Chapter 39

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The second destination was a restaurant in the downtown area.

<Baroness Viree’s Salon Food>

Such a sign was attached to a fairly elegant restaurant.

Freil was a nobleman who had never heard of a name. Unless he was a poor male baron who was regretting the money to lend his name to such a signboard or a courtesan that succeeded in marrying a noble.

These restaurants were not intended for nobles.

It is a place used by the middle class who are rich in their own way, but cannot interact with the nobility, the knight class who cannot afford to hire a cook, and the noble class who has no inherited title or property.

It was not a place for the Lady Heiress of Rosan’s to visit

Artizea got off without hesitation. Freil hesitated a little.

Artizea is wearing a veil. Her identity won’t be revealed.

But there was no law that anyone who knew her face would not be in the restaurant.

“Would you like to wear a mask?” Artizea asked.

“… are you kidding?”

She wasn’t kidding. There was really a mask ready in her carriage.

It was nothing more than a simple black cloth with holes for the eyes. Freil could easily imagine her making it.

“I’m sure there’s no one who would recognize you, but if you’re uneasy.”

Artizea said so. Freil sighed.

“Because I’m not Alphonse.”

Artizea smiled as if she knew. Freil got off the carriage, feeling the misery of a man who had neither popularity nor fame.

The two went through the back door of the restaurant. Unlike the main entrance, where a lot of people enter and exit, this door led them directly to the VIP room.

“Is this the Lady’s shop?”

“Rather than the shop, it would be the entire building.”

Freil rolled his eyes in disbelief.

“When did you buy it?”

“When I got the key to the safe in the mansion of Marquis Rosan,” Artizea answered calmly.

Freil wondered how many buildings she would have in the capital.

As far as he knows, there were eight mansions in the capital that were publicly owned by the Marquisate of Rosan. In addition to that, there will be a cottage or land.

He didn’t know that they were also buying buildings in downtown areas.

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“There’s nothing bad about having a lot of buildings. I might need it for houses or for secret work, but buying real estate in the capital will never hurt you. As an investment.”

Of course, Freil knew very well. He just couldn’t buy any because he didn’t have money.

“That advice, would you please give it to my Lord a little too? It’s my Lord’s side that you should decide to worry about.”

The assets of the Marquis of Rosan were truly enormous.

Originally, it would have been divided and inherited by several descendants.

In other words, the Duke only gave it to Artizea. It was different from the common noble family with many blood relatives.

There were many families that maintained an inheritance method of concentrating on one successor and passing on property. Even so, it was rare that such a fortune was concentrated on one person.

Three of the largest gold mines and six silver mines in the empire belonged to the Marquisate of Rosan. There was also a diamond mine.

The iron and copper mines that Michael’s brothers and sisters inherited were double digits.

The highly profitable sapphire mine received in lieu of giving Miraila, still made a huge income.

The property managers hired by the emperor on behalf of Miraila have exerted enormous influence over the iron and copper smelting business in the process of growing their wealth. It was used in policies to increase the imperial control over the economy.

It was natural that it could not be returned to Artizea as it was.

The emperor absorbed the smelting business as belonging to the imperial family and returned the appropriate money to Artizea instead.

The amount could not be taken into account of it’s possible impact on the imperial economy.

Even so, it was true that Artizea was one of the richest nobles in the Empire. The funding power that could be mobilized immediately would have been more than the imperial family.

Cedric was somewhat worried about it.

[I don’t intend to deal with the property of the Marquisate of Rosan, but is it good to leave it to Tia as it is? Anyway, she’s 18 years old…]

[Would the Evron do it well?]

Freil said that with a half sarcastic feeling. Cedric laughed in vain.

[Yes. There’s Marcus…]

Except for the smelting business that the emperor was going to collect back, the family fortune of the Marquisate of Rosan’s was mostly from mines and forestry.

And while land-based businesses don’t prosper very much, on the contrary, they don’t buckle easily after decades.

Like a loyal old general butler, Cedric said he would keep Artizea safe until she got used to it. Thinking about it now, he didn’t know who to worry about whom.

When they entered the VIP room, a simple refreshment was served. Looking at the number of glasses, it seemed that the number of guests to come was three.

Artizea sat down and said.

“I think I have some time left. If you have any questions, ask me.”

Freil hesitated.

There were a lot of questions. But he couldn’t decide what to ask and how far to ask.

The opponent was the master’s fiancèe, but he just couldn’t accept it that way.

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For a person like Artizea, even a question becomes a matter of handing over information.

How can he be sure that she is not an enemy?

“Are you doing a lot of secret things?” Freil asked.

“Maybe the people of the Grand Duke of Evron are not familiar with such secrecy, but it will happen more frequently from now on.”

“Is it because the Lady intends to go out in earnest to society?”

“I’m not interested in the social world, but if you’re asking if I will create more secrets, the answer is yes, that’s right. Until now, Grand Duke Evron has been overly honest. Someone has to be in charge of secrets.”

“Honesty is the right thing. The Grand Duke is a right man.”

Artizea smiled inside the veil.

“I know. In fact, until now, Evron has not even had enough capacity to hide something. It is normal to have several factions split within Evron.”

He couldn’t deny it.

“The result is now. His Highness’ words have trust, and the Evron has honor, but in fact, the Grand Duke is only in a position to be returned to the battlefield.”

“I didn’t know you thought so about His Highness.”

“The truth is, it always hurts. Sir Freil, do you think His Majesty the Emperor sent him to the Western Front in hopes that the Grand Duke would reap his military merits?”

There were many things to say to Freil.

However, the conversation could not continue. It was because the first guest had arrived.

A little fuss came through the thick wooden door. Artizea lowered her hand under the table.

Her mood had changed. Freil bit his lips. Because he knew that the original purpose of coming here had begun.

The door burst open.

It was a middle-aged man who jumped in.

“You can’t be so rude like this, Sir Lexen.”

“Are you saying I’m going to do something bad? I’m just trying to talk to the madam first!”

Two young men were dragging him by his arm, and were embarrassed to see Artizea.

Artizea looked at the men expressionlessly. The young men quickly bowed and stepped back.

Freil thought this was also staged.

There was no way he could believe that those two men were the only ones working for Artizea. Besides, if they truly meant to keep him away, it wouldn’t be impossible to really stop a middle-aged man.

Lexen straightened his collar and stood upright. And said,

“I’m sorry for meeting you like this, madam. Even though I keep saying that I should meet you in person, your representative has not listened to me, so I’ve been rude.”

“It wouldn’t make any difference by meeting me first.”

“I’m sure you would have thought that the representative was of course a trustworthy person for the madam, but he doesn’t seem to know anything important.”

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“Don’t get excited and sit down, Sir Lexen. And take a sip of water.”

Artizea reached out her hand and offered him a seat.

Lexen sat down. He then realized that his attitude was rude and apologized.

“I’m sorry. I’m tired.”

“Since the priest hasn’t come here yet, I’ll listen to you until then,” Artizea said.

“Isn’t it ridiculous to get a divorce in exchange for taking over the farmland?”

Said Lexen. He tried to keep his cool as much as possible, but he couldn’t do so and ended up with a fierce voice.

Artizea looked at him with cold eyes. Even under the veil, Lexen could feel the gaze.

“You seem to have a misunderstanding. I have no interest in the Lexen family.”

“But my representative tells me to divorce and marry madam…….”

“Sir Lexen.”

Artizea interrupted him.

“You owe an an irreparable level of debt due to stupid investments you made over and over again. You surely have not forgotten the amount written on the loan?”

Artizea said coldly. Lexen stuttered.

“So, didn’t you tell me to tell my wife that I’m going to hand over the farmland, the forest, and the grain stores?

“You don’t really think that the western farmland has value, do you?”

Artizea tapped the table. Lexen’s face turned white.

“It’s an operation that’s well worth the investment. It’s fertile land. This year, we’ve harvested close to 10,000 pounds of wheat per hectare, and pastures are best suited for growing sheep nearby.”

“I’m not in doubt that the land is fertile,” Artizea said.

“This year’s crop was good. I think it’ll be okay next year. What about the next year? Could it be harvested?”

Lexen’s complexion turned pale.

“Do you really think that there are people who buy land at such a high price that might be swept away by the monster wave, Sir Lexen? It’s much safer to buy wheat and wool than to buy land with this money.”

Even if the safe eastern land prices soar to the sky, the western land prices never move. This is because no one would know when the monster wave will come.

Ironically, that is why farming, the foundation of the empire, was not maintained. Landlords and businessmen never bought land in the West.

“This money is the price to pay for your title. I thought you knew.”

Artizea smiled under the veil.

“If you think that the amount is insufficient, you can destroy the contract even now. Because I have not signed any documents yet.”

Lexen appealed with his sad face.

“Madam, even if the monster wave happens at short intervals, it takes more than 3 years. This business has enough potential……..”

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“If so, you can find an investor who believes in that possibility.”

“Isn’t the Madam a nobleman too? I believe you will be able to understand my situation a little. My wife is from a commoner. If she divorces me, she will have no place in the social world. I have been married for 35 years already…..”

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