Han Shuo started the day by loitering about a dazzling lineup of booths selling all kinds of odds and ends. Luck seemed to be on his side. In just a short stroll, he had gotten his hands on two chunks of clay rocks.
As the sun gradually rose high up above the sky, the nobles appeared more and more frequently along the street. They wore luxurious clothing and travelled on either tall horses or chariots. They did not stop over at the bustling street, but headed directly towards the auction place.
All thanks to the appearance of these characters, the originally congested street was cleared an empty path by a large body of knights specifically dispatched by the city defense troops of Kasi Empire. On Profound Continent, the nobilities always got to enjoy certain privileges. Those who could gain entrance into the auction place were definitely very wealthy and high-born. Naturally, Kasi Empire would treat these characters with special care.
Those commoners, abjected swordsmans, struggling merchants, poverty-stricken mages, they could only stand on the two sides of the street. While looking on with envy at those with their heads high and chests puffed as they headed towards the auction place under the protection of knights, they spontaneously stepped aside to make a clear path, lest they be an obstruct and make a rod for their own back.
One after another, sumptuous carriages passed by in the most pompous manner. There were even delicate drawings and coats of arms representing the passengers’ identities on those carriages.
There were all too many pedestrians on the street. And now, having to make way for these nobilities, pedestrians were shoulder to shoulder with each other. With that, the unavoidable bumping into each other further added to the already clamorous noises.
Standing among the crowd, at this moment, Han Shuo couldn’t help but furrow his brows. Stuck in the sardine can crowd, Han Shuo was unable to move an inch. At such a place as an outlander, as not to risk committing taboos and offend the locals, Han Shuo did not take off to the air to get ahead, as he usually would. It was also discourteous to shove people aside with brute force. All Han Shuo could do was blend in and wait it out.
But the good things was that Han Shuo was tall, with wide shoulders. Standing amongst the crowd, he naturally appeared way above the common, manifestly superior. When Han Shuo creased his brows, that imposing demeanor was inadvertently divulged. If it wasn’t for the fact that they had no other ground to step on, those around Han Shuo would never draw so close to him.
“Eh? Miss Sophie! That’s Miss Sophie!” a cry of surprise suddenly sounded from among the crowd.
“That can’t be her. I’ve met that beautiful lady right here just the day before yesterday. She bought a pendant at my stall, and even haggled half a day with me for two gold coins! How could that be Miss Sophie? Are you mistaken?” a stall owner standing beside the first person exclaimed his disbelief.
“Don't be silly, this lady rides on a white pegasus, and looks like a damn angel, who else could it be other than Miss Sophie? Ha, you must have had her confused for someone else. A lady like that would never haggle half the day over two gold coins!” the other person replied disdainfully.
Rounds and rounds of discussions about Sophie sounded again and again. Many of the remarks about Sophie fell into Han Shuo’s ears incidentally. From the discussions of those people surrounding him, Han Shuo discovered that Sophie had an enormous reputation in Kasi Empire. And it was not simply because her father was a sacred knight.
At such a young age, Sophie was already a sky rider, merely one rank below that of her father Sulo, a sacred knight. On top of that, Sophie was a summoner. Her strength was enigmatic and unpredictable to say the least. Other than being outstandingly gifted, what was most attractive about Sophie was her kind heart and amiable, approachable personality. There was no lack of hearsays about her helping those impoverished and in need.
In the hearts of the people of Kasi Empire, the pure and honest Sophie was simply the ideal woman. Especially in the hearts of many young ones, Sophie was without doubt their goddess.
Standing in the middle of all the clamor, Han Shuo passively received countless positive news about Sophie. Han Shuo, who already had a pretty good impression of Sophie in the first place, felt somewhat touched in his heart as he gazed afar at Sophie slowly moving forward on her spotlessly white pegasus.
Han Shuo had already seen Sophie yesterday along the congested street. Compared to her distanced style today, Han Shuo much preferred her amicable manner of yesterday.
Riding on a hercules, Sophie wore a faint smile on her face. However, when she recalled of the person inside the carriage beside her, she could not contain a sigh. Even thoughts grumbling about her father somehow crossed her mind.
The curtain was lifted open from the inside of the carriage moving alongside Sophie, revealing a handsome young face. When this young man foolishly looked at Sophie, the fervent heat in his gaze was hardly concealed. Although he did not utter a word, any fool could make out the intense desire to possess from his eyes.
“Fifi, the reason I’m going to the auction sale this time, is to look for a treasure that fits you,” the young man looking at Sophie with all smiles, leaning out from the carriage, said in the corniest manner.
Sophie reluctantly put on a smile and replied, “No, no need. You know, I’m not interested in those things!”
“How will that do! My House of Pillon is of royal blood. Your father has already agreed to our marriage. As the wife of I, Braque, you shall be the most beautiful, most graceful, and most magnificent woman. There must be treasure adorned on you!” Braque said decisively.
These words of Broque’s gave Sophie a great headache. Braque was the son of Prince Bradley Pillon, and the nephew of His Majesty the King, Brady Pillon. The Pillon royal family was the de facto ruler of Kasi Empire. Sophie’s father, Sulo, without first asking for her consent, formally agreed to the marriage. This put Sophie at her wit’s end.
Braque, son of Prince Bradley Pillon, could still be considered a clean character in the nobility of Kasi Empire. There weren’t too many negative rumors spreading around in recent years. The eloquent Braque was a rising star in the political arena of Kasi Empire. By means of his Pillon royal family and its influences, he rose higher and higher in his career. He was truly on a roll in Kasi Empire.
Sulo agreed to the marriage proposal. It did not matter if Sophie was willing or not. In this world where men made the rules, Sophie was already considered to be Braque’s fiance. Having been indoctrinated with etiquette since she was young, Sophie could not bring herself to display any behaviour that would be deemed impolite in formal settings. Even this time, unable to defy her father’s instruction, she reluctantly agreed to appear in public with Braque.
Listening to Braque jabbering on and on about his unfettered imagination of their future, Sophie’s heart sank deeper and deeper. As a sky rider with extraordinary strength, Sophie had not even a mildly favorable impression of Braque, an aristocrat who was no good at magic, and did not practice martial arts, but whom had a growing hunger for political power.
If it weren’t for the Pillon royal family being extremely powerful, if not for her father’s forcing, Sophie would still be happily shopping the booths on the bustling street, instead of serving as Braque’s prop, accompanying him to that auction place where the elite gathered.
In her heart, Sophie was incredibly distressed. She simply closed her ears to Braque chattering beside her. Riding on her pegasus, she wore a peaceful, faint smile. Her gaze swept aimlessly across the packed crowd, trying to alleviate the loathing chatter in her ears by putting her attention on other things around her.
All of a sudden, a tall, upright silhouette fell into Sophie’s line of sight. Among the crowd of people standing at roughly 1.7 meters tall, Han Shuo’s 1.9 meter tall magnificent physique was a crane in a flock of chickens.Besides, in the overcrowded stream of people, it appeared rather spacious around him, which further attracted the attention of onlookers.
At first, Sophie only randomly shot a glance. From her point of view, she could only see Han Shuo’s lateral side. However, the distinct outline of Han Shuo’s half-face gave Sophie a familiar feeling. Her curiosity had gotten the better of her when she began to carefully observe Han Shuo, and the sense of familiarity only grew from there.
As she slowly strode forward on her pegasus, Sophie’s view of Han Shuo gradually changed. By the time she could clearly see Han Shuo’s face, Sophie could not help but cover her mouth and cry out in surprise. Her eyes overflowed with a look of fondness. At this moment, Han Shuo, who had been looking in all directions and using his consciousness to look for goods, suddenly felt a gaze firmly locked on him. Han Shuo creased his brows, and instinctively turned to look towards its source. He immediately saw Sophie’s pleasantly surprised eyes and her beautiful appearance.
He took a shock and came to his senses. He recalled that because of his height, he would appear rather unusual in such a crowd of people. As not to bring about trouble for Sophie, Han Shuo gave up on searching this area for materials that could refine Gilbert, hurriedly turned around, forced others aside and left.
With a push of his shoulders, all those strangers leaning close to him were knocked off balance one after another. For a moment, profanities filled the air. However, when they saw that imposing silhouette, they shut their mouths at once.
Sophie, staring fixedly from a distance, when she saw Han Shuo hurriedly departing,immediately let out a cry. Her slender, lily-white hand gently patted the white pegasus atop which she sat before pointing in the direction Han Shuo was leaving.
The pure white pegasus which deliberately flew in low altitudes, sensing the eagerness of its master, immediately spread its wings and soared in accordance with the command received, searching for Han Shuo from above the sky.
“Huh? Miss Sophie, What, what’s the matter?” a middle aged knight ahead of Braque queried.
Braque, who had been staring fixedly at Sophie, suddenly found that his target was becoming further and further from himself. He too spontaneously raised his head at Sophie and shouted, “Where are you going? What’s the matter with you?”
“I’m sorry, Braque. I suddenly met a friend I have not seen for many years!” Riding on a pegasus in the air, Sophie smiled apologetically at Braque before again extending her hand to pat the shoulder of her pegasus.
Whoosh! Under Sophie’s instructions, the pegasus had identified the direction and chased after Han Shuo a distance away.