The Villainess Lives Twice
Chapter 22: Saintess Olga’s Heart (3)

Chapter 22 – Saintess Olga’s Heart (3)

Translator: Gold / Editor: Kassy

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At that very moment, Cedric had taken Ansgar’s advice and was visiting Odorov’s jewelry store.

“Your Grace, I am honored that you have come to visit my store.”

Cedric had been led into a reception room with comfortable sofas. Sipping the tea that the jeweler had given him beforehand, he calmly inquired,

“I was told that I should come to this place if I wanted to know about a jewel and of who its current owner is.”

“Are you interested in a particular jewel?”

The jeweler asked curiously.

“I am looking for a jewel called ‘Saintess Olga’s Heart’.”

“You mean the diamond that was the heirloom of the Viscounty Fischer?”

So it was a diamond. It was something Cedric had just found out. At first, he had thought it had been a ruby, as it was referred to as a ‘Heart’.

“Yes, I’m looking for the heirloom of the Viscounty of Fischer.”

The jeweler looked like he had been put in an awkward situation. Cedric, noticing his expression, asked him assertively.

“Is it that you don’t you know anything about it, or just something difficult to divulge?”

Jewels were used as a means of doing secret business and accumulating wealth.

Compared to diamonds and sapphires, gold was the most common means for these types of transactions as it was easier to hide its origin.

However, historical and renowned jewels were also very useful means.

Especially if it was a question of bribes. This was because historical jewels have a value beyond mere wealth.

Moreover, this jewel came from a family that had been destroyed when the Viscountess and the Viscount decided to commit suicide for the Empress’ sake.

Some would like to have their belongings as trophies, and others would like to keep the belongings of their comrades.

On the other hand, even if a jewel was not obtained for a wicked purpose, it could have been obtained illegally. Especially if it was a jewel considered an heirloom.

“I’m not making inquiries; I just want to buy it.”

Hearing this, the jeweler gave a small sigh.

“I understand. For now, I will write a letter to the person who owns the jewel. This could be a good thing. A man like Your Grace has taken an interest.”

The jeweler stood up, asking him to wait for a moment.

Cedric stood up and looked around the jewelry store while the jeweler wrote the letter of introduction.

The reception room to which he was led was the place where distinguished guests were received.

A part of Odorov’s store collection of jewels was on display as decoration.

On a wall shelf, Cedric saw a pair of cufflinks and a gold watch.

Although he didn’t know much about jewelry, a diamond necklace and bracelet that looked very expensive caught his eye.

On impulse, Cedric lifted the bracelet.

The bracelet looked very unusual. The bracelet, made of two strips of small diamonds, as if it were a simple beaded bracelet, glimmered under the light in five different colors.

The jeweler soon returned with a wax-sealed envelope.

Cedric placed the bracelet on the table with a firmer face than usual.

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“Now that you have provided me with the information, you must accept that I buy at least one item.”

“Ah! You mean this one? Thank you very much.”

The jeweler, who was not expecting it, quickly bowed his head, his eyes beaming.

Freyl, who until then had been waiting for his master to finish this matter, stood by the door in silence, with a bored expression.

Cedric knew, but pretended not to.

***

The jeweler told her to go to the house of a man named White.

A man who had owned a small jewelry store.

「He was a trustworthy man who had a good eye. If things had gone well, he would have been a renowned jeweler today…」

「Did he leave it?」

「In business, sometimes certain investments can seem like a gamble.」

「That’s true, because the risks and the benefits are proportional to each other.」

「Yes, but when the risk is greater than expected, no matter how prepared one is to face it, it is not possible to overcome it. What White experienced was like being in a barn doing fire prevention maneuvers, only to end up being hit by a tsunami.」

Odorov told him nothing else.

Thinking he was close to solving a riddle, Cedric headed to White’s house along with Freyl. Freyl grumbled,

“This is too much.”

“Is it too much to ask that you come with me?”

“Your Grace, have you really decided to marry Miraila’s daughter?”

Cedric looked at him seriously and answered,

“I thought you agreed with me.”

“No, I know you are doing this for the Western Army.”

“But didn’t you say it was a good strategy?”

“It’s not because I don’t think it will work. I just wonder if it’s worth sacrificing your happiness for.”

Freyl chose his words correctly.

Cedric ignored him and waved the reins so his horse would go faster. However, Freyl quickly caught up with him on his horse.

Then he stated in all seriousness,

“Your Grace, in any case she is Miraila’s daughter, don’t you think it’s a little strange?

“Are you questioning my judgment?”

“Eh?”

“You are implying that I am not capable of judging clearly whether Lady Artizea is a different person from Miraila or not.”

“……”

Cedric said this even though he knew Freyl didn’t think that way. Then Freyl shook his head,

“It is not that. It’s just that…”

“Lady Artizea pointed out that it would only be for two years. I don’t think a two-year marriage of convenience is a price that cannot be paid by the Western Army.”

“Your Grace, divorcing Miraila’s daughter after a marriage of convenience would be a stain on her honor.”

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Cedric suddenly remembered Artizea’s words and smiled.

「Your Grace, you must set aside your honor, so that you may gain the honor of the Western Army and protect the Grand Duchy Evron… And yet you will throw it all away for personal reasons?」

If Artizea had not said that, he would have considered the offer an insult and would have been furious.

“Soldiers must receive the treatment they deserve, and I will not avoid it for fear that my honor will be stained.”

“Your Grace.”

“And that’s what Lady Artizea made me understand.”

Freyl said nothing else, and remained silent, wearing a strange expression.

‘Just because of that?’

He was tempted to ask him that question.

Besides, if it were a simple marriage of convenience…

He could have sent her just a wedding dress. It would have been a good way to make it look like a love marriage and make the Emperor let his guard down.

With this in mind, was it really necessary to buy her a jewel?

‘I don’t think so. However, he doesn’t seem to be aware of it at all… Will I have to tell him so that he realizes it?’

Freyl became distraught.

Could Cedric understand this concern? Honestly, he was worried about having to serve Miraila’s daughter as the Grand Duchess for the rest of his life.

As he thought about this, they arrived at the address that the jeweler Odorov had given Cedric.

Cedric had doubts as he got off his horse. A black cloth was hanging over the front door.

It was a sign of mourning.

“Oh no…”

Hearing his lament, Freyl said.

“I understand your concern, but we should go inside. It’s not like we can take the time to come back another time, right?”

“You’re right.”

Cedric sighed deeply.

Freyl knocked on the door.

Out of the gloomy house, carefully opening the door was a young woman who looked to be in her early twenties.

“You look like important people, why have you come to this place? My father has died.”

The girl said with a face of suspicion and exhaustion. There were dark rings around her eyes.

Freyl quickly took out the letter of introduction Cedric had given him and handed it to the girl.

The girl opened the seal on the spot and read the contents. Then, she looked at Cedric puzzled. Soon after, and in a hurry, she knelt on one knee,

“I am honored to meet Your Grace.”

“No. Please do not kneel. There is no need for you to act with such courtesy…”

“Thank you for your kindness.”

The girl spoke with a polite but tired voice, and then stood up.

She led them into the living room.

It was already night, so the house was dark. The girl lit a candle to illuminate the place.

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Then she appeared carrying a tray with three cups of tea, sat down and put it on the table.

“I apologize for the lack of hospitality. We don’t even have good tea leaves in our house. But since my father’s soul has not yet left this house, let me give you some tea, so that my father may feel honored and rest in peace.”

“It is us who should apologize for having come at a difficult time.”

Cedric was not very thirsty, but he drank the tea slowly until the cup was empty. Freyl did the same.

“Thank you very much. I’m sure my father will be very happy.”

The girl bowed her head and said,

“Your Grace, Mr. Odorov’s letter of introduction mentions that you are looking for a jewel. My father passed away, but the ledgers from his days as a jeweler are still intact, so I will try to help you in any way I can.”

“I apologize in advance for the inconvenience caused during your mourning. I am looking for a diamond called Saintess Olga’s Heart. Mr. Odorov told me that your father has ownership of that jewel.”

*Clink-clink*

The woman’s hands trembled. This caused the cup of tea she was holding to shake and make a noise as it hit the saucer.

Cedric carefully took the cup of tea from her hand and placed it on the table.

The girl stared at him with a pale face. She held not just an angry expression, but also one of disgust and hatred.

He just wanted to buy that jewel.

But the girl’s face clearly showed that there was a story behind that jewel.

“That jewel is not in our house.”

“Who was it sold to?”

After thinking about it for a moment, the girl got up and went to the study.

Her behavior was so unusual that Cedric and Freyl looked at each other.

The girl soon returned to the living room with a document envelope.

“Here is the contract for the transfer of ownership of Saintess Olga’s Heart.”

She handed the contract to Cedric. The name of the buyer of the jewel in the contract was Baron Yetz.

“This is a promissory note issued by the Baron when the contract was drawn up.”

She also handed him the promissory note. The date on the promissory note indicated that it was made seven years ago.

“The rest are responses to letters my father sent him to pay for the promissory note. My father had been writing letters to him for seven years, but he only received about 10 replies. In all of them, he requested a delay in payment.”

The girl gritted her teeth, then said, “In the last letter the Baron wrote, ‘I will pay when I have to. Don’t you trust me?’”

It was clear what had happened. The nobleman had deliberately delayed payment; he was purposely ignoring then.

Baron Yetz had practically stolen the diamond by means of a piece of paper signed with his identity. In fact, this was not unusual.

After reviewing the contract, Freyl remarked,

“According to this contract, ownership of the diamond will only be transferred when the promissory note has been paid.”

“Yes, that condition was put in place to prevent any fraud .”

“If you had sued, you could have won.”

The girl sobbed.

“How could we have done that? That diamond has been given as a present to the Marchioness Camellia.”

Cedric and Freyl looked at each other again.

The Marchioness Camellia was the sister-in-law of the Grand Duke Roygar.

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The Villainess Lives Twice Chapter 22: Saintess Olga’s Heart (3)
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