From Suo Jia’s firm expression, Archduke Roland could tell what the current circumstances were; Suo Jia had absolutely no qualms about bringing Nicole’s siblings away with their necklaces on. Either way, Archduke Roland’s family members were also wearing the necklaces, so Suo Jia wasn’t afraid of the Archduke doing anything to him. However, Archduke Roland wasn’t at ease with leaving his family’s lives in someone else’s hands.
Archduke Roland knew that his only choices were to allow them both to control each other, or first remove the necklaces on Nicole’s siblings. Suo Jia would never agree to any other terms.
The Archduke seemed to have instantly aged quite a bit. He took a deep breath and said firmly to Suo Jia, “Alright, I’ll give some leeway. I’ll release the necklaces on the two girls first right now. However…I can’t hand everything to you. No matter what, Nicole’s brother must continue wearing that necklace!”
“No! That won’t do…that definitely won’t do!” Nicole anxiously cut in, “Anyone can become the object of persuasion except for my brother, since he’s the male successor of my family! I definitely cannot let him suffer any mishaps!”
Archduke Roland steadily looked at Suo Jia and declared, “This is already my greatest compromise. You’re an intelligent person, you should understand the reasons behind my decision. I can’t give everything to you; that would just be equivalent to selling you my whole family’s lives.”
Suo Jia smirked at this. He knew that this was already the Roland’s bottom line; he couldn’t possibly release all three children’s necklaces. If he did that, he might as well choose the first option of forcing everyone to wear necklaces.
Suo Jia smiled and nodded, replying without hesitation, “Alright, Archduke Roland. Just as you said, we’re all intelligent people here. Let’s just do as you suggested!”
Archduke Roland let out the breath he had been holding. Without bothering to waste any more time speaking, he waved his hand. Suddenly, two, glittering keys covered in magic symbols appeared in Archduke Roland’s hands.
Seeing this, Suo Jia’s eyes flashed. He quickly grabbed the two keys, and tossed them into his interspatial ring without even giving them a second glance…
“That won’t do! Suo Jia…you can’t agree to his proposal, it really isn’t acceptable!” Nicole urgently cried out as Suo Jia put the keys away.
Seeing Nicole’s intolerance, Archduke Roland said in concern, “Friend, I’ve already honored my promise. All that’s left is for you to not break yours. Otherwise, my family will be extinguished, but your family will suffer from a similar doom.”
Suo Jia smiled and said to the Archduke, “Don’t worry, no matter what, I will always abide by my words. Since I’ve agreed to your conditions already, I’ll naturally follow them. But……”
Suo Jia paused, giving ample time for Roland to feel anxious before continuing, “Shouldn’t you return all that money that you had managed to squeeze out of us?”
Archduke Roland nervously opened his mouth, but was unable to say anything. Luckily, Nicole chimed in just then, “Suo Jia, you’re mistaken…while I did hand the money over to Archduke Roland, he had to transfer it to His Majesty. Only the last 10 billion frads he asked for were for himself.”
Suo Jia started, and he turned around to ask Nicole, “In other words, your real enemy isn’t Archduke Roland at all, but the Emperor of Kaya Empire?”
Nicole dejectedly nodded and replied, “That’s right. Archduke Roland is just a substitute; the Emperor is the real culprit behind the curtains. In reality…my parents’ murder was also orchestrated by the Emperor.”
Suo Jia nodded in understanding. He finally understood what was going on, and glanced over at Archduke Roland, who couldn’t help but tense after seeing Suo Jia’s expression. He hurriedly said, “You can’t blackmail me. You can afford to lose my life, but not my wealth; you’d better not forget that. Moreover, I don’t really have much money for you to squander out from me.”
Suo Jia curled his lips, not bothering to waste anymore time on this topic. He called Nicole over to follow him outside the door. Seeing that the money wasn’t here with Archduke Roland, it was no longer necessary to stay in this place. Besides, Suo Jia was just about to embark on the Greater Trade Routes, so he didn’t care for money anymore. Moreover…he still had a lot of money in his interspatial ring.
Where had Suo Jia gotten this money? Hadn’t he used all his wealth up? In reality….before Suo Jia had left Holy Light Empire, he’d sold the recipe for the Life Potions to the dwarves. In addition, Suo Jia had gained 5x in profits from producing the potions.
Despite the fact that Suo Jia was leaving, and thus unable to keep his watch on the dwarves, Suo Jia was reassured by the dwarves’ reputations. Since the dwarves regarded honor as the most important thing in their lives, they’d never try to deceive anyone. Anyone willing to do so was absolutely not a dwarf. In the millenia long history so far, nobody had ever heard of a dwarf going back on their words. It was like how fairies were never loose in morals.
Suo Jia furrowed his brows, and all of the Archduke’s bodyguards watched as he slowly led Nicole and the three children out of the residence. Of course…the bodyguards did want to obstruct him, but after Archduke Roland cleared his throat once, nobody dared to intercept Suo Jia’s group.
After returning to the inn, Nicole remained sulky the whole time. Although the three children had been successfully rescued out, Nicole valued her younger brother the most, as he was the last male in her family. Yet her brother was still wearing the slave necklace. This was like a constant thorn stabbing deep into her heart, making her unable to calm down.
Suo Jia couldn’t help but smile at Nicole’s obvious concern. He pulled out the two keys from his interspatial ring and gently unlocked the necklaces around Nicole’s younger sisters, restoring their freedom.
Suo Jia didn’t pay any mind to Nicole’s anxiousness. He picked up the two unlocked necklaces and their keys, then entered his bedroom and closed the door behind him, without leaving again. Nobody knew what he was doing.
Currently speaking, the slave necklaces were indeed impossible to remove. But that was just at the moment, since the alchemy arts had declined. Naturally, there was no longer anyone able to master such profound skills. But long ago, these slave necklaces weren’t impossible to undo; the Atomic Alchemy Labs had been the number one expert at unlocking things!
The slave necklace was really just a lock, one that didn’t tolerate any errors. Once an attempt at opening it failed, a poisonous needle would be shot out from the inside, instantly killing the wearer. Unless one’s strength surpassed that of a Warrior Saint or Mage Saint, it was impossible to survive the attack.
However, since it was a lock, that meant there had to be a way to unlock it. If it were before, Suo Jia couldn’t have grasped the ability to unlock it either, since he didn’t know how such mechanisms functioned at all. What were the principles behind the lock, what generation product was it? Moreover, if the attempt failed, the wearer would immediately lose their life, it was an extreme risk.
But now it was different. Suo Jia had already obtained both the keys and the slave necklaces from the two girls. After a simple inspection, he was able to figure out the theory and mechanisms of the lock, which meant that he’d be able to easily remove the slave necklace from Nicole’s brother as well.
Of course, different locks required different keys to be opened. Mechanical locks required metal keys to be opened, while electronic locks didn’t even have keyholes, so what use would a metal key be?
As it was an urgent matter, Suo Jia didn’t dare to be careless. After studying it over and over again throughout the entire night…Suo Jia was finally able to completely comprehend the structure and principles behind the lock by the second morning. Now, he just need to verify whether the slave necklace that Nicole’s brother wore was the same type of magic lock as these slave necklaces.
After eating a simple breakfast, Suo Jia, Nicole, and Nicole’s siblings all gathered together. Nicole sat down in confusion and asked, “Suo Jia, is the reason you called us over so early because of the matter with the Greater Trade Routes? Don’t worry, once I make arrangements for my siblings, I’ll immediately set off with you!”