Attire: Business & dinner fit
Time: 5:00 pm -> 6:00 pm
Location: Merchant Guild -> Castle Dining Room
Interaction(s): @princess Alibeth, Edin, Anastasia
After Charlotte had departed, Wulfric had not remained at the café much longer, perhaps half an hour at most. He soon took his leave as well, making a short return to the castle. After changing his outfit into something more appropriate for business, he headed to the Merchant Guild.
It was a neat building, one which displayed the might of capital of the Merchant’s Association. Nothing compared to his family’s assets, yet that did not in any way mean they could be dismissed out of hand. The prince had recognized the importance of money at a young age. Because of that, he’d made efforts to make allies within the Guild. Occasionally even with those rare individuals and companies who were unaffiliated with it.
It was because of these connections that Delronzo’s name – and that of his company, the Black Rose – had been immediately recognizable to him once he’d heard of them. Black Rose had become quite renown in the past half a year. It had enjoyed great success, and had managed to expand admirably. Of course, he’d heard of it; a few months prior, in fact. He’d not thought much of it then, beyond the company being a potential target of investment.
However…Now, there was not only the clear possibility, but a very high likelihood that Marek had fueled Black Rose’s success via illegitimate means. Was his company simply a front? Or was it all the same to the man, as long as he made a profit? Either was plausible, and given he was so well-established already, it would be a hassle to deal with regardless.
No matter. If that’s what it took, he would simply dismantle the company itself, ruthlessly and systematically. Limit the man’s options until he had nowhere to run, nothing and no one to hide behind. Crush him as the menace that he was.
But first things first.
He wanted intel, and the Guild was simply his first chosen avenue of gathering it. Regardless of whether Black Rose was its member, the Guild no doubt had information on it. Besides, it would certainly also have documents detailing who was renting each warehouse, including
that ill-fated one. Thus, he could obtain concrete evidence for who was making use of the location at the time when the incident occurred at it.
As for why he was doing this himself? Well, some things simply required a more personal
Wulfric entered the premises, greeting various acquaintances as he went. It was nearing evening, but many people were here on some sort of business before dinner.
“Oh, Your Highness, we weren’t expecting you today,” a graying man with a friendly constitution greeted him; Mr. Lesueur, one of the attendants at the reception, though he often worked a shift in the archive rooms. The older man adjusted his glasses as he looked up from his work with a smile. “Did you wish to meet with the leader? I do believe he is in a meeting…”
The prince returned the smile with a polite one of his own. “I would not bother him unannounced,”
he waved a dismissive hand. “I may return for a meeting tomorrow, or in the following days. For today,”
he leaned a closer, and passed over a note. “I should like to know if the company and individual listed are known members here,”
Lesueur seemed intrigued. Wulfric knew that if he revealed just enough, this man could spread the right kinds of rumours. But for this moment, he’d let him wonder just why he was asking for what he was. If he let the other man’s curiosity build, the impact once he fed him his suspicions – that Black Rose was dealing with drugs, and possibly had other operations underground – would be that much greater.“I require information as to who is currently renting each of our warehouses,”
he stated. To start off, this would be enough; later in the investigation process, he’d also ask for similar information for the past few months, with a focus on Black Rose’s known activities in Sorian.
Though he knew very well where to go, Wulfric was led to the relevant offices by the Guild’s employees. He obtained several copies of documents proving that Black Rose was the company using that
particular warehouse at present. Of course, there were specific dates noted since when and until when it was contracted to them. Similarly, he obtained copies for the other warehouses Marek’s company was currently renting.
“This is…quite unusual, Your Highness,” Lesueur noted. The man had taken it upon himself to be one of the employees to accompany him. They’d retreated to one of the antechambers now. By the look on the man’s face, he was eager for more details. The other personnel, who were doing a final checkup of the gathered documents, were likely listening in too.“It is an unusual circumstance. I’m afraid there is strong suspicion of drug trade…We gathered some witness accounts from here, yesterday evening,”
he tapped the document indicating the warehouse the party had been held at. ‘Witness accounts’ was stretching it a bit, but he couldn’t possibly spread rumours that nobles and royalty had been inebriated and drugged. Even if such rumours may or may not be in circulation already.
“Khm…This Black Rose
company is not one of ours, however,” Lesueur noted with an awkward reluctance. The Guild’s record had been checked already, and it had been confirmed that Delronzo’s company was not affiliated; meaning the man was an independent merchant.
The prince gave a nod, as he believed he knew what the man’s concern was. “I realize the Guild wouldn’t involve itself in any illegal business.”
It was in their interest to keep any such deals on their side nonexistent – or in rare cases, hidden. As this matter pertained to an independent merchant, the Guild wouldn’t be as keen to crack down on the man as they would if it had been one of theirs involved.
However, there would be some
interest in doing precisely that, and Wulfric would capitalize on it. “Independent or not, there may be drug dealing activities…That is a matter which disturbs the honest trading practices we so strive to upkeep.”
In other words, it wasn’t profitable for the legitimate businesses to have illegitimate rivals.
“I’m happy you trusted me with this, Your Highness…but the scope of this–” The older man was clearly nervous. Wulfric raised a hand, signifying there was no need to say any more.“I am aware. Yet, I trust that you will relay this on as is appropriate, Mr. Lesueur.”
After receiving assurances and farewells, and having the documents he’d come for compiled, Wulfric headed for the castle.
He was found by his mother in front of his office, who was seeking him for dinner. “Evening, mother…I have just had these compiled,”
he showed her the documents he’d gathered. “If the investigation teams have already been assembled, I would recommend passing this on to them – the both of them.”
He wanted to show the Alidasht that their side was willing to cooperate, after all. Wulfric then briefly stepped into his study to safely deposit the evidence.“Shall we?”
once he exited, he extended an arm to his mother, offering to escort her to the dining room.
As they entered, Wulfric’s gaze was first drawn to his sister. She did not look well. Had something happened to her? What had her guards been doing?
But then, he let his gaze settle on Edin.“Good evening, father,”
he offered a short though respectable bow. “Please excuse me for the delay; my visit to the Guild ran longer than I had expected.”
His father would know that he was referring to the Merchant Guild; it shouldn’t be surprising to Edin that he’d been there. He’d frequented the place ever since he’d come of age, after all.
Technically, Wulfric was also not late, as it was a minute or so to six. However, he hadn’t managed to change, so he was still wearing his previous outfit. Thankfully, he’d chosen one which he believed just as suitable for dinner as it was for business.“Good evening, sister,”
he then greeted Anastasia, tone on the warm side of polite. Yet, he couldn’t help the minor concerned frown. However, since he was still escorting Alibeth, he first approached the seat he knew she wished to take, and politely seated her.
When he passed Anastasia on the way to his own seat, he touched his sister’s shoulder. “Are you unwell?”
he asked her quietly. It wouldn’t do her any good to miss dinner, but perhaps she would prefer to eat later, or in private.