Leguna didn't say too much. He had always been a rather free spirit, so it wasn't all that rare for him to suddenly return to the bureau to deal with some matters. However, Xeno felt that there was something odd about him, though it didn't seem obvious.
I wonder if it's the light makeup he has on… he thought. He knew he would be participating in the banquet today, so the fine touch-ups made him seem a little different than usual.
He forced the feeling down and awaited the briefing dutifully.
Leguna gave the documents on the desk a look. "You did well. Looks like I was right in leaving these to you."
"Serving you is my honor, Sir," he replied with a bow.
Given how casual Leguna sounded, it appeared he was overthinking things.
Leguna nodded and stood back up. He looked at the picture hung on the wall. It was a diagram of the defences for the banquet that night. Xeno had been extra careful with the placement. Though it wasn't flawless by any respect, the crucial points were secured at least.
Leguna scrutinized it and said, "I recall that Alissanda's coming back soon, right?"
"Yes. As the war effort has been relaxed, His Highness is now free enough to return to the imperial capital."
"Are these the ones you have protecting him from the dark?" He pointed at a few names.
"Yes. His Highness is a crucial figure of our empire, so I have a few of ours stationed there."
"Remove them," Leguna said.
"Huh?" He thought he'd heard wrong.
"Remove them. There's no need for any guards there.
"Why?" Xeno knew that he didn't hate criticism as long as it was reasonable.
"You should know what kind of person he is. He's an 18th-stratum knight and also a light breaker. I think it'd just be better to let any Stokian assassins commit suicide in their attempt to take his life. I will also be by his side too. Have those men protect His Imperial Majesty Larwin instead."
"Understood, Sir," he answered and made a mental note of the instruction.
Leguna made a few more adjustments. While it looked like he was cutting down on defense, he had his reasons for doing so and Xeno wasn't about to argue with him over it. He only took a mental note of it and did as he told after he left.
"Lord Andro," Leguna greeted with a smile, "It seems things have been going well lately."
"Sir Leguna." He smiled back, not caring about the kind of reputation he had as Dark Requiem. Leguna had helped him out a lot with the supplies the empire needed, so he was rather thankful. He also felt that people in the empire, high and low alike, had extremely biased views against him. As far as he was concerned, Leguna was a polite and decent fellow and no cunning and fearful assassin most saw him as.
"Yeah, things have been fine. If I'm honest, my pressure decreased quite a lot since the war effort slowed down. I wonder why I don't see Miss Annelotte around?"
"She and Eirinn are getting dressed up and don't want me around. So, they chased me away," he replied troubledly.
"Haha, I didn't think the proud Miss Annelotte would have times when she's too shy to meet others. Looks like your relationship with her isn't as simple as it seems!"
"Haha…" He scratched his head awkwardly with a lovestruck smile without denying it. If Annelotte had been there, she would definitely rebuke him for being shameless and proclaim that they had nothing to do with each other.
When he finally saw her after she was all dressed up, his eyes shone brightly.
He could tell that Annelotte not only made sure to look her best for the banquet, she also tried her utmost for Eirinn as well.
Thanks to her hair color, she went for a light blue and white outfit. The complexity of her outfit highlighted her dazzling beauty even more.
Her icy blue hair had been rolled up to a large bun and decorated with a beautiful, bejeweled hair clip. She looked just like a fairy from a folk tale. Even he, who was quite used to seeing someone so beautiful as her, felt dazzled by her current getup. Though her makeup was quite light and plain, it still greatly accentuated her beauty to the point that most other things paled in comparison to her.
Well, not everything. There was another girl who didn't look any less beautiful standing beside Annelotte.
She was none other than Eirinn.
He just noticed it was his first time seeing her participate in such a grand banquet. As Annelotte was the one in charge of her getup, she wasn't dolled up excessively like most other noblewomen with their baby-head-sized jewels that seemed to be a vain attempt to compensate for their inadequate looks.
Her makeup only covered her eyelines, lips and eyelashes. The clothes Annelotte had picked for her was cold and silver themed. However, she didn't look the least bit chilling at all. She now seemed like the dreamy childhood friend of most guys could only dream of. She radiated warmth, kindness, tranquility and care. While she wasn't so stunning and head-turning like Annelotte, she looked no less attractive than her in the finer details.
She had the aura of a friendly and approachable neighborhood girl, but not many women could quite pull off her aura to that extent. Her features, personality and vibe matched what a normal girl should have, but it painted such a pure and innocent picture that was irresistible to most.
"Hey, who's that beautiful woman next to Lady Annelotte? some young noble came to ask Kanjiras. He was the eldest son of the head of the justice department, Harrison. He also happened to be the chief inspector of the imperial guard.
It was worth mentioning that while he was quite talented in fighting, he was still quite proud of his heritage and father. He was good pals with Kanjiras and would often be spotted with him in the red-light districts of Melindor. Compared to Kanjiras, who had some street smarts, Harrison was brasher and less reasonable given the little ability he had.
At the very least, the bureau collected information about three rape-and-kill cases related to him. However, most of them had already been covered up by his father and Leguna couldn't be bothered to fight for the justice of some girl he didn't know. It was too much unnecessary trouble.
Kanjiras scratched his head in thought. "Eirinn… Umm… I think she's called Eirinn Elvin? She's the healer of Second Magic Academy and is of mixed human and dark elf heritage. What? You're interested in her?"
"I wouldn't dare yearn for Lady Annelotte, but Miss Eirinn… I wonder if something can be done about her? I doubt Lady Annelotte would turn against me for some insignificant half-elf, right?"
Kanjiras didn't bother to hide it and directly said, "Open your eyes, friend. I know you're not in Lady Annelotte's league, but you can't touch Eirinn either."
"Because she's Sir Leguna's woman as well," he answered helplessly.
He didn't hate Leguna per se, but he was quite envious of how greedy he was for beauties.
He calmed himself and continued, "I heard my father say Eirinn is Sir Leguna's long lost childhood sweetheart. You'll stir up the bureau head's feathers if you go after her. There are some things better not attempted."
"It's that Leguna again!" Harrison said with furrowed brows, "Isn't he a little too greedy? Why does he get all the top-shelf stock?"
"He's not like us, Harrison. We can only get the women in our beds who crawl in after we toss out a few gold coins. Leguna's women are different I'd bet if you try to give Lady Annelotte 10 thousand gold coins, she'd throw 20 thousand back at you to get you to lick her shoes."
Harrison fell silent. He couldn't deny that. But it didn't mean he was fine with it.
Kanjiras wasn't quite right in his estimate of Annelotte's reaction, however. If someone was stupid enough to try and buy her, she would not throw a single penny at him, he'd be lucky if all he got was a set of slaps across his face, which would probably break most of his teeth. She'd no doubt then leave with the money as reparations for the insult.
If she could choose, however, she wouldn't touch the money at all. Unfortunately, she wouldn't have much of a choice; she was dead poor because of the academy.Previous Chapter Next Chapter