Five years ago, Chris Shelby was kicked out of his family and ended up in East Coast. Right before he was starving to death, he met the Jefferson family, who, as advised by a fortune teller, took him in and thought he could bring their terribly ill father some good luck. Finally he married their eldest daughter, Esther Jefferson to him, yet he ran away after the wedding and their family became a joke in the city... Five years later, when he finally returned, he was already the Primus of the country with unparalleled power and wealth, yet the first thing he saw was the suffering of his wife and daughter...
Chapter 1 The Return of Primus
East Coast Airport.
After hovering in the air for a short while, a private plane finally touched down, escorted by a fleet of fighter jets.
The airport was heavily fortified, swarming with armed soldiers!
Word had spread like wildfire across the East Coast - a VIP was arriving.
This individual was none other than Amerosia's esteemed five-star general, the first Primus, or as most people preferred to call him, Lord Death!
Even James Mester, the wealthiest man on the East Coast, was denied entry when he tried to come and welcome him!
And the reason Chris Shelby had returned this time was solely to see one person!
Esther Jefferson, the eldest daughter of the Jefferson family!
Chris Shelby stood before the grand estate, his mind momentarily lost in a whirlwind of memories.
Five years ago.
He had become entangled in a family feud, cast out of the affluent Shelby family, and left to fend for himself on the East Coast, penniless and without support, like a stray dog!
Eventually, it was the Jeffersons who, acting on the advice of a fortune teller, took him in and married their eldest daughter, Esther Jefferson, to him.
The very next day after their wedding, Chris answered his country's call and wholeheartedly joined the military.
Now, five years later, he stood as the Primus in Amerosia, a man of unmatched status!
To make amends for the guilt he felt that year, Chris had returned to the East Coast to find Esther Jefferson.
Chris stepped into the house.
But he was immediately struck by what lay before him.
In the courtyard outside the mansion.
A young girl, around four or five years old, stood there, her pallid face and frail frame betraying her malnourished state.
A chain was fastened around her neck.
She resembled a dog lying on the ground.
Lapping up scraps from a broken bowl!
Witnessing this scene, Chris felt an unexpected tightness in his chest. His heart ached for the little girl.
"Sir, could you spare something to eat? I'm really hungry!"
The little girl raised her head, her eyes fixated on Chris with desperation.
Chris quickly reached into his pocket and pulled out a cookie, extending it towards her.
The little girl snatched it up and devoured it hungrily.
"You wretched brat! How dare you beg in front of the Jefferson family! I'll put an end to you today!"
At that moment, a wicked middle-aged woman emerged brandishing a bamboo stick, relentlessly lashing out at the girl.
The girl flinched and cried, attempting to evade the blows.
"Please... don't hit me... I'm just so hungry... It hurts..."
Seeing this, a flicker of anger danced across Chris's face.
For an instant, it felt as if his heart had been pricked by a needle!
How could such a cruel person exist in this world?
Chris approached, his hand reaching out to grab the middle-aged woman's bamboo stick.
The woman sneered at Chris, a look of disdain on her face. "Who the hell are you to meddle in my affairs?"
"How could you bear to harm such a young girl!"
As he glanced at the bruised child, anger burned brightly within Chris.
"That's none of your business! She's just a bastard offspring of the Jefferson family. I can do whatever I please with her. You'll regret interfering!"
The middle-aged woman's voice dripped with coldness.
Chris stood stunned for a moment before asking involuntarily, "A bastard offspring of the Jefferson family? Whose child is she exactly?"
The woman smirked, her voice dripping with contempt. "Whose child, you ask? Her father is a bastard as well! The entire East Coast knows it! Everyone knows!"
"Five years ago, Esther Jefferson, the eldest daughter of the Jefferson family, married a destitute man. The next day, that man fled! Only this little bastard was left behind, a laughingstock throughout the entire East Coast!"
Chris felt as though he had been struck by lightning upon hearing those words!
Five years ago!
A destitute man!
The eldest daughter of the Jefferson family!
So, this little girl...
Chris looked at the child once more, a strong sense of familiarity washing over him.
As the resolute Primus and the nation's most important weapon, his eyes welled with tears...
Thinking about his daughter enduring such beatings from these people ignited a blazing fury within Chris Shelby.
In an instant, the chain encircling the young girl's neck was torn asunder by Chris.
He could scarcely fathom the kind of life Esther and their daughter had endured for the past five years.
Now, even a mere servant of the Jefferson family dared to inflict such cruelty upon his daughter. What a harrowing existence!
"How dare you treat my daughter like this! It's unforgivable!"
Chris delivered a stinging slap to the middle-aged woman's cheek.
The woman let out a piercing cry, her cheek turning red and swelling immediately.
"Your daughter? You were that good-for-nothing son-in-law from five years ago?"
The middle-aged woman stared at Chris in disbelief!
Five years ago, the elderly Mr. Jefferson had been gravely ill.
In an attempt to bring the best of luck to Mr. Jefferson, as advised by a fortune teller, the most neglected daughter of the family, Esther Jefferson, had been compelled to marry a destitute man. The entire East Coast was aware of this.
But the most unbelievable thing of all was that the man had disappeared the very next day, after their wedding night.
And now, after five years, that man had returned?
The little girl looked at Chris warily and said, "Sir, I want to find my mother..."
Chris was taken aback for a moment before asking, "Where is your mother? Isn't she at Jefferson Manor?"
The woman covered her cheek, a sneering smile playing upon her lips. "There's nothing you can do, even though you're back now. Haha! Esther Jefferson is likely busy catering to men at the Fairies' Secret. How could she possibly take care of her daughter..."
"Shut your mouth!"
Chris could no longer tolerate the situation unfolding before him. Without a moment's hesitation, he seized the woman and forcefully ejected her from the premises.
With a resounding crash, the woman hit the ground hard, instantly losing consciousness.
Chris's face contorted with a mix of anger and sorrow. The woman he had spent five years thinking about had callously abandoned their daughter, leaving her behind to cater to the desires of other men at the Fairies' Secret. Had he misjudged her character all along?
Turning his attention to his pale and emaciated daughter, Chris asked with deep distress, "What is your name?"
The little girl gazed back at Chris and replied, "Sir, my name is Hope Jefferson."
Hope Jefferson? The name struck a chord within Chris Shelby's heart, intensifying his emotions.
Esther Jefferson, what were your true aspirations? Did you hope to find a wealthy man quickly and secure a life of comfort and luxury?
Suppressing the ache in his heart, Chris inquired further, "And where is your mother? Why isn't she here with you?"
Hope widened her eyes and responded, "Mom is busy earning money. Once she earns enough, Hope won't go hungry anymore. I can never eat my fill. Everyone bullies me, beats me, and denies me food..."
Her words pierced Chris's heart, and he could no longer hold back his tears.
This was his own daughter, suffering so deeply, and he, as her father, knew nothing about it. He felt like a wretched person, undeserving of the title of a father.
Chris had endured countless battles and wounds, but he had never shed a tear. Yet now, facing his daughter's plight, he couldn't help but weep.
Men were not meant to shed tears unless faced with the most profound sorrow.
Gathering himself, Chris pressed on, "And what about your father?"
Hope lowered her head, her voice filled with sadness. "I haven't seen my dad since I was born. Everyone says I'm just a wretched child without a father. I've asked my mom about my dad..."
"But she always cries and refuses to give me an answer. I can tell she's deeply hurt, so I've stopped asking. I know it makes her sad."
Chris inquired further, "Can I take you to your mother? Let's go find her."
Hope shook her head, her expression filled with doubt. "I don't think that's a good idea. My mom told me not to go with strangers."
"I'm not a stranger. I am your father... a friend of your father's."
The truth lingered on the tip of his tongue, but Chris hesitated. He didn't believe he deserved to be called a father, not after everything that had transpired.