ATAPOW Chapter 194
Previous Chapter|Index|Next Chapter
Chapter 194: Returning an item back to its owner
“This small box contains detailed intelligence and a request. You will be rewarded generously for your successful return. If you fail…”
“Well… You won’t face any punishment. How about it, your knight excellency? That doesn’t sound like a bad deal, right?” Those words were what Anna had said to him half an hour ago after passing that box to him.
Ji Bai propped his chin on the back of his hand and thoughtfully stared at the small wooden box sitting on the table before him that was barren of any engraving or decoration.
Eventually, he stretched his hand towards the lid.
A few rays of sunlight shone directly on a white sheet of paper, causing it to gleam with splendor.
“…’Head to Nolan City’?” Ji Bai took out the first sheet of paper on the top and read the few large words that were written on it.
‘Nolan City… This sounds rather familiar.’
After a brief moment of contemplation, Ji Bai retrieved the papers directly below the first one and found that their contents were largely explanatory information surrounding Nolan City.
They were things that could be looked up on the internet and were not the kind of information that Ji Bai would be looking for.
‘Is “Head to Nolan City” all the information she had for me?’
Ji Bai turned silent as he briefly glanced through the information written on the paper.
The fact that there was no clear objective left him even more uncertain about his exact purpose after arrival.
Ji Bai was left feeling puzzled by the vague and hazy objectives, as if he was playing a game without a main quest.
‘What exactly is Nolan City? A deserted ruin or a fabled oasis in the desert, unreachable to all who have sought it? How arduous will the journey there be?’
After skimming through the contents of the papers, Ji Bai dismissed those conjectures.
Nolan City was situated on the border between the former Asiatic Cat territory and the human federation. It was separated from the human-controlled area by a forest.
‘Is the test of my knightly values simply a matter of spending a few days in the city, or is there a deeper meaning behind it?’
‘Mhm, there’s indeed more to this than meets the eyes. This could potentially be quite troublesome.’
Ji Bai shifted his gaze towards the last column written on the fourth page that read ‘This area had recently been reduced to a colony under the troll’s jurisdiction’.
Ji Bai inscribed the relevant information into his mind and put the paper aside after folding it.
The issue at hand was not a major one. While trolls and humans were not exactly close neighbors, at the least, both sides were willing to maintain a certain level of decorum on the surface.
When it came to the trolls and their exceptionally strong desire for expansion, humanity’s turtle-shell-like defenses presented an obstacle to their assault. While that had forced them to give up their thirst for human territory, it did not stop them from using underhanded tricks.
As for the human race, they were too weak to launch any attacks, and it was only by the virtue of their ancestors that allowed them to settle in a small part of this treacherous continent. The nobles of the Temple Association were also unwilling to expend significant financial resources on an essentially unwinnable battle against the warmongering trolls.
However, it was still important to maintain the facade of peace. Such appearance was something both sides were willing to maintain at the minimum.
‘Mhm, trolls typically view humanity with contempt and ridicule, so it should be unlikely for them to treat me as an enemy. On top of that, the facade of peace they are maintaining outwardly means that it’s unlikely for them to forbid human travelers from entering their country.’
However, if a human citizen were to encounter an accident, they could forget about having the weak and ineffective ‘human federation’ come to their aid.
The trolls were like a shield wall when it came to defending against outsiders, retaliating fiercely if one of their own was injured or suffered an accident.
So, if he could try his best not to provoke them, he would do so. He did not wish to be chased and beaten down in a city filled with trolls.
Tourists who planned to visit should better hope for good luck, as the trolls might respond with a few disdainful words if they were in a good mood. However, if they were in a bad mood, the visitors should be prepared for their last rites and coffin. There was even a chance that their body might not be retrieved intact.
Just as he was about to place the materials back into the box, Ji Bai noticed that the bottom layer was slightly loose.
‘It appears that there are two layers in this box. Is there still something in there??’
Harboring suspicions in his mind, he lifted up the second lid.
A few blood bags silently laid at the bottom.
“…” After glancing at them, he silently closed the lid. He then put the papers back in place and returned all items to their previous position.
Once that was completed, he took off the identification token hanging on his neck and ran his fingers over its smooth surface.
The money he used to repay Lin with was the advance salary paid to him by the maid shop owner.
Ji Bai found it hard to eat and sleep in peace when he owed a debt to a vampire.
The remuneration he had gotten earlier should probably be enough to repay a portion of it. However, he couldn’t do so at the moment, as he had no money to spare…
“I have always been a selfish person. That’s right, that’s just how I am.”
Several pieces of furniture were haphazardly placed throughout as decorations for a dim room, giving it a spacious appearance despite the presence of a large bed and dolls scattered all over the ground.
A white-haired girl, dressed in pajamas, looked like a porcelain doll as she laid limp on the large bed, her exposed legs resembling slender willow branches.
Her red jewel-like eyes opened, breaking the frigid atmosphere.
Anna believed she had already made tremendous progress in her behavior after experiencing many ups and downs.
The memory of her past self, overflowing with a desire to kill at the slightest transgression, felt somewhat distant to her now.
However, she found herself unable to control her actions today.
The anger and fury that had been brewing inside her for so long had finally erupted like a long-dormant volcano. The magma had not cooled over time; rather, it had only accumulated further due to her efforts to suppress it.
There was no containing her outburst once it erupted. The good temper, which she had nurtured for years, had all gone to naught due to a minor incident.
As a lowly species, what could possibly give him pause to leave? He had clearly gotten the upper hand out of the situation, yet he was still trying to push his luck.
Anna couldn’t help but question herself after setting up that farce of a bet with that person.
She admitted that she had been rash.
However, since ‘he’ had already become the eldest daughter of vampire nobility, why did ‘he’ still harbor such disdain and contempt for ‘his’ own race?
Anna felt more bewildered and skeptical rather than angry.
Even if she had more to say on the matter, the boat had already sailed; That brat had already become her niece.
As the bond to ensure the continuation of the vampire race, how could she harbor a heart full of hatred for her own kind?
She had to knock her down a slight notch and give her a little lecture, so she could understand the weight of her identity.
‘That reminds me, will that silly girl notice the blood bags underneath the box?’
That brat was truly stubborn in nature. Unless absolutely necessary, she would not drink or even get into contact with the slightest bit of blood. She must have been living on an empty stomach for several days now, hasn’t she?
If she didn’t eat anything, how could her body possibly receive the necessary nutrients to function properly?
Anna heaved a sigh and held her forehead as she felt a headache beginning to form.
She had always felt that none from the younger generation were easy to deal with. Her daughter was one example, but her niece even more so. Each one of them was harder to deal with and naughtier than the last… And then there was that person as well.
‘The conflict between the imperial absolutist faction under her leadership and the separatist faction must have given her a head-splitting headache, doesn’t it?’
The title of ‘Queen’ may seem very impressive, but without careful management, one could only end up living their life as a canary in a cage.
“Ding-Dong.” The sound of the doorbell interrupted the peacefulness of her spacious villa.
“I’m coming.” Anna got off her bed barefoot.
“Click.” The door opened, revealing a cute beast-eared girl with pink hair standing timidly outside. In her embrace was a small box— It was exactly the same one that she had given Ji Bai earlier.
“Miss Anna, Mr. Ji Bai told me to return this item back to you~”
“Thud.” Anna took the small box from her and closed the door. After waiting for the footsteps to grow fainter, she opened it and flipped the second layer over.
The blood bags inside were neatly placed and showed no signs of having been moved.
Anna went silent.
“…That little brat.”