147 Part 2

Fran hurriedly finished his statement as if he was concerned about Ian’s response, but the content was more rigid than ever. It was a declaration to hide whatever needed to be hidden unless they formed a solid trust between them.

[Ian, I know what you’re thinking about. You don’t need to work hard to secure time because I’m giving it to you, but not for long. The success rate of my plan falls as dragons get more time. So, I’ll give you exactly ten days.]

Fran seemed to be reading Ian’s thoughts as he spoke in an indifferent voice.

[This is the last deadline, and you have to decide whether to agree to my plan, betray me, remain a spectator, or something do else.]

Fran was saying Ian had to form a conclusion in ten days.

“You’re saying that I can choose anything I want?”

[I don’t care. However, if you decide to stand on the other side, you will be my enemy. I’ll gain my most formidable enemy who is an expert in the power of language and is not entangled in seals. I’m still confident that I can end you and your surroundings instantly. So…]

Fran let the end of his sentence fade and spoke in a more patient voice.

[So, I’m hoping that you will make a decision that will satisfy both of us.]

***

Ian spent the night awake in the library after Fran disappeared. The ten days seemed too short because there was so much to consider. Ian needed to paint a ‘big picture’ of how to start and fix things when he had the time.

‘I first need to find a way to act outside of his surveillance.’

Fran was still monitoring every moment of Ian’s actions despite Ian using puppet play using the power of language and teleport. Not only that, Fran instantly appeared when Ian called him anywhere. Ian did not know how the power worked, but it was evident that Fran Page existed nearby, whether it be physical or psychological.

‘I need to escape him to meet a dragon or form another plan.’

How should Ian deceive such a devious person? Ian worried over the issue, and it took an entire day to find a path.

‘I need a substitute.’

He needed someone to be a ‘substitute’ who would work as Ian’s hand and feet, eyes and ears, and mouth away from the surveillance.

‘But who?’

The problem was to use who as a substitute?

“Hmm.”

Ian pressed his brow to think of someone absolutely trustworthy and competent enough to act as Ian’s substitute. Was someone like that near Ian?

“Let’s look around.”

Ian stretched and came out of the library. His home was now many times larger than before.

‘Ian’s Villa’ was built as a large extension surrounding the manor. His home was now like a self-governed state in the city as there were workshops and homes for each artisan, Vanessa and Princess Hailey’s relief foundation, and warehouse and small-scale cultivation plots.

“Thank you. Thank you so much!”

Vanessa and Princess Hailey’s foundation office looked the busiest. The city had been quickly restored after the skeleton warrior incident, but there were still so many impoverished. There had been many before the incident, so how would it be now?

“Please come here if you need anything else. You need to drink the potion to get well so we can connect you with a job. Do you have any questions?”

Ian’s mother Vanessa was holding one of the poor people’s hands who came to the foundation as she spoke. The ‘Page Foundation’ ran by her, and Princess Hailey provided the poor with relief goods, temporary homes, health management, and job connections.

While they needed huge amounts of capital, it was not a problem. Ian’s own property, the support from the Imperial Household and aristocrats, and numerous merchants were acting as sponsors in order to gain favor with the ‘best master of the marble tower.’

With a sigh, Ian’s breath spread to the air. The capital of the Greenriver Empire, Green Riverdium, was now facing winter. Come to think of it, the thick coats the foundation was distributing to the poor had to be the work of ‘Bertholdo,’ one of Fran’s eight artisans and the master of sewing. It was a world where artifacts cast with heating spells were distributed as relief goods for the poor.

‘The world is still peaceful.’

Ian unconsciously thought of the word ‘peace’ at the sight. It was not a word to think of watching the poor who struggled to eat and the foundation that assisted them, but Ian was serious. All flow of human history seemed peaceful to him right now.

‘I feel estranged.’

A lot of things happened recently. He was entangled with a deity that transcended human history and now faced the true nature of the person who had intervened in his life much too often. One was a dragon, and the other was his own father.

Not only that, but Ian was now on a tightrope between the two. While Ian was a magician above and beyond the normal level, it was near impossible for him not to feel psychologically tired.

‘One day.’

Ian wanted nothing else but to rest for a day without a thought despite those problems that would demolish the world surrounding him.

‘I want to rest.’

A tired-out Ian was slowly walking down the villa road that was decorated like a trail.

Proofread by Rondo

And also by FlawFinder

Ivory Tower, Marble Tower, whatev

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