Episode 94 – Extortion
Rhur Rroda didn’t need to continue with his story. Alaric had already caught on to the main point. Nice try. Alaric barely contained himself from rolling his eyes. He spoke up, interrupting Rhur’s tear-jerking play. “A man’s debt has to be paid by his own hands. What is the point of you taking your brother out for a meal if I’m the one paying for it? It would make your entire gesture of brotherly love meaningless.”
Brotherly love? Rhur’s eyebrow twitched. The old man was clearly mocking him.
Rhur smiled wryly. Of course you wouldn’t help me out. You are always on his side.
But I expected as much.
Rhur’s eyes flashed with resentment, yet his face turned even more pitiful looking. It was so sad that anyone’s heart would be moved, wanting nothing more than to comfort this unfortunate devilishly handsome beauty.
“I guess you are right, father.” Rhur sighed sadly.
Then, surprisingly, he nodded politely to Alaric and declared. “Then I’ll be going back to Ashar, father. It was nice seeing you.”
Rhur didn’t wait for his father’s response, and he turned his back to him, taking several steps towards the door.
Alaric sipped his tea leisurely, his eyes following Rhur. He was waiting for Rhur to stop and say a few more heart-wrenching words, after all, it wasn’t like him to give up this easily.
And indeed, before reaching the door, Rhur stopped and turned his head sideways towards Alaric. “Oh, I almost forgot. I’m not sure if you are aware, father, but little brother got himself a girlfriend. A fine lady, if I must say. I had such a fun time chatting with them over lunch.”
The tea Alaric was sipping suddenly came spouting out of his mouth, the solemn face replaced with utter shock. What?!? Kiel got a girlfriend?? “You are not lying to me, are you?” Alaric couldn’t help but exclaim.
He’d be more inclined to believe that his younger son was gay than he would believe that he got himself a girlfriend. In fact, Rhur had even tricked Kiel into coming to a brothel once, yet he still walked out without as much as touching a woman.
Rhur looked at Alaric with such a pained expression, as if saying “How could you even ask that, dear father?” and exclaimed. “Father, of course, I wouldn’t dare lie to you!”
Seeing that Rhur seemed to be sincere, the cold aura of Alaric suddenly turned mild. This news seemed to have improved his mood considerably. Excellent! Best news I’ve heard all year! I might get some grandchildren yet!
“Well, then. Until next time, father.” Rhur turned to walk away, pain still lingering in his eyes. However, as soon as he turned his back to Alaric, the pained expression was replaced with a smirk.
What Rhur expected to happen, indeed happened right away.
“Wait!” Alaric stopped him from leaving. “Come back. Tell me about this ‘girlfriend’.”
Rhur internally snorted, but outwards he still looked like a pitiful child. “Ah, I am not really in the mood to talk about it…”
Alaric’s eyebrow twitched, and his gaze turned colder once again. “And let me guess… you’d feel much more talkative with a sack of mythril coins?”
“Who do you take me for, father? Money can’t buy happiness.” Rhur denied it quickly, as if insulted by Alaric’s words.
Alaric’s eyebrow twitched again. “And what would make you happy?”
Rhur looked at Alaric shyly, as if unsure whether he should say it or not. Unlike Venric, who would have slammed his hand on the table by now and demand him to speak up, Alaric was much more patient. He just sat there and watched the show, not playing along at all.
When Rhur realized that Alaric wouldn’t play along, he decided to speak up. “What would make me the happiest is the love of my father, of course. That sack of mythril coins would be much more valuable than its monetary worth. Such a sincere show of fatherly affection would surely warm my heart.”
As expected of my eldest son. Alaric’s glared at him icily. “Money can’t buy happiness” my ass! This is blatant extortion! You little brat! So, this was your plan all along!
Alaric ground his teeth, his temper flaring. The brat dares to extort his own father for some information! Good, very good! I’ll remember this!
Unresigned, Alaric searched his pockets discreetly, pulling out a platinum key. He then used the key to open up a drawer inside his desk.
The drawer was filled with several heavy looking pouches. He grabbed a seemingly random pouch and threw it on the table.
His careless throw of the pouch made a loose mythril coin fly out of the pouch, clattering loudly on the wooden table.
Rhur, as the dignified noble he was, deemed it beneath him to grab that mythril coin since the whole sack was filled with mythril coins. He elegantly picked the pouch and inconspicuously weighed it before pocketing it.
By his estimations, there should be around 90 mythril coins inside the pouch. To cover his tab in Black Pearl, he needed 70 mythril coins. Which meant that he even had an excess of 20 coins. That was almost as much as his monthly allowance!
And Rhur’s monthly allowance was considered very high, even among nobles. Several gold coins could feed an entire family for a whole month. And a single mythril coin was worth 100 platinum coins, with each platinum coin being worth 100 gold coins, meaning that a single mythril coin was worth 10 000 gold coins.
Instead of losing money and living frugally for a while, Rhur even made an extra money out of this whole ordeal! To say that he was thrilled and self-satisfied would be an understatement.
“Thank you, father. I appreciate your kind intentions.” Rhur’s feigned immense sadness vanished into thin air replaced with a wide smile.
“Her name is Elaru Wayvin. She is quite beautiful, comparable to the Arites standard of beauty. Red hair, teal eyes. A voice that is music to the ear, elegant and graceful. Quite a powerful aura too. Apparently, she is currently taking the Muni exams.”
Alaric rubbed his chin in thought. Excellent. If she becomes a student of Muni, her status would instantly rise. Then it wouldn’t be a problem to marry a noble.
Rhur smirked. “Oh… did I mention she is an elibu?”
Alaric’s face instantly fell. And here I was thinking about grandchildren… darn it.
His change of mood didn’t escape Rhur’s eyes. Inside he was laughing in glee. Serves you right, old man. How come you are never looking forward to my offspring?
“And personality wise, what is she like?” Alaric grumbled.
Rhur “hmmm”-ed, thinking for a while before responding. “A good actor. Calm headed yet mildly spicy. That’s the impression I got so far.”
Alaric’s eyebrows furrowed. A good actor? Kiel should be able to tell if she was insincere towards him? Right? I hoped he would find himself a pure hearted girl…
As soon as Rhur exited his father’s office, his mouth broke out into a smirk. Your weakness is glaringly obvious making you too easy to manipulate, father.
He pulled the heavy pouch out of his pocket happily and walked to the nearby waiting room which was conveniently empty.
Rhur sat down on the couch and opened the pouch intending to count the contents. He wanted to know just how much of a killing he made with this “business” deal.
However, as soon as he opened it his satisfied smile froze on his face.
He stood rooted to the spot, his left eyebrow starting to twitch violently.
Suddenly he turned the whole pouch upside down making the contents of the pouch clatter onto the table. Soon the whole table was filled with coins. The coins shined brightly under the sunlight reflecting their golden luster inside Rhur’s icy blue eyes.
That’s right. Golden luster. Not bright blue luster of mythril.
The entire table was filled with nothing but gold coins! The worth of this entire pouch of gold didn’t exceed a single platinum coin, let alone a mythril coin!
Rhur’s hands balled into fists, and after 10 seconds of intense glaring at the miserly gold coins he couldn’t help but slam his fist on the tea table.
The wooden table couldn’t take the force of his slam, and it broke into half with a loud snapping noise.
What kind of a noble has a pouch of gold coins in his desk?!? Miserly! Petty!!! I’ll remember this old man!!!
When Rhur exited his father’s study, the servant that was patiently waiting to the side broke the silence. “Sir, what about the monthly pay for the servants?”
Alaric picked up a single mythril coin that Rhur had deemed it beneath him to take and threw it towards the servant. “Go to the bank and change it into another sack of gold coins.”
Actually, earlier, he had taken a mythil coin out of his pocket along with the platinum key. However, he hid it under his hand. Then he lodged the mythril coin stealthily on the opening of the pouch. Even his throw of the pouch was intentionally done to make the loose mythril coin come flying out, creating the impression that the whole sack was filled with mythril coins.
“Actually…” Alaric mused, and then took another mythril coin out of his pocket and threw it towards the servant. “…also stop by the D.I. and purchase a full report on Elaru Wayvin.”
He hadn’t even finished his sentence when the sound of something breaking reached Alaric’s ears. His usually solemn expression suddenly morphed into a grin. You want to extort money from me? Ha! Brat, you are 20 years too young!
(Meanwhile, Black Pearl restaurant, Ashar)
Kiel Rroda had finally managed to regain his calm after the ring incident. It was really uncanny how easily Elaru Wayvin managed to rile him up. Perhaps the reason why no one else could rile him up was simply because he had never let anyone else inside his world. Because he had never depended on anyone and therefore it wouldn’t matter what other people chose to do?
Or perhaps it was because he had never run into someone like Elaru Wayvin, a devil with a brilliant mind on which common logic didn’t work?
Kiel let out another soft sigh, he had been sighing a lot the last few minutes. The two of them had completed the ring related business, so it was time to leave Black Pearl.
Kiel looked down into his cup filled with honeymead. He wasn’t thirsty, but he didn’t like leaving his drink unfinished. That would be wasting money. “What are your plans? Shall we go to the arena again?”
Elaru’s response surprised Kiel: “We are not done here yet. There is something else I need to talk to you about. Something very important that no one else should eavesdrop on.”
Kiel gave her an unreadable look before his gaze returned to his honeymead. “Alright, go on.”
Kiel placed the cup on his lips and slowly sipped. He was more playing with his honeymead than actually drinking it. His eyes returned to Elaru, who stared at him with a deathly serious expression. The solemn atmosphere gave Kiel goosebumps. It only became more unsettling when Elaru spoke out in a slow yet grave tone.
“Let’s talk about sex.”
Needless to say, the honeymead Kiel was sipping came out in a burst of coughing. In fact, he coughed so hard that his eyes, which were close to popping out of their sockets started tearing up.
Kiel split his attention between coughing and staring at Elaru’s still completely solemn face. Must have heard her wrong. Surely, must have heard wrongly.
It took him some time to calm down his coughing fit. Elaru waited patiently for him the entire time.
“Can you repeat that? I didn’t quite catch it?” Kiel finally squeezed out.
“I said…” Elaru stared right into his eyes. “Let’s talk about sex.”
Silence descended on the room.
Kiel stared at Elaru with his own version of a gobsmacked and dumbfounded expression that consisted of a stiff, pale face, wide eyes and tightly pressed lips. Cold sweat was pouring down the side of his face making him look quite miserable.
How can you say that with a straight face?! What is with this air of solemnity?!?
Kiel’s right eyebrow started violently twitching. He had to cough a few more times so get his voice back. “You…want to…” Kiel swallowed down the saliva. “…to talk about…” I can’t believe I’m saying this… “… sexual intercourse?”
“Well, not the intercourse part specifically…” Elaru stated blandly.
Thank the gods! Kiel let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding, but Elaru’s next words made the remainder of his breath get stuck inside his throat: “What I want to talk about is making babies.”