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It took about a month for Ran to arrive at the capital. The road was rough because it was winter, so they moved slower than usual.
‘But when we get to the capital, it will be heaven compared to the north.’
The freezing winds of Lachia would have given her frostbite, but the capital’s climate is very pleasant.
There were several requests to meet Ran as soon as she arrived at the Duke’s residence in the capital. The invitations were piled up even before she arrived.
“This is amazing.” Ran muttered.
“You’re quite famous here in the capital.” Levory responded with a smile.
“That’s why I don’t want my family to be directly involved in the business.”
“On the surface”, Levory added.
Commercialization was frowned upon at the time, and the idea of a Duchy selling directly is ridiculous. That’s why Ran looked for a middleman.
“Aren’t you also popular, Levory?”
“Oh, my God. Do you know how many appointments and reservations I have? However, having a conversation with the Lord is very special.”
“That is something I am grateful for. But first, I must see the Empress. I have an appointment with Her Majesty..”
“Please be careful of the Marquis of Cameron.”
“Marquis Cameron?The one who used to have total control of the empire’s mana stone mines? But I’ve heard his business isn’t popular, right?”
“True, but he’ll be upset if his monopoly is broken. Furthermore, we seem to have reduced his income.”
“Perhaps our business was more profitable than I anticipated?”
Ran muttered, taking off her silk gloves.
“Perhaps it really is a monopoly.” Levory said with a smile.
“Maybe.” Ran nodded.
Why are diamonds so expensive? Is that because they are rare? No, they’re not. A perfect jade is the rarest item in the world, and diamond reserves are very abundant in comparison.
Although the quality of the existing magic stone declined dramatically, the reserves remained unaffected. However, the Marquis of Cameron had a monopoly on the industry and kept the prices high.
It was similar to the De Beers Company’s monopoly on diamonds.
‘And now it’s our time to turn it around.’ Ran thought and smiled.
Lachia had already established a monopoly in the development of Ice crystals.
Did De Beers raise the prices solely because of their monopoly? Obviously not.
Marketing increased the value of diamonds.
A Diamond is forever.
If you are interested in jewelry, you may be familiar with this phrase.
The question was no longer whether De Beers sold diamonds to the aristocracy; they targeted it to the middle classes. The nobles already have more valuable possessions than diamonds.
And Ran and Levory had a common goal: the royal family’s dependence on magic crafts made out of ice crystals, despite having wizards at their side.
In terms of numbers, there are far more aristocrats who are not high-ranking nobles. If the royal family does something, it will become popular, and everybody will want to buy magic crafts made out of ice crystals.
By selling magic crafts, they will naturally sell ice crystals.
Besides, Ran had a different goal in mind.
Magic craft products made by Elves and Dwarves .
High-ranking nobles seeking something unique will pay significant prices for magical crafts made of red and blue ice crystals.
Ran was overjoyed at the possibility of earning a lot of money from it.
Surprisingly, she was able to supply various colored ice crystals thanks to the wizard’s association.
After desperate research, they found out that activating the Magic Stone would have no effect on them.
The magic power in the magic stone is being suppressed, so in order to release its power after placing it in a magic craft, it must be lightly stocked with magic.
And the wizard’s association proudly said that if the magic was released, it would have no effect on them.
‘Of course, unactivated ice crystals are still harmful.’
Upon hearing the story, Ran immediately thought that she should import more magical items from the Elves and Dwarves.
“So, please have a house party.” Levory spoke up, interrupting Ran’s contemplation.
“Of course.” Ran nodded.
It’s time to work in earnest.
* * *
“Oh, my God, have you been to a tea party at the Duke of Lachia?”
“Goodness, it was amazing. It was like having a tea party in an exotic garden.”
“How about the ball in the evening? Despite the fact that it is winter, it is extremely warm. You don’t even have to dress heavily to go to their parties.”
“Have you seen the lights? I’ve never seen anything so shiny. Oh, I can’t wait to have it for myself.”
“I heard the palace has already ordered all the products from the Duke.”
Red lips quickly spread rumors through their fluttering fans.
Being invited to the Duke of Lachia’s party was enough to establish one’s social standing.
With the story of Empress herself attending the party, the story of the thousand madams spread like wildfire.
Of course, as the word spreads, the more hostile the rumors become.
“So she’s not really from Lachia? She is the daughter of a low-ranking nobleman, but she is the head of Lachia?”
“Her younger brother? They don’t even have the same blood. Would she really give him the position?”
“Have you seen the look on the face of Marquis Cameron? I heard that one-third of the income from the territory was from selling mana stones. They’re trying to find fault somehow.”
“Isn’t her reason for being there for the social season to meet a man and get married? She is basically a wealthy heiress. She can have an ice crystal mine as a dowry.”
Along with the loud laughter, gossip has intensified.
Of course, Ran didn’t care at all.
“Why is the number of suitors increasing? I’ve already mentioned that I have no plans to marry.”
Ran muttered solemnly as she looked at the flower baskets that adorned the front door. Furthermore, it is now winter, so all of the flower baskets were brought from the greenhouse, and the cost was outrageously high.
There was also a long line of men who wanted to send her poetry or songs, and who wanted to dance with her at the party.
To be honest, the man who sang a serenade “Your eyes are beautiful green!” to the veranda in the middle of the night was a nuisance.
“Oh – show me your beautiful face once.” This time, the knights kicked him out for doing the same thing.
“But look, my lady! These rare orchids can only be located in the southern area. Each flower is worth at least one gold coin. I can’t believe someone gave you a bouquet of flowers.” Soda responded with a twinkle in her eyes.
“That’s right! Many women fantasize about being in this position.” Kara replied as she happily looked at the flower basket.
‘But not me!’
Ran thought and groaned.
Then the butler came in.
Ran turned her head and looked at the butler.
The Duke of Lachia’s townhouse was known as the “Viridescent Arch.” This was due to the fact that the front door arch was made of jade. The famous Jade Gate was given to the Duke of Lachia by the conquering emperor, Ryan.
The butler of the Viridescent Arch was Rolf, the second son of Baron Jeon Lance, who took pride in serving Lachia.
“What’s going on?”
“The Marquis of Cameron is here.”
“Again? Without an appointment.”
“Shall I tell him you’re busy?”
Ran hesitated, then narrowed her eyes and replied.
“No, I have to make it clear to him this time. Where is he?”
“He’s waiting in the first parlor.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Ran decided and went to the parlor. Blaine quickly followed.
As soon as Ran entered the first parlor, the Marquis of Cameron spoke sharply.
“I can finally see that expensive face.”
“I’ve been busy lately. The Marquis of Cameron seems to have a lot of free time.”
Ran answered straightforwardly.
The Marquis of Cameron blushed in embarrassment.
‘This shameless little girl!’
He was over fifty years old, and he was not pleased with the installation of a 20-year-old child.
Despite his lack of qualifications, Baron Lindbergh was of the bloodline. This little girl, however, is not even a Lachian.
“Please take a seat. Would you like some tea?”
He was clearly treated as a subordinate.
The Marquis of Cameron said and continued to stand.
‘You deserve to continue standing.’
Ran sat down and asked for a cup of tea. When the marquis saw her sitting, he frowned even more. No woman treats him with such disrespect.
“I’m guessing Lachia’s head is selected based on their level of rudeness?”
“I’ve never heard of such a thing. If that’s the tradition of the Marquis of Cameron, we can’t help it.”
The Marquis of Cameron’s forehead wrinkles became thicker.
“I’m here to warn you one last time.”
“Yes, You may not know it because you are a low-born noble, but we have rules here. And you’re causing trouble!”
“I’m not sure I understand what the issue is. Is it wrong for me to show off what I have?”
The Marquis of Cameron beat the wooden table with his fist. When Ran saw this, she thought his hand must have hurt.
“Do you think I don’t realize you want to destroy us and monopolize the market!?”
It was baffling. He wants them to make a compromise because he will suffer as a result of Lachia’s excellent product.
‘Isn’t that crazy?’
However, the reasoning was right in his opinion. Not long ago, the Marquis of Cameron was making ridiculous excuses, ordering them to pay a fee because Lachia had taken craftsmen and claiming that he fostered those craftsmen himself.
Of course, there are magic craftsmen because there are magic stones. That is also why the Marquis of Cameron has a guild of magic craftsmen.
“It is entirely up to me how much I charge for my products. I don’t need to hear anything from the Marquis on this matter.”
Marquis Cameron snapped his mouth shut and looked at Ran. Ran’s lips felt dry, so she smiled to hide it.
The Marquis of Cameron snarled at Ran.
“The Magic Craftsman Guild is mine.”
“The guild is not owned by a single person.”
Ran retorted without hesitation. If the marquis exerted pressure on the guild to retrieve the craftsmen, the only thing she could do was to withdraw from the guild and form a new one.
Of course, it’s the law that only one guild can be established in a single industry, so they’ll have to find a way around that.
It is always exhausting to deal with old-fashioned high-ranking nobles.
He did not move out until the snowball fight became too much for him.
“Okay. This is your last warning, so better watch yourself while you sleep.” The Marquis responded aggressively.
The elderly marquis’ black eyes glowed with anger. He’s enraged and sneered.
“My bed is much more comfortable because of the magic crafts. Should I send one as a gift to the Marquis of Cameron?”
When Ran said this, he stiffened his face and turned away. He pushed the maid carrying the tea roughly, causing the maid to scream and fall to the floor.
The teacup shattered violently, but the Marquis didn’t even turn around. Only the maid was distressed, and she immediately removed the teacup while apologizing relentlessly. Ran waved her hands.
“No, it’s fine. Take your time cleaning up or you may injure yourself. There’s also no need for a new tea.”
Ran comforted the pale maid and talked to Blaine.
“How are you going to solve the problem of a possible assassination?”
“We will strengthen defense even more. And if possible, please avoid attending parties.” He responded with a slightly troubled look.
The party was crowded, and many people approached Ran naturally. If even one of them had a bad intention, Ran was an easy target. What if they poisoned her drink or food? It is difficult to see all of the signs at the party. Naturally, defense was going to be a challenge.
And even though Blaine was her escort, there were several areas where he couldn’t accompany her.
“But I can’t help it. The social season is at its peak right now.”
Blaine’s brow furrowed in response to Ran’s words. For him, the Lord has already attended enough social gatherings. The ice crystals have also been selling well, what else does she want to do?
 : De Beers Company is a long standing company that’s been selling diamonds in real life and it’s a reference.
 : This is the standard tagline used by the De Beers Company for their diamonds.