Chapter 3: Left Eye… The Royal Assassin

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On July 1, 2015, Posted by , In Gong Hua, By ,, , With 6 Comments

In order to raise money and buy information, I had to accept several difficult missions.
In the end, the president of the Assassin’s Guild came knocking on my door.
There’s even a guild for assassins! How ridiculous. My stomach hurts from laughing.
But this guild is pretty convenient for accepting missions and obtaining information. Only, I still don’t have any tips on the matter I want to know the most—Gong Hua’s whereabouts.
The guild president brought me to meet someone.
“If you can work solely for me, I’ll give you the best reward!”
I’ve heard this phrase hundreds of times before. Every employer of mine loved saying it. How extremely dull. I’m not interested in having someone provide for me. However, the person who had said those words this time has a troublesome identity. He is a king.
The guild president put it bluntly, “It’s your choice. Either become the assassin of the royal family or die.”
Damn it, does that even count as a choice?

—Cas

“Someone wants to kill the Leaves? Is it part of the Danyas’ plans?”

Edward directed the question to the person in front of him. It was a man with a scar on his left eye; even his code name was Left Eye. Edward hadn’t known the assassin for all that long, merely six or seven years. Compared to the time he’d known Owen, his playmate since childhood, those six or seven years were nothing. However, he often felt that the man in front of him was the one who understood him best.

That thought sometimes made him uneasy. He’d always felt that Left Eye knew and understood everything about him. But that was impossible, definitely impossible.

“I don’t know anything about that,” Left Eye responded indifferently. “You gave the order to protect the Leaves, so I did. Anything other than that is none of my business.”

Left Eye always did as his orders commanded him. He did them without asking, without going overboard, and without any hesitation. No matter how absurd his orders were, he did as he was told without making any errors. It was Left Eye’s style, an admirable style.

“If I didn’t have you, then it’d be like I was missing one of my eyes,” Edward praised the other man with a slight smile. Left Eye’s expression darkened when he heard the praise. Thinking that he knew the reason, Edward immediately explained, “Don’t worry, I’ve already promised you. I will release you when I ascend the throne. This agreement hasn’t changed. In fact, I’m even more determined to do it. You truly have helped me out a lot.”

Left Eye coldly smiled and said, “Save it. The more you rely on me and want to release me, the more you can’t allow me to actually leave.”

Edward was shocked, so much that he was unable to refute Left Eye’s claim.

When he had reached adulthood, the king had given Left Eye to him as a present. He was alarmed at the fact that, secretly, his father had several assassins under his command. But he couldn’t deny that the existences of those assassins were necessary. After he took over some of Zhan Yan’s governmental affairs, he truly became more dependent on Left Eye. He had left many of his work for the assassin to do, thus becoming more inseparable from the other.

Would he really be able to honor his promise and allow Left Eye to leave after he ascended the throne? Left Eye was extremely capable at handling things, plus he also knew too much…

Left Eye looked detachedly at the silent prince. He didn’t feel any disappointment, as he had already guessed this outcome.

Unexpectedly, Edward gave a heavy sigh and said easily, “I will still allow you to leave. It is a promise the royal family has made. It will not change. However, before you leave, I hope you’ll still be willing to help me take care of things.”

The prince’s words left Left Eye a little surprised, but he revealed none of that surprise on his face. As coldly as ever, he stated, “So you’ll feel better if I went about killing people willingly?”

Edward stared in shock at the assassin when he heard those words. A wave of anger immediately rose up in him. “Zhan · Cas · Tershiziel!”

Upon hearing that name, Left Eye appeared as if he had been stabbed with a knife. He growled, “Don’t call me Cas! I’m an assassin who kills people! Assassins never use their real name!”

Edward snorted coldly and said in a warning tone, “Then you best remember that I am your superior. Don’t always address me as ‘!’ ”

“Yes, it is as Your Highness has said. Your subordinate here is at fault. This humble subordinate will now immediately go investigate the recent attack.” Left Eye had used honorifics in his reply, but his voice was completely sarcastic. It was a special talent of his.

How polite of him. Edward rolled his eyes and pondered over Left Eye’s words. After hesitating for a moment, he said, “No, there’s no need to investigate. It’s fine as long as you protect those peace offerings.”

“I agree. If the investigation turned out that a certain someone’s father had been behind this whole thing, then the situation would surely turn ugly.”

At those words, a light flashed in Edward’s eyes. This was the fundamental reason why he relied so much on Left Eye. The assassin could always pinpoint the root cause of any suspicious happenings.

If it weren’t the Danyas, then the perpetrator had to be one of his own countrymen. Most likely, it had to have been the pro-war faction’s doing. The only thing he wasn’t sure of was the social status of the mastermind. Disregarding Left Eye’s notion that his own father had been behind the whole thing, even if it had been one of leaders of the three spiritmancer regiments, the situation would still turn troublesome.

Edward rubbed his temples, thinking that it might be time for him to go and find the head of the Xialan Spiritmancer Regiment, Chris, and have a talk with him. However, he should probably go to Owen first. The latter was the son of Warlord Paladin and the student of Commander Chris. He should be aware of many things.

Thinking of Owen, Edward was reminded of another person. He quickly asked Left Eye, “Oh right, what about the matter I told you to investigate last time? The one on Yin Qie Zi.”

A light flashed through Left Eye’s eyes. He then calmly reported, “He had been through several towns before and had told people that he lost his parents in the war 20 years ago. He was then adopted by the spirit binder Lequilier and became his student.”

“That famous spirit binder Lequilier?” Edward exclaimed aloud.

“Yup, that’s the one. I also found out that Lequilier isn’t human. He’s of the Servile Spirits Tribe, the tribe where everyone is short,” Cas replied lazily.

Edward stared in surprise. He had heard that Lequilier wasn’t human, but he didn’t think that the spirit binder belonged to the Servile Spirits Tribe. The tribe was well-known but small in population; they appeared in all sorts of folklores.

“But I’ve heard that the Servile Spirits mostly work as spirit charmers rather than spirit binders.”

Left Eye shrugged and said, “I haven’t investigated that, but I am ninety percent sure that Lequilier is from the Servile Spirits Tribe. I’ll remind you now that if you ever come across someone from the Servile Spirits Tribe, don’t ever mention that they work as spirit charmers. They see themselves as servile spirits, so they’ll be unhappy if they were called spirit charmers. They might even severely lecture you on this, either by words or by fists. Don’t think they wouldn’t just because you are a prince!”

Edward paused and pondered over Left Eye’s warning, but he couldn’t determine what use it was to him. At most, he understood that he couldn’t keep Lequilier under his own personal employ. He then reminded Left Eye, “Continue your report on Yin Qie Zi.”

Left Eye nodded and continued, “Yin Qie Zi left his teacher’s side a few years ago and became a spirit binder himself. About a year ago, he came to Qi Feng and opened a spirit medicine shop. His prices are ridiculously high, but the qualities of his elixirs are very good.”

Left Eye paused and then added, “As for his origins, I can say that I’m not even fifty percent sure of the information I’ve obtained. I wasn’t able to find Lequilier to verify my findings. Plus, there are too many villages that had been destroyed during the war twenty years ago.”

“I understand.” Edward nodded and changed the subject. “I’m quite curious, why are you so knowledgeable about the Servile Spirits?”

“I’m looking for someone.” Left Eye paused and glanced at Edward, who nodded to show that he knew. Left Eye then continued, “By chance, I came across them during my search. I’ve also been to their land.”

“You know where they live?” Edward’s eyes widened. He was greatly interested in the topic.

Left Eye nodded and glanced sideways at his superior. He warned, “Don’t provoke them needlessly. Around half of them have the ability to become spirit charmers. Their tribe’s population ranges around one hundred thousand, which means they have around fifty thousand spirit charmers!”

Upon hearing that number, Edward gasped and mumbled, “What immense power. If we could strike an alliance with them…”

“Dream on!” Left Eye said brusquely, “Unless you are a physical spirit, then they have no interest in you. All they think about is becoming the dog of a physical spirit.”

Edward stared blankly at Left Eye, his mood deflating. He couldn’t resist complaining, “Why are the Servile Spirits so strange? They have fifty thousand capable spirit charmers! If we can obtain that power…”

Left Eye sneered coldly and said in a mocking voice, “If they weren’t so strange, then all of Xi Zong would belong to them. If that happened, humans wouldn’t even have gotten a turn at dominating the continent!”

Edward paused in shock and finally understood the seriousness of the matter. If a tribe in possession of fifty thousand spirit charmers abandoned their strange way of life and became interested in warfare, what kind of dreadful attacks would humankind suffer? Just thinking about it was enough to make him shudder.

“Ah, Left Eye, you truly are like my own indispensible left eye.”

“…My report is finished. Can I leave?”

Edward smiled and gestured with his hand.

Left Eye turned to leave. A few steps later, he remembered something. He turned his head around and asked suspiciously, “Is the reason you especially investigated Yin Qie Zi because Warlord Paladin’s daughter truly plans on getting married to him? He’s a man of unknown origins. Even if Warlord Paladin dotes on his daughter, there is no way he would agree to such a ridiculous match.”

“That’s hard to say.” Edward gave a small smile. “She’s of weak constitution, so she would be bad for the royal line. Besides, the prince doesn’t want to marry her.”

Left Eye glanced at “the prince who didn’t want to marry her” and asked doubtfully, “Do you think His Majesty the King and the Warlord would let you off that easily?”

Edward’s expression darkened slightly. He then sighed and said, “Mila has said that she’s unable to bear children. The physician my royal father has sent also confirmed this fact.”

At this, Left Eye finally believed that Warlord Paladin might marry his daughter off to Yin Qie Zi. A woman who couldn’t bear children would be looked down upon by her husband’s family; unless, of course, she belonged to a family that one couldn’t afford to offend. Yin Qie Zi was parentless. If he were to marry Mila, then he would almost certainly live at the Warlord’s residence in the future. If that happened, then no disservice would be done to Mila herself.

If he truly married her… Ah!

Left Eye smiled coldly. Now, he truly wasn’t in a hurry to do anything to that guy. After all, even if he didn’t lift a finger, he would be able to watch a tragedy play out before him. So what was the rush?

***

“There’s an auction taking place this afternoon, the biggest one of the year. Rumors say they are putting up one of the Leaf slaves… Ah, my bad, they are putting up one of the Leaves for auction. So go prepare yourself Yin Qie Zi. We’ll be going this afternoon to buy the Leaf. I don’t know if the Leaf is male or female, but I’m hoping it’s a female… Ah, Mila, don’t hit me! Alright alright. It’s a male, definitely a male.”

After returning to his room, Yin Qie Zi sat beside the bed. The more he mulled over Owen’s words, the more he frowned.

How much was a Leaf worth? Seeing as ten Leaves could serve as peace offerings between countries, their value was probably incredibly high, a price the average person could only dream of. But Owen and Mila were planning to buy the Leaf and then gift it to him. This was strange. Most definitely strange!

Someone suddenly knocked on his door.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me, Mila.”

Yin Qie Zi looked down at his injured shoulder, thinking that there was no harm in changing the bandage later. He called out, “Come in.”

Mila did her best to roll her wheelchair into the room. Fenny was following behind her, but did not offer any help. Yin Qie Zi wasn’t the least bit astonished at the scene; Mila always tried to do the things she could do by herself.

Yin Qie Zi paused when he saw Mila coming in and then noticed the medical kit sitting on her lap. His brows immediately furrowed at the sight.

Seeing Yin Qie Zi’s expression, Mila lowered her head and asked dejectedly, “Do you think I’m not capable of doing something like this?”

“No!” Yin Qie Zi quickly explained, “I just think that this kind of thing is unsuitable for someone like you to do. I can change the bandage by myself.”

“It’s because you are always moving around that your wound is taking so long to heal!” Mila instantly became angry at him.

Yin Qie Zi was at a loss for words. Mila was right. During his trip to the palace, not only did he dive in and out of water, but he had also fought off an assassin. After he came back, his wound was constantly aching in pain.

“Then I’ll get Litelli to help.”

Mila became silent at his proposal, but then she nodded. “Alright, you must get him to help. Don’t try to bandage it by yourself. Promise me!”

Yin Qie Zi nodded in response, but Mila was unsatisfied with the action. He opened his mouth and said, “Alright, I promise you.”

Even though she received Yin Qie Zi’s promise, Mila waited in the room until Litelli arrived. She then personally instructed Litelli to help change Yin Qie Zi’s bandage and prevent the latter from doing it himself. After leaving behind the medical kit, she finally agreed to leave.

The master and servant left in the room stared at each other. Litelli blinked innocently at Yin Qie Zi. “I did promise her to help you, but if Master wants me to break the promise, then I’ll definitely have to listen to you, right? So don’t stare at me like that. If you want to change the bandage by yourself, then feel free to do so!”

Yin Qie Zi was silent for a while. He subsequently let out a small sigh and said, “Come and help me.”

How very unusual! Litelli’s eyes widened and he stood still in his spot. When Yin Qie Zi shot him an icy glance, he finally opened the medical kit and took out bandages and other supplies. Yin Qie Zi had already taken off his shirt, revealing the soaked bandage on his shoulder that was dyed slightly red with blood.

His wound originally wasn’t a heavy one; it had closed up and was already forming a scab. After last night’s chaos though, the scab had been torn off and his wound began bleeding heavily again. The flesh around the wound had become bloated and infected due to the water.

Litelli prattled on as he changed the bandage, “You shouldn’t run around like this. Medicine is pretty much ineffective on you. If your wound doesn’t heal, then there’s no way you can be saved!”

“I won’t die that easily.” Yin Qie Zi said lightly, “I had suffered burns all over my body before. The only place left unharmed was my back. Even then, I didn’t die. A small injury like this can’t do anything to me.”

At those words, Litelli remembered the first time he had met Yin Qie Zi. The latter’s battered and beaten form was a tragic sight to behold. He had never seen a physical spirit in such a sorry state. Physical spirits were superior existences; they were always above everyone else! They weren’t like that, not like…someone who had been injured in both mind and body.

Litelli helped Yin Qie Zi clean his wound. Although Yin Qie Zi didn’t complain, Litelli knew that he was in pain just by looking at the muscles that were stretched taut around the wound. He also knew that the pain wasn’t light, as Yin Qie Zi would only react if the pain was excessive.

“Oh right! The man you were looking for, the one with a scar on his left eye, I’ve finally found him!” Litelli said in a loud voice, trying to pull the other’s attention from his wound.

Litelli was proud of the information he had obtained. He had spent a large amount of effort before he’d finally found his target.

“He’s an assassin with the code-name Left Eye. His identity was kept unusually secretive, but I dug it all out! He’s the royal family’s personal assassin. That’s why it was so hard to find him; he was living in the palace in the first place!”

Litelli was extremely proud of his report, but Yin Qie Zi wasn’t all that surprised. He had already guessed that Cas was somehow involved with the royal family. When he noticed that Litelli was waiting for praise, he couldn’t help but destroy the other’s delusions. “I know. I saw him last night when I infiltrated the palace to see the Leaves. He’s protecting them.”

An earth-shattering expression appeared on Litelli’s face when he heard Yin Qie Zi’s words. Even as indifferent as he was, Yin Qie Zi was slightly sorry that he had ruined the other’s mood. He quickly changed the topic.

“Owen and Mila are acting extremely strange towards me. They are treating me differently than a friend. They’ve provided my own private room in their house, and they also let me, a stranger, push Mila around in her wheelchair. Just recently, they even said that they would gift a Leaf to me. Exactly what are they trying to do?”

Litelli broke into laughter at his master’s words. He said while wrapping a new bandage around Yin Qie Zi’s shoulder, “That’s simple! The beautiful Mila wants to marry you!”

Yin Qie Zi’s eyes widened in surprise. “Mila wants to marry me? But, but…” After thinking for a long while, he finally said, “I’m not human.”

“Why does that matter? It’s fine as long as you are ‘male,’ ” Litelli said while laughing.

“…I can’t be counted as male.”

“Your name is , so how can you not be male?”

“Shut it!” Yin Qie Zi stood up abruptly.

Litelli quickly slapped a hand over his mouth, but continued talking nonetheless, “I didn’t say anything, nothing at all. I didn’t say your name!”

Yin Qie Zi’s anger dissipated quickly. Regaining his calm manner, he said lightly, “I don’t have the sexual characteristics of a human. I can’t marry her.”

“In any case, you don’t plan on waiting that long, right? Didn’t you already give those bottles of medicine to that boy?” Litelli said softly, “Being in a relationship with Miss Mila can help with your plans for revenge, so why don’t you do it?”

Yin Qie Zi’s expression changed and he burst out, “I don’t plan to deceive her, her…” What was it exactly called?

“Deceive her feelings!” Litelli couldn’t bear to listen to him anymore.

“Right, deceive her feelings,” Yin Qie Zi repeated awkwardly after him.

Litelli said loudly, “You’re already deceiving her feelings! Or are you going to come clean to her? You want to kill her and her twin brother! Why are you afraid of something like this?”

Yin Qie Zi frowned and gazed suspiciously at his servant. Litelli had always been opposed to his plans for revenge, though he had never voiced it clearly. But Yin Qie Zi knew Litelli disapproved the actions he had taken to enact his revenge. So now, why was Litelli trying to make him take advantage of another person’s feelings? This was somewhat strange.

“What are you planning?” Yin Qie Zi coldly asked.

Litelli’s eyes widened in response to the question. His eyes were already big, but now they looked like two big eggs embedded in his small head. He protested loudly, “I’m not planning anything! You already plan on killing her; do you also plan on breaking up with her and then killing her? That is too cruel!”

Yin Qie Zi stared blankly at Litelli.

“The least you could do is let her live happily for these last few months!” Litelli shouted in a sharp voice. “Don’t tell me you can’t accomplish even this? You can’t be that heartless, right?”

Yin Qie Zi stayed silent, but Litelli continued shouting. He finally said frostily, “Shut up. Bring me my clothes.”

Litelli closed his mouth with an aggrieved expression. He went to the wardrobe in search of clothes and pulled out a luxurious set of clothing. It was a set of formal attire made from beige silk, decorated with many copper red threads wound in complicated patterns along the borders. It was the outfit Owen had lent Yin Qie Zi for the birthday party a few days ago.

Theoretically, the outfit had been lent to him, but Yin Qie Zi knew that it was meant to be given to him. After all, the clothes suited him too well. Owen was much taller than him, so he wouldn’t be able to fit in those clothes. Most likely, it had been custom-made for him. Because of that, he wasn’t especially determined to return the clothes to Owen.

He felt a headache coming on, however, when he looked at the luxurious outfit. He burst out, “Find some normal clothes for me.”

“Aren’t you going to the largest auction of the year?” Litelli widened his egg-sized eyes. Once again, he began to argue noisily, “It would be embarrassing if you dressed too shabbily! It’s fine if you get embarrassed, but what would you do if you humiliate Miss Mila?”

Yin Qie Zi’s headache became even more painful when he heard the clamor Litelli was making. “Shut up! I’ll wear it, so go get me a ribbon!”

Litelli closed his mouth in satisfaction. He went and picked out a hair ribbon that most suited the outfit. The copper red ribbon was a good match, though it was still a bit too simple. If the ribbon had some gold embroidery on it, then it would match the gorgeous clothes perfectly.

“What are you thinking about?”

Litellli started and turned to face Yin Qie Zi’s wary eyes. He quickly handed the hair ribbon over and said innocently, “Nothing! I was contemplating whether this ribbon is good enough and whether you liked it. Or would that red one be better—”

“It’s only a ribbon.” Yin Qie Zi impatiently cut Litelli off. He took the ribbon and let his hair tie itself.

He then hesitated, but ordered Litelli, “Go buy some clothes for me today. Ones that are suitable for formal occasions, but also for going out.”

Litelli’s eyes immediately brightened at Yin Qie Zi’s order. He quickly nodded. “No problem. Master, you can trust in me. The clothes I buy will definitely suit you the best!”

Litelli was never this obedient when he had actual business to do, but he couldn’t be more compliant when it came to little things like buying clothes. Yin Qie Zi was left speechless by Litelli’s excitement.

“What color would you like your clothes to be? I think the beige you have on is pretty good, but grey would also suit you well. What about forest green? There’s also purple—”

“Shut up!”

“Yes!” Then let’s buy an outfit in every color!

Yin Qie Zi looked up and down at Litelli, who appeared more cheerful than usual. Yin Qie Zi became very skeptical at this. He couldn’t resist ordering, “I’m leaving first. After you’re done buying clothes, go make some healing and support elixirs.”

Contrary to expectations, Litelli didn’t raise a single complaint at the dull and tedious job. Instead, he agreed readily.

Filled with suspicion, Yin Qie Zi walked out of the room, aiming to meet up with Owen and Mila.

Along the way, he passed by many servants and guards. Their glances lingered on him, some stunned by his appearance, and others mistrustful. He wanted to turn around and go back to his room to change, but he suppressed the urge. Yin Qie Zi picked up his pace and walked quickly to the foyer.

Mila and Fenny were already waiting inside the foyer. Owen was never late, but he was never early either. Evidently, there were still a few minutes before their prearranged meeting time.

“Mila!”

Yin Qie Zi called out. Mila immediately turned her head around. She looked surprised, but then she revealed a brilliant smile. She didn’t bother hiding the pleasure in her eyes and kept glancing over Yin Qie Zi.

Her direct appreciation made Yin Qie Zi’s face heat up. He quickly explained, “I don’t have any other formal attire, so I can only wear this one.”

“You look very nice in this outfit!” Mila smiled and said, “This style suits you extremely well, though it is a little extravagant. But many members of the aristocracy dress extravagantly.”

When he saw Owen walking over dressed in a simple, blue military uniform, Yin Qie Zi once again regretted that he hadn’t insisted on wearing something normal. His clothes were more luxurious than that of the Warlord’s children. No, that wasn’t right. He remembered the last time he had seen Prince Edward, even the prince himself hadn’t been wearing something this extravagant. So he was dressed more extravagantly than the prince himself. If it was like this, what would other people think of him?

“I’ll go and change my clothes,” Yin Qie Zi said uneasily.

“Why do you need to change?” The moment Owen arrived, he heard Yin Qie Zi say he was going to change. He looked at his friend’s outfit. Wasn’t that his present? He quickly asked the question, thinking that there was something faulty with the clothes.

“You…” Yin Qie Zi stared at Owen, and then burst out, “Even Prince Edward doesn’t dress as extravagantly as I am right now!”

Mila and Owen shared a glance. Seeing that Yin Qie Zi was truly going to change, Owen quickly explained, “Wait, it’s because we are a military family! Besides military-styled formal attire, I’m not allowed to wear anything else. My father won’t agree to it. Prince Edward also deliberately dresses plain and simple. He says it’s because he wants to create an image of a hardworking and citizen-loving prince. But when it comes to a truly important occasion, he couldn’t be more extravagant! Last time when we went to welcome the Danyas, his clothes were practically dripping with gemstones!”

Yin Qie Zi looked skeptically at Owen.

Owen immediately made a vow. “It’s true, I swear on it. Otherwise, I can bring you to see Edward’s wardrobe and jewel chests some other day.”

You’re talking about the wardrobe and jewel chests of the First Prince! They probably aren’t circuses for people to come see and admire, right? Yin Qie Zi was at a loss of how to respond.

“Forget it. Let’s go!”

Yin Qie Zi decided to give up on arguing. After hesitating a moment, he walked to Mila and grabbed the handles of her wheelchair. Though nobody came up to challenge him, he still politely asked, “Is it alright if I push your wheelchair?”

Mila was startled. Unfathomably, her face felt a bit hot. She couldn’t even find the power to speak, so she nodded her head slightly in assent.

“Are we walking or taking the carriage?” Yin Qie Zi turned around and asked.

“The auction venue is pretty far away, so we’ve prepared a carriage. It’s waiting outside,” Fenny replied.

Yin Qie Zi nodded. Without consulting anyone, he pushed Mila out the door and to the carriage. He then lifted her out of her wheelchair. Mila let out a shout of alarm. He immediately stopped and peered down at her. He questioned puzzledly, “What’s wrong? Are you uncomfortable being held like this?”

“N-no, I’m not… It’s no-nothing…” Mila responded in a small voice.

Yin Qie Zi nodded. Holding Mila, he stepped into the carriage.

The two people who had been standing aside widened their eyes upon the scene. Owen turned to Fenny and quietly asked, “I was only late for five minutes, right? What is this degree of development in their relationship? Why does it feel like five days have passed since I saw them last? …No, Yin Qie Zi’s personality is quite cold. This amount of development has to have taken five months, right?”

Fenny bent slightly and whispered back, “Young Master, you’re the one who needs five months to develop a relationship to this stage. Miss Mila only needs five minutes.”

“…Hey!”

Yin Qie Zi stuck his head out of the carriage and called out, “Aren’t the two of you coming?”

Owen and Fenny jumped in surprise and quickly replied in unison, “Yes, we are!”

After all four of them were seated inside the carriage, Owen looked left and right, his eyes brightening when he saw that Yin Qie Zi had chosen to sit beside Mila. It was a four-person carriage and it just so happened that they had two women and two men. The most appropriate way for them to sit should have been for the men to take one side and the women the other. Though now, Yin Qie Zi and Mila were sitting on the same side.

This was inconceivable! Owen couldn’t even believe it. Did he really just miss out on five minutes?

Mila was also somewhat surprised. In her case though, it was because Yin Qie Zi’s movements were that of a perfect gentleman. Nothing ambiguous could be seen in his actions. But as she didn’t know Yin Qie Zi as well as Owen did, she quickly shook off her surprise. She started chatting casually, “Yin Qie Zi, have you ever gone to an auction before?”

Yin Qie Zi nodded and said, “I have been to many. There are many special spirits that are hard to get a hold of, so I usually go and try my luck at auctions.”

“Then are you lucky?”

Yin Qie Zi nodded again. “Normally, my luck is pretty good. The special spirits I usually buy aren’t popular merchandise, so their prices aren’t all that high. Like the powder of grazing beasts, it’s pretty cheap.”

Mila had never heard of this special spirit. She curiously asked, “What do you use the powder for?”

“It can be made into a strong coating film.”

“Then what do you use the film for?” Mila continued to ask confusedly.

“…There are many uses for it. For example, you can coat furniture with it. It’ll give the furniture a shine and prevent them from becoming dirty.”

Yin Qie Zi was finding it a bit hard to continue. Truthfully, he primarily coated his hair with the film to prevent people from touching it. But even when his hair was coated with a protective film, he still disliked people touching it. At least it was better than having people touching his hair directly.

“So that’s how it is!” Mila happily said, “Then I’ll definitely have to order some from you.”

“I can bring some for you to try first…”

“Should I have not come at all?” Owen asked Fenny quietly. “I suddenly feel like I’m in the way, like a third wheel.”

Fenny nodded in agreement. “You definitely are in the way, like a third wheel.”

“…You are the same!”

Hearing Owen’s words, Yin Qie Zi began to feel like he was focusing too much attention on Mila. He quickly turned to look at Owen and tried to strike up a conversation. “How come Yehv isn’t coming today?”

Owen let out an “oh” and explained, “My father had some work for him to do.”

“Work? Isn’t he only supposed to attend to you?”

A hesitant expression came on Owen’s face when he heard the question. He looked as if he wanted to say something, but was holding himself back. “That…”

“Is it something you can’t say?” Yin Qie Zi said with downcast eyes, “Then don’t force yourself. It doesn’t matter to me.”

Mila opened her mouth and explained, “Yehv was a subordinate of my father’s in the past. He was injured in the war and ended up being in poor health for a long time. Because of that, my father made him attend to Owen instead. Yehv practically raised Owen himself.”

War? Yehv had been onto the battlefield? Yin Qie Zi became somewhat panicked. If Yehv had been to war and was also a subordinate of West, then how could he not know about “Gong Hua?”

He continued acting calm even in his panic. In the guise of chatting, he began probing the situation. “So he had fought in the war before? He must have been a great help to Warlord Paladin. Isn’t it too much to reduce someone like him to a mere butler?”

Owen nodded and said, “That is true. At that time, Yehv was under a separate division of the army. He wasn’t a soldier under my father’s command. Moreover, he had gotten injured heavily not long after the war started, so he actually didn’t participate in many of the battles. My father making him take care of me is another way of letting him recuperate.”

Even if Yehv hadn’t participated in many battles, shouldn’t West have told him about the things that had happened back then? Then why had Yehv shown no reaction even though he had revealed he was a Flower? Could this be a trap?

“Yin Qie Zi, what are you thinking about?”

Yin Qie Zi looked up in shock and saw the other three staring at him. He calmly replied, “I was thinking of what kind of special spirits I’m missing from my stock, so I can bid on them later.”

Owen couldn’t resist complaining, “You are still thinking about spirit binder stuff? Can’t you think about the fact that we are going to be buying a Leaf later on?”

Yin Qie Zi stayed silent. He didn’t know whether he should accept a Leaf as a gift. Judging from his current situation, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to take care of a Leaf at all. But if someone else bought the Leaf, how would they treat it…

“Are you worried that the Leaf will expose your identity?” Mila softly asked.

Yin Qie Zi hesitated. It wasn’t because of that, but he still nodded in response. Otherwise, he’d have to find some other reason to explain. Besides, after Mila’s reminder, he truly began to worry about the problem of being exposed again.

Mila quickly consoled him, “Don’t worry, humans aren’t knowledgeable about the Leaf Tribe. Not many know of the Flower’s existence. Even if the Leaf exposes you in front of everyone, probably none would understand.”

Hearing those words, Yin Qie Zi’s heart skipped a beat. Perhaps West didn’t know that he was a Flower? If it was like that, then Yehv wouldn’t know either. That was probably why Yehv paid no attention to his true identity. If that was the case, then that truly was good news!

“I think we should wait and see after we arrive at the venue. I don’t know how…I should face them.” Yin Qie Zi paused and said uneasily, “If I don’t want to buy the Leaf, then would it be possible…”

Yin Qie Zi couldn’t continue. He was the Guardian Flower and should be protecting the Leaves. Yet he had looked on at the Leaves locked up in the prison without lifting a finger. He had even tossed aside the Leaf he could have rescued. He’d already said that he had nothing to do with the Leaves since they had abandoned him. However, in his heart, he was incapable of acting like he was totally unrelated.

“Don’t worry.”

Yin Qie Zi looked up to see Mila smiling at him. The golden-haired girl had an oval-shaped face. Her cheeks were white and tender, and her bright and intelligent eyes were filled with smiles. He felt comfortable just by looking at her gentle, smiling face. More importantly, she didn’t ask anything else. Yin Qie Zi was relieved and gave out sincere words of thanks. “Thank you.”

On the side, Owen once again said quietly to Fenny, “I truly feel like we are in the way.”

Fenny gave him a stare. She lifted a finger to her mouth and gestured at Owen to be quiet. She then lowered her head and continued knitting.

Owen felt as if he had been wronged. “You can knit, but what can I do? I can’t possibly practice sword-fighting in the carriage, right?”

“You can in the carriage. After all, it’s what you are best at,” Yin Qie Zi said icily.

“…”

 

Next: Chapter 4: The Xialan Flower…The Years That Were Filled with Plum-Colored Petals
Previous: Chapter 2: The Assassins’ Attack… The Assassin Guard
Return: Main Page

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Translator: Nannyn
Proofreaders: PiKairi, Dinoj

The “you” used here is the informal you. 你 (ni)
This is a play on words that doesn’t translate well. As mentioned before, 公can stand for “male.” So what Litelli mean is, how can Gong Hua not be male when he already has the character for “male” in his name?
We have another play on words here. Sword-fighting (耍剑) and being irritating/a slew of other things (耍贱) are pronounced the same (shua jian).

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6 Comments so far:

  1. Xena says:

    I cant wait for cas to meet again with gong hua thank you for update

  2. mir says:

    That Fenny sure has a sharp tongue

  3. Ruo says:

    Thank you so much for the chapter!!
    i already spoiled the rest of the story for myself but i still love actually reading it! I feel very empty now…must wait for the next chapter patiently!! :D

  4. libraryrocker says:

    You are glorious!!!

    Thanks so much for all your hard work!!!

  5. LL says:

    LOL as I was reading this, I was tensed out of excitement.Haha
    Huh so Cas is just close by, huh. Makes developments thrive richer.haha
    and that development between Mila and Gong Hua… I think Gong Hua won’t fall for Mila..but sees her as someone very similar to the first Mila. At least not yet. Aand, I admit I don’t want him to love a girl yet. Cause!! It feels as if he’d already be a grown-up then!

  6. Kil says:

    Yayyyy Gong Huaa!!! ThanK you very very much!
    I missed this so much!

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