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Chapter 513 Prisoner
The third-level warrior gulped. Khan's uncompromising behavior was impossible to deal with, and he had already shown where a refusal would lead. The guard could only accept that he had to decide between suffering a severe injury or betraying his duties.
"Mister Alstair, if you don't come by yourself," Khan pressed on, "I'll get you personally."
Khan's despotic behavior wasn't giving the guards a chance to think, and Francis was in a similar situation. The latter knew that following Khan was a bad idea. Still, Khan wasn't in the mood for compromises, and the sole thought of him approaching Francis was too scary to consider.
"I'll go," Francis agreed. "Do as he says and report back."
The three guards didn't even try to complain. They immediately abandoned Francis to a.s.sist their companions. Meanwhile, Francis stood up and kept his head lowered while slowly approaching Khan.
"Mister Alstair, get my crutches," Khan ordered before limping toward his building.
Monica hurried to Khan's side and matched his pace to walk with him. They didn't turn even once to check Francis' actions, but he had his fair share of onlookers. The audience and his guards noticed how he obediently retrieved the crutches and followed the couple without daring to reach them.
Entering the building brought some privacy but didn't disperse the tension. Khan and Monica continued to walk silently and entered the elevator, and Francis soon reached them. The couple still didn't speak, and the situation didn't change even after the lift began to move.
The flat unfolded in Khan's vision, and Monica waited for him to take the first step inside before going along. The two crossed the elevator room and reached the main hall, where George was waiting for them on a couch. The newly hired guard was also there, but he was on his feet, messing with some menus on the wall.
"Sir, I took the liberty of activating the cleaners," The guard stated, pointing at a rectangular robot sucking gla.s.s shards from the floor. "I hope that was the right decision."
"It was," Khan confirmed, ignoring the faint reaction in Monica's mana. He understood she had something to do with that broken gla.s.s, and seeing George's amused expression marked him as an accomplice.
"You can sit," Khan said to the guard.
"I prefer to stand, sir," The guard responded, performing a military salute and taking position behind the biggest couch.
Khan liked that behavior, but his face didn't show anything. He remained cold and emotionless while approaching the biggest couch and sitting at its center.
Monica hurried into another room while Francis entered the main hall. She returned with gla.s.ses and a bottle in a few seconds but only filled one of them to offer it to Khan.
"Sit, Mister Alstair," Khan ordered, taking the gla.s.s while keeping his gaze on the couch before him. His eyes didn't move even when Monica sat at his side and focused on matching his vibe with her posture.
Francis didn't need to ask where to sit. He entered the array of couches and leaned the crutches on the table before reaching the seat eyed by Khan. He occupied its center and placed his hands on his knees to wait for Khan to speak again.
"Tell me about your plan," Khan gave another order. "I want to know every detail."
Khan's heavy presence had never wavered, so Francis could only lift his gaze briefly before lowering it again and beginning his tale. "The plan was to force Monica out of the Harbor, applying pressure on her psychological and political state if necessary."
"Why?" Khan questioned.
"In a different environment," Francis explained, "We could have seized some leverage. With Monica in our possession, we could have kept you separated for years, if not indefinitely."
"Who is we?" Khan asked.
"My parents," Francis didn't hide anything, "Many factions inside my family, and a big part of Monica's family."
Khan already knew that the ploy involved many prominent figures, but that confirmation didn't sound any easier to accept. The Headmistress had warned him about those consequences, and they had finally arrived.
"Details," Khan reminded. "Describe the kind of pressure you wanted to apply."
Francis hesitated, but looking at Khan was scarier, so he eventually spoke. "We have many specialists on our side, and they are all willing to diagnose Monica with trauma-related illnesses. Some-."
Francis interrupted his line, but Khan wouldn't let him fall silent. "Continue."
"S-some," Francis stammered, "Some involve abuse and violence on your side."
Monica snorted angrily but didn't add anything. It made sense for the interested factions to target Khan, and his recent video could also help create the picture of a violent man.
"Your chances of forcing her hand were slim at best," Khan commented.
"We counted on an unbefitting reaction on her side too," Francis explained. "We only needed enough to involve higher-ups."
"Or my side, I suppose," Khan guessed.
"Kha-," Francis lifted his gaze and decided to correct his line. "Captain Khan, I swear, I never planned to involve you in this."
The statement surprised Khan, even if his face showed no trace of that feeling. Francis had spoken the truth, which didn't make much sense. In theory, Khan was the weakest link in that political situation, so the families shouldn't hesitate to target him.
"Tell me," Khan left that topic for later. "Did you obtain the unbefitting reaction you sought?"
Francis hesitated, but that reaction alone was enough for Khan. Francis timidly looked at Monica, but her cold stance made him focus on the table before uttering something bound to make the couple angry.
"Maybe," Francis responded. "It will depend on Monica's family."
Khan calmly drank from his gla.s.s and reviewed the new information. For once, it seemed people didn't want to mess with him, but he remained involved. Those factions were coming after his girlfriend now.
"I want to talk with these factions," Khan eventually announced. "Arrange something."
"What?" Francis gasped.
"Do your ears have issues?" Khan asked.
"N-no," Francis shook his head. "I'll reunite with them and convey your wish."
"No, you'll say here," Khan explained. "You are my prisoner now."
"C-captain, I-," Francis stammered.
"I want a meeting with the representatives of these factions," Khan interrupted. "Face to face. They can have you back once we have talked."
"But-!" Francis attempted to complain, but Khan had only threats for him.
"I can always send them your head in a box if you don't like these arrangements," Khan declared, and Francis lost any desire to speak.
"Leave now," Khan ordered, pointing at one of the corridors stretching from the hall. "Take the bedroom on the right. You aren't allowed outside unless I say so."
Francis could see that Khan was an unbreakable wall. Nothing would get past him now, and he was willing to use violence to fulfill his goals. Francis had to stand up and approach the corridor, but a tinge of resolve flared inside him and made him turn before he could leave the array of couches.
"Monica," Francis called as desperation and courage fused on his face, "Believe me when I say that I only want your well-being. I-, I love you. I always have."
The sudden declaration had no deeper meaning. The situation felt like a permanent goodbye, so Francis wanted to speak before it was too late. However, Monica wouldn't give him the answer he hoped to receive.
"Your feelings flatter me," Monica showed her impeccable, elegant manners while placing a hand on Khan's leg. "However, my body and heart belong to Khan. I hope we can remain friends."
Francis looked at Khan, but the latter had never moved his eyes from the couch before him. It almost seemed that the matter didn't concern Khan. He calmly drank as if he knew the outcome.
"I understand," Francis whispered before hurrying outside the hall and entering the appointed corridor. The sound of a metal door sliding close eventually resounded, marking the end of that strange night.
"Can you really imprison him?" George asked while drinking from the bottle that the guard had salvaged.
"I don't care about what I can do anymore," Khan stated, allowing himself to relax a bit and lying deeper on the couch. "If they want him back, they must show their faces."
"Sounds like a plan," George chuckled.
Khan couldn't help but glance at George. He was clearly not fine, but his mana was more lively than usual.
"Did you have fun?" Khan asked.
"A bit," George snickered, nodding toward the guard. "The guy here hit me good. I should carry my sword around more often."
"I apologize for attacking you, Mister Ildoo," The guard uttered. "Though, your swordsmanship deserves praise."
"I was just waving my hand randomly," George scoffed. "It's not real swordsmanship without a sword, but I guess I can say the same about your lack of spells."
"Mister Alstair had only ordered us to restrain you," The guard reminded.
"Pity," George sighed. "You do look decent."
"You," Khan recalled, lifting his head to look at the guard behind him. "What's your name?"
The guard entered the array of couches and crossed the table before Khan to give him a clearer view. The man had reached the middle-age, but his face carried no wrinkles. His brown eyes were firm and focused, and his short black hair had no grey strands. He was also quite burly, even if his suit tried to hide that.
"Andrew Durarel, sir," The guard stated, performing a military salute. "At your service, sir."
"Andrew, what's your story?" Khan questioned.
"I come from a small family, sir," Andrew explained. "I served in multiple places and some battlefields, Ecoruta included. The Alstair family eventually acknowledged my talent and hired me."
'Right,' Khan recalled. "How much did they pay you?"
"Twenty thousand Credits a month," Andrew revealed.
'The private sector sure pays well,' Khan thought. That sum was far higher than his Captain's allowance and matching it was the wise move. Loyalty issues could arise otherwise.
"I'll pay you twenty-five a month," Khan declared. "Is that acceptable?"
"I'm flattered, sir," Andrew voiced. "Thank you, sir."
"Don't mention it," Khan exclaimed. "Your first job is to take care of Mister Alstair. Make sure he stays in his room and gets enough food. I'll deal with the contract tomorrow."
"As you wish, sir," Andrew responded and turned to reach Francis' corridor. There was another bedroom there, so the guard wouldn't have problems finding a place to sleep.
"You have become rich," George teased.
"A family offers benefits I don't have," Khan explained. "Increasing his pay is necessary."
"Quite the politician," George smirked, but writings lit up on the wall and distracted him from that conversation.
'The doctor,' Khan thought and began to stand up, but Monica pressed on his leg to interrupt his action and take care of that guest.
Monica hurried toward the elevator room, granting Khan a clear line of sight with George. The latter showed a meaningful smile that carried lewd jokes Khan understood perfectly but chose to ignore.
George's smirk disappeared when Monica, a middle-aged woman, and Anita entered the main hall. George immediately stood up, but the abrupt gesture made him groan in pain and cough some blood on his hand.
"Are you okay?" Anita gasped, hurrying to George's side.
"It's only a scratch," George rea.s.sured, wiping the blood on his casual clothes. "I'll be fine after a good night of sleep."
"The doctor will decide that," Anita scolded, stealing the bottle from George's hand and leaving it on the table.
"I'm certain I can drink," George said.
"That's never a good option if medications are required," The doctor stated, adjusting her small gla.s.ses before browsing through her bag.
George wanted to complain, but Anita's puppy eyes carried genuine worry. She probably also wanted an explanation, which was bound to get in the way of a night spent drinking with friends.
"Let's do this in my flat," George sighed. "Khan, I'm leaving early."
"I'll see you tomorrow," Khan responded, fully understanding what was happening. He wanted to show a friendly smile too, but his domineering stance had yet to wear off.
George tried to take the bottle during his departure, but one glare from Anita made him put it back on the table. The couple and the doctor eventually left, and silence fell in the main hall.
Monica didn't immediately return to the couch. She played with the flat's menus to close Francis' corridor and isolate that side of the habitation. Privacy spread in the main hall, and Monica calmly reached Khan's side to regain her elegant posture.
Khan couldn't help but heave a tired sigh. That night had finally ended, but its consequences were bound to stretch through the entire week or more. He also had to think about Raymond's call and contents, which didn't hint at anything good.
'At least this statement should go a long way,' Khan thought.
Khan's domineering behavior had not been entirely natural. It aligned with his feelings, but he had exploited his lying skills and sensitivity to enhance it. That character was basically a persona that reflected an unreasonable side of Khan's personality. He didn't like it, but it was better than killing.
"What's up with you?" Khan asked, turning to look at Monica. "You are awfully quiet."
Monica had begun to show her true colors now that they were alone, but Khan had long since sensed the reactions of her mana. She was a mess of happiness and arousal. Still, she was holding back for fear of ending that incredible scene.
"I saw you ready to fight," Khan continued, reaching for Monica's cheek. "You know you shouldn't use your element here. It's too dangerous."
Monica remained silent and snuggled in Khan's palm until his thumb entered her range. She took it into her mouth, and her tempting eyes returned to Khan while wet sensations invaded him.
"Oh," Khan voiced, leaving his drink on the table before pulling Monica closer. Monica gasped at the sudden gesture, but no complaints resounded. Her eagerness intensified, and the thumb in her mouth experienced part of it.
"I wonder," Khan feigned ignorance. "What should I do with you?"
Monica let the thumb escape her mouth and kissed it before speaking tempting whispers. "My Captain can do anything he wants with me. I'm his to use as he wishes."
"Is that so?" Khan asked, bringing Monica onto his lap. She was ready to explode, but Khan was in control, so he let her boil and pant above him until he couldn't take it anymore.