Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 203: Twenty-third Episode: Chapter 4
Chapter 203: Twenty-third Episode: Chapter 4
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Early in the morning, Oscar hand-picked a large bouquet of red Persian roses from the garden of Kenshin Palace. Initially, he planned to personally deliver them to the Empress' sleeping chambers, but his general affairs secretary notified him that Alanis never wake up around 6 or 7 in the morning.
Oscar was shocked by his own ignorance. He completely had no idea about this, which was quite embarrassing for a married couple to have no knowledge about this.
His Highness the Prince ordered a messenger to send the roses and his farewell letter to Tacheles Fortress. The messenger soon returned notifying that Her Majesty was still asleep, but the Duty Personnel from Imperial Secretariat had accepted the gifts on behalf. Oscar only nodded with indifference as he had expected the answer.
The attendants of Kenshin Palace were busy rushing about the entire palace. Although His Highness the Prince had requested to bring along only essential and useful items, but this was seemingly an incredibly difficult task for Madam Keegan the housekeeper, who could be considered the real palace chief for Kenshin Palace. In her eyes, apart from that lion fountain in front of the gate, everything else in that palace including that paper clip had great potential to be used.
Scattered luggage and miscellaneous items piled up in the hallway of the palace. Colonel Sandinand Wollums who was wandering around the palace with several other grim-faced knights met their young master in the kitchen at the back of the ground floor. Oscar who was having breakfast in the kitchen yelled "Ola!" when he encountered Sandy, and then pushed his ham and cheese toast toward the little devil.
After saluting His Highness, Devil Sandy picked up a piece of bread from his master's plate and began devouring it.
"What are you doing?" Oscar asked the idling little devil.
"I'm looking out for you, Your Highness, keeping watch over the pariahs who might steal your things the moment your eyes gaze away! But rest assured because you have Sandy, and Sandy will make sure that these pariahs pay a high price if this happened, so that no one will dare to assault you anymore."
"Such as the hall attendant whom you thrown over the window from the third floor because he broke my favorite crystal glass?" Oscar asked with a shrug. He noticed that several kitchen chefs had sneaked out of the door. It seemed that most servants in the palace and the other civilians did not like Sandy. However, His Highness was not going to criticize Sandy even though this noble's view of civilians was rather problematic.
"You know," Oscar knocked on his plate with the cutleries, "If it weren't for these people, I wouldn't have breakfast prepared for me each morning."
"How so?" Colonel Sandy widened his eyes but he had not actually understood the meaning of the prince's words. "If you weren't being served breakfast each morning, it only shows how these indolent pariahs needed to be punished. I have ways to make them diligent again! If they were to - - "
"Forget it!" Oscar covered his forehead with his palm. He felt disgusted every time Sandy mentioned how he was going to treat these civilians of poor societal status. "Let's talk about something delightful."
"Something delightful?" Sandy parroted and revealed a tangled cloth from within his arms immediately. "Take a look at this, Your Highness! Do you know what this is?"
Oscar watched as Sandy spread out the cloth made up of four different colors with much excitement. "What is this? A banner?"
Sandy rolled his eyes, "I knew you couldn't care much about this! But I've asked my friend to bring this over to me all the way from the south! It is the flag of United Government of the Five Provinces! The flag of the south!"
Oscar rolled his eyes in annoyance as he once again confirmed Sandinand Wollums was truly a real southerner. "Let me see!" Oscar extended his hand to show interest. After all, the United Government of the Five Provinces was produced by his own hands.
The tiny cloth was only the size of a book. From top to bottom, it was decorated with yellow, white, blue, and black. "Beautiful!" Oscar praised from the bottom of his heart. "I mean...it's very imposing! Very…is this the right way to hold it?"
Sandy stepped forward quickly, "Yeah, that's right! Yellow, white, blue and black! That's the correct order!"
"What do they represent?" Oscar's curiosity was piqued. He knew that these colors must held their own symbolic significance.
Sandy held the flag religiously and he fell on one knee at the foot of His Highness.
"Your Highness, blue and white in the middle represent the purity of the water of Don River and Narcissus, whereas yellow and black are the exclusive colors of the king of beasts. They are the colors of the Fierce Tiger!"
Oscar looked at the regional flag of the southerners and then again at the eyes of the Little Devil. He understood the significance of this banner but if he allowed himself to continue digging deeper into it...
"I'm sorry..." Torry appeared at the kitchen out of nowhere. He didn't know why the Southerner was kneeling on the ground nor he know why His Highness was staring into the eyes of the kneeling person with deep affection. "I... I didn't mean to kill the atmosph-"
"Shut up!" Oscar already knew what was going on in the mind of the general of the artillery soldiers. He kicked little Sandy aside resentfully and then ran over to grab Torry's collar.
"Don't say out whatever you're imagining in your head or I'll let your head change the place it's rested at to think about the problem!"
Torry laughed helplessly, "I was only kidding..."
Oscar then helped the man on the ground to his full height and later he draped his hands over Little Devil and the general's shoulder.
"Let's go! We still have time for some fun!"
At this time, when O'Neil Andrew Morisette suggested to have some fun, he actually meant to have a real boxing fight with the boxer who came from the south. The large cellar of Kensington Palace had long been converted into a martial arts practice field by Oscar. Usually, if Mighty Fist Lee wasn't moving about in the palace, he would hide in the cellar to fight and kick into the air. Once, his secret pastime was discovered by Oscar, and His Highness the Prince joined with enthusiasm. Mighty Fist Lee was naturally very excited at the new challenge and soon he punched his dignified young master to the ground.
After that, Oscar went to the underground martial arts whenever he had time but it seemed to most people that it was not much different from finding trouble upon himself. The martial art techniques of Mighty Fist Lee were similar to close combat grapple. The Easterners' cultivation of close combat techniques were too detailed that they could accurately attack a certain section of joints or a group of veins. Oscar was at a loss because of this. Even though he had used the most resistant area on his arm to resist the opponent's fist, the pain and numbness that it caused on this area after made him completely lose resistance in the short period of time that followed.
Oscar was still as modest as when he was younger. After being knocked down by the Eastern boxer countless times, he finally concluded that his understanding of fighting skills was too shallow. Sometimes, holding a shiny blade in hand was not enough to solve the problem. His Highness the Prince even reasoned this as the cause of his repeated injuries. Westerners' dependence on combat equipment had led them to ignore physical development. In fact, the body was the best weapon. If used properly, areas like the knees, elbows, foreheads and other hard places would save them a lot of physical strength.
Oscar, Sandy and Torry hurried to the underground martial art field excitedly. Might Fist Lee, dressed in a crude khaki robe, was waiting there. Perhaps it was because a lively show was about to commence, Black Devil and Snowstorm who always come and go like ghosts also got out of the darkness. Like a pair of twins, they sat on the rug at the side of the martial arts field, happily munching bread and gulping goat milk down their throat.
The young prince grew angry when he saw the lively look of his bodyguards. He cursed Paul who was drinking goat milk to get itchy skin and Snowstorm who was devouring bread to grow into a fat man.
Both Paul and Black Devil did not respond to Oscar's sarcasm. They clenched their fists simultaneously at the Eastern boxer as if to hope that he will give the young prince a really good punch.
Before proceeding, the easterner helped the young prince to loosen up his limbs. When Oscar gestured to begin, he held his fists together at the challenger as taught by Thirteen. Might Fist Lee put on a rare smile because the young boy had done a good job. According to the courtesy of fighting, the eastern boxer also bowed to Oscar, but a deafening yell was heard across the field before he had the chance to raise his head.
Just as Oscar expected, the loud echo slowed down the response of the boxer. When his flying kick was about to touch the opponent's chin, Might Fist Lee had only started to raise his head.
Oscar smiled as he knew that a sudden blow would not turn into a miracle and the result was evidently so. The boxer ducked his head at the last second. As the tip of the boot was approaching he slammed Oscar's flying kick easily with a swing of the arm. However, Might Fist Lee had discovered that Oscar's thighs were weak. He was being thrown over into the air by just one slight touch.
The young prince turned around in the air thanks to the strength of the other side of his body and he swung his other leg quickly. Mighty Fist Lee could not evade the attack had no choice but used his entire arm to block the side of his head and then used his body's strength to defend against the opponent's flying spin kick. Once again, Oscar got thrown into the air, but he was not harmed. His entire thigh strengthened and the momentum from the collision with his opponent allowed him to retire from the air quickly.
Just as the young prince was about to hit a large stone pillar, Oscar's body turned into a lightweight, fluttering feather. He collected himself in the air slowly and bent his knees, so that when he stepped on the wall, he bounced forcefully so that his body sprinted like an arrow that had left the bow!
A round knee was magnified in front of the boxer's eyes and the strong breaking of wind and the cries from the other side of the field almost confused his sight and sound. When the martial artist's focus was back, he finally recognized the consequences of a rapid knee crash would cost him his life. The boxer made an almost magical side move and the young prince's knee managed to just slide above his hair. This fierce attack was once again avoided by the agile easterner! But it was not over yet. Oscar turned out to be more determined and spontaneous than anyone else. Just when the boxer watched his opponent passed through him, Oscar had already retracted his knees. He stepped against the wall behind the boxer and suddenly rebounded after three steps on the stone wall, trying to land on the boxer who looked up like he was sleeping with his arms behind his head. Oscar aimed his elbow at the head of the easterner on his landing.
Mighty Fighter Lee inhaled deeply at the sight. He would have ended with his skull broken into pieces if the opponent managed to land the blow. He squatted quickly and with the force of his arms, he performed a backflip.
The young Oscar whose strategies had not worked well landed on the ground dejectedly. A ground-breaking shatter was heard as his elbow hit on the hard-slate floor. When his body landed, the young Prince released a low cry.
The spectators, who had been stunned by the power of that blow, reacted finally. Everyone rushed to the young prince who had caused a human-shaped mark on the ground.
"Dis... dislocation!" Oscar grimaced as he held onto his arm which had hit the ground instead of his opponent.
Several big men scrambled to help His Highness the Prince to his feet. Oscar did not say but his face was contorted in agony. On the other hand, Sandinand who was agitated, grabbed the collar of Mighty Fist Lee. "What have you done? You inferior yellow skin-" The southerner felt a large slap across his face before he had the chance to finish the sentence.
Oscar grabbed Sandy's arm as the latter struggled. However, he changed his facial expression when he noticed His Highness' upset expression.
"It's not about Lee. He didn't do anything wrong, you know that!" Oscar stared at Sandy impatiently. "Do not behave like a mad dog as it will make me bored! Besides, do you think you are Rudolf Hoss?"
Sandy shook his head and Oscar became even more irritated. He went straight for the distressed eastern boxer.
"Lee! You will stay by my side from now on. Paul and Black Devil will take care of you! They will let you know that not all Westerners are self-righteous and ill-educated!"
The devil who was reprimanded stepped back into the corner in an awkward manner. Oscar didn't know what he was doing but he felt extreme anger as soon as he laid eyes on Sandy.
"Are you really stupid or pretending to be an idiot?" the young prince scorned the southerner who was standing there like a puppet. "Didn't you see that my arm is dislocated? Go get an orthopaedist! I really cannot understand what you were thinking!"
Sandy who was late to realize almost ran out like a bolt of lightning!
Oscar spit as he looked at Sandy's receding back, "He wasn't like this when I first met him. I thought this guy was a dumb. Who knew his mouth was even more annoying than the short-legged woman in the marketplace!"
Torry shrugged, "Something you mentioned just now wasn't entirely wrong. At times, Sandy does resemble Rudolf Hoss! That's right! Rudolf Hoss!"
Oscar gave another cold snort of disdain. After a long while, the eastern boxer suddenly came forward and he lifted the arm of the young prince. This made Oscar somewhat surprised.
"You will...ouch!" His Highness the Prince screamed as he felt a sharp pain in his arm. He was sure that the easterner had healed his dislocated joints because a feeling of numbness after the severe pain flowed through his arm. Oscar took the opportunity to move his arm a little. Finally, he nodded his head and exclaimed, "Eastern warriors are amazing!"
Mighty Fist Lee gently nodded in response to the praise of young Prince. Then, he went on to perform a massage for his future master. Oscar felt the numbness of his wounds fade away and what replaced was first sore, itching and extreme muscle fatigue.
"Alright! It's okay now!" the easterner finally put down the young man's arm. He smiled at the other person and just as he expected, these Westerners with different eye colors were not all unreasonable like Devil Sandy. Oscar and his friends sat down in the rest area of the martial arts field. Young Prince still could not get the previous attack off his mind. He grumbled that the eastern boxer reacted too quickly, and Paul replied that it was he himself who reacted slowly. He complained that the boxer was only avoiding and did not fight back. Then Paul retorted that the young prince had dislocated when the boxer only dodged. Imagine what would have happened if he had launch an offense. Oscar grew more agitated as he listened to Paul, so he demanded the boxer to fight against Snowstorm. However, the sly King of Assassin could not be bothered and continued ridiculing the young man.
The men finally calmed down after a moment of teasing and mocking because everyone was caught all ears by listening to the life story of the boxer. The easterner summed up his past experiences using his most basic Titan language. In what he called the "forest of martial arts," he used to be an extremely well-known boxing master, but he was tired of using fists and ingenuity to keep life going. He tried every opportunity to withdraw away from the "forest of martial arts" but as in his own words, "Every time you want to quit, there will always be people and things that make you fall back into it!"
"Once you get in, you can't get out!" Paul suddenly said in a fluent eastern accent.
Might Fist Lee glanced at him in amazement and the King of Assassin grinned back in embarrassment. "I still don't know much about the spiritual world of the eastern warrior but one of my old friends always say this sentence, so I stole a bit of the charm!"
The boxer blinked innocently as he realized he had fallen in love with the life here. Back in his homeland, he knew that he would only believe when he encountered the god that the westerners called Pluto.
"There isn't much choice left for me…is that how it goes?" Oscar murmured to himself.
Paul nodded, "Yes, that's right, just like Lee mentioned earlier. When you want to quit, there will always be people and things that make you fall back into it again."
Oscar could not help but uttered a sigh, "Ola ola...it seems that this is indeed the case. It doesn't matter if "forest of martial arts" exists but in Westland, we have politics! Just like how I wanted so eagerly to send Almodovar Godzilla into prison and starve him for years. But in reality? Not only I have to share the annual income of southern government with this pig head, but I also have no choice but to send a good-looking, sweet girl to his way..."
"Wait a second!" Torry cried out loudly, "The southern girl that has been discussed so much about in the City of Dulin…the fiancee of Sea Monster! That was your idea?"
Oscar declined to comment further but only nodded, "To be more precise, she is working for the southern division of the Military Intelligence Bureau, and it has no direct or indirect relationship with me."
"But you are the Chief of the Military Intelligence Bureau!" Torry insisted, "Isn't it your decision?"
Oscar patted his old friend's shoulder, "Only me and Janin Sherman, the division head of southern division know about this. But do you know why I want you to know?"
Torry shook his head.
Oscar looked at his old friend with a worried gaze, "Your artillery ruined the hard work of several generations of Secret Service Department. Even if Rudolf Hoss don't quibble over all the details, he definitely can't afford to lose his face! Hence you need to be cautious everywhere in Dulin. In the event of an urgency, take note, I mean an urgency that's enough to threaten your life – just find the fiancée of the Sea Monster. She has the power to help you to leave Dulin. This is the least I could do for my friends who are left behind in Dulin."
Torry bit his lips but remained silent. He wanted to say thank you to his old friend, but he thought that this would ruin the current atmosphere.
"Try not to show off too much, you daredevil!" Oscar was still reminding his reckless artillery general. "It's not easy for Rudolf Hoss to hold it in until now, so don't provoke him anymore. Turn around when you see him, do you understand?"
"No problem! I understand!" Brigadier General of Artillery nodded in affirmation. Only until now that Oscar stood up with ease.
At the perfect timing from the corner of the underground martial art field came a messenger. He reported to His Highness the Prince that a lord Viscor who claimed himself to be the secret agent of Southern Chamber of Commerce wished for an audience.
Oscar clapped his hands together, "Ola, everybody, guess who is here!" Then he walked out of the door happily.
Going past the finely carved Phoebe wooden gate and then through a deserted garden dotted with sunflowers and camellia. The Head of Secret Service stopped abruptly when he was about to reach his destination. He hesitated for a long time to make a loud sneeze. The birds in the garden got frightened and fled, Rudolf Hoss sneered as he watched those panicked birds. He knew that someone in some corner of the world was cursing him. These vicious curses worked like a poisonous tumor inside the body. Sooner or later, they would rot to become wretched bad meat, then they would be distributed among the greedy and evil spirits in hell!
Rudolf Hoss never imagined that he would be able to go to heaven. That place was not for someone like him. Besides, the air of heaven could make him suffocate. But who knows if there was any air in paradise? The head of secret service was annoyed. He had been rather distracted these days and kept pondering about questions about heaven and hell. Although he knew that he would definitely go to hell, and no matter how much he hated heaven, he still wished slightly to secure a position in the place where everyone longed for. It seemed that the damn tumor was to blame for this! But, perhaps, when death finally approached, the angel and death who were responsible for bringing the people to their next destination would make mistakes. Rudolf Hoss never would have thought to die of cancer. He felt that he should die in a well-planned and unprecedented, large-scale assassination plan, just like his previous predecessors, and not dying like a weak man on the deathbed.
"You want to see me?" the Head of Secret Service Department looked at the gardener who was arranging flowers.
Viesharl turned around as he was being called. He appeared really thin and his eyes sunken deep in their sockets. Only the palm holding the spatula had slightly more strength.
The flea sat down on the bench in the center of the garden and gestured the opposite seat to the Head of Secret officer.
"Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule-"
"Stop these nonsense, please!" Rudolf Hoss sat down impatiently. He didn't know what this guy in front of him was going to say, and he had no idea why he had agreed to coming to meet this person who has lost its value to him.
"Then let's go straight to the question!" Baron Viesharl suddenly changed his pathetic expression, "Well, tell me the truth. When will I get out of here?"
The Head of Secret Service smiled uncontrollably as if he had been told the funniest joke in a hundred years!
"To leave here? You're planning to leave here?"
"Yes!" Big Flea nodded in affirmation.
Rudolf Hoss looked around his surroundings. He thought that this secret contact point was not too bad, at least it would not make people impatient.
"Let me ask you! Do you know what it means to lose the protection of the Secret Service? Do you know how many secret agents from Military Intelligent Bureau are inquiring about your news outside this safe space? Do you know that O'Neil Andrew Morissette has always been a villain who seeks revenge? Do you know- "
"I know! I know!" the Flea interrupted Rudolf's questioning. That was not what he wanted to listen to at all. "What you said was not a problem. I just wanted to meet her and see the child again."
The Head of Secret Service pinched his forehead with his fingers, "You must be crazy! Do you actually think that O'Neil Andrew Morisette will let you meet his lover and son? On the street! I can guarantee that just in the street outside of the door, you will be smashed by a knife as soon as you cross that door..."
"How do I know if those outside the door are not sent by you?" Viesharl interrupted once again.
Rudolf Hoss shrugged indifferently, "Do you care about this? You have always been smart. Just go out now and you're dead! I won't let you reveal the secret of the kidnapping. O'Neil Andrew Morisette also generally understood that you had betrayed the Sukhoi House so you have no choice but to die in either one's hands."
"Let me out!" the flea insisted stubbornly. He just wanted to apologize, and after that, he hadn't thought of it yet.
"One problem!" the Head of Secret Service put out a finger, "If I can figure out this issue, I will release you immediately."
Viesharl spread his hands and demanded, "Ask away! What are you waiting for?"
Rudolf Hoss cleared his throat before speaking. "Tell me! What kind of agreement exactly did the Mistress you call wife agreed with the Andrew House which relates to the number of firearms involved-"
"I don't know!" Viesharl turned his head away with annoyance. He was not trying to pretend, but he really resented Rudolf for asking him a question he knew nothing of.
The Head of Secret Service shook his head again and again, "You see, Viesharl! You can't go out if I can't get the answer. We have to rely on each other."
Big Flea sighed helplessly, "You should know what kind of woman the person I call my mistress is like. She is as astute as all the famous empresses in history! The agreement with Andrew was only known by her and Countess Aeolia. If you don't believe me, go ahead and ask His Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette, but I believe that His Highness the Prince will also tell you the same!"
Rudolf Hoss stood up from his chair and spread his hand at Viesharl reluctantly, "I'm sorry, my friend, it seems that I can't help you!"
The Flea glanced back at the Head of Secret Service with determination, "I'm sorry that you can't help, but I still want to go out!"
Rudolf forced a smile, "My friend, I must say that you are only trying to kill yourself."
Viesharl shrugged, "I must try no matter what because I don't want to die in this place."
The Head of Secret Service gestured to his left and right, and those secret agents hiding under black clothing between the sunflower and the camellia revealed themselves, and two pairs of big hands pressed onto the baron's shoulders. Viesharl looked around at his surrounding, he was not confused about the current situation, but he just smiled and stood up to his full height. His smile appeared as if he finally had a chance to get released from this place.
Rudolf no longer wanted to think about this. He was relieved that this utterly useless guy was finally going to be destroyed by humanity!
Viesharl's hands were held down tightly by the group of tall agents who kept pushing him around. He knew that in the next moment he would die in the depths of the garden. It was estimated that he would be full of wounds and cuts by then because the surrounding men would definitely stab him with swords.
"My lord! Wait a minute!"
The Head of Secret Service turned his head around with a smile, turned out he had not moved from his original place. "So, have you change your mind?"
The Big Flea smiled, "Sorry to disappoint you, but I just want to tell you why people call me a flea!"
"Why?" Rudolf Hoss looked curiously at the traitor of Sukhoi's House. Perhaps because knowing the other person was going to have his life ended soon, like himself, Rudolf had always been more tolerant toward Baron Viesharl although he had lost his value.
"I'm an orphan..." the baron ridiculed himself, "When I was young, I learned a lot of methods to please people. One of the best things that I've learned was to escape. Do you know? I had been locked in a big cage, risking my life to avoid the offense of a lion and a tiger while simultaneously had to provoke these beasts to create entertainment for the people."
"Oh!" the Head of Secret Service revealed a face of awe, "Unfortunately, I have not seen your performance."
Viesharl looked around at the secret agents who surrounded him, "Do you not understand? I mean I can move around easily like a flea, and nobody can grab me nor control me!"
Rudolf wanted to say something more, but a sharp pain came from the liver almost caused him to run out of breath. What shocked him more happened later. The flea suddenly jumped into the air and then stepped on the chests of those two secret agents were was trying to hold him down. The leap was a few meters high. Instinctively, the Head of Secret Service pulled out his sword, but the tumor in his body suddenly burst and blood oozed out from it like a frenzied attack. The excruciating pain in the liver caused his arm holding the sword to drop loose.
With the cries and warnings of his staffs in the background, the Head of Secret Service saw shadows moving frantically in front of his eyes, and suddenly he felt a cold pang in his abdomen. Viesharl struggled to pull out the spatula that was inserted into the other person, but no matter what the weapon did not move an inch. Just as he was about to give up, a sharp blade was pierced through his chest, then a second one, a third, and fourth...
Rudolf wanted to say something, but spit out a mouthful of blood instead, "You...why?"
Viesharl's lips shivered frantically like a cholera patient. "She...if she knew...you were murdered by my hands...maybe she would forgive me..."
"Why only regret now..." the Head of Secret Service fell to his chair. He noticed his opponent's chest was already being pierced with eight long swords. Oh! A ninth!
Rudolf closed his eyes with satisfaction. He didn't know if this was a well-planned and unprecedented, large-scale assassination plan. He only knew that his funeral would be held at Dulin Scott Cathedral, and that Her Majesty the Empress would gave him a burial service like the way they do for a hero…
O'Neil Andrew Morisette looked anxiously at the "Secret agent from the Southern Chamber of Commerce". In order to not let the other person take a breather, he simply grabbed away the teacup that Viscount Georgio Verones placed near his mouth.
"Oh, Your Highness..." Young Master Verones watched with pain as the seductive tea set was brought away from him. He had no choice but to moisturize the cracked lips with his tongue.
"I talked with Sea Monster for a whole night, and he was targeted at as soon as I headed out. I only managed to escape from them after changing four carriages!"
Oscar rolled his eyes, "This is a process! Do you understand? Do you think I'd be interested in the people who tracked you?"
The young Southern merchant surrendered his hands into the air, "Alright, alright! I understand what you mean. This is something that is difficult to reveal to you because I don't think Sea Monster gave us a result."
"What do you mean?" Oscar returned the teacup to Verones.
Georgio immediately grabbed the cup and drank from it, and he whispered after wiping the corner of his mouth, "It's cold..."
"Ola... don't force me to punch you in the face!" Oscar made a punch in the air and this sudden jerk touched the dislocated joint with a load of strength. His face grimaced at the pain.
"Okay! Please listen to me..." Verones finally became serious. "He's the Sea Monster, after all! The head of this pig is not just filled with oil and waste."
"Although we have spoken throughout the whole night, this guy hasn't stated his position and has always had a way to change the subject or replied my question with ambiguity. However, he still made a feasible proposal in the end, but I personally don't think this suggestion can be counted as a reply, and not even more so be seen as Sea Monster's - "
"Tell me about the feasible proposal!" Oscar almost shouted.
"This proposal is divided into two parts!" Viscount Verones took out his notes, "Sorry about the scribble, this is what I managed while traveling on the carriage!"
"The first part..." the young, savvy southern businessman wet his fingers in a practiced manner and then opened the notes full of writing. "The main work of the Imperial Ministry of Finance is nothing more than recording statistical income and budgetary expenditures, and subsidizing the country is something that has not happened for many years, hence we can completely ignore it. The first part of this plan is that the Minister of Finance to simplify the tasks of recording statistical income and budget expenditure within his area of competence. The United Government of the Southern Five Provinces can establish an accountancy committee directly under the Ministry of Finance of the Imperial State so that these senior accountants recognized by the central government can replace the financial work of the Imperial Finance Ministry in the Southern Government. After they have completed the two tasks of recording statistical income and budget expenditure, the works would be submitted to the Ministry of Finance for inspection. Although this form is no different from the direct accounting of the Ministry of Finance, what's more exciting is the second part of the proposal!"
"What is the second part?" Oscar listened attentively for a long time but still did not understand anything. His concept of economic and financial grounds was very vague, and he himself must be blamed for not learning his maths seriously when he was in prison.
"All grace to the God of Light!" exclaimed Georgio as he looked up to the ceiling and made a gesture of praying. "Almodovar Godzilla really lived up to his name as Sea Monster! This fierce and greedy pig turned out to be a great genius! He attributed the second part to the Tax Bureau. He intends for the taxation minister to share the risk by using their help to facilitate supervision and inspection!"
"How is this related to the Tax Bureau?" Oscar appeared as if the other person had said the stupidest thing like an idiot, but it was himself who couldn't understand the situation.
"Of course, you don't understand, because I haven't finished explaining yet!" Georgio Verones replied as he flipped the notebook in his hand, "Here!"
"Second part of the plan! To invite the Imperial Tax Bureau to dispatch the officials to supervise the accountancy committee of the United Government of Southern Five Provinces. Before the procedure of recording statistical incomes and budgetary expenditure, the commissioners from Imperial Tax Bureau must inspect the tax revenues of the five provinces. This final confirmation figure is the basis for the work of the accountancy committee - "
"Wait a minute!" Oscar interrupted the young Southern businessman awkwardly, "Did I hear you wrongly? Or is my perception problematic? Why do I feel that by involving the Tax Bureau will only make matters more complicated? Besides, doesn't this mean the Central Empire would have further authority toward the financial autonomy of the five southern provinces?"
Viscount Giorgio Verones nodded again and again, "Your Highness, this was also what I thought initially, but we all underestimated the intelligence of Sea Monster. His experience of playing number games, formalism, and bureaucratic tricks are much richer than that of all Titan businessmen. On the surface, the Ministry of Finance uses a national-level accountancy committee to completely control the financial lifeline of the United Government of the Five Southern Provinces, but the fact is that if the number that can be calculated by this accountancy committee comes from the manipulation of another department, then technically they have no real authority over the work, because their job is only to redistribute the statements of the Taxation Minister, part of which belonged to the empire and the rest is the responsibility of the new government operations! That is to say, as long as we are able to control the annual revenue collection of the government before the inspection of the Taxation Minister - "
Looking at Oscar's dubious face, Young Master Georgio figured he had to speak in a way that was easier to be understood.
"In other words, we only need to inform the imperial adviser about the portion of government revenue that should be paid to the country. As for other income, we can allocate it solely through the finance department of the five provinces' united government."
"You mean to evade paying taxes to the empire?" Oscar widened his eyes in disbelief. He couldn't imagine what would happen next if even local governments started evading from paying taxes.
"There is no better choice!" Verones shook his head awkwardly. He would definitely be charged of treason if he had said this out aloud. "The Empire's income comes mainly from taxes. Let's imagine the annual tax revenue is like a big cake, the five southern provinces' share in it is three-quarter parts, and apart from this you would also have to include those icings, butter, nuts, and chocolate! Because of the taxes, most of the tributes paid to imperial family as well as grants to East Border Andrew and Imperial Guards, came from the southern aristocracy and those wealthy big merchants."
"What a good metaphor," Oscar blushed as he nodded. He did not know much about the Morisette Imperial Family, but as the leader of Andrew, he knew that Andrew was like a child who depended on other people, having to survive entirely on relief from all parts of the empire during the most difficult years of war. Perhaps that the financial support they had depended on the Morisette Imperial Family was the most effective sedative that had kept the two at peace.
"Do you know how much of the three-quarters of annual revenue created by five southern provinces means for the Empire in the next government budget?"
Oscar shook his head.
Verones knocked on the table with annoyance, "It's 11.7%! This figure is one-seventh of the wealth created by the southerners! Not only that, but the more taxes we give back to the empire, the lesser the budget empire is allocating into the South. These two figures should have been proportional to each other, but no one can figure out where the problem is. The ratio of output to actual income is getting higher and higher that the civil servants of United Government of the Five Southern Provinces had to spend their own money to buy even a feather quilt. Therefore, Sea Monster is a genius. If even the foundation issue of tax revenue cannot be solved, the authority of Southern Government to manage their financial account independently is to no avail because the Central Empire would still withdraw however much they demanded while simultaneously declining the funds used to invest in the South..."
"I understand know!" Oscar finally nodded, "You mentioned earlier that this is a probable proposal, now tell me about its feasibility!"
Verones smiled coldly, "I believe, we will have 90 percent rate of success if Sea Monster really wants to execute this plan. I doubt his intention to do this only to bring down the taxation minister appointed by Her Majesty the Empress."
"What do you mean?"
Master Georgio took a deep breath, he really aspired to be a shrewd financial master like the Sea Monster someday. "If you want to make sure that the tax accounts are completely perfect, then support from capital tax bureau is indispensable. The newly appointed tax minister is greedy and will not be willing to help unless he was given some benefits. When he accepts bribery, the key role of that imperial commissioner will be important because things would be easier if he is a southerner."
"What else?" Oscar never believed Sea Monster would share his own profits with anyone else.
"A well-rounded preparation!" the young businessman sighed again. "Sea Monster, this man...he came out with this immaculate plan mostly for his own benefits. If anything bad happens, all responsibilities would be left to that imperial commissioner in charge of taxation. All Sea Monster have to say is just one sentence, 'Accounting agency only deals with the figures already managed by the tax bureau.' By doing this, even when the sky falls it wouldn't injure Almodovar Godzilla who covers an area up to three square meters. People would think that this matter has nothing to do with him. He only had to rest home with women by his side and wait as the southern government sends him countless gold coins."
"F***!" Oscar cursed aloud as if he was in prison.
"By doing so, Sea Monster will receive his gold coins, women, and a taxation minister who dared to accompany him to hell, while completely staying clear from this activity that is severe enough to be put on trial. It seems he has gotten all the good luck in the world!"
Just when Georgio wanted to continue speaking, the door to the secret chamber was suddenly opened. Oscar immediately turned the sofa around in a conditional reflex, his palm already holding over the button. If the guy who came in through the door did not have any urgency, he believed that in the next moment he would press down that emergency button which would turn this reckless person into a hedgehog.
"Your Highness, Your Highness! Let's not leave anymore, let's not leave anymore…at least stay for today!" Messier screamed as he rushed to the young prince who was sitting on the main seat, completely puzzled.
"Rudolf Hoss! You know Rudolf Hoss right?" the excited Division Head of Military Intelligence spoke in an incoherent manner as if his tongue was tied.
Oscar rolled his eyes, "Thank you for coming all the way to confirm this with me. I do know Rudolf Hoss and I'm certain I've dealt with him a few times."
"Our Head of Secret Service...stomach…with a shovel…at a secret contact point!"
"What are you saying?" Oscar finally realized the seriousness of the matter.
"Assassination! Assassination! It looks like the Head of Secret Service was met with a well-planned and unprecedented, large-scale assassination!"
"Are you sure?" Oscar jumped from his seat.
"I swear," shouted Messier as he lifted three fingers up the air, "I swear to you on my life! Rudolf Hoss is seriously injured and unconscious. Secret Service Department can't hide the news. I was informed by the Imperial Secretariat, perhaps Her Majesty will immediately send someone to explain this matter to you!"
Oscar snorted, "Maybe Alanis would think that I was the one who did it!"
The face of Division Head of Military Intelligence fell, "You mean...you didn't do it?"
Oscar stared back like the other person was an idiot, "Do you think that there are not many madmen in the world? Can't there be someone suffering from a mental illness worse than me? When did I say that I wanted to get rid of Rudolf Hoss?"
"How strange..." Messier scratched his scalp frantically. If not, His Imperial Highness who had never see eye to eye with the Head of Secret Service, Rudolf who was so savage wouldn't be countered by his western counterparts. Who could it be…
Oscar suddenly waved his hands in the air, "Whoever it is, since our Head of Secret Service chief is sick..."
"Why don't we go ahead and take his life?" Messier smiled as he continued His Highness's sentence.
"Ola!" Oscar exclaimed, "Head to Swan Hill and gather Thirteen and Percy, assemble all secret agents who pledged to be loyal to the Military Intelligence Bureau. I want to know where Rudolf's sickbed is placed."
The Division Head of Military Intelligence quickly bowed to salute. As he intended to leave, young Oscar whose face turned evil suddenly pulled at his arm.
"Do you know what to tell Thirteen and the Poison Doctor?"
Messier thought for a moment and finally nodded after making sure he understood the meaning behind the young devil's words.
"Percy is responsible to keep him alive while the King of Assassin is responsible for his death!"
"Ola..." Oscar squealed. "Perfect! It is better to let him be half alive than to die! We must not fail the opportunity gifted by the God of Light!"<script>chaptererror();</script>