Chapter 517 Idea
Chapter 517 Idea
Monica relaxed her grip on Khan's arm when she read the caller's name. Khan reacted accordingly, slipping out of her hug to hold the phone with both hands. They knew that timing wasn't a coincidence, and Luke could even help a lot in their situation.
"I need to take this," Khan announced. "Excuse me."
Monica performed a reassuring nod when Khan looked at her. She even moved to the center of the couch when he stood up. With her in charge, the meeting was in good hands, so Khan limped out of the hall to attend to the call.
"Luke!" Khan answered the call when he entered the privacy of a bedroom. "I don't know if this is good or bad timing."
"I hope perfect timing," Luke responded, conveying pure friendliness. "It's been a while."
"I do try to reply to every message," Khan stated. "Things have just been messy lately."
"I'm well aware," Luke exclaimed. "Not a week goes by without receiving news about you."
"That's why you wanted me on your payroll," Khan reminded. "I'm not that cheap anymore."
"I expected nothing less from you," Luke declared. "I wasn't shocked even when Anastasia gave her public approval about you and Monica."
"Straight to the main topic," Khan commented.
"Would you prefer to chit-chat first?" Luke chuckled.
"No, I'm actually busy," Khan sighed.
"I figured," Luke uttered. "I'll get straight to the point then. Francis visited Monica last night and is currently in your flat."
Barely a day had passed since Francis' ploy, but Luke already knew everything. It was almost incredible how quickly news could spread, especially in those wealthy circles, but Khan couldn't feel surprised anymore.
"He is my prisoner," Khan explained. "If necessary, I'll use him as a hostage."
"I understand," Luke sighed. "What's your goal?"
"Preventing future threats to my relationship," Khan replied. "Ideally, stopping people from trying to mess with me completely."
"I don't know about the latter," Luke voiced, "But I suspected you needed help with the former. It's the reason I called."
"How would you help?" Khan questioned. He had yet to make up his mind about his future approach, so he needed to be sure that Luke wouldn't go against any possible plan.
"I'll state my complicity," Luke explained. "I'll say that I facilitated your relationship and even covered for it. I've also talked with Bruce, and we are on the same page."
"Wait," Khan called, suppressing any trace of surprise or gratitude. "Won't this create problems for you? This kind of public support will get you many enemies."
Khan wasn't only referring to the factions interested in Monica. Luke risked endangering his position inside his family due to such an unwise political decision.
"Monica's parents acknowledged you," Luke declared. "Even if that were a lie, my statement would play into it in the public eye. Her parents themselves would have to praise my foresight."
Understanding washed over Khan. Luke could pretend to have done Monica's parents a favor while also showing his public support for the relationship. His family couldn't condemn such a move.
"That's," Khan hesitated. He still had reservations about Luke, but his help was necessary, so he swallowed his lingering anger and spoke again. "What do you want for this?"
"As far as I recall," Luke exclaimed, "I owe you one."
"I'm not trading Martha for Monica," Khan warned.
"That's not what I meant," Luke sighed. "I've been useless on Milia 222, but the political world is my playground. Let me do this. You can decide whether we are even or not afterward."
Khan fell silent. Truth be told, he didn't know if he could refuse the offer. He needed all the help he could get, and Luke could be more influential than the descendants in the flat. Adding Bruce to the equation might even force everyone's hand.
"How is Martha doing?" Khan asked.
"She is great," Luke revealed. "She became a second-level warrior before reaching this space station. She also said she'll beat you up if you don't accept my offer."
"Monica will be happy to hear that," Khan smirked. "Thank you, Luke."
"Don't mention it," Luke uttered. "Between Milia 222, Martha, and Istrone, I feel I have something to prove."
"Bring my thanks to Bruce too," Khan mentioned before deciding to reveal something. "Also, your uncle called."
"Problems?" Luke snapped as his tone grew firmer.
"I'll let you know," Khan promised. "I have other matters to handle now."
"Keep me updated," Luke responded. "As for the previous topic, I suggest you check the network in a few hours."
Luke ended the call without waiting for Khan's additional thanks, but a faint smile still bloomed on his face. The relationships built in the years enlisted in the Global Army were bearing fruit, and Khan still had another option left.
The conversations in the main hall had never moved past the previous issue during Khan's call. Lucian, Lucy, and Mark were still complaining about John's independent decision, and Zoe had made things worse.
"I'm just saying we should be on the same page here," Lucian explained. "It won't do Khan any good to show a divided front."
"I wouldn't want to take anything from Khan anyway," Zoe stated, knowing what Lucian was trying to achieve. "I can't be Monica's friend and exploit her boyfriend at the same time."
"Thank you, Zoe," Monica exclaimed, sliding to the couch's edge to reach for Zoe's hand.
"But you are a descendant of the Brolon family first," Lucy pointed out. "I'm not against helping them, but I'd like us to agree on a plan."
"Especially considering potential repercussions," Mark added. "Our generation doesn't hold much power yet, but this choice might follow us for years. It's simply unwise to make rash decisions."
"And I'm telling you I already made up my mind," John snorted. "It doesn't take a genius to understand the potential benefits at stake."
"Are you trying to earn or be Khan's friend?" Lucian questioned. "You didn't make that point clear."
"You are just buying yourself time," Zoe complained. "If you are so against this, just refuse."
"I'm sure no one is against this," Lucian declared. "Khan is one of us, which is why I'm insisting so much on this point. Doing him a random favor is no different from treating him as a simple soldier."
"Man, you are so good with words," John praised. "Just help him and think about spinning the story in your favor later."
"Sadly, we can't be so careless," Mark sighed. "It's very likely that factions inside our families had their eyes on Monica too. Taking her side might make us fall out of favor."
"Thank you!" Lucian declared. "I thought everyone understood that, but apparently, a reminder of who we are was in order."
"Maybe this meeting was too sudden," Khan announced, returning inside the hall. "For that, I apologize."
"Is everything okay?" Monica asked, peeking past her couch and following Khan's return with her eyes.
"More than okay," Khan revealed, slowly limping back toward his previous seat. "Luke and Bruce will reveal how much they helped us on Milia 222."
Monica only needed those vague words to understand that she had to play along. She promptly gasped, letting go of Zoe's hand to reach Khan and speak fitting lines. "Really? But I thought we agreed on keeping that a secret."
"Your dear mother gave them the opportunity to speak due to her public approval," Khan explained through words meant for the entire room. "Luke said your parents might actually have to thank them for facilitating our relationship."
"Luke is so sweet," Monica praised, placing both hands on Khan's leg to improve her faÃ§ade. "Remind me to call him later."
"I will," Khan nodded. "We'll call Bruce too to thank him properly."
"I also wonder how Martha is doing," Monica said. "We haven't talked in a while."
"According to Luke," Khan chuckled, "She threatened to beat me up."
"If it's Martha," Monica muttered, "I can let it slide."
"On which side are you?" Khan complained.
"Martha is our dear friend," Monica exclaimed, "So we are on her side."
"We," George coughed.
"Khan, wait a moment," Lucian intervened. "Are Luke and Bruce-?"
"Luke Cobsend and Bruce Eerly," Khan interrupted, regaining his cold stance and showing his face to the guests. "They supported Monica and me since our first kiss."
"Such gentlemen," Marcia commented.
"They are good friends," Khan agreed. "Apparently, the rumors reached them too, and Luke decided to help."
Lucian, Lucy, and Mark couldn't help but put an end to their discussions. John and Zoe were isolated cases that could be controlled under certain circumstances. However, Luke and Bruce were different. They weren't only outside the Harbor's reach. Their influence was on par, if not above, Monica's.
"I thought about the issue while I was in the other room," Khan revealed. "John is right. I need to play both sides to succeed in politics, so I have a suggestion."
"We are all ears," Mark stated.
"If you want to gain something out of this situation," Khan continued, "You can say that your support is necessary to prevent a tragedy."
"I suppose by revealing what you were willing to do to Mister Alstair," Lucian guessed.
"It would be the truth," Khan said, "At least partially. You would appear as the wise descendants keeping me in check while spreading rumors about my character. I can't see many factions approving my behavior, which is exactly what John mentioned."
"That's smart!" John laughed. "Pretending to be a ticking bomb to garner support from multiple sides. It's great."
"John, I appreciate your enthusiasm," Khan exclaimed. "However, make no mistake. I am a ticking bomb."
The statement sounded like a threat, and Khan let it rest for a few seconds before continuing. "I'm sure this isn't an easy decision, so why don't we call it a day? I know you want to talk without me, so go ahead."
As much as the descendants wanted to object, they felt forced to accept Khan's escape route. Even John and Zoe couldn't disregard the opportunity to reorganize their thoughts and evaluate the best method to support Khan's relationship.
Soon, only Khan, Monica, Anita, and George remained inside the hall. That night seemed to have reached its end, and most of the group was ready to relax. However, Khan had one last idea in mind.
"Guys," Khan called when he was about to return to his couch. "Hypothetically, how would someone contact a noble?"