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    Translated by Tam
    Edited by Genie


     

    Crush! 

     

    After crumpling the letter mercilessly, Crack, crack, crack! 

     

    He slammed his fists onto the desk one after the other. His face was flushed with anger, and his head felt like it was going to explode.

     

    ‘How does she know?’

     

    The work was being done secretly with only three trusted vassals in order to swallow up the existing shadow business. It’s such a dangerous job, so he makes sure that there’s no chance for betrayal. They even acted as each other’s watchers.

     

    There must be no traitor, but where the hell did it leak out from?

     

    ‘Or maybe she followed him.’

     

    But since when? 

     

    Crack, crack.

     

    ‘What should I do? What to do—’

     

    Just in case, he re-opened the crumpled letter. However, no other content was written. 

     

    “Damn it, Serdel Robbesta—!”

     

    Once his fiancee, she is now his complete enemy. When he thought she was a naive woman, he was mistaken. 

     

    “Clever—!”

     

    It was then. 

     

    A red stick appeared in front of him as he clenched his hands. Was it an illusion from the heat and stress? He shook his head once, but it didn’t go away. He thought that it would be best to calm down first. He pressed firmly around his eyes as he sat in the chair.

     

    Then how long has it been? 

     

    Unable to bear the feeling of silence, he opened his eyes again, pulled the stick, and looked straight ahead. 

     

    “….”

     

    The red stick, which should have disappeared, was still floating there. 

     

    “Did you call for me, Master?”

     

    He had forgotten his original purpose of asking for a cup of tea. 

     

    His mouth opened blankly.

     

    “Is there something wrong?”

     

    “—Do you see something here, right here?” he said pointing at the string.

     

    The butler followed his finger. All he could see was air. Looking at the butler who didn’t answer but looked around, Count Meiant closed his eyes several times and opened his eyes.

     

    Still, a red stick came into view. In addition, the size of the stick was smaller than before. 

     

    Badump! 

     

    As if responding to it, his heart began to beat like crazy, and anxiety struck him. 

     

    It was fear.

     

    A kind of feeling he has never felt before. 

     

    “What’s wrong, Master? You don’t look very good.” 

     

    He couldn’t hear what the butler said. Cold sweat flowed down his forehead. For some reason, he felt like his airway was being cut off. The rolled fists trembled, and swallowed despite his dry mouth. 

     

    “I— need to rest, so go out.” 

     

    “Yes, then—”

     

    “No, wait.” 

     

    He can’t afford to rest. He looked away from the red stick and said, “Go and call Tom Jellens.”

     

    First of all, he had to find where the leak in information was. 

     

    ******

     

    ‘He probably read the letter by now, right?’

     

    It must be quite embarrassing. On the other hand, he will be angry. 

     

    ‘As time goes by, he’ll feel anxious.’

     

    Rather than acting carelessly like before he’ll be cautious and quiet now.

     

    ‘Where did the leak come from, and was any more information leaked to anyone other than me? He’ll be kept busy for a while just looking for it.’

     

    ‘The moment you get caught by Count Derriens, it’ll be over.’

     

    He was quite a successful person in the dark business. He was even called the “King of the Dark World” at one point. Illegal arenas, gambling houses, pubs, etc. Count Derriens’ shady businesses were overflowing with people who enjoyed debauchery. That’s why, even if his reputation fell to the bottom, instead of trying to repent he would become more enthusiastic.

     

    His behavior became even more boldly rotten with the development of new drugs. 

     

    Serdel recalled Count Sollette, who was shouting at her to give up on buying slaves in the slave market. He usually pretends to be a good person and externally despised Count Derriens. 

     

    But his inner thoughts were completely different. 

     

    He sold a medicinal herb called Hilless, grown only in his estate, to Count Derriens in large quantities to secure funds. 

     

    Hilless was a medicinal herb that made people have powerful hallucinations even in small quantities. Of course, the mind returns with time but addiction was possible even though it did not totally destroy the mind.

     

    ‘It’s not totally safe either.’ 

     

    The side effects of the drug were generally mild until a sudden severe, usually fatal, illness when enough of the drug had built up in the addicted person’s system. This was no problem for the wealthy since aristocrats could drive out the drug each time with expensive potions, but commoners who didn’t have such funds probably handled it quietly before addiction took over and the final onset of symptoms ended their life.

     

    Few people knew this outcome. 

     

    If only the eldest son of Count Sollette had not conspired to cause an accident in the original story so he could rise to his fathers position. 

     

    ‘Perhaps…I didn’t know either.’ 

     

    In the end, Count Maient went to the slave house and followed Count Sollette in order to investigate the close relationship between him and Count Derriens and secure potential blackmail and weaknesses.

     

    ‘What should I do? If everything goes as planned, the shadow business will fall into the hands of Count Maient within a few months.’ 

     

    Based on that, in the past, Count Robbesta had been pressured to extort the right to trade in minerals. 

     

    ‘For once, I don’t need to concentrate on forest development—.’

     

    Count Maient will surely covet the trading rights and the route through the forest. In addition, as soon as the threat became less severe as outrage died down, there was a high probability that he would get into the slavery trade. 

     

    They had to catch up before being attacked themselves.

     

    ‘I have to stop him from swallowing Count Derriens’ business.’

     

    However, she could not help Count Derriens, who was no different from him. 

     

    ‘There is only one answer—is my biggest issue is that I don’t have any allies?’ 

    She gasped lightly at her own realization.

     

    Knock knock. 

     

    “Lady, this is Monem.” 

     

    “Come in.”

     

    Despite all the stress, she was thirsty and was glad to see her maid carrying in tea.

     

    “The weather is nice, so I prepared a tea that suits it.”

     

    With a smile, the maid put down black tea and dessert in front of Serdel. She definitely had good sense.

     

    “How about Blenn and Laura? Are they eating well? What are they doing right now?”

     

    “After breakfast, they fell asleep again.” 

     

    “Both of them?”

     

    “Yes, both of them. As soon as they put down their spoons, they fell asleep. Blenn sat in a chair and fell asleep with his arms folded, and he somehow put the sword he always wore the whole time on the floor.”

     

    Because of Blenn’s personality, she thought he’d come to find her right away. 

     

    While she was surprised that he didn’t, she thought it was fortunate since it meant that he had gained enough stability to have allowed his weapon to leave his arms and go into a deep sleep.

     

    “Make sure they eat well when they wake up.”

     

    “Yes, I understand. And Lady. I have something to report.”

     

    Serdel’s movement of raising the teacup to her lips stopped. 

     

    “I found out more information about the maid Rudella.” She continued saying that she knew a maid who wanted to retire at the same time as she got married. Serdel, who ordered a background investigation on anyone wanting to leave suddenly, listened carefully.

     

    “As the Lady said, I think she wanted to retire in order to collect a large sum of money. Fortunately, she didn’t need money because she was in debt or involved in some odd situation. Do you remember when she said her husband worked at the Robbins Mercenary?”

     

    “I remember.”

     

    “It turns out that there was a competition for a promotion. Her husband was a person with a good reputation for being sincere, but he was pushed out of the competition for management.” 

     

    “So?”

     

    “It seems he’s working hard to hold on, but the atmosphere among his competitors isn’t improving, therefore it’s been reported that he’s talked with the owner and decided to eventually quit.”

     

    The upper part of the staff worked in a very systematic way.

     

    Above the regular staff, there were floor managers who were in charge of each floor, above them were general managers who looked after them all, and there were a few non-managers who received reports and above everyone an owner who had the right to approve or disapprove all decisions. 

     

    Perhaps the position where they were competing for this time was the general manager role.

     

    ‘If you lose in the power game for a high position, the loser has nowhere to go.’ 

     

    “It’s a pity that his competitor was the brother of the leader. It probably wasn’t fair.” 

     

    “In the first place, it was a game he had no option but to lose. That’s why he was considering settling with the highest severance compensation.” Serdel said, sipping more tea. 

     

    “It seems to be better.” 

     

    “It won’t be easy.” Serdel sighed as she put her tea down and looked out the window.

     

    This was the system.

     

    Despite the fact that both of them worked in jobs that paid well for common people, they couldn’t find a suitable place.

     


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    Tam's notes:

    So far, the meaning of 상단 is Mercenary, but if you have any ideas or want to correct it, please leave a comment below:)

    Tam

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