Lancelot Empire. Inside Bootz Merchant Guild.
In a region of artificial mountains overgrown with vines laid an elegant pavilion, complete with a small bridge over a stream of flowing water. The fragrances of flowers and plants filled the air. It was a serene and beautiful scene.
Phoebe, in a plain white gown, was sitting and swaying on a swing. Her beautiful face was downcast with sorrow. After five years, time had not left any traces on her face. On the contrary, she seemed to have only grown more beautiful and distinctive.
Whenever she completed her tedious work, she would routinely stare blankly at the small crack in the artificial mountain, with her mind unwittingly recalling the scene a few years back.
In that narrow crevasse, two persons once squeezed through skin to skin, so close that each other’s scents whiffed into their noses and they could even feel each other’s hearts beating…
Even after all those years, the scene was still as vivid in her mind as it had been in the moment!
A round of rapid footsteps approached. When Fabian saw the dazed Phoebe lost in thought, he sighed to himself before asking gently, “Miss, thinking about him again?”
“Oh, you’re here,” Phoebe put on an apologetic smile after waking up from her trance. She then pointed at a chair beside her and said, “Have a seat.”
Fabian casually sat down at Phoebe’s gesture. He felt somewhat worried to see the weariness lightly visible on Phoebe. After some hesitation, he carefully said, “That crown prince of Angela Empire came over again.”
Phoebe, who was still gazing at the artificial mountain ahead, showed vexation on her charming face as soon as she heard those words. She bunched her brows and impatiently said, “Can this guy be any more irritating? How many times have I said it to him, why is he still coming?”
Fabian frowned, thinking that Phoebe ought to know his purpose for coming here. After another moment’s hesitation, Fabian explained, “Before coming over, Prince Hagrid visited the imperial palace and met with Lord Karel.”
Phoebe's face turned cold. She groaned and said, “I’ve made up my mind. No one can influence my decision, that includes those two.”
Fabian’s expression contorted even more even though he was somewhat admiring in his heart. He looked deeply at Phoebe and said, “But, Lord Bryan hasn’t shown up for five years. There are rumors out there that…” Fabian did not complete his sentence.
“That Bryan is dead?” Phoebe sneered and disdainfully continued, “How could Bryan be dead? He only went cultivating. Don’t listen to their nonsense!”
“But, it’s the Church of Light that put out the information. Even the Pope of the Church of Light himself authenticated it…” Although unwilling, Fabian said it as it was.
“So what? The Pope of the Church of Light can’t tell lies?” Phoebe, having cultivated to the realm of sacred swordmaster, became much more refined in her conducts. However, every time anyone raised this subject to her, she would behave rather abnormally.
Disarrayed footsteps pattered outside. Soon, a party of people came into view. The party was headed by a man around the age of thirty. He looked outstanding, mature, and dependable. There was an intense air of nobility coming from his body. Obviously, he was one of eminent status.
Following behind him were two grand magi, one great swordmaster, three archmages, and two earth riders. They were all in sumptuous clothing and looked at this man with complicated emotions.
Phoebe, however, revealed an obvious feeling of loathing in her eyes as soon as she saw him. In a cold voice, she said, “Prince Hagrid, why are you here again?”
“We will return to our home country soon. I specifically came to you to discuss some of the details of the bilateral trade agreement between our two countries. I truly can’t be at ease without straightening out the details!” Hagrid said as he looked at Phoebe, not concealing the fervent blaze in his eyes by the slightest.
“We will talk about this after meeting with His Majesty tomorrow. I don’t like people disturbing me in my personal time,” Phoebe replied impatiently as she was aware of his true intentions. She leaped down from the swing and a fierce aura naturally emanated from her.
The crowd behind Hagrid clearly sensed the aura coming from Phoebe and instinctively assumed their positions to protect their master.
Hagrid stared at Phoebe’s back like a fool. It was when Phoebe was about to disappear from his view that he cleared his throat and said hastily, “I’ve already discussed with the king of your distinguished country. Miss Phoebe will need only deal with some of the minor particulars.”
Paying no attention to whether Phoebe was listening or not, Hagrid stated the details of the trade agreement in rapid succession.
After listening to Hagrid’s machine gun lines, Phoebe’s face suddenly jolted. She stopped walking, dazed for a moment, looked at Hagrid with puzzled eyes, and asked, “Have you lost your mind?”
It wasn’t just Phoebe. Even Fabian beside her and the few bodyguards beside Hagrid were in disbelief.
“Your Highness, are you mistaken? To charge the Bootz Merchant Guild only ten percent tariff on that harbor, how could it be so low?! Your Highness, if we are to be so relaxed with Bootz, other merchant guilds will surely be discontented. It’s very hard for us to justify for this arrangement!” one of the swordsmen rebutted.
Fabian the senior businessman of Bootz Merchant Guild, could not contain the excitement in his heart. He cried, “This is great! Prince Hagrid is truly generous!”
Phoebe let out a soft sigh as he looked at Hagrid, whose eyes were glowing with fire. She did not expect that to win her over, this man would actually plate up the interests of his own country. If the trade agreement were to be carried out as such, although Hagrid was the crown prince of Angela Empire, the king of Angela Empire would be furious just the same. To think that he would take things to this end just to woo her, even Phoebe was somewhat touched.
However, Phoebe remained cold and unkind towards Hagrid. Contrary to Fabian’s expectations, she bluntly rejected, “No. Our Bootz Merchant Guild has no intention of taking that kind of advantage. Charge us the same tariff you charge other merchant guilds.”
“Miss!” Fabian was alarmed and hastily tried to persuade Phoebe otherwise.
“Cut it out. Out Bootz Merchant Guild has and will always do things fair and square,” without letting Fabian finish his words of persuasion, in a somewhat exhausted expression, Phoebe turned to Hagrid. She sighed before saying, “Your Highness, let me advise you to stop wasting your time. I will categorically reject all your advances. It’s been rather unpeaceful lately. Take care and have a safe journey home.”
Hagrid was disheartened upon hearing those words. In a grimace, he questioned, “Why? Why do you have to do this to me? This person has been dead for five years, and the matter has persisted for far longer. Why can you still not forget him? What’s so good about him? How can a mere city lord compare to me? Angela Empire will be mine in the near future. I can provide you with everything he could and more. Just give me one chance!”
“This has nothing to do with benefits!” Phoebe said as she looked at Hagrid somewhat pitifully. After a short pause, she coldly continued, “You will never understand!”
“I understand! How could I not understand?” Hagrid seemed to have forgotten his manners and made a racket as he stared fixedly at Phoebe. His voice gradually grew higher and higher as he said, “Even though you love him, he is already dead. It’s been five years. You should have walked out from his shadows right? Even if you haven’t yet, I can wait for you. One year, or even ten years, I’m willing to wait for the day you approve of me.”
“I’m sorry, but if you really want to wait, you can wait till your death!” Phoebe knew that this man was unredeemable. Although she was somewhat touched by his actions, she remained staunch in her position and expressed it clearly.
“It doesn’t make sense! Don’t tell me that you want to live the rest of your life alone for a dead man?!”
“This has nothing to do with you,” Phoebe’s face only grew colder. She was rather irritated and so she waved her hand and said to Fabian beside her, “Please send His Highness out.” Afterward, Fabian bowed ceremoniously, pointed at the exit in a manner conforming to etiquette, and coldly said, “Your Highness, honored guests, that way to the exit.”
Deep in Fabian’s heart, he too wished not to see his miss perform any action of betrayal to a person, even when the person seemed to be dead.
Hagrid looked furiously at Phoebe, but in the end, he helplessly sighed. Looking at Phoebe’s ice-cold back, in a deep and low voice, he said, “I will still wait for you, I will wait until you forget him.” Upon finishing those words, Hagrid waved his hand feebly and started walking out with his men.
It was at this moment, yet again, that a sound of hurried footstep arrived. After just a short while, wearing a black gown, Chester the bandit came into appearance. He first performed a bow at Phoebe and respectfully said, “Miss Phoebe, Lord Emily has mail for you.”
“Hand it over,” Phoebe demanded as she held out a hand. Meanwhile, she muttered in a low voice, “Ugh, it’s been almost half a month since she came to visit me. What in the world could she be so busy with? What a heartless fella…”
Phoebe casually tore open the envelope. Her lovable body quivered at first glance of its contents. Her fair white face was incredibly emotional and inconceivably rosy. The emotion on her face was sixty percent surprised, thirty percent hopeful, and ten percent shy. The Phoebe at this moment sent alluring beams of beauty all over, appearing to be beautiful beyond all comprehension.
Hagrid was immediately stupefied and his heart was crammed with question marks. Having pestered her for such a long time, Hagrid had never seen this kind of emotion on Phoebe’s face. He was astounded with not a clue of what happened to Phoebe.
Fabian stood very closely next to Phoebe. Out of curiosity, he turned his head to take a look. He discovered that there were only big three words beautifully written on the letter held in Phoebe’s hand - ‘He has returned!’