Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 19, Search and Seizure
Assume the governorship two years from now? Who knows what would happen within these two years? How could Keane endure two years under the rule of Madame Wade?
“I think I already have the necessary ability.” Keane said firmly.
Madame Wade’s face turned slightly more solemn. “Keane, be calm. You are still only a child. The governor of the prefectural city of Cerre is in charge of hundreds of thousands of citizens. Right now, you aren’t capable of assuming this heavy responsibility.”
At this time, Jenne, who was next to Keane, spoke. “Aunt, imperial law makes no requirements with regards to a person having to be of the age of maturity before assuming a governorship.”
Madame Wade looked at Jenne.
Not backing down in the slightest, Jenne stared back at Madame Wade. The two women of different ages just stared at each other.
“True.” Madame Wade laughed. “Imperial law does not openly state that one must be of age before assuming the governorship of a city. However…”
Madame Wade seemed a bit saddened. “Not long ago, after your father passed away, when the clan learned about this news, they had originally planned to let your elder brother assume the governorship. But alas, my poor child…”
“After they learned that Keane was only fourteen, the clan ordered that as the prefectural city of Cerre was one of the important prefectural cities of the Northwest Administrative Province, and is located very close to the provincial capital of Basil [Ba’si’er], the management of Cerre is an important matter. The clan ordered that Keane must be of age before assuming the governorship.”
Jenne and Keane were both startled.
Hearing this order from ‘the clan’, both Jenne and Keane were caught off-guard. As a collateral descendant of the Jacques [Jia’ke’si] clan, Jenne and Keane knew what it meant for the clan to issue an order.
“Aunt, did the clan truly issue such a decree?” Jenne stared at Madame Wade.
Madame Wade frowned as she looked at Jenne. “Jenne. Do you think I would dare to make a false decree on behalf of the clan? Mm. Before Keane is able to assume the governorship, all matters in the prefectural city are for me to manage.”
“As the future governor, I have the authority to select my own steward.” Keane called out unhappily.
Madame Wade stared coldly towards Keane.
Right at this time, Linley, who had been silent the entire time, suddenly spoke. “Madame Wade. The clan that you spoke of didn’t issue the order for you specifically to be the steward of the city on behalf of the governor, did they?
Madame Wade was stunned.
No matter how daring she was, she didn’t dare to fabricate an order from the clan.
Jenne and Keane were both members of the Jacques clan by blood, while the Jacques clan itself was one of the most powerful, flourishing clans within the O’Brien Empire.
The entire Northwest Administrative Province, one of the seven great provinces of the O’Brien Empire, was under the management and control of the Jacques clan.
Jenne and Keane’s father, Wade Jacques, was only a collateral descendant of the Jacques clan, not a lineal descendant. If it wasn’t because of the support of the Jacques clan, how could a coward like Wade Jacques have assumed the position of city governor?
But now, Wade was dead.
In the eyes of the Jacques clan, the prefectural city of Cerre naturally would have to remain in the custody and management of the Jacques clan.
Although Madame Wade had married Wade Jacques, she herself did not, after all, carry any Jacques blood. It wasn’t likely that the Jacques clan would allow Madame Wade to assume the position of Steward of the city of Cerre.
“Hmph, if it wasn’t for those old relics in the clan…” Madame Wade was inwardly hateful.
No matter how formidable Madame Wade was, there was no way she could compete against the clan. A single word from them could turn her, a noble lady, into a beggar.
“I’m not of the age of maturity yet, but my sister is. I will send people to the provincial capital of Basil. I trust that the elders of the clan will allow my sister to be the steward of the city, rather than you!”
Keane said forcefully.
There was no way that the enmity between Jenne, Keane, and Madame Wade could be resolved.
In just a few words, it had been totally exposed for everyone to see at this dinner. After all, Keane and Jenne’s mother had been hounded to her death by Madame Wade. Jenne and Keane, as well, had been the victim of repeated assassination attempts at Madame Wade’s orders on this trip.
“Fine. Fine. If you have the ability to do so, go ask the clan. I really want to see for myself if the clan will hand the stewardship of the prefectural city of Cerre to an eighteen year old girl!” Madame Wade raised her chin, speaking arrogantly.
Keane’s face was filled with stubbornness as well.
A young man at fourteen years of age was at his most rebellious. The more arrogant Madame Wade was, the more Keane would retaliate against her. Keane believed that the clan would definitely stand on his side. He was, after all, a member of the clan.
After the dinner banquet.
Linley, Jenne, Lambert, and Keane were all together. After asking a few questions, Linley finally realized how enormous and powerful the Jacques clan of Jenne and Keane was.
And their father, Wade Jacques, was nothing more than a collateral descendant and not part of the ruling line.
The true ruling branch of the clan had an astonishing amount of power. The entire Northwest Administrative Province was under their control, and what’s more, the control was hereditary. The Jacques clan had already managed the Northwest Administrative Province for around a thousand years.
“The imperial clan of the O’Brien Empire really is very confident, to allow a single clan to manage one of his provinces for a thousand years.” Linley sighed in amazement.
The amount of territory a province controlled was greater than the amount of territory the Kingdom of Fenlai had.
To allow a clan to manage a province for so long was to allow a clan to easily accumulate an astonishing amount of power. This was a common reason for eventual rebellion and an empire breaking down.
But the imperial clan of the O’Brien Empire was extremely confident.
Because…they had the War God, as well as the large number of powerful combatants of the War God’s College. Additionally, the two most important administrative provinces in the O’Brien Empire, the ‘Central Administrative Province’ and the ‘O’Brien Administrative Province’, were both under the control of the imperial clan.
“As long as the War God is present, not a single clan dares rebel. Even if the War God doesn’t intervene, the disciples his War God’s College had admitted over the past thousands of years now constitute an astonishingly formidable force.”
In the face of absolute power, those so-called armies were just a joke. Armies were only used as a show of force for the commoners. Only Saint-level combatants could truly determine the fate of a nation.
“The Jacques clan must be extremely powerful, after having managed the Northwest Administrative Province for a thousand years.” Linley said to himself.
“Hmph, that venomous woman. I refuse to believe the clan will support her.” Keane said angrily.
Lambert only chuckled. “Young master, don’t worry. If the clan were likely to support her, she wouldn’t have acted the way she did tonight.”
Right now, Madame Wade was both very angry and very frustrated. “How dare those two countryside siblings be so wild and arrogant? It’s a pity that I didn’t send someone to kill them years ago. If I had, I wouldn’t have so many problems today.”
In the past, Madame Wade had believed that her own son was sure to be the next governor of the prefectural city of Cerre.
But she didn’t expect that her son would die so early.
“Holmer, that fool. Three hundred years of life were wasted on an idiot.” Cold light glittered in Madame Wade’s eyes. “Over the course of three hundred years, Holmer must have accumulated quite a bit of wealth.”
Late night. Cerre City was very peaceful.
Holmer’s residence was located in the east district of Cerre. It took up an extremely large amount of land, and had many beautiful female servants. Holmer was quite a lecherous man.
Suddenly, many hoof steps could be heard.
Two guards at the gate of Holmer’s residence looked suspiciously towards the outside. Instantly, their faces turned pale. A large number of armored city guards had clustered around the main gate.
“Open the gate.” A tall, arrogant knight clad in white metal armor and riding a fine stallion called out loudly.
Madame Wade and her two elder brothers were there as well, smiling as they watched. Holmer’s clan didn’t have any experts. With his death, his clan had become a piece of fresh meat which anyone could take.
The main gate slowly opened.
“Milords, why have you come here so late at night?” A middle-aged ran out in a state of partial undress. He had just come running from his bed.
“Madame Countess.” He suddenly saw Madame Wade was here, and his heart instantly shook.
Madame Wade said coldly, “Based on our evidence, Holmer is under suspicion of having attempted to assassinate Keane, the successor to the governorship of Cerre. All members of Holmer’s clan are to be arrested, and all of the clan’s possessions are to be searched and seized.”
Hearing these words, the man’s legs couldn’t help but feel soft, and he fell to his knees.
“No! Madame Countess.” The middle-aged man said hurriedly. “My grandfather was invited by your two brothers…”
“You dare to slander a noble clan? Your crimes increase a level in severity. Kill him.” Madame Wade’s face turned cold.
The leading knight suddenly thrust forward with his lance, striking like a serpent from its lair. With a ‘swish’ sound, the lance pierced through the throat of that middle-aged man.
Madame Wade’s eldest brother, putting on a brave display, called out loudly, “Everyone, hurry up!”
Those city guards immediately charged into the manor like a pack of ravenous wolves and tigers. The thing which these city guards loved to do the most was search and seizures. Because when they carried these activities out, they would always be able to secretly take a few things for themselves.
But of course, they wouldn’t dare take too much, as many people were present and watching.
“What are you doing? What are you doing?!”
A hastily dressed man and woman rushed out, shouting loudly. Some of the manor guards also hefted their weapons, but none of them dared to act.
Because…they could tell that these were the city guards.
How would the private guards of a manor dare to struggle against the city guards?
“Holmer is under suspicion of having attempted to kill young master Keane. All members of Holmer’s clan are to be arrested. Those who resist, kill them.” The knight leader said coldly. When the members of Holmer’s clan heard this order, they were all stunned.
In the face of the assault by the ferocious city guards, many people were taken without a struggle.
But there were still a number of people who were unwilling to surrender, and they turned tail to flee. The soldiers of the city guard chased after them, one by one.
“That Wade-whore.” A white-haired old man said. “She asked Grandpa to help her. Now that Grandpa is dead, she’s actually coming to ransack our manor. How venomous.”
That white-haired old man left a secret room, holding three magicrystal cards.
Holmer was three hundred years old. Of his sons, only two were still alive; the other had died of old age. The two remaining sons were the youngest ones. As for grandsons…the oldest grandchildren of his were two hundred, while the youngest were only around thirty.
“Stop!” A city guard suddenly noticed the old man.
The old man threw a handful of dust out.
“Uhhhh.” The guard’s face immediately turned blue. He grabbed at his throat, emitting several pained noises, then collapsed. He was dead.
With a sneer, the old man very agilely ran towards a small alleyway.
“Hold it!” A loud shout from far away.
The old man didn’t pay it any heed, increasing his speed instead.
“Swish.” An arrow pierced through the air at astonishing speed, howling as it pierced into the old man’s back.
The handsome, golden-haired knight lowered his bow. With a cold laugh, he said, “You thought you could run? In your dreams. Go search his body and see if he has any magicrystal cards.”
Not only was the manor itself filled with people; a large ring had formed around the manor as well. Not a single member of Holmer’s clan had been able to flee. Although some members of the clan knew how to use poison, they were far inferior to Holmer.
Within the main hall of Holmer’s manor.
Madame Wade and her two brothers were staring at a pile of treasure and magicrystal cards.
“This old fart’s money-making abilities were quite impressive.” Madame Wade’s older brother’s eyes were gleaming.
Madame Wade laughed calmly. “The two of you shouldn’t lust after a small amount like this. When we take over control of the city’s governorship, our wealth will be far greater than this.”
In the air, high above Holmer’s manor.
Linley had a pair of translucent wings on his back. He was flying in the air, watching the looting and ransacking scene below in Holmer’s manor.
“Madame Wade really is vicious and ruthless. This Holmer really is quite unfortunate.” In mid-air, Linley laughed calmly as he watched all of this happen.