“That pearl in your hand directly affects the future of the Li clan!” What Mingyu Li next said surprised Claire greatly.
“To tell the truth, that pearl you’re holding is called the Tidal Pearl, part of my Tidal Goblet.” Mingyu Li took out a bronze ware from his bag. Sure enough, there was a hole in it, the same size as Claire’s pearl.
“So?” Claire looked at the Tidal Goblet in Mingyu Li’s hand.
“The Tidal Goblet is only a key. When the Tidal Pearl and Tidal Goblet are put together, they will point out where the treasure is. The day we find the treasure is the day our clan will prosper.” Mingyu Li spoke slow and powerfully.
“What treasure? That can lead a whole clan to revival?” Claire asked, confused.
“It’s an artifact, a sword — the Tidal Sword. Our Li ancestors spent innumerous time and money in the making of this sword, and it took generations to finish. It was hidden during the Li clan’s glorious days so future generations won’t rely on such power and stop improving. But now the Li clan is falling and we need the artifact.” Mingyu Li spoke truthfully, but Claire became suspicious.
“By telling me so much, aren’t you afraid I might steal your Tidal Goblet and go find the treasure myself?” Claire asked casually.
“You don’t have the power to do so. I can kill you right now.” Yuewen Li answered scornfully.
“But then you won’t leave here peacefully, not to mention searching for your artifact to revive your clan.” Claire retorted emotionlessly.
Yuewen Li glared at Claire, who seemingly didn’t care. She gritted her teeth. This girl was not cute at all!
“Even if you find it it won’t help. The Tidal Sword can only be pulled out by people powerful enough, and they must have Li clan blood in them. Only if you are chosen by the Tidal Sword can you pull it out. To do so, you must have a strong will, unwavering determination, and the blood of the Li clan. Only so can you pull out the Tidal Sword and use it.” Mingyu explained unhurriedly.
Claire got interested: “Do all artifacts have such intelligence? Can choose their own owner?”
“Artifacts are special.” Mingyu Li said simply.
“I can give you the Tidal Pearl on one condition.” Claire touched the pearl in her hand while speaking slowly.
“What condition?” Mingyu Li asked immediately.
“I want to go with you. I want to see what an artifact looks like and strengthen myself on the way.” Claire looked at the pearl in her hand.
“Strengthen yourself? Of course, you are as weak as a chick right now.” Wenyue Li mocked.
“I will become strong.” Claire lifted her head and looked straight at Yuewen Li’s smiling face, her voice extremely determined.
The smile on Yuewen Li’s face froze. For one second, she was lost in the determined gaze of Claire.
“But you must wait ten days.” Claire put away the pearl and said quietly.
“Why?” Yuewen Li frowned.
“It’s my birthday after ten days, my birthday banquet. Although I don’t like such occasions, Grandfather has already invited many people, and I can’t just leave.” Claire answered, a hint of helplessness in her voice.
Mingyu Li and Yuewen Li glanced at each other, and saw in each other eyes a sliver of responsibility.
“Fine, ten more days won’t make a difference. I hope that you’ll live true to your word.” Mingyu Li stood and said crisply, “We will wait for you ten days later at the biggest hotel at the East gate.”
“Okay.” Claire nodded, “Let me see you to the door.”
After the Li siblings left, Claire returned to the hall and found that Summer and Chuxin Qiao were still intrigued by the little accessories. Claire couldn’t help a faint smile.
Mingyu and Yuewen Li walked on the sidewalk of the capital quietly, each occupied by their own thoughts.
“Brother, this girl is not cute at all.” After a long time, Yuewen Li suddenly said.
“But, you like her and trust her, right?” Mingyu Li smiled, pointing out Yuewen Li’s thoughts.
“Humph!” Yuewen Li turned her head and refused to speak anymore.
“She is very similar to that person.” Mingyu Li’s gaze became nonchalant.
“How are they similar? So fierce and not cute at all. How is she similar to our strong and kind Aunt Rei?”
“Both their gazes are so determined.” Mingyu Li’s soft words silenced Yuewen at once. Yuewen Li remembered Claire’s determined gaze when she said she will become strong.
“So we’ll wait ten days?” Yuewen asked.
“Yes, the experience will be good for her. I want to see what the child of Aunt Rei is like.” Mingyu Li smiled faintly.
“Humph!” Yuewen stopped talking and walked ahead.
Mingyu Li smiled and shook his head, following behind. No one understood his sister better than he did. She never says what she means, always fierce with her words but soft in her heart.
The next morning, Claire rode the wind leopard to the Magicians’ Council to find Cliff, because without covering up Walter’s dark magic aura, he wouldn’t be able to appear in the open. Not to mention he’s also on the wanted list of the Temple of Light. These days, Walter had stayed in his room, supposedly to retreat and practice so he can regain his original abilities.
When Claire arrived at the Magicians’ Council, Jean was already there. Don’t know how he got there so fast. But one thing was sure: he still didn’t forgive himself for that time when Claire was in danger and he wasn’t there, so now he was besides Claire twenty-four seven.
Claire easily found Cliff’s lab only to hear Cliff yelling inside.
“Master?” Claire didn’t bother to knock but ran inside. The whole lab was filled by smoke and Cliff was dancing around to get rid of it.
“Oh, Claire, you’re here?” After Cliff got rid of the smoke, he smiled and greeted Claire.
“Master, what are you doing?” Claire looked at the mess in the lab, shocked.
“Hey, that old dog Lawrence told me to make this little crystal thing that can detect dark magic essences.” Cliff shook his head, frustrated, “After all this time, I did create little crystals that can conceal dark magic essences, but just not the other way around.” Cliff pointed at the mess in his room.
“Little crystals that can conceal dark magic essences?” Claire was happy. What a serendipity!
“Yes! This is easy to make, but crystals that can detect dark magic essences are hard.” Cliff tugged on his hair, frustrated. Don’t know what Lawrence wanted. He only said that dark magic forces were slowly making their way into the nobility, but didn’t explain before ordering Cliff to make these difficult stuff. Can these crystals help Lawrence in his work?
“Master, are these the crystals?” Claire looked at a pile of clear crystals on the lab table.
“That’s right. Just some trash, you’re welcome to take for decorations if you like.” Cliff tilted his head and looked at the failed experiments, pondering which step went wrong.
“Oh, good, thank you Master! Then I’ll be going.” Claire grabbed up all the crystals on the table and was about to leave. “Wait, Claire, what are you here for?” Cliff remembered as Claire was about to walk out the door.
“Nothing, I just wanted to check on Master, to remind you to keep up your health.” Claire gave Cliff a brilliant smile and closed the door behind her.
Cliff nodded happily, his heart warm. So Claire does know to care for her master.
Claire returned to Camille’s house and knocked on Walter’s door.
Walter’s pretty face poked out in confusion: “Claire, what is it so early in the morning?”
“Can this conceal your dark essence?” Claire pulled out a small bag of crystals and handed it to Walter.
Walter picked it up and his eyes bulged out. He looked at Claire in shock, “These, these are the best concealing crystals! Where did you get them from? Whoa, and there’s so many! Do you know how much these cost on the black market?”
Claire frowned and was about to snatch it back: ”Give it back if you don’t want it.” Claire sighed in her heart that being a magician was so expensive; even small experiments were so costly. And how rich Cliff was.
“Of course I want it, why not? Now I can walk out like a king!” Walter protected the bag tightly, then lifted his head and smiled, “Claire, you’ve done so much for me, is it because you like…… ”
Before Walter could finish, a yell rang through the whole house, waking everyone.
When they opened their doors, the saw Claire walking down the hallway expressionless, while Walter was squatting in front his door, holding his head and moaning.
In the afternoon, Emery came to Camille’s house with paper gold, obviously under Duke Gordon’s orders to take Claire home.
“Master~~” Claire was very fond of Emery. This person, who always gave her the best without return had an important place in Claire’s heart.
“Claire, his Grace and his lordship are hoping that you will return soon. Of course, I want you back most of all.” Emery laughed, looking at Claire in relief. His precious disciple seems to have improved a lot again. Maybe she will surpass her master in no time.
“Master, we’ll return after the auction.” Claire looked at Emery’s smile, knowing that he only laughs sincerely in front of her.
“Sure, his Grace said to auction anything you want. He gave me lots of money.” Emery’s voice was full of love and pamper.
Claire smiled but didn’t answer. There weren’t any other precious jewels in this auction anymore. The most valuable item had already been stolen by Summer and is now in her hands.
Sure enough, Claire didn’t find anything to her taste on the night’s auction, but bought a delicate pair of gloves for Chuxin Qiao, to protect her hands while pulling the bow. Chuxin Qiao, naive, was very touched, and vowed that Claire was the best person in the world. Summer was angry and Walter was disdainful. If this little devil was a good person, then there would be no bad people in the world!
The auction ended and everyone returned to the Hill castle.
Duke Gordon was present himself in the Grand Hall to welcome them back.
“Claire, everything’s fine as long as you’re back.” Duke Gordon glanced at the people following behind Claire, a light glinting in his eyes. These people were not simple. Claire had gathered so many powerful people besides her in such a short time. And they all followed behind her, not walking in front, which meant that Claire was their core. A sliver of respect grew in Duke Gordon’s heart, but he didn’t show it. Instead, he welcomed everyone heartily.
“Claire, you’re back.” Marquess Leger, who had been standing to the side the whole time, finally greeted them unwillingly.
“Yes, Father, I’m back.” Claire answered quietly.
“Ahem, ahem~” Marquess Leger coughed slightly, then continued, “It’s your birthday after ten days. Your mother and second brother will also be back, but your first brother is standing guard at the borders and can’t make it.”
“Oh.” Claire acknowledged, the looked at Duke Gordon, “Grandfather, my friends are tired, I want to take them down to rest.”
“Sure.” Duke Gordon smiled and nodded.
Marquess Leger expression changed, but he didn’t explode under Duke Gordon’s waring gaze.
After Claire took everyone down to rest and the hall was quiet, Marquess Leger said angrily, “Father, look at Claire’s attitude. She thinks nothing of her father. And she brought in some random friends who also have no manners.”
“Leger…… ” Duke Gordon started somewhat resolutely, “When will you learn to understand? Do you think those besides Claire are random? Who do you think should be blamed for Claire’s attitude? Sigh…… Carefully watch the people Claire brought back and take back what you said today.” Duke Gordon sighed slightly and left the hall, leaving a confused Leger behind.