Before Heath finished speaking, footsteps sounded at the door.
A lovely figure appeared at the door…
Lingyun Leng frowned slightly, coldly glancing towards the door.
Claire looked toward the door. A snow-white gown and the pattern on the fringe of her dress showed her high position in the Temple of Light. The figure in the doorway walked over slowly. She had beautiful, curly hazel-hair, a pair of pretty, black eyes under two arched brows, her thin lips below a perfect nose curving into a faint smile. She walked over gently and elegantly while smiling. As expected, she was an elegant, beautiful lady.
She was the current Holy Divine Princess of the Temple of Light – Xueqing Liu, also someone who had an ancient last name, and she was skilled in Light magic.
“Greetings, your highness. Welcome to the city of Niya. I am the castellan of Niya, Claire Hill.” Claire approached politely and greeted.
“Greetings, your excellency. I come on orders from the pope to assist you, but it seems like there’s no need for that now.” The Divine Princess Xueqing Liu answered politely, smiling.
“No, no, it’s thanks to his highness the Holy Divine Prince and thanks to the assistance from the Temple of Light that we were able to get the plague under control so quickly.” Claire replied politely and also smiled.
Walter rolled his eyes and added sourly, “Claire, do you want to vomit?”
When Claire praised the Divine Prince, a flash of shyness and pride appeared in depths of Xueqing Liu’s eyes. Although it was only an instant, Claire caught it and immediately understood what was going on. This Divine Princess was pretending to come to assist, but was really chasing after her love.
“Lingyun, are you okay? I heard that you gave many people a baptism at once and used up all your magic.” Xueqing Liu saw Lingyun Leng, who was standing behind Claire, and asked worriedly.
“I’m fine.” Lingyun Leng replied indifferently, “The plague is now over. Divine Princess, you should return early.”
One called Lingyun warmly, the other addressed the Divine Princess coldly.
A typical hot face on a cold butt1 . Oh, no, it should be a hot face on an icy butt.
“Look who I brought with me.” Xueqing Liu didn’t mind Lingyun Leng’s cold attitude, and instead still smiled and talked gently.
Lingyun Leng lifted his eyes toward the doors, but saw the tiny figure that was always on his mind.
“Brother -” A sweet and crisp voice floated over.
“Xuanxuan?!” The expression on Lingyun Leng’s face immediately softened, and he hurried over to the door.
“Xuanxuan’s health had improved a lot recently. I heard that the plague was under control and Xuanxuan also wanted to see you, so I asked permission to bring her over to find you.” Xueqing Liu smiled and also walked towards them.
“Thank you.” Lingyun Leng gathered the tiny Xuanxuan into his arms and turned around to thank Xueqing Liu. This time, his tone was sincere.
Xueqing Liu smiled a soft and satisfied smile.
Claire gave Heath a meaningful glance, and Heath left. Claire also turned towards the backyard, and Yixuan Feng immediately got up to follow behind Claire closely. Jean also left silently, leaving them to themselves.
“Claire, what are we having for lunch? The boiled egg for breakfast was really good. The cook said you taught him how to make it, is there anything even better?” Yixuan Feng followed behind Claire and asked noisily.
This made Claire remember that this fellow seemed to love eating. During his first competition with Lashia, he had gotten a stomachache from eating and had to go to the restroom, forfeiting and losing the competition.
“Yes.” Claire answered, her voice muffled.
“What is it? What is it?” Yixuan Feng became excited and started pestering Claire.
“First help me deal with some documents in the study concerning the Trade Association.” Claire threw out one sentence and then walked ahead to the study. She would definitely not waste a gift from heaven. This guy, Yixuan Feng, his family happened to be opposite from most aristocratic families. His mother was a senior minister in the royal court of Lagark, favored by the emperor and respected by all other officials. His mother had a fiery temper and a boastful personality, while Yixuan Feng’s father was gentle and cultured, the chairman of Lagark’s biggest trade association. Simply put, he was a crazy cash printer. And Yixuan Feng inherited both of their merits: intrepid, with a clever brain. He would not lose even one copper coin while trading if he could help it. These were all information that Claire had found out later.
In the study, Claire sat in front of the desk, flipping through the mountain-high pile of documents. Claire’s right hand already wore a delicate, silvery-white lace glove, prepared for her by Yixuan Feng. When she got up in the morning, Yixuan Feng was squatting in front of her door, holding a bag as high as half a person. It was filled with gloves of all shapes, colors, and sizes, for Claire to cover up her black Mark. How he got so many gloves in one night was beyond comprehension.
“Claire, these sales tax can be reduced, these cannot. This one can be reduced by twenty percent. By doing this, not only can you encourage their enthusiasm, you can also collect a fair sum of money. And most importantly, they will still shed tears of gratitude.” Yixuan Feng pointed out to Claire on the documents in his hand.
Claire looked closely. Sure enough, the taxes reduced were very tiny, but very obvious.
“Yes, you’ll get something good to eat for lunch.” Claire picked up the quill and quickly scribbled a recipe on a piece of paper. “Take this to the kitchen and tell them to make this for lunch.”
“Okay, hehe.” Yixuan Feng took the recipe and happily went out the door. He thought gleefully in his heart that in the future when Claire became his wife, he would have good stuff to eat everyday.
“Claire, it’s so boring.” Walter complained, bored to death. He didn’t dare to go out for strolls anymore. After all, right now, not only was that wretched Holy Divine Prince in this mansion, but the Holy Divine Princess also came. If they noticed his aura, he was done for.
Claire flipped through the mountain-high pile of documents quickly, stamping the ones approved and throwing the ones not approved aside. After a long time, when Claire felt her eyes getting dry, did she get up and decide to take a walk.
The back garden of the mansion for the castellan was filled with golden sunflowers. Nobody knew which previous castellan had such an unique interest, but this garden was not planted with rich and colorful flowers and instead, full of sunflowers. Currently, they were all blooming, shiny and golden.
Claire looked up, but suddenly saw that there was a tiny figure amidst the high sunflowers. Silver hair?
At that moment, the tiny figure seemed to have sensed something, turning around and meeting Claire’s gaze. Violet irises, a face that was a little pale, and delicate lips. The clear eyes let Claire understood that this was a very pure child, not tainted in any way, so she has been protected very carefully. It’s Lingyun Leng’s younger sister! Because the two’s facial features were somewhat similar.
But the little girl froze while looking at Claire and just stood there staring at Claire.
Claire didn’t speak, turning around to leave. She was not good at conversing with such innocent people.
“Wait, big sister.” But that crisp and sweet voice from behind made her stop.
Claire stopped her steps, turning around slowly and saw the young girl running over hurriedly, almost tripping.
“Slow down!” Claire knew that this child in front of her was sickly and running so fast would not be good for her health. Claire bent down a little, catching the little girl who was running over.
“Big sister, my name is Xuanxuan Leng ~” The girl with silver hair and violet irises looked at Claire with big eyes and introduced herself earnestly, “I am five years old this year. I’m very happy to meet Big sister.”
Claire felt a little awkward. Why did this child seem so mature?
“Oh, hello, Xuanxuan. I’m Claire.” Claire was little uncomfortable; she really didn’t know how to talk to a person who was as clear as crystal.
“Big sister, I like you, you are a good person.” Xuanxuan Leng said unexpectedly, a brilliant smile blossoming on her pretty face.
Claire felt even more awkward, squatting before Xuanxuan Leng, not knowing what to say.
Walter roared with laughter. A good person? The little devil was a good person? Such a ridiculous joke. Heavens, there was actually someone who said the little devil was a good person, too funny!
“Xuanxuan?” Right then, a worried voice rang out. It was Lingyun Leng’s voice.
“Brother, I’m over here.” Xuanxuan Leng turned around and called out behind her.
Claire heard footsteps of two people which meant the gentle and elegant Divine Princess was also there, so all the more reason she should leave. She didn’t want to be caught between a hot face and cold butt.
Claire stood up to leave, but a pulling from the edge of her clothes stopped her. Claire looked down and saw Xuanxuan Leng’s small hand clinging tightly to the edge of her clothes.
“Xuanxuan, I won’t bother you anymore, be obedient. I’m leaving.” Claire was a bit conflicted.
“Big sister, don’t go. Play with Xuanxuan for a while?” Xuanxuan Leng flashed her big, clear eyes and looked pleadingly at Claire. People couldn’t refuse that pathetic yet cute expression.
Of course, normal people couldn’t refuse, but Claire knew that tangling up with people from the Temple of Light had no benefits whatsoever. Claire patted Xuanxuan Leng’s head gently. “Be a good girl, Xuanxuan. Her highness the Divine Princess will be with you… ”
Before she finished her sentence, Lingyun Leng and Xueqing Liu already appeared before them.
When the two saw Xuanxuan Leng clinging tightly to Claire’s clothes so much that it was pulled out of shape, they were both very astonished, because apart from them, Xuanxuan would not get close to anyone and never talked to strangers. But now she was completely hanging onto Claire, so of course they were surprised.
“Your highness the Divine Prince, your highness the Divine Princess.” Claire’s smile was a bit strained.
“Your excellency… ” Xueqing Liu’s expression changed slightly, looking at Xuanxuan Leng’s hand that was grabbing Claire’s clothes.
“Xuanxuan, what are you doing? Didn’t you tell us to wait for you there a little bit longer?” Lingyun Leng walked up and reached out to hold Xuanxuan Leng.
But Xuanxuan Leng did something Lingyun Leng completely didn’t expect. Xuanxuan Leng held on to Claire’s leg, staring at Lingyun Leng. “Brother, I just want to play with this big sister.”
Claire opened her mouth wide, looking down at the Xuanxuan Leng clinging tightly to her thigh and was speechless.
Lingyun Leng’s expression was a little embarrassed. This was the first time he saw his obedient sister do something so out of bounds.
Xueqing Liu smiled, but a deep look flashed through her eyes. Xueqing Liu walked over gracefully and said softly, “Your excellency, if you aren’t busy, could you play with Xuanxuan for a while? This child is often alone, too lonely. Today she finally met someone she is willing to get close with… ”
When Xueqing Liu spoke about this, a sliver of guilt and tenderness flashed in Lingyun Leng’s eyes. It was because he couldn’t always be with Xuanxuan so Xuanxuan would feel lonely.
“Lingyun, as long as Xuanxuan is happy, it’s fine, right?” Xueqing Liu asked, gentle and caring.
Lingyun Leng raised his head to look at Claire, his tone a little embarrassed but with a hint of pleading. “Your excellency, I know you are very busy, but can you look after Xuanxuan for a while for me?” Lingyun Leng also felt very strange. Why was Xuanxuan, who never talked to strangers, so intimate with Claire, who she had never met before? But, just like Xueqing Liu had said, as long as Xuanxuan was happy, nothing else mattered.
“This… ” Claire was a bit conflicted. It would be strange if she knew how to keep children happy!
“Heck, this Divine Princess isn’t simple, not simple!” Walter exclaimed in Claire’s head. “She knows how to hit that man’s soft spot. Clever, I admire her.”
No one noticed that when Walter talked, Xuanxuan Leng’s glance moved over to Claire’s pocket. Astonishment appeared in her eyes and then disappeared immediately.
“Big sister, big sister~ ” Xuanxuan Leng tugged on Claire’s clothes and said obediently, “Big sister, I won’t make trouble for you, I’ll be good.”
“Then I’ll be troubling you, you excellency.” Lingyun Leng said embarrassedly to Claire, then looked at Xuanxuan Leng dotingly. “Xuanxuan, be good. Don’t make things difficult for the castellan, understand?”
Claire’s mouth twitched, silently fuming. What the hell, you are making things difficult for me now!
“Big sister, let’s go over there.” Xuanxuan Leng grabbed Claire’s hand and pulled her away enthusiastically.
Lingyun Leng stood in place, watching the disappearing figures of the the two, still puzzled.
Xueqing Liu, still graceful and smiling, walked up to Lingyun Leng. “Lingyun, let’s go rest for awhile. Xuanxuan will be fine in the company of her excellency.”
“Okay.” Lingyun Leng answered faintly and turned around to go inside with Xueqing Liu.
Xuanxuan Leng pulled Claire towards the deepest part of the back garden, grinning from ear to ear as she looked at the sunflowers enthusiastically.
Claire followed behind Xuanxuan Leng robotically.
The surrounding air was cool and comfortable, a slight wind making everything refreshed.
Then, to the astonishment of both Lingyun Leng and Xueqing Liu, Xuanxuan Leng became glued to Claire. They sat together for meals and when Claire was working, she would sit at the side and read, waiting obediently. She even wanted to go with Claire when Claire went out to patrol. Only after a lot of comforting and pampering did she finally agree to stay at the mansion.
Claire got on the carriage, extremely conflicted. She finally got rid of Xuanxuan Leng. When Cliff heard she was going out to patrol, he immediately jumped on the carriage too, because he could go watch the beautiful ladies on the streets.
“Claire, that kebab we had for lunch was really good.” Yixuan Feng, who was sitting in the back, remarked dreamily, still savoring the flavor.
Claire pressed on her temples with her fingers and rubbed them hard. What luck she had these days. Not only did this guy hang around her, even that child, Xuanxuan, also stuck to her.
Just when Claire’s head was aching, a huge bang came from the roof of the carriage. Something heavy had landed on top.
The carriage started rocking crazily and some passersby shouted.
The next moment, a sharp sword sliced through the carriage top with a whooshing sound, the cold blade passing by Yixuan Feng’s face fiercely.
1. Hot face on a cold butt: one is ignored by the other. The butt part is because butts are seen as stinky, meanwhile the face is seen as the most important part of the human body.↩