Chapter 4: Leon’s older brother, Thomas (a vulgar third son)
There is a hot spring flowing in the makeshift cabin. Diana touched it with her hand. Surprisingly, it’s lukewarm.
Diana, now naked, gently enters the hot spring. The water has a slightly yellowish hue. Wooden planks are laid at her feet, and hot spring water continues to gush out from there.
“How’s the temperature of the water?”
Leon, holding a towel for after the bath, sits outside the cabin and asks Diana.
“It’s really nice. I feel like I could soak in it forever.”
“Don’t stay in too long. Once you wash your hair, get out quickly.”
After getting out of the hot spring, Diana combs through her hair with her fingers, washing away the dried blood. Her fingers touch a large scab. It seems like she was hit with a blunt object here.
As Diana is engrossed in washing her hair. . .
“Hey! You. . .”
An unfamiliar voice is heard from outside. Leon stands up. Diana moves to the wall and listens carefully.
“Isn’t that Leon! It’s rare to see you coming all the way here.”
Through a gap in the broken cabin, she cautiously looks outside.
There stands a short, skinny man with the same chestnut hair as Leon.
“What are you doing in a place like this?”
Leon remains silent when spoken to. Diana feels a burning anger emanating from his back, and it startles her.
Carried by the scent of sulfur, an oddly tense atmosphere fills the air.
“. . .Waiting for someone.”
“Oh, really? Is someone taking a bath?”
“. . .”
“Ah, I see. It’s a woman, right?”
As soon as he says that, the man boldly walks towards the cabin. Diana is surprised and hurriedly gathers the clothes she had placed on the ground.
A loud noise is heard, and the man yells.
“Ouch! Don’t hit me, it’s not worth it!”
Diana peeks outside through the gap again.
“Come closer to the cabin! I’ll kill you!”
“Got it! Wait, don’t rush, Leon!”
“Ouch! Damn it, remember this. I came here with good news!”
“. . .Good news?”
“Yeah. I brought good news for my brother. . .”
“Say it here. Don’t come to my place, absolutely.”
“What’s the matter? Come on. . .Hey, you know, the Latgip urban area burned down, right?”
“. . .Yeah.”
“We stole various things from the Heinz mansion there, so let’s split them between brothers!”
At that moment, Diana realizes.
If they don’t leave quickly, Leon will kill his brother.
“You. . .!!”
Leon’s shout is heard at that moment.
“Leon! Give me the towel.”
Diana reaches out from the small window above the cabin. Leon clicks his tongue and hands her the towel while glaring at the man.
Diana’s face half emerges and then retreats.
The man says with a suggestive smile.
“. . .”
“Oh, what’s your relationship with her?”
“. . .”
“If it’s nothing, can I talk to her?”
“. . .”
Leon trembles with anger, still not speaking. Then. . .
“Oh, this is a matching pair of siblings.”
The sound of a rattling cart is heard.
“Oh, Dennis, long time no see.”
“Thomas. Has it been a year since you came here?”
“Yeah, I was on my way to my brother’s place. By the way, Dennis, what’s in that barrel?”
“Oh, this? It’s sugar, sugar.”
While changing her clothes, Diana mutters to herself.
(Sugar. . .)
Suddenly, she feels a fateful intuition within her.
(. . .How much.)
“Oh, wow. The barrel has the horse emblem. Is this also stolen from the Heinz mansion?”
Diana quickly leaves the cabin. She rushes towards Leon, who is burning with intense hatred on his back, and speaks to him urgently.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Leon!”
Leon looks down at her, his expression filled with confusion. Thomas and Dennis are staring at the dripping wet Diana.
“. . .Ojou-sama.”
“Hey, hey, Dennis-san. Can you show me that sugar for a moment?”
“Oh, miss. Are you interested in sugar?”
Dennis is a well-built man who gives off a rural villager vibe.
On the cart, there are three large barrels filled with sugar. Each one has the Heinz horse emblem burned onto it.
Diana has a certain idea in mind. It’s something her father, Aurel, used to say.
――Sugar is highly nutritious, can be stored indefinitely, and can be processed. The more you have it on hand, the more it becomes a valuable asset.
Perhaps this farmer doesn’t know the value of this high-quality sugar.
(I have to live in this village for a while. I can’t burden poor Leon any further, and I should find a way to earn money on my own.)
Now, I should buy it.
――In order to survive in this chaotic world.
Diana took out a gold ring from her pocket.
“Hey, would you buy this? All of it?”
The men were astonished.
“Miss, is that. . .gold?!”
“Yes, it is. It’s all my fortune.”
Leon whispered in her ear.
“Are you sure about this? Isn’t it originally yours, Ojou-sama?”
“Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. I just felt like buying it. It’s my money, so I can use it as I please.”
Dennis’s round face became even rounder.
“Yes, of course! Absolutely!”
“Can you give it to us with the cart? Leon will transport it back.”
“Huh. . .me. . .?”
“Of course. If this old thing is acceptable.”
Stolen goods are originally worthless, after all.
The transaction was quickly completed.
“I got it at a good price. Now, bring Leon. I’ll ride Regina and go back.”
Without hesitation, Diana mounted the horse and swiftly rode off. Leon, bewildered by the stares of his sibling and villager, obediently pulled the cart and began walking the rough path to his own hut.