Chapter 45. Meeting
“Where did she run off again? What did I tell you about paying attention to her, huh? Do you really want to be punished?”
“S.. sorry, big sis. I didn’t think she’d run again.”
“You think this would be all over just by saying sorry?”
The older sister out of two bodyguards, Rin (麟), was about to say something with an angry face, but just gave up and sighed.
“I told you not to be fooled by her innocent outer appearance. She’s always thinking about running away in the inside.”
“Uu, sorry, big sis……. I forgot.”
“Ugh, you idiot. You stress me out so much…. Go find her! You know what would happen if the higher-ups find out what happened, don’t you? We both get this.”
Rin made a slicing motion on her neck with her finger, and made a terrible face.
“If you know that, hurry. She shouldn’t have gone far.”
Two women in red clothes. They began to run around the castle urgently. How long did they search for? After a while, the younger sister of the duo, Ryung (鈴), opened her mouth with a terrified face.
“It doesn’t look like she’s in the castle. What do we do?”
“Did she get out already?”
That would be troubling. Outside the castle, the places the duo had access to would be a lot more restricted. It was even worse for the young lady they served.
A rare, precious position. If you add on the girl’s unique looks to that position, the girl became an existence that couldn’t be revealed to the public. After all, if the word of her existence spread, everything would really become troublesome.
“You go to the main auditorium. I’ll check the back.”
Ryung made a confused expression when her bigger sister said this.
“Not many people can go to the back part of the church, right? You said it was a dangerous place before…….”
“Don’t worry. I’ll get permission from the administrator of the place. And if the young lady really is there, things would proceed easier than one might think.”
“It would be good if it was really like that…….”
Ryung looked at Rin with a worried face.
“You think you have time to actually get worried about someone? Just go to the main auditorium. If the higher-ups find out before we find the young lady, we’re dead! Dead!”
When Rin sliced her neck with her finger again, Ryung began to run like a startled deer. Rin, looking at that, began to walk quickly.
* * *
Grass Shoe Garden (草鞋庭). This was what the people called the forbidden garden. It was a place where not many could enter, and was also one of the most secluded place within the church.
(TL: Grass Shoe Garden…. is not a fitting name. But that’s what the translation ****ing means! Grass, ****ing, Shoe! Wtf?!)
At the same time, it was one of the most dangerous places in the whole church. Rin had reached the entrance a while ago, but was unable to get in. She bit her lower lip.
‘As I thought, this is too much for me.’
At first glance, it didn’t look like there was anyone there, but that wasn’t the case in real life.
Top-class assassins, hand picked by the church, were placed all around the garden, extending from the entrances to everywhere inside the garden itself.
Rin hesitated when she felt the dangerous energy these people were exuding. She had to choose here. Even for her, a peak expert, charging into the garden was suicide.
After hesitating for quite some time in front of the main entrance, Rin sighed and opened her mouth.
“I wish to see the Administrator of the Garden.”
There was no answer. But there was a response. She knew that because all of the sudden, an overwhelming amount of killing intent began to pressurise her.
‘It gets important from here.’
She was crossing a dangerous line right here. Rin forcefully stopped herself from instinctively reaching for her sword, and quietly closed her eyes.
And when she opened her eyes again, she could see him. The man who had gray cloth draped over himself. The man who had his face, except for his eyes, covered in the cloth, was standing in front of the entrance.
When Rin faced the man, she became convinced.
‘This is the administrator!’
The administrator of the garden was a man that no one really knew about. No one knew of the man’s origin, nor did they know how the man learnt martial arts.
A strange martial artist whose face, age, and martial cultivation was unknown to the public.
Except for the Pope, even the Eight Guardians who boasted their great strength stayed quiet here. All that was because of the administrator.
Rin could feel that with the appearance of this man, the killing intent around her vanished, as if it was just an illusion. The air around this man was strange. A strange feeling of disharmony surrounded the man’s body.
“What do you want?”
The man’s voice was unexpectedly young. When Rin made a surprised face, the man spoke again.
This time, the voice held no emotion whatsoever. It was only filled with dreadful coldness.
“I don’t say the same thing twice.”
Killing intent. Rin was brought back to reality at once when she got hit by the killing intent, which had been polished like a treasured sword.
“Ah! I, I am Rin of the Ruling Fire House (理火宮). I am the bodyguard of the young lady.”
Rin looked at the man with some sweat running down her back. She couldn’t sense the level of cultivation this man had reached.
‘What’s this? Could he be a harmonious expert?’
Rin shook her head at the thought. That shouldn’t be possible. Other than the two guardians and the Pope, no one else in the church had reached that state.
But Rin was feeling this powerful pressure emanating from the man’s eyes, since a while back. She had experienced such a feeling only a few times in her life.
“You came to retrieve the young lady?”
Thankfully, the young lady seemed to be in here. Rin sighed in relief.
“May I take the young lady away?”
“That’s not possible.”
The man spoke with a cold voice, while looking at Rin.
“You cannot enter this place.”
Yes. But that was obvious. No one could enter this place without requesting to beforehand.
The young lady could get anywhere, as her existence itself worked like a free pass to anything, but that wasn’t the case for Rin. But that didn’t mean she was going to back down here.
“Please give me permission. If that’s too much, please at least send word to the young lady……”
A dry voice, void of all emotion. Rin’s mouth started to go dry.
“Administrator, this matter concerns me and my sister’s life. Please reconsider.”
Rin kneeled onto the cold, hard ground.
“Please, I beg you.”
Rin slowly put her head down. She threw away her pride a long time ago. As long as she came here, she would be unable to stop the rumors spreading.
The young lady’s unauthorized little trip. It was a severe crime. But since it had happened already, Rin had to take the young lady back to the castle as soon as possible.
That way, she’d at least have some time to figure out how to take care of the aftermath. Rin waited for the man’s response on the ground.
The man who was looking at Rin. The administrator didn’t speak for a while. How much time had passed? The man eventually opened his mouth.
“How amusing. Why should I care about your life?”
Rin didn’t know what to say. While she was trying to figure out what to say, the man turned around.
Rin crawled forward, desperately trying to grab onto the administrator’s legs. Then.
Something passed by Rin’s cheeks, and created a small injury. A hot feeling of pain like fire ran through her cheeks.
“You’ll go no further than that. Come closer and I’ll slice off your neck.”
Rin froze from fear. Then, a black shadow suddenly came behind the administrator, and whispered something.
After hearing that, the administrator’s eyes began to turn annoyed. Rin didn’t fail to miss the administrator’s shaking eyes at that moment.
Something troublesome. Rin realized that something like that took place just now.
‘What is it?’
Nothing really happens in the Garden. It was normally very quiet, and didn’t go through much change. In a place like that, something happened.
‘Could it be?’
Rin prayed that this event would be something that might be able be advantageous for her. Did her prayers get answered? The administrator looked at her with annoyance and spoke.
“…….You said you wanted to go inside?”
Rin nodded vigorously.
“Yes. I want to go inside.”
“Follow me. I’ll take you to the young lady.”
The man said that, and went through the door. Rin quickly stood up, and followed the man inside.
The man didn’t respond. He simply kept walking.
Rin felt relieved. Something might’ve happened inside. But thanks to that, she got a chance like this, which made her infinitely grateful.
* * *
The other side of the pond. The young lady was clearly over there. The person who was more precious to Rin than her life. But Rin didn’t move, and froze where she stood.
There was a boy standing in front of the young lady. Rin’s jaw dropped.
“Th, th, that…….”
The administrator observed her actions, nodded, and sent a message.
[I’ll be truthful. Because of the way you handled things, we got into a bit of trouble, too.]
Got into trouble? What kind of trouble?
[The young lady meeting with the young lord. That’s what got us in a bit of a tight situation.]
The young lord? Rin’s eyes widened. The administrator had the same power as the Guardians within the church.
But even a person like that addressed the boy like so? Just who was that boy? The administrator, who noticed Rin’s surprised face, sent a message.
[That young lord is the one who will take care of the church in the future.]
Rin’s eyes got even wider, and her lips began to tremble. Taking care of the church in the future. She knew what those words meant.
She looked at the boy some more, and then sent a message with an agitated face.
[He is the heir? That young lord?]
The boy. Cho Ryu Hyang was a person who would become the heir of the church in the future. Of course, the boy was being treated like one already, but the official ceremony was yet to take place.
“Who are you?”
Far away, Rin could see the girl with the golden hair open her mouth in front of Cho Ryu Hyand. Rin watched this take place quietly.
The young lady. The girl in the golden hair rarely ever talked to a child of her age. That was because of the unique looks and the high position she possessed.
‘The fact that she is different is enough reason to incite fear.’
Because of that, the young lady had been confined in the castle despite her high position. She was like a bird stuck in a cage.
A foreigner. As the nation didn’t come in contact with foreigners much, it wasn’t strange for foreigners to be called monsters.
‘I hope she doesn’t get hurt…….’
Everyone who saw the young lady previously all had the same reaction. They were all scared of her. Rin thought that Cho Ryu Hyang would obviously have the same reaction.
But that wasn’t the case. The boy calmly opened his mouth without any indication of being surprised.
“Who are you supposed to be, then? Shouldn’t one introduce oneself before asking for someone else’s name?”
When Cho Ryu Hyang said this, the girl blinked. She, too, had never seen a person who acted normally to her like this.
The blonde girl grinned, and spoke.
“Ah, is that how it is? My name is Gongson Ahri (公孫娥異). What about you?”
Gongson Ahri? Cho Ryu Hyang’s eyes shook. When he heard the girl’s name, he thought of someone’s face. Cho Ryu Hyang opened his mouth with a bit of disbelief.
“Gongson Chun Gi…… what’s your relationship with teacher?”
“Ah, he’s my father.”
Cho Ryu Hyang fondled his glasses unconsciously. It was a habit of his that came out whenever he became surprised. Gongson Chun Gi’s daughter?
What surprised him here wasn’t the fact that his teacher had a daughter. He was surprised by the daughter’s sudden appearance. The administrator, watching that, sent a message to Rin.
[The Pope instructed me to not let the young lord meet anyone for the time being.]
The administrator stopped his message here, and spoke again while throwing an angry gaze at Rin.
[But the young lady isn’t someone we can stop in the first place. Because you did your job poorly, something like this happened.]
Rin lowered her head, and avoided the administrator’s gaze. She didn’t have any excuses to say.
[This whole thing is your fault, so you take care of it.]
Rin nodded. She felt the need to take care of everything at this point, somehow.