Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
Money was the best consolation.
Her marketing strategy worked successfully, and people from all over the Friar continent sought the ‘Red Pills’.
Where there is light, there is also a shadow. The pills were so famous that someone started distributing fake ones.
The culprit hadn’t been found, but the merchant guild kept trying to solve the problem.
“I’m surprised the temple is so quiet,” Elody said.
“I know, I don’t even know what they’re up to…” Sirka replied in annoyance.
He didn’t seem to like the temple, and Elody couldn’t agree more with him.
Elody was revealed as the producer of the medicines long ago.
Of course, she suspected that the temple had something to do with it. Though contrary to her worries, nothing significant had happened.
She thought someone from the temple might visit the mansion. But her days were surprisingly calm and peaceful.
However, Elody had received several invitations from unknown places.
After Sirka went back, Elody opened each of the invitations on her desk and read its contents.
‘It’s an invitation from the wives of the warlords…’
Elody frowned and ordered Norman to send a letter of refusal.
On the other hand, Elody still hadn’t heard anything from the vassals who ignored the order to participate in the war.
‘They’re so shameless that they’ve never even visited the mansion or at least tried to contact me first.’
The thought of their disgraceful acts was repugnant to her.
But truthfully, she had other things to worry about.
Elody consistently sent medicines along with letters to Caville. However, there had never been a single reply.
“Why hasn’t he written back?”
“Since he’s in war, it might be difficult for him to exchange letters.
“Madame…. don’t be too upset,” Norman said as Elody nodded with a sad expression.
Norman let out a sigh, “More than that, I’m worried that the war will drag on for too long.”
“Yes, I’ve realized it as well.”
“The decree said that the war lasts for 20 years. I hope it doesn’t take that long…”
Elody’s face sank at Norman’s words.
Fortunately, the war with the Kingdom of Urta ended in 10 years.
Elody gathered her energy and continued to work diligently.
She invested all the money she had earned in the territory so it would improve. The avenue was now filled with handsome streets and public buildings; the streets were occupied by imposing blocks composed of several new shops and business premises. In a short span of time, the avenue became the center of trade.
Rhondia also built a new branch within the territory. It was a magnificent building, erected in a dominant position on the main streets.
Elody welcomed and congratulated Rhondia on their newest branch.
However, there was a downside as well…
“Why are you here again?”
“Madame, please calm down… You should be welcoming me with a happy smile!”
“…yes, well… Welcome to the duchy.”
Elody saw Sirka as often as she saw the servants of the mansion.
‘Is he really the boss of Rhondia…?’
He was never busy, and he rarely went to the capital where the main branch was located.
Furthermore, he seemed to have settled down in the Cernoir territory and had always visited the mansion as if he was trying to bother Elody on purpose.
He would follow her to the lab to see how she developed her medicines and try to figure out what kind of drugs she was going to make next.
Elody spoke firmly to Sirka.
“The laboratory and the greenhouse are off-limits.”
Sirka became sullen for a moment, but then cheered right up and excitedly went to see the knights in the barracks.
He seemed no different from a goldfish, which had a memory span of 3 seconds.
* * *
Elody was currently working in her office.
Suddenly, she heard a knock.
“Come in,” Elody said.
“Petria, you’re here?”
It was Petria who came into her office. She was responsible for various projects within the territory.
Although she had a cold appearance, Petria used to be a commoner and worked as a cashier for a small shop in the market.
The first time Elody saw Petria was two years ago in court. She was accused of being a thief and, thus, was put on trial by the lord.
“She stole money from my store! This is proof!”
The owner of the store proudly delivered the ledger, supposedly handled by Petria.
Elody scrutinized the books. As the plaintiff said, the money was gone, but there was no evidence that the culprit was Petria.
“Do you have any evidence to support your claim?”
“Well, she’s from an orphanage in the slums! Don’t you know how many crimes the children coming from there have committed on the premises? The chances of them becoming pickpockets are a hundred out of a hundred! All of them!”
Elody was speechless. She was tired of his ridiculous claims.
Once his accusations were over, Petria had the right to speak. It was time for her to defend herself.
“I was falsely accused. The boss spent the money on his lover without his wife knowing, and he’s plotting against me to hide the truth.”
“T-that! How dare you accuse me of such foul things?! You liar!”
At Elody’s words, Petria continued to talk with an expressionless face.
“In the second week of last month, exactly 100,000 gold disappeared on the 15th. The total amount that came in that day was 300,000 gold. I remember all the details. Around 10 am a young man purchased items worth 20,000 gold. And three hours later, an older woman….”
Petria went on like a machine. Stupefied, Elody blinked her eyes.
Petria remembered precisely when the boss was away.
In the meantime, Elody received the ledger of the store handed by the knight. She checked its contents, and Petria’s words matched perfectly with the evidence.
‘How can she be so clever?’ Elody thought in admiration.
She wanted to applaud her but held back.
The plaintiff’s face turned blue when she spoke in such detail, down to every minute and second.
Elodie immediately checked the soldiers to see if her words were valid.
While waiting, the plaintiff’s facial expression was filled with anxiety.
Soon, a soldier brought the plaintiff’s mistress and the person who bought the gift.
When the maxims and confessions occurred, the boss glared at Petria with intensity; it was a look that conveyed a boiling hatred.
After all, it was unexpected for an orphan to be able to memorize the contents of the ledger.
In the end, it was revealed that the boss took 100,000 gold himself to buy a gift for his mistress.
Petria was innocent.
Elody eyes glimmered in astonishment as she slowly approached Petria…
…And hired her in an instant.
* * *
Since then, Petria had been in charge of numerous things and was rewarded with a generous salary from Elody.
Elody started various businesses on the land with the money she earned from developing drugs.
Amongst them was the establishment of an orphanage and school. She never hesitated to spend money on children’s education.
Education for orphans was a necessity. She wanted to eliminate discrimination and change people’s perceptions.
“Madame, this is the breakdown of the cost of materials for the new building in the orphanage.”
“Were there any difficulties?”
“No, everything went smoothly as we didn’t spare any expenses. I checked the construction site myself. The dormitory was nice, the children were happy. Oh, and I also chose new teachers for the children.”
“Ah… Well done. You picked adults who aren’t likely to abuse the children, right?”
“Of course. I’ve checked their career thoroughly. I’ve met with the children and gathered their thoughts. I chose only the best of the best. My focus was on people with friendly personalities rather than blunt ones. Of course, their wages are pretty high.”
“Magnificent! You’ve done a great job.”
Elody managed to cut off her words before she went on any longer. Petria was someone who could spend hours talking.
Petria was the fastest talking person Elody had ever met. She was expressionless, but she talked so fast that Elody got nervous whenever she listened to her.
But, the orphanage teachers must have been conscientious, as Petria hired them herself.
When Elody thought about Petria interviewing the teachers, she realized that she did not need to worry. Seeing how talkative Petria was, she should have prepared a lot of questions.
‘They must’ve been so pressured!’
Elody decided to check the orphanage soon.
“Come to think of it……”
At that time, an idea popped into Elody’s head.
‘Where was the location of Caville’s orphanage?’
Elody ordered the maid to bring Norman in.
A moment later, the butler entered the room.
“Madame, how can I help you?”
“Norman, please tell me the location of Caville’s orphanage.”
“Well… it’s a slum located close to Baron Vendos’ estate.”
“Oh, it’s not that far.”
The duchy was quite extensive. Not much had changed since the first Duke took over the territory.
Baron Vendos was one of the vassals who took part in the war at Caville’s command.
“So he’s strictly within the duke’s mandate, isn’t he?”
The time for revenge had finally come.
Elody ordered the servant to prepare a carriage immediately.
“Wait, you said the orphanage was in the slums?”
“Is it still there?”
“Yes… the prosperity of the duchy has increased thanks to madame, but there are still some places where the situation has not improved.”
It’s heartbreaking that Caville grew up in the slums.…
Elody still had a mountain of work to do. She had worked diligently every day, but her workload had not lessened.
Managing the land wasn’t as easy as she thought.
“Norman, there will be no more slums in the future.”
“Until Caville returns, I’m going to take care of this land and develop every single area.”
Norman was so moved he began to sniffle.
Elody pretended not to see the state that he was in and averted her gaze.
Truth to be told, what she was doing wasn’t just for Caville’s sake.
Caville would divorce her once he returns, but Elody didn’t want to leave the duchy.
Elody had grown fond of the duchy, where she worked hard enough to make the place thrive. She wanted to live here, even if she had to live in the countryside or the suburbs.
But she didn’t want to go to the slums. The security was poor and it would be hard for her to live in such a place.
So she planned to get rid of all of the underdeveloped areas, for this was her future.
Though before that, she had to prioritize punishing the offenders of the law first.
For any errors and issues contact me through discord: https://discord.gg/Q3dStgu