Minnie gritted her teeth and asked, “I… Alright, then, are you confident in winning the competition?”
Richard grinned, “What makes you think that I will answer you?”
Minnie let out a huge sigh, “I understand. But I only have one request. If you think you can win, then please take me in for two months, just two months. Steven will definitely be exiled from the Deepblue, and I won’t be able to pay the fees anymore. I’ll stop being her apprentice as well; it seems clear that Master will keep you as the only remaining student. My family already sold me to the Solams, but I don’t want to sink together with Steven. As long as you help me through this ordeal, I… I will definitely be like Erin and depend on myself to survive in Deepblue after this.”
“Truth,” Mountainsea said groggily.
Richard did not know whether to laugh or to cry. The tense atmosphere had been broken entirely by her comment. He knocked playfully on her forehead, before continuing to stare at Minnie. Only Richard was able to act in this manner towards Mountainsea. If it were somebody else, even before they came into contact their hands would have been amputated.
“Is that so? Then tell me, how does it benefit me if I decide to take you in? Currently, the only outcome I can foresee is the Solam Family growing even more vengeful,” Richard said calmly.
Minnie straightened her body, displaying her curves that would entice many, before stating seriously, “I can tell you about all the plans and preparations Steven has been making so far. I also have a lot of information on the Solam Family’s resources and funding proposals. And, and… During the entire time you take me in, I’ll be… I’ll be all yours.! You can do whatever you want with me!”
“Truth.” Mountainsea was in deep sleep, and had already begun to snore, but had not forgotten to assess the situation. Richard could not help it but to raise his hands wanting to hit her forehead once more, but he eventually decided against it.
Minnie struck while the iron was hot, and continued, “Your relationship with the Solam Family was never good anyway. There’s no love lost between the two of you, how big is this addition? Besides, at the scale of huge families there’s no permanent allies or enemies. Such a small matter is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, the Solams won’t make it difficult for you even if just for Marquess Gaton’s sake. Should Steven lose the competition, he would have to give up on his bloodline and move on to learn from Saint Klaus. Judging from his three level 3 runes, Saint Klaus is not even qualified enough to be termed a runemaster. Should Steven depend on him, he would not be able to overcome the obstacle to becoming a level 2 runemaster. Only as a dragonblooded runemaster can he build specific level 3 runes.”
Richard challenged, “But no matter what, he would still be able to become a runemaster, wouldn’t he? That is already a good outcome in itself.”
“No, it’s not the same. The Solam Family has invested too much in him. Should he not be able to become a great runemaster, he will have to serve for the rest of his life without any status,” Minnie retorted.
Richard got up, “No matter what, you’ll still be the wife of a runemaster who’s also an elite warlock. That’s already much better than having to forcefully stay in the Deepblue. I’m afraid I can’t help you, please leave.”
“Ah! No! Why? I didn’t wish to be his wife! That engagement contract was one that practically sold me over to the Solams! And it’s your fault too! If it wasn’t for your Viscount Alice, my father wouldn’t have sold me!”
Richard furrowed his brows, and asked calmly, “So, are you trying to push the blame on me now?”
Minnie’s faced dimmed. She lowered her head instantly, tears flowing uncontrollably down her face. She explained gently, “Who am I to pursue the responsibility? My father just hopes another Archeron doesn’t attack us. Alright, I know I’ve done many things that have let you down in the past, but I believe this competition is important to you too. If you would still take a second look at me, as long as you are willing, I’m yours from today onwards. Please?”
However, Richard had already opened the gates of his house, “I have zero desire to find out what Steven is doing, or even what you’re doing for the matter. Forgive me, I’m afraid I can’t help you in any way. It’s about time for me to enter meditation, please leave.”
Minnie lifted her luggage with both hands, and walked out of the gates of the residences with low spirits. The metal gates shut tight behind her, letting out a deep thud as they closed.
“Richard! I hate you!” Minnie rushed towards the metal gates and shouted with all her might, before slumping to the ground. She hugged her knees and started sobbing. Her voice could still be heard despite the gates.
“Truth…” Mountainsea said yet another word groggily. Feeling that her posture was uncomfortable, she propped herself up and reluctantly opened her eyes only to realise that Minnie was already gone. “Eh? Where is she? You chased her away? But she was speaking the truth all this while.”
Richard went silent. He let out a huge sigh before nodding his head.
“Cruel!” she stood up and straightened her body, but even so her eyes could barely open.
Richard sighed once more, “Some animosity can never be forgiven.”
Mountainsea instantly became more alert, and tried once more to widen her eyes before gazing seriously at Richard, “You appear more like a 130 year old old man than a 13 year old teenager!”
Richard smiled helplessly, and could only explain once more: “Perhaps I went through a lot more when I was younger…” Although he already had a general understanding of his blessing of wisdom, it wasn’t something he could explain to others.
Mountainsea covered her mouth and yawned repeatedly, disrupting Richard: “I know, I know! You’ve already said it upteen times, isn’t it just because of love and enmity? Norland’s men are all like that! What about this: you can be my man, and I’ll avenge you! I have everything you Norlanders want. Just like Norlanders would say, ‘I have manpower, money, and such a prestigious background too!’”
Richard felt angry, but was amused at the same time. He clenched his fist and knocked her head, “Who taught you all this nonsense? Also, don’t imitate your mentor!” Richard was slightly baffled as to how Mountainsea could imitate the legendary mage even though she had only met her for a short while.
“Alright.” Mountainsea was exceptionally well-behaved, and even offered her head for Richard to knock on. But Richard did not have the heart to do so. Furthermore, he knew that she was merely doing that to get closer to him.
“It’s time for me to go meditate.” Hearing that, Mountainsea let out a cheer.
A while later, Richard settled himself down in the meditation room and slowly went deep into meditation. The incense from a finger-length joss-stick diffused throughout the whole room, the aroma sending him there faster. At the same time, this incense stick that Mountainsea used had powerful magic that increased the effectiveness of this session. Even if he dozed off, the effects would be much better than proper meditation elsewhere.
And now, Mountainsea curled up next to Richard like a tiger cub. She held onto him tightly, and let out gentle snores.Previous Chapter Next Chapter