Chapter 23: The Mercenary King
“I’m fine.” Zhou Qianlin had already forgotten how many times she’d said these two words. At her side fluttered her frightened mother. Chief Minister of the Eastern Alliance, Minister Zhou, paced back and forth in the spacious room with brows scrunched tight.
Her best friend, Tang Mi, stood not far off.
An hour before Tang Mi had delivered Zhou Qianlin back to the villa, where she gave a very simple account of her capture.
Captured. Passed out. Awoke in the street.
It was just that simple.
The Eastern Alliance hadn’t hesitated to block any news of the wedding’s upheaval from leaking, but it was already without question a massive scandal.
Everything had changed, the tone of the former political unification irreparably altered due to the sudden events. Sylva Austin was furious, and had already begun dressing down the Eastern Alliance security. A daughter-in-law stolen from her own wedding, this was a great stain the Austin family wasn’t prepared to endure.
Regardless of whether his rage was real or born out of political necessity, Sylva Austin had left back to the Western Alliance with his unwilling son.
The Prime Minister’s growling voice reverberated in the Zhou Xueguan’s ears: “Minister, I am extremely disappointed in the security of your Alliance. This disgrace is not something we will suffer lightly, there will be consequences!”
After he’d said that, he’d stormed off and left.
At the time Minister Zhou had not gone in to an explanation. He’d had the entire planet shut down, searching for any trace of his daughter. To him, there was nothing more important than the safety of his daughter.
But now his daughter had been returned safely. And had changed clothes.
A beautiful woman, captured and taken away, only pass out and return in different clothes. What did that mean? Even if nothing had happened, Zhou Qianlin’s reputation had been tremendously affected. And clearly the Austins had broken off the wedding. And what’s more, as Chief Minister he was expected to address questions about what had happened from his political peers.
“Darling I’m no stranger, tell your mother, tell me honestly are you alright?” Zhou Qianlin’s mother, Bai Xiao, asked quietly.
“I’m fine, really.” Zhou Qianlin stood. “Mother, father, I’m a little tired. Let me rest. I never thought something like this could happen. Father, I’m sorry I’ve caused so much trouble.”
Minister Zhou stopped his pacing, and looked thoughtfully at his daughter. A pained sigh escaped his lips. “Who’d have possibly expected something like this would happen. Fortunately you’ve returned safe and sound. Qianlin, you don’t need to worry. Go. Your father will take care of the rest.” He was the backbone of the family, and no matter the difficulties it was his responsibility to shoulder what comes.
With everything said, he approached Zhou Qianlin and gave her a light hug.
Zhou Qianlin’s eyes had grown red. “Father.”
“Don’t cry, sweety. Go and rest. Little Mi, please accompany her. She must have been terrified,” the Minister warmly requested.
“Don’t worry uncle, I’m not going anywhere.” Tang Mi quickly took up Zhou Qianlin’s hand and led her away upstairs.
Watching her daughter leave, Bai Xiao moved to her husband. “Xueguan, this is very serious matter. The Western Alliance is already applying pressure. The Upper House is dissatisfied with you. Will you be able to find the man who kidnapped Qianlin?”
Zhou Xueguan shook his head. “Qianlin remembers nothing, no news we can use. He was also very powerful, left no trace. I’ve asked the members of the Holy Eastern Church to take a look at the video. They said they thought it was the mercenary king from three years ago, Zeus.”
“Zeus?” Bai Xiao’s eye’s betrayed her shock. “You mean Zeus of the Four Divine Monarchs?”
He nodded. “In the last twenty years the Four Monarchs have been the most famed Adepts and Mecha-Pilots, mysterious and powerful. According to our data, each of the Monarchs are God level pilots, and at least Ninth level Talents. None are older than forty. Zeus pilots Thor, and holds sway over the Discipline of lightning. Thus his name, Zeus. Seven years ago he entered the scene as a mercenary, taking up an S-Ranked mission for his first job and completing it with no trouble. He was famous from then on. Because of that mission he’d been promoted to B-Rank in the mercenary company. Next he completed seven Triple S-Rank missions in succession, and assumed the reputation of Mercenary King. He’s never had a mission he didn’t complete.”
“But he’s very particular about the missions he accepts, only picking those he likes. I’ve looked in to the missions he has accepted for anything special, and nearly all of them involve vigilante justice. He performs the tasks fairly. But three years ago for unknown reasons Zeus vanished. He hadn’t been seen since, not taking any missions. If that truly is Zeus, we have no idea who hired him.”
Bai Xiao, her mouth agape, said, “I’ve heard of this mercenary king. If it really is him then I’m actually relieved. Zeus has never helped evil men. Our daughter really should be fine. Only, we don’t know why Zeus would kidnap our daughter. Do you think it was one of your political opponents who hired him, to break up the wedding and ruin your alliance with the West? But judging by his past missions Zeus just isn’t that sort of person, he rarely goes in for politics.”
“It’s hard to say,” Zhou Xueguan responded. “If he is from the Northern Alliance this would make sense. It would add up that he’d get involved if it was for his own alliance. Alright, get some rest, I’m going out for a spell. I have to go see the Chancellor of the Upper House. I’ll handle this, try to control the damage.”
Bai Xiao gently smoothed out her husbands clothing. “Hurry back.”