Chapter 198: Tit-for-Tat
As soon as Ann stepped into the room, she made an earth-shattering sneeze.
The female warrior herself wasn’t averse to fragrance. In fact, Ann herself prefers the smell of thyme. She would deliberately choose soap mixed with this kind of essential oil and washed her clothes with them.
But the aroma was extremely light. Except for Nemo, whose sensory acuity was beyond the scope of humans, normal people had to be very close to smell it— But the female warrior usually don’t allow others to approach that level.
The aroma in the room was completely another level. The fragrance was elegant and heavy, and it a felt a bit cold among the arrogant sweetness.
Unfortunately, after long-term activities, the sensitive nose of warriors couldn’t withstand the smell of this rich perfume. Ann kept sneezing that tears couldn’t stop gushing from her eyes.
Adrian reacted first and handed a handkerchief in silence. Ann quickly grabbed the lifeline, nodded gratefully at the knight, and then blew her nose vigorously.
"My God, did they blow up a perfume shop here?" Ten seconds later, she finally moved her nose away from the handkerchief and muttered in a low voice. The impact of a series of sneezes was still there as her voice sounded a bit muffled.
Unfortunately, Marshal Gallagher’s hearing was apparently good as his face turned a few shades of blue to the naked eye.
Since the five members of Tumbleweed entered the door, Gallagher subconsciously moved back. He conducted an investigation as soon as the soldier reported it. A sea scorpion-level team— Since they were at that level, they shouldn’t have any financial difficulties even if they scratched at the bottom of the barrel as a Black Chapter.
Most Black Chapters above the snake level were wicked people with exquisite costumes and had dog-like appearance.
It wasn’t like Gallagher had never seen a high-level Black Chapter before. He had even been exposed to a spider level that was more dangerous than a sea scorpion level. Hearing such an arrogant declaration, he thought he would see some amazing madmen.
It’s a pity that apart for the blond hair one and the former Knight of Judgement, the other two men looked more like they were temporarily pulled from a farmer’s market than a dangerous rebel. The weapons were barely qualified, but they didn’t look like high-end goods. The coat was full of damage and scratches, and there was almost no hostility or anger between their eyes. Instead, it was mostly just tension.
The leader, Oliver Ramon, was cautiously looking at his surroundings. When he found that the soles of his muddy boots stepped on the edge of the incense blanket, Mr. Ramon shivered almost at the same time as Gallagher.
And since the black-haired mage on their team entered, he began to concentrate on counting the small mud spots on his deerskin boots. He held a regular black staff on one hand, and a half-bald parrot on the other, which kept whispering something. Gallagher listened for a moment before forcibly holding back the urge to wash his ears because of the string of unsightly swearing.
Ironically, among the relatively less decently dressed trio, only that woman still felt a bit of a high-level Black Chapter.
Unfortunately, as soon as this thought passed through Gallagher’s mind, the incessant sneezing of the female warrior began.
Gallagher’s gaze moved from the mud on the soles of Tumbleweed’s members to the grass clippings on their clothes. The parrot’s whispered cursing and Ann’s nose blowing echoed in his ears— The famous "Mad Dog of the Wasteland" of Alban almost lost his breath.
What the hell is this?!
However, the woman’s age and physical characteristic were right, and her appearance was even quite similar to the late Annabelle.
A few less disguise illusions would be more convincing, and this female Black Chapter didn’t look like she was forced to come by anyone, so she must have done so willingly.
When Ann finally calmed down from the series of sneezes, Gallagher opened his mouth angrily. "Ann Savage. I’ve check on you. A little-known female warrior with a habit of walking alone… Since you’re not kidding around, I’ve guess you know my purpose and you’re standing in front of me now— Come on, Miss Savage, how much do you want?"
There was a very uncomfortable contemptuous smell in his tone, and Nemo, who was counting the mud spots, couldn’t help but raise his head and look.
Ann obviously also noticed the arrogance in the other party’s tone. She raised her arms and smirked as she sniffled.
"I can give you enough money to make anyone you care about worry-free for a lifetime. For a female Black Chapter, selling a life at that price is already a good deal."
"I’m not kidding," Ann said in a deep voice.
"Want to experience an illusory power? Even if Delia Alastair is still underage, I will not let a dirty straggler touch the throne— Even if it is just a hollowed-out puppet." The contempt in Gallagher’s voice became more obvious. "Make an offer, Ms. Savage."
Ann shook her head with a smile. Slowly untied her left shoulder armor and tore off her left sleeve neatly. With the unpleasant sound of fabric being torn apart, the female warrior’s left arm was exposed from the shoulder.
Nemo suddenly understood why Ann wanted to dress up as a man at the dance… because she couldn’t wear women’s dresses.
Unlike the delicate and soft arms of aristocratic women, the exposed arms had beautiful muscle lines, were strong and powerful, and covered with scars.
The traces of burns, claw marks, and corrosion were extremely obvious. These scars weren’t difficult to get rid of, but warriors were usually willing to keep them, as a medal, as a reminder, or as a tombstone for friends.
The most eye-catching thing was the huge scar on Ann’s upper left arm. It looked like a complete piece of flesh was directly cut off, but the technique wasn’t very skilled.
Throwing away the torn sleeves casually, the female warrior ignored the thick fragrant blanket under her feet, stepped on it mercilessly, and strode to the edge of the long table in front of Marshal Gallagher.
Holding the table with her left hand, Ann took out a delicate crystal bottle from her pocket with her right, bit it open with her teeth carelessly, and poured the seemingly expensive potion on her left shoulder.
The dust fell onto the velvet carpet and the shimmering liquid spilled a little on the table. Gallagher stared at the female Black Chapter in front of him, and his entire person looked like he was on the edge of an outbreak. The guards standing on the other side of the room noticed the Marshal’s unhappiness and looked at each other, all hesitant whether they should step forward and pull this bold woman away…
Then they froze.
At the same time, Marshal Gallagher also froze.
The skin slowly healed wherever the potion content went; all the ugly scars gradually disappeared. The raised scars evened out while the sunken ones gave birth to new flesh.
The huge scar that was particularly conspicuous and uneven was slowly distorted and a ray of soft silver light faintly revealed from the flesh and blood. As the skin gathered, a complex emblem gradually appeared on her shoulder.
"You’re looking for a woman in her thirties with chestnut hair and amber eyes and plan to let her pretend to be Andrea Alastair, who’s been dead for many years— Because her whereabouts are unknown, it’s easy to make a fuss about." Ann put the empty medicine bottle on the table and whispered nonchalantly.
"But it’s a pity, Lord Marshal. Andrea Alastair is indeed still alive, and now she wishes to take back the ‘property’ that belongs to her."
The royal emblem flickered on her shoulders, and the guards didn’t hesitate to kneel and salute while Gallagher frowned, his face became a little ugly.
"Very beautiful trick," he said coldly, "but since His Majesty can give us props for temporarily disguising the emblem, others can also give it to you. A princess? …Someone like you?"
He chuckled. "Many years ago, I met Her Royal Highness Annabelle and Her Royal Highness Andrea. With all due respect, those two Royal Highnesses are delicate and obedient, and Her Royal Highness Andrea was still young when she disappeared. She can’t be alive— Even if a miracle happens, and she’s still alive, she wouldn’t be like you."
"Yes, yes. I should wear a fluffy skirt, tighten my girdle, wipe my tears with a handkerchief, and cry to you about my tragic experience over the years. Is that so? You have it all written on your face, Lord Marshal."
"You don’t have the slightest royal femininity in you."
"You said the same thing, ‘delicate and obedient’. If this is the royal femininity you want, I’m afraid you can only see my bone scraps now. Oh, now that I think about it, I remember saying that."
Ann showed her teeth, and a disgusted smile slowly appeared on her face. Nemo subconsciously took two steps back— When the female warrior laughed like this, nothing good would happen.
"I remember you too. I wondered why this obnoxious strange smell was so familiar. Put away that look, I don’t plan to make up stories temporarily based on existing information. At the birthday party held in a church 21 years ago, you wore a particularly pretentious wig, didn’t you? Well, let me think about it… If I remember correctly, you should be sixteen years old at that time."
"Not making stories up on the fly, huh? Who would remember what happened 21 years ago so clearly?"
"If that person was one of the factors that ushered in a major life change for you, of course you will remember." Ann licked her lips. "Your father pointed to me and Annabelle and asked if you like it? If you like it, you can plead with His Majesty and make one your fiancée."
"Oh, since you ‘remember’ so clearly, then tell me instead, did I agree or refuse at that time?"
"You didn’t say anything." The female warrior propped her hands on the table. "You just sneered softly and glanced at one, as if looking at the decorations in the palace, without the slightest intention of looking at ‘the other one’— I should thank you, Salter. You made me realize at that time that ‘the palace is completely an unbearable palace’."
"…Please let the forces behind you leave." After a long while, Marshal Gallagher said with a flat face. "I will tentatively acknowledge your identity, Your Highness. I have to say that the idea of pretending to be a Black Chapter is very clever. Whoever is the person behind you, he has taught you well."
He paused, and his suspicious eyes swept across the other four people behind him.
"It seems that Ann Savage’s so-called ‘preference to act alone’ is to cover up the fact that you are not the one performing the task. I should have known a long time ago that the temperament of these people from Tumbleweed have an air not unlike a Black Chapter. Are they accompanying you to protect you? …This bitter trick worked well, Your Highness, but the farce should always end. It’s time for me to talk to the real representative."
Marshal Gallagher’s attitude was very obvious. As a veteran Black Chapter who has been in the business for many years, Ann was very confident in her eye for people.
This pretentious bastard thought that she couldn’t possibly have her own mind, and she was negotiating with him according to a script from who knows where. He was looking for the so-called behind-the-scene force planning to negotiation.
Even if he reluctantly recognized her status as a princess for the time being, the "Mad Dog of the Wasteland" didn’t let the soldiers step down and talk about business. Although his words were polite, the Marshal obviously didn’t intend to take "the Princess of Alban" seriously. In this way, it wasn’t so surprising that Gallagher Salter didn’t send anyone to contact Delia.
The smile on Ann’s face got bigger and bigger, she slowly raised her right hand—
Then gave the standard middle finger to Gallagher.
"Fuck you, Salter. I am the representative."
Marshal Gallaher seemed to be stunned by the female warrior’s skillful gesture and expletive. He narrowed his eyes and flushed angrily. "Your Highness, please pay attention to your identity and don’t say such… indecent things."
Although the marshal’s voice was a little more serious this time, there was still a bit of condescending coaxing in his tone.
"…The marshal is quite unlucky," Oliver whispered to Nemo. "Uh, this feeling… Ann’s really angry."
"Yes." Nemo took another half step back and dragged Oliver back together. "Be careful."
"I’m not just going to mouth off, I’m going to kick your ass," Ann spoke while she raised the middle finger of her other hand. "I hate the way you talk to me, Salter. Since you don’t understand human speech, there’s a better way to explain it—"
Marshal Gallagher looked at the two middle fingers in front of him and his face flushed with anger. He took a deep, cultivated breath. "Please, since you must be so emotional…"
"Fight with me, Lord Marshal. One-on-one, weapon of your choice." Ann squeezed these words out of her teeth.
"I don’t hit women, Your Highness."
"I don’t bully the mentally handicapped before, but this time I decided to make an exception."
"Don’t deceive others too much…!"
"Stop talking nonsense. Fight or not?"
"If this is your order, I hope that when the time comes, you will not capriciously-"
"Oh, don’t worry. I won’t kill you." The female warrior quickly buckled her leather armor and drew her spear from behind. "When will it start? Why don’t we just do it now."
Gallagher looked at the female warrior across the table with a cold face and stood up slowly.
She smiled sarcastically. "Oh yes… ‘I forgive you for offending House Alastair.’ You’re waiting for this sentence, aren’t you?"
Jesse whistle and just halfway through the whistle Nemo slapped his mouth shut. The soldiers began to make a commotion while Gallagher stretched out his hand to signal the guards to remain calm.
"It will be over soon anyway," he said. "Your Highness is just impulsive… You need to promise me, Your Highness. If I win, you’ll be honest and reveal the force behind you, and play your role as a princess; Things like war are not for women to meddle in."
"Yes, it will be over soon." There was still a smile on Ann’s face that made people’s hair stood up. "You have to promise me too, Mr. Mad Dog. If I win…"
"Mad……?! Ahem, please continue."
"If I win, please stop being such a dumbass, okay?"
The author has something to say：
Ann: (Anger) I’m already very polite. To be honest, what I actually want to say is you [expletive], [expletive]? [Muffled swearing] —
Marshal: (Miserable) Praise Zenni, what kind of excessive words are these! This absolutely, positively can’t be true. Your Highness, it’s simply too… rude and impolite!
Ann’s so badass. Teach this sexist a lesson.