Chapter 1340 - The Prodigals Return (Part 4)
Becoming a father was the last nail in the coffin of the old me. Orpal sighed deeply.
It allowed me to walk a mile in your shoes, Mom.
I now understand that no parent would allow anyone to do on their children what I did to Tista and Lith.
I\'ve no excuses for what I did, Dad.
I can only admit my faults and pray for your forgiveness.
Start praying, then. Tista tapped her foot in annoyance at those cheesy words.
I beg your pardon Orpal\'s voice was meek, but a spark of fury lit his eyes at such blatant disrespect.
I pity your child, not you. Tista replied.
I heard a lot of pretty words, but saw no sincerity behind them.
Tista! How can you say that Rena said as the idea of reconnecting with her twin and meeting her sister-in-law filled her heart with hope.
By using my lips as well as my brain.
How can you believe him when every time he apologized, he did it to Mom and Dad Meln kept as vague about his faults as he did with his success.
Zekell is a great craftsman and a shameless merchant, yet he doesn\'t have a communication amulet nor a dimensional item. Tista pointed at the luxury goods that Orpal so casually flaunted.
Rena had to admit that even with all the business that Zekell made with Lith, he had gone nowhere close to afford a communication amulet since he invested most of the money he earned in his own shop.
Zekell is a small-time blacksmith who lived his whole life in a small-time village like Lutia.
I instead started my career in Homwer, one of the Empire\'s most important trading hubs. Orpal replied.
We exploited the various crises from the monster outbreak to the current war against the undead to expand our business and follow the market.
Our turnover grew with each new shop we opened and crafting jewelry did more than allow us to venture into a small risks high reward market.
It also allowed me to get in touch with people with the money and the will to finance my projects.
It\'s thanks to them that, once I started riding on top of the wave of conflicts in the Empire, my business never lost momentum and kept growing.
Neither Orpal nor Night were stupid.
Before making their comeback, they had prepared an adequate cover story and made sure that even the paperwork was in order.
Orpal owned several smiths that laundered the money from the Undead Courts and even his wife was real.
She wasn\'t actually pregnant, but she would be, for the right price.
Bravo, Meln. Lith gave him a round of applause without breaking eye contact, smiling at him with a joy that didn\'t extend to his eyes.
There\'s just one little tiny hole in your story.
And what\'s that Orpal asked.
The same that plagues the story of Kamila\'s parents.
Too many details.
A good lie has to be kept simple because once a single piece falls apart, the rest quickly follows. Lith stood up as both Orpal and the Retta couple feigned indignation.
Yet they stopped the moment Lith opened the door of his house and let Jirni Ernas in.
Did you hear everything He asked.
Down to the last word. The Archon waved a quick greeting to the Verhens while never stopping pushing the buttons of the holographic pad of her amulet.
You\'ve got a talent for making people talk.
Thanks, but I can\'t take credit for Meln.
He just loves the sound of his voice. Lith said.
Who\'s that woman Clefas had never seen an Archon, but her uniform was similar enough to Kamila\'s to send a cold shiver down his spine.
Night shared his impression and warned Orpal about Jirni.
While Lith exuded an even greater power than that of the last time they had met and Vastor looked like a crouching tiger, Jirni was akin to a ghost.
She had no presence, showed no emotions, and her pulse was clockwork.
Her frail appearance was balanced by an aura of confidence that made the Horseman fear to be in the presence of a creature more ancient and vicious than her mother.
The administrator of my finances. Lith said with a cold smile.
I never get in business with anyone until they get cleared of suspicions.
I can\'t have my name tainted by shady entrepreneurs.
While blabbermouth here talked and my colleague from the Empire verified his story, I ran a thorough analysis of your parents\' business based on the information they provided, Zinya.
Take a look. Jirni handed her the amulet.
The results of the Archon\'s work were disturbing at best.
Zinya recognized the names of the people and of the merchant guilds that Kima had mentioned earlier.
The cleanest among them were figureheads of notorious criminal organizations while the others had a rap sheet longer than her arm.
Ever since the actions of your ex-husband ruined the Sarta household, your parents\' merchant company have been in dire straits.
If before they just needed to take part in smuggling to make ends meet, now they\'ve taken a more active role in the underworld. Jirni said.
They have gotten themselves involved and indebted with really bad people and the only way they have to get out of it in one piece is by paying all of their debts in spades.
That\'s why they were so desperate to reconnect with you and Kamila.
Best case scenario, Lith\'s and Zogar\'s names would be enough to cancel their debt.
Very few are dumb enough to mess with an Archmage.
Worst case scenario, once they got you to sign even a single piece of paper, in the eyes of the law you\'d become their accomplice.
Kamila\'s career would be ruined unless Lith pays and without Zogar\'s help you would lose your children to your ex-in-laws.
Zinya was already choking on her tears when Jirni handed Kamila several doc.u.ments.
They were credit forms written in Kima\'s elegant calligraphy that involved Zinya in their operations as an investor.
All they needed to be legally valid was her signature.
I\'m sorry, kid.
Our colleagues found it while searching your parents\' home just a few minutes ago. Jirni said.
Zinya, did Kima ever ask you for a loan Kamila was flabbergasted.
The credit forms would have fooled even her since their contents were legit.
The danger of the doc.u.ments lay solely in the people whose signature would be placed beside Zinya\'s.
She did, but it was for a small sum and I never signed anything. Zinya hadn\'t gained sight for long, but she had received enough letters from her mother to recognize Kima\'s handwriting.
Small or big it doesn\'t matter.
Any sum would have made you an accessory the moment your parents had gotten caught for their crimes. Jirni said.
This is an abuse of authority! You had no right to search my home or listen to private conversations! Clefas tried to leave, but a couple of burly guards had him cuffed and kneeling before he could take a single step.
She had the right to listen to our conversation because this is my home and I gave Archon Ernas permission.
Your wife\'s words are more than enough to justify a search warrant. Lith shrugged as he turned toward Orpal.
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