‘Why did Arias appear here of all places?’
Rachel tried to sneak a look at his face underneath his hood to no avail.
His face and eye color were concealed with a black blindfold.
Arias. The pseudonym of the only Grand Duke of the empire and father of the novel’s female protagonist, Dolorosa, Archduke Sian Aisa Dicarsinyak.
She decided to revise her plan and take only necessary information.
Arias is someone who will be my in-law since he is the father of my son’s future girlfriend.
She simply couldn’t let him go now that he had appeared in front of her like this.
Arias tilted his head.
“Countess? Is there a problem?”
“I’m sorry. Your name was similar to someone else I know so I was quite shocked. This conversation might take a while, so could you please wait in another living room? Once I’m done, I will come to meet you immediately.”
“Any amount of waiting time will cost you a fee.”
At the delightful reply, Arias went to the living room.
One of the richest men in the empire calculating his allowance so meticulously! It was amazing acting that would have fooled her if she didn’t already know.
She was so eager to talk to Arias as soon as she could. But to do that, she had to finish up with Marsha’s issue first.
She calmed her excitement and said slowly, “Now that the interrupter is gone, shall we continue our conversation?”
“I gave you a chance and you lost it. I have no compassion left for you so, don’t call this unfair.”
Rachel calmly placed her hands together and stated the punishment she had thought of.
“First off, you’re no longer a nanny of the Elosa household. You need to withdraw every benefit you were given for being a worker in this household, as well as the support money sent to your family.”
“But if you do that, my family will…!”
“Don’t interrupt me. I’m not done talking yet. Return all items you were provided with, including the clothes you’re wearing now. If there is anything that has become worn out or become unusable, or is contrary to what is in the ledger, you will have to compensate for it.”
Marsha’s head fell to the floor powerless.
Rachel was not even done yet and Marsha was already acting this way.
“Return all the items you stole as well. If there is anything missing, you also need to make up for it. I’ll charge you the rental fee based on the date the tableware disappeared, and I’ll charge you the amount based on the date the consolation party was held plus the amount of food you took.”
“Where will…I find such money…?”
“Also, you need to return the wages you received while being away on duty. I will also claim compensation for the mental damage that Graham and I have suffered due to your lying and neglect of work. Graham is such a good boy that I don’t think he will ever speak ill of you, Marsha.”
After her words poured out like a waterfall, Rachel let out a deep breath.
“I’ll arrange the amount and the due date, and then send it to the country where your family lives. If you disappear, your family will have to pay for it, so don’t think about running away.”
Marsha finally burst into tears.
Rachel watched her son’s elderly nanny cry on the floor in agony before turning around.
There were still more left, but she couldn’t give the last punishment because she felt pity for Marsha as she cried.
“I was going to let out a rumor that you got kicked out for stealing but I can’t do that. You won’t be able to work as a nanny ever again if I do.”
Unfortunately, Marsha already has enough financial problems to deal with from the previous punishments so Rachel decided to end it here since she had suffered enough.
Rachel immediately headed to the other living room where Arias was waiting.
When she opened the door, Arias turned to look in her direction. His face was covered with a blindfold and hood, so he wouldn’t be able to see in front of him properly, but he still managed to look in the right direction.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”
“It’s alright. As I told you before, I’ll calculate the time I’ve waited and charge you accordingly.”
There was a chair in the sunny area by the window, but Arias chose to stand in the shadow.
Instead of sitting on the chair, Rachel also stepped into the shade. Alias glanced towards her as if he could really see where she stood.
“As you may have heard, there’s something I’d like to ask for. I was supposed to visit the guild myself, but my husband and butler treasure me so much, which is why you had to come all the way here.”
“I have something I would like to say before I officially mention my request. May I do so?”
“As long as you can pay for the extended request time, then of course.”
“Very well, then.”
She bowed courteously to Alias, as he wore his black cloak and blindfold.
“Greetings to Grand Duke Sian Aisa Dicarsinyak.”
She could feel the nervousness from the flustered Arias.
“I have no clue what you’re talking about. I’m Arias, a guild informant.”
“That’s probably your pseudonym.”
Arias, no, Sian, examined her face before he slowly opened his lips to speak, his voice raised sharply.
“How did you find out?”
She had succeeded in gaining his interest.
Rachel calmly recited her prepared lie, “It wasn’t difficult. You covered your eyes and hair thoroughly, which was quite suspicious.”
Of course it was difficult.
It was common for a guild informant who secretly performed requests to conceal their appearances.
However, it was rare for them to completely cover their eyes and hair as Sian had done. It wouldn’t be easy for someone to collect information with obscured vision.
“Is that the only thing that made you realize I’m the Grand Duke?”
“You have not concealed your voice, either. Although you do not appear in public very often, your voice is so nice that it would be hard to forget.”
It was a meaningful reasoning, but this alone would not be enough fully persuade Sian. Human hearing is usually as sensitive as the smell, but couldn’t trump sight.
It was quite hard to believe that she remembered Sian’s voice, which she had only heard from afar and less than a few times.
“Plus, you have a good enough reason to come here,” Rachel added finally.
This was the most obvious reason.
It was also why Theodore, who fell in love with Jane in the original novel, collapsed and Graham had to live as a mercenary without his title and surname.
“I understand the noble statesmen are suspicious of Theodore and believe he’s going to revolt. I also know that Your Grace is a representative of the noble statesmen. Shouldn’t this be enough to guess?”
That was right.
It was publicly known that Sian represented the statesmen and sometimes lurked through the guild. It was only unknown that he was Arias.
The problem is…
“How did you know that the noble statesmen suspected Theodore Elosa’s rebellion? I believe that information is for only the statesmen’s high nobles.”
“Theodore often roams outside the mansion during the night, and moves in and out of secluded alleys. The family’s finances have loopholes in them as well. I would also be suspicious of a rebellion.”
Sian’s eyes, hidden with the blindfold, narrowed.
Everything Rachel had said was true. Everything from Sian’s identity to the suspicion of rebellion.
Last year, they had received reports of suspicious behavior on Count Theodore Elosa and the noble statesmen, who aided the Emperor, suggested that Theodore could be preparing for a rebellion.
After that, Sian trailed after Theodore. However, there were no signs of a rebellion and all he found was evidence of adultery.
The problem was that this did not resolve the timid emperor’s doubts. As a result, Sian had no choice but to keep an eye on Count Elosa’s household activities.
Today, when they heard that a guild informant was needed at the Elosa house, the noble statesmen came by and asked him to answer the request quickly. He could only go back upon request and after a proper inspection of the house.
Much to his surprise, however, Rachel saw through Sian’s identity. She also managed to read through the statesmen’s thoughts and doubts.
Rachel, whom he had met while investigating Theodore, was not this kind of woman. She was pure in the best sense, and dull in the worst sense. She was a woman who hadn’t noticed her husband’s cheating for years.
That was what he thought.
While Sian was silent, Rachel said persuasively, “Theodore just sneaks around with his mistress, avoiding the eyes of me and the others. Perhaps the money stolen from the family went to her and not the army. I will help you collect the evidence you need.”
‘Despite knowing, she feigned ignorance of her husband’s adultery.’
‘Who the hell was this woman?’
He had never been so wrong in his investigations before. It was enough to trigger his curiosity.
Sian provoked Rachel, “How funny. Aren’t you just trying to hide your husband’s rebellion? I don’t believe you.”
“I’m telling you this because you don’t believe me. As suspicious as you are, please trail Theodore until you are convinced that it is not a rebellion but an affair.”
‘What exactly is she trying to say?’
Sian waited patiently as Rachel continued, “There is a grocer’s store on Roten Street with light yellow flowers. Go into the alley on the right side of the building and walk past two buildings, and you will find a two-story house with a red roof. Keep an eye on the house. It will be clear what Theodore is doing.”
He already knew the location. It was the home of Jane, Theodore’s mistress.
Which meant Rachel was not just suspicious of her husband’s affair, but also understood the overall situation.
“Look around the house, and when you’re sure that Theodore isn’t planning a rebellion, but only having an affair, you can come look for me then.”
“…Are you looking to receive compensation?”
Rachel let out the smile she had been holding back.
“I need Your Grace to help me collect evidence of infidelity. I want to divorce Theodore safely.”
Using Sian was a sure way for her to get evidence of adultery without being suspected by Theodore. Besides, it would be an excuse to meet Sian again.
This was the perfect plan for a divorce and gaining favor with an in-law.
The only thing left now is for Sian to agree.
Sian’s straight lips, which were exposed beneath the blindfold, lifted slowly.
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