Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 791
“It is! I really hadn’t expected to bump into you again!” replied Gerald with a nod.
The woman in question, was none other than Alice.
He had initially thought that he wouldn’t ever see her again after the incident in the Fenderson family mansion. To think that he would bump into her again so soon!
Gerald still remembered what Alice had said to him that night, and he was honestly still feeling bad about it. Had she not met him, she could’ve been living a much better life now.
As if her suffering wasn’t already enough, she would’ve definitely been beaten up much more terribly by that man had he stepped any later! Seeing the state she was in made Gerald truly saddened.
After all, he no longer held on to any resentment toward her.
“Are you alright?” asked Gerald.
“I… I’m fine! I’m just a loser now, Gerald… Do you want to beat me up too? After all, I’m just some vain girl who loves money and is willing to do anything for it! I’m beyond shameless! Just leave me be!” replied Alice between sobs as she began crawling away.
“Why do you have to be this way, Alice…” said Gerald as he shook his head in resignation. He simply couldn’t bear looking at her like this.
“Just ignore me, Gerald… I don’t deserve your concern after treating you like that back then!” replied Alice as she sat on the ground and wept.
Gerald was well aware that there was simply no way that he would be able to sleep well tonight if he abandoned her in her current state.
“…I’ll get you a room for the night. It’s pretty late already and you definitely look like you need the rest. Come on now,” said Gerald as he supported Alice up and began leading her into the closest hotel.
Before entering the hotel, he turned to look around and gestured at his subordinates. Understanding his non-verbal order clearly, they immediately arranged for the ship from earlier to wait for his return.
After booking a room and making sure that she got there safely, Gerald was about to leave when Alice suddenly wrapped her arms around him tightly!
“Just get some well-deserved rest, I really need to go now!” said Gerald.
“Please don’t go, Gerald! I’m begging you… I… I have a lot of things I want to tell you… I was wrong before! Even after all this time, the one who’s always been nicest to me is still you! I… I know I don’t deserve you… but could you please… Take pity and accompany me…? Just for a short while!” replied Alice, refusing to release her hug.
Gerald could only sigh in his mind as he nodded in agreement. However, he made sure to maintain at least some distance away from Alice.
While it was true that Alice had the allure of a goddess that could make any man yearn for her, her sad condition outweighed any of his earthly desires.
Since there was red wine in the room, Alice grabbed a bottle and poured two glasses of wine for Gerald and herself.
“Have a drink with me, Gerald. Once we’re done, I won’t pester you anymore in the future! I’m now well aware of how foolish I was in the past, but that’s because I didn’t know about your true identity! Regardless, please indulge me for a little while and just drink with me! You don’t have to be afraid, I’ll keep my word that I won’t pester you after this!” said Alice.
“You’re already this hurt. I suggest you just hit the hay early,” replied Gerald as he shook his head.
“My heart hurts even more. And you know what they say, wine is the remedy for a broken heart.”
“…Fine. But I won’t be drinking much. I’ll leave after one drink since my subordinates are still waiting for me!” said Gerald as he took a wine glass from her hand.
Alice then started talking about her life. The main reason she was currently in such a pitiful state was because she was living alone and away from home.
Being Alice’s ex-classmate, Gerald knew he would definitely feel bad about it later if he didn’t spend at least some time advising her. What more, she was also Naomi’s best friend.
By the time both of them were done, Gerald had already drunk three consecutive glasses of wine. Seeing how tipsy Alice was already getting, Gerald immediately stopped her from getting more wine.
“That’s quite enough. We’ll stop drinking now. It’s about time you get some rest, Alice. Everything will be fine the next day… Now if you excuse me, I have something to do and it’s about time I left!” said Gerald as he stood up.
However, Gerald’s legs were already giving in, even after just a few steps forward. He was getting increasingly dizzy as well.
‘Isn’t this wine… a little too strong…?’ Gerald thought to himself as he felt Alice’s arms wrap around him again.
Though he wanted to push her away, his arms barely had any strength left in them.
It wasn’t long before Gerald finally blacked out on the bed.
Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 792
Holding on to her stomach as she wiped her tears away, Alice took her cell phone out and began sending a text message.
It wasn’t long after when a knock was heard at her room’s door. Upon opening it, the person who stood outside turned out to be the same man who had beaten Alice up earlier!
“Is it done, miss? And here I thought that the young master would’ve already picked you up and left with you by now!” said the man with a chuckle.
“Here’s the money, now get out of my sight! Also, while I did tell you to put on a great show, don’t you think you were being a little too harsh?” replied Alice angrily.
“Hey, it’s all because of my intense acting skills that the young master ended up buying it! Haha! I can see that he’s fainted… Since you’ll be free for the rest of the night, why don’t we… ”
“Get lost!” shouted Alice as she glared contemptuously at the man before slamming the door shut.
It was true that Alice had earlier set Gerald up. After all, the only way she would be able to gain his trust and compassion was by ‘getting hurt’ in front of him.
Though it was a gamble, Alice was willing to try anything at this point.
Her fantasies of being together with him had been shattered the moment she learned of Gerald’s true identity. What more, he seemed to be leaving Salford County soon.
Once he left, she knew it would be near impossible for her to meet him again.
Alice simply couldn’t reconcile with the fact that she had once only been steps away from being able to be part of an unimaginably distinguished and rich family.
This was her final attempt to grab hold of her dreams.
After the birthday banquet ended, Alice had not scrupled to leave the service team before rushing back to Hong Kong. She was in such a hurry since she had heard some things during the Fenderson Mansion event.
According to the rumors, Gerald was bringing some of his people there. While she didn’t specifically know where his family stayed in Northbay, Alice knew where Gerald’s sister was.
Though she had initially been rather skeptical about the rumors, her gamble paid off in the end, since Gerald truly did come.
By then, she had already planned for the show between her and that man from earlier to happen. Her plan had worked flawlessly too since she knew Gerald like the back of her hand.
His greatest downfall was the fact that he was a soft-hearted person, especially with women. It was why Alice had managed to successfully trick him, and all that led to the current situation.
“You really can’t blame me for doing this, Gerald… I really just want you to be mine!” said Alice as she slowly began undressing.
The next morning at Northbay’s main port in Hong Kong, a large ocean liner could be seen waiting to depart. The ship had been exclusively reserved for those in the investigation team.
One after another, the many members of the investigation team began boarding the ship.
“I’ll see you in three days, Molly! I’ll miss you!”
“That’s not a lie, is it?”
“Of course it isn’t!”
As Molly continued openly flirting with her boyfriend, Wanda did the same with hers. Both their boyfriends had come to see them off.
Mila herself, however, seemed to be waiting anxiously alone there. Her cell phone was ready in her hand and she had already tried calling him up to twenty times that morning.
The reply she got, however, was always the same.
“Sorry, the phone you have dialed, is currently off. Please try again later.”
“Why hasn’t Mr. Crawford arrived, Mila?” asked Molly as she walked over, her arm locked with her boyfriend’s.
“Humph! Do you honestly think that being a rich man’s partner is going to be that easy? He probably doesn’t even care for her! Why, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that he’s currently sleeping in another beauty’s arms!” said a girl who smiled coldly as she approached the group.
“Like you’d know anything about that, Hallie! Remember, you’re only here because you made use of your connections! In the end, you’re just a b*tch deep down, and you’ll never be anything more than that! So shut up already!” retorted Wanda with a huff.
Hearing that, Hallie’s face immediately went red with rage.
“Hey, look over there! A luxury car is coming this way!” said a man who pointed at it as a few other men—who were standing close by—turned to look.
Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 793
“A luxury car?” said Mila as she quickly turned to look as well.
Mila could feel her heartbeats quicken as she watched the sports car swiftly make its way into the port.
‘Has Gerald finally come?’
As the car came to a screeching halt, Mila found herself slowly walking forward.
Out stepped a young man with a bouquet of fresh flowers in hand. Seeing how romantic he was being, almost everyone present—especially the girls—began feeling jealous.
“Sorry I’m late, Hallie!” said the young man as he removed his glasses while smiling.
“You’re not late at all, darling! I’m delighted to know that you rushed all the way here just to see me off!” replied Hallie as she skipped rather excitedly toward the young man.
When she moved past Mila, however, she made sure that Mila saw her smirking at her before saying, “Why did you walk so far ahead? Did you honestly think that it was going to be your rich boyfriend? Too bad! This one’s mine!”
Hallie felt extremely satisfied after saying that. After all, she had initially feared that Mila would end up becoming the highlight of the day since her boyfriend was so powerful.
Thankfully, he hadn’t turned up. This meant that her other assumption was right. After all, why would a rich heir like Mr. Crawford ever want to be with a girl like Mila?
‘In the end, he doesn’t even bother about you. Did you honestly think that he’d come all the way over just to meet you? Dream on!’
While Hallie was aware that she had already lost to her when it came to work, she was happy to know that she could still win against Mila when it came to her love life.
“Rich boyfriend?” asked the young man as he held on to Hallie’s hands.
“Indeed! Someone here has an extremely wealthy boyfriend! Though she had claimed that he would clear his busy schedule just to come over and meet her, in the end, it was all just a bunch of baloney! Where is he now?” shouted Hallie out loud.
Hearing her words, Mila became so anxious that she felt like crying right there and then!
In all honesty, her anxiety firing up had less to do with what Hallie had said. Rather, it had stemmed from the fact that Gerald hadn’t answered any of her calls that morning. He had even forgotten about his promise with her last night!
‘Does he truly not love me anymore?’ Mila thought to herself, her mind swimming with many other depressing thoughts.
“Alright, hand over your phones! All personnel are required to verify your identity before you’re allowed to board the ship!” said one of the investigation team’s staff aloud at that moment.
With that, Mila and the others slowly began boarding the ship. Even after everyone had gotten aboard, Mila was honestly still hoping that a miracle could happen.
‘Gerald will definitely appear at the last moment… After all, he promised me that he would come, and he never lies to me.’
However, as she watched the port slowly fade in the distance, Mila couldn’t help but burst into tears.
As the ship continued sailing on, the screeching of car tires could be heard at the now almost deserted port.
The few people who remained at the port found themselves looking at a young, rich heir and an old man as they stepped out of an immensely expensive-looking car.
The ocean liner was nowhere in sight.
Gerald could only slam his fist against the car’s bonnet, realizing that he had been too late.
While he had tried calling Mila on his way there, he found that she had switched her phone off. If only he had been a little earlier, he would’ve definitely still been able to meet with her.
The main issue wasn’t about failing to meet her, however. It was failing to keep his promise.
He remembered seeing Alice lying atop of him the moment he opened his eyes. That was all he needed to see to realize that he had been tricked into his current situation the night before.
After giving Alice a harsh scolding, he immediately rushed out of the hotel.
Fynn and his men had been waiting for him the entire night at the port, and knowing this only served to add to Gerald’s guilt.
If only he hadn’t taken pity on Alice, none of this would’ve happened…
In his mind, Gerald was able to picture how eager and disappointed Mila must have felt throughout her wait for him. The more he thought about it, the more his grief piled up.
Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 794
Gerald found himself sitting crossed-legged on the port in his resentment.
Nothing else could be done. All he could do was wait for Mila’s return and explain to her what had happened the night before when she finally came back.
The rest of the day passed by quickly and before Mila knew it, it was already night. With the sea being so peaceful as the ocean liner sailed on, even the faintest of sea breezes could be heard.
“That’s enough dwelling on it, don’t you think, Mila? Since we’re all probably tired by now, let’s go get a bite!” said Molly as she prepared to go get some food for her.
“Alright…!” replied Mila with a slight nod.
“Now that’s more like it! Still, why did the investigation team have to take our phones away? How boring!” said Molly who just wasn’t used to not having her phone around her.
“But of course! Private information about the investigation could easily be leaked if we had our phones with us! While being strict isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I never thought that they’d even take my watch away! Humph!” replied Wanda.
“Regardless, while we had been told that we were coming all the way out here to investigate the quality of the sea, I really doubt that that’s the case, or at least I feel that that’s not our sole mission. After all, I saw a few fierce-looking people boarding the ship with us earlier who looked like they could very well be soldiers. Why would such people be needed in an investigation mission?” said Molly, evidently trying to distract Mila from her negative thoughts.
“…Huh? What are you getting at?” asked Wanda, slightly astonished.
“Call it a sixth sense which comes with having an elder brother who’s also a soldier. They really didn’t need to put on such a grand show if their motive was simply to investigate the ocean’s quality. What more, while I was helping to move some things into the conference room earlier, guess what I saw?” replied Molly as she suddenly lowered her voice.
“Go on…” said Mila and Wanda simultaneously as they looked at her. After all, even they had sensed that the investigation team was somewhat mysterious. The team seemed to have been studying something throughout most of the day.
“I saw a drawing which they must have used during their meeting! It looked like some kind of building… Haha! Wouldn’t it be wild if the investigation team was actually on a mission to locate some underwater palace?” said Molly as she laughed out loud.
Instead of laughing along, however, Mila and Wanda could only look at each other in dismay. The way Molly had said it had made their entire expedition sound and feel much more mysterious than it should have been.
“…You’re not pulling our leg, right?”
“Of course I’m not! There’s no reason for me to lie to both of you! Besides, they noticed that I saw the picture and they sternly warned me not to say a word about it! I was so terrified that I immediately ran off!” replied Molly as she stuck her tongue out.
“…Well, the larger picture doesn’t concern us… Let’s just stick to doing the things we were assigned to!” said Mila with a bitter laugh.
In response, both Wanda and Molly nodded in agreement.
It was at that moment when all three of them heard footsteps coming closer to their room, followed by a few knocks on the door. Upon opening it, they saw Hallie standing outside with her arms crossed.
“What do you want?” asked Molly.
“Professor Shevall wants to hold a meeting, so I’m here to inform you about it!” said Hallie in a rather reluctant tone.
“Fine, tell him that we’ll be on our way immediately!” replied Molly, a smug smile on her face.
Rolling her eyes, Hallie then left their room.
Professor Winston Shevall was the leader of the operation. He looked to be around seventy and while he seemed rather strict, he was also extremely knowledgeable. That made Mila respect him a lot. From what the girls had heard, he had been in charge of finding a sponsor and forming the investigation team as well.
After a while, the trio arrived at the conference room for the meeting. Including the three of them, there were about thirty members in the investigation team. The meeting itself wasn’t anything special. Professor Shevall simply wanted to emphasize the things that they needed to look out for during the expedition.
Halfway through their meeting, however, Professor Shevall suddenly began coughing terribly. From that point on, he started scratching his neck from time to time.
Since Mila was sitting right beside the professor, her gaze inadvertently fell upon the back of his neck. What Mila saw made her instantly stunned…
Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 795
“…P-professor Shevall? Professor Shevall…?” called out Mila in a soft tone.
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Mila?” asked the professor as he looked at her with a gentle gaze and smile.
“A… symbol of some sort seems to have appeared on your neck…”
Under different circumstances, Mila would’ve just assumed that the symbol was just rash from all the professor’s scratching. However, the symbol looked far too familiar for it to simply be rash.
“…A symbol? What could you possibly be talking about, Mila?” asked Professor Shevall as a bitter smile formed on his face.
It was at that moment when Mila became certain that it wasn’t just mere rashes on the professor’s neck. Rather, the symbol on his neck was one that she recognized.
It looked exactly like the sun symbol on her pendant!
“It… It looks exactly like the symbol on the pendants we received!” said Mila, now getting increasingly frightened.
Hearing that, the others present began looking at each other before each fishing out their own pendants from their pockets. All of the pendants looked exactly alike.
“So it turns out that everyone received it!” said Molly.
Upon realizing that everyone was familiar with the symbol, Professor Shevall’s expression immediately changed. Snatching the pendant from Mila’s hand, he gave it a good look before scanning through the other pendants held by the rest of the investigation team members.
Not long after, his face went white as a sheet.
“…Mila, is the symbol on my neck truly similar to the one on the pendants?” asked the professor who looked like he had just experienced the worst day of his life.
Not knowing what was happening, Mila could only nod slightly.
“D*mn it! And here I thought that the symbol was only reserved for the most important of members! I didn’t expect everyone here to have it!”
“What exactly does the symbol represent, professor? I received it yesterday through mail!”
Seeing how unpleasant Professor Shevall’s expression had become, the others were now equally as scared as Mila. After all, though there were many of them in the room, they were still out at sea in the dead of night. The spooky atmosphere was simply inevitable.
“It’s finally appeared again… It seems that we’re its targets this time!” exclaimed the professor as his hands trembled.
“…What do you mean by that, Professor Shevall? What’s appeared?” asked Mila.
“It… It’s all my fault… I’ve put all of you in danger! I’m so sorry!” replied the professor as he removed his glasses, unable to control his emotions any longer.
“That’s… the symbol of the Sun League… The symbol itself is called the Death Pact… It’s appeared only twice before, the first time being forty years ago while the second, twenty years ago. Well, I should say thrice now since it’s finally reappeared today! Alas, everyone ever recorded to have received the symbol has mysteriously gone missing within three days! It’s been decades since I’ve researched the incident yet I’ve never gotten even close to uncovering the mystery!” explained Professor Shevall, his expression extremely terrible.
Hearing what he had to say, everyone soon found themselves quivering in fear. After all, the professor was extremely knowledgeable and he didn’t seem like the kind of person who would make jokes like that in the first place.
It didn’t help that his expression remained dead serious throughout his strange explanation.
“Cease the investigation! We’re turning back immediately!” ordered the professor as he immediately stood up.
Not long after someone ran off to relay his order, the same person burst into the room again before shouting, “P-professor Shevall! Something… Something’s gone terribly wrong…!”
“Just… Please come outside and have a look for yourself! It’s right in front of the liner…” replied the person, now completely out of breath.
Professor Shevall then quickly led the investigation team members out of the conference room, bringing all of them to the ship’s deck.
Naturally, Mila and Molly followed the group, huddled closely together to keep each other calm.
Upon arriving at the deck, everyone was immediately stunned. Molly even found herself screaming once she realized what was brewing outside.
A massive maelstrom had formed in the sea, and the ship was heading straight for it! Close up, it looked exactly like a large mouth, devouring everything that crossed its path.
Though the captain was clearly trying to steer the ship away from the menacing whirlpool, the liner simply couldn’t win against the strong forces of the maelstrom.
“Return to the cabins immediately!” shouted the professor just as a loud crash could be heard.
Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 796
Violent waves had just crashed onto the side of the ship, and by the looks of it, many more were soon to come. The thunderous waves were so high that they easily scaled the entire ship. Every passing wave was now drenching the deck.
Everyone aboard began screaming as the ocean liner slowly began sinking into the maelstrom. However, no matter how much they screamed, the chaotic waves seemed to drown all their voices.
The night was dark, but the ocean was even darker…
By the time the sea finally calmed itself again, a giant object could be seen descending into the depths. While it was faint, the symbol on the pendant made a brief appearance before disappearing, just like the ocean liner had.
“Is Mr. Crawford awake?” asked Fynn as he hurriedly headed for Gerald’s room with a few documents in hand.
It was already the next day and Gerald was currently in a house on an island that Jessica had rented.
“Mr. Crawford’s up and he seems to be in a rather good mood today. He’s even asked for a ship to be arranged so that he’ll be able to go out to sea and have some fun!” said a maid respectfully.
Just as the maid’s reply ended, the door to Gerald’s room opened.
“Ah, good morning, Fynn! I plan to go out to sea today and enjoy myself! Of course, I’m also planning to meet up with Mila if we’re able to locate her! We’ll return to Northbay tomorrow. If you’re free, why not join me?”
Since Gerald had failed to meet Mila the day before, he had made up his mind that he would catch up with her and give her the proper explanation that she needed. He figured that though they were part of an exclusive expedition, they shouldn’t be too hard to find.
“You absolutely cannot go looking for her, Mr. Crawford!” replied Fynn, a worried expression on his face.
“And why is that?”
“Something happened to Ocean Liner No. 2 last night! The area’s currently been blockaded as the search for any traces of the ship continues!”
“Ocean Liner No. 2?” repeated Gerald, stunned.
“It was the ship Miss Smith was on… It seems that the ship was hit by what we can only assume to be a tsunami last night! Since it has yet to be located, the current assumption is that it sank into the ocean!” explained Fynn in a rather helpless tone.
“How… How could this be…? What became of its crew…?” asked Gerald, filled with grief and anxiety.
“As I’ve said, we’ve been looking for the ship for ages, but so far, we haven’t even found any signs of a sunken ship!”
“This simply won’t do! I’m heading over to look for her in person!” declared Gerald as he immediately headed for the exit.
Seeing that, Fynn could only shake his head as he took his cell phone out.
“Deploy the family’s exclusive marine support! I’ve already told all of you to be ready from dawn, haven’t I? Action is to be taken immediately!” ordered Fynn before ending the call and catching up with Gerald.
Fynn had been watching Gerald grow even from when Gerald was still a child. He knew his personality well.
Gerald was an extremely loyal person who treated every person he had been in a relationship with, with utmost importance. Fynn had seen this play out with both Xavia, his ex-girlfriend, and Mila, his current one.
Since Mila was now technically missing, the fact that Gerald hadn’t had a mental breakdown was already a good sign for Fynn.
He had feared that something would happen to Gerald should he behave recklessly upon hearing the news. To prevent that, the moment Fynn was notified about the incident, he immediately issued a search for the liner using the family’s manpower.
Moving back to the present, Gerald stayed aboard the ship throughout the entire day, making sure that no spot in the Northbay Sea remained unchecked. However, even when evening came, not a trace of the ship could be scavenged no matter how hard they searched.
Gerald could only sit on the port in a daze, filled with deep grief as he watched the faint outlines of the many ships still out at sea trying to locate Ocean Liner no. 2.
“…It’s all my fault… If only I hadn’t allowed you to return to Hong Kong back then… If you hadn’t come here, nothing would’ve happened! If I hadn’t broken my promise yesterday, I wouldn’t have missed the chance to meet you for the final time!” said Gerald aloud, every word filled with self-reproach.
By then, both Queta and Xara had arrived, and both of them silently stood by Gerald’s side. In Queta’s hands was Gerald’s meal which had remained untouched till now.
Queta herself was understandably saddened since Gerald hadn’t eaten anything the entire day. Just as Queta was about to persuade Gerald to at least have a little food, a shout came from behind them.
“What do you think you’re doing here? Get lost!”
It wasn’t long after before a black-suited bodyguard ran toward Gerald and said, “Mr. Crawford, there’s a girl who wishes to meet you no matter what. She claims that she’s Miss Smith’s classmate…”
Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 797
“Bring her over!” said Gerald as he stood up.
Getting the approval he needed, the bodyguard then left to get her. A brief moment later, the girl was escorted over by a few other bodyguards.
The girl herself appeared to be shy, though it was a reasonable reaction. After all, who wouldn’t be terrified standing in a port filled with hundreds of luxury cars? As if that wasn’t enough, at least a thousand black-suited bodyguards were standing all over the place!
No ordinary person would ever approach the scene without proper reason.
“A-are you… Mr. Crawford? Mila’s boyfriend…?” asked the girl meekly.
“I am,” replied Gerald with a nod.
“I-I go by the name of Narissa Martin… I’m a good friend of Mila’s… I heard that you were investigating the liner’s disappearance… While I do have some information about it, I’m not really sure if it’ll help with the search…”
“Go on then. It may lead to the next clue!” replied Gerald immediately.
“Well… The night before, Mila, Molly, and Wanda received a package each… All three packages contained identical pendants… Though the pendants themselves felt somewhat unnerving to look at, the three girls and I simply assumed that it was a souvenir distributed to all the members of the investigation team… Regardless, it was rather surprising at the time that they’d get pendants—of all things—as souvenirs.”
“While the last I saw Mila was after sharing a meal with her and her other two friends, I somehow managed to gain more insight into the pendants after I was done hosting a show yesterday. By coincidence, one of the guests who had partaken in the show was a student of Professor Shevall, the head of the investigation team. After the show ended, we had a slight chat. However, when I asked about the odd pendants, the student claimed that the investigation team never distributed such a thing! I was quite baffled by that. After all, the packages the three girls received had no delivery addresses on them. Who could have sent them then? Feeling weirded out, I then described the pendant to the student.”
“Upon hearing my description, he showed me a group chat which a few of the participants of the investigation were in. After reading through it, it seemed that many of them were discussing receiving the same pendant! I truly feel that something’s off about the pendants… What reason did the anonymous sender have to send them?” explained Narissa.
“If I may, what does the pendant look like, miss? Do you have a picture of it?” asked Fynn as he began walking toward the group.
“As a matter of fact, I do!” replied Narissa as she nodded before fishing her cell phone out.
Once she found the picture, she handed her phone over to Fynn. Gerald took a look at it as well, and though Gerald didn’t recognize it, Fynn himself was already trembling all over.
“It’s… It’s this d*mned thing again!” said Fynn, his fear apparent in his voice.
“What exactly is it, Fynn?” asked Gerald in astonishment.
“It… Well, let’s just say that it’s… Nothing short of terrifying. Since it appeared once twenty years ago, Mrs. Xara should still remember it…” replied Fynn with a nod before looking at Xara.
Hearing that, she walked over to have a look before saying, “…Indeed I do. Peter’s shown it to me before… Receiving it at the time felt especially weird… I honestly thought that my plan to elope with Peter had been exposed, and that the pendant was a warning of sorts. In the end, however, we didn’t think too much about it… To my shock, it was the very next day when Peter went missing!”
“Yes… The second young master’s disappearance truly caused an immense uproar within the Crawford family… Since we assumed that the Fendersons had been the ones who had kidnapped the second master, the master was extremely furious. It was then when the Crawford family began resenting the Fendersons again… While that was the master’s reaction at the time, in truth, he’s been investigating that incident for well over a decade now. After all, given the circumstances at the time, the master knew for a fact that the Fendersons wouldn’t have had the means to secretly kill the second master. But who else would’ve targeted the second young master if not the Fendersons?”
“In the end, after investigating for so long, there was a point where the master was even close to declaring that the Fendersons weren’t the actual culprits in that case. However, he knew that he couldn’t just say that without any solid proof. It was then when he remembered about the pendant with the strange symbol on it that Peter had received before his disappearance. While he wanted to look for Mrs. Xara in person to question her about it, he couldn’t just do something like that, given that he already had such a massive misunderstanding with the Fenderson family. That was why he told you to look for her instead!” explained Fynn as he frowned.
“To think that the pendant that had created such a huge mess would reappear again after twenty years!”
“Who exactly is responsible for all this…? They’ve already taken Peter and now they’ve taken Mila as well! What on earth do they even want?” said Xara, her eyes beginning to water.
“…I suggest that we just wait for the master’s final decision. In the meantime, don’t you think it’s about time we returned to Northbay, Mr. Crawford?” added Fynn.
“You can leave first. Inform me if there’s any news regarding the case. I’m staying here!” said Gerald. After all, if he left with them now, he knew that he’d never be able to forgive himself.
Hearing that, both Fynn and Xara then left.
Gerald himself remained there, joining the search party every day in hopes to find traces of the sunken ship.
Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 798
While Gerald worked tirelessly day in and day out, his efforts proved to be fruitless, even as the tenth day passed by. He had exhausted every tactic he could think of, yet not even a hint of the ocean liner’s whereabouts could be found.
“Where exactly are you, Mila… I… I refuse to believe that you’ve left me just like that!” said Gerald as he pulled his hair in desperation.
By this point, he was constantly having flashbacks of the moments he had spent with Mila. He now knew more than ever that Mila had made great efforts just to be with him.
On the eleventh morning, Gerald sat on the beach in a daze, unsure of what else he could even do to look for the ship.
As he continued racking his brains, his phone began to ring. It was a call from Jessica.
“Good morning, brother!”
Hearing her voice, Gerald couldn’t help but smile faintly as he replied, “Good morning, sister. Have you returned to Northbay safely? How are things going?”
Two days ago, Jessica had returned to Hong Kong to accompany Gerald after learning of Mila’s disappearance. During that time, Jessica had taken the opportunity to tell Gerald about the things which had happened to Mila when she was in Hong Kong.
However, since something was happening within the family, Jessica had to return to Northbay in a hurry.
“I’m fine, though let’s not talk about me for the moment. I’m sure that you’re aware that our family is hosting a family assembly tomorrow… Since you haven’t returned in twenty-two years, dad’s asking for you to attend the assembly this time around. Aside from that, he also wants to talk to you about something!” replied Jessica.
Hearing that, Gerald tossed a stone toward the ocean before nodding.
“…Very well. I’ll be returning tomorrow then!”
The very next day, Gerald arrived on a large island in Northbay belonging to the Crawfords. On it, was a building so magnificent and massive that it looked almost like a castle.
It was the day of the Crawford family’s family assembly, and the day where Crawfords from all walks of life would return to the island to attend the meeting.
Being a large family with several branches, at least a few thousand people were expected to attend the meeting. Not that that was a problem since the island could easily house tens of thousands of guests.
As Fynn led Gerald around, Gerald couldn’t help but feel slightly anxious. After all, this was Gerald’s first time returning ‘home’. What more, this new place was much grander and larger, even when compared to his sister’s island!
Since this was the first time the Crawford family’s young master had returned, Fynn wanted to report Gerald’s arrival to his parents immediately. However, they seemed to be busy exchanging pleasantries with the other family members.
It wasn’t surprising for Gerald to see his father that busy since he was, after all, the master. What more, there were already a lot of people there at that time.
Because of that, Gerald replied, “There’s no real rush to report about my arrival. I’ll just wait till my parents are done greeting the guests. You go on ahead and deal with what you have to, Fynn. I’ll just go look for my sister in the meantime!”
Hearing that, Fynn nodded before running off to deal with other things.
After giving his sister a call, she told him to wait for her there, stating that she would rush over as soon as she could.
Now momentarily bored, Gerald simply sat at the side and looked out at the sea as he slowly entered a daze again.
“Say Bethany, didn’t you say you were looking for a person to help pick up tennis balls? There’s a silly looking man over there who’s been sitting idly for a while! Why don’t we ask him to do it?” said a girl who looked to be around eighteen of age.
The girl was part of a group with other similarly aged girls and also some older ones. All of them sported tennis-wear, and a few of them were still playing in pairs as the girl asked her question.
Since it was usually only the family elders who would step up during such occasions, juniors like them would take the opportunity to have fun and eat to their hearts’ content.
“Sure, why not? Call him over!” replied Bethany as she swung her racket over her shoulder before pointing at Gerald who hadn’t broken from his daze.
Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 799
“Hey, you!” called out Bethany in a commanding voice.
Breaking from his daze, Gerald then looked at the girl who had shouted at him before asking, “What do you want?”
The girl who was pointing at him looked to be in her late teens, and while she looked rather bizarre, she was also somewhat beautiful.
“Are you all alone?” asked another girl as she placed a hand on her waist. It was the girl who had told Bethany about Gerald earlier.
“I suppose you could say that!” replied Gerald as he nodded.
“That’s rather pitiful to hear! How about this, Bethany wants to invite you over to pick tennis balls for us! At least you won’t be alone if you do that for us!” added the girl.
Gerald remembered his sister telling him that since the Crawford family was so immensely huge with so many complicated branches, it was normal for those within the family to not know who was who among the younger generation.
“If something’s weighing your mind, it’ll only get worse if you continue dwelling on it alone! By picking our tennis balls, you’ll be able to forget all your worries!” shouted another girl.
While Gerald’s first response was to smile bitterly, he couldn’t deny that what they had said made some sense. After all, as long as he could distract himself enough, he wouldn’t need to dwell on the incident.
“Fine, I’ll do it!” replied Gerald.
“Haha! He’s actually going to do it! Here he comes!” said the girls smugly.
“Great to hear. Now let’s continue our game, sisters! We can go all out now that someone is willing to pick our tennis balls for us!” said Bethany rather excitedly.
However, before they could even resume playing, a woman walked up to them. Seeing the woman, all the girls immediately turned to look at her.
The beautiful and graceful woman looked to be around twenty-six years old, and she seemed to have a rather good disposition.
While the girls playing tennis earlier were all beautiful, none of them were even close in terms of beauty when compared with the new woman. In fact, the woman’s beauty rivaled even that of many celebrities.
Anyone who saw her felt somewhat obligated to lower their heads in respect.
“You’re here, Lyra!” greeted Bethany and a few others upon seeing her.
“I am indeed. Still, what time is it now I wonder… Why are all of you still playing here? The assembly is going to commence soon! Why don’t you bring Niki and the others along with you?” said Lyra in a gentle tone.
“Alright!” replied Bethany. She then hit one final tennis ball to the side before leaving with the rest.
Almost by reflex, Gerald began walking over to pick the tennis ball up. In his daze, he failed to realize that the ball had landed in an area surrounded by prickly grass. By the time he finally noticed, he was staggering so much to leave the area then he ended up falling.
His clothes, arms, and even his face was filled with tiny scratch marks from the grass.
“Look there! That guy from earlier fell down!” said Nikki as she pointed at Gerald.
“Just leave him be. After all, he was slow to react when we called him over to pick the tennis balls for us! He deserves it! Now let’s go!” said Bethany as she smiled at Lyra before heading on.
Gerald himself sat on the grass, holding the tennis ball in his hand as he smiled bitterly. When he touched his face, it stung slightly.
He simply couldn’t catch a break. Gerald truly was down on his luck ever since Mila’s disappearance.
As people walked by, many of them mocked Gerald for being in such a pathetic state. Gerald, however, didn’t mind it. As long as he could feel slightly better after being mocked, so be it.
“Your cheeks are all scratched up… It’s best if you wipe the grass off quickly,” said a feminine voice as a tissue was handed over to him.
Looking to his side, Gerald saw Lyra squatting right next to him as she prompted him to take the tissue.
“…Thank you!” replied Gerald as he immediately lowered his gaze in embarrassment after their eyes met. After all, she looked truly beautiful.
“My word, even your arm is bleeding!” said Lyra as she took another tissue out and began gently wiping the blood off his arm.
“Aren’t you the careless one… Which family do you belong to? You seem to be all alone here. Don’t you have any siblings…?”
Gerald Crawford:The Secretly Rich Man Novel (Invisible or Poorest) Chapter 800
Lyra asked that question as she gently helped Gerald wipe the prickly grass off his face.
“I… I’m, um… Not sure which family I belong to!” replied Gerald.
Hearing that, Lyra simply laughed before saying, “I’ll call some doctors over later and tell them to treat your wounds… Wouldn’t want you to get an infection now, would we?”
“No, it’s fine…”
For some unknown reason, Lyra simply felt the urge to pamper and take good care of Gerald from the moment she had met him. It was truly an odd feeling.
“The assembly will begin soon, young lady… It’s best that you head there immediately,” said a person who seemed to be Lyra’s maid as she walked over.
“Very well,” said Lyra as she nodded to Gerald before leaving with her maid.
“Young lady? So she’s someone who’s been married into the Crawford family!” muttered Gerald to himself as he finished wiping his face clean.
In his mind, he was thinking what a blessing it must be for the person who had married such a gentle and attractive wife.
At that moment, Gerald’s phone began ringing.
“Brother? Where are you? I can’t find you anywhere!”
“Sorry, sorry! I was picking up tennis balls for others just now!” replied Gerald with a bitter laugh.
“D*mn it, why are you still helping others do things like this? Anyway, the assembly is going to begin soon and dad’s even asked me whether you’ve arrived. We’re in the main hall now! You should’ve just told the servants to lead you here immediately when you arrived!” said his sister as she shook her head.
“Got it! I’m heading there now!” said Gerald as he got up.
His parents and sister were the main cast of the day and he was aware of how busy they were. Because of that, he didn’t want to create unnecessary trouble for them if he could help it.
As he walked toward the venue, he saw that Niki and the other girls weren’t too far off. Soon enough, he caught up with them and simply followed behind.
“Hey, Bethany. That silly guy is following us!” said Niki as she turned to look around.
“Has he lost his way? Maybe it’s the first time he’s attending a family assembly!” replied Bethany as she stopped walking and turned around.
“Could you perhaps be lost?” asked Bethany.
In response, Gerald simply nodded.
“See? I was right! You can come along with us if you want, but you’ll only get to ride in the last car with my servants! How about it?” suggested Bethany.
Bethany was a distinguished young lady who was used to meeting handsome and extremely capable, rich heirs, both in the country and also abroad.
Since she could tell that Gerald was the sort of honest and well-behaved man who didn’t have much experience in life, she didn’t really care for his wellbeing.
“No problem!” replied Gerald as he nodded, not really minding it himself.
He then got into a car which was rather stuffy since there were quite a few servants inside.
Once they arrived, Gerald made his way into the Crawford family’s main hall, which was a spacious outdoor hall.
In such an assembly, the participants sat in groups though where they had to sit wasn’t predetermined. Only the main members of the family had designated seats atop a high platform in the middle of the hall.
As Bethany and the others found seats in a corner, Gerald himself casually took a seat close to them before fishing his phone out of his pocket.
Meanwhile, a middle-aged couple began walking toward the main dining table reserved for the master. A loud round of applause could be heard as the couple made their way to the table.
Naturally, the couple was none other than Gerald’s parents! Behind them, two women followed, with one of them being Jessica.
When the other woman saw Lyra, she immediately held on to her hands before saying, “Lyra! Come sit beside me!”
“Alright, mom!” replied Lyra with a nod
“You’ve truly been receiving the short end of the stick throughout your time being in the Crawford family… Not only did you have to learn everything on your own, you even had to handle all his financial issues! If we could, we would’ve definitely let you meet each other much earlier… But I’m sure you’re aware that we couldn’t reveal his identity before this! Still, to think that he isn’t even here yet!” said the woman in an apologetic tone.
“Please don’t say that, mom… It’s already been a blessing for me to have been able to grow up in the Crawford family from a young age.”
Hearing that, the woman smiled before nodding. She then turned to look at Jessica before saying, “Go find where your brother is, Jessica!”