While we were immersed in our conversation about poison, medicine making and medical practices, the situation got sorted out over there at that side, too.
Two of the five men had already collapsed, now rolling on the ground, while the remaining three were breathing roughly.
Diana and Cassion also looked disheveled, but they seemed to have sustained only a few injuries.
From an outsider’s point of view, there was no doubt that those two were far superior to the rest.
Even the guildmaster, Owen, seemed to be feeling the weight of defeat on his shoulders.
He tried to catch his breath a short distance away while his face was as white as a sheet.
Right about now, he’s probably thinking that there’s no hope in winning this.
‘I mean, that’s why you should live kindly while you’re alive.’
In the original novel though, the protagonists didn’t have roles that were on the side of righteousness.
And the villains like me and Cassion died futile deaths.
I mean, come to think of it, this kind of correlation was a bit strange.
Because in the genre of a novel like this, it’s the protagonists who were much crazier than the villains themselves.
I watched Cassion and Diana as I apathetically mulled over the novel’s ‘good’ and ‘evil’.
“Hm, I think they’ve gotten things sorted out now.”
A murmur could be heard from beside me.
It was Blanca.
Gracefully bobbing one crossed leg as she sat there, Blanca asked.
“This money… what’ll you do with it”
Her silver eyes twirled as she pointed to the box beneath her feet.
It was the money that the men brought in earlier and handed to Logan.
The box of 1000 gold was Blanca’s in the first place, so she should just take it.
The dilemma now lay with the 520 gold that Owen brought.
This was probably those men’s entire fortune.
As the corners of my lips curled up, I answered.
With my eyes still fixed on Cassion and Diana.
“It’ll be split into three.
One-third will be given to our poor Marie since she never got her severance pay.
One-third to you as your commission fee.
And the remainder will be for Cassion to use as his funds.”
I answered in a very casual tone, and Blanca admired this as she spoke amusedly.
“You got this money by swindling someone, but you don’t seem to have any reservations about using it.”
It was an ambiguous remark that could either be a compliment or otherwise.
But, it didn’t really bother me.
“It’s money scammed from a scammer, so whatever.”
Just as Blanca said, this money was gained from duping someone.
I don’t even know if there really is such a thing as a treasure ship of some foreign nation’s imperial family, but the backstory about the shipwreck was believable enough.
To prevent them from wising up to it, the date was set just two days after the request to their guild had been deliberately placed.
And those men took the bait—hook, line and sinker.
Indeed, this was all one big fishing ruse.
I had their movements tracked for these two days, and they seemed to have withdrawn all the money that they had.
This box of 520 gold coins was the culmination of all their money, all their greed, and all their sins.
I reached for one gold coin.
Gold coins at daybreak had no difference with ice-cold metal.
Stroking the cold surface of the gold coin, I asked back.
“Then, do you care”
I glanced to the side.
And my gaze was met by a pair of mysterious silver eyes.
As she blinked, her long eyelashes fluttered, and her eyes curled into smooth arcs.
“This is why I like you, Princess.”
I believe there’s no other more dreadfully ridiculous answer than that.
Then, still with a smile on her lips, she spoke with a hum towards Logan.
“Logan, you’ve prepared the documentations detailing those guys’ past, haven’t you”
“Yes, I’ve gathered pieces of evidence of their illegal activities and left them behind in their hideout.
Once an investigation commences, they’ll be found immediately.”
“Then, once the evidence is found, you will be the one who’ll press charges, right”
The conversation turned to me.
I’ve already contacted my older brother, so the guards should be on their way now.”
Before Cassion and I arrived here, I sent a letter to my older brother.
The loyal coachman, our dear Melvin, went back to the ducal estate no questions asked.
The carriage was empty except for the single letter it was carrying.
I’m glad I brought him over to my side, too.
‘I couldn’t use Blanca’s side and the hotel for this task…’
If I had, then a carrier bird would have been sent.
The one advantage to a carrier bird was that it’s faster than a carriage, but considering today’s events, this was actually a drawback.
The work we had today was dedicated to Cassion’s hands-on training.
But of course, the more important task today was for Diana to carry out her revenge.
Thus, Diana would have to deal with those guys herself, however…
‘The fact that Diana can wield a sword—this has to stay a secret.’
The more an important card was kept hidden, the more it would shine.
If need be, Diana would be affixed to Alicia’s side as her escort.
It would be better if her abilities could be kept secret.
Therefore, it would be difficult if the guards would come too early.
At the very least, they should come here after Diana had already beaten them up into a pulp.
In the letter I sent to my brother, I wrote:
[ My beloved personal maid had been swindled by a suspicious guild.
I want to help her so I decided to investigate the matter, and I found out that they’re vicious criminals, and that they’re planning to defect from the empire today.
That’s why Maxwell and I are in a hurry to stay on their tail right now.
Please send the guards.
I didn’t care very much for the cover story, but there shouldn’t be anything suspicious about it.
“You got rid of all the evidence incriminating Diana as someone who once worked in that guild, right”
“Yes, I’ve taken care of everything.
All the traces left of her there was about Diana being a ‘victim of fraud’, nothing more and nothing less.”
He reported in a very business-like tone, and that just made him more trustworthy in that regard.
And also, this incident would be used to tell the guards how Maxwell overpowered the culprits.
That way, Damian and Duke Valentine would acknowledge Cassion a little more.
Besides that, this would also instill a sense of urgency in David.
All of that was happening at the same time here.
“I believe we should get going now.
The situation over there seems to have been sorted out for the most part, too.”
Blanca whispered to me.
Indeed, it was as she said.
Right now, there was no one else standing around Cassion and Diana.
All five of those men, well, they’re just rolling around on the ground.
While bleeding through both nostrils still, Owen groaned.
His face got mangled quite considerably.
Blue, and also red.
It’s as if he’s covered in fireworks.
“…Ugh… Please… We used to be… co-workers… right Dia…na…”
Diana glanced down on him as she tried to catch her breath.
Then, with a calm tone, she spoke.
“The guards will be here soon.
Your crimes will be exposed, and you’ll be thrown in jail.”
For a moment, the air around them was frozen silent.
Owen looked up at Diana with bloodshot eyes, but his lips distorted into a smile as he clung onto her ankle.
“If… so, then, isn’t that… isn’t that dangerous for you, too You also worked in our guild… Did you forget”
The man’s threats made Diana breathe out heavily.
Her breaths were so deep that her shoulders and chest moved in unison.
Then soon, she lightly kicked off the man’s hand.
“Yeah, you all worked me like a dog.
I wasn’t treated like a human being, I couldn’t beat you all up, I couldn’t scream out even once, and while I’m not being paid properly so I could pay off my debt, the interest also kept rising.
Apart from that, the medicine that I used to consider like a ray of light… was fake.”
As soon as she stopped speaking, heated tears flowed down from Diana’s eyes.
Her emotions were surging up.
Blanca, Logan and I watched Diana from the sidelines with bated breath.
For a moment, Diana’s tearful gaze turned this way.
While bravely wiping away her tears with the hem of one sleeve, she smiled.
And it felt like that smile was intended for me.
“What a shame, but I’m not going to get caught here.”
Her voice was quiet, but so full of confidence.
Then, her gaze slowly turned away from me and went back towards that man.
“From now on, I also have someone on my side who’s protecting me.”
Her voice shook with emotion, with tears, that I was at a loss for words for a moment as I heard the confidence and joy in her tone.
It must be because there was a subtle sense of guilt mixed in.
After all, I took her in while planning to take advantage of her.
I’d have been in trouble if she was on Leo’s side, so I instead took her on my side to use her.
If I were to be honest, this idea continued to remain on the back of my mind to this day.
That I’d be sure to make the most out of her.
However, not without proper compensation.
‘If I’m someone on your side who’s protecting you, then of course that’s what I have to do.’
Saying this to myself in my mind, I slowly rose from my seat.
Logan and Blanca’s gazes followed my movement.
This made Blanca smile pleasantly at me.
“Well, we’ll be on our way now.
We still need to hide some money.”
Thank you for your help today.”
“No need for thanks.
I’m getting paid for all this after all.”
There was a mischievous smile on her lips as she waved goodbye.
After nodding, Logan followed after her.
It was his way of saying bye.
I raised my eyebrows to answer him, then I stepped away.
Cassion and Diana.
Towards where they were now.
As I approached, Diana and Cassion blinked as they glanced over to me.
I made eye contact with them both, one after another, then kicked the sprawled man right in the crotch.
The man let out a shriek, a groan, then eventually a sound that was somewhere in between those two.
As he curled into himself so tightly like that, the sight of him like that expressed just how much pain he was in.
“Does it hurt”
The man couldn’t even answer and just kept croaking like that.
The quivering man barely flipped over so that he could look at me.
The whites of his eyes had turned red.
It looked like he wanted to say more than just the word ‘you’re’, but I had a vague guess on what it was.
Just seeing the color of my eyes would certainly make someone ask, ‘You’re House Valentine’s young lady’
After cutting off the man’s words, I slowly crouched down to look into Owen’s eyes.
And with a beaming smile, I introduced myself to him.
“I’m Diana’s guardian.
So just try to mess with Diana one more time.
If you do, then I won’t just send you to jail.
You’ll be going straight to hell.”
In its own way, it was quite the courteous self-introduction.