The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat - Chapter 111
- The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat
- Chapter 111 - The assassin persuades
- Chapter 111 : The assassin persuades
I won the heart of Count Flantrude, just as I planned.
In my previous life, I would’ve been able to do what I had to do without feeling any emotion, but for me now, it was quite the agonizing experience.
I’m glad it worked out, for both my past self and my current self.
I wasn’t so optimistic as to believe that seduction would guarantee the success of this job.
I had prepared a backup plan in case it didn’t work, and it was a lot more vicious than seducing him.
And now, I was waiting for him in the room I was renting.
I was no longer disguised as the noble daughter named Lou. I was now here as Lugh Tuatha Dé.
I was the only one in this room, as he gave each of us a private room.
The door was opened with a slam, an act unbecoming of a refined aristocrat.
He probably couldn’t wait to hear Lou’s answer.
[Lou, please give me your answer!] (Count Flantrude)
He asked that question with a hopeful tone and a flushed expression.
In his hands was a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
[Sorry, but the woman you fell in love with isn’t here.] (Lugh)
With a cold tone, I announced the facts to him.
[How did you sneak into my mansion…!?] (Count Flantrude)
[I suggest you be quiet. …Or else your girlfriend will die.] (Lugh)
I went behind the Count as he was overcome with shock, closed the door, then I pushed him on the back, causing him to stagger, get his feet caught into the chair I had prepared, and sit down.
[Just… who the hell are you…!?] (Count Flantrude)
[It vexes me that you would ask that question. I’m the guy you’re trying to frame, Lugh Tuatha Dé. So don’t you dare pretend you don’t know me.] (Lugh)
At a loss for words, he averted his eyes.
[How…?] (Count Flantrude)
[“How” what? How did I find out about the conspiracy against me in the royal capital? How am I here even though I should be in the faraway land of Tuatha Dé? How did I find out that you, Count Flantrude, were supposed to give a false testimony? …No, perhaps what you’re asking me is, how do I know that you were falling in love with that woman named Lou.] (Lugh)
In order to gain the upper hand in this negotiation, I made the other party believe that I knew everything.
In fact, I did know just about everything.
Count Flantrude’s face turned pale.
[Let’s have a talk, shall we? I’d like to be a gentleman about this if I can help it. But you see, I’m seriously pissed off about this whole case. So depending on your attitude, Count Flantrude, I don’t know what I’ll do.] (Lugh)
Once I said that, I tossed a necklace at him.
It was something I was wearing as Lou the day before. I told him it was a treasured memento of my mother so it would leave a strong impression on him.
[T… This is… Lou’s…] (Count Flantrude)
[Yeah. I thought I could use her as a bargaining chip, so I kidnapped her.] (Lugh)
[Quit screwing around! She has nothing to do with this!] (Count Flantrude)
[Oh but she does, seeing as she’s your girlfriend. …To think her life is in danger because of her boyfriend. What a poor girl. I feel for her.] (Lugh)
[She and I aren’t lovers!] (Count Flantrude)
[Don’t you mean, not yet? That’s the impression I got when she shouted your name as my men took her away. In fact, this is how I’m getting you riled up.] (Lugh)
[I… I won’t bend to your will just for her sake. I murdered even my own father for the sake of House Flantrude. I’ll show you I have no qualms about abandoning a woman I love or two.] (Count Flantrude)
He wasn’t dumb.
The most effective way to deal with a hostage situation was to make the hostage seem worthless.
Because as long as they had some value, the abductor would try to take advantage of them.
However, this guy was a terrible actor. Clearly, he didn’t have any experience with this kind of predicament.
I, on the other hand, had my fair share of experience with this kind of guy.
They were easy to “persuade.”
[I see. Well then, I guess I’ll take my leave for today. But tomorrow, I’ll bring you one or two of her fingers as a souvenir. Oh wait, I bet you want to know if she’s still safe, right? In that case, maybe I’ll have her write you a letter with the blood dripping from the finger I’ll cut off. Then I’ll deliver one to you every day until she doesn’t have any left.] (Lugh)
I brought my face close to his ear and whispered.
While exuding real killing intent.
No matter how hard he tried to bluff, his daily life was just too far removed from the scent of death.
His first contact with the cold world, and the killing intent of a genuine assassin.
It was enough to peel away his facade.
[H… Hold on… Lou is safe, right…?] (Count Flantrude)
[Yeah, and I promise to treat her hospitably as long as you don’t try anything suspicious.] (Lugh)
[What’s your aim? Just what do you want me to do!?] (Count Flantrude)
[Oh-ho, I see you’re quick on the uptake.] (Lugh)
I wanted to applaud him.
Though his teeth were chattering in fear, he hadn’t stopped thinking.
From the moment I started negotiating with this guy without killing him, I made it clear that my objective wasn’t revenge.
And he was right not to attack me or call for anyone. He knew it was impossible to subdue a monster on par with the Hero.
[When it’s time for you to testify in court, I want you to read this script I’ve prepared. If you can do that, I’ll give you the girl back.] (Lugh)
I carelessly tossed him a letter.
When he read its content, he broke out in a cold sweat.
[You want me to betray Marquis Kalonarai!? I can’t! He’s my benefactor!] (Count Flantrude)
[Your benefactor, huh…] (Lugh)
What was written in my letter was that Marquis Kalonarai had threatened him, bribed him, and forced him to give false testimony.
The mastermind behind all this was Marquis Kalonarai, and he was the one trying to set me up.
[First of all, if I make such a statement, I will be ruined. It will be considered an attempted slander towards Marquis Kalonarai.] (Count Flantrude)
[Oh, don’t worry about that. I’ve got the evidence to back it up. You won’t be charged with a single crime, Count Flantrude.] (Lugh)
I tossed another document at him.
It contained information and evidence about the victim’s actual murder scene, and traces of Marquis Kalonarai’s instructions to his noble lackeys to transport the corpse.
…In reality, this document was a fake made of some truths, but mostly overdramatic lies. While it wasn’t exactly wrong, the content still lacked the crucial information.
Even so, it was enough to fool a man whose vision was narrowed by fear and tension.
It would do for now.
Even at this very moment, my operatives from all over the country were working to complete this document.
Nevertheless, even if it was perfected, I would still be one step short of driving Marquis Kalonarai into a corner. And I needed that man to make that step for me.
[No way… How did you… gather all this…? It can’t be… I mean… This plan was set in motion… only a few days ago… and you’ve gathered this much information and evidence before coming here…? It just doesn’t make sense!] (Count Flantrude)
[Don’t you know? Unlike the Hero, the Holy Knight is chosen by the Goddess. She told me everything in my sleep. About the nuisances who would show up and stand in the way to world salvation. Then when I woke up, I found myself in the royal capital.] (Lugh)
I told him such a cheap lie it made me want to laugh.
However, the overwhelming speed at which the information was transmitted, and the timeliness of my arrival here, both of which should’ve been impossible, could only be considered the work of gods.
In addition, I had long used the term “Oracle of the Goddess” as a convenient way to spread the【Demonkiller】spell all around the world.
Any aristocrat knew fully well that the Holy Knight Lugh Tuatha Dé was capable of hearing the voice of the Goddess.
[The Goddess told me the following: those who are an obstacle to world salvation won’t receive a single blessing from now on. …Which means that your life is pretty much forfeit, right?] (Lugh)
[T… That… That wasn’t my intention! I never meant to prevent the world from being saved! I didn’t think the Goddess would abandon me for that! This is…! I—] (Count Flantrude)
[I don’t care what your intentions were. The fact remains that you crossed the man who was chosen by the Goddess to save the world: me.] (Lugh)
He slid down his chair.
Okay, I think that’s enough of the stick.
Persuasion was based on the stick and carrot principle.
Once you were done whipping the guy with the ‘stick’, you had to give him the ‘carrot.’
[However, there’s one and only one way for you to redeem yourself. You must testify as I tell you. You only planned to cause me trouble, but you haven’t actually done anything to me yet, right? In fact, by cooperating with me, you would be helping me save the world. And the Goddess would be pleased. She may even bless you for the rest of your life.] (Lugh)
[I would be helping you save the world? But, if I betray Marquis Kalonarai, I will be evicted from the aristocracy… And besides, I need money, very much so.] (Count Flantrude)
[Don’t worry about that. After all, Marquis Kalonarai will become a criminal after the trial. A criminal has no authority whatsoever. Even if you betray him, no one will condemn you for it. And if it’s money you want, I have some here. If you cooperate, I’ll give this to you.] (Lugh)
I took out a bag full of gold coins from my Leather Crane Bag, and put it in his hands.
Although paper money had already started circulating in this country, gold coins were still in use when dealing with other countries, and they were still domestically available.
The reason I chose to use gold coins instead of paper money was to control his mind, as gold gave a stronger sense of wealth.
The weight, the sound, and the glitter could drive people crazy.
The color in his eyes changed, then he opened the bag of gold coins to check its content.
[Wow…! What a huge amount…!] (Count Flantrude)
[Three times the money that cheapskate of a marquis promised you. With this, you can pay off the debt your father left you. And you won’t have to yield to those wealthy scumbags anymore. If anything, you could even bring life back to your territory.] (Lugh)
Marquis Kalonarai had made several mistakes.
Because he made all sorts of blunders as he attempted to rush his scheme, he left traces of his misdeeds here and there.
But most of all, he was too tight with the money needed for the corruption.
His pettiness and selfishness in bribing the most important witness with a mere 1,000 gold coins would lead him to his own downfall.
[Ah… Aaahh…! Aaaaaahhh…!] (Count Flantrude)
The carrot after the stick was effective alright.
One more push, and he’ll give in completely.
The stick and carrot principle was the basis of negotiation, but the best way to use it was to add a secret element to it.
[Besides, I’m sure you’re dying to get back at Marquis Kalonarai for deceiving and exploiting you.] (Lugh)
[For deceiving me? What do you mean?] (Count Flantrude)
[Don’t tell me you didn’t notice.] (Lugh)
I shrugged my shoulders in exasperation.
[You feel indebted to Marquis Kalonarai for buying all the junk your father purchased. And you think that thanks to him introducing you to those upstarts, you’re able to earn a daily income by selling your pride, is that right?] (Lugh)
[That’s right. If he hadn’t bought all that junk from me, House Flantrude would’ve been finished long ago. And he’s also the one who introduced me to those nouveaux riches. Which is why, I could never bring myself to betray him.] (Count Flantrude)
He wasn’t acting, he actually thought of Marquis Kalonarai as his benefactor.
This was one hell of a masterpiece.
[…You’re a real pigeon, you know that? Some of the art your father collected was indeed fake, but 90% of them were authentic. And the remaining 10% were close enough to the real thing to be worth something.] (Lugh)
[You’re lying! I’ve had countless appraisers come to check them!] (Count Flantrude)
[And they were all introduced to you by Marquis Kalonarai, right? They were all under his patronage. Let me show you something interesting. Here’s a list of the pieces of art you sold to Marquis Kalonarai, as well as those to whom he sold them afterwards. For example, the Necklace of Galatia was sold to the barony of Dolaila, the Flatula Vase went to Viscount Maruida, and the landscapes painted by Farang Float were sold to the wealthy merchant Balor. Marquis Kalonarai sold them all to the highest bidders. I think you know one or two of them, don’t you? If you don’t believe me, you can just go to their residences and have them show you. They’ll be on their high horse, brag about their treasure, and snicker that they were expensive, you’ll see.] (Lugh)
[No… It can’t be… Such a thing is…] (Count Flantrude)
[Your father may have been a fool, but he had a discerning eye. The artworks were worth more than what he paid for them. If you had sold them for the right prices, you would’ve been freed of your debt and swimming in cash by now. As for those nouveaux riches you were introduced to, Marquis Kalonarai collected intermediation fees from them. That guy sure is cunning. Unlike House Flantrude, he makes money without losing anything. In other words, he scammed you. Does this sound forgivable to you?] (Lugh)
When I investigated all that, I actually burst out laughing.
I had hardly ever seen such a brilliant case of deception and exploitation.
Count Flantrude was smart, but ignorant of the ways of the world, and he was too convinced that his father was a fool.
That’s what made him so easy to take advantage of.
[I… I… What have I done…!? …I’ll never forgive him… NEVER!] (Count Flantrude)
[Then make him pay. I’ve got all the evidence to prove that Marquis Kalonarai is the real culprit. All it takes now is one testimony, and he will be doomed. When the trial is over, you can use this money to make a fresh start, with Lou by your side once she’s back.] (Lugh)
[I’ll have my revenge, then Lou and this money will be mine. Ohh… Ooohhh…! What a wonderful future…!] (Count Flantrude)
[I’m sure the Goddess will shower you and Lou with her blessings for helping with saving the world.] (Lugh)
[The Goddess will forgive me, she will bless me, then Lou and I will live happily ever after…] (Count Flantrude)
I heard a gulping sound come out of him, then he embraced the gold coin bag.
He was now free of his fear, and could only envision the best future in his eyes.
Negotiations were based on the stick and carrot principle, and the element I added to it was the desire for vengeance.
Count Flantrude was now my puppet. He would dance to my own tune.
With this, my work in the royal capital is done.
Now let’s go back to Tuatha Dé asap.
Then, with all the eyes and feet I’ve got stationed all around the world, I will hunt down Marquis Kalonarai, and on the day of the trial, I will give the guy who tried to frame me a taste of his own poison with the most innocent look on my face.
I’ll make him regret messing with me for the rest of his life in prison.
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