Just at the right time, Roman came in, put down the tea and juice then left. Instead of answering, Valletta raised her head and looked into Carlon Delphine’s eyes.
“Will something change depending on my answer?”
“That hateful guy thinks that I’m the only one who can understand him.”
Valletta bowed down her head, looked at the smoking tea and opened her mouth again.
“And he’s waiting for me to call his name.”
There was a small ripple on the barely changing expression of Carlon Delphine. Incomprehension could be seen in his raised eyebrow.
“He should at least know that I planned to come here. He’s probably thinking of how to dramatically appear in front of me.”
“… You talk as if you know that you will be dragged back by him.”
Valletta did not immediately say anything to Carlon Delphine’s sharp comment.
The reason why Reinhardt had allowed her to be free was because he had decided that he wouldn’t catch her for a while. Of course, she would’ve hit Reinhardt on the back of his head this time, but her struggle ended there.
The moment he discovered that she had run away, if he wanted to, he could have just followed her right away.
But he didn’t. And so far, he hasn’t been looking for her, which meant he had decided to watch for a while.
‘Is it out of pity?’
Or is it for his own amusement again?
“Or maybe I’ll go back to him with my own feet,” Valletta finally responded.
“That man is the last shield that I have. And he probably knows it too.”
“If he’s your last shield, then who is he shielding you from?”
Valletta just quietly raised her head.
Carlon Delphine stared intently into her dead eyes. He was often told that he was not very emotional, yet the girl in front of him was like a desert that was devastated by a drought.
“The Imperial Palace. Or maybe a new cage.”
Just like the non-existent emotion that could be felt from her eyes, an indifferent voice came out.
Carlon Delphine realized that the child in front of him was just as twisted as the Magic Tower’s Master that he had never met.
“Count Delight was a wicked man.”
He must have looked like a good parent in front of others. However to Carlon Delphine, Delight was nothing but a lowly human who treated his child like a golden goose that laid golden eggs.
That was why he had tried to make contact with her, but the Count’s security was surprising.
Count Delight was greedy and wicked, but he was not stupid. He would not lose his opportunities to momentary greed.
“I have seen Lady Valletta’s abilities many times.”
“That’s because I have acted like a circus clown in the Imperial Palace several times.”
Valletta lightly replied, as if it was nothing special.
“If the concern about the danger that I carry has been resolved, let’s stop talking about it. I don’t want to speak about it that much.”
Carlon Delphine was silent for a moment.
He looked at her while thinking, then he nodded his head. This gesture prompted her to say what she wanted, Valletta opened her mouth without any hesitation.
“I want two things from the unofficial association.”
She opened her mouth, recalling the conditions that she had already thought about.
“First, I don’t have a place to live right now. I need a safe space that the Imperial Family can’t touch for a while.”
She glanced at Carlon Delphine’s expression and opened her mouth again. The prudent man didn’t seem to have any intention to say anything until he heard everything.
She sighed heavily and pressed the bridge of her nose as if tired.
“I would like to open a pharmacy or something similar to sell potions. The problem is, as you know, I was constantly locked up so I honestly don’t know much about the world.”
The information that she heard, and when she went out were all handled by Count Delight.
Frankly, she had no idea how much jewelry she would need to buy an apple, the price of a potion, or how much the people needed medicine.
At the time, it was also difficult to determine the exact value of the jewels that she was carrying since they were cashed at a low price.
All she knew for certain was that she was close to a very useful joker. She doesn’t have anything, so she would at least use her body.
“That’s why, if you don’t mind, I would like you to introduce me to someone who can advise me on this.”
“Of course, I won’t ask you to just do both for free. I will also compensate the person who would advise me. This is all I have right now.”
Valletta said as she poured out a number or ornaments she took from the Sky Room that looked quite expensive.
She shook off everything she had taken from Reinhardt’s room.
She had already converted one of the ornaments into gold coins, and thought that the money would be enough for a while.
Carlon Delphine looked at the ornaments for a long time, then he raised his head to look at Valletta.
Valletta took it as a sign that she could continue and went on.
“Of course, I know that these ornaments and money are not worth that much to you, Duke.”
“If you knew, then why give me these things?”
“Another suggestion. I don’t really know the value of potions, but I do know that high-grade potions are worth a lot.”
Carlon Delphine listened to Valletta with his arms crossed, and with an expression that hid his thoughts.
“If there’s a quantity requested, I can make the ones you need in an agreeable amount on a weekly or monthly basis.”
“… A high-grade potion’s value is certainly high. Most alchemists don’t even dare to make one, since even if they wring out a magic circle to make it, they would often fall ill.”
Valletta nodded at Carlon Delphine’s words.
She knew about that. For what he’s worth, Count Delight was enthusiastic about learning about alchemy to make Valletta study ‘Alchemy’.
“You don’t think I would lock up Lady Valletta and force you to do it?”
“Yes, I’m also human. I can be greedy, don’t you think so?”
“Would you? I don’t really think so.”
Even if that was the case, calling Jin to run away would be enough. Carlon Delphine’s pupil dilated at Valletta’s dry voice and slowly returned to normal.
“Since when have we built trust like this? Then, shall we talk about the conditions? How about 100 high-grade potions in a month? Of course, we would provide the materials.”
Valletta said nothing and pondered. Carlon Delphine did not say anything either.
In fact, if she just asked for help, he would have been willing to provide it.
Valletta Delight was well aware of her situation, and Carlon Delphine felt pity for her. He also wanted to take this opportunity to recruit an outstanding alchemist to the Alchemist Association.
However, he was dissatisfied with the way she was pricing and selling herself like a commodity. So he was grumpy, unlike the usual Carlon Delphine.
‘The stake is 100 potions.’
If you think about it, that’s three potions a day. In fact, it was not impossible or unreasonable for her to be able to make 10 advance-grade potions a day.
She didn’t know the value of 100 high-grade potions, but making it, although tiring, wasn’t too difficult for Valletta.
However, even Valletta, who was not very knowledgeable about it, thought that 100 was a little too much.
“I’m sorry, 100 is too much.”
It was a condition that he knew was impossible in the first place, so Carlon Delphine crossed his arms and nodded.
‘The first time I saw this child was when she was seven years old.’
The child came out with an expressionless face and showed off her abilities at Count Delight’s word like a circus monkey.
Maybe that’s why she still looked like a child to him. But this child doesn’t know how to lean on someone.
The formula that she needed to pay to get something in return was deeply rooted in her head.
The moment that Carlon Delphine was about to say ‘I understand’, Valletta opened her mouth instead.
“However, I can make two per day, and up to 60 a month. If that’s okay, then we can do it this way.”
“Yes, if it’s that much, I think as compensation for the kindness that you would provide, it’s enough.”
60 high-grade potions a month? It wasn’t just enough, it was too much.
The child in front of him seemed to have no idea how astronomical it was.
‘She really doesn’t know anything.’
Carlon Delphine, who realized this while on his seat, was not in a good mood.
He didn’t like anything that was unjust, especially inhumane ones that were directed to the weak.
However, the more they talked, the more Count Delight’s inhumane actions were being drawn in front of his eyes. Count Delight covered her eyes and ears so she wouldn’t know her worth. She was ignorant of her own value.
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