Negotiations for the Underground (2)
Hey guys, Aidka’s here!
I will not say much. The next few days will probably continue with irregulars releases like this until I’m feeling better, so I hope you guys can understand.
I’m trying to keep a count of the missing chapters, and writing when I’m feeling better, but in the end, my health is first, and I don’t want to force myself to write when I’m feeling unwell.
Enjoy today’s chapters, and with a bit of luck, I’ll post again tomorrow.
With love, Aidka :p
Safelia arrival stunned the people in the room.
“Saintess.” The first one to react was Albert. “What are you doing here?”
“Is it not obvious?” Safelia sighed and seated beside me. “I came on behalf of the church to back the Red Skull Gang.”
The people in the room were shocked by these words.
“Do you mean…”
“Yes, Earl. The Red Skull Gang is in fact a subsidiary of our church.”
These words silenced the room.
Marana and Akilah were looking at us with stunned expressions. Even they were not expecting something like this.
They could not help but wonder how I got the support of the church.
“The church has never interfered in the matters of the underground, saintess.” Prince Alan said coldly. “What is the meaning of this then?”
“The fact that the church never interfered doesn’t mean it can’t interfere. We just were not interested before, but it’s different now.”
“Different? How?” Earl Riea asked with a frown in his face.
Safelia looked at him and sighed.
“Drugs, forced prostitution, robbery, kidnappings… The capital’s underground had been filled with all these things. That is not something our church wants to see.”
“That is absurd.” Alan sneered. “It’s impossible to stop these kinds of things completely, saintess. I can’t believe the church is so naïve as to believe that.”
I chuckled softly. “You are right, these kinds of things can’t be stopped.”
“But, they should not be promoted either.”
Alan, Earl Riea, and Albert frowned.
As smart men, they easily understood the underlying meaning behind my words.
But even so, they had to ask.
“What do you mean, Mr. Clark?” Albert asked.
I grinned and tapped the table once.
“You see, we investigated a little and discovered that the gangs your families supported were deeply involved in these kinds of deplorable activities. Moreover, your families received a juicy amount of money due to that. What is your opinion about that, misters?”
Neither Albert nor Earl Carlson or Alan answered.
They were aware my words were true.
Of course, neither the church nor I cared in the slightest about that.
But it gave us the perfect excuse to interfere.
“I hope each one of you understands the church’s stance,” Safelia spoke up at that moment with a firm tone. “We can’t simply ignore a situation where our believers suffer like that. Hence, since today, the Red Skull Gang will control the capital’s underground in behalf of the church. They will do their best to reduce the crime of the city and create a better environment for our believers. Of course, we know that it’s impossible to stop such crimes, but we are going to do our best to control them!”
Well done, Safelia.
Even I was almost convinced by you.
I stealthily held Safelia’s hand below the table to tease. The saintess shot me a reproachful look and tried to remove my hand, but I grabbed her hand tighter.
In the end, she pinched my hand angrily while making sure none of the people in front of us could find anything wrong.
Behind me, though, I could feel Marana and Akilah surprised gazes.
They could not believe I dared to take advantage of the saintess like that.
I’m awesome, right?
Alan, Earl Riea, and Young Master Albert were silent. They could see the attitude of the church regarding this situation was firm. The church was not going to take a step back.
None of them dared to offend the church slightly. In the end, the church was the strongest power in the empire, only below the imperial family.
In fact, their hidden power was perhaps even stronger than the Imperial Family. After all the church was supported by the strongest human god.
However, they could not give up the benefices of their families so simply.
But at that moment, the last actor in this play made her move.
In the middle of the heavy silence, Alice coughed.
“Saintess, can I ask you something?”
“Do ask, Miss Alice.”
“… You see, a great part of our family income comes from the underground. Don’t you think it’s wrong to cut our income like that?”
“Perhaps. But if your families would have not resorted to such extreme means like forced prostitution to gain money, the church would have not intervened. You are just reaping what you sow.”
“… I understand that. But… I’ll be honest, saintess. My family can give up our forces in the underground, but we can’t give up the income they bring us. We want twenty percent of the income the underground of the capital generates.”
Safelia frowned and her expression turned cold.
“Do you think you are in the position to ask for money?”
“Perhaps not. But saintess, if you don’t get our support, the Ferret Family will make sure to hinder the Red Skull Gang with all our strength, and I’m sure the other families here will do the same. Thus, unless you want to put the entire empire against you, I hope you reconsider. Besides, we are already taking a step back. Twenty percent is a bit less than our usual earnings.”
Safelia fell silent. In the eyes of the others, it seemed like she was considering Alice’s opinion.
In fact, I could see the expression of Alan, the earl, and Albert tensing up. It seemed like they agreed with Alice’s words.
However, they did not know it was a trap.
Since the start, our goal was never the money. Instead, it was the power to control the underground of the capital.
Moreover, it was not as though we were not going to earn money.
“Ten percent. That is the most we can give you,” Safelia said.
“… That is too little.” Alice put on a troubled expression. “How about eighteen percent?”
“Fifteen percent. That is my biggest concession.”
“I think that–”
“Stop,” Safelia grunted. “I said fifteen percent, miss Alice. The same goes for the rest of you. That will be our biggest concession. If you want to ask for more, we will have to resort to more extreme measures.”
Alice raised her hands to signal she understood. At the same time, she looked at the representatives of the other three families.
After a while, they nodded.
“Then, it’s a deal.” Alice smiled sweetly. At the same time, she winked at me secretly.
I smiled in satisfaction. With this, the underground of the capital was officially on our hands.
It’s a big step in Dina’s path to the throne.
Current schedule: 10 Chapters/week