Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 251: Twenty-seventh Episode: Chapter 2-2
Chapter 251: Twenty-seventh Episode: Chapter 2-2
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Late into the night, at Gabrielle Palace's "Luxim I Gallery", the crystal chandelier that was close to two meters in diameter was lit up. The décor of the gallery used red, yellow, and green as the fundamental colors and then gold leaf and silver powder were used to paint the walls and ceilings. The ground was spread with a brightly-colored painted rug. The entire room emitted an air of being bright and lively under the light.
The Luxim I Gallery was the most typical place to visit in the Gabrielle Palace. The paintings and sculptures collected here were none other than Titan's national treasures. Moreover, very few people could enter this gallery to appreciate these masterpieces handed down from generation to generation.
The existence of the Gabrielle Palace was extremely bizarre. This immense palace was placed completely under the Andrews after the death of Emperor Luxim I and his wife. However, the Morisettes still provided the enormous annual fees for the preservation of this artistic palace. It seemed that no one intended to use secular disputes to disturb the peerless sweethearts that were resting eternally there. Be it the Andrews or the capital nobles, both of them portrayed a nostalgic, humble attitude towards this palace.
Madam Vijdeline Van Sukhoi was probably one of the few people who held no concern at all for the Gabrielle Palace. She detested the complicated decoration, the luxurious and excessive court architectural styles, but there was bound to be some benefits to having a vast space! Her young Micath had reached a hyperactive age. The young lad's gift in his motor-based abilities had completely compensated for his deficiency in terms of language. Although his tongue still could not really abide by the commands of his brain, the movement of his limbs was as agile and swift as a young leopard that was about to enter its initial hunting stage.
Outside the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Luxim I Gallery was a large terrace more than twenty square meters. Lamps had already illuminated the entire palace, but there was still some time left before Master Micath ended his evening classes. The energetic little lad was wearing a huge warrior uniform and waving his fist ceaselessly toward an innocent eastern master.
Assassin Thirteen was sitting on a statue on the terrace's railing. The old man had his back bent and was puffing away on his cigar. He had only fallen in love with this certain indulgence not long ago. Once exposed, he could never do without it anymore.
"That's not right, your hips should be a little stiffer!" It did not appear that there were any movements from the King of Assassins, but a small stone truck the young boy on the waist right after the old man's words. Little Micath jerked up at having been struck, and his lumbar spine immediately straightened. The fist that thrust out following it struck Mighty Fist Lee right on the belly. The eastern martial arts master actually stumbled backward a step after being struck by the little child.
Lee frowned and glanced at the seemingly idle old man, but there was nothing he could do about the old man. This was the disparity in strength and also the gap in their understanding. Although the boxing master had never admitted defeat verbally, he had long since expressed his utter admiration for the martial arts exhibited by Assassin Thirteen.
Despite both being easterners, the boxing master and the assassin had once had a natural difference in terms of their territorial area.
Mighty Fist Lee knew that Assassin Thirteen had come from a place called the Celestial Kingdom. That was the birthplace of martial arts, and the Celestial people referred to his motherland as Cochin. It was a tribal alliance country. According to the Westerners, it was still in the city-state system's disintegration stage. If one disregarded these inexplicable titles and only focused on the difference in martial arts alone... it was actually very clear. According to a Celestial martial arts master, even a tiny child could easily master Mighty Fist Lee's martial arts pattern.
"Left foot!" the Assassin Thirteen shouted again.
The boxing master was startled awake. He leaped up onto the pillar on the terrace in a hurry. With a thrust from both his legs, he freed himself from the attack radius of the young boy. Foolish Micath kicked his left leg out, panting. However, he could only watch helplessly as his opponent shot over his head like a raven shooting across the sky.
The boxing master who was in the air, suddenly felt his shoulder sag. When he landed, he realized that the assassin was steadying himself in advance using his shoulders. Mighty Fist Lee's face fell again. The boxer in the air felt his shoulder sinking. When he landed, he discovered the killer and Lynn standing on his shoulders. This was simply an incredible thing conceptually in martial arts. The old man was undoubtedly just smoking on the statue!
"That's it for today, lad!" Thirteen expressed a rare smile.
Young Micath adhered strictly to the etiquette of an apprentice. After respectfully saluting both his tutors, only then did he simply loosen up his muscles and bones.
"Come and have some tea!" Madam Vijdeline's warm shout came from the Gallery. Mighty Fist Lee was merely a servant that one had taken in. He acted as if he had not heard anything. However, it was the King of Assassins who caught his eastern mate's shoulders and sat him down on a sofa in the Gallery. The maids immediately served a bubbling hot black tea. Seeing the fervent, eager look in the noble madam's eyes, Lee accepted it silently.
Little Micath was drenched in sweat. He ignored the fruits that his mother brought over and sat down by Thirteen's side, with a face full of enthusiasm. Usually, he seemed to always be together with this eastern old man. He learned the old man's skill, imitated the old man's habitual movements, and even unintentionally imitated the old man's awareness in dealing with enemies! This was the most important of all! The awareness of a highly skilled martial art's master was the most precious asset.
Little Micath kicked out his left foot into the air abruptly and then spread his hands helplessly… this meant 'I had kicked, but the lizard had jumped away!' The Lizard was the nickname that the young lad had given Mighty Fist Lee. Uncle Oscar's knights had once given him a desert lizard as a pet. Mighty Fist Lee's movements closely resembled this creature that appeared lazy, yet attacked and dodged swiftly.
Thirteen smiled at the little boy. "You couldn't tell that he was going to jump away?"
Micath shook his head. "Who… who knew?"
Thirteen could only sit up on the couch. He knew that what the little boy meant was that who knew what the opponent would do next!
"Look carefully!" the King of Assassins took out a small stone from out of nowhere and then without any explanations, tossed it towards Mighty Fist Lee's shoulder.
The eastern boxing master had superb reflexes. He grabbed at the little stone single-handedly. However, Thirteen had another hidden intent. Another stone was already striking the boxer on the ankle. Mighty Fist Lee had no choice but to stand on a tiptoe. With a gentle flick, the stone immediately bounced up and the next moment, it was within his grasp.
"Can you see it now?"
Micath swallowed his saliva. He was deliberating how to express his opinions. "The shoulder-", "the knee… joints... are really fast!"
"You're a genius, young lad!" Assassin Thirteen ruffled the young boy's hair fondly and Micath chuckled away; he did not laugh often.
"Every action of the limbs will move a series muscles and a series of joints! The upper body is the shoulders and elbows; the lower body is the knees and hip. Attacking and fending will definitely involve the pre-action of these four parts! You can understand the awareness of martial arts and that of the enemies as a kind of dynamic vision. Through the subtle changes in the enemy body's main pre-action site, determine the point of initiation and the target point. After that, you can signal your own body to make a choice. Either to cut off this action, or interfere with this action, or destroy the move…"
Little Cath affixed his gaze at the old man who was speaking frankly with assurance. His mother who was listening by the side was absolutely baffled. However, the young, lad who was unclear in speech, kept following Thirteen's words, nodding repeatedly.
"What is everyone talking about?" Countess Aeolia, whose face was a little pale, appeared at the doorway.
With a cry, Madam Vijdeline went forward to greet her. As a servant, Mighty First Lee also stood up respectfully. Only the old man and young lad were indifferent to the arrival of Andrew's Head of the Military Investigation Bureau.
"You should rest a while longer!"
Vijdeline embraced the frail Aeolia. Her eyes were filled with reproach.
Aeolia waved her hand. "I can't sleep. Lying on the bed, I felt waves upon waves of fear! I don't know just what is up with me!"
Vij could only force a smile. Who, then, could live the days in peace?
"Haven't you visited Sasha yet?"
"No!" Aya slouched against the couch. She cupped her hand over her forehead wearily. "How is she?"
Vij shrugged. "Thank goodness you're smart. Your rescue ploy has managed to retrieve her shattered soul from the God of Light! Antonia and Miss Fenrar are looking after her. There isn't anything to worry about. She has started to recover. The only thing now is to heal the psychological pain."
Aya nodded and reached out her hand towards Micath who was sitting across from her. Even though the young boy had trouble communicating with others, his nature was extremely lovable. Since Aunty Aya had opened her arms, Micath, who was sensitive to others, immediately flung himself into them excitedly.
"What were you talking about with grandpa Thirteen?" Aya asked while planting a big kiss on Oscar's eldest son. The little guy was almost five years old.
"First move, against… against pre-action! Speed will do!"
"What?" Aya's eyes widened.
Thirteen suddenly broke into applause. He snatched the little boy up from the countess' arms and gratifyingly gave Cath's cheek a few heavy kisses. "You know, little one? You are much more outstanding than your dad at the age of five!"
"Do you know what Oscar was like when he was five years old?" the King of Assassins turned towards the women in the room.
Aya shook her head. She enjoyed this topic as it made her feel greatly at ease.
Thirteen continued to gesture with his hands. He said that the five-year-old Oscar was a small, brutish animal who only knew to use his fist as if his brain was just there for display. The five-year-old little Oscar did not know how to show respect and honor his teacher and frequently joked about the old man's dignity. The five-year-old Little Oscar still could not tell right from wrong, often doing stupid things...
The old man had already described the Empire's Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette as a little rascal that had many problems. His childhood deeds caused Aya and Vij to roll with laughter.
After laughing, the face of Andrew's Head of the Military Investigation Bureau suddenly fell. She slowly pulled out a short piece of a wooden cylinder from her arms and used a scrutinizing look to size up Westland's King of Assassins.
"Hearing you put it that way… you love Oscar?"
The old man nodded and shook his head. "According to the interpretation of the easterners… the teacher is the father!"
Aya was silent for a protracted period of time and then, as if coming to a decision, she opened the wooden cylinder and took out the scroll inside it.
"I just received a hawk eagle message from Dulin. Oscar is in trouble!"
Mighty Fist Lee carried off the bewildered little young master Micath into the bedroom. Vijdeline sent out the court attendants in the Gallery. When Countess Aeolia had ascertained that there was nobody lingering around, she then proceeded to elaborate to the King of Assassins about the kind of misfortune that was about to befall young Oscar. However, needless to say, the seemingly-attentive King of Assassins could not comprehend just what it was about the Titan imperial Household and the capital nobles. He only knew that Oscar had run into trouble and assassins only existed in the world on the basis of solving problems.
"Regicide?" Vijdeline's eyes widened in disbelief. "Can't the Imperial Household of Morisette find a more convincing crime? This senseless accusation, though punitive, those who truly understand reason will just wait to see the Imperial Household's joke! Who will believe that Oscar will murder His Majesty Alfa III, who cherished him so deeply? Moreover, isn't His Majesty Alfa III's death explicitly clear?"
Aya shook her head. "Don't you understand Oscar at all?"
Vij was a little dubious. "Why do you ask this way?"
The Countess pointed at the hawk eagle's secret message in her hand. "If the Imperial Household's bringing up of this accusation was to frame him over nothing, then Oscar will certainly explain that to me in this secret report. Then, I can conclude that this accusation is an act of framing maliciously planted by the Imperial Household. After that, we can deal with this matter as though we are handling framing! But, look, does it state so in the letter? Oscar is reminding us that we handle this huge inconvenience using the techniques of dealing with facts!"
"Facts? You're saying that Oscar really…"
Aeolia suddenly made a silencing gesture and then acting as if she was unconcerned at all, turned her head away.
"This is nothing to be surprised over! The Imperial Household assassinated the former Duke of Andrew and Oscar's father. Only if Alfa III was really slaughtered by him did he die in his right place!"
Vijdeline could not help but become even more shocked. "Don't tell me… don't tell me that the Imperial Household had secured conclusive evidence? Otherwise, they will not go against the Andrews with a sure-to-lose lawsuit!"
"Be it with or without conclusive evidence, the Imperial Household is sure to lose this lawsuit without a doubt! This fact is certain!"
The great mistress of the Sukhoi Family was not an ordinary woman. Once she had received an affirmative reply from the Head of the Andrew's Military Investigation Bureau, she had figured out part of the key points. However, her face was still etched with worry.
"This is, as expected, a ruthless and foul plan!" Vij gritted her teeth as she babbled on, "As long as Oscar bears the burden of being a suspect in regicide, all the victories he had previously secured in Dulin will virtually fall apart! Even if the Supreme Court ruled him innocent, all Alanis needs to do is issue an imperial command asking Oscar to return home to reflect, and it will be enough!"
"That should be it…" Aya nodded gently. "At least as of now, no one dares threaten Oscar's life. Eight hundred thousand Imperial Guards and four hundred thousand Narcissus Knights have their sights on Dulin! As long as the capital nobles and the southerners do not go crazy together, Oscar should not be in any danger."
"What else does the letter say?" the sharp mistress of Sukhoi had already realized that Countess Aeolia was concealing something.
Aya handed the secret letter over to Vijdeline who was waiting anxiously. "I can't say it. See for yourself!"
Vijdeline took the letter and edged closer to the candlelight. She had only taken a brief look at it before flinging the letter aside as if her hand had been scalded.
"It's actually the southerners! Are the southerners looking for their ends? What do they think they are? Do they think that O'Neil Andrew Morisette really isn't a saint? Wait until the jade ripples of the Don River become a pool of blood, then they will regret it!"
Aya ignored Vijdeline, who was so infuriated that her whole body was trembling. She only turned toward the King of Assassin, who had on a baffled look, sitting opposite from her. However, as the Countess' eyes were turning midway, they suddenly came to a halt. She gazed in alarm at the great mistress who had suddenly appeared in the Gallery.
Sasha E. was wearing an unlined garment. Her frail silhouette appeared to still be trembling slightly. She held her knees and knelt down with difficulty, stretching out her hand to pick up the letter thrown onto the ground.
"Oscar's handwriting!" The Mistress of Andrew let out an extremely joyous cry. However, her eyes slowly dimmed as they continued to move following the words. When she reached the part that was the most unbelievable to people, Sasha made her hand into a fist and pressed down tightly against her chest. She focused all her strength onto her chest, only then did she suppress the urge to throw up blood with difficulty.
"Sa… Sasha! Hurry to me!" Vijdeline, scared witless, held up the Mistress of Andrew who was on the verge of collapse. She was not certain just what kind of reaction Sasha would have once she learned that her unborn child had died due to a conspiracy.
The dazed Sasha slumped against the couch. She clutched the letter of her lover's personally handwritten letter. Without blinking, she stared at the picture of the Holy Son being baptized on the wall of the gallery.
"Politics... Is this politics?"
"This is politics!" Aya replied the family Mistress who appeared out of it in an unusually affirmative tone. "Initially, this has nothing to do with you, but the southerners' attempt has manipulated Oscar's…"
"Shut up!" the respected Mistress, Sasha E. Nedgabel Andrew, suddenly used a cold, piercing gaze, one which she had never revealed before, to glare at the family's Secret Affairs's Head Officer who was rambling on.
Aeolia could not help but exchange looks with Vijdeline. Was the person bossing people around before them the one whom the people regarded as the Narcissus Corolla of the purest beauty? The feeling that Sasha E. gave people had never been the kind of deep, penetrating cold.
"Why is it not Alanis?" the Mistress of Andrew actually sniggered. "When Percy told me that the child was killed because of poison, I vowed to send Alanis to the lowest level of hell… I really was naïve! But at that time, I could only think of Alanis!"
"Now it seems that it shouldn't be Her Majesty the Empress I!" Aya could only say, "Alanis will not do such a foolish thing at such a time! If she did it, even if you were to take no notice of it, Oscar will send her to hell as well."
Sasha shook her head. "Oscar won't! Even if everyone in the world wants the life of the Empress of Titan, Oscar will also step forward for Alanis! Don't think that he keeps going against the Imperial Family, and don't think that he does not seem to be concerned about Alanis. I know that there are people in the Military Intelligence Bureau who report to him the about Empress of the Empire's every meal, everyday life, and every other situation. Each day, he will go through that secret report carefully! So… he loves Alanis as much as he loves me, it's just that he will not admit it.
Aeolia and Vijdeline both pursed their lips. They could not think of anything to say. It seemed that they absolutely did not have room to say anything else before the Mistress of Andrew.
Sasha inclined her head to one side. She was trying her best to rearrange her thoughts. "This matter… I seem to have talked about this matter with someone? Who is it?"
"That's right!" the Mistress of Andrew suddenly slapped the arm of the sofa. "Janin! Janin Sherman! I stumbled across the Empress of the Empire's daily schedule on Oscar's office desk. Janin then explained to me that this was instructed by Oscar!"
"And then Janin Sherman said those words just now?" Aya questioned impatiently.
Sasha glanced over suspiciously. She had already noticed that when the Head of the Military Investigation Bureau spoke, her tone was higher by a few notes.
The Mistress of Andrew suddenly laughed sinisterly. "Could Janin Sherman have had a part in this conspiracy? If it weren't for me revealing Oscar and Alanis' deep relationship, the southerners would not have killed my child, and then the two wretched secret agents would not have let made misfortune befall the Empress of the Empire! The one who caused the death of the child... was me? I really…"
"Sasha!" Vijdelien grabbed the mistress of Andrew's arm. "Don't be like this! The one who is at fault isn't you! You just need to remember to let those perpetrators pay the price and that will suffice. Why do you have to blame yourself?"
With a violent shake, Sasha freed herself from Vij's grasp. "I'm not blaming myself! I hate my naivety and ignorance! If the murderer was Alanis, I will feel a little better! But those southerners… I had a great time in Vielonna. I've made many new friends! I thought that they were Oscar's comrades, an alliance to the Andrews. Don't tell me that my foolishness and childishness do not deserve punishment?"
The mistress of Andrew held her tummy. Her loving eyes were as if there was still a little life growing healthily in her belly.
"My child, your mother is the most incompetent mother in the world! She is so stupid! She worshipped... six." "Is she okay?" Vijdeline whispered while tugging discreetly at Aeolia's skirt.
The Countess suddenly snapped out of it. She was greatly stunned by the family mistress who was looking at her tummy and conversing with herself. Although the brilliant rescue ploy that afternoon had successfully awakened Sasha's will to live, who knew just to what extent had this young mother been hurt? Who then could guarantee that Sasha's mind was still sound after experiencing such a great change?
"VIj!" the Mistress of Andrew suddenly held her tiny waist and stood. "Oscar placed Thirteen by your side. Can I borrow him for a while?"
"Of… of course!" Vijdeline nodded subconsciously.
Sasha then turned towards the King of Assassins who had been staring blankly all the while. "Go and return to Dulin, Thirteen! Set off immediately! Oscar will find some use of you!"
"Major General Aeolia!"
Aya thought that she was mistaken! She never knew the family mistress would be aware of her rank. However, since Sasha had called her that way, then she had to follow the customs and salute respectfully. "Please give your commands!"
Sasha shook the secret letter in her hand. "Since Oscar did not mention how to deal with the increasingly ambitious southerners, it indicates that now is not yet the time! Go and look into it! I want to know all the names of the people involved in murdering my pitiful child! You must remember… I mean everyone! If you miss a single one, you will have to go to Marshal Figg to hand in your resignation." The mistress of Andrew evaluated her surroundings. It seemed that there left only Vij with nothing to do. "Accompany me for some supper!" as Sasha turned towards Vijdeline, she could not help but pinch her waist with both her hands. "I've actually become this skinny? Oscar will be hurt if he sees this…"
Those on the scene did not say a word. They personally witnessed Andrew's Narcissus Corolla turn into an unknown poisonous plant.<script>chaptererror();</script>