The shade of purple on the coaches was elegant and gentle. Both coaches were emblazoned with the same coat of arms―a strong armored arm grabbing a silver s.h.i.+eld, surrounded by many bright purple violets together with fortress-like patterns.
It was the coat of arms of Orvarit Family, which was called the Family of Violet and also the s.h.i.+eld of Truth.
The two coaches stopped in front of the long red carpet. n.o.bles who had already entered the hall left their seats and came outside again, following Count Hain and Count Rafati, to welcome the grand duke, while the musicians were standing in the distance to show their respect.
A tall young lady with bright purple hair got off the coach first in her elegant black evening dress.
Her deep eyes were purple like a dream, her eyebrows were heavier and longer than common ladies, and her nose was high and straight, which matched perfectly with her pink, bloom-like lips. The young lady was gorgeous, and her beauty was unique: her beauty was of vitality, confidence, and heroic spirit. If it was appropriate to compare Ms. Sylvia to the lily, who was gentle and elegant, the young lady would be a flouris.h.i.+ng violet, lively and pa.s.sionate.
This young lady was the well-known Violet Countess, Natasha.
And the middle-aged woman that Lucien saw last time was standing by Natasha's side.
As a level five grand knight, Natasha was half-head taller than most men. She quickly walked to the other coach and supported her father, the grand duke, with his hand, to get off.
Orvarit also had purple hair, but much lighter than his daughter's. In his early sixties, the grand duke looked weaker than his peers. When he was younger, Orvarit was not as gifted as Natasha, therefore, he had to rely on the many secret potions provided by the church and the family in order to awaken his Blessing, and then he became a level two knight. His health had been damaged by the potions in the early years, and the loss of his wife and the eldest son in the following years were also devastating to him.
Even with all the sufferings, Orvarit was still very handsome and attractive. His love towards his late wife was well-known and touching. Many years before, Orvarit fell in love with the only princess of the Kingdom of Holm across Storm Strait when he was staying there as an amba.s.sador. They overcame countless difficulties together and finally got married. In the following years, he gave all his love to his wife and never had any affair. The love story was still being sung by many bards until today.
Supported by Natasha, the grand duke got off the coach and walked towards the red carpet. In his eyes, the sacred Psalm Hall never changed in his memory, and then he started thinking about his whole life. After so many years, Natasha was now his only concern. Indeed, he was very proud of his daughter, but also felt worried, since Natasha had an even stronger personality than many men.
In front of the splendid and magnificent hall, the n.o.bles were saluting the grand duke and the princess, showing their great respect. Orvarit was smiling to the n.o.bles in his grave and dignified bearing, while Natasha was slightly nodding to them. Even Lucien could tell from a distance that although the princess was more than used to all of these n.o.ble manners, she was not much interested in them. However, when she later found Sylvia standing among the n.o.bles, a big and lovely smile appeared on her face.
Lucien saw Natasha was slightly bowing to Sylvia with her right hand on her chest, which was a typical male greeting.
"That's weird… Um… If I'm not mistaken, there is definitely something between Princess Natasha and Ms. Sylvia…" Lucien did not want to gossip about it, but still felt a bit sorry for the n.o.ble gentlemen present. After all, both Sylvia and Natasha were both very attractive and charming.
"I suggest we go inside and get seated first, your majesty." Count Hain grinned after saluting the grand duke respectfully, "Let's leave some free s.p.a.ce to the young people."
His son Viscount Harrington was talking to Princess Natasha. Harrington was a nice-looking and enthusiastic young man. The concert for tonight was important, and so was the socializing part.
Orvarit only took a quick glance at the young man without too much hope, "We should wait a bit. I believe Cardinal Sard will be here tonight as well."
Hearing the name, many n.o.bles standing close by stopped talking, looking rather surprised.
Sard, the Saint Cardinal, the presider of the church in the Duchy of Orvarit, member of the Episcopal Conference, was known for almost living in seclusion. It was very unexpected that he was attending the concert tonight, which reminded many of the n.o.bles present of the evil ritual previously conducted in Baron Laurent's house.
At this time, a simple coach with the Saint Truth Badge on it stopped in front of the hall. Everyone there could guess it was Sard's coach.
Being helped by a young knight, an old man in his white robe got off the coach. He looked very kind with his totally white hair, just like a loving grandpa. Walking with firm and steady steps, Sard was still in pretty good health. No one could really tell he was actually already over two-hundred years old.
As the old cardinal walked closer, Lucien suddenly felt a warm air gently breezing in his spirit, like his soul was basking in the holy light.
Lucien was very surprised with how powerful the old man's spiritual power was. When his spiritual power got totally blocked by the magic circle laid by the church, the power of the old man's soul was still this influential. He had actually heard Sard's name before, since he was like a legend in this world. In that moment, Lucien finally saw the legend with his own eyes.
It was said that, among all the cardinals in the Saint Truth Church, only about ten of them were Saint Cardinals. According to Lucien's knowledge, taking those people, including the greatest knight commanders, leaders of the inquisition and the monks into consideration, there could be no more than thirty people in this world who had this kind of power like Sard did.
Standing close to Lucien, Rhine narrowed his eyes and wrinkled his brows in concentration as if something was too burning bright for him.
Lucien noticed Rhine's difference and turned to look at him, and his eyes just met Rhine's in that moment. The corner of Rhine's mouth quirked up, putting a casual smile on his face.
It was not the first time that Lucien noticed Rhine was behaving in a weird way. However, Lucien knew that tonight was not a proper time for solving the many questions about Rhine in his mind.
When Cardinal Sard entered the hallway, following the knight manner, Orvarit kissed Sard's right hand respectfully with his knees slightly bent.
"Only truth lives forever," said the grand duke.
It looked like religious authority was still above imperial power in Aalto.
"It's very nice to see you, Your Majesty. I'm glad to see that you're still doing this great, and I'm glad to see our lovely little Natasha is an outstanding knight now." Sard held Orvarit's arm and smiled lovingly.
The grand duke and the cardinal walked into the concert hall hand in hand, with Natasha holding Sard's arm on the other side slightly behind them. They were followed by the n.o.bles walking in the strict rank rules.
"Well… It's time to get prepared in the backstage." Victor smiled, "Lucien, you may want to wait here for your friends and lead them to their seats later."
Lucien nodded and watched Victor and Rhine leaving. Soon Felicia, Lott and Herodotus went into the hall as well, and they would be sitting in the good seats a.s.signed for their families.
Close to the hallway, only Athy and Lucien were still waiting there. Athy was waiting for Victor's relatives and Lucien was waiting for his friends.
A moment later, a plain and fully-loaded coach came. Iven was the first one getting off the coach, followed by his elder brother, John. Iven looked very adorable in his little suit, while John was the same, tall and handsome, whose blonde hair was s.h.i.+ning in the light.
Joel and Alisa got off the coach as well. Lucien felt auntie Alisa's dress was pretty tight for her, but her happy smile made her look much younger than usual. Seeing the whole family, Lucien smiled without knowing.
"I thought you wouldn't come." Lucien playfully hit John on his shoulder. The two buddies had not seen each other for a while.
"Come on…!" John also hit Lucien back cheerily, "Your first music work will be played in the Psalm Hall. As your best friend, how can I miss it! By the way, Lucien, I have a good news too." John hugged Lucien and patted him on the back, "I'm a high-rank knight squire now!"
"Wow! That's awesome, John! Good for you!" Lucien grinned.
At this time, Elena also arrived. In her long, light yellow dress, Elena looked like a lovely angel tonight.
"Good for you too, Lucien." Joel took a glance at Elena and nudged Lucien slightly, "She's adorable."
"No… no… we're just friends." Lucien was a bit shy and embarra.s.sed.
Then Lucien led them to the west stand. It was much smaller than the other stands, and could only seat twenty people.
The best seats belonged to the distinguished counts and above. After taking his seat, Orvarit slightly leaned forward and asked the cardinal, "Your Eminence, is there any progress in investigating Baron Laurent's case?"
Although the city guards and the intelligence division of the Duchy were also looking into this thing, they could never compete with the great pastors from the inquisition who claimed that they could hear from the G.o.d of Truth.
"Well… some." Cardinal Sard was watching the orchestra being prepared on the stage in the front, with a casual smile on his face, "We believe that it has something to do with the duke in the h.e.l.l. His predecessor was sealed somewhere under the Dark Mountain Range by the ancient magic empire, and he's always been trying to find his predecessor and absorb the power."
"I thought he could have been more careful," Natasha joined their conversation, "and we heard that some sorcerers were involved in it as well."
"That's true." Sard nodded, "G.o.d revealed to me that they do have other plans, so we're still gathering more information, especially looking up the ancient doc.u.ments from Sylvanas Magic Empire. As for the sorcerers, they are just several apprentices with a sorcerer coming from the headquarter of the Congress of Magic. He calls himself 'professor' but he's only a third or fourth circle sorcerer, so we don't have to worry too much about them."
"The headquarter of the Congress of Magic?" the grand duke and the princess asked at the same time with wonder.