City of Sin

Book 1, Chapter 30A
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Tender and Delicious

Time passed without anyone paying attention, and gigantic cracks began to form on the ice sheets north of Floe Bay. Spring had arrived, a season where the many magical beasts began to mate from gophers to dragons.

Everyone by Sharon’s side could sense that Her Excellency was growing extremely strange. Her emotions were starting to fluctuate without pattern, like those of a little girl with a rabbit’s heart. The grand mages in contact with her grew extremely cautious, paying attention to her every thought. Even someone like Fayr had to grow prudent. Some people guessed that these were the stirrings of love, and the grand mages who had vast experience knew that beasts were most dangerous in breeding season.

The afternoon sun was shining brightly, and the legendary mage was laid lazily on her couch as she pondered something so hard she’d even forgotten to eat her favourite fruits from beside her. She was dressed casually, the soft ivory-coloured silk gown sticking to her like a second skin.

A pair of bare little feet were rested high on another armrest, her tender skin revealing a gentle lustre akin to a pearl under the warm sunlight. This was a pair of bare feet that was extremely tempting, the tiny bit of calf they revealed enough to make the ignorant do all they could to imagine the scene deeper between those legs.

However, no ignorant people could stay by the legendary mage’s side. They all chose to disregard the spring radiance Sharon exuded, no stray thoughts in their minds.

Most of the people here had followed Sharon through battles from plane to plane, while the rest had taken part in the creation of the Deepblue. They all knew her terrifying methods very well, and in their eyes the person reclining in front of them wasn’t a little woman who was so tender one couldn’t resist the urge to take a bite of her. No, she was a true, ancient, dragon! Anyone without this awareness had long since disappeared into the planar storms.

The mages made their reports as per usual, but Sharon herself was obviously lazy and disinterested. Her eyes were even flickering shut.

At this moment, a servant walked in, saying that a great master in art had come to seek an audience with Her Excellency. Sharon’s narrowed eyes did not move for a long while, and only when the servant was almost unable to keep this half-bowed pose and began to send helpless looks to the grand mages did she lazily nod. The maestro then approached her fearfully, artwork in hand.

As someone without the qualifications to attend a meeting with so many higher-ups, he’d never had such a feeling before. When his gaze shifted to Sharon’s shining bare feet, everyone saw the master’s throat move. Tens of blade-like piercing gazes immediately caused him to become aware that he had forgot his manners, and cold sweat immediately covered his body. Thankfully Her Excellency had not opened her eyes, instead still looking dazed as if she was thinking about something. She hadn’t even noticed the rudeness and strong physical reaction of the artist.

The maestro came to the couch and bowed his head down, not daring to let his gaze land on any part of Sharon’s body. He revealed the work he was hugging tightly to his chest, and then said with respect, “Your Excellency, your student Steven has made a portrait for you. It has great artistic value, which is why I was so bold as to take some of your precious time to hand it to you.”

Sharon’s narrowed eyes finally opened completely, and she began to focus. She was like a cat sunbathing as she shifted her body lethargically to look at the portrait from a better angle. The legendary mage had many pupils, and she had also obtained all sorts of strange gifts before. However, Steven was the first to give her a portrait.

This was a half-body portrait, the background being of Floe Bay during summer. The foothills of the Everwinter Mountains had been dyed a tender green, the peaks still covered with snow year-round. The background seemed like peppermint milk, a famous dessert in Norland.

The sea was tranquil and deep, while the skies seemed lofty. Various shades of blue filled the space between them, with the legendary mage at the centre. Sharon was dressed in her favourite sky-blue robes, leaning against a parapet wall and staring into the distance.

This truly was a masterpiece!

There was no lack of portraits of the legendary mage, even once done by accomplished masters. However, all of them accentuated her identity as a legendary mage. While they would express her beauty, it was all centred around dignity and magnificence. Earlier works sketched out the scene where she battled on other planes, showing both her beauty and her cold killing intent alongside the power that caused others to bend their heads.

This half-body portrait displayed originality, and in this work she seemed more like a beautiful woman with a graceful temperament.

The background of the painting was in blue, green, and white, the purest, most tender and sweetest of the palette. They had all been handled quite well too, none obscuring the focus. If not for that robe that only Sharon wore, it would be difficult to tell that the indistinct and dispirited woman was actually a legendary mage.

The half-body portrait was ingenious. They revealed Steven’s thoughts in their entirety, yet remained ingeniously vague.

Sharon’s eyes finally twitched slightly, and the maestro noted the slight change. Having once wandered through many kingdoms, mixing with courts and aristocrats, he had been a lady-killer himself. Be it young or old, he’d seen the look in Sharon’s eyes many times before.

Indeed. All these years people only remembered that Sharon was a legendary mage, keeping in mind her powerful magic, wealth, and growing prosperity that could be compared to groups of dragons. Everyone forgot she was a woman; although the lives of legendary beings were very long, their state of mind would change with time. With time, they would age as per usual, then feel young again, then change again. At the end was indifference. The high-grade elves on the Norland Continent had once had this glamour, and had a profound understanding and recounting of this.

Sharon had long since entered the legendary realm, but she was still in the same state of mind as an eighteen or twenty-year-old. It was hard to tell, but the haziness in her eyes was something the maestro had seen in many young women dreaming of love. The painting had evidently had great effects.

Once, in the past, the art master had been taken in by Sharon’s beauty and might, willing to give up on the colourful world outside and settle in the Deepblue. However that one-sided admiration had been dulled by time. Love needed a real basis, and once he started taking money from Sharon to maintain his lifestyle his distant hopes quickly disappeared.

He felt no jealousy at Steven’s wishes. All that hard work only brought to mind the memories he thought he’d sealed away. As he pondered over them, all he could feel was sadness, a sign of age. Ten years ago, helping Steven with this would have been unthinkable even if it gave him a huge amount of gold.

Perhaps startled by the art master’s gaze, Sharon suddenly opened her eyes completely. Her eyes were completely clear, shocking the master into lowering his head.

The legendary mage greedily took a look at the half-body portrait that Steven had drawn, and then beamed brightly, “This was drawn quite well. Am I actually so beautiful, though?”

“Of course! You are the most beautiful of all legends!” The maestro seized the opportunity to say this before all the other grand mages.

Sharon chuckled reservedly, and then turned to the grey dwarf, “Blackgold! Little Steven isn’t half bad. How about this, add a little of my Delight for him this month. As for the amount...”

Having said this much, Sharon suddenly saw the art master still rooted to the spot in a daze, “You should leave!”

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