Chapter 1240 The Tide
In the early morning, Earl Hall woke up at his usual time and took a stroll in his garden and lawn.
By the time he finished looking at his beloved thoroughbreds, he returned to the third floor of the villa and changed out of his outing clothes. His wife, Caitlyn, had already woken up and was instructing her lady’s maid to relay her thoughts to the rest of the servants.
“It’s time for breakfast.” Earl Hall stood beside the coat rack and smiled at his wife.
At that moment, he heard a commotion outside, one that was getting closer and closer, but it did not quell.
With a slight frown, Earl Hall turned his head to look at his valet.
Without needing the noble to speak, the valet immediately walked to the window and drew open the thin curtain.
With a swoosh, more light shone into the bedroom. It was clear.
The valet then cast his gaze out the window and scanned his surroundings. His expression suddenly became solemn.
He turned around and glanced at Lady Caitlyn, who was still talking to the lady’s maid. He walked quickly to Earl Hall’s side and said in a low voice, “A protest! Many people are protesting!”
A protest? Earl Hall was no stranger to this term. As a powerful Loen Kingdom noble, and the second largest shareholder of the Constant Coal and Steel Consortium, he had seen many workers protest in demonstrations, requesting for a rise in their weekly salaries, as well as stipulate for maximum working hours. During the past two months, Backlund had also undergone several protests due to various problems, but they were quickly suppressed without causing too much of an impact.
His gaze moved back and forth across his valet’s face for a few seconds. Eyes narrowed, he acutely sensed that the protest today might be different from what he had imagined.
Without batting an eyelid, he walked to the window.
Looking out, Earl Hall’s eyes suddenly froze.
With the advantage of being on the third floor, he saw that the roads were filled with dense hordes of people, extending far into the distance. They gathered together and surged in this direction, as if they were a dark, gigantic cloud that was about to envelop Backlund.
“We want bread!”
The shouts of tens of thousands of people, and even more people, grew into a crescendo—one that was loud and clear. It made Earl Hall’s scalp tingle.
Having participated in the Mass at Festival Square, he was no stranger to seeing large masses of people or hearing people booming in one voice. But back then, he could barely be considered a part of the crowd. And today, he was one of the targets of the surging “tidal wave.”
Earl Hall couldn’t help but glance towards the end of the protesters, only to realize that there was no end to it. However, with his rich experience in handling matters, he could make a judgment based on the details he had observed.
He could see that there were very few police and soldiers on both sides of the protesters. Compared to the large number of people, they were like the eddies created by a tidal wave, a negligible detail.
Earl Hall believed that the protesters that targeted Empress Borough would definitely be clamped down upon with the greatest force possible. It would be impossible for large numbers of soldiers and police to be deployed. The current situation could only mean one thing:
There were too many people participating in the protest!
As such, the soldiers and police were spread too thin!
A protest numbering more than a hundred thousand people? Perhaps more… A protest arising from a food shortage can turn into a riot and looting at any time… It might still seem orderly now… because there are many organizers and leaders? Damn it. Didn’t MI9 and the various Churches notice any signs? How could such a large-scale protest be organized overnight? Even if Backlund has become a gunpowder keg, it would still require quite a number of matchsticks to light it! Thoughts ran through Earl Hall’s mind as his expression grew graver.
“We want bread!”
The shouting became louder and more uniform, as if there was a tsunami in the city.
At that moment, the servants in Earl Hall’s mansion sensed the commotion. All of them went to the windows and looked beyond the compound gates.
Their faces turned pale, as though they had encountered a flood that could not be avoided.
“We want bread!”
Countless voices converged together, as the dense masses exuded a suffocating presence.
Earl Hall snapped to his senses. He subconsciously wanted to get someone to send a telegram to the royal family to get them to organize an army to suppress the protesters.
However, after further observation, he realized that quite a number of protesters were wearing military uniforms and were disabled.
“We want bread!”
The soldiers in charge of maintaining order looked at the protesters with pity and pointed their guns at the sky.
Among those people were their old comrades, their parents and children, their friends, neighbors, and large numbers of people who simply desired the same right to live like them. They just didn’t want to starve to death. How could they not feel pity and empathy?
At first, such feelings might have arisen in a handful of soldiers and police, but it quickly spread to almost everyone.
In the past, under their officers’ supervision at gunpoint, they would have accepted all orders without any protest. But now, many people were thinking:
Any son-of-a-b*tch who dares to get me to fire shall be fired upon!
“We want bread!”
From the shouts and the impact of the huge crowd, the color in Earl Hall’s face drained.
He couldn’t help but retract his gaze and look at the guards and bodyguards gathered outside the house. He looked at the Beyonders of the Church of Evernight who were responsible for protecting his family, and he realized that the reactions of the two were different.
The guards and bodyguards were filled with fear. The expressions of the secretly-hired Beyonders had already become rather solemn. As for the protectors from the Church of Evernight, their gazes were filled with pity and empathy.
To the Church, I might be equivalent to a thousand believers, but there are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even more… Earl Hall instantly came to a realization of the consequences of what he had planned to do.
Even though they were armed to the teeth, there was no way they could fend off so many protesters with just a few bodyguards. Once the conflict erupted, the Beyonders of the Church of Evernight couldn’t be counted on at all. It was already a blessing by the Goddess if his family could escape Empress Borough with the bodyguards he hired!
For the first time, Earl Hall experienced the strength of the masses. He experienced the terror of the unity of people.
As this thought flashed through his mind, he immediately turned his head and instructed his valet, “Send a telegram to the Prime Minister and send a telegram to the other nobles. Say that I’m willing to take the lead and donate most of our food!
“Get them to remain calm!”
As the radio signals exchanged across the air, the nobles living in Empress Borough all learned of his attitude.
The present Duke Negan looked out the window with a serious expression. After a moment of silence, he exhaled and said to the male secretary beside him, “Protect the mansion and give up any forceful stance. Follow Earl Hall’s lead.
“Also, make the merchants who are hoarding food the first examples!”
By the time the upper-class society came to a consensus and came up with a solution, Earl Hall’s heart finally settled back to its original position. He had the energy to head to the dining room to meet his family.
When he passed through the dining hall’s entrance, he subconsciously scanned the situation inside.
His wife stood by the window, looking out the window with worry. His eldest son kept pacing back and forth, appearing very angry and anxious. His daughter stood beside his wife, watching the tidal-wave-like protesters in silence.
Fog Sea, Future.
Cattleya stepped on a resplendent bridge formed from starlight and returned to the deck.
“Captain, you have to do something about Frank this time!” Boatswain Nina, rushed over and shouted.
Cattleya’s depressed and sorrowful mood was instantly shattered as she frowned slightly.
“What did he do again?”
Nina said angrily, “He asked me if I knew how to have children. He wants to study how life is born and how the soul is created!”
“…Did you hit him?” Cattleya fell silent for a second.
“I did!” Nina didn’t hide anything.
Cattleya then looked at Frank who was not far away, ignoring his bruised face.
“You should first study how fish breed.”
“Alright.” Frank scratched his head and heeded his captain’s orders.
Following that, Cattleya nodded at the shadow which extended out from the cabin—the pale-faced Bloodless Heath Doyle.
“Everything’s fine now.”
Heath Doyle clearly relaxed.
After this farce with her crew, Cattleya finally returned to the real world. While they weren’t paying attention, she rubbed her temples and flew into the captain’s cabin.
Following that, she sealed the cabin with magic and took out the Grade 0 Sealed Artifact—Magic Wishing Lamp.
After finishing her preparations, Cattleya sat at her desk and lowered her head. She used Jotun to recite Mr. Fool’s honorific name to report to him about Queen Mystic.
Holding a lantern in hand, Klein surveyed the surrounding area of the northern city ruins. He turned his head slightly and listened for a few seconds before following the process of entering the world above the gray fog.
He then sat on the high-back chair belonging to The Fool at the end of the long mottled table, spreading his spirituality towards the crimson star representing The Hermit.
Queen Mystic has some preliminary clues to the primitive island. She plans on leaving the safe sea route to do an extended search…
That primitive island was discovered by Emperor Roselle by chance. It’s very likely that one of his nine secret mausoleums is hidden on it… This is the only one that hasn’t been discovered and destroyed at the moment. It’s the hope of the Emperor’s resurrection…
However, the living beings on that primitive island seem to worship an unknown power that comes from the cosmos. Just understanding the cosmos that will lead to corruption… I need to remind Ma’am Hermit to warn Queen Mystic…
Magic Wishing Lamp… Magic Wishing Lamp? So this Grade 0 Sealed Artifact is in the hands of Queen Mystic… It’s a combination of a Miracle Invoker’s Beyonder characteristic and a characteristic of unknown origins. Even a true deity can’t shatter it… Just as he finished listening to 0-05’s description, he immediately adjusted his vision and enlarged the scene of the golden kettle-like Magic Wishing Lamp.
Suddenly, the wick at the mouth of the Magic Wishing Lamp lit up!