I met the Young Lord Count Linoa at a cafe near my office.
With the scenery of late autumn in the background, the place decorated with a cute tea set, it was similar to a blind date.
I picked up a teacup gracefully with my right hand to commemorate the removal of my bandage.
My arm was still a little tingling, but it was bearable.
“I heard you studied abroad for a long time. I’ve been dreaming of living abroad since I was a kid, so I’m really jealous.”
I smiled and waved my hands as I complimented the Young Lord with great enthusiasm.
“It’s not that great. I’ve only expanded my horizons by looking at the world rather than being in a small empire.”
I had a good sense of how to roll this young man.
I decided to get down to business.
“No wonder, you seemed very knowledgeable from my first impression. What brings you back to the Empire? Rumor has it that you’re in business.”
When the talk of business came up, Young Lord Linoa looked over his teacup as if he was wary of me.
Is it a sensitive subject?
I blinked and made an innocent face.
“I don’t know much about business, but I like to hear about it. When I listen to businessmen, I can’t help but think they’re amazing.”
“Haha, not everyone can do business.”
I nodded my head.
If a human like Young Lord Linoa touches business, it would be a disgrace.
I exchanged my heartfelt condolences to Count Linoa.
“I’m sure someone with long experience studying abroad and excellent judgment like the young lord will succeed in business, right?”
Fortunately, with a few flattery, Young Lord Linoa quickly dispelled his suspicions and began to show off his swagger.
“Huh, I think you’ve heard a lot of rumors about my business.”
I carefully chose my next word by smoothing out my long, drooping hair.
For this meeting, I put on a wig, wore a moderately decorated blouse, not the jacket I usually wear, and took out my outer glasses, so I didn’t want to go back without harvest because I made a mistake with my tongue.
“I don’t know the details because I’m an outsider, but I’ve heard that you are implementing innovative ideas that will change the game of the market.”
I clapped my hands and smiled broadly.
“I was curious about who it was. I didn’t expect him to be this handsome.”
I had to put up with it, even though it was a sham.
Perhaps it worked, because the young lord completely cleared his guard. He put his arm on the back of the chair, raised his chin.
“I didn’t expect to hear what I’ve heard a lot in foreign countries even in the Empire. A perfect man with both intelligence and appearance.”
I almost spat out the tea I was drinking for a moment.
I thought the resistance I developed working in a call center and to curry favor with Cardan was sufficient.
This was my first crisis.
“Tell me more about the business.”
I ended up having to bite my face stiffened.
But Young Lord Linoa winked at me to see if I was still engrossed in the role of a capable and deadly young businessman and fired a finger shot.
“I shouldn’t leak internal secrets so easily. Technically, you’re the first person I met today.”
I almost grabbed my finger and dusted it off.
“I was too hasty at our first meeting.”
My molars were split, but I couldn’t give up like this.
I covered my face with both hands and covered the corners of my mouth pretending to be ashamed.
“In fact… from the first meeting, I…… I felt like it’s destiny.”
Then I sighed, pretending to be pitiful.
“These days, I want to start my own family as soon as possible. But as long as I am the duke, I can’t do it with just anyone regardless of the conditions. I want to be with someone who’s capable and talented…….”
I sneaked a glance into Linoa’s eyes.
It was not a bad sign that his greedy eyes began to spin.
I drove a wedge into it.
“If there’s a person as caring and capable as the young lord, I’ll be able to concentrate at home at ease.”
Young Lord Linoa moistened his lips with his tongue.
“I, too, had a feeling of fate from the moment I first saw Lady Baloa.”
But he’s lying with his mouth watering.
“I shouldn’t do this.”
Young Lord Linoa suddenly jumped to his feet and sat down on one knee in front of me.
“I’d like to ask the lady on a formal date.”
It was quite annoying to keep doing lady this and lady that, but I smiled as hard as I could.
“Hahaha, that’s great.”
If I make him drink a lot of alcohol, his tongue will loosen up a little.
“Please tell me about your business then. There’s nothing more enjoyable to talk about than the Young Lord talking about himself.”
☆*: .｡. .｡.:*☆
I’m sure I got caught.
Apart from the feeling of being quite upset, it was a meeting with quite a bit of result.
“Are you okay?”
Knoxus, who was watching secretly, asked with a worried look.
I grinned, but Knoxus didn’t seem convinced.
I changed the subject in a hurry.
I didn’t want to recall that Knoxus was watching my best performance.
“Did you do what I ordered well?”
When the Marquis of Treve was a big hand in the slave market, Faus said he would show the Marquis to the base, so it may have been the same for Young Lord Linoa, who emerged as his new big hand.
If I can track the location of Young Lord Linoa, I might be able to locate the base…….
“Yes, I put a bag of pipora pollen on the wheel of the young lord’s carriage. It’ll be able to be tracked right away with detection dogs.”
Pipora pollen was one of the banned drugs in the empire.
So detection dogs trained to catch pollen were common in places like port cities.
“I’ve hidden the pocket well, so I think it’s much less likely to be detected than to follow the master’s directions.”
“Okay, good job.”
With a big smile on her face, Knoxus looked blank for a moment as if he had lost a thread somewhere.
I made up my face again.
“And, master, put that word aside.”
Now Knoxus smiled brightly.
As I returned to the office lamenting Knoxus’ learning ability, I ran into Cardan.
When I found Cardan leaning back on my chair with his legs on my desk as if my office was his, I was so speechless that I forgot to say hello.
“What does that look like?”
Without having to say hello, Cardan asked suddenly.
Cardan, who lowered his leg from the desk, strode closer.
As we got too close, Knoxus stepped in between us as if protecting me.
“Does your lover fall out?”
Cardan raised his eyebrows.
But Knoxus didn’t budge.
“I am a former knight. My owner’s changed.”
Cardan smiled a thin smile.
That was never a good sign.
I grabbed Knoxus by the arm.
“Knoxus, get out of here.”
Knoxus hesitated, and when I gave him a wink, he retired calmly.
“If anything happens.”
Knoxus glanced at the emperor for a moment. It was a rather irreverent look.
“Call me at once.”
When Knoxus disappeared, I gave him a sweet smile.
“Ha, what brings you to my office?”
“You lied about cleaning up the slave market with me. You met this and that person all by yourself, and there was no report.”
Cardan looked up and down at me, scratching his head.
“But what’s with this look?”
His look on me was very unpleasant, and rebelliousness naturally made me raise my head.
“Am I pretty?”
No matter how bad his personality is, he’s not the type who gives up on his mother because of a bad joke.
I poked my finger to one of my cheeks with a learned move.
For a moment, I felt like I was wrong in my judgment.
“Oh, s, sorry…….”
The moment I tried to apologize on my knees.
Cardan covered his mouth with his hand.
Cardan’s fiercely vain profile was as beautiful as it was delicately made.
It was more irritating for some reason.
“As expected, Duke Baloa’s eyes are rotten.”
Only Cardan murmured low.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry to have caused such a nuisance in front of your beautiful face, Your Majesty.”
I bent down with a grim face.
But I don’t think it’s that kind of reaction.
“I just decided that this was inevitable to get information from Young Lord Linoa.”
“So? Was there a result?”
Cardan raised one eyebrow.
“Hmm. Not yet, but we’re meeting again next time, so it’s only a matter of time before I get the information
Cardan picked up my lace collar with one finger.
“You must have failed because you tried to seduce the young lord, who would have been playing around in a foreign country all this time.”
By the way, Duke Baloa has a pretty face.
I felt wronged.
“Then will Your Majesty choose my clothes? Since the young lord played around, I think Your Majesty knows his taste.”
Cardan curled his brows.
“Now I’m promiscuous–”
Cardan, who had been nagging, stopped talking at last.
“Ah, you lost your memory.”
As if there was something I didn’t know, I secretly looked at Cardan.
But Cardan shook his hand.
And he gave an overly pleasant smile.
“I’ll recommend you clothes as you wish.”
I got goosebumps on the back of my neck.
Experience shows that when Cardan feels good, it will be bad for me.
There is by far no way in the world that we can both be happy at the same time.
☆*: .｡. .｡.:*☆
Two hours before my appointment with Young Lord Linoa, I headed to the address Cardan told me.
I was crossing the main street of the capital city in a luxurious carriage, and I felt like I was in a cart heading to the slaughterhouse.
“Master, I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
As the colorful building on the side of the street approached, Knoxus whispered to me.
“I don’t have a good hunch either.”
I stared at Knoxus with serious eyes.
“But I have to do it if my boss tells me to, what should I do?”