Chapter 190 – Conspiracy
“I knew you’d be able to figure it out with the burnt wooden piece.”
Matias grinned, his wispy white hair fluttering with the gentle breeze.
“I was surprised when I realized that it was you who wanted to see me. So, why did a hidden criminal like you call me here?”
Calron composed himself and waited for the answer.
Since they were currently on a hill situated near the city’s outskirts, they did not need to worry about others intruding their meeting.
“It’s easy to call names, kid, but it’s hard to see the truth when it’s being shadowed by the lies of the people in power. We are criminals in the eyes of the city because we account them for the deeds they commit against the poor citizens.”
Matias smiled, waving his hands to indicate for the others to leave so he could chat with Calron alone.
“You fight for righteousness then?”
Calron smirked, not buying Matias’ speech. Any criminal would say that they were not a criminal.
“I see that you don’t believe my words. Answer me this, Calron, if a high-ranking noble violates an unknown young woman who has no social status or power, what should she do?”
The old man asked, his eyes boring into Calron.
“Simple. She needs to go the King or to the royal court to file a complaint against the noble. The King will then decree his punishment on the man who committed the crime.”
Calron answered, but seeing the look on the older man’s face, he knew that something was wrong.
“Before that young woman can even file a complaint, once the high-ranking noble hears of it, he will immediately send assassins to take care of the woman before his reputation is tarnished. She has no one to protect her, as the city guards can be easily bought with bribes and what is a commoner family going to do at this point to protect their daughter?”
Matias responded in a serious tone.
Calron wanted to protest, but he knew that what the old man said was all true. Most nobles did not view the rest of the commoners as humans and treated them as servants. If you had no power, they could easily take your life.
This was why his family was killed back in Vernia City.
“Even if the woman manages to stay alive before visiting the King, do you really think the King will kill or harshly punish a high-ranking noble? He cannot, as that would mean losing the troops, land, and tax from the noble’s fief. Hence, the King will give a light punishment to the noble for the sake of commoners and let him go. That’s his justice.”
Matias continued, a slow anger rising out of his chest.
“That type of justice is not good enough for the people. If a high-ranking noble violates one of the commoners, we fight for them and seek their justice. If an old man is bullied out of his business by a clan, we seek his justice. If slaves are being tortured unreasonably by their masters, we seek their justice as well. The people in the inner city fear us because of our violent actions against the nobles, but in the slums and the outer city, we are their only protection. Remember, kid, the law exists to protect the rights of the people, but when that same law is instead used to crush their hopes, we step in to break that law apart.”
Seeing the blazing fire in Matias’ eyes, Calron had a feeling that the old man had lost someone close to him due to the corruption of the royal court.
“You won’t understand now, Calron, but there will be a time in future when you see just how cruel this world is and the humans even crueler.”
The old man chuckled, trying to alleviate the tense atmosphere around them.
“No… I understand.”
Calron met Matias’ gaze. How could Calron not know the feeling of injustice when his own family was pushed to death by the noble of a city. Later, he was even forced to escape because that same Lord wanted to kill him and his friends.
He was too weak to do anything about it back then, but if someone tried to hurt any of his family or friends today, then regardless of the King’s law, he would seek justice with his enemy’s blood.
“Anyways, I did not call you here to educate you about the corruption within the city. I simply wanted to say thank you.”
Matias laughed pleasantly and patted Calron on the shoulder.
Say thank you?
Calron was taken aback by the reason. He thought it would have been something related to the Azure Pavilion or its secrets.
“For many years, we’ve been helping the slaves of the city escape their fates by smuggling them outside the walls or stealing them from their masters. Our alchemists found a way to temporarily disable the soul imprint inside them so the guards don’t notice when a slave leaves the city. However, we could only do so much without the nobles realizing and taking action. Hence, it became a constant battle of trying to free a few slaves while the clans came after us to kill. We lost a large number of men, but this never made us abandon the slaves.”
The old man smiled, his eyes slightly misty.
“Your request to the King changed everything. I was surprised that the King actually agreed to your request as it significantly lower their tax income, but that just means that he values your talent a lot more. With the abolishment of slavery, our sect doesn’t have to lose more men trying to save them. For that, you have my deepest gratitude.”
“Ah, it’s no problem. I didn’t like the idea of enslaving people as well, so I asked the King to remove that law. You really don’t have to thank me.”
Calron said abashedly, not used to having such an elderly person thank him so sincerely with tears in his eyes.
“Intentionally or not, you saved thousands of lives that day with your decision. The rest of the Elders in our sect have all agreed to help you in future if you ever need it. Just contact Jolt at the inn and he’ll tell you where to find me.”
Matias stated sincerely, grasping Calron’s hand and shaking it.
“No, it’s fine. Besides, I’m from the Raizel clan so I don’t think that the King or the nobles will try to attack us.”
Calron stated, still flustered that the Outlaw sect granted him a favor for the future. He didn’t think that he would ever need their help, as what kind of a power could go against the Raizel clan?
“The favor will remain for you whenever you want to use it. The Raizel clan may be strong, but even they cannot protect themselves from what hides in the shadows of the city.”
Matias answered mysteriously, turning around to leave.
“Huh? What shadows?”
Calron was taken aback by the old man’s words.
“Only a shadow can beat another shadow. Remember that.”
Matias vanished from sight under a burst of blue flames, and Calron noticed that the other men had also left the area.
Was there a danger to the clan?
Calron brooded over Matias’ words, but could not discover anything.
Oy, brat! Where are you? Come back to the clan’s mansion to get ready as you’ll be leaving on your next mission for a few days. No complaining!
The Patriarch’s voice abruptly came through the communication crystal, startling Calron out of his reverie.
He knows something.
Calron stared at the spot where Matias left, and he had a feeling that there was a large conspiracy at play here.
A conspiracy that involved the Raizel clan.
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