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“Hold up, Lorent!” The high-level priest in the team walked forward at this moment.
“What’s the matter?” Lorent furrowed his brows. The priest’s expression gave him a bad feeling.
“I got the latest news through a Sending spell. The king has already issued a statement: the Barbarians have been found guilty of setting loose the Pirates’ Tide on the open seas. With Viscount Tim as a direct witness, there’s no hope of saving this situation…” The priest was visibly upset, but still informed the others of the latest news.
“We can’t continue to investigate him as a subject. This mission must be abandoned.”
“Then our hard work? Those thousands of innocent lives lost at sea? Will it go to waste just like that?” Lorent seemed to burst into an indignant red-hot flame, and suddenly drew his sword and shattered an enormous boulder next to him into pieces.
“There is nothing we can do. We can’t go against the king’s authority directly…” The priest had a helpless expression on his face.
Although there would be no problem overturning the entire Dambrath Kingdom if the church of the God of Justice was mobilised, the crux of the matter was that the powers of the church were spread across the entire mainland. It could not control the entire Dambrath kingdom.
Besides, the human kingdoms regarded the church overriding the king’s authority as taboo. Success would only cause more problems than it gave benefits.
Other churches were also eyeing them covetously, like tigers stalking their prey. They wouldn’t allow the church of justice to become the most powerful party here.
“Are we just going to let that noble escape his punishment?” Lorent’s eyes were bloodshot.
“Of course not! The kingdom’s statement represents His Majesty’s pride, and we can’t overthrow that of course. We can no longer accuse him of being a pirate, but we can search for other crimes…” The priest was very experienced in this aspect. After all, this was not the only noble family who had ever committed such deeds.
“However, we can’t act against him for the time being. Let’s carry out other missions first!”
“No! I want to stay here, and I won’t go anywhere else until he admits to his crime!” The paladin said willfully. He was a bullheaded individual, and once he made up his mind, it would be impossible to hold him back.
The priest could only sigh helplessly upon seeing this.
A luxurious carriage slowly came to a halt on the roadside.
“Here. Careful, it’s slippery!” Viscount Daniel was clothed in an extravagant suit. He alighted from the carriage, followed by Yalani and her sister Hera.
However, the pair of sisters were now dressed in splendid attire, and appeared very sweet and charming. Yalani blushed as she gazed at Daniel, her face lit with joy. This young girl was just fourteen years old, yet she had now lost her immaturity, and had the bearing of a mature and sophisticated woman.
Hera stared at the unmarried couple in front of her, and could only sigh helplessly to herself. She was so astute, but how could she not have realised the changes in her sister’s body?
‘Daniel is too impatient, and Yalani… Sigh… How could she have let Daniel get his way so easily? They didn’t even have a simple wedding…’ Hera sighed secretly to herself, and recalled the way Daniel looked at herself.
His gaze felt invasive and was brimming with wildness, even mixed with a distinctive sense of violence. It was as though she was meeting a wolf face to face.
Hera had seen her fair share of such looks, yet none gave her such immense pressure; this was the tragic part about having to rely entirely on someone else!
If not for Daniel’s inclination towards fooling around instead of settling down, perhaps Hera herself would have been taken advantage of by him.
Grief suddenly overwhelmed her.
‘Rafiniya and… Ley, I wonder how they’re doing?’ Hera quite liked little Rafiniya, and the mercenary named Ley had also left a deep impression on her. He was powerful and mysterious, his eyes filled with an unprecedented purity that could make one feel at peace.
‘Forget Rafiniya, even that Ley guy rejected my good intentions!’ But resentment crept into her heart in a split second.
“Madam!” The butler bowed respectfully and supported Hera as she alighted from the carriage, even passing her a handkerchief adorned with exquisite embroidery.
“Thank you very much!” Hera accepted it gracefully, and suddenly felt much better.
‘You can be a mercenary for the rest of your life, Ley! When you’re old, perhaps one day you will regret declining my offer then as you’re chatting with your grandchildren…’ Hera gripped the handkerchief tightly. It was only now that she realised why he left such a deep impression on her.
“Yalani, the person we’re about to visit is a viscount— no wait. Perhaps I should now address him as Marquis Gold Thornblossom… This marquis just inherited his title, and a large fief off the mainland…” Hera could head Daniel constantly speaking from ahead of her. She could even detect an unconcealable envy from the tone of his voice.
That’s right, envy! This was huge territory and the title of Marquis, things that Daniel couldn’t obtain even if he worked hard for the rest of his life!
After interacting with and observing him for a short period of time, Hera could roughly tell that Viscount Tim actually wasn’t as rich as he appeared to be. Living in the imperial capital was extremely expensive, after all.
Daniel was still giving strict instructions ahead. “Yalani, you must bear your manners in mind. After all, he’s a noble that hails from a royal family, and has high demands when it comes to etiquette…”
“Also… Hera!” Daniel suddenly turned around, and abruptly stopped in his tracks, which almost made Hera bump into him.
“I’m… I’m very sorry!” Hera was slightly flushed as she curtsied in apology.
“It’s alright…” Seeing Hera’s mature and beautiful face, Daniel was slightly intoxicated by her, but quickly came to his senses.
“The main point is, Marquis Tim is still very young, and he’s never even had an official engagement. Do you know what this means?” Daniel looked into Hera’s eyes.
“Could it be…” Hera felt a chill in her heart, but surprisingly didn’t reject the idea. Becoming the wife of a marquis was simply a dream that she had never even dared to think of previously.
Although competition for the spot of his actual wife would be fierce, it would be a great help to her small family in any case as long as she managed to have some sort of relationship with him.
‘I’m afraid Daniel thinks the same way. He wants to get into Marquis Tim’s good books through me, and even take a step further by getting support from him…’ Hera was rather sorrowful. She suddenly turned to look at her younger sister, who was tugging at Daniel’s arm. She, too, was wearing her best clothing, and her face was filled with both arrogance and vigilance, just like when she was hugging her own doll when she was younger.
‘Afraid that I’ll take her husband’s favour away from her? What a naive lass, I’m not her enemy…’ The two sisters shared similar facial features, and were both nobles in their own right, which would arouse the interest of males.
‘I hope Daniel won’t do that, or else…’ Hera grieved secretly, yet could only force out a stiff smile. “Rest assured, brother-in-law, I know what to do.”
“That’s great!” Daniel continued walking ahead, relieved.
The Gold Thornblossom Marquis’ mansion was indeed more imposing than theirs. It was said that this was just his temporary residence, but the entrance to his house was long filled with carriages, practically all of them belonging to nobles. The struggle for title and territory in the Baltic archipelagos had just passed. Those nobles who were on the lookout naturally had to express their goodwill, and even wanted to receive a share of profits from the overseas trade. In fact, Daniel was one of them.
Viscount Daniel clearly hadn’t thought that it would be such a grand occasion that the house would be filled with distinguished guests. Hera and Yalani could only accompany the viscount to the tiny drawing room and continue waiting.
After several hours, Yalani had already made countless complaints, and even Hera was starting to get a little impatient. A young noble then entered through the door.
“Daniel, my friend!” He embraced Daniel cordially, and hurriedly looked over at Hera and her sister. That kind of expression made Hera’s heart sink. “Are these the beautiful sisters from the noble family you mentioned? They seem pretty good!”
Tim rubbed his hands together. In fact, ever since that incident, there had been a demonic fire burning in his heart, waiting to be unleashed. Daniel wasn’t even some figure with authority. But on account that he had such a pretty fiancee and sister-in-law, perhaps Tim could consider his request…
After enjoying the taste of immense power, Tim’s eyes seemed to be ablaze. Yalani tugged her fiance’s hand tightly. But the flattering smile on Daniel’s face that Yalani had never seen before made him seem like a stranger.
‘Something interesting has happened!’ Leylin wandered around Marquis Tim’s mansion with his hands behind his back.
In reality, this mansion was entirely his. Without the Faulens having a residence in the imperial capital, Leylin had moved into the place to create the idea that he and Tim were like blood brothers to outsiders.
After all, the Gold Thornblossoms had bought this place specially to use as a stop-over in the imperial capital. Its surroundings and all that were much better than those of hotels.
Tim had been scared out of his wits by Leylin’s tricks. Once Leylin showed some interest in this place, he immediately transferred the deed and other things over, offering the entire estate to him. Hence, as a matter of fact, this was already his territory.
Leylin thought of how he still had to stay in the imperial capital for a while longer to study in the Wizards’ Guild. His family also needed a place to lodge in the imperial capital as well, so he accepted it without caring about politeness.
‘It’s better to have Tim in the outer seas than a stranger. There are so many opportunities for our family businesses to collaborate…’
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