Translated by: Miss Ruby
Edited by: ShadowDog
Note: Friday’s chapter will come as scheduled. Ch 171 was supposed to be posted last week.
* * *
Kalian walked down the quiet hallway then he stopped before a room whose door was firmly locked.
“You’re here, Lord Crawford.”
His subordinate who was guarding the door greeted him.
When Kalian gave a nod in response, his other subordinate standing in front of him unlocked the door.
Soon, the door opened.
Kalian briefly paused in front of it, but he soon walked through the open door.
The room’s interior was spacious and clean. The dangerous objects within had already been removed beforehand, but that didn’t mean the room was dirty and cramped with a musty smell, nor was it left unfurnished.
That was only natural since the person staying in this room was not being treated as a criminal.
Kalian looked at the person who was sitting at the table by the window.
Dominic’s head turned at that soft call.
“I thought you would come a little earlier.”
He faced Kalian in a casual manner.
Even though he should be incensed to see his son who had imprisoned him, his gaze and tone towards Kalian didn’t have any hostility at all.
Dominic’s attitude was extremely ambiguous. His face, which was as calm as always, did not reveal any emotions.
“Judging by the way you look, things must have gone the way you wanted.”
Dominic looked at Kalian who was still standing by the door and asked.
“So, are you satisfied now?”
Kalian stared at Dominic quietly. Then he slowly opened his mouth.
“Everything Father has done will be treated as crimes of the fake.”
Hah, a low chuckle rang in the room.
“Essentially, you want to enact a play that says that all the chaos created outside was done by that fake heretic pretending to be me, and all this time, I have been locked up by the bastard, so I didn’t know anything.”
That was exactly what was being spread in the rumors going around. And that was what Kalian intended from the start.
Dominic continued speaking as if he knew everything.
“And surely, I am overwhelmed by the aftereffects, both mentally and physically so I handed my position over to you and retired. That must be the finishing touch, am I right?”
Kalian was silent. But that was a sign of agreement.
A thin smile arose on Dominic’s lips.
“I suppose you decided to uphold my honor at the end.”
He spoke as if he knew everything his son, Kalian, was thinking even though he couldn’t read his mind.
After which, Dominic’s eyes moved away from Kalian’s face.
“Indeed, that would be the better option if you want to continue the Crawford family from now on. I didn’t expect this method from you but now that I think about it, it seems I have been underestimating you.”
Lukewarm words that weren’t praise or admonition flowed into Kalian’s ears.
In reality, Dominic Crawford had lost all substantial power and was currently imprisoned. His followers lost their original purpose due to the sudden appearance of the fake and while they were broken up and confused, they were arrested by Kalian.
However, some of them went to work under Kalian who was succeeding the Crawford name after Dominic. Of course, that was a minority; Kalian did not accept the ones who truly agreed with Dominic’s ideas.
It seems Kalian was determined to use this chance to pull out all the rotten roots.
“Kalian. Don’t come here anymore.”
Dominic said to Kalian in a nonchalant tone.
“Since you pulled me down with your own two hands and took that seat, you must be completely independent from me now.”
His unfeeling words sounded somewhat cynical.
It was almost time to go, so Kalian also said his final goodbyes to Dominic.
“I will come back again. I still have some things I want to ask.”
“I have no answer to give you.”
“Don’t be too certain of what will happen in the future.”
There were still a few things about this incident that Kalian had to find out from Dominic. Last time, Dominic asked Kalian to look into it himself, but Kalian wanted to hear it directly from Dominic’s mouth.
Furthermore, even if that wasn’t the case…
There wasn’t anyone else who would come to visit Dominic now.
As of now, Dominic was someone very dangerous for the East and as the person who would rule the East after him, Kalian could not allow such dangers to be exposed outside.
So as Dominic predicted, he would, from now on, disappear from people’s sight with the excuse of recuperation. And he would live here in isolation for the foreseeable future.
As a matter of fact, the things Dominic had done were serious crimes deserving of capital punishment, but Kalian couldn’t do that to his father.
But instead, Dominic was made to live imprisoned in a room for the rest of his life, but one might have to wonder which one was actually worse for Dominic.
“Alright then, I shall see you next time, Father.”
And so, Kalian left Dominic’s room while making a promise for next time.
Dominic didn’t turn around to look at Kalian even as he finally walked out the door.
* * *
At noon that day, the Central Council gave an official explanation. The speaker was Kalian Crawford.
He announced that the heretic who had been pretending to be Dominic Crawford had been caught and that the criminal’s execution would be held the day after tomorrow at the plaza.
He also announced that the real Dominic Crawford was suffering from physical and mental weakness due to long-term imprisonment by the criminal, so it was difficult for him to participate in outside activities. Hence, his son, Kalian, would take over in governing the East as the Head’s proxy.
Kalian then expressed his deep regret for the events that took place during the purification on the first day of the prayer ceremony on behalf of the East.
And that although it was the doings of the fake, it was only right that he took moral responsibility for those who were affected by it and he even bowed his head.
Thankfully, no deaths occurred during the armed conflict in the plaza that day, but people who were injured or mentally harmed due to the event were told they could claim as much compensation as possible.
In addition, Kalian contacted the north, the south and the Salvatore family himself to settle the issues that had occurred. To provide these reparations, the Crawford family would lose a few interests.
In fact, strictly speaking, Dominic was not alone in doing everything he did, so Kalian didn’t necessarily have to take responsibility for everything.
But from the outset, this was all a ‘deal’.
“That fake, does it really not matter if we deal with him in the East?”
Kalian asked the King of Carnot, who he was meeting again after a few days.
To that, Lakis gave a lukewarm reply.
“Do what you want. You can steam him or dice him. He’s broken anyway so even if I bring him back, I can’t use him anymore.”
The person who was arrested on the platform as a fake Dominic Crawford was Milliam, who Lakis had brought over.
Lakis handed the brainwashed Milliam over to Kalian so that Kalian could easily resolve the issue in the East. Moreover, when he swept through Milliam’s mind the other day, he learned that Milliam and Dominic were in a temporary partnership.
No wonder Milliam was able to act so blatantly in the East; Lakis initially thought it was strange. Although Milliam and Dominic had different end goals, the interests collided in the process so he could understand why the two met and joined hands.
So when Kalian claimed that he would take responsibility after becoming the temporary Head of the Crawford family, it wasn’t only about what Dominic did, but Milliam too. However, Kalian was willing to bear responsibility for it.
It was all just for one thing: to protect Dominic’s honor.
Of course, thanks to the fake Lakis gave him, Kalian was able to obtain a pretext and it lessened the number of things he had to take responsibility for.
“Hero of the East. No, I guess I should call you ruler of the East now. Either way, you owe me so you got to pay it back.”
“The deal you asked for, you mean?”
“Yeah, I’m not a very patient person, you know.”
But it seemed Lakis didn’t even consider this an unequal contract. If anything, he seemed to think he was giving Kalian a lot of leeway from his position.
From Lakis’ standpoint, the West was a completely independent region that did not interact with other regions anyway, so he didn’t care much about the complaints of the North and the South.
Plus, because of the deal they made in advance, no one died despite all the disturbance in the plaza where the execution was being held that day.
And because Kalian asked, he even helped subtly by making bullets miss so that the heretics could escape safely, or made it seem like the soldiers made a mistake and broke the locks of the cage.
This was also why Yuri inwardly felt that something was off that day.
Lakis’ request was for no harm to come to the heretics that would disrupt the purification ceremony that day. And that measures should be taken to prevent heretics from living in the East in the future.
Those were two things he asked for.
“Sure, I didn’t forget. I’ll be sure to keep to it.”
“Well, do your best then.”
Lakis, who was standing on the balcony rail, suddenly disappeared into thin air, just like when he first came.
Kalian unconsciously opened his mouth but remained silent.
It was difficult to describe his feelings towards Lakis Avalon, the king of Carnot. He still felt unwell inside when he saw him.
He felt uncomfortable like he had made a deal with the devil and sold his soul out of his selfishness.
Lately, the shame kept weighing heavily on his heart. But a promise was a promise. However…
Kalian could decide the approach he took towards this.
Thus, the following day, the East’s Central Council announced that it had decided to set up a temporary living area for the mutants at the edge of the Eastern border. The designated area was close to the border facing west.
This drew the approval and opposition of citizens at the same time. However, most people seemed to agree with it.
There were only a few mutants in the first place and due to the incident with the fake Dominic Crawford, many people had the fear of heretics carved into them anew. Furthermore, humans always liked to prioritize their own safety so the voices in favor of isolating the mutants overwhelmed the voices of dissent.
“That bastard of a fox.”
Lakis clicked his tongue when he heard the news.
Kalian’s announcement was much more moderate than he envisioned. So he was a little annoyed, but the things weren’t bad for him either way.