Author: nicotine

Silence flowed slowly. I absentmindedly played with his hair, lost in thought.

Since I was so harsh earlier, should I try having sex for Red Fox’s sake…?

I waited for his anger to subside as I gently caressed his chest.

“I was sorry earlier. You know, I…”

I stopped speaking. Red Fox’s eyes were already closed.

Already asleep…?

It was absurd. Of course, he must be tired. But I hadn’t left yet, and he just fell asleep like that.

Although I recognized him from “The Day I Seduced Myself with Mackerel,” he was still indifferent. If I were Red Fox, I would have been on edge with suspicion. Red Fox was already indifferent.

I had no choice but to cover Red Fox with a sheet. Well, he’s already out cold, after all. As I sighed with regret, my cellphone vibrated. It was Leopard.

“Isn’t it too late for the Gold Leaf news today?”

To my cheerful question, Leopard replied briefly.

“Come to headquarters right away. Lord Filke has just been assassinated.”

I fell silent.

Lord Filke was a relative of Count Wolfscott. Furthermore, he was planning to nominate his daughter as a candidate for the prince’s bride selection, which was almost certain given his position. The selection of the prince’s bride was highly anticipated by the nobles who had not yet formed a direct bloodline connection with the Royal Family. And according to the kingdom’s customs, unmarried children were prohibited from marrying for three years if their parents received an award. What a headache.

He got hit, huh?

Today, once again, street magicians were being dragged away by the police. A prostitute, who had been hawking next to the used bookshop, chewed gum stiffly and remarked, “They’re particularly keen on nabbing magicians on 42nd Street. They’re gonna dry the sea at this rate.” I chuckled as I watered the plants.

Go ahead and clown around all you want, Wolfscott. You won’t be able to pluck a single hair on my head no matter how much you resist. They can never catch me. All they’ll gain is frustration, and all they’ll lose is time. Suppressing magicians is a futile endeavor. No matter how much they try to squeeze us, they’ll never grasp even a hint of the spirits’ guidance.

For ten years, Manen has never set foot here. The reason was simple. There was no need for him to come all the way to 42nd Street. Wolfscott would be utterly clueless. A simple phone call was sufficient for my consultations.

While Maratha, the ‘spirit’ before me, required direct contact for consultations, I surpassed her. There was no need for me to face her annoying face during consultations.

Moreover, the mobile phone I used to communicate with Manen was registered under the name of a farmer in the kingdom’s outskirts. Manen was not someone who could be traced by any amateurish means. No matter how hard Wolfscott tried, there was nothing he could get his hands on.

Lost in thought, I flipped through the notebook. A harsh winter lay ahead, lasting more than ten months. 42nd Street was also in a downturn. The only troublemakers disturbing the streets were the groups of magicians being arrested. Feeling pity for them, even as Manen’s hound, would be like shedding crocodile tears. Those suffering under the tyranny of nobles were numerous, and my emotions had long dried up.

But the game with Wolfscott was intriguing. Surprisingly, it was fun.

In fact, among Manen’s followers, the one I had looked down upon the most was Wolfscott. He was a ruthless warlord. Just by looking at his personal militia, the Guiger, one could see his nature. Moreover, he was extremely foolish.

During the time I received consultations from Maratha, Manen was engaged in a battle against Wolfscott, the royal prince Akdal, the unaffiliated noble Suominen, and the noble Edelme. Maratha advised Manen to join forces with Wolfscott. She calculated that an alliance with Wolfscott would help lighten Manen’s burden. Following Maratha, when I took over Manen’s consultations, I made the same judgment.

At the time, I asserted the following: “Above all, it will be easy for Manen to manipulate or frustrate Wolfscott in the future. He’s a fool.”

That’s how lightly I regarded Wolfscott. However, my impression of Wolfscott gradually changed over the past seven years. Engaged in political struggles for over twenty years, the gentleman had thick skin. In recent three years, he became even more ruthless. Wolfscott successively assassinated or framed Akdal, Suominen, and Edelme. The brutality and cunningness of his methods even surprised me.

Anyway, Manen’s role during Wolfscott’s reign was limited to clapping along and controlling the media while ascending to the ranks of Lotus. While Wolfscott took all the abuse, Manen maintained his reputation and secured the substance.

The problem started a year before the disappearance of the trio and the establishment of the new king’s reign. Now, Wolfscott turned his blade against Manen. Manen could no longer just be a clapper in the cheering squad. He had to avoid revealing his true intentions.

The assassination of Lord Filke was also part of this. In the past year alone, Manen orchestrated over twenty assassinations. Because of this, my consultation notes were stained with plots and murders. While nobles were only interested in the golden war and were nothing more than bloodsuckers to the people, there were countless times I questioned what was happening.

I shouldn’t have jumped into this mess from the beginning.

As I was about to laugh it off and close the notebook, my phone vibrated. The only person who could contact me was Manen.


“I shook hands with Wolfscott at Courtbique’s funeral yesterday.”

“Very well, let’s get started.”

I focused my mind. As usual in such situations, my body sweated profusely, and my hands trembled.

“I feel tremendous anger… My head feels like it’s about to explode.”

“Hmph, I’d imagine so. That guy must have thought Courtbique was a sacrifice we had thrown ahead of time. If Courtbique hadn’t disappeared from our sight to meet the queen, by now, their heads would be rolling on this land. What a pity. Poor, foolish Courtbique.”

“A dead person is just a dead person. Understood. Let’s launch another attack. It seems Wolfscott has decided on a candidate to replace the Filke family in this upcoming royal princess selection. The letters M and A are swirling around him… A woman… appears to be… roughly in her late teens. The silhouette has something like a Chinese dumpling stuck on both sides of her head. Quite peculiar.”

“I see who they have in mind. Margaret Arikianen. A girl who wears her hair in circular buns on both sides. She’s an aspiring entertainer and a thorn in her family’s side. Margaret… Well, the Arikianen family is no less influential than the Filke family.”

Manen chattered excitedly. He seemed quite pleased to have given Wolfscott a hard time for once.

“But Wolfscott seems worried. Margaret seems to have a significant flaw in her body. Fatal for a royal princess… Wait a moment. Let me see it once. The letters are pouring… out of him. Oh my goodness.”

When I chuckled, Manen asked, “What’s so funny?”


“Haha! What a delightful little troublemaker you are!”

Manen found it amusingly innocent.

“Is there no other candidate besides Margaret?”

“No. Most are already engaged, and those who are not engaged are either too old or too young. This is interesting. So, what should I do?”

“What do you think is the greatest weapon of a literati? I’ll wait for tomorrow’s newspaper.”

“I’ll contact you after work. Is there anything else?”

“It’s fine. They are even more anxious about finding a royal princess. Everything else is okay, but don’t go to the university alumni reunion on Wednesday. They are preparing for another accident.”

“Hmph. Let them prepare all they want. I’ll contact you soon then.”

After hanging up, I checked Margaret Arikianen in my consultation notes. It was now unsettling, but once, my sole pleasure was feeding misinformation to the nobles. Manen’s newspaper was the top subscription in the kingdom. Tomorrow’s morning paper promised to be interesting.


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