Chapter 48 A Wonderful Misunderstanding
Baron Mirro had a repulsive countenance; furthermore, his every word and action were those of a standard politician. He and Blackbeard, the wily old fox, just happened to be the perfect pair, making for a good play. The two had their arms around each other’s shoulders with wide grins on their faces, just like a pair of good brothers.
Only Baron Mirro stayed behind in the Mayor’s official residence. His wife had taken his son and daughter with her to visit their ancestral house. After all, Baron Mirro wasn’t a solitary person; he had a crowd of relatives and clansmen in Black Stone City who needed to be looked after. To do this, every winter, his wife would bring their children home to arrange the family’s general affairs for the coming year.
Perhaps due to the absence of the hostess, the refreshments Baron Mirro ordered the servants to serve to the guests were barely satisfactory. The color of the tea was not good. The pastries were obviously not freshly made by the kitchen; rather, they were made in advance. They had probably been stored for quite a few days already, then reheated slightly and served.
From the standpoint of social etiquette, Baron Mirro was undoubtedly lacking in manners, but how could one be so critical of a 70-year-old man whose wife wasn’t home? Especially since they had come to seek the man’s help? So, Lin Qi held a cup of black tea and nibbled on a pastry which kept sticking between his teeth while resentfully shaking his head a little.
Truly deserving to be called an esteemed and ‘honest’ mayor; not only were the refreshments unbearable, even the guest hall was unpresentable. The guest hall was certainly spacious yet also desolate. A few pieces of wood sputtered inside the narrow fireplace. This type of wood didn’t produce much heat, making the guest hall very cold.
As for the hall furnishings, even a landlord of a small village with a little money would have a more beautifully decorated parlor compared to this residence of the magnificent Dunerk City’s mayor. Examining the blackened wallpaper, there were several spots where it was already peeling off that were suspended on the wall like hanged men. Lin Qi’s impression of Baron Mirro’s ‘honesty’ deepened somewhat.
The group sat around a circular table in the guest hall. Baron Mirro drank the cold black tea with a chuckle, narrowing his eyes to observe Lin Qi. “Tiger, this must be your child that went to Borali to study, right? Oh, he is indeed a genius of the empire!”
Lin Qi put his teacup down and forcefully swallowed the dry pastry from inside his mouth into his stomach. He stood up, smiled at Baron Mirro, and bowed. “Respectable mayor, I am Lin Qi, a finance and accounting major student of Borali’s Fifth University.”
Baron Mirro narrowed his eyes. He said with a smile, “Aha, the Fifth University’s finance and accounting major?”
Baron Mirro winked meaningfully towards Blackbeard. “Tiger, you found such a good major for Mister Lin Qi. Oh, if Lin Qi could join the Imperial Ministry of Finance in the future, then your family would certainly have boundless prospects—genuinely boundless prospects!”
Blackbeard laughed heartily. He stroked his beard while nodding complacently.
After praising Lin Qi several times, Baron Mirro curiously turned to Enzo. “And this is?”
Enzo stood there, straight as a pike, and said in a clear voice, “Respectable mayor, I am Lin Qi’s friend, Enzo, a joint infantry major student of the Imperial Army Academy. currently an Imperial First Lieutenant, preparatory rank!”
Baron Mirro looked at Enzo in astonishment. An Army Academy student was not really rare. It also wasn’t uncommon for them to hold a preparatory imperial officer position. However, for a student at the preparatory phase to have a first lieutenant rank proved that regardless of his grades, Enzo’s personal strength was outstanding; otherwise, he couldn’t have obtained such a high rank.
In the blink of an eye, various thoughts flashed through Baron Mirro’s mind.
Blackbeard’s son was a finance and accounting major student of the Fifth University. Everyone knew that graduates of the Fifth University’s finance and accounting major were most sought after by every administrative department in the empire, and even more so by the aristocrats who considered it an honor to employ them as their personal financial affairs manager. As long as Lin Qi graduated successfully, he would be able to find a good and stable job in the imperial capital.
As for Enzo, he was actually a highly skilled Imperial Army Academy student. According to his preparatory rank, once he graduated and joined the imperial army, he would be able to obtain at least a standard officer cadet rank or even a second lieutenant rank. If Blackbeard utilised his family’s formidable wealth and influence to let him enter the imperial army department to gain experience, instead of having him join the front-line combat troops, Enzo would be able to enter the army according to his ‘preparatory officer’ rank, thus becoming a commanding officer of a defensive garrison.
Take for instance the commanding officer of the Dunerk Port’s defensive garrison. As the commanding officer of the third largest port in the empire leading a thousand-man army, he must at least be a lieutenant colonel!
Facing these facts, Baron Mirro immediately came to the wrong conclusion. He believed Enzo to be someone Blackbeard personally nurtured in the imperial capital to become his military lobbyist! He imagined that after Lin Qi graduated and joined a specific aristocrat’s family, aside from the support of an aristocrat, Blackbeard would also have another powerful supporter in the imperial capital.
If he allowed Enzo to gain experience in the imperial capital for several more years, then brought him to Dunerk or Yasen Province to become the commanding officer of the defensive garrison, Blackbeard’s authority would reach new heights. Both administrative and military authority would be under his control. On top of his own family’s formidable influence, it was a power that only a large aristocratic family could have.
Thinking up to this point, the aloofness on Baron Mirro’s face disappeared without a trace. He suddenly placed his teacup heavily on the round table and berated in a stern voice, “What are you doing? Don’t you know Mister Tiger is my respected guest? How could you serve them such coarse refreshments? You bunch of lazy idiots! You are still not replacing the refreshments?”
After several breaths of time, a delicate and peerless, pure-silver tea set was brought out. The aroma from inside the teapot was rich. New pastries were also presented. There were meats and vegetables and no less than twenty kinds of pastries—all of which looked extremely exquisite without exception.
Baron Mirro’s smile became increasingly brilliant. He jovially pulled Blackbeard’s hand. “Dear Tiger, we’re friends, right?”
Blackbeard narrowed his eyes and nodded repeatedly with a profound smile. “Of course, of course we’re friends!”
Baron Mirro glanced at Enzo, who was sitting straight on the sofa. Then, he said with a smile, “I can recommend you as my replacement to the provincial government. As long as you can persuade the leaders of every chamber of commerce, you will be the new mayor. Of course, I also have a small request!”
Blackbeard and Lin Qi glanced at Enzo at the same time. They simultaneously came to understand the situation.
Lin Qi repeatedly nodded while smiling, while Blackbeard said in a commanding voice, “Since we’re friends, what can’t you say? Just say it. Whatever it is, as long as it doesn’t violate the imperial law or God’s doctrine, I will do it for you.”
Baron Mirro smiled and said with narrowed eyes, “My youngest son, Aaron, just turned 18 this year. He still has two years before graduating from the Army Academy of Yasen Province.” Baron Mirro looked meaningfully at Blackbeard, indicating that he felt Blackbeard should understand his intent.
Blackbeard widened his eyes. He gripped Baron Mirro’s hand tightly. “Then it’s a deal. The position of mayor is mine. As for your Aaron, I will look after him properly.”
Baron Mirro smiled cheerfully, gripped Blackbeard’s hand and shook it vigorously several times.