Once we entered the room, Nier released me. The individual in charge of the company sat in his chair with a look of despair on his face, and looked at me. I smiled and walked up to the window. I pulled the thick black curtains shut. The room went pitch black instantly as if the sun had yet to come up outside. I then went to the door and locked it. I then finally walked up to the desk and sat down on the timber chair. I looked at the face that was due to the shadow cast on the other side of the table opposite me with a smile. With my smile still on my face, I said: “You don’t have to be so tense. I didn’t come to judge you….. My, is that your wife and daughter? Your daughter sure is cute. You’re a fortunate man, congratulations.”
I waved my hand and Nier walked up front, drew her sword and then stood behind him. She placed her blade up against his neck.
I picked up a small crate on his desk, but inside was a drawing. It was a drawing of an elegant and dignified wife holding a young girl with a smile. His hands trembled like he wanted to leap over and snatch it from me. However, he still had a sword to his neck. If he were to budge, that blade would cut his neck open without any hesitation.
“Your majesty…… Your majesty… I beg you… I beg you……”
I saw a flash of despair and anguish in his eyes. His lips trembles and his face was white as a sheet as if he was ready to keel over. His voice was shaky and hoarse, sounding like he was sobbing. I smiled. I stood up, walked over to his side and patted his shivering body. I placed the drawing into his hands and he gripped it tightly akin to someone scared of drowning and grabbing onto straws. I looked at him, bent over and next to his ear, quietly said: “If I report this you’ll be executed while your wife and child will be sold off. Wait, considering our friendship, I could let them enter the palace. If you can’t accept that, I can let you and your family reunite in heaven.”
“Your majesty…… don’t… don’t… I beg you……”
“Of course, if I was going to do that, I wouldn’t have come here.” I chuckled as I walked back to the front of my seat and sat down. I then clasped my hands by interlocking my fingers and looked at him, “I’ve already shown enough sincerity, so let’s negotiate. What you say next determines the fate of your wife, your child and your life.”
He despairingly shouted: “Your majesty, just tell me, what do you want to know from me?!” After that he slouched into his chair like he’d been sapped off all of his life-energy.
I smiled casually and then said: “I want to know who tried to assassinate me.”
I stayed silent for moment before revealing a terrifying expression. I looked at Nier. Nier shook her hand and a few drops of blood slowly seethed out from his neck. I looked at him and in a muffled voice said: “Think about this: Is the punishment awaiting you way off in the distance somewhere scarier, or is the blade on your neck scarier? Choose wisely.”
He looked at me. He then covered his face with his hands and rubbed it. He then sighed and said: “I only know where the weapons go. We ship the weapons. I am not talking about the guns on the market though because guns must be marked when they are manufactured. Wherever each gun gets sent to gets noted. When we purchase these guns we buy them and get them delivered to the company under Castor’s name. The church’s members then move the guns back. The guns therefore have recorded origins. They are recorded the first time they are handled, but they are not recorded a second time once they arrive with Castor. I only know that it was indeed the members of the church that brought the guns back while the ones who carried out the job are hired assassins and mercenaries. As a low-ranked cooperative, I do not know the details as to who plans the operations.”
“In other words, you’re certain that the church was involved with my assassination.”
“Uhm. Also, the church does not pay. The funds for the guns are sourced from elsewhere. However, as I am only responsible for shipping, I do not know the origins of the funds for the guns. There must be someone else behind the scenes while the church must know the happenings and silently help them.” He looked at me and pleaded, “Your majesty, I truly only know so much. I am just a bankrupt servant who got taken in. I honestly do not know the details of what is going on behind the scenes.”
I nodded. It looks like it wasn’t just a single group that was involved with my assassination attempt. It must’ve been an operation with many people working together. It doesn’t look like I’ll find out anymore from him. Okay, so now I need to think about how to find out what I want from the church. But it doesn’t seem like they were the ones who planned the hit, and are but just an intermediary.
But this is sufficient. I’ll kill everyone who was involved, regardless of whom they may be. I don’t care what it takes. I’ll kill them for sure, and destroy them.
I stood up, looked at him and said: “Is that all you know? Alright. I trust you don’t know one thing, and that is that you’re no longer needed. You were only valuable to me because of what you had stored in your brain. Since you’ve now told me… Forget it. I won’t scare you.”
I waved my hand and looked at his even more hopeless face. I sighed, smiled and said, “Let’s continue discussing something. Do you still have the thing you put before me last time?”
“You are referring to……”
I looked at him, smiled and extended my hand outwards: “The land deed and thirty-thousand gold coins.”
He looked at me with a helpless expression and replied: “Your majesty… the deed… the land deed is still with me, but the thirty-thousand gold coins were not mine. There is no way my company would have thirty-thousand gold coins. The original plan was for us to pay you that sum after we privately sold the salt once you sold it to us.”
“That’s simple then. You now owe me thirty-thousand gold coins.”
I smiled and grabbed a sheet of paper by the side. I wrote the IOU and then signed my name. After a thinking about it for a moment, I then made a small cut by sliding it on Nier’s blade and pressed it on the IOU. I then smiled, placed the IOU in front of him and said: “Now, sign your name, and then put your fingerprint on it. Sorry, I don’t have a heat-stamp on me at the moment, so use your blood as a replacement.”
“Your majesty! I really don’t have money! I really don’t have money!”
“I never said you have to pay it off all at once.”
I smiled and watched as he quivered while signing his name and stamping his fingerprint on. I then picked up another sheet of paper and wrote a second document, signed my name and then raised my head up to look at Nier. With a smile I said: “Nier, this is for you. Sign your name and then stamp your fingerprint on.”
Nier looked at me blankly, but then did as I said.
I put the two documents together and then handed them to Nier. I then clapped my hands with satisfaction and said: “Alright, you’re the new creditor, Nier. I transferred the thirty-thousand gold coins you owe me to Nier. Now give me the land deed. Nier, sign your name on the land deed…… Uhm, alright. Nier, the orphanage is yours now, and this company also owes you thirty-thousand gold coins.”
I smiled and looked at Nier who was taken by surprise and said: “It’s fine. I promised the church that I wouldn’t touch that block of land, so the church can’t say anything if I give it to you. However, I’m not in a rush to get the thirty-thousand gold coins. I wrote a fifty-year instalment payment period. You will need to pay the instalments plus the interest every year for the next fifty years. In this way, the orphanage will have the required funds to be maintained. Thank you very much, Mr. Kind-hearted.”
He froze up and looked at me. He was no longer wearing any expression on his face. I waved my hand and then said: “Third thing, I want to know where you got the elves from.”
“The elves… the elves were brought here by the church, not through me. I do not know where they brought them in from either. I think there should be a good number of elves inside the church. A fair number of them! I heard they came from a village, but I do not know the details! I honestly do not know!”
“You said that there are elves in the church, right?”
I nodded and then had Nier sheathed her sword. I pulled the door open then turned my head around to look at him and indifferently say: “Consider yourself lucky. I need to rush off elsewhere to deal with other matters. I wish you good health and I wish your family stays happy. Goodbye!”