Chapter 194: Ice-cold
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In a dream long overdue, he seemingly returned to that bizarre, grotesque world.
There, the girl with the indistinct appearance but gentle voice hugged him from behind. She softly said, “What’s the matter? Are you feeling very sad?”
He covered the computer and smiled bitterly. “No, this outcome was expected… Perhaps, I’m not brilliant enough.”
He looked down somewhat dejectedly. “You know, they have very high demands…”
“It’s alright,” the gentle voice breathed into his ear. “I have a way to make things less depressing.”
He raised his brows and shrugged. “Oh?”
“Because there’s something even more depressing waiting for you.”
He blinked as he failed to understand her words.
She gently said, “Let’s break up.”
A shudder ran through his body.
The girl behind him did not say a word.
He turned his head around rigidly. “What?”
“Yes, you didn’t hear wrong. It’s because you’re failing badly right now,” she dully said, “so I want to break up with you.”
His brain stopped revolving as he stared blankly at her indistinct face. He was at a loss.
The voice behind him sighed. “Alright, it’s settled then.”
In a daze, he breathed. He was sort of in denial. It felt like there was a need to justify something, yet he found it a little unnecessary.
At this very moment.
The voice broke out in a laugh as it rang cheerfully.
“Ten seconds after we’ve broken up, I now announce that we are getting back together!”
“Ta-da! Allow me to introduce my new boyfriend, Wu Qiren!”
He could not think straight for a while.
However, a few seconds later, his heart started to beat again.
He gasped for breath and looked at her in bewilderment. “You…”
“How about that? Aren’t things a lot less depressing compared to the agony of being dumped just now?”
“In the face of setbacks, we have to cherish what we have right now!” There was happy laughter as the voice breathed into his ear, causing him to feel a little aroused. “My name is Lei Feng, no need to thank me.”
He was silent.
The voice then cheerfully said, “Very well, if you feel as if your life is a tragedy again in the future, I will continue to console you like this!”
He took a deep breath and shouted angrily, “Damn it, woman!
“Hey! Can you not treat such a serious matter like breaking up and getting back together as a joke?!
“I’ll think it’s real, alright?!”
He felt the sensation of a chin colliding into his back.
“Aww, that’s nothing.” The owner of the voice jabbed her chin into his back while she exclaimed, “Did you know that there’s a serialized author online, who out of the blue pens ‘The end’ as if he’s penning his final remarks whenever his story reaches a climax. He’ll claim that he’s finished the book, but without a word, renews it with a new chapter, doggedly saying that he’s writing a new book—now that’s what we call reaching the peak of perfection, okay?”
“Then don’t learn from him, okay…?”
In his memory, the voice laughed cheerfully.
His voice was filled with an exasperated resentment and also a sense of relief.
Finally, the voice stopped fooling around.
She lay languidly on his back and embraced his chest.
“Hey, Qiren, don’t be afraid,” she mumbled. “Whatever happens…
“I’ve got you covered.”
He lowered his head and closed his eyes.
“Ah, I know.
“You’ve got me covered.”
The voice did not speak, instead she tightened her arms that were embracing him.
But in a matter of a second, everything in the dream billowed and began to shatter, inch by inch, just like how the reflections on water would disappear when they are disturbed by ripples!
The girl disappeared right before his eyes.
Amid the confusion, an ice-cold, displeased female voice rang in his ear. Its tone was downcast and it contained indescribable emotions, causing every hair on his body to stand.
“I’m watching you.
“I warned you!”
The next moment, Thales woke up from his dream!
He took in large breaths of air. ‘That voice…
At this moment, a hand was placed on his shoulder.
Still panicking, Thales turned his head around.
It was Gu.
The man who just shook him up from his dream.
The Far Easterner squatted by his side and looked at him in an unpleasant manner. Next to him, Little Rascal stood with a face of uncertainty.
“Wake up, Prince of Constellation,” the owner of the butcher shop plainly said. “The person you’re looking for is here.”
“That quick?” Thales brought his spirits up and temporarily suppressed the scenes from his dream. He rubbed his eyes as he got up from the cold ground.
“He has many social connections, so he did not need much time.” Gu stood and shook his head. “Furthermore, he’s come to pick you up.”
Thales was stunned.
He shook his head in an attempt to wake up from the lethargy earlier.
“He came to pick me up?”
Observing Gu’s gestures, Thales and Little Rascal followed him out of the shop’s door.
On the empty and uninhabited street was a two-wheeled carriage with a coach. It had a window made of transparent, cheaply-made glass.
The coachman on the carriage bowed contritely. A middle-aged noble with a blonde ponytail was standing by the side. The latter heaved a breath of air.
“Your Highness, thank God!”
“Thank you for your help.” Thales nodded.
“We’re short on time. Please get on the carriage immediately.” The middle-aged noble was obviously relieved upon seeing him. He took off his hat and bowed. “We went through an interrogation by a wave of patrols upon entering Armor District. Despite their good acting, I dare swear that they were definitely not patrols of the city. They were not even locals…”
Thales nodded, and with a dignified look, he said, “Of course. They’re from Black Sand Region—Lampard has planned this for a while.”
As the middle-aged noble stared at him blankly, Thales looked at the carriage.
“It’s too conspicuous.” Thales frowned. “A carriage? Transparent glass? Will we be able to leave? And also get back to Heroic Spirit Palace…”
For a short while, the middle-aged noble digested the news from Thales. He raised his head to answer the prince’s questions.
“I’m using the name of Good Flow City’s caravan to unload important cargo from Armor District, and the charter given to me previously by His Majesty…”
The noble lifted his staff and knocked it against the wheel of the carriage. “I also happen to know a disciplinary officer who receives bribes, and he cleared some guard posts, so he turned a blind eye as we exit from the blockades under his supervision. There will be no news escaping…
“As for the glass, please rest assured that this is a specially-made carriage. From the outside, you can only see me through the glass, nothing from the back. When necessary, you can even hide in the secret coach.”
Thales looked at the carriage and exhaled.
“Let’s go then.” He raised his head and looked at the blonde noble from Camus. “Marquis Shiles Bamra.”
Shiles nodded and opened the carriage door. His eyes were fixed on Little Rascal, who was hiding behind Thales.
“This is?” He narrowed his eyes.
Little Rascal shrank in fear.
“My female servant. She saved my life on the road. I cannot leave her behind,” Thales calmly said.
“Very well, let’s discuss it on the road then.” Shiles stopped pursuing the matter. “I also need to hear your explanation on what exactly happened.”
Thales and Little Rascal then boarded Shiles’ carriage. Shiles sat in front while they hid in the space behind him. They were completely unnoticeable from the outside.
Just as the carriage door was closing, Thales stuck his head out. “By the way, thank you, Mister Gu.”
The Far Easterner tilted his head and looked at him with a strange expression. He revealed an inexplicable smile.
“Don’t thank me.” Gu rubbed his hands together and smiled mysteriously. “Thank Kaslan, thank him for the bread he gave me back then, which cost six-fifty…
Gu turned around and walked into his own butcher shop.
‘So that’s what it was.’
The door closed and the carriage started to move.
Shiles watched Gu’s figure disappear behind the door and he frowned. “How did you strike up a relationship with Dragon Clouds City’s famous intelligence broker?”
“It was by accident,” Thales bluntly said, “A lucky accident.”
It was now time to deal with proper business.
The carriage drove past several segments of streets.
He raised his head and looked at Marquis Shiles ahead.
“Please tell me if Heroic Spirit Palace, the other city districts, and Dragon Clouds City are still under the rule of the Walton Family.”
Marquis Shiles frowned. “Before I entered Armor District, everything from the White Blade Guards to the palace guards, patrols and even the officials seemed normal.
“Of course, with the king leaving the palace with troops in tow, the devastation inflicted by the calamity and the Great Dragon’s return, some guests—the archdukes included—felt some emotional instability. However, Prime Minister Lisban has thought of every possible method to make them settle down.
“Nonetheless,” he changed the topic and said in a low voice, “my spy in the disciplinary hall as well as my peers’ channels have both informed me that His Majesty never showed up, and that there were no commands conveyed. Only scattered White Blade Guards appeared after resisting the calamity, yet we obtained no information from them…
“From the Chief Garrison Officer to everyone in the chief disciplinary hall, they are all anxious. Not long ago, the prime minister was still discussing whether to disregard the king’s curfew and dispatch a large number of patrols into Shield District, or not.”
Thales breathed a sigh of relief.
“So, Heroic Spirit Palace and Dragon Clouds City are generally still safe?”
“Safe? After encountering those patrols who interrogated us, I have my doubts.” Shiles shook his head and worriedly said, “First, you have to tell me what exactly happened in Shield District after the calamity destroyed it. What about His Majesty?
“And how did you end up here?”
Thales took a deep breath and looked at Marquis Shiles who had his head turned back. He enunciated his words clearly, “King Nuven was attacked by an assassin. He is dead.”
Shiles sat in his place with a blank expression. His face changed subtly with each rise and fall the carriage went through on the bumpy road.
“The murderer was a man with the surname Charleton, and the person who hired him was Lampard,” Thales quietly finished.
Little Rascal looked at them timidly.
“So, it seems that it is true.” Shiles came to his senses after a long while. He stroked his gloves and staff, while he subconsciously said, “The king is dead.
“Eckstedt… is going into chaos.”
“The Crystal Drop Ore Agreement…” Lost in thought, Marquis Shiles gazed at his staff. He seemed to be urgently calculating his gains and losses.
Thales was silent. He did not speak.
Soon, the carriage drove out of Amor District’s range. By the winding streets of Dragon Clouds City, they entered a road-block formed by patrol soldiers and chevaux de frise—they had arrived at the blockade.
Thales nervously watched as the coachman conversed with the lead disciplinary officer. The coachman then shoved a letter and money pouch into the disciplinary officer’s hand.
The disciplinary officer shot a glance at the carriage’s glass and Marquis Shiles waved at him in a friendly manner.
The carriage passed through successfully.
Thales, who lay desperately flat at the bottom of the couch with Little Rascal, finally exhaled.
“Don’t worry.” Shiles smiled stiffly. “Businessmen have many social connections and they’re very useful—there’s no problem when it comes to settling those of the lowest rung.”
The number of people surrounding the carriage started to increase.
Everywhere, there were residents of the capital whispering in one another’s ears. Some stopped by the streets in ragged clothing. Many kind-hearted people were giving out food and supplies to these pitiful people who were stranded on the streets.
“These are all the evacuated residents. They have been homeless for a few hours—at least, that’s how they will be until the decommissioning of the king’s curfew.” Marquis Shiles looked outside the window and shook his head. “Of course, I’ve heard that compared to the people of Shield District…”
At this moment however, a huge commotion was heard outside.
An anxious-looking man came running from the street. He yelled while he ran.
Both Thales and Shiles frowned as they exchanged a look in bewilderment.
The crowd began to gather in one spot, then they started moving forward with that man.
The surrounding discussions grew louder and soon, there was a commotion everywhere.
Immediately after, the crowd’s emotions began to get out of control. Some were howling in grief, some were hysterical while others cursed at the skies in fury.
Their carriage had no choice but to slow down as well.
Soon, the man disappeared into the crowd.
However, the people did not disperse. As before, they gathered into circles. With their loud voices, they engaged in heated discussions in twos and threes. There was no lack of people shouting in agitation and people engaging in fisticuffs.
The Northlanders’ temperaments were on full display.
“What happened?” An ominous premonition struck Thales’ heart.
“I don’t know,” Marquis Shiles replied solemnly, “but we will find out.”
Then, Marquis Shiles deliberately stopped the carriage at the next corner of the street.
Abiding by his gestures, the coachman asked a patrol soldier who was maintaining order, but also agitatedly arguing with his colleagues about something, to come to the side of the carriage.
Marquis Shiles opened the carriage door halfway and stuck his head out.
“I’m from Camus, a partner of King Nuven’s,” The blonde noble with the ponytail handed out a silver coin and put on a friendly smile. “May I know what just happened?”
The soldier seemed to have been involved in an intense debate. As he was gasping for breath, he was stunned to see the silver coin in his hand.
He raised his head again, and saw the golden wheat and dagger symbol on the carriage.
“Sir, something so great has happened, how could you not know about it yet?” The soldier calmed down from his previous agitated state. After he regained his composure, he appeared somewhat reserved.
“That’s why I need you to clear up the confusion.” Marquis Shiles fished out another silver coin and gently said, “Just mention a selection of what you know.”
The soldier looked at the silver coins in his hand again and pocketed it subconsciously.
The soldier adjusted his armor and shook his head. He exhaled as his face turned unpleasant. “This is what happened. His Majesty, King Nuven was attacked by an assassin!”
Shiles’ expression changed in a timely manner.
“What? How did you find out?”
Thales was hidden behind the marquis as he clenched his jaw and listened silently.
“I heard about it from someone.” Watching the marquis’ reaction, the soldier seemed to be encouraged as his words began to flow smoothly, “It’s being spread to the entire of Dragon Clouds City. It’s about the murderer…”
Surprise struck Thales’ heart.
Marquis Shiles furrowed his brows. “Who’s the murderer?”
“Those citizens of the Empire!” the soldier raised his head and shouted in anger. “They want to trigger civil unrest in Eckstedt!
The soldier’s words grew resentful. His tone was laced with fury and hatred, “Those damned Empire scum, and the Prince of Constellation from the South… They ganged up with the calamity and even set up an ambush with fighters and assassins in Shield District…
“Those sons of b*tches of Constellation!
“They murdered the common-elected king!”
Shiles silently sighed.
Behind him, under Little Rascal’s panicked gaze, Thales was in a daze as he leaned against the coach and gasped for breath.
His heart was ice-cold.