In the living hall inside the Langford residence. Ethan took charge, commanding, ” Everyone, step outside. Only enter when I say so.”
With a gesture, he dismissed his subordinates and servants. Dustin signaled to Maximus. “Why don’t you take a breather in the adjacent hall for a while? I need a word with Mr. Ethan.”
“Sure thing.” Maximus nodded and quickly exited. As the doors closed, the grand living hall was left with only two people- Ethan and Dustin. Now more at ease, Ethan couldn’t resist shedding his formal facade. “Your Grace, what brings you here?”
Dustin’s presence was a sensitive issue, given his role as the heir to the West Lucozian monarchy.
As the imperial court minister, Ethan knew that having a private meeting with Dustin could stir up controversy and accusations of treachery or conspiracy.
“What’s the deal, Mr. Ethan? You’re not about to tell me you’re unhappy to see me?” Dustin asked with a sly grin.
Internally, Ethan rolled his eyes. “Oh, don’t give me that! Do you think I’d welcome bad luck like you? I haven’t lost my mind!”
Still, he maintained the act and said graciously, “Your Grace, your visit brings a touch of grandeur to my humble abode.”
“Is that so?” Dustin poured himself a cup of tea and one for Ethan, who cautiously accepted it. Dustin continued, “I was planning to visit you later, but it seems fate had other ideas, Ethan.”
Ethan’s eye twitched. He silently cursed Hugo but outwardly maintained an honorable demeanor. “I’m curious, Your Grace. What brings you here? How can I assist you?”
Dustin took a sip of tea and smiled. ” I’ve got three important matters on my plate. First, since I just arrived in Oakvale, I’m a bit strapped for cash. Can you help me out?”
Ethan visibly relaxed his shoulders. He was expecting something serious but was taken aback by such a simple request.
“Of course, no problem. I’ll arrange the funds right away. How about three billion? And if that’s not enough, I can get more.”
“Here’s the deal, Mr. Ethan,” Dustin replied. “I have a principle. I’m not a fan of living off other people’s wealth. Money can always run out. Instead of giving me a fish, how about teaching me to fish? What do you say?”
This caught Ethan off guard. “What? If you don’t want money, looking for?” what are you Dustin revealed his intentions, “Is the Golden Balcony under the Langford family’s umbrella? I’ve heard it’s quite a moneymaker. How about handing it over to me?”
Ethan’s eyes widened, and a sudden tightness gripped his chest. “The Golden Balcony?” he gasped. Dustin was aiming for the lion’s share.
The Golden Balcony was the largest casino in South City, pulling in an annual net profit starting at a billion. It was the Langford family’s golden goose. But Dustin didn’t seem interested in money; he had another agenda.
With a wry grin, Dustin added, “The Langford family is financially fine, so giving me the Golden Balcony shouldn’t be a big deal, right?”
Ethan muttered to himself, “Not a big deal? How can you say that with a straight face?” He smiled. “If you like it, there’s no harm in handing the Golden Balcony over to you.”
“Your generosity is truly something, Mr. Ethan. Thanks,” Dustin expressed his gratitude.
“Your Grace, you’re too kind. It’s the least I can do,” Ethan replied through gritted teeth.
“Now, the second matter is straightforward. I just need you to help me locate two specific medicinal herbs, “Dustin said, extending two fingers.
“Oh?” Ethan’s eyes lit up. Afraid Dustin might change his mind, he eagerly said, “This is simple. If you give me the word, I can find two hundred medicinal herbs if necessary.”