14. The Viscount of Kholmogory
The Viscount of Kholmogory was located to the South of the Margrave of Arkhangelsk’s territory.
While the title wasn’t high, it was a prestigious aristocratic territory that had been around for a long time. Moreover, it was much richer than Arkhangelsk.
“The land of the viscount’s territory is fertile, and it has iron mines.”
His Highness Alexander told me inside the carriage.
We were now heading to the Viscount of Kholmogory for a greeting.
The port town of Arkhangelsk was within a day’s ride from the house of Viscount Kholmogory.
I nodded to His Highness.
“The Viscount of Kholmogory exports the iron from its mines to the United Kingdom of Sterling and the Republic of Ninorsk via Elemeigrat, right?”
The eyes of His Highness widen in astonishment at my words.
Within his jewel-like blue eyes, my figure was reflected.
“D, did I say something weird?”
“No, that isn’t the case. It is Alisa said. I was surprised by how knowledgeable you are. As expected of Alisa.”
“No, I just read up on it in a book…”
The only thing a person without merit like myself could do was prepare in advance.
My hobby was reading… especially because I had only a few friends and nothing else to do.
However, I believed that the phrases, “If you’re prepared, you’ll have nothing to fear,” and, “Knowledge is power,” were true. As long as I had the knowledge, it might be useful for something.
In addition, His Highness Alexander also praised me.
Incidentally, I went to explain in further detail.
“If Kholmogory’s iron were to be exported from the port of Arkhangelsk to a foreign kingdom, the port town would also become lively…”
“Yes, that’s correct. Therefore, I’m going to negotiate that after greeting him as a margrave.”
The greatest strength of the poor Arkhangelsk territory was its port.
Although the port had declined sharply with the founding of Elemeigrat, Arkhangelk’s was still an active port.
If we could export not only grains but also minerals, I believed that the economy of the port town would improve a little.
If the income generated from using the port were to increase, it’d also provide a financial resource for us, the margrave.
“Arkhangelsk during the governor-general’s era only used the port of Elemeigrat, which the royal family attached great importance to. He didn’t make proper use of his own port. But as I’m the present margrave, that’s going to change.”
His Highness told me that.
I met at His Highness’ eyes and nodded.
I also share the same belief.
“Yes, Your Highness. I believe that Arkhangelsk can definitely be a port that surpasses Elemeigrat.”
His Highness’s expression softened as he smiled.
At that time, the carriage shook greatly, probably because a pothole in the road.
I lost balance and was about to tumble over.
His Highness caught me in an embrace.
“Alisa, are you alright?”
“Yes, thank you…”
When I looked up, there I saw the beautiful face of His Highness next to mine. I was shocked.
His Highness’ sturdy arm encircled both my shoulder and back. He was firmly holding me.
…Considering that I had a petite frame, it was as if I was sitting on His Highness’ lap…
Although it was an accident, I was still being embraced by His Highness from behind!
Perhaps, becoming aware of that, His Highness blushed and immediately released me.
…What should I do?
In the end, I was too embarrassed. All I could do was tidy the hem of my disordered skirt and sit back in my seat.
Even though we embraced each other in bed yesterday, I had yet to become accustomed to it.
My heart was still racing.
To keep calm, I turned my gaze towards the window and looked at the scenery.
I heard that the Viscount of Kholmogory was rich, but… so far, I hadn’t seen any proof of it.
As the carriage traversed through the rural land, I could see the weary faces of the people.
Above all, there were a lot of abandoned fields. It was completely different from the territory of Duke Tchaikovsky.
In Rushie’s aristocratic territory, people with the status of serfs were engaged in agriculture.
The serfs were tied to the land and the aristocrats. It was said that the serfs would sometimes abscond if the tax was too heavy.
The territory of Viscount Kholmogory… might be facing similar issues.
I was a little concerned.
Looking back to His Highness, he was still squirming with a bright red face.
“The Viscount of Kholmogory’s former lord died two years ago. His young daughter has succeeded him.”
When I stared into his eyes, His Highness became bashful.
“So, does she have a guardian?”
“It seems that a distant aristocrat is helping her manage the territory. We should greet the leading aristocrat and guardian.”
I hoped that the aristocrat was a decent person.
From the bottom of my heart, I wished for that.
Eventually, by evening, the carriage arrived at the viscount’s resident in Kholmogory.
It was much better than the mansion of the Margrave of Arkhangelsk.
The red brick building spread horizontally in an extravagant matter. It exuded a majestic aura.
Eventually, the carriage stopped. His Highness and I proceeded to alight from the carriage.
To welcome us, the servants were lined up in a row.
Both the male and female servants wore carefully tailored clothes that seemed to cost a lot of money. Their outfits contrasted the rural landscape.
As I thought, the viscount’s territory was rich.
While I was bowing my head, the entrance of the mansion opened. A little girl, about 10-years-old of age, approached us.
She was truly pretty, like a doll… Her silver hair, which stretched to her shoulders, swayed softly. Her golden eyes stared at us.
Her pure white dress was beautiful, she looked much more like a princess than I did.
After she had walked for some distance, the girl respectfully bowed.
“I’ve been waiting for you, His Highness Alexander, the first prince and the Margrave of Arkhangelsk, and his fiancée, Alisa Tchaikovsky… I’m Anastasia Prokofieva, the Viscount of Kholmogory.”
***T/N: Lol, we don’t do the lofty, chivalrous, lord, here…