Chapter 253 – Paving the way
This was a very tempting suggestion, so Han Shuo was immediately interested. However, he didn’t instantly agree either. Instead, he said, “As you know, I’m a member of Dark Mantle. Furthermore, I have a lot of things that I, myself, need to do as well, so I don’t have much time to spend on the military.”
“I don’t think that will be a problem. You’re a mage, so you naturally should have plenty of your own time. As long as you gain the title of duke and your own land, then you’re free to do with your time as you see fit, as long as there are no issues within the territory you rule,” Lawrence immediately responded as if he had been prepared with his answer.
“Then, what do you want me to do?” Han Shuo was momentarily confused.
“First, I’ll help you gain a place in the military. As long as you’ve made enough contributions, I can use my connections to help you gain the identity of a noble. Once you receive the title of a duke, then I’ll help you lay your hands on some territory. After that, everything will sort itself out as long as your territory develops well,” Lawrence seemed to be very familiar with this sort of thing as he started explaining everything to Han Shuo with a smile.
When he’d left Valen City, Han Shuo knew that his fortunes would be tied to Lawrence’s sooner or later. Yet, with his current strength and the existence of the Cemetery of Death, Han Shuo believed that he would be able to leave unscathed even if Lawrence lost the struggle for power.
If he wanted to climb higher, he would have to depend on a person that could help him. Lawrence was definitely a suitable candidate. He was someone who’d gained the king’s affection and also held some power. Additionally, with the aid of Candide, Han Shuo believed that it wouldn’t be too long before he gained power.
“It looks like we truly are going to be tied together,” Han Shuo smiled and said.
Lawrence laughed happily, then said with pride, “We were on the same side since forever ago. Ever since I went back to the Empire, I started helping you pave your path. Now that you’ve graduated from the necromancy department, and so swiftly at that, things have become even more convenient for me.”
Han Shuo couldn’t help but be shocked after hearing him say that. He hadn’t thought that apart from Candide, even Lawrence would receive news so quickly that he’d graduated. It seemed like the two really did pay a lot of attention to him.
“Alright, I’ll let you in on some of the details, then we’ll go over the whole plan. With your strength and intelligence, I think that you reaching new heights in the Empire won’t be a difficult thing as long as we cooperate with each other,” Lawrence was clearly very happy as he said excitedly to Han Shuo.
Afterwards, Han Shuo and Lawrence discussed plans within the carriage for a long time, forming a bright path for the two of them between their schemes.
The carriage stopped after a long while. The carriage driver said with a low voice, “Young Master Lawrence, we’ve arrived at the Rose Garden in the northern workshops!”
“Alright, I need to welcome you properly upon your occasional return. Come, let’s go in and enjoy ourselves!” Lawrence said to Han Shuo after lifting the curtains and jumping down the carriage.
Han Shuo raised his head and looked around as he alighted. He saw a grand building in front of him with roses engraved on the walls made from white marble. At the same time, he also saw numerous beautiful carriages parked all around.
Meanwhile, the experts, that had been following Lawrence, walked over from a corner of the streets and stood behind him like guards.
“You guys stay out here. There won’t be any problems inside the Rose Garden, don’t worry,” Lawrence turned his head back to look at the people, then ordered in a low tone.
“Sorry, young master Lawrence, we’re just following orders. We have to protect you wherever you go,” A rather loyal knight, wearing heavy armor, responded with a muffled voice.
Han Shuo was able to feel an intense killing aura emanating from this knight. The symbol on his chestplate showed that he was an earth rider. From the calluses on his large hands, it was clear that he was someone who shouldn’t be messed with.
“Jino, we’re only going in to relax. Nothing usually happens in the Rose Garden anyway. How can we go in together since you’re all wearing armor. Why don’t you stay outside?” Lawrence continued to smile without getting angry at the earth rider for being determined.
“No, orders are orders. We cannot defy our orders!” The earth rider named Jino was a stubborn person, and once again rejected Lawrence with a stern face.
“Hehe, then alright. I have no issues with it if you guys can actually make your way in!” Lawrence chuckled lightly, then pulled Han Shuo inside. When he reached the entrance, he cast a look at the guard with his eyes, then rushed in while tugging on Han Shuo.
Jino and the others followed, but they were forcefully stopped when they reached the entrance. The guards refused to let them in no matter how much they tried to explain.
Han Shuo knew through the yin demons that the protectors out in the open had been left outside by Lawrence. However, the hidden guards led by Lucky were trying their best to sneak into the Rose Garden through various other methods.
However, the defenses of this Rose Garden were astonishingly good. It was protected by experts openly and covertly. These included powerful swordsmen and mages specializing in different elements. These people were rather powerful, and protected the surroundings with great responsibility. Aside from the old assassin, Lucky, who’d managed to sneak in, all of the other experts had been stopped outside.
Through his yin demons, Han Shuo noticed that this Rose Garden occupied a great deal of land. There were numerous artificial mountains, flowing waters, and hot springs with pavilions within, and every single room was decorated in an extremely opulent manner. There was a beautiful woman in revealing clothing who was stripping as she twisted her hips and danced a mesmerizing dance within one of the large halls.
Suppressed moans rang out from several slightly smaller rooms as many noble lords and young masters spent enormous sums of money to enjoy all sorts of services.
Lawrence seemed to be extremely familiar with this sort of place as he walked straight in familiarly. All of the openly stationed and hidden guards recognized Lawrence. Not only did no one stop him, they often greeted him.
“Ugh, I know what this place is now!” Since the three yin demons had swiftly circled the extremely large Rose Garden, Han Shuo couldn’t help but blurt out after he understood what sort of place this was.
“Haha, all men should know what kind of place this is. All of the expenditures here today are on me, so just treat it as me welcoming you back.” Lawrence laughed frankly as he walked straight in and arrived within a wide hall. There were young and beautiful women dancing at the center of the hall, with some people that were either rich or noble watching from the sidelines. When they saw Lawrence come in, they also greeted him with smiles.
There were many soft animal-skinned chairs around the hall alongside plates of fresh vegetables, exquisite snacks, and glasses of expensive alcohol priced at a gold coin each. A large circular chandelier, five meters in diameter, shone down upon the scene with soft light, causing the women dancing to the light hearted music underneath it to appear extremely sexy.
“Hey, Lawrence, you haven’t come in a long time,” A guy, who was clearly a fop of a rich family, greeted Lawrence as the former led in a thinly covered woman who exuded sexiness.
“Bruno, why do I see you every time I come here?” Lawrence casually picked up a wine glass filled with amber wine from a table laden with numerous other drinks. He responded to this weakling dandy after taking a sip.
“Life is just that boring. There are only some places in the northern workshops that spark my interest. That’s why I come over here. Isn’t it the same for you?” Bruno winked towards Lawrence and said meaningfully.
“Alright, I came here purely to entertain my friend. I won’t chat too much with you this time, so let’s have a good discussion next time,” Lawrence apologized, then dragged Han Shuo across the hall to another quiet place.
Lawrence had brought Han Shuo through a corridor, around a few corners, and into another quiet hall after a few moments. There wasn’t anyone in this hall, but there was a magic barrier set around it.
Lawrence took out a magic scroll and chanted a spell. The magic scroll emitted out a hazy azure light, and the surrounding walls cracked open under the light. Lawrence turned around and indicated for Han Shuo to enter with him.
Han Shuo was shocked as he looked at the pathway under the light. He asked since he was clearly befuddled, “It’s very normal for a place like this to have a secret passageway, but why do you know about it?”
“Of course I would know about it, because I am the true owner of the Rose Garden. Bryan, since we’re being honest with each other, I won’t hide this secret from you!” Lawrence laughed, then pulled Han Shuo inside. There were quite a few magical seals along the corridor that extended towards the very bottom.
There were a lot of things that surprised Han Shuo about this hidden passage. However, what shocked Han Shuo the most was that the true owner of this gold mine was Lawrence. No wonder Candide had said that Lawrence wasn’t simple during their first meeting. It seemed that he did know quite a lot of things about Lawrence.
“Come, I’ll take you to meet Phoebe and my master. I think he would be very interested in you!” Lawrence was very satisfied with Han Shuo’s surprise as he laughed and pulled Han Shuo inside.