The black cloak was removed, revealing the figure’s face.
Sad blue eyes, like stars plucked from the night sky; dark brown skin that naturally blended into the darkness; and long, pointed ears.
A Dark Elf.
“Are you a member of the clan?” The Dark Elf eyed Joshua warily, surprised to find a human as physically attractive as an elf.
An elf’s skin color and their distinctive ears could be concealed by artifacts, but the energy he emitted was a kind that could only be found from Dark Elf assassins.
The Dark Elves, sometimes known as “fallen” elves, were not afraid to take life—unlike the Light Elves, who resided in the woodlands and cherished life. Many Dark Elves were meat-eaters, in fact, and a disproportionate amount of Dark Elves were born with a poisonous nature.
“No. You thought you were so smart, didn’t you. Isn’t that why you suddenly attacked?”
The Dark Elf was deeply puzzled. If he wasn’t an elf, how could he deal with Jinsal energy?
The elf stared at him, bewildered and amazed.
“Aisha Sestropy… That’s your name, right? Not ‘Black Wind No. 4’.”
Aisha abandoned any pretense of civility. She filled with cold energy, like a piercing gale ripping through her body.
“Listen carefully: How did you know my name, and how can you use Jinsal energy?”
Aisha’s blade gleamed sharply in the moonlight.
“I have one piece of advice for you: stop committing heinous acts like attempting to assassinate the First Prince.”
Aisha attacked. Her light, quick movements were enveloped in a veil of dark smoke, giving her a lethal advantage.
But her opponent was far too calm. Joshua just smiled, watching Aisha calmly while he circulated his mana.
His mana split the air with a crack, faster than the speed of sound.
Straight towards his right earlobe.
The air trembled from a massive roar, but only Aisha could hear it.
Keep it together! Aisha thrust her dagger towards Joshua’s face—but stopped, against her will.
“I see. This sensation…” Her back trickled with cold sweat. She staggered and stammered, clenching her legs and backing away.
“Idiot! Bastard! Sea urchin—!” Charles kicked at the precious red carpet, spitting blistering curses that were completely at odds with her sweet lips. “How could you do that? It’s been years since you’ve seen me! Am I not attractive to you?”
Charles was deeply offended by Joshua’s behavior. Strangely, though, she didn’t know why it made her so angry.
“Such a scumbag…” Charles’s face fell.
Why did he even help me, in the first place? Because of the past? He even did it in public.
“For some reason, you just rattle people’s brains.” She shook her head. I want to take him by the collar and demand answers, but I can’t…
She couldn’t act on her emotions, not when her family was in danger.
Charles du Pontier, the girl, was long gone.
She heard footsteps coming towards her and she hastily fixed her unkempt clothing.
“Gehog von Crombell.” Charles’s face stiffened and she grit her teeth. This was the first time she’d come face-to-face with the heir of Crombell, the source of her family’s crisis.
“Charles de Pontier. Even if you bring him in, you must realize you can’t change anything, don’t you?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Joshua von Agnus—oh, right, he’s Joshua ‘Sanders’ now. He’s not an Agnus anymore. Babel is the heir—even if you asked for his help, Duke Agnus would never help you. Are you sure you want to throw your pride away for a helping hand from the wrong person?”
“A helping hand?” Charles clenched her teeth, beating down the rage welling in her chest.
“He’s been a total outcast since joining the Imperial Knights. He got a title that didn’t even exist. What a joke. But, he’s a monster. A B-Class knight, while Young Master Babel was still only C-Class.”
“What are you saying, Gehog von Crombell?”
“You don’t know?” Gehog laughed.
“One thing is certain,” Gehog hissed. “Nothing will change even if Joshua Sanders joins the fight. Not after five years. No matter how hard he fights, he’s just a B-Class knight.” Gehog stepped back wearing a strange smile. “He’ll never beat him at that level.”
“The Mercenary King…”
“What can a fifteen year old kid do to a big-shot like him, anyways? One of the 12 Superhumans?”
Charles trembled with anger drawing a chuckle from Gehog.
“I’ll make you a deal. Marry me.”
“It’s only a matter of time before your family collapses. At this point, there’s only one way you can end this war on your own. It’s a win-win situation: your family’s legacy carries on, and the war ends peacefully. Isn’t it a great idea? Marrying someone of my stature?”
Gehog smiles ugly, Charles thought.
Gehog took Charles’s silence as worry. He leered at her body, already imagining the way his lower half would ache when he had Charles pinned underneath him.
She’ll make for a fine trophy, and I’ll win the legacy of a Duke. That’s a great marriage right there.
Gehog leaned in expectantly, eagerly clinging to her whispered words.
She shoved her middle finger in his face.
“Go fuck yourself, you little shit.”
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