Gren woke up feeling relaxed but that didn't last long. Jade was staring at him from the foot of his bed. "What are you doing?" It was weird how she just sat there looking at him.
"Staring at you." Anybody could tell that if they saw her. "Jessica told me to wake you up but I didn't want to disturb your sleep." It was nice that Jade wanted to be courteous to him but if Jessica wanted him to be woken up then there must be a good reason.
"Just wake me up next time. I won't mind as long as it's important." Gren sat up and grabbed some clothes from his wardrobe. "Are you going to be joining me for a bath?"
As Gren and Jade made their way to the underground, Gren saw a familiar face that he wanted to talk to. "Hey, Tahloh. Come with me for a bit. I need to talk to you about something." Tahloh was in the middle of talking to Akumo--the Arachne--when Gren abducted her. "Sorry, but this is important. I'll return her to you in a bit." Pulling her and Jade into one of the bathrooms, Gren made sure that the door was closed and locked before getting undressed.
"What is this about?" Tahloh was reasonably confused by Gren's actions.
"My wives and I had a discussion last night." Gren pointed over to Jade. "This is Jade. She's my fourth wife." After Jade waved towards Tahloh, Gren made sure to inform Tahloh about the decision they came up with. "Jessica convinced me that what I was doing to you was wrong so I'm here to ask you to be my fifth wife."
"Ehhh." Tahloh was in a state of shock while Gren was cleaning himself off so that he didn't dirty up the bathwater. "Isn't this too sudden?" It was but Gren had a good reason to rush it.
"I've kept you waiting long enough and I'm about to become very busy so I don't want to put it off." The introduction of vehicles wasn't as simple as just making them and training people how to use them. Gren needed to create instructions on how to maintain them, build garages to store them, and run trials to find out how people would respond to them in the streets. "If you want, I can give you time to think about it. You don't need to feel pressured into accepting the offer."
"No, I'll accept! I don't need to think about it." Tahloh regained her enthusiasm and maybe got a bit too loud since Gren's ear hurt. "Is that it? Are we now married?"
"Yeah. There are some traditions but as long as both of us recognize it as a marriage then it counts, I guess. I don't really get it either." Gren really wanted to know how other countries handled marriage since this one's lack of rules left people confused. "There's one tradition I'd like to follow but it'll have to be done in the future. The guild is going to be busy for a while and I don't have time to set things up." Gren was thinking about having a wedding from his old world in the Cathedral but those took a long time to plan.
Their bath didn't take that long and Gren started to head back upstairs with Jade when he heard footsteps coming from above. "Gren, there you are. I was expecting you in my room. Annie has started on that job of yours and needs your input before heading forward with the investigation." Gren hadn't given Annie a job yet but it was clear what Jessica was talking about; the investigation into the other guilds.
"Alright, let's go upstairs. We should be careful when talking about this kind of job." Annie was waiting for them in Jessica's room so when they arrived she looked their way. "So, what's this input you need?"
"I've created a list of the... who's that?" Annie was confused by Jade's presence.
"My new wife, Jade. I picked her up from the Scarlett Mansion." Annie was used to Gren doing weird things but picking up a wife was a new one.
"It's a bit unusual for you to just pick up a wife but she's from the one guild that we won't be investigating so it should be fine. She wouldn't be following you around if Mimi didn't check her out already." Gren picking up a new wife didn't change anything so the discussion could continue as normal. "Anyways, here's the list of mercenary guilds in the city. I ran around checking which ones are still operating as a guild so it took a while. Many of the guilds have rumors surrounding them so I've written those down for you. Each guild is separated into different categories based on who runs them; former gang leaders, merchants, lower nobility, higher nobility, and royalty."
"You're going to be investigating royalty? Isn't that dangerous?" Jade was able to piece together what they were planning on from Annie's words.
"No, the guild I'm talking about is run by royalty in name only. It's the current Duchess's guild but she's still the princess of Seka so she's royalty. She takes no part in controlling the guild and instead has a former maid as the guild master." Annie had done a lot of work in such a short time. "Even if it was run by her, I highly doubt that we would run into any problems. The current Duke does not seem to care about his wife and her brother, the king, wanted to marry her off to some Noble from Doga to keep her out of sight."
"That doesn't sound nice at all. Why would the king want to do something like that?" They were siblings so shouldn't they get along? Gren never had siblings except for Annie so he was unaware of how they weren't always on the best of terms.
"There are a few rumors about the bad blood between them but I don't know the truth. Some claim that she bathes in the blood of virgins to keep her young looks while others say that he doesn't like her because she keeps little boys as sex slaves." Annie shrugged before continuing. "At any rate, there's no proof in her doing anything illegal so I doubt that we'll have to act against her."
"So there's no proof of her bathing in blood or having sex with little boys?" Gren was relieved to hear that. Sometimes rumors about people were based on misunderstandings.
"There's no proof of her bathing in blood but it's a fact that she has sex with little boys. She buys young boys and then sells them when they're too old. It's just not a crime so we can't do anything about it." Gren's brief moment of relief disappeared. "She was vocal when the current king said that he'd make it illegal. Unfortunately, their father was a lot like her and also had a taste for little boys. He only set her up with the current Duke so that she'd have the power to fight any new laws placed by the current king. We can only hope that she meets a similar end as her father and gets killed by one of her sex slaves." Annie was against the current lack of protection for children since it helped to allow people like that merchant to keep harming others. If the previous king didn't fight the creation of those laws then her sister might still be alive.
"Come on, you two, focus on the mission. We can worry about laws later." Jessica didn't understand how the two of them would always get distracted whenever they discussed things. "We need to figure out how we're going to begin investigating the other guilds."
"We could just talk to my mother." Jade gave her suggestion while they were busy thinking. "The Scarlett Mansion specializes in gathering information. Most of what you get from the information brokers was originally gathered by our group. We don't really advertise that service so please don't tell anybody about it."
"That would be a good place to start if Jade's telling the truth." Annie had to go around and listen to gossip for the last couple of days and she didn't get much that was worth investigating. "The information brokers are connected to the guilds so asking for information from them would either get us kicked out of their shop or we would be given bad information. The Scarlett Guild wouldn't give us dirt on themselves but it's in their best interest for us to take out their competition."
"So, it's decided. Annie and Jade go to see Jade's mother to gather information on the guilds. I'll build some things that might help us out with any combat that might happen." Gren wouldn't know how to operate the vehicles if they finished the investigation before his training was complete so he'd need a backup plan. "As for Jessica, I need you to have the guild members move anything that's valuable to the underground. The last group that went after the criminal guilds got attacked and it's a lot easier to defend ourselves down there."
I feel like I'm always cutting it close with these chapter releases but that only happened this week. If I didn't have things happening in my life then the schedule wouldn't be hard to follow. This week was just more hectic than usual.
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