Chapter 5 - Secret Scion

Asher could not help but clench his fists. His heart was broken.  

"I've been worked like a slave for two years, suffered this family's insults and never complained. I'm not vying for the power the Stewards hold, nor do I care about my identity as a man who married into the family. The only thing I cared about was a woman. And, that woman was you, Noelle. 

"When you saved my life, I treated you as a wife and respected you as my benefactor. I would do anything as long as it made you happy.

"My only hope was for you to notice my dedication just so you would come to accept me as your husband. I just didn't expect you to not care at all despite me being by your side for two years.

"Perhaps I wasn't destined to be the man that will accompany you for the rest of your life. I'll accept that reality and agree to the divorce. Just keep in mind that I, Asher, no longer owe you anything."

Asher's voice was not loud. It was instead exceptionally calm, and yet, his eyes revealed his disappointment and sadness.  

Noelle took in every word he said with great clarity, as if everything he said struck right into her heart  

Her heart hurt as if she had been gravely wounded.  

To think she cared so much for this man.  

It was a pity that her regrets came far too late. Asher turned and left the common area with a cold look in his eyes.  

Noelle opened her mouth but all her words remained stuck in her throat as her vision grew blurry.  

"Where are you going, Ash?"  

He bumped into Livia the moment he left.  

"He's no longer your brother-in-law, Livia. Noelle has divorced him. Grandpa also declared that Asher will never be allowed to set foot in the household again," Erick snorted.  

"Divorced? Have you gone crazy, Sis?! What did he do wrong for all of you to treat him this way?!" Livia demanded, indignant.  

Noelle chewed her lip, at a complete loss for words.  

Carter tried to hush her, speaking in a deep, commanding voice. "Noelle and Asher's affairs have nothing to do with you, Lily, nor is it under your control. Get out of the way and let him go!"

Livia seemed to want to continue but Asher shook his head as he flashed her a wry smile. "That's enough, Livia. I should've expected this to happen. But I am by no means a ruthless man. If you ever encounter trouble, come to me."  

Everyone present burst into raucous laughter as soon as he made the statement. It was as if they had heard the funniest joke in the world.  

"Haha! What a shameless brat. He would've been even worse off than a dog in the streets if the Stewards hadn't taken him in. He can't even protect his own skin right now. How arrogant. Who gave him the confidence to act this way?"  

"Right? Death is looming over him and he's still got the guts to brag."

"He's probably gotten too used to his identity as the Steward's in-law. He's still living in a dream. Haha!"  

The youngsters were sneering. Even the elders were looking at him with disdain.

Asher could not help but turn around, his calm gaze sweeping through the room and everyone in it as if he was imprinting their faces in his mind. He had swallowed his anger for two years solely for Noelle's sake, but that did not mean the dignified scion of the Crawfords had no temper.  

Noelle had sought a divorce, and with that, they were strangers from this day forth. If they were ever to meet again, Asher would show them no mercy should they attempt to humiliate him again.  

"Ash…" Livia wanted to say something but Asher was long gone. The bodyguards were also hurrying out after him.

That was when Carter approached Radley to ask in a low whisper, "About that drag-racing incident, would you please spare Erick, Mr. Leonard? We'll do anything if you have any conditions to propose."  

It was clear from the way Carter drove Asher out that the former had never seen the latter as a member of the family. Noelle was infamous for her beauty in Rollinsford, and Carter was of the opinion that she could play a bigger role. On top of that, he was also being especially accommodating toward Radley in the hopes that he would be lenient on the matter regarding the drag race. 

Radley set his glasses aside to ponder on the matter. "I'm afraid there's nothing I can do to help, Master Steward. The one who died was my cousin. I can't do something that would betray the family. Besides, he was a descendant of the Leonards. We would be debasing ourselves if we don't settle the matter, wouldn't we?" 

With that, Radley left with a sneer.  

Carter huffed angrily as a trace of coldness flashed in his eyes. You'd better not take things too far, Leonard!

Radley left the Steward's residence at a brisk pace as he thought about how he was going to teach Asher a lesson when several of his bodyguards watched him with trepidation.  

"S-Sir… Asher Craig is gone."  

"Gone?!" Radley looked around, and just as his bodyguards claimed, Asher was nowhere to be found. He snapped, "What the fuck are the lot of you doing? You're self-proclaimed professionals that can't even keep watch over one piece of shit! What's the use of keeping you around?!"

"The brat is good, Master. He's a fast sprinter. We couldn't catch up to him. We…"  

"I don't want to hear your excuses. Find him. You can forget about coming back if you don't manage to do so!" Radley ordered grimly.  

As night fell, Rollinsford became a kaleidoscope of shimmering lights, demonstrating the city's flourish.

On Pub Street.  

Asher was seated in an inconspicuous corner of a bar. Empty beer bottles littered the table. The man was clearly drunk, having downed more than a dozen of those bottles.

Meanwhile, several young women stepped out of the elevator, dressed in designer apparel. They stood aloof and proud. Anyone could tell from a glance that they were no ordinary girls.

The woman who took the lead was extremely beautiful and carried herself with an exceptional demeanor equal to that of Noelle's.  

"Has your brother truly returned, Ms. Yaeger? I hear that he has been expanding in the Capital City for the past two years. Otherwise, how could Radley Leonard swagger about in Rollinsford?" A decent-looking woman asked her drop-dead gorgeous companion.  

"How could Radley be compared to my brother?" Dove Yaeger's gaze inadvertently fell on a corner. "My brother is thriving even in the midst of the lair of dragons and tigers that's the Capital City. Radley Leonard is nothing."

"You're right. Mr. Castor would definitely crush Radley." The woman nodded in agreement then pointed to a corner. "Huh? Isn't that Noelle Steward's useless husband, Ms. Yaeger?" 

Dove had long noticed Asher, but a piece of trash who relied on his wife to support him wasn't enough to arouse her interest.  

"It really is the loser in-law of the Stewards. Did you guys hear how Asher provoked Radley? Radley is searching all over for this guy. Should we call up Radley to tell him that Asher is here, Dove?" One of the women asked.  

"Radley is the one who's dispatching his men to search for him. Are you one of his subordinates? If you want to suck up to him, you can go right ahead," Dove said coldly.  

The women by her side all shared a look of dismay, but no one had the courage to mention calling Radley.  

"My brother will be here soon. Let's go." Dove shot the corner a quick glance before hastening her steps.  

A black car was pulled up outside and a young man around his late twenties alighted from the vehicle. He had short hair and looked quite spirited.  

Dove walked over, smiling. "Castor."  

"Mr. Yaeger," The women by her side likewise greeted him.

Castor Yeager smiled wryly. "I'm sorry, Dove. You must've waited a long time."

He strode into the bar as he spoke.  

Dove followed her brother closely when she suddenly thought of something and jabbed her finger toward Asher. "Weren't you curious as to who Noelle's husband was? There. That's him."  

Castor homed in on the direction his sister was pointing in and landed on Asher's face when he froze in shock. 

Crawford… Mr. Crawford?

Castor had gone to the Capital City two years ago to expand his horizons. He might have been the most influential young man of Rollinsford at the time, but the Capital City was a place where great talents lay in hiding, rooted in deep pools where they deigned to come and go like waves.  

It was only after Castor had met the gentrified young men of the Capital City that he realized his title as Master Yaeger was all but a joke.  

Asher Crawford was the most outstanding amongst the youth of the Capital City at the time.

Castor was greatly impressed by Asher when he met him by chance.  

Asher had subsequently gotten into trouble and had no choice but to leave the Capital City. Castor had never seen Asher again. There were rumors floating about that he had long since died by his enemy's hands.  

Castor, however, did not believe a word. Asher was a cherished man amongst the Crawfords. Would the Crawfords not have turned the Capital City upside down if he truly were killed?