“Welcome b-, gasp!” When Anna heard us coming back, she cheerfully came out to welcome us and immediately noticed the ring on Veirya’s finger. She was so pleasantly surprised that she covered her mouth with her hands. After recomposing herself, she smiled: “Have you gotten engaged? I thought that the trouble this time was relatively serious, but it appears that you even had the luxury to get engaged, which means that you handled it without breaking a sweat.”
“You could say that it went smoothly. But it was thanks to Leah that I could return so smoothly.”
I grabbed Veirya’s hand with a smile. Puzzled, Veirya asked, “Why. Do we. Have to hold hands now?”
“Mm… no reason.”
Veirya’s question left me feeling awkward. How was I supposed to answer it…? Foolish Veirya didn’t know that, in love, sometimes there is no need for reasons. I wanted to hold her hands just because I wanted to…
“I see…” Veirya didn’t pull her hand out.
Anna giggled as she watched us. She questioned,, “Sir, have you brought more guests back? The young girl is a catwoman, right? What do you plan to do with her? How shall I treat her?”
“Erm, it’s a he, not a her.”
“He’s my pupil, I guess. He’ll be working as you do in the future. Take care of us together. Tomorrow, give him a tour of our place and see what he needs to do. There’s no need to give him special treatment; just treat as you would any ordinary person.”
Everyone questioned Ross’ gender upon first meeting him, but what could he do? He had a lean and frail physique. Plus, he had a round face and large cute eyes in addition to cat ears. It was hard to blame someone for perceiving him to be a girl. In light of him striving to become a real man, I thought that he should go train with Veirya for some time. Obviously, it would be pointless for me to train.
Anna prepared dinner in the kitchen. A stack of letters was placed on the table. By the looks of it, a number of people were seeking me during my absence. By my estimations, they should’ve been related to the injured soldiers. There were also letter from elves. There was no name or anything on the envelope, so it immediately occurred to me that it was Lucia’s letter. Only she would send me letters. I decided to leave them for later in case Veirya saw them…
Edward’s letter must’ve been penned when I was still in the North and be related to the mine. Let me correct myself there, he sent three letters, all of which I need to study. I didn’t care about the other letters.
As Veirya came over to me, I swiftly slipped Lucia’s letters to the bottom.
“Who wrote. All these letters?”
“Lots of them are from the wounded soldiers’ families. I’m going to have to visit the injured soldiers over the next few days and sort things out there. There are also Edward’s letters. I don’t know what it’s about yet; however, I assume that it has to do with the coal mine. It might also be to do with the steam engine, but I don’t know yet.”
I knew that Veirya might not have understood everything. Regardless, I didn’t want history to repeat itself, making me have to explain myself to her again. She nodded. Yeah, she definitely didn’t understand from that reaction.
“You won’t. Be tricked. This time, will you?’
“When have I been tricked?”
She hurt my pride. It was humiliating to have Veirya, of all people, remind me to keep my guard up.
“I don’t recall ever being tricked, either… Why did she just give me a reminder…?” I suddenly realised.
Veirya titled her head: “Last time. Francis. Tricked you. Didn’t he?’
“Oh, that time?”
I hopelessly smiled. Wasn’t Veirya the source of the problem that time? It was because Francis pulled the suicide card on me that I had no choice. I couldn’t say that to her, however. Instead, I assured, “I won’t let it happen again. I’ve always been very vigilant and cautious. It won’t be easy for Edward to fool me. Plus, I have S-, Her Majesty backing me.”
I almost blurted “Sisi” but quickly added “Her Majesty” in time.
“I. Trust you.”
I packed away the letters and saw Ross standing next to Anna in the kitchen, struggling to get on his toes to watch Anna teach him something. The kitchen wasn’t spacious, but Ross didn’t seem to require much anyway. I could say the same for Anna.
If Ross had his ulterior motives well hidden, then he would steal my letters. Thus, I wanted to see if he’d watch to see where I hid them. Frankly, I hadn’t identified anything that was alarming. In saying that, cats have superior senses compared to humans. As such, I might not have noticed him stealing ganders. I, therefore, would have to wait and see if he’d steal them. I planned to have Veirya and Angelina keep tabs on him. It was unlikely he’d be able to steal the letters at night, not to mention that I kept in mind the number of letters.
Achilles watched Edward pace back and forth in the room from the door. Edward no longer had a house as he had sold it for money. He now lived in an ordinary hotel room. Achilles scanned the messy and dirty room. By the looks of it, Edward was a grown man who had never performed a house chore.
“Ah, Achilles, I’m glad to see you. Please come on in. While you’re there, ask the people downstairs to bring me a quality pot of tea. It’s a bit messy in here, but I hope you don’t mind. I’m packing up, after all. I’ll be heading to the North soon. Did you need me for something?’
“Something important,” replied Achilles, shutting the door behind him. “I know that that you’ve conducted some unknown deal with Her Majesty. So, are you going to the North to see him? I know that you’re eager to prove yourself right. You now won’t stop at anything to prove that you’re an excellent businessman, but you have to bear in mind that you can’t offend everyone.”
Edward paused what he was doing. Feeling curious, he shifted his gaze to Achilles: “Are you encouraging me to betray Her Majesty? I don’t know what exactly happened to others when they tried to get rid of him. All I know is that they betrayed Her Majesty, which was why they were erased. He’s just hogging Her Majesty, big deal. There’s nothing scary about him. Additionally, I have Her Majesty’s support this time. What is there for me to be afraid of?”
“There’s an awful issue with your frame of mind. I’m serious, Edward. I’m not saying this for his sake, jealous of you or to be a warrior of justice. I’m just trying to give you a reminder. Do not lay your hands on him just because you have Queen Sisi. She doesn’t love you; she loves him. He could demolish the chapel, the military and us. Keep pushing him, and he might come after us next as a consequence of your provocation. I’m trying to protect us businessmen. What you are trying to do is playing with fire. You need to understand that.”
“Really? Haha, previously, you and the other businesses refused to accept me regardless of my efforts. I still remember that you all considered me a crook with no bottom line or shame, yet you now want me to be considerate of your futures? Why should I care for your futures?”
“This isn’t about our futures but yours, too! He will not spare you! You are pitching all of us into a crisis!!!!”
“The businessmen who weren’t afraid of even gods or hell are now afraid of one man? One man?” Edward scoffed as he clapped his hands. “Achilles, you’re growing old. I remember you used to be a businessman who dared to take on anything and anyone. You ran around on the battlefield and searched through corpses from the battlefields in places that demons would frequent, yet you’re now afraid of one ordinary man? Have you grown old and senile?”
“This is called being rational!”
“I don’t see how I’m inferior to him. Since Queen Sisi recruited me to take him on, I’m sure that I’m in his league – make that him being in my league. I’m sure I won’t be inferior to him. You lot have just been intimidated. I, however, am not scared of him. I have nothing to be afraid of. Watch, I’ll prove that he’s not invincible. He’s just an ordinary man who gets fooled and will fail!”
Edward retreated two steps before resuming, “I need to head north tomorrow, so I want to turn in early today. So, Achilles, I can’t drink with you tonight. Once I come back from the North, we can have a toast.”
It was clearly a demand for Achilles to leave. Achilles was speechless. The businessmen were genuinely afraid that Edward would aggravate Lin Dongqing, which would cause all businessmen in the imperial capital to pay a disastrous price. That was why he tried to stop Edward. Sadly, it fell on deaf ears, as Edward didn’t seem to realise how scary Lin Dongqing really was.
Lin Dongqing, indeed, was an ordinary man who was susceptible to being fooled and failure. Nevertheless, he was the same as Edward, in that he was fearless, had no shame and bottom line. If the two of them collided, it spelt trouble… Alas, Edward had yet to realise it. Fortunately, Achilles had sent someone to Lin Dongqing’s side to keep tabs on him…
MYSD Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wjzmysd