22. A New Conflict
Alex-sama nodded after he had heard the reason why Elena came to our territory. Then, he proceeded to look around and beckoned to Felix.
“Can I ask you to guide Ms. Elena to her room?”
“Of course, but there are no empty rooms in the main building of the mansion…”
“Let her use the branch building. It’s spacious there, she’ll even be able to bring her butlers and maids there.”
Then, Alex-sama asked Elena, “Are you alright with that?”
Elena replied with a dazzling smile, “Of course!”
Elena brought only a minimum number of butlers and maids. She seemed to have told some of her escorts to return to the duke’s house upon arrival.
For the time being, I was relieved—
—No, I mustn’t let my guard down!
I stared at Alex-sama. Alex-sama tilted his head, visibly confused.
Elena was still holding Alex-sama’s hand.
As long as Elena was there, I’d always be anxious about whether or not Alex-sama would fall for her.
Of course, I believed in Alex-sama, and Elena had a fiancé named His Highness Mikhail.
However, for a long time, I had never won against Elena.
Even if Elena didn’t mean to, if she became fascinated with Alex-sama…
Before I knew it, Alex-sama was in front of me. I was so lost in thought, I didn’t notice Alex-sama was talking to me.
“P, pardon me! Is there something you need!”
“I have something I want to discuss privately. Let’s go to the bedroom on the second floor.”
When I nodded, Alex-sama too my hand. As I lifted my face, Alex-sama smiled and pulled my hand.
“See you later, onee-chan.”
Looking back, Elena was innocently smiling and waving at me.
Elena… hadn’t changed.
I smiled and waved back.
Along with Alex-sama, I went into the hallway, up the stairs, and entered the bedroom.
As usual, it was our bedroom, the one with a large bed.
Sunlight shone through the window.
Alex-sama sat on the bed, and I followed suit…
…It was strange for two people to sit side-by-side during the day like this.
What did Alex-sama want to tell me?
Choosing the bedroom instead of an office, that would only raise questions…
…I thought that it was something important, but—
“—Uh, so what I want to talk about…”
“Actually, the mining of iron the Kholmogory mines might not continue.”
“Eh? But it should be until much longer until its resources are depleted, and the equipment has just been renewed…”
By exporting iron from the Kholmogory mines from our port of Arkhangelsk, the territory was gradually becoming richer.
In anticipation of future development, Alex-sama and I invested in the port town and mining equipment. The fund was borrowed from a merchant in the United Kingdom of Sterling.
Everything was going well, there were no labor shortages, or any major accidents…
“Actually, we may have lost the mining rights.”
The mine was in the territory of Viscount Kholmogory. Therefore, it was the viscount herself, Anastasia who had given us permission.
Anastasia was still young, and she was our adopted daughter. Thus, Alex-sama and I were tasked with overseeing the mine.
However, suddenly, the office at royal capital wanted to suspend the mining rights because Anastasia was young.
“That’s… when George was still Anastasia’s guardian, no such thing had been brought up.”
“That’s right. However, because we’ve become Anastasia’s guardians, the royal capital has come to interfere.”
When George tried to kill Alex-sama, he mentioned having a collaborator in the royal capital.
Apparently, some weren’t satisfied with merely driving Alex-sama to the frontier. They wanted to take him down.
The change in Kholmogory’s iron now being exported from the Port of Arkhangelsk instead of His Highness Mikhail’s Port of Elemeigrat might had spurred them.
“I’m in trouble. The Sterling merchants lent me money for the future development of iron exports. But if it disappears…”
That money was borrowed wasn’t strange.
The Margrave of Arkhangelsk had little to begin with. Borrowing money to develop the territory couldn’t be helped.
Of course, the amount lent wasn’t ludicrous, but it was still quite the sum due to it being for the purpose of territorial management.
…As it was, the Margrave would collapse!
My face paled.
We had to come up with a solution, but…
…I looked outside the window. There was nothing but a coniferous forest.
Other than ports and mines, there were no resources or large industries in the territory, yet.
“It’s alright. It still isn’t certain. I’ll do something about it. I just wanted Alisa to know in advance.”
“Although, I may have made you anxious.”
I shook my head.
Then, I put my hands on top of Alex-sama’s.
Alex-sama blushed and stared at me with his jewel-like, blue, eyes.
Alex-sama, who was unfazed when Elena held his hand, was now flustered. His large hands were very warm.
“I want to help Alex-sama. Therefore, don’t hide any concerns of yours. I’m happy at being able to share in both happiness and concerns with Alex-sama.”
Towards the end, my voice grew quiet. I might had said something embarrassing…
However, Alex-sama joyfully smiled, his cheeks still blushing.
“I’m relieved that Alisa said that. Thank you, Alisa.”
“No, it’s nothing…”
“As long as I’m with Alisa, I can solve anything.”
Alex-sama said that, but in all actuality, I was barely of any help. I wanted tell Alex-sama that everything would be okay, but I couldn’t think of a single solution to solve the mine problem.
At that time, I was inspired.
If the problem stemmed from the office of royal capital, most likely, a person from the faction of His Highness Mikhail was interfering with Alex and I.
The most effective way to change their thinking was to persuade His Highness Mikhail.
Of course, I didn’t know what His Highness Mikhail thought of Alex, myself, and Arkhangelsk.
But now, there was a person near us who had a strong influence over His Highness Mikhail.
His Highness Mikhail’s fiancée, that was, my sister Elena.
“I’ll do what I can…”
I held His Highness’ hand firmly, and His Highness turned even redder.
Elena said that she’d help me to be happy. Then surely, she was the clue to solving this problem.
***T/N: Lmfao, you did the right thing, Alex, it’s a thot–to the separate building she goes.
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