1.5 The Struggle of a Reincarnated Marquis’ Daughter
“They’re too lavish and incompetent at managing the funds of the territory, it’s just appalling. The tax is heavier than ever—partly because the lord’s income is high. But… the public facilities are too lacking. There are too few hospitals and academies for the aristocrats. No wonder other lords are dissatisfied.”
As Kyle said, no resource was infinite. If we didn’t spend money on developing human resources by reforming the tax system and improving the territory while we could still afford it, it’d spell downfall of the Gessel family.
“I have to consider our options for when our resources are finally exhausted. There is a lot of undeveloped land. If we were to adopt a farming method that can be done even in cold regions…”
Sandwiched within the last page of the income and the expenditures report was a handwritten report that Kyle seemed to have written.
“Forage crops such as wheat, soybeans, potatoes… Pasture would also be suitable for upland farming. As for fruit trees, apples and cherries would be fitting…”
I involuntarily put my hands together in front of my chest. Kyle was smarter than he looked.
I saw a ‘X’ mark on the report, which meant that it had been rejected by Baldie, someone whose sole priority for the future was raking in more profits.
“As I thought, that guy is smart. Him letting his hatred towards the Marquis of Gessel cloud his judgement is a waste of potential.”
Not only that, the Duke of Ruston and the Duke of Aldridge would be more than willing to crush the Gessel family if the coup went smoothly. Murdering one’s parents would be a major crime. I also didn’t want to be murdered by Kyle.
“Regardless, the reign of Marquis Baldie should end. There is still six months until Kyle turns 18 and can become the new marquis. If I were to decline the fiancée position…”
The seat of the crown princess was originally Sasha’s. Therefore, it was only natural to return it to her. In fact, that was probably the only valid option.
Alright, now I know what to do.
However, there existed an obstacle—namely Amalia.
Amalia probably thought that she had been unfairly robbed of the seat of the crown princess.
Over the past decade, every time I met Amalia in a social gathering, she’d just glare at me. Her gaze said, “Why does it have to be you!?”
Well, while I was fat and ugly, I had a lot of money.
However, she was the one selling the fight. She was stubborn, malicious, and would repeat the same scheme over and over. She was persistent and put in a lot of unnecessary effort in her scheme.
Thus, if someone like Amalia were to become the crown princess, she’d likely go the worst route—executing my entire family by condemnation.
If Sasha became the crown princess, the lives of Baldie and Fattie should be spared for the time being. Even if her marriage would be to the absolute displeasure of my family, deportation was the worst thing that would happen. After all, in the public’s eyes, my family being executed would create a bad impression.
“I’m going to let my minions gather information about how far Amalia’s scheme has progressed. The first thing I should think about is how to quickly turn Sasha into the crown princess.”
When I looked up at the clock on the wall, I saw it was already past breakfast time. I wondered if a single maid would suffice for me.
“No matter how much he dislikes his fat fiancée, there’s no way the royal family can just gloss over the many contributions of the Gessel family. Sasha is a beautiful woman, suitable to stand beside Alfred. Even that Amalia can hold a candle against her! Ohoho, I should let the two meet each other. He’ll surely fall in love with her at the first sight!”
I laughed loudly, imagining the appearance of Sasha as a princess. Immediately, Sasha’s beauty shot a beam of light to the back of my brain.
“For the sake of Baldie and Fattie, I have to hone my survival skills. The future crown princess mustn’t have such sleazy parents! In their old age, I have to shoulder them!”
Even if they were stripped of their titles and thrown into the city, there was no way either of them could live like commoners anymore. I wanted to save money for the futures of Kyle and Sasha while also securing a bit of a living expense for them.
I thought I was a little naïve. My parents were quite old, and although they were distorted as people, I was loved. As such, I wanted to return the favor.
For the majority of people around me, Baldazar and Rotundia were evil, but how could I despise the people who had been such kind parents to me?
“Should I change my clothes for the time being?”
I vigorously opened the wardrobe, saw all the striking dresses hanging inside, and closed it with haste.
“What is this bad taste? No matter how much you want to dress to impress, this is just too much!”
Former Juliane believed that the sexy dresses wouldn’t only make her appear like a princess, but also create a romantic mood. In truth, it was quite an embarrassment. The sight of a fat, haughty, girl wearing such dresses must had been outrageous.
“Why don’t I go to my mother and borrow one of her dresses? She’s older than other parents, so she usually wears something relatively simple.”
I was an only child in my previous life, so I longed to borrow and had hand-me-down clothes from an older sister.
I couldn’t borrow from Sasha either, not after being extremely foolish with how I had treated her so far. I had a feeling she would either run away or cry if I were to approach her. Moreover, Sasha was thin. There was no way I would fit in her dresses.
“Mother, please lend me one of your dresses. Also, some plain-looking shoes.”
The moment I visited her room, my mother, who was fairly beautiful, laughed lightly. “Ohoho, well, is it going to rain today? You were behaving a bit strangely yesterday, Juliane, are you feeling better, now?”
“Don’t worry, I’m fine. It’s a bit of a change of pace? Oh, this light blue dress looks nice, and is also elegant.”
“Could it be, Alfred’s preferences have changed?”
“No, well, just think of it like that.”
My fiancé, Alfred, despised my guts. We weren’t able to meet yesterday because he was busy with work.
“I’ll borrow this, then. Thank you.”
“That is no good, Juliane. Someone of your stature shouldn’t be casually saying, ‘thank you’.”
No, it’s part of the courtesy to thank someone else as a lady.
Mother’s education policy was full of mysteries.
“…By the way, why is father drinking alcohol in the morning?”
I sucked my chin and glared at Baldie whom was in good mood.
They often spent time together in one of the rooms, perhaps due to their bad personality.
“Oh, Juliane, here, have a taste. It’s an exotic, oriental, liquor!”
Baldie, who had scalp problems, was drinking with gusto.
“Alright, father. Did you know? The red wine, which is the pride of our kingdom, has hair growth boosting properties?”
I took the glass from my father’s hand while wondering if I truly could save money for Kyle and Sasha.
“R, really? Is that the truth?”
“It is. You can either drink it or apply it to your scalp. In fact, it’s exactly because you’re drinking such expensive alcohol that your hair roots were shocked and died.”
Our kingdom was a grape-producing region. As such, wine was very cheap. If I couldn’t stop his drinking habit, I could start by reducing the expenses for cost. Then, I shall proceed to reduce the amount.
In addition—red wine did have an effect for improving hair-growth. I recalled reading such an article in my previous life. Therefore, his hair would probably grow. Well, the rest was up to how strong his belief was and the placebo effect!
“D, did you guys hear that?! Buy red wine right away! Make sure it’s the finest one!”
I stopped the butler who was about to leave in a hurry.
“Anything that has a little tartness and smells like wine will yield better results, so buy a cheap one.”
“I, is that so? Then buy the cheapest one!”
It’d probably be okay to have a stockpile. I told the butler to go around different wineries and buy about five. Even if they were cheap, Baldie would surely be able to find a favorite once he compared them.
***T/N: Part of the reason why Juliane’s plan is effective is because her parents readily trust everything that comes out of her mouth.