Chapter 163: Convening in a small hotel
Han Shuo lifted the window slightly upwards, revealing a long, narrow crack and made use of this opening to look outside.
Candice’s employer, Belinda, was wearing a face veil and revealed only a pair of sapphire colored eyes. A strange expression was in them as she seemed to be looking for something. She looked to and fro upon arriving in front of Han Shuo and Emily’s room.
Candice and the others of the mercenary crew ran over frantically behind Belinda. Candice was on high alert as she kept a hand on the magic sword strapped to her back, looking carefully around the premises, deathly afraid that something would happen to Belinda.
Candice only breathed a sigh of relief when the other members surrounded Belinda in the center. She spoke to the still peering around Belinda in admonishment, “Miss Belinda, please tell us before you walk around next time. We’ve been hired to ensure your safety, but we won’t restrict your freedom of movement. You have no need to suddenly run away like this!”
Belinda’s features were hidden behind her face veil, as her half moon, slender eyebrows were tightly knit together. Her beautiful eyes darted around as she appeared quite confused. Belinda only came to herself after Candice had spoken with displeasure, speaking apologetically in a gentle voice, “I’m sorry, I just thought I saw an acquaintance and so I hastened over. It turns out that I was mistaken.”
Candice was also quite perplexed upon hearing these words and she said with a strange tone. “There was no one here. Why would you say that there was a figure here? This is too strange.”
“Ah, it could be that I’m short on sleep and my eyes are seeing things. I’m truly very sorry.” Belinda’s bright eyes swept around the room that Han Shuo and Emily were in as she responded carelessly to Candice.
More frantic footsteps sounded from behind as a slightly chubby, middle aged woman walked into view smiling merrily. She held a book in her hand and curtseyed politely when she walked in front of the people, then saying apologetically, “Honored guests, you must be here to look for lodging. I was preoccupied just now and am truly apologetic. Please come register at the front counter with me.”
“To think that no one’s standing at the front of this hotel. This is truly a bit worrying. In addition, the external surroundings don’t seem that good. Should we switch to another hotel, Miss
Belinda?” Candice didn’t seem to like this hotel and raised this suggestion with a sour expression.
Wrapped in a veil, Belinda’s clear eyes surveyed the surroundings and said, “No need, let’s stay here. I think this place is fine.”
“Then alright.” Candice had to follow to her employer’s wishes and responded with some disappointment.
“Excuse me, what kind of people live in the rooms along this hallway?” Belinda seemed to ask a careless question to the chubby hotel owner.
“Apologies, we’re not at liberty to say. This is for the privacy of our guests, I’m sorry!” The hotel owner stuck to her principles. Although she plainly wanted Candice and them to stay here, she wasn’t willing to budge on a matter of integrity.
Nodding, Belinda didn’t continue her line of questioning. She said softly, “That is fine too. Are there any free rooms around the hallway? If so, I’ll stay here.”
The middle aged woman’s eyes lit up as she quickly flipped through the book in her hand, then pointed at a room not to far away from Han Shuo and Emily’s, saying hastily, “This room is empty, but it’s not the best in the hotel. If the honored lady doesn’t mind, you can immediately take up residence in it.”
“No problem, then this room it is. Candice, you handle the rest.” Belinda said gently as her clear eyes flicked a surreptitious glance at Han Shuo and Emily’s room, striding out in front to her room.
The owner of the hotel knew that Belinda was the master of this group, so she very quickly fished out a set of keys when Belinda started moving. The owner opened the door and let Belinda in when she got to the door.
“You guys go in first and protect the lady. I’ll take care of the paperwork and arrange rooms for us around Miss Belinda.” Candice gave orders to the rest of the Battlefire mercenary band after she saw Belinda head inside before following the overjoyed, chubby owner back to the front desk.
Han Shuo only closed the gap in the window when those of the Battlefire mercenary band followed Belinda into the room. He said lowly to Emily, “The abnormalities of the white bone staff must have something to do with Belinda. This person’s identity is very suspicious.”
Emily had seen some of what had just happened as well and immediately nodded when she heard Han Shuo’s words. She said gravely, “It looks like Belinda has something to do with the necromancer you killed. Since you’ve taken all the memories from his soul, do you have any impression of this Belinda?”
Furrowing his brow and thinking deeply, Han Shuo shook his head firmly in the end, “No. Belinda has never appeared in any of Clarendon’s memories. I really don’t understand why she could sense the white bone staff.”
“How did Clarendon obtain the white bone staff?” Emily started and approached the question from another perspective.
“It was awarded to him by the senior leadership of the Calamity Church after Clarendon completed a certain number of mission. He only knows how to use the white bone staff, but not where it comes from.” Han Shuo responded after musing with his eyes shut for a while.
“It looks like Belinda is from the Calamity Church. She could be here because of Clarendon’s disappearance. We need to be careful.” Emily thought for a bit and concluded gravely.
Belinda was currently Candice’s employer. If she was from the Calamity Church, then it was an unknown why she had asked Candice to protect her on this trip to Valen City. Han Shuo couldn’t quite understand this point, but given that Belinda could sense the white bone staff, this meant that her background wasn’t simple. He considered the situation silently as he thought of the evils of the Calamity Church.
“Belinda must be suspicious of the rooms in this hallway. I think we should temporarily leave this place and switch to another room to observe her.” Han Shuo suggested to Emily after thinking for a bit.
Nodding, Emily said with confidence, “No problem, the owner of the hotel is one of ours. We can switch to any room we want.”
No wonder Emily had chosen to stay at this hotel in Valen City. It turns out the owner was part of the Dark Mantle! It looked like the Dark Mantle’s intelligence network was quite vast indeed.
Making use of the time before Candice returned and the fact that Belinda had gone into that room with the members of the Battlefire mercenary band, Han Shuo and Emily quietly snuck out of their room from another exit. They entered a great lobby on the floor above and leaned against the window, able to see the front yard from their vantage point.
Emily must have triggered some mechanism as the hotel owner merrily appeared in the lobby after a short while. She still wore a professional smile and bowed slightly in front of Emily, “Madame Emily, what orders do you have?”
“Sister Helene, arrange a new room for us, ideally a bit of a distance away from Belinda, but able to observe them as well.” Emily also responded amiably with a bit of a smile.
The middle aged woman called Helene was a bit surprised by Emily’s words. She thought for a moment, “Three people also came in and asked for a room that could be used to observe Miss Belinda.”
His mind connecting the dots, Han Shuo thought of the three that had been following Candice. He asked involuntarily, “Where are they now, and did you give them the proper rooms?”
“Don’t worry, I’ve purposefully kept the rooms that can observe Belinda’s room. I knew something was wrong with that woman when her gaze at your room was a bit off.” Helene flicked a glance at Han Shuo and displayed a ‘don’t you worry, I’ve got it under control’ look on her face as she explained with a smile.
“Sister Helene has accomplished many achievements for our organization over the years. Although she doesn’t know offensive magics, she’s very adept at observing people. This is why I stay here when I’m in Valen City.” Emily also rolled her eyes at Han Shuo and smiled slightly.
“Enough, Madame Emily, don’t compliment me like that. I’ll go arrange new rooms for you right away. I’ll also keep an eye on those who’ve just arrived and will immediately report any developments to you.” Helene sashayed out after replying merrily.
“Alright, we should make our preparations as well. We must keep a close eye on that girl. Investigating her background may lead to enormous profits for us.” Emily said.