System Change

Chapter 135: Spreading Word

are many things that I suspect, but none that I have been even close to proving. She replied.I suspect he has been accessory to many murders of nobles that have acted against him. Unfortunately, hes so patient that its years before those nobles suffer horrible fates. Ive had people trace those murders, but they always end up at a dead end.

‘Anything else? Derek asked.

‘Of course. Alanah said.He has his hand in so many markets that theres no way he doesnt get them dirty. Markets that I avoid at all costs. Its one reason that I focus mainly on my restaurants. Ive built it to the top, so I am King when it comes to restaurants. I dont have to follow old traditions or grease any palms. The restaurant business also allows me to gather information easily. Who doesnt like to talk during dinner? She explained.

‘I see. Derek said.When you say other markets, do you mean slave trade and trafficking?

‘Slave trade has been illegal for decades now. She replied.That doesnt mean that there arent any slaves, though. Sometimes a slave or servant oath is the only way out of a situation, but the Great System takes its oaths seriously. A slave oath cannot be coerced, and you cannot give the slave to another. Of course, there are contracts as well, and they arent nearly as regulated.

Derek laughed.Im not talking about oaths and contracts; Im talking about slave trade and trafficking. You should know as well as I do that you dont need to be under contract or oath to be a slave. You need only be weaker than the person opposing you.

‘Of course, Derek, Im not naïve. Alanahs irritated voice came through.What have you found?

‘Gerald is part, if not the head of, a child trafficking ring. He answered and waited.

After a while, Alanah spoke again.I cant say Im surprised. Ive investigated multiple disappearances of children over the years, but theyve never led to anything. It would make sense that he is involved because of how well he has been able to cover up his other crimes. Do you have any proof?

‘Just the fact that Malcolm broke an oath by telling me about it before I killed him. Though, I dont think anything he knew would hold up against Gerald, especially if he is in your Kings good graces. He heard a small bit of one conversation, and that was enough to get him sent to a city in the middle of nowhere. Derek explained.

‘So, thats why Malcolm took the City Lord position. I tried to find out for awhile after the man left the Capital but was never able to get any actual leads. It all makes sense, but I cant do anything without proof. If he wasnt one of the Kings men, my reputation would allow me to do with him as I pleased, and the King wouldnt question me, but as of now, the best I could do is tell the King about it. At best, there would be an investigation that wouldnt reveal anything. Alanah explained.

‘Oh, you dont have to do anything. I will deal with him. Its not that I dont trust you, but with your connections and information, it surprised me that you didnt know anything about it. Derek said.

Alanah sighed.There are a few people in the kingdom that areuntouchable, Gerald is one of them. It is the reason I gave you ample warning before. Because of his status, it is easy for him to hide things, and much harder to get information on him.

‘Fortunately. She continued.I am anotheruntouchable, and my strength doesnt come from political connections and other people like his does. My strength is my own. However, a war between me and the royal family would end with me destroyed and the royal family crippled. Unfortunately, me going after the main advisor of the King would start such a war… I know my limits.

‘If he lost the favor of the King, would he lose his status? Derek asked.

‘It would hurt him, thats for sure. However, nobody knows exactly how far his connections spread. Which puts the King in a bind as well. Because of his gratitude, he allowed Gerald and House Torith to grow to the point where they arent in his control. Not to mention, Gerald is still in his favor. Alanah said.

‘The best way to deal with Gerald would be assassination. He is not personally strong. However, Im sure he has many safeguards in place in the case of his death, so it will be in many peoples best interest to keep him alive. She explained.

‘So, what youre saying is that once he is dead, it will be easier to find those who acted with him because they will be scrambling to save themselves. Derek replied.

‘That may be the case, but it could also cause a civil war.

Derek scoffed.That sounds like a problem for your inept King. He didnt hide what he thought about the King.

‘Hes not a bad person… She tried to explain.

‘No. Apparently, hes just gullible and inept. All the great qualities one should look for in a ruler. He laughed.

‘That… Alanah sighed.

‘Anyway, Im getting ready to leave for Savannah. Ill be there in a few weeks. It will take some time for everyone to travel to Wilmette for the teleport. Derek prepared to end the conversation.

‘Mhm. Alanah agreed, then her jovial, seductive tone finally broke through for the first time in their conversation.Make sure you take care of Stella on your way.

‘Huh?

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