He picked it up one by one, frowned, and scattered all the papers stacked on one side on the floor. I looked at the pile of papers falling with a rumbling sound, then lifted my body and said to Ian, who had a dazed expression.
“Those documents are all debt-related documents, right? Ian’s signature is required, right?”
I met his gaze and pulled out a piece of paper from his bosom. There was nothing written on the rectangular piece of white paper. However, the mark coated with a special material attached to the back was the key to this paper.
“This is a blank check used by the Ajstein family for business purposes. The limit is about 100,000 gold coins, just write down the number of gold coins here and take it to the business run by the Ajstein family, ok?”
Ian must have heard of it too. A blank check with a limited period of one year, which the Bank of Ajstein only issues three copies a year. One of the blank checks was carried by me and the other two by my grandfather himself. Winning a good business was luck, so it was to catch it right away when it caught their eyes. There was a risk of loss or theft, but there was no major problem since the blank check couldn’t be exchanged unless the person himself takes it with him.
“Should I pay off the debt including the interest that the principality lost so far?”
Ian picked up the pen he was playing with, wrote down numbers lightly, and held it up.
“It’s simple, right? If you agree to a deal with me, I can pay you all these gold coins. What would you like to do?”
He stared into his eyes as he stared at the paper fluttering in the wind. He stared at the blank check endlessly with eyes that didn’t know what he was thinking, then slowly raised his gaze. Others rave about him, saying that his eyes were like beautiful rubies, but when I saw his red eyes, I felt a chill.
“There are questions that must be answered.”
“As much as you like.”
“First of all, why are you supporting me with this amount?”
“You can think of it as an investment.”
“What kind of investment?”
“That’s what I’ll tell you if you accept my deal. It’s not nice to talk about investments with people who aren’t your original business partners.”
As I smiled, his expression darkened.
“Then, secondly, can the young lady of Viscount Ajtain manage that amount of money? 100,000 gold coins is an amount that exceeds the budget of the empire for an ordinary year. Can the young lady use it as she pleases?”
“Do you doubt me?”
“Only a stupid would not hesitate in this situation.”
Well, he might be suspicious that a young lady who had not the will of Viscount Ajstein was wielding that much money at will. That’s right, even though it’s not long before her coming-of-age ceremony, she was still young,
“If I answer you, will you believe me?”
“Then I’ll answer. Yes, it’s possible. Okay?”
“What? What is that…?”
“You said that if I answered you would believe me. Then do so. I can manage 100,000 gold coins.”
“Hey young lady…”
“Call me Lawrence comfortably. You called me that yesterday.”
“…Lawrence, if you’re not kidding right now, it’s definitely a sweet word. With that amount, I can pay off all the debts and take care of things I’ve been putting off. It’s too reckless to accept it, so I hope you’ll give me an answer.”
Wow, so many doubts. After all, doubt was the key to success. Doubt everything. Trust only the people next to you. My grandfather also said that. It was advice that becomes bones and flesh. Even so, trusting the untrustworthy was my biggest mistake.
“What do you want from me?”
My eyes twinkled at the key words that finally came out.
“I want you to sign a contract.”
“Yes, a contract, a strong and reliable contract entwined with money. If you fulfill the contract, I am willing to pay all this amount.”
He stretched out his fingers and drew them in the air.
“On a lump sum.”
“Good. Whatever it is, let’s hear a little bit about the contents of the contract.”
“Are you arguing my deal?”
“Wouldn’t it be possible to decide whether or not to accept a deal by first reading the contract?”
“Do I have your word?”
With a smile, I rummaged through my pockets, pulled out a contract, and opened it. I knew how to make him accept my conditions and prepared in advance.
“It is a contract. Check the contents and just sign under there. For reference, please take a picture of the drought seal and sign it by hand. That’s why public confidence is high.”
“…I haven’t read it yet.”
“Please savor it slowly.”
I liked that expression. A contract was like delicious food. If you tasted it once, you would like it, and if you tasted it twice, you would fall in love with it. What could be more thrilling than seeing things turn out the way one imagined and planned? Every time the other party saw the contract, I was always in a good mood. Regardless of whether he would like it or not, I wondered what kind of results this contract would bring to me. And such results often create situations that no one can predict.
“I have a question.”
He pushed his head up with a trembling expression.
“…Why should we get married?”
“It is as written there.”
“So, ‘To protect the family from those who seek the property of the Ajtain family…’ is written there. What kind of people are you referring to specifically?”
“I’ll tell you that when you sign the contract.”
Originally, it was the law to make a contract smoothly only when you waited like this and aroused curiosity one by one. Falling in love with the charm of the contract I prepared myself, he continued to ask questions, and I answered them leisurely. And Ian put the last question in his mouth.
“Ask a question.”
“Thank you for that. Then feel free to ask. This. What is this last contract clause?”
“Oh, is that it?”
The clause paired with the last number of the thirty-two contract clauses: ‘No skinship’.
What, was that such a surprise?
“It’s not a marriage that I or Ian love to die for, and it’s not like we’re going to have a baby for 100 years. This is a marriage made with a contract, we don’t have to have children, and we don’t have to hug each other to say we love each other.”
Besides, being with a man was boring. The moment she was stabbed in the back of the head by the man she had trusted for a long time, her crush on the opposite sex had already ended.
“I hope we don’t touch each other’s private lives except for work, but it’s important to be seen externally. Oh, Ian also needs to have a descendant, so it’s okay to have a second wife.”
“Well… is that a bit difficult?”
What’s the point of revealing the indigo color? It’s too early to adopt a similar child, put him in his place, and insist, “This is our child.”
“Anyway, that’s all about the contents of the contract. How is it, how do you feel after reading it?”
“…It contains a lot of information, but it is easy to understand.”
“The first thing a member of the Ajstein family learns is how to write a contract.”
I smiled and pulled out another contract from my pocket. Then, after putting the family seal on the bottom and signing it, I handed it to Ian.
“This is the copy.”
They unknowingly handed the contract from hand to hand and took it back to finish signing. From his point of view, it would have ended erratically. He drove on without a break and signed the contract, which was my long-term bet.
Coming to his senses, he tilted his head. I put one contract in my pocket, put the rest in his hand, and thrust the blank check into him. He stared at the beautiful blank check in his hand and his eyes widened.
“Wait! What happened just now?”
“Thank you for signing the contract.”
“Now, wait a minute. I still have a lot to ask.”
“Ask for that later. Oh, and I don’t think we need to get married right away. It doesn’t matter if we go slow after announcing the engagement to the public. So in other words, it means we don’t have to live together right away. Anyway, thank you for the deal. If the engagement date is set later, please invite me to a party. I’d be grateful if you could tell me in advance. Then, bye.”
Finally, I had to quickly get out of his contracted place. Because if I didn’t, I was sure I’d get caught in the back.
“Wait for a sec!”
Ian, who was recovering faster than expected, called me up. I tilted my head slightly, thinking he was bothered.
“Do you have any problems?”
“…Let’s ask one last question.”
I didn’t know if he had a lot of doubts or a lot of questions. Turning my body around, I politely put my hands together and smiled.
“Even if I take this money, will there be any damage to Lawrence? It’s like 100,000 gold coins.”
I burst into exclamations with a startled look on my face. I gracefully covered her mouth with the palm of her hand and smiled again.
“What are you talking about? Don’t worry about that.”
I met his eyes and pushed up the corner of my mouth. It wasn’t the smile I used to make when I was younger, but the smile of an adult that I showed in my business relations.
“That’s just the dust of Viscount Ajstain.”
Although it was a bit expensive dust.
Thanks to a Ko-fi donation there will be a second release of this story today. Please enjoy!
Hello there! This is RJR. Thank you very much for reading.
Next post will be released in a bit.
If you like my work please support me in Ko-fi or Patreon.
Want to read more?