I received the letter I was waiting for at night. There were no signs prior or changes. Nothing had changed, unless you wanted to count the young man’s complaint when he delivered it to me. The imperial capital’s air was still bathed in a faint scent of alcohol. Drunkards caroused throughout the streets. paled in comparison to the girls’ smiles and hip-shaking actions. The girls’ clear skin bounced, exuded sensuality and their pheromones boldly enveloped men, attracting them in similar fashion to bees to honey. Everything was the same. No matter what happened or was about to happen, nothing had changed.
If this was a novel, I’d spring a surprise attack at sunset, at the last moment of trading hour, when I had destroyed Edward’s joy with the letter I received and revelled in Edward’s stiff smile. However, my life wasn’t so dramatic, and it wouldn’t happen to me. I wouldn’t let it happen. I no longer had anything to gamble on. I had to ensure that I’d hit the bull’s eye without question. The letter arrived with impeccable timing as it gave me enough time to make adjustments. I didn’t think the romanticised outcome wasn’t cool. That was for brute force people. There was still a lot that had to be done.
The dwarves’ letter consisted of only two words: “Found them.” That was enough for me. I knew full well how excited Francis was; he might’ve been drunk already.
I handed Ross a letter: “Take this letter to the boy working at Achilles’ company.”
The letter I wanted delivered to the boy was a warning that the price of the stones would plummet. As for whether he believed it or not, that was none of my business. If he quickly got rid of them before the bomb imploded, Achilles’ company would be able to get some health points. If he didn’t believe me, then what could I do? His decision would determine if he could do business or not. If the boy sensed the danger and immediately cut his losses, Achilles would definitely think that he had a businessman’s nose.
“And here’s another letter. Take it to the bank. Have them come to the trade centre at sunset tomorrow. I’ll declare my bankruptcy there.”
When I touched my face, I realised that I had stubble again. I picked up the metal tray to check myself out. I hadn’t paid attention to my appearance for days. I only just realised how haggard I looked.
I told myself, “I need to tidy up my appearance after this before going to see Veirya. I don’t want her to think I went through trouble here.”
The hotel was shabby, yes. Still, they did have soap and razors. I took in a deep breath. I looked into the tray and hot water on the stove. Although my life wasn’t dramatic, there was a show worth watching at sunset tomorrow. Being the main protagonist tomorrow, I had to put on a stellar performance, which included rocking a striking appearance.
“Mr. Edward, you met the businessman, right?” asked the man in front of Edward.
He took the chilly glass of wine from the bartender. The price of such a drink should be self-explanatory in an era where there were no refrigerators or freezers.
Radiating confidence, Edward nodded: “He was an interesting fellow. I never thought of that idea. There’s no capital required. All you need to do is to shoulder the risk. I’ve thought about it. If only one or two people went broke in a business with a hundred people involved but a hundred people paid to insure themselves, even covering ten times the amount would still put you in the profit margin. It’s an excellent money-making idea. Once this done, I want to copy his method. What did he call it again? Insurance?”
“Mm… To tell the truth, he actually sold the insurance policy to me for thirty thousand gold coins. I then sold it to others, thereby making myself a fair amount,” shared the young man. “Do the insurance policies count as a commercial good? If it is, I think we can turn it into a tradable item.”
Second hand and third hand deals had little bearing on Edward’s business or even impact his ability to make money because, if Edward won, everyone won. Edward was scheduled to pay the insurance man, who was bound to show up at the trade centre to collect his money, tomorrow at sunset. Hence, Edward could even pass the money on to the young man with him at the moment to hand over. It wasn’t just Edward who had to pay. All the people who bought the insurance policy would have to pay him.
Everyone joyously believed that they’d make money thanks to the insurance policy. They believed their investment would make them money. Maybe some realised there was a risk of bankruptcy but were fine with it for the next buyer would cover them. The thing was, nobody knew who the last buyer was.
Fourth night. Another ordinary night.
I splashed water on my face and wiped off the bubbles on my chin. I checked my face out in the mirror. The flame beside me wasn’t bright enough, causing my face to appear in the mirror as if it was a flickering light. My eyes were enveloped in darkness. I rinsed my razor in the water once I confirmed I was done tidying up. I grabbed a pen again to begin penning my letter to Veirya.
“I wonder how she’ll react when she receives a letter this time. She was grouchy the last time I didn’t write one. Is Veirya awake yet? There won’t be any residual issues, will there? What else does she need to do for her recovery?” I wondered as I wrote.
I wanted to take care of Veirya. Unfortunately I had to stay in the imperial capital. I couldn’t deny that her injury was my fault. With that said, it wasn’t a reason for me to be disheartened. I was her lover. I needed to keep putting one foot forward for her. Since we were family, I had to go and work for her. Sisi’s argument was sound. Nonetheless, it was complete logical fallacy. Perhaps something would happen to Veirya and I. I would protect Veirya, nonetheless. Veirya could still get hurt without me. As a matter of fact, she’d be in more danger without me. Veirya got hurt because of me, which was precisely why she needed me.
I had to get revenge. I didn’t come just to talk to Sisi. I came to exact a vengeance.
I gazed my cape that Sisi made for me quietly hanging on the wall. I didn’t hate Sisi. Put it this way: what would be the point of hating her? She was the queen of humanity, the Queen of the empire. I could eliminate anyone who could threaten her. How was I going to oppose her? Though making me bankrupt was her idea, I didn’t hate her. On one hand, I might’ve feared her. On the other hand, I felt I still had some feelings for her.
“What exactly do I think of Sisi and Lucilia? I know that I’m just feigning ignorance,” I inwardly said.
It broke my heart to see Sisi quiver and cry in front of me, but what could I do? I blamed myself and also felt upset when I left Lucia, but what could I do? I did much worse to Sisi than Veirya; however, I genuinely wanted to be together with Sisi back then. I just happened to treat her as a substitute.
I left without a single moment of hesitation and didn’t spare a thought for Sisi when Veirya returned. I could understand Sisi hating me, and I could also understand her loving me. In saying that, I wasn’t a harem novel main protagonist. Veirya and Sisi were normal women and could never accept me having a harem. Moreover, how could a Queen not have a lover who belonged exclusively to her?
I would be willing to give up everything for Veirya. Having said that, I would look after Sisi, as well. Sisi’s entire life was dedicated to her throne and nation. I planned to protect everything she treasured. That was all I could do. I couldn’t change the world. I don’t know how the characters in novels do it; I was happy enough to change just Veirya.
I carefully put away the dwarves’ letter, my tool for reversing the tables tomorrow.
“Veirya, wait just a while for me. I’ll be back to you. I’ll get back everything you cherish. We’ll be together as we did at the start. You’re all my family. I won’t abandon any of you.”
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