Chapter 5 Reasons
“Second Law of Thermodynamics: Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other changes, or it is impossible to convert heat from a single source into useful work without causing other effects, in an irreversible or spontaneous change from one equilibrium state to another the entropy always increases.”
Roland carefully copied this law onto paper, writing in the language of this world. At first glance, the text resembled a moving earthworm. He really did not understand how the locals could learn so many varied and complicated characters.
If you asked him which of the numerous physical laws would be the one to cause most people to feel depressed, Roland would choose the second law of thermodynamics. It tells everyone that this world’s heat will always pass from high to low, replacing the disorder into order, increasing the entropy. Eventually, everything will end in nothingness and the universe will become deathly silent.
And this world had broken away from the ever increasing entropy problem. It could make magic out of nothing, which was much more impressive than the theorized invention of a perpetual motion machine! The forces of evil? Roland scoffed and thought to himself that the people of this world did not understand the true nature of this power, and it was so enormous that it could even change the entire universe.
Of course, for a beginning, he could only start to change this small border town.
Roland hummed a tune, tore up the paper he had written and threw it into the fireplace where it was reduced to ashes, feeling the pleasure of breaking out of a cage.
The assistant minister looked askance at the fourth prince’s unexplainable actions, but fortunately for Roland, the old fourth Prince had always acted in this manner. In the end, Barov decided that the prince’s strange whimsy would pass with no need for him to bother about it, and he could see that the prince was enjoying himself.
“The killing has been completed, the ‘witch’ was hanged at noon,” reported Barov to Roland.
“Good, did anyone see it?” Roland spoke while writing, “No matter, all of the condemned wear hoods.”
In order to prevent the Holy Church and the Witch Cooperation Association from knocking at his door, Roland had ordered the dungeon warden to find a person with a similar build within the death-row criminals and let them replace Anna on the gallows. In addition to the Knight Commander and Assistant Minister, everyone who was with him in the dungeon received hush money consisting of twenty gold royals. This was an enormous windfall for them.
Barov even proposed killing all of the witnesses, or they would never keep their silence forever, but Roland rejected this. He knew he could not prevent this secret from spreading, but this didn’t matter because he actually wanted someone to spread the word, just not now. He would fall out with the church sooner or later anyway, those idiots who promoted the intolerance that caused such a waste of resources! On the other hand, other witches would hear there was a border town in the kingdom where they could live a free life, and could even get preferential treatment, what would these witches think?
No matter what age in time it was, the talent one possessed was the most important thing.
“Then everything is alright,” Roland said, “Next point, for the tariffs, taxes and expenditures of the year, you previously gave me a short summary, let me have a proper look at them. Furthermore, those workshops in the city, the places that make ironware, textiles, pottery and such, you also have to include the numbers and sizes.”
“I’ll need three days to prepare these records, but…“Barov said as he first nodded, then paused and looked like he wasn’t sure how to continue.
“What is the matter?” Roland asked. He was aware that finally, the moment had come where his ability was about to be tested. Yesterday everything he had done was questioned by the assistant minister because of his doubt in Roland, a scoundrel would always be a scoundrel, but having a bad character didn’t mean that they were also brainless. To aid and harbor a witch, in the eyes of the assistant minister, was akin to declaring war on the world.
“Your Highness, I do not understand …” Barov paused as he wrestled with his words, “In the past, although you made trouble, it was always more harmless, but now … taking such a significant risk only to save a witch? The law to hunt them down was proclaimed by the Church, and even your father, his Majesty Wimbledon III supports it.”
Roland thought for a moment and then asked, “Do you believe that this border town is a good place to live?”
“Uh, this …” Barov did not understand what this question had to do with the problem, after some time he gave his true opinion, “no.”
“It is awful, compared to Valencia, the City of Golden Harvests or the Port of Clearwater, what do you feel my chances are of winning the rights to the throne against my siblings?”
“…” The assistant minister opened his mouth but didn’t answer.
“Almost zero. So I can only choose to walk another path,” Roland continued as he watched expressionlessly as Barov took one step after another into the trap he laid down. “The kind of road that would even impress my father.”
He did not state the point that the witches were not inherently evil because to do so would have little success. Barov had been the Assistant Minister of Finance for twenty years and was regarded as a competent politician. For politicians, their personal gains were usually more important than the moral law of good and evil. Also taking the emotional route was not suitable for him, as Roland recalled the previous prince’s actions, he found out that he really couldn’t be considered as an upright and righteous person. So he chose to play on the eternal conflict between religious and secular authority, as the expanding power of the Holy Church was a constant thorn in the side of Wimbledon III.
The Church claimed that the world worked in accordance with the will of God, and the pope was the voice of God. If the people found what he said weren’t the truth, even full of lies, the dominance of the Holy Church would be greatly shaken.
With the phrase, “the witch is not evil, so I want to save her,” it would be hard to convince the assistant minister, but replaced with “she is not an evil witch, and I can use this to attack the church,” Barov could easily be persuaded to accept this conclusion.
“Regardless how the territories of my brothers and sisters flourished, it was a foregone conclusion that everything would end in the possession of the church. They had already stepped on the divine right of kings, if only the pope can be considered as rightful ruler, then are they the actual rulers of this land or are we?“ Roland paused for just the right amount of time before going on, ”even my father will have to place his hope in me: A leader who isn’t suppressed by the Holy Church, one who holds all the exclusive rights of a royal king, his choice would be very clear.”
Changing the “enemy of the entire world” into “only the enemy of the Church” was easier to accept for many people, not to mention Barov, who was himself standing on the side of the royal family.
“In the same way, if he is aware of the extraordinary abilities they have, that they can pry open the grip of the Holy Church, the execution orders will be nothing more than a paper joke. While there is no possibility to guarantee success, it’s not impossible either. Do you think I’m worth the risk?” Roland stared at the assistant minister while saying these sentences in a row, “Do not falter now, Barov. You’ve been an assistant minister for twenty years, right? If I can become Wimbledon IV, the word assistant will be removed, or even further, something like… becoming the Hand of the King is possible, hmm?”
Looking at Barov’s back who was leaving, Roland felt relieved. It was easy to see that he didn’t think much of his promise, this was normal, even Roland himself did not believe that this just recently scraped together plan, which was made up out of hubris could be realized. But that was not important. The key was to let Barov believe that he really thought that way. A sheltered noble’s son could only think of a simple plan, not to mention the fourth Prince really hated the mentality of the church. At this time, the way to attract more witches was also paved.
As for his real thoughts? Even if Barov knew them, he wouldn’t be able to understand them.
Roland summoned the maid, “Call Miss Anna and tell her she should come to see me.”
It’s time to get down to business next, Roland happily thought this.
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