Rio heaved a deep sigh, his tone grave. “Things are not good. The guild is currently preparing to thoroughly investigate all businesses under the Cox family. The auction house has already been shut down, and the firearms that were found have all been confiscated for source tracing. However, it’s uncertain what they will be able to uncover.”
This was similar to what Neera had heard so far. Nonetheless, what she cared about more was the truth.
“Mr. Rio, may I be so bold as to ask whether those firearms truly belong to the Cox family? This is a matter of great importance, and I hope you can tell me the truth. Of course, I understand I’m an outsider. If you feel it’s inappropriate to answer, feel free not to.”
Rio’s brows furrowed deeply as he spoke in a serious tone. “Ms. Garcia, in this matter, the Cox family is truly innocent. I have no reason to deceive you. The possession and use of firearms are strictly prohibited in Phison. The head of my family has also issued a strict order not allowing anyone to violate this law. All the industries under the Cox family’s name have never had a single mishap, let alone the possibility of hiding firearms among them. There must be something fishy about this!”
Seeing his decisive response, which didn’t seem like he was lying, Neera had a better understanding of the
“If the Cox family had not been secretly hoarding firearms, then why would such a large quantity of them appear in your auction house?”
“I’m just as confused about this matter as you are right now.”
Rio’s brows were furrowed with worry. He took out a cigar, just about to light it, but after glancing at Neera, he quickly put it back into the metal box.
“I think someone has set the Cox family up.”
Neera asked again, “Do you have any suspects or evidence?”
Rio shook his head. “Not yet. The Cox family almost never makes enemies. Even if we don’t get along, we won’t worsen the relationship. So, for the time being, I’m not sure who’s scheming against us. However, since Mr. Avery has risen to the position of the second elder, it has caused dissatisfaction among the other elders. Perhaps they hold a grudge because of this and want to drag the Cox family down.”
Neera nodded thoughtfully. Recalling Jean’s words, she began to phish for information.
“What are your thoughts on the discovery of a large number of firearms at the Cox family’s auction house, aside from being set up? As far as I know, the Cox family’s auction house is quite strictly managed. If those firearms weren’t brought in by the Cox family, then who did, and how? Such a large quantity isn’t something that can be easily smuggled in without attracting attention.”
“I’ve been pondering over this matter too. It’s impossible for an outsider to smuggle in so many firearms under the watchful eyes of the security staff. Therefore, I suspect there might be a loophole within the auction house itself. I’ve already sent people to investigate, but there are no results yet.”
Seeing that he had thought of this aspect, Neera chose not to say anything more.
“Mr. Rio, don’t panic just yet. The guild hasn’t made a final decision, nor has there been any talk of punishing the Cox family for this yet. As long as the investigation is ongoing, there’s still a chance for things to turn around. In times like these, it’s crucial to remain calm. Mr. Cox is currently on Adieu Island and unable to attend to these matters. If you lose your composure, there will be no hope for the Cox family. As for the matter of the firearms, I will have someone look into it to see if we can find any useful information.”
11:01 Mon, 20 Nov
Rio expressed his gratitude sincerely, “Ms. Garcia, thank you for your efforts.”
When Neera left, Albert just so happened to arrive.
The moment he saw her, Albert’s face turned grim with displeasure, and his attitude was quite nasty.
“What are you here for? Are you here to confront me? You’ve caused my daughter so much suffering. If it weren’t for the sake of the head of the family, I would have stormed into the Gordon residence long ago! Why would I wait until now?!”
Rio’s face darkened immediately before he reprimanded, “Albert, watch your attitude!”
Albert was currently fuming with anger, so there was no room for reason. He let out a cold huff.
“What kind of attitude should I have toward a traitor who colludes with someone from Lordsworth Estate? Not reporting her to the guild is already giving face to the Gordon family!”
“Albert! Shut your mouth already!”
At that moment, Neera suddenly laughed. However, the laughter didn’t reach her eyes, which shone mockingly.
“This is truly absurd! I never knew that right and wrong can now be arbitrarily reversed. What world is this that the perpetrator can cry injustice in front of the victim? Mr. Albert, I respect you as an elder of the Cox family and Mr. Cox’s third uncle. That’s why I call you Mr. Albert. If it weren’t for this respect, I would have you kneeling before me right now while apologizing for your mistakes.”
By the end of her words, the aura emanating from her was filled with an overwhelming sense of pressure and authority.
Upon hearing this, Albert exploded, “You want me to kneel and apologize to you? Are you dreaming? Don’t think you can act high and mighty in front of me!”
“You know better than anyone whether I’m entitled to act like this or not. With my status, you speaking to me like this is insubordination. How I choose to deal with you is entirely up to me. Mr. Albert, I initially didn’t want to involve you because of your daughter’s foolishness and malice, but what are you trying to do? Could it be that you want me to put this debt on your head? You better think it through and consider just how heavy the price you’ll have to pay for this is.”
“Your daughter made the first move by hiring a killer, and as her father, you’ve shown not even the slightest remorse. Instead, you’ve defended her and pointed fingers at me, the victim. This is beyond my expectations. Is this the kind of upbringing the Cox family provides? If word of this gets out, I fear the reputation of your family will be utterly ruined. Mr. Albert, failing to educate your daughter properly is not a crime, but if you continue to let her run wild without teaching her how to be a decent human being, I’m afraid the only thing she’ll be learning is how to be a ghost in the future.”
Upon hearing this, Albert’s face instantly turned ashen!