translated by Tianic, edited by MadSnail.
Note: Please click on the character name for their illustrations.
Characters in this chapter:
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- Iva Merlin: A down frustrated nobility in Winper City, a gambler.
- Dior Merlin: Iva Merlin’s daughter, a business whiz.
- Fischer Summers: Cohen’s friend and a prince of the Swabia Empire.
- Jack, Marfa: Cohen’s childhood friends and firm supporters.
- Arnold: Cohen’s eudemon.
Cohen Kheda sat by the dining table, bogged down by this deep trouble he thought he was in. There was no doubt that Dior Merlin was an attractive girl, especially when she acted angrily. Her puffed big eyes, sleek lines of her lips, slightly pointy chin as well as her smooth and exquisite skin, all were dis-concentrating himself.
“No men would refuse the chance take hold of such a woman! Let alone a man as possessive as I.” He told himself. However, Cohen Kheda was not willing to do it in the rough method, he just wouldn’t.
Watching the well-dressed Dior Merlin strolled into the dining hall as if millions of deportment were into one, Cohen Kheda’s heart beat furiously. He knew that this was a war. It will either end up with wounds or joyfulness on both sides. There was no chance anyone will have a single win.
He pointed to the chair beside him without turning a hair, to let Dior Merlin sit by his side.
Ms. Merlin, no, she was now Mrs. Merlin, gathered up her evening dress hemline, then sat down gradually.
“What’s for dinner?” Dior Merlin acted casually and asked. She had it all planned that even she was forced to marry this man, however, she could still take advantage of her frequently used tricks on the playboys to deal with this guy: To make him fall madly in love with herself, then furiously stamp him under her foot unannounced. Many times, a cold face hurt more than the sharpest blade. As for Dior Merlin herself, she will not let this man touch her body, not even a finger.
“Fish!” Cohen Kheda seemed as if this exquisite face was invisible and replied stiffly, “And big shrimp!”
“Big shrimp?” She thought, then sipped her cup of wine, “It’s called jumbo shrimp!”
“I like it. I’ll call it big shrimp!”
Dior Merlin nearly choked to death by her aperitif. Such an unrepentant layman!
“Suit yourself, but don’t expect me to call it like you do!” She looked up and faced her husband while the sapphire earrings turned to reflect a beam of shimmering light right onto Cohen Kheda’s heart.
Cohen Kheda started focusing on tackling with the ‘big shrimps’ in his plate, which made Dior Merlin slightly frustrated. As if he was not paying attention to a bit of her beauty.
“I have to derive his focus onto me! This way I’ll be able to deal with him properly!” Dior Merlin secretly made up her mind to revenge brutally on this man’s rude behavior to her.
At this moment, a warrior entered with a booklet in hand. He was rather young as well. It seemed that all of them were young.
“Boss! I have the list of our next cargo…”
“Read it!” Cohen Kheda did not bother to stop eating.
“Yes, sir! First-class silk fifty bolts, first-class wine three hundred cases, first-class…”
Dior Merlin heard all these, she chuckled involuntarily.
“What’s so funny!” Her husband glared.
“Are those what you are smuggling?” She said proudly, “What a waste of labor…”
“I know you are some sort of business knower.” Cohen Kheda said, “But then if you haven’t the slightest idea of what smuggling is, you’d better shut off your opinions!”
“If I were you, I will load the ships with spice. Do you know what is it?” Neglecting what Cohen said, she continued, “Cinnamon, aniseed, clove… however, I assume you will not understand how profitable these are.”
Cohen Kheda suddenly slapped on the dining table and stormed up.
“Make clear who you are! You are merely one of my many wives!” He approached her body as if he was about to devour her, “And I, am you husband! Finish your stuff and go back to your chamber! Wait me in bed after the shower!”
Finishing with this, Cohen Kheda exited the room ablaze with anger.
“Don’t you dare touch a single hair!” Dior Merlin tossed her napkin and left as well.
The moment Cohen Kheda was out of the dining hall, he immediately grabbed Marfa’s pen and began writing on a paper.
“Genius, what a genius! Cinnamon, aniseed, clove…” He raised and asked Marfa, “What else did she say?”
“Ah! I wasn’t paying attention…” Marfa shook.
“Next time I fight with her,” Cohen Kheda said, “Mark down everything she says! This is all pure gold! Our next cargo will be done exactly according to her…”
Dior Merlin entered the room. She undressed and put on a sturdy wear as fast as she could, plus three belts and the black steel dagger on her back. On second thought, she moved the dagger back in her hands.
The door closed, a chair was fixed against the door. She considered in this way, there will be a sound once he comes in!
Dior Merlin had finally set everything ready. She returned back in the corner chair and fixed her eyes on the door, dagger drawn, was without the faintest idea whether the blade should point to her husband or herself.
“Alright, I’m aiming it at him! It’s just for frightening… I’ll not send the blade out.” She said, “I know he’s gonna force me. I… I’ll not let him!”
Arnold watched her with curiosity, then jumped onto her laps, barked.
“Good boy, Arnold, what should I do?” Dior Merlin put down the dagger and hugged over Arnold, “That guy is coming soon… what should I do? Why can’t I make me uglier? Gosh, my face is driving him crazy…”
Cohen Kheda rested on the castle tower. In his point of view, he was able to see everything in his wife’s chamber, thanks to Arnold. He knew clearly what’s happening there.
“Honestly, she’s not that bad…” Watching as Dior Merlin took Arnold, Cohen’s instinct told him such.
By the morning, Arnold’s bleats awakened Dior Merlin. She found her body stiff as she kept in the chair sleeping the whole night. By then she woke up, Arnold was looping loops in bed.
“Morning, Arnold…” Dior Merlin rose and peaked outward. She was full of curiosity about all the quiet last night. Her hateful husband did not break into her room as expected, which made her pity for the all-night battle station.
“It must be his evil plot! He lets me loosen up on purpose, but I most certainly will not!” Dior Merlin told herself and went downstairs after dressing properly.
“Good morning, Mrs. Merlin!” Lily said.
“Morning.” Dior Merlin replied, smiled, “Where is that annoying man?”
“The Lord? He has a guest, they are in the garden!”
“Guest? This guy has friends?” Dior Merlin decided to check them out.
Dior Merlin crossed the hall to arrive in the garden smothered with fresh air. Cohen Kheda was whispering with a man, his one arm around that man’s back. Judging by his lip movement, he was replying “Yes”.
“Alright, that’s all. Off you go!”
When she came closer, she heard her husband said so. What kind of guest he was, he was totally a subordinate!
“Greeting, Mrs. Merlin!’ The guest greeted her as he passed by, body straightened. It was a standard military gesture.
“Glad to meet you.” Dior Merlin replied in return. Though she was unaware of who the man was, she did not want to act impolitely.
The guest left through the gate. Dior Merlin turned to her husband and asked confusedly, “Who is him? Why was he followed by so many soldiers?”
“Weird, huh?” The husband watched her and said, “He’s the new Winper mayor, Kirk. He was once the Dark City sub-lieutenant.”
“Since when did Winper have a mayor?”
“The new mayor came to visit you on the second day?”
“Dissatisfied? He and I are not only friends, we have business going on…”
“I see! He’s the mayor, you smuggle… No wonder you do it without fear of getting caught!” She, for the first time, thought his husband was not too stupid after all.
“Smuggle, I also run whore houses, stores.” The husband said, “As long as anything that makes money, I’m doing it.”
“What do you need all that money for?” She asked yet again, confusedly, “Smuggling alone is not enough?”
“No, ‘cuz I need money…” The husband said, “My spending is enormous.”
“No doubt there, three pieces of clothes for fifteen pieces of gold.”
“Hehhe…” Dior Merlin’s husband grinned, “Ya think？Never mind, I’m feeling good today. I don’t wanna fight with you.” Her husband laughed and went back into the hall. Dior Merlin went out of breath. It was the first time he refused to argue with her. Fine, then, as he wished. Dior Merlin blinked then the whole of her turned innocent as a pure little girl. She stepped into the hall energized.
“I just don’t believe he’ll not fall for me!” She thought as the fact was. Almost any men will fall for her eyes. They would even break away from their religion for her extra look on them.
As she entered the hall, Lily came rushing by with a pot of flower with yellow leaves.
“Young Lord! Look, what happened to it?” Lily presented the pot on Cohen Kheda’s desk and asked anxiously, “I was in the garden and it was like this.”
“It’s dead, just get rid of it!” Cohen Kheda took a look at it.
“My Lord! Please save it!” Lily asked again anxiously, “It’s Lily’s favorite.”
Cohen Kheda rubbed Lily’s head and smiled.
“Fine.” He said, “Let me try!”
Cohen Kheda lowered the head and focused. Then his hand floated over that pot of flower. Without chanting, beams of white light appeared descending from his palm and increased. The beams then gradually formed a light ball that enveloped the whole pot.
Slowly, leaves of the flower restored its color back from the dead yellow. They stood again upright and green. One leaf, then another. By then all the leaves were as live as it were, a tiny bud appeared on the trunk. A drop of liquid fell onto the bud, let to a pretty and tiny three-colored flower bloomed slowly on it, emitting light scent in the entire room.
That liquid belonged to Cohen’s forehead.
“Done!” Cohen Kheda smiled exhaustedly, he said to Lily, “It’s all yours!”
“Madman!” Dior Merlin left for good. She did not want her husband to notice that she was watching, “Cure a flower with a healing spell and he winded up sweaty all over! If he’s low on magic then don’t use it! What kind of mage he is…”
However, Dior Merlin’s eyes were welled with tears. She knew that she will never forget that in a bright morning, a lousy magician exhausted himself to cure a flower only to win a girl’s smile.
Bright sunshine traveled through the french window and landed on him, making the buds of sweat extraordinarily crystal-like. That moment, his face seemed so glamorous, his sincere smile became not so hateful, his evil grin was even becoming likable.
Dior Merlin found herself on the port. She tried to clear her mind. What a strange feeling that was. She obviously hated him instead of being attracted. She considered whether to continue to hate him.
Smuggling carriages went in from afar. Dozens of them lined in shape by the port.
“This man is extraordinarily greedy for money.”Dior Merlin thought.
She watched as the young warrior called Jack commanded his men to unload their cargos. A unique smell of dried clove filled in the air.
“Cunning man!” She found one reason to continue her hatred for him, “Plagiarizing my idea!”
“Cunning who?” Her husband appeared from the back, which she did not notice.
“Cunning you!” She said angrily, “I said yesterday to smuggle spice, then you start immediately today. How quick you act!”
“Of course, since it’s profitable, I’ll not linger around.” Her husband said seriously without a single intent to apologize or appreciate.
“Haven’t you seen anything wrong in that?” She said in high words.
“Are there?” The husband said lightly, “You are my wife, as all your ideas are mine.”
“My ideas are yours? What an easy way to put it!” She said, “How about your ideas?”
“My ideas?” The husband laughed, “Of course they are mine.”
“You… rascal! Robber!” Dior Merlin was furious, “You are fighting me! It’s a duel!”
“Are you sure to do it?”
Dior Merlin stopped talking as she drew from a warrior who stood beside a narrow sword. She stood in the assaulting position. As for her husband, Cohen Kheda smiled as she did all these.
“Fine, I’ll play with you.” He said, “Three times.”
Dior Merlin thrust like a flash of light. The sword went straight to her husband’s arm. She was sure that this attack will be able to break his clothes, which will make a fool out of him yet he will remain unhurt.
Dior Merlin’s husband’s kept smiling as if he saw through her mind. In the meantime, he grabbed the blade using his hand.
“Once.” The man let go of the blade. She then saw a pair of black glove was there on his hand since god-know-when.
Dior Merlin breathed smoothly and eased herself. She considered and decided to pull out her best martial skill: Five Linked Strike. Cohen Kheda then saw many flashes of snow-white blade lights intertwined and flew toward himself.
“Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!” The husband’s both hands moved rapidly and blocked all five attacks!
“Twice.” The man said, “You have one more shot.”
Dior Merlin remained speechless. She once tried countless times and no one was able to take all her five strikes. Even if her opponent was able to take it, they dared not pretend not to lose.
Her husband’s serious attitude had made her shameful. She glared then thrust one more time. No, she thrust one after another. Clearly, she had forgotten the three times promise.
“It’s past three times!” The man’s tone became heavier. But she did not care!
However, Cohen Kheda caught her sword in the rain-like attacks, his other hand grabbed her collar.
“You’ve gone too far.” He said, “We’re done here!”
“NO!” The stubborn Dior Merlin said, “You rascal, I will defeat you!”
“Don’t you understand?” His eyes glimmered, “You’ll never defeat me, on anything. Why not try to learn to respect me?”
“Because you’ve never respected ME!”
“I haven’t?” He became angry and dragged over her body, “You asked for it!”
Cohen Kheda raised her body high as if he was holding a bag of dry clove and went near the port, then he paid no pity for her and threw her down into the sea water.
“I think you need some time for yourself.” Cohen Kheda leaned by the upper side wall and looked down to her, “Think about it. In this castle, who is the most special one with me? Who is able to do anything regardless of the rules? Now you are telling me I’m not respecting you? If it were other nobility chicks, I’ve had already tie her up and raped for real!”
“SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” Dior Merlin yelled, “I hate you!”
“Is that so? I see. If love isn’t an option… hatred is not bad.” The man stood and left.
Dior Merlin struggled back to her chamber and Lily helped her to get changed. Then she stood alone in the bed and looked blank.
“Don’t be mad…” Lily comfort, “Just take it as you ordered him to throw you down.”
“No! He did it in front of everybody…” Dior Merlin said with a pouty mouth, “I will have my revenge!”
“Just quit it!” Lily took her hands and said, “I think His Lord was quite right. Why don’t you try to make peace with him?”
“Can we?” Dior Merlin was on the edge of crying, “We come from two different worlds!”
“If you wanna marry someone so identical to yourself,” Lily looked at Dior and said, “What’s so different if you don’t get married at all?”
“Don’t you understand, Lily?” She murmured, “I was bought here and paid by him. Why would he buy a girl like me? Every time it came to me, I just… I just…”
Lily slowly took steady of Dior Merlin’s shoulders.
“I’m just a girl and a maiden. I wasn’t even bought by him.” Lily said, “But I know, Young Lord treats me well. I’m happy with my life in here. Madame, why do you care how you two winded up together? Don’t you know that Lord respects you a lot? These days, he slept with his friends instead of bothering you. You are the only one to fight with the Lord without being punished…”
“He dares not…” Dior Merlin said hatefully.
“Wrong again, Madame…” Lily said, “You’ve never seen the Lord getting angry, but I have.”
“Madame, can I give you an advice?”
“Sure, you can.” Dior Merlin took Lily’s hands, “We are friends.”
“Can you try to forget what happened in the past. Starting from today, learn to feel what he feels. You will find you actually enjoy staying with him. He might not be a perfect man, but he’s definitely a sincere one. His heart is.”
“Do you really think so?” Dior Merlin asked in doubt.
“Fine, I’ll try…”
Thus, days passed, Dior Merlin spent her days fighting, big or small, with his husband. Sometimes she won, other times, the man won. When there were no fights, she will take Lily and Arnold to walk on the beach. As long as she did not overdo anything, the husband had never stopped what she intended to do. He would merely watch her from afar.
Dior Merlin had the freedom she had not been enjoying for years. It was like she was back in her childhood. The days were joyful and fulfilling. Before she knew it, Dior Merlin had spent the seventh day in this castle.
This morning, Dior Merlin was carding her red hair while thinking about the subjects on what to argue with her husband today. These days, arguing had become their routine. Both of them restrained themselves while doing so in case the fight involve family, friend or relative.
“I’ll pick something up during breakfast.” She thought, “Right, to begin with this, and make him angry! Then leak out some smuggling catalog… he must be overjoyed.”
By then, her door was strongly pushed open.
Dior Merlin turned and found her husband walking in! She instinctively grabbed the dagger that never left her. The husband never came to her room at night, now the lock remained idle.
“How could I be so careless!” She felt depressed, “He’s not coming during the night doesn’t mean he’s not going in in the morning…”
“What do you want?” She stood up, “You should knock, get out.”
“Put down the weapon.” The man said, “I have something to tell you.”
“Listen, I’m only gonna say it once.” He looked serious, “It’s urgent. I need to go out for a few days. I don’t know how it’s gonna end, but I’ll come back as soon as possible.”
Dior Merlin had never seen her husband this serious. She cannot help but nod.
“In case I am unable to come back.” The husband found a pile of paper from the pocket and gave to her, “You have to take over all of my business in Winper City, including the smuggling business. Do whatever you like, there will be people to help you. Every half-month, the mayor will ask for money. You’ll give him how-much-ever he wants, you get me?”
“How-much-ever he wants!” Dior Merlin was unaware that she was already acting as a wife.
“I will leave a few guards for you.” The man said, “If you have any questions, ask Jack. I’ll leave him as well.”
After all these, he strode out.
“By the way,” He stopped by the door, “If you need to go out, pay attention. Don’t be too wild while I’m gone.”
Watched as he went down the stairs. Dior Merlin felt panic out of nowhere. She knew that her husband must be in big trouble. Uproars came from the port side. She fetched Lily and boarded the castle tower and watched toward the port.
A giant ship docked by the water. Her husband was talking to a few people. Those men who have been calling her husband ‘Lord’ were gathering out of the castle and lined on the portal. They all wore armor of many kinds and armed as well.
By the time her husband boarded the ship. Dior Merlin saw him glimpsed toward the castle. Only then she knew that she to him was not so low on status as she thought. Looked at the pile of leases and business papers he gave her: the clothes store that she had thrown in so much hard work and the property deeds of her house in the city, her heart ached and nearly dropped in tears.
“Pay attention, you too.” She watched as the sail began to rise, and waved her hands, “My… rustic…”
“…I have to make myself clear, that your status is always not welcomed here…”
“…now, Sander, you’ll be my Dark Navy Corps deputy commander…”
“…can I trust you, my darling wife?”
“…in this ancient shrine, there is a giant dungeon where lives a flock of dreadful beasts…”
“…Cohen, this isn’t looking normal…”
“…I admit that you are one viceroy of bravery, but that still can’t change my view on you from earlier…”
“… the Protoss Lord followers, for your loyalty and persistence, my blessings…”
Please look forward to Cohen of the Rebellion
Volume 5 – Light Journey