Titan Beneath The Heavens - LightNovelOnl.com
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"Vij! Vij! Wake up you! Wake up!" Oscar held the motionless Duchess tightly in his embrace.
"Damn it!" Oscar muttered dejectedly. It seemed like he would have to take certain measures.
His Imperial Highness scooped up some warm spring water and sprinkled it onto Vijdeline's face.
"Mmm..." Following the faint groan, the Duchess who had been unconscious for over ten minutes started shivering and twisting her body.
"Ola! Thank heavens!" Oscar who had been gripped with anxiety let out a heartfelt cry.
"What... What happened?" Evidently, Lady Vij was not yet fully conscious.
Oscar scratched his head, "I... I only followed your instructions to pull the trigger of the mini hand cannon, but you suddenly fainted without reason. Moreover, your ears were bleeding! By the God of Light, the mini hand cannon's pellet really did not hurt you! Serious! I was almost terrified to death! If you still did not wake up, I will have..."
"Oh! Damn it!" Vijdeline waved her hand to stop the prince from babbling on. "This is just great! I can't hear what you're saying! Can you speak a little louder?"
Oscar increased his volume, "I was saying, I was following your instructions to fire a shot, then you..."
"No! No!" This time Vijdeline had heard everything. "Are... Are you an idiot or what? You should say that you have fired a shot beside a girl's ear in an enclosed area surrounded on all four sides by rocks! Oh gosh! I just know that my ears were bleeding!" Vijdeline grumbled while rubbing off the coagulated blood at her ears.
Oscar nodded in embarrassment; he vaguely knew that what had taken place was his mistake.
"Oh, God of Light! How can I be this unfortunate?" Vijdeline struggled to get up from the prince's arms, but in the end, she still collapsed again. "Seriously you! Don't tell me you don't know just how deafening a sound the shot from a mini hand cannon produces? Don't tell me you that you are ignorant of the rule of sound propagation? Oh gosh! I actually gave away such a valuable thing to an idiot!"
Oscar scratched his head; he did not mind the Duchess' rebuke in the slightest! On the contrary, he felt relieved, relieved that Vijdeline did not discover his true intent at the last moment.
"Okay Vij, tell me, were you stunned by the sound of the shooting sound?"
"What do you mean?" The Duchess who was exceptionally aggravated tilted her head. Now her ear appeared to have a large cluster of flies buzzing in it. This sensation made her almost go mad!
"I am saying, what was the cause of it?" Oscar practically shouted the question.
"You... You still have the nerve to ask?" Vijdeline extended a snowy white fist and struck the lad's shoulder heavily. "Haven't you already experienced the experimental cannon? Don't tell me you didn't notice that when the boom of the cannon sounded, the cannon soldiers would cover their ears? The principles of the other weapons are similar, especially in this enclosed room. You opened fire right next to my ear, so what I heard was not a loud boom, but the countless sounds reflected back against the rocky walls at unimaginable speed! Under this circumstance, it will truly be a miracle if I was not knocked out!"
Oscar suddenly came to apprehension and let out an "Ohh". However, he shook his head again, "But... But why am I okay?"
"You... You...." The utterly exasperated Duchess once again gave the Prince of the Empire a "Severe beating".
"My Imperial Highness, why not... place the mini hand cannon by your ear and try it another time?"
Oscar was not a fool, he promptly shook his head like a rattle-drum.
Having vented enough, the poor Lady Vij curled up her knees and buried her face in her hands.
"The... The eardrum of my left ear is definitely ruptured! Perhaps... Perhaps I will go deaf!"
Just when the Duchess finished venting, Oscar cradled her in his arms abruptly.
"Let's go! I will bring you to a doctor. My doctor can treat both live and dead people! Vij, you have nothing to worry about, Percy will definitely find a way! I will absolutely not let you go deaf. In my eyes, you are perfect. Even if the God of light won't forgive me, I still will not let you become disabled!"
Perhaps it was because she felt his overflowing love, the Duchess in Little Oscar's arms, could not stop kissing his little cheeks.
Just before Oscar's face was drowned in fragrant and sweet saliva, His Imperial Highness finally evaded the kisses impatiently.
"My lady, hold on, now isn't the time for this! Can you walk? I cannot cross this gap while carrying you! We should hurry for we cannot let your injury worsen."
"I was joking! Hehehe!" Vijdeline who just had on a look of despair was already flashing a vibrant smile.
Looking at the ecstatic Duchess, Oscar who did not know what to think took in several breaths, "Ola... Why... Why did you deceive me?"
"Quickly put me down!"
Oscar promptly placed the eldest daughter who was used to acting and faking her emotions, onto the ground. Not knowing why His Imperial Highness suddenly thought of the former Aeolia. Vijdeline should be the same type of person as Aeolia. Both of them were astute, both adept at exploiting men's weaknesses and both amazing at putting their advantage to full use.
The Duchess who had just been set on the ground swayed helplessly. Her head was pounding and her ears were filled with all sorts of indistinguishable noises.
Oscar steadied Vij and realized that the eldest daughter really did not seem that bothered about her condition.
"Actually... I have encountered incidents such as this multiple times." The Duchess explained while furrowing her brows. She really did not wish to recall those mutilated and disfigured bodies.
"Explosions during experiments, breeching blows of the cannons, the firearms catching fire! In short, I have been continuously skeptical as to why I am still alive after these repeated ordeals. Perhaps... Is it because I have never personally operated those prototypes? Aside from repeated injury, I have never been faced with the threat of death. But... There are inevitable times where the injuries were grave, for example, my lower abdomen being cut open by shrapnel and my right hand being scalded by a wrought iron. During a certain time a few years back, I once thought that I was deafened by a breech blow of a cannon, but... Do you believe that miracles still exist in this world?"
Oscar shook his head; he had all the while doubted that. Torry had mentioned that there was no way to enumerate the experimental failures in the Sukhoi Designing Bureau. The only things that could be statistically taken into account were the loss in assets and technological resources and also the casualties of the crew. Since... VIj had experienced all these, then just how did she survive through them?
Escaping it once could be considered a fluke, but what about twice? Or three times? Moreover, Oscar had explored the Lady's naked body with his eyes and hands; if she had really suffered such severe injuries, then it was impossible that not a single unsightly scar was on her body! Lies! She had to find a more convincing justification! Oscar did not believe in the so-called miracle. His skeptical and contemptuous gaze bored into the Duchess', waiting for the woman's explanation. He wanted to see how this woman who was accustomed to holding back pieces of the truth would justify herself.
Vijdeline did not care about the lad's gaze at all and instead pointed towards the hot spring that was emanating a silvery white glow under the moonlight. The mouth of the spring was bubbling and emitting a large amount of steam and violent ripples.
"That is the miracle! The God of Light has taken pity on the sacrifice that the Sukhois made for Holy Titan's national defense project. This mighty God sent an angel to hollow out this hot spring that spurts spirit water!"
"Are you dreaming? Or did the gun shock damage your brain?" Oscar smiled lightly. He had never encountered the God of Light nor angels. As for religious theology, he had always been unable to stand it.
Fortunately, it appeared that the Duchess did not hear what His Imperial Highness Prince said, completely engrossed in her explanation.
"When I was young, this was a place I often came to play. Once upon a time, this was barren land covered with volcanic rocks and there wasn't a hot spring. However, the day when I discovered that I was deaf, under divine intervention, I suddenly felt like coming here to calm down a bit and soothe my dejected soul! You know? Before that, it had been ages since I last visited this place because... This was merely one of the places of my adventures. You know? I do not remember much... About the scene at that time. I only know that a hot spring materialized out of the blue ad the steam made me feel light-headed. I also do not understand what made me had the urge to strip down in this open karst cave. I used the spring water to wash the thick blood flowing ceaselessly out from my ear canal, and after that, I fell asleep. When I woke, I realized that I could hear the whistle of the wind. Is this not a miracle? I can only describe this incident as a miracle."
Oscar raised his voice, "So... After that incident... You discovered that the spring water had other uses, for example, the scars on your body slowly faded away? Is it like that?"
Vij nodded her head like an excited little chick pecking away. To a girl who valued beauty, there was nothing that could bring such joy than this discovery.
Oscar made an expression that said "I knew it", "So... This is not a myth? Or your fantasy?"
Vij made a face, "You are my choice and I will share with you all that is mine, including my myths and my fantasies! As to whether those will become a reality, you will find out soon!"
Under Oscar's startled gaze, Vij once again removed the clothing she had on, just that this time her actions were slow and seductive.
Soon, an exquisite female body presented before the lad's eyes. Oscar's gaze was burning with a fiery intensity and was on the verge of madness! Without taking into account Vijdeline's character or caring about what the Duchess actually hoped to achieve, Oscar had no willpower to control his overflowing fervor and lust.
Although heat from the steam of the hot spring filled the karst cave, VIjdeline's voluptuous body still had a bright pink tinge despite the freezing weather that hailed from above. The naked woman strolled unsteadily towards the mouth of the spring and extended the sole of her foot and carefully tested the temperature of the hot spring.
Oscar was simple incapable watching all these in quietly. He did not know how much longer he could restrain himself.
Vij slowly dipped her body into the spring. She turned around and the two massive breasts were displayed before the lad's eyes. The Duchess stretched out her hand towards the prince.
"Aren't you coming?"
Oscar gulped his abnormally sticky saliva with difficulty. To go or not to? This was not of significance at all! What was important was that after this fervor, just how would he see this femme fatale who would clean out even her relatives without a second thought.
Oscar dawdled at the edge of the hot spring, lost in thought, "Curse it! Since when did I come over here?"
Vijdeline's delicate hands, which had caressed countless murder weapons, was already inside the man's underpants. The pair of hands were groping around and leading him on, emitting heat that only the devil possessed. Finally, the Duchess' hands completely exposed the man's object in the hot atmosphere. The woman lifted her head and gazed into the man's unfathomable eyes that were ablaze. She plastered the body she was proud of on the man's thighs then used the deep ravine between her breasts to rub ceaselessly against the man's burning lethal weapon. Vijdeline had seen many of these lethal weapons, but she had only ever seen one like the one before her, that could be inserted into the mouth to carefully savor.
Oscar tried his best not to let out a sound or to visit those mesmerizing eyes. If possible, he wanted to ignore even the thrill that coursed through him, which was capable of driving one mad when the warm oral cavity enclosed around his under part. However, no man could say for sure whether these things could be so easily ignored.
"Andrew Haila!" Oscar tore open his collar, causing the buttons of his uniform to scatter all over the ground!
"This is for my family!" The young man gently pushed away from the woman that was exuding intense desire. With the quickest speed, he tossed away everything that was bound to him.
The moon glided slowly in the ocean of stars and emitted light and heat with its newborn energy. Shadows crept up in the karst cave until finally, when a crescent moon hung high in the night sky, seemingly everything came to a standstill. There was the sound of water bubbling out of the mouth of the spring and steam transformed into dancing silvery rays under the moonlight. In the dense fog, a man was tangled up with a woman and the woman was supporting the man. Both the silhouettes thrashed and danced.
"Hurry! Hurry up! Come on, speed up! Give it your all! Harder! Come on, harder!"
An officer of the Sukhoi family was bellowing. He rolled up his sleeves in the freezing wind and opened his collar as if... He was showing off his dense chest hair to the soldiers under him, or as if... The stress of the tense atmosphere at the scene had left him at a loss for what to do.
Grizzly Fortress was shrouded in dense darkness and only the public square behind the Fortress portcullis was brightly lit with burning lights. About more than ten fine steeds were dragging a peculiar carriage and the officers and men were bustling to and fro between these carriages, each on edge.
"Hurry up! Haven't you all just had your supper? How come you're all still like a bunch of weaklings? Come on, harder! Harder!" Torry yelled frantically! Loading a fortress cannon weighing 640 kilograms and with a diameter of 85 millimeters onto a specially constructed carriage was not something that one would enjoy doing! If one were not careful, the cannon might be damaged, but that was a small matter compared to the loss of lives. That, couldn't be accepted.
"Perhaps... We could add another group of pulleys!" Lieutenant General Endorph of the Steinberger Family suggested worriedly while gazing at the taut hoisting ropes.
"Add another group of pulleys?" Torry looked at the Lieutenant General and frowned, "Then tell us, how are you going to add them? This is already the most scientific way of lifting, adding another group of pulleys will only cause most of the cannon's weight to be concentrated onto the other side of the pulleys and this will cause the sling cart to overturn!"
Lieutenant General Endorph continued watching over the bustling scene in silence.
As it turned out, the Sukhoi Family had designed a sling cart to move large firearms. These vehicles required twelve bulls to pull, indicating that these sling carts had an incredible dead weight. The carriage of the sling cart possessed a gigantic capstan. One end of the cable was steadying the capstan while the other end passed through the overhead pulley to secure the cannon. When moving cannons, it required manpower to drive the capstan, which then tugged on the pulley and cables and further moved the 640 kilograms cannon. When the Fortress cannon had been lifted up, the specially constructed cannon tractor stopped right below it. At this moment, the soldiers would release the capstan, allowing the huge cannon to be placed precisely onto its base on the tractor.
This process might appear simple since it did not have complicated procedures or involve any scientific principles that were worth one delving into, but the knights on the scene were already perspiring profusely. They had to exert their full concentration and physical strength for the job. These trained soldiers watched the ropes, the capstan and every vibration of the sling cart. Lastly, they had to further ascertain that the position of the tractor was correct and that the speed and strength of lowering the cannon were precise.
Although technological wise, the sling cart was considered quite advanced, its efficiency was not very outstanding. The capstan got stuck frequently and the iron frame built into the carriage to suspend the pulley had a possibility of bending and breaking apart anytime. The knights had experienced all these and understood the value of the cannon. If during transport these huge weapons were damaged in any way, it meant that the family had to sacrifice another eight months to produce another one! Of course, if there was a shortage of materials and manpower, or a mishap occurred during the industrial process or the final test, then the time frame would be extended indefinitely. Even if one were just an ordinary soldier, no one would wish for that.
At last, just when Venus climbed over the Eastern horizon, the last Fortress Cannon was loaded safely onto the tractor. The Sukhoi soldiers broke into jubilant cheers. Only the soldiers in charge of the tractors were too exhausted to express their jubilance; they instead collapsed onto the freezing carriage.
"Ohh... A job completed without any mishaps!" Lieutenant General Endorph finally heaved a sigh of relief. He took off his beret and wiped the beads of sweat on his forehead, but the freezing Northeastern wind quickly ruffled over the top of his head, causing him to shiver with cold.
"Torry, thank you! Otherwise, I really have no idea on how to transport these huge things."
Major Tove Van Sukhoi shrugged nonchalantly. It seemed that he did not care much about the brigade Lieutenant General's sincerity.
"I say, beloved Lieutenant General Endorph, this is within my responsibilities. So it is best if you store up your gratitude, for there will be ample things for you to worry about soon. At that time, if I can help out, thanking me then will not be too late."
Looking at those artilleries of unparalleled values on the tractor, Endorph could only nod in agreement helplessly. He knew that what the Major of the Sukhoi Family said was true! From now on, these huge weapons would definitely encounter all sorts of problems and at that time, the amount of inconvenience would far surpass that of the current one.
"Hey everyone, look! So impressive!" An excited voice suddenly rang out from one of the spots on the site.
Torry gazed in that direction. It turned out that it was a few of the high-ranking military officers of the Red Tiger Assault division and the person who spoke was the not very decent leader of the rangers.
"Shorenstein, Théleau, Kamille! My old friends! What is it? You all don't wish to sleep a little more? There is still a long time before daybreak and we need to rush on a long journey today!" Torry cried while greeting them warmly.
"You had been making a racket here, screaming, harder, harder, harder! Who among us bachelors can sleep?" Shaw Shorenstein gave his old friend a heavy fist to the shoulder. During their time in University Town, among the officers of the Red Tigers, he was the one who'd became closest to Torry.
"Hahahahaha! Don't tell me that you all thought I was handling a maiden?" Torry quipped when he saw Shorenstein, a bird of the same feather as him, and started off down the slope.
"That did not cross my mind, I only came to see these huge beauties!" Théleau Kleiner, commander of the Red Tiger Heavy Cavalry Corps tried to disassociate himself with the two men who spoke without restraint. Colonel Kamille Rayen who was beside the commander did not utter a word, instead, the paladin only smiled.
"Hey! Do you guys still remember?" Torry was suddenly in high spirits, "Those practices back in University! You guys led the cavalry to beat up us poor students. Now let me use these large beauties to go against you all, just for practice, interested?"
There was a protracted silence from Shaw Shorenstein until finally, he said, "Uhhh... I think... There's still a pot of red braised pork on the stove in the chef's camp!"
"Really?" Théleau Kleiner joined in seemingly excited, "Then what are we still waiting for? In this freezing weather, we need a pot of bubbling red braised pork to fill ourselves!"
"Yes, that's right! I was just about to leave!" Shaw Shorenstein turned around, but suddenly remembered the paladin, "Hey, Kamille! Come join us?"
The Red Tiger's Battle Commander, Kamille Rayen stood his ground and looked with eagerness towards the little rascal who issued a challenge to the Red Tigers.
"You're all here! This is great!" Major General Murat hurried into the group, dragging General Gondol Abassia with him.
"I think... General Abassia and I can answer His Imperial Highness Prince's question yesterday!" Murat exclaimed excitedly while blinking his bloodshot eyes.
Shaw Shorenstein looked at his division commander and then at the military affairs advisor's dark circles and could not help but cry in amazement.
"Commander! You and General Abassia researched it throughout the night?"
General Abassia nodded, "Yesterday, after the trial run of the cannon, Commander Murat and I ventured deep into the cannon field and made an accurate estimation of the killing radius of an 86mm caliber Fortress cannon, then integrating the bombardment interval and cool down time, Murat and I believe that we have found the countermeasure for seizing control a cannon's position! Actually, this isn't just the serial application of a few simple tactics, we can...
"Hold up! Hold up!" Murat stopped the Military Affairs advisor. "These matters should be shared with His Imperial Highness Prince! Who has seen His Highness? Yesterday evening, both he and Paul disappeared together! Torry, isn't His Highness with you?"
Torry did not answer and only shook his head. However, the bright rascal already had his suspicions. Yesterday evening when he planned to bid his sister goodnight, he found that his sister was not in her room, which meant that...
"Seriously!" Murat snatched off his beret, "Just what is our Highness up to?"
The moonlight was becoming fainter and in the end, the crescent, waning moon eventually glided over the heavens. The obscure moonlight shifted from the hot spring area to the stone walls of the karst cave and glimmered between the rocks where the limestone and volcanic rocks condensed into one, casting down silver corrugated rays upon the duo. The torch was still burning and was placed simply on the other end of the stone wall, away from the moonlight. The flame was reflected red on the spring water and illuminated the female form. On this female body was a thin red line that traced out the enticing curves and perfect outlines.
"My beloved! What are you doing?" Vijdeline leaned against the side of the hot spring contentedly. At that moment, she did not even feel like lifting a finger. The Duchess searched for her lover from the corner of her eye.
"I am looking for the point of impact of the bullet!" Oscar was carefully searching the stone wall for a possible bullet hole, naked.
"Ola! Here it is!" His Highness took up a dagger that was shimmering with blue radiance and swiftly used the lethal weapon to dig out the lead pellet from the stone wall.
"Vij! Vij! Oh God of Light! Your Delin Mini Cannon has left a bullet hole of four centimeters deep in the solid volcanic rock! I have to admit that you're a genius! You have discovered a weapon which formidable power is beyond compare! I believe that at a distance of more than twenty meters, it can penetrate through an armor made of iron and if the distance was closer, penetrating an armor of steel will be a piece of cake."
Being showered with praises from her lover, Vijdeline was not the least bit excited. Instead, she gawked at the dagger in the prince's hand, lost in thought.
"What is it?" Oscar's acute senses instantly detected the change in the Duchess' demeanor.
"Just when I handed the mini hand cannon over to you... You... You aimed at the space between my brows, but why did you turn the muzzle around just when you've pulled the trigger?"
Oscar's smile instantly vanished. His eyes bored into this woman who had just been intertwined tightly with him. Although the Lady had just seen through his thoughts, Oscar did not express any hint of regret.
His Imperial Highness suddenly sniggered, "I believe that miracles do indeed exist in this world! Vij, you know? After taking a dip in the hot spring, every scar on my body was aching, but I feel vitality and vigor surge through my body. If what you say is true, then this hot spring has the miraculous effect of boosting the regeneration of one's body. So... I would also like to ask you a question."
"You haven't answered my question." Vijdeline met the prince's gaze.
"No! Hear me out first!"
Vij closed her eyes, "I am listening."
Oscar rubbed his nose, he knew what this question implied. "Vij, since... This hot spring can allow the regrowth of your eardrum, then... Can I take it that this hot spring can allow any other membrane on your body to regrow?"
Without having to give it much thought, the perceptive Vijdeline already knew what the man was suspecting! The women of the Sukhoi Family had never suffered such a degree of disgrace. Vij picked up a rock fragment reflexively and without even looking, hurled it towards the young prince.
Without knowing why Oscar did not dodge and the rock that Vijdeline threw was immensely accurate. The small rock with sharp edges bounced off His Imperial Highness Prince's head.
Vij was crying! Not bawling or sobbing in particular but only crying in despair using her ordinary volume, relating the wrong she felt, the despair and indignation. Oscar sat motionless on the ground, allowing the blood to seep out of the wound on his head, letting the scarlet blood dribble down between his eyebrows and roll down his cheeks.
"I... Do not owe you anything!" After saying this, Oscar stretched out his hand to catch the patch of red flowing down his cheek.
"Hehe!" Vij laughed in place of her anger. "Your Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette, I have indeed bled for you before, both from below and from my ear! Look! The amount you're bleeding now appears to be more than mine. Does this mean we're even? Should I say call you naïve or should I say that you're a cold, cruel, and moreover, deceitful and paranoid scoundrel?"
"I wait upon you with chastity and use my life to gain your favor! But you? You merely have an additional bump on your head! And just like this... you consider it done?"
Vijdeline really felt that all her effort were not worth it. She did not understand, she had given her everything, but why was this man before her unmoved and yet suspected her of the worst possible thoughts.
"Very well!" Vijdeline made a splash in fury. "Just assume I was bitten by a dog! Now please answer my question! When you were aiming the mini hand cannon between my eyebrows, why did you give up in the end?"
Oscar moved towards the edge of the spring and took up a lock of golden hair, stroking it attentively.
"I couldn't do it! I couldn't pull it off! When I'm facing you, regardless of where my thoughts stemmed from, I just cannot do it no matter what!" Oscar gazed at the Duchess' eyes that were full of surprise and laughed lightly, "Are you... Satisfied with this answer?"
"Then... Then why should you humiliate me that way? I... I am never a woman of no integrity, you should know."
"But... I only care too much about you! I... I am unable to accept your lies or your disobedience, and more so unable to accept your insincerity and your being incompleteness. I want to possess you and have to procure your whole body and mind. I cannot allow you to have a single flaw, I..."
Vij suddenly cupped her hand over the prince's mouth. When Oscar had swallowed the words in his mouth, the intelligent Lady gave a rare blush, "I... Understand!"
Oscar cupped the Duchess' delicate face and turned it towards himself, "Vij! You should know! It is unfair for me to treat you this way! My future is full of uncertainties. Just as you say, it is frequent for the God chosen warriors to enter the battlefield of life and death. It is possible that I may not return, and possibly... may not be able to bestow upon you the status of Duchess Andrew throughout my life..."
"No!" Vijdeline cradled her lover's arm abruptly. "Listen to me! According to my plan, I intend to use my knowledge of firearms to set a trap, my family's power to lay the bait and my chastity to secure a rope around you that you are unable to escape from! But after all, these are achieved, I realize that as you said, certain things cannot be carried out regardless of anything! In your arms, I am incapable of thinking, incapable of lying and incapable of caring about this miserable fortress!"
"The Sukhois are starting to rot and crumble from within! In order to squander money and to realize the desires that are impossible to fulfill, just how many secrets have my family sold out? Just how much intelligence did they betray? Those are the fruits of my ancestor's labor but in the end? It has now become the steps that lead to the grave!"
"As for these revolts, I do not wish to care and have no means of doing so! The Secret Service only needs to send a special task force to march into Grizzly Fortress, then tax evasion, the stint on materials that are substituted by sloppy goods, smuggling, and treason, all these filthy businesses will be thoroughly exposed! Each and every one of these will cause the family name of Sukhoi to forever be carved onto the Empire's pillar of shame! My love, do you understand now? My family is almost finished! I can only hold fast to the firearm technology within my hands then search out a strong person for myself and my most outstanding researchers to rely on! Do you understand my feelings?"
Oscar caressed the woman's hair; he could not find a single word to console her. Had the ancient Sukhoi Family fallen to the point of ruin and bereavement? If what Vij said were true, then she had already handed over the fate of this family into His Imperial Highness Prince's hands!
"I am tired! I truly am tired! I need to hide shameless betrayal behind my careful smile, I need to brandish a glinting lethal weapon behind my joy and the gold and gems I wear are actually stained with filthy bloodstains! I do not wish to live this way in this world! Why should I live like this? I want to find a man who is everything I can ever wish for. This man who will love me, pamper me and marry me! He will bring me to settle down in the South, which is forever in spring. I hate the ice, I detest the white, he must know! I... I will even bear and raise children for him! If it's a son, I will equip him with the knowledge to build firearms and artilleries! If it's a daughter... I will teach her art and geography! My daughter cannot be like her mother, never setting foot outside this drab castle in all her lifetime. My daughter will travel around the world when she grows up, and record down all the wonderful things in the world using her paint brush..."
Having said that, Vijdeline, farsighted, intelligent beyond compare and bold, had already broken down in tears!
Oscar cupped the woman's face in his hands. His woman was weeping and bawling!
"Vij! Look at me! Look at me! How will our children look like? I do not have a fine figure, nor do I have good looks! When the children grow up they will definitely look down upon this ugly father of theirs!"
Vijdeline struggled free of her lover's embrace fiercely. She wiped away her tears with blunt force.
"They dare? I will give each of them a cannon shell and make them stand with it on their heads the whole day!"
"Don't! They are after all our children!"
"That will not do! Children have to be disciplined sternly since young!"
"Okay okay, my Vij, I will follow your wish! You are my goddess!"
Being held tightly in her lover's embrace, Vijdeline closed her eyes contentedly. The God of Light adored love, it was this god that allowed love to become a bolt of lightning, it was this god that allowed love to become a beautiful dream! Those who were struck by this bolt of lightning would no longer deceive each other, fight with each other or doubt each other! When the blaze from the lightning had slowly dissipated, what remained was only a bright, beautiful scenery like that at the break of dawn.
"Why thank me?" Oscar was a little dubious.
"That shot... allowed me to let go of a lot of things and enabled me to understand what I really want."
Oscar grinned, "So... That is why you cared so much about why I shifted my target at the last second."
Vijdeline suddenly broke into a musical laugh, "Hehehe, let us not talk about this anymore! Tell me, last of the last, among us both, who is the one who won this gamble?"
Oscar lifted his head and pondered, "Vij, I think... it should be our children!"
The naked lovers laughed and wrapped around each other.
"There is... Still, a little time left before dawn!" The Duchess' hands again started to explore.
Oscar gazed at the discolored sky, "That's right, time is of the essence!"
There was a huge splash in the hot spring and Vijdeline's surprised yelp turned into a moan of sheer ecstasy!
Just who had won? Looking at the pair of youths who were having a thrill of their lives rolling about in the ripples, we know that there was no clear answer to this question!
At the break of dawn, Grizzly Fortress' military bugler procession sounded their bugle horns. Under the warm morning ray, the stone castle that stood tall like a mountain opened its gigantic doors. A procession slowly rumbled out of the portcullis and crawled up the mountain road. Soon, the silhouette of the procession grew several kilometers long on the winding mountain road. The Northwestern wind roared and the soldiers pulled on their collars and tugged their cloaks tightly around themselves. The cold air currents had yet to leave this region and the soldiers had already set out on their journey. How treacherous was the road up ahead? These warriors who were traveling on the cliffs did not know.
The high point of Grizzly Fortress was the Sukhoi Family's Harp Palace. It was a cool morning and one of the bedroom's French windows facing the balcony in Harp Palace was opened.
Vijdeline gaze followed the long procession until the last soldier had vanished around the corner of the mountain pass.
"Am I disturbing you?" Baron Viesharl knocked on the window.
Vij turned her head around and flashed a smile at the devoted defender who had followed her for years.
The flea towered beside the French windows, staring blankly. After a protracted silence, VIesharl gave a gentle sigh.
"My Lady! I have not seen you give such a genuine smile in a long time, such..."
Veisharl was startled. When he lifted his head again, he was confronting the housemistress. The cold-hearted Vijdeline, with captivating eyes and a smile that could leave one panic-stricken! The flea shrank back and respectfully stood to one side.
"Is something wrong?"
Viesharl edged closer to the Mistress' side cautiously.
"Yesterday evening, your uncle held a ball and someone was spreading rumors about you and His Imperial Highness Prince."
"What did they talk about?" Vijdeline inquired with interest.
"They only mentioned one thing - Sex!"
"Could it be that... There's a leak in one of our links?" The Duchess frowned, "Otherwise, they will not have caught on so fast!"
Viesharl retreated a few steps, now was not yet the time for him to continue.
"Run through a checklist of those who crossed paths with me from yesterday evening to today. I believe that you will find the source of these rumors."
Viesharl nodded lightly and just when he was about to step out of the room, the Mistress again called out to him.
"Do you have further instructions?"
"If you find that source, do know what you must do?"
After shooting a quick glance at the Mistress' eyes, Viesharl once again bowed.
"Shut him up and never allow him to have the opportunity to speak again."
"No, no, no!" The Duchess shook her head violently, "Let him continue spreading rumors! And ask him to give an even more detailed account of the matter!"
Viesharl lifted his head, perplexed, "Why... Do you want to do that? This will greatly damage your reputation!"
"Reputation? Who cares about that?" Vijdeline turned her head away nonchalantly, "The significance that the name O'Neil Andrew Morisette stands for, those who want me dead in the family knows only too well! Let them get a grasp of my intimate relationship with His Imperial Highness Prince, it will definitely add some benefit to my survival! The day I become Duchess Andrew, will be the best opportunity to conduct a purge of the internal family! Hehe! The winner will forever be me!"