The main hall of the Debs clan was in an uproar.
Many nobles were absolutely stunned upon seeing Alice. Linley’s extremely high level of sculpting abilities, unfortunately, was to blame for them to so easily be able to recognize Alice as the inspiration for ‘Awakening From the Dream’.
Linley had already surpassed the level of ‘skill’; through his sculpture, he totally was able to bring out this woman’s charm and mesmerizing qualities. All of these nobles, at the very first glance, were able to be absolutely certain that Alice was the ‘goddess’ of their dreams.
Many nobles looked at Alice, then turned to stare at Linley.
All of a sudden, the entire main hall became deafeningly quiet, as though all of the nobles present suddenly understood something, while also understanding that now was not the time to discuss this.
But this silence…made Alice all the more embarrassed and frantic.
From the corner of her eyes, Alice glanced at Linley. Linley, who was standing right next to the King of Fenlai. Still as calm as ever. He was just quietly looking at her.
Alice’s emotions towards him were very complex. There was regret. There was hatred. Hatred for the fact that Linley’s sculpture had prevented her from being the principal wife, and also for making her feel so embarrassed now. But at the same time, that sculpture…had also let her truly understand how Linley had felt towards her.
Kalan felt extremely awkward as well.
“Everyone, let me make the introductions.” Bernard’s voice rang out, his face all smiles. “My son Kalan is now becoming formally engaged with Miss Rowling and Miss Alice.”
As he spoke, Bernard walked over to Kalan’s side. Pointing at Rowling, he said, “This is Miss Rowling, the principal wife of my son Kalan. And this is Miss Alice.”
Instantly, the main hall became filled with quiet murmurs. Every so often, someone would sneak a furtive look at Linley.
“Everyone, let’s begin the banquet!” Bernard laughed merrily.
All of the nobles in the main hall entered the banquet area. During the banquet, the members of the Debs clan were extremely friendly and warm to everybody. But nonetheless, there were still many nobles who would continue to glance at Alice, then glance at Linley.
Holding a glass of wine, Linley walked over to a secluded corner of the main hall, casually seating himself in a sofa.
“Boss, I can hear so many people chatting about you.” Bebe leapt onto Linley’s legs.
Linley gently sipped the wine in his glass. “Let them talk if they wish to. I’m fine with it. Only…Alice most likely is suffering.”
Nowadays, towards Alice, Linley’s emotions were calm and peaceful.
Only now did he understand what a huge influence this sculpture, ‘Awakening From the Dream’, had upon Alice’s life.
Seated in that corner, Linley quietly watched as Kalan, Alice, and Rowling moved from table to table, meeting with guests. He quietly drank his wine by himself.
“Lord Linley, why are you here drinking wine all by your lonesome?” A beautiful young lady with jade hair and snow white skin walked over, sitting down quite naturally next to Linley while extending her glass of wine towards him.
Linley clinked glasses with her.
“My name is Sasha [Shasha]. Before the banquet began, I had been hoping I would have a chance to chat with you, Lord Linley. But it seemed as though you attracted quite a lot of attention from the girls. I didn’t have a chance at all.” Sasha laughed.
Linley looked at Sasha.
Sasha was very tall and slender, and her laughter was rich and vibrant. Her eyes also held a bewitching, intoxicating gaze. Compared to those young noble ladies, a female like this had a more feminine charm.
“The girls? Can it be that yourself aren’t a girl, Sasha?” Linley asked with engrossed ‘curiosity’.
Sasha took a light sip of wine, then laughed. “A girl? I’ve been married for eight years now. How could I be a girl?”
Linley couldn’t help but be startled.
“However…my husband died on the day of our wedding.” Sasha glanced at Linley as she spoke in a soft voice.
“Uh….” Linley stared at Sasha in astonishment.
Seeing the look on Linley’s face, Sasha couldn’t help but begin to laugh a charming laugh, and then she raised her glass and had another sip of red wine. Smiling, she said to Linley, “Lord Linley. You really…are too cute.”
Linley couldn’t help but laugh as well.
This Sasha really was an interesting person.
“Sasha. What are you doing here?” Duke Patterson walked over with a laugh.
Sasha glanced back at Duke Patterson. Feigning anger, she said, “Lord Duke, I just started chatting with Lord Linley. Fine, fine. Go ahead and have your talk with him.” As she spoke, she winked at Linley, then left.
Duke Patterson stared at Sasha’s departing silhouette for a moment before sitting down next to Linley.
“Linley, what do you think?” Duke Patterson said to Linley.
“What do I think about what?”
“Sasha, of course.” Duke Patterson looked at Linley suggestively. “Linley, amongst the circle of nobles, Sasha is a beautiful lady who is chased after by many. Look at Sasha’s figure, her eyes, her little mouth. Oh…”
Linley could only laugh.
“Let me tell you, Sasha should be very interested in you. If you seize this opportunity, you should be able to get her into your hands.” Patterson patted Linley on the shoulders.
Linley glanced at Patterson. “Not interested.”
Patterson stared at Linley in surprise.
“Linley.” Patterson lowered his voice as he spoke to Linley. “Tonight, after this banquet is over, don’t leave in a rush. There’s something I wish to discuss with you.”
Linley was startled.
As secretive as that?
“You wouldn’t not give me face, right?” Patterson feigned anger.
Linley glanced at Patterson, musing to himself, “I want to see what you are up to.” Linley rather wanted the chance to get a bit…closer…to Patterson as well.
“Lord Duke, don’t worry. Tonight, I will wait a while for you.” Linley smiled as he replied.
Eight o’clock that night. Many of the nobles had already left, but Linley was in no hurry. He still remembered his appointment with Patterson.
“I want to see what you are up to.”
Linley waited quietly in the main hall.
“Linley, I’ll leave now.” Clayde said to Linley as he left. The people in the main hall grew fewer and fewer. Getting rather impatient, Linley left the main hall, stepping onto the outside balcony to enjoy the cool night wind.
Right at this moment, a manservant quietly walked up to him.
“Lord Linley. The Lord Duke is inviting you for a walk.” The manservant said quietly.
“As secretive as this?” Linley was a bit surprised.
“Lead the way.” On the surface, Linley looked calm. Bebe remained curled up inside Linley’s robes. The manservant led Linley to a very dark, secluded alley. Judging from the appearance of the road, this was a place where people rarely came.
“Where are we going?” Linley said in a low voice.
The manservant said respectfully, “Lord Linley, this is in accordance with the Lord Duke’s instructions. No one is to see you, Lord Linley.”
Linley furrowed his brows. But Linley wasn’t afraid. He continued to follow the servant forward, as the two of them made their way through the dark, secluded alley, then passed through a small copse of trees. A secret door was opened, and they arrived at a small building.
“So the Debs clan has a place as secretive as this.” Linley said to himself.
Unless someone was capable of flight, it would be quite difficult indeed to spot this hidden little building.
The manservant led Linley directly into the main hall.
“Lord Duke, Lord Linley is here.” The manservant called out respectfully as they reached the main hall’s doorway.
“Haha, Linley is here?” Dressed in a long black robe, Duke Patterson stepped out of the main hall. Seeing Linley, a gleam of excitement appeared in Duke Patterson’s hawk-like eyes, and he hurriedly walked over. “Linley, come in, quick.”
The manservant respectfully said, “Lord Duke, I’ll be leaving then.”
“Yes, you can go.” Patterson said casually.
The manservant respectfully bowed and turned to leave. But then, the smiling Duke Patterson suddenly shot out his right arm at high speed, viciously piercing through the manservant like a knife, from his back to his chest.
“Ah!” The manservant disbelievingly turned his head and stared at Duke Patterson. He totally couldn’t understand why the powerful Duke Patterson would stoop to killing someone like him!
Unfortunately, with his heart totally shattered, in just a few seconds, the light fled from his eyes.
“Lord Duke, the meaning of this is…?” Linley, off to the side, still managed to maintain his calm.
Duke Patterson was a warrior of the seventh rank. For him to kill a manservant who was at most a warrior of the first or second rank was indeed very easy.
From within his clothes, Duke Patterson drew out a handkerchief, using it to wipe off the blood from his hand. And then, he casually tossed it on the ground.
“Linley. It’s nothing. I just didn’t want anyone to know that you and I met.” Duke Patterson chortled.
Linley looked suspiciously at Duke Patterson. “You don’t want anyone to know?”
Duke Patterson nodded confidently. “Don’t worry at all. This secret meeting place was arranged by Bernard per my instructions. Bernard only knows that I’ll use this place, but he doesn’t know who I meet with. The only servant who knows that we have met is dead now. Thus, no one will know that we have met.”
Linley made up his mind. He stepped into the main hall.
“Duke Patterson. This matter seems to be quite important.” Linley smiled at Duke Patterson.
Patterson nodded. “Of course. And, I have arranged for a decoy as well. In the eyes of others, I have returned to my estate long ago. Aside from Bernard and my housekeeper, I’m afraid you are the only one who knows I am here.”
“Duke Patterson, what exactly do you intend to do, for you to meet with me here so secretively?” Linley asked with some curiosity.
Duke Patterson looked around the area, then closed the door to the main hall.
“Come. Let’s chat inside.” Pulling Linley by the hand, Duke Patterson headed for a room within the main hall. After entering the room, Duke Patterson activated a mechanism. With a grinding sound, the stone wall began to move, revealing a stone passageway.
So within this secret little building, there was a secret underground room as well.
“Linley. Come in.” Patterson smiled at Linley.
Linley nodded and stepped inside.
The inside of the underground room was pitch dark. Patterson lit three candles, then turned to smile at Linley.
“There’s nothing for it. Neither my Duke’s manor nor your own manor is suitable. There are too many spies in both places. It’s not safe.” Duke Patterson let out a long breath.
Linley also knew that his manor was under constant surveillance from the Radiant Church as well as Clayde.
Because this manor was gifted to him by Clayde. The servants belonged to Clayde as well. It was quite normal for the place to be filled with Clayde’s spies. At the same time, his guard corps belonged to the Radiant Church. Frankly speaking, Linley’s actions within his manor was under the constant, watchful eye of these two parties.
“Duke Patterson. Today, the topic of our conversation seems to be quite important. Go ahead, tell me what this is all about.” Linley smiled.
Patterson withdrew a magicrystal card from his clothes. “Linley. There are ten million gold coins in this card.”
“Ten million gold coins?” Linley waited for Patterson’s explanation.
Patterson said helplessly, “Linley, I’ll tell you the truth. After my elder brother tasked me with the position of Minister of Finance for the kingdom, I have used my authority to accumulate wealth for myself. Up until now, my activities have been hidden perfectly, but this time, the smuggling activity I engaged in with another clan was simply too large-scale. Based on what my sources tell me, my elder brother…may have already found out.”
Patterson still held to his, as he did not reveal that the clan in question was the Debs clan.
“The smuggling was on too large a scale? But does this have anything to do with me?” Linley laughed as he looked at Patterson.
Patterson hurriedly said, “Of course this has something to do with you. Although I am King Clayde’s younger brother, I know very well that when he makes his move, he never shows any mercy at all. I must find a path of retreat. After all, over the course of all these years, I have done too many things. Once this affair comes to light, many other affairs will be dug up as well.”
“Thus…I want you to speak on my behalf with young master Yale of the Dawson Conglomerate. I know that you are good friends with Yale.” A hint of a smile appeared on Patterson’s face.
“Yale?” Linley began to understand Patterson’s intentions.
Patterson said helplessly, “In the future, when these events come to pass, there are not many local powers capable of rescuing me from Fenlai City. But the Dawson Conglomerate is definitely one of them. The Kingdom of Fenlai does not dare to offend the Dawson Conglomerate! At the same time, the Radiant Church will not go to loggerheads against the Dawson Conglomerate for the sake of a minor corruption scandal.”
“As long as the Dawson Conglomerate is willing to act, they can easily rescue me. However, I spoke with the Dawson Conglomerate, and they were not willing to offend King Clayde on my behalf.” Patterson looked hopefully at Linley.
“Linley, Yale is the son of the Chairman of the Dawson Conglomerate. His words are extremely influential. What’s more, the Dawson Conglomerate values you quite highly as well. As long as you are willing to help me, there definitely won’t be any problems.” Duke Patterson begged. “If you don’t help me, I most likely am going to die. I beg of you, please help. No one will know that you and I have spoken.”
“As long as you are willing to save me, these ten million gold coins are yours, Linley. I beg you.” Patterson’s words were very sincere. His eyes were filled with hope!
“No one will know?” Linley’s smile was incandescent.
“Right. No one will know.” Patterson hurriedly nodded. A look of joy had already appeared in his eyes.
Suddenly, Linley’s body began to transform at a high speed. Black draconic scales began to come out of his body, while a single black horn sprouted out of his forehead. His two hands transformed into draconic claws. His pupils also transformed from their original color to the dark, golden color of the Armored Razorback Wyrm.
“You…” Duke Patterson’s face changed. Knowing that something was wrong, he hurriedly roused his own battle-qi, and all of the muscles of his body began to tighten.
Linley’s iron-whip-like tail slashed through the air with a terrifying howl. Given Duke Patterson’s reaction time and speed, he was unable to avoid it, and it landed a vicious blow on his body.
Patterson, warrior of the seventh rank, was sent flying. Blood splattered everywhere.
But then in the next instant, that whip-like tail wrapped around Patterson. The sounds of bones clattering could be heard as Patterson’s entire body was bound tightly, preventing him from moving in the slightest. Patterson struggled as much as he could, but his arms were unable to break free from his bonds.
Linley controlled his draconic tail to pull Patterson towards himself.
Linley was now under full Dragonform. His cold, merciless, dark golden eyes stared death directly into Patterson’s eyes. A hint of a cruel smile played about the corners of Linley’s lips. “You say….no one will know? Haha. That’s just perfect. I’ve waited so very long for this opportunity.”
“You…you…” Patterson had been absolutely scared stupid by this sudden development.