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 --The Capital, The Empire of Carona--

.

Santa stood at the hallway powerlessly, as he looked at his fire breathing wife.

All his feelings of excitement had been thoroughly washed away by her cold aura.

He couldn't help but smile bitterly, as he continuously perspirated under her intense glare.

.

"So why are you so late again?

Lie to me, and you're dead!" Said the stunning beauty before him.

Santa looked at his future father-in-law, Carmelo...and grand father-in-law, Adrian.... who were currently standing besides Penelope, and hinted for them to help him out a little.

But to his dismay..... the shameless duo kept looking upwards as if deep in thought while pretending not to his his gestures.

'Brat!!... are you trying to get us into trouble?"

'Since she's your future wife, isn't it only right for you to deal with her?'

'__'

"Ermm, Wifey can we talk about it inside?" He said helplessly.

"Sure... but only if you can make it to my study in one piece." Penelope said, while drawing her sword from her sheath.

'Shing!'

"Wait! Wait! Wait!.... let's talk about it alright?" Santa said, as he tried to calm his fire breathing fiancee who was now running towards him at full speed.

His subordinate immediately handed a sword to him as if this was a normal occurrence.... and quickly patted his back, as if saying: 'Good Luck Bro'.

He didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the welcome party he had received after aiding Carona.

This was not what he had in mind.

'Cling!'

"I wasn't late intentionally you know!" He said, while pressing closer to her face.

'Cling!'

"I came late because of a mission!"

'Cling!'

A mission?

Well, she sure as hell didn't send him out on any mission.

And she was also sure that her family didn't do the same as well.

So what stupid mission was he talking about?

And if he did go.... why the hell would he do so without any backup?

If he had died out there just like that, how the hell would she have known about it?

Judging from his weak ass sword skills, it was already a miracle that he was still alive after going with no backup.

Hmmp!!

Since he had abused the travelling freedom that was given him prior to his departure, then he would only travel twice a year max from now on.

Serves him right!

'Cling!'

"Wifey.... I know that you're mad at me right now.

But believe me, I did this for Carona.

The mission was for Carona's safety!"

"__"

Penelope placed her sword in her sheath and glared at him fiercely.

"My study, NOW!"

With that, she turned around and walked silently, and her faithful husband followed behind her pitifully.

Carmelo and Adrian followed the duo, while sighing and shaking their heads wryly at the young couple before them.

Santa was indeed perfect for their adorable princess.

She was the dominant one, while he was the passive in their relationship.

.

'Bang!'

"So... those 3 city lords are working with Nopline?" Carmelo said angry, while hitting his hand hard against a table.

He was fuming with rage at the thought of all the illegal activities that had been going on within his empire.

Previously, he had thought that he did a marvelous job as king.

But now, he knew better.

Based on what Santa had said....for 8 years, these people had built and used these underground camps right under their noses.

Hence making a fool out of him and his family.

And to make matters worse, all these city lords had sent letters to to Penelope... talking about their own made up stories about the occurrences around their cities.

Those city lords had claimed that several innocent women and children had died from those disasters.

And due to this, they had requested for a ton of money to pay off the families, and many more requests.

Fortunately, they hadn't sent anyone to investigate the issues yet..... since they had just received these letters a few days ago.

If these city lords dared to lie to them, then meant that they could also threaten people to act like they had lost their family members as well.

Adrian was also pissed off as well.

In short, he had already made a mental note to deal with them in the nearest future.

How dare they disregard the royal family's orders just to feel up their pockets?

It looked like he would have to pay these places a visit real soon.

"Are you sure that no one was hurt?" Grandpa Adrian asked.

"Yes grand father-in-law..... I even passed through one of those cities on my way here.

There wasn't any damage to the city... as well as the main roads.

The phenomenon only occured around the forests.

No innocent citizens died.... just the guards who were guarding those underground camps."

"It's obvious that they're planning to use the money they requested, in getting more guards rather than aiding the people.

But..... should we oblige them?

On one hand if we give them money, then they'll think that they had successfully deceived us.

And in doing so, we wouldn't be able to alert Nopline.

But on the other hand, if we don't give them money... then they might start fearing our counterattack and alert Nopline." Penelope said.

Even though they knew that giving the money was more beneficial, their hearts were still heavy at the thought that they would be giving criminals the citizens hard earned money.

Taxes collected, and most times... money could be sent out to aid those in need.

The thought of giving the money to greedy nobles, rather than hungry peasants... made their bloods boil slightly.

No one wanted to be treated like a fool.... so it was indeed painful to send money to someone who took them as such.

"Actually, you all don't worry about this matter... I'll handle it." Santa said.

In fact, he had made a huge steal from these missions with Landon..... So he was willing to use part of the money to solve this problem.

For him, this was money that he didn't work for as a merchant.... and it wasn't coming from Carona's treasury, so it was okay for them to use it.

"Let's go with what you said then."

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