Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
[dropcap]H[/dropcap]alf of the courtiers had recessed. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the idleness by watching at their distorted face and twitching shoulders out of amusement. Suddenly, I noticed Fischer winked eyes. I subconsciously glanced around to find the Royal Academy headmaster was also leaving the hall.
I peered at Fischer with a sincere look and thought at the direction of him, “What do you want me to do?”
“Fix him, or you’ll suffer later…” Fischer’s eyes pointed to the ceiling, but his thought traveled through the air into my mind.
“Roger!” I never questioned any advice from this golden insider. Thus I wandered out and began searching for my target while plotting a suitable strategy.
I passed through straggling men who either tempted with laughter or gazed at me viciously, then I found the Royal Headmaster at a corner.
The old man was standing by a wall, faced with the delicate wall engravings. He seemed to be struggling with his earlier grammar errors and he did not notice my presence.
I told the Royal guards that I wished to not be disturbed.
“What went wrong?” I sneaked behind him and overheard him mumbling, “My wording was right? Or was the problem of my tone?”
“You have three sons, right, Master?” I whispered in his ears, “Are you proud of them?”
He was startled then shocked and turned to face me.
“My families are not of your concern.” He said, “Farewell, Your Excellency.”
I glanced to make sure nobody was around, then pulled his arms and attached his back on the wall. I reached a pill and forced it into his frightened, wide-opened mouth. Then I squeezed his throat.
“Tastes good?” I made sure he swallowed.
“Yo… you! What did you give me?”
“Regular? What is it!”
“The kind you’ll die if you don’t behave.”
“Death… won’t scare me.” He straightened up, “If you’ve done what you’ve done then, excuse me.”
“En… don’t look at me like that.” I grinned, “I know it wouldn’t work on you alone. You heard me, all of your families including your three sons and wife, are eating this delicious piece of jewel.”
“You!” The headmaster gnashed, “Your Excellency, you are despicable!”
“I had no other way. Who expelled me from the Academy and ended my chance of a decent education.
“What do you want from me?”
“I don’t wanna suffer from today’s incident, and I have to get my money.” I said, “You’ll help me.”
Thus at a hidden corner, two man-figures began whispering to scheme secretly under the bright sunshine.
“I see, then why don’t we hear from the Headmaster.” As people gathered again in the grand hall, the King said, “Just repeat the words, no need to add an explanation.”
“Your Highness, I’ve done talking.” He looked at his foot and said.
“Cohen Kheda.” The King said, “Why did you curse the Minister.”
“Your Majesty!” I said, “I have to deny his accusation.”
“Because I didn’t say anything bad about him.” I cleared my throat, “I said first: ‘Fuck your mama’ which sounded dirty, however, please pay attention, I used ‘your’ the subject. Thus I was only asking a typical question about gossips I’ve heard on the streets.”
“Is that so?” The King looked to the Headmaster, “What do you say?”
“Now as I recall, Viceroy Kheda’s words did hint a sense of the question.” He leveled his head and with a faceful of helpless look, “Yes, it’s a general form of a question.”
“Then… what about ‘old bird’?” The Minister pointed at me, trembled.
“About that, I need to apologize to you. Please forgive me for my wordings. However, I was not saying anything bad about you.” I stated with a smile, “In general, I’ve accustomed to use the word rookie for freshmen who lack experience. An old bird is, on the contrary, I was complimenting your sophisticated way of handling things.”
“En?” The King asked, “Is that a thing, headmaster?”
“The literal meaning of this, I’d say it’s a proper explanation.” Since the headmaster was threatened, he gave an alternate answer that favored me. He was the knowledgeable headmaster, so others won’t stand to oppose him, which left the Minister and his people gazed at him with confused and vicious looks.
“Then that, all things are settled.” The King said, “Who’s next?”
“Father,” Fischer said, “We are coming to the Master of Coin’s accusation on Viceroy Kheda.”
“Okay, Treasurer, you may begin.”
Faced swollen and covered in the bandage, the Treasurer stepped forward.
“Your Majesty!” He pointed at his face, “I was merely doing money transfer for him, then he beat me with utter cruelty!”
“You are indeed severely wounded.” The King then turned to me, “Cohen! How did this happen?”
“Your Majesty!” I knelt beside the Treasurer, “The money you have approved to me, he took half of it!”
“Was it really?” The King frowned, “I don’t think so.”
“It was indeed!” I yelled, “I did everything I could; he would give me only half!”
“He might want to give you half then the other half in a few days.” The King said, “Why on earth were you being such an impulsive man and a hitter!”
“No, it was not! The Treasurer had explicitly said,” I pointed at the Minister, “He’s giving the other half to the Minister!”
King slapped on the armrest, and snapped “Minister is an important member of the empire, don’t you make nonsense!”
“I did not.”
“Treasurer!” The King inquired seriously, “Is it true, about what Viceroy Cohen said about your deeds?”
The Treasurer did not expect things to change this drastically and muted by the King’s question, he answered after a good while, “Ye… yes.”
Then uproar arose between the other officials!
The money, in fact, if given as a renovation fee, made no difference in handing cash to him. However, it will be treated differently if it were given directly to the Minister. It will be corruption. A simple wording choice would make such a huge difference. Now even if the Treasurer would alter his testimony to mansion renovation, who would believe him! The Headmaster of Royal Academy was worthy of his name. He gave me the best idea!
“Minister,” The King murmured, “Start talking.”
“Your Majesty,” Minister said, “I have no idea! I really don’t.”
“Are you saying you don’t know?” My father asked, “Why didn’t he give the money to me?”
“Your Majesty!” The Treasurer has finally realized his fault, “The money was intended for the Minister’s mansion renovation project!”
“My house repairs every year!” Minister yelled, “I don’t need you to worry about my house! You must be drawn to money and want it filled in your pocket, and you did it with my name!”
“Shit!” I thought. This Minister was indeed the Minister. He saw the condition went south then he abandoned the Treasurer! I have underestimated him. At least it has proven he was a man able to know when to advance and retreat. I must act with care in the future!
Then everything went as planned. The current Treasurer became former Treasurer and imprisoned, trial to be dated. The Minister avoided responsibility due to his lack of awareness.
“So to speak, we’ve had quite a few days in the city recently!” The King glanced at me.
Did he want to kick me down the ladder?
“You heard me, I said you are impulsive, and you triumphed that every time.” The King was playing his ring again! Each time he did that someone will get unlucky! In this case, me!
“Arrogant! Extremely arrogant!” The King neglected the stunned look on my face, continued, “You beat up the Treasurer, you beat up the gatekeepers, who knows what’s your next target tomorrow. If I indulge you any longer, you might beat me, am I right!”
“Your Majesty!” My father said, “He’s done nothing wrong!”
“I SAID YES!” The King roared, “He broke my study chair!”
“Yes!” The Minister echoed with his shining eyes, “Damaging royal property is a punishable offense!”
“That was not me…”
“Quiet!” He interrupted me, “Get this rat and flog him 30!”
“NOOOO!” I freaked out, “That was not me!”
“Your Majesty!” My father yelled, “Cohen is a civil viceroy, you can’t beat him!”
“Then, Your Majesty,” I was dragged outside and overheard the Minister’s exciting voice, “I suggest giving him a military position.”
“Might as well, I hereby name Viceroy of Dark City, Cohen Kheda as…” I could barely hear the king from the distance.