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“My uncle?” asked Ran with a snort; her desk was full of papers.
“Yes, and here’s the debt letter.”
Putting down the debt letter, Yustaf took half the stack of papers and moved them onto his desk. It wasn’t hard to put one more desk in the library. He even had some documents on his desk where he’d help with the work like a secretary.
Ran checked the loan card and snorted it wasn’t a move a lady would make at all.
Ran said so and put the loan card in the drawer.
“But when I meet him, what else are we going to talk about?”
Ran sighed, looked at Yustaf, and said, “I deliberately passed him on to you.”
“No, We can’t help it. I have no choice but to meet him.”
“What does he want to say?”
Ran called the attendant and told him to show her uncle to the back room. It was a well-watched room that she showed Ross before. Then, Ran got up from her seat.
‘It’s a relief that the corsets here aren’t actual corsets.’
It was fortunate that she wore a girdle, which is not a corset but the ancestor of corsets. If it were a true corset, it would be pulled tightly.
The ideal waist size during the 18th century is 43cm to 46cm.
‘I’m tightening this too now, but the thought of using a real corset scares me. I’ll never be able to sit down and look at the documents for a long time.’
That’s a relief for sure.
Thinking so, Ran quickly went into the room. Baron Lindbergh, who had come there beforehand, stood there with a nervous face.
“I’m sorry I’m late, uncle. I have a lot of work to do.”
“Yustaf is back.”
Without even greeting, he got straight to the main point. Ran answered while sitting down.
“Yes, he graduated early.”
“Did you know about it beforehand?”
“No, I was surprised, too.”
Baron Lindbergh’s face was filled with joy. He quickly sat face to face and spoke seriously.
“You have to be careful.”
“What do you mean?”
“Of course it’s Yustaf. He’s aiming for your place. He’s trying to be the head of the household.”
“In two years’ time, Yustaf will be the head anyway.”
The Baron snorted at the words.
“What will happen after you hand it over? Do you think your neck will be okay?”
Ran could not answer. That’s something she can’t guarantee. The Baron was all the more excited by Ran’s silence.
“Besides, he’s already acting as the Lord, isn’t he?”
“He’ll be the head of the household.”
“And get rid of you? I heard you collapsed because you weren’t feeling well. Do you really think you collapsed because of that? At a young age like yours?”
He poured out poisonous words.
“And you’re on medication, right? Do you know the doctor? Your mother also told the doctor to give her headache pills, but she didn’t get any better. Did you know that the doctor was brought in by his ex-wife?”
Ran did not answer.
‘I didn’t know!’
Come to think of it, the parts that are not set up in the original story will account for the remaining 90 percent, but they are somehow filled.
Thinking about it, it was not strange for something that she didn’t know to happen.
Baron Lindbergh was elated when he saw her not answering. Then, he said while hiding his true feelings,
“But I really think of you as my niece Ran Romea de Lachia. Think about who really is on your side.”
“Thank you for your advice, uncle. But, it’s my job to choose who’s on my side.”
While Ran spoke with a soft smile, Baron Lindbergh stared at her with terrifying eyes. However, like the shade of a tree over the water, Ran’s eyes did not waver.
“Okay, if you think so.”
Baron Lindberg stood up and left the room without saying goodbye. He was simply being arrogant. As soon as the baron left, Ran slumped onto the couch.
‘I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting with an old man!’
And it’s with that ugly, fat man!
But if she doesn’t come out after a long while, Yustaf and Ross, who were listening outside, would be curious. Ran was about to leave the room – but the door opened and Yustaf came in.
There was a silver tray on his hands, and on top of it was a cold iced tea that seemed refreshing just by looking at it.
Lachia, which has an ice wall, often used ice in summer because it wasn’t difficult to obtain ice even in summer.
Ran’s eyes twinkled like a puppy who found a bone attached to meat.
Yustaf held out the tray;Ran lifted up her glass and began to gulp it down without hesitation.
Sweet, cold tea with a generous amount of expensive sugar delightfully went down her throat.
After emptying everything at once, Ran sighed in satisfaction.
“Don’t mention it.”
Yustaf put the tray down on the table and asked,
“But can you just drink like that?”
After all, it wasn’t lady-like to drink it all at once.
“What if I poisoned it?”
Ran was stunned at Yustaf’s words. She looked down at the bottom of the empty cup and looked at Yustaf again.
“Did you poison it?”
That’s why he put in a lot of sugar!
Yustaf’s expression became strange. Of course, most of his expression seemed to be hidden behind a mask when he went, but Ran could still tell.
“You don’t trust me.”
“Huh? No, I do.”
“You think I’m going to kill you.”
Oh My God.
Ran swallowed her saliva and mumbled, “Umm, no, it’s just that.”
Yustaf continued,”And yet, you’re not on guard when you’re with me.”
Yustaf tilted his head.
It’s understandable if she trusts everything he does by thinking something like ‘Yustaf’s not going to kill me, we’re close now.’
On the other hand, it is also reasonable for her to be vigilant towards him and have the idea that he will kill her someday.
However, it’s weird for her not to be wary of him, when she already said that he might kill her someday.
“I don’t know what you’re thinking..”
His blue eyes looked at Ran, and Ran had no choice but to stutter out an excuse.
“I think you can kill me after you become the patriarch.”
When she looked at Yustaf, she saw him nodding as if he was telling her to keep talking.
“I mean, I’m thinking I should work hard to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
Ran groaned and mumbled her final thoughts.
“Even if it does happen, I don’t think it can be helped.”
A cold silence struck the room. It was as if the coldness was creeping up her skin.
Ran shrugged her shoulders and looked at Yustaf. He didn’t get angry, annoyed or flinch.
Nevertheless, the air is clearly cold.
‘What the hell, is this the male lead?’
Desperately trying to think about something else, Ran swallowed her saliva.
When Ran sang the birthday song in her head about five times, Yustaf asked.
“Why do you think you can’t help it?”
Yustaf moved closer towards her. When he was far away, he didn’t have to raise his head much, but because he was so close now, he had no choice but to tilt his head down to look at her.
Feeling a little overwhelmed, Ran retreated to the back of the chair, but it only made her sit upright.
“Was it out of sympathy? guilt? or you’re simply giving up?”
Yustaf’s hand brushed her cheek and went down to her neck. He gently grabbed her neck, as if proving that he could break her white neck.
Her nerves began to twitch.
“Even if your answer is one of those three, I don’t think I’d like it.”
Yustaf watched his face reflected in Ran’s deep green eyes.
Ran licked her lips lightly and asked.
“Don’t you hate me?”
Yustaf gave a vague answer and took his hand off. Ran let out a deep sigh.
Yustaf sat on the chair where the Baron had sat and stretched his legs out.
Ran leaned her elbows on the table and placed her chin on the palm of her hand.
Yustaf answered politely.
Ran thought and smiled softly.
“I actually feel a little guilty.”
Yustaf’s forehead is slightly wrinkled.
“It’s true that I bothered you.”
But she didn’t bother him enough to die. Of course it’s different if she’s responsible for his stepmother’s bullying, but Yustaf didn’t think that Ran should be responsible for it.
“And it’s kind of funny, but I think if Yus had to kill me, you have plenty of reason to do so.”
“That’s a twisted faith you have in me.”
“Is that so?”
Ran said as she stretched her back and leaned against the chair, “But, if you think it can be resolved without killing me, just tell me. I’ll pack up and leave right away. And I won’t show up here again.”
Yustaf bit his lips and said.
“You don’t know.”
Huh? No? Why? Again? What?
Seeing Ran’s discomfort, Yustaf said nothing. In rare cases, he sighed and said.
“By the way, uncle seems to be quite familiar with the Dukedom’s situation.”
“Oh? Oh, yeah.”
Ran caught up with the story and nodded.
“Oh yeah. He knows about my health and he seems to have a lot of informants.”
The health condition of the housekeeper is confidential. If you look at the history books, the king was killed but his aides hid the story.
However, her uncle knew it well. If so, there must be someone nearby who is reporting it.
“How about the doctor?”
Yustaf’s words reminded Ran of their uncle’s earlier remarks. Ran looked at him with an awkward look.
“You think she did it?”
“My thoughts don’t matter. But it is a fact that there’s an informant, and it’s not just one or two.”
“We’d better find them and drive them out.”
It will be a challenge to investigate.
When Ran sighed and spoke, Yustaf nodded.
“Let’s put more pressure on him.”
“On your uncle?”
Yustaf crossed his legs and lightly bobbed his toes.
‘Such long legs.’
Ran thought unconsciously, then asked,
“Let’s look for them openly.”
“Just look openly? Like saying ‘Come out, spy.”
“Will they give themselves up?”
“That’s the purpose of pressuring them.”
“With all that pressure?”
“I want them to come out themselves.”
Like fleas that pop out when you put a stray cat in water.
Certainly, it is possible to deal with it quickly, instead of the risk of going deeper.
“Then let’s do that.”
* * *
Baron Lindberg gritted his teeth.
‘How dare that low-minded girl!’
Lachia was his name and lineage.
Morseus de Lachia.
It was his original name. After leaving the Duke of Lachia Dukedom, he was unable to use his last name, so he became just Morseus.
While their father gave him the title of Baron to show his love for him as his second child, he was still anxious.
“That whore’s daughter without a drop of Lachian blood!’
What a mess!
He kicked the table.
The tradition and fame are all his.
It was supposed to be like that…
The more he thought about it, the more he felt sick. Their father loved and cared for him more than his brother. If he could, he would have handed over the title of Duke of Lachia to him.
The Duke of Lachia.
The name alone attracted a lot of attention from society. Everyone wanted to be invited to the Duke of Lachia’s Sky Mansion.
The beautiful ivory-colored mansion created by the sorcerer was also his home.
The building made of layers of white marble like alabaster in a mountain range, where it was unlikely to be able to raise a building, was fantastic.
When he closed my eyes, he could see the Sky Mansion shining brightly as if it were made of pearls and silver under the morning sun or in the evening.
He still remembers playing in the public garden when he was young. There were invitations piled up during the social season, and even requests to be invited to a house party.
It was a truly glorious time.
‘How did that girl wear that blue ring?’
He couldn’t wear it himself.
He didn’t even think about trying. He saw how the Housekeeper dealt with blue flames.
The legend is not a lie.
Morseus wanted the blue flames and hated it at the same time; to the extent that he would swallow the ring if he could.
It was enough to be Baron, a Baron…
He wished he could taste the sweetness once again.
“We have to hurry.”
Baron Lindbergh murmured. Yustaf has been working closely with Ran.
These days, it is said that it has become more frequent to question his servants and find their origins.
“I really have to come up with a solution before my connection gets cut off.’
Baron Lindbergh licked his dry lips.
They’re still young people.
Only 17 and 19.
They weren’t a match for him. How much money did he spend all over the mansion? The doctor, who told Ran to take medicine, was actually the Baron’s employee. He was a doctor for Yustaf’s biological mother, so he deliberately hired him.
It was to make sure that Ran and Yustaf were separated.
Suddenly, he remembered that Ran was rapidly revamping the Duchy. The courage of a young person.
‘Quick action is supposed to cause anxiety.’
Morseus thought so and rang the bell to call the servant.
“Tell Robbie to come.”
He called his son to follow the plan he had recently set up. It just happened a little sooner than he had expected.
There are not only those who devote themselves to the Duke.
Some may have been pleased by the execution of the accountant, but it also caused a few to fear that their throat would be cut off.
It is more difficult to find a person who doesn’t splatter in the muddy water.
Morseus intended to use it.
After a while, his son, Robbie, came in.
He had to return from the capital because of the death of his uncle.
What is he going to do in the middle of the season?
This year, he was going to win a lot of money at Burton (the most popular race in the Empire, where only three-year-old horses appear).
Since Baron Lindbergh had married remarkably earlier than his brother, Robie was already twenty-three years old.
“I heard you called.”
Morseus looked at his son with a proud face as he greeted him.
“Yes, I called because I have something important to tell you.”
“What’s going on?”
“You remember Ran, don’t you?”
Robbie quickly remembered his cousin. She was a rare beauty in society, so he remembered more clearly.
“What do you think of her as your wife?”
Robbie’s brown eyes glistened. “Did they mention that to you?”
He knew she was the Duchess. In such a case, it was a reasonable option for him to marry the Duchess herself.
“The next Duke of Lachia will be you.”
Morseus said so and tapped his son on the shoulder.
“But women, as always, don’t think rationally.”
Having said that, Morseus gave a sordid smile.