Traveling alone in Western Continent would certainly make anyone unhappy. For two days, Wang Lu has been looking in and around Dragon City, yet completely failed to find any trace of Aya. It was as if the Knight King has completely disappeared from this world. Even with Wang Lu's ability, he was also helpless.
Of course, considering that Aya has already obtained her previous legendary level power, if she deliberately tried to hide herself from Wang Lu, with the latter's current strength, it was indeed impossible for him to find her.
Since the other side did not want to meet him, then he had to accept this, however reluctant he might be. With a wry smile, Wang Lu convinced himself to accept the reality and then silently embark on a return trip.
Because he didn't want to return like a bereaved dog, Wang Lu didn't rush his return trip. At the same time, he also observed the changes in Brettonia and Western Continent.
Bedivere was a qualified ruler. His good performance was even beyond Wang Lu's expectation.
Wang Lu has already long calculated that after lying wait in low key for a hundred years, this former member of the Knights of the Round Table, who has managed to maintain the tinder of Bretton Dragon Clan, was really not that simple. Therefore, after the overall situation has been decided, he intended for Aya to let go of her position so that Bedivere, with his superior rationale, could assume it.
Bedivere has done a very nice job. Not only he has succeeded in controlling the overall situation in Brettonia with his identity as a Regent, in turn, he also used Aya's prestige to consolidate his authority. Were it not for every night he repented in front of the portrait of the Knight King, Wang Lu would've suspected that he was an evil mastermind behind the scene.
Bedivere's loyalty to the Knight King was unquestionable, but as a ruler, his zeal for power was also remarkable. Over the past hundred years, he has used all kinds of extraordinary methods to preserve the legacy of Bretton Dragon Clan and Knights, but this century-long experience was enough to change anyone.
The thing that truly made Wang Lu admire Bedivere happened when Aya had disappeared for the fifth day. At that time, Wang Lu casually wandered in Brettonia and unknowingly arrived in Golden Flash Town. Unsurprisingly, he did not find the whereabouts of Aya. In fact, even if he could guess the whereabouts of Aya, with Aya's current strength, he could detect him before he was near her, and she could thus perfectly hide herself.
Nothing more than paying a tribute to the old memories, Wang Lu deliberately chose that centuries-old inn and was surprised to find that the previously entertaining young girl Nicole was actually there!
Wang Lu remembered that Nicole and the others were chosen to join the Dragon City Guards. Upon seeing Wang Lu, Nicole was also surprised. She explained that she was initially a Dragon City Guard, but the things that she saw recently in Dragon City has made her realized that the life in Golden Flash Town was more suitable for her. As a Dragon City Guard, she has also participated in the two decisive battles. Although her contribution was not much due to her being a relatively new guard, after all, it was still a contribution. Therefore, her resigning from her post hasn't been met with much opposition. The process was very smooth.
Wang Lu initially wanted to leave that same day, but Nicole warmly exhorted him to stay for a day. And it was in that day Wang Lu saw a surprising thing.
He saw Aya. Forever glorious, hard-to-look-at-ahead Aya. The girl was bathed in glory—wearing a silver-colored but still beautiful armor, and holding the sword symbolizing the royal power of Brettonia, Caliburn. Her face was brimming with the majesty of a king that wherever she went, people worshipped her. Behind Aya, hundreds of Dragon City Guards lined up in a neat ceremonial line.
Seeing that kind of Aya, the shock in Wang Lu's heart was like a ship being thrown around in the stormy sea. Because he didn't think that after missing for a few days, Aya has actually chosen to wallow in the mire with Bedivere? If not, perhaps she could move freely in Brettonia but she could not order the Dragon City Guards. Could be it that she has chosen to collaborate with Bedivere? This development was really hard for him to understand!
However, very quickly, Wang Lu discovered that there were too many questionable points on this Aya. Although the appearance was generally the same, and even the temperaments were quite similar, it was day and night away with the Aya that he knew. After being constantly together with her, Wang Lu could always perceive little things that were different. Especially when she swaggered in Golden Flash Town to deliver her speech and then moved in the most luxurious inn, the questionable points became more and more clear. For example...
"Tsk, that breast size, clearly there's something sinister here. How could the real thing be open and wide like that? Moreover, seems like her height has increased by two points, but with her age and spirit of the brave departed body, how could it possible for her to grow!"
Moreover, how could the real Aya not have a reaction when he was within two hundred steps from her?
Wang Lu finally determined that her identity was the appearance of the former Archbishop Rowan. This senior member of the church has previously jumped to interfere during the first decisive battle of Dragon City, but was exposed as a member of the Priory of Zion. Later on, he was able to preserve himself in the chaotic aftermath, but has lost his former glory. Now, he came alone to the Golden Flash Town in low-key manner. Even the Dragon City Guards were also cold and indifferent to him. However, his appearance has enabled Wang Lu to see through the actual situation.
"So that's how it is. Without Faceless One, the Priory of Zion has actually cooperated with Bedivere."
This was the natural choice for the Priory of Zion. And once the two have cooperated, Jean d'Arc, previously hidden by the Priory of Zion, has finally come into play.
The Aya before him was merely a Western fake good. This was a big disappointment for Wang Lu, but he was also amazed by the methods of Bedivere. With Jean d'Arc, the existence of Aya was irrelevant. After all, Bedivere's weakest point has already been patched up.
As the former member of the Knights of the Round Table, his status was slightly weaker than Aya. Even though Aya has assumed the identity of the daughter of the Knight King, on the legitimacy point, Aya has more right to control the country than him. At the same time, his beloved woman was the church's Holy Woman, which cast a huge shadow on his reputation. Therefore, as a regent, it was difficult for Bedivere to match the position of the king. If Aya truly wanted to struggle for power with him, it would be really troublesome.
Therefore, he directly used Jean d'Arc. Needless to say, he used this puppet to lay his prestige. At the same time, it cut off the means for Aya if she later decided to wrest power away from him. Although from a political point of view, it was not aboveboard, it was absolutely effective.
As for the Caliburn, Wang Lu had a very difficult time to determine whether it was fake or not, but most likely it was fake. Because the real Aya would not discard her sword. And with how many things that needed to be done in Brettonia, no one could cope with the legendary level Aya.
Seeing this Jean d'Arc, Wang Lu completely lost his interest in Brettonia, including Bedivere. This man who had impressed him with his loyalty has been reduced to the category of people unworthy to be paid attention to.
Those who were obsessed with power struggle were fools. This was Wang Lu's consistent view. Since this land was being controlled by a fool, it was no longer worth paying attention to. As for Aya, since she clearly didn't want to see him, why would he insist?
After a few decades, when Wang Lu has advanced to Jindan and then Yuanying, he could revisit this place again. At that time, with his power, he could force Aya to take the medicine.
After bidding his farewell to Nicole and Golden Flash Town, Wang Lu no longer succumbed to the old memory. He immediately traveled to the Eastern part of the continent, ready to return to Nine Regions. It took him less than a week to rush to the east. In Deep Earth City, the City Master, Haddock personally received him and arranged a special vessel to deliver him through the endless sea.
After asking for details, Wang Lu discovered that he had a very loud reputation among the Eastern City States. The story of him executing two legendary level Holy Ones and Five Archbishops in the King's Treasure House has spread far and wide. Despite the fact that it has too many coincidences, Wang Lu still became the hero of the Eastern City States people. If Wang Lu hadn't been decisive in his determination to go home, Sir Haddock had intended to take Wang Lu for a one-month long tour on the Eastern City States.
At the dock, Wang Lu found out that the courteous reception of the Eastern City States people was absolutely genuine. There was a mighty high-rank warship made with the best alchemy—its value could not even be measured in monetary units such as silver or magic coins. And on this ship, he was the only honored guest. On the doorway of the luxurious bedroom, two rows of beautiful sexy maids were respectfully waiting for him. With touching and stupefied expression, it seemed like they were waiting for his command, or his visit...
However, Wang Lu didn't have the mood for all of that. Instead, he directly walked through those maids towards the door, opened it, put down his luggage and then retreated three steps back, frightened by the person behind the door.
The person behind the door was Aya. Wearing a simple yet dignified dress, she sat in front of the desk in the middle of the bedroom, smiling gently at him.
"Wait a minute, you're not Aya. You are… Jean d'Arc!"
From the subtle differences between the woman's brow and the obviously different curve of the chest, Wang Lu has recognized the opposite party's true identity.
Meeting her at this time, Wang Lu's mood was really bad, because the surge of the pleasant surprise was quickly replaced with the feeling of loss. These ups and downs feelings were really numbing. "Bedivere, are you out of your mind? Instead of playing a king in Brettonia, why must you come and provoke me? Believe it or not, I can go back and break your regime in just three months!"
It was usually a joke for a not yet Jindan Stage cultivator to say such words, however, since this joke came from Wang Lu, it was highly likely that even Bedivere would not be able to laugh at it.
However, Jean d'Arc smiled. "We haven't met for just a few days, do you really not recognize me?"
How could he play nice with such a puppet? "I don't need to look at a person's face to recognize, but just through that person's chest. I already recognize you through your blooming chest."
The next moment, the atmosphere suddenly turn icy cold, which caused Wang Lu to tremble. But then an idea immediately flashed through his mind. "Holy mother, dead cook, it's really you! When did you have a breast enhancement surgery?"
The woman before him helplessly sighed. "Think again?"
At this time, Wang Lu has already calmed down, so he once again seriously looked at the woman. He then curiously asked, "Have you united your spirit of the brave departed with your true body? Did you snatch the one used by Bedivere?"
"This is mine, why would I rob it?" Aya shook her head. "I just talked to him candidly and made a deal."
"A deal?" Wang Lu curiously repeated, because his impression of Aya was that she was a person who could never compromise in the name of a deal.
Aya said, "I take back this body, in return, I lay the foundation for his rule."
Lay the foundation for his rule? Wang Lu immediately thought of something and then asked in disbelief, "You gave him the Caliburn?"
Aya smiled. "Interestingly, he really took the Caliburn and was really able to hold it." Then her smile turned a bit wry. "Perhaps for the Caliburn, he was more suitable to be the king of Brettonia."
Upon hearing this, Wang Lu was startled. "That day, I saw Jean d'Arc in Golden Flash Town, could it be…"
Aya nodded her head. "That's Bedivere's avatar. As a high order profession, the transformation of physical form was not difficult. Moreover, he also has the most professional makeup artist around, so he could imitate me quite well."
Thinking how that day, his eyes had lingered in the other side's chest repeatedly, a shiver uncontrollably went down Wang Lu's spine.
After a long time, Wang Lu asked again, "Then what about you? As a Knight, how could you hand over your sword to other people like that?"
Aya replied, "Caliburn is no longer my sword. I already found a more appropriate sword."
With that, she slowly stood up, pulled Wang Lu's hand, and then when he responded, gently hugged him.
"I have already found my sword of victory."
Epilogue: Eat As Many As There Is
Being hugged by Aya, Wang Lu went stiff for a full quarter an hour. Not until Aya's cheek had turned slightly red that she let go of him. Wang Lu stopped himself from shaking his head, then he opened his mouth, only to gawk for a long time. Finally, he said, "The feeling on the front part is really different than before."
The ensuing cold atmosphere caused Wang Lu to feel that he was in great danger. Thereupon, he immediately shifted the topic. "Jean d'Arc and your spirit of the brave departed don't look quite the same."
Aya said, "When I pulled out the Caliburn, I obtained the blessing of the Dragon Clan; from then on, I would never grow old. However, at that time, I was only fourteen years old… When I turned into the spirit of the brave departed, my body no longer enjoyed that blessing. And in the period when we separated, it got a bit of growth, which is what you see right now."
Wang Lu sighed with emotion. "That is to say, your original body has an innate disability? Never got through puberty? Indeed, you can't judge a person by appearance!"
"..." Aya suddenly felt regret that she had abandoned the Caliburn.
"In short, you plan to repent by resolutely discarding your delusion and acting like an arm-flinging shopkeeper?"
"Arm-flinging shopkeeper?" Aya lightly smiled. "These days, I traveled to a lot of places in Brettonia and met a lot of people. When I was in a village, I saw a young boy and a young girl. The two were friends since childhood. However, the boy was the descendant of a Knight, while the little girl grew up in the church. The expulsion of Holy Light Religion from the land has given them a tremendous impact. The little girl almost faced a catastrophe, however, the young boy, who has always been seen as promising, always insisted on being in the front of the girl, not hesitating to shelter her from everything. When the young girl asked him why, the young boy said, because he is a knight, and his dream is to become the Knight King… Although this dream is really immature, seeing him, I realize that the true spirit of chivalry will never die."
Wang Lu smiled and asked, "Perhaps that child is only a rare instance."
Aya pointed at her self. "A rare instance? What about me? When the country is torn apart, I was willing to bravely step forward, that's just a rare instance."
After a pause, Aya earnestly said, "Moreover, I don't think that I really left Brettonia. Whenever I close my eyes, I seem to be able to hear the calling sound from the people of Brettonia."
When Wang Lu thought about this, he became absolutely terrified, because there would be a lot of couples who, in the middle of intercourse, call out her name in excitement… Isn't that scary? However, since Aya enjoyed it, who was he to forbid her? In short… no matter what she thought, the important thing was that she was willing to go back with him.
"In Brettonia, I've done everything that I can. But in Nine Regions, there is some unfinished business. I thought that I would not have the chance to embark on Nine Regions again, but…" Aya was somewhat sentimental but also somewhat nostalgic. "After boarding this vessel, I feel like I am going home."
However, after saying this, Aya immediately cheered up. "Since I am going to return to Nine Regions, I'm going to resume my previous profession."
"What?" Wang Lu was shocked—did this girl want to retaliate against the society after losing her throne?
Aya said, "When I was still in Brettonia, I seriously consulted a few court chefs, which improved my skill, so you can rest assured."
"It's because they're your Brettonia court chefs that I don't feel assured…"
However, no matter what he said, in the face of Aya's painstaking effort, did Wang Lu have another choice?
Aya confidently smiled and left the bedroom. After a while, she brought up a carefully cooked dish. This time, her craft did seem to have some progress. On the tray, the golden roasted chicken exuded the meat and wine fragrance.
"Braised chicken with wine, why don't you try it?"
Wang Lu tried a bite of it, only to feel a smooth fragrance slip into his tongue. Unexpectedly, it was actually delicious! Of course, there was still a gap compared to the skill of a court's chef, but compared to her previous abomination effort, it was really miles apart.
However, he must really say that the taste of this Braised chicken with wine seemed a bit off?
"Really?" Feeling a bit surprise, Aya also tasted the chicken. "Oh, it's true, it's not the same as when I did in practice. Strange, I used the high-grade mead that you brought, so the quality should be better than what I used in practice."
Wang Lu felt that there was an explosion sound in his head. "You say what mead?"
"The mead that you brought with you here."
"How… could that mead be in your hand?" Wang Lu hurriedly went to the door to grope the luggage that he left there, and sure enough, the mead had disappeared! To guarantee its effectiveness, once it was laced with that special medicine, it must not be put back inside his mustard seed bag, therefore… Unexpectedly, Aya had actually taken it away!
"You didn't put it in your mustard seed bag, and when I opened it, the smell is okay." Aya then became somewhat worried. "Is it not usable?"
Wang Lu took a deep breath, calmed his emotion, and then smiled. "It's nothing, it could be used. I just want to say, why don't we eat this plate of roast chicken together?"somebody who asks others to work but does nothing itself