“When you meet a strong swordsman, you may not be able to use a barrier or magic against them.
Not to mention that your gang isn’t even skilled enough to steal candy from a baby, much less from us.
If you go after our wealth or threaten us one more time….”
“Kyaaaa! A-a-are you going to split me in half” Tanya’s scream splintered the air.
Apollonia had only been trying to keep Tanya from doing anything suspicious, but Tanya’s excessive imagination had taken her threat too far.
She didn’t deny it, though.
“If you’re curious about what’ll happen, feel free to give it a try!” Apollonia smiled at Tanya.
The little girl in front of her nodded vigorously.
Apollonia was far scarier than Sid and Uriel, even with their swords.
“We’re here.” The place Tanya had taken them was more like a hut than a house.
“My other family members will be back at dusk.
You can use an empty room.”
“What The miss can’t sleep in a place like this.”
The single room Tanya showed them was disgusting.
The floor, made of wooden planks, was rotten and cracking.
Holes in the wood revealed grey dirt underneath.
A small bed lay in the corner of the room, but it had thin, dirty rags instead of a blanked tossed on top.
“Are there any other houses where we can stay We can’t live like this.”
“But we don’t even have rats in our house…!” Tanya’s face was redder than when Uriel had been accusing her earlier.
Sid tried to goad her, but Apollonia stopped him, and asked Tanya softly: “Tanya, do you know any other facilities around here Money’s no issue.
Tell me whatever you can think of.”
“Who in the world would build a facility in a place where there’s no travelers nor anyone to live in it There’s a guesthouse on the border, but around here, everyone lives like this.”
Apollonia looked around the room once more.
There was no window, so the room was dim and it was hard to see.
It was filthy, and there was no heater.
Despite all the many mistreatments she’d received from Petra and the emperor, Apollonia had lived her entire life inside the palace.
She could never have imagined sleeping in such a poor environment.
When Apollonia and Sid glanced at each other in shock, Uriel interrupted them.
“Is there anyone in Lishan who provides daily necessities in exchange for money or jewelry”
“There’s no one like that.
Even if there were, they’d be far away,” Sid reprimanded him.
He didn’t wait for Tanya to reply.
“Even in a slum devoid of resources like this, surely there must be at least one rich person.
There must be someone who collects the valuables of people, on the verge of starving to death, at a bargain price.”
He sounded like he was speaking from experience.
Apollonia glanced at his face, but there was no emotion to be seen.
“Otherwise, they would’ve been robbing the wallets of the guests and knights.”
Tanya looked slightly shaken by Uriel’s words.
“Well, there is one… but if you don’t go there with a lot of money… “
There was a little fear in the eyes of the proud girl.
“Where” Apollonia’s order was soft but clear.
“In the lord’s mansion.”
“What!” Apollonia and Sid blurted simultaneously.
Uriel was the only one who didn’t react.
“Did you say… the lord The lord of Lishan doesn’t live here.”
“No, he lives in his mansion in central Lishan.
In the mansion he owns nearby, they only supply food and clothes there.
They don’t let us go inside.
People sometimes try, but if they’re caught, they are punished severely.
Apollonia’s blood turned cold.
“Are you saying you’re providing the lord with stolen goods”
“Yes, most of the time.
The lord uses them to pay taxes to the empire.”
Apollonia took a deep breath to suppress her anger.
Her golden eyes, only barely visible underneath her dark hood, glowed coldly.
“Is the lord you’re talking about Viscount Diaman” Her voice was lower than before, and had an almost cruel tone that Tanya didn’t recognize.
She was surprised.
“Do you know Lord Diaman” Tanya stammered.
She peered at Apollonia, trying to decipher her face beneath the robe.
But Sid pulled her back.
“Everyone here just calls him ‘my lord’…”
Apollonia didn’t miss the fear lurking in Tanya’s amethyst eyes.
“You’ve met him, haven’t you”
“I’ll hear the details later.”