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An Understated Dominance: By Marina Vittori​

Dahlia Nicholson and Dustin Rhys have been married for three years. After Dahlia achieves rapid success, she decides to end her marriage with Dustin, viewing him as a burden. Little does she know that all her accomplishments were actually thanks to him.


CHAPTER 1
My wife is a CEO, she always hates me for being lazy and wants to divorce me. But she doesn't know that her success is bestowed by me.

“Dustin, here is the divorce agreement prepared by Ms. Nicholson. All you need to do is sign them.”

In the president’s office of the Quine Group, the secretary, Lyra Blaine, placed a piece of A4 paper on the table. A man sat opposite her, dressed in plain clothing.

“Divorce? What do you mean?”

Dustin Rhys was taken aback.

“Do you not understand what I’m saying? Your marriage with Ms. Nicholson is over. You’re not even on the same level anymore. Your existence is nothing but a smear on the president’s reputation!”

Lyra pulled no punches as she spoke.

“A smear on her reputation?” Dustin frowned. “Is that how she thinks of me?”

Back when they first got married, the Nicholson family was in ruinous debt. He was the one who helped them when they were at their lowest point. Now that they were rich, Dahlia Nicholson was ready to just kick him out.

“Something like that.” Lyra poked her chin toward the magazine on the table. A photo of a beautiful woman was printed on the front page. “Look at the headline on this magazine, Dustin. Ms. Nicholson’s net worth has hit one billion in the course of just three years, a feat no short of a miracle. She’s now the most desired woman in Swinton! With all this, she’s destined for greatness. But you, you’re just a regular joe. You don’t deserve her at all. I hope that you’ll see some sense and do the right thing.”

When Dustin remained silent, Lyra frowned.

“I know you’re not happy with this, but this is reality,” she continued. “You might have helped Ms. Nicholson when she was in trouble, but she has repaid you for everything you’ve done for her over the last three years. In fact, you’re the one who owes her now!”

“Is our marriage just a business deal to her, then?” Dustin took a deep breath to suppress the emotions within. “If she wants to divorce me, let her speak to me herself.”

“Ms. Nicholson is very busy. She doesn’t need to trouble herself with such trifling matters.”

“Trifling matters?” Dustin was stunned. Then he laughed bitterly. “Is that so? Is divorce a trifling matter to her? She can’t even find the time to speak to me. Truly, she’s that unattainable now!”

“Dustin, don’t delay this any longer.” Lyra pushed the divorce agreement toward him again. “Just sign here and you’ll get a car and a house as compensation. On top of that, you’ll also get eight million dollars. This is more than what you’ll be able to earn in your lifetime!”

“Eight million dollars is a lot, but…I don’t need it. I will sign the divorce papers if she comes personally. Otherwise, I won’t sign anything,” Duston said coldly.

“Don’t go too far, Dustin!” Lyra slammed her hand on the table. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you. With all her power and resources, Ms. Nicholson can divorce you easily. It’s only because she appreciates her past relationship with you that she’s allowing you to keep your dignity intact. Don’t provoke her!”

“My dignity?” Dustin was a little amused by that. She didn’t even want to speak to him directly to divorce him. What kind of dignity was that? Moreover, if she really did appreciate their relationship, then why was she threatening him now?

“I don’t think we have anything else to talk about, then.”

Unwilling to argue, Dustin stood up and made to leave.

“Dustin Rhys! You—”

Just as Lyra was about to lose her cool, a curvy woman in a long black dress walked in. Her skin was as white as snow, and her features were delicate. Her lofty aura and curvaceous figure made her look like a goddess right out of a painting.

“You’re finally here.”

Dustin felt complicated emotions when he saw the beautiful woman. They had been married for three years, during which they treated each other with care and respect. But this was how it ended. He still didn’t know what he had done wrong.

“I’m sorry for being late, I was caught up with something else.”

Dahlia Nicholson sat down. Her expression was as impassive as ever.

“You certainly are busy, if you need your secretary to help you deal with your divorce,” Dustin said.

Hearing this, Dahlia frowned slightly. However, she did not explain herself. Instead, she said, “Since you’re here, let’s get straight to the point. Let’s end this on a pleasant note. I’m sorry I have to do this to you, so you can have the car and the house, plus eight million dollars as alimony. How does that sound?”

At that, she placed a card on the table.

“Do you really think our relationship can be measured by money?” Dustin asked.

“Too little? That’s alright. Let me know what you want. I’ll give you anything within my power,” Dahlia said placidly.

“I don’t think you understood me. Let me rephrase my question. Are money and power that important to you?” Dustin was truly bewildered.

Dahlia went over to the windows and looked out over the city. There was determination in her eyes when she said, “To me, yes, they’re very important.”

“You’ve earned enough to feed yourself for the rest of your life. Why do this?”

“Dustin, that’s where you and I diverge in philosophy. You’ll never understand what I really want.” Dahlia shook her head in disappointment.

They weren’t just incompatible in status and power; they were also incompatible in their principles. Most importantly, she did not see any hope for the future in him.

“You’re right. How would I know what you’re thinking?” Dustin laughed bitterly. “All I know is to cook for you when you’re hungry, prepare your coat when it’s cold out, and carry you to the hospital when you’re sick.”

“There’s no point in going into this now.” Dahlia’s expression held complicated emotions, but it was soon covered up by determination.

“You’re right.” Dustin nodded without any emotion. “I heard that you’ve been close with the heir of the Nolan family. Is it because of him?”

Dahlia was about to deny it when she gave it a second thought. In the end, she nodded.

“You can say that.”

“Okay. I hope you’re happy with him.” Dustin smiled and signed the divorce agreement without any more hesitation. All he felt now was disappointment. Ironically, today was also their wedding anniversary. There was cruel humor in divorcing him on the day they had gotten married.

“I don’t want the money, I just want that crystal necklace back. My mother left it to me before she died so that I can give it to my wife.”

“Okay.”

Dahlia nodded and gave him the crystal necklace.

“From today onward, we will have nothing to do with each other!”

Dustin put on the necklace and left. He had no more gentleness in his expression; all that was left was distant aloofness.

“Did I do the right thing, Lyra?” Dahlia asked hesitantly.

Even though she was the one who asked for the divorce, she didn’t feel happy at all when it was finalized.

“Of course you did!” Lyra nodded. “You have the right to pursue happiness. Dustin does not deserve you at all. He’ll only bring you down with him. You’re destined to be the most powerful woman in Swinton!”

Dahlia did not answer her. As she watched Dustin leave, she felt as if she was losing something precious.
 

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CHAPTER 02: An Understated Dominance

In the elevator, Dustin stared at the crystal necklace dejectedly. Even though he had expected it, he was still sad that his marriage had ended just like that. He had once thought that happiness was simple: meals on the table, cheerful days, and simple pleasures. Now, he found out that normalcy was a sin. It was time to awaken from this prolonged daydream.

Suddenly, his phone rang, breaking him out of his trance. When he picked up the phone, a familiar voice came from the other end.

“Mr. Rhys, I’m Hunter Anderson from the Swinton Group. I heard that today your wedding anniversary with Ms. Nicholson, so I’ve prepared a gift for you. I’m just wondering if you have any time today?”

“Thank you for your kindness, but I’m afraid we won’t be needing the gift,” Dustin said.

“Why?”

Hunter was taken aback. He could sense something wrong.

“Is there anything else you’d like to talk about, Mr. Anderson?”

“Actually, yes, there is.” Hunter cleared his throat awkwardly. “I’ve got a friend who contracted a strange illness. He’s seen a lot of doctors, but none of them could do anything about it. I was hoping that you could help.”

“Mr. Anderson, you know my rules.”

“Of course I do! I’m sincere in my request. My friend owns some canscora, which I remember you were looking for. I’m sure he’ll be willing to part with it if you help him,” Hunter said.

“Is this true?” Dustin asked seriously.

“Yes, it is!”

“Alright, if that’s so, then I’ll be willing to take a look.” Dustin immediately agreed to the request.

He wasn’t interested in money or jewels, but rather some rare herbs and plants, as he needed them to save lives.

“Thank you, Mr. Rhys! I’ll send someone to pick you up immediately!” Hunter smiled in relief.

As the president of the Swinton Group and one of the Mighty Three of Swinton, Hunter acted exceptionally timid in front of Dustin.

“Great, one more down, five to go. I should have enough time,” Dustin muttered to himself. His mood was lifted a little by this news.

With a ding, the elevator doors opened. As soon as he stepped out of the building, he saw two familiar figures walking toward him. It was Dahlia’s mother, Florence Franklin, and her brother, James Nicholson.

“Mom, James, why are you here?” Dustin greeted.

“Did you and Dahlia get divorced?” Florence did not waste any breath.

“Yes, we did.” Dustin gave her a forced smile. “It’s not Dahlia’s fault, it’s mine. Don’t blame her.”

He intended to end his marriage on a pleasant note. However, hearing this, Florence snorted coldly.

“Of course it’s your problem. I know my daughter well. If you hadn’t done anything wrong, why would she divorce you?”

Dustin was stunned. What was this? Victim blaming?

“Mom, you know how I’ve treated her over the past three years. I’m pretty sure I’m never done anything to betray Dahlia’s trust in me,” Dustin said.

“Who knows what you’ve done behind our backs?” Florence snorted again. “My daughter was right to divorce you! Look at yourself. She’s clearly out of your league!”

“Mom, don’t you think you’re going too far?” Dustin frowned.

If he hadn’t helped the Nicholson family three years ago, they wouldn’t be where they were today.

“Too far? So what if I am? Am I not speaking the truth?” Florence crossed her arms.

“That’s enough, Mom, stop wasting time with him.” Suddenly, James stepped forward. “Listen here, Rhys. I don’t care whether you divorce my sister or not, but you’re giving me all the money you got from her.”

“Money? What money?” Dustin was flabbergasted.

“Stop feigning ignorance! I know that my sister gave you eight million dollars as alimony!” James said coldly.

“That’s right! That’s my daughter’s money. You have no right to take it! Give it back!” Florence stretched out her hand in demand.

“I didn’t take any money from her,” Dustin denied.

“Don’t waste time! Who would pass on eight million dollars? Do you take us as idiots?” James did not believe him.

“Rhys, you’d better be tactful and give us the money. Don’t make me angry!” Florence warned.

“You can call Dahlia and ask her if you don’t believe me.” Dustin did not wish to explain himself any further.

“What now? Are you threatening us? Listen here. No matter how much you beg, I’m not letting you leave with a single cent of ours!” Florence snarled.

“Mom, he’s too dense for this. Let’s just search his pockets!” James said impatiently. He dove straight into Dustin’s pockets.

Florence followed suit.

“Mom, do you have to do this?” Dustin frowned.

He hadn’t expected to be accosted by the Nicholson family so soon after the divorce. They were really merciless.

Florence spat on the ground in disgust.

“Who are you calling Mom? Watch your mouth. Who do you think you are?” As she spoke, she continued searching through Dustin’s pockets.

After some time, they didn’t find what they wanted from his pockets.

“Did he really not take any of the money?” James said, displeased.

Suddenly, he spied the crystal necklace around Dustin’s necklace and pulled it off roughly.

“Isn’t this my sister’s necklace? Why is it with you? Did you steal it?” James demanded.

“This is the Rhys family heirloom. Give it back!” Dustin said, his expression darkening.

He wouldn’t take any money, but he would not leave his mother’s keepsake.

“A family heirloom? Does this mean that this is valuable?” James’ eyes lit up.

“In that case, Rhys, this can be your repayment for these three years that you’ve been living with us. Let’s go!” Florence gave her son a look and prepared to leave.

“Stop there!” Dustin grabbed James’ wrist. “Give me back the necklace!”

“Ouch! That hurts! Let me go!” James felt great pain in his wrist.

“Give it back,” Dustin repeated dangerously.

“I’d rather throw it away than give it back to you!”

Seeing that he had no chance of freeing himself from Dustin, James threw the necklace onto the ground. With a crisp clink, the crystal necklace broke into several pieces. Dustin blanched. This was the only thing he had to remember his mother by.

“How dare you lay your hands on me! I’d rather break it than give it back to you!” James said as he rubbed his sore wrist.

Dustin clenched his fists so tightly that his knuckles popped. His eyes were red with anger.

“You die!” Unable to hold in his anger anymore, Dustin slapped James in the face.

James was slapped so hard that the spun back uncontrollably before falling to the ground. He was so dizzy that he couldn’t stand up.

“Since your mother can’t be bothered to teach you manners, then let me do the honors!” Dustin grabbed him by the hair and lifted him. Then, he slapped him several times.

James’ face soon turned bloody from the slaps.

“How dare you hit my son!” Florence screamed as she tried to help her son.

“Get off!” Dustin turned and glared at her. The glare was so intense that Florence froze in her tracks.
 

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CHAPTER 03: An Understated Dominance

“Get off!”

Those two words were enough to scare Florence motionless. She had never thought that Dustin could be so scary when he was angry. He had always been so mild-tempered around them. He now looked like he could eat her alive.

When she finally got her wits back, Florence began screaming, “Help! Help! He’s murdering my son!”

Soon, the Quine Group’s security guards gathered around them.

“What happened, Mrs. Nicholson?” The head of the security guards recognized Florence and stood at her side immediately.

“Tom! Lock this guy up at once! I want him punished for beating up my son!” Florence yelled.

Holy cow! How dare you cause trouble in front of the Quine Group? Have you lost your mind?” Tom waved his hand. All the security guards surrounded Dustin.

This was their chance to kiss up to the president’s mother. If they did well now, then they might get a promotion and a raise.

“What are you waiting for? Beat him up!”

Just as they were about to act, a voice sounded.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

A curvaceous woman in a silver dress barged into the crowd with her bodyguards. With her lips painted a fiery red, she was stunningly beautiful. Every move she made was alluring.

“She’s gorgeous!”

The security guards stared at her lustily. She was one of the most attractive women they had ever seen.

“Mr. Rhys, are you okay?”

The woman ignored the looks she was getting and headed straight toward Dustin.

“Who are you?”

Dustin narrowed his eyes at her, his anger dissipating.

“Nice to meet you, my name is Natasha Harmon. Mr. Anderson sent me here,” the woman said with a smile. At this, the security guards began whispering amongst themselves.

“Natasha Harmon? Is she the heiress of the Harmon family?”

“Oh, my God! Why is she here?”

They were all shocked. Natasha Harmon was a household name around the city. She was pretty, influential, and smart. At 22 years old, she had already gained control of the Harmon Group and built her own business empire within five years.

“Ah, it’s you.”

Dustin nodded.

He had heard of Natasha before, but he hadn’t expected her to be involved with Hunter.

“Mr. Rhys, please wait in the car. I’ll deal with this.”

Natasha snapped her fingers. Behind her, her four bodyguards whipped out their batons and advanced toward the crowd. Even though there were just four of them, their threatening auras was enough to make the security guards back off. After all, they knew that the Harmon family only hired trained bodyguards.

“After you, Mr. Rhys.”

Seeing that no one else dared to move, Natasha smiled and held out a hand to lead Dustin to the car. Without a word, Dustin picked up the pieces of his necklace and left with Natasha. No one dared to stop him.

“What the heck? What do we pay you for? Why did you just let them go?” Florence yelled when she realized what was happening.

“Mrs. Nicholson, she’s Natasha Harmon. We don’t dare to offend her!” The head of security lamented. None of them dared to lay a finger on Natasha.

“Useless trash! You don’t dare to offend her, but you’re fine offending my daughter?” Florence demanded.

The security guards looked at each other, not daring to speak.

“What happened?”

Dahlia and Lyra came out to see what the commotion was.

“Dahlia! You’re here! Look at how badly your brother’s been beaten up!”

As soon as Florence saw her, she began to cry, as if she was the one who had been beaten up.

“What happened? Who did this?”

Seeing her brother’s wounds, Dahlia’s expression became chilly.

“Who else? It’s that Dustin!” Florence cried. “We met him just now. James picked up a crystal necklace that he dropped and tried to give it back to him, but he tried to turn it around and said that your brother stole it from him. After some argument, he beat up James! My poor James, he just did what he thought was right. What has he done to deserve this?”

She began crying harder.

“Dustin?” Dahlia frowned. “He’s always been mild-tempered. Why would he beat up James for no reason? What did you do?”

“What do you mean by this?” Florence looked angered. “Do you not believe your mother?”

“I just want to know the truth,” Dahlia said.

After three years of marriage, she knew Dustin’s personality well. He was normally calm and collected and rarely lost his temper. He wouldn’t just beat someone up for no reason.

“Look at your brother! Is the truth not clear enough? If you don’t believe me, ask the security guards. They saw everything!” Saying this, Florence gave the security guards a look.

“Ms. Nicholson, your mother is right. That guy there was the one who assaulted your brother. If it weren’t for us, she would’ve fallen victim to him too.”

The head of security understood his assignment perfectly.

“You hear that? I’m not wronging that person!” Florence continued. “I’ve told you before, that Rhys guy is not a good person. He’s a hypocrite. Look at what he’s done right after you divorced him. He even has a new woman now!”

Hearing this, Dahlia frowned. She was unsure of what to think. Could Dustin really do such a thing? Maybe he was furious about the divorce and wanted to exact revenge on her through her brother. If so, then she had to admit that she had misjudged him!
 

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CHAPTER 04: An Understated Dominance

“Mom, take James to the hospital. I’ll deal with this.”

After a moment’s silence, Dahlia finally made her decision.

“Dahlia, you must defend your brother! Don’t let him off so easily!” Florence said hatefully.

“Don’t worry, I know what I should do.”

Dahlia nodded, gesturing for two guards to send Florence and James to the hospital.

“What do you think, Lyra?”

Dahlia rubbed her temples. She felt a headache coming on.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it? It was Dustin who assaulted them first. The security guards were witnesses, so that can’t be a lie,” Lyra said.

“But my mother’s not exactly an honest person…” Dahlia began. She knew her mother and brother well. They were a hot-tempered and ruthless duo.

“Either way, it’s still wrong for him to throw the first punch!” Lyra said righteously. “Even if there was a misunderstanding, why couldn’t he talk it out? Moreover, it was James that he beat up. Your brother! He didn’t think of how you would feel when he attacked your family. This alone is proof that he’s not a good person!”

Dahlia’s frown deepened along with her doubts. Lyra was right. Even if her mother and brother were rude and unreasonable, there was no reason for Dustin to assault them physically, nor was there any reason for him to hurt James so badly. It would seem like her decision to divorce him was right.

“You can’t just let this go, Ms. Nicholson. You have to teach him a lesson!” Lyra said.

Hearing this, Dahlia became angry. She took out her phone and called Dustin. At the same time, Dustin was sitting in a silver Bentley and frowned when he saw the call coming in. Despite his reluctance, he still picked up the call.

“Dustin, I need an explanation!” Dahlia demanded.

“What explanation?”

“Did you hit my brother just now?”

“I did. But…”

Before he could finish, Dahlia interrupted him.

“So it was you! I hadn’t expected you to be such a person! Are you taking revenge on my family just because I divorced you?”

Hearing this, Dustin was taken aback. He hadn’t expected Dahlia to be so aggressive. She hadn’t even stopped to listen to what he had to say. After three years of marriage, she was treating him as if he was a mere stranger, or worse.

“Dahlia Nicholson, is that what you think of me? You knew that I hit your brother, but have you stopped to think why I hit him?” Dustin asked.

“No matter what he did, you still shouldn’t have hit him!” Dahlia insisted.

Hearing this, Dustin laughed bitterly. He was disappointed in her. At this point, it didn’t matter who was in the wrong. She clearly favored her brother over him.

“Dustin, I’ll give you another chance. Go to the hospital right now and apologize to James, and I’ll pretend that nothing happened. Otherwise…”

“Otherwise what?” Dustin retorted. “Are you going to call the police on me, or hire hitmen to take me out?”

“Dustin! Are you really going to throw away my goodwill like this?” Dahlia snapped.

“Goodwill? Are you sure it’s goodwill that you’re extending me? Anyway, I did beat up your brother, so do with that what you will.”

“You…” Dahlia’s retort was cut off as Dustin hung up.

She almost threw out her phone in anger. Dahlia had always been good at hiding her true emotions. It was one of the reasons why she had managed to get to where she was today. But right now, she was having a little trouble in that regard.

“How rude of him. Ms. Nicholson, do you need me to arrange for someone to teach him a lesson?” Lyra asked.

“No need. We’re done now.” Dahlia took a deep breath to quell her anger.

“But…”

Lyra was about to say more when Dahlia stopped her.

“That’s enough of this. I need to work on more important matters, like the charity ball with the Harmon family.”

“The charity ball? Has that got anything to do with our partners?”

“That’s right. I just received news that the Harmon family has shortlisted the Quine Group. If we do well at this ball, we could be the Harmon family’s next partners!”

“That’s great! I’ll go make the arrangements right now!”

...

After hanging up the call, Dustin arrived at Swinton Primary Hospital. Natasha brought him into a VIP ward, where an old man was laying on the bed. He looked pale, and his lips were dry and cracked. His breathing was weak as if he was close to death. Several doctors surrounded him, but none of them looked optimistic.

“Natasha! You’re finally here. These doctors are useless!”

Suddenly, a young woman with a ponytail ran up to them. She was the second daughter of the Harmon family, Ruth Harmon, and the old man on the bed was Andrew Harmon, her grandfather.

“Ms. Harmon, we’ve already done everything we could. There’s nothing else we can do for him,” a doctor said helplessly.

“If there’s nothing you can do, then let someone else take over the reins,” Natasha said coldly.

“Mr. Rhys will take over.”

“Mr. Rhys?”

The surrounding doctors had strange expressions on their faces. Dustin looked too young to be a good doctor.

“Are you kidding me, Natasha? This is Mr. Rhys?” Ruth looked shocked. “He looks about the same age as I am. Is he really a doctor?”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover. Mr. Anderson was the one who introduced him to me. I trust him,” Natasha said.

To be frank, she wasn’t quite sure about Dustin either, but if Hunter recommended him, then he had to have his merits.

“Could Mr. Anderson have been conned too?” Ruth still looked doubtful. “Hey, you, are you really a doctor?”

“I know a little about medicine,” Dustin replied.

“Just a little?” Ruth pouted. “You should know that we only let in the best doctors into this room. Everyone here is a known expert in their field, and none of them could do anything about this illness. How are you so confident that you can?”

“Ruth! Watch your manners!” Natasha scolded.

“He doesn’t look reliable, Natasha! I’m just worried that he might make Grandfather worse!” Ruth said.

“Watch your words.” Natasha frowned.

“I don’t care, I won’t believe in him unless he can prove himself to me,” Ruth said with her head held high.

“How should I prove myself?” Dustin asked nonchalantly.

“Tell me what ails me. If you’re correct, then I’ll believe in you!”

“Really?”

“What’s wrong? You’re scared? If you can’t do it, then please leave. Stop wasting our time!” Ruth snorted.

“Show me your tongue,” Dustin said.

Ruth did as he said.

After a quick look, Dustin said without any hesitation, “Your hormones are imbalanced, so you should be experiencing irregular periods and migraines. You’re also showing some signs of food poisoning, which has affected your digestive system. You’ve been having diarrhea, haven’t you? Oh, another thing, you have hemorrhoids…”

The more he spoke, the tenser Ruth became.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 05: An Understated Dominance

“How did you know that?”

Ruth’s eyes almost bulged out of her head. She was more shocked than embarrassed that Dustin could tell so much about her health just by looking at her tongue. Everything from the migraines to diarrhea was spot on. Was he really that good, or did he just make a lucky guess?

“There’s a lot you can tell about a person just by looking at them,” Dustin said nonchalantly.

“Do you believe him now, Ruth?” Natasha smiled. At the same time, she also heaved a silent sigh of relief. Thank goodness Dustin knew what he was doing.

“He just got lucky!” Ruth refused to admit defeat.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Rhys, she’s just too stubborn for her own good. Please ignore her,” Natasha told Dustin apologetically.

“It’s fine. Shall we begin?”

Dustin didn’t take Ruth’s attitude to heart. He walked over to Andrew and gave him a thorough check-up. It didn’t take long for him to find out what was going on. It was obvious to him that the old man had been poisoned. The poison was pretty potent too. Thankfully, it was discovered early on, so he could still be saved. Another day or two, and he would have been lying in the morgue!

“Ms. Harmon, can you get me some silver acupuncture needles?” Dustin asked.

“No problem.”

Natasha waved a hand. Immediately, one of her bodyguards went out. Five minutes later, he returned with a set of acupuncture needles.

“Thank you.”

Dustin nodded his thanks, then began to take off the old man’s shirt. First, he tapped his knuckles against the old man’s stomach to make sure he was hitting the correct positions, then began to place the needles in the correct pressure points. His actions were light but firm as his hands flew deftly. With his skill, his patient would not feel any pain from the needles. Seeing this, Natasha was surprised.

“He’s good!”

She didn’t know much about acupuncture as a medical practice, but she knew some experts in the field. From what she could see, those old experts had nothing on Dustin. His actions were one of an experienced and talented healer who had spent years in practice. She was curious about this man. Once all 16 needles were in place, Dustin breathed a sigh of relief. It had been some time since he last performed acupuncture, but thankfully he was still familiar.

“Is that all? Nothing changed!” Ruth looked confused.

“Your grandfather has been poisoned. It’ll take about two hours to drain the toxin from his body; you shouldn’t remove the needles before the two hours are up, or there might be serious side effects!”

Ruth pouted.

“Why should I believe you?”

“Ruth!”

Natasha glared at her sister.

“I need to go to the bathroom. Please watch over him while I’m gone,” Dustin told the occupants of the room before leaving.

Not long after he left, a group of doctors barged in. These were some of the most skilled doctors in the hospital. A balding man led the troupe.

“Hey! Who are you guys?” Ruth crossed her arms.

“My name is Jansen. I’m the executive director of the hospital, and also the dean of the medical school. I’m here on orders to treat Old Mr. Harmon,” the balding man introduced.

“Ah, you’re that famous Dr. Jansen! The best doctor in Swinton!” Ruth was ecstatic.

“More like one of the best,” Dr. Jansen said proudly, “but yes, I am.”

“It’s great to meet you, Dr. Jansen. Please help my grandfather.”

Ruth immediately moved out of his way. Clearly, she trusted Dr. Jansen more than she trusted a youngster like Dustin.

“I will.” Dr. Jansen nodded. When he got nearer to the bed, he frowned. “What’s with the needles? What nonsense is this?”

As he spoke, he made to remove the needles.

“Wait!” Seeing this, Natasha stopped him.

“What’s wrong?” Dr. Jansen asked, annoyed.

“Dr. Jansen, I’ve already hired another healer. He said that my grandfather has been poisoned. We cannot remove these needles as there might be serious side effects.”

“A pack of lies!” Dr. Jansen snorted derisively. “If these needles can cure ailments, then what are doctors for?”

“That’s right!” Ruth agreed. “Natasha, that Dustin barely looks a day over 20. How could he be a skilled healer? Please don’t tell me you believe what he said.”

“Then how would you explain the way he could tell that you’re having diarrhea just by looking at you?” Natasha asked.

“He… he made a lucky guess!” Ruth said.

“Ms. Harmon, all of the best doctors in Swinton are here. I don’t know who you hired just now, but I believe he’s just conning you. Do you really think our professionally trained doctors are not as good as a random guy on the street?” Dr. Jansen asked. “I know you’re worried about Old Mr. Harmon, but please, don’t believe in these superstitions. It would just make things worse!”

“That’s right! Dr. Jansen has saved a lot of people. Don’t worry, Old Mr. Harmon will be safe in his hands!” the other doctors behind him chimed in.

Their confidence weakened Natasha’s resolve. However, she insisted, “We should wait for Mr. Rhys to come back.”

“Why should we?” Ruth said. “Maybe he’s already gone, Natasha!”

“Ms. Harmon, I’m a busy man. I’m not going to waste any more time here. If I pull out these needles and anything happens to Old Mr. Harmon, it’ll be on me.” With that, Dr. Jansen pulled out all of the needles.

As soon as the needles were removed, something strange happened.

Andrew’s body began convulsing. His face began to turn black, and blood gushed out from his nose and mouth. The machines on either side of the bed began beeping.

“What’s going on?” Dr. Jansen was surprised by the turn of events.

“What’s this, Dr. Jansen?” Natasha frowned.

“That’s strange, he was fine earlier…” Dr. Jansen felt uneasy.

“Sir, the patient is coding!”

“Quick, get the machines!”

Without delay, Dr. Jansen began emergency resuscitation. Even after a lot of effort, Andrew did not seem to get better at all. In fact, his stats were declining uncontrollably. Dr. Jansen was panicking.


“Ms. Harmon, I think… I think Old Mr. Harmon is… dying…”

“What?” Both Natasha and Ruth were shocked.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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Platinum Villager
Jul 9, 2023
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CHAPTER 06: An Understated Dominance

“You useless thing!” Natasha was livid. She grabbed Dr. Jansen by the collar and yelled, “I told you not to remove the needles! Now that the worst has happened, this is all you have to say?”

“No, this has got nothing to do with me!” Dr. Jansen shook his head fervently. “It must be that other healer. His needles must have caused this to happen!”

Natasha slapped him.

“Stop pushing the blame on others! I’m warning you now if anything happens to my grandfather, I’ll end your life!”

At those words, Dr. Jansen paled. The Harmon family was powerful enough to get rid of him without anyone knowing.

“What’s going on?”

At that moment, Dustin entered. When he saw Andrew’s state, he frowned.

“Didn’t I tell you not to remove the needles?” he asked with displeasure. “Why didn’t you listen to me?”

“Mr. Rhys, just now…”

Before Natasha could explain, Dr. Jansen shot forward and grabbed Dustin by the collar.

“So it’s you who placed the needles?” he shouted. “It’s your silly needling that caused Old Mr. Harmon to go into critical condition! You’re responsible for this!”

Dustin was a convenient scapegoat that he could use to avoid the blame.

“Am I right to presume that you were the one who removed the needles, then?” Dustin raised an eyebrow.

“So what if it’s me?”

“Nothing much. I’m just a little curious. How did you become a doctor when you’re so unskilled and irresponsible?”

“You—”

“Shut up!”

Natasha pushed Dr. Jansen away, then pulled Dustin over to the bed.

“Mr. Rhys, we have no time to lose. Please save my grandfather!”

“Ms. Harmon, he’s just a conman! He won’t be able to do anything for your grandfather. Don’t be scammed!” Dr. Jansen said angrily.

“If you think he can’t do anything, then why don’t you do something?” Natasha glared at him.

“I…”

Dr. Jansen was rendered speechless. If he could save Andrew, he would’ve done so earlier instead of standing around.

Just as Dustin was about to begin his treatment, Dr. Jansen said suddenly, “A word of warning, young man. Old Mr. Harmon is a man of influence. If you fail, you’ll have a lot to answer for.”

“If that’s so, then I’m not treating him. You guys can deal with it yourself.”

Dustin had no wish to continue arguing with them. He turned and made to leave.

“You bugger! Shut your craphole!”

Natasha was livid. She slapped Dr. Jansen again. The slap was so forceful that Dr. Jansen stumbled and almost fell to the ground. Seeing his swollen face, Dustin felt vindicated, even though he remained expressionless. Natasha’s expression changed into pleading when she spoke to him.

“Please, Mr. Rhys. The Harmon family will owe you a big favor if you can save my grandfather.”

“It won’t be easy. The toxin has been aggravated, so it’s more aggressive now. Acupuncture alone won’t be enough to cure him. I need something else,” Dustin said.

“I will give you whatever you need,” Natasha said.

“I’ll need a quarter pound of caterpillars, a quarter pound of spiders, and a quarter pound of cockroaches. Fry them and seal them in an airtight container.”

“Ew. Why do you need those things? How gross.” Ruth said in disgust.

“Stop your yakking. Go find those items!”

Natasha glared at her. Reluctantly, Ruth went out with her bodyguards to look for the insects. Soon, they came back with a container filled with fried insects.

“Ms. Harmon, after I finish the acupuncture treatment on your grandfather, please open this container and place it in front of his nose and mouth,” Dustin said.

“Will do!”

Natasha nodded.

“I shall begin.”

Dustin took out his silver needles and took a deep breath. Then, he gathered his concentration and inserted the first needle into Andrew’s lower abdomen. With a flick of his finger, Dustin made the needle rotate quickly. A sliver of energy entered Andrew’s body through the needle.

His second needle went slightly above the first. Dustin inserted it without any hesitation. The next three needles were placed quickly and determinedly in a straight line from the first two. Interestingly, Dustin did not just stick the needle into Andrew. Instead, he was slowly forcing the needles upward from the abdomen. With every needle he placed, Andrew’s skin bulged slightly, as if something was crawling underneath his skin.

“What nonsense.” Dr. Jansen pursed his lips disdainfully. “Acupuncture is a bunch of crap. It’s not even based in science!”

“That’s true! He’s just embarrassing himself!” The other doctors in the room were also whispering amongst themselves.

They clearly had no confidence in alternative medicine. When Dustin finally placed the last needle, he was drenched in sweat. What he did was not regular acupuncture. It was the long-lost art of Miracle Needling. Miracle Needling could raise the dead, but only if the performer had the internal power to do so. It was a draining task, so he only used it for emergencies.

“Ms. Harmon, the container,” Dustin reminded.

Natasha opened the container hurriedly, and a pungent smell filled the room. Andrew got the brunt of it.

“More absurdities!” Dr. Jansen snorted again. “Do you really think some needles and fried insects can save a man from dying?”

“Just because you can’t, it doesn’t mean others cannot,” Dustin replied lightly.

“If you succeed, I’ll eat this container of insects!” Dr. Jansen said.

Just as he finished speaking, Andrew opened his mouth for the first time after days of being unresponsive. A black centipede crawled out of his mouth. Attracted by the smell of the fried insect, it climbed into the container and began eating them.

“A centipede? Is that a centipede?”

“Oh my god, there was a centipede in old Mr. Harmon’s body!”

“Ew!”

When the people in the room realized what was happening, they were shocked. Ruth even started vomiting. It was terrifying to see a centipede climb out of a human’s mouth. This was the stuff of nightmares. Suddenly, there was a sound of loud coughing from the bed. Andrew opened his eyes.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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Jul 9, 2023
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CHAPTER 7: An Understated Dominance

“Is he awake?”

Everyone was stunned when they saw Andrew return to consciousness. The doctors were dumbstruck when they noticed the monitors showing Andrew’s vital signs were all normal.

“That’s amazing! Grandfather is awake!”

Ruth burst into tears of happiness when she saw her grandfather’s recovery. Natasha also breathed a sigh of relief.

“Mr. Rhys, I don’t know how to thank you for this. From now on, you are the Harmon family’s honored guest!”

She bowed deeply to Dustin.

“You’re welcome, Ms. Harmon. It was no trouble at all.”

Dustin gave her a small smile. However, Dustin’s humble words irked Dr. Jansen. He and his team had done all they could to cure Andrew, but this punk called it “no trouble at all?” Clearly, Dustin was insulting them indirectly!

“Hey, you! What’s up with the centipede? Why would there be a centipede in my grandfather’s body?” Ruth spoke up.

“This is not a normal centipede. It’s actually a venomous curse.” Dustin turned to Andrew. “Mr. Harmon, where were you recently? Have you eaten anything out of the ordinary?”

“You’re spot on. A few days ago, I was at Millsburg for a party and drank some wine.” Andrew nodded.

“If I’m not mistaken, you must have been cursed,” Dustin concluded.

“Cursed?”

Andrew was taken aback. The rest of them stared at each other in surprise. After all, it wasn’t every day that someone got cursed.

“Don’t spout nonsense! It’s illogical that this could be a curse! If you ask me, Mr. Harmon must have ingested centipede eggs by mistake!” Dr. Jansen interrupted.

“Dr. Jansen, any normal centipede eggs would have been digested by the stomach’s acid! It’s fine if you are not familiar with this, but do not spread false information!” Dustin retorted calmly.

“You…” Dr. Jansen shut up when he caught sight of Natasha’s deadly glare.

“Mr. Rhys, thank you for your diagnosis. I will investigate this further,” Natasha said seriously.

She had heard of venomous curses before, however, she had no personal experience. Who would have thought that her grandfather was suffering from this? Natasha was determined to make the perpetrators pay for this!

“Now that the curse is lifted, you should feed him this prescription for five days to remove the toxins from his body.” Dustin scribbled on some paper.

“Thank you so much, Mr. Rhys.” Natasha took the prescription gratefully.

“Alright, I will excuse myself since there’s nothing more to be done.” Dustin got up to leave.

“Let me see you off.” Natasha got up as well.

“Sis, what should I do with these insects?” Ruth interjected.

“Dr. Jansen mentioned that he was going to eat those insects. Since he was the one who requested it, we shall fulfill his wish! All of you, make sure he finishes those insects before leaving!” Natasha said coldly.

“What?” Dr. Jansen went pale.

At this moment, in another hospital room, a similar scene of chaos was unfolding.

“Mom! How could Rhys hit me? Please, you have to teach him a lesson!”

James was whining on the hospital bed with his head bound up tightly. Only his nose and mouth could be seen.

“Don’t worry, I will get even with him for you!” Florence comforted James gently.

“Mrs. Nicholson, it is unthinkable that Dustin had the nerve to physically assault both of you!” A handsome young man dressed in a suit spoke up. He was the second son of the Nolan family, Chris Nolan. He was also deeply infatuated with Dahlia.

“Chris, you wouldn’t believe it. That punk went mad and hit my son like a maniac. No one could stop him!” Florence gritted her teeth.

“Really? Was he such a crazy person?” Chris frowned. “I know some thugs who can teach him a lesson. Shall I help you out, Mrs. Nicholson?”

“Oh, that would be great!” Florence broke into a smile.

“Chris, make sure they knock some sense into him. Fracture a bone or two!” James snarled in anger.

“Sure thing. I assure you, he is as good as dead!” Chris laughed maliciously.

To be honest, Dustin’s marriage to Dahlia had bothered him long ago. How was it possible that a useless bum like him could have such an attractive and successful lady as his wife? Chris couldn’t pass up this opportunity to beat Dustin up!

“James, how are your injuries?” Dahlia asked as she entered the hospital room suddenly. She was dressed in a slinky black dress that showed off her voluptuous curves. Chris’s eyes brightened considerably.

“Dahlia, you’re finally here! Look at me, I’m terribly hurt!” James sat up immediately and pointed at his bandaged head.

“Alright, Dustin told me what happened and apologized over the phone. Let’s forget about it and move on,” Dahlia comforted her brother.

“Forget about it?” James raised his voice. “Dahlia, are you kidding me? I was beaten black and blue! An apology isn’t going to cut it! What do you take me for?”

“Well, what do you want?”

“I want him to kneel before me and beg for forgiveness!”

“He is still your brother-in-law. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.”

“Don’t lie to me! I know that both of you have divorced!”

“Regardless of what happened, we were once family. Besides, you are partly to blame.”

“Dahlia, why are you taking his side? What did I even do wrong? I only broke his necklace! What’s the big deal?” James snapped angrily.

“What? What did you say about a necklace?” Dahlia frowned.

“The necklace you wore previously. He claimed that it was an heirloom, but I’m sure it’s just rubbish!” James mumbled under his breath.

“Did you destroy that necklace?” Dahlia probed further.

“Yeah, he was being extremely rude! That insolent punk refused to give me the crystal necklace, that’s why I smashed it on the ground!” James said stubbornly.

“You’re really asking for a beating!”

When Dahlia learned of this, she was furious. After everything that had happened, she finally understood why Dustin would beat James up. James was the one who demanded and shattered the precious crystal necklace.

Other people might not have understood its significance, but Dahlia knew otherwise. The necklace wasn’t just a family heirloom, it was also the only thing that reminded Dustin of his mother. It was a symbol of his mother’s love for him. When they got divorced, Dustin didn’t want anything but the necklace. From this, it was evident that the crystal necklace meant the world to him.

“Dahlia, it’s just a necklace! Why are you lecturing me over this?” James whined.

“That’s right! Is that trinket more important than your brother’s life?” Florence demanded.

“I’ll deal with the both of you later!”

Dahlia didn’t bother to argue and left immediately. She didn’t have the energy to quarrel with her spoiled brother and unreasonable mother. Moreover, in her haste, she hurt Dustin with her words. Now that Dahlia thought about it, she regretted saying them. With his temperament, Dustin would never have lost his temper so easily. She had made a mistake…
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

Expert Villager
Platinum Villager
Jul 9, 2023
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3,670
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CHAPTER 8: An Understated Dominance

Natasha and Dustin sat in the backseat of a silver Benz.

“Mr. Rhys, this is the Harmon family’s platinum card. Please accept it as a token of our gratitude.” Natasha handed Dustin a black card edged with gold as she explained. “With this, you will be treated as an honored guest in all establishments under the Harmon family.”

“Ms. Harmon, I don’t need this.” Dustin shook his head.

“Don’t worry, Mr. Rhys. This is just a personal gesture. Regarding Mr. Anderson’s request for the canscora, I will send the herb to your place tomorrow,” Natasha said with a smile.

“That’s very kind of you, Ms. Harmon. Thank you very much.” Dustin chuckled and accepted the card.

Since it was a gift from her, it would come in handy. As they were talking, the car suddenly pulled over.

“I’m sorry, Ms. Harmon! I was forced to do this!” The car driver confessed before getting out and running for his life.

At that moment, two black SUVs swept by. They blocked the silver Benz in the front and rear. More than ten men got out of the SUVs. They approached the car, armed with weapons, and with covered faces. A bald, burly man who seemed to be the leader set his foot on the Benz’s bonnet.

Brandishing his knife, he threatened, “Ms. Harmon, my boss wants to meet you. We will escort you.”

“How bold of you to hijack my car!” Natasha replied, unfazed. She emitted a stately aura befitting a queen.

“We wouldn’t have dared with all your bodyguards around. However, they are now at the hospital guarding your grandfather. You are alone with your little boy toy! How could we pass this precious opportunity up?” the bald guy smirked.

“Well, you do have some brains in that numbskull of yours to bribe my driver. However, please satisfy my curiosity. Who’s your boss?” Natasha asked calmly.

“You will know once we get there! Now, will you get off?” the bald guy urged.

“You have no right to order me around!” Natasha didn’t budge.

“Since you are going to be difficult, I have no choice but to resort to force!” The bald man gestured to the others for a large hammer. As he was going to smash the windscreen, Dustin opened the door and got out.

“Ms. Harmon, your boy toy has no guts. I’ve not even started and he is already peeing his pants in fear. What did you see in him?” the bald guy said mockingly.

Natasha frowned and reached into her bag silently.

“You have five seconds to cram,” Dustin warned.

“Punk, do you know what you’re saying? Are you trying to be a hero? Go die!”

Before the bald man could finish his sentence, a slap landed on his face. The overwhelming pressure almost dislocated his jaw. He staggered back, stars spinning around his head.

“How dare this punk fight back? Slay him!”

The other men immediately rushed toward Dustin with their weapons in hand. Dustin faced them fearlessly. He weaved through the crowd, his movements as light as a feather. Each time someone came within arm’s length, he dealt out a firm slap.

After a few loud cracks and cries of pain, the men fell over one by one. None remained standing after receiving a slap from Dustin. Beating up more than ten muscular men seemed as easy as pie for him. The bald man was scared. Never in his dreams would he have thought that the young man before him was such a terrifying monster. Even though all of them came at Dustin at once, not a hair on his head was harmed.

“Interesting.”

Natasha’s eyes shone with interest, a slight smile playing on her lips. She replaced the handgun she had lying in her bag. Initially, she thought that Dustin was going to have some trouble taking down a group of bloodthirsty men by himself. Who knew that he was such a capable fighter? He was much more skilled than her bodyguards. Not only was he skilled in medicine and combat, but he was also handsome as well! A man like him was one in a million!

“Stop! Stand back!” The bald man pleaded for his life as Dustin approached him. “Don’t come near me! I will make you pay—”

Before he could finish, Dustin landed a punch on his abdomen. The man threw up and kneeled on the ground in pain.

“He’s all yours, Ms. Harmon.”

Dustin stepped aside.

“Thank you.” Natasha nodded and stared down at the bald guy. “Tell me, who’s your boss?”

Sweat running down his forehead, the man hesitated.

“Are you not going to tell me?” Natasha smirked and picked up a knife from the ground. She held the blade against his neck and threatened, “I shall have to torture you slowly until you confess then.”

With that, she raised her arm and swung.

At the last moment, the bald man screamed, “Please spare me! I’ll tell you everything! It’s Trevor Spanner of the Drey Group!”

His life was more important than his loyalty right now.

“As expected.” Natasha smiled. “Return and inform Trevor that I’ll remember this! When I have some free time, I’ll visit him. Get lost right now!”

The bald man and his men ran away with their tails between their legs.

“Ms. Harmon, things are not as simple as it seems. First, your grandfather was cursed. Next, your car was hijacked. Trevor will not be easy to deal with,” Dustin warned.

“Trevor Spanner is just a crazy man. However, he has strong allies backing him up. I’m not going to do anything about this yet. It’s better to lay in wait for an opportunity to round all of them up at one go!”

Natasha narrowed her eyes. It would be rash to attack right now. She would take all of them down in one blow!

“As long as you have a plan, that’s alright.” Dustin nodded.

He had no interest in the conflicts between rival families.

“Mr. Rhys, it seems that you are really my family’s benefactor. You saved my grandfather, and now you have saved me from getting kidnapped. I have no way to pay you back.” Natasha fluttered her eyelashes.

“It’s no trouble at all,” Dustin replied carelessly.

“No, we owe you too much! I must return the favor!” With that, Natasha shot him a sultry smile. “To show my sincerity, shall I repay you with my body?”
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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Platinum Villager
Jul 9, 2023
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CHAPTER 09: An Understated Dominance

“What?” Dustin’s face froze.

He never thought Natasha would say something like that. Taking a closer look, he found that her beauty was different from Dahlia’s. She was sensual like Aphrodite, and her smile could take anyone’s breath away. In short, she was a natural femme fatale, ensnaring men with her bewitching charms.

“Why are you so shocked? I’m just playing around.” Natasha’s breasts heaved as she laughed heartily at Dustin’s face. It was all Dustin could do to tear his eyes away from her voluptuous curves. The more he looked at her, the harder it was not to gawk at her figure.

“Mr. Rhys, back to the issue at hand. I need to ask a favor from you again.” Natasha’s expression grew serious.

“What is it?” Dustin asked.

“You know that all my bodyguards are stationed at the hospital, so I don’t have anybody to protect me. Now that this incident has happened, no one knows when the next attack could occu. I hope that you can be my bodyguard and protect me 24/7,” Natasha said in earnest.

“Personal bodyguard?” Dustin raised his eyebrows. “Ms. Harmon, wouldn’t it be better for you to stay at a safe place?”

“It’s impossible, Mr. Rhys. For your information, the Harmon family will be organizing a charity dinner tonight. As the main organizer, I have to be present. What if someone appeared tonight and made a scene? A damsel like me would be defenseless. Besides, who would bring you the canscora if something unfortunate befell me?” Natasha blinked innocently.

“Well…” Dustin hesitated for a moment and nodded. “Alright, I’ll protect you.”

Although it was a hassle, he had to do it for the canscora. Nothing could be allowed to go wrong until he managed to get his hands on the herb.

“Many thanks, Mr. Rhys.” Natasha gave him a sly smile. Truth be told, she was much more interested in the bodyguard than being protected.



It was the evening at the Mirage. The Mirage was the most prominent club in Swinton. The building was as large as a hotel and inspired by the Victorian period. It had gabled roofs, large bay windows, and decorative sculptures. The interior was similarly designed, exuding grandeur and magnificence. Outside, the club was surrounded by vast gardens, vineyards, and even a man-made lake.

A black Benz stopped at the entrance of the Mirage. A gorgeous woman dressed in a black evening gown got out of the car. She had flawless skin and legs that went on for miles. Her intricate features complemented her graceful motions. The second she arrived, everyone’s eyes were drawn to her as she outshone all the other women in her presence.

“What a beautiful woman! Is she a famous actress?”

“Her face and figure are of out of this world!”

“Isn’t she the president of Quine Group? She is one of Swinton’s Four Beauties!”

People milling at the entrance whispered among themselves, marveling at Dahlia’s beauty. However, none of them went forward to introduce themselves as they were too intimidated.

“I’ve never thought that the Mirage could be so grand! What beautiful designs and sculptures!” Lyra exclaimed as she got out of the car.

“The Mirage is one of the main establishments of the Harmon family, that’s why the design and quality are impeccable. It is extremely difficult for most people to get an invitation to the Mirage.” Dahlia surveyed the surroundings. Even with her high standards, she had to admit that the Mirage was in a class of its own.

“Dahlia, there you are!” A bespectacled young man in a suit came up to both of them. It was Chris, the second son of the Nolan family.

“Mr. Nolan, are you interested in tonight’s charity dinner as well?” Dahlia greeted him.

“I’m not interested in just any charity dinner. Having said that, this dinner is organized by the Harmon family. Who wouldn’t be interested?” Chris answered with a smile.

The Harmon family was one of the Mighty Three, the top three most reputable families in Swinton! Their financial power and influence were unrivaled in Swinton. Many people would die for the chance to just enter the Mirage, let alone to be invited to the Harmon family’s charity dinner.

“Mr. Nolan, are you sure that’s all you are interested in?” Lyra smirked knowingly.

“Of course I have an ulterior motive. I’m here to be of help to both of you.” Chris chuckled.

“Help us?” Lyra was confused.

“I heard rumors that the Quine Group is shortlisted to be one of the Harmon family’s partners. It’s not easy to be partners of such a powerful group, especially for Quine Group. That’s why I’m here to put in a good word on your behalf. This will boost the possibility of signing a contract with the Harmon family!” Chris boasted, his voice filled with confidence.

“That would be great! Thank you, Mr. Nolan!” Lyra was overjoyed.

If the Quine Group became partners with the Harmon family, not only would this elevate the company’s reputation, her status as secretary to the president would rise significantly as well.

“You’re welcome. Granting my relationship with Dahlia, this is no trouble to me at all.” Chris shot her a deliberate smile.

“Of course, we are already one family.” Lyra returned the gesture.

Dahlia had not heard a word of their conversation. Her gaze was fixed on a luxurious car in the distance. A man’s silhouette was standing by the car.

“Could that be Dustin?”

Dahlia finally recognized the man. After she found out the truth about that fight, she had been feeling guilty about it. Dahlia decided to address the misunderstanding since Dustin was coincidentally here. With that thought, she walked up to him.

“Dustin!”

Dahlia was about to continue when she stopped in her tracks. She noticed a striking figure next to Dustin. The woman was dressed in a skin-tight, fiery red dress that showcased her tiny waist and alluring curves. In addition, her porcelain skin and captivating features radiated an aura of nobility, like a queen who had come to grace her presence on her subjects.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

Expert Villager
Platinum Villager
Jul 9, 2023
3,741
3,670
2,100
CHAPTER 10: An Understated Dominance

“Ms. Nicholson, nice to meet you. How can I help you?” Dustin’s eyes widened when he saw Dahlia walking toward him, but his gaze turned cold in a moment.

“What a coincidence seeing you here.”

Dahlia choked back the speech she had prepared to explain herself and greeted Dustin stiffly. She did not believe it when her mother told her of Dustin’s new love interest. Who would have thought that it was true? Although they were divorced, Dahlia felt a little uncomfortable seeing her ex-husband being with another woman. There was an awkward and uneasy feeling in her heart.

“Mr. Rhys, is she a friend of yours?”

Natasha sized Dahlia up. According to her female intuition, she could detect a hint of hostility from this woman standing before them.

“She’s my ex-wife,” Dustin replied.

“Really?” Natasha raised her eyebrows and gave Dahlia a charming smile. “Hi, I’m Natasha Harmon. Nice to meet you.”

She stretched out her hand to shake Dahlia’s. Although her actions seemed friendly enough, the atmosphere around her was slightly intimidating.

“Nice to meet you, Ms. Harmon,” Dahlia answered politely.

Although she was usually very self-assured, she had to admit that the woman before her was stunning. Natasha was on par with her in looks, height, and conduct. Furthermore, Natasha’s figure was much more voluptuous than hers. Any man would be enamored by her!

“Dustin, when did you befriend Ms. Harmon? You’ve never introduced me!” Dahlia couldn’t help but ask.

“Were you ever interested in my friends?” Dustin replied sarcastically.

His sharp words rendered Dahlia speechless. She had never expected Dustin to be so direct. The atmosphere around the three of them grew tense.

“Dustin, can I have a word with you?” Dahlia tried after a few seconds of silence.

“About what?” Dustin retorted with a poker face.

“It’s about something private, let’s go elsewhere.” Dahlia turned to find a quiet corner but she realized Dustin didn’t move an inch. Her brows furrowed with frustration.

“Let’s talk about it here and now. I don’t want another misunderstanding,” Dustin insisted.

“Must you be so difficult?” Dahlia frowned.

She was trying to make peace with him, but Dustin seemed to not be having any of it. He was being mean and talking down to her in a disagreeable manner.

“Ms. Nicholson, we are already divorced. Since your status is of such a high rank, it is better for us to not be seen together. I would only embarrass you.” Dustin scoffed.

“I don’t understand. Why are you being such a jerk?” Dahlia was getting annoyed.

“Are you seriously asking me?” Dustin stared back at her. “Wasn’t this your choice?”

“I…” Dahlia couldn’t say a word in retaliation. Yes, she did initiate the divorce. However, there was no need to keep bringing up the past.

Despite her struggle to calm herself down, Dahlia could feel resentment rising within her. Seeing Dustin with another woman triggered her frustration and anger. These feelings became more and more intense as their fight escalated.

“Dustin, I know you despise me. Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ve made a mistake. Besides, I’ve given you many chances to redeem yourself!”

Dahlia’s tone turned icy. It was not easy for her to reconcile with others, given her prideful nature. Moreover, Dustin threw it in her face.

“So you mean that I’m still in the wrong?” Dustin could only laugh.

“I’m not in the mood to argue with you as we are irrelevant now. Having said that, you shouldn’t be flaunting your new partner in front of me if you have any respect for me as your ex-wife!” Dahlia said gravely.

“Respect?” Dustin laughed harder. “How about Chris, then? Even before we got divorced, you were already having an affair with him. How could you even demand respect?”

“Regardless of whether you believe me, I’m innocent and my conscience is clear,” Dahlia retorted, her head held high.

“Is that so?” Dustin smirked and pointed at Chris, who was walking toward them. “I would like to have a look at that clear conscience of yours!”

Both of them had been fooling around in bed. Now, they were even at the charity dinner together.

What a joke for her to claim that she was innocent! Dahlia frowned slightly, but she did not explain herself. First, there was nothing to explain. Second, Dustin wouldn’t believe her anyway.

“Dahlia, we were having a conversation just now. Why did you slip away?” Chris said to her with a smile.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Natasha. Chris was astounded when he saw her alluring beauty. Desire burned in his eyes as his breathing quickened.

What a gorgeous woman! He had never seen such an extraordinary lady in his life. If Dahlia was like water, Natasha was like a burning flame. She could arouse the desires of men with her sultry gaze, without even moving a muscle. Natasha was a natural seductress!

Sneaking a few glances at Natasha, he quickly diverted his gaze. He knew that it was unbecoming of a man to make his intentions known so early, especially in the presence of such dazzling women. Making a first good impression was extremely important.

“Dustin, what a surprise to see you!” Chris turned to Dustin with a frown.

Chris was green with envy when he saw Natasha being so friendly to Dustin. How could this punk be surrounded by hotties all the time? After getting a divorce from Dahlia, here he was with another attractive woman on his arm. Was he blessed with lady luck?

“Why would it be a surprise to see me?” Dustin retorted.

“I’ve heard from Dahlia that you were just an errand boy at the Quine Group. With your status, you have no right to enter the Mirage. Were you planning to sneak in?” Chris narrowed his eyes.

“Don’t you worry about it, it’s none of your business,” Dustin said calmly.

“I must have guessed correctly.” Chris smirked and turned to Natasha. “Don’t be deceived by him, gorgeous. Dustin is not some rich scion but a lowly pauper. He has no right to be breathing the same air as you, gorgeous.”

In Chris’s mind, Dustin must have lied to the beautiful lady. Why would she be together with a useless guy like him otherwise?

“What’s wrong with that? It’s fine as long as I like him!” Natasha chuckled.

“Gorgeous, with your beauty and looks, you can definitely marry into a wealthy family. Why would you choose to live a difficult life with him?” Chris replied, puzzled.

“Wealth means very little to me. In my eyes, Dustin is an outstanding man.” Natasha slipped her arm into Dustin’s naturally.

“Outstanding?” Chris laughed mockingly. “He doesn’t have wealth, fame, or power. How could he be regarded as outstanding?”

“At the very least, he is more handsome than you.” Natasha snapped.

“What’s the use of a handsome face? In the end, he is just a boy toy!” Chris’s expression darkened. “I have warned you, Dustin is a conman. You are going to regret it once he takes advantage of your wealth and body!”

“Take advantage of me?” Natasha laughed merrily. “I do hope that he will take advantage of me, but it seems that he isn’t interested.”

Her bold words made Dahlia and Chris frown in disapproval. Even Dustin couldn’t take it any longer. This woman was really a shameless flirt.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 11: An Understated Dominance

“Hey, did you not hear me? That guy is a liar! It won’t do you any good if you stay with him!” Chris’s face was etched with concern when Natasha was unfazed by his provocation. He couldn’t bear to watch a beautiful woman like her be ruined at Dustin’s hands.

“Damn, you sure are annoying. It’s none of your business who I hang out with!” Natasha snapped, having lost her patience.

“You…”

Chris was on the verge of a breakdown. Never had he imagined her to be so stubborn. How could she still go back to Dustin knowing that he deceived her? Was that guy so charming?

“Mr. Nolan, this kind of person deserves to be deceived. Not only does she not appreciate your kind reminder but also speaks rudely to you. How ungrateful!” Lyra uttered unkindly from the side.

“Hmph! So showing kindness is a crime now?” Chris felt unjust, but obviously, he was more jealous.

“You two must have known each other for a long time, right?” Dahlia asked abruptly. Judging from Natasha’s behavior, she couldn’t help but suspect that they had long had a secret affair. Otherwise, there wasn’t a reasonable explanation for Chris’ determination.

“That’s not important. What matters is that our feelings are mutual.” Natasha smiled. While speaking, she pressed her chest against Dustin’s arm as though swearing sovereignty.

At this sight, Dahlia’s gaze became fiercer. Despite knowing that Natasha was deliberately pushing her buttons, she couldn’t suppress her irritation. It felt like someone had snatched away something of hers.

“Dustin, I’ve seriously misjudged you. We aren’t officially divorced, yet you’ve already found yourself another woman.” Dahlia tried to calm her emotions. In fact, she had been brooding about their divorce because she felt like she owed Dustin. However, the latter had begun fooling around with women while she was busy thinking of a way to make up to him. At the end of the day, she was the clown.

“If that’s what you think of me, I have nothing to say.” Dustin shrugged as he was lazy to explain anything.

“Fine. I was thinking that I owed you something, but it looks like we’re even now!” Dahlia’s expression turned indifferent. She felt as if she was looking at a complete stranger.

“Great.” Although Dustin’s poker face remained, his heart momentarily twitched for some reason.

“Ms. Nicholson…” Just then, Nastsha spoke up with a smile. “The choice you made was rather unwise, but I still have to thank you.”

“What for?” Dahlia slowly looked up at her.

“Thank you for letting me have Dustin. If not, I wouldn’t have discovered such a treasure by myself.” Natasha was flashing a satirical grin, her words meant to humiliate Dahlia.

“Hey! You bitch…” Lyra was about to explode when Dahlia raised her hand and cut her off.

She looked Natasha in the eyes and replied, “Your so-called treasure is just average in my opinion.”

“Average?” Natasha raised her eyebrow. “You’re calling a highly educated martial artist average? Ms. Nicholson, you do have high standards. However, the guy you’re with doesn’t seem to be any better.”

“At least he’s better than Dustin.” Dahlia didn’t back down.

“Oh, really? Why don’t we make a bet then?” Natasha dared playfully.

“About what?”

“Let’s bet which of them will have greater achievements within a month. What do you say?”

Hearing this, the three of them were taken aback. They didn’t expect she would suggest something like that.

Chris sneered as he looked at Natasha incredulously. “Say, did you hit your head or something? Are you making me compete with this piece of trash? Is he even worthy?”

“Exactly! Mr. Nolan is the successor of Nolan Pharmaceuticals with assets worth over a billion dollars under his name. What does Dustin have?” Lyra pursed his lips in disdain.

“Are you sure you want to bet on this?” Dahlia felt a little lost. To her, Dustin had nothing other than his good looks. Conversely, Chris was excellent in all aspects, be it his family background or personal capabilities.

The two of them were far from being on par with each other. Dustin could never beat Chris even if he were given five years, much less a month.

“Of course. It’s only about whether you dare to accept the bet.” Natasha raised her chin obnoxiously.

“What are we betting on?”

“Whoever loses the bet will have to apologize to the other and admit that she had no standards.”

“Sure. The bet is on.” Dahlia nodded.

“Good. I hope you don’t regret it!” Natasha chuckled.

Both of them possessed equal beauty but contrasting temperaments. At that moment, a rivalry had silently formed between the two.

“We shall find out when the time comes.” After casting one last glance at Natasha, Dahlia turned around and entered Mirage without another word.

“Pfft, you’re digging your own grave.” Chris and Lyra sneered again before following Dahlia into the building. Not once did they take Dustin seriously.

“Mr. Rhys, what do you think? Did I do well?” Natasha asked coquettishly as she tucked her hair behind her ear. Even though her action looked simple, there were many meanings behind it.

“You went slightly over the top,” Dustin said helplessly. “If we lose, you’ll lose your reputation.”

“Lose? Are you kidding me? Don’t tell me you can’t even beat that loser?” Natasha started to agitate Dustin.

“I’m an ordinary man. How am I supposed to compete with a successor of a wealthy family?” Dustin shrugged.

“Ordinary? You’re too modest, Mr. Rhys. Your looks alone are out of this world!” As Natasha blinked at him flirtatiously, she appeared like a street thug harassing a lady.

Feeling speechless, Dustin pretended not to see it. Nevertheless, he had to admit that her performance was impeccable. It saved his pride. After all, very few women could steal Dahlia’s limelight, and Natasha was undoubtedly one of them.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 12: An Understated Dominance

After entering Mirage, Lyra vented her anger. “Ugh, that woman is hot, but she’s blind to fall for an incompetent fool like Dustin.”

“I know, right? What a waste,” Chris chimed in with a long sigh. He was rich and handsome, so why was he unable to meet a beautiful woman too?

“That’s enough talk. We’re here for business,” Dahlia interrupted them and said, “Lyra, go and find out which Harmon is in charge tonight. It’d be best if we could promote ourselves.”

“I know a close friend who works at this place. I’ll give her a call.” As Lyra spoke, she fished out her phone and dialed a number. Before long, she informed Dahlia of good news. “Ms. Nicholson, tonight’s charity event is organized by the Steel Lady herself. As for the partner, it’ll depend on her preferences.”

“The Steel Lady? Could she be the famous business prodigy?” At the thought of this, Dahlia’s eyes lit up with excitement. The Steel Lady had a well-known reputation for being the only woman who singlehandedly conquered the business world of Swinton, surpassing nearly all of the other businessmen.

Dahlia couldn’t help but admire such an exceptional businesswoman. However, she’d never met the Steel Lady.

“Lyra, ask your friend whether she could help us arrange a private meeting with the Steel Lady. We can’t miss this opportunity,” said Dahlia.

“I can try and ask her, but there’s no guarantee.”

“Okay. I will thank her afterward.” Deep down, Dahlia was bubbling with anticipation. Being the Harmon family’s partner meant a lot to her. If she could meet the Steel Lady in advance, she was confident that she would be able to convince the other and prove herself.



As time passed, the number of guests gradually increased in Mirage. Although the charity event had yet to commence, Natasha was already busy.

“Mr. Rhys, feel free to look around. I have to excuse myself. You can ask anyone here if you need anything.”

“Alright. Thanks.”

“Julie, help me look after Mr. Rhys.” Then, Natasha headed toward her office.

“Ms. Harmon…” Upon entering the room, a middle-aged manager approached her with some documents. “Here is the information you asked for. After several screenings, we have narrowed down only four companies that qualify to be our partner. Please have a look and see if there’s anything else you need.”

Natasha hummed in acknowledgment and nodded silently. She accepted the documents and began reviewing them. After a while, she raised her eyebrow as her interest was piqued.

“Huh, what a coincidence.”

A mischievous smirk formed on Natasha’s lips. It turned out that Jackson Group was among the candidates, and in the documents was Dahlia’s resume. Out of curiosity, she read everything about Dahlia and soon, discovered something unusual.

Three years ago, Dahlia was a nobody while Jackson Group was unheard of. Nonetheless, ever since she’d gotten married, her career experienced inexplicably rapid growth. In merely three years, the small company with assets worth less than millions of dollars had developed into one of the most valuable corporations.

During that period, Dahlia not only received a tremendous amount of investments but also orders for various projects. In Natasha’s opinion, these achievements were questionable and there must have been strings pulled behind the scenes. The problem was, however, Dahlia did not come from an influential family nor did she have connections to pull this off.

“Could it be… him?” An image of Dustin appeared in Natasha’s mind. Besides Dustin, she couldn’t think of anyone else who would help Dahlia so unconditionally. Subsequently, she became even more intrigued. Who on earth was Dustin?

No one could easily build Jackson Group into a large corporation in only three years.

“Dustin, oh, Dustin. What exactly are you hiding?” Narrowing her eyes slightly, Natasha was enthralled by the mystery surrounding Dustin.

“And that woman, Dahlia… What were you thinking? Why did you let go of a wealthy husband and choose to get entangled with that bastard named Chris instead? Are you really that stupid?” Natasha pondered and silently heaved a sigh.

A man had sacrificed so much for a woman, but in the end, she was ignorant and even self-righteously decided to divorce him. Natasha couldn’t wrap her head around that. Nevertheless, she realized that the situation had given her a chance to have Dustin all for herself.

“Ms. Harmon, are you considering Dahlia Nicholson from Jackson Group?” asked the manager tentatively upon the rare sight of Natasha reading the documents so intently.

“Dahlia? Hmph,” Natasha answered with a dissatisfied tone. “She is qualified to be our partner, but I don’t like her.”

“Understood. I will remove her from the list right away!”

“No need. Reorganize the documents and show them to Mr. Rhys. Let him decide,” Natasha instructed with an ambiguous smile.

“Yes.”

Although the manager was dumbfounded, he didn’t dare to question her orders.

“Is there something else?” Natasha asked when he did not leave.

“Ms. Harmon, Edward Spanner from Drey Group had arrived earlier and he wishes to meet you,” the manager explained with his head bowed.

“Edward? Trevor Spanner’s son? What is he doing here?”

Natasha was stunned.

“He says he wants to discuss business matters with you, but I doubt that it is his true intention. Should I order the guards to kick him out?”

“Trevor sent his son in his place? Ha… Never mind. I want to see what tricks he has up his sleeves.”
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 13: An Understated Dominance

The hall where the event was held had become lively. On the stage, a group of dancers dressed in vintage clothing danced to classical music. Every facial expression and move was full of charm and grace, leaving a lingering impression in the audience’s mind.

Below the stage sat a crowd of well-dressed celebrities. While some clinked their glasses and chatted, others quietly enjoyed the performance. Dustin had found an empty seat and sat down, sipping on a glass of juice as he watched the show.

“Yo, Rhys! Didn’t think you would actually sneak in here!”

Suddenly, a discordant voice disrupted Dustin’s moment of peace. Glancing over at the source, Dusin spotted Chris and Dahlia together with the secretary.

“Hmph, what an unlucky day. Why are you everywhere?” Lyra huffed in annoyance.

Dahlia didn’t say a word. She threw a cold glance at Dustin and went to take a seat in the front row.

“Hey, the charity auction is starting soon. Can you even afford to participate? Why are you sitting here?” Chris jeered.

“Who says I can’t sit here because I can’t afford it?” retorted Dustin.

“That’s the rule! How can a sucker like you sit with us?” Chris said with a contemptuous look.

“Are you deaf? Get up now!” Lyra kicked the chair Dustin was sitting in.

“What happens if I don’t?” Dustin looked up at him.

“I’ll call the guards to kick you out!” threatened Lyra.

“Go ahead and try,” Dustin responded with an unbothered expression.

“Fine, you asked for it! Don’t blame me when you get humiliated!” Just as Lyra wanted to raise her hand and call for the guards, Dahlia stopped her.

“Cut it out. Let him be.”

“But…” Lyra frowned.

“Mind your own business,” Dahlia simply replied.

“Hmph, consider yourself lucky.”

Lyra glared at Dustin and left it at that. At this moment, her phone rang. After answering the call, her expression froze and the arrogance on her face was quickly replaced with horror.

“What’s wrong?” Dahlia asked upon sensing something amiss.

“Ms. Nicholson… it’s… it’s bad!” Lyra blurted nervously. “I just received a tip-off that the Harmon family wants to remove the Jackson Group from the candidate list!”

“What?” Dahlia’s face fell at the news. “Are you sure the tip is reliable?”

“It should be. My friend overheard it at work!”

“How could this happen?” Dahlia’s expression was awful. After all, she’d expended great effort in getting the Jackson Group on the candidate list. Not only were large sums of money involved but she even owed countless favors over this.

She thought that since they passed the preliminary screening and got on the list, she could effortlessly secure the position of the Harmon family’s partner as long as she met with the Steel Lady beforehand.

Who knew that they would get removed at the very last minute? It was so sudden that Dahlia couldn’t comprehend what had happened.

“Ms. Nicholson, what do we do now? If we make it on the candidate list, all of our hard work will be in vain!” Lyra lamented unhappily.

“Let me think…” Dahlia’s brows furrowed as she fell deep in thought.

Working as the Harmon family’s partner, they would be able to elevate their social status while making extra profits. Although the Jackson Group had grown quickly over the years, it lacked a solid foundation. Hence, if they could join the Harmon family’s business venture, they would have sure backing. Dahlia was so close to tasting success, yet everything had come to naught.

“Mr. Rhys.” Just then, a manager from the Harmon family walked up to Dustin’s side and handed him a folder. “The Iron Lady wants you to review these documents and make the final decision.”

“Hmm?”

Dustin took the folder and his expression became a little strange. He was looking at documents consisting of Dahlia and the Jackson Group’s information. Natasha was indirectly making him choose to whether kick them out of the candidate list.

“What the hell is she planning?”

Dustin held his chain while thinking, feeling some uncertainty. Needless to say, Natasha was doing this on purpose. She wanted the power in deciding the fate of Dahlia’s company to fall on him.

After thinking it over, Dustin chose not to remove them. Although they were divorced, their relationship wasn’t as bad as to require revenge. Besides, they had been married for three years. One way or another, he genuinely hoped that Dahlia would do well in her life.

“Mr. Rhys, are you sure about your decision?”

The manager couldn’t help asking because he knew that Natasha wasn’t fond of Dahlia.

“Yes.” Dustin nodded.

“Okay. We’ll do as you say.”

After giving him a polite smile, the manager promptly left with the documents. Deep down, however, his impression of Dustin dropped slightly. To him, this was Dustin’s best window of opportunity to gain Ms. Harmon’s favor. Meanwhile, in the front-row seat, the clueless Dahlia and Lyra were still worrying about the matter. Based on their status, they weren’t qualified to change the Harmon family’s decision.

“Ahem…” Chris suddenly cleared his throat to get their attention before saying, “Dahlia, if you’re worrying about the candidate list, I might be able to help.”

“Really?” Lyra lit up at once and asked hurriedly, “Mr. Nolan, how can you help us?”

“To be honest, my father has some connections with Old Mr. Harmon. As long as my father makes the request, I believe the Harmon family will do something about it.”

“Is that so? That’s awesome!” Lyra was filled with excitement as she said, “Mr. Nolan, if you can help us with this, you will be our greatest benefactor!”

“It’s not a big deal. I’ll make the call now.”

Chris laughed heartily, then dialed his father’s phone number to briefly explain the situation.

“Alright, I got it. I’ll talk to Andrew when I have time,” Chris’ father, David, agreed perfunctorily and hung up the call. Thinking that he’d solved the problem, Chris started to claim credit and said, “My father has agreed to help. You guys don’t have to worry. It’ll be over soon.”

“Great! Mr. Nolan, thanks to you, we can rest assured.”

Lyra sighed in relief.

“Thank you, Mr. Nolan,” added Dahlia.

“It’s a small matter. Don’t worry about it.”

Chris pretended to wave his hand generously. Then, he looked toward Dustin with a provocative gaze. Dustin was enjoying his juice, completely ignoring Chris. At this moment, Dahlia received a phone call. Taking out her phone, she realized that it was from the general manager of Harmon Group.

“Hello, is this Ms. Nicholson? I have good news for you. The top management has decided to appoint you as the Harmon family’s partner.”
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 14: An Understated Dominance

“We were chosen?” Dahlia was shocked. She couldn’t believe his words. The general manager wasn’t talking about her place on the candidate list, but was referring to their appointment as the Harmon family’s partner! They’d even skipped the final assessment. What was happening?

“Did you mean what you said?” Dahlia questioned tentatively.

“Of course. If you don’t believe it, you may come to our office tomorrow to sign the contract. I have other things to attend to, so I’ll hang up now.” After saying a few words, the general manager ended the call.

Dahlia on the other end was feeling both astonished and delighted. Never had she expected things to go so smoothly. A few moments ago, the Jackson Group was just about to get removed from the candidate list but in the blink of an eye, they had become the Harmon family’s partner. Everything was happening too abruptly.

Of course, it must’ve been due to Chris’ help that she was able to make it this far. The Nolan family’s influence was surprisingly impactful. Only a phone call was needed to change the Harmon family’s mind.

“Ms. Nicholson, what happened? Did the Harmon family change their mind?” Lyra asked.

“Yes.” Dahlia nodded and flashed a rare smile. “The general manager of Harmon Group called me just now and said I’m chosen to become their partner!”

Lyra cheered. “Oh my god! I knew you could do it!”

“It’s all thanks to Mr. Nolan. This wouldn’t have happened without his help,” Dahlia said gratefully.

“That’s right! Mr. Nolan is indeed the greatest. He solved our problem with just a few words!” praised Lyra.

“You’re exaggerating. It was my father who did the favor,” Chris replied with a smile. Although his words sounded humble, the smugness on his face was unconcealable. In fact, he was also somewhat surprised by the news. Since when did his father work so efficiently?

“Dustin, did you see that? This is the difference between you and Mr. Nolan.” Lyra turned to look at Dustin and remarked mockingly. “Mr. Nolan can easily secure us the position as the Harmon family’s partner with a word. What can you do?”

“Don’t say that. At least, he’s good at sucking up to people,” Chris added with a chuckle.

“Hmph, what else can he do? He’s an absolute good-for-nothing.” When Dustin didn’t retort, Lyra’s arrogance was boosted and she continued, “It’s a pity that the bitch isn’t here to see how useless the man she chose is.”

“Are you done talking? Move out of the way if you are, don’t block my view,” Dustin uttered indifferently.

“Why? You can’t stand it when we said only a few words? If you have half of Mr. Nolan’s capabilities, would you be afraid of others calling you out? You’re hopeless.” Lyra sneered.

“Oh? Then, tell me, what is Chris capable of?” Dustin’s expression became solemn. He might prefer to be low-key, but he wouldn’t tolerate anyone who insulted him. He wasn’t a saint, after all.

“Mr. Nolan made us the partner of the Harmon family through a simple phone call. If this isn’t capability, I don’t know what is,” Lyra answered while staring down at Dustin condescendingly.


“How are you so sure that it was him? What proof do you have?” Dustin countered.

“Who else if not Mr. Nolan? It’s definitely not you. I mean, look at your terrible attitude!” Lyra snorted coldly.

“Hey, Rhys, what makes you think that the Harmon family would suddenly change their mind if it wasn’t because of me?” Chris asked haughtily.

“That’s right. The truth is right in front of you. Why can’t you just admit it?” Lyra echoed.

“Don’t get too conceited. If I were you, I would go and confirm the truth myself before thanking the wrong person,” Dustin said, expressionless.

“From what I see, you’re just jealous of others because of your incompetence,” scolded Lyra.

“Whatever floats your boat.” Dustin shrugged it off.

“Rhys, you wanted proof, right? Fine, I’ll give it to you!” Chris sneered as he pulled out his phone to call David again, “Hey, Dad.”

“What is it this time?” David sounded annoyed over the phone.

“Nothing. I just wanted to know how did your talk with Old Mr. Harmon go.”

“What talk? I’m still in a middle of a meeting. I don’t have the time to help you with your nonsense. Don’t ever bother me over stuff like this again!”

“What?” Chris was caught off guard when his father hung up the phone angrily. The smile on his face had stiffened. Instantly, his intention to boast about his capability was shattered. If his father didn’t help him, then who did? Could it be a coincidence?

“Mr. Nolan, what did your father say? Let’s hear it,” Dustin said with a fake smile. As he was seated right behind Chris, his keen ears could pick up everything David had said on the phone. He didn’t even need to listen to their conversation to know what was going on. Chris’ stupefied expression was self-explanatory.

“Mr. Nolan, don’t hesitate to tell us. We should let this bastard understand that he could never compete with you!” Lyra prompted.

Meanwhile, Chris’ eye twitched. He pretended to be calm and replied with a dismissive smile, “What’s there to tell you about? My father has confirmed that he made a request to the Harmon family and helped us big time. Otherwise, Dahlia wouldn’t have qualified to be their partner!”

Hearing this, Dustin frowned deeply as he didn’t expect Chris to be so stubborn. How could he lie in front of everyone?

“Did you hear that, Dustin? I told you so, but you didn’t believe it. What do you have to say now?” Lyra barked proudly.

“Would you believe me if I told you that Chris is lying?” Dustin questioned back.

“Dustin, that’s enough!” At this moment, Dahlia couldn’t stand it anymore. “Can you drop with your act for once? I know that you’re jealous of Chris, but you can’t just slander him! Is it so difficult to admit he’s good?” Dahlia stood up and yelled, a hateful look on her face.

Initially, she didn’t wish to argue with Dustin. However, seeing how obstinate he was behaving, she really couldn’t bear to watch any further.

“Jealous? Slander?” Dustin paused, feeling slightly taken aback. “So, that’s the kind of person I am in your eyes?”

“Look at yourself. Am I wrong?” Dahlia retorted. Her question rendered Dustin speechless.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 15: An Understated Dominance

Never in Dustin’s wildest dreams would he think that was how Dahlia viewed him. She had no faith in him at all. As it turned out, three years of marriage meant nothing when compared to an outsider.

“You’re right. I’m despicable, while Chris is a hero. I slandered him. Are you happy now?” Dustin said self-mockingly. It was pointless to defend himself when there was no trust to begin with.

“What’s with your attitude? Are you saying I’m accusing you?” Dahlia frowned.

“Not at all. I’m the one to blame for badmouthing a good person,” Dustin replied curtly.

“You’re so stubborn!” His words angered Dahlia. She never knew that Dustin would act like this out of spite and refuse to admit his mistake. Was he finally showing his true colors after their divorce?

“It’s all right, Dahlia. Don’t get too worked up.” At this time, Chris put up a pretentious act of kindness and said, “Dustin must be doing this because he doesn’t like that I’m too close to you. I don’t blame him. Everyone makes mistakes.”

“Do you see how forgiving Chris is? This is the difference between you and him!” Dahlia spat, disgusted.

“I’m not even going to try arguing with you if that’s what you think,” Dustin replied in a clipped tone.

“Hmph, I bet it’s because you feel guilty,” Lyra commented disdainfully. “People like you are detestable. Why do you insist on putting on an act when you don’t have what it takes?”

“I don’t care about what you think of me.” Tired of bickering with them, Dustin stood up and left.

Just then, a man with curly hair appeared at the hall entrance. He had on a pair of sunglasses and was smoking a cigar.

“Damn, what a lively atmosphere!” Edward grinned as he looked around. As soon as his eyes landed on Dahlia, he was momentarily dazed. Then the look in his eyes quickly turned fiery.

“Tsk, tsk. I wasn’t expecting today to be my lucky day. I’ve met another stunning woman!” Edward licked his lips and approached Dahlia right away. He smiled and said, “Hey, beautiful. You look familiar. Have we met before?”

Dahlia threw him a glance and ignored him.

“Our meeting must be fated. Why don’t you come and get a drink with me?” Edward invited.

“I’m not interested,” Dahlia rejected without hesitation.

“Money can buy your interest,” Edward stroked his chin and uttered slyly. “Let me get straight to the point then. If you sleep with me for one night, I’ll pay you any amount you like.”

“Get lost,” Dahlia growled.

“Oh, dear. How feisty. I like it!” Edward laughed gleefully. While speaking, he reached out his hand to touch her.

A loud slap sounded when Dahlia struck his face with her palm. Clear, red fingerprints were imprinted on his cheek within seconds.

“You… you dare to slap me?” Edward touched his burning cheek, his gaze darkening.

“What are you going to do about it? What an uneducated prick,” Dahlia said impassively.

“Bitch! You’re asking for trouble!” Edward’s blood boiled and he lifted his hand to hit Dahlia, but he was suddenly shoved away by Chris.

“Fucker, you dare to act out at this kind of occasion? Are you asking for a beating?” Chris glared at Edward. How dare that bastard flirt with his woman in front of his face?

“You rascal, you’d better stay out of this or face the consequences!” Edward bellowed.

“Ha! Are you threatening me? Bring it on. Show me what you got!” Chris provocatively waved his hand.

“Go to hell!” Without another word, Edward threw a punch at Chris. The latter swiftly dodged his fist and countered his attack, landing a blow on his face. Edward staggered backward with blood tricking down his nose.

“You want to fight? Too bad you picked the wrong person!” Chris scoffed.

“Mr. Nolan, you’re awesome! This thug deserves to be beaten up!” Lyra praised loudly.

“Yeah! Good one!” The guests at the scene followed suit and applauded, which stroke Chris’ ego. At last, his time to shine had arrived. It felt incredible!

“Bastard, do you know who I am? You dare to hit me?” Edward seethed through gritted teeth. If looks could kill, Chris would have been six feet under.

“I couldn’t care less about who you are. Get out of here if you want to live!” Chris barked fiercely.

“You’ve got guts, I’ll give you that. You’d better not have run away when I return!” After that, Edward quickly left the place. Chris sneered.

“What a fool. How dare he act all mighty in front of me?”

“Mr. Nolan, I didn’t know you were so strong. You beat him with just a punch!” Lyra complimented him, her eyes glowing with admiration after witnessing the fight.

“Haha, I can beat ten weaklings like him!” Chris laughed. It seemed like his workout routine had paid off.

“Thankfully, you are here to stop him. Or else, we would’ve been in trouble.”

“Fret not. If you reencounter such situations, give me a call and I’ll protect you.” Chris patted his chest confidently. Naturally, he wouldn’t let an opportunity to show off slip by.

“Ms. Nicholson, this is what a real man looks like!” Lyra said while glancing at Dustin with sarcasm, “Not someone who runs away like a scaredy cat whenever he faces small hurdles. How useless.”

Although Dahlia was quiet, she was filled with even more disappointment. When she was in trouble just now, Dustin had stood idly and watched without any sign of wanting to help. Putting their past relationship aside, any other ordinary person would’ve stepped in to help out even if they were strangers. She might not have noticed this before, but now, Dustin’s uselessness was apparent as day. Compared to Chris, he was far from being on par.

“Quick, seal off the exits!” All of a sudden, a burst of commotion sounded. It was none other than Edward, who’d stormed out earlier. This time, he was back with even more malice.

“What? Do you want to get another beating?” Chris stepped forward like a heroic person. However, his vanity eventually faded away upon seeing the group of burly bodyguards following behind Edward.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 16: An Understated Dominance

“What the hell? Why did he bring so many people?” Chris gulped, feeling faint for some reason. Weren’t they supposed to fight one-on-one? Edward had disrespected the rules of a fair fight by involving a gang. Though Chris was cursing in his heart, he had no choice but to face them head-on. No matter what, he couldn’t lose face in front of Dahlia.

“That’s them. Surround them!” With a wave of his hand, the bodyguards led by Edward dashed forward at once, surrounding Chris, Dahlia, and Lyra.

“What are you doing? I’m warning you, don’t you dare touch me. My father is David Nolan, the president of Nolan Pharmaceuticals!” Sensing that he was at a disadvantage, Chris hurriedly threatened them with his father’s status.

“So what?” one of the bodyguards yelled. “Do you know who you’ve messed with? He is Sir Spanner’s son, the heir of Drey Group!”

His words caused an uproar among the crowd.

“Sir Spanner? Is he talking about Trevor Spanner, King of the Underworld from East City?”

“It must be him!”

“Poor guy. I can’t believe he messed with Sir Spanner’s son. Looks like he’s doomed.”

Everyone started whispering to one another, expressing their fear.

“You… you guys work for Sir Spanner?” Chris stammered out of intimidation.

Trevor, also known as Sir Spanner, was East City’s infamous King of the Underworld, second only to the Mighty Three. He was a man of ruthlessness who showed no mercy to those who wronged him. Under his command were hundreds of subordinates specialized in blackmail and other types of crimes. In simpler terms, Trevor would be the most feared villain in a story. Whoever offended him would face consequences worse than death.

“Fuck, I’ve made a huge blunder this time,” thought Chris in a cold sweat.

“What’s wrong? I thought you were confident. Are you scared now?” Edward closed in on Chris, his eyes filled with viciousness.

“Um, this is a misunderstanding…” Chris forced a smile, sounding extremely submissive.

“Misunderstanding, my ass!” Edward roared in fury, slapping Chris across the face twice, leaving his face marked with red fingerprints. Suppressing his exasperation, Chris bit the bullet and smiled apologetically.

“My father is acquainted with Sir Spanner. Could you let this slide for once? I’ll make it up to you.”

“Who the fuck do you think you are? You’re not in the position to ask me for that.” Edward forcefully poked Chris on the forehead with his index finger. With each poke, Chris was forced a step back. At this very moment, Chris had his tail between his legs, not daring to make a sound.

Lyra couldn’t take it anymore and shouted, “Hey, you bunch of thugs! Do you think it’s cool to bully others?”

“Why? Are you angry?” Pushing Chris aside, Edward headed in Dahlia and Lyra’s

direction with an evil smirk.

“This is the Harmon family’s territory. Don’t you dare cross the line!” Lyra warned sternly.

“You think I’m afraid of the Harmon family?” Edward scoffed and said, “Besides, you guys were the ones who started the fight. I’m only acting out of self-defense. What is the Harmon family going to do about it?”

“What… what bullshit are you spouting?” Lyra started to become frantic.

“Hmph, looks like you’ve not understood the situation. Let my men knock some sense into you if that’s the case!” Edward gestured for his bodyguards to make a move, and two of them stood forward menacingly.

“Stop right there!” Dahlia suddenly interrupted with a cold voice. “This has nothing to do with her. Let her go.”

“Does that mean you will take the responsibility?” Edward let out a cruel chuckle. Sure. I’ll let her off the hook, but in return, you have to sleep with me tonight. If you manage to satisfy me, I’ll pretend that none of this happened.”

“You’re shameless!” Dahlia raised her hand to slap him, but Edward caught her wrist just in time.

“Bitch, how dare you hit me again? Boys, tie her up!”

“Yes, sir!” Several bodyguards complied and immediately seized Dahlia.

“Let go of her, you thugs!” Just as Lyra was about to rescue Dahlia, Edward ruthlessly kicked her to the ground.

“Mr. Nolan… Please save her!” Lyra cried out in pain, unable to get to her feed. Helplessly, she could only beg Chris.

“Edward, let’s talk this out. Why involve the women?” Chris tried to persuade Edward. For Dahlia’s sake, he had to resort to pleading for mercy.

“Fuck you. I’m not done with you yet, and you’re trying to save someone else?” Edward cussed.

“No, no! That’s not what I meant. There’s no need to get violent. We can settle this peacefully,” Chris explained politely.

“Shut your trap!” Edward’s heavy slap sent Chris stumbling to the ground. “Say one more word and I will kill you.” a

Chris shrank back and kept silent. Although he cared about Dahlia, he had to save his skin first. After all, it was unreasonable to offend Sir Spanner over a woman.

“Hmph. Turns out you’re just a coward!” Edward jeered, “I don’t understand why these women would stick with you.”

Chris felt insulted, but he couldn’t do anything about it.

“You two, stop struggling already. Take them away. I’m going to have a blast tonight.” Then, Edward ordered his men to tie Dahlia and Lyra up and bring them away.

“Mr. Nolan! Please, help us!” Lyra screamed at the top of her lungs. However, Chris didn’t react as he kept his head bowed. His cowardness made the people around shake their heads. Obviously, Chris was too timid to do anything. Just when everyone thought that Dahlia would inevitably be violated, a figure suddenly appeared in front of Edward and blocked his path.

“You’re not allowed to touch her.”

“What the fuck? Are you trying to be the hero too?” Edward sneered.

“I advise you to let her go before things get out of hand,” Dustin stated coldly.

Edward chuckled with indifference.

“What if I refuse?”

“Then, go to hell!”
 

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CHAPTER 17: An Understated Dominance

“Then go to die!” Dustin stated expressionlessly, but his hard gaze was unnerving.

“Go to hell?” Edward burst out laughing.

Even the group of bodyguards standing behind him burst into laughter; all of them looked at Dustin as though he were an idiot.

“You little punk! Don’t you know who I am? You’ve got some nerve speaking to me that way,” Edward said cockily.

“I don’t know who you are, and I couldn’t care less. You have three seconds to let her go, or else,” Dustin stated plainly.

His words instantly caused a stir; even the people who were holding Dahlia were shocked.

None of them expected that Dustin would say such a thing; he was remarkably brave compared to the silent Chris.

However, such bravery was useless.

“You really don’t know what’s good for you. You’re going to die!” Chris‘ face was full of resentment because Dustin’s show of bravado only made his cowardice even more apparent.

Naturally, Chris was irritated and even filled with resentment when a good for- nothing like Dustin was braver than he was.

“Are you f*cking insane?” Edward looked Dustin up and down before continuing, “So you want to play hero, huh? Fine! I’ll see just what you’ve got!”

With that, he raised his hand and gave another signal.

Two burly bodyguards swiftly charged forward at the same time to tackle Dustin. Both of them were 6.3 feet tall, extremely muscular, and the size of a bear. They each had an imposing presence.

Dustin looked like a mere child in comparison, so everyone present assumed that this confrontation would be over without suspense. They were wrong.

As they drew nearer to him, Dustin delivered two swift punches that connected loudly with each of the men’s faces.

And just like that, the two huge men collapsed to the floor as though they had been struck by lightning and were motionless.

“Huh?”

Everyone was visibly shocked by what they had just seen.

No one understood what had happened as, in the blink of an eye, both of the bodyguards were on the floor.

Meanwhile, Dustin was standing there unscathed.

“Fvck! What did that punk just do?” Edward’s expression sank.

The two men who had just fallen were his most capable bodyguards; they could take on a group of people on their own without any problem.

Hence, it was strange that they were both laying unmoving on the floor after just one face–off.

“This is your last chance. Let her go,” Dustin threaten coldly.

“In your dreams! Get him!” Edward retorted angrily and waved his hand to signal his men.

The remaining bodyguards behind him immediately surrounded Dustin, but he merely scoffed and attacked first, not wasting any more time on words.

His movements were as fast as lightning, and his attacks were extremely fierce. Each of his punches connected loudly with its target.

The burly bodyguards were utterly defenseless, like sheep waiting to be slaughtered, in the face of Dustin, who was like a ferocious tiger.

Muffled grunts could be heard, and in the short span of a few breaths, they were all lying on the floor.

The hall was completely silent as the last bodyguard dropped to the floor with an audible thud.

All the guests had their jaws slack and were staring at Dustin with wide eyes as though he were an anomaly.
None of them would’ve ever guessed that he was so fearsome.

He had effortlessly taken down so many men with his own strength, just like in a movie scene.

“How is this guy so strong?” Chris‘ eyes were wide open in disbelief.

“How can it be? Is this really that piece of trash, Dustin Rhys?” a dumbfounded Lyra wondered out loud, feeling unsettled.

“He… knows how to fight?” Dahlia had an indecipherable expression on her face once she came back to her senses.

They had been married for three years but she never knew that Dustin was such a formidable fighter.

“Was he just really good at hiding it? Or was it because I never cared enough to notice?” she wondered.

“Y–you! Who are you!” Edward started panicking at this point and he involuntarily took two steps back.

“I… am your reckoning,” Dustin stated as he slowly advanced toward Edward.

“Stay back!” Edward shouted as he suddenly pulled out a switchblade and held it against Dahlia’s throat. “Come any closer, and I’ll slit her throat!”

“The thing I hate most is being threatened.” Dustin’s expression turned cold and in a flash, he charged forward and grabbed hold of Edward’s hand that was holding the knife.

Then, with a forceful twist, the switchblade fell to the floor with a loud clattering sound.

Edward was stunned for a moment before he let out a piercing shriek, similar to that of a pig being slaughtered.

“Argh-”

“Shut up.” Dustin cut Edward off with a slap to his face just as his shriek barely left his mouth.

Edward’s expression instantly soured, as though he had just tasted shit.

“You… you’re dead meat! All of you are dead meat!” Edward somehow mustered up the courage to throw out a threat.

“Is that so?” Dustin questioned stoically as he kicked Edward over with one foot.

Seeing this, Dahlia immediately stood in front of Dustin to block him. “Stop! You can’t harm him, the consequences will be too severe!”

“I don’t care,” Dustin stated indifferently.

“But I do!” Dahlia’s expression was grave. “Do you even know that we will all suffer the consequences with you if you beat him up?”

Dustin frowned upon hearing her words.

He thought she was concerned for his well–being, but it turns out she was only concerned for herself.

“Stop while you’re ahead, Dustin. Don’t drag us down with you!” Lyra called out.

“That’s right! I see you’ve grown tired of living to dare lay a hand on Mr. Spanner!” Chris called out before hurriedly helping Edward to his feet and explaining, “We have nothing to do with Dustin Rhys hitting you just now, Mr. Spanner.”

His words weren’t just to shift the blame onto Dustin; they were also a direct accusation.
 

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CHAPTER 18: An Understated Dominance

“Why are you just standing there? Hurry up and beg Mr. Spanner for forgiveness!” Chris chimed in, taking advantage of the situation to add to Dustin’s humiliation.

Chris was green with jealousy when Dustin was showing off earlier, so he was now trying to get some payback.

“Will he kneel? Or will he not? If he does, he will forever be too ashamed to show his face. But if he doesn’t, he might be dead or maimed once Edward retaliates,” Chris thought.

“Hey punk, don’t say I didn’t give you a chance to make amends! I’ll spare you if you grovel at my feet today. If not, don’t blame me for being merciless.” Edward jabbed Dustin’s chest with his finger with a smug expression on his face.

“What does it matter if he knows how to fight when he has no power and no status? In the eyes of the public, he’s nothing more than a foot soldier,” he continued mentally.

“Are you aware that you’re playing with fire?” Dustin asked as he looked at Edward’s finger.

“Playing with fire?” Edward smirked. “Not only do I want to play with fire, but I also want to play with your woman! Believe it or not, I’m going to have my way with her tomorrow while you watch. And not only me, but my men will each get a turn as well, and I want you to watch it all helplessly. I want you to understand what it’s like to despair, to believe that living is worse than death!”

Dustin’s expression instantly turned thunderous at Edward’s words, and he could no longer hold back his rage.

“You asked for this!” he shouted as his hand shot forward to forcefully grab Edward by the throat and lift him above his head.

He then raised his other hand and ruthlessly landed two punches on Edward’s abdomen.

Edward made a gagging sound as he felt his stomach churn, making him want to vomit, but he found that he couldn’t as his throat was being constricted.

His face soon turned red as he felt himself suffocating. Suddenly, he had a sense that he had made a grave mistake.

“Stop it!” Dahlia yelled, moving forward to intervene.

Dustin ignored her and dealt another vicious punch, this time to Edward’s crotch. The gruesome sound of flesh being minced could be heard before blood flowed to the floor.

Edward let out a groan as his body spasmed. He was in such excruciating pain that he couldn’t cry out even though he wanted to, and in the end, his head lulled to one side as he fainted.

Everyone was stunned as they stared at the bloodstained area.

Not even in their wildest dreams would they ever imagine that Dustin could be so cruel as to discontinue Edward’s family line with a single punch.

After all, he was Sir Spanner’s son! Sir Spanner was the kind of man who would come after you for touching even a strand of hair on his son’s head, much less injuring him.

Safe to say, from today onward, Dustin had incurred Sir Spanner’s vengeful wrath.

“Have you lost your mind!” Dahlia’s expression changed drastically as she forcefully shoved Dustin. “Do you even know what you’ve done? You’ve just gotten yourself into deep shit this time!”

An apology or money could be used to rectify the situation if it was only a light injury or bruise, but there’s no way Trevor will let things slide so easily now that Edward has been beaten to such a state.

“All I did was take care of one of society’s scum, is that so wrong?” Dustin shot back, perfectly composed.

“That’s not the point, the point is you shouldn’t have harmed him!” Dahlia rebuked, frowning.

“Hey Dustin, you shouldn’t drag us all down with you if you’re so eager to die! Do you know what the consequences of harming Sir Spanner’s son are?” Chris‘ face was flushed with rage.

Although Dustin was the one who had harmed Edward, Chris had also shoved Edward previously; hence, he’s also worried that he wouldn’t be able to get away with it when Sir Spanner investigates and finds out about it.

“Alright, that’s enough! Since it’s come to this, you should hurry up and run. Get as far

from here as you can while there’s still time!” Dahlia reacted quickly. away

She knew that once news of Edward’s maiming got out, Sir Spanner would surely be furious. And when that time came, Dustin would be at a dead end once he mobilizes all of his forces.

“I don’t think I need to,” Dustin stated, his demeanor still indifferent.

“Stop acting tough! Sir Spanner is more powerful than you think, your martial arts. skills won’t be enough to save you!” Dahlia chastized.

Even if he knew how to fight, he couldn’t stop bullets!

“He’s not the type of person to listen to reason, Ms. Nicholson, stop wasting your breath. Furthermore, we should not interfere in matters unrelated to us in order to avoid bringing trouble upon ourselves.” Lyra quickly interjected.

“That’s right, this guy can’t run!” Chris said, suddenly blocking the exit as though something had occurred to him. “What are we going to do if he runs away? What if Sir Spanner exacts his revenge on us instead? Won’t we just become the fall guys!”

“Mr. Nolan has a point!” Lyra chimed in, coming to the same realization. “If Dustin runs away, we’re going to be the ones who suffer!”

“What are you talking about? Dustin just saved us!” Dahlia’s brows furrowed.

“Nobody asked him to, he’s the one who poked his nose into our business!” Lyra scoffed.

“Exactly! And seeing as he has brought this upon himself, he should be the one to face it!” Chris chimed in self–righteously.

“Both of you-”

Dahlia’s pretty face turned cold as she started to speak when Dustin interrupted her.

“You all can be at ease. I will take responsibility for my actions; I won’t implicate any of you.”

“This is a matter of life and death! Could you please drop the macho act!” Dahlia raised her voice, slightly annoyed.

“You don’t need to worry about what happens to me, Ms. Nicholson. This has absolutely nothing to do with you, so just sit back and watch,” Dustin declared loudly,

“What do you mean by that? Do you think I’m worried about being implicated?” Dahlia asked, frowning.

“Is that not the case?” Dustin looked directly at Lyra and Chris as he said this.

Dahlia was at a loss for words after his subtle hint. Although the thought never crossed her mind, the same couldn’t be said for her secretary, who had already drawn a line early on.

In Dustin’s eyes, he thought her secretary’s words were the same as hers.

“I don’t care what you think; you have to leave today!” Dahlia’s tone suddenly became forceful.

“And I don’t care what you say, I’m not leaving.”

With that, Dustin turned and walked out to the flower garden.

“You!” Dahlia was fuming.

“Why is he so rebellious?” she wondered.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 19: An Understated Dominance

The hall was in an uproar because of Dustin’s actions.

The timid guests had long left, in fear of becoming caught in the crossfire.

As for the unconscious and critically injured Edward, his bodyguards had immediately taken him to the hospital.

“This is troublesome.” Dahlia had a concerned look on her face as she scowled.

Sir Spanner was infamous for being cruel and ruthless, and he surely wouldn’t be inclined to just let things go when his son had been beaten into such a state.

Dustin may not have much longer to live.

“Lyra, I want you to find out if there’s any way this can be resolved peacefully,” Dahlia suddenly said.

Lyra was puzzled. “What do Dustin’s actions have to do with us, Ms. Nicholson? Why do we need to expend effort for his sake?”

Dahlia had a frosty expression as she retorted, “He saved my life earlier. Should I just watch him die?”

“That’s not what I meant, I just think it would be very unwise to cross Sir Spanner at this point. Moreover, no one would willingly get involved in this mess,” Lyra explained.

“It doesn’t matter, we have to try.” Dahlia had a resolute look in her eyes.

“… Very well then,” Lyra responded, having no choice but to comply. She then immediately started making calls to all their connections.

However, all the big bosses immediately hung up from fright once they had gotten a grasp of the situation, and none of them dared step in since Sir Spanner was involved.

“You see, Ms. Nicholson? It’s not because we don’t want to help, but because we can’t,” Lyra said, waving her hands.

“Try again,” Dahlia ordered, frowning.

“There’s no point-” Lyra shook her head as she began to speak when she noticed Chris off to the side. “Hey, maybe Mr. Nolan will be able to help us.”

“Me?” Chris asked, surprised, as he pointed to himself.

“Yes! Didn’t you say before that your father was friends with Sir Spanner? Your father might be able to mitigate the situation, right?” Lyra asked expectantly.

“Err…” Chris was taken aback.

His father did indeed know Sir Spanner, but their relationship was strictly all business. There might be a chance of mitigation if it were just a small matter, but Edward had been severely harmed, so how could Sir Spanner possibly be persuaded to refrain from retaliating?

“I’ll owe you big time if you’re able to help with this, Mr. Nolan!” Dahlia exclaimed earnestly.

Looking at her expectant expression, Chris couldn’t help having a dilemma. This was his best chance of wooing her, so naturally, he wasn’t willing to let it pass him by.

“I can give it a try, but I can’t guarantee anything. After all, it is Sir Spanner.” Chris eventually agreed after briefly mulling it over.

Dahlia visibly relaxed. “I understand. I’ll already be so grateful as long as Dustin doesn’t lose his life!”

“Alright, I’ll try my best,” Chris said casually, nodding.

It would be great if it worked out, but there weren’t any cons if it didn’t. After all, Dahlia already owed him a favor by asking for his help.

Meanwhile, at a lounge in Mirage.
Natasha’s lips curled into a meaningful smile as she watched the events unfold on a monitor.

She had a clear view of Edward being beaten and almost gave in to the urge to clap her hands and cheer.

She had always found some members of the Spanner family to be as annoying as flies, but she hadn’t been able to take any action toward them due to certain reasons.

Thankfully, Dustin did not disappoint. She was quite delighted with his performance today.

“Ms. Harmon, I’m afraid Mr. Rhys does not have enough influence to protect him from Trevor’s wrath. Should we assist him?” Alfred Jarvis, a butler who was standing by her side, suddenly asked.

“Let’s not be hasty. Have someone monitor him–it’s too soon to say if Trevor

outmatches him.” Natasha’s eyes narrowed as she looked at Dustin’s imposing figure on the screen.

“Oh? Do you think so highly of him?” Alfred asked, slightly bewildered.

Natasha smirked. “More like intrigue–I have a feeling that he’s full of surprises.”

“You don’t actually have feelings for him, do you, Ms. Harmon? Please keep in mind that you already have a fiancé-”

“Hm?” Natasha cast a chilly glance in Alfred’s direction, and he instantly went silent from fear.

“Remember this: You are in no position to say anything about my personal affairs; just focus on performing your own duties well.”

“Yes, Ms. Harmon.” Alfred didn’t dare say anything further as he felt a chill run down his spine.

Midnight at the district hospital.
In an instant, Edward was surrounded by a crowd of people as the emergency operating room’s doors opened, and he was wheeled out on a hospital bed with his lower half completely bandaged. At the forefront of the group was a tall and brawny man with a full beard and mustache.

It was none other than East City’s King of the Underworld, Trevor Spanner.

“Doctor! How’s my son!” Trevor asked first.

The doctor sighed. “His life is not in peril, however, the damage to his genitals is quite extensive. I’m afraid he won’t be able to regain full function.”

“What!” Trevor’s expression changed drastically upon hearing this.

Won’t be able to regain full function? Didn’t that just mean he’d become impotent!

“Don’t you all know how to do your jobs? You can’t even treat such a light injury?” Trevor yelled, grabbing the doctor by the collar of his shirt.

“We’ve tried everything we could, sir, but I’m afraid the injury is just too severe. Preserving his life was no easy task either,” the doctor replied with a tinge of exasperation.

The doctor had never encountered something so tragic–the patient’s genitals had been reduced to a pile of mush. If he hadn’t arrived at the hospital in time, he might have even lost his life.

“You’re useless! Get out of my sight!” Trevor, whose expression was frighteningly thunderous, bellowed as he shoved the doctor aside.

If the best doctors at the district hospital couldn’t do anything, then his son really was invalid.

“Talk! What the hell happened!” Trevor abruptly turned and demanded angrily from the bodyguards who stood behind him. “Edward was fine, why has he been beaten to a pulp!”

“Sir Spanner, he…” One of the bodyguards mustered up the courage to summarize what had happened.

Trevor’s temper immediately flared once he finished listening, and he raised his hand and brutally slapped the bodyguard across the face.

“Useless pieces of shit! What’s the point in hiring all of you if you can’t even defeat one man!” Trevor roared out.

However, his rage didn’t subside at all, so he slapped each of them multiple times.

The bodyguards lowered their heads, not daring to speak.

“Why are you still standing there? Go gather more men and bring that punk to me! I don’t care who he is. I’m going to cut him into pieces for daring to harm my son!”
 

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CHAPTER 20: An Understated Dominance

The next morning, in the most luxurious private room at Mirage.

“Mr. Rhys, thank you for protecting me. Here is the canscora you wanted. Please take a look.”

Natasha put an exquisite wooden box on the table before pushing it forward.

“Huh?”

Dustin opened the box and saw a blood–red canscora in it.

The herb was crooked, like a dragon’s tooth. It had an interesting appearance.

He gently sniffed it, and its unique stench filled his nose.

“It is really a canscora! Thank you, Ms. Harmon!”

Dustin’s face lit up. He had been searching for various rare herbs all these years. Finally, he found another one.

There were still five herbs left. If he could collect the remaining five herbs, there would be hope!

“You’re welcome. You deserve it. Come to think of it, I should be the one thanking you.” Natasha smiled.

“Ms. Harmon, I have a favor to ask. Can you contact me immediately next time if you find such rare herbs? I am willing to pay heavily for them!” Dustin looked serious.

“Of course I can do that. But I’m curious about the reason you’re collecting these herbs.” Natasha asked hesitantly.

“To save someone.”

Dustin hesitated before saying, “I have a friend who is seriously injured. I need these rare herbs to save him.”

“Oh, what disease did he get? Even you can’t cure him?” Natasha appeared surprised.

She had witnessed Dustin’s medical skills before. It was not an overstatement to say that he could even bring the dead back to life.

“Medical skills alone are not enough. I need various herbs to heal him.” Dustin shook his head.

One could not make bricks without straw. No matter how good his medical skills were, he could not cure many diseases without the proper herbs.

“I see.”

Natasha nodded as realization dawned upon her. “Alright. I’ll keep an eye out for you.

I’ll contact you immediately if there’s any news.”

“Thank you in advance, Ms. Harmon.” Dustin gave a slight nod.

“No problem. Let’s keep in touch.” Natasha gave a wink.

“Sure. We’ll keep in touch.”

Dustin did not stay for long. After making some small talk, he excused himself and left.

20 minutes later, in front of Peaceful Medical Center.

Holding two bottles of alcohol, Dustin strolled into the medical center.

“Hey, drunkard, look what I’ve brought you!” He exclaimed while scanning the area.

He followed the sound of a man snoring, and soon he saw a drunk man with a flushed face under a table in the medical center. The man was one–eyed and had a broken leg. He looked like a shaggy beggar.

“Hey, wake up!” Dustin pushed him.

The man ignored him, turned around, and continued sleeping. His snore became louder.

“You seem to be sleeping rather soundly.”

Smirking, Dustin opened a bottle of alcohol. The fragrance of the alcohol spread across the room. The next second, the sleeping man was jolted out of his sleep. He bumped his head on the table with a bang and broke the table in half!

Ignoring the glass shards on the floor, he instantly snatched the bottle in Dustin’s hand and poured it into his mouth.

“This is some good stuff!” The one–eyed man exhaled a sigh of relief, feeling refreshed.

“This alcohol cost me a lot of money. You’d better save some for later.” Dustin reminded him.

“Come on.” The man rolled his eyes. “You’re a wealthy guy. Two bottles of alcohol are nothing to you.”

“Even so, you can’t waste them!”

“Cut the nonsense! Why are you here?” The one–eyed man glared at him.

“I’ve found another rare herb.”

Dustin handed him the box with the canscora.

“Huh?”

The man opened the box and immediately frowned. “Bastard, I told you not to search for herbs for me anymore. I’m going to die anyway. Dying now and dying later doesn’t make a difference.”

“That’s your problem, but I’m going to continue searching for herbs. It has nothing to do with you.” Dustin shrugged.

“Hey! Why are you so stubborn?”

The one-eyed man began to panic. “Do you know that the Rhys family controls all the main herbs needed for the production of life–sustaining medications? They will eventually find out if you keep searching for herbs!”

“So what? I’m not the same person I was ten years ago,” Dustin answered.

“Kid, I know you’ve progressed and are better than them, but the Rhys family is unbeatable. Nobody can fight against them. I don’t want you to get involved again!” the man said somberly.

“Life is guided by destiny. I’ve been hiding for ten years, and I don’t want to hide anymore. I want to live the rest of my life confidently!” Dustin was determined.

“You will face many hardships if you choose this path. Your mother wanted you to live peacefully like a normal person.”

“My mother has passed away and she will never come back. You are the only relative I have left in this world. How can I watch you die just like that?” Dustin shouted.

“My life is worthless. It doesn’t matter!”

“Then I’ll die with you!”

“Gosh! Why are you so stubborn? Even if you don’t think of yourself, you should consider your pretty wife. Do you want her to become a widow?” The one–eyed man used his trump card.

He had already noticed Dustin’s ambition three years ago, so he had even chosen a pretty lady to marry Dustin so that Dustin would settle down. He would use this method every time they got into an argument, and it always worked!

“It’s no use. We’re divorced.” Dustin shook his head.

“What? Divorced?” The one–eyed man was stunned.

No way. He couldn’t use Dustin’s wife as an excuse anymore.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 21: An Understated Dominance

At noon, in the president’s office of the Quine Group. Dahlia was distracted while reading her documents. Her mind was completely occupied by Dustin.

She was worried that Trevor would track down Dustin. If that happened, Dustin would be doomed.

“Lyra!” Finally, Dahlia couldn’t hold herself back after imagining all the possible scenarios.

“Ms. Nicholson, how can I help you?” Lyra came in after knocking.

“Help me prepare some gifts. I’m going to the Drey Group,” Dahlia said.

“The Drey Group? Isn’t that Sir Spanner’s place?” Lyra was shocked.

“That’s right. I want to talk to him.” Dahlia nodded.

“Why do you want to talk to him? Is it about Dustin?” Lyra panicked. “Ms. Nicholson, please calm down! Sir Spanner is still angry. Why would you visit him and poke the hornet’s nest?”

“No matter what, I have to try!” Dahlia was adamant.

“Wait! We still have Mr. Nolan! He said he would help. Why don’t we wait some more?”Lyra advised Dahlia.

“We’ve waited for one whole night, and there’s still no news from him. I don’t think he’ll be able to help us. I have to do this myself.” Dahlia shook her head.

“Ms. Nicholson, don’t we have any better way? Why don’t we think about it again?” Lyra was worried.

“Dustin got into trouble because of me. I can’t sit still and do nothing. Go do as I say.” Dahlia waved her hand.

Seeing the determination in Dahlia’s eyes, Lyra couldn’t help sighing. Left with no choice, she had to obey Dahlia’s order. She knew that Dahlia wouldn’t change her mind once she made up her mind.

30 minutes later, they arrived at Drey Group.

“Lyra, you can wait in the car. You don’t have to go in with me.” Dahlia ordered.

“No way. We must help each other out through thick and thin. How can I let you take all the risk by yourself?” Lyra was a loyal person.

“This is dangerous. Just in case, I need you to wait outside. Call the police if I don’t come out in half an hour, got it?” Dahlia looked serious.

“Alright! I will make sure to complete my task!” Lyra nodded vigorously. She knew that she had a great responsibility. It was entirely up to her whether Dahlia could return safely.

“I’ll go in then.” Without saying much, Dahlia opened the door and entered the building.

Unlike ordinary companies, the people in the Drey Group were all buff guys tattoos. One could tell that they weren’t kind people. After Dahlia reported her identity, a bald guy led her to an office on the top floor.

In the office, the bearded Trevor sat calmly on a sofa with a cigar in his mouth.

“Are you Ms. Nicholson from the Quine Group?”

Seeing Dahlia enter his office, Trevor narrowed his eyes. “As expected, you’re gorgeous.

No wonder my useless son would get into a fight with other people for you.”

“Sir Spanner, may I ask how your son is doing?”

“He’s fine. He won’t die, but he’s crippled,” Trevor said faintly.

“Crippled?” The look in Dahlia’s eyes wavered.

Although Trevor sounded calm, he couldn’t hide the anger in his eyes.

“So, what do you plan to do about this?” Trevor crossed his legs on the table and sat comfortably.

“Sir Spanner, I’m the one who caused everything and am willing to take full responsibility for this. I hope you can be generous and let Dustin go,” Dahlia said solemnly.

“You want to take responsibility? Are you sure you can do that?” Trevor grinned evilly.

“I will hire the best doctors to treat your son. Also, I will bear the corresponding compensation. Just tell me how much you need,” Dahlia continued.

“I don’t need money.”

Suddenly, Trevor put a bottle of alcohol on the table. “If you really want to negotiate
with me, finish this bottle of alcohol first.”

“I…”

Dahlia was put in a difficult position. She wasn’t good at drinking. She didn’t know if she could handle it after drinking the whole bottle.

“What’s wrong? You don’t want to drink it? In that case, no deal.” Trevor waved his hand.

“I’ll drink it!”

Dahlia hesitated for a few seconds. Eventually, she picked up the bottle. A bottle of alcohol was nothing compared to Dustin’s life. Hence, she took a deep breath, put the bottle in front of her mouth, and started gulping down the alcohol.

After finishing one third of the alcohol, she began to cough violently, and her face turned red. Gritting her teeth, she ignored the discomfort and continued drinking. She began to feel dizzy when she finished two–thirds of the bottle.

Panting slightly, she finished the whole bottle.

“Sir Spanner, are you satisfied now?” Staggering, Dahlia grabbed the table.

“Haha, interesting.”

Trevor smiled teasingly. “Since you seem sincere, I’ll give you another chance. Take off our clothes now.”

“What?” Dahlia frowned. “Sir Spanner, what do you mean?”

“Don’t you understand? I want you to take off your clothes and serve me. I will consider letting you go if you manage to satisfy me. To be completely honest, even though I’ve slept with many women, I’ve never done so with a woman as stunning as you.” Trevor smirked.

Dahlia’s face darkened as soon as she heard that. His son, Edward, was a greedy pervert. She never expected his father to be the same. Indeed, an apple didn’t fall far from the tree!

“Sir Spanner, I can promise you anything else except for this!” Dahlia begged desperately.

“Except for this? Haha…” Trevor threatened evilly, “You should know how powerful I am. You should be honored that I’m willing to talk to you. If I don’t want to talk to you,

there will be no use, even if you strip yourself naked and kneel before me. You better think twice! I’ll go take a shower, you better have all your clothes removed when I come back. Otherwise, I’m going to do it myself! By then, I won’t be alone, all my brothers outside will join me!”

Dahlia’s face turned pale when she heard that. She suddenly realized that she had thrown herself into the lion’s den.
 

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CHAPTER 22: An Understated Dominance

At Peaceful Medical Centre, Dustin and the one eyed man were drinking when hist phone rang suddenly.

“Hey, Dustin! Ms. Nicholson is in danger. Hurry up! We need your help!” Lyra shouted as soon as the call connected.

“Danger? What’s going on?” Dustin frowned.

“It’s all because of you! Ms. Nicholson was worried about your safety, so she personally approached Sir Spanner to talk to him. She hasn’t come out since then. I think she is in danger!” Lyra sounded urgent.

“What the hell was she thinking? I told her it was none of her business. Why is she looking for trouble?” Dustin’s face darkened.

“Dustin Rhys! Don’t you have any conscience at all? Ms. Nicholson is trying to save you!” Lyra shouted angrily.

“Where is she?” Dustin asked

“The Drey Group!” Lyra answered

“I’ll be there straight away!“Without saying anything more, Dustin hung up and rushed straight there.

At the same time, in the Drey Group’s offices. Dahlia slumped on the couch, feeling lightheaded. Her face was dripping with sweat. She could feel the aftereffects of the alcohol hitting her. Her hands and legs went weak, and she was losing her balance.

Most importantly, her bag and mobile phone were confiscated right when she entered the office. She couldn’t even call anyone for help.

What should she do? As she was thinking of a plan, the office door opened, and Trevor strode in wearing a robe.

“Why are you still dressed? Do you want me to take action?” Trevor sized her up. In his eyes, Dahlia was just too alluring. She exuded a unique sort of charm.
He was eager to taste her.

“Sir Spanner, you’d better not do anything stupid. I’ve already got everything prepared. My subordinate will call the police if I don’t go out in half an hour. The police are about to arrive!” Dahlia warned.

“What? Are you trying to scare me?” Trevor laughed dryly, “How do you think! managed to put myself in this position? I’ll be honest with you. Many of the people in the police station are my men. Do you think they will dare to touch me?”

“What?”

Hearing what he said, Dahlia turned pale. She thought she would be safe since she had a backup plan. Never did she expect Trevor to have no fear at all,

“Come on. Stop struggling. Nobody can save you today. Obey my orders if you don’t want to die!” Trevor began to step closer to Dahlia.

“Don’t come near me!”

Suddenly, Dahlia grabbed a pair of scissors from the table, wanting to defend herself for the last time.

“Damn it. You ungrateful thing!” Trevor was furious. He struck Dahlia with his fist, and she fell to the ground unconscious. Then he trapped her under his huge body. Forcefully, he tore Dahlia’s clothes open, revealing her fair thighs and slim waist.

Just as he was about to reach out and explore her body, a loud bang rang out, and the door was kicked open. A handsome guy came in with a murderous expression on his face, his bloodthirsty eyes made him look like he was about to devour a person alive.

“Who are you? How dare you interrupt my business?” Trevor stood up, looking frustrated.

Dustin did not say anything. He only took off his jacket and covered Dahlia with it.

Half conscious, Dahlia thought she was surrounded by a familiar scent for one second. A sense of security washed over her.

“Sir Spanner, huh? I’m the one who injured your son. Well, do you have any last words?” Dustin lifted his head and stared at Trevor as though he were a dead man.

“So it was you!” Trevor let out an evil laugh. “You could’ve lived peacefully, yet you chose to walk right through the gateway to hell! How dare you break into my territory alone? You must have a death wish!”

With that, he stretched out his hand and pressed a button under the table.

An ear deafening alarm rang out, Instantly, a commotion broke out,

A bunch of men filled the hallways and gathered in front of the office. Soon, the hallway outside the office was crowded with people, Looking ahead, it was dark out there. There were at least hundreds of people!

Additionally, the number of people was still increasing

“Kid, I heard that you’re good at fighting,” Laughing, Trevor uttered, “So what if you can fight ten or 20 people? I have more than 200 men here. Let’s see how you’re going to fight them today,”

So what if Dustin was a skilled fighter? He could never beat so many people.

“It seems like you’re prepared,” Glancing at the people, Dustin remained calm. “But nobody can stop me from killing you,”

“You’re surely a bold one! Let’s see what you’ve got! Attack!”

Hearing Trevor’s order, all the men started rushing toward Dustin.

“Stop!”

Suddenly, a roar echoed across the room, followed by a few gunshots.

Everybody was shocked upon hearing the gunshots, and they automatically spread out.

An elderly man with white hair strode over, dressed in a suit. Behind him were a few fierce–looking shooters.

“Mr. Anderson, why are you here?” Seeing Hunter, Trevor immediately smiled and went up to greet him.

Everyone knew that Hunter was the president of the Swinton Group. He was one of the Mighty Three! He could make the whole Swinton shake with a stomp.

“Get lost!”

Ignoring Trevor, Hunter directly walked up to Dustin. Anxious, he asked, “Mr. Rhys, are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Why are you here?” Dustin was slightly shocked.

“I heard you’re in danger, so I immediately rushed here. Thank God I’m in time!” Hunter wiped his sweat, looking worried. If anything happened to Dustin in his territory, he would be doomed as well.

“Mr. Anderson, do you know each other?” Trevor’s eyes widened in bewilderment.

“Bastard!” Hunter was furious. He lifted his hand and slapped Trevor hard across the face. “Who the hell do you think you are? How dare you try to fight Mr. Rhys? You must have a death wish!”

“Huh?” Trevor was in a daze. He couldn’t believe it. According to his investigation, Dustin was a nobody with no background. Why did Hunter seem so nervous? Had Dustin been hiding his true identity the entire time?
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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CHAPTER 23: An Understated Dominance

“Why are you still standing there? Let them go!”

he corners of Trevor’s eyes twitched, and his face turned pale. If Hunter had asked politely, he wouldn’t be angry. However, Hunter shouted at him as soon as he arrived and even slapped him. He would be too embarrassed to face his men if he let Dustin go just like that.

“Mr. Anderson, this guy crippled my son and barged into my place. How could I stand in front of the public if they know I let him go today?” Trevor retorted in a low voice.

“Your son deserved to be crippled! I will destroy the Drey Group if you don’t let him go today!” Hunter smirked coldly.

“Mr. Anderson, I know you are influential, and I can’t offend you. But don’t forget that I have someone supporting me too!” Trevor shouted fiercely.

“Are you talking about Edwin? Let me tell you. Even if Edwin were here today, you would still have to let Mr. Rhys go!” Hunter gave a chilly smile.

Trevor’s expression instantly darkened as soon as he heard what Hunter said. He didn’t expect Hunter to be so stubborn. Hunter was even disregarding Edwin for two strangers.

“Great! I will tell Sir Hummer what happened today!” Trevor said, somewhat annoyed.

Edwin Hummer was the leader of the three most influential families in the country. He would definitely be able to control Hunter.

Hunter would have to pay for disrespecting him.

“Cut the nonsense, and let them go right away!” Hunter could not bother to say one more word to Trevor. He took out his gun and pointed it at Trevor’s head.

“Let them go!” Seeing that Hunter was serious, Trevor gritted his teeth and gave in. He didn’t want to risk his life for such a small matter.

“Trevor, this is a warning for you. If anything similar happens again, even Edwin can’t help you!” With that, Hunter escorted Dustin and Dahlia out.

None of the 200 men outside dared to move.

“Sir Spanner, are you going to let them go just like that?” Some of his men felt frustrated.

“What else can I do? Do you want to die then?” Trevor retorted.

Hearing that, his men kept quiet.

“Damn it! I won’t let them go just like that!” Trevor continued with a gloomy

expression, “Contact Fletcher and ask him to come back right away. That guy must die today!”

“Yes!”

After exiting the Drey Group, Dahlia finally sobered up.

“Ms. Nicholson, are you okay?” Hunter asked caringly.

“Mr. Anderson? Why are you here? Did you save me just now?” Dahlia looked shocked.

“I didn’t do anything. I just tried to help out. Mr. Rhys risked his life and didn’t back down, even when facing 200 men, only to save you. How devoted!” Hunter smiled.

“Really?” Dahlia turned her head and looked at Dustin next to her. She seemed confused.

“Mr. Anderson, didn’t you say that you have some matters to deal with?” Dustin asked abruptly.

“Oh, yes. Look at how forgetful I am. I almost forgot. Go ahead and talk. I’ll make a move first.” Hunter didn’t stay for long. After bidding them goodbye, he left with his men.

“Ms. Nicholson!” Lyra came down from the car. She had been waiting in front of the door, yet Dahlia came out before the police arrived.

“Ms. Nicholson, was that Mr. Anderson who just left?” Lyra asked tentatively.

“That’s right. Thanks to him, we are safe.” Lyra nodded her head.

“Mr. Anderson is not close to us. Why would he help us?” Lyra was shocked.

“Well, I’ve been wondering too.” Dahlia seemed lost in her thoughts.

She barely knew Hunter. Why would he help her?
 

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CHAPTER 24: An Understated Dominance

I know! Mr. Nolan must have helped us out!”

Lyra seemed to have thought of something. Suddenly, she said, “I called him after calling the police just earlier. He must have sent President Anderson here.”

“Chris Nolan?” Dahlia frowned, feeling doubtful.

“That’s right. Mr. Nolan is the only person who would help us and has the power to ask President Anderson for help!” Lyra analyzed, convinced that she was correct.

“Well, that makes sense.” Dahlia agreed.

As they were talking, a red Ferrari stopped by the road. The door opened, and Chris, wearing a set of bright clothes, came down hurriedly.

“Dahlia! Are you okay? I came here immediately after receiving the call!” Chris seemed worried.

“Mr. Nolan, thanks for your help. Otherwise, Ms. Nicholson would be in danger.” Lyra hurriedly thanked Chris.

“Help?” Chris was stunned. He almost couldn’t snap back to his senses.

“Yes! Mr. Anderson had already come just now. He came to rescue Ms. Nicholson.” Lyra smiled.

“Huh?” Chris was even more shocked.

“Mr. Nolan, I didn’t expect you to be able to get President Anderson’s help. You are amazing. I’m impressed!” Lyra began to flatter him.

The corners of Chris‘ mouth twitched. He seemed confused. Hunter Anderson was a big shot, and Chris was in no position to ask for his help. Actually, Chris didn’t even have the right to meet him, much less ask for his help. Although he wasn’t sure what happened, Dahlia and Lyra had misunderstood him. Since things had already played out, he decided to continue with the flow.

In any case, he wouldn’t lose out on anything.

“Ahem, well… I was just trying. I didn’t expect Mr. Anderson to be so kind.” Chris fixed his tie and accepted the praise.

Hearing that, Dustin couldn’t help laughing. This guy was so thick–skinned. Wasn’t he afraid the ladies would find out the truth?

“Dustin! How dare you laugh?” Lyra cried, annoyed. “Look at Mr. Nolan. He solved everything easily, but what about you? You only know how to be violent, and you nearly put Ms. Nicholson in danger!”

“Why did he only show up now if he is so amazing?” Dustin responded calmly.

“Although he was late, he got Mr. Anderson’s help. Otherwise, do you think you can walk out of Sir Spanner’s territory alive?” Lyra replied angrily.

“You’re the only one who thinks that way. I don’t think Chris saved me,” Dustin responded calmly.

“Hey! Why are you so ungrateful? Mr. Nolan saved you. Not only did you not thank him, but you’re also sprouting nonsense here. How shameless!” Lyra was displeased.

“Forget it, he doesn’t know how to appreciate other’s help. Let’s not lower our standards and argue with him.” Chris feigned generosity.

“Did you see that? This is what we call grace!” Lyra glared at Dustin.

“Dustin, Mr. Nolan saved us, after all. I think it won’t hurt for you to thank him.”

Dahlia seemed dissatisfied too.

“Go ahead and thank him if you want. It’s none of my business.” Dustin couldn’t care less.

“Why are you acting this way?” Dahlia frowned minutely. He didn’t even thank Chris for saving them earlier. How could he be so petty?

“I’m always like that. This isn’t the first time you’ve met me.“Then, Dustin continued relentlessly, “Also, please don’t be a busybody and barge into Trevor’s territory next time. You are so dumb!”

“I’m dumb? I did it to save you!” Dahlia was getting angry.

“Save me? Who asked you to save me?” Dustin raised his voice. “How are we even related? Do I need your help? Stop being a busybody. You almost killed yourself, yet you’re trying to act tough. You asked for it.”

Hearing his words, Dahlia was stunned. She couldn’t believe Dustin would say such a thing.
 

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CHAPTER 25: An Understated Dominance

“Is this what you wanted to tell me?”
Dahlia was dumbfounded and rooted to the ground in disbelief. Looking at Dustin’s cold expression, she thought he felt unfamiliar. She could feel grief and sadness. washing over her as a result.

“That’s right! That’s what I wanted to tell you! Please keep in mind not to meddle in my business. My life and death have nothing to do with you. We are no longer related. Do you get it?” Dustin scolded her fiercely.

His cruel words froze Dahlia. She didn’t expect Dustin would complain and blame her instead of thanking her for her kindness. When had they become enemies?

“Hey, Dustin Rhys! Are you even human?” Standing on the side, Lyra couldn’t take it anymore. She scolded, “How can you say that to Ms. Nicholson? She was trying to help you! How can you be so ungrateful?”

“What do you want me to say? Am I supposed to praise her for being brave and barging into Trevor’s place?” Dustin asked coldly.

“You are such an ungrateful guy!” Lyra was pissed off.

“That’s enough! Stop it! From now on, I will never meddle in your business. Whether you’re alive or dead, it has nothing to do with me!”

Finally, Dahlia could no longer hold herself back. With that, she left angrily. Nobody noticed the usually tough lady had started to tear up.

“Dustin Rhys! You’d better remember what you said today! Don’t come and ask for our help next time!” Lyra glared at him and caught up with Dahlia.

“What an idiot,” Chris uttered, following after them. This was a chance for him to swoop in. He couldn’t let this chance go.

“Silly woman…” Confusion filled Dustin’s eyes as he stared at Dahlia leaving. He had purposely said that to protect her. Trevor would have taken advantage of her if Dustin hadn’t arrived on time earlier. He didn’t want anything similar to happen again, so he had to cut ties with her heartlessly!

“Finally, it’s time to take action.” Dustin took a deep breath, turned around, and stared at Drey Group’s building. He hadn’t left earlier because he was afraid. He simply hadn’t wanted to put Dahlla in danger. Now that Dahlia was safe, he had no worries anymore.

Revenge was a dish that must be served cold. Unfortunately, Dustin was an impatient guy. He had to take revenge today!

With that thought in mind, Dustin strode into the Drey Group without hesitation. Under the people’s shocked gazes, he locked the main door. Soon, cries and howls rang out from the building.

The whole process took about 20 minutes.

20 minutes later…

With a loud bang, the office door on the top floor was smashed by one of the bodyguards ‘dead bodies.

Dustin stepped on the corpse as he entered the room, covered in blood. He looked like a devil from hell. The whole place was covered in gore.

It was terrifying!

In the office, Trevor’s bodyguards were shocked. They were dumbfounded, and chills started creeping up their bodies.

Dustin was like a monster; they didn’t expect him to be so strong. He had killed everybody from the first floor to the top floor!

He had killed almost 200 men all by himself!

Was he even human?

“Who–who are you?” Panicking, Trevor stumbled backward. When he saw Dustin coming back, he smiled smugly, assuming that Dustin must have a death wish. Soon, he realized he was wrong.

He was completely wrong!

Dustin didn’t have a death wish. He was on a killing spree!
 

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CHAPTER 26: An Understated Dominance

As soon as Dustin entered the building, he gradually worked his way up and killed everybody he came across. None of his opponents could stand up to him at all, each felled in mere seconds.

“You want to take revenge on me, but you don’t know who I am?” Dustin began to close in on Trevor. The look in his eyes was exceptionally cold.

“Damn it! Don’t come near me, or I’ll kill you!” Trevor suddenly took out a gun from
his drawer.

However, Dustin immediately rushed forward and grabbed the muzzle before Trevor could lift his hand. Then, he grabbed the gun.

A metallic groan rang out.

Trevor was shocked to realize that the muzzle of his gun had been twisted by Dustin.

The gun was made of iron! How could he manipulate the gun like it was mud?

----

“Mr. Mr. Rhys, it’s a misunderstanding. I swear I won’t bother you anymore if you leave now.” Trevor started breaking out in a cold sweat. He decided to give in. Dustin’s power was beyond the level of ordinary people. It was no wonder a big shot like Hunter would be so respectful toward Dustin.

“You won’t bother me, but I want to bother you.” Dustin suddenly grabbed Trevor’s shoulder and pulled him violently. With a crack, Trevor’s arm was broken.

“Argh!” Trevor cried out.

“How dare you touch my woman?” Dustin remained expressionless. He struck again
and broke Trevor’s other arm.

Trevor couldn’t help sweating. His face turned pale while the other people in the room shivered in fear. None of them dared to go near Dustin.

“Fuck! Do you know who my supporter is? It’s Edwin Hummer! The leader of Swinton’s Mighty Three! If you kill me today, Sir Hummer will tear you into pieces!” In the face of death, Trevor threatened Dustin fiercely. He tried to scare Dustin away by invoking his
patron.

“Are these your last words?” Amused, Dustin frowned and threw him to the ground. “If you have nothing else to say, you can die now.”

“No! Don’t kill me! Please don’t kill me! I have power, influence, and money. No matter what you want, I can give it to you as long as you don’t kill me,” Trevor spat blood and collapsed to the ground, pleading ferociously, He was terrified,
“Power and influence?

Now that you say that, it reminds me of something.” Dustin scanned his surroundings and looked at a corner. A man in a bright outfit was standing there.

“You must be his henchman, seeing that you are by his side,”

Afraid, the man nodded his head without answering

“Good. Kill him, and all his assets will belong to you,” With that, Dustin kicked the knife next to his feet toward the man,
The man looked at the knife.

After hesitating for a moment, his eyes became fierce, “No…”

Before Trevor could say anything more, the man had already picked up the knife and stabbed his chest violently. Blood instantly gushed out of Trevor’s body,
Trevor’s eyes widened, and he collapsed to the ground. Even after he died, he had no idea who he had offended.

“S–Sir, I’ve killed him.”

“Trevor is pretty influential in East City. Now that he’s dead, do you think you can handle the situation?” Dustin asked calmly.

Since the man had chosen his path, Dustin wanted to train him.

“Don’t worry, Sir. I’m sure I can handle it!” the man said confidently.

“Oh? You sound confident.” Dustin frowned. Slightly surprised, he said, “Let me ask you. What position do you hold in the Drey Group?”

The man didn’t answer immediately. Instead, he pointed at Trevor, who was lying in at pool of blood. “He’s my father.”
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

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Jul 9, 2023
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CHAPTER 27: An Understated Dominance

“He is my father.”

Dustin was shocked. He didn’t expect the two of them to be related. “I heard Trevor has a son called Edward. Who are you then?”

“My name is Mason. I’m Trevor’s illegitimate son.” The man bowed his head as he explained, “Trevor forced himself on my mother and got her pregnant. In order to save his image, he kept my existence in the dark and made me his foster son instead.”

“So, you hate him?” Dustin asked.

“Yes!” Mason gritted his teeth and seethed angrily, “He abandoned my mother and me, leaving us impoverished all those years ago. Now, he’s only using me as a pawn to assist Edward. I can’t let them trample over me again. I must get back what’s mine!”

“Good.” Dustin nodded in approval. “Since you’re ambitious, I will help you. If you do as I say, I will not only help you climb the ladder but also help you rule over Swinton.”

“Thank you!” Delighted, Mason immediately knelt on the ground to show his gratitude. As wise as Mason was, he could tell that Dustin was an extraordinary man. After all, the latter had taken down the entire Drey Group all by himself, so his capability was unfathomable. Working by Dustin’s side would no doubt make Mason’s future bright.

“You can call me Mr. Rhys. If you need anything next time, feel free to give me a call. All I ask is your loyalty,” Dustin reminded.

“I swear to be loyal to you until the day I die, Mr. Rhys!” Mason nodded, determined.

“You know what to do from here, right?”

“Yes. Whatever happened today is on me.
You have no involvement at all,” Mason
replied shrewdly.

“You’re smart.” Dustin smiled. The pawn he found had some potential.

Suddenly, the phone on the table vibrated. Only after getting Dustin’s permission did
Mason answer the call.

“Hey, what’s up? You need 50 million dollars? I heard that you guys haven’t repaid the bank loan. You’re going bankrupt soon, yet you’re still asking me for money? Are you trying to use me? Whatever, I don’t have time for your problem. Get lost.” After saying that, Mason hung up the phone without hesitation.

“What was that about?” Dustin asked.

“It’s nothing. This guy named David Nolan was asking for a loan. 50 million dollars in one go.”

“David?” Dustin raised an eyebrow. “He has a son named Chris, right?”

“I think so. How did you know?” Mason got curious.

“Forget it. Go on and tell me more.”

“Well, I would’ve agreed to lend him the money if it were in the past since that’s the kind of business my company runs. However, I recently learned that Nolan Pharmaceuticals has been investigated for selling fake drugs, though the news has yet to be disclosed to the public. How can I possibly lend money to a business on the verge of bankruptcy? What would I do if they ran off with the money?”

“That’s right. It looks like you’re experienced in handling a business. It shouldn’t be a problem for you to take over Trevor’s business.” Dustin gave a nod of approval.

“Thank you for the compliment, Mr. Rhys,” Mason answered respectfully.

“Alright. Clean up the mess here. I’m leaving now. We’ll get in touch again if needed.” Without wasting time, Dustin changed into a clean set of clothes and left the Drey Group.

It was his first time going on a killing spree in ten years. His emotions were stable, almost peaceful. This was a piece of cake compared to what he’d been through a decade ago.

“Honk! Honk!”

Just as Dustin wanted to hail a taxi home, a yellow sports car rushed over at him with the sound of a roaring engine. When it seemed like it was going to run into Dustin, the car firmly skidded to a stop. Then, the car window rolled down and revealed a gorgeous face. It was a girl with a ponytail, appearing to be around 18 years old. She was youthful and beautiful.

“Hey, Rhys, get in!” She waved at him.

“Who are you?” Dustin asked, completely baffled.

“Damn, did you forget me already? We met yesterday!” The girl huffed annoyingly. In her own opinion, her natural beauty attracted attention wherever she went.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

Expert Villager
Platinum Villager
Jul 9, 2023
3,741
3,670
2,100
CHAPTER 28: An Understated Dominance

She was the type to make men fall in love with her at first sight. Thus, she was shocked to learn that Dustin had forgotten about her after just one night. Was her presence so insignificant?

“Um… you do look familiar. I think I’ve seen you somewhere.” Dustin tried to dig through his memories.

“Yesterday, at the hospital. You treated my grandfather. Do you remember now?” The girl uttered through gritted teeth.

“Oh! You’re Natasha’s sister, Roth. Am I right?”

“Who the hell are you calling Roth? My name is Ruth! Ruth Harmon!” Ruth nearly exploded out of exasperation. She wanted to step on the gas pedal and run Dustin over with her car. All this time, she’d never been treated this way. How insulting!

“I’m sorry. Ms. Ruth, are you looking for me for some reason?” Dustin quickly changed the topic.

“Of course! Why would I be here otherwise?” Ruth rolled her eyes and ordered, “Hurry up and get in the car. Natasha has fallen sick and is demanding to see you.”

“Hmm? What happened to her?”

“How would I know? You’re the doctor. You should go and find out. Now, get in!” Ruth ordered in an unfriendly tone.

Helplessly, Dustin got into the car and then left under the jealous gaze of the passersby.

After half an hour, the car finally pulled over in front of a luxurious building called Java Joys. The place boasted a large backyard, which not only had hot springs but also a garden and a swimming pool. Meanwhile, the main entrance was guarded by security 24/7.

“Follow me.” Upon getting out of the car, Ruth led the way, and they hurriedly made it to a bedroom. At this moment, inside the private bathroom was Natasha, who was dressed in a business suit while she soaked in a bathtub full of ice cubes.

Her face was flushed, her gaze blurry, and her breathing was labored. As her chest rose and fell, it caused ripples in the water.

“Ms. Harmon, what happened to you?” Dustin walked over and was stunned the moment he noticed that she wasn’t wearing anything under her suit. While it wasn’t obvious at first, certain parts of her skin became visible when the fabric was slowly soaked with water. Like any other man, Dustin found it hard to resist when a stunning woman like Natasha was in this state.

“Mr. Rhys, you’re here…” Natasha opened her hazy eyes and spoke with difficulty, “My body feels so hot. I’m so thirsty and in pain… It feels like my chest is on fire. Quick, help me find out what’s wrong…” As she spoke, she put out her wrist.

With an observant look, Dustin was fast to find out the issue. “Ms. Harmon, if I’m not mistaken, it looks like you’ve been drugged. And with a potent aphrodisiac at that.”

“Bullshit! Who would drug my sister?” Ruth scolded.

“What do I do now, Mr. Rhys?” asked Natasha lethargically.

“Although it’s a special case, it can be treated. But we must move you to a bed. It won’t be easy to treat you in this bathtub.” Dustin signaled for her to get up.

Natasha nodded, struggling to get up. However, as soon as she took a step out of the bathtub, she slipped and collapsed into Dustin’s arms.

Subconsciously, Dustin’s reflex kicked in, and his hands shot out to hold her, and they just so happened to touch her chest. Natasha felt as though she had been hit by a bolt of lightning. At that moment, both of them froze in place.

Dustin’s mind was blank, but Natasha’s expression was agitated. Her eyelashes fluttered, and her breathing hitched. The fire inside her had only gotten bigger.

Without a warning, Natasha parted her lips and raised her head, surging upward to kiss Dustin.

“Hey! What are you guys doing in broad daylight? Aren’t you embarrassed?” Ruth, who was at the door, let out a scream at this sight. She covered her face with her hand, but her curious eyes couldn’t help peeking through her fingers, and she watched the two of them kiss intimately.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

Expert Villager
Platinum Villager
Jul 9, 2023
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CHAPTER 29: An Understated Dominance

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to.” Dustin instantly came to his senses and rushed to push Natasha away. His face was etched with awkwardness. Everything happened so quickly that he hadn’t had time to think.

“It’s okay. It was my fault. The drug might have been too strong, as I really couldn’t control myself,” Natasha replied coyly. While speaking, she cast a glare at Ruth, silently cursing her sister for ruining the rare opportunity for her to get a man.

“Ruth could’ve just left. Why did she have to scream? I’m cutting her allowance this month!” thought Natasha.

“Ruth, help your sister to lie on the bed,” instructed Dustin.

“Hmph! Of course, I will. Did you think you could take advantage of her again?” With a roll of her eyes, Ruth went to hold the grumpy Natasha and walked her to the bed.

“Ms. Harmon, please remove your shirt and lie on your front,” Dustin added.

“What? You pervert, what are you trying to do!” Ruth’s anger immediately flared.

“Don’t get me wrong. I have to use a needling method to extract the toxins from your sister’s body. Otherwise, she’d get worse over time, to the point where she’d lose control,” Dustin patiently explained.

“Are you serious? You’re not trying to scare me, are you?” Ruth looked skeptical.

“Why would I lie to you about this?” Dustin was in disbelief.

“Fine. I will trust you for once. But you have to look away. Don’t peek!” warned Ruth.

“Okay.” Without saying much, Dustin turned around.

“Natasha put on your bra. You can’t let him do anything to you,” Ruth said as she
handed Natasha her bra.

“Ah… How considerate of you, Ruth.” Natasha’s voice sounded strained.

“Don’t mention it. Come, let me help you.” Smugly, Ruth quickly helped Natasha. Then, the latter gave her a look and said, “I think you can head out now. Don’t disturb Mr. Rhys from treating me.”

“No way! What if he tries to lay his hands on you? I must watch him closely!” Ruth rejected her instantly.

Natasha’s eye twitched, feeling helpless with her upright sister. Why was the girl so dense? She had to teach her a lesson later,

“Hey, Rhys, you can look now.” After getting Ruth’s permission, Dustin turned around at last. Natasha was lying obediently on her front, her smooth and fair back exposed. Her ass, waist, and neck nearly formed a line of perfect curves. At first glance, she looked like an exquisite piece of artwork.

“What are you waiting for? Get to work!” Ruth yelled from the side, staring at him firmly. Dustin regained his composure and took out his needles, sitting by the bedside to start treating Natasha.

Even though the aphrodisiac was potent, it wasn’t difficult to treat once it was discovered. The only problem was that Natasha’s body was too alluring. Added to her charmingly flustered expression, his heart couldn’t help skipping a beat.

Fortunately, Dustin possessed excellent concentration. He only focused on the important parts to resist her allure.

Around 15 minutes later, Dustin breathed a long sigh and removed the needles from Natasha’s back. “Ms. Harmon, your body is free of toxins now. You can flush out the remaining drugs by drinking more water.”

“Thank you for your help, Mr. Rhys.” Natasha smiled shyly. On her flawless face was a lingering seductiveness. It was like sweet wine–so intoxicating.

“Natasha, hurry up and put on your shirt!” Ruth immediately wrapped her sister up tightly, fearing that she would be taken advantage of.

“Ms. Harmon, the aphrodisiac you’re drugged with is very similar to the one your grandfather was poisoned with. Based on my judgment, it must have been the same culprit,” Dustin suddenly said.

“No wonder I felt something amiss.” Natasha nodded thoughtfully.

“It can’t go on like this. To avoid similar incidents like this, we must find out the person behind this as soon as possible,” Dustin advised.
 

Muhindi Wa Kuchoma

Expert Villager
Platinum Villager
Jul 9, 2023
3,741
3,670
2,100
CHAPTER 30: An Understated Dominance

“Do you have a plan in mind, Mr. Rhys?” Natasha asked.

“I need to get a clear understanding of the situation first. I hope you don’t mind if I ask you some questions.” Dustin cleared his throat before continuing, “Where did you go today, and did you meet anyone there?”

“I met Edwin today. We talked about work, and he asked about us being in a partnership, but I rejected his offer,” Natasha answered truthfully.

“I see. Did you drink anything he offered you?”

“Of course not. That man has been eyeing my family business for ages. I’d never let my guard down around him.”

“Then it really is strange how you got drugged, sis,” Ruth piped up.

“Truly.” Natasha rolled her eyes.

“When you two met, did you smell or touch anything in particular?” Dustin then asked.

“Now that you mention it…” Something suddenly dawned on Natasha. “When I stepped into the place, I did smell something particular. I didn’t pay much attention because I thought it was just perfume. But then, after a while, I started feeling dizzy. My body felt oddly warm too. Good thing I left soon after that. Who knows what could’ve happened if I had stayed longer?”

“It seems like that fragrance really is the problem,” Dustin concluded.

“What’s next, Mr. Rhys?”

“There was ambergris residue found on your skin earlier. It must’ve been the main ingredient in the fragrance that was used to drug you.”

“So what? We still need to track down the person who made that drug,” Ruth huffed, crossing her arms in front of her chest.

“Ambergris is a rare substance, so our target pool is quite limited. We can look at recent buyers and narrow down our search from there,” Dustin replied.

“Good plan. I’ll have someone get to it right away!” Natasha agreed. With her family’s influence, this sort of thing could be settled in a jiffy.

“I trust my work here is done, Ms. Harmon. I’ll take my leave now.” Dustin made a move to stand up.

“One more thing!” Natasha suddenly stopped him.

“Why don’t you join us for dinner?”

“Thank you, but I… already have plans tonight.”

Natasha gave him a curious look. “It can’t be with your ex–wife, can it, Mr. Rhys? Don’t you find me attractive? Hm?”

With that, she arched her body to show off her curves.

Dustin froze up. “U–uh…”

“Hahaha, alright, I’ll stop teasing you,” Natasha giggled, “I won’t make you cancel your plans. But before you go, here is a token of my appreciation.”

She made a quick gesture, and a servant came over with an elegant–looking box.

“I hope you can make good use of these wines, Mr. Rhys. I’ve had them in store for quite some time.” Natasha beamed, handing him the box.

“You have my thanks, Ms. Harmon.” Dustin gladly accepted it. He deserved some compensation for work done, and a gift from Natasha Harmon herself wouldn’t be just some lousy trinket.

“See Mr. Rhys out, Ruth,” Natasha called.

“Okay,” Ruth’s tone was tinged with reluctance, but she still brought Dustin out to his Lamborghini,

Suddenly, his phone rang. It was a phone call from Henry Nicholson, Dahlia’s grandfather,

“Hey Dustin, are you up for lunch today?”

“Thank you, but I already have plans today, sir.”

“You still need to eat, don’t you? Dahlia should’ve cut you some slack. I’ll make sure to tell her about this!” The old man grunted.

“It’s just some personal business, sir, nothing to do with Ms. Nicholson.”

“Alright, enough defending her. I know how you are, and I’m sure this is because of her. Don’t you worry; I’ll make sure to confront her about this. We’re family, and family needs to spend time together.”

“Uh… sure, I guess,” Dustin reluctantly agreed.

In the three years after marrying into this family, only this old man treated Dustin as his own. That was why he respected and cared for him deeply.

But they wouldn’t see each other for a long time after that. So let this meal be the final goodbye for both of them…
 

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