Chapter 255: A powerful figure
“How is little Phoebe recently? I heard she stayed with you at the Valley of Sunshine for a while and did some interesting things?” The old man squinted, asking slowly and softly.
“Eh, she returned safely to the Empire from the Valley of Sunshine, but her current situation doesn’t seem very good.” From the way the old man said it, he must’ve been unclear about Phoebe’s situation so Han Shuo couldn’t help but explain.
“What happened?” The old man frowned, worried.
“Master, it’s like this.” Lawrence quickly opened his mouth to describe what happened, then smiled wryly, “You already know little senior sister doesn’t like to trouble others. She didn’t even tell me about something like this.”
“This old fellow Ashburn is getting more and more unbridled. He knows Phoebe is my disciple, yet he dared to act so presumptuously. It seems he and I are due for a conversation.” The old man coldly snorted, his face angry.
Seeing the old man become angry, Lawrence wasn’t the least bit anxious and instead revealed a slight chuckle as he said hastily, “Master, you know already how my father’s health is getting worse. Right now, my brothers are all prepared. The Duke spares no effort for Charles, and he dared to not give you face by doing such things.”
Han Shuo kept silent, his eyes carefully examining the two’s faces. When he suddenly understood something, he drew in his presence.
The old man chuckled and gazed thoughtfully at Lawrence, nodding, “I have my own plans. Alright, let’s temporarily not talk about these things today. Since you came to visit me, did you bring any good wine?”
“Of course, I couldn’t let you down no matter what!” Lawrence laughed heartily as he took out a crystal, jade-like bottle that contained blood red wine. He respectfully handed it over and said, “This is a specialty from a small town in the Kasi Empire, named Redbud Blood. Master, please try it.”
Having seen many kinds of wine while waiting in the hall, Han Shuo understood that Lawrence’s master must be a wine lover. Now it looked indeed so.
When his thoughts reached that point, Han Shuo suddenly remembered the good wine produced by the dwarves in the Dark Forest. He thought for a bit and took out a bottle of wine from his space ring, respectfully giving it to the old man as he spoke with a smile, “This bottle of wine was brewed by the dwarves of the Dark Forest. Perhaps it isn’t that precious, but it’s much stronger than some of the good wines in the Empire.”
When Han Shuo said so, the old man looked at him with interest before taking the wine bottle. He tried shaking it, listened to the sound, then laughed happily, “What a thoughtful child. The dwarves brew naturally good wine that isn’t any inferior. I’ve had a taste before.”
Waving his hand, the old man took the two bottles of good wine from Han Shuo and Lawrence and said, “Alright, I’ve remembered Lawrence’s matter. You all leave, I’ll drink first.”
Han Shuo was surprised, not knowing what was happening. However Lawrence winked at him, indicating that Han Shuo shouldn’t ask so much and just leave with him.
Afterwards, Lawrence took Han Shuo out to the hall where Bollands stood. When Bollands saw Han Shuo appear, his eyes gleamed as he stared at the latter, saying, “Can you tell me how you understood to use murderous aura?”
“It’s a part of the martial arts I cultivate, I have no way of explaining it to you, sorry!” Han Shuo honestly replied, of course he couldn’t speak of his demonic magic method.
“Grandpa Bollands, we’re leaving first, I’ll trouble grandpa to take care of the Rose Garden.” Lawrence’s steps suddenly became much quicker as he passed by Bollands. He evidently couldn’t adapt to the pungent smell of blood on the latter’s body.
“Alright, you are Bryan?” Bollands suddenly asked while Han Shuo and Lawrence headed back the way they came.
Pausing, Han Shuo turned his head and glanced at Bollands as he politely answered, “That’s right!”
Bollands nodded his head and curved his lips, saying, “We’ll meet again. I like the smell on your body. Heh heh, that evil killing intent!”
Han Shuo was stunned. He was about to say something when Lawrence dragged him away. They quickly left that area with a few steps.
Under Lawrence’s guidance, the two followed the same way back to the quiet hall above. Letting out a breath, Lawrence explained, “My master is Karel Ascot. He has the strength of a sacred swordmaster. His outstanding contributions have given him a high reputation in the Empire. Master can go in and out of the palace directly, and my father has great trust in him. Even though I’m his disciple, he doesn’t clearly support me, which puzzles me greatly.”
“Eh, but I know he really dotes on my junior sister Phoebe. Even this Rose Garden used to belong to the Boozt Merchant Guild. Master shares a past with Phoebe’s father. For some reason, after Phoebe’s father passed away, my master managed this Rose Garden, then handed it over to me.”
Grandpa Bollands used to be a very famous killer, and old Lucky is actually his direct disciple. I don’t know why he follows my master. The smell of blood on him is so heavy, you can imagine how many people he’d killed. I can’t control the urge to vomit every time I get near him, so I always try to stay away. Otherwise if I really vomit, I think he’d be very displeased.”
Even though Lawrence was Karel’s disciple, he hadn’t focused on learning martial arts, but instead concentrated various strategies and military abilities, possibly due to his identity as the prince. Therefore his strength wasn’t very powerful, it was normal for him to feel discomfort in front of people like Bollands.
Although he had known early on that Lawrence’s master must be extraordinary, Han Shuo was extremely shocked after Lawrence confirmed his identity. As a member of the Dark Mantle, plus his own deliberate research, Han Shuo had a decent understanding of the dark side of the Empire. Naturally, he had heard of the thunderous name Karel Ascot.
Karel Ascot was born a commoner but was a heaven-defying genius. He’d set a record with his graduation speed from the Babylon Academy of Swordsmanship. He had roamed the mainland with the strength of a senior swordsman and fought hundreds of fights in various countries, increasing his fame quickly. He’d already had the strength of a great swordmaster by the time he’d returned to the Lancelot Empire.
After accepting the invitation of the king, he’d taught at the Babylon Academy of Swordsmanship as the dean. When war broke out in the Lancelot Empire, not only did Karel cultivate numerous talents for the Empire, he’d also personally defeated several provocative figures from enemy countries. At that point, where his heroic fame was like the sun at its peak, he retired from being the dean of the Academy of Swordsmanship and went to train in the deepest part of the Dark Forest for a decade. When the Empire faced the threat of invasion and was on the brink of defeat facing the Kasi Empire, Karel appeared with the strength of a sacred swordmaster and killed three great swordmasters of the Kasi Empire. This inspired the morale of the Lancelot Empire and helped it win the battle.
Many years later, all of the citizens and even the king regarded Karel Ascot as the Protector of the Empire. Even though he didn’t have an official position, he could influence the king’s decisions. Several of his direct disciples held great power in the government or the military.
“So it’s him, no wonder!” Han Shuo exclaimed after going over this information in his head.
“I took you to see him this time so he’d know of you. As long as you leave a good impression, he’ll speak a few words in front of my father. You aren’t far from a prosperous future then.” Lawrence spoke sincerely, in a prudent manner.
“I understand what you mean.” Han Shuo smiled, nodding.
“Let’s go, the main thing is done. Now I’ll take you to play to your heart’s content.” Once Lawrence saw that Han Shuo had understood, he no longer said anything else. He dragged the latter out of this quiet deserted place to the most crowded and lively area of the Rose Garden.
“Young master Lawrence, do you need a separate room?” A man dressed in a butler’s attire, who looked to be the middle aged steward of the Rose Garden, asked smilingly after he saw Lawrence.
“Of course, I’ll use the room I usually take. You help me arrange the best service for my good friend to enjoy.” Lawrence instructed in a straightforward manner.
Suddenly Lawrence paled, he looked back behind Han Shuo as murderous intent flashed in his previously smiling face.
“Hey Lawrence, what a pleasant surprise.” A seemingly cheerful sound of greeting resounded from behind Han Shuo.
Turning around, Han Shuo saw a luxuriously dressed youth of roughly twenty-five or twenty-six years old. He came over with several flower seekers, who was obviously noble at a single glance. This young man was a little taller than Lawrence and had a handsome and tough look. As he walked, he exuded the awe-inspiring momentum of someone in a high position.
He was obviously the leader of this flower seeking group. Those flower seekers looked at him with flattering smiles and even lowered their postures, which set off his noble position even more.
“Hmph, I certainly don’t want to see you.” Lawrence’s complexion didn’t look too good as he coldly looked at this man.
“Heh heh, Lawrence, you are getting more and more impolite nowadays. According to the Empire’s rules, mustn’t you at least offer your greetings when you see me?” The tall healthy man looked mockingly at Lawrence, with a smile that wasn’t a smile.
His face twitching, Lawrence glared resentfully at this person, then grimaced helplessly, “Greetings to his Royal Highness the first Prince.”