Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 21, Gift
The prefectural city of Cerre administrated around ten or so other cities, as well as a large number of villages and farmers. The total population it controlled was in the millions. It would be fair to say that the prefectural city of Cerre could be considered as equivalent to a Duchy.
And the city governor of the prefectural city of Cerre could be considered equivalent to the Grand Duke of a Duchy!
“About to become the city governor of a prefectural city at just fourteen years of age. This really makes one feel envious.” In many of the hotels in Cerre, countless people were discussing this event.
Madame Wade and her brothers had suddenly died in that massive fire. This caused the somewhat complicated lines of power in Cerre to suddenly grow distinct and clear.
There was no longer any question.
Keane, who possessed the blood of the Jacques clan, would definitely assume the position of governor of the prefectural city of Cerre.
“That Madame Wade went in the middle of the night to ransack someone’s home, but she didn’t expect that she would lose her life as a result. What a farce.” A red-bearded old man grabbed a large flagon of wine, laughing loudly.
“Heard she was burnt to death.” Another nearby person said.
“How could she have been burnt to death? There were so many city guards around her. If she really was just burned by fire, the Madame Countess definitely would’ve been able to escape.” A skinny man suddenly lowered his voice. “Let me tell you a secret. Madame Countess and her brothers were first killed, and then their corpses were burnt by the fire.”
All the people nearby immediately turned to stare at him.
“This is the truth.” The skinny man said confidently.
“All of you are full of crap.” A burly man laughed coldly. “I’m an actual damn city guard, and I was there that night. Do you know more, or do I know more?”
That skinny man immediately laughed awkwardly. “Friend, I’m just kidding.”
“Madame Countess and her two brothers weren’t killed by fire. They probably died due to the blast.” The burly man said what he believed to be the truth. “Burnt to death? Wouldn’t they call for help? But the brothers in our squad didn’t hear a single cry for help the entire time. What most likely happened was that the sudden explosion instantly blew them apart, so they didn’t have any chance to cry for help.”
All the people nearby nodded, including the skinny man.
This explanation was a very logical one.
“Forget about Madame Wade. Right now, the city governors of Cerre are that pair of siblings.” The burly man took a deep drink of liquor, then spoke loudly.
Indeed. Right now, the center of attention in the prefectural city of Cerre was that pair of previously unremarkable countryside-raised siblings, Jenne and Keane.
Within the castle of the prefectural city.
“Why are there so many?” Flipping through the list of gifts in front of him, Keane also looked at the gift-filled room. He couldn’t help but be stunned.
After Madame Wade’s death, all of the nobles of the city immediately wished to draw closer to Keane now. They gave him gifts, they gave him beautiful women, they gave him powerful guards…all of these nobles knew that given Keane’s young age, their clans would probably be under the direct control of Keane for the next century at least. Naturally, they had to have good relations with him.
“This isn’t that much.” Lambert shook his head.
Jenne and Keane stared at Lambert in surprise, while Linley sipped his tea at a nearby table.
“Grandpa Lambert, this isn’t a lot?” Jenne said with surprise.
Lambert shook his head. “Miss, young master. These gifts, all combined, are only worth a few hundred thousand gold coins. A few hundred thousand gold coins? Hrmph. Miss, young master, do you know how much the senior madame’s net worth was? I believe it was over ten million gold coins!”
“Over ten million gold coins?” Jenne and Keane were both stunned.
They had lived for so long in the countryside. When had they ever seen such wealth? Lambert, on the other hand, had followed their mother for many years. When he lived within the governor’s castle, he had seen many things.
“This is very normal. After managing millions of people for so many years, given the senior madame’s avaricious nature, it would be strange if she didn’t have ten million gold coins. Unfortunately, we’ve still yet to find where she hid her magicrystal card. Even if we found it…most likely, that magicrystal card was linked to the senior madame’s fingerprints. We wouldn’t be able to withdraw the money.” Lambert shook his head helplessly.
The rules that the Golden Bank of the Four Empires had set were all to the advantage of the Golden Bank of the Four Empires.
Once a magicrystal card had been imprinted with a fingerprint, only the owner of that fingerprint could access the contents. Even if others acquired the magicrystal card, it would be of no use to them.
The owner of the magicrystal card could go to a physical branch and transfer their wealth to someone else.
But if that person were to suddenly die without initiating a transfer of funds, then the assets would be claimed in its entirety by the Golden Bank of the Four Empires. In truth, the Golden Bank of the Four Empires had no choice but to do this.
The amount of gold coins stored in magicrystal cards in the world was actually ten times greater than the amount of gold coins the Golden Bank physically possessed.
But how often would extremely wealthy people, who were in possession of at least a hundred million gold coins, actually go to the bank and physically withdraw a hundred million gold coins? Even if they managed to withdraw it, physically moving the money back would be a problem. This was one of the reasons why the Golden Bank of the Four Empires dared to issue so many magicrystal cards. At the same time, the bank didn’t dare to indiscriminately issue them either, because the bank was jointly run by all four empires. And behind the empires was the War God O’Brien, as well as the longest living human expert, the High Priest. No one dared to act too rashly.
“Ten million gold coins, disappeared, just like that.” Keane said painfully.
He really agonized for the loss of such a sum of money.
“Young master. Being a city governor isn’t just about collecting money. You have to pay for the salaries of the city guards, to renovate the city, and so on. There are multiple expenses.” Lambert added.
“Whaaaa? Being a city governor costs money?” Keane had no idea about this.
“That is why I said these few hundred thousand gold coins don’t mean much. Fortunately, the prefectural city does have its own treasury, which should have a fair amount of money inside.” Lambert said.
Keane rubbed his head. “Ah. It seems as though being city governor is quite complicated and quite burdensome.”
“Sis.” Keane looked hopefully at Jenne. “You have to help me out.”
Jenne nodded honestly. “Keane, I’ll definitely do my best to help.” But this simple nod of the head was the beginning to a painful, painful life for Jenne.
Right now, neither Keane nor Jenne nor Lambert knew that while they were worrying over money, the tea-drinking Linley was in possession of an astonishing fortune that had been built up by a royal clan over thousands of years. Most likely, even their clan, the Jacques clan which had managed the Northwest Administrative Province for a thousand years, couldn’t match Linley for wealth.
After all, no matter how money-grubbing they were, they couldn’t out-compete the royal clan of a kingdom.
“Jenne, Keane.” Linley suddenly spoke. “You guys can stay here. I need to go train.”
Jenne and Keane both looked at Linley. Keane chortled, “Big brother Ley, don’t spend too much time training tonight. You have to remember to come for dinner. Tonight…my sister is going to personally cook.”
Jenne immediately blushed.
Ever since the night of the banquet, when Keane had openly said that Linley was Jenne’s fiancé, all of the citizens of the prefectural city of Cerre had really come to believe this was the case. Even the servants believe it. Naturally, this made Jenne quite embarrassed.
“Oh, right.” Linley waved his hand with a smile.
Suddenly, in front of the courtyard, four large chests appeared out of nowhere. The chests were all open, and they were filled with all sorts of artworks, valuable magicite cores, and some rare, highly precious materials.
“What is this?” Keane and Jenne were both stunned.
“These are the possessions of Holmer’s clan. I’m not too sure what the valuation of these four chests is. Most likely, over a million gold coins. Take these as well.” Linley took out eight magicrystal cards. “These are the un-imprinted magicrystal cards of Holmer’s clan. There’s eight cards in total. Each of them should have a million gold coins stored within.”
Linley had overheard this information from Madame Wade’s conversation with her two brothers. Only then had he learned about the value of these magicrystal cards.
“This…this…” Keane and Jenne, and even Lambert, stared at Linley in shock.
“All combined, this should be worth nearly ten million gold coins, right? With these…you won’t have to be too stingy and tight-fisted in managing the prefectural city of Cerre. Alright, time for me to go train.”
Linley casually tossed the eight magicrystal cards into the chests, then turned and left.
Jenne, Keane, and Lambert all stared at the four chests, as well as the eight runed magicrystal cards. They didn’t know what to say.
“Sis.” Keane looked at Jenne.
Jenne was stunned. “Originally, when I asked big brother Ley to help us, I said I would give him ten thousand gold coins. This…”
The two siblings really had no idea as to what they should say. They had offered ten thousand gold to Linley to ask him to help them out, but he only took a single gold coin…and now, gave them this fortune worth ten million gold coins!
Ten million gold coins!
This was an extremely amazing fortune.
When the Debs clan of the Kingdom of Fenlai was at its most flourishing, its net worth was only around a hundred million gold coins. After the repercussions of the smuggling affair, their net worth dropped to around ten million gold coins, but despite that, they were still a major clan of Fenlai.
“Miss, young master, this Mr. Ley really is no ordinary person.” Lambert’s expression was very solemn.
Jenne and Keane both nodded.
That went without saying. How could an ordinary person so casually toss out ten million gold coins?
“Just then, when Mr. Ley waved his hands, these four chests appeared out of nowhere. If my prediction is correct…Mr. Ley is in possession of a legendary interspatial ring!” Lambert’s face was extremely serious.
“An interspatial ring?” Jenne and Keane had never even heard of such a thing.
Lambert nodded. “Right. Interspatial rings are priceless treasures. In the Yulan continent, they are a proof of one’s stature and power. In the legends that I have heard, even when people offered to buy one for hundreds of millions of gold coins, no one has ever been willing to sell one.”
“Hundreds of millions of gold coins?!” Jenne and Keane were wide-eyed.
What would hundreds of millions of gold coins look like if you put them all in one place? They didn’t even dare imagine what an enormous fortune like that would look like.
“In the entire Northwest Administrative Province, only the legendary clan leader of the Jacques clan, the governor for the entire province, has an interspatial ring.” Having been in the prefectural city of Cerre for many years, Lambert knew quite a bit about the affairs of the Jacques clan.
“Are you talking about…Great-Grandfather McKenzie [Mai’ke’kan]?” Keane immediately said.
The two greatest source of pride for the Jacques clan was their first clan leader, Jacques, and their legendary clan leader, McKenzie Jacques.
In the past Jacques had been an ordinary commoner. He ended up joining the army, and was continuously promoted through the ranks, and also made major contributions to the O’Brien Empire. In the end, he even founded a new legion for the O’Brien Empire; the Jacques Legion.
As Jacques grew famous, he founded his own Jacques clan.
The Emperor even gave the Northwest Administrative Province to Jacques for his clan to manage. From this, one could tell how greatly Jacques was favored by the imperial clan.
But of course…the first clan leader was famous because of his military abilities in leading armies. With regards to how personally powerful he was, up till his dying day, he still was still just a warrior of the eighth rank.
But McKenzie Jacques was the pride of the clan. Over fifty years ago, McKenzie had entered the Saint-level before the age of two hundred.
A Saint-level combatant!
Once a clan produced a Saint-level combatant, so long as that combatant didn’t perish and the clan didn’t rebel, the clan’s glory would never diminish.
“Great-Grandfather McKenzie, has an interspatial ring?” Keane was surprised.
“Right. And he has one only because in the past, his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor himself, personally gifted it to him.” Lambert said emotionally. “The Jacques clan has always been proud of this fact. You must understand, even many of kings of various kingdoms in the Yulan continent do not possess an interspatial ring.”
Only now did Jenne and Keane completely understand how rare and valuable these interspatial rings were.
“But I didn’t expect…that Mr. Ley would also be in possession of an interspatial ring. No wonder…no wonder ten million gold coins was nothing to him.”
Jenne and Keane felt as though they couldn’t breathe.
“I thought I had a very high rank as the successor to the city governorship. I thought I could give big brother Ley a really, really important official position to serve in. But it seems as though…big brother Ley…” Keane was now beginning to understand.
The governor of a prefectural city, to the ordinary people, was someone as high above them as the heavens were.
But to experts such as Linley, it was nothing at all. He could kill one whenever he wanted to.
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