“Mm… While I don’t want to admit that I slapped myself in the face, you two did complete the job splendidly,” complimented Sulina, on the next day after they were off work.
Irena beamed: “Thank you for your praise. We will continue to do our best.”
Although Irena genuinely felt that way, Lin Chucheng was still irate because Sulina scolded Irena until the girl cried. Nonetheless, he admired the Princess from the bottom of his heart. She didn’t work as a tax officer to put on a facade or for entertaniment. She insisted on helping others, didn’t ignore another’s plight even if she was scolded to tears and was able to find ways to resolve things over and over again. Lin Chucheng slowly but gradually got used to being around her. He knew what he couldn’t do but tried to keep calm.
“You don’t need to come here tomorrow. Just gather downstairs, though you need to be half an hour early. By the way, be sure to eat,” instructed Sulina, furrowing her brows.
Irena patiently waited to hear what Sulina had to say, but the latter never said it.
“It is a physical job tomorrow, after all. Irena, you need to give it your best.”
“Can you tell me a little bit about what it entails?” asked Irena.
“It’s something you’ll have to go through as a tax officer. In a way, it’ll act as a class for you. When it comes down to it, don’t let yourself be flustered,” answered Sulina.
Sulina walked off, ignoring Lin Chucheng, which was very Sulina-like. Lin Chucheng turned to Irena, who looked perfectly normal. She didn’t seem to have any suspicions and fully trusted her senior.
Irena and Lin Chucheng showed up downstairs at the building in the morning as they were told to. The unexpected part was that they weren’t the only team. There were a total of ten teams consisting of officers and their assistants as well as police and doctors. The police were in full gear and armed with the rifles that Lin Chucheng once admired the life out of. All in all, they resembled a team out to apprehend a suspect.
“Good to see you here, Irena. Let’s get going,” said Sulina, not making anything clear or give Irena a chance to apologise for being late. Sulina was dressed differently. She had a light golden badge on her chest and a camera.
Baffled, Irena tugged Sulina’s sleeve and queried, “Senior Sulina, are we going to…”
“Yes, we’re going to conduct a compulsory confiscation,” frankly replied Sulina, knowing what Irena wanted to ask.
Irena jolted: “Is there no chance we can try something else? I-I may be able to help h-“
“You won’t be able to. He’s not in the area under your jurisdiction. He’s dragged it out for long enough. We’ve sent him plenty of letters by this point, and a tax officer has paid a personal visit. Sadly, he hasn’t done anything except entertain us time and time again, which is why we’re now forced to confiscate his assets.”
“If he is not in our area… why do we need to go and see…?” inquired Lin Chucheng, despite already getting into the carriage.
Sulina didn’t hesitate to force Irena and Lin Chucheng into the carriage, shutting the door on them to give them no way out. “As I said yesterday. It’s for you to experience what you eventually will have to, which also gives you a chance to prepare yourself mentally. You’ll eventually have to go through it. If you can’t find it in your heart to go through with it now, you aren’t a dutiful tax officer. If you have complaints, take it out in the form of work so that we don’t need to confiscate anything from anybody in your area.”
As much as Irena wanted to debate it, she had to drop it. Sulina was very straightforward and decisive. Moreover, since it wasn’t Irena’s area of jurisdiction, she had no authority to tell officers in other areas what to do.
The tax officers disembarked in a practiced fashion and opened up the trunks. The police immediately lit up their warning lights. Two armed policemen followed behind Sulina toward the two-stories of grey bricks and moss. Such homes were a dime a dozen in the imperial capital. Sulina turned around and sternly said to Irena, “You two follow me. Everyone else, stay on standby.”
Irena glanced to Lin Chucheng, asking him to help. She didn’t want to go. Previous knocks were to give people hope; this time, she brought destruction. One person in the family would be imprisoned. The child would be sent off, and once he was out of prison, he would be empty handed. It’d be difficult for him to find work due to his criminal history, and it’d be excruciatingly difficult to find his separated family members. In the end, he would inevitably die alone. Confiscation was the absolute last resort. Lin Dongqing put the policy in place to deter people from tax evasion. Alas, there were always people who believed them to be above the law.
Irena wanted to shut her eyes when she arrived at the door. Nevertheless, Sulina wanted her to bear witness to it all. When a puzzled middle-aged man answered Sulina’s knocking, Sulina held up the confiscation order and indifferently notified, “Hello, we are from the tax bureau. Due to you not paying your taxes for three quarters, we will be confiscating your assets as per section ten of the tax laws. In consideration of your family and your personal safety, please do not act rashly. Should you choose to resist by force, we reserve the right to arrest and execute you. Now, we shall begin.”
“Wait… What are y-”
The team shoved their way through before the man could finish his sentence. Sulina walked in and shook her imposing ears. With a wave of her hand, she commanded, “Take everything worth money, including furniture, jewellery, bank books, bonds, cash, luxury items and clothing! We are confiscating their assets. The sooner you finish, the sooner we can wrap up. Do not disturb the neighbours!”
Unlike Irena, who was rooted in place, the other tax officers entered and began loading up their chests, ignoring the man’s resistance. Irena was afraid, very afraid…
MYSD Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wjzmysd