An Understated Dominance
by Marina Vittori
“Alright, you’re the leader of the family. It’s your decision ” Natasha didn’t voice much of her
opinion. It was true that they shouldn’t play their trump card, Michael Robinson, so easily. The best outcome would be to resolve the crisis and eliminate the Dark Lord of their own means so that not only will they still be in possession of their trump card, but it would also boost the entire family’s morale.
“Mr. Harmon, I’m curious. What grudge the Dark Lord holds against the Harmon family?” Dustin suddenly questioned.
“Well…” Hector seemed to hesitate for a moment.
“Mr. Harmon, I asked because I’m curious. If you don’t feel like telling me, don’t stress about it.” Dustin smiled. He knew better than to probe if it involved any of the family’s secrets.
“Dad, there’s no harm in spilling the truth. Dustin isn’t an outsider,” Natasha coaxed. She, too, didn’t know much about the grievances between her family and the Dark Lord.
“Alright then, if you must know, I’ll tell you.” After some contemplation, Hector began. “The reason behind the resentment between us Harmons and the Dark Lord is simple. It’s all because of riches. “Back in the days, the Harmon ancestors used to be royalty, and we had our period of glory. Back then, our ancestors amassed a huge amount of treasure, and to put things simply, we were immensely wealthy. But as time passed, things happened, and there was a change of monarchies. In order to safeguard the treasure, our ancestors buried them in a safe place and drew out a map pointing to the exact location where the treasure was buried. As a precaution, the treasure map was split into three parts. They were to be kept by the three sons of the Harmon family.
“The original plan had been to use the treasure to aid the Harmon family in regaining their former glory when the time came. But beyond everyone’s expectation, the three sons eventually turned on each other and disappeared with their part of the map. From then on, the Harmon family split into three branches and made their way in the world independent of one another.
“After centuries of ups and downs, the three lineages of the Harmon family eventually reached different outcomes. Some grew stronger, while others declined. And the maps were passed on from one generation to the next. It wasn’t until a decade ago, when Stonia went through some changes which brought about the great earthquake in Dragonmarsh, that something happened. The strongest branch of the Harmon family mysteriously just disappeared overnight! And the two remaining branches were implicated in varying degrees too. We were one of them.
“Fortunately for us, we pulled through it and made it out stronger than before. The other branch, however, did not fare so well and eventually perished.” At the mention of that, Hector stopped abruptly and sighed lightly.
“Dad, I’ve seen the history on the genealogical register, but what has the Dark Lord got to do with this?” Natasha asked.
“All these years, the Dark Lord has had many chances to kill me, but he has always held back. Do you know why?” Hector countered.
“Was it because of the treasure map?” Natasha quickly understood.
“That’s right.” Hector nodded. “Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on immeasurable riches? The Dark Lord is no different. The only reason he hasn’t killed me is because he hasn’t got the map. All this time, he’d been pressuring me in every way imaginable in order to make me give up the map.
“Hang on…” Dustin suddenly asked curiously, “Mr. Harmon, surely this matter about the treasure map is a secret known by only Harmons?”
“Of course.” Hector nodded yet again.
“Well, if this is a Harmon family secret, how would the Dark Lord know about it?” Dustin could not contain his concern.
“Seems like you’ve noticed.” Hector sighed before continuing, “Out of the three lineages of Harmons, one has mysteriously disappeared, one has perished, and we are the last one standing. As for the Dark Lord, he is the sole survivor of the lineage that had perished!”
An Understated Dominance by Marina Vittori
Author: Marina Vittori
Artist: Dahlia Nicholson and Dustin Rhys
Released: July, 9, 2023
Native Language: English