She was a person who expressed her thoughts very honestly with her expression, ‘Can I sell this…’ it seemed to be what she was thinking.
I was convinced by seeing her expression like that.
‘This is what I was looking for.’
Avila finally opened her mouth, “This has to do with dog shapeshifters’… sensitive sense… Well, it slows it down—no, alleviating it… Actually, this is a failed version of the pink perfume I explained earlier.
I put them up because it’s pretty to display them in even numbers…”
“Give me that.”
“How much is it”
Asking back, she widened her eyes because she did not understand that I was going to buy it even though she said it was a failed version.
“No, I think it’d be better not to sell this.”
“Why I like it.”
“Oh… it’s a failure—”
“Does it have a bad effect on dog shapeshifters”
At my question, she went into a fit of rage.
“Oh, no! No! I basically don’t make anything in a way that harms the shapeshifters…!”
“I’m more curious about you refusing like that.
It doesn’t matter if the effect is insignificant, just give it to me.”
I was smiling leisurely, but the truth was, I was racking my brain hard to figure out how to convince her.
‘Should I pretend to be a geeky collector who collects failed things Or, should I say that the goal is to buy all the magic perfumes here Should I say I will give a lot of money…’
Then, a good idea came to mind.
With that thought, I spoke with a smirk to soften her vigilance.
Actually, I came here knowing what you are doing.
You’re studying the abilities of shapeshifters, right”
There are times when it was better to break through head-on rather than to just raise her vigilance after going around clumsily
It was a well-known fact that, with her ingenuity, she was doing her personal research and struggled to find a sponsor since she was posting an announcement in the Wizards’ Association newsletter that she was seeking a sponsor every time.
Consequently, the heroine came to visit her in the novel because she was interested in the newsletter.
If I knew what the other person wanted and I could give it to him, the deal would be over.
“That’s true, but… Oh, maybe—”
I’m interested in your research.”
She was staring at me with half anticipation and half wariness in her eyes.
“Does that mean that you are interested in my personal research, or are you trying to make an offer to me…”
The reason that she has never been able to find a sponsor for her was not that there was no one to support her with her exceptional ability.
It was because everyone wanted to donate a lot of money to do research for their own benefit.
However, the reason why Avila was doing personal research with difficulty even by selling her research results to maintain her livelihood was because she had a dream she wanted to achieve.
What she desperately needed was someone who would support her research.
There are many people in the world who place significance in contributing to national development or academia by sponsoring excellent researchers.
‘Now that it is like this, I got a lot from my salary anyway, so I should think of donating it to a good cause.’
I decided to give her what she had ever wanted to hear the most, and what she wants the most now.
Since I got paid a lot, it was very easy to decide to be her sponsor.
“I’m also a person who’s very interested in shapeshifters.
In the meantime, I was looking to sponsor someone who has produced excellent research results and is worthy of my honor.
If you were recognized for your outstanding skills, I think it’d be good to trust and support you.”
If there was something a person desperately wanted, and there was someone who would give it to you, they would bite it as if they were possessed by something without thinking about it.
‘That is how many people get swindled…’
Of course, I was not trying to cheat.
I ended up leaving the store after a 90-degree bow to her.
And, in my hand, I was holding what I wanted.
…Perhaps, it would be by the time when she receives my letter along with the sponsorship that she would truly know who I am.
* * *
It was a little later than planned when I arrived at Count Larscel’s residence because I took a detour on the side path.
“Rowaine! Why are you here so late I thought you weren’t coming.”
As I got out of the carriage, Countess Larscel greeted me friendly with her arms folded.
I laughed a little bitterly because the overreaction did not just feel like welcoming their daughter.
Still, I acted as calmly as possible.
“I missed you, mother.
I felt bad for leaving like that last time.”
You don’t know how much your father cared for you after letting you go like that.
However, what about the Duke of Blois”
Saying so, the Countess snooped through the empty carriage.
“He couldn’t come with me because he was suddenly busy.”
The Countess narrowed her brow, trying to hide her delight.
Seeing her smile like that, I frowned although she did not seem to realize it.
“Well, actually, it’s a bit awkward for him to come, isn’t it It’s about his wife’s ex-lover…”
The next moment, I met Count Larscel, who was smiling brightly as he listened to our conversation a little behind.
‘…He said he was hurt, it seemed that he was not lying.’
There was a time when I received a letter from my father asking me to come to visit him because he was injured, though I ignored it, thinking it was a clear lie.
Nonetheless, it seems that the injury was true since the Count’s arm was wrapped in bandages.
‘Anyway, the real Rowaine is not a kind person, so she would not have cared about it either.’
I did not pretend I saw the Count’s arm or even say hello.
I casually greeted the Count.
“Thank you for coming, Rowaine.
Last time this father was out of his mind.”
As expected, the Count did not seem to expect me to be kind and worried about him.
Rather, he was more friendly and even asked if it was difficult to come here.
It seemed that when the plan to sell his daughter went awry, all of a sudden, he was now being nice and it made me feel sick.
‘Is he thinking of trying to persuade me’
In the first place, Rowaine was on the same team as the Count so it seemed that he would try to do this.
Although diamond mines are diamond mines, if he succeeds in persuading me to become the Emperor’s mistress again, the unexpected profit* that would fall afterwards in the future would be formidable.
[ T/N: (figurative) A petty profit one obtains by accident, thanks to someone’s business.
Even considering that, it was good for Count Larsel and his wife that their relationship with their daughter did not go wrong.
I smiled to reassure them both.
“I’ve already forgotten all about the past.”
At that time, I calmly passed the Count and changed the subject as if I was just fickle.
“I wanted to be comfortable in the carriage, so I wasn’t properly dressed.
However, before I see the customers, I’ll change into a dress first.”
“Yes, you should.”
The Countess, enamored with my favorable attitude, followed me up to Rowaine’s room.
Following me, she began to charm me in earnest by taking care of me while I was changing.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but I heard from the Emperor that you must’ve been angry with His Majesty.”
‘The Emperor’s letter also said something similar.’
Still, he seemed to firmly believe that I had married Dimitri out of anger at him.
‘What the hell did the Emperor do to Rowaine… I thought it had something to do with the Empress.’
Countess Larscel held my clothes off, she opened her mouth again, “Shouldn’t you stop and think about it first His Majesty is looking for you.
See, isn’t that why he’s giving you this last chance to ask for your opinion”
“When His Majesty says he’ll accept it, be grateful and return to him.
How good would it be if you just drop this and go to the Imperial Palace to see His Majesty Regardless, the Duke of Blois is someone you don’t really want.”
While I listened to the words of the Countess, the only thought in my mind was that the dress I brought was uncomfortable and heavy.
“It’s good to make a man fret, though to exhaust him too much…”
“I understand very well what you mean.
By the way, I brought you a present, would you like to see it”
I interrupted her words and held out a well-wrapped present.
“What is this”
“I bought it just thinking of mother.
The Countess, whose face brightened in an instant at the word ‘present,’ forgot that she had been convincing me and quickly unpacked the present to check the contents.
“Oh my, it’s beautiful!”
It was an expensive shawl beautifully embroidered with gold thread.
Then, I wrapped the shawl around her shoulder with my hands and gave her a beautiful brooch to close the front, making sure it sticks close to her body so it would not fall off.
“What do you think Do you like it”
“It’s so pretty.
When did you prepare all this”
“It looks good on you, mother.
You look much younger.
Don’t take it off and keep wearing it, okay”
With a smile, I clasped the excited Countess’s arms and walked out of the room — like a good daughter who listened well.