Claire laughed. This girl was very smart, and a very skilled thief too. Claire understood, that in this world, if she wanted to protect herself, protect the people and things she loved, brute force was not enough. What she needed was more support, more people that could help her. Having this excellent thief with them would only do good.
“I’ve not yet decided. But, don’t worry, I will never make you cross your bottom line.” Claire said in a serious face.
“Really?” Summer frowned and looked at Claire cautiously.
“Really.” Claire nodded, “I swear. Everyone has their bottom line, including myself, so I know. Stepping over bottom lines is intolerable.”
Summer looked at Claire’s intense gaze, unable to speak.
“You dressed up as a boy to protect yourself and eliminate trouble. But now it doesn’t matter, because we will protect you. If you see someone you dislike, just go ahead and beat them up. We will finish the rest.” Claire raised her brows and said so.
“What? Really?” Summer rejoiced. Although she disguised herself as a boy, her pretty appearance still gave her many troubles. Some nobles not only took girls captive, but also meddled with pretty boys. She had escaped barely each time. And although she hated those perverts, she had no strength to fight back. Now that Claire said so, naturally, she was very happy.
Walter flattened his lips, wordless. Claire, this little devil, knew exactly how to poke others’ soft spots. Whether by threatening, coercing, or tempting, people had to hop onto her pirate ship. But, he didn’t expect for that thin and weak youth to be a girl. And from the Aerou clan! That family ranked number one in the world for robbery! Daring to steal anything, able to steal anything. Rumors say that the best thief in the history of their clan had sneaked into the main temple of the Temple of Light to steal, and also snipped off a pinch of hair from the pope’s head! Normal people would never want to provoke such a terrifying family, for if you did, perhaps one day you would wake up to discover that some part of your body went missing. But also, it was very difficult to formally become a member of the clan. One had to pass a very hard exam.
“Really. From now on, you can dress like a girl and walk sideways.” Claire smiled and nodded. No girl would not want to be pretty. No girl would like dressing up raggedly.
“Okay, you said that yourself. You won’t make me do something I don’t want to.” Summer said joyfully, “If there’s anything you need me with, tell me, and I will do whatever I can.”
“Deal.” Claire smiled brilliantly.
When Summer appeared before the crowd in dress Claire gave her, everyone was amazed. They had not thought that this thief was a girl! And so pretty and cute. No wonder when Claire ordered for her to be stripped naked and sent to jail, she would be so terrified and willing to do anything. No wonder, no wonder.
“From today on, Summer will be part of us.” Claire introduced to the crowd, “Summer, this is Shui Wenmo, this is Feng Yixuan, and this is my knight, Jean. I hope we can all get along in the future.”
“You are a girl?” Shui Wenmo looked Summer up and down, frowning.
“Hehe, very good very good.” Feng Yixuan was grinning so big his eyes were in slits. So that explains it, haha, good! She’s a girl, not a toyboy.
“What you looking at!” Summer was very dissatisfied by Shui Wenmo’s gaze, shouting angrily, “Believe it or not, I will steal all your clothes in the night, then you’ll have to go out in the day naked.”
“Well, I’m not stupid. If you stole them all, big deal! I’ll just not go out.” Shui Wenmo started bickering with Summer.
“Just pick whichever room you like in the castellan’s castle. We leave after two days. I am going to Sprite Forest, so we will be passing through Dragon Valley. When we get there, I will think of a way to keep my promise to you.” Claire informed Summer.
“Okay.” Summer ignored Shui Wenmo and turned to acknowledge Claire’s words.
“Yo, where did this pretty little girl come from?” At this time, Cliff’s vulgar voice sounded from the entrance to the hall. Then Cliff rushed in like a wind.
“Master, this Summer Aerou, who has just joined us. She……” Claire didn’t get to finish her sentence.
Summer screamed, for the old pervert Cliff had lifted her dress up.
“Master!” Claire rebuked snappily.
“Claire, is this person really master Cliff?” Summer pressed her dress down tightly, hiding fearfully behind Claire’s back, peeking out at the old pervert laughing vulgarly. Although she had heard long ago that master Cliff was an all-around good person besides the fact that he was very vulgar, she never expected for him to do such an improper thing to someone he just met.
Looking at Cliff’s vulgar grin, Claire snapped, “Master, I warn you, do not harass Summer, or I’ll butcher you.”
Cliff curled his lips and didn’t speak.
But from then on, as long as Cliff was present, Summer would never ever wear a dress again.
Feng Yixuan and Shui Wenmo were staring their eyes out and gaping their mouths to the floor. This was the first time they saw this side of master Cliff.
The day passed with them fooling around like this.
The night came, and everything was quiet.
Claire leaned on the head of her bed, flipping through the book she got from Summer.
“Claire, what’s this? You understand the words on it?” Walter was super confused. The words on it didn’t look anything like the language they understood.
“A little bit.” Claire said perfunctorily.
Treasured Lotus Directory, a type of mysterious mental cultivation method.
There was a total of ten volumes.
But Claire felt it was very strange, for only the first volume of the Mental Cultivation Method was written on the book; all the following pages were repeats of the first volume. She only understood when she flipped to the last page: it says that only by comprehending the first volume, and infusing the Lotus Power into the pages of the book, will the content of the second volume show. And so on.
Claire created a magic hood and sat down with her legs crossed. She followed the formula for the Mental Cultivation Method and began practicing the first volume.
Walter was puzzled, not knowing why Claire was suddenly so abnormal. For this wasn’t meditation at all.
Claire held this position for two hours. In Walter’s astonished gaze, a small golden lotus surfaced faintly on Claire’s forehead. But when Walter wanted to see it clearly, the golden lotus disappeared.
At this time, Claire had entered a wonderful realm. An indescribable comfortable feeling swam throughout her limbs and bones, and she could suddenly detect everything around her clearly, even if her eyes were closed. This was a completely different feeling from determining the existence of objects around her through the flow of air.
After a long time, Claire slowly opened her eyes.
Her gaze returned to the book, and she smiled softly.
This time, she seemed to have really picked up some treasure.
Claire lay back down, sneaking a glance at the White Emperor sleeping beside her. He had been asleep ever since he sec-killed that Benimo, as if that consumed a lot of his strength. And now he needed deep sleep to slowly recover.
Walter had already been bored out and also fell asleep. Even though spirits didn’t need sleep, Walter forced himself to close his eyes and sleep. In his words, only then could he feel he was still a normal person.
“White Emperor……” Claire stroked White Emperor’s furry body, a complicated expression flowing through her eyes.
After killing Benimo in an instant and saving Claire, White Emperor’s words made a deep imprint in Claire’s mind.
My contractor, grow up quickly.
Claire clenched her fists.
Strong, she must become strong!
The bottom of Claire’s eyes turned cold. Her gaze at White Emperor also turned cold, but more with unresignment!
Because, the contract between White Emperor and Claire was truly a master-servant contract.
But, the master wasn’t Claire, but White Emperor!
White Emperor was Claire’s master!
Only if Claire continued to grow strong, and surpass White Emperor, could the contract be flipped.
Only then could Claire become White Emperor’s master!
Claire didn’t tell anyone this secret.
She must become strong, and flip the contract to become White Emperor’s master! Claire took a deep breath, and slowly closed her eyes.
Two days later, Claire roughly settled everything then returned control to the castellan agent, Heath. Her carriage left Niya City amid the joyous farewells of the citizens.
“Looks like you’re pretty popular among the people.” Summer was in Claire and Jean’s carriage; now she popped her head out of the window and looked at the crowd of Niya citizens seeing Claire off, and said sourly.
Claire kept silent and didn’t speak.
To reach Sprite Forest, they must pass through Usari, the backwards wilderness country, then go through Hazy Swamp and Dragon Valley. They had already acquired a passing permit. When Duke Gordon received the letter saying Cliff was going to take Claire to practice and gain experience a few days ago, he immediately ordered for passing permits to be applied for quickly.
After they were some distance from the city, Cliff made everyone switch on the plainest clothing possible. They sold the carriage and all hopped onto horses, disguising as a small band of adventures. This would eliminate lots of unwanted trouble.
And Cliff had told Claire beforehand, that Claire and the others needed to deal with whatever comes up themselves. He would only help if their lives were in danger, for only then could the effects of practicing and gaining experience be achieved.
His words made sense.
Claire also felt that was good.
But, could anyone tell her, why there would be dragons here? Shouldn’t dragons only appear in Dragon Valley–where the dragons lived?