Chapter 41 Father and Son
With a bit of caution and even more curiosity, Enzo followed Lin Qi in into the main fortress.
The style of the fortress was very conventional. Beyond the entrance was a spacious hall. Two curved, steep, and narrow staircases opposite of each other led to the second floor. From Enzo’s view, these two staircases were also meticulously built. With the specific angle and width of the staircases, as long as there stood several expert swordsmen on top, even with several hundred fully armed cavalrymen, charging to the second floor would be difficult.
Furthermore, under the staircases, there were several metal tenons and iron chains with strange shapes which made Enzo even more astonished. Was it possible that there were also various kinds of ambush mechanisms on these staircases? After carefully looking over the hallway floor under the staircases once again, the floor indeed seemed a little odd. If Enzo didn’t guess wrongly, perhaps there was a deep pitfall under the floor, the kind that was filled with sharp metal bayonets!
Beyond the foyer was an enormous banquet hall, and inside were six rows of neatly arranged, long oaken dining tables that were sufficient to accommodate six hundred people. Under the bright candle lights, the oaken dining tables shone with a metallic luster similar to that of black iron. They clearly possessed several hundred years of history.
Different from those carefully selected aristocratic families, no tablecloth was spread on Lin Qi’s family’s dining tables. The six hundred big chairs beside the tables also weren’t the kind normally used by the aristocrats. Instead of the tall chairs with elegant designs that they preferred, these were large and robust, made entirely from chunks of heavy oak.
Together with the subtle metallic scent of blood and the heavy dining tables and chairs as well as the severe, black floor and scarlet wall cloth, the hall gave an imposing and dignified feeling. The banquet hall’s austere aura was enough to suffocate people of little courage. Adding to the oppressive atmosphere were the heavy armors towering at the four corners of the hall and the large hatchet, heavy sword, and machete hung on the walls, complete with their mottled and nicked edges.
Upon entering the hall, Lin Qi’s gaze fell on the ten, enormous candleholders on a dining table. In a split second, a golden light that Enzo was very familiar with flashed through Lin Qi’s pupils; that was precisely the look of greed that appeared whenever Lin Qi saw a great amount of gold coins. The question was, this was his own family’s house, so why should he be so greedy?
Enzo had to admit, however, that those candleholders were truly impressive. He also couldn’t help but swallow a mouthful of saliva.
They were pure gold, elegantly shaped and inlaid with a great number of red sapphires. Every one of these candleholders should weigh several hundred kilograms, and there were as many as thirty priceless, pure gold candleholders there. Under the light of several hundred large candles, the candleholders emitted a hazy and enchanting radiance.
Only Duke families or higher could have candleholders as precious as these, right? Enzo’s gaze couldn’t help but be attracted to these candleholders. For three years, under Lin Qi’s influence, Enzo had also come to possess a certain appreciation towards daily appliances. The shape of these candle holders was so elegant, and they were modeled using the alternating grass and leaves design that quite a few royal families in the continent enjoyed.
These candleholders seemed to have been forged by a skillful craftsman employed by a royal family. Looking at their color and luster, they should also be old antiques. How they appeared in this room was a mystery. Was it perhaps, a descendant of a certain declining royal family trafficked the legacy of his ancestors? Or, was it simply one of Lin Qi’s relatives that robbed a certain declining royal family?
Who knew? Enzo thoughtfully looked at these candleholders. One tiny clue could reveal many things. Lin Qi’s family’s financial resources and power were extremely impressive!
At the end of the banquet hall, on a platform as tall as half a person was an enormous throne. It was forged from an unknown, ferrous metal and shaped in the form of a fierce, black tiger that was lusting to kill its prey. On the centre of the dragon knot on the tiger’s belly was a wide depression that served as the seat.
A black bearded man wearing a black, satin robe, who was a fist taller than Lin Qi and emitted a subtle baleful aura from his whole body, was seated on the throne. He puffed smoke in big mouthfuls with a unique, 34-centimeter long cigar in his mouth. Upon Lin Qi’s and Enzo’s entrance, Old Man Blackbeard swept his eyes to stare in their direction. Enzo felt as if someone shot two, sharp arrows towards him and nearly rolled to dodge them.
Such a terrifying person! Enzo’s back suddenly broke out in a cold sweat.
Powerful! So strong that it was unimaginable, this man in front of Enzo was the most powerful man he had ever met. No one could compare to him. Tie Chui and Tu Dao, including Aunt Lily, when compared with Old Man Blackbeard, were like savage and ferocious wolves in front of a lion. Regardless of their fearsome aura, they weren’t on the same level.
Even the professors in the Army Academy, whose positions were at the summit and whose strengths were the strongest, didn’t have such terrifying grandeur like Old Man Blackbeard.
With difficulty, Enzo inhaled deeply and straightened his body under Old Man Blackbeard’s gaze.
Old Man Blackbeard gazed at Enzo with appreciation, then retracted the frightening aura he had intentionally emitted.
Yet Lin Qi didn’t even spare a glance towards his own father’s frightening aura. Rather, he approached Old Man Blackbeard in large strides, then hugged him firmly and heavily. “Hey, damned old man, we haven’t met for three years. You didn’t even miss me, right? Ah, my deceased mother should cut your neck off at night. Three years, three whole years, you didn’t give me even one copper coin!”
Old Man Blackbeard’s gaze slightly softened, then rapidly resumed its normal look. He stood up, embraced Lin Qi tightly, then simultaenously tightened his arms around both of Lin Qi’s arms, locking him in place. Two of his fingers were feeling for the black tiger purse hanging from Lin Qi’s waist. Lin Qi’s body stiffened, then exasperatedly stamped on one of Old Man Blackbeard’s feet.
Blackbeard lightly groaned in astonishment. Even after being firmly restricted, Lin Qi was still able to strike back at him. This strength exceeded his estimation of Lin Qi’s current physical strength. He released Lin Qi, covered his own purse, and retreated several steps. He laughed oyfully and said, “Lin Qi, you little scoundrel, your strength is a lot beyond my calculations! My, my, interesting!”
Lin Qi was unwilling to let go and once again tried to hug Blackbeard. He loudly shouted, “Stop this rubbish! My poor, early-deceased mother, strangle this ruffian with a beard across his face in front of me. It’s been three years, and except for the one hundred gold coins he gave me when I entered the school, he didn’t give me a single copper coin!”
Blackbeard firmly covered his purse and was unwilling to let Lin Qi approach no matter what. He howled in a loud voice, “Enough, Lin Qi! One hundred gold coins are sufficient for an ordinary and obedient student to spend a luxurious year! Three years, you haven’t returned home for three whole years; this is your fault!”
Lin Qi widened his eyes, sneered, and said, “My fault? If you had let me dig out both of that bastard’s eyeballs and throw him into the sea as fish food, then I wouldn’t have gone to Borali at all!”
The atmosphere inside the hall suddenly became extremely strange. Tie Chui and Tu Dao simultaneously wrinkled their brows.
Blackbeard was silent for a long time. Only after a while did he shake his head and say, “That matter, Arthur was wrong, but you weren’t right either. Alright, we haven’t met for three years. Do you want to argue with your old man the moment you meet him? Enough. Tonight will be your welcoming banquet. Starting tomorrow, follow me to visit those damned local landlords! Oh, this time your old man is going to run for Mayor of Dunerk City, so you absolutely cannot mess things up for me!”
Lin Qi and Enzo simultaneously gulped a mouthful of saliva down. What? Old Man Blackbeard was going to run for mayor?
Lin Qi suddenly hugged his stomach and laughed. He laughed until he felt weak from head to foot and had to sit on the floor.