"This is my other younger cousin, Lan Yue, Lan Ling's younger sister," Li Mingyu introduced Claire according to her instructions.
"Greetings, your highness." Claire smiled and bowed again. She was neither servile nor overbearing.
"Haha, Miss Lan, hello." The crown prince was smiling, but he was actually secretly astonished. Although the girl was so young, her features were already extremely refined. It could be seen how beautiful she would be when she grew up. At the very minimum, she would not lose to her elder sister, Lan Ling.
"Your highness, this is the sword my sister owes you." Claire took the box from Li Mingyu and handed it to the crown prince.
"This..." The crown prince was a bit uncomfortable.
"Elder sister said that she's very apologetic for breaking your highness's sword that day." Claire was raising the box to the crown prince, no intentions of taking it back.
The crown prince accepted the box. Meanwhile, his gaze was wandering. Li Mingyu secretly felt amused. Sure enough, as Claire predicted, the crown prince was looking for Lan Ling.
"Your highness, if you're not busy, please stay for a meal." Li Mingyu invited, smiling.
"That's fine. Is Miss Lan Ling not here?" The crown prince finally couldn't help but ask.
"Cousin Lan Ling just arrived at our country. She hasn't adjusted yet and is resting." Li Mingyu lied on the spot.
"Oh, is that so." The crown prince paused. Li Mingyu's words seemed suspicious. But in any case, why was Lan Ling not seeing anyone, including him? Unless she was actually feeling unwell?
That afternoon, the Li clan elders were full of awe. How long had it last been when the Li clan was at a level where they could eat with the crown prince? And yet, currently, the crown prince was sitting at the main seat, conversing with Li Mingyu and laughing at times.
Claire ate peacefully, noticing out of the corner of her eye that the crown prince was a little distracted. Of course, she knew what he was thinking about. She sighed inwardly. Who would have thought that the crown prince was also ordinary, actually fascinated by Lan Ling. Although it wasn't very obvious, it was already beginning to show. But Claire wasn't too worried. She could see that the crown prince was no simple figure. He knew how to see the big picture. Even if he was very pleased with Lan Ling, if it came down to it, he could sacrifice Lan Ling for the greater good of the country in a heartbeat. Such a person was a true ruler.
After lunch, the crown prince still hadn't met who he had came to see, but he couldn't say it either, so he just left.
The Li clan was still as busy as a marketplace, flowers and gifts continuously sent in. Even Li Mingyu felt a little bit of a headache. Meanwhile, the Li clan elders were extremely excited. How long had it been since the Li clan had been so active? Could the Li clan reclaim its radiance? Their gazes towards Claire were now completely different. Before, their gazes were filled with hatred and fear, but now, they were fawning and full of hope. They could see the chance of the Li clan reclaiming its glory! Just thinking about it made them enthusiastic. They couldn't care less about who was the one bringing back their glory any more.
At nightfall, Claire stood alone at a high rooftop, a soft breeze greeting her face, her thoughts wandering far away. Reviving the Li clan would strengthen Lagark. Was it right or wrong? If Grandfather knew, would he be angry? If Mother knew, would she be content?
"Wifey, what are you worrying about? Such an expression doesn't suit you at all," a familiar voice suddenly crept right into Claire's ear.
Claire's eyes instantly widened. She turned around quickly and saw the person floating beside her.
"Feng Yixuan..." Claire stared fixed at the person before her. His red hair was still so flamboyant, his dark eyes staring at Claire intensely, just floating, smiling. Claire hadn't even sensed when he had come near!
Wait a minute! Claire stared at Feng Yixuan with wide eyes. He was floating? And there was a wind whirling around him?! Looking carefully, there was actually a pair of translucent wings extending from Feng Yixuan's back, transparent and shapeless! She watched intently as Feng Yixuan descended and stood beside Claire, grinning.
"You're different." Claire said finally after a long time. Yes, the feeling Feng Yixuan gave off was completely different from before. He had become powerful! Extremely powerful!
"My seal was undone." Feng Yixuan laughed. "In the future, I can protect my wifey. And I will continue to become stronger until I can destroy the mark on your hand." Although he was laughing, his eyes were filled with determination.
"Weren't you ice attributed?" Claire was a bit puzzled as she watched the wings on Feng Yixuan's back slowly fade away.
"Now I'm ice AND wind attributed," Feng Yixuan said a little cockily. "What do you think? Aren't I awesome? I'm now a double elemental magician."
"You undid your seal?" Claire's eyes sharpened as she asked in a low voice, "I remember Shui Wenmo said that you were currently totally unable to bear the power of the seal. Also, what is the seal?"
"Aren't I standing here perfectly fine?" Feng Yixuan shrugged and said casually, "My seal was created the moment I was born, because every few generations, an exceptional person possessing the powerful ability to control wind appears in the Feng clan*. But because the power is too strong, many people of the past were shredded by wind blades before they could use the could control the power properly, so every time such a person is born, their power is sealed immediately." Although Feng Yixuan was saying this very casually, Claire understood exactly how dangerous Feng Yixuan's actions where. No wonder Shui Wenmo had tried to stop him so desperately. One mistake and he would have been torn to shreds.
*Feng means wind. Dunno if I mentioned that before. BTW Shui means water so hmmm
"But hah! I'm perfectly fine right now. Ah, wifey, you're still wearing the glove I gave you, haha. One day, I'll personally take off the glove for you..." Feng Yixuan grabbed Claire's right hand with one swipe, laughing heartily, but before he finished speaking, Feng Yixuan's handsome face was greeted with Claire's fist.
Feng Yixuan hugged his face, grimacing painfully as he howled and squatted down.
Claire retracted her fist coldly. "If you keep on screaming, I'll beat you until your face is full of bruises. If you touch me again, I'll slaughter you."
Feng Yixuan, still covering his face, muttered, "It's not like there's anyone else around.
As Claire's eyes sharpened, Feng Yixuan immediately shut up.
Claire stared at the crouching Feng Yixuan, her feelings complex. He had actually risked his life to undo the seal.
"Right, how did you find this place? How did you know I was here?" Claire suddenly thought.
"Humph!" Feng Yixuan bounced up and down very proudly. "Of course I knew. I've known where you were the moment you entered the city. And I also know that you will represent the Li clan at the martial arts tournament."
Claire's eyes instantly flashed. Right, the Feng clan was one of the four major clans of Lagark. How could they not be aware?
"Yes, I will represent the Li clan." Claire nodded slightly.
"When the time comes, I will be representing the Feng clan. Shui Wenmo will be representing the Shui clan and the sworn enemy of the Li clan, the Hua clan, will send Hua Yilin. Hua Yilin is very brutal and cunning and, unfortunately, is truly strong. Before, both Shui Wenmo and I weren't his match. But now, humph!" Feng Yixuan's tone had turned icy as he finished speaking. Evidently, both Feng Yixuan and Shui Wenmo had suffered in the hands of this person called Hua Yilin.
Claire fell silent, pondering.
"I hope I face him the first round so I get the chance to beat him," Feng Yixuan said coldly, gritting his teeth. Of course, he was hoping that Claire and Hua Yilin would not become opponents. It was too dangerous. Although the martial arts tournament was only called a friendly competition, if there really was a mishap, there would be no way to confirm if it was on accident or on purpose. He didn't want Claire to be the insane Hua Yilin's first opponent.
"Is he a magician or a warrior?" Claire inquired.
"Both. Actually, he shouldn't be classified as a warrior or magician. He can control water with his ancient technique and mold water. He's so proficient, he can condense water from air, difficult to deal with." Feng Yixuan was completely serious.
"I understand." Claire nodded. Fortunately, she had learned about him beforehand for if she drew lots and faced him in the first round before witnessing his capabilities.
"Claire, I need to go back. I only have half an hour. See you two months later, wifey. Take care of yourself." Feng Yixuan flew up immediately with a swoosh, fast enough so that Claire couldn't react in time and punch him again. He glanced meaningfully at Claire, then left, flapping away.
Claire watched as Feng Yixuan disappeared into the night, silent for a while.
"How thoughtful of him. He came specially just to tell you about Hua Yilin." Li Yuewen's voice suddenly appeared behind Claire.
"Cousin Yuewen." Claire turned and was met with Li Yuewen's apathetic expression.
"That guy was Feng Yixuan?" Although it was a question, her tone was certain.
"Yes." Claire nodded.
"After that fellow was defeated by you at Amparkland, he became a running joke. After he returned, that t-rex mother of his chased him for hundreds of streets." A delighted smile appeared on Li Yuewen's lips, taking joy in his misfortune.
Claire went . If Li Yuewen hadn't mentioned it, she would have forgotten about it.
"But in any case, if you face him in the tournament, what will he do?" Li Yuewen crossed her arms, looking far into the distance of the dark night.
If she faced Feng Yixuan in the tournament, what would happen?
Claire stared into the vast darkness of the night, silent.