Chapter 76: He’s my boyfriend
“Senior brother Lawrence, come with me, I’ll give you the items you need!” Phoebe said to Lawrence, seemingly a bit bored after Han Shuo made no response to the round of sarcasm directed towards him. Han Shuo only drank mouthful after mouthful of water with a wry face.
Before she left, Phoebe’s clear eyes glared viciously at Han Shuo as her body halted, “If you’re not in a hurry, wait for a while.”
Han Shuo lifted his head to look at Phoebe, clearly perceiving her repressed anger. Remember that the materials for his Demonslayer Edge were still in her hands, he immediately nodded out of resignation.
Phoebe led Lawrence off to the side. Fabian looked at Han Shuo with an extremely odd look after they left, asking with surprise, “Bryan, to think that you’re only an errand boy at the Babylon Academy of School of Magic. My gosh, but you’re so strong, what’s going on?”
“Nothing much. Oh right, this Lawrence is part of the warrior academy at our Academy, a very ordinary sergeant knight, but Miss Phoebe has the strength of a swordmaster. How could the two of them have the same master?” Han Shuo was quite perplexed as he asked Fabian.
Although knights and swordsmen could train the same fighting aura, Lawrence was merely a sergeant knight, whereas Phoebe had the strength of a swordmaster while training underneath the same master. The gap between the two was simply too great, particularly when Han Shuo had clearly heard from their mouths that Lawrence was the senior disciple brother and Phoebe was just the junior sister. This made Han Shuo feel that it was even odder.
“I’m not too clear about the young miss’ situation either. I was just an insignificant character in the Boozt Merchant Guild before. I’d only heard that the young miss was studying abroad before the Guildmaster passed away, and would only return once or twice each year. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Guildmaster suddenly passed away, Miss Phoebe likely wouldn’t have suddenly stayed.
Lawrence only appeared recently. Their relationship is indeed quite close, but I have no way of answering your questions either.” Fabian looked apologetically at Han Shuo as he explained.
Han Shuo didn’t ask further after this explanation, but merely nodded and frowned in contemplation.
After a while, Phoebe and Lawrence once again stood at the door. Phoebe looked at Fabian and instructed, “Fabian, show senior brother Lawrence out the door for me. I have a few words to speak to Mr. Bryan in private!”
“Yes, miss!” Fabian stood up, knowing how to behave in a delicate situation and walked outside.
“Bryan, I’m very happy to see you here. If you’d like to earn a few more gold coins in the future, you can come find me at any time. However, I think you won’t be needing that anymore. Alright, see you later Bryan, I think we’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet in the future.” Lawrence looked meaningfully at Han Shuo, laughed lightly and followed Fabian out.
When the two had left, Phoebe walked in with a cold face and flicked a glance at Han Shuo after sitting down, snorting lightly, “How dare you come back here again!”
“And why wouldn’t I dare?” Han Shuo’s eyebrow flicked, not taking anything lying down as he stared back into Phoebe’s eyes. “I haven’t done anything against my conscience, not to mention you still owe me from last time. As long as you give me the materials you promised and the black gold ore, I’ll leave immediately and won’t come do business with you ever again!”
Phoebe slammed her hand down on the table and glared at Han Shuo furiously, “You, how dare you demand things from me! Damnit, you violated me and I’ve been nice enough not to kill you!”
“Bullshit, both you and I were influenced by the aphrodisiac then. I was the one who dragged you out of the Guild, otherwise you’d be long dead by now. Not to mention I didn’t really do anything to you, otherwise I wouldn’t have brought you to the river.” Han Shuo was truly angry now. He had toiled all night long and not only had he gained nothing, but he’d suffered a beating at her hands. This Phoebe wouldn’t let go of this matter, was she truly trying to avoid paying up?
Phoebe drew out her longsword with a clang and glared wrathfully at Han Shuo. Han Shuo also abruptly slammed the table and immediately stood up, glaring ferociously at Phoebe, seeming to want to break into a fight as soon as the two disagreed.
The two of them glared at each other and maintained this position for nearly a minute. Phoebe curled her lip and stuck her longsword back into the sheath with another clang. She turned her head, no longer looking at Han Shuo and said coldly. “Just what do you want?”
“Very simple. I’ll purchase the other materials according to the estimate you gave me and give me the black gold ore that you owe me. Our debts will be resolved this way and we won’t have anything to do with each other in the future. I won’t conduct any more stupid transactions with you anymore.” Han Shuo sat down with a darkened face and drained the water from the glass in front of him with one gulp, saying decisively.
“You dratted, profit-seeking jerk. Here, take it all and get out of here!” Phoebe felt an involuntary surge of rage upon hearing Han Shuo’s words as uncontrollable anger showed in her expression. She withdrew a large bundle of of items rather irritably from her space ring and slammed it down on the table, throwing it in front of Han Shuo, leveling a harsh glare at Han Shuo.
“Eh, you prepared it all, why didn’t you say so? We were harming our amiability for nothing.” Han Shuo had planned on taking the items and leaving, but saw that the bundle of items were packaged orderly. There was a piece of odd-looking ore, contained in a clear flask, with the words “black gold” written on it. It looked like Phoebe had been long since prepared for his arrival and hadn’t planned on going back on her word.
But what Han Shuo couldn’t wrap his mind around was that since Phoebe hadn’t planned on going back on her word, why did she come in with such an explosive temper and say that she hadn’t planned on giving him anything. This was rather baffling, and Han Shuo couldn’t make any sense of it.
“Give me your crystal card, I’ll transfer the appropriate amount of gold coins into your card. Heh heh, I actually didn’t have any other meaning and just wanted to take back what was owed to me.” Han Shuo smiled rather awkwardly, but still put this bundle of items into his space ring, then talked to Phoebe, somewhat abashed.
Still not properly looking at Han Shuo, Phoebe had a face of cold arrogance and said stiffly, “No need. I’m not as miserly as you. It’s only thirty five hundred gold… treat it as a gift. Don’t let me see you in the future, just get out!”
Seeing that she was so sarcastic and jeering, Han Shuo’s face froze and he nodded, slapping down the piece of black iron ore that he had mined the day before. He too said coldly, “I don’t like owing favors to strangers. Treat this ore as compensation of me purchasing your other ores. Good bye Miss Phoebe, I won’t be doing business with you in the future.”
Just as Han Shuo was about to resolutely leave the room, Phoebe suddenly lost her composure and stood up, looking at Han Shuo with a lost expression. Her wise eyes were full of weakness and weariness. She spoke with a desolate voice, “You’re going to treat me as a stranger from now on?”
Shrugging, Han Shuo said naturally and unconstrained, “Since you don’t care to treat me as a friend, I, of course, will not shamelessly impose on you.”
Han Shuo smiled naturally after these words and began to walk outside, but Phoebe suddenly called out lightly before he walked out the door, “Wait!”
Turning his head to look at Phoebe, Han Shuo asked calmly, “Miss Phoebe, what other matters are there?”
Phoebe’s expression was a bit odd. She lowered her head and thought silently for a bit, but when she lifted her head, a good half of the weakness and weariness had actually vanished. Her direct stare at Han Shuo made him feel very odd. She even quirked her lips at the end and revealed a trace of a smile, asking, “Bryan, you mean that you already viewed me as a friend?”
Astounded, Han Shuo nodded and replied matter-of-factly, “Of course, we’ve gone through two life or death experiences in the Boozt Merchant Guild, not to mention you’ve helped me on several occasions. I already consider you a friend, but you’re not willing!”
“Who says I’m not willing, huh? Apart from monetary transactions, are you so heartless to all your friends?” Phoebe’s expressions had returned to normal by now and had a few more traces of human interest compared to her normal, remote aloofness, and she used the same attitude she had used towards Lawrence just now when talking to Han Shuo.
“Of course not.” Han Shuo responded.
Han Shuo could clearly feel that Phoebe’s words had been permeated with sincerity and worry. He felt a bit touched inside, and his facial expressions became more tender. After thinking carefully, Han Shuo felt that Phoebe’s words should be fine. He frowned and said to Phoebe, “Then, what do you think I should do?”
“Eliminate Grover with me, otherwise we will never have days of peace!” Phoebe’s charming face grew cold as she bit off her words.
Musing for a bit, Han Shuo suddenly felt that perhaps a life ensconced in danger was more suitable for him to break through. His life had been too simple and monotone before, perhaps additional stimulus would make it more interesting. Add to that what Phoebe had said, if the threat of Grover wasn’t eliminated, he may truly be faced with endless troubles.
After musing for a bit, Han Shuo said resolutely, “Alright, I promise you!”
“Then, accompany me to the personal banquet held by the Guild tonight. Several of the founding elders will be present at this banquet.” Phoebe’s charming face was gladdened upon seeing Han Shuo agree, and she immediately opened her mouth in inquiry.
“Eh, a banquet held by your Guild? What am I going to do there?” Han Shuo started and asked.
“Gain the goodwill of the other founding elders and take precautions against the schemes of that old thing. Bryan, I need your help, you just said that we’re friends right?” Phoebe looked straight at Han Shuo and asked.
He suddenly had the feeling of the feeling that he’d boarded a pirate ship and was about to be taken advantage of, Han Shuo felt a bit odd. But he had indeed admitted that the two were friends earlier according to Phoebe’s intentions. He was unable to back down now, and could only grit his teeth and agree.
Exclaiming softly, Phoebe said happily, “Wonderful, wait a moment and I’ll have someone tailor a tuxedo that fits you. I also need to teach you some basic noble courtesies. I’ve already learned from Lawrence that you’re from the Babylon Academy of Magic and Force. Eh… I think you’re probably not too well versed in such things.”
Throwing an ill-tempered look at her, Han Shuo said, “I was an errand boy, but that was in the past. There’s nothing untowards about it and nothing that can’t be talked about!”
“Sorry Bryan, I really didn’t mean anything by it, truly!” Phoebe was a bit agitated and hastened to apologize with genuinity.
“No worries, tell me, I’ll listen carefully!” Han Shuo waved his hand with indifference and indicated for Phoebe to begin.
“This, this is black iron ore!” It was as if she’d just discovered it as Phoebe looked at the black iron ore that Han Shuo had set on the table. She looked at Han Shuo with astonishment. “You actually have black iron ore, it looks like you truly want to forge the best weapon!”
“Absolutely!” Han Shuo responded firmly.
Phoebe gave Han Shuo an overview of the basic courtesies of nobility. Han Shuo understood that in order to climb to a higher level in this world, he must indeed have a grasp of such mannerisms. Therefore, he docilely listened to Phoebe’s descriptions and even tried to make a few of the basic gestures of courtesies according to Phoebe’s demands.
When night fell, Han Shuo had already changed into the tuxedo that Phoebe had specially prepared for him and actually cleaned up nicely. He followed behind Phoebe and rode in a carriage to arrive at the Boozt Merchant Guild for the third time.
Many luxurious and opulent carriages were parked in front of the doors and the guards had been changed out. They were two unfamiliar faces to Han Shuo. When Phoebe and Han Shuo both alighted from the carriage, they walked in with the ease of experience without having to greet the guards. Phoebe led the way past two hallways and appeared at the entrance of the banquet hall.
“Niece Phoebe, this is a private banquet of our Guild, it doesn’t seem too appropriate that you’ve brought him?” Grover’s hand held a wine glass filled with fine wine at the front of the door and happened to be conversing delightfully with a couple obviously well off guild elders. When he saw Phoebe and Han Shuo walk in, he first looked balefully at Han Shuo and then addressed Phoebe.
“Uncle Grover, Mr. Bryan isn’t an outsider!” Phoebe thinned her lips and laughed lightly, glancing at Han Shuo with some shyness as she explained.
“Oh? Then dear niece, can you tell me why he isn’t an outsider?” Grover’s eyes squinted as he sized up Han Shuo with venomous, snake-like eyes, speaking sinisterly as he did so.
“He’s my boyfriend!” Phoebe threw her head back, looking at Grover directly in the eyes without fear as she said proudly.