Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
After dinner, I was accompanied by Fischer to my wives’ place.
“Later on when we’re there, pay attention to what you say to her.” Fischer said, “The 3 wives of yours are accounting for half of your city worth now. If you stir up their temper any further, I can’t promise you your life.”
“Okay, I’ll just play dead, alright?” I answered, inattentively, using a willow shoot to beat up the grass aside, “That’s not fair, I was nearly killed on the battlefield and I’ve got to take this shit at home!”
“I think they’ve become cuter.” Fischer said with a smile, “Besides, they all have deep affections for you. The deeper they care for you, the more responsible they feel for you. You ought to suffice with these three.”
“And you call that relationship husband and wife.” I cried, “It’s been several years and this viceroy haven’t even made into their boudoirs!”
“And you blame me for that? Blame yourself!” Fischer shrugged, “Tell you, these 3 are not ordinary women, especially Flynn. If you win her over for real this time, she’ll definitely be of great help for your future mighty career.”
“Forget it. I wanna be happy, that’s it.” I shook my head, “Face it, the reality is only about money. I don’t want a career of sorts.”
“That reminds me. You’ve never mentioned to me anything about dreams.” Fischer stopped advancing, “Now tell me, what is your dream?”
Once he brought the subject up, even myself was confused.
All the time, I’ve been busy, overcoming one crisis after another. I can’t have time to think anything about the luxury term ‘dream’. How pathetic, I ended up a dreamless nobility.
No, I’m not a man without a dream. My wish is to be stronger, more powerful than my previous life and to take hold of my own destiny. But supposedly, it is just pure lust and it is not suited to tell.
“Dreams?” I mused for quite a while and finally decided to just gross it over, “I don’t seem to have one…”
“No?” Fischer gazed at me with astonishing eyes, “No way. How come there is one in this world who doesn’t have dreams?”
“I… I really don’t…”
“Listen to me, Cohen, a man is born in this world with a dream and a mission. No matter this dream turns out to be good or bad.” Fischer gazed at me for quite a while then began to tell, “A man without a dream is fragmented. You ought to have dreams even it means yours is dark or evil. But I’m your closest friend, you can show off your dreams.”
I shook my head.
“Lying to a king is guilty.” Fischer said, “I don’t wanna punish you.”
“My wise king, just let it go.” I sighed, “I’ve humped my brains out and I really don’t recall I ever have or had a dream.”
“Then where does your passion for life come from?” Fischer frowned, “What drove you, time and time again, to defeat your enemies and find your way home?”
“I’m not sure. Perhaps it eventually came from the friendship of you guys. But it definitely not come from the dream you mentioned.” I tapped my head, “My beloved king, what is your dream?”
“Mine? Honestly, mine is a vague one to begin with. It gradually became clear since I met you.” Fischer turned away and strolled, “I want to be the best king in history, a wise, sagacious monarch, a king who’s able to gain peace for his people!”
“What a fine goal.” I clapped, “I’d celebrate with a feast.”
“No need.” Fischer turned back to me and abruptly took hold of my shoulders, “I have a better idea!”
I gazed at him in confusion.
“A man cannot live dreamlessly. That dream will become a torch directing our life.” Fischer said, “For your integrity, I’ve decided to share my dream by half to you.”
“Er…” I said like a fool, “Can you really share dreams?”
“Yeah, it’s a technique developed by the military. Sharing dreams will decrease training casualty and increase efficiency. We’re going to inception a certain individual’s mind. Why not? I consider you must have a dream somewhere.” Fischer said with a smile, “Before you find one, let my dream fill that needing hole of yours.”
“But…” said I, “For accepting such a treasure from the king, my heart is going to disturb.”
“Say no more, it’s settled.” Fischer pinched my shoulder, “Aren’t we the best friends? Let’s work together for this dream!”
What else can I say but nod to obey. It meant my tiny shoulders were once again burdened with more responsibility. Now the king has successfully trapped this viceroy with his half dream.
We passed the garden and arrive in the backyard.
Flynn was alone trimming plantation by the shack. She lowered her knees in the presence of Fischer and me.
“My lady.” Fischer said with a smile, “This king came to deliver Cohen with his apology. Cohen, what did I tell you?”
I had to stroll over and pour the well-prepared words out. Flynn was extremely calm when she listened.
“He did alright, Flynn?” Fischer said, “It’s not an easy job to make Viceroy Cohen ditch his pride and apologize. I bore grave danger doing so.”
“Thank you, Your Grace.”
“Well, well, I’ll leave Cohen to you. Talk like a couple.” Fischer nodded.
After seeing Fischer off, Flynn simply ignored me and turned to his rituals. Her careful manner told me that she was not going to ‘talk like a couple’.
I did not intend to stand there like a fool. I did balance the harsh result if I trigger more of Flynn’s anger so I decided to put away my pride. Or if Flynn went quitting her job with my other wives, I couldn’t afford to manage such a huge province all by myself.
So I patiently waited until she was done with her rituals and sat by the stool. I then, with a humble smile, prepared water for her hands.
“Oh, I didn’t expect my husband to ever do such a thing.” Flynn gave me a look, “Since when did you learn to fawn?”
“Not really, it’s in my nature.” I answered, “Besides, it’s my greatest merit to make you happy.”
“Stop flattering yourself.” Flynn remained unchanged and washing her hands, “Every dark citizen knows my husband is a mighty hero who doesn’t want his wives.”
I couldn’t care less about Flynn’s harsh sayings. She was willing to talk to me at the very least.
“I don’t care what they think about me. And I never wanted to be hell of a hero.” I found myself a seat so close that I could even see myself in her watery eyes, “To be honest, Flynn, are you really one of them who think I’m such a man?”
“I have no idea.” Flynn said softly to me, “I’ve lost who you are since the day I married you. Sometimes I doubt I even ever knew you.”
“You’re making me more sorrowful.” I said bitterly, “If you were me, and you were in that kind of situations, you couldn’t have done better.”
“Then in your opinion, I should be mad at you? I that is the case, I’m offering my sincere apology.”
“No, Flynn, everybody has the right to be mad and I cannot say otherwise.” said I, “However, I deserve a chance to express myself.”
“You’re expressing.” The girl fetched a towel for her hands, “And I’m listening.”
“I know I am an unsettling man who often makes my close ones worry. But hear me out, this is my personality and I’m doing my utmost to change that. I need time. I know it’s my problem. That I suppose is the reason that has been troubling you.” I said earnestly, “Tell you the truth, I have you all in my heart even when I was fighting enemies. You’re irreplaceable.”
“Is that true.”
“Cohen, my love.” said Flynn, “I can’t tell whichever of your words are true or not.”
“Why? You’re free to doubt everything but why are you questioning my love for you?” I stood up, “True, I’m way away from becoming the perfect husband that you wish me to be. But at least I’m trying. If I can’t achieve that throughout my life, I am trying! Isn’t that enough?”
“I have never question your love.”
“So then I have failed. Everything I’ve done is not enough to make you fall for me.” My cheeks caved in, “It’s merely my wishful thinking.”
“Quit intriguing me. You know the fact that my only weakness is my affection for you.” Gradually, Flynn’s eyes were shaded with a curtain of mist, “You’re full of flawless, but I… hopelessly fell in love with you. I knew your personality is unchangeable but still, I wished I could change you. If I gave you a hard time, be brave, just tell me. I… I won’t trouble you EVER again!”
The moment her feet turned away, I caught her by the hand and pulled her by my side.
“Don’t, Flynn. It’s my problem.” said I, “I wished for a peaceful talk but it turned out wrong…”
“I have nothing to talk.” Flynn tried to ditch my hand so she fell her eyes to another direction, “Leave me alone.”
“You’re my wife, the wife I love.” I said with a hippie’s face, “What’s so wrong about touching hands between lawful couples?”
“Rogue!” Her welled eyes started to spill crystal drops.
“I’m sorry, Flynn. I made you worry.” I touched away the tears on her cheeks, “I’ll see that my problems solved.”
“You don’t understand my needs.” For the first time, she leaned onto my chest, “The most valuable thing a wife gains from her husband is respect.”
“I’ve been showing respect.”
“The premise of respect is honesty. Are you?”
“Sure I am.” I whispered by her ears, “Until this moment, I have kept my promises. Have I entered your boudoir without permission.”
“Yes, indeed, but,” Flynn faced my eyes, “I hope you, my husband will not hold back anything. I hope you’ll talk to us without any secrets.”
“There’s nothing I’ve ever held back!” As I said, I realized the probable occurrence of a certain thing, so I hurried to alter, “Even under the circumstance I held back on certain business, those are white lies…”
“The result of white lies are also deceiving. I am your wife and a lifetime companion. In your heart, I’m not worthy of knowing the truth?”
“I didn’t mean…”
Flynn stood straight, “Cohen, sit down. I have a question.”
I had no choice but to obey.
This hell is never a couple’s talk! This is clearly another extortion convention!
“Are you ready?” Flynn gazed my eyes, “I’m about to ask.”
I gave her a harsh smile and hoped I could make it through.
“Since your last travel to Winper, the city has started to routinely turn over large sums of fund twice a month. The money was never late.” As it concerned with money, Flynn resumed being calm. Her little finger flickered on the tabletop, which I knew by the gesture she was sorting her mind, “Till this day, the sum has become increasingly larger every month. The amount of money has proven to be extremely useful to the city project and it has surpassed ⅕ of the general income of Dark City. Arguably, if it weren’t for the money, the project would have been tougher.”
“Is there a problem with the money?” I pretended to be careless.
“The source of the money has no flaws.” Flynn’s dark-shaded eyebrows flipped, “I’m interested in the one behind it.”
“Are you?” I shrugged, “You have the money. Why do you care about the offer?”
“Don’t change the subject. Tell me, truthfully, Who sent the money?”
“Hell, it’s businessmen. You know the fact that Winper is a port city. There’re definitely hundreds of traders.” said I, “I’ve enacted taxation and benefited from subsidiaries. Hence the money.”
“Are you certain?” Flynn did not fall for my lies and she was rather interested, “But from what I found from the accounts, the taxation you mention was only a tiny part of the money. Besides, Winper businessmen, these days are having a rather bad time.”
“Bad time?” I laughed, “I wonder why.”
“Due to the fact that a businesswoman has risen to rule quite recently. She, during a very short time, have taken over most trading industries from food, cloth to armory and wine. She trades everything. All other merchants have been leading a harsh time since then.” Flynn stopped baffling me and went to the object, “I’ve sent men to investigate 2 months ago. What I found was interesting. As prosperous as Winper is, there is only one who can afford to pay such a huge amount of money. The one biggest merchant in Winper City: Dior Merlin.”
“En, Dior Merlin.” At the point, I said emotionlessly, “I’ve heard of this person.”
“More than ‘heard of’, I guess.” This businesswoman has no significant career in her past career, but her sudden rise and astonishing expansion are just hard to neglect. One more thing, your former deputy has been offering all the help she needs. Or I should say, favoring her. Flynn’s eyes took hold of me, her deep vision nearly saw the truth, “And what a coincident that she was married during the period you were there.”
“I’ve had a cursory story about her.” I nodded and pretended nothing was of my concern, “I learned her husband was a smuggler.”
“Is that so? How sorry.” Flynn was clearly not content with my response, “She’s an able Mrs. Her subsidiaries have branched all over Swabia and even in other Protoss Allied empires. I’m not overstating but tons of money is flowing into her pocket every day. I gape why you wouldn’t take advantage of such a remarkable, phenomenal female.
“I did think about letting her in for the city.” I said with a smile, “Shame, she was wedded. I was one step too late.”
“I see.” Flynn’s eyes began glittering, “Is it reliable to say my husband and this Mrs. Dior Merlin have not related anyhow?”
“That saves me much trouble.”
“What trouble?” asked I, “Is there a problem in Winper?”
“For the time being, no. I was bothered you had something to do with her.” Flynn answered lightly, “I had her arrested in the name of bootlegging. She’s the wife of a smuggler.”
“A… arrested? Why?” I was flustered and my head ached. My first wife arrested my last wife? Dear me, can’t I have a little peace on either side. What was that all about?
“Simple, we need to supply army and refugees and your expense. The extra money needed, under the situation, calls for the help of this businesswoman.”
“I know it’s an improper way to do it, but we don’t have a second option. In fact, the truth that Mrs. Dior Merlin did took part in the smuggling and you’ve proven to have nothing to do with her… My love, why are you looking at me like that? You’re not thinking to let me release her, are you?”
“What are your plans with her?” I acted calmly though I was nearly shattered, “Where is she?”
“I intend to confusticate all her money and convict guilty on her. If she’s really that good with business, she’ll be designated into our admin system. I have to come up with a way around the procedures because she will surely suffer a certain level of bitterness.” Flynn said to me, “She is under escort on the road to Dark City. Shame, we’ve lost track of her husband and the businesswoman would not talk, no matter what we did to her.”
“You put her in torture!?”
“Why not. She’s merchant, nothing more. Moreover, her family was in a downfall. It shouldn’t be a problem.”
“You can’t do that to her!” I lost containment, my palm slapped on the desk.
Flynn calmly gazed at me, “Tell me your reason.”
“Because I… I am her husband!” Having exclaimed that, I stood put, waiting for Flynn’s judgment.
Her lips shivered but eventually, nothing came out. The eyes of the girl closed in agony and moved aside.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.