Chapter 68: Crucible Street (part five)

The matter about business dealings is delicate and has to be handled carefully, you know?

TL: clover

ED: clover, xtostos, eristol


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“Why do you know about that, Erica……!”

 

Harold finally squeezed out his voice.

His facial expression and voice both had a slight anger.

That would also be my natural reaction if I hear from an outsider, ‘Your parents were scammed.

 

Now then, what should I do?

I will never hide the fact that I am the daughter of the Duke of Aurelia.

That is because it would make it difficult for them to trust me if I deceive them with a poor lie.

The question is, how to explain it so that they will believe me.

 

“If I say that I am Erica, the daughter of Duke Aurelia and that my deceased mother was Countess Argene, will you believe me?

“Ha, haaah!? No, it is true that the daughter of Duke of Aurelia is eight years old or so, but……”

“Wait, Botchan. Stay calm.

Ojou-san, even if you say such a thing suddenly, we cannot judge whether we can really believe you or not.

Can you prove it somehow?”

 

Harold, who couldn’t regain his mind in his confusion, was covered by Gilbert who was somewhat calm.

Well, of course it would come to this.

I pulled out a pendant from my neck and showed them the seal carved on the tip.

 

“Is this fine?”

 

The golden pendant head was decorated.

It was a substitute for a seal used when closing the sealing wax.

A design similar to the crest of the Duke of Aurelia and a design of the star.

However, it showed that the star had become a falling star to incorporate the emblem of my maternal family.

It was a coat of arms to prove myself.

 

“The design of the sea and the star, huh.”

“Indeed, this is the coat of arms that is only permitted to be used by the Duke of Aurelia, Aniki.”

 

This coat of arms is not something to wear as a joke.

Although penalties were not clearly stated, there is little to be gained by making others believe you want to pick a fight with an opponent who holds such authority.

They seems to have believed me in some way.

There are other means if they didn’t believe me even after I showed them this.

 

“I figured that you are a daughter of a noble house, but this, another amazing truth has come out……”

“Well, it’s like the people who have been coming to our store.

I was wondering if you were a lady from some noble family who was traveling incognito, but the duke’s daughter herself~~!?”

“It’s Aurelia too. If the society is the world, then for us she is like a princess, Botchan.”

“P-princess……Ohime-sama!?”

“That’s right, Ohime-sama!”

 

Huh, why did it come to this?

They are starting to get excited about something strange.

It has been several hundred years since King Aurelia became the minister of King Ignitia, so they didn’t have to react like that.

Don’t we have something to seriously worry about?

The fraud, you know, the fraud!

 

“The important thing right now is to find out whether the mining rights is genuine or not, and to find out the partner who received the money from Earl Nibelheim, right!?”

 

As I said that, they appeared to have regained their senses as a result.

Harold replied that it would be difficult.

 

“We borrowed money from a northern noble.”

“That is seriously bad. The guys from Lucanrant have no mercy.”

“The money must be returned in two to ten years.”

“This fraud’s timing is bad.

At present, unless you get the mining rights, the silverware industry won’t be able to keep going, right?

Because it seems that those guys will want you to return their money back starting tomorrow.”

 

Gilbert looked bitter.

Lucanrant have many aristocrats who still remain barbaric.

Depending on the partner, even if he says that he was caught in a fraud and would like to have time extension, there are northern aristocrats who won’t let him off.

This is a tough situation.

 

“Um, if you believe my words, Harold, I’d like you to tell your father.”

 

Harold made a thoughtful expression and nodded to my words.

 

“I believe in you. If we have been scammed, we must do something before my family gets destroyed!”

“Thank you, Harold.”

“I’m the one who is thankful.”

 

The line between me and Harold is now connected.

The thing that will cause me to die in the original game was that Harold’s house was destroyed by ‘the fraud of my territory’.

 

It wasn’t me who deceived his family directly, but it couldn’t be helped even if he misunderstood and blamed me.

Because no matter what the reason was, his father who got caught up in this fraud would die.

 

“Well then, I’m going to change my clothes since it will be bad if I go in this appearance.”

 

Harold went to the back of the store while running fast.

 

“Then, during that time I will go to the Notary Guild.”

 

Gilbert who remained offered so while picking up his cloak from nearby.

He seems to be moving for Harold’s sake.

 

“I will leave it to you, Gilbert-san.”

 

Notaries are essential occupations for contracts in which a large amount of money is involved.

They write down, manage, and certify ‘what kind of people underwent commercial transactions and what kind of conditions they undertook for the commercial transactions’.

In this large trade city, it is said that a notary who was approved by King Ignitia made a guild.

 

The power they can exercise is also great and at the time of non-compliance, the penalties are given under their authority.

 

The Notary Guild should be in the guild hall.

As expected, the confirmation with the guild will be difficult for children like me.

It is good that Gilbert had stayed in this place.

 

“If it’s over there, there should be documents about the recent business transactions.

First of all, it’s not worth considering that they won’t suppress the detailed contents of the mining rights trading.

Especially, the one who contracted with Earl Nibelheim, I wonder who it is.”

 

When we worked out the details, Harold returned.

He was dressed in a dark green fine cloak and looked like a son of a noble house.

 

We told Harold that Gilbert would go to the Notary Guild.

 

“Aniki……!”

“You should depend on me at time likes this, Botchan.

Since I am the youngest child, sometimes I want to be depended on as someone else’s older brother.”

 

Gilbert raised his thumb while winking.

 

“Then, I will leave the matter about the Notary Guild to Aniki, I will go to my father!”

“Do you know where Earl Nibelheim is today, Harold?”

“Perhaps, he’s in the Water Palace. Because there should be business dealings.”

 

Harold sighed deeply.

There were deep wrinkles between his eyebrows.

 

“The problem is whether he will hear my story properly or not.”

“If I go with you, I think it will be fine.

After all, if the heiress herself says that the inheritance is not for sale, I think that he will believe it.”

“Is that fine? It will cause you trouble……”

“Because it’s not totally unrelated to me, you know?

Because the fraud was done using the name of my property.”

“That’s right, because we cannot afford to buy the mining rights that the legitimate owner herself didn’t sell.”

 

Gilbert crossed his arms and nodded in agreement.

 

“Uh, by the way……if I leave it like this, will it only going to leave debt for my house?”

“If we can catch the con artist, wouldn’t it be fine?”

“No, even if we catch them, if they dont have the money on them, it’s over.

Even if you want to contract a new different mine, you won’t be able to borrow money.

Earl Nibelheim won’t only be deprived of money, but also his reputation, which is the most important thing in business.”

 

As Gilbert pointed it out, Harold’s complexion steadily became paler.

I felt sorry when I looked at him.

 

“Then, I will go to the Notary Guild before lunch time and ask about the contract.

Since my seventh big brother is there, the conversation should be fast.”

 

Gilbert quickly wore his cloak and pulled out his bag.

He opened a door different from the one we have been using and went out of the Wunderkammer.

 

“Now then, us too……ah, if we leave in this way, won’t your companion search for you?”

“I will write a note on the blackboard here. He will certainly notice it.”

 

I left a message to Tirnanog on the blackboard we used for the lecture yesterday.

It was information about the matter of fraud and where we would be going.

If I was late, I instructed him to meet me in my room in the Water Palace.

 

“Today my father is supposed to be in the Water Palace.”

“Then, let’s take a boat there quickly.”

 

After that, Harold and I went out to the city from the back door of the store and went through a dark-colored canal using a boat.

 

“But I wonder if we can quickly find Earl Nibelheim in that huge palace.”

 

Certainly, the Water Palace have lots of rooms indeed.

 

“It’s fine. Because Knot Reed, including that palace, is my garden.”

 

Harold said so while staring at the white palace across the canal.


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33 thoughts on “Chapter 68: Crucible Street (part five)

  1. And there she goes leaving Tir behind
    I’m sure NOTHING can go wrong with that…
    seriously, this idiot princess. No self-awareness whatsoever…

    Like

  2. Yay! They figured out the scam… boo, sounds complicated. Hopefully she can cut the death flag. How come I have a feeling the scam and the broken alters are not unrelated? Not enough clues yet to leap to bad conclusions yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the chapter, very enjoyable indeed. I wonder what route this arc is going to take, development wise. I must admit, I have no clue as to who is responsible for the fraud. I thought maybe the insurance company that got their insurance gig of the new carrier taken away from them by the Turm family – and since Turm is closish to Nibelheim and Harold especially .. but yea, just speculation. I hope they go out to hunt some Kraken with the new carrier. I think it might be a nice opportunity for Erica to experiment a bit with her wands since it’s all open sea.

    Although penalties were not clearly stated, there was little to be gained by thinking that there was an intention to ‘sell a fight’ to an opponent that holds authority.

    –> Although penalties were not clearly stated, there was little gained making others believe you wanted to pick a fight with someone/an opponent that holds (such) authority.
    Selling a fight means to pick a fight. So pretending to be some higher authority isn’t going to be useful in many situations given the potential backlash.

    “No, even if we caught them, if you had no money, it’s over.

    –> “No, even if we caught them, if they don’t have the money (on them), it’s over.
    Gilbert is talking about the case that the con artist doesn’t have the funds anymore/doesn’t tell where they are.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hmmm, what will happen when Erica’s Father finds out? he seemed to be friendly with the Earl… Would he not be lenient towards him? I’m sure Erica will do her utmost to give their family as much leeway as possible.
    There are some incredibly stupid things this Earl did. He may have been desperate at the time but surely, surely he has advisors to assist him?
    1. Why the heck didn’t he check? either they had some really amazing forged documents or perhaps someone in the Argene family is in collusion with the Scammers, it would’ve only taken a letter to the Argene family head to find out, why on earth didn’t he investigate the validity? this may tie into why Erica got killed later on, but why would Harold blame her specifically? or perhaps he didn’t? perhaps it was the Argene family? I’m rather curious, Harold is very observant for a young child, the matter of the shoes was focused on when he identified Erica Aurelia origins, but I’m sure many things would link her to that place, including accent, and features etc… getting sidetracked…
    It is possible a member of the Argene family is involved, but if they were, that’s a trail of breadcrumbs that can be investigated, and there is the matter that later on Erica and Co, is somehow blamed for the ruin of Harold’s family, even if by association. I’m not too clear on this actually, why her mine somehow = Erica is at fault so, therefore, kill her? she was 8 at the time lol, this sounds rather strange, it can’t be like that at all, I’ve misread something.
    About those breadcrumbs, I’m wondering if the scammers and those Loan sharks are in cahoots, if they are, then perhaps they have spread breadcrumbs all over the Argene family to push all the blame and planning on them? What I want to know is what led to the Earls financial instability where he needed a new source of silver, I am aware that their own mines were depleted, but surely there would’ve been measures taken prior, that would allow for other silver veins to be found or sources of income to maintain their family lands etc?
    Because I don’t know his circumstances, it’s very easy to see him as either foolish and stupid, or desperate, it’s more than likely that these guys somehow destabilized his business and financial situation prior to the scam, if the Loan sharks and the scammers are one, then they just gave their money to him and got it back while claiming interest on his repayment plan lol. Onii sama come here and find out what’s going on! As a side note, why isn’t Onii sama the heir to that silver mine? which reminds me, why is Ann, a 7-year-old girl aware, that Erica is the heiress to the Argene family silver mine, but the Earl doesn’t? especially since Erica’s family = Old royalty lol, shouldn’t people be more aware of such things?
    2. Why borrow money from people who are like loan sharks? “Lucanrant had many aristocrats that remained barbaric.” sounds like they’re on par with the Mafia or Yakuza, something like that, just why would you go there? I guess the allure of a fat silver mine on offer blinded him… “I’ll make the money back easily with this deal, its not a problem”
    Don’t they have banks in this world? if they don’t then Erica quick go make this a thing lol… I can understand that he wouldn’t want to make his current financial situation known, it would undermine his business and reputation, which would lead to further difficulties, but still, I’m sure he had connections that could’ve helped him during this time? why was he so quick to choose this option? I really want to understand his situation better.

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    1. The Argene family’s previous head was Erica’s mother given she was the countess, so I think with her death they have no other heirs or living members to manage the territorry, leaving Erica as the sole heiress. Which is why the ownership of the territorry is obscured hence the Earlbs confusion, besides it was already mentioned by Erica that this Earl is more suited to be a researcher with his researching passion than a noble as he was too honest.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not much is mentioned of the Argene family, I hope they show more history, especially since Erica’s Mother is so compelling… Now we have the silver mine to add to the list of potential Erica killers lol, this hopefully will give us more information of the Argene family.

        I have to bring it back up but, why does a 7-year-old girl, have knowledge of who owns a silver mine, while an Earl doesn’t… is the Earl gullible? its unfortunate that he is less attentive of matters outside of research… hopefully, we get a clearer picture of this Earl, because it’s not fair that Erica (including the villainess version of her) somehow earns the ire for his negligence.

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        1. Looking at Harold he doesn’t look like someone who will murder someone without knowing the full story well. With Erica’s incomplete knowledge and the fact that Chloe and Harold investigate the murder cases (Erica was the first to die as she claimed which means she wasn’t the only one?) makes me think something entirely different is responsible for this case, I mean there is again the first arc, she blissfully believed she would be killed because of Ann’s revenge, turns out to be something else entirely…in short, Erica’s speculations are very misleading not to mention she has no idea this time around.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. In short, I think she is gonna die anyway whether House Nibelheim falls or not…or it might just be me who is too suspicious but I can’t seem to shake this fact out of my mind. Afterall, Erica doesn’t even know who her killer is this time unlike the first time so it has left many open ends here.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. I always love your long and thoughtful comments! You are really immersed in the story~ I will try to answer as best as I could.

      Why didn’t he check the validity of the mine? This will be answered in the next chapter, so I will not answer it now.
      Why Erica got blamed for Earl Nibelheim’s death? Now, as Erica also didn’t really know the real cause she got murdered, she just took a wild guess since usually her death is linked with the capture target. But, in Harold’s defense, it’s very understandable for him to blame Erica. As the real culprit will already be untraceable in the future, he will have no one to blame for his father’s death. Erica is just a very easy target for his anger since, as you know Harold is very observant and will probably know Argene is Erica’s inheritance in the future, she is the only one who is in front of him and linked to the mine. Of course it’s not the right attitude, but because he had just lost his father, he needs somebody to blame.
      Why Eduart won’t inherit the silver mine? Because he already has Aurelia’s gold mines to inherit as he is the future duke. So, gold for Eduart, and silver for Erica.
      About the other questions, we will unravel them one by one throughout this arc ^^

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  5. The game developers seemed to hate the game!Erica, involving her in the capture target’s hatred for the most mundane reasons-a careless remark here, a simple reaction there, and even when she is doing absolutely nothing like in this arc. Makes me wonder what are the triggers in the other capture target routes that reincarnated!Erica did not know about…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There are so many death flag triggers while she’s still a child though, she’s got her back against the wall already and not even 10 years of age. The Original Erica was so young when this began.. children say stupid things all the time, but rarely will it mean their deaths… for her, it’s almost like doing nothing would be the same as doing something whether she’s in villain mode or not, it all eventually leads to a death route. The difference this time around, is that Erica has people who are devoted to her and will help her, how sad and pitiful must the Original Erica be to not have that… 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        1. But I think the game’s premise was that although the death flags were raised now, she wouldn’t actually die until years later when she enrolled in magic school?

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    1. I tend to agree with you here, I mean she did so little and she was just a small child, seems so unfair and undeserving of this fate, the villainess Erica hardly did anything to earn the death flags she got… I guess she is simply, plot armor for the story to progress along a certain path lol. My pity for both Erica’s.

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  6. I think there is more to Erica’s death than just some random carelessness and harassing staff. I mean Tirnanog for example! He would’ve killed her regardless of anything with his hatred of the Aurelia clan. I feel like someone is specifically aiming for her to die for some specific reaosn, most possible culprit is Cain of course.

    I’ve been pondering over this though. Claude, that mysterious target who is a duke’s son, I’m 100% sure he is Duke Lucanrant’s son and Chloe’s older brother given there are 3 dukes in this continent and we already know about Edward and Klaus of Aurelia and Hafan, which leaves only Lucanrant. But question is,since Chloe is the heroine, why is her own brother a capture target? Unless this guy has a much shadier origin and not even her brother to begin with?

    Liked by 1 person

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