Book 1, Chapter 105

Partner

The housekeeper brought Richard to a part of the island he’d never been to, leading him through a murky corridor until they came upon a set of stairs.

This was a six-storey building, situated behind the castle. There was no special layout to the construction and the rooms were extremely cramped, with many people being forced to fit into limited space. There were a total of five such buildings, built for the branches of the Archeron Family and the best of slaves, as well as high-ranked officials and young knights.

Because of the relatively small area of the floating island, two to four people would share a single room. Coco, however, was on the top floor that was allocated to the youths of the family. Those were single rooms, because their partners hadn’t been decided yet and they needed the convenience to enter and leave.

The housekeeper seemed to be extremely familiar with everyone in the floating island. Although there were slaves which bowed towards him along the way, he did not stop and ask for directions. Instead, he brought Richard to a room at the end of the corridor, and knocked on the door.

“Who is it?” Coco’s gentle voice appeared from behind the door.

The housekeeper reported his name, and Coco seemed startled, “Ah, please wait for a moment.” Moments later, Coco opened the door. She had a shawl draped over her shoulders, covering the upper half of her body, and a white gown which extended to the legs. Her dainty white feet which stepped on the carpet seemed rather striking. The time now was extremely late in the night, and it seemed like Coco had been woken up from her sleep.

To the youths of the Archeron branch families, the housekeeper was a secondary figure of authority behind only Gaton himself. This was more so for the weaker families. Thus, the moment she heard the housekeeper was standing outside Coco immediately got up and wrapped a shawl around herself without a change of clothes.

She looked at the housekeeper, and then at Richard who was standing behind, as if understanding everything. She immediately bowed, “Are we going to conduct a magic experiment now? Please wait a few minutes, I’ll have a quick change of clothes!”

To Coco, this job was far more important than her sleep.

The housekeeper stopped her, speaking in an unhurried tone, “No, this has nothing to do with magic experiments. Coco Mary Archeron, you have the honour of being chosen by young master Richard as his first partner. Since young master has to set off at first light tomorrow, he shall be spending the night with you.”

“What?!” Coco cried in surprise, and her face turned pale as she unconsciously retreated by two steps.

The housekeeper was not going to repeat things a second time for her. Instead, he went to the side and said to Richard, “Young master, please enter. Also, I will be waking you up at five in the morning for breakfast. We will be setting off at six-thirty. The journey tomorrow is long, so please restrain yourself slightly tonight.”

Richard nodded with an indifferent expression.

The housekeeper turned around to leave, but Coco dashed out from her room, pulling on his hand and asking fervently, “Sir! How could it be me? You must have made a mistake. Yes, it can only be an error!”

The housekeeper did not try to pull away his hand nor explain, and seemed not to be bothered by Coco’s words and actions. He only bowed elegantly to Coco, but the lack of explanation ascertained that none of this was wrong. In fact, this old housekeeper that was over sixty had never committed any mistakes in the past 20 years.

Richard who was still standing by the door said indifferently, “It’s not wrong, I chose you.”

Coco’s little mouth gaped open, and she was shocked for a moment. Afterwards, she hurried to Richard’s side and bowed deeply, “Young master Richard, please consider again! I have no bloodline ability, and am only a level 2 illusionist without any other talents. A commoner like me cannot be matched with your peerless talent. I definitely will not be able to give birth to a prodigious child!”

Richard’s brows furrowed, he could astutely feel that Coco’s reactions and words were too unbefitting of the situation. No matter what reasons she might have, anger began to swell deep in his head. Any youth brimming with vigour, if rejected in such a blunt manner, would definitely be angry.

Coco’s voice was rather loud, and several doors on the corridor had opened. Heads popped out from these doors, belonging to the young men and women. When they saw what was happening, they had spat their tongues out in jest or smiled politely towards the housekeeper before returning back into their rooms. The faces of several young women were filled with envy and jealousy. They could not piece together why Coco, whose only positive was her looks, would be chosen by Richard. Was she lucky or charismatic, and if so why didn’t they notice it before?

Richard heard the curses of the young ladies, but acted as if he didn’t. He looked at Coco’s ashen face, as well as her eyes that began to well up with tears. He raised his head and asked the housekeeper, “Can I still change partners?”

The eyes of the housekeeper did not betray his thoughts, and in an unchanging tone of voice, with neither lack nor excess of respect, he replied. “This is your choice, and it has been approved by Master. Now that it has officially taken effect, it is even harder to revoke it. If you have a better candidate in your heart, my own suggestion is for you to choose again. After all, you have multiple choices granted to you. This complex authority granted to you, to my understanding, is limited to just one. However, if you insist on changing and choosing another companion, it can be done. But it requires Master Gaton’s approval as well as some procedures. Next, you have to prove whether you used Coco before or not…”

After the long explanation from the housekeeper, some hope seemed to appear on Coco’s face. It seems like she had wanted to speak, but she was not so stupid as to interrupt the housekeeper, nor to try persuading Richard again.

Suddenly, hastened footsteps sounded on the stairs, and a handsome young man appeared by the stairs. Richard seemed to notice it and turned around, his icy gaze landing on the young man. The housekeeper turned around as well, standing quietly and observing him.

In an instant, the temperature of the sixth floor seemed to drop to sub-zero levels, causing some people to shiver.

The young man suddenly turned rigid. His gaze flitted from Richard, to the housekeeper, and then to Coco before he looked her deep in the eyes. Under the penetrative yet silent gaze of the housekeeper, sweat began to form on his forehead, causing him to be unable to speak. He greeted the housekeeper with a stiff bow, and said, “I came to the wrong floor.” He turned around, his heavy footsteps seemed to reflect the feelings in his heart.

Just then, Richard’s somewhat ruthless voice sounded out, “I’m not changing anymore, it’ll be her!”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translation/TLC By: OMA

Edited By: Theo