Han Shuo was flabbergasted when he saw the old man get to his feet and walk over. He hadn’t discovered it when the old man was sitting, but when the old man drew himself up straight, he immediately appeared extraordinarily awe inspiring. His body was tall and fit, and didn’t appear old and clumsy in the slightest.
Phoebe pinched Han Shuo covertly, wanting him to hurry and apologize. Lawrence, on the other side, kept throwing glances at Han Shuo, seeming to urge him into an apology to the old man.
When he saw the old man walk over, Han Shuo said with a rueful smile, “Your ears are truly sensitive, but I didn’t say anything bad about you, just wanted to introduce a good companion to you in your old age.”
“Oh? Now this is a bit interesting. I didn’t think you’d be so kindhearted.” The old man walked over and flicked a glance at Han Shuo, one that sent chills running through his heart. He then pointed at Phoebe and smiled, “Do you mean this beautiful lady? If it’s her, I’d be very happy to, heh heh!”
Han Shuo was immediately gobsmacked by these words as Phoebe’s face turned bright red. She flung a vicious glance at Han Shuo, seeming to blame him for playing with fire.
“No, this lady is noticeably unsuitable for your age. I was thinking that this old granny is more suitable for you.” Han Shuo felt that his aura was a bit blocked when he faced this old man. He opened his mouth and continued spouting off random nonsense in an effort to shake off that oppressing feeling.
On the other side, Lawrence appeared a bit anxious and continued sending certain looks at Han Shuo. However, he was still a bit too late as Han Shuo spoke his mind.
“Such a rude thing lacking breeding and vision. In what way am I a good match for this old thing? Are you seeking death?!” Valerie was exceedingly angry as she bawled out at Han Shuo with a violent look. She also glared at the elder as well for good measure.
“Little fellow, you must be joking. Although I’m not young, I’m noticeably younger than this madame. I think she’d be more suited for my late grandfather.” When the elder heard Valerie also curse at him, he actually merrily riposted in the same manner.
Although his age was advanced, his words made Valerie out to be completely worthless. Valerie was so incensed, that smoke was almost rising from her seven orifices. She immediately stared at the old man angrily and shouted, “Damned decrepit thing, how dare you say that about me.”
A slap rang out as Lawrence suddenly made his move and flung a slap at the rich madame. He said with a cold face to Cameron off on the side, “Uncle Cameron, your friend is simply too rude. We don’t welcome people like her. Please have her leave immediately.”
Cameron’s face changed slightly as he couldn’t quite understand why Lawrence would do so. The madame almost wanted to go on a rampage. She covered her mouth as a few traces of blood could be seen. It looked like Lawrence hadn’t held back with this slap.
Cameron began to subtly feel that something was amiss and was about to ask what Lawrence meant when Finance Minister Eevee walked over from the distance. He immediately cried out with surprise when he came over and gave a bow, “Master Hahn, what brings you here?”
Han Shuo’s heart jumped with surprise as he suddenly remembered Mister Cameron’s talk of Emily’s identity earlier. The current head of the Betteridge family was called Hahn. As he thought of this and once again looked at the elder, he vaguely guessed at his identity.
Cameron’s face also changed as he shouted coldly at Valerie in a low voice. “Shut up!” He restrained Valerie, who’d been about to continue making a fuss. He then spoke fearfully to the elder, “My apologies Master Hahn, we’ve been most impolite. I will take her away now and personally visit in a few days to offer my apologies.”
Valerie had finally recovered herself in this moment and her expression was filled with awe and fear as well. She stood there in a dumb haze, not sure of what to say. It was obvious that she was stunned by Hahn’s identity.
“No need, our Betteridge clan cannot accommodate such characters like you.” Hahn on the other hand, maintained his usual expression and cast a cold look at the two of them as he spoke faintly.
Cameron’s expression was still humble as he continued to express his apologies and kept tugging the dazed Valerie, quickly walking outside. He kept bowing and offering his apologies before he left, until his figure vanished into the distance.
In this world, even with all the many gold coins that merchants could earn, their status in society would never be on par with nobles such as Hahn, particularly when Hahn’s clansmen were senior officials in the military. They wouldn’t dare offend Hahn no matter what.
“Little fellow, you’ve got some guts.” Seeing that Han Shuo still had the same expression on his face after Cameron had left with clear explanations from Lawrence and Eevee, Hahn was a bit surprised to see that Han Shuo didn’t offer an apology or appear that frightened. He snorted softly at Han Shuo.
Actually, when he found out Hahn’s identity, Han Shuo was also a bit shocked. However, he hadn’t said anything that was too offensive just now so he wasn’t that afraid of Hahn. When he heard Hahn’s words, Han Shuo said with a conciliatory smile, “I was just joking with you earlier, I think you surely wouldn’t mind with your magnanimity.”
“Heh heh, I’m a very narrow minded person. Everyone knows that.” Hahn laughed oddly and responded with something outside of Han Shuo’s expectations.
This made Han Shuo feel a bit taken aback as he stood there, at a loss for appropriate words.
“Eh, honored father, what are you guys standing here chatting about?” Emily had changed into a new set of clothes at this time and first flicked a glance at Han Shuo, then looking at Hahn in surprise.
Emily had married Hahn’s second son, but that unlucky fellow hadn’t had time to consummate the marriage before Hahn had sent him onto the battlefield. He hadn’t returned in the end and had left Emily a widow. Therefore, after Emily had become a Betteridge daughter-in-law, old Hahn kept reprimanding himself and felt that he owed something to his son and daughter-in-law. It was said that he dearly loved Emily and was even closer to her than his own son.
“Nothing much, just that I’ve met an interesting little fellow. Mm, let’s go, let’s go. I’ll go dance with you. I don’t understand you at all. You used to never bring a date to these banquets, but wanted to drag me along this time. You’ll be the death of me sooner or later.” Old Hahn first responded carelessly and then complained merrily as he walked towards the dance hall.
Emily had wanted to speak more, but she could only quickly follow after old Hahn. When she left however, Emily still raked Han Shuo with a subtle glance.
Old Hahn’s words seemed to subtly indicate something. He thought about it briefly and understood that it might have been because of him to make Emily change. He was quite touched internally.
“Eh, so she’s Madame Emily. It should be my first time meeting her today, but why does her back look a bit familiar?” Lawrence looked in the direction that Emily had disappeared in and flicked a glance at Han Shuo, questioning in a low voice.
Lawrence’s words seemed to point at something, particularly that last glance at Han Shuo. This made Han Shuo feel that Lawrence seemed to have discovered something, but to Han Shuo, his relationship with Phoebe was the fake one, and thus he wasn’t afraid of Lawrence telling Phoebe about his relationship with Emily. He felt that he was on firm ground at heart and wasn’t panicked.
“Little Phoebe, you didn’t offend old Hahn, did you?” Finance Minister Eevee looked at Phoebe and spoke with a bit of worry after Hahn and Emily had left.
“Never mind Phoebe’s matters, heh heh. Go back to whatever you were busy with and don’t worry. I’ll take care of things here.” Lawrence stood by the side and suddenly spoke up.
Eevee seemed to listen very much to Lawrence as he nodded and didn’t say much else after Lawrence had opened his mouth. He left with a slight smile.
“Don’t worry, Master Hahn isn’t someone who confuses right from wrong. He won’t make trouble for you, I can promise that. The ball has already started, the two of you can go enjoy yourselves.” Lawrence spoke with a small smile at Han Shuo and Phoebe after Eevee had left.
“Mm, understood senior brother.” Phoebe smiled and pulled on Han Shuo’s arm, seeming to say randomly, “Come, dance with me.”
Han Shuo started and said a bit frantically, “Forget it, I don’t know how to dance, not at all!”
Phoebe started and hesitated. Just as she was about to give up, her eyebrow suddenly lifted and she said a bit mischievously, “No problem, I can teach you. It’s really simple.”
“Forget it, I’m really stupid. It won’t be good for me to embarrass you in front of everyone.” Han Shuo shook his head and declined with a wry smile.
Her slender, white neck rising up, Phoebe said with a bit of a pout, “What did you promise me before? Don’t try to change the subject.”
Phoebe wrapped her hands firmly around Han Shuo’s arm after she’d spoken, with no thought of whether or not Han Shuo had agreed. She tugged him in the direction of dance floor, not giving him the chance to decline.