Chapter 92: Forest of The Elves (10)
T/N: Sorry everyone, I missed out a small part at the end of chapter 91 while translating it two days ago. So if you’ve read chapter 91, please head back and read the last few paragraphs I’ve just added. The addition starts from ‘The name of this dwarf was even longer than…’
While Tang Cuo carried his sword and hunted down people in the forest, Jin Cheng was inside the Royal Palace starting his escape show.
As McCaw stayed in his pocket and Celtic followed closely behind, flying arrows started filling up the sky. Like rain, they had this late autumn transform into the season of plum rain1.
Everything happened like this —
With McCaw leading the way, Jin Cheng and Celtic arrived at the area where the Elders lived without facing any challenge. But just when they were about to reach the destination, the royal guards suddenly ran amok, looking as though something big had happened.
As the two fake guards were almost exposed, the Princess appeared to rescue them at the critical moment.
McCaw was extremely excited when he saw Sophia. He wanted to show his identity immediately.
After thinking for a moment, Jin Cheng gave up the idea of looking for Evans and fled from this dangerous ground under Sophia’s cover. Sophia temporarily settled them into her room and even affectionately prepared food for them.
According to the revelation, which was muttered softly inside Sophia’s room, the princess and McCaw weren’t actually siblings by blood. When the previous Elf King travelled to the continent, he fell in love with a human woman and married her despite all the objection from the Elf race. But the woman, with her weak health, passed on after giving birth to McCaw.
The Elf King was depressed, and before McCaw reached adulthood, he returned to the embrace of the Goddess of Nature. But before his death, the King seemed to have a foreboding of his departure, so he adopted Sophia, whose parents had both died, as his daughter and asked her to accompany McCaw to grow up.
This poignant love story was spread through word of mouth by bards across the entire continent of Sicilit, and was especially loved by noble ladies.
Jin Cheng couldn’t quite feel the beauty of other people’s romance, but McCaw and Sophia looked like they had a rather good relationship, and the system finally gave him a ‘Side mission completed’ notification after the two recognised each other.
Now that the side mission was completed, Jin Cheng didn’t plan to continue spending time here. After listening to other people’s love stories, he should also go find his own. After all, even a hundred Evans combined wouldn’t be able to compare to a Tang Cuo.
But just when Jin Cheng was about to leave, he saw a particularly ugly puppet sitting beside Sophia’s bed.
The last time he saw such an ugly puppet was in the Principality of Flange. Its owner was a twisted man who wore a tassel earring on his right ear, a white suit and a black umbrella — Aesop The Rebel.
Jin Cheng slightly narrowed his eyes and his gaze fell back to Sophia. He walked over with an expression that looked as though nothing had happened, then picked up McCaw from the table in front of her.
“Squeak!” McCaw stared at Jin Cheng suspiciously with his bean-sized eyes. Sophia looked up at him in puzzlement, with an innocent smile and just the right amount of shyness on her face: “Lancelot, what’s the matter?”
Jin Cheng smiled: “It’s nothing, I just think it’s time to talk to the Prince about my reward. I saved him, so the Royal Palace should remunerate me with a generous sum, right?”
“Lancelot.” Celtic quickly blinked at him. How could the matter of reward be brought up face-to-face like this? Moreover, everything wasn’t yet over, so wasn’t this too early to talk about it?
Jin Cheng remained unmoved, still smiling.
Sophia quickly stood up: “Definitely. You saved my brother and saw through Elder Evans’ conspiracy. The whole Elf race will thank you.”
Jin Cheng: “But since someone like Elder Evans is still around, I can’t trust your people completely. Before the matter is over, let His Royal Highness stay with me. In this way, his safety will be better ensured.”
Celtic was struck dumb. Lancelot was never such an unreasonable man; he had always been kind and generous, so how could he…
Wait, if things turned into this direction, there must be some evil lurking aroundd. Celtic quietly clutched the hilt of his sword and moved a step towards Jin Cheng.
As though she had received a personal attack, for a long time, Sophia looked at Jin Cheng, her expression slightly gloomy.
Jin Cheng’s suspicion was growing even more, not just because of the puppet. Thinking about it carefully, how could Sophia turn up where the Elders lived so accidentally and save them so easily? What was the Princess doing there?
In this way, what she told Lancelot last night was even more debatable. If the puppet was indeed related to Aesop… Aesop knew Lancelot and Theodore, and he even knew Theodore’s true identity.
“Squeak.” McCaw stood up straight in Jin Cheng’s palm and patted his chest with his eyes full of sincerity, as if he wanted to assure that he wouldn’t forget Jin Cheng’s kindness.
Jin Cheng thought that McCaw was really a fool. For the rest of his life, he might have a more promising future living as a mouse than as a prince.
“My companion is still waiting for me to find him, we should go.” Jin Cheng swiftly made a decisive action and motioned to Celtic with his eyes, then he looked out the window seemingly subconsciously — He was standing very close to the window.
“But if you go out now, what if the guards see you again? Just wait a minute, I’ve sent someone to check the situation outside. I’ll personally see you off later.” Sophia advised him.
“No.” Jin Cheng put McCaw back in his pocket: “It’ll be too late if we don’t leave. Celtic!”
As his voice fell, Jin Cheng jumped out of the window at once, followed by Celtic. Sophia’s expression instantly changed and she hurriedly ran to the window to look at them, then she turned her head, shouting: “They’ve jumped out of the window and run away, hurry up!”
A dozen guards waiting outside broke into the door, while there were even more elves outside the window, rushing at them from different directions.
Even on the way to escape, Celtic didn’t forget to ask about the ins and outs of the matter. He was so curious. Although he believed Jin Cheng and ran away with him, how could the princess just suddenly turn against them?!
As Jin Cheng ran, he pulled out the pendant that Sophia gave him earlier: “She’s not betraying us. Since the very beginning, she has never been on our side.”
After that, he wanted to throw the pendant away, but he hesitated.
Now that Aesop’s puppet suddenly appeared, ‘those men’ that Evans mentioned might be from the Rose Sect. Evans tried to kill McCaw because of his impure blood, then what about Sophia?
He wouldn’t necessarily support Sophia because of this, because Sophia wasn’t actually the previous Elf King’s daughter and carried no royal blood. Her blood might not even be as ‘good’ as Evans himself.
In other words, Sophia might not be on Evans’ side either. It was probable that she joined the Rose Sect without Evans knowing.
On one hand, the Rose Sect came into contact with Evans, and on the other hand, they used Sophia as a spy, pulling a two-pronged strategy. When Evans got rid of McCaw, the Rose Sect also had control over the Secret Lake. At this point, they would eliminate Ivans, who they knew would never remain totally faithful to them, which would essentially wipe out any possible troubles in the future.
Sophia would be spared and became their perfect puppet.
In the blink of an eye, most of the truth had been revealed in Jin Cheng’s mind. At this moment, an arrow flew over and Jin Cheng turned sideways to dodge it, then he swiftly turned over the roof and slid down the black glazed tiles.
He put the pendant back again.
A wave of arrows chased after Jin Cheng over the roof and descended in a curved trajectory. Jin Cheng rushed to the eaves, jumped up and pounced onto the spire right next door.
Raising his hand to hook the top of the spire, Jin Cheng firmly flipped and steadied his stance. After gesturing Celtic to sit down, he took out the small harp to counter-attack the arrows flying at them from all directions.
It was impossible for the elves of the continent of Sicilit to have heard this famous song. The little harp was unable to show off the original melody, so this was Jin Cheng’s improved version.
He named this move — Sound Bomb.
Amidst the clanging that was as loud as that of a battlefield, the sound waves rapidly rippled, banging indiscriminately at all the oncoming arrows. The next second, “boom, boom, boom”, every single arrow burst.
Having followed Jin Cheng’s instruction, Celtic was hiding behind the roof. Seeing this strike, he raised both hands to cover his head, for fear that the explosion might crash on him any time now.
Lancelot’s magic was so powerful.
Celtic praised from the bottom of his heart. Seeing Jin Cheng withdrawing, he hurriedly followed after. McCaw just lay in Jin Cheng’s pocket, his heart pounding hard and his bean-sized eyes full of tears.
The situation came too fast, but he already understood everything. However, his hands were tied now and he could only cover his mouth, not letting himself make any sound that might drag down Jin Cheng’s attack.
“Where are we going?!” Celtic shouted.
“To deliver a gift!” Jin Cheng jumped over another roof, his vigorous posture looking even lighter than an elf’s. His hands felt a little itchy. It would be fantastic if he could use his bow at this time, but, What a pity.
Looking down, more and more elves were charging out from the palace or standing at the windows, poking their heads out to gaze at Jin Cheng and Celtic jumping above them. It was such a lively scene.
The guards chased after him while other elves tried to block him from the side, but they couldn’t corner Jin Cheng in any way. The only one who was suffering was likely Celtic, who were running behind Jin Cheng. He ran so desperately he thought he was almost out of breath, and occasionally he needed Jin Cheng to turn back to rescue him.
Such loud movements quickly attracted the attention of other royal families.
“Your Royal Highness!” An old man in a robe stopped Sophia in the corridor: “What happened?”
Sophia took a deep breath, forcing herself to smile: “Elder Philgarro, some outsiders have sneaked it. There are only two of them, and the guards have already gone after them. You’re not feeling well, please go back and rest first. Don’t be bothered by this little matter, otherwise Sophia will be immensely worried.”
But Philgarro didn’t accept this explanation: “His Royal Highness has been missing for several days and now there are intruders, how can I feel at ease? Where’s Evans? Ask him to come to see me!”
Knowing that her attempt to fool him didn’t work, Sophia came up with another plan: “They seem to be heading towards Elder Evans’ place, maybe this matter is related to him… Elder Philgarro, please rest assured, I’ll send someone over right away!”
Evans couldn’t be kept.
That Lancelot must have noticed something, and if he meets Evans, I may be exposed.
Sophia hurriedly lifted her skirt and took her leave. The footsteps echoing in the long corridor sounded like her heart that was beating faster and faster, growing uneasier and uneasier.
Philgarro looked at her back with solemn eyes, then he looked out the window again and frowned at the noise outside. He began to wonder if he had done something wrong. If he had immediately asked for help from Luo Island the moment he discovered the abnormal situation at the Secret Lake instead of holding onto the Elf race’s pride and unwillingness to let outsiders spy on their weakness, then…
But now it was too late to say anything.
Philgarro was so angry his face was as white as a sheet. He flicked his long sleeves: “Send someone to investigate. What have Evans and the Princess been doing in the past few days? Also, block the Forest immediately.”
No one saw an ugly puppet pull up a corner of the curtain and crawl out of Sophia’s bedroom window. It slowly took out a small black umbrella from its pocket, opened it, then jumped down from the sill holding the umbrella in his tiny hand.
At this point, Jin Cheng finally reached his original destination, the Elders’ residence. Behind him was another wave of arrows. Seeing Celtic already sweating profusely, he instantly grabbed his back collar and pulled him behind the roof.
Celtic lay down with exhaustion.
“We’ll act separately. I’ll lead them away later, and you’ll sneak out of the Royal Palace.” Jin Cheng’s voice rang in his ears. Celtic quickly raised his head to say that he could still hold on, but Jin Cheng had already rushed out.
Gritting his teeth, Celtic heeded Jin Cheng’s proposal and ran in the opposite direction.
In the front, Evans finally appeared.
The corner of Jin Cheng’s mouth was slightly raised as he increased his speed. After several jumps up and down, he landed onto a tower, climbed along the edge with both hands then knocked out the guard inside with one strike.
Taking down the guard and snatching his bow were smoothly completed in one blow. Jin Cheng took out the pendant again and tied it to the tip of the arrow, then he drew the bow, aiming at Evans, who had turned up on another tower about 200 meters away.
“Swoosh —” The arrow carried the pendant and precisely nailed it into the wall behind Evans.
The guards steadily protected Evans, but they were a tad stupefied to find that the arrow wasn’t directed at him at all. It was Evans who reacted the fastest. He removed the pendant from the arrow with a frown on his face
This pendant looked like something that belonged to the Elf race, but it seemed very ordinary. Evans couldn’t remember where he had seen it, so Jin Cheng gave him the answer.
“Does Elder Evans recognise the pendant that Her Royal Highness gave me?”
As Evans was about to ask him what he meant, a guard ran over, drew his sword and stabbed towards Evans. A commotion quickly rose on the tower. Evans was shocked to realise that something had gone out of his control, and immediately he blew the whistle hanging on his neck.
The ear-splitting whistle instantly pierced the sky.
Very soon, the Griffon’s earth-shattering roar was heard from afar.
Clouds and mist began to surge as the giant Griffin flew towards this place. The beast’s shadow cast when it spread its wings was so large that it could cover an entire tower.
Evans’ eyes revealed much delight, but there was a hint of sorrow hidden amidst his joy — who wanted to kill him? Just now, when that man suddenly tossed over a pendant that seemed to belong to the Princess, what was his purpose?
In any case, he had to first leave with the Griffin to escape this mess.
But what Evans never expected was that after the Griffin hovered above the tower for a while, it abandoned him and flew elsewhere. He quickly ran after it to see the man who gave him the pendant effortlessly climb onto the beast’s back before swaggeringly flying away.
Before he vanished, the man turned around and waved at Evans with a smile.
“Stop! Stop!” Evans totally flew off the handle and frantically blew his whistle, but the Griffin only shuddered a bit and made a few hissing noises without ever looking back.
At this moment, the pendant in his hand glowed, and a captivating, elegant male voice came out from it: “Huh? Why does this aura seem wrong?”
Evans couldn’t help but shiver, then he threw the pendant to the ground: “Who is it?!”
The man chuckled: “So it’s you, Evans. I seem to have been discovered.”
Hearing this laughter, Evans obviously figured out this person’s identity. He thought of Jin Cheng’s words and his expression turned unsightly at once, then cold sweat started pouring out all over his body.
“Thud thud”, the sound of footsteps came from the spiral staircase, and he turned around immediately to find that — Her Royal Highness Princess Sophia had arrived.
On the other side, Jin Cheng, who had finished his deed and dusted all the dirt off his clothes, rode the Griffin and flew away from the Royal Palace. He picked up Celtic on the way, and under Celtic’s guidance, he headed towards the Secret Lake.
Translator and reviewer at Strictly Bromance blog. In essence, she lives to indulge in plot-driven stories sprinkled with camaraderie and slow-burn drama-free romance, especially more so if they belong to adventure, mystery or supernatural genre. A trope that she always thirsts after: “Comrades who go through life and death together”.