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    Translated by alyalia
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    Thud.

    A heavy sack of chips fell on the floor. Cersinia’s shoulder almost fell off the whole time she was carrying it, but it wasn’t hard at all. Soon, the chips in that sack will turn into money. Cersinia’s eyes glistened with anticipation.

    “Exchange it to money.”

    “Gasp.”

    The male employee sitting at the counter opened his eyes wide as if surprised.

    ‘Yes, you’ve never seen so many chips before,’ Cersinia shrugged her shoulders with pride. She was excited just to imagine what she would do first with this money.

    “Excuse me…”

    But the staff’s reaction is strange.  Why is the staff shaking his eyes as if he was embarrassed with cold sweat on his forehead, and it seems like he doesn’t have money to change it? Cersinia’s expression quickly hardened.

    “I told you to change it.”

    “Well, I mean, it’s…”

    Her eyebrows twitched at the staff’s hesitant attitude to avoid eye contact with her. This is not the response she wanted. She was hoping he’d turn the chips in the sack into money with a quick move… Something is wrong.

    “I-I’m sorry!” the staff jumped up and bowed 90 degrees and apologized. He got up so quickly that the chair he was sitting on made a clattering sound and fell backward.

    “What.”

    “The Viscount will be coming up with the money soon, so please understand it…”

    “Umm, what are you talking about? Change it right now.”

    How did the gambling house get the money didn’t matter to her.  Cersinia gritted her teeth. She needs money to play and eat for the rest of her life so that she can live quietly. That’s why she recklessly spent all her fortune… It doesn’t make sense for things to get messed up this way when her life is about to turn around. She wouldn’t forgive anything if they got in her way. A vein popped up at the top of Cersinia’s clenched fist.

    “Just a few days… Ah, no, if you just wait a week…”

    Even before the employee’s words were finished, Cersinia lifted her leg up and slammed it down onto the desk.

    *CRASH*

    With a dull sound, the desk made of solid wood was split in two. The staff’s jaw dropped when he saw the sight.

    “If you don’t want to be like this, bring the money right now.”

    Cersinia’s expression remained calm even after she split the thick desk in two with one leg. There was only a slight tremor on her heel, but it didn’t really hurt. Needless to say, Cersinia also had good physical strength. She could easily subdue several men. She’ll be able to survive if she commits all kinds of evil things. But in the end, Cersinia must die at the hands of the crown prince.

    It was the setting from the damn writer. She forgot the setting and ate at the table with ease. The moment she put down the cup, she lost control of her strength and broke the table in two. After that day, she learned how to control her power. She didn’t feel the need to control it now.

    “Pl-Please! He said he needed a little time because the money was too much!”

    With quick judgment of the situation, the staff knelt on his knees. He begged so much with enough heat in both hands. Cersinia looked down at the staff with her languid eyes.

    ‘The gambling house gives a service to give cash loans, but they don’t have enough cash?’ it doesn’t make sense. Cersinia wanted to burn everything that stood in her way. Still, she endured her instinct because magic would ruin her plan to live in a normal way.

    ‘But I’m sure it would be fine,’ it would be fine to show magic slightly just to scare him. If he knew what kind of power Cersinia had, he’d never think of delaying the payment. Cersinia breathed in calmly. The heat was gathering at her fingertips. The heat quickly spread through her body. As the heat rose from head to toe, her long red hair that had subsided calmly began to flutter as if it had been hit by breeze. Her hair was fluttering in the room where there was no wind. The staff’s face turned white.

    ‘I’m sure it’s the first time for him to see magic. It’s my first time using it too.’

    Using her full power was not as pleasant as she thought. It was different than when she started a small fire to cook food. Cersinia stretched her right hand at the thought of frightening him.

    “Collateral! I will give you collateral!”

    The staff trembled in fear and shouted urgently what came to his mind. Cersinia’s ears tingled because he shouted so loudly. She lowered her hand with a dissatisfied expression. If what the staff said is nonsense, she will double her power. The heat she gathered at her fingertips was subdued.

    “Collateral?”

    “Yes! Back there…”

    Following the staff’s outstretched finger, Cersinia’s head turned. At her gaze to the edge of the wall at the currency exchange, a boy was crouching. His hands and feet were tied with ropes.

    “You are crazy.”

    She was very annoyed and stared at the staff as hard as she could. “Are you kidding me? Why are you using people as collateral?”

    “He’s a slave the Viscount bought a while ago!”

    Cersinia’s face crumpled even more at those inhuman words. She doesn’t think she can hold herself anymore. Probably now, he sees her as a pushover. With that, she had one more reason to scold him. Cersinia once again concentrated on her magic.

    “I’m telling you! That slave is very expensive!”

    Cersinia’s concentration was broken in a short time. Because her reasoning to stay sane disappeared.

    “So you have the money to buy slaves, but you don’t have the money to exchange my chips?”

    “Gasp!” the staff realized that what he just said was wrong and shut up. Cersinia’s stomach was boiling. If she didn’t cool down immediately, it seemed like she would turn this place into a sea of fire. She had to put up with her fingertips shaking and express her anger in any other way.

    *SMASH*

    Cersinia picked up the white porcelain she saw in front of her and threw it. The white porcelain hit the wall and broke into pieces.

    “Argh!”

    The staff fell back ridiculously. Cersinia was not satisfied with that, so she threw a chair near her as well. The chair fell to the floor with a broken leg, unable to function properly. But it wasn’t enough. Her head was about to steam because of the heat that hadn’t been released.  Cersinia huffed and shook her shoulders like an angry bull.

    “Please… If you take the collateral and wait, the Viscount will come to you with the money,” the frightened man cried.

    “Huu,” a hot breath came out with a sigh. Cersinia ruffled her fine hair that came down in front of her. No money would come out even if she got mad at the staff. She controlled her mind to think rationally.

    ‘Should I really bring him as the collateral?’ 

    She looked at the boy. The body of the slender boy was shaking, perhaps scared.

    “Save me…”

    She heard a voice trembling to the point of pity. Her eyes naturally stayed on the boy. The boy was wearing a piece of cloth that could not be seen as clothing. On top of that, there were long dark red scars on his arms and legs. There were already discolored scars from old times and bloody wounds shortly after they were formed.

    ‘It’s terrible,’ she frowned her brow. There was no place to touch the boy’s body, which was so thin and had nothing but bones. As the noisy space became quiet, the boy peeked up to find out the situation. Cersinia stared at the face of the boy who raised his head. A glimpse of his dark purple eyes could be seen through his messy hair.

    ‘How long have you been starving to become like that?’ when Cersinia saw the boy’s face, she bit his lips. He was so skinny that the sight of the child with his cheeks dented was so devastating that she couldn’t even look at him. There was blood-stained between his lips, and his body, with neither muscle nor fat, only had skins and bones.

    If she turned away after seeing this, it seemed like her conscience would be stabbed. If she leaves the boy, she surely can’t sleep tonight. It doesn’t matter if she didn’t see him, but it was hard to remove him from her memory.

    ‘Ah, come on…’

    Cersinia approached the boy. Some things bother her about the boy, but she will take him as collateral, like the staff said. Because she really needed the money. So she had to figure out a way to get the money in some way.

    With every step she took, the boy pulled back, frightened of her. He had nowhere else to go, but he kept his body as close as he could to the wall. She didn’t feel very good about it because she felt like he saw her as a monster. However, she decided to understand and move on because it must mean that he has many wounds.

    “What are you doing? Untie him.”

    She instructed the staff, who was just watching. The staff rushed as Cersinia instructed. The rope that was tying the boy’s hands and feet fell to the floor.

    “Let’s go,” Cersinia reached out to the boy. The boy glanced at her hand, then gently lifted his head to see her. The child’s eyes were trembling slightly. What he was worried about was clearly visible in her eyes. He was contemplating whether to stay here or follow her.

    Cersinia waited for him without a word. Because she wanted him to judge for himself. The boy looked at her face and hands alternately, hesitatingly several times. If it was the original Cersinia, she would get angry because of her fiery temper. But she was a person who could tolerate such a long wait. Of course, the original Cersinia wouldn’t do this in the first place.

    The boy gulped down his dry mouth, looking at her red eyes like a flame. His whole body, chilled by tension, melted like snow. The boy couldn’t resist her look. Fascinated by the intense eyes that heated his heart, he slowly raised his hand without realizing it. It was the moment when the boy’s hands, as cold as ice, lay on the top of Cersinia’s hot hands.

    “As you say, I will take him with me as collateral. So tell the Viscount. If he doesn’t exchange my money in a week, I’ll turn everything upside down.”

    The staff nodded his head several times to answer her. She’s sure that he understands. Cersinia grabbed the boy’s hand and a sack of her chips, then left the secret room. That was her first meeting with Ben.


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