How About A Battle?
A servant interrupted Richard’s morning meditation, telling him that quite a few nobles had charged in and demanded for him to punish Waterflower.
He was slightly astonished, not able to understand how exactly that cold reclusive girl would have provoked them. Heading straight to the meeting hall, he found eleven nobles packing up the small hall like a bunch of sardines. There weren’t even enough seats, forcing some to stand, but at least they had the basic etiquette to leave an empty seat for him.
He walked over to the sofa and sat down, telling a servant to call Gangdor and Waterflower. He could just have called out mentally, but there was no need to give these people such information.
He swept his gaze across the lot, the annoyance evident in his eyes. An hour of his time was worth thousands of gold; these buffoons couldn’t understand how precious time was at all. He leaned forward and supported his head on one hand, ‘earnestly’ listening to their complaints and requests. Although he seemed to be serious about this, his posture held an unconcealable aggression within it. The infuriated nobles were unable to help but swallow some of their complaints regarding himself, pouring out all their grievances on Waterflower.
Richard’s expression grew increasingly dark. Eleven voices rose and fell in succession, sometimes with vehement accusations, sometimes with declarations and demands. They had obviously twisted and exaggerated the most important parts, growing more and more agitated with every word they spoke. Viscount Ambrose in particular, the leader of this group, was almost ready to jump on top of the table.
Saints were precious personnel that even dukes spent time enticing. The man who had died at Waterflower’s hand last night was Ambrose’s bodyguard, but he was only lent to him by his father Marquess Albrech. With the saint having died in the middle of Bluewater, the youth would have no excuse once he returned.
When Waterflower silently walked into the hall, the temperature seemed to drop a few degrees. She recognised all the nobles that had fled the previous night, her gaze turning cold as her hand reached for her blade.
The voices in the room immediately lowered. Only now did these fellows remember that this girl served Richard, and the fact that she could kill a saint so mercilessly meant their relationship could not be anything simple. Their anger simmered down.
Only a fool would be alright with Richard as an open enemy. These people were originally here just to get an apology and some compensation; after all, the life of a saint still had some value. Ambrose, in particular, had to go through with it no matter what; he had to remain unyielding regardless of the outcome. This was mainly for the sake of his companions and a trusted aide of his father’s that was hidden amongst his servants, an act that would reduce the responsibility on his own shoulders.
After listening to everyone for some more time, Richard raised his hand. The hall immediately went quiet as they awaited his statement; such was his authority.
A light smile appeared on his face, “I understand the general situation. You drank a little too much at night and didn’t recognise her when you crossed paths so you made a few jokes. But then she suddenly attacked and killed that saint guard of yours. Is that right?”
Viscount Ambrose hesitated, but eventually he nodded, “Roughly.”
This elicited a dark chuckle, “You brats actually have the guts to make jokes about her? It’s just a degenerate saint, so what if he’s dead?!”
Ambrose and the rest of the nobles were dumbstruck. What’s the big deal about a saint? It took a while for the Viscount to recover his senses from the shock of that statement, “Sir Richard, you cannot put it that way! This is a saint! You have to make it up to us…”
“Make it up to you? You still want me to make it up to you after you dared to joke about my woman?” The sun disappeared from Richard’s smile, replaced by freezing clouds, “Are you tired of your lives?”
The emphasis on ‘joke’ was clear enough of an indication that Richard wouldn’t accept their doctored version of events. Put another way, it meant he didn’t care for their statuses at all.
Noticing that the situation was deteriorating, one of the nobles flashed a smile and tried to ease the tension, “Sir Richard, it’s only a woman. Besides, Viscount Amb—”
Richard interrupted him with another raise of the hand, shutting him up, “Enough, you’ve already wasted enough of my time. I won’t pursue the matter, but next time you do something so foolish it won’t be so simple as the death of a guard. This is Bluewater Oasis, my territory. You’d best know who my people are.”
Ambrose’s face reddened. “RICHARD!” he thundered, “You’re far too brash! Let’s end it here? Let’s see if you really can take on the consequences of ending it here!”
Richard glanced at the Viscount, “Your father is Marquess Albrech?”
“Yes!” the Viscount looked up, but inside he was sighing with relief. Richard had finally remembered his identity.
However, Ambrose couldn’t have expected Richard to wave him off as though he was a fly, “Alright then. If Albrech doesn’t accept this, have him send an army over. Let’s battle!”
Ambrose gasped. He hadn’t expected Richard to even be willing to fight, forget being impatient for one. Shouldn’t he have apologised and given him compensation? While the expected result would still result in Marquess Albrech reprimanding him, the Viscount at least wouldn’t lose his reputation. He was arrogant, but he was no fool. Waterflower could kill a saint; it was impossible for him to get Richard to hand her over. If their positions were reversed, he wouldn’t agree to it either. However, Albrech’s bodyguard couldn’t die in vain. An apology and some monetary compensation would be a bare minimum to resolve this dispute. Who would have guessed Richard was so tough and nasty, possessing no poise at all!
Left with no other choice, the Viscount could only press on with his verbal tirade, “Good, very good! Just you wait, the nobility of the Sequoia Kingdom will teach you your place!”
Richard smiled in response, “Point at me again, and I’ll cut your hand off.”
Ambrose was left feeling a mix of embarrassment and rage, but he didn’t actually have the guts to call Richard’s bluff. He snorted loudly and turned to leave, but didn’t even dare to slam the door behind him.
Once the Viscount left, Richard shook his head helplessly and turned to the nobles who were still in the room, “Tell me, what should I do to teach some respect? Should I kill some more?”
The nobles all broke out in cold sweat, immediately praising him and expressing their thoughts on the magnificence of the Bloodstained Highway. Richard was the war god of the Sequoia Kingdom; at this point, he didn’t need to kill people to establish his prowess. “Is that so?” he responded to the flattery, leaving everyone shivering with fear. Feeling like they were frightened enough, he had them ushered out before turning to look at Waterflower and Gangdor.
“I’m sorry.” The young lady’s head had been lowered for a long time, her teeth gritting hard as she forced the words out of herself.
“What did you say?” Richard couldn’t quite believe his own ears.
Waterflower’s head stayed down, unwilling to look up and allow Richard to see her face. He suddenly understood what she was referring to and burst into laughter, “You mean for that saint? Don’t worry, and don’t be afraid to give me trouble. If something like this happens again, I can kill a few of those fools.”
At this point, Richard sighed, “I feel like fighting!”
“Me too! All the bones in my body are itching!” Gangdor had the same thought.
Richard stood up and walked a few rounds inside the hall, “I know, but this isn’t the time to declare war. Endure it for just a little while longer.”
A short while later, Gangdor and Waterflower left the hall in order. The former halted the moment he was out, about to say something, but before he could even turn around Waterflower crashed into his back.
“Hey! Aren’t you awake yet?” the brute grimaced, rubbing his lower back. The girl’s strength was astounding; even a thoughtless bump was comparable to a knight’s blow.
“It’s nothing!” One could tell Waterflower was lying with a single look at her face. However, she didn’t wait for Gangdor’s response and instead distanced herself, fleeing like the wind.
Gangdor gaped, scratching his head in bewilderment, “I just wanted to go look for some bandits to kill, why did she run away so quickly?”
The distant girl was already lost in her own thoughts, heart pounding as she wondered, ‘He said I’m his woman… What… What does it mean?’
Another month passed by peacefully.
The first caravan to the dwarven kingdom returned a success, bringing back great benefits. Anyone would go crazy over the three million in profit, and Richard got an entire quarter of the goods. He didn’t even take any gold, only grabbing the ores and metal.
The resounding triumph showed all the nobles of the Sequoia Kingdom the immense value of this trade route. They also saw firsthand the value of the 25% share in the profits Richard possessed. This was a wealth even the royal family would be jealous of, but it had entered the hands of a little frontier knight.
Even though his accomplishments were widely renowned in the Sequoia Kingdom, they hadn’t been ratified by the royal family. Thus, he remained a titled knight despite the unprecedented success of the Bloodstained Highway. There was no need for anyone to remind him of what this meant— Richard knew a storm was coming.
This was a storm he had been anticipating for a long time.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA