Chapter 188: Marriage Connection
The manor was quiet at night.
Zi Di slowly pushed a door open and entered the room.
A candle flame ignited.
Her father’s study still looked the same, it hadn’t changed much the image in her memory.
The room wasn’t big, but it had good lightning. If it were day, sunlight would pass through the glass and make this place very bright.
The study’s furnishings were simple, and the walls didn’t have oil paintings, instead it had an enormous map of the continent. On it, Zi Di’s father had made many red and blue markings on it.
Whenever the Wisteria Merchant Alliance expanded to some territory, he would mark the corresponding change on the map.
Zi Di stopped in front of the enormous map.
A childhood memory appeared.
When she was small, whenever her father had some success, he would cheerfully invite her mother to look at the map and inform her of the merchant alliance’s development.
Her mother often teased him like a child.
Her father’s finger pointed to an unmarked city and told her mother: he predicted the merchant alliance would eventually expand to this place. In those days, when some businesses were upgraded, some businesses had their manufacturing costs drop as a result.
Looking at her father talking non-stop, Zi Di’s mother gradually revealed her worry.
“Don’t work too hard. This is good enough.” She would advise.
The father shook his head: “It's not enough, it's not enough, it is still too short. I want to establish a merchant alliance branch here, here, and here! I won’t let off any important city!”
“He achieved……” Zi Di looked at the map, all kinds of symbols filled every important imperial city. Apart from this, there were also many unusual hamlets.
An astonishing business accomplishment!
It was difficult to imagine that an iron level could accomplish this.
But his immense success also became the cause of his death.
Zi Di withdrew her gaze and slowly paced over to the desk.
The large mahogany desk had pens, ink, document manuscripts, and small easels on it. The easel had a drawing of her father, her mother, and Zi Di on it.
The drawing had a small Zi Di in it. At less than four years old, her father had put her small head on his shoulder as she snored in her sleep.
Zi Di slowly sat down, this was the dermis seat her father always sat in.
Her petite body seemed to make the seat wider and larger.
The seat was very old, even if Zi Di was light, she still produced a creaking sound.
Zi Di thought of how her father sat, then she subconsciously imitated him as she put her elbows on the desk, clenched her hands into fists, held her chin in her hands, and pressed it against her lips.
Late into the night, she often found her father’s study still lit up, this is what she saw when she opened the door to remind her father to go to sleep.
Zi Di’s mouth murmured, she thought of the meeting she attended today.
When a good deal of the elders no longer despised Zi Di, a difficult negotiation followed.
Despite Zi Di going through many life trials and being influenced from a young age, in public speaking and trade talks, she was still young and tender.
Luckily Fei She publicly supported her and illuminated all kinds of traps with his mouth.
Most matters haven’t been settled yet.
A few have reached preliminary agreements.
A portion of people publicly left and indicated their departure from the Wisteria Merchant Alliance. Among them was the banking elder.
Zi Di let them go without making things difficult.
She outwardly showed a unyielding signal——if you want to leave, I won’t stop anyone, even if everyone leaves, I won’t dread it!
She knew why these people didn’t attract customers, they didn’t meet the conditions of the powers and were looked down on by influential officials.
On the surface, they merely wanted to attend the funeral. However, their true intent was to connect with the president, fish out gains, and subsidize themselves.
However, the Zi Di they got wasn’t the one they expected, they remembered a pure child that hadn’t gone through the affairs of life.
Zi Di firmly controlled her benefits and never relaxed in the slightest. The Wisteria Merchant Alliance had changed dramatically, and the position of president had suffered the most damage. Zi Di was only interested in profitable collaboration.
As Zi Di sank in the leather chair, she sensed two things strongly.
One was wealth.
Even if eighty percent was gone, the remaining twenty percent still made her considerably rich.
The second was challenge.
The battles of wits and war of words in the meeting had made Zi Di’s head ache dully.
At the same time, this was the first time Zi Di wielded so much wealth, she didn’t have confidence in herself.
“Can I use it well? Can I hold onto this wealth? Can I maintain the Wisteria Merchant Alliance?”
“Oh Zi Di, you must accomplish these things!”
“This was your father’s lifeblood, simultaneously, it is also your hope for vengeance!!”
She never showed it to others, but Zi Di was already determined to get revenge.
At the funeral, Fei She had told her those words, but in fact Zi Di was already well aware of this.
These past years had sharpened her and allowed her to understand a principle——you can see a person more through their actions than by their words.
Her previous loathing had already disappeared, it had changed into sentimental feelings for her father.
Who doesn’t make mistakes?
Especially when faced with almost all of the empire’s officials.
Furthermore, he never really coerced his daughter.
A mere day after taking over, Zi Di’s understanding and appreciation of her father deepened.
“Hahahaha!” At that moment, a howling laughter smashed Zi Di’s commemoration.
Then the study’s door was suddenly pushed open.
A youngster strutted in front of Zi Di. He was as short as a dwarf.
Because of the hairstyle, his noticeable grey hair looked like a flamboyant explosion.
He held a dagger, however in his hands, it looked like he was wielding a heroic sword.
“Who are you?” Zi Di asked.
“Hahaha.” The ashen haired youngster laughed, “Good question!”
His voice suddenly lowered, he was obviously changing his intonation to a rougher one: “I am from the shadows, I dance on a knife’s edge! Fate chose to set me aside; however, I chose slaughter. The gods gave me redemption, but I’d rather destroy. Between love and viciousness, I am me, I will be the number one assassin genius under the heavens——Luo Shi!”
“Oh girl, I have come to collect your life. I have come to kill you!!”
Zi Di was absolutely stunned.
Although this was her first assassination, she never heard of an assassin that killed so overtly.
No matter how outlandish this assassin was, his aura of death wasn’t fake.
“Guards!!” Zi Di shouted.
The youngster Luo Shi laughed heartily and proudly said: “Hahaha, you will scream, you will break your throat, and no one will come to save you. Because I have already released them from this world.”
Zi Di coldly snorted, lightly shook her arm, and tossed a handful of dust from her sleeve.
Her mouth said a few syllables and performed sorcery on the materials, exploding them. The powder exploded into a finer mist that quickly filled the entire study.
Then she immediately jumped from the desk and rolled into a corner.
During that time, she was already utilizing the magic materials and started a brief chant.
When she stood up, the sound reduction spell succeeded, allowing Zi Di’s actions and chants to be almost silent.
Tensely continuing, she used a third spell——mirror image.
A mirror image of her dashed towards the door.
“Wow, you’re pretty good.” Luo Shi suddenly said from behind Zi Di.
Just as Zi Di felt astonished, Luo Shi skillfully conducted battle qi through his dagger and into Zi Di’s body, locking her in place like a rigid rock unable to move a single step.
“The lime spell was nearly instantaneous, the whisper spell was very sharp, and the mirror image spell was also a good choice.”
Luo Shi’s abundant comments behind her caused Zi Di’s heart to sink to the bottom.
Following this, Luo Shi exploded with battle qi, clearing all of the powder in the room.
“Silver level!” Seeing the battle qi, Zi Di seemed to fall into an icy cave.
While being fearful, she also felt indignation and hatred.
“Did you kill my father?!” The girl questioned.
Luo Shi shook his head: “That wasn’t me. Sneaky assassinations don’t have enough charm to them. I am determined to become the greatest male assassin under the heavens, I would never do something so tasteless.”
Despite only hearing one reason, Zi Di naturally believed Luo Shi’s words.
Luo Shi’s put his dagger on Zi Di’s neck.
Because of his short stature, in order to do this, both of his feet were attached to the wall with battle qi, giving him a steady stance.
“The information told me you were busy with life and neglected magic practice. However, it seems you secretly promoted to the iron level, in addition your recent battle stance shows that you must train diligently.”
“Tsk tsk, you really are a crafty girl.”
“Remember the one who killed you was me, Luo Shi, the one destined to be the greatest assassin genius under the heavens.”
“Hold on dwarf! How much were you paid; I can double it!” Zi Di yelled.
Luo Shi blankly stared, then burst in anger: “Wow, I want to burst with rage!”
“I am the most outstanding assassin in the world, I must have occupational integrity.”
“Also, I am a human, a pure human, I am not a dwarf!!”
“Die for me!”
With anger, Luo Shi swung his dagger ruthlessly at Zi Di’s neck.
Just as Zi Di believed she was dead, she suddenly heard Luo Shi screech in panic, soon after he disappeared without a trace.
Only a bloodstain was left on the wall.
“What just happened?” Zi Di suddenly found she could move again.
“I saved you, newly appointed president of the Wisteria Merchant Alliance.” A goblin the size of Luo Shi appeared in front of Zi Di.
He had a goblin’s smooth head, green skin, and a long hooked nose.
“A pity, what a pity, the magic I brewed to catch him in the act was supposed to kill him on the spot. I didn’t expect this youngster to get away and escape. He isn’t old, yet his battle qi is near the gold level and is on the verge of a qualitative change. This kind of aptitude is rarely seen.” The goblin gazed at the bloodstained wall as he slowly evaluated.
“A gold level magician!” Zi Di shook, the goblin’s aura actually reached the gold level, it's no wonder he could frighten Luo Shi into fleeing.
“You are?” Zi Di inquired after bowing.
“You can call me Lord Jian Zuan, I study under War Merchant.” The goblin Jian Zuan arrogantly smiled.
Zi Di’s heart quaked.
“Your father and my teacher Lord War Merchant have business connections. Several months earlier, your father cried for help in a letter to Mystifying Monster Island. Unfortunately, at that time, I was conducting important magical experiments with my teacher, and the letter was shelved by the tower spirit. When we discovered the letter, my teacher commanded me to help.” The goblin Jian Zuan explained.
“Many thanks to your Lordship for saving my life!” Zi Di bowed again with gratefulness and gladness on her face. However, in her heart, a cold stream nevertheless flowed.
The recent situation was obviously Jian Zuan treating her as bait, he used her to trick Luo Shi into exposing a weak point. It was clear that in Jian Zuan’s heart, killing Luo Shi was more important than saving Zi Di.
Combined with his explanation, she knew he and War Merchant didn’t really care about her father’s letter. If not, why did they delay because of experiments?
But Zi Di’s father should have close dealings with War Merchant.
Zi Di’s father could send War Merchant a letter for help, outside of impatience burning him, he was certain it would have some degree of success.
Now, War Merchant dispatched his student Jian Zuan to provide assistance, this also proved that Zi Di’s father was valuable to War Merchant.
“Thinking carefully, this isn’t strange.”
“War Merchant is the seventh most wanted, is a publicly known alchemy grandmaster, and a well-known munitions dealer. His best option to sell weapons is the Wisteria Merchant Alliance. Because although the six great merchant alliances are bigger than the Wisteria Merchant Alliance, they are completely controlled by imperial officials.”
“Father must have helped War Merchant sell many weapons; therefore, he could receive support.”
“A pity it came too late!”
“What bad luck.”
“Him saving me was merely a passing affair, he mainly wanted to kill Luo Shi. This indicates he understands the Wisteria Merchant Alliance’s current situation, I am not very valuable in his heart.
A few breaths later, Zi Di’s mind flashed with lightning and she saw the situation clearly.
Her eyes flashed as she immediately opened her mouth: “Lord Jian Zuan, although my father passed away, I have already assumed his position. From now on, I am willing to serve your Lordship as well as Lord War Merchant to the best of my abilities!”
“Eh?” Jian Zuan blankly stared as he took notice of Zi Di, “Your expression just fluctuated, this should be the first time you learned of your father’s secret. In order to protect yourself, you want to draw support from our strength……haha, small girl you are fascinating.”
“Nothing escapes your Lordship’s eyes.” Zi Di was incomparably sincere, “I am very scared, I didn’t expect the day I took over, I would provoke an assassin. In order to save my life, I am willing to brave greater risks. And I believe that of all the merchant alliances in the continent, I am still the only one that is worth your Lordship’s investments.”
“Not bad.” Jian Zuan nodded, “After collaborating with your father for a long time, we are at ease with you. Although only the Wisteria Merchant Alliance name remains, it still has its good reputation and worldwide renown, therefore it still poses a high value.
“But with your current strength, I’m afraid you don’t have the qualifications to collaborate with us or receive our protection.”
“So, how do I become qualified?” Zi Di inquired with a smile.
Jian Zuan’s next words turned her pale: “Make a marriage connection.”