Be the Householder - 2
"The day I sold the building? It was the last day of disposal to return to my hometown, so I remember it roughly. What are you curious about?"
Sitting deep in his armchair, Green Barrow murmured, stroking his beard at Lignite"s question.
"What"s unusual about it? Yes, there was one thing. A child followed him to the place where he was paying the last balance."
"Yes, it was a girl who looked about ten years old. She paid the balance instead of the man who bought the building with the gold in a big bag. Now that I think about it again, it was really unusual."
Green Barrow grinned.
Gulping, swallowed dry saliva, Lignite asked in a trembling voice.
"Do you remember anything about the girl? Like her appearance, her name?"
"Well, well, if you ask someone like me that"s other than the small size and the way she talks..."
Green Barrow, who had blurred his words, tapped his knees and said.
"Oh, yeah. She had green eyes and a red ribbon on her head! Yes! Huh, my memory is still not dead!"
Perez looked up and looked at Tia, who was sitting across from him, as he recalled the conversation with Green Barrow, who he had heard from Lignite.
"What kind of cake do you want? I"m craving chocolate, but I"m willing to give way if you want to eat it, Perez."
Dressed in her favorite red dress, she was leisurely talking about the cake.
"How did you know? That I"m coming to see you."
Perez"s question stopped Tia"s bustling movement.
"You"re coming to the mansion early in the morning, it"s like the day you were leaving for the Academy alone. I just thought you"d do it like this way. And."
Tia replied with a smile.
"Because you have a reason to rush to see me."
"So how do you......."
"And how did you find out? My secret."
"......I"m sorry. I apologize."
At Perez"s apology, Tia shrugged and spoke in a light voice.
"No, there"s nothing to apologize for. It"s the same for you and me. No, I might be disappointed with you if you couldn"t figure it out."
Tia smiled softly at the end of the sentence.
"And if you apologize, I get stabbed a lot, Perez."
Then she poured the tea into the teacup in front of Perez.
"Now, ask me. I"ll answer you with all my conscience."
Even at Tia"s words, Perez remained motionless for a while.
He just stared at her.
It was because Tia felt strange today.
Nothing changed, it was like looking at someone else.
Perez slowly took off his lips.
And asked in a low voice.
"Tia, are you the real owner of Pellet Corporation?"
A smile smudged on her face when Perez was questioned.
And Tia replied.
"Yes, that"s right. I"m the real owner of Pellet Corporation."
"From the beginning?"
"Yes. From the beginning."
Pellet Corporation was founded eight years ago.
Tia was only eleven years old at the time.
At the same time, the puzzle that was divided into pieces seemed to be put together.
From diamond mine to triva trees and recent Eastern cruise operations.
He got goosebumps all over his body.
Perez instinctively buried his face in his hands.
He could feel the beating heart and the muscles of his whole body.
"As expected, it was you."
The corners of Perez"s mouth loosened in the dark locked in his hands.
* * *
If Bate hadn"t rushed with his delivery bag at dawn and informed that Lignite Luman had visited the former owner of the Pellet building, I would have been raided without knowing anything.
I swallowed a sigh of relief under my smiling face with pine nuts.
But it"s not over yet.
I can"t see Perez" reaction because he"s covering his face with his hands.
Do you feel betrayed?
Are you getting angry?
I knew Perez would notice one day, but what he thought was the most important thing.
If something like this makes our relationship go wrong.
"It changes the future of the family, which had been helped to become Lombardi"s household lord by getting close to the future crown prince in advance and had been in the wrong line for the throne."
There could be a major setback in one of my most important goals that I set as soon as I return.
Though the relationship between me and the guy won"t be that bad at all.
At last Perez looked up.
He had a blank face, but fortunately he didn"t seem angry.
Perez asked me.
"Do you happen to know my secret?"
It would be fair to say something I know about him.
I replied with a nod.
"The Monak Top."
"......you knew it."
"It was a great move to push the Empress and Angenas with the triva tree, Perez."
I know the future, so I bought triva wood aggressively.
Perez purely read the Empress" movements to predict the future.
What a piece of work.
I can"t help but admire Perez"s smart head every time.
"Then, the Pellet Corporation, did you pile up triva trees because you knew there would be a landslide?"
I shrugged and said.
"We have a lot of mines over there. I listened to the experts."
I"m sorry, Perez.
I can"t say I know the future by return from my previous life.
"Even with the same tree, Perez, you stopped the Empress" purse strings and took economic advantage, and I was just a little more politically motivated."
Perez"s red eyes stared at me.
It was a calm eye, contrary to what I feared.
I said, looking face to face without avoiding those eyes.
"But if you and I had worked together in the first place, we could have done more achievements."
Perez murmured quietly and asked.
"What"s your purpose, Tia?"
"There are parts that I don"t quite understand because the goal is to simply increase the Pellet Top"s market."
And after a short breath, I answered.
"I will be the Matriarch of Lombardi, Perez."
The sound of words coming out of my mouth is thrilling.
"And in order to do so, I will continue to help you become the Crown Prince and take revenge."
But Perez"s reaction was a little strange.
He looked at me with a stiff face.
The red eyes were shaking finely.
Oh, is it because of what I just said?
It was a misleading remark.
"Of course, I"m not saying I"m going to use you for my benefit. The reason why I"m helping you. Perez, you"re my friend......."
When I asked again, Perez slowly rose from his seat.
And came right next to me.
"Use me, Tia."
Perez said so and took my right hand.
Perez"s hand, a little rough, went down long along the sensitive flesh inside my arm.
The sound of flesh and flesh ringing in the quiet room.
"You can use me."
This time Perez"s thumb rubbed round the back of my hand with blue veins.
"Ten times or a hundred times. As much as you want."
The red eyes looking at me as if burning me, and slowly pulled the back of my hand.
"No, please use me."
The breath that leaked between Perez"s lips felt stark on the back of my hand.
And eventually, his hot lips touched the back of my hand.
His other hand dug into my left hand and clipped it tightly.
Perez did not stop there.
He put his lips down at every knuckles.
As if to claim ownership.
And his eyes never fell off me during the process.
Perez, who seemed to be performing a sacred ceremony, kissed the back of my hand one last time and spoke in a low voice.
"So I can help you, Tia."
* * *
Empress Lavini smiled a deeper smile to contain the anger that rose to the top of her head.
"Good tea scent, Empress."
"I"m glad you like it, Patriarch of Sushou."
"By the way......."
Chanton Soushou took a long time, but the Empress already knew the next word to come out of his mouth.
"Is it because of Pellet Corporation"s business, Patriarch of Sushou?"
"You"ve already heard. That"s right. Is the western tour of Angenas okay?"
"......It doesn"t a problem. Thank you for your concern."
"But cruise sounds pretty fascinating. Besides, the East has a mild and warm climate all year round. It would be perfect for a destination."
"Patriarch of Sushou."
Who the hell is this guy making fun of?
Lavini, who was about to burst out, quickly shut up at the words of Chanton Soushau.
"Will you be able to keep the payment date, Empress?"
Angenas was in a state of enormous debt to Sushou.
Her anger subsided and reason returned.
"I wish I could delay the payment."
The attitude of the solicitor was too stiff, but Lavini was very proud.
If Sushou didn"t delay the payment date, Angenas wouldn"t have the ability to pay the debt right away, so this is the way it should be.
"There must be a blow to western tourism as well."
Chanton Sushou nodded and said as if tossed.
"I"ll lend you more funds if you want, Empress."
Lavini doubted her ears.
But the ensuing Patriarch of Sushou proved that she had not misheard.
"We"ve already invested money in western businesses, so we"re going to lose a lot of money if we step down. Plus, I think you"ll need more money to compete with the Eastern Cruise business in the future.......isn"t it?"
"It would be a great help, Lord."
Lavini"s face was glowing.
It bothered her that she was going to have a bigger debt, but Chanton Soushau was right.
If she stop here, all she has left is debt.
She had to do something more.
It was a ray of light for Angenas now.
Chanton Soushau, staring into the eyes of sparkling Empress Lavini, slipped out.
"But this time, we"re going to need collateral."
In the meantime, Angenas borrowed money from Sushou after spending only one certificate.
It was like a credit loan from a bank.
"No matter how much I own it, I need something to show to the people of the Sushou family. I"m sure the Empress will understand my position."
"Well, of course. Collateral......."
Lavini was thinking of borrowing more money than last time.
So something of similar value was needed.
At that time, Chanton Soushau suggested troubled Empress Lavini.
"How about the land near the lands of Angenas, which you handed over to Sushou last time?"
"......Are you asking me to hand out the land document?"
"It doesn"t have to be a good agricultural or valuable land. I know there are quite a few of the lands in Angenas."
Chanton Soushau explained in a calm voice.
"Anything I need to show to the people of the family, especially Madame Sushou. It"s all collateral for one of your own. And......."
Patriarch of Sushou said, shaking his head.
"What would Sushou, with a vast granary, use with the land documents of Angenas?"
It made sense.
There was no guarantee as certain as the document of the estate, and as Chanton Sushau said, the land of Angenas was not worth much to be greedy for the Sushou family.
"I just suggested it because I wanted to give the Empress and Angenas another chance. If you feel pressured, I would also like to pay off the debt and close the contract according to the existing promise."
Chanton Soushou smiled and asked the Empress.
"What do you want, Empress?"
* * *
It has already been three months since cruise tours began.
There have been many changes in the meantime.
Especially in my safe.
I have so much money that I"m worried about where and how to invest and spend more.
There were two main ways in which money came in.
One was the money directly earned by Pellet Corporation through the Eastern Cruise business.
It was a large sum of money paid by aristocrats for cruise trips and profits from selling ship-carrying goods to the east with tourists.
And the other was the Chesail Port fee to share with my father.
In fact, I was surprised that the latter was much larger than the former.
As such, the Chesail estate was developing at a rapid pace.
To put it bluntly, the Chesail estate belongs to my father, and I am his only child and only heir.
I might be making more money than I thought.
For the past three months, I"ve been busy stabilizing the eastern cruise business.
"Oh, my god."
Now, the cruise tour began to take care of itself, and from today, I declared to Clarivan that I would live a leisurely life again, and I was on my way home.
"I"m going to oversleep sleep tomorrow. I"m not getting out of bed until my back hurts."
It was when I was walking up the stairs towards my room, muttering like that.
There was a very sad and creepy sound heard from above.
"The sound of a woman crying?"
I stepped up the stairs carefully.
And I could see someone crouching in front of my room crying.
"What are you doing here? Why are you crying?"
Since when has she been crying?
Larane"s face was a mess with tears.
Larane, who began to cry more sadly at me, said with a trembling voice.
"Hiks, ma, marriage...It was decided. I don"t know what to do, Tia....."