Ch.9 Forever Guarding

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Claire stared coldly at the trembling Lashia beneath her, whose eyes were full of fear. Her throat suffocated more and more.

Yes, the current Claire could kill Lashia, who had intended to kill her. She was not just simply willful anymore! She was spoiled too much to forget all boundaries!

It was deathly silent around them, with a bleak atmosphere that made Lashia almost completely break down.

Suddenly, a “pa” sound broke the silence in the air, ringing out loud and clear.

Claire heavily slapped Lashia in the face. In that moment, Lashia couldn’t see straight and nearly fainted. A handprint carved itself out of Lashia’s beautiful cheek, and a stream of blood trickled out the corner of her lip.

“You must thank Mother. If it wasn’t for Mother, I would have killed you today.” Claire’s icy and cruel words floated into Lashia’s ear. She sounded like a demon from the underworld, making people tremble. Lashia saw Claire’s eyes that were as cold as glaciers and felt a spasm of fear. She knew Claire was serious. If she did anything that displeased Claire right now, she would brutally be murdered. Absolutely, it would absolutely happen!

Jean and Nancy, still hidden in the woods, were utterly astonished. This young girl, covered in blood, golden locks flowing with the wind, but a cold resoluteness was written all over her face, emitting boldness that couldn’t be measured! This person, is she really the man-crazy failure Claire from before?

“My loyal knight, how long are you going to keep watching?” Claire let go of the still trembling Lashia scornfully, lifting her head to sneer deliberately into the woods.

Jean and Nancy felt a chilling air that could make people tremble rise slowly about them. It gave off a strange feeling as if their souls were being seen through, making them breathless.

With loss on both sides, Claire had only bitterly won.

 

Not long afterwards, in the Hill clan’s large study.

Gordan’s expression was heavy. Nancy and Jean stood aside keeping quiet.

Standing before him was the already treated Lashia and Claire.

“Lashia! Starting today, you are going to be grounded for one month, not allowed to go anywhere.” It was obvious that Gordan really got mad this time. He had never scolded Lashia with such violent rage, nor punished her anyway like this. Grounding at the Hill clan isn’t as simple as staying home, but however it is, only those who experienced it knew. But, the only thing that could be certain of was, it was definitely not anything relaxing.

Lashia didn’t say a word. From start to finish her head was down. Nobody could see her expression.

“Yes, Grandfather.” Lashia replied in a husky voice and left the room. Her voice was almost permanently destroyed by Claire. The healer spent all his magical powers to preserve it.

After Lashia exited and closed the door, Gordan then stood up and walked towards Claire, sighing, eyes full of tenderness. “Claire, Lashia has always been too spoiled by us, therefore leading to what happened today. But she is, after all, your younger sister. I hope you don’t mind it too much.”

“I understand, Grandfather.” Claire said lightly as she nodded her head. If she did “mind” it, Lashia wouldn’t be standing here to speak at all! She would have disappeared from this world a long time ago!

“There’s nothing from with your injuries anymore, right? Does it still hurt?” Now Gordan acted like an old man, a grandfather. His eyes were filled with concern.

“It’s fine now, Grandfather, you don’t need to worry.” Claire revealed a smile. This was the truth, the healer was very effective at treating superficial wounds.

“Good.” Gordan was finally relieved.

“But, Grandfather, some things can not be let off just because I mind it or not.” Claire said lightly, her face suddenly icily smiling.

“Oh?” Gordan looked at Claire, both surprised and confused.

Claire turned around, lifted her chin, and looked down at Jean with scorn. Sharply she said: “I, Claire Hill, hereby declare that I have no more need of a guardian knight. From now on, Jean Raymond is no longer the guardian knight of me, Claire Hill. Our relationship is over.”

In that split second, everyone froze. Even the air felt completely frozen.

Claire’s radiant face was full of resolution and pride.

Jean’s face immediately paled.

 

Gordan’s visage changed rapidly. Nancy was so shocked he couldn’t even think.

Knights, the symbol of loyalty. Every knight followed the Code of Knights, using it to guide his actions. They were the embodiments of a hero!

“Loyalty – Faith – Glory – Courage!” Claire stared fiercely at Jean, stating each word strongly and clearly. Each word felt like a hammer to Jean’s heart. “What part of the Code of Knights did you fulfill? When my life was in danger, what were you doing? You and his Royal Highness, the second prince, were standing by, doing nothing! Loyalty? This whole thing is a joke!”

In that instant, Claire released a threatening demeanor that caused people to lose their ability to think.

“I do not need such an unloyal, unfaithful knight!” Claire’s eyes shot out a frightening glare.

To a knight, exile was the greatest disgrace. Exile meant that Jean no longer qualified as a knight! He wouldn’t be accepted again no matter where he went.

“Miss Claire – ” Nancy finally opened his mouth to speak. How did things progress to this degree, a situation he didn’t want to see. And he was the one that stopped Jean from rescuing Claire.

“Your Royal Highness, the honorable second prince, I do believe this is our family’s business. You don’t have the right to interfere, do you?” Claire coldly lifted her head, not showing any mercy.

Nancy faltered, unable to speak. He had never seen such an aggressive Claire before! Her whole being seemed to shine, so bright they couldn’t open their eyes.

Gordan’s face color finally returned to normal and he coughed slightly. “Indeed, Claire, this time was Jean’s misstep, and you can punish him however you want. But you can’t sever your relationship! This relationship was established since you were born, and not only will he guard over you now, but also in the future. This was only a careless error and I’m sure this won’t happen again.”

“Yes, Miss Claire.” Nancy hurriedly spoke. “This was completely my fault. In the beginning Jean was about to rescue you, it was I who stopped him. I swear everything I said was the truth and definitely unbiased towards him.”

Claire was silent and didn’t say a thing.

Gordan frowned at Jean and gave a meaningful glance.

“Miss, everything that happened was completely due to my neglect, and I’m willing to accept my punishment.” Jean abruptly pulled out the sword at his waist, and without blinking, thrusted the sword into his right leg. The sharp, long sword immediately pierced all the way through his thigh. Fresh blood flooded out. It was clear how much force he used. But Jean acted like he didn’t feel it at all, his expression never changing.

Claire watched the happenings coldly, Gordan Hill looked at her, and Nancy glanced at Jean worriedly. There really wasn’t any need to be concerned about the state of Jean’s injury, it was nothing to a Grand Warrior. Besides, there were always healers who could treat him. What Nancy was actually worried about was that Claire still wanted to sever  their relationship.

Claire stayed silent.

“I, Jean Raymond, hereby swear, to loyally and faithfully guard Claire Hill for the rest of my life. Never to change, and never to abandon.” Abruptly, Jean knelt down on one knee, tightened his right hand into a fist, and struck his chest. He looked at Claire, unusually solemn.

Claire just stared at Jean coldly, and Jean just kept kneeling on one knee. He firmly stared back at the aloof, young girl, his eyes full of determination.

The atmosphere in the study was so dense it felt suffocating.

No one spoke. All that existed was the sound of breathing.

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