“In the future, after the Berdian family is stripped of their Duke title, the position will be taken by the Marquis of Akpensia.”
“It won’t be easy.”
“Yeah, it won’t be easy. But wouldn’t it be possible if you paid a huge bribe?”
Bribe? My head rolled quickly and I came to a conclusion.
“…I don’t want to give you political support. I don’t want to do the same business.”
“No, you should. Because you like me, don’t you?”
“On what basis…?”
My sister’s name was mentioned. I felt like I was out of breath.
“Ersia likes me. So, isn’t it natural that you, her twin, like me too?”
The basis was weak and there was no logic. It was nothing but dog noise, so laughter came out.
“You’re talking nonsense.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter. It’s not like the two of you officially announced your marriage, nor did you hold an engagement ceremony.”
“It’s no use. Even if I break up with Ian, it won’t hurt you…”
“Is it really so?”
He opened his eyes low and vomited disgusting words as if it were justice.
“The ten contracts that the Akpensia family had with the Ajstain family. What if we canceled them all right here?”
After all, he used this story as a weapon. I frowned.
“It’s pretty worth watching bankruptcy filings one after another.”
He smiled meanly and slowly turned his face towards me with very heavy breathing. My body stiffened. His head stiffened, and nothing came to mind. I knew what the filthy person in front of me was trying to do to me, but I couldn’t respond. I had always thought that contracts with the Akpensia family would become a problem just by looking at them. Therefore, it was necessary to come up with a project that could compensate for the loss even if the contract was terminated. A total of three undiscovered mines were bought at a bargain price, but mining has not yet begun. Even as a rule of thumb, it takes a year to break through the tunnel and find a seller. In addition, along with the investment he poured into Count Nemir this time, the amount of money spent on welfare projects was considerable. Normally, the money wouldn’t be a big problem, but if the contract with the Akpensia family was canceled right away, the damage wouldn’t be insignificant. It was obviously a serious problem that would catch the ankle.
If you listen to the story, you can guess. That Beralt was related to the imperial family. Was it because of the variable called the imperial family? His actions were out of common sense and not logical. As much as the Ajstain family benefited from the contract with the Akpensia family, the Akpensia family also benefited a lot. Even if my relationship with him split, I thought this cycle would continue for years. But, to come out so strong.
Then, when you have to go into debt to make up for the damage, where can you get that kind of money? You may have to lend a hand from the National Bank or the Imperial Treasury. However, as Beralt said, since the imperial family was trying to push the Berdian family out, there was nothing I could do to help unless I knew that Ian was involved. I was only paying attention to the things that were going well recently, and I didn’t see the water rising to the bottom of my chin. I had to find a way to deal with it right away. The most excellent way was to coax Beralt but… Try again with this guy? It wasn’t even funny. What could I do with a guy who gives goosebumps just by looking at his face and gives me goosebumps just by hearing his voice? I’d rather starve to death, I never wanted to bend his knee.
“Think carefully. Think of your family and people in your family. Do you care what they become?”
I thought of the many people who depended on the Ajstain family, as well as the children and the elderly who benefited from family welfare. I couldn’t give up. So I turned a blind eye.
“…What do you want?”
“What I want is simple. If you and I get married and bring together the overwhelming financial power of the Ajstain family, we can take the place the Berdian family currently occupies.”
The word ‘we’ was very offensive. I didn’t want to get tangled up with him.
“What if I don’t like it?”
“Then, how about filing for bankruptcy?”
His lips closed the last remaining distance. I closed my eyes tightly. I knew I had to push him away, but I couldn’t let go of the many people that immediately popped into my head. The sound of Beralt’s breathing coming closer hit his skin disgustingly. Should I just push it away and run away? Or do I have to agree with his actions first? It is not my business, but I couldn’t simply overturn things that have been going on for a long time in the Ajstain family. In a situation where none of the answers could be answered, Beralt’s dirty lips could not be dried.
“It’s hard to see you openly cheating in the office.”
A cold wind brushed my cheek. At the same time, a familiar and welcome voice pierced my ears. As soon as the unpleasant, disgusting hot breath left, I opened my eyes and stared at the door. The man standing at an angle leaning against the open door was staring at me and Beralt with red eyes full of displeasure.
My mouth fell open. Why was that person here?
“What is it, Beralt?”
The man straightened his slanted upper body and gently pushed the corners of his mouth up. His pale red cheeks were stained with blush, as if to prove that he had overcome the cold. Ian approached Beralt, looking at Beralt with frowning eyes as if he had seen some disgusting trash on the road.
“I’ve heard a lot of reviews about the Marquis of Alpensia. It was said that he was quite mannered, cultured, polite, and a great man who set an example for others. Oh, good-looking is a bonus, and if I add one more thing, I heard that he’s smart.”
Ian untied his hand lightly. Beralt flinched and slowly raised his body, leaning towards me. Beralt’s expression was distorted.
“But rumors are just rumors, I think there are a lot of exaggerations.”
“…What do you mean, Grand Duke?”
Ian pointed at me and smiled.
“It’s mine. Oh, would this make it feel a bit like an object? Then how about something like this…”
He moved the finger he had been pointing at and tapped Beralt’s stomach, hardening his expression coldly.
“She’s my girl. So you’d better not talk bullshit.”
Beralt quickly rolled his eyes as if he thought something was wrong. Even though the opponent dared to touch and point at himself, the Marquis of Akfensia, he clenched his fist tightly as if he was indignant that he could not respond recklessly.
“There is a misunderstanding. Grand Duke…”
“Misunderstanding is not my business. I judge by what I see. So from what I’ve seen, you, Beralt, are a very rude scum…”
“You’re talking too much. What kind of nonsense are you talking about?”
“Scum is a word to describe what you said and did, and listen carefully to what I say, stupid Marquis.”
Ian’s red eyes shone.
“Didn’t I tell you before? Remember the next thing I said about the safety of women and loyalty to one’s country?”
Beralt bit his lip. There was no way that Beralt had forgotten those words that I also remembered.
“I said if you approach Lawrence one more time, I’ll kill you. Remember?”
“…This is a misunderstanding…”
“That’s right, it’s a misunderstanding. Yeah, what’s wrong?”
With the sound of the wind leaking, Ian took a step back. Then Beralt hurriedly corrected his posture. At the same time, I was able to straighten my back, which was hanging over the desk. Ian glanced at me, then back at Beralt. It took a while, but I was able to confirm it. Ian was smiling like a relaxed person, but his eyes weren’t laughing. His eyes, sunken as cold as ice, stared directly at Beralt.
“I’m going to talk about the contracts between families…”
“If you want to have a conversation, you have to speak nicely. Ah! Do you think that kissing after knocking you over the desk is normal conversation?”
“Are you saying it’s a misunderstanding?”
Thinking this was a bit excessive, he stretched out his arm and grabbed Beralt’s chin as well. Beralt’s fluttering mouth was suppressed in an instant, and his pupils trembled with anxiety. Ian pulled Beralt, who had his mouth held down as his weapon, to meet him at eye level. Now, I could see that the difference in eye level between the two was significant.
“And you don’t think I overheard a conversation between the two of you outside?”
* * *
“What did you say? Did you say I was a bastard? Did you say I would be stripped of my dukedom soon? Thanks for the very good information, Beralt.”
As if the strength of his grip was getting stronger, Beralt screamed, unable to come to his senses as his jaw tightened. Ian looked at the ugliness dripping with saliva and continued talking.
“But, aside from that, you put your dirty lips on a lady who said no. Talking dirty about contracts.”
“That… that… that… that… uh!”
Ian, who had been looking at him indifferently because he couldn’t pronounce it properly, turned his head and looked behind him. My gaze also looked at the person standing next to the door. His eyes widened.
“Right, Viscount Ajstain?”
“…I heard. Marquis of Alpensia, unfortunately, the contract is between the Akpensia family and the Ajstain family. It’s a contract between your grandfather and me. It’s impossible to void those contracts, even if you’re the head of household, and if you cancel them, you’ll have to pay hundreds of thousands of gold coins as a penalty, can you afford it?”
“My granddaughter isn’t the owner of this family yet, so you’re trying to use the fact that she can’t act rashly to do something so filthy. I’ve been quiet, but I’m just leaving.”
It was a low, dignified voice. It wasn’t the way he always smiled with a sad expression and hugged her kindly. It was evident that he embraced his anger. Beralt, who was overpowered by Ian, rolled his eyes hard at his grandfather, then screamed louder and louder. It was because Ian’s hand pressed more against his chin.
“Please let it go, Grand Duke.”
Ian took a step back after letting go of Beralt without much response to my grandfather’s words. Grandpa slowly approached Beralt, an ugly figure gasping for breath with his hands resting on the back of his chair. Then he looked down at Beryalt and raised a sad voice.
“Marquis of Akpensia, I had a pretty good opinion of you. You were special enough to be considered my granddaughter’s husband, but it must have been my mistake.”
“…Viscount. That’s not it. This is a misunderstanding.”
“I don’t think it was a misunderstanding that he tried to forcefully molest your granddaughter.”
He flinched at the word ‘molest’. Well, that’s right. What if it’s not a scandal? Ian also raised his eyebrows at the word and loosened his wrist.
“I want to tie you up with a robe and throw you out of the castle, but I’ll endure it because of the reputation of the Marquis of Akpensia and the prestige of the nobility. But remember.”
My grandfather’s well-groomed hair was slightly ruffled. Not knowing that his hair, which he always regarded as his pride, was disheveled, he only looked at Beralt and spoke quietly.
“If you threaten my granddaughter like that again, I will risk my safety and everything in the Ajstain family to destroy you. Keep in mind, and remember, if what I say sounds like a lie, try it one more time and you’ll find out the true strength of the Ajstain family and how far we can go.”
Beralt nodded slowly. I was also nervous about the feeling of intimidation that hehad never shown before. My grandfather looked at him intently.
“I don’t want to see that face anymore. To say he’s an uninvited guest in the morning is even dirty.”
As my grandfather glanced behind him, the restless knights of Beralt’s escort approached and took him away in an instant. The cluttered interior was cleaned up in an instant. I was dumbfounded and just looked at the two of them.
“Are you okay, Roa?”
Somehow I lost my strength at the soft questioning voice stroking my hair. The fact that the friendly voice was directed at me calmed my trembling heart.
Hello there! This is RJR. Thank you very much for reading.
Next post will be released on April, 20.
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