Chapter 9.
What is better than a golden spoon?

“Now, who has a good opinion?”

One of the knights raised his hand and Blan nodded, allowing him to speak.

“Why don’t we compliment the Lord in front of the Madame? If she hears a lot of good things about him around her, won’t she see the lord differently? They say that three people would make a non-existent goblin* after all.”

T/n: *three people would make a non-existent goblin: it means no matter how implausible or absurd something is, as long as three or more people keep talking and insisting about it, one would have no choice but to be deceived and believe it.

As soon as he finished speaking, the noisy hall that had barely subsided began to stir again.

“If ‘three people make a non-existent goblin’, it means that we’ll make her believe in things that do not exist.
Then it is no different than saying that our Lord is not a good person, that we even have to make up lies to cover up for him.  If the Lord knows this, we’re done, you hear me, done!”

“That’s right, you bastard! Are you trying to get us all killed?!”

Behind the two people who quarreled, others also joined the fuss.

“Why don’t we send a present to the Madame but pretend it’s from the Lord?” 

“She came from the capital city where all kinds of good stuffs are gathered.
Will our gift ever catch her eyes? She might think that it is rather burdensome.”

“Or, let’s put the two of them in one room and make them drink a lot, and maybe something might happen!”

“Just a reminder, the Lord never gets drunk.”

“Right, I’ve never seen the lord drunk before.”

Although it was a countermeasure meeting with many heads gathered in one place, the knights were all clueless when it came to the relationship between men and women.

Sure, Altair’s awkward behavior was unbearable to the knight, but they themselves were not so much better to come up with a solution for the situation.
After all, if they had have such love experiences, they would not have remained single until this day.

“Tsk tsk tsk.”

In the middle of the troubling commotion, someone clicked his tongue.
The knights, discovering the owner of the sound, rushed to his side with delight as if they had found a ray of light.

“Of course, Cain! You were here!”

“Right, among us, you know about this the most!”

Unlike the other insensitive knights, Cain tended to get along well with the girls in the territory thanks to his uniquely charismatic personality.

“Listen carefully.”

Cain smiled, enjoying the attention he was getting.

“You know what’s the easiest way to get someone to like you?”

“We don’t know.
And would we be doing this right now if we knew that?”

“Don’t be smug.
Just get to the point!”

Cain shrugged at the urge.

“I help the other person when they are in trouble, especially when they are all alone.
If I am the only salvation, I can win their heart in an instant.”


“The level of difficulty the other one faces will amount to the favour they will have toward me.”


“Now have you all understood? What should we do to make the Madame like the Lord?”

Cain asked, looking at the knights surrounding him.
But the answer came from Pavel, who was far from the group.

“The lord must help the Madame during difficult situations.”


Pavel frowned at the pleasant cry and shook his head.

“It’s not a bad method, but I don’t think the Lord would agree with intentionally putting the Madame in a tight spot.
Isn’t he the one to give up the comfortable bedroom just for the Madame?”

Altair, who hated shallow tricks, would probably not join this plan.
Of course, Cain, who insisted on the plan, was well aware of Altair’s tendencies.

“That’s why the Lord must not know.
He doesn’t have any talent for acting anyway.”


Seeing that he said so confidently, it seemed that he already had a plan in mind.
As Pavel looked at Cain with doubts, the other man grinned and beckoned to everyone.

“Come on everyone! This way!”



How strange, the tip of her nose was tickling as if someone was talking about her somewhere.

She sniffled and rearranged the scattered papers on the table.
Her hands were moving diligently, but in fact, her mind was full of other thoughts.

He sure helped me this time…right?

Her mind was still stuck on the small accident that happened not long ago.

Altair protected her from falling to the ground when she tripped.
He also told her that what happened on that day wasn’t her fault, although his tone wasn’t very friendly.

If it was the original Altair – the ‘villain image’ that was firmly entrenched in her head, he would have pretended not to see it even if she fell and rolled on the ground, no, even in the fire pit.
But the real Altair didn’t.

Discovering the difference between the ruthless fictional character and the real Altair was a very positive sign for her survival.

I guess Altair must really like Aylesford!

Even her, who was likely to have an accident when she was with him, got covered up just because she belonged to Aylesford.
So it was clear that he cherished this estate very much.

Just like that time when they happened to meet in the hallway, he helped her, who could not adapt to the darkness.
Back then, he said, ‘I don’t want to see anyone getting hurt in my castle’.

That means…

Did that mean she would be safe as long as she was in Aylesford?

Right, that must be what it meant!

Her eyes sparked at the enlightenment, as if a lightbulb had popped up in her head.

In that case, she could never abandon the position of ‘Baroness of Aylesford’.
As she had promised Altair to play the role of his wife well, plus, she wanted to stay behind this safe fence forever.

Uh… But…

On the other hand, what if she taint Aylesford’s name because she could not be a proper wife?

An imaginary theater play started in her blackened mind.

As the imaginary Altair said sullenly, ‘How dare you to make fun of Aylesford?’ and swung his sword, her head was cut off and tossed on the floor.


Thinking of blood in her imagination did not help with her blood phobia at all.
She took a deep breath, trying to calm her trembling hands.

N-no! I just have to work hard and do well! What could go wrong?!

The more reason she had to take on the role of an excellent wife. 

The most needed thing in the estate right now is funds…

If she could solve that problem and prove that she was a good baroness, Altair would admit that she was a competent person.

Let’s see, is there anything in the East that could make money?

She closed her eyes and reviewed the contents of the novel.

In fact, because the background of the novel was the capital city, the center of the social circle, there was not much information about the East.
It only appeared several times as the birthplace of the terrible villain duke.


A fact she had forgotten suddenly flashed through her mind.


Altair, the villainous duke in the novel, was so wealthy that it was impossible to imagine the current poor situation of the estate.
There was a manastone mine in this territory, so there was never a need to worry about money.

Manastones were an energy source that activated magical tools, making life easier.
Compared to modern things, it could be said that it had the same role as a battery.

The only difference was that batteries were common and cheap, so anyone could use them, but magic stones were very rare and expensive.
Even wealthy aristocrats could not use them to their heart’s content, so they only used magic stones when they were absolutely necessary.

However, the expensive manastone mine belonged to the villainous duke.

Based on how poor the estate is right now, this must be before the mine is discovered.

They didn’t even know that a huge treasure was lying within their reach, and went hunting beasts for a small amount of money instead.

It was like putting the first prize lottery ticket in a drawer and doing a part-time job that barely paid the minimum wage.

If I found the mine and enriched the estate, I would surely get Altair’s approval right away!

Fortunately, the novel also revealed information about the location of the mine.

It was something along the lines the mountain range that was thought to be a den of demons was full of magic stones.
That said, if she were to investigate the mountain range belonging to the Aylesford estate, she would be able to find the mine soon.

Even those with a golden spoon would have to be envious of this!

She felt like running out to the mountain range with a shovel to dig the ground right away.


As she was grinning at the beautiful future visualised in her head, Anna entered the room and came to stand next to her, dismayed.

“Are you not feeling well? I think you may just have a face cramp…!”

It seemed that she was so excited about her unexpected luck that she couldn’t control her expression.

“Oh, no.
I just have a lot on my mind, that’s all.”

She hurriedly adjusted her expression and gave a faint smile as if it was nothing.
At the sight, Anna drooped the corners of her mouth with a look of pity.

“You must be having a hard time the past few days.
You stayed locked up in the castle and only looked at the papers….sometimes, it is crucial to get fresh air in order to stay healthy.”

Anna, who had been hesitating for a long time to say something, looked at her and asked carefully.

“So that’s why,… Madame, how about going for a walk?”

“A walk?”

“Yes! Because you haven’t looked around the castle properly yet.
A short walk brings you to a large lake, where you can also take a boat.
The mountain range seen from the boat is very beautiful.”

The mountain range!

Walk or not, she was curious about the mountain range anyway.
Even though Nadia had yet to say anything, as if able to feel a positive answer from her, Anna smiled broadly and clasped her hands together. 

“No worries! I shall show you around, Madame!”


Anna was not wrong.

Following her guidance, Nadia walked out of the castle for a change, and a huge lake with the mountain range in the back emerged.


It felt like her heart stopped at the magnificent nature that she couldn’t see in the capital city.
Only then could she understand why they call it breathtaking.
It was so overwhelming that she forgot about the mountain range for a moment, even though she was dying to know where the mine was.

“Aren’t you glad you came out?”

Anna looked at Nadia, who was in awe, with a proud face.
She just nodded in return, agreeing to her words.

While she was admiring the scenery, Anna worked diligently to prepare a boat for them to go on a short tour on the lake.
It was a small boat that would only be enough for two people to sit on.

“I will row the oars, so please relax and enjoy the scenery.
The closer you get to the mountains, the better the scenery!”

Mesmerised by the scenery, she forgot her original purpose and boarded the boat to begin the tour.

Without hesitation, Anna rowed vigorously towards the middle of the lake.
As the mountain ranges were getting closer and closer, her vision was so full that it was difficult to capture the whole big picture.

The great natural scenery truly had the power to move people.

For a moment, all the complicated thoughts that had occupied her mind vanished, and she fell in love with the relaxation that nature gave her.
Of course, that didn’t last long.


Anna’s scream broke the tranquillity.

She turned her head to see what was going on, and an oar, which should have been held tightly in the maid’s hands, was floating away from the boat.

How did the oar end up that far away…?

“My hand lost strength and the oar slipped out of my hand, I’m sorry Madame! Alas, what should I do? I can’t reach it even if I stretch my arm out like this!”

Anna raised her voice as she floundered her hand in the air.
She seemed to be flustered, but her tone was different from usual.

“Oh no! We’re isolated in the middle of the lake! I’m so scared, Madame! How great it would be if a wonderful knight appeared and saved us!”

T/n: Aha! So she’s acting! I knew she was suspicious from the beginning!

Anna looked around anxiously, but Nadia didn’t think it was that serious.
It was not far from the castle, so if they waited, someone would eventually come to save them.

However, Anna’s condition seemed too unstable for her to say that they should wait patiently.
She was gibberish and worried about not knowing what to do.


She measured the distance between the boat and the oar with her eyes.
It was a long way to reach out, but it was within easy reach by swimming.

“Calm down, Anna, I will bring the oar back.
I’m a good swimmer, so it’s no problem…”

“I-I’m sorry…?”

She was so nervous that she couldn’t even understand what she was saying at once.

She clenched both of her fists in a ‘Trust me!’ gesture so that Anna wouldn’t be anxious, and turned to the lake.

“M-m-ma-madame? What are you going to do?! You-, you’re going to swim…?!”

Anna started stammering, looking more bewildered than before.
She took a deep breath and jumped straight into the lake.


Watching her dive into the water, Anna shouted in shock.

The water was much colder than she expected, but she didn’t mind and headed towards the oar.
But somehow, her body didn’t move forward as smoothly as she thought.

Her body felt heavy as if someone was pulling her down.
She felt like her body was shaking.

What’s wrong with me?

Without a chance to look for an answer to the question, strength was gradually drained from her body.
The sound of Anna shouting ‘Madame!’ mixed with water splashing buzzed in her ears.

Simultaneously, her vision was gradually fading away.
It flickered dark then bright repeatedly.

Her body, which had become heavy, gradually sank to the bottom.
At that moment, when her consciousness was close to losing and her vision was completely consumed by darkness, a strong force pulled her upward.

Amidst all of that chaos, she felt a strange sense of security that she had never felt before.

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