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‘Rumours say the Snake Dowager favours the holy city, granting huge benefits to all her descendants…’ Leylin thought, watching the siblings who were drunk on the feeling. ‘Truth be told, the holy city is just affected by the presence of her main body. The radiation from it refines their bloodlines.’
Of course, there was a limit to this process. However, the guarantee that their bloodlines wouldn’t deteriorate was enough for all of them to scramble here without delay.
‘Pity. This sort of high energy radiation is basically poison to me now.’ Sensing the curse mark continuously absorbing radiation and gaining strength, Leylin could only smile wryly. The Allsnake Curse had been sealed, but the closer he was to the Snake Dowager the more obvious the flare ups would become.
Hiding any signs of abnormality and taking the initiative to get closer to the Snake Dowager day by day, he was dancing on the edge of a knife.
‘But at least it’s confirmed that the Snake Dowager’s main body is close to the holy city.’ Leylin’s eyes lit up. Just for that, he had to stay here in spite of the threat to his life.
“The Matriarch’s sculpture is the core of the city, with the circles extending outwards from it. In the business district are H0LP and Imagia’s Cabin, which are pretty good. Once you’ve settled down, I can accompany you on a stroll.” Aegnis was evidently extremely excited as she brought them to a region with majestic mansions around.
“This region belongs to us Stewarts. I’ve arranged for Belinda to stay in a villa near me. We can—”
*Trring! Trring! Trring!* Before Aegnis could finish speaking, she was interrupted by a series of rings from her vambrace. She opened a notification on her arm, her voice showing her discontentment. “What is it? Didn’t I specifically mention that you are not to bother me no matter what happens tonight?”
“My sincerest apologies, Lord Aegnis, but this incident is so strange that it requires your personal attention.”
“What is it?” Aegnis grew serious. For a subordinate who knew her personality to still trouble her, it would be something difficult to deal with.
“It has to do with a mutant contamination. It’s at least grade 4 in danger.”
“Fuck!” Aegnis cursed, evidently surprised. Immediately after, she closed off the communications and apologised to Belinda, “I’m so sorry Belinda, Sophia! There’s something I need to handle, but I’ve already booked a room at the Spiral Serpent Restaurant. Please do go!”
“Alright Aegnis, hurry on with your work!” Belinda nodded in understanding, pressing her cheeks onto Aegnis’ causing the woman to smile cheerfully.
“Thomas, I’ll leave the rest to you. If Belinda and little Sophia are the slightest bit unhappy, you know what will happen!” Aegnis left hastily after assigning this task. Leylin’s lips quirked up in a mysterious smile as he watched her leave.
“Alright then! My ladies, and this Mister Nick, please come with me!” Thomas said with a clap. He evidently wanted to act like a gentleman in front of the sisters.
Belinda and Sophia held no distaste for him and cheerfully chatted and joked around with hm until they reached a gorgeous villa. The entire villa lit up there with a snap of his fingers, warm light flooding every corner with a beep sounding.
Motes of multicolour light flew out into the little garden like fireflies, like little stars as they appeared before Sophia’s hands.
“The lights are voice controlled, and dust removal spells activate at specific timings everyday. There’s another spell formation here that can set the temperature. And every piece of furniture here was prepared specially by my elder sister. Since she didn’t know your preferences, she’s prepared for it and allowed you to choose things like your servants…” Thomas smiled warmly.
In the meanwhile, Belinda and Sophia were very satisfied with this villa.
“Most importantly, sister’s place is nearby. It’s easy to contact her.” Thomas smiled as he handed the keys over to Belinda.
“Thank you both, for everything you’ve done for us. What about Nick’s place?” Belinda glanced at Leylin.
“Mister Nick? I’m sorry, but this is area is restricted to female guests,” Thomas waved his arms helplessly. He made an alternative suggestion, “How about you two ladies get some rest while I bring Mister Nick to his room?”
Though Belinda and Sophia were slightly discontent with this, Leylin appeared to very enthusiastically agree, and let the two sisters stay behind.
Thomas waited until he and Leylin left the villa to show his true colours.
“Listen to me, kid. I don’t care who you are or what happened with those siblings on the way here. Just remember this. This is the holy city, and they aren’t people you should expect anything from. Understand?” he asked, levelling a threatening gaze at Leylin. He already had a plan; if Leylin tried to resist or look for the sisters, he would get the guards and throw this guy into the moat.
In any case, the Stewart family was strong and had powerful defences. It was simple to get rid of a lone traveler with nobody to rely on.
As for those sisters? After wailing over Leylin for a while, they could only end up accepting it.
‘Such is life!’ Thomas laughed wickedly. He loved that phrase.
However, contrary to Thomas’ expectations, ‘Nick’ actually seemed to be terrified and even hada flattering grin on his face, saying, “Alright, Mister Thomas. I have no expectations towards those sisters, and I’ll break off all relations with them from hereon. This humble servant here only wishes to have a stable life in the holy city, and I am already extremely satisfied. Why would I expect other things?”
Leylin looked completely sincere as he continued, “Only Lord Thomas is worthy of Miss Sophia!”
“Mm, you’re absolutely right!” This huge change in attitude dazed Thomas momentarily. He quickly recalled Leylin’s indifference to his provocation, and passed it off as a show of cowardice and weakness in retrospect.
‘Such a weak personality. He’s probably someone the sisters made friends with on the way here,’ Thomas wondered to himself, and suddenly found Leylin less of an eyesore.
A dark thought reared its head in the depths of his heart, ‘In the future, if I bring the sisters over here, Nick’s amazed expression will be very amusing…’
Leylin’s position had lowered in his mind, from a love rival to a mere tool to be used. His malicious intent abated.
‘If those sisters won’t agree, wouldn’t it be fun to have Nick knock them unconscious and then send them to my bed?’ Thomas stroked his chin, daydreaming of this beautiful scene in the future. His lips arched.
“Well then. Lord Thomas, may I know where my lodging is? The prices in the holy city, they’re really… Without anyone vouching for me, I can’t rent a good place,” Leylin seemed to hesitate before making his request.
However, Thomas, who now found Leylin less of an eye-sore, did not hesitate to agree. How could he make life difficult for Leylin if he did not have anything over him? In addition, placing the man right under his nose was better than having him going out by himself, where he could even try to hit on the sisters.
“Come with me!” Having thought this through, Thomas brought Leylin to another region. Compared to the luxurious villas before, this packed place seemed to be cheap. It was the difference between heaven and earth.
Thomas brought Leylin to another district, “This is the place! This estate belongs to our family, just that I don’t know which idiot bought the rights to it then…”
Before him was an attic room. There were swirls on the wood of the walls and floor, and the place seemed dark and wet. It looked to be on the verge of collapse. It was also extremely small. There was a huge disparity between this and Belinda’s luxurious villa.
Of course, this wasn’t half bad considering the neighbouring residences.
“What do you think? This one isn’t too bad compared to the surroundings. At the least, you wouldn’t be able to pay a year of rent here even if you used up all your money…” Thomas laughed meanly without a care, “But I’m kind. You can live here as long as you want, no need to pay rent. I’ll tell the guards.”
“Thank you so much, my Lord!” Leylin bowed down nearly ninety degrees with a humble smile as he took the runic keys from Thomas. After multiple agreements not to look for the sisters, he finally managed to send a content Thomas away before activating them and sizing up his residence.
The wooden door let out sad creaks, as if unable to handle the stress. Leylin began to suspect that if this wasn’t supported by the strength of spells, the whole building would immediately turn into a pile of rubble.
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