'What is going on today...'
After Fario spat disdainfully, he couldn't help feeling a bit puzzled. He was waving the contract around, but that kid didn't hurriedly start talking about it or begging for an extension. He was just sitting there, seeming very carefree... and he was looking at him very strangely.
That gaze didn't seem to be one that would be given to a creditor, but more like one that would be used when looking at a ridiculous clown.
Fario wanted to shout a few ruthless threats to cow this kid into a wretch that would fall down and start begging him once again, but for some reason, the words he wanted to say got stuck in his throat. The most frightening thing was that he suddenly felt like he needed to gather himself a bit when he saw this nephew in person again after so long.
"It's not important," he finally managed to say. "In any case, either you repay your debt today, or you use the house to repay the debt. Otherwise, I'll hand this contract to Thousand Sails City's Chambers of Commerce Union. Let's see who will dare to do business with your Flashing Gold chamber of commerce after that!"
These words even made the old housekeeper pale in worry.
Fario's threat was truly vicious. The Flashing Gold chamber of commerce was in dire straits, and even its buildings had been seized by others to repay the debts, but the old butler knew that much of this would be temporary. The old Master had built his connections and his reputation over the decades, and those weren't things that would be taken away from one accident at sea. As long as the Flashing Gold chamber of commerce had some time, it could get out of its predicament. And even if it couldn't reach its former glory, it would certainly provide enough for the young master to not have to worry about food and clothing. It might even be possible for him to continue his magic studies, and maybe, one day he could become a true mage...
But they definitely couldn't let him give the contract to the Union. The chamber of commerce would need its reputation in order to survive. If the Union even had to make a decision on this, it would definitely have a negative effect on their reputation as doubts would spread.
The old butler's face turned white and his right hand, which had been pulling at Fario's sleeve, slowly started shivering.
But quite strangely, Lin Yun was still relaxed, as if he hadn't heard Fario's malicious threat. He joked to the old butler, "I told you that uncle was concerned about us! See, he is already worried that no one will do business with us."
"Young Master, you are jesting," the old butler forced out, an unsightly look on his face.
Lin Yun smiled, but didn't say much more. He had some respect for this old butler. For him to remain despite the Flashing Gold chamber of commerce crumbling around them and to do his best to defend Mafa Merlin, he had already gone far beyond his required duties as a butler.
"Good, Kid, don't be a hypocrite and act apathetic. We still have to talk about business!" Even if Fario had thick skin, he couldn't help becoming angry from Lin Yun's sarcastic mockery. "You already saw the contract, your father took eight thousand gold from me! I'll give you two paths. One is to pay now directly, and the other is to use your house as payment. I still have business to take care of, so don't waste my time."
"The house is definitely a no," Lin Yun retorted. "Your price is too fair! I'm worried you'll suffer a loss." Back in the day, the house had been purchased for about a hundred thousand gold... so using a debt of eight thousand to purchase it was indeed overly "fair".
Fario's expression seemed almost murderous as he ignored Lin Yun's sarcasm and pressed on, "So, you'll be paying the gold directly?"
"Paying back with gold coins isn't impossible..." Lin Yun began, before trailing off.
"You really want to pay back the gold?" This answer was far beyond Fario's expectations. He was feeling quite stunned and confused because all of Thousand Sails City knew that after the accident at sea, the Flashing Gold chamber of commerce was already in the red. Even this house left by Locke Merlin was completely emptied by the family members of the victims and there was not even a single rat to be seen here. How could they come up with the money?
No way, that would be impossible!
Fario coughed twice, trying to show a calm face. "That's good, wanting to repay the debt is naturally for the best... The total is eight thousand, go get it."
"There is no problem with repaying the money. But, Uncle Fario, I just returned a few days ago, so could you give me some time to understand everything? Otherwise, how do I know that someone isn't cheating us of our money? Oh? Sorry, Uncle Fario, I wasn't trying to say that you are a swindler..."
"Are you making fun of me?" Fario's expression became very nasty when he heard that. He gave Lin Yun a vicious glare before yelling in his duck-like voice, "Jimmy! Jimmy! Damn, get in here, quick!"
Shorty after Fario's yell, a few fiendishly huge men entered. Their leader was a bald man with a long scar on his face and an ominous glint in his eyes.
"Fario!" When he saw that brusque group making their way inside, the old butler's expression worsened, and without a care for his old age, he stood in their way. "Fario, you are going too far! You were treated well during Master's time, but for just eight thousand gold, you actually hired such people!"
The old butler had lived in Thousand Sails City for dozens of years, so how could he not know who these people were? They were all vicious scoundrels, especially that Jimmy. He had come from the underground power known as Red Scorpion, and had been acting as a loan shark and also as muscle for others for the past few years. More than a dozen people had died at his hands, to act as examples for those that would think of failing to pay.
"Fuck off, Geezer!" How could Jimmy put the old man in his eyes after being hired by Fario for an exorbitant fee? After entering the door, he shoved the old butler to the ground.
Afterwards, he casually walked up to Lin Yun and asked, "You are that kid, Mafa Merlin?"
"Was it the right hand?" Lin Yun asked cryptically.
"I'm talking about the hand you just used to push the old butler... It was the right hand, right?" Lin Yun patiently explained.
"Fucker, speak less bullshit!" Jimmy was in the loan shark business, and he had seen all kinds of debtors. After so many years of work, Jimmy already understood that debt collection was something vicious and merciless. He would always need to apply pressure to get the victim to cough up the gold.
It would be exactly the same this time...
Perhaps it was because he had been distracted for a moment by Lin Yun's question, but Jimmy felt like he had lost face, so he slapped at the upstart youth with his right hand.
Lin Yun didn't even bat an eyelid as he effortlessly caught that right hand while politely asking, "How about medium well?"
It was immediately followed by a blood-curdling scream.
A dense stench of burnt flesh spread through the air, and soon, the entire room was filled with the smell. To everyone's shock, Jimmy's right hand had been engulfed in raging flames, searing it in just moments.
Not overcooked, not undercooked... A perfect medium well.
Jimmy certainly wasn't weak for his position. During his time in Red Scorpion, he had even gotten rid of a mage. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to get such a reputation as an able loan shark in Thousand Sails City, a place where dragons and snakes mingled.
It was really unfortunate that he met Lin Yun, someone who had managed to form his mana whirlpool in just ten minutes, a monster that was already able to match an experienced mage. Although he was only a 1st Rank Mage, the reality was that ten of Jimmy wouldn't be enough to face him. This was the difference of tens of thousands of years. It wasn't something that his efforts could make up for.
Lin Yun didn't even use an incantation and instantly cast Burning Hands, taking care of this famous scoundrel of Thousand Sails City.
After letting go of that burning right hand, Lin Yun acted as if he hadn't heard that mournful scream at all and instead turned to look at Fario, his calm smile still plastered on his face.
Fario froze in place, his eyes blank and his mouth wide open, and his fat face filled with disbelief. 'Th... th- this... This is way too different from what I planned! Shouldn't the events have started with Jimmy coming in, beating the kid up for a bit, and then ended with the kid giving up and sincerely taking out the deed? How could it become like this?'
He had trusted Jimmy so much, but now the scoundrel was lying down and covering his burnt right hand while howling in pain. Meanwhile, his nephew, who he had imagined would hand over the deed while shedding pitiful tears, was standing there casually, still looking at him with that strange smile...
'That smile... Hold on, that kid also smiled at Jimmy like that just now.' Fario couldn't help shivering when that thought popped into his mind and he stumbled a few steps back. "W- wha, what are you trying to do, you should know, I- I- I am your uncle! If you dare to harm me, I'll..."
"Don't jest, Uncle Fario. How could I have time to harm you? I am very busy..." Lin Yun walked right past Fario to help the old butler up and check him over once. After confirming that there were only some bruises, he turned back to tell Fario, "Come get your money in three days."
Fario felt as if he had been given a second chance at life. He staggered toward the door, yet as he reached the threshold, he regained some courage and didn't forget to turn back to say a few parting words. "Good then, you really grew up, and you don't even put your uncle in your eyes. I'll come get the money in three days and see if you'll return it to me then..."