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    Translated by alyalia
    Edited by Láthos


     

    ‘Lonely.’

    It’s only been ten days since she reincarnated, so she never thought she was lonely. Instead, she had spent each day angry with resentment. The original Cersinia lost her parents at fifteen, so she was accustomed to being on her own. Maybe that’s why she was alright by herself.

    “Well, not really?”

    His eyes twitched slightly at her answer. He seemed quite surprised by the response. But, he nodded his head in agreement.

    “I see, you’re strong. Miss Cersinia is…”

    “Just call me Cersinia,” she spoke casually as she wasn’t used to being called by honorifics.

    “Ah, yes. Cersinia…” the boy said, murmuring her name broodingly. Those words carried envy for what he didn’t have. Cersinia looked at his face, into his dark eyes.

    “I don’t have, a Name…”

    She remembered the dead face that said it had no name. Her heart felt heavy all of a sudden. It was sympathy for those who were not privileged enough as the rest. He was a boy brought back as collateral for the loan. Cersinia would return him once the Viscount brought the money. If she showed him any sentiment, she would be heartbroken when they would have to part.

    ‘But he’ll need a name to call while we’re living together.’

    That’s right, she couldn’t keep calling him ‘Hey’, ‘You there’ or ‘Oi’. Cersinia spoke to him, satisfied with her reasoning, thinking of a good name.

    “You should have a name too,” after saying this, she could see her reflection in his dark eyes. 

    “Name…?”

    “Yes, a name. You should have one too.”

    “I-I’ve never had…” he said, slumping his shoulders like a puppy.

    ‘Wow he’s making it hard not to feel bad for him.’

    Anyone who saw this scene would be heartbroken. “Well, how about, Ben?” Cersinia said, stiffening up.

    ‘Ben’ was the only name she could think of now. It was a simple name, easy to pronounce, easy to remember. Nevertheless, it was his first name, so she wondered if he liked it or not.

    “It’s Ben…?” he said, dejected.

    “Ah, you don’t like it? Then…”

    “N-No! I like it. It’s all right, Ben…” exclaimed by the boy, cutting her off. Her naming skills are pretty good. She felt proud.

    “Okay then, from now on, I’ll call you Ben.”

    “Ben…”

    Ben smiled, his eyes forming crescent moons. He looked like an angel carved at a cathedral. For a moment, Cersinia was captivated by Ben’s laughter. He smiled at her, his cheeks turning pink.

    * * *

    Entering the currency exchange, Viscount Montene was shocked at the sight in front of him. The desk was split in half, the flowerpot lay broken on the floor, and the chair was smashed into pieces. Absolute chaos. He had imagined she’d have gone by now, but it looked like someone had ransacked the place.

    “What happened!”

    One of the staff, Lewis, who was overseeing things was sitting on the floor, dazed. Viscount Montene grabbed Lewis by his shoulder and shook him.

    “Wake up! What happened!”

    He seemed to be distracted by something but quickly became aware of the situation.

    “S-Sir!”

    Lewis recognized Viscount Montene and looked like he was about to cry. After listening to his staff, Viscount was uncertain if this was the work of a thief.

    ‘Perhaps…’ Viscount Montene remembered placing important documents in the safe. Hurriedly, he took the key out of his pocket and opened the safe under the broken desk. The safe carried original documents like a gambling license and property deeds.

    ‘It wasn’t a thief,’ Viscount Montene sighed with relief. Lewis stood up, regaining his composure once again.

    “What happened?”

    “T-That woman…”

    “That woman?”

    Viscount Montene furrowed his eyebrows. The woman he was talking about was the one who broke into his gambling house. Viscount Montene had invested a lot of money and time into building the gambling house and legalising it. He spent all his money in finding ministers who could relay proposals to the Emperor, which ultimately landed him in debt.

    Barely a year after his hard work, he received the Emperor’s approval and established a legal gambling house. He still had to pay a portion of his earnings as tax, but he could gain profits by manipulating the payouts later on. For now, there were no profits as the gambling house had just opened.

    Today, he had a problem. A woman had hit the jackpot three times in a single sitting. The chips she won were worth thirty million shillings. He didn’t have a single penny and was in debt. He would be bankrupt if he cashed in her chips.

    So, the Viscount ran away. One woman couldn’t take away his success. After leaving, he sent the woman away and hired men to keep her from coming back. But why did Lewis still look so nervous?

    “T-That woman turned this place upside down.”

    Viscount Montene glared at Lewis, who was trembling.

    “You couldn’t even deal with a single woman,” the Viscount said, blaming Lewis. He still couldn’t comprehend how Lewis wasn’t able to catch that woman. The Viscount knew he had to strengthen the number of guards.

    “That’s not it! She was crazy. She broke the desk in half with her foot and tried to use some strange power.”
    Viscount Montene’s eyes gleamed, he saw Lewis by his feet, whining.

    “Strange power?”

    “Yes! A strange power! A wind blew around her all of a sudden and the room became really hot! How could wind possibly enter the secret room!”

    It didn’t make sense for the wind to blow in a closed room with no windows. But, Lewis swore it was true. Lewis had been employed as staff when the Viscount began building the gambling house. He would never lie to the Viscount so, what was that strange power? He had never heard of such a thing anywhere. 

    The first time he saw that woman, he felt a strange aura around her. But, he thought she was just a woman with a strong appearance. 

    “Her red eyes blazed like fires…”

    ‘There’s no harm in finding out about her.’

    Viscount Montene ordered a shaking Lewis to clean the room. He sat down on the family couch and looked around the room. Except for the desk, flower pot and the chair, the room was clean.

    ‘Hmm…?’ something was missing. He looked around once again, searching for something, scanning the room thoroughly.

    “Where did the slave go?”

    He couldn’t find the slave he bought a day ago. The aristocracy was slowly weighing slavery in the Empire these days. That’s why he brought him to the currency exchange and not his house. 

    Lewis, who was sweeping the flowerpot, hesitated. Suspicious of Lewis, the Viscount’s expression turned sour.

    “Where did the slave go?”

    “T-That’s sir… There’s no way to stop that woman…”

    “So?”

    “So, I gave him as a c-collateral…”

    Viscount Montene threw one of the couch’s cushions as soon as Lewis finished his sentence. Montene’s face turned red.

    “How dare you! You know who he is!”

    The cushion hit Lewis’ face and he fell to the floor, apologizing.

    “I’m sorry, sir… but there was no way to stop her…”

    “I don’t want to hear it! Where did she go?”

    Viscount Montene was panting like an animal and jumped up from his seat, aggravated. That boy was like a pearl in the mud he found at the slave market. The boy was going to be a gift to Count Enitio, a wealthy, well-known man.

    Count Enitio was one of the wealthiest men in the Empire. He enjoyed flattery, and everyone was aware of that. The Viscount knew the Count would particularly enjoy the young and handsome slave, so he bought him. He desperately needed Count Enitio’s help as he had blown up all his wealth into building a gambling house.

    He had found the boy just in time at the slave market. He was the perfect slave to present to the Count. He had confidently written a letter to the Count, informing him of the ‘gift’ he had prepared but didn’t dare send it yet. He gritted his teeth, sounding as if he was chewing an animal’s bones. The staff bowed down on the floor, shaking after hearing this frightening sound.

    “I don’t know where she went…But she informed me she’d be back in a week. So, I’m sure she would bring him then!”

    “Shut up! You useless fool. Find her right now and get the slave back!”

    “Yes, yes, yes!”

    Lewis dashed off, leaving the currency exchange in a hurry. Viscount Montene threw the remaining cushions off the couch, irritated.

    Thud.

    The cushion fell to the floor. If the slave was taken as collateral, the woman wouldn’t return him unless we paid her. The Viscount had no intention of giving a single penny to her, but the slave had to be brought back. He had to gift the slave to Count Enitio a week later.

    “That’s the only way.”

    That was the only way for both of them. A faint gleam flashed in his eyes.


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