Chapter 117:

Chapter 106: Nothing That Isn’t Normal

A Terrible Evil Villain And Their Destiny

“So I’m going to sneak in and steal a bunch of papers?” Lottie asked curiously as they sat in the car headed towards Earl Blizwarn’s home.

“You might steal. That’s only if plan A doesn’t work out.” Bryson corrected.

After briefing the group on the information that was surmised from the conversation Bryson had with the detective, they now travelled to Blizwarn’s home the following morning to try and gather some evidence of insurance fraud.

Bryson wasn’t expecting to get too much from this visit. Perhaps gain some information of where the items could be hidden or at least catch the man in some sort of lie. One of the major issues that the police were having was the lack of ability to access any of Blizwarn’s places for a thorough search.

Bryson guessed that it was likely that the items were stashed somewhere on his property. It made sense that this was the case as he could have easily just sold off some of his valuables to pay any debts of his. He likely could have gotten better prices for it on auctions compared to insurance payments.

So why wouldn’t he just do that and instead come up with multiple false theft schemes? For the same reason why, he is so heavily in debt in the first place. The man evidently was some sort of kleptomaniac.

Massive statues made of valuable stones, expensive art pieces, exotic animals, they all pointed to someone who liked to have things. Now whether this was to try and show off to others or for personal satisfaction, Bryson didn’t know nor care. It wasn’t his concern.

I’m more concerned about whether or not he actually is behind these thefts. I need some sort of proof for that. Bryson thought. I doubt he’ll have his stuff hidden far away. Likely in some locked room or drawer. Hopefully I can sense it. Though with the amount of magic items in there I doubt it.

“I’m still not sure why he stole his own stuff.” Lottie said.

“Because he needed the money.” Bryson said rolling his eyes, “I’ve told you this already.”

“Yeah but, how?”

“What do you mean?”

“How does stealing your own stuff make you money?”

“Because the things are all insured.” Bryson said plainly, only to get a blank stare from Lottie.

“You don’t know what insurance is do you?” Bryson said with a sigh.

“Nope.” She said innocently.

“Uh, I, don’t really know what it means either.” Kristel said nervously.

“You know how all these things are valuable right?”

“Yes.” They said nodding their heads.

“You ensure these things in case something out of your control occurs and you lose the valuable thing.” Bryson said plainly.

“Oh, like when you lose something valuable.” Lottie said starting to understand.


“So he lied about it to get that money.”

“Are you just realizing this now?”

“Hey! I just didn’t know how insurance worked.” Lottie said sticking her tongue out at him.

“Lord Coldwater, we have arrived.” The driver reported stopping by the gates to the mansion.

“Alright, let’s see if he’s home. Leave the car here. I want to walk to entrance.” Bryson said getting out of the car and towards the gates with the other three piling out behind him. Approaching the intercom he pressed a button to contact whoever was inside, “Hello? Is anyone there? This is Lord Bryson Coldwater.”

After a moment of silence a voice emitted from the box, “W-what Lord Bryson is that you?” It was Earl Blizwarn’s voice.

Bryson was taken slightly aback he was not expecting to hear the voice of the Earl. Usually there would a servant picking up the call not the head of the house. It was definitely strange and the Earl’s hesitant reply only confirmed it to be so.

“Yes, I have come to see if you would want to discuss the recent robberies?” Bryson said calmly.

“I-I see. Are you with either of your parents?”

“No this is not a scheduled visit. Detective Snowberry simply mentioned how it might be useful if I check up on you. Is that a problem?” Bryson said trying his best to sound innocent.

“No, uh, not at all. I just am surprised is all.”

“… Can I come in?” Bryson asked after a moment of nothing.

“Oh, yes, let me unlock the gate for you.” Earl said.

Hearing a click the gate swung itself open and allowed the group to enter Blizwarn land. Looking around the place as they walked it gave off the impression of a wealthy family. Several statues and art pieces were displayed around the place.

Bryson actually took a moment collect himself as when he glanced over to the garden. It was like someone suddenly shining a light on his face with the magic in that area. Blinking a few times, he was able to make out the cause of this surge of magic.

The entire garden was filled with various magical plants. From mana convergers to pyroflowers to actual man-eating plants they all stood tall and healthy. Protected by a shimmering magical shield generator.

“Those are spark bloom bushes.” Florence said aloud.

“Are they rare?” Lottie asked.

“Extremely high maintenance to maintain here. They are found in other realms and are incredibly hard to grow on Strarth.” Florence said nodding her head.

“I’m starting to understand why he might need money.” Bryson said looking at the massive garden before frowning.

“What’s wrong?” Florence asked noticing Bryson’s expression.

“There are automatic sprinklers, but these gardens should still need to be maintained by people. Where is the staff?” Bryson looked around.

“It’s a lot emptier than at your place.” Lottie agreed as she spun around looking for any sign of human life.

“Hmm.” Bryson grunted in reply as he reached the door and pressed the doorbell. As he waited he continued to look around the place.

Blizwarn was an Earl, yet Bryson couldn’t find a single guard posted anywhere. The lack of security was definitely strange for a place this big and with so many valuables around. Right, you have to pay to use the royal guards. Bryson recalled.

The royal guards worked directly for the king. But other nobles could have them as long as they had the funds to rent them. There were always ways to get discounts such as how Bryson’s family helps train and select new recruits to the program, but even then, they needed to be housed and fed and supplied with proper equipment which wasn’t cheap.

Looking around Bryson noticed another strange thing. It was the placement of all the statues and the gardens. They were all in the front for display. Bryson didn’t remember seeing anything special anywhere else. It was as if all the valuables were moved to the front specifically.

Bryson then turned to the door and frowned. No one was here to greet him yet, he waited for at least a minute now in front of the door plus the added time it took to get here they had been waiting for likely over five minutes.

“What’s taking them so long?” Bryson wondered.

“Hiding something?” Florence offered.

“Maybe, Frost, go sneak around the place.” Bryson ordered.

“Ooo, what do you need me to do?” Lottie asked excitedly.

“Just look around and see if you see anyone working. Count the number and tell me how many big important things you find and where and don’t destroy anything.” Bryson said.

“You got it boss!” Lottie said giving a small salute before running off into the garden and quickly disappearing.

After another minute of waiting the door finally opened and once more Bryson was surprised by seeing Earl Blizwarn greeting him at the doorway.

“Earl Blizwarn.” Bryson said giving him a courteous greeting.

“Lord Bryson, it is good to see you.” He said greeting the boy with a polite nod.

“Yes, can I come in?”

“Why yes of course. I see you have brought your underlings.” He said noting the others with Bryson.

“Yes they are here to aid me.”

“Yes, of course.” Earl Blizwarn said allowing them to enter, “Ah, Sally please get these kids some refreshments.” He called out.

“Sorry for the intrusion.” Bryson said.

“No worry, I’ll be with you in a moment I just need to make myself presentable.” Blizwarn said with a light laugh.

“Yes.” Bryson said as he took the time to look around, once more he was greeted by a wave of magic. Though now prepared for it he made no reaction. The room had several valuable items, from the mundane to the magical, from art to jewellery.

In large corner of the room was a massive bird cage that housed an exotic toucan that was half the size of Bryson. He also noticed that many doorways that would usually be opened to separate hallways were closed along with a few curtains that would allow a view of the mansion's backyard to be drawn up.

That’s definitely suspicious. He thought as he sat down. As he did an older woman in a traditional maid uniform entered the room. Bryson noted how carefully she was at opening and closing the door behind her to make sure no one could get a glimpse of the other side.

She poured out some tea and handed it Bryson. After serving all of them, she took a quick bow before leaving. As she did so Earl Blizwarn finally came down the stairs dressed in the most lavish outfit Bryson had seen in months.

Looking up at him in disbelief, Bryson would’ve thought that a special event was about to go on. Why is he dressed like that? Bryson wondered internally.

Bryson then felt a hesitant tug on his sleeve as Blizwarn went down the stairs. Glancing over to his left he saw Kristel tugging on his sleeve looking as pale as a ghost staring at the quickly descending Earl.

“What?” Bryson whispered.

“He has the ring.” She whispered.

“What?” Bryson asked in disbelief.

“The missing ring, he’s wearing it.” Kristel barely whispered.