“But I don’t plan to protect just the child, but you as well, young lady.”
“I assure you that it’s useless meddling.”
“I don’t think you have a place to go to.”
The cold voice touched a sore spot. The reason why she could not reply to this was because it was true.
“If I’m alone, then there’s no problem. I just need you to take care of the child.”
“Oh my, that’s a reckless and pointless action.”
“It’s not pointless…”
Valletta, who was trying to open her mouth with a frown, could not find the right words to say and bit her lip.
The man’s eyes curved while looking at her, as if he was trying to appease a child.
“Think about it once again.”
As if trying to pacify a child, he opened his mouth with a voice that was a bit more softer.
He absolutely can not ignore their age difference, he led the conversation treating her like a child.
Even though he appeared to be expressionless, he was excellent at convincing his opponents and stirring the talk in his favor.
“If you come under my protection, I will give you various benefits.”
Valletta couldn’t speak, and took a deep breath.
The advantages of being under his protection flashed through her clever mind. As well as the worst that he could demand.
‘My father looked at me like a product that he could sell.’
How did the owner of the golden goose that laid golden eggs, treated the goose? The answer was obvious. He would not treat it badly.
Just like how Count Delight gave Valletta honor and wealth. However, it was under the condition that she would not reject or rebel against him.
‘If it’s the Duke, he will not raise his hand and use violence, nor will he order me to kill animals.’
At best, he could use the child’s well-being to threaten her. Or something else to use as a shackle.
When Valletta did not answer for a long time, Carlon Dephine, who seemed worried, opened his mouth slightly again.
“If I become your guardian under the premise of protection, the Emperor would not be able to hastily put his hand on you. There will be no problem with activities outside the country if you’re under the protection of the Duke’s residence.”
Valletta looked at Carlon Delphine with a blank look. It was a truth that she was well aware of.
He was the only one who was able to poke at the Imperial Family’s weak point.
‘It surely is not bad.’
In return, she will give the promised potions, and he will be able to lock up the golden goose that lays golden eggs in the house.
Safety in exchange for relinquishing some freedom wasn’t too bad.
“Of course, the story would have been a little different if it was a ‘Wanted poster’ and not a ‘Missing poster’ that the Imperial Family issued.”
Valletta nodded at Carlon Delphine’s words.
“The store that I want to open to sell potions…”
“No worries, I will keep my promise. It will be impossible for the Imperial Family to touch someone who is being backed by the Duke, so you, Young Lady, should be able to do what you want.”
He didn’t talk about the cost. The price for this is probably the profit that will come from the potion store. Or perhaps monopoly.
Thinking about the sharing, it was not bad. A contract should be written detailing that part.
Valletta narrowed her eyes, and licked her lip as if hesitating.
“I’m nervous about the oral contract, so if you promise to write one, I will accept it.”
“This really… I’m in a favorable position, so why does it feel like I’m the villain, it’s a strange feeling.”
This was not a contract that could be seen by anyone.
When Valletta did not answer the question that was occupying his mind, Carlon Delphine nodded his head.
Valletta then let out a low sigh.
That day, the contract written by Carlon Delphine was not too complicated. To be precise, he wanted Valletta to write most of the conditions.
Guaranteed to provide 60 potions a month, and for him to provide shelter, food and clothing. Mutual respect.
The contract also included the protection that the Duke himself proposed.
Carlon Delphine looked at the well-organized contract and made a strange expression, but still signed it without saying anything.
He also did not ask for anything else. Valletta thought that it was a little odd.
If he wanted to get something more, he should be saying it by this point.
However, she didn’t want to say anything that could backfire, so she just kept her mouth shut.
And since that day they signed the contract, it has been almost two weeks since she started living at Carlon Delphine’s mansion.
Just like what the rumors said about the man’s righteousness, she treated her better than expected.
No part of the three meals a day was skipped, and so far, there were no forcing and coercions.
He even created an environment for complete relaxation by telling her to focus only on getting a good rest for a while.
Perhaps it was because of it that Therion, who used to look unstable, now gained a lot of weight and his complexion has become brighter.
However, they couldn’t leave the house.
Valletta obeyed without complaining or asking Carlon Delphine who explained that it was still impossible to get out because everything was not yet ready.
Whether it was a lie to keep her inside the house or not, it didn’t really matter that much to her.
What was important right now…
‘The time is being wasted.’
They had to move slowly to do something. She felt like her body was rotting like this.
She doesn’t know about anyone else, but she couldn’t stand feeling like trash.
Carlon Delphine did not even allow Valletta to make potions for the past two weeks.
She was forbidden from doing any alchemy itself, and if she did try to do one, a maid or a servant would come to take away what she had made.
She was completely forced to take a rest.
Although it was only for some days, for Valletta, who lived in tension almost everyday, this was even more thorny.
‘I have to at least do something…’
After laying blankly on the bed, she finally got up.
‘… I would usually ask when I should give him the goods.’
But he also did not say anything about that.
When Valletta ran out of patience and asked, he only said to give it to him when it was convenient.
As she slowly went down halfway down the stairs, she met a servant who was coming up from below.
The servant smiled and bowed their head. Valletta received the greeting with slightly trembling eyes.
“Do you know where the Duke is?”
“I think he is in his office.”
“He’s not dealing with an emergency situation or meeting with a guest, right?”
“Yes, I did not hear anything about a distinguished guest coming.”
The atmosphere around the servant was similar to that of Carlon Delphine. His presence and voice were both calming.
She was assuming that it was not a house that was easy to crumble with servants that was similar to their Master.
“Won’t I get in his way if I visit him?”
“Of course not, I think you will be more than welcome.”
The servant smiled softly and said.
And above all else, that person, Carlon Delphine, treats her like a child.
She could not shake off the feeling of being treated like a cute child. Even now, it was a strange feeling.
“And since we are an employee of this mansion, you can speak informally to us.”
“Okay. You can just call me Valletta as well.”
“You can continue your job then.”
Valletta said and went down the stairs.
Finally, she stood in front of his office, and let out a sigh as she ruffled the bangs that were flowing down with her fingertips.
She then lightly knocked on the door.
“It’s Valletta Delight.”
The inside was quiet for a while. And a little silence continued. It was uncomfortable, so she was about to say ‘It’s okay’ and turn her body around when she heard a voice from inside.
“You can come in.”
A typical calm voice was heard.
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