Leng Lingyun flew in the front, and Claire followed, all the way out the city and to a secluded place. Slowly, Claire realized that the place Leng Lingyun brought her to was the place where Alice and her cousin ambushed her after she made her breakthrough. Finally, Leng Lingyun stopped, and stood there silently. The wind ruffled his long, silver hair, and he seemed like a perfect painting.
“What do you need me for?” Claire also landed, and asked lightly. She couldn’t feel the same way about Leng Lingyun anymore after what she saw at the Temple today.
“Claire…… ” Leng Lingyun turned and looked at Claire, his gaze a little distant.
“I’m very grateful you yelled and reminded me today, helping me control my emotions. True, I am not the match of the pope. Thank you for saving me again.” Claire’s voice was emotionless and cold.
Hearing Claire’s words, Leng Lingyun felt as if he was hit in the chest, suffocating.
“Don’t think I’m insulting you; it’s the truth.” Looking at Leng Lingyun’s expression, Claire added indifferently.
“Schack and that young girl; I let them go. But I told them, go as far away as possible, and don’t let me catch them again. If I catch them again, maybe it won’t be me by myself. And I won’t let them go again.” Leng Lingyun bit his lip, and finally forced this sentence out with some difficulty.
Claire was surprised. Looking at Leng Lingyun’s violet irises, she saw conflict and pain there.
“Everyone has someone they treasure and care for the most. And I care for Xuanxuan the most. For her, I’m willing to let my hands be covered in blood, let my spirit fall into the bottomless pit. But, I wish that Xuanxuan keep her innocence forever.” Leng Lingyun’s voice was trembling slightly, pain in his eyes.
“When you found the fallen knight and that girl with black hair, you didn’t attack, it’s the Divine Princess who attacked, right?” Realization flashed through Claire’s mind and she understood.
Leng Lingyun kept silent, slowly opening his arms, frowning: “I couldn’t save them. I won’t give up Xuanxuan for them…… ”
Claire feel silent, understanding instantly. Leng Xuanxuan needed the medicines supplied by the Temple to survive, and all Leng Lingyun did was to help Xuanxuan live the most comfortable life. Leng Lingyun knows the pretense of the Temple, but kept silent because of Xuanxuan, and did his best to make up for it.
“Your life is exhausting.” Claire sighed softly, a faint desolation in her heart.
Everyone had someone or something they treasured the most, and for this person or thing, people could often do things that others find hard to understand.
“Claire, you should already understand the hypocrisy of the Temple. But, I don’t wish for you to be harmed, to face up with the Temple directly.” Finally, Leng Lingyun gave the real reason for his visit.
“I know, I’m not a match for the pope. The pope is the one whose strength is really unfathomable.” Claire frowned, thinking, “Maybe his strength is far above Master’s, and even if Master did breakthrough he still wouldn’t be the pope’s match.”
“You can’t just sense the pope’s strength,” Leng Linyun sighed, “And there are so many cardinals1 and red-robed cardinals. I don’t want you to face off with them.” The hidden meaning being I don’t want you to get hurt.
“Thank you, I won’t be rash as today again.” Now, Claire’s tone wasn’t as cold as before, but true gratitude.
But Leng Lingyun understood the hidden meaning in Claire’s words. Won’t be as rash as today again, meaning that she had other plans.
“Claire, you must remember, the strength of the pope is unfathomable.” Worried, Leng Lingyun warned again.
“I know. Thank you.” Claire nodded.
“Also, the fight between the first prince and the second prince is escalating. In the end, the Temple of Light will support one of them.” Leng Linyun said in a deep voice, “And the Hill clan will also choose one side to support. If both support the same prince, then there’s nothing to worry about; but if not, your position will be very special, even awkward.”
Claire fell silent, thinking. Duke Gordon sent Jean to help the second prince secretly, but her second brother, Eric, supports the first prince publically, and Duke Gordon didn’t seem to disapprove. What did he mean by this?
“The Hill clan has already decided which side to support?” Seeing Claire in thought, Leng Lingyun couldn’t help asking. “I don’t know,” Claire shook her head slightly, then sat down a rock nearby, and patted the space beside her, “Sit down, I have something to ask you.”
Leng Lingyun paused for a second, but still sat down.
“What kind of a person do you think my grandfather, Duke Gordon, is? I want your objective answer.” Claire asked seriously.
Looking at Claire’s solemn expression, Leng Lingyun knew Claire wasn’t joking, so after some thinking, he answered seriously, “He’s not a simple figure. A person who is able to keep the Hill clan standing for so long, and even making the emperor fear him a bit is not an ordinary person.” Leng Lingyun paused, then hesitatingly added, “This person, is really sly and schemeful.”
“Didn’t the Temple not decide which prince to support either?” Claire switched topics, “Which means the pope is waiting, to see which prince stands a better chance, and then support that person, right?”
“I think so.” Leng Lingyun nodded.
“Grandfather is probably also waiting,” Claire frowned and pulled the subject back, talking softly, “Grandfather never gave a definite answer.”
“But I’ve heard that the captain of the Griffin Squad, Eric, your second brother, is very close to the first prince, and then rumors say you’re close to the second prince.” Leng Lingyun told Claire what he had heard. That’s the reason why others couldn’t tell if the the Hill clan is supporting the first or second prince.
Now Claire kind of understood Eric’s behavior today. So Eric thought she was with the second prince?
“So many people are waiting, to see which prince the Hill clan will support.” Leng Linyun said.
Claire let out a breath softly, “It doesn’t matter how they fight as long as they don’t harm my mother. Or, I will not let that go so easily.”
“Your mother is now the lady-in-waiting for Princess Maurice, so be careful.” Leng Lingyun reminded solemnly.
“Yes, I will be careful. Thank you. I should go back now.” Claire stood up.
“Yes.” Leng Lingyun nodded softly, watching Claire leave. When Claire’s figure slowly disappeared into the night, Leng Lingyun pulled back his gaze. He gazed at the endless night sky. This was the first time he spoke so much to someone, the first time he experienced this sense of relief. He couldn’t understand what happened to himself, and couldn’t understand why he felt frustrated when he couldn’t explain to Claire.
Claire returned to the Hill castle. Jean was still standing where he was, waiting.
Seeing Claire come back, White Emperor and Black Feather jumped onto her shoulders and snuggled up affectionately.
“Jean, why haven’t you gone to bed?” Seeing Jean still standing in the hall, Claire asked with surprise.
“If Miss is not back, I will not go rest.” Jean answered in a deep voice.
“Now I’m back, and I’ll go sleep once I find Lashia. You should go rest.” Looking at Jean’s stubborn face, Claire said quietly.
“Yes, Miss.” Jean turned and left silently.
After giving the storage ring to Lashia, as expected, Lashia was extremely happy, almost hugging Claire and kissing her.
The next morning, in the Hill castle, Duke Gordon’s expression was ugly.
Because of the two visitors in the hall.
Claire just returned home, Duke Gordon hadn’t even had time to present her to the emperor, yet the Divine Prince Leng Lingyun and Divine Princess Liu Xueqing from the Temple of Light had already come knocking on the door, saying directly they were here for sir priest Claire, to do some business together in Snowfall City.
“Elder sister, you’re such a hot commodity, haha, the Temple constantly coming to look for you, and Grandfather wanted to bring you to the palace.” Lashia giggled.
Claire was silent as she appeared in the hall with Jean.
“Claire, you’re here.” Liu Xueqing smiled softly and stood up to welcome her, her graceful actions still so pleasing, her attitude toward Claire also perfect and without fault.
“Divine Princess, Divine Prince.” Claire greeted indifferently.
“We’re here to bring you to the Temple. Since you’re the priest of our Temple, naturally, it’s better to live at the Temple. Also, do some preparation; we’re going to Snowfall City. The blizzards there are bad, and the pope told us to go assist.” The Divine Princess’ tone was very gentle and soft, like she was an elder neighbor sister to Claire.
Claire turned to look at Duke Gordon. Duke Gordon’s expression was resigned as he said, “I’ll send someone to take Claire’s belongings over soon.”
“There’s no need to tire your Grace, the Temple has already prepared everything for Claire.” Although the tone of the Divine Princess was polite, there was an unquestionable firmness.
“Grandfather, don’t worry.” Claire didn’t want to bother, speaking coolly, “Since the blizzard is so bad, let’s hurry and leave.”
From the beginning to end, Leng Lingyun never spoke. No one saw the flash of helplessness and worry in his eyes.
“Claire, your knight…… ” The Divine Princess glanced at Jean standing behind Claire, frowning and about to say something, but Leng Lingyun spoke coldly.
“Jean has been the personal guard of Claire since she was young, and they have never separated.” This sentence was enough to block the rest of the Divine Princess’ words.
“Oh, is that so? Then let’s go together; it’s nice to have another helper.” The Divine Princess smiled, but her smile wasn’t as friendly or natural as before.
The group of people left the Hill clan like that. Duke Gordon’s expression darkened and darkened.
Getting onto the carriage, Liu Xueqing smiled: “Claire, you should go to the Temple first to prepare.”
“There’s no need, let’s go to Snowfall City directly. I’ve brought everything I need with me!” Claire closed her eyes and leaned against the wall of the carriage, replying indifferently.
With her? Liu Xueqing looked at Claire with surprise, then looked at Jean. She didn’t notice any bags on them. Was it because?! Astonishment and jealousy flashed through Liu Xueqing’s eyes. Was it because Claire had such precious items like storage rings?!
Claire closed her eyes and rested, Jean closed his eyes and rested, Leng Lingyun closed his eyes and rested, while Liu Xueqing’s expression was a little weird……
It was deathly silent in the carriage as it slowly rolled out the gates of the capital.
1. Cardinal: higher ranked than red-robed cardinal; just in case someone’s familiar with the Catholic Church rankings in which red-robed cardinals are higher than cardinals. Things are a little weird here and the author might not even be trying to model the Catholic church.↩