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Flow of Darkness
The window was draped with dreamy green vines, gentle sunlight was streaming across the windowsill, and the house was quiet.
Niya the female knight sat on the edge of the bed, peeling the oranges one by one and putting them into a crystal plate on the bed. She then looked closely at the exquisite sleeping face on the bed. In her opinion, the lady was probably the most beautiful person in the world, and the words “n.o.ble” and “kind” seemed to suit her too.
Only a few outsiders knew what was going on inside House Yanbao. The fights for power between the counts never stopped ever since the Sword Throne was shattered. [TL: Not much is described about this for now, but I believe it is the throne holding the most important sword Count Yanbao has to protect] While the responsibility did not lay on the head of House Yanbao, they wanted a scapegoat to take up the blame of their fights. After all, it was Count Yanbao's brother, known to the outside world as “Dearest Baron Dahl”, fault that the whole mess played out.
Around January, the Count's youngest son was poisoned to death at the Sosei Ceremony, which proved afterwards that he was just a stand-in victim for others. That gluttonous little fellow sneaked into the kitchen, and his body was found with a little maid by his side. There were things that Niya dared not to tell Dilferi, but she felt that the cold and smart lady could more or less guess what was going on. She would not have rushed to the south had she not seen her old master grow more tired and haggard by each pa.s.sing day.
She was startled to see that pale face, thick eyelashes dangling gently and cherry-like lips dotting her snowy skin. For several days, Miss Dilferi stayed awake for a limited time, but whenever she asked if there had been any news from the family, the female knight nearly stifled tears as she watched her frail form.
The lady could no longer stand on her feet, losing the ability to use magic for the rest of her life. She was the genius of Yanbao as a child, what kind of power was it that made her accept this news with ease? The female knight looked at her sword, she was granted the privilege of a knight because her ancestors had always been favored by the Count, but perhaps the lady had her own choice.
There was a soft knock on the door.
It's the voice of the maid, the female knight realized it and replied embarra.s.singly, “Please keep your voice down and come in. Miss is still resting.”
The door was pushed open, and the maid was not looking good. But she still bowed down and greeted, “Miss Niya, there is someone outside asking to meet you. It's…..”
Niya did not notice her face because her attention was on her lady. Without turning her head, she asked, “Is it Her Highness or Miss Amandina?”
“No, Miss Niya….” Before the maid could finish her sentence, a voice rudely interrupted her. That voice was a mixture of excitement and pride, so high-pitched that it sounded like the quacking of a duck, “Haha, Ampere Seale is not that small, I wonder how the kingdom's capital is again? What's the matter, little Niya, can't even recognize me after a few days?”
“Akel….” The female knight's body trembled, as if she called a name that just came out from h.e.l.l. With a disgusted look on her face, she stood up all of a sudden and her hand subconsciously grabbed her sword. A few seconds after she grabbed her sword, the man who spoke outside had pushed his way in.
A teenage boy to be exact, with a beautiful head of curly dark brown hair and pale skin underneath with his lips that were almost inhumanly thin. He had a pair of black-like textured gla.s.s eyes, surrounded by deep bags and wrinkles that made him look like an alcoholic.
The young man, with a mysterious smile, stood by the door wearing a woolen purple coat trimmed with silver edges, his two hands were placed in his purse while a cane was hung on the crook of his arm with a lion's eye stone embedded on it.
No matter how you looked at him, the young man was handsome, just a little flippant on his feet. But the female knight saw him as if she just saw a demon, even when she was fighting an actual demon, she had never shown such a look of fear mixed with disgust.
When the young man saw the female knight, he grinned and said, “Miss Niya, have you considered coming to be my knight? I'll give you the best horse available in the north, but you're exactly the one that I fancy the most too.”
“In your dreams!” The female knight was trembling with anger, “Get the h.e.l.l out of here right now!”
“Hehe, why are you so nervous?” The young man yanked the maid's hair closer to him and he sniffed at her face as the young girl squealed. He turned back and smiled, “Miss Niya, I've come to visit my dearest sister, I don't think you have the rights to ask me to get out yet.”
“This is Miss Dilferi's private room…. You're crazy! Let her go, she's her Highness's maid.” The hand of the female knight that was gripping on the hilt was slightly white, but she managed to restrain herself from unsheathing her sword.
The last Count Yanbao had four sons, whom the third son died and the youngest son disappeared after becoming an apprentice to a mage. The eldest son is today's Count Yanbao, father of Dilferi. Dilferi went to Ampere Seale as a Countess, but she had yet to inherit the realm. The second son, known as “Dearest Baron Dahl” is the father of the young man before her.
As the saying goes, like father, like son. The integrous Count Yanbao had a daughter like Miss Dilferi. In Niya's opinion, it was normal that Baron Dahl had a son like Akel. Both he and his father were the greatest sc.u.ms among sc.u.ms.
Only then did the young man release the maid, and the poor little girl let out a frightened scream and stumbled out. Akel laughed, letting out a series of laughter that was hard to decipher, “Miss Niya, don't think that I can't do anything to you just because you have Her Highness as your s.h.i.+eld. You are my woman, and you can't escape this ident.i.ty for the rest of your life.”
“b.a.s.t.a.r.d!” The female knight gnashed her teeth and cursed. She was quite oblivious the first day she became a knight and had believed his sweet and delicate words. She could never forget that h.e.l.lish night, the devilish young man drugged and forced himself on her body, he was only fourteen years old, and she was only eighteen.
She was shaking with anger at the thought of the memory, “Akel, I'm going to count to three. Don't blame me for making a move if you still don't disappear from my sight!” She unsheathed her sword with a clatter.
“Come on, don't use this on me, Miss Niya. If you wanted to kill me you would have killed me already.” Akel smiled, “Besides, I'm not here to catch up with you today. You are surely aware of what my dearest sister had done, I'm here today to stop you from disgracing the family any longer.”
“No ivory comes from the mouth of a dog, Akel. What the h.e.l.l are you talking about.” Niya frowned and pointed her sword at the demon's throat. She always felt that Akel was up to no good, perhaps he might not even know what good intention meant.
“You're so good at pretending, Miss Niya. My dear sister had been accused of practicing demonic magic, and the Holy Cathedral has officially begun investigating this matter, and even Count Yanbao knows about it. As her knight, it's impossible for you to not know it right?”
“How is this possible….” Niya's mind went blank when she heard the news so suddenly. Although she knew it was impossible to hide the fact that Dilferi briefly controlled the Devil King on the battlefield, she was at least preparing for the outcomes. It was the sake of winning the war, wasn't it? Her Highness and the Count can testify to it.
The female knight shook her head vigorously as if it was the only way for her to calm down, “It was the Holy Cathedral that attracted the demons, how could they do that. The lady sacrificed herself to fight the devils, and Her Highness surely will not ignore it.”
“Hehe, Her Highness is in trouble too, she has no time to worry about your lives.” The young man sneered, he took a step forward so that the cold blade of the female knight was pointed at his throat and he replied indifferently, “Niya, my feelings for you are genuine. Trust me, I'm the only one who can protect you and your lady, so don't fight me anymore.”
The female knight turned pale, “You…. How dare you try to hit on Miss Dilferi? She's your sister!”
“Cousin.” The young man corrected and coldly replied, “Miss Niya, don't refuse a toast only to drink a forfeit.”
“Don't come closer any further, demon!” The female knight's body s.h.i.+vered.
The young man, however, snorted coldly. The door was opened once again and a tall man whose entire body was shrouded under a grey cloak entered. The man wore a hood and the shadows beneath the hood completely covered his face, like a black hole. And the voice he spoke felt like it came out of the void.
“It took a while to deal with that knight.”
“He's an expert in the Golden Cla.s.s after all. Be careful, my dear sister has brought the three most powerful knights with her this time. You take care of the woman first and be careful not to hurt her.” The young man commanded as he tilted his head slightly, his voice was cold without a trace of emotion.
“Understood.” The man replied buzzingly and he turned back to face the female knight. Niya drew a breath of cold air as she saw that there was no shadow at all underneath the hood, there was nothing in it, a complete blank.
“What did you guys did to Lonin!”
She roared and struck at the mysterious man with her sword. As far as she could remember, other than her, Lonin and Eyevut, there were no other experts in Golden Cla.s.s from Yanbao. But this person in front of her gave her a chilly vibe, it didn't feel like he had Elemental Powers, it felt like a cold air of death from him.
To be more precise, it felt lifeless, a field of emptiness.
Before she could strike with her sword, she suddenly felt a terrifying shock explode in her mind. Niya had never experienced such terrifying power in her life, as if a sharp nail was hammered into her brain, causing her to fall down with her head in her hands.
The female knight's miserable screams caused the young man to frown, and he saw Niya's beautiful face contorted and blood started oozing out of her nostrils and eyes, looking extremely terrifying.
The tall man then walked towards her and smacked her at her nape, causing the female knight to pa.s.s out.
“Don't you have any compa.s.sion for women?” The young man asked in a bad mood.
“There is no third human of the Golden Cla.s.s in this house anymore, so I need not be concerned to strike.” The man buzzed in reply.
“Alright.” The young man waved his hand impatiently, “Drag her out, I have something to say to my sister alone.”
The tall man bowed down in respect, before carrying the unconscious female knight out of the house. Akel looked back and sneered, before closing the door and approaching Dilferi.