Chapter 7: Heading to Lamer 2
The next day, Maron approached Hans after the morning prayer and asked with anxiousness written on his face.
"Young Lord has stated that he was going to take care of it… but, what kind of way is even there for it to be solved?"
The butler Hans sighed and shook his head.
"How would I know?"
"Maybe there is a secret slush fund that is going to come down to him from the family?"
"If there was such a thing, he would have already used it."
The Viscount Rakan was a very poor estate.
Most of the land was wasteland and farming couldn't be done. It was located on the outskirts of the empire, and as the transportation was inconvenient, commerce didn't develop well either.
The land had no mines or any other boons.
The tourist attraction—the Devil King's Castle—was the only thing that brought in money through food stalls and lodgings.
And that was why Rakan's land was constantly running low on money.
The training that the soldiers were supposed to have was reduced and the cracked and unpainted residences were left for decades.
"If so, then paying the debts would have been possible, right?"
The Alon Firm was quite famous for the business they did with their money.
If the principal and the interest payments were delayed even by a little, they would run in for a foreclosure.
It wasn't just one or two people who would shed blood, sweat, and tears if their wealth was taken away from them.
Nevertheless, the reason for everyone to go ask for money at Alon was because there were no other places that were willing to lend them money, especially for Rakan, which went downhill for 500 years.
"Why didn't he just have the guts to say that he didn't have the money to pay back?"
Hans shook his head with a dark face at the unaffected words of Maron.
"The Alon Firm is said to have the Imperial Magic Tower having their back. And the estates who plan on going against them always end up disappearing."
In addition to their financial power, that great Magic Tower had more than just a great lord, which included his own mercenaries.
And if they go against such people, they won't be able to even survive for a year.
"Ha! Should have just sold the Gigant! How hard can they be to sell? Why the hell would he want to develop a mine…"
"Maybe he did it to not fail? But maybe it was out of reach for us."
Hans was on the side of the retainers who wanted to develop mines.
Suddenly a servant opened the room.
"Something huge has happened, Mr. butler!"
"What is it?"
"The... the statue of the ancestor in the garden is gone!"
Hans began to move swiftly out of shock.
A two-meter statue that depicted the great Rakan's win over the Devil king, a symbol of their family.
That very symbol was gone!
Hans, who had just received the news, called the other servants and the soldiers to find out the whereabouts of the statue.
He had no idea what kind of person had decided to steal that thing, but Hans had no intention of letting it go.
However, the next piece of information, which came in, shocked him.
"It has been stated that the Young Lord took it with him in a cart along with his designated driver Philip."
"What the hell is he doing…!?"
In the past, it was stated that around a ton of bronze and a little bit of gold were used to make statues.
But even after selling that, it wouldn't bring in enough money to pay back their loan of 30,000 pesos.
The statue wasn't made by a famous artist nor some kind of an old antique.
‘Why would he even take that statue!?'
Hans, who couldn't comprehend his Young Lord's thoughts, shook his head and gave orders to the others.
"Call out for people and find the young lord!"
Whatever the reason was, it meant nothing since the statue was a symbol of the family.
And he wasn't going to let a young boy, who woke up not long ago after being sick in bed for a long time, decide its fate.
* * *
‘Hmm, who could be talking about me?'
Luke, who was in the wagon, laughed as his ear felt tickly.
The designated knight Philip, who was seated next to him, sighed.
"Young Lord, how can you even laugh now?"
"Why are you so worried?"
"Obviously, I'm going to be worried! Stealing this statue, the symbol of the family… aren't you even a bit afraid of the repercussions?"
"They are not going to kill me because of this, right? If I die, the whole family of Rakan will be ruined."
Even though he didn't do it, for a second, he was engulfed with the temptation to commit suicide.
He thought that that would be a great way to destroy Rakan's family since they ruined his quest for revenge.
But the act of suicide wasn't going to give him any benefit.
In addition, in order to keep the nostalgic memories alive, he had to pay back the debt.
"Lord, you're only going to get to listen to an endless nagging. But me? I might get killed for not stopping you, Young Lord!"
The 26-year-old Philip was a distant relative of the Knight General, Rogers, from the Ecliptic Military academy.
Since he was young, he was comparatively good, which was why he was the designated knight to the Young Lord.
"It'll be alright. I'll bear the responsibility and won't let you die."
"Ehee, believing that is like believing cheese is made out of beans."
‘This guy is such a scaredy-cat.'
Even then, Luke liked Philip.
If it was any other knight, instead of helping out, they would have spread out the word everywhere.
"Anyway, if that statue is sold off, can you really raise 30,000 pesos?"
"Yeah, just believe me."
"Then please explain it to me more specifically!"
The knight wasn't sure how Luke was going to get 30,000 pesos for such a statue, but he did hear the rumors.
That if they couldn't pay the 30,000 pesos they owe from the Alon Firm, then they'll have to sell off the Gigant.
‘Selling the Gigant is like selling the armed forces that protected the estate, which meant that there won't be any reason to keep the knights. In the worst-case scenario, I can be unemployed or turn into a rogue mercenary.'
The sympathy that Philip had for Luke's brutal decision was based on what he thought.
"To be specific… I'm going to sell off the statue and then gamble."
"Gamble? Where do you plan on investing it?"
"I literally meant gambling and not investing. Maybe you don't go to the gamble houses much."
‘Euhhh! You are! Oh my God!'
Philip cried inside and almost teared up.
He believed the words and the tone of the Young Lord and thought that he was going to be more mature than he used to be, but he was just going to do another reckless thing!
Maybe that accident had something to do with whatever the Young Lord was doing now.
"Sir, how about we stop ourselves from doing such a thing?"
"The dice have been thrown; the dragons are on my back."
‘Then would you please be kind enough and get me out of this mess?'
Philip didn't want to be a part of any of his Young Lord's crazy plans, but he couldn't go against it either.
If he left the Young Lord there, then it was like abandoning his job of being a designated knight.