My twin brother approached me cautiously and whispered, “Sisthia, aren’t you going to tell me your plan?”
“Are you planning something risky without telling me? You must not do that. That kind of mercenary guild can be easily eliminated if we just step on it. You don’t need to get involved.”
I jumped up at my brothers’ words. “Stepping on it? Absolutely not! What if Iveth demands compensation for damaging his mercenary guild later?”
“Well… we can clean up the situation so he can’t claim any compensation.”
I sighed and shook my head. I didn’t tell them exactly how I planned to punish Iveth, because I knew my brothers would object if they knew. Investigating the ingredients of the growth elixir or raiding the mercenary guild would have been options besides the one I was about to use, but time and safety were issues. Iveth might get the hint and run away, or he might do something to Winnie. Razvan looked at me with concern.
“Anyway, you and Tigris resembled each other.”
“Well, we’re siblings, so it’s natural to resemble each other.”
When I shook my head, Tavian raised his voice.
“But you’re also our little sister!”
“Yes, that’s true. So I resemble you guys too.”
“Resemble us? You and us?”
In the sense that I would thoroughly step on anyone who was bad without leaving a single strand of fur! Of course, the method of thoroughly stepping on them might be slightly different.
My twin brothers looked at each other in confusion, and I laughed heartily.
* * *
Iveth had a thought as he dragged a massive carriage full of luggage towards Gladwin. From afar, the eye-catching, towering castle adorned with white marble and elaborate gold decorations, the wealth that left nothing lacking in maintaining it, and the reputation and power that echoed throughout the beastmen realm.
Gladwin was undoubtedly an enormous family, but that was all. Considering that the heir of the family was a dumb beastmen, it was clear.
Iveth, who kept his emotion hidden inside, kindly spoke to Sisthia, who was sipping the elixir of growth.
“How are you, Lady Sisthia? Here is the elixir of growth I made just before arriving here.”
“Oh, really? No wonder. It tastes so fresh!”
Every time she drank the elixir of growth, Iveth’s heart fluttered with satisfaction.
One sip, ten million coins.
Two sips, twenty million coins.
Three sips, thirty million coins…
Each time the elixir of growth was sucked into her small mouth, a burst of excitement erupted in Iveth’s mind.
It felt as if the sound of a money bag rolling in echoed in his ears.
Dumb Sisthia Gladwin.
It seemed that the rumors were true when they said that Gladwin was in decline. She drank the elixir of growth as if it were boiled water, without even realizing that it was just a concoction of boiled dandelion roots. What kind of desire could drive someone to drink something so repulsive and tasteless? How much money must be wasted?
Sisthia, who downed a glass of growth elixir in one gulp, pushed an empty glass towards a maid named Karin.
“Karin! Ah, Karin is not here. Iona, give me another glass!”
“You seem to be drinking too much at once. How about taking a break and drinking later?”
“Oh, it’s fine. It’s the growth elixir, you know. Right, Iveth?”
Iveth chuckled as he looked at the cheerful Sisthia.
“Of course. The elixir of growth has its effects, and one of its advantages is that there are no side effects no matter how much you drink.”
Of course. It was nothing more than plain water, so there couldn’t be any side effects. Drinking a lot would make them visit the restroom frequently, but Iveth didn’t know that much.
While Iona went to fetch a new glass for the elixir of growth, Sisthia asked.
“Iveth, I want to keep drinking it in the future. If it’s okay, I hope Gladwin has an exclusive supply contract for the elixir. What do you think?”
“An exclusive contract with Gladwin? That would be an infinite honor.”
It was a lie.
Iveth planned to take the payment for the elixir of growth he brought today and secretly disappear to a remote area where no one knew him. Sisthia had consumed an enormous amount of the elixir of growth in the past few days, and it would soon be revealed that the elixir provided no help in growth.
He needed to escape before that happened.
The moment he stepped out of Gladwin’s guest reception room, Iveth and the mercenary guild would disappear like an illusion. So, for now, he just had to pretend to cater to Sisthia’s whims.
A little while later, Iona returned.
“Here you go, Lady Sisthia. The elixir of growth.”
Without hesitation, the foolish tiger lifted her teacup and drank the elixir of growth.
Sisthia let out a short sound and collapsed under the chair.
A dull sound rang out as Sisthia slumped haphazardly to the floor with her eyes closed.
The events happened so quickly that Iveth couldn’t grasp the situation.
All of Gladwin’s direct descendants who were gathered in the reception room immediately got up and rushed towards Sisthia.
The temporary head, Tigris, lifted her into his embrace.
Sisthia weakly leaned against him, her body limp.
“Sisthia, Sisthia, wake up!”
“Damn it, Sisthia…!”
Gladwin’s three sons simultaneously emitted a golden aura.
A cold sweat ran down Iveth’s spine as he realized that the aura was directed at him. He hesitantly stepped back, trying to avoid the glaring eyes of the tiger.
“Why… Why are you looking at me with those eyes?”
“Why? You’re asking why in this situation?”
Tavian replied, playing along with Razvan’s words.
“Because of you, our Sisthy collapsed.”
“Because of me? What are you talking about?”
Iveth shouted, feeling genuinely wronged.
One corner of Tavian’s mouth curled up. It was an obvious smirk.
“You’re complaining now? You saw for yourself that Sisthy drank the elixir of growth and collapsed, didn’t you?”
“The elixir of… what?”
“The ♬♪ elixir of growth.”
Iveth stiffened at the unheard-of curse.
From Tavian’s perfectly shaped reddish lips, a vulgar swear word poured out.
“Where did you get the audacity to feed Sisthy something like the elixir of growth or the elixir of ♬♪ and then pretend not to know anything? It pisses me off.”
“Tavian, I told you to watch your language in front of Sisthy.”
Razvan reprimanded Tavian in a quiet voice, raising the corner of his mouth while looking at Iveth. Tavian and Razvan had the exact same expression.
“I could pluck your fur and peel your skin off, then soak it in boiling water.”
Although it wasn’t a swear word, it was still a terrible statement. Iveth quickly prostrated himself on the floor, thinking that he needed to clear his name.
“Oh, it’s a misunderstanding! Sisthia did not collapse because of the elixir of growth!”
“Everyone here, including you and me, saw it happen, and yet you’re saying such things?”
“There must be another reason. Absolutely. There’s no way she collapsed because of the elixir of growth!”
“How can you be so sure? She is fragile, and the elixir of growth is said to be a special growth potion. Who knows if there might be side effects you don’t know about?”
“No, there aren’t. It has nothing to do with the strength or weakness of the body.”
“Prove it. Present your confident evidence.”
“Well, the evidence is…”
Iveth bit his lip tightly.
He can’t even bring down a mouse or a sparrow, let alone a tiger.
But he couldn’t say that out loud.
Admitting that he had been scamming all along was just like confessing with his own mouth.
He needed to think; he needed to come up with some excuse…!
He racked his brain, but he couldn’t even imagine what happened next.
Something invisible came crashing on him all of a sudden; the air had become heavy.
The twins began exhaling even more menacingly.
“Indeed, there’s no evidence.”
“They deceived us, claiming it was safe without any evidence. Sigh. Lately, there have been more and more people disrespecting Gladwin.”
“We should have dealt with it not so quietly. This time, let’s give them a good scare in plain sight.”
The twins reached an agreement, clenching their fists and nodding their heads.
He had to make a decision between admitting to administering unproven medicine to Gladwin’s successor, hoping to defeat them, or selling dandelion root tea as a cure to make a profit.
Which sin would be less severe?
The decision was not difficult.
“…The thing is!”
“The water that she drank was not a potion for growth, but just water with dandelion root infused. It has a smell, but it’s nothing more than ordinary water. There’s no way she would have collapsed after drinking such water!”
It was a wasted effort, but it was better to face the consequences and give up the money than to risk losing his life or becoming a scapegoat due to misunderstandings.
Besides, he had said it was the root of a plant, not dandelion specifically, so if the opportunity arose, he might be able to mix things up a bit. With admiration for his own cunningness, he pressed his forehead against the floor, holding his breath.
And soon, he heard an unbelievable sound.
“Munch, munch. Give me more……”
It was a voice filled with happiness. With a foreboding feeling, Iveth raised his head and looked at Sisthia, who was embraced in Tigris’ arms.
The small child, smaller than Tigris but twice as big as Iveth, burrowed into Tigris’ embrace and mumbled in her sleep.
“Hehehe. I like the elixir of growth… Dandelion root tea is delicious…”
Why was she talking about dandelion root tea here?
Could it be that she knows that the elixir of growth is dandelion root tea?
No, that’s not possible. It can’t be. There’s no way she could have figured it out…
The twins growled with identical expressions.
Iveth felt as if all the blood was draining from his body as he touched the floor with his hand. Read ahead here.