“Ghirlandaio” watched calmly as Ms. Leona escorted Doreen away. The tamed Frost Beast followed her out as well.
The corners of his mouth rose slightly.
Of course, Annan had realized.
If Dmitri’s group asked about the Frost Beast source from Doreen, they would immediately notice the flaw in Ghirlandaio’s identity.
However, it did not matter.
Annan did not expect to have this disguise last long, not even intending to fool Dmitri with it.
Vasily Manning’s news was only delayed for a few days, not knowing that Annan had already left for Austere-Winter. But, sooner or later, he would find out.
After all, Annan left the Noah Kingdom initially to avoid suspicion. Therefore, this news would not be hidden for too long. Moreover, it was peculiar if Austere-Winter’s Grand Duke, who had a close relationship with one of the candidates, stayed in the capital during the Noah Kingdom’s new king’s ascension to the throne.
It would be fine if Kafni did not succeed to the throne.
If Kafni succeeded to the throne, there would inevitably be gossip, saying that Queen Kafni was under the Austere-Winter’s Grand Duke’s control and that Noah Kingdom had no future.
This might even directly shake the Noah Kingdom’s power foundation.
Those with ulterior motives would have words on hand that could incite others.
Of course, even if Annan were not in the Noah Kingdom, what was intended would still be accomplished. However, it would come with a couple of troubles.
When Vasily sent the news of Annan’s return to Austere-Winter, Dmitri would instantly guess that “Ghirlandaio” was Annan from the many details Annan had left behind.
Also, he would immediately realize that since Annan returned to Austure-Winter Dukedom in a hidden identity, it meant that he needed such a disguise. Then, Dmitri would help Annan hide Ghirlandaio’s true identity instead.
Instead of worrying about the disguise being exposed, Annan wanted to take advantage of the present situation to inquire about things that Dmitri might not tell him, “Speaking of which, brother.”
“Ghirlandaio” asked Dmitri·Austere-Winter beside him in a low voice, “Since werewolves are so dangerous, why doesn’t Austere-Winter Dukedom just exile them?”
The werewolves’ talent for going berserk made them the equivalent of time bombs.
No one would want a werewolf to be near their child, even after knowing their age and gender, and they would not go berserk for a while.
Never mind a werewolf who could kill someone, even humans. For example, those who had been in prison or received a punishment. Even if they just stole a piece of bread and a few silver coins, the parents would feel uneasy about having the criminals near their children.
“The once and for all solution is to expel the werewolves from the country completely.” Ghirlandaio said with a half-smile, “Anyway, the situation hasn’t changed for any better.”
Dmitri glanced at him, “Are you sympathizing with the werewolves?”
Ghirlandaio shrugged, “I’m not. I’m not even an Austerian, so I have any right to sympathize with them. It’s just my pure curiosity. You are the successor of Austere-Winter’s Grand Duke. Then, you should know the answer to this question… Can you tell me?”
“It isn’t something we can’t talk about. It’s no secret,” said Dmitri slowly.
He sat on the table alone and took out a copper box from his arms. There should have been a row of cigars inside, but only three were left.
Dmitri took out one of the dark brown cigars and cut a slit in the round end with a cigar cutter. He unceremoniously picked up a thick match from Ghirlandaio’s table, lit it, turned it around, and smoked the cigar carefully.
He tapped the cigar box lightly with his left thumb and glanced at Ghirlandaio.
Seeing him unmoved, Dmitri raised his head in surprise, “…You don’t smoke?”
Ghirlandaio said with a half-smile, as if hinting at something, “I’m not old enough to smoke.”
However, Dmitri did not realize what Ghirlandaio meant. Instead, he just clicked his tongue.
Dmitri shook his head and murmured in a low voice, “Everyone will die one day, so what’s the point of living so carefully?”
“What did you say?”
“No, nothing.” Dmitri denied.
He was silent for a while before slowly speaking up, “The answer is straightforward.
“It’s not that we don’t want to expel them, but that we can’t. Although we haven’t studied the rules of werewolves going berserk thoroughly yet, the general rule is that there’s a chance to trigger berserk in werewolves when the lives of ourselves and the group are endangered.
“For example, a werewolf may go berserk when severely injured or in desperation. According to our research, this seems to be some curse inherited in the bloodline. No one knows, and no one bothers about it.”
A curse inherited through the blood?
Is it like the Winter Heart?
Annan was thoughtful.
That was why Austere-Winter Dukedom spares them.
Although the werewolves were discriminated against, suppressed, and restricted from gaining power, the Dukedom never expelled them from its territory but gave them a definite way to survive. Once the werewolves were cornered, the outburst of their power would throw turmoil into the Austere-Winter Dukedom, damaging it from within.
The Noah Kingdom was watching covetously, and the Austere-Winter Dukedom dared not to use radical means to deal with the werewolf problem.
Even though they dared not, the Dukedom still retained the desire to do so.
If possible, they would rather the werewolves leave the Winter Kingdom as soon as possible.
It did not matter whether they went to the Underground Federation or the Papal Kingdom. Anyway, the status of werewolves was relatively higher there.
The Underground Federation was sparsely populated and rich in resources. The black-haired werewolves who entered the underground would hardly go berserk. In the Papal Kingdom, the status of werewolves was slightly higher than that in Austere-Winter Dukedom.
The Papal Kingdom’s people were also afraid of werewolves. However, the difference was that some werewolves in the Papal Kingdom had already stood at the top of the power and could speak for their race.
After all, werewolves were born to war machines and people of “blood and desire”.
Werewolves could not produce Old Grandmother’s believers, but they could easily produce people in the faiths of the Red Knight and the Cup-holding Lady.
In fact, there was a Bronze Rank transcended profession called “Werewolf”.
Werewolves did not need any pre-requisite profession. It did not demand their swordsmanship and sneak ability. As long as they clear the nightmare after reaching adulthood, they have the opportunity to advance into a transcended.
Also, it was easy to embark on the Fallen path.
It was even right to say that they were born to be Fallen.
Among the twelve upright deities, the only two who could accept demon believers were the Red Knight and the Cup-holding Lady.
The Red Knight even had an apostle army called the “Slaughter Squad”, all of which were composed of recruited demons. In Cup-holding Lady’s ritual, there was even a high-level ritual that altered mortals into blood fiends, a long-lived species— In Annan’s understanding, they could also be called a “vampire”.
However, there came a strange part.
In short, the Austere-Winter Dukedom wished the werewolves to go away.
Why was Bella accepted and even qualified for Winter’s Hand?
Judging by Dmitri’s reaction, Annan thought Bella had probably gone berserk.
She might even have attacked him in his first life. Otherwise, considering Dmitri’s seemingly serious but lazy personality, he would not have suddenly developed such a strong dislike for werewolves.
However, Annan had no way to ask Bella questions, no matter if misfortune had struck her or not.
In terms of the settings of his disguise, he wore the shoes of a Noah civilian.
Even if he reported the real name of a member of the Winter’s Hand, he might be arrested on the spot. In addition to Doreen, there was one more person.
“Don’t even try to run away.” Seeing Ghirlandaio stand up, Dmitri said abruptly, “I’m free now, looking for the Frost Beast. I’ll keep an eye on you until your suspicion is cleared.”
“En, I get it. I’m going to get some wine. Is that okay?” Annan smiled and said, “I also understand now why you must find the Frost Beast.
“The research value is unimportant, but the werewolf is the unstable factor. Don’t you think?”
“…Tsk.” Ghirlandaio’s words have a mysterious tone.
Dmitri smacked his lips and smoked his cigar with a displeased face.
Annan shook his head. He got up to get a few bottles of wine from the wine rack at the door.
He had yet to try it, whether he could use the new function: the teleportation waypoint. Thus, he could not be overconfident. He would stay there obediently cause it would not cause him too many days.
At the same time, Annan was eager to see Dmitri’s expression when he learned the truth.
Annan thought with a smile.
Thinking of the adventuring trio waiting hard for him in the underground world, Annan’s smile grew brighter.
It was pretty interesting to watch them mess around.
“I didn’t mean to bully you… You see, I’m also stuck here.”
I’m under detention, my brothers.
You guys go ahead and work first. I’m not coming. Don’t wait for me.jpg
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