Carl’s wrinkled face hardened.
“What do you mean you did it in hopes of worsening the mood?”
“Marsha isn’t the only one I have a problem with in this mansion. For once, I want everyone to look back on what they had done.”
It was as Rachel said, most of the servants in the Elosa mansion had problems. Especially since no one had called out Marsha for her long Solace Association meetings.
While they each came from different circumstances, everyone had the same thoughts.
‘Count Theodore doesn’t care about the mansion anyway. Countess Rachel is a good woman, but she isn’t very smart. Let’s just pretend to work properly and suck up to this family.’
Carl was the only one who worked hard since Theodore was a very ‘special person’ to him. Even so, the fact that other workers were slacking off on their duties said enough.
Marsha was punished first because she was the nanny. Rachel came to the conclusion that the neglect of a child was far worse than any other mistake.
She wanted other workers to come to their senses by sending Marsha out in a slightly excessive way. She hoped they would return any stolen items and stop neglecting their duties.
…Well, not all workers would be so naive as to do that.
Carl sighed and bowed his head.
“…It’s all because I didn’t manage the servants properly. Please forgive me.”
“I’m the one who should apologize since I’ve been leaving my work to you. I’ll take my time and will be more careful from now on.”
“I will let the servants know what Marsha has done wrong and warn them to be careful.”
“Please do so.”
And so, the conversation ended.
Carl’s plan to use the workers to scare Rachel had failed. In the end, she was the one to point out Carl’s and the servants’ faults. She even took it a step further and scolded them.
Carl’s eyes flashed in suspicion as he left the drawing room.
‘The Countess seems different than her usual self these days. I need to be more careful.’
But it was too late for such thoughts.
After Marsha was fired, Rachel canceled her schedule and had dinner with Graham.
Graham was very excited.
“Can I really have dinner with you today?”
“You wanted to eat with me?”
“Of course! You’re the best, mom!”
“How about you eat with me every day from now on?”
“Okay! I’m excited!”
He was so excited that he hopped around Rachel’s chair .
“I played alone in the garden today. I did a good job, right?”
“Really? Was it boring for you to play alone?”
“Nope! I made this for you, mom!”
Graham took the bowl he had left at the corner of the table and held it out to Rachel. There were several flowers in the concave bowl.
“It’s that tea you drink every day… Flooring tea? Yes, that!”
Even Rachel’s hobby of drinking flowering tea alone on a lazy afternoon didn’t go unnoticed by this small child.
Rachel took Graham’s bowl and pretended to gulp it down.
“Wow, it’s so much better and prettier than the tea I drink every day.”
“Can I keep this?”
“Of course! It’s my present for you, Mom.”
A happy smile bloomed on Graham’s small face.
It was such a pretty sight that Rachel’s eyes were blinded.
In the novel, Graham was described as the prettiest man in the world. She realized that it wasn’t an exaggeration. He was only four years old, but his appearance was so beautiful that it was blinding.
Graham was sitting on his chair, about to eat, when he suddenly burst into tears.
“Oh, mom, I spilled…”
It looked like he had dropped a piece of roast beef.
“Oh, goodness. It may be a waste but you shouldn’t pick it up and eat it. It’s dirty. I’ll ask someone to bring some more, so wait a little longer. Alright?”
“’Okay! I’ll wait nicely.”
Rachel laughed at his cute and sharp answer.
That’s right. No matter how hungry you are, you shouldn’t pick up dirty meat.
If you pick it up and eat it, you’ll get sick.
Rachel became Theodore’s partner in a marriage of convenience shortly after her birth. Theodore had been four years old then, which was Graham’s current age.
Theodore, a hopeless romantic, became pessimistic and frustrated about his situation when he grew up.
‘A loveless marriage? How horrible!’
Jane, who had appeared at the beginning of his wedding preparations, was the perfect refuge for Theodore. Perhaps he was even more passionate because their love was a forbidden one.
‘What a cruel fate it is to love someone despite our parents’ disapproval and our difference in status and age! It’s terrible, but we will overcome it with the power of love!’
…Were probably Theodore’s thoughts.
It was pretty funny.
If he wanted to write a tragic novel, why not write it by himself instead of dragging poor Rachel into this tragedy?
Rachel cut through the meat fiercely with burning hostility towards Theodore.
Whether he knew what his mother was thinking or not, Graham swung his legs back and forth and chatted throughout the meal.
“I picked up a stick earlier and imitated the knight in a book, and it was fun.”
“A knight? That’s wonderful. You can protect mom.”
“Of course! I’ll protect you. Just tell me when the bad guy shows up. I won’t forgive him if he hurts mom.”
Then Graham sat up straight, his eyes sparkling as if he really was a knight.
Her son was more reliable than her husband, who didn’t even try to protect her.
Rachel smiled with joy.
“Thank you. I’ll be a little disappointed if Graham has a girlfriend later.”
“I’m not going to get a girlfriend.”
‘You can’t do that. Dolorosa will be upset.’
“You will think differently when you grow older.”
“No! Mom is the only one I like!”
Graham came down from his chair and rushed to hug Rachel’s waist.
“Alright, alright,” Rachel said as she patted the child on his head.
He was a shy and introverted child, who only followed after his mother since he was a baby. Perhaps it was only natural that he behaved this way, especially after the way Marsha, his nanny, had treated him.
Thanks to that, Rachel’s death was an unforgettable trauma for Graham.
It was quite unfortunate.
Rachel wanted a nice and shy child like him to make friends his age. She wished she could go find Dolorosa right away. Rachel was sure she would be a wonderful and sweet friend.
However, she still hadn’t gotten a divorce or dealt with the multitude of money problems.
For the time being, Rachel had to be a friend to Graham.
‘You only need to wait a short while, Graham. Since I baited your future father-in-law today.’
She hoped Sian would tail Theodore soon. When he finds the proof of adultery and returns to thank her, she would use the evidence to divorce Theodore. Then she would arrange for Graham and Dolorosa to meet.
She was already looking forward to it.
Carl asked the same question again today.
“What is on your schedule for today?”
“I want to read a book in the study. The novel I started reading yesterday is quite interesting. The title is ‘I Became the Mother of the Male Lead Who Lives With An Adulterous Man’, but the young countess ends up divorcing her husband and falling in love with a handsome duke.”
“Ahem,” Carl coughed to indicate that he wasn’t interested.
Rachel stopped talking, her eyes wide open. “Oh… You don’t like these kinds of stories. I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine. I understand that you spend the whole day in your study. The bill from the guild has arrived. Would you like to check it?”
A bill from the guild!
Had he already found all the necessary proof of adultery yet?
I unfolded the paper and read it with a racing heart.
[Charges for the commission
Trip to and from the mansion: 20 gold
Wait time cost: 13 gold
Advance payment: 5 gold
I am currently looking for your order. I’ll make sure to send it to you by the designated date with the honor of the guild.
Senior Guild Informant, Arias]
Unfortunately, he didn’t write what Rachel wanted.
It was a pity that things didn’t get done as fast as she thought it would, but it couldn’t be helped.
He seemed to have confirmed that Rachel’s words weren’t completely false since he hadn’t sent in the troops. That alone was a relief.
‘I asked him to find proof of adultery, but I can’t even be sure if there is any. There are no cameras or text messages here.’
Sian was a smart man, so she had no choice but to trust him.
After she finished reading the message, she handed the paper to Carl.
“Please pay the bill. Anything else?”
“I received a message that Mrs. Vellengela is due to arrive at the mansion sometime today.”
“So, it’s finally that day. Alright. Please get ready to welcome our guest.”
Vellengela Elosa. Theodore’s mother and Rachel’s mother-in-law.
Fortunately, it seemed like Vellengela’s present would be ready in time for her arrival.
Rachel was curious about what sort of expression the strict wife would have after seeing the evidence of her son’s tax evasion and property concealment.
“Ledger, ledger, ledger… There it is.”
Rachel scoured the dusty bookshelves and picked out the book she needed. She put in another book and changed the order so that it wouldn’t be obvious where she took out the book.
In the past few days, Rachel pretended to read a novel and went in and out of the study to find documents related to the management and finances of the mansion.
Since Theodore was neglectful in managing the mansion, the documents containing important information lacked any organization in the study.
“I expected as much, but this place really is a mess.”
The ledger was formally arranged to be reported to the Imperial Palace or for taxes.
Elosa County, which was managed by Theodore, was a place where there was always a good harvest due to its large farmland and mild climate. But after the death of Theodore’s father, the previous count, their funds became tight.
‘Since Theodore took over the county, he started openly giving Jane money.’
At first, he categorized it under some ridiculous name like ‘Relief for the Poor.’ It must have been because Jane was a commoner. Jane’s pride would be hurt if she knew about it.
After a while, revenue began to decrease. A portion of it was given to Jane while the remaining amount was recorded as the family’s income.
As revenue decreased, taxes naturally decreased as well. Theodore must have been happy that he had killed two birds with a stone.
Rachel let out a snort.
‘Once Theodore became too poor to feed Graham, he would eventually send Graham to work as a mercenary, turning his son into a murderer. The more I think about it, the more terrible Theodore seems.’
When he became older, Graham learned about Theodore’s deeds, which led to him no longer believing in love and losing his sense of humanity. It was very easy to make such a child into a murderous mercenary. He killed with no hesitation and did not listen even when they begged for mercy.
After somewhat organizing the study, I sat down and opened the novel I was reading.
I had only read about two chapters when there was a knock on the door.
“Madam, Mrs. Vellengela Elosa has arrived.”
The time had finally come.
“Okay, I’ll be out soon. Carl, please call Theo.”
‘Now, shall I go give my pain in the ass mother-in-law a gift?’
❤️Thank you for reading and supporting us!