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“Are you cold?”
When Yustaf asked, Ran shook her head.
“It’s midsummer.” Ross said while he looked at the fireplace and checked the fire.
“I got goosebumps all of a sudden. I wonder what it was. And Lord Ross, even though it’s midsummer, Lachia is still Lachia.”
“And that ‘s a relief.”
Ross said and patted his armor lightly.
Ran agreed and nodded. This weather would be perfect for soldiers who would wear uniforms and armor, up to their necks.
‘I’m just saying.’
With a petticoat full of lace, this weather is good, too. Of course, when she’ll debut into society during the social season, she’ll be able to dress up in a fluffy way.
‘I think we can make a hot and a cold air fan with magical items like this. That’s right! Winter electric pad!’
“I need craftsmen..”
When Ran muttered out of the blue, Yustaf asked while dipping the pen in the ink.
“You mean the Wizards?”
“I can’t get a wizard, but a craftsman is possible, right? I want to provide goods produced by the Duchy to be inexpensive within the estate. At least I want no one to freeze to death in winter.”
“But if you supply the Magic Stone inexpensively within the Duchy, wouldn’t there be people out there who buy and resell it?”
“Is that so?” Ran said and frowned at Yustaf’s words.
Ran, then, continued, “How about if they use it outside the duchy, it will lose their powers?”
“Is it possible?”
“I have to ask the craftsman.”
At Ran’s words, Yustaf nodded and said, “Then we’ really need to recruit someone.”
“If you think about it, it’s really amazing.”
Ran thought of a car. All the power sources that are the main culprits of environmental pollution can be replaced by mana stone.
In other words, eco-friendly.
The possibilities are endless without destroying the environment at all.
‘But the reserves may run out.’
‘But, that’s not my problem right now, is it? Ho~ho~’
With that thought in mind, Ran smiled and signed the document. Now, they have started mining.
However, the vassals have not been informed of it yet. Although some people in the mansions were aware of it, it has been kept under wraps so far.
-It will be difficult if the creditors will pressure them to make this a percentage distribution.
This was the obvious reason that Ran had given.
“But I’m glad I can trust you when it comes to force.”
It was fortunate that Sir Blaine, the head of the Knights, was a loyal person.It would have been difficult if the person in charge of theKnights had a different mindset.
‘I’m glad that I set him up as a loyal subject.’
After all, the plan was to kill all the male lead’s loyal subjects and make him suffer.
‘Well, it’s not now, though.’
Ran thought so and chuckled while looking at Ross. Ross turned his head to her laughter.
“The first shipment from Golden Rose will be finished by next week.”
“Yes, the amount is already enough for what will be sold outside the Duchy.”
There were frequent calls from the owner of the Golden Rose. It was convenient to talk in real time through the magic communication machine that Leveri gave.
“The wizards want to come to the Duchy of Lachia.”
Yustaf said as he handed the papers to Ran, who was laughing.
“No, you can’t. I didn’t mean to tell you not to come.”
For the wizards, it was a crazy and exciting thing.
When the Golden Rose owner, Levory, showed the wizards the Ice Crystals, the wizards naturally informed the Wizard Association of this fact.
The Wizard Association pressured Levory to obtain Ice Crystals. She showed wizards the crystals, and their mouth opened as they saw the amount of mana stones.
The Wizards Association’s roundtable members rushed to the Golden Rose. When Levory informed them that there are also some arm-sized mana stones and showed them a sample, each wizard told her that they will take and look at it.
Eventually, Levory decided to cut the mana stone into 12 pieces using a saw for the twelve members of the round table; and the wizards went crazy again.
The Wizards were angry since they still didn’t know the exact value of the mana stone, and Levory may have sparked this anger. Eventually, the chairman of the Round Table took the mana stone sample with a heart-warming and pleased smile; then Levory said she would ask the Duke of Lachia to see if she could get the rest of the mana stone.
When Levory reported the news, Ran happily sent the other 11 pieces. Wizards were not driven by power or money. If they want to win their favor, the sample mana stone will be a perfect bribe, especially now that they’re working into magic-related affairs.
“Even if it is shipped, the distribution must be in December anyway.”
Yustaf nodded and sighed at Ran’s words.
“It’s annoying that you can’t enter the social season unless you’re an adult.”
“That’s right. It would be helpful if you were with me.”
A Salon Season.
It is the season when the majority of the nobility gather in the capital. The peak of that season, which starts in December and runs through August, is in May, June, and July.
At this time, there were no days when a ball was not held.
Townhouses in the capital are crowded, and cedar roads (boutique streets in the capital) are filled with wagons. Of course, the same goes for Summer Tree Park and Yerenia Park.
In order to participate in the ball during the Social Session, one must be a 19-year old adult and should’ve had a coming-of-age ceremony.
‘And there’s no better advertisement than this noble’s gathering.’
Neither her nor Levory only intend to produce and show the mana stone.
She also intended to display the magic crafts that people had never seen before, which could be made with this magic stone. And, of course, the exhibition is going to be a social season in which the nobles gather.
Above all, there is no more suitable exposure than the grand-scale ball held at the Golden Swan Palace, The Imperial Palace.
‘Anyway, it’s a business for the aristocrats.’
It would be a great pleasure if the Imperial family were the first buyers.
‘Right. It would be better to give a present to the Empress too.’
Ran thought so and bit her lips lightly.
‘Wait, come to think of it, there’s someone who’s like the final boss in the palace, right?’
Is it not the final boss, but rather, is it the second-class middle boss.
‘Hey, let’s think about this then.’
Ran shook her head. It’s a problem that won’t be solved right now if you think about it anyway.
Anyway, she still can’t get used to this system.
It is fortunate that the Duchy of Lachia is isolated. If it was tightly bound with the Empire, it would have been worse than now.
The Duchy of Lachia was so isolated that when Ran became a temporary housekeeper and had to take over the title, she sent a letter to the Empire saying “Please forgive me for not receiving the title in person.”
And a reply from the Empire came stating that they will acknowledge her temporarily.
‘Of course it could be sarcastic.’
Temporary recognition was enough.
“I only need two years from now.”
But before that, once it’s social season and they go down to the capital, ‘We need to find the second male lead…!’
If the male lead lived an aristocratic life, the second male lead lived a lower life.
That’s his name.
She needs to find a slave with that name, though it will be difficult as his name is too common. In the first place, the setting of this story itself was a mess.
When Yustaf asked her, Ran came to her senses.
“Huh? Yeah. Sorry, I didn’t hear you.”
“Why don’t you go in and rest?”
“No, it’s okay. If I drink a strong cup of tea, I can get back to work soon. Don’t worry.”
Ran smiled and rang the bell to order a strong tea.
After drinking a strong tea, Ran continued to work. After the candles were burnt, the work was finished.
‘But it’s much better because there are two people.’
Ran thought and silently thanked Yustaf.
After the evening bath, she returned to her bedroom, where she saw the maid standing while carrying the strange medicine again.
Ran took the medicine and drank the water with tears in her eyes.
Suddenly, she’s very sleepy.
Her eyelids were heavy, that it was difficult to open them.
‘But I have to go to bed before I fall asleep…’
Her knees lost their strength and she fell to the floor. Ran came to her senses for a moment.
No, part of her mind rang the alarm.
This is weird.
But she couldn’t think of anything more than that.
‘No, I can’t. I have to call someone.’
Barely reaching the bed, Ran tried to wake up, but failed. The floor came before her eyes and it was the end.
A flash of lightning
The blue flames filled the view. The flame was not hot, and she felt a pleasant warmth.
There was an echo of a woman’s whispering voice.
One more time.
When Ran called the name in response, the flame burst into shape. The upper body is a woman, the lower body is a lion, and the head is a burning blue flame.
The pupils weren’t ordinary pupils, they looked like star sapphires. Normally, it would be gross and disgusting, but strangely, it suited her well.
“You finally heard my voice, didn’t you?”
Istalief’s voice was husky. Her voice sounded like she was burning a flame.
When Ran asked back; Istalief tilted her head and said, “Yes.”
In the second question, Istalief’s lips tightened into a thin line.
“Yes, that’s what the Duke of Lachia calls me. Nobody knows my name. How did you know my name?”
“But why am I here…? Where the hell are we?”
Ran looked around in embarrassment. It is a white space filled with fog. That’s all she could think of.
‘I mean, I took the medicine and then I collapsed…’
Is it Yustaf?
‘But why would he kill me? I thought he’d wait until his coming-of-age ceremony.’
Ran thought she would die after Yustaf became the head of the family; she never thought she would die before that.
‘Or is it uncle?’
However, there were no reports of the uncle’s movements.
“Now that I think about it…”
Ran clicked her tongue lightly. It was both realistic and unrealistic. Since she saw his wounded face, she thought to do her best for him.
However, it seems that there was no sense of reality. Or is it not so realistic right now because she’s dead?
Then Istalief stretched her neck and popped her face in front of Ran.
Ran backed away in shock.
Istalief twisted her neck again and laughed strangely; after that, she shortened her neck back to normal.
“W-what was that?”
Ran asked respectfully even though she’s shaking.
Istalief swept back her shaky blue flame hair and replied,
“Because you were so lost in thought.”
Ran pressed her chest while listening to Istalief.
She was so surprised that she could feel my heart beating fast. A cold sweat even broke out.
‘But if this is the afterlife, why is Istalief here?’
Ran titled her head and asked Istalief.
“Am I dead?”
Ran blinked at her words.
“So what happened?”
“You’re asleep. This is the spirit world.”
“I Just fell asleep?”
Ran rubbed her temples in Istalief’s answer. So she was just so tired and fell asleep?
“That can’t be….”
Regardless of Ran’s concern, Eastarif continued with her words.
“You are linked to the spiritual world when you have a very deep dream. Now, here, I have the upper hand.”
“Even though I know your name?”
Istalief glared at Ran and replied,
“So, how did you know my name?”
“I won’t tell you.”
Ran answered courageously.
She can’t tell a spirit who came out of nowhere that she was the one who created this world
Then Ran heard a cheerful laugh. And this time, a man appeared through the mist. The upper body was a human male, and the lower body was a snake.
‘Oh, my God.’
Are all these spirits half-human? Did she set that up? She don’t think so.
The man had his black hair tied neatly. Two rows of black snake scales, from shoulders to arms, are revealed like tattoos.
“I don’t mean to bother you. But I’m just curious. Who are you inside the body that was once dead?”
It seems that he’s speaking kindly, but his words were vicious .
Ran was startled and Istalief grumbled.
“Yeah, and how you know my name. And Slasher, don’t step in.”
Finally, Ran knew who the man was. It was the spirit existing in another duchy, Usla of the Roses.
A black-colored spear, And that name –