Chapter 134: An awkward encounter
They entered Phoebe’s room and stopped in front of an enormous mirror. Phoebe then stopped by a pile of black evening wear hemmed with exquisite, rolled gold edges that included a full set of boots and undergarments.
“Change out of your clothes first and I’ll help you with the exterior wear in a moment.” Phoebe left after handing the pile of clothes to Han Shuo and went to wait outside.
Han Shuo looked at the dress shirt, boots, and bow tie with an aggrieved look. He hesitated, then followed Phoebe’s request anyway and put them on. He looked at himself in the mirror and felt that he’d noticeably become more vigorous and handsome.
“Are you done yet?” Phoebe asked outside.
“Yes, I’m done.” Han Shuo responded.
When she heard Han Shuo’s response, Phoebe walked in from outside and looked Han Shuo up and down with her clear eyes. She nodded, “It fits you very well. You look quite dashing in these clothes!”
“Oh, is that so? I feel quite good as well.” Han Shuo smiled faintly with a careless response.
“I’ll help you with the outer jacket.” Phoebe walked next to Han Shuo and picked up the jacket in Han Shuo’s hands with ease. She didn’t wait for Han Shuo to speak and took the initiative to help Han Shuo into the jacket, her expression quite happy.
The two of them were close to each other as the faint fragrance wreathed around Phoebe wafted into Han Shuo’s mouth and nose. Add to that Phoebe’s indescribably tender movements, this all made Han Shuo’s face flush and heart race.
After Phoebe had helped Han Shuo into all pieces of his evening wear and helped him tie his tie, Phoebe took a small step backwards and focused her sparkling, beautiful eyes on Han Shuo, taking a deep look.
“I hadn’t thought that you were so fit. This set of formal wear appears to be quite form fitting on you.” Phoebe breathed softly with some surprise as she looked attentively at Han Shuo.
“Then, did you finish what I asked you to do?” Han Shuo finally couldn’t help but ask what he cared most about after holding in his words until now.
She rolled her eyes ill temperedly at Han Shuo, saying unhappily, “Can we not talk about your business for now, and talk about them after the banquet ends?”
Han Shuo hadn’t thought that his careless question would incur Phoebe’s unhappiness. He thought privately that a woman’s heart is difficult to guess alright. He was asking someone else for a favor and so could only nod his head with a rueful smile.
“Alright, alright. Don’t give me that unwilling and reluctant look. I promise you that as long as you accompany me to the banquet and back, you’ll leave the Guild satisfied.” Phoebe said when she saw that Han Shuo was sporting a wry grin.
She then told him to wait for her for a bit and turned to walk into her room. After the sounds of rifling through clothing, a stunning Phoebe dressed in a simple, elegant pale-blue dress with faint powder on appeared in front of Han Shuo.
The unadorned, elegant pale-blue dress tapered into a thin waist from the torso, fully offsetting the perfect curves of her chest and thin waist. The skirt that began around her lower body rippled like petals of beautiful flowers. It was as if waves were lapping when she walked. Her gorgeous cheeks were even more mesmerizing due to the presence of light makeup. Han Shuo was flabbergasted in the moment he saw her.
“What’s wrong, why are you looking at me in such a silly fashion?” Phoebe appeared a bit proud as she threw back her head a little arrogantly and asked Han Shuo.
“No, nothing.” Han Shuo’s lips were a bit dry and responded after swallowing some saliva.
Laughing lightly, Phoebe lifted her head and walked outside. A faint fragrance drifted around Han Shuo when she passed him. She opened her mouth after arriving in front of the door, “Let’s go and attend the banquet now.”
Following behind Phoebe, Han Shuo got into a carriage that had long since been prepared. Two journeyman swordsman were acting as groomsmen and spurring the horses on into the distance.
“Where are we going?” Han Shuo couldn’t help but open his mouth with a question when he saw that Phoebe was sitting in the carriage, seemingly thinking of something.
“The finance minister of the Empire is holding a banquet and has invited several notable businesspeople in the Empire. It’s a meeting of the businesspeople and a good timing to discuss business.” Phoebe looked at Han Shuo and opened her mouth to explain.
Starting, Han Shuo said, “Then isn’t that Lawrence’s father’s banquet?”
“Eh? How do you know that Lawrence is the son of the finance minister of the Empire?” Phoebe was a bit surprised and asked Han Shuo with confusion.
“Lawrence and I have a good friendship, we’re both from the Academy. We’ve also had a few transactions before, so of course I know a few things about him.” Han Shuo didn’t tell Phoebe that Lisa had been the one to tell him about Lawrence. He spoke matter-of-factly, making it seem that the two of them had close relations.
Phoebe didn’t suspect a thing as she nodded, “So this is the case. I hadn’t known that you were close to my senior brother. This rather surprises me.”
The two of them chatted about about Lawrence afterwards. It was mostly Han Shuo taking the chance to ask questions and Phoebe responding. Contrary to Han Shuo’s expectations, Phoebe didn’t know much about Lawrence. She only knew that he was the son of the Empire’s finance minister, and although they had the same master, the two of them didn’t meet much.
According to Phoebe’s words, Lawrence didn’t seem to be one who focused on training martial techniques. He spent more time studying random things with their teacher than martial techniques, so it was no wonder that Lawrence’s martial skill wasn’t that extraordinary.
Phoebe was unsure about more of Lawrence’s matters. She only knew that he dealt with people well and had a good relationship with their teacher. Lawrence was also a bit resourceful and seemed to have many secrets about him, but Phoebe was uncertain of that as well.
The two of them had unknowingly arrived at their destination as they chatted. It wasn’t until when Han Shuo got off from the carriage that he discovered they weren’t too far away from the palace.
Alighting from the carriage with Phoebe and walking to the door of a luxurious, opulent manor, there was a well mannered butler long since awaiting to welcome Han Shuo and Phoebe inside. They made their way through a corridor and arrived in a courtyard surrounded by artificial mountains and rivers. They discovered that all sorts of soft and comfortable chairs had been placed in the surroundings, with many exquisite sweet delicacies and fine wine set up in the plains around the artificial mountains.
People dressed in extravagant clothing were scattered in all areas, grasping wine glasses in their hands and conversing with a smile on their faces. When Han Shuo and Phoebe walked in, the stunning Phoebe immediately drew hot eyed stares from many gentlemen within the area as well as some envious glances from some noble ladies.
“Hello Phoebe, I’m very happy that you could come and participate in this time’s banquet.” An ordinary looking middle aged man with normal features called out softly from the grass next to the flowing waters, walking over with a smile.
“Uncle Eevee, how would Phoebe not dare attend an event that you’ve issued an invitation for?” Phoebe tugged on Han Shuo and walked in the direction of finance minister Eevee of the Lancelot Empire.
Eevee Egadi was the father of Lawrence Egadi. Han Shuo stared at Eevee, observing him closely and marveling at how Eevee could sire such a handsome son as Lawrence, given his own ordinary features. He felt it truly incredible.
“Is this handsome young fellow your boyfriend?” Eevee looked at Han Shuo with a smile and asked in surprise when he saw Han Shuo standing by her side.
“Yes, Uncle Eevee, he’s called Bryan and he’s also quite close with senior brother Lawrence.” Phoebe nodded and responded with a smile. She purposefully drew close to Han Shuo as they talked and reached out a hand to take his wrist, speaking with a look of happy contentment.
Although he knew that Phoebe was doing so to purposefully prove their relationship to Eevee, Han Shuo still felt something odd in his heart when Phoebe held onto him so intimately.
“Oh, so this is the case. Heh heh, Lawrence has returned from school today as well and is changing into his evening wear. I think he’ll be out in a bit. You can have a nice chat later.” Eevee spoke with surprise and then smiled at Han Shuo and Phoebe. “I’m a bit busy today and need to attend to other guests, I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you for now.”
“No worries Uncle Eevee, go attend to what you need to do!” Phoebe said graciously with politeness.
Eevee had just left when a middle aged man with a protruding belly walked towards Phoebe with a glass of wine in his hand. The man suddenly saw Han Shuo standing next to Phoebe before he’d reached her and his face immediately darkened, but he covered it quite well.
“It’s been a few days, but Miss Phoebe is as beautiful and enchanting as ever. I don’t know if you’ve considered the matter that I brought up to you last time?” When the person reached Phoebe, his ardent gaze stared at Phoebe without abandon as he spoke in question.
“Apologies Mister Cameron, our Boozt Merchant Guild is not willing to join your merchant guild.” Phoebe’s face resumed its cold expression as she flicked a glance at Cameron, speaking diffidently.
Cameron’s face changed as he stared deeply at Phoebe, saying, “Our merchant guild exists to oppose the Brut Merchant Alliance. As members of the Brut Merchant Alliance, the McGrady Guild seems to pose quite a threat to your Boozt Merchant Guild. I hope you can seriously consider my proposal.”
“Hello Mister Cameron! Who are you talking to?” A familiar voice suddenly sounded from behind as a curvacious and alluring Emily, all dressed up, suddenly appeared behind Han Shuo.
Her facial expression had been relaxed and carefree when it suddenly changed after she caught sight of Han Shuo when her body was turned. When her gaze landed on Phoebe holding onto Han Shuo’s arm, her eyes danced even more as a weird look focused fixedly on Han Shuo.