Since they were on the topic of betting, Lu Yin realized it was rather inconvenient to have no star crystals on his person at all. He didn’t even have any credits, so he decided to find a Mavis Bank soon and see how much the Emperor had given him. Hopefully, he hadn’t been too stingy.
The Capital Star was very big, but most officials lived near the royal palace. It only took ten minutes for Lu Yin and Xu San to arrive at the luxurious manor that was Sicar’s home, with Bronsen stepping out of the void. When they were stopped from entering by the guard, Lu Yin said indifferently, “Inform Sicar that King Zishan is here to visit.”
The guard was shocked and immediately ran inside to relay the message. It didn’t take long for Sicar to run out with Raas while making a show of berating the guard, “You shameful creature, how could you not allow His Majesty to enter? Forgive me for not being present to meet you personally, Your Majesty.”
Raas bowed to give his respects, but his eyes were seething with hatred. Lu Yin smiled, “I took the liberty of paying an unannounced visit, my apologies for the disturbance.”
“It is my honor to be visited by King Zishan. Please come in, Your Majesty.”
Lu Yin did not stand on ceremony, nodding and taking the initiative to walk in. Sicar’s manor was certainly grand, but it was only an average sort of grandeur. The building did not exceed the man’s position as a Vice-Treasurer, an indication of someone with an abundance of caution. The man was even acting so respectfully towards a powerless king, behaving appropriately with superiors and subordinates alike. Lu Yin had to admire him a little. Many had one attitude in front of the Emperor and another behind him, but Sicar was different. He lived as if he was constantly under The Undying Yushan’s eye, and he thought of the Emperor in everything he did. No one could pick out a single fault of his; that was what made him such a fearsome person.
Lu Yin thought of the introduction that Silver had given him. Although Sicar was the Vice-Treasurer in name, Finance Minister Bailey was just a figurehead. This was the person who controlled the Empire’s finances; that was why the Twelfth Squadron valued him so. Most would find it a headache to deal with this sort of person, but Lu Yin liked the smart ones the most.
“My son has committed many errors during the trial on Earth. We seek Your Majesty’s forgiveness,” Sicar apologized at the first opportunity, forcing Raas to do so as well.
Lu Yin smiled, “You are too courteous, Lord Sicar. Trials are by nature competitive; I was about to ask you not to blame me for being too ruthless with your son.”
“Haha, it was an important lesson from Your Majesty. If this brat had stayed in Yu Academy, he’d continue to believe that he was the best. It’s good for him to attain some experience and learn that there are always stronger people in the world, geniuses with innate gifts like Your Majesty,” Sicar laughed. Lu Yin smiled just as facetiously.
Lu Yin’s visit came out of the blue, and Sicar did not know what the goal was. The incident where Raas had compelled Veron to intimidate Lu Yin had put him in a difficult position, but he was confident that there was no way for anyone to know of his relationship with Long Chu. So why was Lu Yin here? To condemn him? That was unlikely.
“Lord Sicar, I’ve heard that your home planet has beautiful scenery,” Lu Yin asked out of curiosity.
Sicar smiled, “That’s right, I was born in…”
An hour quickly passed, leaving Xu San bored to death behind Lu Yin. he didn’t know what his boss was up to, and Raas was the same. Both of them watched Lu Yin and Sicar chat all over the place.
Fresh to the Great Yu Empire, Lu Yin had countless topics to talk about. However, Sicar was different; as the Vice-Treasurer and the true controller of the Empire’s finances, he had many other matters to attend to. And yet, he couldn’t outright reject Lu Yin’s queries, helplessly answering everything in detail. His planet’s environment, customs, local conditions, training methods, even gossip… Two more hours passed quickly.
It was soon unbearable for Raas, and Sicar himself coughed and lifted his teacup. This was a simple indication to the visitor that they had overstayed their welcome, but Lu Yin pretended not to notice and lifted his own cup to take a sip. One more hour slipped by before the man coughed again, “Your Majesty, is there any purpose to your visit?”
“No, I just wanted to visit you and learn from your insights. I’ve had some contact with your son before, and Long Chu mentioned that you’re a well-known scholar. I was here hoping some of your wisdom rubbed off on me.”
Sicar’s eyes flashed as he nodded, muttering something to himself before whispering to Raas. The youth gritted his teeth and left the room, returning with a cosmic ring.
Sicar smiled at Lu Yin, “It must be inconvenient for Your Majesty to do so many things on your first visit to the capital, so you can hire some servants to run errands for you. I once received a favor from the Zishan Residence, so I hope you would kindly accept this small token of my appreciation.”
“This is embarrassing!” Lu Yin pretended to be stunned even as he accepted the ring without hesitation. Contempt was written all over Raas’s face.
Sicar laughed, “No need to be courteous, Your Majesty.”
Lu Yin got up, “Then I’ll take it. Thank you once more, Lord Sicar.”
Sicar stood as well, “Let me escort you out, Your Majesty.”
It was when Lu Yin stepped out of Sicar’s mansion that he suddenly looked back at the door, “When will you be available next? I’ll come by for another visit.”
Sicar smiled, “Forgive me, Your Majesty, I’ve been rather busy recently. If there is anything you need, we can meet after court sessions at the Grand Astral Gate.”
“Alright, thank you.”
Sicar finally allowed his face to droop as Lu Yin left.
“Father, what did this brat mean? He still wants to come again?” Raas was infuriated.
“He’s trying to probe me, and sending a warning, too. He’ll return if I act against him again.”
“So what? He’ll leave if we just give him a little money. What can his title do to us anyway?”
While Raas continued to mock Lu Yin, Sicar grew even more downcast as he realized this person was beyond his control. How did he know Long Chu was one of his? No one knew that except himself and the Second Prince, not even his own son. This kid had even rescued Sigmund recently, he wasn’t simple at all.
“Send someone to see where he’s gone,” Sicar ordered.
A short while later, a soldier returned to report, “My Lord, His Majesty is headed towards Minister Bailey’s residence.”
Sicar’s gaze changed and he gripped his fist. First his manor, and then Bailey’s. It was evident that Lu Yin knew that Bailey was just a figurehead, he wouldn’t have messed up the sequence. King Zishan definitely had some backing, or he wouldn’t have such an understanding of the Capital Star already. This was no simpleton.
“Remember not to provoke him for now,” Sicar said in a low voice.
Raas didn’t understand, but wouldn’t dare refute his own father.
Bailey’s mansion was not far from Sicar’s. The Finance Minister talked with Lu Yin for only half an hour, being much more straightforward and giving him a cosmic ring directly. While Sicar had his misgivings, Bailey knew that he was just a puppet with nothing but money. He readily handed over a crystal card that looked even more valuable than the one from the Vice-Treasurer.
“It is my honor for Your Majesty to have graced us with your presence. Please take care of us in the future,” he smiled and sent Lu Yin off.
“You are too kind, Lord Bailey, please go home.” Lu Yin smiled.
Bailey nodded and followed Lu Yin’s departure with his own eyes until he was out of sight. Then he spat in contempt, “What the... Such extortion. You’ll be ripe for the picking soon; we’ll see how long you can maintain this complacency.”
Lu Yin was in a good mood, a very good mood indeed. He had this idea of going house to house for a bribe when the Crown Prince gave him a welcome gift. Right, these weren’t bribes, they were welcome gifts. He would stay until they understood, and leave the moment he got the gift. He had too much time on his hands anyway. He was an idle prince with no real power, so anything went. Who would dare report that he was taking bribes, and so what if they did, anyway? Why would anyone bribe a Sentinel?
The Undying Yushan had also given his promise that he would not let others bully him as long as he was on the throne. This promise had to be made use of quickly; who knew when the old man would die. As for reputation, he did not care what these courtiers. Which of them weren’t greedy, but the Emperor tolerated them anyway. Why? It was because they were capable. Greed wasn’t frightening unless paired with incompetence. Sicar’s was astronomical, but no one dared point it out because he managed the Empire’s finances well. On the other hand, Lu Yin was someone with no power, but that meant he also had nothing to lose. In fact, this act served to lower the guards of the courtiers against him. He had spent so much work and energy to become this descendant of the Zishan Family. He reasoned that he’d be letting himself down if he didn’t get something in return.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA