Chapter 372: Teacher of the State Stratholme
This kiss was destined to be brief due to Firewind’s approaching footsteps. Han Shuo only managed to have a little taste before it ended. He didn’t have the chance to probe into Helen’s sweet fragrance.
Just as Helen was feeling baffled about how Han Shuo was not as avaricious as he had been before, she also caught wind of Firewind’s nearing footsteps. After raising her head to look at Han Shuo with her limpid eyes, she immediately realized that it was not because Han Shuo was not avaricious, but rather, it was because Firewind was already here.
Before Firewind had even arrived, Han Shuo had entered the bedroom to get a sip of tea. On this expedition, a couple of merchants from Lancelot Empire had come to Helon City alongside Fabian. Although these merchants were on very good terms with Brettel City’s Chamber of Commerce, Han Shuo would not allow them to discover the relationship between him and Helen.
Even Fabian had no clue of the exact circumstances. He had only come because he heard from Dick that this would be a safe trip. Fabian was loyal and devoted to Phoebe. Although his relationship with Han Shuo was also extremely strong, Phoebe was Fabian’s true master. Fabian would always be there to support Han Shuo, for any other matter. However, if he discovered that Han Shuo had an additional woman, which happened to be Helen, Han Shuo was unable to predict how he would respond.
If Fabian had honestly reported to Phoebe about Han Shuo’s playboy-like actions, Phoebe would probably create some kind of noisy disturbance due to her jealous nature.
When Firewind brought Fabian and the Lancelot Empire’s merchants along, she had only shot a glance at Helen’s face and discovered her lingering sweet blush. After subconsciously pursing her lips, Firewind couldn’t help but start thinking askew and blaming Helen, giving her an angry eyeroll.
Attempting to gloss it over, Helen coughed due to the awkward atmosphere. She secretly cursed at Han Shuo. Only then did she look at Fabian and the merchants with a smile, before saying, “Welcome to my Helon Duchy. I believe everyone knew what we would be discussing today before entering this room.”
Fabian had only heard from Dick that Helen wanted to conduct some secret business deals merchants from the Lancelot Empire. With Fabian’s sensitive sense of a profiteer, he immediately smelled a great opportunity for profit and gold upon receiving the invitation. Currently, as the person in charge of the Helon Duchy, grand duke Helen had a hundred percent control over the Helon Duchy. With such a character taking the initiative to invite people, no matter which merchant group came, they would definitely receive ample benefits.
Fabian smiled faintly and bowed respectfully. “Of course. Our Boozt Merchant Guild is capable of providing the Helon Duchy with everything it needs. Additionally, we will also purchase some goods from your Helon Duchy at a reasonable and fair price. Both of our parties will definitely benefit from such a business transaction.”
As Helen and Fabian conversed, a bodyguard reported from outside the room, “Honored Duke, they have arrived.”
“Have them come in.”Helen gracefully and elegantly commanded.
Shortly after, a party of seven walked in. The vibe they emitted made them seem quite similar to Fabian and his people. Each and every one of them was overweight. The cunning sparkle in their eyes expressed their greedy desire for profit.
“Honored Grand Duke!” After this party of seven entered, they all suddenly became even more respectful than the last. After going through this bloody purge, they would be hard pressed to find another noble that would dare to revolt against Helen within Helon Duchy. Helen’s viciousness was also extensively circulated amongst the nobles and merchants, making the merchants even more fearful and apprehensive in their hearts.
“Mm. Rise!” Helen commanded before introducing Fabian. “These are my Helon Duchy’s merchants. From now on, the business deals between you and my Helon Duchy will be completed through you guys alone. However, you can rest assured. In the future, when you are within Helon Duchy’s national borders, your safety will be completely assured by me.”
“Thank you, Sir Duke. This is a kind of business deal that is advantageous to the both of us and will definitely be to everyone’s satisfaction.” Fabian lightly smiled and said.
Helen nodded, “I just wanted to give both of your parties a proper introduction to each other today, make sure you are reassured about working together, and to let you know that the business transaction between you will be under my protection. Mm. Alright then, you guys should find somewhere to discuss amongst yourselves the specifics of the deal. I must also beseech you guys to not let anybody know about the business deals going on today. The more secretive you are, the better it will be.”
“Rest assured Grand Duke, we know what we ought to do!” Together, Fabian and the Helon Duchy’s merchants replied with great sincerity, before departing. As the merchants journeyed to their destination, they had already begun to discuss the details of their business.
Only until after Fabian and the rest left did Han Shuo walk out from within, saying to Helen, “I reckon that, with Lancelot Empire’s merchants, your goods won’t have to pass through Narsen Duchy anymore. The Brut Merchant Alliance is too distant from your Helon Duchy while you also have to deal with Benedict Sackville sticking his nose into your business in the midst of transportation. Your previous business deal with them is inferior to the partnership you will have with Fabian.”
“You brought these merchants over so ardently, but is it not because you have an eye on my Helon Duchy’s war horses!?” Helen shot a glance towards Han Shuo as he walked out of the bedroom, harrumphing with a pout.
Being told off like this, Han Shuo forced a laugh, “This has always been a mutually beneficial deal. We will both be able to obtain benefits from each other.”
After pausing for a moment, Han Shuo said, “Alright, the seeds of internal strife in your Helen Duchy have been weeded out, so I believe that I should also leave the Helon Duchy for the time being.”
“Ah, you’re leaving already?” Helen involuntarily started to feel a sense of disappointment rising within her as she said to Han Shuo, “Helen Duchy actually has a lot of wonders that deserve touring. How about I personally bring you out to have some fun? In any case, I shouldn’t have too much official business to do in the near future.” When Helen heard that Han Shuo wanted to leave, she felt somewhat reluctant and unwilling., As she had wanted Han Shuo to stay in Helon Duchy for a little while longer, she couldn’t help but make this proposal.
Han Shuo laughed involuntarily, “Look at me, am I such a refined person?
Helen’s expression darkened as she stayed silent for a moment before suddenly saying softly, “You’ve just arrived here and haven’t even been here for a whole day, but you want to leave just like that? You can’t even stay for a few days? Not even to accompany me?”
Helen’s slender, shapely eyebrows lightly creased as her eyes brimmed with disappointment and sadness. She knew in her heart that Han Shuo was not the type of person to tie himself down for a woman. However, for the couple of days after Han Shuo had left, she didn’t know why, but she couldn’t resist her longing for Han Shuo at all. Now that she had luckily encountered Han Shuo again, she naturally didn’t want him to leave so soon.
Han Shuo silently looked at Helen, the corner of his mouth starting to break into a smile. After hesitating for a moment, he said, “If I stay here for a few days, then I won’t be able to guarantee that you can continue to maintain your pure and holy image within the Helon Duchy.”
“Ahem ahem…” Firewind dryly coughed twice from afar. She waited until Han Shuo and the blushing Helen diverted their attention towards her before opening her mouth to say, “I still have some things to attend to, so I’ll be leaving first!”
Without waiting for either of the two to speak, Firewind suddenly stamped her feet before walking straight out the door. Within a blink of an eye, she had disappeared without a trace in a truly neat and tidy manner.
Helen hatefully glared at Han Shuo before rebuking, “This is all your fault! How could you say such things in front of Firewind?”
Shrugging his shoulders, Han Shuo suddenly said, “It’s her that wasn’t being tactful. While we were having some alone time together, she should’ve found an excuse to take her leave. Heh heh you will eventually become my woman, while as the Duke, this is also your mansion, so the things that I spoke to you about really can’t be considered inappropriate.”
“How will that do?! Sister Firewind is just like a blood sister to me, and she will definitely tease me for this.” Helen resentfully faced Han Shuo as she shouted in disagreement. She seemed like a young girl who had just tasted love for the first time.
“Alright, alright. I won’t mess with you anymore. I actually need to leave now.” Han Shuo prepared to leave the Helen Duchy. He wanted to go on a trip to the other seven duchies and see if he could find an opportunity to attach his mystical demons to the minds of a couple of the grand dukes. Afterwards, he would take advantage of the situation to gain control of a few of the grand dukes and gradually nibble away at the seven grand duchy’s power.
“Ar-Are you really going to just leave right now?” Helen nipped her lips, anxiously looking at Han Shuo. After hesitating for a moment, she lowered her head blushingly and suggested, “If you’re willing to stay and accompany me for a few days, I will agree to anything else as long as you don’t truly take me.”
After saying this, Helen’s head was nearly buried within her own towering peak. She couldn’t help but to secretly curse at herself for being such a despicable person, wondering how could she have taken the initiative to yield to Han Shuo so quickly, but in the end, she had said these words aloud, and since she’d done so, it was yielding to Han Shuo in one way or another.
Han Shuo blanked as his eyes fervently looked at the bashful face of Helen, a goddess to the citizens of Helen Duchy. His heart had suddenly became incessantly hot with impatience. Standing before him, gorgeous beyond measure, was the cause of this heat, a bashful Helen. She possessed a charm that could seize control of any men’s soul, causing Han Shuo to feel somewhat unable to control himself, nearly running amok.
“Alright then, I will stay and accompany you for a few days.” Han Shuo agreed and suddenly held her by the waist to lift her up. Then, under Helen’s bashful and soft cry, Han Shuo firmly face towards Helen’s rosy and fragrant lip, plundering her mouth deeply. Before Helen secretly left her mansion, she had temporarily handed some official business to a trustworthy subordinate. Then, Han Shuo accompanied Helen and roamed throughout the Helen Duchy for the next two days.
Helen Duchy was equivalent to a province within the Lancelot Empire, and there were indeed some beautiful sceneries within the several cities. Helen had always been too busy up to now and could never find an occasion to go sightseeing within her own duchy by herself. This time, she was seriously exhilarated to travel with Han Shuo, taking advantage of his existence.
Han Shuo and Helen were both able to defy gravity and fly through the air. In addition to this, Han Shuo also had sufficient power to protect Helen, and thus, for the purpose of having some alone time together, they were naturally heartless and decided to exclude Firewind once again.
Several famous mountains, large rivers, and beautiful landscapes of ravines instigated both of them to make full use of the two days and visit everything.
Truthfully, Han Shuo had completely explored Helen’s body to the greatest extent at his own convenience within these past two days. Besides the forbidden area of ecstasy, every other advantage on Helen’s body had been taken by Han Shuo. At the start, Helen would be reserved and resisted, but as Han Shuo slowly behaved more intimately with her, she gradually let go of herself. Two days later, there was no estrangement between the two any longer.
A downright torrential waterfall cascaded like a flood, torrenting downwards with a myriad of silver streaks. It fell into a deep, bottomless cold pond, causing droplets of water to splatter like sparkling and translucent crystals.
Within the surroundings of the deep and cold pond, much lush vegetation grew. A few flower buds released delicate fragrances, as various kinds of birds chirped happily, dancing through the air. The feeling of spring tinged the air as the area was embellished to the brim with a thriving depiction of life.
On the branches of an old, towering tree, that had leaves and branches that were verdantly big and lush, Han Shuo embraced Helen and gazed at the beautiful scenery with a smile. He listened as Helen murmured all the different interesting events that had happened during her time within Helon Duchy.
For the past two days, Helen had relinquished the arrogant and dignified aura that kingdom lords had. She was a dainty and delicate girl who’d fallen in love, accompanying Han Shuo as much as she liked, laughing and smiling with joy. The more she looked at the man in front of her, the more satisfied she became. Some kind of feeling that was called contentment slowly but leisurely bubbled up from the bottom of her heart.
Snuggling on Han Shuo’s bosom and slightly adjusting her posture, she looked at the scene in front of Han Shuo as she said, “If you want to conquer the seven grand duchies, there is one person that you should always keep in your mind.”
For a moment, Han Shuo stared blankly. Then, he yielded, puzzlingly asking, “Who?”
“Stratholme of Stranglethorn Vale!” Helen replied with a grave expression.
“Who is this person? How come I’ve never heard of him before?” Han Shuo became even more puzzled, as he confusingly inquired.
“The current seven grand duchies was once the imperial court of Verdun. When the imperial court of Verdun was in its golden age, it was not at all inferior to your Lancelot Empire. During the days of the imperial court of Verdun, the teacher of the state was the sacred swordmaster Stratholme. Although the imperial court of Verdun is no more and has since been divided into the seven grand duchies, the former teacher of the state, Stratholme, is still living in Stranglethorn Vale. This person should still be living healthily even now. If the seven grand dukes are invaded by foreign enemies, and on the verge of being destroyed, he will definitely leave Stranglethorn Vale to assist the seven grand dukedoms.” Helen gazed at Han Shuo as she explained.
Hearing such words from Helen, Han Shuo truly felt extremely astonished. He couldn’t help but to investigate the details, asking, “The imperial court of Verdun has disappeared for so long. Are you sure this guy is still alive?”
Nodding her head, Helen said, “So the legends say. Last time, when your Lancelot Empire invaded our seven grand dukedoms, Stratholme proved to have a crucial effect. On the surface, the seven grand dukes don’t have someone at the level of a sacred swordmaster nor a sacred magus. However, the Lancelot Empire received a warning from Stratholme. When they previously invaded our seven grand dukedoms, your Lancelot Empire did not dispatch their sacred swordmaster, nor their sacred magus to attack. When the imperial court of Verdun was still present, the Teacher of the State, Stratholme was precisely the sacred swordmaster well renowned throughout the continent. Even though the imperial court of Verdun has been the thing of the past for so long, Stratholme is still living healthily even to date. No one knows how powerful he truly is. However, legends say that, last time, after the teacher of the state Stratholme gave a warning to your Lancelot Empire’s powerhouses, they truly did not dare to use their sacred magus’ taboo magic to reverse your Lancelot Empire’s losing prospects.”
Han Shuo was aghast as he silently nodded his head. In his heart, he firmly remembered this name: Stratholme.