Eureia Craycia had no money.
Even if the debt was cleared with the huge compensation received from Count Yellun, the lack of money remained the same.
But I had a lot of money.
Like alot alot.
To be precise, I, who was the owner of Cheshire, had a lot of money.
Last time, the secret room I opened before Leone to prove my identity was my safe.
It was my treasure trove that even Leone did not know.
In other words, all the treasures filled in there were mine.
They were not money, but treasures with a certain value.
It would take quite some time to convert them into money though.
In any case, if the stakes held by Cheshire’s owner were added up, my fortune would far exceed that of the Finisis Duchy.
So money was not a constraint for me.
After asking Leone to exchange the treasures for money, I furnished the empty mansion and hired servants.
I bought carriages, horses, and gave Eril a much higher salary.
The girl was bewildered.
“I’ve taken a liking to you, so please take good care of me in the future as well.”
“Oh my, Miss…”
Thrilled, Eril inquired about the source of the money.
But her doubt faded at Leone’s visit a few days later.
I got a message from the Imperial Palace.
I was asked to come to the imperial palace to receive approval from the emperor to succeed the title a month later.
Before departing for the Imperial Palace, I called Leone to find out about the current state of the empire and the imperial family.
Leone, who was said to be difficult to meet even at high-ranking nobles’ request, rushed to me immediately at my call.
I thought it would be better to have a conversation in private rather than in a drawing room with a lot of people coming and going, so I led Leone to my room.
In the meantime, the gazes pouring on him and me were unusual.
It must have had a special meaning to them when an unmarried man and woman of marriageable age met up like this.
It doesn’t bother me anyway.
Rather, if there were to be a scandal with Leone, it would be easier to protect Eureia, who had a low position in the aristocratic society.
I’m sure the shallow ones will be fooled.
Perhaps Leone was also conscious of it as he walked a little closer to me.
It was then that I once again realised that he had grown taller.
“You’ve gotten taller, Leone.”
Leone looked down at me at my remark.
Eureia was short.
I was about the same height as the average woman in the world, but I was about five centimeters shorter than the original me.
Before, I was considered rather tall.
He was higher than I thought and it felt unfamiliar and new.
“It’s been seven years.
A lot has changed, from what you see to what you can’t see.”
His voice became deeper, too.
There was nothing bad about it, but his soft voice from before had now changed to that of a man.
The adam’s apple at the centre of his neck moved up and down as he spoke.
“You’ve been gone for so long.”
He suddenly lowered his head.
When he had gotten so close that I could feel his scent, he slowly moved away.
“Let’s go in.”
I opened the door.
I was a little surprised, but I went inside first without showing it outwardly.
He followed and closed the door.
“This room is small.”
It was the first thing he uttered when he entered the room.
I’m satisfied with just this.”
If anyone were to listen to our conversation, they would be stunned by how strange it sounded.
It was hard to describe my room as ‘small’ even as a joke.
Because Eureia’s parents, who loved her very much, gave her the largest room in their mansion.
But from the perspective of Leone and I, this room was just mediocre.
My room at Cheshire was so spacious that it occupied the entire floor.
In Korea, I once bought a room of 16.5 meters square, so this is good enough.
In Korea, I was never called wealthy.
As a matter of fact, it was much closer to a poor life.
And I had no parents.
I grew up in an orphanage, and as soon as I entered college, I left the orphanage with empty hands.
For someone who had been living off the wealth of Cheshire for a long time, sudden poverty was really hard for me, but I somehow managed to survive nine years.
Hence, I did not dare complain that the room was small.
Of course, Leone was unaware of this fact, so he must have been feeling pure dissatisfaction.
Rather, if he knew what kind of life I’ve been leading, he would be more overprotective, wouldn’t he?
From his appearance, Leone really seemed like a cold-blooded duke.
I bet if he were to be poked with a needle, blue blood might come out.
That cold mask of his only disappeared in front of me.
Because I was his only guardian and companion.
When he had just succeeded to the dukedom, rumours circulated that Leone was my lover.
But the rumours quickly died down as I actively took care of it.
“It’s better for you to come back to the Guild…”
“Didn’t I tell you before? If I sat at the top of the Merchant now, there would be some people that doubt my ability.
I don’t want to go back there until I have eliminated all weaknesses and become capable enough to lead Cheshire.”
If that is the owner’s will, I will not insist anymore.”
As I smiled, Leone’s eyes shook.
Just in time, Eril came in with some refreshments.
Eril, whose salary was raised and was even promoted as the head maid, did not commit the rudeness of peeping into Leone’s face.
Still, she could not hide her curiosity.
After Eril left, I had a sip of the tea.
It has improved a lot.
Not long ago, Eril’s tea was terribly brewed.
I guess it’s a given.
Since she was a commoner and once she became a maid, she only did cleaning chores.
Brewing tea could only be done by an aristocrat’s personal maid.
For that, it went without saying that Eril had never even touched tea leaves, let alone made tea.
But in the future, many nobles would be invited to this mansion.
Each time, Eril, as my personal maid, would have to serve proper tea.
Thus, Eril practised brewing tea countless times per week, and I was happy to help her.
She’ll have to practise more, but this is good enough for now.
I smiled happily.
It’s always fun to paint something close to blank paper with pretty colours.
It was like that with Leone, and the same also went for Eril.
I put down my teacup, thinking that I should compliment Eril once Leone returned.
Leone got straight to the point and gave me the answer I needed.
“Currently, the purchase rate of magic tools is showing a steady upward trend.
The main market of Cheshire’s products, including magic tools, is the Empire.
In addition, export activities have also been active for the past three years.
In particular, the response of the Ashan Kingdom, which has a poor understanding of magic, was positive.
And we have succeeded in occupying more than 70% of the current Ashan market….”
According to Leone’s report, the magic tools business of Cheshire Merchant was very successful.
Especially, the overseas expansion was remarkable.
“You’ve done a great job coming this far.”
At Leone’s words, I glanced at him.
The thought of him always brought a smile to my lips.
Leone, who was looking at me, asked gently.
“What are you going to do next? Would you like to reveal your identity?”
I shook my head with a bitter smile at Leone’s question.
“Tell him I’m dead when he comes back.”
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