Nicole choked with emotion as she looked at Suo Jia and she said pitifully, “I finally managed to convert the money and hand over the remaining amount to Archduke Roland at his residence. However…he refused to fulfill his promise, and wasn’t willing to release my siblings. He also said that because I had dragged the deal on for so long, he wanted to collect interest. I have to gather another ten billion frads to give him. Only then would he release my siblings.”
“Bang.” Suo Jia indignantly slammed a fist down on the table as he shouted, “That Archduke whatever Roland is just too despicable. He even dared to break his promise to deceive a child; he deserves to die.”
Suo Jia shook his head as he fury grew in his heart. Actually, he should’ve guessed ages ago that the outcome would be something like this. If he were Archduke Roland, he wouldn’t have just released a money tree like Nicole either.
Suo Jia said in a low voice, “This Archduke Roland is too shameless. According to his actions, it looks to me like you’ll never be able to retrieve your siblings. Even if you did gather another 10 billion frads, he’d find some other excuse to keep demanding money from you. He’s already gotten your life in the palm of his hands.”
“I…what should I do?” Nicole was beside herself with panic.
“Hmph,” Suo Jia coldly snorted. He then darkly smiled, “Nicole, I’m sure that you also realize that you can’t ever regain your siblings while in Archduke Roland’s scheme.”
After a moment of hesitation, Nicole, who had always been extremely intelligent as well, soon understood the situation. She looked at Suo Jia in sudden realization, and urged, “Then what should I do? It can’t be that…I have to be pushed around like that for the rest of my life. He warned me that I have to give him at least 1 billion frads per year for the next few years. If I couldn’t hand over that amount by the end of the year, he’d kill off one of my sisters. If I go two years without being able to pay, he’d kill two; if nothing happens over three years, then the sole male member of our family, my younger brother, will be killed.”
“Haha…” Suo Jia sneered and replied, “He’s saying that because he’s afraid you’ll stop doing it. This is basically chaining you down so that you have to it at all costs.”
“City Lord Suo Jia, I know that you’re skilled, and have quite a few ideas. Help me think of something, I don’t want to spend my whole life bound like this. Most importantly, I have to grant my siblings freedom. My family’s future depends on them.” Nicole said passionately.
Suo Jia shook his head and said thoughtfully, “Don’t keep calling me City Lord this, City Lord that. We’re already friends, and we’ll probably be important companions in the future as well. Just call me Young Master, I like that title.”
“Hah….” Nicole kneaded her forehead and bitterly smiled, “What kind of timing is that; how are you able to even think of such things right now? Well, as long as you think of a way to help me, I’ll call you Young Master, or whatever you’d like.”
Suo Jia glanced at her. He really wondered, if he asked her to call him her husband, would she be willing to do that as well? It was a pity that this clearly wasn’t the time to be joking around though; it was best if he just concentrated on coming up with a countermeasure first.
In the end, Suo Jia begrudgingly shook his head and said, “It looks like there aren’t any more refined methods right now. The only thing I can think of right now is a cruder way. You should think it through…”
“Damn…” Nicole shook her head with a bitter smile and said, “What kind of time is it now? Why would I care about whether it’s crude or not? As long as there’s a way to rescue out my siblings, it doesn’t matter how boorish it is.”
“Alright then…” Suo Jia smiled and nodded, “In that case, let’s immediately start moving. We’ll go to Archduke Roland’s residence and request to see him, and just say that you want to meet your siblings.”
“This…” Nicole asked Suo Jia in bewilderment, “But…I just met them this morning. Why would I go to see them again? What exactly are you thinking?”
Suo Jia waved his hand and leisurely said, “What’s so hard about saying that? Just say that you’re about to spend several nights in a row diligently earning money, so you want to see them one more time before you leave. Isn’t that fine?”
“But…what do I do after seeing my siblings?” Nicole asked, still not understanding.
Suo Jia approached Nicole’s ear and whispered to her for a while…then Nicole suddenly lifted her head and gave Suo Jia an incredulous look. “Heavens, will this kind of method work? What if…”
Suo Jia firmly cut across her words and said, “There’s no ‘what if’. As long as you do as I said, you’ll definitely be successful. Trust me, I understand human nature more than you.”
“Alright…” Nicole said after a moment of hesitation, “No matter what, this is the last chance. Regardless of what happens, I will still believe in you. I’ll just try going with what you said.”
Suo Jia chuckled and nodded happily, “Ok, you should go prepare yourself. I’ll also go out to make some arrangements. Absolutely no mistakes can be allowed while carrying this out.”
Nicole gratefully nodded, and quickly left the room. Suo Jia’s plan was extremely brazen, as well as quite annoying. From beginning to end, not a single mishap could occur. Otherwise, the whole act could end up failing.
As night gradually drew nearer, Nicole rushed to the city lord’s residence. After sending in a message, Nicole finally entered the mansion. As soon as she entered the hall, Archduke Roland’s coarse voice rang out, “You brat, hurry up and go earn some money. Why do you constantly run here? Don’t worry, as long as you obediently do your work, I’ll definitely take good care of your siblings. I’ll make sure that they don’t suffer at all.”
Nicole subconsciously swallowed loudly, then forced himself to smile, “Archduke Roland, it’s already so late. I originally hadn’t planned on coming again, but the task Archduke has bestowed on me is too important. To do this, I must go earn money for many nights in succession. That’s why, I wanted to meet with my siblings another time before leaving, as I don’t know how long it’ll be until I meet them again.”
Archduke Roland knit his brows in impatience and really wanted to refuse. But in order to send her off to work hard on earning money, Archduke Roland patiently said, “Alright, then I’ll let you see them again. But after this, you have to work hard to raise money.”
“Hehe…of course, definitely.” Nicole nodded furiously with a smile on her face.
Under Archduke Roland’s orders, Nicole’s siblings were quickly brought over. Seeing her siblings come out, Nicole’s heart couldn’t help but begin to race; she knew that Suo Jia must have already started moving.
In reality, since the doors to the mansion had first opened, Suo Jia had used the Concealment Ring to change into a hidden state and had been following Nicole this whole time through the mansion and into the hall. According to plan, now that Nicole’s siblings had been brought out, it was his turn to make a move.
Rustling sounds could be heard as a freezing ice stream began to wrap around Archduke Roland’s body from bottom upwards. By the time Archduke Roland had realized this was happening, the ice stream had instantly coiled itself around him a few times, tightly restricting both his legs and arms until it was so solid that he couldn’t move at all.
Archduke Roland wasn’t actually weak. In reality…he was an extremely powerful earth elemental mage. Even Suo Jia wouldn’t be his opponent if they faced off head-on. This was also why Nicole had been worried about this plan.
However, Suo Jia didn’t see it this way. With the help of the Concealment Ring, he could easily approach Archduke Roland without being sensed, then manipulate the ice stream to control him. The ice stream used water manipulation, not magic, so no matter how powerful Archduke Roland was, he was already under control by the time he’d made this discovery.
Archduke Roland quickly calmed down. He narrowed his eyes dangerously and said in a deep voice, “Nicole, this is your arrangement isn’t it?”
Nicole had already thrown caution to the wind by now. She straightened her body and said furiously, “That’s right, this is all part of my plan. You’re too avaricious; I don’t want to be under your control my whole life. I will definitely break away from your command, even if I have to die.”