“What, what do you want to do?” For the first time, Duke Gordon was in a panic. Is the Temple seeking revenge so soon? So publicly?
“Your grace, don’t be nervous. I’m here to make a bargain with you.” The pope said solemnly.
“What do you want?” Duke Gordon watched the person in front of him cautiously. No one knew the actual strength of this person. Was the pope here to assassinate him? Duke Gordon immediately abandoned this guess. If he needed to be assassinated, did the pope have to come himself? There were so many powerful people in the Temple. And assassinating him was a very unwise decision. The fight between the two princes has ended. The Temple will continue to play their religious role, and the Hill clan will continue to play their important part in the royal court.
“Your grace, please order that no one come in.” The pope’s face was still serious, with no trace of joking in his expression at all.
Duke Gordon frowned slightly. He also sensed that there was no killing intent on the pope, so after a slight hesitation, he ordered for no one to come in and bother him. The pope flicked his finger and created a magic hood. Making sure that nobody could hear their conversation, they started discussing real matters.
“Your holiness came here yourself. What for?” Duke Gordon was still cautious. Of course, since in the battle between the two princes, their stances were completely opposite. Even though the first prince lost favor and the Temple of Light wouldn’t get any benefits, they wouldn’t lose anything either. The position of the Temple won’t budge, and today’s happenings would just become a play, nothing mattering after the acting. They won’t help the first prince make a comeback, nor put on a show of a prince running away from home then coming back for revenge.
“I came here to find you, to make a bargain with you. Of course, you will be pleased with what I’m willing to give.” A strange smile played on the pope’s lips.
Looking at the smile on the pope’s face, suddenly, for no reason, Duke Gordon felt he was looking forward to it.
In the afternoon, Duke Gordon announced his decision, which was for Claire to set off for another country tonight to stay away temporarily. Under Katherine’s strong urging, Claire could only agree.
Claire snuck out of the castle secretly and told the Temple of Darkness to not worry about her anymore and for the Xi brothers to go to Usari to meet her. Phillips warned Claire to be careful on the way. He kept feeling that something was off, but couldn’t say what or why.
In the dining room of the Hill castle, the family sat together eating. Everyone ate very slowly, because after this last meal, they didn’t know when it will be before they can unite and eat a meal again. Faint nostalgia spread throughout the room.
After eating, the whole family entered a carriage; they were going to see Claire off. Inside the carriage, Katherine hugged Claire tightly, her eyes filled with reluctance.
“Mother, how about I don’t leave? The Temple wouldn’t dare to do anything to me. If they want to attack me now, they have to consider their decision very carefully.” Claire now had the strength of a sorcerer, so how many living people could block that?
“No, Claire, you must be obedient. Temporarily hiding is the best. We can also first observe the Temple’s actions. If the Temple really has no intention to do you harm, then you can come back.” Although Katherine said so, her heart was filled with melancholy. Was this possible? Claire’s actions today signified a complete break with the Temple, and in front of that many people, gave the Temple a hard slap on its face. How could the Temple let her off the hook? Thinking to this, Katherine’s heart hurt even more, and she hugged Claire even tighter. Lashia also kept silent, her small face covered in sadness. Leger, sitting across from them, had a heavy expression too. This time, Claire came back to save Katherine, while him, the husband, did nothing. He owed Claire and Katherine way too much. Only Duke Gordon leaned on the back of the carriage with his eyes closed, silent the whole way.
The carriage slowly proceeded out of the city, and headed straight forward. Emery and Charles’ carriage followed behind.
The night was very quiet.
The moon in the sky glowed dimly. It was now the end of spring and beginning of summer.
The two carriages drove forward like that. It was quiet inside the carriage; Claire snuggled into Katherine’s warm embrace, silent. It had a been a very very long time since she felt such warmth.
Hugging Claire, Katherine only hoped for time to stop.
But, naturally such wishes were impossible. After a long time, the carriage finally stopped. This time, they were already very far from the capital, and the night was dark.
When the carriage stopped, Katherine’s body froze for a second, then she hugged Claire even more tightly.
“Okay, Katherine, it’s not like we will never see Claire again.” Duke Gordon opened his mouth to say gently, “Let’s first get out of the carriage.”
Katherine’s expression was downcast. She slowly let go of Claire and followed everyone else out of the carriage.
Emery’s carriage also caught up and stopped next to them.
Standing by the carriage, after goodbyes, Claire was going to leave this place. As for how long, no one knew.
Katherine hugged Claire again, unwilling to let go.
Lashia also started choking on tears. White Emperor and Black Feather, who were in Claire’s arms, hopped onto Lashia’s shoulders and waited quietly.
“Okay, okay.” Duke Gordon sighed, “If this continues, even I can’t stand it anymore.”
Only then did Katherine let go of Claire, then began instructing her. Eat well, dress warm, etc. Lashia also held onto Claire’s hand with tears in her eyes and talked.
“When I’m not here, you must protect Mother. Also, you will take good care of Leo, won’t you?” Claire reached out to wipe the tears from the corners of Lashia’s eyes, and smiled.
Tears bursted out from Lashia again. She couldn’t say anything, only nodding her head furiously.
“My younger sister, will definitely become very strong in the future. So, you cannot stop cultivating.” Watching Lashia cry herself dry, Claire’s heart grew warm. This child, was straightforward and smart, and will definitely become a strong one in the future.
“Mmhmm……” Choking on her tears, Lashia couldn’t speak.
“Claire, come over here, I have something to tell you.” Duke Gordon said solemnly to Claire.
“Yes, Grandfather.” Claire patted Lashia’s head, and after comforting her a bit, turned to follow Duke Gordon.
The two strode farther and farther away. Katherine and the others watched their backs, understanding that Duke Gordon must be about to instruct Claire about something, therefore walking that far away.
Claire followed behind Duke Gordon. Duke Gordon didn’t speak, continuing to walk forward.
Suddenly, Claire felt an abnormal feeling rising in her heart. This was a feeling indescribable by words. A faint sense of danger rose just like this. This had nothing to do with killing intent, nor with her perception of her surroundings. This was purely her sixth sense and her instinct. Claire frowned slightly, and started to concentrate and sense her surroundings. But she had just extended her conscious out when Duke Gordon’s loud voice rang and interrupted her sensing.
“Claire, you must be very careful along your journey. Contact us immediately when you get there, okay? Don’t let your mother worry for you.” Duke Gordon’s voice was unusually loud, with a hint of strength in it.
“Yes, Grandfather.” Claire nodded and replied.
Claire knew that as the head of a clan, Duke Gordon most definitely wasn’t any ordinary person, and must be skilled in some way. But as for what Duke Gordon’s occupation was, Claire really didn’t know. In her memory, she had never seen Duke Gordon fight anyone. The strength showed when Duke Gordon just spoke, seemed to be that of a warrior? Claire guessed in her heart. But ahead of her, Duke Gordon stopped.
Duke Gordon turned to look at Claire, with no expression on his face.
That inexplicable sense of danger rose again. Claire scanned her surroundings alertly; there was nothing unusual.
“What’s wrong, Claire?” Duke Gordon noticed Claire’s abnormality and asked.
“I don’t know, Grandfather. I keep feeling there’s something spying on me. But I can’t find it.” Claire frowned and continued looking around cautiously.
“What? There’s something like this?” Duke Gordon’s expression changed, and he frowned and scanned their surroundings alertly, too. He muttered, “Is it an ambush from the Temple of Light?”
Claire frowned and thought about it. The Temple of Light shouldn’t attack her so rashly. Not to mention her current strength had already surpassed their expectations, she also had the Hill clan and her master, Cliff, behind her back. It wouldn’t be easy for them to go against her. Wanting to eat her, wouldn’t they be afraid that their teeth will fall out? The Temple of Light definitely wouldn’t do something like this.
“Claire, what do you think is wrong?” Duke Gordon frowned and moved around, examining their surroundings.
“I don’t know either.” Claire shook her head.
Duke Gordon continued to frown and examine, walking to behind Claire’s back.
“Is there something in front of you that’s unusual?” Duke Gordon asked in a deep voice.
“In front?” Claire looked up, and concentrated to sense the area before her. Completely exposing her back to Duke Gordon.
At this time, Duke Gordon’s face darkened abruptly, and he stepped forward half a step. A dagger glaring with cold light appeared in his hand. And the blue glow on that dagger showed that it was wiped with extremely deadly poison!