My goal wasn’t merely to crush Albert. The most important part of the plan was to cover my involvement that led to his eventual destruction. Ross didn’t know what I did. More precisely, nobody did. All I did was provide Albert with an idea, but it was he who acted on it. I never went to see Madam Melissa, which meant that I couldn’t have said anything. Albert, Lilia, Ross and whoever else you want to name, none of them would ever figure out my involvement.
I crouched down in front of Albert: “Albert, are you all right? Stay calm. There’s always a way to turn it around. You just need to delay your repayment. You just need to sell your property and other assets. You have another three months to repay it. Plus, you didn’t loan from the bank or Queen Sisi. All you have to do is repay your debt. It’s not a lot if you think about it. You didn’t gamble your property, either. You still have some cash. You can slowly start up ag-“
Albert violently yanked me to the ground by my collar before I could finish. He howled as he punched toward my face. No, I had no intention of dodging it. Instead, I took the punch head on, causing me to end up with inhibited vision in my left eye. If I returned to Veirya and Sisi with a bruised eye, I think Albert could forget seeking me for revenge as the two of him would make sure he was dead. If it was that simple, I might as well have gotten drunk and groped Lilia to make him punch me. What the heck would I leave my wife and child behind and waste my time in the South for?
“Mr. Albert! Mr. Albert, what are you doing?! Mr. Albert! It was not Lord Lin’s fault!”
Ross, the only one present besides Albert and I, was amazingly courageous. He shoved Albert off me and stood before me to protect me. If I wasn’t convinced that Ross was loyal before, I was now wholeheartedly convinced. Albert resembled a provoked wild beast, diving toward me again. Ross clung to him to hold him back. I could see that Ross did his utmost to protect me.
Eyes bloodshot, Albert roared, “It’s all your fault! The fault is all yours! Had it not been for you, I wouldn’t be in this situation, and I wouldn’t have taken such a risk! It’s all because of you!! All of this is your fault! I’m going to kill you! I’ll kill you! It’s all your fault! I’ll kill you! Give me back my money! Give me back my family!”
“What are you spouting?! Does it have anything to do with me?! I informed you from the beginning that I was only giving you an idea! All I did was show you a way to make money! Lowering the price and bidding was all on you! It had nothing to do with me?! How is it my fault?! You can’t blame your failure on me! None of it had anything to do with me! My connection to the entire deal had nothing to do with me ever since you began planning this. I never harmed you. Did you not see me stay at your place the entire time ever since you began the whole thing? It’s your fault; it has nothing to do with me. You were the one who put your family in this plight. You were the one who elevated the price, idiot!”
There was no covering the fury in Albert’s gaze, but he was aware that the fault wasn’t mine. I educated him on the risk from the very start. It was he who chose to go ahead with it despite being cognisant of the risks involved, which meant that he had to shoulder all of the consequences. He was angry, but it was worthless to me as he had no reason to get revenge on me. After all, I never left any traces.
Ross also shouted in Albert’s ear, “What are you doing, Sir Albert?! It has nothing to do with Lord Lin! It is futile for us to discuss whose fault it is. We need to think about what to do about my sister, Lilia and the family!”
“Lilia! Lilia… My Lilia…” Albert’s rage slowly turned to sorrowful tears after listening to Ross. He tightly gripped Ross’ shoulders and cried pitifully.
I took a moment to gather myself and asserted, “It’s not over yet. All you have to do is make back the money in three months. That’s not very hard for you. It shouldn’t be much considering your family assets. Worst comes to worst, you just have to restart from the ground.”
“That won’t work! I must provide Lilia! I must provide her and our child with a home! I need a proper house! I have to take care of my Lilia! I want to ensure my Lilia is safe and sound! I want my Lilia!” shouted Albert, voice almost loud enough to overtake the heavy rain and wind.
“Lord Lin… Lord Lin… Lilia… my sister will soon be giving birth. She needs somewhere to stay… She cannot give birth out in the wild… Lord Lin… what do we do…? Lord Lin… w-we…”
“I know, I know. I have a solution, but it’s a cruel one,” I answered, reaching a hand out to Albert. “The three month time limit isn’t up yet, which means that you’re not bankrupt yet even if you will be. You are still Albert Family’s excellent businessman. As such, you are now carrying the imminent debt in three months’ time. However, I need to ask you this: can you sacrifice everything for your wife and child?”
Boom! The thunderclap lit the room ghastly white.
I didn’t take my eyes off Albert. He solemnly answered, “Of course I can. I can give up everything I have for Lilia, including my life!”
I inwardly scoffed, “I’ll be taking your life, then.’
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