Stay Away From My Woman
Francis was repulsively unbecoming; his last ditch effort wasn’t even swindling. His last effort was extortion under false pretences. His intent was to put on act to win Veirya’s sympathy. Veirya wouldn’t watch her comrade die with her arms folded, and she wouldn’t believe her comrade would commit such a despicable deed.
What Francis wanted was the lease. He made a gamble, betting that I wouldn’t give him five-hundred gold coins, hence the idea. On the surface, it appeared as though he merely wanted to make up for his mistake, which explained why he claimed he was fine with either the five-hundred gold coins or the lease. In reality, however, the five-hundred gold coins was just a veil. Nobody, under normal circumstances, would choose to give the five-hundred gold coins for the reason that handing over the lease wouldn’t incur a loss because Francis had, in actual fact, already paid the five-hundred gold coins. The land was already Francis’ property; there would be no loss if I gave it to him. If I gave him another five-hundred gold coins, however, that’d equate to a loss of one-thousand gold coins.
I would rather give Francis five-hundred coins and suffer a loss of one-thousand gold coins than give him the lease. I didn’t know what was in the ground in the area. Even so, for Francis to have concocted such a complex scheme to swindle the land from us proved that the land was undeniably valuable. The only missing aspect was that I didn’t know the source of its value. Francis undoubtedly began planning his every step ever since meeting us at the bank. For all we knew, the two days he waited at the block of land might’ve been to wait for the results of the inspection. Then, he got into the skin of the victim and followed alongside us to the block of land. If I didn’t take back the lease that night, he would’ve vanished with the lease that night. He might’ve given me a hundred or a couple dozens of gold coins to pretend he sold it to repay my losses. If it went down that route, though, I would, perhaps, lose even more.
It was a scheme; everything about it was part of Francis’ scheme. I failed to discern it from the very start. I trusted Francis more than I should have because he once fought alongside Veirya. That was why I didn’t have my guard up against him. I never expected him to be worse than Lucia. Lucia just tricked some food from us, but she provided me with lots of benefits afterwards. As for Francis, he basically tried to take the firewood from the cauldron.
Francis tried to take advantage of Veirya. I wasn’t angry about him lying to me because, had it not been for Veirya, I might’ve continued falling deeper into his trap. If he hung himself in front of me, I would just watch him die without batting an eye. I’d bet my head he wouldn’t commit suicide. That sort of trick would only be able to fool Veirya.
Francis purposely tricked Veirya. Veirya trusted him and respected him. She considered him a companion who fought alongside her in the past, yet he shamelessly tried to swindle her! That was what infuriated me.
Francis could’ve taken my signature to Achilles and withdrew the money I asked the latter to hold onto for me. As such, Francis was incensed. Nevertheless, he couldn’t vent in Veirya’s presence. I took in a deep breath to keep my emotions in check and directed, “Veirya, go and pack your luggage. We’re leaving tomorrow morning. I want to console Francis by myself.”
Veirya gave me a small nod before turning to leave. Francis watched Veirya leave before finally turning back to me. I didn’t give him a verbal beat down right away. The two of us maintained a peculiar silence. Without Veirya, Francis packed up his pitiful circus act.
“I honestly think you should give me the lease.” Francis paused for a moment before continuing, “This block of land seriously doesn’t contain the mineral we need, or the one you need. Coal or whatever, there’s zilch. There are only useless rocks and stones. It’s pointless for you to keep it. Spending five-hundred gold coins to buy it is the worse loss you could make.”
“I know.” I casually nodded and laughed sarcastically. I decided to take a dig at him: “This land is so poor that you used an unscrupulous scheme and stopped at nothing to put on a show for Veirya to see in order to swindle this block of land from her, but you’re kind enough to stop me from losing five-hundred gold coins.”
With my eyes traned on Francis: “You can wake up now. I don’t care what you and Veirya went through together in the past. Whether you bled, lost an arm or defeated demon lords has nothing to do with me. All I know is that you tried to swindle Veirya for yourself. Not to mention you tried to swindle her right in my presence. I respect Veirya; if she says to compensate you, I’ll do so. I won’t complain about that. Having said that…”
I aggressively grabbed Francis’ beard with a vice-like grip. I stared him down. I knew I wasn’t his match in a fist fight, but he didn’t scare me. I stopped thinking rationally or being scared long ago because I was mad: “However, get away from the woman I like before I change my mind. If you dare to take advantage of Veirya, I’ll let you know how small this world is. I don’t ever want to see you again. Don’t ever let me see you and your business associates again. Otherwise, you might have to get the fuck out of humanity’s lands ass naked!”
I released Francis. He took a step back. I spun around and left. I didn’t lie. Veirya was more important to me than money. If someone dared to take advantage of her foolishness again to trick her, I seriously would let them know I could end him no matter where he was on the globe and how powerful money was. I didn’t know martial arts, but I did know how to make those who did work for me.
Francis best not let me ever see him again and best not let me get involved with his association again. Else, I’d sabotage their deal regardless of who they did business with. While I was at it, I’d make sure they go bankrupt. All challengers were welcome. That said, I had more important things to think about.
Truth be told, I didn’t exactly have a lot of money. Queen Sisi didn’t give me money last time. The money that I had was from the flavouring smuggling. I then bought books from Lucilia. I coughed up another five hundred for Francis this time, which meant that my savings were in danger. Originally, I planned to use my limited funds to buy shares and sabotage the coal and steam engine business bit by bit, but I now seemed short on funds…
I needed to come up with a way to make money. If nothing else, I needed to see if I could make money from the war. The next item on our agenda was to head back to the town. I didn’t know what Queen Sisi’s status quo was. The elves and humans war had definitely broken out already. As for what I could gain, I didn’t know.
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