Release that Witch Chapter 1145
"So that man is..." Dawen muttered unclearly as she was too busy wolfing down the cake she had thrust into her mouth.
"Yes, that's the man we saw on the paper," Roland replied with a nod. He had done some research on the Clover Group before coming here. The man on the stage was Garde, one of the directors and president of the Department of Construction of the Clover Group. As Garcia's father, he was the fifth child of his family.
He expected to see King Wimbledon III, but now it appeared that Zero had not killed the poor King of Graycastle. Roland also realized a fact that the residents in the Building of Soul had now completely blended into this Dream World and developed their own memories and personal relationships. There was no way to know whether Garcia came before Garde, whether the existence of Garcia resulted in the appearance of the Clover Group, or whether Garcia was just a jigsaw puzzle piece that randomly fit in this whole picture. Had Roland not had the memories of the other world, he would have probably also thought this Dream World was a world of reality.
Although the Dream World was currently changing in a direction unfamiliar to him, it was essentially based on his own memories. The increasingly bizarre phenomena thus constantly reminded him that he was in his dream.
For example, Garcia's real last name was Wimbledon. However, in the Dream World, her last name was Gar. Unlike Cobb in the movie Inception who needed some personal articles to help him distinguish the dream from the real world, Roland did not require such things to do so.
Garde's speech was all about his gratitude and support to the martialist attending the party. He also, very incidentally, mentioned her estranged daughter. Just as Garcia had predicted, Garde felt sorry about his daughter's absence and expressed his wish to mend their relationship.
The hall erupted in a resounding applause. The journalists danced around taking photographs. Blinding flashlights came with every shot.
This party was totally unnecessary. Garde only needed to abandon his plan to destroy the apartment or well compensate the residents to win Garcia back.
After the speech, Garde made toasts.
This was the moment Roland had been waiting for.
"Let's go. We'll come back later," he beckoned the witches and walked up to Garde with a glass of champagne in his hand.
"President He, thank you for coming to my party. I'll still need your support for the Green Project."
"Naturally, naturally. We've been working together for so many years."
"Miss Yuhan, do you like the new stadium we built for the championship match on the south side of the city?"
"I haven't been there yet."
"Oh... haha. I'm sure you'll make it there this year."
Roland went straight up to Garde as the latter finished his toasts to the honored guests at the front and made his way through the crowd.
"You're..." Garde asked hesitantly.
"I'm Roland, Garcia's proxy," Roland said flatly.
"Oh, I see... Nice to meet you," Garde said as he took a glass of wine from a waiter and tightened his demeanor immediately into formality. "You're really lucky to have the Force of Nature. I do envy you young guys."
Roland clanked his glass with Garde's but did not drink his champagne. He said, "I want to talk with you, in private."
This invitation seemed pretty rude. Roland, as a newly-awakened martialist, was much younger than Garde, and also had a much lower social and economic status compared to a director of a large financial group.
Garde frowned and replied, "Sorry, I'm expected by someone else."
"Garcia asked me to talk to you. Aren't you interested in how your daughter is doing these days at all?" Roland said as he raised his voice.
Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that some journalists started to look in their direction.
Roland was confident that Garde would come with him.
Otherwise, he would soon ruin his carefully managed reputation of being a loving father.
"Alright," Garde receded resignedly, "if this isn't going to be long."
"Of course. It won't take you much time," said Roland smilingly.
There was a VIP room in the hall. After all the guards withdrew, only Garde, Roland, and Garde's secretary were left in the room.
"Is it OK to have him here?" Roland asked while casting a glance at the elderly secretary. "What I'm going to say involves the interest of your company."
"That's fine. He's been working for my family for several decades," Garde said glumly. "I'm more concerned about the three pretty little girls you brought here than my secretary. This isn't an amusement park."
As soon as they were well out of earshot, Garde no longer disguised his impatience and annoyance.
Roland knew that Garde was very alarmed. Juding from his stance and position, Roland believed that Garde also possessed awakened power.
"The matter we're discussing in next few minutes concerns these three girls..." Roland answered with a shrug. "Let's cut the crap. I want to make a deal with you. They're illegal immigrants, and I need you to help them obtain legal status and send them to a reputable high school."
Garde lapsed into a long silence. At last, he said, "Is this all that you want?"
If Garde was just some ordinary businessman, he would have probably flared up and walked away. The fact that he waited for Roland to finish his story indicated that he was well bred and civil.
"Yes," Roland said defiantly. "I don't think it's hard for the Clover Group."
"You said it's a deal, so what can you offer me? Are you going to oppose Garcia or persuade her to abandon that apartment to me?"
"No, I'm her friend."
After Roland had found out that the apartment was where all the memory fragments were, Roland was determined to protect it. Anyone who attempted to demolish the building would face a relentless resistance from 300 Taquila witches. The witches could easily, for example, disassemble the track of an excavator or create an illusion that the building was haunted.
"Hmm... friends," Garde jeered. "Then we have nothing to talk about."
"Not necessarily," Roland said as he produced his hunting license from his pocket and brandished it at Garde.
"This is..." Garde's expression instantly changed. He turned to his secretary inquiringly.
The secretary stared at the license for quite a while before he slowly confirmed, "It's legit."
"How come you have that..."
"That's top secret information of the Association that you aren't entitled to," Roland talked over Garde. In fact, he did not even know how the Association approved and issued licenses. "You just need to know what it stands for."
Garde gazed at Roland darkly. He fumbled with the cigar that he distractedly took out from his inner pocket and spoke at last, "My daughter seems to have made her acquaintance with an extraordinary person. Mr. Roland, the Martialist Association is a law-abiding organization..."
"Do you think I'm threatening you?" Roland said with a determined sigh. "Like I said, this is a deal."
"So you mean..."
"A successful businessman like you must have encountered many difficulties, right? You may remove enemies standing right before you but not those in hiding," Roland said as he stuck out one finger. "I can take care of that for you, though not everyone. They have to be underground criminals. Also, their presence has to constitute a threat. I have my own ways to conduct my investigation, so don't you attempt to fool me. In this way, the Association would not notice our deal. I would rather keep this conversation between ourselves."
In short, Roland was going to crack down on criminal groups.
The capture of these large criminal organizations usually involved a lengthy process, which included collecting evidence, ambushing, arrests, and trials. As such, companies normally preferred to resort to force to avoid substantial financial loss. From Garde's look, Roland already knew he had had many unfortunate encounters with these criminals.
Garde said hesitantly, " Mr. Roland, if you're serious, then that wouldn't be a good deal for you."
Roland stifled his smile. Garcia was right. Her father was not only a "reasonable person" but also a wise one.
"Just see them as your deposit. I'm going to ask you to help these three first. The total number would be around 300."
"300... illegal immigrants?" Garde echoed in disbelief. "The police will get suspicious..."
"Take it slow. I don't need you to do it anytime soon. Take your time. This is a long-term project," said Roland. who believed, as Celine had suggested, that not every witch liked studying. For example, Elena and Phyllis would prefer to kill Fallen Evils with him much more than poring over books.
"In that case, I may be able to help you."
"Well then, I look forward to working with you."
The deal was sealed after the secretary took pictures of the witches. Although they had not signed an agreement in any form, Roland was certain that Garde would not break his promise.
When Roland was about to leave with the witches, Garde suddenly shouted behind him. "Hey, wait..."
"Is there anything else I can help you with?" Roland said while turning around.
"My daughter, Garcia, how is she?" Garde asked after a moment of hesitation. "I called her many times, but she didn't pick up..."
"Rest assured. She's doing very well," Roland replied.
Garde finally ignited the cigar after the door was closed. He muttered to his secretary, "Is he really just some random martialist?"
"I have the same feeling," the secretary, who had been keeping his silence throughout the conversation, said, "He talked to you with an air of undisguised condescension."
Common people would usually talk to him in a timid, unctuous tone or tried to be audacious while pretending that they were not afraid of the huge social and economic difference between them. Garde did not think it was the Force of Nature that made Roland fearless, because he had just awakened.
Nevertheless, Garde had not noticed any signs of such timidness in Roland. On the very contrary, he was confident, relaxed, and even a little haughty. It was as though he had seen much of life already.
How could that be possible? Roland was around the same age as Garcia. A man in his twenties!
For the first time in his life, Garde could not figure out a person.
"You didn't have to negotiate with him yourself," Saint Miran mumbled after they left the room. "You're the king of the two worlds. It's really rude of him to stare at you like that."
"If Lady Alethea were here, she would have put a knife to his throat," Dido agreed.
"As a king, you can do whatever you want," Dawnen said disapprovingly. "Lady Alice never cared about what other people thought of her."
Roland was amused at the bold speech of these "little girls." "My ministers can't get in here, and I've told you not to call me 'Your Majesty' outside."
"Yes, brother Roland," the three witches said together instantly.
"By the way, are we still going back?" Dawnen eagerly looked at the new servings on the table as she licked her lips.
"The feast doesn't end until midnight, but we might as well head back soon. The other witches are waiting for us," Roland said as he stared up at the darkened sky. "We'll stay another half an hour and then we'll set off at 8:00 sharp."
"As you command!" the three of them chorused and sprinted up to the table.
" They do look like underage kids ," Roland thought to himself. He shuffled behind them and was about to drink his champagne when he realized he still had to drive, and dejectedly put down the glass.
Just then, the pale, golden champagne suddenly changed.
A red swirl of ink suddenly appeared in his glass and gradually formed creepy, crooked words!
"Don't forget what you promised me."
A chill ran down Roland's spine.
He fought down the urge to throw the glass away.
Roland was holding the wine glass with such immense strength that its stem cracked!
Roland, once again, peered down at his champagne and discovered that the threatening words had vanished. The liquid was a pure, crystal-clear pale-gold again. It looked as though nothing had happened.