Chapter 3: Zero is Late
On the lawn of the manor, the magnificent bronze lion fountain gushed out clear spring water, which sparkled like broken diamonds in the sunlight.
The voices of two men came faintly from the cloister next to the spring fountain.
“Sir steward, the emperor is currently staying in Utia City and will come here in a few days.” A knight in golden armor looked at the middle-aged man beside him and said with a frown.
“Hmm, the manor must be on tighter guard these days.
No one must be allowed to come in again.” The middle-aged man had deep lines on his face and looked very serious.
As they both walked, they discussed the arrangements for the emperor after he moves into the manor.
This manor was the summer residence of the emperor of Arilance on the outskirts of Utia City.
The emperor comes here almost every year, so they have long been skilled in arranging these things.
But this year, there were some surprises.
“Send someone to guard that man later.
He must be kept under close guard for the next few days.” The steward said coldly, “The scout will be back soon, so don’t let him get in the emperor’s way until the news comes.”
The knight nodded his head.
He knew who the steward was referring to.
A few days ago, a man wearing coarse clothes came to the manor, claiming to be an emperor from a faraway land.
None of the people in the manor believed it.
They thought those who could believe his words were fools who had rolled in a pool of stinking mud.
Whose emperor would come to the manor alone, in rough clothes, without a guard by his side, and with a big smile? Not to mention that the man was acting quite crazy.
The steward also thought the same thing, and the reason he left that madman behind was just upholding his duties as a steward.
The steward still remembers the morning he welcomed the man in and informed him that the emperor was not at the manor.
The man in rags nodded indifferently, but just as the steward turned to leave, he heard the man rambling and muttering in a low voice.
“I should forgive him.
After all, he is also an emperor……too bad, this is really too bad.”
His low voice carried inexplicable anxiety as he repeated these words over and over again, making the listener’s heart restless.
The steward paused in his steps.
He raised his eyes to look at the other man, only to see the man resting the fingers of his left hand anxiously on the stool, picking and scratching at it.
When he seemed to notice that he was looking at him, he closed his mouth, stopped talking, and stopped the movement in his hand.
The other party looked really very unusual.
The steward had actually guessed that the man was a fake, as no emperor would make such a rude gesture.
He had an extra point of disdain for the man in his heart.
But just in case, the steward was concerned about the one-in-a-million possibility, he kept the person first and secretly sent someone to find out the other party’s identity.
He also told the emperor, who was far away in another city, about this matter.
If it turns out that this person was a liar…that one’s head would have to be removed.
“All right, Ilir, go quickly and arrange for someone to be on guard.
Nothing must go wrong in the next days.”
There was no room for error in the eyes of their emperor, and all aspects must be arranged properly.
Ilir nodded and was about to leave when there was suddenly some noise in the distance.
“What’s going on?” The steward was displeased.
Ilir frowned and walked quickly toward the source of the sound.
On the other side, knights in silver armor surrounded a stranger wrapped in a white robe with full vigilance, trying to stop the other side from moving.
The white hood covered the other man’s face firmly.
The cloak blocked every part of the man’s body, and only his strong figure beneath it could be vaguely discerned.
“Who is it!” Ilir rested his hand on the hilt of his sword at his waist and looked at the scene before him.
He walked over warily, his eyes on the white-robed man.
Surrounding the white-robed man were Ilir’s subordinates, and as soon as they saw that Ilir had arrived, they screamed in their hearts.
The manor has been very busy these past two days, and the chief was already in a bad mood.
It was unexpected that they would have let someone break into the manor today.
They will definitely be lectured later.
And the point was that they simply did not know when this person appeared in the manor.
It was as if he appeared out of thin air.
It was really like a ghost.
Everyone present could not see that, at this time, the white-robed man was hanging with countless spiritual threads.
Those threads wrapped around the man’s body, from head to torso to limbs, controlling his movements.
The white-robed man paused momentarily, his hood moving slightly as if he was sizing up the knight who had just appeared.
A few seconds later, a harsh, raspy voice rang out, “I’ve come to find the emperor.”
Ilir was stunned by his words, the emperor?
“What?” The steward came in a hurry at this time.
He heard the white-robed man’s words and frowned: “You are looking for the emperor of our Arilance?”
The white-robed man stood still without answering his question.
Everyone present took his silence as a tacit acknowledgment, subconsciously thinking that the emperor he spoke of was their emperor of Arilance.
“Your Excellency, our Arilance emperor has not yet returned, so please be calm now.” Ilir spoke in a deep voice, his hand clutching the hilt of his sword and slightly drawing it out a little, revealing a sharp, dark glint.
As soon as the words left his mouth, the white-robed man in front of him raised his head.
His hood covered his face, revealing only a small part of his chin.
They could feel the man’s eyes fixed motionlessly on a particular place – the forest before them.
He seemed to be making sure of something.
“The emperor is there.”
The white-robed man’s low voice carried no hint of emotion but hid an inexplicable fervor as he moved his feet toward the forest.
Ilir pulled his sword out of its sheath, and the sharp blade faced the man in white, “Your Excellency, please do not move.”
The knights looked at the strange man who seemed to have a problem with his head and followed the chief to draw their swords, “Your Excellency, please do not go any further.”
“The emperor is calling.”
The white-robed man murmured and continued to walk forward, unconcerned by the people around him that threatened him with their swords.
Calling? Hearing this, Ilir frowned.
Where did the call come from? Did the manor have some special messenger?
The same question arose in the hearts of the steward and his subordinates.
Of course, they would not have heard of it.
After all, this was Qiao Xingnan’s nonsense.
Qiao Xingnan, who made up all this, was sitting on a rock under a tree with his eyes closed and his fingers lightly tapping his thighs.
He could see everything around him through Zero’s eyes and control Zero in time for his next move.
Every act of control must be done with care.
Zero’s appearance, although seemingly robust now, was really an illusion.
He was still fragile at the slightest touch.
This must not be discovered by anyone.
The white robe was only a centimeter from the tip of the knights’ swords.
As long as it was a little more off, the robe would be cut by the swords, and the man would be stabbed.
The breeze blew gently, and the hood that covered the face of the man in white swayed with the wind, revealing a high nose and thin lips without any curvature as if nothing could cause a ripple in his heart.
“Please stop, Your Excellency!” The knight held up his sword, its sharp blade pressing forward.
There was no hint of hesitation in the man’s movements.
He did not seem to be afraid of the sharp weapons at all.
His pace remained so calm and steady as he walked step by step toward the forest.
Perhaps it was the man’s powerful aura that frightened him, but the knight with the sword couldn’t help but take a step back in the panic.
The sharp blade cut through the hem of his clothes without hurting him.
He clutched the sword in his hand and was about to rush over, only to be stopped by the butler.
“Follow him and see where he’s going.” The steward looked towards the forest with a vague foreboding sense in his heart.
Not far away, Neil, who was on duty with his companion at the ice house, was looking at the sun gradually moving west, counting how long it would take for someone to take over the shift.
This evening, he had an appointment for a wonderful night, so he could not miss the time and let the beautiful lady be displeased.
Suddenly, a rustling sound came from the distance, and it didn’t sound like a person’s voice.
“That’s……” His companion looked at the figure gradually approaching in the distance and was somewhat stunned.
In the distance, a man wrapped in white was walking towards them, followed by a group of knights behind him.
“The chief is also there!” The companion noticed the knight in gold armor there.
With a jolt, he subconsciously stood up straight and quietly reminded Neil.
The man walked quickly and left them in the blink of an eye.
“I’ll follow up and take a look.
The man on duty will be here soon, you say hello for me.”
Neil has always been very bold, so he dropped these words and hurriedly followed the group before him.
Looking up, the path led to the back of the mountain.
Ilir frowned at the figure in front of him, the man was clearly walking but was much faster than them, and they could only jog to catch up with him.
The steward frowned, “If his destination is the back mountain, stop him immediately!”
The back mountain was a forbidden place.
Ilir hummed as the white-robed man continued to walk step by step.
He suddenly seemed to pause for a moment before his steps quickened again, the hem of his coat flipping in the air in a nice arc.
He had identified his target.
Ilir increased his speed and chased after him.
However, the strange thing was that no matter how they chased, there was no way to catch up with the white-robed man.
Looking at the white figure in front of him, Ilir was a bit alarmed that the other party did not seem to feel tired and was able to run faster and faster.
He did not know how tired Qiao Xingnan was not far away.
He had to control Zero’s speed, not letting him go too slow so as not to be caught up but also having him go slower so as not to lose the knights.
Finding a suitable speed was really a bit difficult for him as a writer.
In a short while, the crowd was getting closer to the back of the mountain.
The steward and Ilir’s frown grew tighter.
At this time, they saw the white-robed man turn in a direction and did not continue to walk towards the back of the mountain.
They were subconsciously relieved, and when they raised their eyes, they saw the white-robed man walking towards a tree on the path.
They turned their heads to look over there, and only then did they realize a figure was sitting under the tree.
The breeze brushed by, sunlight through the dappled leaves scattered on the ground.
The spots set off the man’s skin, which was as white as snow.
He wore coarse clothes, his long black hair reached his waist, and his cold golden eyes swept over as if nothing could enter his sight.
The leaves rustled and brought a burst of coolness.
Then, they saw the white-robed man kneel down on one knee to the man, and his low, hoarse voice could not conceal his excitement.
“Emperor, Zero is late.”
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