“We’re in the middle of a conversation, and if Lizzy shatters something, it’s hard to clean up.”
As soon as Lizzy froze in her spot, Levance turned his head.
“Should we leave it to Nelly?”
Leonel was about to agree but hesitated. Indeed, Nelly Pepper had a knack for easing people’s tension. Plus, she had been drinking, so she might have gotten closer to Roman. That should suffice.
It was also an opportunity to gauge Nelly Pepper’s thoughts. If she was given an important task, she might think that he trusted her. Then, when the tension eased, she might reveal her suspicious side.
However, Roman was a spy. He might have received some special training, and if anything dangerous happened, Nelly wouldn’t be able to handle it. She had weak physical strength.
Furthermore, there was no guarantee that Nelly wouldn’t collaborate with Roman.
‘Now that I think about it, that’s suspicious.’
Sending such an obvious spy was unlikely. Perhaps Nelly Pepper had intentionally revealed herself as a spy to strengthen her position.
“Let’s leave it to Faust.”
Levance approached Lizzy.
Lizzy wasn’t looking at Levance; she tightly held the strap of her bag and glared resentfully at Leonel.
“Your expression is impolite.”
Startled by his words, Lizzy shivered and bowed her head. But she didn’t give up and sent resentful glances toward Leonel, stepping back hesitantly and almost bumping into a bookshelf.
Levance skillfully prevented a collision and guided Lizzy to a nearby chair. She sat down, still clutching her pen and looking at Leonel with a resentful determination.
Leonel looked at Lizzy.
She took a deep breath and, with a determined expression, turned her body toward Leonel.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but wouldn’t it be better to entrust Miss Nelly?”
Leonel let out a deep sigh, and Lizzy flinched. But she didn’t give up and added with a determined tone.
“If you entrust her with an important task, she’ll probably be pleased!”
“Supporting the work.”
“It’s not something you should be concerned about. Focus on your tasks.”
Lizzy replied, her spirits deflated. She turned her body back to her work.
Levance patted Lizzy’s shoulder a few times and carried on with his duties. The only sounds filling the office were the scratching of pens against paper.
While Lizzy was calculating at a mechanical pace, her mind was full of grumbling thoughts.
‘Why can’t you trust Ms. Nelly? She’s as kind and capable as they come.’
She a resentful glance toward Leonel.
‘Alright, I should help Ms. Nelly gain trust.’
Lizzy decided, clenching her fist. She knew Leonel’s trust was essential.
Seeing her determination, Levance spoke with a smile.
“Squeezing perfectly fine documents like that isn’t a good idea.”
“Oh! I’m sorry.”
“It’s alright. You spilled ink…”
Levance hesitated and quickly turned his head. Lizzy’s pen, tightly held, passed through the space where he had been sitting.
‘That was close.’
He would have been in danger if the pen had hit him.
He thanked his past as a knight and vowed to replace Lizzy’s pen with something less dangerous.
* * *
For the next few days, Guadang had not seen my face. Of course, the specially formulated plant poison I had concocted was left abandoned.
I had sealed it tightly with a cork stopper, but leaving it too long would undoubtedly cause it to emit a pungent odor.
‘I should have diluted it and applied it to the plants.’
I poured the plant-specific poison onto the grass.
I had disposed of the container I had used to store the poison in secret. I had burnt it in a hidden incinerator, making sure no one would find it.
After walking nervously and then taking a carriage to move, I entered the administrative office.
I greeted Gerald weakly. However, he made a jest as I walked past.
“Ms. Nelly, it seems like you’ve lost the ‘good’ in ‘good morning.'”
When I slowly turned my body, my eyes met his. Gerald glanced at my face and then abruptly closed his mouth, changing his words.
“Oh, never mind.”
Sophie entered the room behind him and greeted me with a cheerful smile.
“Good morning, Ms. Nelly.”
About to return the greeting, I was interrupted by Gerald, who quickly grabbed her arm.
“Today, it’s not a ‘good’ morning, just a morning.”
Sophie, after glancing at my face, quickly understood and nodded in agreement.
She smiled and followed us into the office.
“What’s wrong? Does she have something on her mind? She looks like a zombie.”
“Do you want me to ask?”
“No, not now. Let’s just leave it for now and let her rest.”
I felt unfairly accused when I heard zombie noises from the former zombies. But I didn’t have the energy to say anything, so I nervously entered my office. I sat down on a chair and bowed my head.
My forehead touched the edge of the desk. I let out a sigh as I swung my hands hanging limply by my side.
‘Maybe revenge doesn’t suit me?’
Or is there another reason for returning to the past? Otherwise, things can’t keep going wrong like this!
I tapped my forehead on the miserable desk when suddenly,
“Ms. Nelly, I’ve found something amazing!”
Lizzy burst into the room. I turned my head to look at her with a drooping posture.
She covered her mouth with both hands when she noticed me. Then, she approached me with her restless eyes and whispered.
“When you hear this news, you’ll gain strength!”
“What is it?”
Lizzy closed the door and looked around the room even though there was no one to eavesdrop on us. She came closer and whispered in my ear.
“The queen entrusted the Duke with the cultivation of exotic grains from a distant land, and it seems to be extremely difficult.”
…Did I mention revenge to Lizzy? I got up and looked at her in astonishment, and she grabbed my hands and said with a broad smile.
“Since you’re so capable, if you take care of these grains and make them grow well, you can earn the Duke’s trust!”
Exotic grains from a distant land? That’s right! I remembered now. I even wrote it on paper last time, so why did I forget it?
Stupid me. Such an idiot!
While blaming myself, my lips curled up so much that it hurt. I grabbed Lizzy’s hands, and she smiled widely.
“Thank you so much. Lizzy is a genius!”
“I’m glad I could help.”
Blushing, Lizzy twisted her body and I embraced her warmly.
I remembered what happened before I returned to the past. The Queen had sent exotic grain seeds to several estates, but none succeeded.
Even Leonel failed to harvest them. The grains grew too slowly, and they froze to death before ripening.
But even that was one of the better-grown crops compared to the others. Others didn’t even sprout.
Thanks to that, Leonel received the Queen’s favor.
I think he made a report to the queen on how to grow crops, but I don’t remember what it said.
Leonel didn’t believe me. Of course, he didn’t tell me why the grains grew so well. Maybe he thought I would steal the information and use it in other estates.
It doesn’t matter. This time, I’ll make sure they don’t grow at all!
Even though I laughed ominously, Lizzy was visibly delighted.
She’s such a good person, that’s why. My nose tingled, so I held Lizzy’s hand.
“Even if I leave the estate someday, I won’t forget you.”
I shook our joined hands up and down. When I tried to let go, Lizzy firmly held my hand.
“Ms. Nelly, are you planning to leave the estate?”
Of course, once I succeed in my revenge and gather enough money to buy a house, I plan to leave.
But looking into her troubled eyes, I couldn’t say that. I awkwardly smiled and gently released her hand.
“Someday, I might leave…?”
“I don’t like it!”
“I don’t like other people! I’ll do better. Don’t go!”
Don’t cling to your departing lover like that!
I heard a faint sighing sound from somewhere and turned my head. Through the slightly open door, the heads of Sophie, Tom, and Gerald were stacked like a three-story pagoda.
“Lizzy, please let go for now.”
I gently removed Lizzy, who had somehow attached herself to my waist. After mingling with Arette and Levance, Lizzy seemed to have gained strength and wouldn’t budge.
“Promise me you won’t leave anytime soon!”
Sophie, Tom, and Gerald’s heads darted behind the door. They gave her a strange look.
No, it’s not like that!
“People outside will think strangely!”
“No, please! I don’t like other managers! Don’t leave!”
Terrifyingly, the door swung open again.
“Other managers? Ms. Nelly, where are you going?”
“Are you saying you’re quitting your job?”
“You’re not coming back forever?!”
Sophie, Tom, and Gerald rushed in, shouting.
It seems like things are getting more and more out of hand…
Other supervisors who heard the noise also gathered and murmured. I raised my hand, looking at their ominous expressions.
“I didn’t say that!”
I pushed away the people who were crowding around while Lizzy was still clinging to my waist. After that, I felt weak all over my body.
Even as I leaned against the wall to catch my breath, Lizzy still had a firm grip on my waist.
I had underestimated Lizzy.
I should have recognized her when she drove the pen tip into the wall like a dart. It’s not easy to damage a wall like that without considerable strength.
“Okay, I get it. I get it, so please let go.”
“Yes. …Is retirement okay?”
“Of course! But you have to be over 80 years old!”
When I said he would keep going until he turned into dust and bones, was this how Frer felt?