One Twisted Day

As time went by Auriel and Jack became quite close as siblings and shared stories about their childhood with their infamous mother Aello. She even told Jack about their older brother, Talin the Spellbow. It was a concern that he was a broken monster now, but Jack asked Auriel to investigate the manner of how Talin was turned into a Ghoul and any way to reverse it. Jack told Auriel he was making future plans on how to deal with Estalla and free Talin after they had everything needed. Auriel was glad that Jack was thinking ahead and being patient, but part of her believed Talin was already gone. Jack told her Talin was better off with them than anyone else and this did comfort her a bit. After their meeting Auriel left Chiren's mansion and Jack resumed his work as Chrien.

Jack woke up to once again see the enchanting LeLu cuddling by his side still in her slumber. He gently moved her long golden blond hair off her face before he caressed her cheek ever so slightly. Then she muttered in her sleep.

LeLu: Oh Jack please don't leave me.

Jack kissed her on her forehead and held her close till she calmed down. Then was pleasantly surprised by how affectionate she was in her sleep. When she woke up she was a bit embarrassed by what she was doing but the mood was to good stop at that point. Jack could not resist her charms as she brought them to blissful happy ending. As they rested in heavy breathing Jack found he didn't want to get out of bed. The desire to stay by LeLu's side was strong, but like all good things in life it had come to an end when someone was knocking at the door.

LeLu pulled the covers over her head and body as Jack took on Chiren's form again and put on a robe. Then he answered the door in a foul mood.

Chiren: What is it?

Chiren saw it was one of his spy servants at the door with urgent news. Apparently there was a messenger from Queen Thalia and it was urgent. Chiren told his servant to have them wait in the dinning room till he got dressed. So as Chrien was getting dressed with Lelu's help, his servant was escorting the messenger to the dining room and had tea served. After making sure he was presentable, Chrien entered the dining room and greeted the servant in the traditional manner. As Jack continued his job pretending to be Chiren he found Nobles to be a bunch of selfish, backstabbing lot who would crush anyone to get a better position. If he could, he would kill them all and be done with them. However he had to play by his sister's rules in order to achieve their goals.

As it turned out the messenger was no mere servant, but a Baron of all things, Baron Skyver to be exact. Baron Skyver was a young noble who recently inherited his father's position after losing him to Consumption. The young Nobel was known to be a spineless kiss up with a lot of ambition. Sadly his talents were dwarfed by the likes of Count Chiren and a few others making it hard to compete.

Consumption: An old and once common term for wasting away of the body, particularly from pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Other old TB terms include the King's evil or scrofula (TB of the lymph nodes in the neck) and Pott's disease (TB of the spine).

The servants then began to bring in some snacks and coffee along with the tea. Chiren then took his coffee and sipped it first to calm his nerves.

Count Chiren: So Baron Skyver, do tell.....(sips his coffee)….. What brings you to my humble abode in this ungodly hour?

Chiren had no reason to be adraid of this young Noble since he was a Baron, which was two whole ranks below him. The servant was about to serve Baron Skyver but Chiren stopped them till he got an answer from Baron Skyver. Baron Skyver was a bit off put by this as he was expecting to be greeted as a Noble should. Sadly he had little experience in politics and power plays. This threw his mind into shambles and he stuttered a bit to reply to Chiren while Chiren sternly looked at him.

Baron Skyver: I...I...I mean.... The Queen sent me to deliver a message.

Chrien: At this hour? And why in person?

Baron Skyver was a nervous wreck as he was sweating nervously while he stuttered.

Baron Skyver: She said it was urgent.

Chrien: Very well then present it.

Baron Skyver nervously pulled the seal envelope from his coat and offered it with shaking hands to Chiren. Chiren then took the letter in his white gloved hands and examined it with is eyes thoroughly before glaring at the nervous Baron Skyver. He then opened it and removed the letter from it and again examined it detail by detail. Once he was satisfied he read the letter.

To Count Chiren,
I bid thee greeting and salutations. It is with great regret that I ask you to handle this matter with the most discretion. Viscount Orson has been suspected of embezzlement and colluding with bandits to cheat the tax collectors. Young mister Baron Skyver was approached by Viscount Orson to join his operation in exchange for some achievements. Out of fear and fealty Baron Skyver sent word to me to clear up this matter. So I digress, I give you full authority to handle this matter quickly and quietly so it does not disturb the court.

Your Queen,

Queen Thalia

Chiren then looked at Baron Skyver who was jittery, then back at the letter before he tucked it back in the envelope. Chiren then called a servant to bring a small treasure box to the table. Once the treasure box as open he pulled a few other envelopes out and dangled them before Baron Skyver.

Chiren: My hats off to you Baron Skyver. You have some big stones to come to me personally you know.

Baron Skyver: W....wh...what do you mean Count Chiren?

Chiren then decided to toy with him first as he put the letters back in the box and added the new letter as well. Then he smiled as he stood before Baron Skyver.

Chiren: My dear Baron Skyver…..who put you up to this?

Baron Skyver: It was the Queen I swear.

Chiren: The Queen you say. How very interesting.

Baron Skyver: Can I go now?

Chiren ignored Baron Skyver's pleas as he stood between him and the exit.

Chiren: When you decided to try your hand in this little escapade did you even bother to do any research at all?

Baron Skyver: I know not of what you speak sir.

Chiren: Funny you should say that. You see dear Baron Skyver……

Chiren moved behind Baron Skyver and gently massaged his shoulders as he kept him in place. Then Chiren tightened his grip in Baron Skyver's shoulders to keep in place and in pain.

Chiren: The Queen never sends me letters like this, nor does she send others outside her circle to deliver them. Since you are new you are unaware that all her messages are coded and entwined with her magic. This cannot be duplicated nor understood by some newbie Noble who is trying to take advantage of the system full of greedy individuals. As for Viscount Orsen….well I have been watching him for quite some time already. However you have a bigger problem now.

Baron Skyver: A...a...and what would that be?

Chiren: What will happen to you when I show this letter to the Queen herself?

Baron Skyver: I don't know what you are talking about.

Chiren: Very well then.

Chiren let go of Baron Skyver and again blocked the exit from him.

Chiren: Very well then After I confirm the authenticity of this letter you and I will have a heart to heart, unless the Queens guards find you first.

Baron Skyver panicked as he dropped to the floor shaking like a leaf. He was way in over his head this time and the Nobles he used in the past were much easier to dupe. Even though he put in so much effort for his plan he realized he was now at Chiren's mercy and only hoped he could bargain his way out now.

Baron Skyver: Fine! You win Count Chiren. Can we come to some kind of agreement?

Chiren: So you wish to bribe me now? Lets hear it.

Baron Skyver: I can offer 10% of my income?

Chiren pointed up with a stern smirk.

Baron Skyver: 15%?

Chiren looked annoyed as he pointed higher in the sky.

Baron Skyver: 50%?

Chiren smirked and shook his head as he gestured higher.

Baron Skyver: Everything?

Chiren nodded as he lowered his arm.

Baron Skyver: Everything but then I'll be ruined.

Chiren: But you will be alive. Do keep in mind you are already ruined because of your greed. I doubt you showed any sympathy to the others you took advantage of, unlike them I am willing to show mercy.

Baron Skyver: Mercy? You would leave me a pauper and disgrace.

Chiren: The question will be do you get to live as a pauper or die as a fallen Noble.

Baron Skyver: You bastard!

Chiren: Guards!

Several guards (resistance spies) came in with weapons drawn.

It was then that Baron Skyver realized he had lost to his own game. he underestimated his target and lost everything.

Baron Skyver: What of my family?

Chiren rubbed his chin for a bit as he toyed with Baron Skyver.

Chiren: As I recall isn't it customary to sell them as slaves?

Baron Skyver: How dare you!

Chiren: You had no problem doing it in the past dear Baron Skyver.

Baron Skyver: That was different.

Chiren: Only because you are on the winning side right?

Baron Skyver: YES!

Chiren: And now that you are on the loosing side?

Baron Skyver: Bollocks!

Chiren: Now you realize the dangers of this little game you were so fond of.

Baron Skyver: Not my family!

Chiren: Fear not my dear Baron Skyver…...your family will be spared from slavery and death.

Baron Skyver: In exchange for what?

Chiren: Sign over your Title, properties, finances and all rights connected. You will be common citizens, but you will be alive and not in prison.

Baron Skyver: And I am to believe you?

Chiren: My dear Baron Skyver I can take your stuff after your death or with your consent. I am merely showing you a professional courtesy by letting you choose your life or death.

Baron Skyver: Why show me mercy?

Chiren: Good question. It will set an example to the others like you. You see the Queen is only so tolerant to those who do not pay her taxes properly. Its bad business, especially with a war impending.

Baron Skyver sighed as he contemplated his terrible choice for a minute. Being the coward he was he agreed to sign over all he had to Count Chiren to spare himself and his family. After breakfast Chiren and his guards escorted the former Baron Skyver to his estate where he was evicted after changing into new commoners clothing and given a small bag of coins to start over. Chiren's guards then escorted the former Baron Skyver and his family off the premises. Chiren considered killing Skyver but this played out better for his sister Auriel so he let it go.

After dismissing the staff, Chiren arranged for the slaves to be "Sold Off", but in reality they would be take in by the resistance and relocated to a town to begin a new life. Then Chiren sighed as his day was now going to be devoted to assessing the former Baron Skyver's home and resources. Chiren then appointed his head servant and spy to get new staff from Auriel to manage the estate since it would take a lot of time to go through the financial records, properties, debts, livestock, investments and taxes. It was important to be through in these things so as to not upset the Queen.

Chiren then took off his coat as the servants brought in the records and began organizing them. Seeing as lunch would need to be ordered, Chiren made sure his people were well fed since it was going to be a long day. Several hours later a disguised Auriel arrived with several new staff members from the resistance.

Auriel: Nice place you got here, but I like your other one better.

Chiren/Jack: Thanks sis. I just acquired it.

Auriel: Do tell.

Chiren: Well as it turns out the former Baron Skyver tried to use a fake letter from the Queen to get me to take out his competition.

Auriel: (giggle) Surely you jest.

Chiren: On my honor.

Auriel: So what are you gonna do with this place? You can't live in two houses.

Chiren: True. However I can run it with your help. This will be your second base of operations dear sister.

Auriel was tickled pink as she hugged her little brother.

Auriel: And the former Baron Skyver?

Chiren: Evicted.

Auriel: You spared them?

Chiren: Well I knew you lecture me again and as alive they set a good example for the other greedy Nobles.

Auriel: Oh my little brother is growing up.

Auriel hugged him again. After greeting Chiren aka Jack they went to work on making heads and tails of the finances. Sadly the former Baron Skyver was not good with his investments, which was why he had to rip off and betray other Noble houses. Luckily he had enough money and treasures combined to be used to pay off the debts and the late taxes. Chiren made it a point to pay off the debtors officially to avoid any scandal and trickery later on since he now had the bill of receipts in hand. Chiren had no intentions of extending his relations to the shady money lenders.

At this point Chiren assessed what resources were left and found the former Baron Skyver had few farms, a horse ranch, some mining contracts and a book transcribing company, where books were copied for a good price. After talking it over with Auriel they agreed to turn the Skyver residence into a business estate and bring in a few trusted merchants and craftsmen in to maintain it properly. This way Chiren could expand his business officially while Auriel could expand her connections with the resistance while raising capital for her people. However she told Chiren/Jack to hold off on any more hostile take overs since she needed to increase her workforce a bit more.

After a heartfelt goodbye Chiren/Jack left with his guards as Auriel stayed behind to facilitate the household. Despite not having a full crew to run the estate she got the ball rolling so the current businesses continued to prosper properly. After arriving home Chiren was greeted by the staff and LeLu who was waiting for Chiren/Jack to come home for dinner. After a pleasant greeting they had dinner and talked about their day before Chiren had to do some paperwork. After a few hours he managed to finish it before bedtime. Seeing as they had a few hours to relax Chiren cleaned himself up and escorted LeLu to the dance hall as some staff played music while they danced the night away.


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