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“Uh, um, I mean, uh, uh– why is Baron Lindbergh quiet these days?”
Despite the random question, Yustaf answered without a blink of an eye.
“Didn’t I tell you? Not long ago, I heard that Robbie died.”
Ran was so surprised that she shouted without realizing it.
Yustaf shrugged and answered.
“He was banished from the estate, was gambling somewhere, and got into a fight. I heard his genitals and his throat were cut off.”
The mere thought of what had happened caused Ran to frown and tremble. While Yustaf looked fine as he shared the story nonchalantly.
“He deserves it.”
Yustaf answered; he pulled out the back of a chair and nodded. Ran walked slowly and sat gently on the chair he had pulled out.
“It’s such a shame that Robbie died like that. So, I informed my uncle privately. I’m guessing he finally understood the humiliation it caused, since he’s quiet now.”
Ran looked at Yustaf as she suddenly felt a cold sweat on her back.
“Did you meet uncle? When?”
Yustaf returned to his seat, which was opposite to Ran’s, after giving a meaningful answer.
“It’s great because he’s not going to be noisy again.”
“Really? Shouldn’t he be causing havoc now since his son has died”
“And I’ll appreciate that.”
“I see,” Ran said, squinting her eyes and looking at Yustaf.
Yustaf pointed at the Mana Stone with a calm face.
“So, what is this?”
“It’s the Mana Stone.”
“What about that Elf just now?”
Ran was at a loss for words, but eventually explained the red and blue mana stones.
“This is why the wizard’s are banned from Lachia?”
“You’re doing business using this with another race?”
“I’ll put aside the question of how you know about all this. But do you know how I would have used these stones?”
Ran tilted her head.
Yustaf rolled the blood-red mana stone with his fingertips and said,
“I’ll use it to attack the wizards.”
Ran got goosebumps on her arm. Yustaf looked at her with a faint smile.
“At least it will be a threatening weapon. By simply tossing one stone near the wizards would turn them into mere human beings.”
“You never thought of that.”
Ran never thought of that. Is it because she came from a world where wars are not common?
Of course, she is aware that there are other nations, such as Africa, where civil wars occur. And even though Korea is currently on a cease-fire, she never directly experienced war.
Yustaf said slowly.
“The wizards have changed the aspect of the war, and so will these.”
“I didn’t want that.”
When Ran bit her lips lightly, Yustaf pressed his body against the back of the chair and said with a relaxed face.
“But you knew it was dangerous for a wizard. What were you planning to do?”
“I’m going to keep these mana stones a secret for now. Then I’ll send a person to the Wizards’ Association to inform them about the dangers of these mana stones. And since it can’t be used by human magicians, we can mine them separately and then trade with other races.”
Yustaf nodded at Ran’s explanation.
“Then you can do that.”
“Yes, the wizards’ association would love your offer.”
“Oh? Oh, yeah. It’ll look like we’re threatening them unintentionally.”
Although the mana stones are dangerous weapons against wizards, Ran just planned to keep it a secret and use the stones for interracial trade. With this, the wizards would probably feign ignorance and turned a blind eye to their business dealing.
“Okay, so let’s just do that, um, do you have any more questions?”
“No, I’m afraid you won’t tell me what you’re curious about anyway.”
Yustaf responded, with his legs crossed and his blue eyes fixed on Ran.
“Ran Romea de Lachia.”
Yustaf sounds like he’s merely saying her name rather than calling her explicitly.
“Who the hell are you?”
For a split second, Ran felt he’d seen right through her; that she wasn’t really Ran. But she quickly realized that this was not the case. His question was synonymous to “What the hell are you?”
Ran replied in a trembling voice.
“I’m your sister.”
“That’s not true.”
Yustaf refuted her statement with a sly smirk.
“You know what?”
“Sister is bad at lying.”
“Well, I’m not good at it.”
Ran admitted and sighed.
She could look at the documents, get rid of them; proceed with the work, and move quickly. However she was neither familiar nor used to lying, plotting a farce, and deceiving people.
“Anyway I’ll write a letter to the Count. Also, my work starts at dawn, and the Elves are diligent.
Yustaf said as he lightly tapped the table.
Ran is uncertain if he was being sarcastic or not.
He looked at Ran again, as if he was about to say something, but all he did was tap the table and get up from his seat.
“Then I’ll get going.”
“Can you fight back?”
After asking, Yustaf left the room. Ran, who was left inside, thought for a moment and realized that what he had asked was a continuation of their previous conversation.
“If you try to kill me, I’ll fight back.”
That’s what she had said.
“Can you fight back?”
Ran groaned as she plumped down into the couch.
“No, I can’t fight back. I have to get supporters first. But, if I can win some supporters, my faction and Yustaf’s will definitely keep each other in check. If that happens, we’ll have to fight even if I don’t want to.”
That’s why she proposed an alliance!
And Yustaf knew that.
Yustaf’s a bad boy.
‘Maybe it’s better to escape somewhere.’
* * *
Although the Illuminity County isn’t far from the Lachian territory, the distance still requires to ride a horse; so Ran asked for a carriage.
“But travelling using carriages is still agonizing.”
Ran was weak for physical activities. She’d be frustrated if she had to side saddle for three hours while wearing a dress.
Haresch, claiming to be stuffy in the carriage, sat on the horseman’s seat, and the horseman set off to the County with an awkward face.
Yustaf was left in the castle, so it was safe for her to leave for a while.
“Would you mind keeping the door secured while I’m gone?”
“Please leave now.” Yustaf replied, ignoring her question.
“You should have told me to “Take care”, not “Leave now”. Ran grumbled.
While the carriage ran through the bumpy road, Ran vowed to finance the road improvements if she made enough money.
Opening roads is a means for conquering the world. That is why, rather than engaging in wars, the Romans focused on engineering and construction.
Lachia is accessible by all major roads, but the local roads need to be repaired. If they want to do a major civil engineering work, they’ll have to wait until winter is over and they’ve saved up some money.
‘This can only be done next year or the year after.’
Ran opened the window and enjoyed the rare trip. The escorts on both sides of the carriage had pleasant expressions as well.
The carriage, wielding a flag with the Lachia family symbol of doors and snow flowers, finally arrived at the Count’s estate.
Ran groaned as soon as she got off the carriage with the help of the escort. Her hips and waist were stiff. Because of this, she planned to make a magical item that would prevent the carriage from swaying.
“Welcome, My Lord.”
They were greeted by Count Illuminity. The Countess died five years ago. He could have remarried and taken another wife, but Count Illuminity was opposed to the idea. His eldest son, the count’s heir, stood next to him.
Ran responded with a smile. As soon as Haresch stepped out of the carriage, she introduced him to the Count.
“This is Haresch, the Elven healer I invited.”
Even before he said hello, Haresch spouted.
“Where’s the patient?”
Ran sighed and said.
“Please understand. He is impolite only because he is not human.”
At Ran’s words, Count Illuminity replied with a calm expression.
“As long as he can cure my daughter, then I don’t mind. The patient is this way.”
In comparison to the Lachian Estate, the Count Illuminity’s Residence was a modest three-story building. The Count asked Ran if they needed to take a break, but she shook her head and they went immediately upstairs to the count’s daughter’s room on the third floor.
The scent of medicine filled the room as soon as they opened the door and entered. Looking at it, it was a beautiful pastel-toned room where you could tell right away that it was a girl’s room.
“Ventilate the room.” Haresch frowned as he spoke.
“Is the cold wind good for the patient?” the Count’s son wondered.
Haresch snorted and replied “The air inside is no better. Open everything.”
When the maids hesitated, the Count ordered them to open the windows.
“My daughter is in the bedroom.”
As Ran entered the bedroom, she noticed a maid assisting Count daughter in raising her upper body.
Haresch approached the bed and said, “Hand,” in a manner that would be considered impolite in a human context.
Count’s daughter stared at Haresh with her eyes wide open as if she was scared. No, she was looking at his ears, so to speak.
‘Was she about ten years old?’
Though she had red hair that resembled the Count Illuminity she was a little girl who looked very different.
Her eyes were sunken and ill; she was completely ill.
Haresch clicked his tongue and grabbed the daughter’s hand.
“What are you doing?!” The maid next to daughter, the nanny, was frightened and shouted; but Count Illuminity raised his hand to stop her.
The only thing that could be heard in the bedroom while Haresch was conducting his examination was the surprised daughter’s hard breathing.
Haresch shook her hand, checked over her eyes, and opened her mouth; then murmured something in Elvish..
“You’ve been taking your meds?”
The Count’s daughter blinked and answered quietly. Haresch thought for a moment, nodded and looked back at Ran.
“Um, what’s that?”
It’s hard to pronounce.
Haresch paused for a moment before responding to Ran’s question.
“She’s been taking medication because she feels frail, right? The medicine is toxic to the body. I’m not sure how long she’s been taking it, but it’s all piled up in her body. Humans have a tendency to overdose on medications that are unnecessary..”
“Will she get better if she stops taking the medicine?”
“No way. It’s not such a simple matter. First of all, she should get rid of the poison accumulated on her body and gradually reduce the medicine. It will take her about half a year.”
“Then it’s not a disease?”, The Count of Illuminati’s voice trembled slightly.
Haresch nodded and replied, “Yes.”
“Well, can I get healthy then?”
The Count’s daughter reached out and grabbed Haresh’s sleeves and asked; and for the first time, a smile was drawn on the elf’s face.
“Don’t mention it.”
Having said that, Haresh looked at Ran and she shrugged.
“We can sort out the payment later.”
Haresch shook his head at the Count’s words and pointed to Ran.
“I have no need for human currency. This woman and I have an agreement.”
‘Yes, it should be paid with a magic stone.’
Ran nodded but he Count frowned slightly.
“Then I’ll write down the prescription, so give me the paper.”
As soon as the servant brought the paper and pen, Haresh quickly wrote out the prescription.
“Do elves have bad handwriting?’
Ran was worried, but when she saw it, it was quite neat.
The prescription was meticulously written in a single font.
“Then, I’m going back.”
“What about the payment?.”
“I’ll pick it up later.”
Ran sighed. The elf is completely out of control.
“I’ll be back in three months.” Haresh said as he quickly left.
The Count looked at Ran and said,
“Would you like to go to the drawing room for a while?”
Ran nodded. As she went out to the drawing room with the Count’s son’s guidance, she looked back and saw the Count and his daughter hugging each other.
“We are eternally grateful, my lady. Once my sister makes a full recovery, I will be sure to repay my lady’s kindness.”
The Count’s son said in a very cheerful voice.
“That’s not necessary. It’s only natural for me to look after my subjects.”
Ran replied with a smile.
The drawing room was decorated with silver and luxurious colors. After a brief conversation with the Count’s son, Count Illuminity returned. When he saw his father, he bowed politely and left.
“Would you like a drink?”
Ran grinned as he opened the door of the glass shelf above the fireplace.
“Let’s have the congratulatory drink when Lulu recovers.”
“Very well. I’ll get straight to the point then.”
The count turned and leaned against the fireplace. The dark red eyes seemed to shine brightly.
“What is your true objective in helping us?”
Ran replied immediately. A smile was drawn on the Count’s face in her answer. It wasn’t a friendly smile, but a polite one.
“And what do you plan to do with that favor?”
Ran leaned back, burying herself in the drawing room chair as much as he could to look relaxed. She placed her elbow on the armrest, leaned her upper body at an angle, and replied.
“I want to use the Count’s connections.”
Count’s Illuminity’s connection extended deep into the “Underworld”. An umbrella term for this world’s various criminal organizations.
The count narrowed his eyes. He looked at Ran with a puzzled expression and said.
“The Duchy’s connection would be better than my connection.”
“Unfortunately, they don’t have connections.”
“Is that so? What kind of connection are you talking about?”
“If anything has a front side, maybe it has a back side as well.”
It was a roundabout, but rather explicit statement compared to the usual conversation between aristocrats.
“The backside you say”, The Count murmured at Ran’s reply..
“Should I admire the abilities of the Duchy? Or should I admire your abilities?”
“Does it matter either way?”
“And what if I told you that your efforts were in vain?”
Ran closed her eyes slowly and said,
“I can’t help it.”
“A favor is not earned by pressure.”
The Count rubbed his chin slowly and said.
“I don’t know what kind of connection it is, but if I had it, what would you use it for?”
“I wanted to find someone.”
“Isn’t that possible with the power of the Duke?”
“It’s much easier if you have connections there.”
“If I had a backside.”
“Hypothetically, of course.”
Ran crossed her legs, hoping that her desperation or nervousness would not be revealed. She thought it would be better to do something.
“How is it? Are you willing to do me a favor or.”
It was getting difficult to speak in this homogeneity .
The Count looked at Ran as if he were searching and replied.
“If you give me an order, I’ll look for him. With all my possible strength.”
“Then it would be nice to keep this between you and me.”
Ran replied, trying to keep her strength from slipping from her shoulders.
In response to the Count’s gentle answer, Ran stood up and said what she had been holding back for a while
“I hope your daughter gets well.”
Ran took the folded paper out of her pocket. People may ask why there’s a pocket on her dress, but even before, dresses also had pockets.
Ran didn’t know there was a pocket until she tried on the dress here herself. She put on her pocket first, and she wore a dress on top of it. There were open spots on both sides of the dress, so she could reach there and take out things in her pocket. And because of the wrinkles in the waist, the hole is not visible.
“I’ll do my best.”
Ran smiled at his answer. Somehow, that line doesn’t suit the Count.
The work was done well, so Ran left the Count with a light step. Lulu will get better, and she’ll get a lead on finding Lumiere.
Ran thought of submale lead for a moment.
Actually, this isn’t the world she created, so what he’s going through is inevitable.
It’s easy to think that way, but Ran couldn’t. She had read and somehow written this story, so she was still fond of it.
‘And you don’t have to go on such a hard road.’
She wants to save him because she has enough ability to save him. That was Ran’s honest feelings.
If Ran stays here until she is 22 years old and Yustaf is 20, she will definitely meet Lumiere.
And they’ll meet Sina.
If they’ll ever meet, she will definitely suffer from guilt.
Before that happens, she wanted to save Lumiere from there because she had the power to do so.
‘It would be nice if I could find him’
In fact, she did not know the details of the story before the start of the original Eternal Love. Although different from the original male lead, Ran roughly knows Yustaf’s story. But Lumiere’s story has not been covered very well.
‘Uh, I should’ve written it in more detail.’
Ran sighed with belated regret. However, she knew that Lumiere would be transferred to an illegal underground sword fight sometime next year; and he will experience some terrible things there.
So it was her wish to find him before then.
‘Please help me find him.’
Ran thought and clenched her fist.