“I’ve been thinking about what to do next.”
“You must come back.
The position of the Guild’s head is left vacant so that you can return at any time.”
I smiled at the lucid answer.
Had it been for others, they would have taken advantage of the period that I disappeared and tried to somehow take the lead.
But Leone was not like that.
During the seven years that I was gone, he only acted as a substitute for the owner and left the seat vacant so I could come back at any time.
That’s why I liked Leone.
A colleague I could trust with peace of mind worthed far more than millions of valuable products.
Such a trustworthy person did not come easily.
Leone was special to me.
I believed in this special loyalty of his, thus, I came to him even with a different outlook.
I should return to my position.”
I nodded in agreement with him.
The Cheshire Merchant was the fruit of my own hands.
That seat was mine.
“It’s impossible right now.”
“What is the reason?”
I answered Leone’s question, sliding my fingertip on the edge of the teacup.
“I’m not qualified enough.”
“What do you mean by qualified…?”
Leone asked, but he must have known.
Leone had the right to manage personnel affairs at Cheshire, but even so, it was difficult to hand all of them over to an unqualified aristocratic woman.
Surely, there would be some talk about authenticity.
For that, I was only able to take over the position after I was properly qualified.
First and foremost.
“I will have to succeed to the Viscountess title first.
To do that, I have to go through the procedure thoroughly.”
The procedure for succession to the title was of fundamental knowledge, so I was well aware of it.
First, they had to obtain the majority consent of their relatives, and secondly, obtained the approval of the emperor through a meeting.
Since the emperor’s approval was just a formality, the majority consent of relatives was, in fact, the more important one.
But sure enough, they are not going to give it to me that easily.
Even if all it left was just debt, a title was still a title.
No one would want to pass it on to their young niece.
It was most likely that they would try to take over the title somehow.
What should I do…?
Lost in thought, I immediately looked up at Leone.
“Leone, don’t pay off my debt right away.”
“Do you have something in mind?”
I nodded at his question.
I had just come up with an excellent plan.
A plan that only I could conduct.
After the scheme discussion, I left the room and headed for the elevator with Leone.
“Don’t come down.”
It would not be good if the close relationship between Leone and I came to be known.
It would be best to be the ruin of someone when they’re defenseless.
Leone, who read my intentions at once, nodded gently.
Nonetheless, his gaze, lingering on me as I was about to come down in the lift, was filled with sentiment.
He hesitated and opened his mouth.
“I still can’t believe you’re back.”
“Is it because my appearance has changed?”
Appearance doesn’t matter.
What matters is you.”
Having said that, Leone looked at me silently for a moment, then gently embraced me.
It was too much to be described as a mere embrace.
It would be better to say that he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into a tight hug.
I looked up at Leone.
He closed his eyes and heaved a deep sigh of relief.
“I was very afraid for seven years.
I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to see you ever again.
I thought that morning was the last moment I saw you.
I was so scared and anxious… ”
His voice was shaking.
He didn’t cry though.
But because I knew Leone better than anyone else, I could see how painful he was.
Were I to put myself in his shoes, I would have been as devastated as he was.
“It’s not a dream, and I won’t disappear anymore.”
I was twenty-two when we first met, and he was fifteen.
Even though he had grown up, our order had been switched and now I was younger than him…..To me, he was still that wrecked little boy who came crying to me for help.
“That’s right, don’t hold back.”
“…don’t treat me like a child.”
As I patted his back, Leone made a disgruntled noise.
I smiled without answering and then parted from him.
Leone quietly let me go.
Before the elevator went down, I looked at him proudly.
I could see that he had grown up well.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
Leone asked cautiously as if he was weirded out by my suspicious gaze.
I smiled at him.
It belatedly crossed my mind….
“Lend me some money.”
..That I had no money to go back.
Leone stared back at me, speechless.
“Miss! Are you alright? Did anything happen?”
As soon as I got down to the lobby, Eril, who was waiting, hurriedly ran to me.
She had been restless since I was taken away by the Guardians, so she must have worried a lot.
Cold sweat was pouring down her face, and tears welled up in her eyes.
Frankly, she’s kind of annoying, but she was nice.
I shook my head.
“Huh? Did you achieve your goal?”
Eril looked puzzled.
All she saw I did was go up then down, led by the Guardians.
It was a given as she did not know who I met with.
However, I didn’t feel the need to resolve that query of hers.
Even if I didn’t, she would find out eventually.
I nodded and stepped outside the Cheshire building.
After leaving the Merchant, I headed for carriage rental with Eril.
Upon arriving at the carriage rental office, Eril said in a troubled voice.
“But Miss, how do we ride a carriage when we don’t have any money now?”
To her question, I took out a pocket and handed it to her.
Eril’s eyes widened as she looked inside it.
The inside of the pocket was full of gold.
“Miss, where did you get this money…?”
I answered briefly.
“I borrowed it from a friend.”
Eril was still skeptical, but it was difficult to reveal the details, so I pretended not to notice her.
Anyway, it was fortunate that Eril was able to hire a coachman and we could finally return home.
I got on the carriage heading back to the Viscounty and fell into thoughts as I gazed at the scenery of the passing capital city.
As soon as I get back, I would have to send letters.
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