Protagonist Knows Everything - Chapter 47: Bad Apples
Dirk clenched his hands into fists, clearly agitated he asked, “Work under the person who ruined my guild?”
“Don’t say that. Your guild master broke the Secreed stone first right?”
One of Dirk’s concerns was that Von might cross the line and harm one of our guild members. In other words, he knew about the Secreed stone. Indeed, when I mentioned the stone, his lips trembled.
“So you do know. I thought Von did all of that in complete secrecy. Now, Von is nowhere to be found.”
His eyes were skeptical.
I kept talking in a calm tone, “I never did anything to Von. You probably don’t know much about the bet.”
I had no intention of telling him, so I just waved my hand, dismissing the subject.
And naturally he said, “Honestly, I wanted to retaliate, but I decided to hide instead. It’s honestly a shame.”
“If you’re wondering, then find out about him yourself. You have your own sources right?.”
Dirk didn’t respond.
“Well, I’m not here for an answer anyway.”
Saying that I rose up from my seat.
“If you change your decision then come see me anytime.”
“If you work for me, you won’t be responsible for anything. I will take all responsibility.”
“Oops. Did I say something that I shouldn’t have?”
I left the restaurant after that. Looking back, I saw Dirk with his head down on the table.
‘You can stay like that if you want. But don’t do that when you come under me. Don’t do that while you work for me. I hate that the most.’
I didn’t want to recruit Dirk just because he’s coveted. Needless to say, he was really popular in his guild. If he’s completely under me then he’ll be able to silence any uprising or factions that might form after the absorption.
‘But that alone won’t be enough.’
The former deputy guild master working under me will surely help in dealing with the factions, but that’s only when you speak rationally.
There’s the emotional aspect as well. If you just use force to suppress those factions then eventually they’ll get out of control. To keep that from happening you need to win them over emotionally as well.
So, for that very purpose, I went to Burn’s house. I didn’t notice it on my first visit, it was a humble abode. Dirk was a money-maker, quite rich I’d say.
- For Sale.
It was posted on the front door. I scratched my head,pondering for a few moments then grabbed the handle and slammed it.
The door popped open without anyone asking who it was.
“Dad! Are you dad?”
“Sob. Where have you been dad!”
“No. Xenia. Calm down.”
I took a closer look at his family, the family that Burns had left behind. Sophia, her wife, her face was exhausted, gloomy. The four kids who were hanging out on their father’s arms every night, now had eyes red and puffed up from crying.
I clicked my tongue and said, “Hello. I am Taylor Mason, from the Hagnut guild.”
Sophia replied blankly with dazed eyes, “Yes Yes.”
“Do you have a minute?”
“If you came from a guild… have you heard some news about my husband?”
Just after that question Sophia corrected herself.
“No. No. He belonged to the Wyvern Guild.”
“Please come in.”
Sophia invited me in a calm manner, but she wasn’t able to hide her face full of sadness. She told me to wait for a few moments and went away to settle the kids down.
In the meantime, I looked around the house. Nothing had changed from my last visit. Rather, it looked more organized than before as the kids were no longer running around and messing things up.
However, the lingering atmosphere made all of it meaningless.
“Please take a seat.”
“Mr. Taylor came to my house once before, right? In the middle of the night.”
“Yes. I apologize for the inconvenience that that might’ve caused.”
Sophia shook her head.
“He talked about Mr. Taylor a few times. Sooner or later he was going to shift to the Hagnut Guild.”
“Yeah. I also said that it would be better. The Wyvern Guild’s rumours were a bit scary.”
While talking she slowly pulled out a handkerchief and wiped her eyes.
“In fact, he said he wanted to open up a shop with me after retiring. He said he’d think about it. But then he suddenly disappeared after that.”
She eventually buried her face in her handkerchief. She could no longer hold her tears, even in front of her guest.
I said after heaving a sigh, “Have you heard anything about Burns’ current whereabouts?”
“No. Not at all. Do you know anything Mr. Taylor?”
“I’ve heard rumors. There is nothing that Mr. Taylor doesn’t know. Please tell me if you know anything about my husband. Where the hell is he?”
Her voice was full of pain and anger, but she still wanted to see her husband.
‘I can’t tell you. It’s a story that you won’t believe, but still, the story is too cruel.’
No matter how much I look at it, I could see no reason for which Burns would abandon his beloved family. Burns’ family was really dear to him, that’s why he took up all the dirty work of the Wyvern guild. Now, it’s just sad.
I slowly opened my mouth, “I do not know where he is. But I too was a bit close to Mr. Burns.”
“When I heard that he was gone, the first thing that came to my mind was Sophia and the kids.”
It really was the case. They were the biggest reason why I wanted to bring Burns over to my side, the reason I wanted Burns to avoid the Wyvern guild.
“Mr. Burns really loved his family. He always bragged about you and the kids.”
Sophia silently smiled with tears still rolling down her cheeks.
“There’s a sale tag on the door.”
“I took the decision to sell the house. Because the income was cut off, I couldn’t bear it any more.”
“This house holds precious memories of you and your family. Isn’t it sad?”
“Don’t sell it. I’ll give you the money.”
Sophia’s eyes widened at my words. I calmly corrected my statement.
“I will pay your monthly living expenses from now on.”
“What… Why would you do that?”
I pondered for a moment.
At first, I was worried, for Burns’ family, nothing else. And those children were lovely. Now Burns’ absence worries me even more.
‘But that isn’t the actual reason.’
I mean, if you’re not an idiot, you’ll know what I mean. If so, let’s come out honestly. My senses were shouting that an honest approach would be right.
“Because this is better, for me.”
“I’ll tell you honestly, our guild has merged with the Wyvern Guild.”
Sophia was a bit shocked.
I took a sip of the tea she had poured and said, “As two forces with different ideals come together, conflict will arise. Factions will arise, if nothing is done then everything will fall apart. I am looking for a way to deal with that.”
“As far as I know, Mr. Burns was really popular in the Wyvern Guild.”
Finally, Sophia realized what I wanted to say.
She lowered her head slightly and said in a small voice, “You’re trying to show how you’re taking care of his family. To appease the Wyvern guild members.”
“To be honest, yes. That’s right.”
“If I were Mr. Burns, I would have boasted a lot about my family members to other Wyvern guild members. Of course, quite a few people know Sophia as well.”
‘Why does my throat keep burning like that?’ I once again drank some tea and spoke.
“The Hagnut Guild took care of the former Wyvern guild adventurer’s family. I think that’d paint a good image.”
“If you are uncomfortable, I apologize. Even if you think that I am using you, I can’t help it… ”
At my words, Sophia went silent.
‘Well. Was I too honest?’ Maybe it was wrong for me to be this honest.
But then Sophia spoke, “Don’t blame yourself.”
“It would be better to call it a trade rather than a use. You pay the cost of living, and I cooperate for the guild absorption.”
The sadness disappeared from her face, and only a sluggish expression remained.
“I am also his wife, but at the same time, I am the mother of those four children.”
“Without him, I have to protect and raise my children by myself. I will take the deal, Mr. Tay.”
She was a strong mother. I nodded my head silently.
“Thank you. Sophia.”
“No. I am the one who should be grateful.”
“Haha. Then how will it be a trade?”
Then Sophia shook her head vigorously.
“If Mr. Taylor wanted to use us. Then you wouldn’t have done it like this. You’re helping us out of pity.”
“You would’ve secretly contacted me and would’ve told me to comply.”
Sophia was sharper than she looked. I should keep my senses even sharper then.
We talked a little more. I even discussed the specific amount of money to be paid each month. We also discussed, not only this time, but also what else Sophia will have to do for the merger to work smoothly.
As the vice guild master, I was able to freely use the funds of the Hagnut Guild upto a certain amount each month. It was like an early concept of corporate cards. The amount of money I had to pay Sophia was just a fraction of my available money.
‘No. It’s nothing special, but I think it’d be nice if I got you a job as well. There are kids, so it would be impossible to go to work every day……’
‘Let’s introduce a home work or part-time system.’
There are a lot of things to do as chores, such as writing guild promotional materials or organizing mail.
I swallowed those thoughts and got up from my seat.
“Then I’ll take my leave.”
“Goodbye. And by all means, if you hear the rumors of him…”
“Yes. I’ll inform you right away.”
Sophia bowed her head in gratitude.
[Tak Tak Tak]
Suddenly, at the end of the corridor, I heard footsteps. It was her first daughter Mary who spoke to me when I visited this house that night.
“Big brother! Are you going away now?”
“Please take this.”
Mary handed me a flower made from folded paper.
“Me and my brothers made this.”
“I’ll give you this, so be sure to find Dad. Okay? Please.”
Sophia hugged Mary tightly in her arms.
I put the flower in my front pocket and said, “It may take a while.”
“Ok. I can wait.”
After talking to the little girl, I came out.
‘Well, I’ll meet again with Nortel someday. Burns will be right next to him.’
“If that time comes, I’ll have to grab his fat neck and drag him all the way here.”, I muttered as I looked at the paper flower that she gave me, “Because I’ve already received the down payment.”
All the administrative paperwork needed for the merger were complete. Needless to say, this news was already widespread.
I decided to bring Sophia in for the public relations work. In order to do that, I would have to report. During the morning meeting, I reported everything to Sain.
Then Kasha responded before Sain, “Of course, Tay has a really big heart.”
“So… what’s your plan?”
Kasha was sitting there with bed hair and a few tears in her eyes, clearly from yawning. She looked hungry even as she spoke.
“You can have anyone do chores like writing promotional materials. The only reason Tay wants Sophia to do that is because he’s worried about them.”
I was about to say that but Kasha said everything in my stead.
When I tried to correct some of the things Sain interrupted me and said, “I guess it’s difficult to commute every day, right?”
“Yeah. We’ll do what Mr. Tay said. It’s only the first few months to help the guild reconcile. After that the paychecks will be stabilized so we’ll officially hire them.”
Sain was speaking in a soft voice, “We as a guild are chronically lacking in labour. I needed someone to do the job of a simple office assistant.”
“Thank you. Ms. Sain.”
Sain just stared at me and giggled.
‘What’s on my face?’
“Is something the matter?”
“No. No. It’s nothing.”
“Ever since I agreed, you had this strange grin on your face.”
‘Maybe I ate something wrong this morning.’
Without much delay I brought out the next agenda.
“This one is serious.”
“Today, guests will come to the guild. Like Sophia.”
“We’re hiring people.”
“Let’s talk to him directly. He’ll be here in a little bit…”
There was a knock on the conference room door, just when I expected.
“You are here.”, I muttered and got up to open the door.
Suddenly the conference room went cold. Standing in the door was Dirk Perchen, with a clean haircut and a new work suit.
(T/N: Here the work suit is the basic guild uniform.)
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it, but Sophia was quite talented in her office work.
[Occupation: Hagnut Guild Office Assistant]
[Potential: Class-B (Development degree 40%)]
Actually, I should have checked this first when I wanted to hire her. But it seems like I still have a lot to learn.
In any case, the gist of the promotional material posted on the Kelk City on a large scale with her help was as follows:
- Absorption of the Wyvern guild into the Hagnut guild.
I picked the word absorption. Consolidation or merger should not be misunderstood. The only main thing is the Hagnut Guild.
- A party is being held in memory of this day.
- Hagnut guild members must attend.
- We hope that all those who have loved our guild will also brighten their seats together.
Of course, the invitations were politely sent to the so-called big shots, such as the Siris Corporation and the Kelk nobility.
And just like that the day of the party arrived.