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Chapter 15: Nighttime Rendezvous

“Lawrence, you seem to be going out quite often these days?”  

Xing Ye was just about to leave the manor when he heard a voice. He stopped and turned to look at Duke Garcia who was staring at him firmly.

Of course he had to go out. Otherwise, how would the queen’s favored man be able to make contact with him?

After observing for the past few days, Xing Ye knew that the manor’s defenses were like an iron bucket- completely watertight, without a single spy from the queen. Under these circumstances, the manipulator wouldn’t be able to make contact with him even if he wanted to. To give him a chance, Xing Ye had to make an excuse like going on a walk to wander around in the streets.

”I’ve never seen such a bustling city before,” Xing Ye replied, “Sir Duke’s making another round around the fief in a few days, right? Before that, I want to see the imperial city more. After all, I don’t know when the next time I can come here is.”

”I’m only going to the fief for the new season start,” Duke Garcia said, “Most of my business is in the imperial city. Every year, I only go to the fief for the new season and the fall harvest. Don’t worry, we’ll be back here again.”

So it’s like that? It looks like Duke Garcia wasn’t just a big aristocrat and also holds some clout in politics. This was a truly powerful noble, his strength was nothing to scoff at.

”I’m just going to go look around.” Xing Ye tried to act out the expression of longing when a village person visits the big city.

Duke Garcia shook his head helplessly: “You killed the imperial guard captain on the queen’s birthday just half a month ago. This is the queen’s territory; if you get seized on the streets, it’ll be a little difficult for even me to get you out.”

”I’m very strong.” Xing Ye gripped the hilt of his sword.

”That’s not what I mean… sigh…” Duke Garcia took out a pocket watch from his bosom and gave it to Xing Ye, “This is a token the queen bestowed the Garcia clan 480 years ago and has the queen’s seal on it. I’ll give it to you for now. If you run into trouble, just flash the watch and most people won’t dare to touch you.”

”Many thanks to the Duke.” Xing Ye didn’t act polite and accepted it. The queen was 500 years old this year so 480 years ago was probably when she first turned evil. The pocket watch was clearly a mission prop so he would naturally accept it.

”If you find something you wish to buy, you can sign it under the Garcia house and the shopkeeper can come to the manor tomorrow to settle the bill.” Duke Garcia added.

”I don’t want to buy anything.” Xing Ye bluntly refused and left with the pocket watch.

This stubborn girl.... Duke Garcia shook his head and assigned Walter to secretly tail Xing Ye. Just guarding her was good, he shouldn’t disturb her.

Xing Ye naturally knew somebody was following him but he didn’t care. In fact, that was exactly what he wanted.

He carefully observed the pocket watch and determined it didn’t have a spirit like a mirror. It was just an ordinary tool

The pocket watch was already broken. The hands were frozen at 6:06 and wouldn’t move no matter how he tried to adjust it. It seemed to hint to how the queen’s face never changed.

Xing Ye put the important prop in his pocket before following his plan and going to the spot he arranged with the queen’s favored man.

Every time he left the manor, he did something that would attract the imperial guards’ attention and deliberately leak his location to the queen’s favored man. After casting the bait the past few days, Xing Ye was sure that the queen’s favored man would find a way to leave the palace and meet with him today.

Xing Ye didn’t expect Knight Walter would be the one following him but it was fine. Maybe with him, the results would be even better.

He arrived at the agreed upon pitch black, desolate alleyway. Xing Ye took note of the corner Walter was hiding in before finding a corner where Walter could barely see him to wait for the queen’s favored man.

After a while, the queen’s favored man appeared. He was born outstanding, with both a handsome face and commanding air. It was clear with a glance that he was skilled.

”I didn’t think you’d actually dare to strut around town like that. Aren’t you afraid of being attacked by the imperial guards?” The queen’s favored man walked towards Xing Ye and spoke in a low voice so only the two of them could hear.

”It’s fine, I have confidence in my strength.” Xing Ye also spoke in a low voice, “Let’s just be blunt with each other. You came to help me get closer to the queen, right? You’re the queen’s lover so bringing me into the palace would be very easy.”

”How did you know?” The queen’s favored man was startled.

Xing Ye grinned, “I also know that you want to tell me that you have no malice and are tired of waiting upon a 500 year old woman. You couldn’t resist the identity the game prepared for you or commit suicide and are forced to fulfill your obligations as her current favorite. Both of your companions already died and with my strength, you’ve given up on winning and just want to leave this world. You would much rather cooperate with me than deal with the queen possessed by the demon. Did I guess everything right?”

”You, you, you…. How could…” The man took two steps back before realizing there was a wall behind him and he was trapped.

”Don’t be too surprised, it’s just getting a taste of your own medicine. That’s basically the only choice you have now so it wasn’t too hard to guess.” Xing Ye had planned everything in advance, “Moreover, the part about having given your virginity to the queen was probably true so your lies would be even more convincing. Half lies and half truths are the hardest to see through.”

The favored man felt like he was being dissected by Xing Ye, peeled open layer by layer, with not a single secret he could hide. He had no words.

Up until now, the manipulators were always working behind the scenes and never saw what their opponent was really like. From their view, it was basically impossible for them to lose with such a big advantage.

The queen’s favored man only understood what the word ‘strong’ truly meant after meeting Xing Ye.

Strength meant that even if you were at a disadvantage, unarmed and defenseless, just a glance or slight smile would be enough to make others tremble in fear.

”Then say, why would I come find you in the middle of the night if I knew everything?” Xing Ye asked with a smile.

”I, I don’t know.”

The favored man wanted to run but Xing Ye easily grabbed his collar and pulled him back before switching their positions. It went from the queen’s favored man being trapped against the wall to Xing Ye being trapped between him and the wall.

Xing Ye turned around and shifted to a spot where Walter could clearly see them.

After turning around, Xing Ye undid his cloak and let it fall to the floor, revealing the women's clothes underneath.

”What are you trying to do?” The favored man asked in shock.

Wearing women's clothing in a public plaza, was this executor crazy?

Xing Ye grabbed the favored man’s neck and pulled his head down so it looked like they were kissing from Walter’s angle.

Seeing this, Walter couldn’t bear it anymore and jumped out from the corner, grabbing the favored man and landing a rain of punches and kicks at him. Xing Ye just calmly redid his cloak before patting Walter’s shoulder, “That’s enough.”

”What’s happening!” Knight Walter grabbed the badly battered man, “Isn’t this the queen’s personal attendant? Why is he here? And your clothes, your chest…”

”You caught me.” Xing Ye said indifferently, “I was wrong. Let’s go to the Grand Duke to beg for forgiveness.”

”No, I didn’t, I’ll keep your secret, I…” Knight Walter stumbled all over his words.

”No, it’s my mistake so I should be punished for it.” Xing Ye said as he nimbly gagged the queen’s favored man’s mouth and bound him before stuffing the rope in Walter’s hands. By the time Knight Walter reacted, the queen’s favored man was already completely bound and handed to him.

Xing Ye acted like he was caught committing a crime, not listening to Walter’s explanation at all as he dragged the two back to the duke’s manor and woke everyone up despite Walter’s protests.

Even though he had just been woken up from his nap, Duke Garcia was still dressed very elegantly. His face was filled with anger as he stared at the three kneeling on the ground: “Speak, what happened?”

”I…” Knight Walter’s face was innocent- how did things become like this? He just wanted to stop the queen’s special servant from bullying Lawrence but who would’ve thought he ended up revealing Lawrence’s secret!

”It’s my fault,” Xing Ye acknowledged his mistakes, his voice composed as he took out a slip of paper from his pocket: “On the queen’s birthday, I fell in love at first sight with her personal attendant. He was also interested in me and sent somebody to pass me a note, arranging for us to meet in the evening.”

The other knights had a strange look on their faces: “Why would Lawrence fall for the queen’s personal attendant? Isn’t he a man?”

Duke Garcia hurriedly ordered everyone else to withdraw, leaving only him, Walter, Xing Ye, and the personal attendant in the room. His voice was exasperated as he asked: “How could you’ve fallen for an incompetent man like the queen’s favorite? No, that’s not right, how could you’ve let others know about your identity?”

”May the Duke please execute me and this man.” Xing Ye said with his head lowered.

The personal attendant started to struggle frantically when he heard Xing Ye’s words. He couldn’t let Xing Ye turn the ending into “the queen’s personal attendant engaged in an illicit affair with Duke Garcia’s woman and was secretly executed by the duke”. If that happened, Xing Ye would win!

”Stop struggling. We did something wrong and have to take responsibility for it.” Xing Ye said as he calmly knocked the personal attendant out before looking at Duke Garcia bravely with a self sacrificing light in his eyes.

Duke Garcia was so angry that the veins on his forehead bulged. He ordered the utterly confused Knight Walter to leave before commanding Xing Ye: “Lawrence, did you think I’d really believe your shoddy lies? Tell me the truth!”

Xing Ye smiled and bent down on one knee before placing his right hand by his chest, his tone filled with respect as he said: “Sir is truly worthy of being the Grand Duke. Originally, I planned that if you really believed my words, I might as well just die like that.”

”How could I be fooled like that, I know you aren’t such a shallow woman.” Duke Garcia stared at Xing Ye, “You could even kill the imperial family’s imperial guard captain in one strike, there’s no way you would fall for such a useless man like this.”

Duke Garcia kicked the personal attendant as he spoke.

”Sir Duke, can I put my faith in you?” Xing Ye raised his head.

”Of course.” Duke Garcia stared at Xing Ye deeply.

”Then again, apart from grand, important people like you, who else can I rely on.” Xing Ye weaved his tale seriously: “Sir Duke, my mother raised me like a boy for another important reason apart from not wanting me to be bullied or humiliated. The year I was born, the river water ripples formed a sentence: ‘This girl can kill the queen’.”

Duke Garcia was startled.

“Originally, I thought it was a joke but when I saw the queen that day in the imperial palace, my blood started to boil. I felt the mission engraved in my bones pulse, telling me that I was born to kill the queen.” Xing Ye thought back to the story he made up earlier and skillfully weaved it in, “The reason why I did what I despised most, seducing the palace attendant, was because I wanted him to bring me into the imperial palace so I can assassinate the queen and never let the demon hurt this world again!”

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