Chapter 73 is here!
For the Patrons, chapter 74, Chapter 75, chapter 76 (Easy mode) and chapter 77 (normal mode) are all available on the Patreon page.
Anyway, here’s chapter 73, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
【”Sorry, she’s so cute I couldn’t stop.”】
【”Ah! B-being called cute like that is… It makes me feel happy but it’s…”】
Although Clodette seemed a bit bothered by Kurats’ comment, her expression and flushing cheeks showed she did not mind it as much as she claimed.
Naturally, Cornelia was not amused. She pulled Kurats’ cheek to the very limit.
No matter how tough his armor of muscles was, this type of attack would always hurt.
【”A second class executive officer is not exactly a high position. It’s closer to the bottom than the top. It does require you to be competent in these matters though, so I don’t really understand…”】
Lunaria implicitly dissed Clodette.
【”Usually, I mostly do calculations. The one who takes care of negotiations and discussions is Marika, but she’s on a business trip…”】
【”Wait a second, is that your colleague?”】
Having failed to notice how panicked Lunaria was, Clodette continued to speak while smiling.
【”Yes! Markia is my closest friend-…”】
【”This is bad! When is she going to return?”】
(Is there something wrong? Did I miss something?)
『Clearly, you have. Just be quiet and listen to what the princess is saying, meathead!』
Kurats had once again failed to read the flow of the conversation, prompting an irritated Bernst to shout at him.
【”I-I think she’ll arrive today, at best…”】
【”What will she do when she returns and hears that you’ve been fired based on false accusations? She’s probably going to question your superior to find out what really happened, isn’t she?”】
【”You’re right… I think Marika won’t believe I’m actually guilty.”】
【”I don’t want to be rude, but I’m assuming that Marika’s methods will be much different from yours. She’s surely going to be a nuisance for Serge Debary’s plans.”】
【”I-is Marika in danger?”】
Clodette was clearly not the type to mount a scheme to embezzle tax money.
This was the group’s first meeting with her, but they could easily tell that was the case, let alone Marika, who was her best friend.
【”At worst, she might get assassinated!”】
『Hey, meathead. Ask her the name of the aristocrat whose tax returns got falsified.』
【”By the way, Clodette, do your remember who’s the noble who got his taxes falsified by Serge?”】
【”I think it was count Provencal.”】
Lunaria narrowed her eyes with a serious expression.
『That’s the marquis’ brother in law, you fool!』
【”I’ve made my decision. I’m going to do everything I can to save that girl!”】
As Lunaria spoke with a renewed enthusiasm, Clodette clung to her.
【”Hehehe… If this can help me deal a serious blow to the marquis of Strasbourg, then it’s worth the risk.”】
Even though Albert’s faction had become smaller, there were still more than a few influent nobles on his side.
Especially when it came to the nobles who were connected to the Strasbourg household through political marriages. Those ties were still going strong. And count Provencal was one of the most influent people among them.
【”Alright, Marika is not the patient type, so let’s get to it right away, guys!”】
Kurats promptly interjected.
【”Don’t suddenly act like you’re on top of things!”】
【”No good, it looks like this is turning into a habit.”】
【”Nooo, please don’t make it a habit!”】
【”Kurats, you know what happens when you awaken to strange hobbies, don’t you?”】
【”O-of course I know! My dear sister!”】
Cornelia glared coldly at the area between Kurats’ legs, making him hiccup and turn much more passive.
Afterwards, following Clodette’s lead, the group rushed to the tax collection office.
◆ ◆ ◆
Marika Leclerc was shocked.
After she was done collecting the taxes of a certain noble, and bringing his downfall, she returned to the tax collection office to the find that the girl she treated like her own younger sister, Clodette, was no longer there.
Moreover, it was apparently due to a disciplinary discharge for falsification of official papers relating to a noble’s poll taxes.
Marika was shaking from her anger, it looked her beautiful red hair was about to rise up.
The face of this intellectual beauty, that you could easily picture calmly doing business, became distorted like a wrathful demon’s. Her insides were boiling from anger.
―― There was no way these accusations were true.
Clodette was the personification of an airhead, but she was a genius when it came to numbers.
Marika was well aware of how much Clodette loved calculations and the way each number connected to the other. If there was one thing she could never do, it would be to plan a forgery or anything else that might upset her calculations.
【”I refuse to accept this!”】
As a result, Martika went to talk directly with the person responsible for Clodette’s discharge, Serge.
【”Look, whether you accept them or not, the facts are there.”】
【”If that was true, then a disciplinary discharge would not have been enough! Shouldn’t the aristocrat who gained profits from this be punished as well?!”】
【”You don’t get it, do you? If this comes out, she’ll be executed. Do you want your close friend to be killed?”】
【”Personal feelings should mean nothing for officials like us. If Clodette really did falsify those documents, then so be it, she’ll be executed, and deservedly so. But I seriously doubt she did any of that.”】
Serge clicked his tongue, looking quite bitter. He did not think Marika would be this obstinate.
He knew that Marika dotted on Clodette.
He figured she wouldn’t put her nose too much into this if he used the girl’s life as his shield. He never expected that Marika would say something like ‘then so be it, she’ll be executed’ without hesitation.
However, that was not because she was cold, but because she simply trusted Clodette that much.
【”For the time being, please show me the documents that were falsified. I’ll check to see if Clodette was involved at all in that process.”】
【”Since when did you have the authority to ask that?”】
【”I don’t think executive officers have the authority to personally decide to bury important matters such as a falsification, either. Did you talk to the director about this?”】
Serge had nothing to say back.
Having omitted to report something of this importance, he was clearly the one in the wrong.
(These foolish women, why do they keep doing this?!)
Marika and Clodette were both excellent employees that Serge did not want to part with.
Especially Marika, a negotiator who had connections with the government’s agencies. He was not going to find a substitue for her.
But if he did nothing about her, she was definitely going to find out about his close ties with count Provencal.
Unlike Clodette, she was not type to just obediently listen to what she was told.
If Serge were to let things escalate, Marika was most certainly going to bring his ruin.
【”Alright, you may use the third meeting room. But I want you to bring me a proper report after you’re done.”】
Marika left the room with her chest held high and great determination, but Serge saw her off with gloomy eyes.
【”―― Don’t blame me. Blame yourself for not knowing the ways of the world.”】
Serge was not foolish enough to silently wait for his looming downfall to come.
Among the shady matters he was involved with, there was a certain fail-safe plan that he kept for emergencies.
If she refused to stay quiet, then he was going to make her quiet.