Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ithout apology, and without shouting this young man is gonna fix you up next time, the woman-in-black indignantly led the horse away. Hepburn’s indifferent nature didn’t take her seriously. He led Ariel to the riverbank to prepare to cross the river. Up to this point, the road trip incident was considered to end.
After the carriages crossed the river, Swiss escorted Miss Ariel to the ferry.
“This river is so wide!” Leaning against the fence by the boat, Ariel made a marvelous sound, “But from the boat, it looks like the river becomes even wider.”
“Because the perspective is different, and human beings are always small when faced by nature. It’s not a bad thing for us to face it all with awe.” The Duke stood behind her, “There are five rivers such as this within the empire, and it is because of their nourishment that our empire is so rich.”
“Why only mention the good. Isn’t there at least a flood every year?” Ariel asked with curiosity as she looked at the handsome man beside her.
“Although there are floods, the duration is always short, and after the floods recede, the land on both sides of the river becomes more fertile, so the agricultural products of Sunset Plateau are abundant, securing enough food for the empire.” Hepburn reasoned, “As a noble of the empire, I ought to know more about this land.”
“I understand.” Ariel had an insight, “Your Excellency, I enjoy listening to you talk about such knowledge.”
“That’s my pleasure.” Hepburn nodded and replied. He was happy as long as he could keep others from noticing his appearance and thus creating some bad associations, he didn’t mind talking about something boring.
“We are coming ashore, Your Excellency, and we are about to arrive at Viscount Gironde’s residence.” Speaking of this, Ariel, however, lowered her head, “Will the Viscount findS it strange that I come along?”
“I don’t think so! Viscount Gironde is a kind and affable elder.” Hepburn had a serious face, “Your arrival can’t be more uncommon than mine, no matter how bizarre…”
Ariel knew he was joking, she was about to reply, but he suddenly snatched her body by her waist, the next moment, she had felt herself flying through the air!
Then came a loud boom, a huge column of water erupted from the center of the ship straight up into the sky, and the ship gradually fell apart in a violent quake.
Hepburn’s guards cried, at the cry, they drew swords, also rose up into the air, followed their master sweeping toward the riverbank, forming a defense circle in the air, vigilantly watching the water. Captain Paradise removed his outer clothing, dived into the water with a few men.
Hepburn stepped on the river bank, put down the stunned lady in his hand, turned back to look at the river and around, said, “She’s not an assassin, do not do harm.”
The guards agreed in unison, seeing that they didn’t reach the bank and fell in the water that was half a man deep, wet, and very wretched, they were still way below their master’s level, martial-wise.
The water surface suddenly tumbled violently, again burst out a few columns. Between the mist, two figures wrapped in a column of water suddenly flew out. A short fight quickly ended before the two figures set foot on the bank. However, to be exact, one was forced ashore by Captain Paradise.
Ariel saw the person, she could not help but let out a low cry, because the person who was forced to the shore was the dodgy girl from the earlier incident!
She changed into a black diving suit, revealing her delicate figure. Still wet, her long hair drooled water, her chest rose and fell, adjusting the breath. Although the situation was not favoring the girl, her face was still indifferent. But when her eyes swept Hepburn and Ariel’s dry clothes, her eyes vaguely revealed a little disappointment.
“Frankly speaking, you are very naughty. If it were in the capital, such a thing would cost your life.” Hepburn said in a cold tone, “Paradise, make sure she pays for the ship, and we will wait for you ahead.”
“Yes, My Lord.” Paradise replied, his gaze still looming over the black-clad woman.
“You don’t want to mess with this pale guard of mine, his martial skills and mine are not far apart.” Hepburn took two steps, turned back over, and said, “If you make him blush, you’ll never have the chance to be spiteful again.”
“Bah, like I’m afraid of you!” The woman-in-black made a face and spat at Hepburn’s back.
“Now pay.” Paradise took a step into the black-clad woman’s field of vision and said coldly, “Period.”
“Period? What period?” The woman-in-black tossed her hair with a scornful expression, “Are you saying such unintelligible words to bully me for being a woman?”
“In my eyes, there are only comrades and enemies.” Paradise’s expression changed a little, and his tone turned cold, “There is no difference between men and women – now pay!”
“No, don’t even think about it!” Even if the woman-in-black was more brutal, she was still not deeply involved in the world, and was startled by the look in Paradise’s eyes on the spot, “What can you do? Hit me?”
Paradise quickly flipped his wrist, then thrust the knife into the ground before stepping out and initiating a fierce punch! The woman-in-black shouted, turned her blade, and struck Paradise’s fist with the hilt.
“Ding!” The woman’s blade broke into two pieces, and she also staggered backward, and finally fell into the mud and sand on the shore.
Paradise took another step forward, “Pay!”
The woman-in-black raised her head and clearly felt the murderous aura emanating from this barbarian warrior, and her anger was tinged with more shock, but after a quick glance, she had “poofed” her tears, full of aggravation.
Paradise took one more step forward, “Even if you die crying here, you still have to pay!”
“I have no money, I will not pay even if I die!”
“Then you will die!” As Paradise was about to give this brutal girl a death threat, there were messy footsteps from behind. He grunted coldly, glimpsed backward but instantly turned speechless out of astonishment.
And at this time, Duke Hepburn’s caravan drove into a large estate decorated with lights and ribbons. The master was standing not far from the gate to welcome his guests.
The carriage stopped, Duke Hepburn unboarded with a bright smile on his face. He extended his hand to Viscount Gironde. The Viscount, dressed like a farmer, with an ordinary sun hat on his head and a large pipe in his mouth, reached out to pat Hepburn’s shoulder and smiled.
“It’s been a long time, Your Excellency.” Hepburn looked at Viscount Gironde’s bronzed skin, “How has your health been lately?”
“As soon as I return home, I’m in high spirits.” Viscount Gironde smiled broadly, “It’s you, Your Excellency! The journey has been hard, hasn’t it?”
“I’m a soldier in my early twenties, not that delicate, besides the scenery on the way can eliminate fatigue.” The Duke turned around and introduced the person behind him to Gironde, “This is my sister, Ariel, who traveled with me.”
Ariel smiled and took a few steps forward, courtesying, “Good day, Viscount Gironde.”
“Welcome to the Gironde Manor, My graceful Lady.” The Viscount returned the formality by putting a hand on his chest and bending, “I have a granddaughter, she’s about the same age as you, and I hope you will become friends.”
“By the way, I haven’t met Miss Gironde yet!” Hepburn then remembered that Viscount Gironde had a granddaughter, “Where is she?”
“She is at her mentor’s; I have sent words to inform her that she should be back today.” Viscount Gironde replied, “… should be home by now if she hadn’t caused trouble on the road.”
“Make trouble?” Hepburn was shocked, “What does your granddaughter look like, Viscount?”
“What does she look like?” Gironde touched his jaw, “Not bad, I guess! Dresses like a boy, fiddles with a sword, and likes to wear a black mask on her face in broad daylight…”
This dress was too much like someone Lord Hepburn had met earlier. Before Hepburn could speak, there was a rush of horses’ hooves through the gate, followed by a shout, “Come on! Close the door, don’t let these people get away – where are my hell hounds?”
“You…” asked Viscount Gironde, puzzled, “have met?”
“I’m afraid so.” Hepburn sighed bitterly in his heart, “We had a chance encounter.”
On the road outside the gate, Paradise was struggling to walk, because he was crawling with 20 to 30 children tugging on his body. The boys and girls kept dragging his hair, biting his thighs, and screaming “bad man, bad man, bullies our sister! “. The rest who tagged along threw pebbles at him. In the case of not being able to hurt children, Paradise could not shake or hit them either. He was difficult to move an inch further, the clothes on his body had long been pulled to pieces like the wears of a beggar.
Later that day, Swiss and Miss Gironde took a lot of effort to resolve the “misunderstanding”, but the exasperated Miss Gironde did not seem to be very happy, because Duke Hepburn’s apology in her view was just a reluctant response, of course, she will not immediately show her dissatisfaction, after all, she finally knew his identity. There was quite a future coming, plenty of opportunities to mess with him.
And with such a famous “brother”, she also felt more satisfied. If she took him to market, he’s worth a lot of money! In order to achieve this purpose, she first had to make friends with Ariel.
After dinner, Duke Hepburn and Viscount Gironde took a walk in the courtyard, an old man and a young man followed the path in the garden, through the summer flowers. Viscount Gironde also taught Hepburn to enjoy the locally produced fragrant tobacco, but unfortunately, Hepburn was choked to tear.
“Are you currently on a journey, Your Excellency? Suppose my manor is not on your list.” Gironde led Hepburn to the garden gazebo, and then ordered his underlings to bring red wine, “Why did you suddenly change your itinerary to the Sunset Plateau? Has something happened?”
“Yes, my travel itinerary was arranged by His Grace, and there was not much free time, I originally wanted to come to you on the return trip.” Hepburn smiled and did not hide anything from Gironde, “Something happened, that’s why I set off early, so coming here is not really against the king’s order. Even if there is a little violation, my uncle will not ground his nephew.”
“I forgot about this relationship.” Gironde Picked up the wine glass, “Cheers, to the future court member of the empire!”
“To your health.”
Gironde put down his glass, “What happened before you left, can you tell me?”
“I had encountered several assassinations in a row before I left, of course, it’s expected for me in a time like this, and that’s one reason for this tour…” Hepburn took a sip of wine,” But there were two abnormalities.”
“Strange assassins?” Gironde ambled forward and asked in a whisper, “You mean…”
“According to several analyses, the assassins were not from this empire of the Dark Temple. They were from the other side. And their ability, if any, was almost equivalent to a low-level Scorpion Warrior.”
“That means that they are the White Knights from the Light Temple.” Gironde shook the wine glass in his hand with a gloomy face, “My friend, you are not in a good position! Why are you still running around?”
“A small assassination is still manageable, right! But if I stay in the capital now, it will be more dangerous.” Hepburn was amused by Gironde’s serious expression, “Besides, I’m happy to get away from that tainted atmosphere in the capital, even temporarily.”
“The situation in the capital is complicated, and I understand that, but you will have more danger on your travels.”
“Sitting quietly at home will not drive the dangers away.” Hepburn shook his head, “Although I was kicked home by the united forces, I’m still a soldier. Being afraid of death is not considered a good officer.”
Hearing Hepburn’s words, Viscount Gironde appraised him and then laughed.
“In fact, it is not that dangerous, as long as you survive six months, the assassination from the Protoss side will naturally suspend.” Meeting Hepburn’s puzzled eyes, Viscount Gironde explained, “Many years ago, I was ordered to protect a son of a renowned House who was in the same trouble as you. We watched over him day and night for six months, and after that, no more assassinations.”
“But this is a very strange phenomenon, why is it so?” Hepburn asked.
“It’s a topic that can only be explored in private, but fortunately I’ve discussed it with someone before.” Gironde winked, “Of course, my wisdom is not enough to understand the whole picture, I merely know some of it.”
“Please tell me.”
“Well! As far as I know, it has been occurring for a long time.” Gironde exhaled a smoke ring, “Every time when the Protoss/Asmodian War is over, there will be this kind of large-scale assassination activities in both the Protoss and Asmodian Alliance, targeting all the nobles and senior generals of the army. No one knows why, but we do know one thing: the majority of killers, I’m not talking about the ones who take advantage of the killing, belong to the Dark and Light Temples.”
“The Temples?” Hepburn could not believe his ears, “You mean, we also sent people to assassinate the Protoss people?”
“That’s right, it’s been going back and forth for quite a while. In this half-year period, the dividing line is full of assassins coming and going.” Speaking of this, Viscount Gironde sighed, “Those who were killed were all nobles, either of great reputation or wealth. The fact that your name is on the assassin list is an acknowledgment of your importance.”
“Should I feel honored?” Hepburn shrugged, “Who started this?”
“Untraceable, however, I prefer to blame this assassination activity on revenge.” Gironde winked again, “The defeated side wanted to get even, and the victorious side, of course, returned the favor, as simple as that.”
“Is that really the case? Mr. Viscount, I find you so slick.”
“As I said, I was in high spirits once I returned home, after all, it is dangerous to be out in the open.” Gironde chortled, “You are one of the few cool people I have ever met, you are bound to have your own answer… and I, an old man, what you expect me to say that makes sense?”
“I have a hint of the answer, maybe!” Hepburn nodded thoughtfully.
“Your Excellency, sincerely speaking.” Viscount Gironde’s eyes showed a hint of elder’s love, “You are destined to be a pivotal official in the empire in the future, and there are many things we are powerless to fight. Knowing everything, sometimes, is a very heavy burden. For your own sake, for the sake of your families and your House… just act you don’t know! ”
Hepburn smiled drily, he looked at the flowers around. Waited for a long time before saying, “But that could also be very painful!”
“Your Excellency, on this matter you have the ability to protect yourself, do not go after that so-called truth, I was young, I know what it’s like…” Viscount Gironde lowered his voice, “Ah, life, plain is a bliss. Do not dream of brilliance. Besides, you have a more important mission on your shoulders!”
The Duke of Hepburn kept silent and nodded his head.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation; any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.