48 Hours a Day
Chapter 237 - Interrogation
“Let’s not talk about your father’s imprisonment first. Financially aiding political enemies should start a new conflict between Redmond and Malcolm. We need to investigate the Normand matter first.”
“Normand, who is that?”
“The black-market alliance that you know right now is actually not the first in existence.
“I heard my father mentioning it before. Three years ago, another black-market alliance was established in Nassau. However, it did not end well. It existed only for a short period of time, and it was dismissed soon that.”
“The leader of that alliance was Normand. We all know Redmond as the most experienced black-market merchant in Nassau. When Normand was still around, he was the most respected black-market merchant on this island, which was why he was chosen as the alliance’ leader. During that time, Redmond was second in command. Not too long after that, the whole thing was managed poorly, and Normand’s reputation was destroyed thanks to that. He left many angry and resentful. After that alliance was dismissed, Normand secretly left Nassau. In the end, I heard he died of some illness in his home.”
“Does this incident have anything to do with Malcolm? He’s been only on the island for a year, right?”
“He made a name for himself during that time. Of course, it fades in comparison to what he’s achieved today. He played a big part in the establishment of the black-market alliance, but he chose to lay low instead. I believe he is not a good man.”
Zhang Heng then passed the notebooks to Carina.
“Malcolm incited the black-market merchants against Normand. Why would he do that? Isn’t he one of the supporters of the black-market alliance?” he asked.
“He is one of the supporters of the black-market alliance, but he wants to be the one in charge of it all. It was too soon for Malcolm to do anything when Normand formed the alliance, having only been in Nassau for a year. His position and growth were limited, and it wouldn’t be good for him if the alliance managed to fortify their territory on the island. If he wanted to grow and expand further, he had to put a stop to the black-market alliance. To achieve that, it was done in great secrecy. I heard that he used a courier called Eugene.”
“Eugene? The intelligence trader who lived on our island?”
“Well, he was once a black-market merchant as well. Once the alliance was dismissed, he switched jobs as an intelligence dealer. We need to talk to him. Amongst the merchants, Normand’s reputation was unparalleled. Though the black-market alliance incident had cost him his good reputation, he still holds the respect of many. For years now, his best friend was always Raymond.
“After Normand passed away, Redmond took care of his funeral and buried him. If we can get Eugene to testify against Malcolm, we could deepen the conflict between Malcolm and Redmond. With the letters that the two have, I believe it would hit Malcolm harder than exposing your father’s issue. Considering that the black-market alliance isn’t doing well, I believe that we can land him a critical hit if we expose this old incident about him.”
Just as Zhang Heng finished, someone ran into the cellar. It was Cauchy.
“Something bad is happening at the mansion! You guys better head to the central plaza and take a look.”
Fifteen minutes later, Zhang Heng and Carina arrived at the central plaza with their faces covered. A large number of people had already gathered. At the center of it all, a naked black man was being tied to a wooden stake. There were whip marks and open wounds all over his body, and he seemed to be not long for this world. The butler that Zhang Heng met before at Terrance Mansion, Wallace, stood there calmly.
“I’m going to give you one last chance. Who have you been contacting outside the mansion? Who did he ask you to pass the message to? Tell me his name, and I will let you go! I’ll give your freedom back to you! What do you think, eh? Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted? To become a free man.”
The black man’s mouth remained shut, causing Wallace to instinctively pick the whip before slashing the man again. The poor soul howled in pain when a big chunk of flesh on his back was torn off by the whip. Soon, he could no longer stand the pain, and he lost consciousness.
After that, Wallace lifted a bucket of water and splashed it on the man. It did it’s work, waking him up with his face all twisted.
“You lot won’t stop begging me to be more merciful! Alright! Right now, I will show you mercy! You have my promise, and the people around you shall bear witness to my words. As long as you give me the name, I will release you immediately. Before you leave, I will even throw in a doctor to treat your injuries. As a bonus, you will be given a new set of clothes so you can leave this place with honor. Honestly, I can’t think of a better deal than this. All I want are the names. Just give me the two damn names, and we can end this bloody farce!”
The black man started panting rapidly. Nonetheless, after a short while, he decided that he would not say a word to the butler.
“This is why I hate your kind. The kind that will never learn how to put themselves in the shoes of others. Why do you have to turn this into an ugly scene?” growled Wallace in a disappointed tone.
After that, Wallace stood up and took two steps back. The supervisor behind him moved to the front again. The black man was trembling, dreading terrible things would befall him soon. Laeli could bear it no more, and was about to punch Wallace in the face. However, someone grabbed his arm before he could go.
“Calm down. The reason why Wallace chose this placewas to make sure that you get to see all of it. If you show yourself right now, you are walking right into their trap. The man on the pillar… is that your contact?”
Laeli nodded as he clenched his jaws, trying his best to suppress his anger.
“His name is Nadya, a kitchen helper in the mansion. In the morning, he would usually visit the market with the chef to get the day’s supplies. We would secretly meet up and I’ll pass him the messages for Leah.”
“How did Wallace come to know about it?”
“We always met behind the cook’s back. I’m pretty sure that another kitchen helper sold him out, and the traitor is apparently not from my tribe. However, Nadya told me that he had been dealt with. I tried my best to meet up with him only when he was alone. Then, I realized that another kitchen helper would always stand close by whenever we talked. All the slaves who have been granted permission to step out of the mansion are usually very obedient. Still, he is worried that some of them might escape when they are out. That is why he would never let his slaves stray too far. Just so you know, I made sure to always cover my face when I talked to Nadya. No one should recognize me unless they know me well!”