The Villainess Lives Twice
Chapter 23: Saintess Olga’s Heart (4)

Chapter 23 – Saintess Olga’s Heart (4)

Translator: Gold / Editor: Kassy

Everyone knew that the Grand Duchess Roygar obeyed her older sister, the Marchioness Camellia, as if she were her mother.

Marchioness Camellia was also the staunchest supporter of the Grand Duchy Roygar.

Neither Cedric nor Freyl imagined that her name would be involved in this matter.

The girl lowered her head, bursting into tears.

“My father invested almost all his assets for the Saintess Olga’s Heart. He never thought of economic benefit. Just studying a historical jewel represents a great experience for a jeweler’s career. But in the end, all that was left was a discolored piece of paper.”

Although White had the signed a contract and a promissory note, he would never have taken this case to court.

What judge would dare rule against the Marchioness Camellia in favor of a commoner?

“Because of this, my father went bankrupt. He had to work so hard to the degree that he collapsed and died suddenly. Those people killed my father.”

She complained, however she did not expect Cedric to do anything about it.

Which person would fight a high-status noble for someone they had just met?

Even more so a noble for the sake of a commoner.

She had told him this story because she just wanted to pour her feelings out to someone. All this time, she had felt so desolate and helpless.

Cedric understood her feelings.

For that reason, he waited without saying anything, until she stopped crying. Then, he gave her the money for the face value of the promissory note plus interest and a little more compensation.

“Now, it’s nothing more than just a piece of paper. We chose not to burn it because my father never gave up hope.”

“Understandably, Mr. White did not want to do that.”

But Cedric was in a different position. No court would dare to deny or doubt the document in his possession.

The girl signed the sales contract with her eyes full of tears. With this, the ownership of Saintess Olga’s Heart was transferred to him.

After a few words of comfort, the two left White’s house.

***

Cedric first returned to the Evron Mansion in the capital as it was too late to return to the military camp.

He took off his overcoat and gave it to the servant, then he leaned back on the armchair. He felt like having a drink.

As if he had noticed, Freyl took a bottle of brandy and one glass from the shelf. Shortly after, he poured the drink.

Cedric accepted Freyl’s glass of brandy.

“It’s intriguing.”

Those were Freyl’s first words.

“Intriguing?”

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“At first I had thought that Lady Artizea only wanted a precious jewel as a proposal gift. I never imagined that this was related to Grand Duke Roygar. Now I can understand why you said she and Miraila are different.”

A few hours ago, he had called her Miraila’s daughter, but now he seemed to have changed his mind.

“I hadn’t thought about it.”

“What should we do? Lady Artizea gave Your Grace a pretext to fight against the Marchioness Camellia. If we sue for the return of the diamond, we could damage the reputation of the Marquisate Camellia.”

Cedric looked at Freyl with a subtle expression on his face. Freyl spoke excitedly.

“An honest merchant went bankrupt and died after being conned into selling a jewel, leaving his daughters alone. This would be a great scandal. Even more so if it emerged while Your Grace was looking for a proposal gift.”

“I do not intend to expose the White Family to the public just to tarnish the reputation of Marchioness Camellia. What is the point of waging a dispute that may affect his daughters?”

Not only Marchioness Camellia, but Artizea, as well as Mr. White’s daughters would get dragged into the scandal.

Many would sympathize with Mr. White’s daughters. However, they would still get hurt. A scandal like this was not something that could be handled by ordinary people.

Even Artizea would be harshly criticized; comments would circulate that Miraila’s daughter was greedy because she had wanted a very ostentatious diamond.

“If that happens, I’d rather not get that diamond.”

“But Your Grace-”

“Any other precious gift will do. At least, that’s what I thought you would say.”

“It’s different now. Not only is it a jewel that is a family heirloom, but also an heirloom from a family that became extinct after Viscountess Fischer, the Empress’ lady-in-waiting, committed suicide. If Marchioness Camellia was not related to this, she would have already boasted about it to the point that there would be no one in high society who would not know about it.”

Moreover, the jeweler Odorov had not known that Marchioness Camellia possessed the jewel. And even if he had known, it was not a public fact, so he would not have risked talking about it.

In other words, the Marchioness was hiding the jewel.

“If not a gift, then it must be a bribe.”

Cedric sighed.

“What would change whether it is a gift or a bribe? Uncle Roygar loves money and is not ashamed to covet wealth. It is no secret that Uncle Roygar accepts bribes, and that everyone around him does too. Would Uncle Roygar turn his back on Marchioness Camellia just because she accepted a bribe? I don’t think so.”

“So, the Baron is a crooked man.”

Freyl spoke with conviction.

“…”

Cedric waved the glass in his hand and was silent for a moment.

His mind was in utter chaos.

If he wanted to get the jewel back, he could simply sue.

After suing, they would then negotiate behind the scenes. Most likely, after weighing the costs and benefits between the two parties, an agreement could be reached for the diamond.

But was that really what Artizea wanted him to do?

Had she not mentioned the name of Marchioness Camellia because she did not know who had the diamond she wanted?

He didn’t believe so.

「 Yes. That will make it easier for you to understand what kind of person I am… If you don’t change your mind after getting Saintess Olga’s Heart, propose to me so magnificently that everyone will talk about it.」

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Although Artizea said that, for Cedric it was the opposite.

He thought Artizea was testing him.

She seemed to be trying to pose a difficult problem for him to see how he would handle it.

“It reminds me of an old tale.”

“An old tale?”

“A tale about a beautiful princess from the East who demanded to solve three riddles for whoever wanted to marry her.”

“Ah, that. Where hundreds of people failed.”

“In the end, a young wanderer uses his wits to solve the riddles and marry the princess, right?”

“Yes, I remember it.”

Cedric wanted this to be the only riddle.

‘On second thought, Lady Artizea’s words were not entirely false. At least I could recognize that she is a very complex-minded person. Moreover, despite being at the bottom of the Marquisate Rosan, she is a person capable of gathering valuable information.’

“Let’s recapitulate. Lady Artizea asked for Saintess Olga’s Heart. Officially, the diamond is now in the hands of Baron Yetz. Let’s find out a little about Baron Yetz.”

Freyl commented.

Cedric became lost in thought, shaking his glass while Freyl had the butler bring him the registry for the aristocrats.

Artizea’s real purpose was not the jewel.

Was it a strategic move for the future?

But creating a scandal to discredit the Marchioness Camellia had no practical effect.

It would be logical if he had a personal grudge against the Marchioness, or if the objective was to create a power struggle in high society.

However, it was not enough to strike a blow against the forces of Grand Duke Roygar.

Besides, it was still too early for Cedric to fight the Grand Duke Roygar.

What was currently more important was to make his presence felt in the central political arena.

While he continued to be absorbed in his thoughts, Freyl checked the registry for the aristocrats and spoke,

“Here it is, Baron Yetz. The original title was Baron Rand. He inherited the family when he married the Baron’s successor, and then changed the surname to his own. In fact, you could say he bought the title.”

“He must be very rich.”

In the Crates Empire, technically, you couldn’t buy or sell titles.

However, by marrying the heir of a fallen family, it was possible for the spouse to get the title.

And after a few years, if the spouse divorced the heir by paying a large sum of compensation, the family’s master would then change. It was a convenient way to trade titles.

“Baron Yetz?”

One of the knights of the guard, who until then had stood in front of the two men without saying anything, asked, his eyes wide open.

“Why? Danny, do you know something?”

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“Baron Yetz, who married Baron Rand’s daughter, is a casino owner. He has a large casino on Fontin Street, and about four others just in the capital.”

“It’s amazing that a nobleman is directly involved in the casino business.”

Freyl tilted his head and stared at the knight.

“Danny, how do you know so much about this? You haven’t been gambling, have you?

“Of course not!”

Danny quickly shook his head.

“Absolutely not. My younger brother is a bit of an idiot, so he’s been indebted to Yetz’s Casino a couple of times. I found out about it because I helped him pay it off on those occasions. If it was only an illegal casino, I would have tried to dismantle it.”

“Or you tried, but the person backing it was more powerful than you thought.”

Freyl stated coolly, as he looked at Danny suspiciously.

“You didn’t use Grand Duke Evron’s name in the process, did you?”

“How could you think that about me?”

Danny seemed offended, but he must have used the Grand Duke’s name to some extent.

Cedric shook his head.

“It’s all right. The important thing is that Baron Yetz is the owner of a casino. I think I just understood where the issue might be. It’s probably one of Uncle Roygar’s constant sources of income.”

“What are you going to do?”

“What do you think I’m going to do?”

Freyl said after a moment of reflection.

“A good citizen has been swindled by a casino owner and died. If Your Grace had not known about it, you could not have done anything, but now that you do, you are not the kind of man who would let such an incident go unnoticed.”

“That’s right, I can’t let it stay that way.”

Cedric stood up.

He still had no clear idea what Artizea wanted. So he planned to act his way, rather than try to give her an exemplary response.

He was curious to see how it would all end.

Standing next to Cedric, Freyl then asked,

“Do you want to go now?”

“Isn’t this the best time to go to a casino?”

“That’s right.”

Freyl smiled faintly.

“I will prepare the knights.”

Then he stepped forward.

Cedric drank the glass of brandy slowly, before leaving. He could not stop himself from thinking about Artizea.

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The Villainess Lives Twice Chapter 23: Saintess Olga’s Heart (4)
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