“Greetings, first prince your royal highness, second prince your royal highness, princess your royal highness.” Claire and Lashia both curtsied.
“No need to be so formal.” The three spoke the same words at once.
“Grandfather, second brother.” Lashia happily called to Duke Gordon and Eric, who were in the hall.
“Grandfather, I’m back.” Claire said gently to Duke Gordon.
“Haha, good, good, now come sit.” Duke Gordon laughed and pointed at the seats beside them, signaling for the two to sit down.
Claire didn’t even glance at Eric, nor did she greet him at all. The second brother of hers only by name had no impression in Claire’s memory besides his constant contempt gazes and his arrogance and haughtiness.
“Claire, learning that you have come back, the second prince his royal highness and the princess her royal highness insisted to come visit you, haha. Look how good their royal highnesses are to you.” Duke Gordon laughed, obviously in a very good mood, “Also, you child, doing such great works in Lagark but not telling me; you really gave me a gigantic surprise.”
“Thank you, second prince your royal highness and princess your royal highness.” Hearing Duke Gordon’s words, Claire nodded gently at the second prince and the princess. It made some sense why the second prince and the princess came to visit her, but why was this first prince at the Hill castle too?
Eric observed this younger sister of his, frowning slightly. It was true that she had grew pretty strong, but from the beginning till the end, she seemed to have not even glanced at him, as if he was a complete stranger. The first prince carried a smile and listened to the others’ conversations, not giving any opinion.
“Claire, it’s been some time since we’ve seen each other, and you have grown stronger again.” The second prince, Nancy, gazed at Claire and smiled.
“Your royal highness, you are overpraising me; I didn’t grow much stronger. On the other hand, my master Cliff has already made his breakthrough to a sorcerer.” Claire didn’t want the crowd’s attention to be focused on her, so she slowly announced this shocking fact.
Low exclamations sounded in the hall one after another, all full of astonishment.
“Why haven’t we heard anything about it?” Leger frowned and asked.
“The news of Master making his breakthrough hasn’t spread yet; he went to the Temple to find his old friend, master Lawrence, the moment he got back.” Claire didn’t even glance at Leger, instead speaking lightly with her gaze focused on Duke Gordon. A slight awkwardness flashed across Leger’s eyes. All this fell into Eric’s gaze, and his brows became even more tightly knit.
“Really? If this is true, then it’s such good news! The empire has its first sorcerer now! I must go report to his majesty as soon as possible.” Duke Gordon’s expression was delighted, not just a bit happy now. Sorcerer, the only present sorcerer on the entire continent! And this sorcerer was his granddaughter’s master! Can he not be excited?
The Grand Hall became lively, and the eerie mood just a while ago completely dissipated. Everyone was talking about this topic; Lashia even grabbed onto Claire, asking her this and that. Smiling, Claire patiently told Lashia part of the story, but hid the parts about the young lord and those valuable treasures.
Naturally, Duke Gordon invited everyone to stay for lunch.
The lavish meal, complete with food and wine, made the two princes and the princess praise sincerely.
After lunch, no one had the intention to leave, so Duke Gordon invited them to the greenhouse to enjoy the flowers and drink tea. Using the excuse to go check on her mount, the wind leopard, Claire left and leaned on a pillar in the backyard and watched as Duke Gordon led the others into the greenhouse. She shrugged and sighed helplessly. How was the struggle for power between the first prince and the second prince going? Grandfather secretly sent Jean to assist the second prince, but wasn’t her supposedly second brother, Eric, walking too close to the first prince? Was it good that the members of one clan split into two factions?
Just when Claire was deep in thought, a cold voice sounded behind her: “Claire.”
Claire didn’t turn her head to look. Just by hearing the voice and she knew who it was. It was the second brother of hers that never even gave her a smile, Eric!
“Oh? Do you need anything?” Claire didn’t turn around, just asked indifferently.
“What is your attitude? And what was your attitude towards Father!” The cold voice now contained anger in it.
“Excuse me, but what who are you to tell me this?” Claire yawned lazily and asked in a casual tone. Only now did Claire remember, this arrogant and haughty second brother seemed to have one virtue, and that was filial piety. Speaking of this, so this second brother came to teach her a lesson because of her rude attitude towards Father?
“I am your elder brother.” The voice behind her was on the verge of exploding.
“What a joke, have you ever fulfilled the responsibilities of an elder brother? And now coming to pretend to be my elder brother.” Claire laughed disdainfully, turning around slowly and watching the person before her with a cynical gaze.
Eric’s face, which had been covered in anger, at this time froze.
“Respectful second brother, I advise you, to not to copy the actions of that father of yours. Never fulfilling the responsibilities of a father, but when his daughter made some achievements he jumps out and tries to take control. Don’t you think this is very ridiculous and very shameless?” Claire leaned back on the pillar lazily, scoffing, “I don’t mind fighting you right now.”
Eric’s expression instantly darkened. This young girl before him wasn’t the coward that could be scared by just a few words anymore.
“But, you must make sure you know what the price is to fight me. I might kill you without even blinking my eye. Do you think you are a worthy opponent to me now?” Claire’s expression suddenly turned icy, and there wasn’t a trace of warmth in her eyes; her voice was even colder, and it radiated out a terrifying essence of death. An enormous and frightening force burst out like this suddenly, then immediately disappeared.
At this moment, Eric suddenly felt chills run down his spine. The feeling this young girl before him gave him was so frightening and icy.
“Also, another advice I have for you: whether you support the first prince or if you are a spy sent by the second prince to the first prince’s side, no matter how you fight, do not get Mother involved. If she is hurt, I don’t care who did it, I will mercilessly kill them.” Claire said abruptly, smiling lazily and as she did so, casual as if she was chit chatting with some friends. But the coldness between words told Eric that this young girl before him definitely wasn’t joking!
“Remember my words.” Claire laughed light-heartedly, and passed by Eric, walking straight away.
“Only the first prince is the true successor to the empire!” Eric’s determined voice rang behind Claire’s back.
Claire glanced from the corner of her eye, and saw that there was an almost crazy dedication in the bottom of Eric’s eyes.
“Whatever, as long as you remember my words.” Claire waved her hand impatiently, and left with this sentence.
Eric stood where he was. Watching Claire’s figure, the expression in his eyes was complicated. He turned and looked toward the greenhouse, and seeing the warmly smiling first prince, gentleness surfaced in Eric’s eyes. And then he clenched his fists tight. The first prince was his belief, only the first prince was the true successor to the empire! He must help the first prince sit in that most high seat, and fulfill his wish!
The capital, has already slowly entered winter.
Cold winds blew across lightly, giving people slight chills.
In the night, Claire walked along the halls, about to go find Lashia. She was going to give her old storage ring, the smaller one, to her; that space was more than enough for Lashia to use.
Walking along the halls, a breeze blew across. Claire frowned and looked towards the outside the courtyards, but then relaxed, and jumped into the courtyard. She then leapt onto the roof, and hurried into the distance.
Jean appeared from behind a pillar in a corner, and watched silently as Claire’s figure disappeared into the night, not following.
“Tweet tweet!” White Emperor and Black Feather, squatted on Jean’s left and right shoulders, answered each other’s calls, but what they were conversing was unknown.
Jean just gazed into the night desolately, not moving.
It was Leng Lingyun. The person that was inside the courtyard just a moment ago was Leng Lingyun. So Jean didn’t follow behind.
What did that person come to find Miss for?
Jean gazed into the night, and stood silent for a long time.