Chapter 6 - Secret Scion

It was not until now when he had laid eyes on Asher that confirmed his speculations. Asher Crawford had gone into hiding in Rollinsford for two years, and he became part of the Stewards as a good-for-nothing in-law.

"Wait upstairs for me, Dove." Castor Yaeger was a smart man who was aware of Asher's circumstances and knew that he had no desire to reveal his true identity. This was something even Dove could not know.  

Dove frowned. She had never seen her brother with such a tense expression. Why was he so nervous when faced with the Steward's loser?

Dove chose not to ask. She just gave her brother a look, then went upstairs, confused.  

Castor hesitated for a moment before striding toward the corner and greeting Asher with respect. "Do you remember me, Mr. Crawford? I'm Castor. I was fortunate to have met you at a party in the Capital City two years ago."  

Asher had always had a good memory even as a child. He could recognize anyone he had ever met at one glance.  

A trace of killing intent almost instantly flashed through his eyes.  

"You've misunderstood, Mr. Crawford. You're the man I admire the most. I would never do anything to harm you, let alone have the courage to do so," Castor hurriedly explained. "I came by to say hello when I noticed you. As for your identity, Mr. Crawford, I'll keep it a secret. I swear it on my life."

It was only then Asher restrained his murderous urges and glanced at Castor with indifference. "Castor of the Yaeger household?"  

"Yes." Castor felt flattered to know that Asher still remembered him. "If necessary, I'll refer to you as Mr. Sander so no one would catch on to your identity. What do you think?"

Asher had heard a great deal about Castor Yaeger after coming to Rollinsford and residing here for two years. The most influential young man of Rollinsford, surpassing even Radley Leonard.  

"You're more powerful than Radley."

"Thank you for your compliment," Castor chuckled. "Rollinsford is my home, Mr. Crawford. You are free to give me your orders should I be of use to you."  

Castor knew that this was a good opportunity to befriend Asher. There was no way he was letting this chance slip him by.  

"My thanks to you." With that, Asher got to his feet and left.  

Noelle Steward, on the other hand, had been restless ever since Radley had taken Asher away. She was worried the former would harm the latter and wanted to leave to see if she could find news on her husband, but Carter forbade her from taking a single step out of the house.  

She did not dare to disobey her grandfather, and thus could only turn to Mr. Wilhelm for information.

It did not take long for him to come back with the news that Asher had escaped.  

Noelle was relieved to hear the news. Asher would have seen a miserable end if Radley had taken him away.  

Noelle received a call from her father, Mason Steward, the very next day at noon when she was in her office with word that Erick's brother, Dylan, who was also her uncle's youngest son, had his limbs broken and was being resuscitated in the hospital.

She hurried to the hospital after putting away her phone.  

Mason did not mention the perpetrators who had harmed Dylan, but anyone who was the slightest bit astute could guess that it was the Leonards.  

The Stewards may be a third-rate household but they did hold some influence. Grandfather had always favored Dylan. No one with absolute power would dare to touch a hair on his head.  

It was just that Noelle had not expected the Leonards to exact their revenge quite so soon.

When she got to the emergency room, she could see her entire family there crowding the corridor.  

Her aunt, Laura Steward, was crying bitter tears. She cried as she lamented, "Who did this to my son? Whoever did this is going to hell once I find out who they are."  

Erick's father, Michael Steward, was pale, his eyes bloodshot. He was speaking to Carter. "Father, the perpetrator is blatantly provoking us. We can't let this slide!"  

Carter seemed to have aged several years as he questioned, "Who was with Dylan when it happened? Did you see what they looked like?"  

"G-Grandpa… I… I was there. I don't recognize any of them. But before they left, they said…" A girl going on sixteen stuttered hesitantly.  

Carter barked, "What did they say? Spill it!"  

"They said this was just the beginning and that their next target is Erick."  

"What? They want to cripple me?" Erick was horrified and confused. "The Leonards. It must be the Leonards! Who else but the Leonards would have the guts? Grandpa, save me. I don't want to be a disabled man."

"If you didn't want to turn out to be an invalid, you should've listened to me!" Carter was so furious his facial muscles were twitching.

Noelle sucked in a breath as she approached her father, Mason, asking softly, "Dad, how is Dylan? Is he alright?"  

The moment she finished speaking, a wizened hand backhanded her across her face. It did not take long for red marks to show on her snow-white skin.  

Carter jabbed a finger at her and screamed, "To think you still have the nerve to show up here. If it weren't for you and that useless Asher, would the Leonards have done this to Dylan?! Get out of my sight, Noelle!"  

Noelle could not have predicted that she would become the one Carter would take his anger out on. The stinging pain on her face was nothing compared to the pain in her heart that was alight with anger. Just as she was about to question her grandfather, Mason hurriedly dragged her out of the hospital.  

"Let go of me, Dad. You're hurting me." Noelle broke free of Mason's hold and turned to wipe her tears away.  

"I know you feel wronged, Elle. It's my fault for lacking the ability to keep up with my brothers. Your grandfather wouldn't have treated you this way if not for me."  

Mason, as a father, could not help but feel distressed at the sight of Noelle's swollen face. "The Stewards are now experiencing a crisis. We'll be unable to fend for ourselves. Why don't you leave? I can see that Asher treats you well. Find him, live out your life in peace and never come back."

Noelle was fine until he said these fateful words. Her tears streamed continuously down her cheeks.  

Asher may have suffered scorn for two years, but was Noelle not the same?  

"I won't leave, Dad. I was the one at fault in the matter between me and Asher. I'll find a way to make it up to him when I can."  

"You'll only suffer if you stay unless you can convince Radley to let us go." Mason frowned.

Noelle sniffled, wiped away her tears and sucked in a breath. "I'm going to ask Dove Yaeger for help, Dad. We were classmates back in high school. I hope she'll lend us a hand for the sake of our relationship."

Dove, on the other hand, was still pondering on the look on her brother's face when he caught sight of Asher. It would be inaccurate to say that the expression was only one of shock because she also caught a trace of fear.

Ever since she could remember, the Yaegers held the supreme position in Rollinsford, and Castor Yaeger, as the eldest born of the Yaegers, was the most influential young man of the city.  

Dove had never seen Castor wearing such a fearful expression throughout the years when faced with a young man.  

Just who was Asher Craig?  

Confused, Dove visited Castor in his room. "Did you sleep well last night, Cas?"  

"Well enough." Castor gave his sister a look. "Did you need something?"  

Dove fiddled with the bangs that fell on her forehead. "It's nothing important. I just wanted to ask you if you knew Asher, Noelle's husband?"  

"Why do you ask?" Castor thought about it before he spoke. "How are things between you and Noelle? If you have time, it wouldn't hurt to hang out with her more."  

Dove did not even take Radley seriously with the might of the Yaegers by her side. Why would she take the initiative to befriend Noelle?  

There must be a reason if her brother was saying so. The more she thought about it, the more she believed that it had something to do with Asher.  

"I hear Noelle and Asher have filed for a divorced. It happened yesterday. Asher was expelled from the Stewards' ranks. It was embarrassing."


Castor was rendered speechless by shock. "Was this what Noelle wanted or was it Carter who forced it?"  

"I think it was Carter Steward who decided on it. I heard Asher offended Radley. Carter was afraid it would implicate his family and distanced himself from Asher out of fear of him bringing them trouble." Dove frowned. "But the Leonards won't let them off the hook that easily even if they ousted him. After all, a Leonard couldn't have died in vain. Someone crippled Dylan Steward just this morning. It was probably them. I've also heard that the Leonards have begun to crack down on the Steward family's businesses. I believe the Stewards would sooner or later see themselves forced out of their current standing."  

"They gave up Asher just for Radley. Haha. Perhaps this is God's will. The Stewards will only ever stay a third-rate household." Castor's smile was devoid of humor. Their future would grow difficult now that they had cut themselves off.  

"Just who is Asher, Castor? He seems to be quite the character from what you're saying?"  

"There are things I can't tell you right now, Dove. But you must do as I say. Even if everyone in Rollinsford scorns Asher, you must not do the same. Do not provoke him. Do you understand?" Castor spoke solemnly.