Thank you Kat for the kofi (´▽`ʃ♡ƪ)
As soon as I sat down for a meal, Young Lord Linoa immediately began to brag about himself.
“I’m planning a new business these days. The kind of business that will capture the hearts of the bored aristocracy who have nothing to enjoy.”
I answered with a clouded eye.
“Oh, that’s amazing!”
Young Lord Linoa glanced at me.
“It’s quite big, so I’m having a little trouble attracting investment, but with investment, it’s a business that guarantees a big hit.”
Apparently he’s just trying to extort money somehow.
I ignored his intentions and clapped my hands wide open.
“Oh, it takes a lot of work to run such a big business.”
I wrapped my hand around one cheek.
“It’s hard to find someone to use these days, but you must be worried.”
Young Lord Linoa took a sip of wine with a meaningful smile.
“There’s a way.”
I naturally filled his glass again and asked quietly.
“Make sure you tell me the secret, Harvey.”
“It’s Howard, though.”
I must have been listening to the conversation so soullessly that I made a mistake.
“I think we need our own nicknames. Whoo-hoo!”
I grinned as I clapped my glass against his glass.
Harvey naturally lifted his glass and moistened his throat again.
“Haha, is that so? Then I’ll call you Eri, too.”
“Yes, Harvey. So you were explaining how to save people, right?”
Harvey hesitated for a moment.
“It’s not something a fragile lady should hear.”
“Why? I like men’s secret stories. When I hear such stories, my date looks more handsome.”
I smiled and poured the wine from my glass into Harvey’s glass.
Harvey, or Howard, picked up the glass.
“Ha ha. Beauty and alcohol are in front of me, but I can’t help it.”
He’s making it hard to say that he wants to be hit by a beauty with alcohol.
I beckoned the waiter to order another bottle of wine.
While listening to him boast, the food he ordered cooled down and the empty bottles on one side of the table were stretched to three.
“Actually…… I don’t use people.”
“What? Do you mean you’re going to do it all by yourself?”
Howard laughed mischievously.
“I think Eri knows one. If you use slaves, you don’t need people.”
Now Harvey opened a bottle of wine on his own and filled the glass.
“And these days, the slave market is doing so well that if you just order it in advance, you can get the manpower you want. Not too long ago, I got someone with different eye colors. Gold and silver eyes are precious, but they’re embedded one by one.”
Where do they get people like that?
My head began to roll violently.
It was Howard or Harvey or whatever.
People with Odd Eye would be less than 1% of the population, and the probability of finding someone with both rare gold and silver eyes would converge to almost zero.
But will it be possible to meet the detailed demands of the aristocracy by sporadic kidnapping of people from remote lands like before?
It will never be possible.
That means the way Faus take slaves has changed.
And it also meant that the number of slave candidates Faus could choose from increased.
People living at the bottom of the empire who can be kidnapped without noise.
As I rolled my head, something flashed across my mind.
A poor house and a nursery
The place where the Empress regularly sponsors.
“Haha, is there anything you want from me? I’ll get you a pretty girl who’ll be your maid if you tell me. Just say anything.”
When I didn’t say anything, Howard continued.
“Viscount Geoffrey, the old man is looking for a woman like an elf with silver hair and sky blue eyes at his age. What can’t you say, my dear Eri?”
“I’ll think about it.”
When I answered in a subdued voice, Harvey blazed with a little surprise.
To make up for my mistake, I erased my cold face and quickly laughed.
“I’m so touched……. As expected, Harvey is really cool.”
Then he laughed out loud.
“Right? I know.”
He began to talk more condescendingly.
“How great is this business in the slave market, there’s even a way to effectively subjugate slaves.”
“How to subjugate effectively?”
“Of course! He hasn’t told me the details, but he’s working on a new device for VIPs.”
He winked at me.
“I’m the VIP.”
“Wow, VIP. That’s amazing. So what’s the device?
Harvey tilted his head toward me.
Instead of backing down, I hung my head closer.
He puffed the smell of alcohol into my ear.
But I didn’t move.
I had an ominous hunch, but I asked again to confirm.
“If you feed them poison, they die.”
“You’re cute because you’re stupid. Why would they die? I can give them an antidote. At a fraction of a time. It won’t let the slaves escape.”
He pretended to thumb his neck.
“Even if they run away, they’ll die of poison.”
“Ha, ha, ha….”
A wild laugh broke out of me.
It was the moment when the duke realized clearly why she had not been able to get rid of the empress so far.
The cruelty and meticulousness was like seeing another Duke of Baloa.
“Why, why are you laughing like that?”
In an unfamiliar atmosphere, Harvey faltered and asked.
“No, I’m telling you…… It’s amazing.”
I stood up.
“Shall we get up now, Howard?”
We got out of the restaurant and headed for the main road where the carriage would be waiting.
But as soon as I entered the narrow alley on the way,
Harvey, no, Howard suddenly grabbed my arm.
Then he started to get close to my body.
His oily face was exceptionally visible in the dark.
“Eri… I can give my heart to you. Please accept me……!”
It was the moment when I resent myself in the past, who made up a damn nickname for forgetting his name.
Howard’s face came close enough to show his pores.
Don’t tell me…
“It’s still too early.”
Just as I tried to shove Howard away with his shy head down.
Something hit him on the head.
As Harvey collapsed, Cardan, holding a brick, was dimly seen in the dark.
“His head is harder than a stone.”
Cardan clicked his tongue and threw away the broken brick.
I took turns looking at Cardan once, and Howard, who stretched out in his large body.
“What are you doing here?”
Cardan spoke dryly.
“Because I’m worried about my mother.”
I really thought I was going to get killed.
Cardan kicked Howard, who had fallen, with one foot.
“He narrowed the distance in an instant, too, just as he was trying to win the Duke’s hand.”
“No, he tried to kiss me.”
Cardan looked at me as if he had heard an alien language.
“To the Duke? Kiss? Why?”
Cardan wrinkled his eyebrows as if he didn’t know from the bottom of his heart.
“Did the Duke threaten him?”
“No, I didn’t.”
I waved in a slightly irreverent manner.
I didn’t have the energy to please Cardan today.
“I have a lot to see and give you, so let’s go to the palace.”
☆*: .｡. .｡.:*☆
We naturally gathered in my office.
I started reporting from Knoxus.
“I’ve tracked down every place that Young Lord Linoa has visited for a week.”
Knoxus spread a map of the capital on the desk.
All over the map were marked in red.
“Other than his private residence in the capital, he usually went to restaurants, cafes, gentlemen’s clubs and casinos.”
I looked carefully at the marked places.
“Was there any place to be a slave market’s base?”
Knoxus shook his head.
“There were hundreds of slaves that was captured. It would have been bigger now, but there was no place to hide so many people among the places he frequented.”
It wasn’t surprising.
Faus’s words to show his base were just bait to form intimacy, and he really wouldn’t have given such key information to anyone else.
Cardan tapped the map with his finger.
“You didn’t even get information of the base’s whereabouts, so are we back to square one?”
“No, we aren’t.”
I shook my head.
“I don’t know where the base was, but I found a clue.”
When Cardan asked, I quickly began to explain.
Slaves that matches the aristocracy’s wishes, the Empress Dowager’s sponsoring the poor and the orphanage, and poisonous weeds.
At the end of the report, Cardan murmured softly.
“Is it the Empress Dowager again?”
Knoxus clenched his fist.
“I think it’s absolutely correct. Catherine also said she was captured as a slave while in a poor house.”
I nodded my head.
“Then I have no objection.”
I went around the map diligently.
“I’ll infiltrate sometime this week.”
There was a silence in the office.
It was Knoxus who first broke the silence.
“It’s too dangerous. I’ll infiltrate.”
“Your face must have been known, so you can’t get in.”
The simplicity of Knoxus made me shake my head.
“It’s my face. No one would know me unless it’s a high-ranking aristocrat, and when I visit the auction house, I cover my face with a mask, so it’ll be okay.”
I pointed to my face.
“And since Viscount Geoffrey happens to be looking for an elf-like woman with silver hair and sky blue eyes, in all cases, it’s right for me to infiltrate.”
There was a loud cough coming from Cardan’s side, but I tried to ignore him.
But Knoxus didn’t easily give up.
The eyes of Knoxus, who was wandering, were drawn to Cardan.
“Send His Majesty.”