Volume 1 Chapter 7—Hidden Wealth
Translator and Editor: SaltyTank
Noticing that the crowd’s attention was no longer on them, Mithian said in a low voice after taking the last sip of her cream soup, “You said you’re not seeking revenge.”
Even Loki who was sitting right besides her could barely hear it. She continued, “Yet you show up tonight here at this banquet.”
“For a middle class cleric who earns barely 20 gold coins a month, there’s no reason to refuse a feast.”
However, his actions said otherwise. From the start of the banquet, he had only taken a small bite of pizza and nothing else. The variety of delicacies laid on the dining table could not even whet his appetite in the slightest.
“You clearly know this is not just a grand feast, don’t you? This is the epitome of the empire’s power struggles. People who come here just for the food? Don’t joke around.”
Loki really wanted to say there indeed was such a person; at least Alice was enjoying the food to her heart’s content. Given her slim physique, no one could have known that her appetite was that of a starved lion. She grabbed a stack of ribs with her bare hands and started tearing the meat off with her teeth like a beast. Not even a tiny bit of ladylike elegance could be seen from her actions. Everyone at her table was equally stunned; Alice ate like it was a buffet in a canteen.
Even so, Loki could not afford to let Alice leave his side. The least he could do was to try to avoid being labelled as someone related to her, at least for now.
Taking Loki’s silence as his answer, Mithian continued, “There’s only two types of people here, those who have power and those who will soon have it. You still seek power, and that means you still haven’t let go of the incident.”
She paused for a moment and whispered, “I can help you with that.”
Even Loki doubted his ears at her words.
“I’m full now. Pardon me, Your Highness Mithian.” Loki pushed his plate and utensils forward and left his seat without looking back. Even though he had let that person down again.
Just as he was about to leave the hall, he stopped to look at his apostle. He was not planning to interrupt Alice’s feast; his focus was on the name engraved on her chair.
After leaving so abruptly, Mithian, who was just about to leave her seat, was slightly shocked to see that Loki had returned.Their sights landed on each other briefly before Loki broke the eye contact. He took a quick glance at his glass, then headed towards Sirius.
How did I miss something this obvious?
Every seat and glass in this hall were tailor made to have their names engraved. If the Student Council had only invited him over to humiliate him, they would not have prepared the seat and glass for him.
Only the vice president and the president had the authority to send out invitations. Since Sirius the vice president clearly did not enjoy Loki’s presence, it was made obvious that Sirius’ brother, Cray, was the one who had invited him.
“Let me meet your brother,” Loki said without exchanging pleasantries. “Where is he?”
Sirius, however, feigned ignorance as he continued to drink and chat with the council members.
“Cray must have told you what to do, vice president Sirius. Don’t be so immature.”
Loki pressed his palm against Sirius’ shoulder, which was extremely disrespectful. The latter though, did not show any signs of retaliating. He simply stopped chattering with his mates.
Of course he couldn’t complain; Loki’s palm was quickly gathering water elements. In this supposedly hot summer, Sirius was currently feeling oddly chilly. He had realised his mistake, albeit a little too late. His brother had specifically told him not to provoke a mage without prior preparations. Regardless of how strong the Xeline family was, at least now, his life was in the hands of the blue-haired teen.
“Brother… is… waiting for you… at the academy… entrance.” Sirius’ teeth chattered as he struggled to speak under the intense cold injected from the skinny palm on his shoulder. “Even if… you go now… you’re too late… brother said… he will… only wait for… twenty minutes.”
“Well then, instead of bothering with the special welcome you prepared for me, you should’ve told me right from the start, no?” Loki bowed to whisper into his ears as if they were close friends.
Sirius’ friends noticed something odd with the two, but they did not realise the severity of the situation. They only thought that Loki was begging for forgiveness; it was nothing new for the traitor after all.
“I…” Sirius’ tongue was just a second away from turning into ice when the chilly sensation subsided. The hot breezes of summer once again surrounded him. He took in deep breaths to calm himself down, his clothes drenched in cold sweat. Sirius did not notice that Loki was long gone until he turned around to look.
Loki applied on himself all the magic spells that could speed him up. The wind elements surrounding him almost lifted him off the ground as he dashed through the trees in the academy, his black suit fluttering in the wind.
At last, he arrived at the entrance. The Council’s alchemical car was still there with its doors open. Hanging on the door was a dim lamp, silently inviting the guest over.
“Really thought I’d only wait for twenty minutes?”
The moment Loki entered the car, a servant appeared out of the shadows to close the door for him. The car’s engine rumbled before heading off while leaving a trail of dust.
“All I wanted was for you to hurry up a little. Time’s precious for everyone after all.”
Cray, who was sitting besides him, smiled while fiddling with a neatly sealed envelope. He looked similar to his brother Sirius, both having brown hair and a slightly tall and sharp nose, but Cray’s eyes were more deep-set and his pupils were closer to black than brown. Those features gave off a rather gloomy feeling, making his smile seem even more unnatural. It lacked warmth, it lacked sincerity; it lacked everything that made a smile a soothing one.
“Yet you’re half an hour late… Looks like the brat pulled off another of his petty tricks. I’ll make sure to give him the routh edge of my tongue when we’re done.”
“Well that’d be helpful.” Loki nodded. “Have you ever thought of me not coming here though?”
“No, you’ll come, no matter how late. I’m sure you will, because you’re stuck under a well.”
“You don’t have a choice, do you? Be it a rope or a viper, you still have to grab onto it or else you’re done for,” said Cray. “For Loki Davoral Auxsasy who’d kill his sister to save his own ass, he’s surely not someone who’d just sit and wait for his doom.”
“Sounds like tomorrow won’t be coming for me if I don’t come tonight.”
“Not really, but you definitely wouldn’t have many tomorrows left had you not come tonight.” Cray flashed his creepy smile again. “After so long, you’re appearing before the big shots of the empire again. They’re not blind. You’re now an Inheritance Mage and somehow managed to sneak your way into the Holy Messiah Academy, quite obvious you’re in for some revenge, no? Many of the higher ups are itching to crush you into bits already.”
“I am grateful for the forgiveness the Holy Church has shown me. My clansmen are unforgivable sinners who deserve worse than death. There is nothing to avenge.” It was the third time Loki had said such a thing these few days.
“You won’t live longer than two hours without saying such, with over half of the time spent on announcing the long list of crimes you’ve committed.”
Loki simply shrugged. The scenery outside has changed from noble buildings to that of peasants, meaning the car was heading out of the city.
“So, what’s our destination?”
“The prison,” Cray replied. “Doom Prison, to be specific. The largest prison with the tightest defences throughout the entire Reiz Empire where those with unforgivable sins and have greatly harmed the empire are held in.”
“I’m an unforgivable sinner?”
Cray shook his head and said, “Of course not, you played a key role in suppressing the uprising. Even the Senatus and the Pope have officially pardoned your sins… It’s just that we have to visit a special someone, and we can only find that person there.”
“Must be the Auxsasy prisoners. You’re letting me see them? Why?”
“About that… We’ll have to start all the way back from just after the fall of your family. The Senatus appointed the Xeline family to manage the property of the Auxsasy family. The empire will take everything valuable and useful, the others shall be destroyed.”
Cray pulled out the letter from the envelope. Tightly packed numbers were written all over the sheet of paper, looking like a nest of ants.
“The Xelines spent a whole three years to go through all their records. The Auxsasies, the blood-soaked Cross’ Dirge that served the Holy Church for three centuries; their wealth was enough to buy the whole Noegard. We’ve gone through everything on the surface, and the Senatus is very pleased.”
“The Xelines spent so much effort to be appointed by the Senatus to manage the Auxsasy family’s property, spent another three years to go through all the trouble, yet you’re all left empty handed. Is that so?”
“Mhm, that’s one way to put it.” Cray surprisingly admitted. “But, the higher ups of the family all believe that the Auxsasies have property hidden somewhere else—that’s our actual target. We’ve noticed for a while tiny hints of this hidden treasure, right here in the Auxsasies’ treasury account book. Wanna have a look?”
Loki had no interest in going through his own families’ account book. To be able to find traces from the account book with so many tiny transactions recorded on it, the Xeline family was really determined to hit the jackpot this time.
“Just say it already.”
“Right, so basically we went through every large transaction in the past three centuries and noticed a small amount missing every year. No one really noticed because it was such a small sum compared to the gigantic amounts of money being transferred.”
“How many gold coins?”
“How many gold coins, you say?” Cray tightly held the paper in his hand. “Two hundred thousand every year, for three hundred and seventeen years. That’s a whopping sixty three million and four hundred thousand gold coins, even more than the empire’s national treasury. Quite literally richer than the country right there.”
“No idea where the money is,” Loki shrugged again.
“My, of course you don’t. The one who’s supposed to handle the money was the future head. Given that the Auxsasy family is matriarchal, there aren’t many candidates. The ones with the purest bloodline are your elder and younger sister, but as far as I know Lily Davoral Auxsasy had little interest in anything other than the elements and magic. That leaves only one person.”
Cray turned to look straight into Loki’s eyes, his dark pupils as dark as the night. “Right, you’re going to see her, your little sister—Lilia Davoral Auxsasy.”