Chapter 257 “Fatal beauty”
“Hanyue” is a very beautiful name; likewise, Hanyue herself was also a beautiful girl.
(Her name is a direct translation, meaning “Regretful Moon” which will fit nicely with her role in the story.)
However, like the old saying goes: “beauties don’t live long”, hence the reason for her destined tragic life.
Hanyue is sixteen years old this year. She does not have milky white skin like the other girls of the Roland continent; instead, her skins are silky smooth and carried a golden wheat color. Those that knew her would always say her eyes are as bright as the night’s moon. Unfortunately, her beauty will bring her nothing but misfortune in life.
Hanyue’s father was the son of a tribal chief and her mother an average woman with a face that can only be called ordinary. But it was exactly because of this characteristic that saved her mother from becoming a plaything of the slave traders.
To sum it all up, Hanyue was an offspring of a slave, thus making her a slave as well.
She was born on the Roland continent. Although her skin and appearance carried obvious traits of the Southeastern Sea, she could write simple words like her name in the Roland language.
However, being a child of a slave, Hanyue was destined to be a slave like her parents … … And the saddest part of it all was that her stunning beauty manifested itself very early in her life. Compared to all the youths in her childhood, Hanyue always stood above the rest, yet she could not understand why everyone would look at her with pity and shame in their eyes.
After slightly growing up, Hanyue finally understood the meaning of those eyes.
Beauty became her greatest sin!
At age twelve, Hanyue was bought by another slave trader from her original owner. From then on she was forced to undergo training…. Those shameful practices. Imagine a twelve year old girl completely deprived of dignity and forced to learn how to please the opposite sex…..
If she continues to follow the normal life of a beautiful slave girl, Hanyue could already see her future fate at the tender age of twelve.
Yes, because of her beautiful body, her future will be bought by a wealthy aristocrat or businessman, and then become a plaything to be ravaged by her owner. After the master tires himself of her, she will be thrown to another master…. Later on in life if she became too old and ragged without any more charm, she might be randomly married off to a plantation slave or laboring slave…. And then have a child with that person to continue the cycle all over again using her children….. If her child was a boy, he will be sent off to endless labor. If her child was a girl with enough beauty as Hanyue, the girl will also share the same fate as her mother. This is the fate of all slaves in the empire! This was her fate!
Therefore, when Hanyue and the other girls were sold to the Northwest Army, Hanyue fell into despair over life. As a child, her mother would occasionally tell her stories about the Southeastern Sea and the pearl like islands that were distributed across that vast blue ocean.
Pearl … … Never in her life did Hanyue have the chance to see one.
Then subsequently, the god of fate played a big joke on her and twice at that.
The first time she was told that she would be ‘rewarded’ as a gift to a powerful general in the Northwest Army. What is the Northwest Army, she didn’t know. But she knew that her life as a young maiden was about to come to an end. Those shameful and elicit things she was forced to practice and learn will soon come into practice…… Also, she cannot do anything to upset her future master, otherwise, her parents back home will face a miserable fate.
Yet a day later, things completely changed. She and the other girls were thrown into a dark cell. In there she could smell the foul stench of rot and death. Even worse, some of the other older girls were whipped and tortured before her.
At the time Hanyue didn’t know but because of the assassination attempt during the banquet, she and the other girls were already sentenced to death.
Another day passed and she along with the other naked girls were forcefully locked inside a cage to be taken to the outskirts of the nearby forest. There, they became their plaything, their “prey”.
The second time was when she thought she was about die. Those rude barbaric soldiers waved their blades in front of her and forcefully drove her into the forest like animals. All she could hear in the background while she ran were their cruel and menacing laughter.
When running in the wood, her beautiful legs were scratched by thorns and her stamina quickly depleted from being starved overnight. She haven’t ate for a full day already, how can she not be drained?
Hanyue was prepared for death at this point…. Compared to what awaited her in life, maybe death was a better choice.
However, when listening to the screaming cries of the other girls in the forest, Hanyue could not suppress the fear that gripped her heart. Maybe it was her survival instincts in the works, but her desire to live stood above everything else at that moment.
She struggled with all her might to run, even when her feet suffered from deep cuts, she felt no pain… that was until….. She fainted.
It can be said with no exaggeration that the two twists in her fate brought out completely different outcomes in her “future”.
By the time she awoke from her slumber, she was already grouped up with some of the other girls. Out of the ten girls caged together with her, only six remained – this includes herself.
Does this mean she can continue to live now? Or is she going to be handed off to a new owner? A plaything for the new owner?
Hanyue and the other girls ended up together in a carriage without any indication or where they were heading off to, nor did anyone explain the situation to them. However, it seems their luck wasn’t so bad. At the very least the new owner gave them food, clothes, and blankets to keep warm at night.
Eight days later, Hanyue came up to a big city. To her surprise, she had never seen such a big city in her life after living in the Northwest for so many years!
The carriage she was in wasn’t sealed tight. From a small cracked hole in the wooden board, Hanyue peered out from a corner and saw things she never dreamed possible: a huge fortification wall, people wearing strange garments from the prairie, hordes of livestock being herded, gallant soldiers patrolling the city, and the satisfied smiles of the people walking through the streets.
Finally, they were eventually brought into a castle.
The people here did not mistreat them. Compared to the rude and brutish soldiers of the Northwest Army, her impression of the guards here were serious and quiet.
After being locked inside a room for a day, Hanyue was overjoyed to be given a loaf of hot bread at night! Huddling herself in a corner of the room, she desperately gnawed away at the bread like a greedy little mice. Then when night rolled around, she held her knees together and sat next to the window while looking up at the moon.
By the second day of arriving in this castle, Hanyue finally met with her “new owner”.
When the young man with a faint smile walked into their room, her first impression was that he was too young….. Compared to herself, the person standing in front of her was about the same age. But Hanyue had perceptive eyes for she can feel the gaze coming off from the guard behind her was that of worship and veneration.
And what caused Hanyue’s heart to beat even harder was the smile coming off from this young man…. The way he smiles looked so good…..
“From now on I’m your new master. You can call me young master. Or … … Duke.”
This was the first time she heard Du Wei’s voice.
“And, starting today, you will find that I am the kindest master you’ve ever encountered. But … … in return, you must satisfy me because I will give you a chance to change your fate.”
Du Wei looked at the six frightened rabbit like girls before him. His words are slow but very clear, “Here with me, you can get comfortable clothes, delicious food, and appropriate freedom. But you must understand that your life is mine. I won’t casually give you to some guy and wantonly spoil your chastity… … But as your master, you must always be ready to die for me. In return, I will meet your demands to the best of my ability… … However, there’s only one chance and only one.”
Speaking up to here, Du Wei’s attention was already on Hanyue.
There was no doubt about it. Even if her face was filled with fatigue, even though there are wounds on her leg, even if she just kneeled there in an obscure corner of the room, Hanyue’s beauty was the most outstanding among these “preys”.
Her beauty was like a flower growing strong in the mountain crevice, full of life and feministic beauty.
“What’s your name?” Du Wei looked at the girl and gently smiled.
The tone was low but beautiful.
Du Wei nodded: “Tell me, what is your greatest wish?”
Du Wei’s eyes may be calm, but Hanyue instinctively felt a sense of fear running through her body! Although the demeanor of this young man before her was friendly and kind, the vibe she was getting felt off, especially those eyes! They are so scary!
“Speak, my child.” Du Wei suddenly walked over and passed through the other kneeling girls. Tapping his hand onto Hanyue’s shoulder, he spoke in a soft gentle voice: “Tell me, what is your greatest wish?”
Although his age was no bigger than hers, the tone coming off from this man sounded so natural. Like he was born above everyone else in this world, always standing from a higher place looking down at everyone else.
“I……” Hanyue suddenly raised her eyes and caused Du Wei to sigh at that beautiful face comparable to the moon.
“I wish… … to be free. I no longer want to be a slave.”
After finishing this sentence, Hanyue closed her eyes. She did not know where this courage came from, but experience tells her that her daring words will warrant a series of merciless whips!
Waiting a long time, the expected whips did not come; instead, it was Du Wei’s gentle hand that landed on her face. Using the kindest voice, Du Wei said the most wonderful thing Hanyue ever heard in her sixteen years of life!
“Alright, starting from today onward, you’re no longer a slave.”
Hanyue’s mind immediately and mercilessly pounded against her chest. Looking up, she stared wide eye at this young master.
“But ….. Your life is still mine.” Du Wei softly spoke: “I can let your father and mother, your entire family, your friends… … be free of the slave status. But in return, your life is mine at any time, any place. My words, it will be your greatest mission.”
Finally, Du Wei tapped her forehead: “From now on, you are their leader.”
Once out of this room with the door shut, Du Wei can still clearly sense the gaze of that pitiful slave called Hanyue looking over his back.
Sighing, Du Wei pondered for a moment and issued a command to the two etiquette trainers on the side.
“You see those girls?” Du Wei watched the forty year old woman standing before him. This woman used to work as the etiquette trainer for the Rowling family while the other one beside her used to work in the palace.
“Starting from today forward, I want them to receive the best educational training … … I ask that all of the girls here possess temperaments equal to that of any aristocratic girl….” Du Wei smiled at his next words: “That girl called Hanyue … … I want you two to train her to the point where she would not lose out to a princess! You understand? A princess!”
As etiquette trainers that spent half their life in the aristocratic circle, what type of things have they not seen thus far? Guessing the Duke’s intention, the two immediately bowed in the most humble way.
Du Wei sighed: “Beauty, had always been the most deadly of weapons.”
An invisible beautiful knife can sometimes be more effective than a thousand knights!
Hussein with his usual aphetic face left with Du Wei. By the time the two was left alone, this Saint Knight suddenly spoke up in an undisguised cold voice: “Du Wei, you…..”
“Don’t think I don’t know what you want to do.” Hussein slowly continues to speak: “Du Wei, I don’t believe in using these poor innocent girls……”
“You’re not happy?” Du Wei suddenly laughed: “Or do you think such a move is a bit despicable….. Or rather it doesn’t coincide with your conduct as a knight? Better yet, you think I’m evil?”
Hussein did not reply, but his eyes already shown his answer to Du Wei’s question.
“Hussein.” Du Wei moves to look up at the greyish sky that felt both murky and miserable: “Look at this! This is the Northwest! There’s no bright sunshine, no spring breeze, there’s only cruelty and coldness here!”
Then he turned around and looked at the Saint Knight before him: “I am what? My army cannot compare to Rugaard’s! My foundation is inferior to Bohan’s! My influence cannot even touch the prairie natives! My mages are outnumbered by the Shamans up at the Snowy Mountain! In this place….. I must survive! It’s not only me, there’s you too! Longbottom, Robert, Dadaneier, and so and so on, everyone in the Tulip Family and the tens of thousands of soldiers backing me, everyone must survive in this place!”
Hussain raised a brow.
Du Wei continues to speak in a very dignified tone: “I don’t think I’m despicable or evil … … If needed, I wouldn’t mind doing things even more evil! I’m not a knight so I don’t mind being a devil in order to survive here!”
Finally, Du Wei gently sighed and became even more firm in his stance:
“If you think I’m evil … … Then congratulations, you guessed it, because I am!!”
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