Translated by: Miss Ruby
Edited by: ShadowDog
* * *
Lakis headed to his castle after seeing Yuri off. Not too long ago, he would have followed Yuri out but lately, he had a lot of work to do. And the work he had to do needed to be done while Yuri was away.
“I don’t have all day. Give your report quickly.”
Lakis sat down at the head of the table with his chin resting on his hand, as his gaze swept over his men lined up in front of him.
The men trembled like they had the chills when Lakis’ gaze fell on them.
“I will go first.”
Soon, the man standing at the leftmost position stepped forward and began to report on what Lakis had ordered him to do.
“I found good locations to set up a casual shop as you ordered last time.”
“In District 1’s zone 4 and 5 which are scheduled for redevelopment.”
Lakis’ hand slowly stroked his chin.
“District 1 is not bad.”
“Yes, as you requested, the path is close to the castle as well.”
“There is already a building there, but I believe it will be adequate to collapse the whole thing and rebuild it as a 10-story building. I also think it would be a good idea to clear out the surrounding facilities because of the wandering gazes and name the street after the queen.”
Lakis casually nodded while holding his chin like he was thinking of something.
The subordinate’s face brightened because although Lakis hadn’t given the final ‘go’ to proceed, his reaction was positive enough.
The other subordinates looked at him with envy. It was akin to looking at a friend who finished a difficult homework before you and went home.
“Alright, I got it. Next.”
“Yessir! I shall start my report now. To start with, I have picked 30 items out of the 153 items that were initially picked from the gift list.”
This subordinate was in charge of compiling a list of the most popular gifts among young women nowadays along with the descriptions.
“But in my humble opinion… isn’t money the most touching gift?”
The subordinate whose specialty was money laundering boldly advised Lakis.
“No matter what, untraceable cash that can be used anytime, anywhere without any issue is the best!”
A shallow line formed on Lakis’ forehead.
When he heard the next report of the subordinate that went after him, the lines on his forehead increased to two.
“The result of the investigation showed that the most ideal confession among lovers in this past year is ‘As long as it’s you, I can give you my kidneys for free’.”
And the look of his eyes became significantly colder.
As the direct recipients of that gaze, his men stiffened in place.
“This means what it literally says. That they can remove their kidney or liver and give it to the other party. And apparently, the effect is even greater when you gift the actually harvested organs together!”
However, the third subordinate in front of Lakis was not aware of Lakis’ ire because he was sucked into the contents of his own briefing like the second one.
“The confession that ranked second is ‘Can I go to your house without bringing anything today?’. See, there is a very profound meaning hidden in this statement. In other words, this means the deep trust given to you that allows you to enter the other’s domain as many times as you want and…”
Consequently, the only time Lakis’ expression was good was during the first report.
“Enough. Shut up.”
Lakis abruptly interrupted the report.
“Hah…the hell is this.”
A chilling sound that seemed to be either laughter or a sigh fell from the lips and instantly, the temperature in the room plummeted.
—Hey, Lakis. These guys, they’re doing this on purpose to f*** with you, aren’t they? You might just get wrecked if you leave it like this?
Only the bug in his head was snickering as though it was enjoying this situation.
“How should I put this?”
Lakis lowered his hand which was holding his chin and slowly opened his mouth.
“I didn’t ask you for something great or expect you guys to amaze me in the first place.”
An ominous energy spread out from him in all directions.
“But you know, people tend to always consider that slightest possibility.”
As that icy voice piled on, the men in front of Lakis who broke out in cold sweat began to sweat more.
“But perhaps I should say as expected. No, even then. This is still too much of a mess.”
Right then, the armrests of the chair which was held in Lakis’ heavy grip shattered while making a terrible noise.
“How can you call this nonsense a report and seriously read it to me, do you think this is a joke?”
“You tell me. You made me waste my precious time for this?”
“I will correct it, sir!”
His men hurriedly fell to their knees and apologized.
Technically speaking, Lakis was the one who gave the order so his subordinates weren’t the ones who took away his time first but what could they do? If their boss asked them to do something, they had to do it.
Besides, they still didn’t know why Lakis was getting angry.
Because the contents of their report to Lakis were selected carefully and they reflected the latest trends in the West. To put it mildly, that in itself was the problem but unfortunately, no one here knew that.
“Hah, you incompetent bastards. I don’t want to see any of you so get lost within 5 seconds.”
Lakis read their expression like a demon and ordered them to leave through clenched teeth as a vein protruded on his forehead.
Still, he didn’t punish them.
Lately, Lakis was like a very satisfied lion and even though he still picked on his subordinates, he didn’t supervise them if it was tolerable.
“Um…with all due respect, Lakis-nim.”
One of the men mustered up his courage and spoke up while shutting his eyes.
The other men next to him looked at him like he was a brave warrior standing before the Demon King.
“Aren’t you two, Lakis-nim and Yuri-nim, living together already? But now, we’re um…is it really necessary to plan a whole new process like we’re doing now?”
His question was asked in a very cautious manner.
And that question sounded very valid in the ears of the other subordinates.
To them, Lakis was going through the trouble of trying to make a marriage proposal to a woman whom he already had by his side.
Lakis looked at his men like they were pathetic.
“You ignorant fools. Why does that matter? Don’t you know there’s a basic procedure for these things?”
The men were baffled.
They were already living together, what other steps were needed here?
Moreover, Lakis was the king of the West.
A land that obeyed the law of the jungle and lived by the survival of the fittest.
No matter what he wanted, he could obtain it with his power or steal it away. The same thing applied even if it was a person.
If there was a woman he liked, then naturally, he should take her and if he favored her more, she could stay in his castle. That is how it has always been and how it was done by Lakis’ father and the generations before him.
“Tsk, I can already tell what you blockheads are thinking.”
Lakis’ face crumpled, and he clicked his tongue as though he could read their minds.
“I said this, didn’t I? Don’t think of her as the same as the women that were brought into this castle by my predecessors, consider her a second king. If you still don’t understand after I have repeated this, I will stuff it into your head.”
Come to think of it, Lakis did say that they were to respect and uphold the woman called Yuri like she was himself. With that alone, it was obvious that what Lakis wanted was different from the casual manner of his predecessors.
Then again, as far as they knew, this was the first time a woman who was favored by the king refused, saying that life in the castle was burdensome and wanted to go home.
Of course, it was unprecedented for the king to build a new house right next to the castle just because the woman wanted it and even live there as well. They couldn’t understand why they left a perfectly good castle and were playing house outside…
“By the way, 5 seconds have passed.”
Lakis stated darkly at that moment and rose from his seat. His men winced when they saw that. Lakis was just as relaxed as a beast hunting for prey, but his gait made his men feel nervous as he approached.
Right then, another brave subordinate called Lakis.
“That is, uh, what do you think about this then?”
“Actually, yesterday, the casino I run obtained a peculiar ring that is said to be an ancient relic.”
“An ancient relic?”
Thankfully, Lakis stopped approaching his men, seemingly interested in this conversation.
“I have only heard the description from my men, but they say it has a very mysterious and beautiful radiance. It is a precious one-of-a-kind jewel so I think it can be a meaningful gift for the queen.”
Lakis, who had been cracking his hands like he was loosening up for a fight, raised a finger but for a different reason than before.
A low ‘hmm’ fell from his lips.
He suddenly remembered that Yuri seemed to be very interested in ancient buildings and items when she first came to the West.
Soon, Lakis gave down the order.
“Bring it to me by tomorrow.”
The men were excited because they managed to successfully satisfy Lakis and they grinned with their gum fully exposed.
Perhaps Lakis was also in a better mood because he smiled for the first time. Seeing that, his men were even more relieved.
But that was pure deception.
“What are you smiling for? Since you didn’t get lost in 5 seconds like I asked, all of you, get on the ground.”
“The last one to the floor gets double the hits.”
In the end, his men had no choice but to swallow their tears and obey Lakis’ order.
The view in the Carnot Castle was as peaceful as ever.
* * *
And an hour later, at Yuri’s house.
“Mr. Lakis, what are you secretly doing without my knowledge nowadays?”
Lakis almost spat out the coffee he was drinking at Yuri’s sudden question. He was so startled that his heart raced faster at this sudden ambush.
However, he tried to swallow the liquid in his mouth calmly, then he opened his mouth.
“What do you mean? What would I be doing?”
Even he thought he feigned ignorance quite naturally.
However, Yuri narrowed her eyes and stared at him as if she knew something.