that Hans had told him and asked Hudson to find out more information about the mercenary.
“You think he could possibly be a descendant of Rakan?” Asked Hudson.
“Since he was very famous, there could be other descendants he might have left behind. Just be definite with the information.”
After getting new orders, Hudson greeted him and moved out of the office when Erwin entered the office.
Seeing her face, Luke’s expression turned cold.
“Why have you come here? Have you found the location of Reina?” Luke asked.
“You seem rather irritated.”
“And who was the one who made me like this?”
At the sharp words of Luke, Erwin couldn’t talk back anymore. She was the reason why Reina disappeared along with Erenes, who passed away two years ago.
“I know that what the fairies did was wrong, but we are doing our very best and are following you.”
After the death of Erenes, according to his words, the fairies had helped Luke contribute to the development of Rakan Estate.
The fairies helped in the development of the Gigants at Katarina Magic Tower, and the Suins helped increase the territories’ mercenary power. The fast and bright eared elves gathered the information or searched for suspicious people.
The biggest contributors were the red hammer tribe which was led by the dwarves and the Kurgan.
Returning to the mines which were operated by their ancestors during Saymon, they diligently dug gold and other minerals, contributing to the finance of the Rakan territory.
In addition, some went to the city’s workshop, Katarina Magic Tower lend a hand in the production of weapons and Gigant parts, and produced smelting steel to build estates.
Although some of the dwarves were taken into slavery by the empire for steel production, they weren’t able to keep up with the quality of the products which were being developed in the Marquis.
There was a significant difference between what was forced and what was done voluntarily.
In any case, Marquis Rakan was becoming the richest manor in the southern empire in less than two years.
An unexpectedly fast growth, the neighboring estates, and the imperial family couldn’t keep a check on it.
“I know that. If not, I would have replaced all the fairies in an instant,” said Luke.
“Shouldn’t you say thank you then?”
At Erwin’s sarcasm, Luke frowned.
“I still don’t have a clear thought on protecting your rights. I’m not talking about being slaves but as residents.”
“Well, I am grateful that you’ve tried to change the perception of fairies to the humans.”
Luke had punished those who would persecute the fairies in his estate without showing any forgiveness.
Persecuting the helpless race resulted in persecution, a fair and just treatment.
Most of them were convinced at the cause of Rakan, but some of the retainers of Rakan were frustrated as the fairies had chosen the side of the Devil in the past.
And as usual, the opposition voice wasn’t so high either.
The people were the ones who knew that the land had developed tremendously only after the fairies had joined them.
“However, why the hell did you have to find me? I don’t think that you have come here only to remind me of your worth.”
“You were the one who told me to not come in until I find out where princess Reina was.”
At the words of Erwin, Luke jumped out of his seat.
If he thought about it, Erwin hadn’t met Luke in more than two years. He didn’t know if it was because she was busy or if she wasn’t confident enough to take on Luke’s anger, but she always sent other elves to tell or relay information to him, which meant that there was just one reason for her to visit personally.
“Are, are you sure?”
His voice was trembling a little.
“If I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t be here hanging on my neck, but it was information which had just come in.”
Erwin took out a portrait of a woman from her subspace ring.
“This…!” Luke said.
He saw a woman with an ornately decorated crown embroidered with gold thread.
Her face was the same as Reina.
When Luke wasn’t able to calm his throbbing heartbeat, Erwin’s words came.
“Veronica III. The new pope of the Holy Arthenia Empire.”
“What did you say?”
“It was taken two years ago, but this is the first time that she has been introduced publicly because of the secrecy that runs in the Holy Empire.”
There had been a lot of talks about the course of actions being taken in the Arthenia Empire in the past two years.
That was because despite the death of the previous pope, they hadn’t opened a Conclave, and Archbishop Constantine, one of the leading candidates for being the pope, had ruled the Holy Empire under the regent position.
Because of that, some said that Archbishop Constantine had formed a coup and took power, but not many said that it wasn’t recognized by the cardinals.
Constantine jumped at it, but in the past two years, the face of the new pope had never been shown, and the suspicions had amplified.
Eventually as time passed, the authority of the pope had hit rock bottom, the priests and nobles from all over the empire confronted corruption.
The vulnerable people rebelled in search of a new savior.
Some ambitious nobles had encouraged their rebellion from behind the scenes.
“I think Archbishop Constantine couldn’t stand it anymore, so he sent the pope’s picture to the public.”
“Are you sure that this one was taken 2 years ago?” Asked Luke.
“Yes, no one is aware of the new Pope’s origin. According to the survey by the Volga intelligence, she was named after an old lady as she didn’t seem to have a name upon her arrival.”
Luke was thrilled.
He wasn’t sure yet. Was the new pope of Arthenia really his Reina or just a look-alike?
But considering the fact that they had no information regarding her for the past two years, it was great news.
“I think that she is Princess Reina. It makes me wonder why we haven’t heard from her in the last two years.”
“Something must have happened. That Constantine man might have blocked the information.”
Luke tried to defend Reina. He was walking back and forth. He was trying to calm himself down, but he wasn’t able to stand still.
He had never felt his heart go so crazy in the past two years.
“Call her retainers and the old men of Volga.” Luke ordered her.
“I already did. By now, they must have reached here.”
He felt bad that they were contacted right after having a meeting with them, but it wasn’t the time to think about trivial matters.
Luke, who thought that he should head to the meeting room, suddenly stopped.
“Ah, I almost forgot.”
“What is it?”
Looking at Erwin, Luke smiled and said, “Thank you, for giving some good news.”
Erwin slightly blushed in response, but she quickly managed to get her cold look back.
“Huh! you don’t need to thank me. I just paid back the debt I owe you.”
When Luke left the office with a smile on his face, Erwin mumbled under her breath, “I am glad that you aren’t feeling disappointed anymore.”
Her face, which was always cold, smiled a little bit.
Her smile that was filled with bitterness in the past had now disappeared.