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Time flew by.
The person sent by Levory appraised several sets of mother’s necklaces and paid for them generously. And it has already been a month since he returned with a precious little lead box from Ran.
Ran paid back the money to Baron Wilde and Rance.
The two barons insisted she didn’t have to pay it back, but they seemed relieved.
‘I’ve borrowed that much.’
It must have been burdensome for the two barons as well. Blaine looked uncomfortable and asked, “You sold your jewelry?” but Ran just laughed. But in the mansion, rumors go around fast.
A whisper of the Duke’s financial status spread among the employees, along with the story that the owner, Ran, had disposed of all the jewels of the former Duchess.
“I didn’t expect such a rumor.”
Ran muttered, and Yustaf tilted his head.
“Didn’t you already know that a rumor was going to spread?”
“No, I thought there would be a rumor about how the Duke made money by selling some jewelry. But who would have thought that there’d be a rumor about the Duchy being on the verge of bankruptcy?”
Ran clicked her tongue. Somehow, modern people and the people here have a slightly different way of thinking.
You are in debt, so you pay off your debt by selling jewels. This is a natural thing, but I guess that’s terribly shameful here.
“What do we do?”
“But that’s good .”
In response to Yustaf’s answer, Ran looked blankly at his face, and Yustaf also looked at her.
‘It’s good? With a face like that. If I don’t get this right, my dignity…’
Ran soon realized and made a short noise.
“I see. You can kick some of the workers.”
“Well, that’s good, then?”
“Once the Ice Crystals are released, the rumors will disappear anyways.”
Ran nodded at Yustaf’s words.
‘We got some unexpected bonuses?’
With this, the employees can be clearly divided into two.
Those who serve just for money, and those that do not..
Of course, it doesn’t mean that people who serve for money are bad. But if they only serve with money in mind, then they won’t be anything more than an employee.
And if there’s anyone who doesn’t serve for money, you should treat them accordingly.
‘It’s because it’s hard to find someone you can trust.’
Ran decided to use all the opportunities she did not intend to use.
‘But it’s annoying, so let’s leave it to Yus.’
Meanwhile, two magic craftsmen arrived at the mansion.
One was a woman in about her mid-40s, and one was still a young boy.
Ran was curious because it was a rare combination of magic craftsmen.
“May you overcome the Blue Flame. My name is Lydia, a humble craftsman.”
“This is Francis.”
Ran wondered where they had learnt of the traditional Lachian greeting, considering that they came from far away.
“”May the Blue Flames protect you. Excuse me for asking you something like this, but what is the relationship between you two……?
“We are not mother and son.”
As if it was a question that she had heard a lot, Lydia smiled and answered. With tightly tied brown hair mixed with gray, she looked more like a literary historian than a craftsman.
“Welcome to Lachia. You must have had a hard time coming here.”
“I have a room ready, so the maid will guide you. You can unpack there. Ask for whatever you need.”
“And what we’re going to do from now on should be kept secret.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
Lydia said with a serious face. Ran glanced at Francis. He looked about 13.
The little boy also blushed and replied, “I’ll also keep it in mind.”
With a glance from Ran, the maid that had been politely standing next to her, quickly pulled away the fabric from the tray.
“Do you know what it is?”
At Ran’s words, Lydia picked up the Mana Stone on the tray with a cautious face and gasped.
“Is this, is this, is this?”
Lydia couldn’t believe it at all. Twenty years have passed since she became a magic craftsman, but in those years, she has never seen such a mana stone.
Ran smiled and said to the stuttering Lydia.
“I want you to work with it.”
Lydia’s fingertips trembled.
“Will you leave this precious thing to me?”
Ran grinned at her words.
“It’s not precious anymore.”
“There’s a lot of those Mana Stones.”
Lydia seemed to be out of breath. There’s a lot of high-purity Mana Stones like this?
Lydia couldn’t even imagine what she could make with it. No, she had so many thoughts that her mind went blank.
“I want to make it so that even those who can’t afford Mana Stones, have access to them and our Mana Stones spread all over the place. That’s my goal. I also named them Ice Crystals, not Mana Stones.”
Her voice barely came out. Lan grinned and said.
“The Guild sent you because this is Lachia, right?”
Lydia’s face turned red at Lan’s words.
“Wizards must not approach within 10 km radius of Lachia.”
That’s the Wizard’s rule.
Magic craftsmen are free from the regulations. However, the magic craftsmen did not want to approach Lachia.
As if they were Wizards. That’s why they sent Lydia, a woman, and young Francis. Lan put her hand on her chest and said,
“I’m a woman, too. So shouldn’t women help each other? Please make good products, Lydia. And be the Duke’s exclusive craftsman.”
“I will surely repay you with good results.”
“Speaking of which..”
Lan’s voice lowered. Lydia also lowered her voice by herself.
“I want to order something first.”
“What is it?”
“An electric – no, a magic tool to warm the blankets.”
Lydia opened her eyes wide at her words.
Winter is coming.
September is the season when the temperature drops and the late summer heat sometimes rises, but in Lachia, September is the season when you have to pack a jacket.
In October, all the leaves are gone, and in November, winter begins in earnest.
And until April, Lachia will be buried in winter.”
‘So I really need a heater and an electric pad!’
Even if it’s a beautiful mansion built by a wizard, stone is stone.
The cold season is extremely cold. It is difficult for the heating methods to balance out the cold. The fireplace is only warm nearby and does not heat the entire room.
It’s better to put a warm water bag in the bed, but that’s all.
‘I’m going to spend this winter with my electric pad!’
Ran promised to make this a hit for the whole Empire!
There was a light knock on the door while having such ambition.
“Come on in.”
“You didn’t even ask who it is.”
Lan grinned as Yustaf came in.
“I had a feeling it was you, Yus.”
“You figured it was me?”
At those words, Yustaf looked at Ran for a moment and said.
“A guest has come.”
Ran tilted her head.
“Why is Yus telling me that?”
There are a lot of attendants to tell you that a guest has come.
“Because it’s a rather special guest.”
Ran’s head tilted more at Yus’s words.
“Special guest? who? Did his Majesty the Emperor come?”
A tall man came in behind Yustaf, saying so with a peculiar accent. Yustaf stepped aside, so that his back was no longer covering her.
When the man flipped his hood back, Ran eyes widened. His ears were pointed.
An Elf, with neatly cut dark blue hair, stood proudly.
“I heard that you called for me?”
“Yes, I did.”
“And this was also sent by you.”
The Elf pulled something out, and Yustaf snatched it to show it to Ran.
He stood with an indifferent face. Except for him fiddling with the red magic stone,
‘Ah, I haven’t talked about it yet.’
When asked how she knew about it, she tried to think of an excuse,, but eventually delayed it because she couldn’t think of one.
However, Ran didn’t expect for the elf to appear unexpectedly, without any news.
Ran took a deep breath in her mind.
This is the Duke of Lachia’s independent red mana stone.
A thick line was drawn around Ran’s mouth.
‘Yes, you took the bait.’
“Yes, that’s from me.”
“Where did it come from?”
“Do I have an obligation to answer?”
The Elf’s forehead creased. Ran straightened her back and said.
“I just want to talk on equal grounds.”
Ran blinked at the man’s words.
Is it Elf? Or…
“I’m Ran Romea de Lachia. You can just call me Ran. Can I just call you Haresch?”
Haresch nodded at her words. Ran felt relieved.
As Ran glanced at Yustaf, he was lost in thought..
Although the Mana Stones were mined, the sales of the Mana Stones were to be left to the Golden Rose.
The Duchy of Lachia has no hope of reaching the entire continent. However, exchanges with people of different species, such as Elves and Dwarves, are different.
Ran intends to trade high-end items by starting a small business inside the Duchy of Lachia.
If that’s the case, although the target price is set according to the nobility, the size of the target group doesn’t have to be.
This is the first step.
“Sit down, Haresch. Would you like some tea?”
“Water will do. The quality of human tea is low.”
Ran held back her laughter and looked at Yustaf. Maybe he thought the same thing as her, because his face was slightly relaxed.
Talking without thinking about the other person’s feelings. In other words, it means that he doesn’t have the mindset of a merchant that acts cunningly.
Then, it’s much easier to make a deal here, too.
* * *
Haresch seemed to have a cold sweat flowing down his back. The little human girl in front of him knew much more about their culture than he thought.
“But the amount of herbs we make is limited–”
“Of course I know. So, if you give up a small amount of the ointment made from the world tree, we will offer you ten times more than that for other medicines.”
“How did you know that?”
“You only make ten a year, but you had nowhere to use it, so it’s piled up, right? Exchange it with useful Mana Stones. Anyways, after a certain period of time, the effect of the ointments also deteriorates.”
“How did you–”
“And of course, we’ll also get Elven artifacts. No one can keep up with the Elves in the art of woodworking.”
Haresch was dumbfounded. However, there was no mistake in what she had said. If she had asked for too much, he would have gotten up from this table without saying a word.
However, Ran did not use force and did not say anything with hidden intentions. She is only making a reasonable offer.
“But why do I feel like I’m getting drawn in?’
Haresch unconsciously pulled his upper body back slightly. Seeing that, Ran stopped talking. Haresch took a moment to breathe out, but then Ran cut in.
“We’re thinking of doing business with the Dwarves.”
“With those shorties?”
Ran scrunched up her nose and corrected his blatant words.
“They are said to be reliable.”
Haresch felt it was absurd and exhaled deeply. Making a deal with Dwarves?
“Are you going to send them Mana Stones, too? But their magic system is different from ours. They aren’t affected by the same Mana Stones.”
“Of course I know that.”
That’s why there are blue Mana Stones.
Haresch’s eyes narrowed. Ran said with a big smile.
“I already know that Elves and Dwarves are not in a good relationship. But don’t you need to interact with each other? You can interact comfortably with me in the middle.”
Haresch glared at Ran with his arms crossed. Ran faced him with the face of a smiling merchant.
This deal was very important to her.
‘I’m going to make the Duchy’s private fortune out of this.’
Ran will make a lot of money with Mana Stones. And besides that, Ran had more money to make.
But that belonged to the estate. If you get kicked out of an estate or leave an estate, the money train is blocked in no time.
‘Besides, you have to pay taxes for all the property that comes out of the estate.’
Even Ran could not predict how the Emperor would react if sales were in full swing. Even if the same tax rate as the existing Mana Stone mine is applied, a considerable amount of money will be devoted to the Empire.
But triangular trade is different.
Ran’s intention was not to sell the Mana Stone itself to the Elves or Dwarves. It is difficult to open commerce with them. Rather than the two tribes being self-sufficient, their distrust of humans was the biggest problem that prevented commercial transactions.
‘Selling Mana Stones is just the start. What’s important is the triangular trade between humans, dwarves and elves – no it’s a square. Anyway, that’s it.’
If this is the case, even if you leave the estate or whatever happens, the property belonging to the Lachia family will remain.
It was literally personal property.
Of course, in this era, money from the Duchy = the Duke’s money, but even so, there was a clear limit.
‘Anyway, it’s only limited to the house owner.’
Money does not fall to anyone other than the eldest son. But personal property is different. It can be used for personal use as much as possible.
“The former Duke was the one who wasted his private property and put the land as collateral.’
So Ran wanted to set up a personal fortune for the Lachia family separately. In short, we need some pocket money that can be used at will without the approval of an accountant.
Word will definitely spread among the nobles. Because not working is a virtue of the finite class .
‘So we should choose someone as a representative to cover up everything…’
‘Anyway, another pocket! Moneybag! It’s important. Please tell me you’ll do it.’
“Ran has to return the Duchy’s debt into a surplus somehow, but will her pocket money come out for that?”
‘You need Mana Stones, right? You need it, don’t you?’
Perhaps, Ran’s desperate heart worked. With his arms folded, Haresch let out a low sigh, saying.
“It’s a problem that I can’t decide by myself.”
“Of course. Go back and talk to the elders.”
After answering, Haresch asked sharply.
“So? Are you paying for medical treatment with Mana Stones? What about the patient?”
“Oh, the patient is the daughter of my vassal. But it’s late at night now, so can I send you the information and we can visit tomorrow?”
“We’re going to visit?”
“Because she’s a patient. We can’t move her.”
At Ran’s words, Haresch said, “Yes.” And nodded while rising from his seat. Ran got up and said, “Where are you going to stay?” and he replied.
“I hate human homes because they are too stuffy. I’ll be back at dawn tomorrow.”
Please enjoy the forests of the Lachian Territory. With that thought, Ran saw off Haresch, who had disappeared before she could finish her sentence, and closed the door.
Turning around, the sound of Yustaf putting down a red mana stone on the table was unusually loud. He looked up at Ran.
“Then shall I listen to your explanation? Sister.”
 Basically, the nobles.