12.2 [Day 1 (9)]
“What kind of business did you come with today?”
“I’ve heard of a strange rumor.”
“…A strange rumor?”
“Indeed, an absurd rumor regarding Lorona. It says that she has died.”
Somehow, the temperature felt colder. Clear irritation and anger seeped into Aslan’s voice.
Immediately, Zerio felt as if he had to rub his head on the ground and apologize even though he wasn’t in the wrong. The intimidation from the anger emanating from Aslan was simply too great. Feeling like a prey dragged before the demon king, Zerio managed to move his parched lips.
“Well, unfortunately, the rumors are true. There was a report in today’s newspaper. The church also issued a death certificate for Lady Lorona…”
Zerio had confirmed the information earlier.
He had paid a messenger to buy the information from the temple’s staff.
He also had a good grasp over the details regarding the accident, how Lorona died, and about information regarding her turmoil after having her engagement annulled the day prior.
Her body was kept in the temple, and the church doctor had confirmed her identity. Her death had also been diagnosed.
Lorona’s death was an unwavering fact that had been delivered to the House of Lords.
Aslan stood up wildly, banging the floor.
“If that’s true, then why are you taking such a lenient attitude!? You should rush to Lorona’s birthplace and help with the funeral!! It’s due to Lorona’s efforts that your company managed to develop this far. Have you perhaps forgotten about that!?”
What Aslan said was the truth. Zerio couldn’t argue against him.
Thanks to Lorona, his company had grown far. Because of her, Zerio managed to save his fortune. With Lorona dead, he should be helping mourn for her.
While concealing his irritation towards Aslan who had overstepped his boundary despite being a guest, Zerio rushed to explain.
“…Lady Lorona sternly advised me to never get involved with her family, no matter what.”
“What? You’re still saying that despite the fact that she has died?”
“It’s the truth! Lady Lorona was hiding the fact that she was involved with my company from her family. Perhaps, she didn’t want them to know. If I were to rush to her family, they’d find out, and that would damage her honor!”
“Therefore, you want to feign ignorance?”
“…! No, that’s not what I’m saying…I’ve always been intending to offer my tribute after everything has settled down…”
While saying that, Zerio was sweating bullets. It was true that Lorona told him not to visit her family. However, she didn’t say anything beyond that.
As Aslan said, to visit her family was the humane thing to do.
—What if Lorona’s family were to learn of her earnings?
…If the count family were to attempt to meddle in the company, it’d be a big deal.
Zerio knew the secret of the Count Ruth. The count was fully immersed in his military play, his wife often bought contraband, and the Ruth family was in financial struggle. He once advised Lorona to settle her debts as soon as their earnings arrived.
However, Lorona didn’t agree. She told Zerio that he should spend his share of the money because she’d recover her family’s finances by herself.
For a moment, there was a ripple in Zerio’s heart.
Given the magnitude of benefits Lorona gave him, shouldn’t he at least give that money to the count’s family?
“You sure talk a lot despite being a mere merchant.”
Perhaps Aslan didn’t believe what Zerio had just said. He kept a keen eye on him.
“It looks like you know more than the rumors. I’ll pay you. Spit out everything you know.”
“Everything I know…”
Aslan took a small cloth bag out of his pocket and tossed it onto the floor. The binding of the bag came loose with the thud, and the contents spilled out.
A number of jewels appeared. Moreover, they were large. Zerio immediately understood—they were the real thing!
“Tell me everything you know about Lorona. That should be enough, yes?”
While crawling on the floor and collecting jewels, Zerio began to tell Aslan about everything he knew.
***T/N: I’m willing to bet that Aslan is prolly either the Male Lead or the Second Male Lead. I don’t like him tho, the way he treated those of a lower status than him like cretin… not to mention, that temper tantrum… CN CEO, hello?
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