“Human! I can’t connect with Clopeh Sekka’s video communication device! He must be busy!”
Unfortunately, Cale was unable to contact Clopeh Sekka right away.
‘Should I call Witira instead?’
He thought about the Whales Witira and Paseton but decided to push it off for later.
“I guess we will first go visit the Singten Merchant Guild Leader.”
Cale put the top’s whip down and opened the map Rosalyn gave him. He then looked out to the night sky over the Mogoru Empire’s capital.
He needed to be back before morning.
* * *
A glass cup crashed into the wall and broke into pieces.
Plavin Singten, the Singten Merchant Guild Leader, felt suffocated while thinking that the broken glass resembled his future.
He felt as if those sharp glass shards would be pointed at his neck.
‘Who knew that it would end up like this?!’
Plavin Singten clutched his head with both hands.
Plavin Singten just clutched his head even harder without looking at his trusted subordinate who called out to him.
The trusted subordinate shut up after seeing that the usually calm and collected guild leader who only focused on his personal gains had reached his limits.
It was because he was in a similar situation.
The trusted subordinate sitting across from the merchant guild leader quietly put down the wine glass in his hand.
He and the Singten Merchant Guild leader were drinking wine along with their late dinner.
Plavin didn’t even look at his quiet trusted subordinate as his mind was in a chaotic state.
‘…The crown- the Alchemists’ Bell Tower was destroyed!’
The Singten Merchant Guild.
This merchant guild had risen to the position of being one of the top five merchant guilds in the Mogoru Empire in just 10 years.
The Singten Merchant Guild was famous for being close to the crown.
But that was not the only reason they grew so much in a short time period.
‘Black magic! I should never have been involved with it!’
The Singten Merchant Guild had sold people off to the crown and the Alchemists’ Bell Tower for their experiments.
Those people were slaves they kidnapped through human trafficking in other nations around the Western continent.
Plavin Singten had earned a chance to get close to the crown and the Alchemists’ Bell Tower while profiting immensely through these slaves.
He opened his mouth to speak.
“You got rid of all of the evidence?”
Plavin had ordered his trusted subordinate to get rid of all evidence related to human trafficking and slaves as soon as the Alchemists’ Bell Tower battle ended.
“Yes sir, everything has been destroyed.”
They had gotten rid of the evidence in the capital as soon as possible, so the trusted subordinate was saying that there were no traces anywhere to tie them to it.
“You made sure nobody saw you?”
“Guild leader-nim, of course, I made sure that nobody saw me.”
“…You know that is not what I am talking about.”
Plavin’s eyes turned cold.
The trusted subordinate bowed and responded to Plavin’s statement.
“Yes sir, all of them are gone. They will all come up as missing.”
The merchant guild leader finally started to smile.
“Good. Exactly how it should be. People and evidence as well. We have to get rid of them even if they are on our side.”
The trusted subordinate gulped.
Even if it was a secret, one person was not enough to stealthily destroy the records of something the merchant guild had been doing for over ten years.
Plavin had ordered his trusted subordinate to kill anybody involved in getting rid of the evidence, in other words, anybody who had been involved in this stealthy operation for over ten years.
And all of it was completed today. The ones who helped him were the assassins who were the merchant guild leader’s other trusted subordinates.
‘…What a scary person.’
The trusted subordinate was afraid of Plavin who had erased both material and human evidence.
Only such a scary person could have committed a terrible deed like human trafficking for over ten years.
‘It’s quite hilarious.’
The trusted subordinate barely managed to prevent himself from sighing.
He too had been involved in this terrible deed.
‘In the end, we have to resort to living in hiding like this.’
He then peeked toward the merchant guild leader. The guild leader had his head in both hands and seemed to be deep in thought.
The guild leader was currently living in hiding in this secret residence that only he, the trusted subordinate, and his other assassin trusted subordinates knew about.
It was because he was afraid that Sir Rex and the Church of the Sun God who defeated the Alchemists’ Bell Tower and the crown would aim their swords at the Singten Merchant Guild next.
‘But it should be fine as long as we persist.’
The trusted subordinate did his best to think happy thoughts.
‘Yes, now all of the evidence is gone. We-’
His body started to shake after he thought about something.
‘…We. Is it really, ‘we’?’
The trusted subordinate knew the guild leader quite well.
Would someone like him be part of the guild leader’s ‘we?’
The trusted subordinate’s two hands started to shake.
He turned toward the guild leader who seemed to be deep in thought. The guild leader slowly lowered his hands and made eye contact with the trusted subordinate.
“Hey, why are you looking at me like that?”
The trusted subordinate could see the merchant guild leader’s relaxed face.
“Yes, what is it? You don’t look too good.”
The merchant guild leader looked sad as he continued to speak.
“You look like someone who is about to die.”
The trusted subordinate’s mouth turned dried at those words. He tried to take some deep breaths to calm down.
It was at that moment.
He felt as if his body was twisting.
Pain seemed to cover his entire body.
The trusted subordinate could see the merchant guild leader smiling. The trusted subordinate slumping onto the table with blood in his mouth was reflected in the merchant guild leader’s eyes.
The merchant guild leader started to speak to the trusted subordinate who was slumping onto the table with the dinner and wine.
“I have to get rid of all of the evidence.”
The trusted subordinate started to frown.
The reward for dutifully doing terrible deeds and his loyalty was death.
“Da, ugh, damn it, ugh!”
The trusted subordinate realized that poison was in the food or on his plate.
However, he could not say it out loud.
He quickly succumbed to the poison and died.
“Hey, are you okay?”
The merchant guild leader looked up at the ceiling and started to speak once the trusted subordinate was a corpse that could not respond.
“Get rid of it.”
Two assassins silently came down from the roof and one of them started to move the trusted subordinate’s body.
The merchant guild leader watched and filled a new glass handed to him by the other assassin with wine. He then took a sip.
The deep concern that he had shown earlier was not present at all.
He looked calm and peaceful.
“Lay low for a while.”
He gave an order to the assassins who were his true trusted subordinates.
“And keep sending money to the South.”
The subordinates silently nodded their heads.
He started to think about the Alchemists’ Towers located there.
The royals that Plavin Singten was now supporting were located there.
He leaned back on the couch and calmly assessed the situation.
“…It’s still okay. There’s still hope.”
There was still a chance for his power and status to be maintained.
There was a reason he was staying in this secret residence in the capital.
Plavin Singten had stayed in the capital even as other shady bastards of other merchant guilds ran to the countryside.
Of course, part of it was because of this secret residence that looked normal on the outside because it was surrounded by magic.
‘The troops have not moved yet.’
It was so that he could keep an eye on the capital’s troops. He also needed to keep a hold on his money line.
These two factors were the reason he was able to create a tight connection with the Southern Alchemists’ Tower.
There was one last reason he was staying in the capital.
‘I have a connection with the Church of the Sun God as well!’
Guild leader Plavin’s eyes started to sparkle.
The Caro Kingdom’s VIP auction house.
He had agreed to purchase the Determination of Fire from an unknown person for 30 billion counds.
Plavin had been uncertain about what to do when the man in the white mask first offered him the Determination of Fire in a deal.
It was because the Determination of Fire was a treasure that served as evidence of his secret bribe to the former pope even as he had a close connection with the crown.
But now, the conversation he had with that masked man was letting Plavin feel relieved.
‘Plavin Singten, the Empire, and the Church of the Sun God. Which has the longer history?’
That was what the man had said.
‘Plavin Singten, they say that you are known for your political abilities. Then you should know about it. You should know what the bad news from the Empire means.’
The Determination of Fire.
The man had asked for a significant sum of 30 billion counds to secretly return the item he used as a bribe back to him.
‘Who I am, why I came to find you, and whether the amount I called out is just for the value of this necklace. Think long and hard.’
Those words had been enough for the Singten Merchant Guild leader to understand the value of these 30 billion counds.
That money would be used to connect him back to the Church of the Sun God.
“That was the best decision.”
Plavin licked his tongue while thinking about that moment.
He had created a connection with the Church of the Sun God before the crown fell apart, and thanks to that, he thought that he would be able to survive even as Saint Jack and sword master Hannah returned the Church of the Sun God to its former glory.
‘I might get even more power.’
That would happen if the royal family member in the Southern Alchemists’ Tower ended up as the Emperor.
A connection with the Church of the Sun God and a connection with the crown would allow the Singten Merchant Guild to be the most influential merchant guild in the Empire.
“You need to take risks to get rewards.”
That was why he was waiting in the capital.
He knew the Church of the Sun God would look for him soon enough.
It was at that moment.
He jumped up from the couch in shock.
The alarm in the residence was going off.
That meant that someone had infiltrated past the magic circle making this look like a regular building.
‘Who could it be?
Who is coming here?’
The merchant guild leader smiled as the assassin trusted subordinate spoke for the first time today. He then started to speak.
He was on the second-floor terrace.
A man with brown hair and a white mask appeared in front of him.
Plavin started to smile.
The person who would raise him to higher heights had arrived.
The man in the white mask standing at the terrace reached out and opened the terrace window.
He started to speak as he entered the building.
“Long time no see, Singten Merchant Guild Leader.”
The assassin trusted subordinates surrounded Plavin Singten, trying to protect him from the man in the white mask.
However, Plavin welcomed him with a smile.
“Sir, I’ve been waiting for you.”
Plavin had been waiting for this man in the white mask who would take him to greater heights.
– Human! The punk to be looted said he was waiting for you! Something is weird! Why would he wait for you when he’s going to lose everything?
Cale, the man in the white mask, ignored Raon’s comment as he reached his hand out to Plavin Singten.
“You’re good with politics, right?”
The merchant guild leader grabbed Cale’s hand with both of his hands as he responded.
“Of course. I am very good.”
He was willing to speak like a loyal vassal in order to climb up this new connection.
“Please tell me whatever it is you need, sir. I will get it all ready for you.”
The corners of Cale’s mouth that were not covered by the mask slightly went up.
Of course, that smile looked majestic and strong to Plavin since Cale had the Dominating Aura surrounding him.
Cale gently spoke to Plavin who seemed as if he had become has vassal.
“Then I guess it is time to test your sincerity.”
‘Sincerity my ass.
The only thing left for you is death, you damn bastard.’
Cale heard Raon’s voice at that moment.
– I, it’s an evil smile! It’s so evil that even the White Star would be shocked!