At the corridor beside the window, Kieran was looking at the Lander family fountain from afar.
It was mid autumn and the weather was turning cold. The fountain was dry for a while but the Goddess statue in the middle that was hugging a vase full of water was still a magnificent view.
The skillful sculpting of a master easily brought the statue to life, presenting it in a delicate and beautiful way.
Kieran was staring at the statue; his mind was replaying Lander's introduction of the fountain.
"This is one of the masterpiece left behind by Master Heathergor when he was young!"
Kieran had no idea who Heathergor was, but at least he knew how to admire a piece of beautiful sculpture.
From the moment he laid eyes on the statue, Kieran knew it was from the hands of an incredible master, and he hoped that through observing the statue, he could rest his mind for a while and loosen the tense mental state of his.
Though it seemed like it was not a good day for that.
Harold and Cohen's steps were too obvious, especially Cohen with his crutch. Even a normal man at a farther place could hear it clearly; both of them were walking towards him.
"I am really helpless towards certain matters!"
Kieran turned around and saw both of them approaching and said it before they voiced out their intentions.
He knew why both of them were looking for him. It was about Joanna; her face was disfigured in the incident.
She was also one of Herbert's student, but compared to Harold and Cohen which only suffered a broken hand and leg, as a girl, having her face disfigured was a regretful and sorry matter.
Herbert tried to persuade her in the two weeks period, but the results were near to nothing.
From the maidens and servants to Harold and Cohen, every one of their conversation served as information, allowing Kieran to know what condition Joanna was in.
She locked herself in a room and was not seeing anybody, including her own parents.
Kieran was not that arrogant to think that he had a much higher position that Herbert and her parents in the girl's heart, plus the condition she was in. As far as position and importance was concerned, Kieran was not even comparable to Harold and Cohen.
Therefore, Kieran would not make himself unwelcomed by her.
"I hope you can help Joanna. Other than you, I cannot think of anyone else that can help her!"
Cohen held onto his crutch and looked at Kieran with a begging expression.
"Yes, please sir! You are our last hope!" Harold shared the same manner of speech.
Looking at these two students of Herbert, Kieran really wanted to ask where their confidence in him came from.
"If it was a fight or even about facing a powerful enemy, I might still have the courage to fight with all my might. But some things are bigger than just a powerful enemy. My hands are tied!"
Kieran shook his head and sighed.
"You said it yourself. Even against a powerful enemy, you still have the courage for a fight, so why not give it a try?" Harold asked once more.
"Yes! Just give it your best try. Even if you failed, who could blame you?" Cohen followed up with his mate's request.
At the same time, the system notification appeared.
[Discovered sub mission: Persuasion!]
[Persuasion: Joanna's condition is worrisome to everyone. If you can lift Joanna's spirit up, everyone will be grateful!]
Kieran was shocked over the system notification about the sub-mission.
No doubt it was out of his expectation that a sub mission would require him to persuade a native, but soon enough Kieran, held the matter to his heart.
According to his understanding of the underground game, since the matter could appear as a sub mission, it meant that persuading Joanna would be difficult, extraordinarily difficult. But since the sub-mission had presented itself, Kieran wouldn't reject it anyhow.
"Fine! I'll go give it a shot then!"
Kieran said, and when he saw the delight on Harold and Cohen's face, he added more. "No guarantees though!"
Joanna's room was located on the second floor corridor on the left in Lander's mansion's main building. Kieran and the others were on the right side.
The whole second floor had guest rooms.
It was easy for Kieran to locate Joanna's room since he had stayed in Lander's mansion for more than two weeks.
Dok Dok Dok!
Kieran summed up his words and knocked at the door but no one answered.
Dok Dok Dok!
"It's me, Joanna!"
Kieran knocked on the door again, revealing who he was this time, yet no one answered.
Kieran raised a brow. He brought his ear to the door, trying to figure out what was going on.
When Kieran heard some unusual noise within the room, his was frightened.
He wanted to knock down the door instinctively, but just before he did so, something else came up to his mind.
In the end, Kieran decided to go with the less violent method: picking the lock with Musou level [Lockpicking]; it was easy since Kieran always had [Deceiver's Key] with him.
Kieran unlocked the door and entered with almost no sound and trace. He slowly closed the door behind him as he entered. Kieran saw the bed sheet was hung over the beam above and Joanna had the bed sheet around her neck.
Kieran quickly went over and got her down. The suffocation knocked her out but it was not fatal. Kieran placed her back on the bed and took a chair, sitting beside the bed while waiting for Joanna to wake up.
After a few minutes, she opened her eyes.
She saw Kieran beside her bed and then saw the bed sheet hanging over the beam on the ceiling. She immediately knew what had happened since she was not dull. Joanna continued to keek quiet and buried herself in the blankets and pillow.
She didn't question Kieran or act hysterically, which made him feel more troubled.
At least if Joanna was willing to talk, Kieran could still try to talk her out of it.
But with the silence before him?
It forced Kieran to break the ice first, but with what kind of words?
Kieran was pondering over his words carefully, thinking of what he should say; a slight misstep would cause the situation go south very fast.
After thinking for a while, Kieran finally opened his mouth.
"Death is not the end of everything, maybe it is just a start! It might be even scarier than when you are alive! If it's possible, you should be prepared before dying. At least you need to learn how to protect yourself before dying, otherwise you will end up in the same sorrowful condition you are in now!"
Kieran was very direct; it could also be considered harsh words to the girl.
His words were like knives making bloody wounds on Joanna's heart, without even showing any sympathy, but at the same time, it was the words that Kieran had thought through.
Herbert and the others had made countless attempts to comfort and persuade; if he followed their pattern, he would end up with the same result.
More importantly, such kind were useless to her, otherwise he wouldn't be beside Joanna. Therefore, Kieren thought he might need to advance from another perspective.
No doubt, his words were effective.
The pillow was thrown at his face, and at the same time, Joanna yelled, "GET OUT!"
Possibly hiatus again.