Even if Ethan should fail, he would be the one who would bear the consequences of his failure, not Liam.
As long as Liam remained the sect leader, he was confident that he could keep Clearheart Sect standing and protect the status quo until his eventual death.
“What should I do?” Helis asked.
“Help him out.”
“What excuses should I make?” Helis grinned widely like an old wily fox. Liam widened his eyes in a glare, grabbed the teacup on the table and threw it at him.
“Can’t you think of an excuse on your own? Why are you asking me instead?”
Helis caught the cup nimbly and placed it carefully on the table. He laughed. “Alright then. I’ll think of something.”
He took his leave and left the study, leaving Liam to fume in private.
Ethan was really something.
It had been years since Liam had thrown a temper. Yet, a brief conversation with Ethan had gotten Liam boiling with anger.
Helis felt laughter bubbling inside him.
It seemed that no one was truly invincible.
Ethan walked out of the sect leader’s residence. Lacey was waiting outside for him. She raced towards him as soon as she saw him.
“Did you find out what’s going on?” There was a faint blush on her face and she dared not look Ethan in the eye. Instead, she kept her eyes down and spoke softly. “We…how did we…”
“Your imagination is running wild.”
Ethan reached out and flicked his fingers against Lacey’s forehead.
“Ouch!” Her hands shot up and covered her forehead protectively. “Why did you do that?”
“It’s not what you think it is,” said Ethan. “I have a wife. I’m not going to marry you.”
Lacey froze momentarily. Her eyes reddened without any warning as she scoffed. “You think too highly of yourself. Did I mention anything about marrying me? I’m way out of your league. How dare you think of me in this way! Stop dreaming.”
Words flew out of her mouth rapidly. Her vehemence seemed deliberate, as if she was trying to hide her true feelings behind her outburst.
“I’m warning you. Cease your wishful thinking.”
“Don’t worry. There’s none in the first place and there wouldn’t be any in the future,” Ethan said mildly.
Lacey thought she heard the sound of something shattering.
Her chest felt hollowed out. A smile hung on her face but it looked forced.
She hung her arm around Ethan’s shoulder and tried to sound nonchalant. “I think we’ll make great friends. You can give me tips on how to fight and I’ll protect you from being bullied. No one in Clearheart Sect would dare to push you around. Doesn’t that sound great? Let’s be friends. We’ll have fun together. I can even address you as my teacher if I feel like it. Come on, say something!”
Lacey wouldn’t stop talking as they walked away. She didn’t give Ethan the chance to speak at all.
When they returned to her courtyard, she bade Ethan farewell and left. She hurried back to her room and shut the door with a loud slam.
Then, she sat down in front of her dresser and stared at her reflection in the mirror. Her eyes gradually reddened.
They could be friends. Best friends. They could have fun together. That sounded like a nice idea.
They barely knew each other anyway. This was the best that she could hope for, wasn’t it?
“I didn’t know you have a wife. I wonder what she’s like.” Lacey bit her lips. Her voice shook slightly. She pulled herself together within moments. “I have to meet her someday.”
Meanwhile, Helis had put the word out.
Ethan was the man that Third Miss had chosen to be her husband and he was someone whom Liam thought highly of. There were rumors that Liam intended to groom Ethan to become the next sect leader of the Clearheart Sect.
The news sent the entire Clearheart Sect into an uproar.
The disciples were dumbstruck by the news. A few elders were equally shocked. They had not realized that Liam had this card hidden up his sleeve all this while.
Liam’s disgruntled sons barged into his study, demanding to know what was going on.