Ascenders Rift Chapter 67: The Lewis Family Meeting, Falling from Grace
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The Lewis family was moderately famous amongst the rising influential families of EarlingStar City. Their wealth came from a variety of businesses they've established over the years. This family also had an extensive social network, allowing them to connect with a few noble houses and minor authorities in the political sectors.
At the start of each year, the Lewis family will call for a family gathering in which all offspring will come and share their progress in their respective fields and ventures. Usually, this would end with the better amongst them, attaining more recognition as well as resources to climb further in social standing.
At this time, within a broad courtyard were a variety of tables and chairs arranged in an orderly manner. Each of the furniture had an elegant design as if made from the most top-class lumber, with ornaments neatly organized on their surfaces.
Many family members were seated around these tables; the atmosphere was lively as they each conversed amongst themselves. Based on the arrangement of the chairs and tables, one could easily identify their status in the family.
"My dear sister, businesses have seen a great deal of profit this past year. I think that by at least one more year, I'll at least be awarded a prominent post in one of our family's major companies." A male said as he looked at a woman that had somewhat similar looks to him.
The female smiled and replied, "Oh, that's great. I always knew you'd be able to reach this scale. Unlike that one, you've always been smarter."
The man showed a look of disdain on his face when he heard she mentioned 'that one,' he spoke, "Milano is nothing but a failure of our clan, not only has he disgraced us with his position as a mere Branch Manager. I even hear that he's married some hussy from a no named family, what was it again? Lena... Lira..."
The female smiled as she replied, "Leah Cross, she's only but a simple woman, one that wanted to climb her way in high... or this case, low graces. I've heard some interesting rumors about both Milano and her, of course..."Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
The man's eyes flashed when he asked, "Interesting rumors, you say, do tell..."
The female was about to elaborate, but her eyes shifted towards a certain direction. She smiled and replied, "Well, speak of the devil; our friend has arrived."
"Hmm, ha, late as usual," The man said as he looked in the same direction, his eyes fixed on a duo with mock.
Following their sights, a man with a curly mustache, trimmed beard with short black hair had appeared. He wore refined-looking glasses that covered his sly looking eyes and a classy business suit. Standing by his side, was the ever so glamourous Leah, she was dressed in red today as if she was afraid that no one would figure out her favorite color.
Although many of the family members didn't like him, they still knew how to be tact and show outward smiles and greetings.
"Milano, you're late as always, quickly come and take a seat over here!" A loud voice said from an obscure corner of the courtyard.
If it were anywhere else, such as the center of the courtyard or around its vicinity, this type of verbal invitation would have been an honor. However, at such a place, it's simply no different from shame.
Leah didn't know much about these affairs, although Milano had an ugly look on his face when he saw many of the clansmen looking at him with smiles on their faces, he couldn't help but push it down and feign indifference for today, he had a trump card and a big surprise.
"Honey, let's go over, we shouldn't keep them waiting," Leah said with a happy expression as she pulled him by the arm.
"Mm," Milano replied with a low grunt, as he allowed himself to be pulled by his wife.
Soon, they had arrived before an obese man with similar features to Milano. He warmly smiled and tapped Milano's shoulders as he spoke, "Brother, it's been a while, sit quickly and tell me how you have been since the last meeting."
"Not bad, not bad at all, Benson. I've only had a few minor promotions, that's all," Milano said with a mysterious smile on his face.
Benson hearing this had a curious look on his face when he asked, "Oh, please my brother share with me your success,"
Milano smiled and replied, "Don't worry, a little later today, it will all be revealed."
Benson looked at Milano deeply as he thought to himself, "Hmph! Acting all mysterious, I want to see what's got you feeling so special."
While they each had their own thoughts, their faces had warm smiles as they talked about various things. Leah was feeling bliss, as she drank top-class wine while speaking to Benson's wife.
However, it was at this moment, a loud chime rang, and silence pervaded over the courtyard. Following this, a handsome young man in his late twenties stood from the central table, were a hoary-headed old man, and wealthy looking middle-aged individuals were seated.
"Greetings one and all, I Henry Lewis as leader of the family young generation, would like to start this year's gathering. We were a bit late in starting due to these recent uprises, so much chaos and disturbing news brought about by the year's changes. Nevertheless, regardless of these occurrences, we've still managed to make it here in one piece. Today, we shall be starting with the same policies of the previous meetings; the highest in rankings shall share their successes and accomplishment beginning with myself." Henry said with a cool and collected expression.
Not long after, the family meeting had started following Henry; a few others went forwards each with their major successes, while only a few suffered failures. Those who were successful were applauded, while those who failed were shamed.
Leah, who was looking at this, was a bit uneasy, she thought to herself, "Is it enough? His promotion was only recent, will they mock him for it?"
Milano seemed to have noticed her concern, he nudged with her arm and gave a reassuring looking before he whispered in her ear, "My sweet Leah, do not fear, my promotion is only one aspect, I also have another surprise... that wealth from your brother had come in handy so trust in me."
Leah hearing this decided to calm down and only nodded at his words. After more time passed, Benson had just now finished his presentation. It seemed that he had a great deal of success in the passing year.
As he sat himself down, Milano rose from his seat with great strides towards the central podium. The family members looked at him in mock as they silently awaited his words.
Milano took a deep breath and spoke, "Good day everyone, I Milano Lewis would like to share my year's success. I shall start with my recent promotion in the Norkton Bank, from a mere post of Branch Manager I was awarded the upper-level executive post of a Finance Director. This was considering a series of successful projects done in collaboration with a few major partners. I would also like to share a piece of big news, I recently ventured in the start of a finance business that has seen outstanding growth during the year, we've received more than fifty investors, each of which is from core sectors and corporations. Here are the details on the business and its outline..."
As Milano spoke, the faces of the family members changed from scorn into surprise, then awe. The old man's eyes shone when as he looked at Milano and spoke to a few others around their table, "Well, this brat has finally done something good. Not only becoming a Finance Director but also having achieved a successful start-up of a new business with a decent investment. What do you think? Should we give him a post in one of the mid-tier companies?"
The men around the table discussed for a while before Henry spoke, "Hmm, grandfather's ideas are with reason, Milano could be said to have been a late bloomer. I shall personally see to it that he's given a relatively decent role for his rise to success."
The old man smiled at these words, he spoke, "Good, this is why you are the lead Henry, unlike your other brothers and sisters you are above them in both skills and decor."
Henry smiled and replied, "I thank grandfather for his praise."
Though Henry said this, his eyes were a bit cold as he shifted it towards Milano while in thought, "A dirty loser from the lesser rags of our family wants to rise, not when I have anything to say about it. Hmph! I'll act in accordance only for now..."
Soon, Milano's speech ended; he was given a round of applause before he went back to his seating quarters. Leah grabbed his arm and kissed his cheek as she spoke with a happy expression, "Honey, you were wonderful!"
"Haha, I told you it would be fine," Milano said with a look of pride on his face.
Benson looked at Milano with anger, but he quickly hid it and said nothing. Shortly after, Henry went up and had begun to announce the awards of the various family members based on their reports.
It didn't take long for him to call upon Milano's name, when Milano heard his name; he felt as if all his life was for this single moment. Leah seeing her husband walking towards the podium was so happy she couldn't help but shed tears of joy as she thought, "This is it, this is what we've been waiting for, we finally have a place in the high-class world."
Henry looked at Milano with an unusually warmer smile compared to everyone else as he spoke, "Milano Lewis, you have done well with your rise to success in the passing year. The family is pleased with your achievements, from this day forth, you shall be awarded the..."
As Henry spoke, each of his words seemed to have slowed down in Milano's and Leah's ears; they savored each of this moment as if it marked a precious phase in history. Yet, before Henry could finish his words, someone spoke for him in a loud and cold tone.
"Milano Lewis! Is there a Milano Lewis in this meeting?" The voice said from the entrance of the courtyard.
The family members each showed a look of annoyance as they heard this, Henry knitted his brows, as he looked at the direction of the sound. However, upon seeing these individuals standing at the doorway, his eyes lit up with excitement.
Standing at the door, were two individuals in coats, one was a familiar-looking bald black man with a thick beard and hawk-like eyes, while the other was a skinny white man with a stubble of beard and a hat on his head. A squad of armed policemen was by their sides, each having a solemn look on their faces.
Gulp! The Lewis family members were alarmed by this scene; they each remained silent, not daring to open their mouth.
Nelly icily stared at everyone, seeing their sweaty faces he spoke again in a loud manner, "Who is Milano Lewis? We are looking for both him and his wife, Leah Cro... ahem, Lewis..."
Milano and Leah were shocked by this; they looked at each other while trembling, it seemed that each of their thoughts was veering towards the same idea, which made them even more worried. They wanted to take this chance to leave under the quiet, but who would have thought that Benson would be the first to speak.
"Excuse Mr. Officer, Milano Lewis, and his wife, are right here, might I inquire why you are searching for them?" Benson said with a loud voice, his arms politely pointing out the duo as if he was afraid no one would notice them.
Henry smiled at this scene; he spoke at this time, "Yes, Benson is right, we would each like to know what might have brought such a serious group from the police to our family's domain?"
Nelly seemed to have noticed their ideas, but he didn't care, he looked at the white man at his side. The man seeing this walked forward and took out an emblem from his coat when he spoke, "My name is Ronald Dewy, and I am an inspector in the Public Security Sector. We have recent direct evidence pointing to a crime committed by these two from the Lewis household. We are here to take them in for interrogation and punishment."
Henry had a wide smile far from the norm when he heard these words. He spoke politely, "Mr. Dewy, please don't hold yourself back; I Henry Lewis, as leader of the young generation shall permit you to take actions as you please, our family will not shield criminals."
"That's right, how could there be a Lewis that would stoop to things such as crimes? It truly is a shame on our family name!"
"Indeed, and here I thought Milano had finally earned the right to walk amongst us. Once a trash is always trash!"
As a series of shouts sounded from the family members, who looked at Milano and Leah with anger. A loud but elderly voice sounded.
"Silence!" The voice of the oldest Lewis clan member said.
Following his word, everyone grew calm and looked towards him with dread. The old man took a mike and shifted his eyes to Milano and Leah, who were in a state of panic as he coldly spoke, "From this day forward, you are both stripped of the name Lewis, and the family shall confiscate all your assets under the Lewis name. Never appear here again!"
Milano's face sunk as he heard this, he opened his mouth to speak, "No, no, I can explain! Wait..."
He wanted to say more, but Ronald was growing impatient, he glanced at the Lewis family members before shifting his eyes to Milano and Leah as he spoke, "You've all made a wise decision being corporative, now then, constrain these criminals immediately!"
The policemen ran towards the door, quickly surrounding them before they could act, one of the shouted while using direct violence, which was approved by Nelly beforehand.
"Get down on your knees!" With a shout, the policeman fiercely slammed his gun on Milano's back, forcing him to kneel as he pressed his face against the ground and cuffed him.
"Wait... wait... I am innocent!" Leah said as she tried to resist, the policeman didn't want to appear too violent outwardly to women. He grabbed her wrist and turned her around, twisting her arm, causing her to scream before he put on the handcuffs.
"Please, wait." Milano wanted to say something as he struggled, but after he was fiercely pulled up, the policeman who cuffed him poked his back with the gun and spoke, "Get moving!"
As they saw this, both Milano and Leah had dark looks on their faces; they trembled as they were led outside of the Lewis premises towards a group of black cars.
Milano's face was dark as he shouted in his mind, "How did it come to this? My effort, my success? All down the fucking drain!"
While Milano was having a breakdown, Leah wasn't fairing any better; she lifted her head with tears falling as she thought, "Why did this happen to me? I... I only wanted to lead a better life, a life free from worry or constraints. Sigh... my dear daughter, I've failed not only myself but you... I pray you are not affected by any of this disaster."
Nelly and Ronald looked at this scene from a distance when they saw the duo entering the car; Ronald sighed in relief as he looked at the silent Nelly and spoke, "Nelly, it's been a while; I can't believe that the first thing you did in our year-long meeting brought me such a nice case. What have you been doing for yourself?"
Nelly puffed his cigarette with an apathetic look as he spoke, "Same old-same old, work never ends... you could say this little case was merely a tiny break."
Ronald shook his head and spoke, "You're not telling me you're still living life on the edge, are you?"
Nelly glanced at Ronald form the corner of his eyes and smirked when he spoke, "What if I am?"
Ronald sighed and tapped his shoulder when he replied, "Brother, you got to know when to stop, you can't keep living like this, especially when times aren't so easy anymore, no one knows what will happen when that strange star hits, even the crime and riots are spiraling out of control. Nelly, settle down, try talking to Jena."
Nelly shrugged his shoulder and took a step forwards before he spoke, "That life is long gone..."
After saying this, Nelly continued to walk towards an obscure part of the street, leaving behind the crazy scene.
Ronald looked at Nelly's back and shook his head while in thought, "It can't be helped, these things require time, after all, romance is never easy even more so for broken ones..."
Having cleared his mind, Ronald looked at the policemen and spoke, "Get ready, we're leaving!"
"Yes, sir!" The officers said as everyone got in their cars, Ronald did the same; following this, the cars began to move as they vanished beyond the sea of debris and dirty streets caused by recent riots.
The gates of the Lewis household now carried an uncanny silence as a figure was observing silently. He was obscured in a faraway alley and had a familiar-looking mask covering his face, which was hardly visible.
The eyes behind the mask flashed in red lights as he gazed at the direction of the police cars before he took a few steps back, fading into the shadows of the unusually dark alleyway.
At this moment, Nelly, who was walking on the streets, turned to face the alley. He knitted his brows while in thought, "It's strange, I could have almost sworn I felt something just now. Maybe, it could have been my imagination. Oh well, back to work..."
As Nelly said this, he continued to move forward as his back faded into the distant but dismal scene.
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