Chapter 10/77│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com
“I-I, Linda, do as His Highness Dietrich commands…”
When I confronted Linda about the embezzlement later, she pledged her allegiance, her whole body trembling with fear.
“Don’t be afraid, Linda. I only have a small favor to ask you.”
Linda, unable to think straight, just looks at me like an obedient dog and asks.
“W-What is it, sir?”
Aside from the embezzlement, there is the case I mentioned earlier.
“You see, it’s very simple. All I ask of you from now on is to provide me with regular updates on Oscar’s daily surroundings. Who he met, what he talked about.”
Linda replied with a blatantly soulless, distracted look on her face.
“And this is for Linda’s trouble, Hanna.”
At my prompting, Hanna handed a leather bag to Linda.
Linda looks at the contents of the bag and is astonished.
Of course she is. Just a few minutes ago, she was on the verge of being condemned to death, and now she is being handed a bag of gold coins.
“Linda, I’m counting on you.”
“Yes! Leave it to me!”
“Well, you can go down now.”
Linda bowed repeatedly and left the room with a big smile on her face.
“She’s a real piece of work, that’s for sure. I’d never want her anywhere near me.”
“Your Highness is right.”
Hanna nodded strongly at my words.
“Now, the next step is to get the first queen’s faction side.”
I was flipping through the list that Hanna had prepared.
“Good. From the first queen’s faction, let’s choose this one.
“This is… Nora Riche?”
Hanna looks at the one I’ve chosen and is a bit hesitant.
“What is it?”
“Well… Although she is a Viscount’s daughter, she is more of a maid than a chambermaid in the royal court, and I think she would be disproportionately well-suited to serve the Marguerite-sama…”
It seems that Hanna disagrees.
Well, it might be a bit too much to guess when a Viscountess has fallen into the role of a maid.
“No, this is fine. Nora is the one who seems to exist to be one of us.”
Nora’s family, the Viscounts of Riche, were in debt to the Marquis of Collengel, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In addition, Marquis Collengel is a nobleman who was the leader of the Second Prince’s faction in my previous life.
This would be a good opportunity to get the Viscounts of Riche and Nora on our side and damage the Marquis of Collengel.
“… However, the Marquis of Collengel is the leader of the First Queen’s faction. If we make a wrong move, it could be disadvantageous for His Highness Dietrich…”
“I don’t need the Collengel family.”
I said to Hanna as if throwing up.
“I would like to thank His Highness Dietrich on behalf of the House of Friedenreich for saying that he would cut off the Collengel family.”
“…I am glad to do that. I also would like to get to know my father-in-law, His Excellency Friedenreich.”
Yes, I see… This may be one of the reasons why the Marquis Collengel sided with Oscar.
“All right, go and get Nora.”
Hanna bowed reverently and left the room.
“Yo-Your Highness Dietrich, you wanted to see me?”
Nora, who had arrived with Hanna, asked nervously.
Well, it is natural to suspect that something is going on when you are suddenly summoned by me.
“I’m sorry to bother you at your busy time. Actually, I wanted to ask you a few questions.”
I asked her about the debt of the Viscounts of Riche and their relationship with the Marquise Collengel, to whom they owed the debt.
“… Collengel is a devil!”
Nora told me this as she gritted her teeth in frustration.
“What do you mean by that?”
Nora gave me a detailed account of the situation.
The Marquis of Collengel had offered him a business opportunity, and the good-natured Viscount Riche had accepted, mortgaging the precious mountain that had been protected by his ancestors for generations.
But the business failed and he was left with a huge debt. Moreover, the debt was somehow in the hands of the Marquis of Collengel, and he was under tremendous pressure to pay it.
“…We have managed to sell off some of our property and have used my salary to pay off the debt, but it is not enough. If we don’t do something about it, then…”
Nora started to cry.
“Well… I have to ask you, what is the mountain that is being used as collateral?”
“Yes… The sacred mountain where the goddess Dahlia is said to have descended, the “Grosshorn-Mountain”
…That mountain sounds familiar.
As I recall, shortly after I entered the Royal Academy, the Marquis of Collengel found a gold vein in that mountain and made a huge fortune there…
I see… So he knew from the beginning that there was a gold vein in that mountain, and he was planning to trap Viscount Riche and steal it.
“And how much do you owe him?”
“(Sniff)… T-The amount is…”
I asked her and the amount was… Well, I have enough money in my savings to cover it.
“Okay. Then I’ll take care of the debt.
“Eh!? You mean, Your Highness is…!”
My words cause Nora’s eyes to go black and white.
“What’s the matter? Are you dissatisfied?”
“N-No way… But it’s a large sum of money, and I don’t want to cause trouble for His Highness…”
“Of course, I’m not doing it for free. I’d like Nora to do something for me.”
“What do you want me to do?”
I tell her to look after Marguerite, to contact me if anything bad happens to her, and to keep me updated on the First Queen’s movements.
“I-Is that all?”
“Without a doubt, yes. Most importantly, I require someone in whom I can place my trust. And I thought Nora was reliable. That’s it.”
Nora’s eyes started to fill with tears.
In the end, I’m even using Nora’s heart.
“So, Nora… Are you going to do it?”
“Yes… Yes…! I will do everything in my power to serve Your Highness Dietrich and Marguerite-sama…!
“Well, then, I’m looking forward to working with you. I’ll make the necessary arrangements for the money right away. You may leave now.”
“P-Please excuse me!”
Nora bowed even deeper and exited the room.
“Hanna, what’s the matter?”
I asked Hanna, who looked at me but quickly averted her gaze…
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