Candide’s spirits were slowly lifted after Han Shuo gave him a round of consolation. Emma, the former chancellor, had a brief conversation with him before returning to take care of various chores.
Han Shuo gestured at Graeae the banshee from a distance. She immediately understood and left with Candide. Graeae and Pegasus were the trump card experts that Han Shuo had slotted into the Dark Mantle. With the duo working for the Dark Mantle, missions that had previously been impossible were now a walk in the park. This allowed the Dark Mantle to better serve the Lancelot Empire.
The aristocrats and influential figures of the empire started leaving following Lawrence’s departure. But before they left, they had gone to Han Shuo to convey their sincere gratitudes one after another. They had even ambiguously expressed that they would stand on Han Shuo’s side no matter the circumstances.
Although Han Shuo was very clear as to what was actually on their minds, he only went with the flow, feigned civility, and exchanged pleasantries with them until they all left.
Amyes had left the plaza along with Firenze. But before leaving, he gazed at Han Shuo from a distance. Han Shuo could discern the excitement and gratitude showing in his eyes. It was not until Han Shuo smilingly nodded at Amyes that he actually left.
Han Shuo understood that after the near-catastrophe event on this day, there was surely not be a single soul on the whole of Lancelot Empire who would stand against him or his allies. For each day he was in the Lancelot Empire, not just the aristocrats of the Empire, but even King Lawrence would have to act by his wishes.
After the crowd slowly vanished, Han Shuo returned to that warehouse at the school of necromancy where he had stayed for some time. Accompanying him were the three goddesses of Lancelot Empire. They had calm expressions as they listened to Han Shuo telling stories of the days he lived there. Sometimes they would frown, and occasionally they would laugh.
“Hehe, my wildly ambitious nature was fostered long ago. Power, wealth, and women were the goals I sought after. And today, I have all of it. I still find all those interesting incidents and thoughts I had back then to be very interesting. It all feels as though it was just yesterday.” The warehouse hadn’t changed much since he last set foot in it. That narrow wooden bed was still there. There were still worthless materials from necromancy experiments piled up all around. It was messy and in disarray.
The three goddesses that all men of Lancelot Empire yearned for even in their dreams were standing shoulder to shoulder behind Han Shuo, gazing at the wide open wooden door of the warehouse as they listened to Han Shuo describing the memories he had in this place. Their minds were tranquil and they each had relaxed looks on their faces.
“You have been a naughty boy, Bryan! Now that I think of it, much of that turmoil that happened at the necromancy school back then must have been of your doing!” Fanny giggled. She then recalled an incident from a long time ago in which Lisa was assaulted by a little skeleton at midnight. Fanny’s expression suddenly changed before she asked, “Oh, by the way, have you met Lisa since arriving at the academy? She has been missing you a lot and had frequently reminisced about you all these years. Right, how come I haven’t caught sight of Lisa in the last two days? Logically speaking, she wouldn’t have left school as she knew that you would come here. That’s odd…”
“I’ve met her.” When Han Shuo gazed at the warehouse ahead of him, he recalled of all the entertaining incidents he had witnessed with Lisa. Those events had all turned into unforgettable memories that filled his heart with joy upon recollection.
“You’ve met her?” Fanny slightly gasped and appeared to be rather surprised.
Han Shuo gently cleared his throat and turned around to look at his three ladies somewhat embarrassedly. Wearing a silly smile, he said, “There is something that I need to tell you all!”
An ominous feeling rose the ladies’ hearts when they saw that expression on Han Shuo’s face. Phoebe’s look had immediately turned gloomy. She glared at Han Shuo ferociously and asked, “What is it?”
Fanny stared blankly for a moment and revealed a pensive expression. Before the bitterly smiling Han Shuo could explain, she started to talk, “Sigh… Lisa, this girl, is really quite pitiful. She has been silently waiting for you all these years. Even though you have clearly rejected her, she has never given up. Besides, during that trip to the Dark Forest back then, when Lisa and I were attacked by a Deepwater Venom Python in that pond, you groped her naked body all over. Not to mention you stole her first kiss. Also there…”
“Enough. That’s enough,” Phoebe interrupted before Fanny could finish. She looked at Han Shuo with creased brows and pressured, “Say it. What’s the matter?”
“Erm… It’s… precisely what you are thinking.” Han Shuo forced a smile and shrugged.
“You! Why can’t you quit adding more girls to the pile?” Phoebe was enraged. It had just been a few days prior that Han Shuo explained that the preposterous matter was all caused by the peculiarity of the martial art he cultivated in and he made a promise to the three that he would stop his womanizing ways. But they failed to anticipate that, just a couple days later, yet another matter of such took place. Of course Phoebe was furious.
Emily too sighed but she did not say anything. She was one who could completely yield to Han Shuo. Although she too did not feel well in her heart, she wouldn’t show that in front of Han Shuo.
“This, erm, Bryan, did I come at a wrong time?” It was at this moment that a timid voice sounded from behind the three ladies.
“It’s okay. I had asked you to come here at this time because I wanted you to meet them,” Han Shuo gently assured. For some reason, his heart ached when he saw Lisa’s timid appearance.
Lisa’s mind had been in a big mess as Han Shuo had recently left memories in her soul. In the past few days, she had locked herself in her room to silently digest all those enormous and jumbled chunks of memories. She even had to skip Fanny’s inauguration ceremony.
Before she went on to sort out and digest the memories, Han Shuo had instructed her to look for him at this place upon completing the memory cleanup. Han Shuo had calculated ahead of time and knew that Lisa would have completely digested the memories by then. He had taken Fanny, Phoebe, and Emily to this place at this particular time to resolve the matter.
Lisa still appeared rather timid even after Han Shuo soothed her in a soft voice. This was because, on one hand, she was aware that she wasn’t in an honorable position at this moment, and on the other hand, Fanny, Phoebe and Emily were well-known and awe-inspiring women who were successful their careers. Not only did each and every one of them possess valiant strength, they even had elite family backgrounds.
After the decline of her family, Lisa had always felt inferior in her heart. Besides, it was perfectly normal to feel somewhat inferior before the three most dazzling women in Lancelot Empire.
“So this is the girl?” Phoebe grew even more enraged when she saw how tenderly Han Shuo treated Lisa. She looked at Lisa with cold eyes and groaned, “Little girl, pretty skilled, aren’t you? Managed to enchant him in just a short few days. You sure are remarkable,”
Lisa panicked. She hastily waved her hands and explained, “It’s not what you think! I already knew Bryan from an earlier time, long before you!”
“So what if you knew him first? Don’t you think that I know nothing. I know that it is you who had nearly killed him back then. But now that Bryan has become successful, you decided to tangle around him and not let him go. Is it not so?” Having experienced all kinds of despicable matters in the business world, Phoebe viewed all matters subjectively and therefore believed that to be the case.
“Phoebe, what are you talking about? Lisa is my student. I know better than anyone what kind of a person she is. If she really was someone like you said she was, I would have told Bryan about that long ago. Can you not hurt others’ feelings when you know nothing?” Fanny felt that Phoebe’s words were rather mean. Although they were on the same battlefront, she couldn’t bear to listen and do nothing.
Phoebe and Fanny had become very close and without hostility since a long time ago. The three ladies had frequently met up to reminisce about the interactions they had with Han Shuo to lessen their intense longing for Han Shuo during his years of absence. Over time, the three had built up a close relationship.
Phoebe did not refute Fanny’s criticism but sized Lisa up with her brows furrowed. Perhaps it was because Han Shuo was being so gentle to Lisa, since no matter what, Lisa was just displeasing to her eyes. She continued with a cold voice, “As you can see, Bryan already has the three of us. Regardless of what is actually on your mind, you should know when it is time to retreat. Whichever angle I try to look, you just don’t fit in next to Bryan.”
Lisa’s eyes were instantly filled with tears when Phoebe told her so. “I, I love him!” she cried out as she stubbornly looked at Han Shuo.
“Love? Do you know what love is?” Phoebe sneered. The more she thought of Han Shuo repeatedly getting into love affairs, the more her heart was filled with hatred. She furiously groaned, “Any kind of relationship mixed with benefits is not love!”
She did not acknowledge Fanny’s words from earlier. She still believed that Lisa had seduced Han Shuo for his position and power.
“I love him, completely and unconditionally!” Lisa tearfully shrieked. After finishing those words, she looked at Han Shuo helplessly, as though he was her everything.
“I don’t believe you!” Phoebe coldy scoffed.
“I believe you!” Unexpectedly, Emily, who had kept silent all along, and Fanny suddenly voiced at the same time.
“You, you two… “ Phoebe was stunned for a moment before she turned to squint at Fanny and Emily angrily. She had no idea why the two would prop up an outsider.
“Enough!” Han Shuo coldly groaned. He then looked at Phoebe in a rather displeased manner and said, “Enough of talking about this. From now on Lisa will be your younger sister. As elder sisters, you should look after her and show her consideration. Don’t make things so unpleasant for her.”
“I will not admit her as my sister!” Phoebe said coldly. The more Han Shuo sheltered Lisa, the angrier Phoebe got.
Compared to Emily and Fanny, Phoebe was much more possessive. She had been repressing her grievance for Han Shuo’s unfaithfulness for too long. And now, she finally detonated.
Han Shuo had limited patience. Seeing Phoebe continue to be so menacing even as Lisa was crying her eyes out, Han Shuo was incensed from the heart. He fumed, “I don’t care if you admit or not, if you can’t stand me, then you may leave me. You don’t get to veto over my decisions!”
“What, what did you say?” Phoebe who had been icily arrogant all along, suddenly pointed at Han Shuo in disbelief and said in a trembling voice.
“If you can’t stand me, then you may leave!” Han Shuo repeated coldly out of anger. He then pulled Lisa away as she cried uncontrollably and left without giving Phoebe another look.
Phoebe cried out bitterly as soon as Han Shuo left, “Ah!!! How could he be so heartless, how could he say that!”