「I-Idea? What are you talking about? 」
The Count frozen by the abnormal development finally got back on his feet. Regaining his thoughts, he started interrogating Marrieda haughtily.
「Who allowed you in my mansion in the first place? Trespassing a noble’s property, do you have any idea how severe a crime it is? 」
Naturally, something like that won’t stop Marrieda.
「Playing dumb now? Both you and Kuzeon really seem to believe that I’m an ignorant little girl. Fufu―, do you not realize if that betrayer is here, it’s already not going to work? 」
Marrieda was scoffing sarcastically despite her opponent being a noble. The Count shook for a moment because of that but, he immediately got himself back and yelled.
「Where are the guards!? There’re intruders! 」
However, it was not the guards that responded but Marrieda’s escort. A tall slim swordsman, appeared from behind Marrieda, entering the room. Behind him are several men on the ground, they were the guards of the Count’s office.
「If you’re looking for the guards, they had been asleep for a while already. With only two or three guards of this caliber, I don’t think they served any purpose. 」
The Count was lost for words seeing the guards’ pathetic appearance. Thanks to Ardis’s guidance, the three managed to infiltrate without encountering many servants or guards.
Naturally, no matter how good their route is, to reach their destination in the shortest time, they can’t avoid all of them.
However, the mercenaries accompanying Marrieda are not normal. Leaving aside Ardis, Nicole is also an expert among experts.
They have enough capability to neutralize someone by surprise easily. The opponents were put to sleep by Ardis’s arts, and while the enemy didn’t even know what hit them, they managed to arrive here without shedding any blood.
There’s no longer any enemies other than the two in front of them within fifty meters. Ardis and Nicole. Because of the security they provided, Marrieda can step forward defenselessly.
「I thought Kuzeon would definitely run here if he was forced.」
「So you followed him huh……」
The Count glared at Kuzeon with an annoyed face. He must’ve thought that it’s Kuzeon’s fault that Marrieda had come here. However, Marrieda corrected him with a tired face.
「Not like I’m trying to cover for him but. No matter if Kuzeon screwed up or not, I already knew that you are the perpetrator from the start. 」
However, the Count scoffed at Marrieda’s words as if it’s not of value, and kept his haughtiness.
「Hmph. Who knows what nonsense you are on, don’t think you can get away doing this safely. 」
Looking at the Count who was snorting, Marrieda spurted out air as if hearing something funny unexpectedly.
「Fuh, fufuh……, ahahaha! Complaining like that this late!? Don’t you think a noble having lived a life of talking should say something better? It’s you who haven’t understood. Who’s not getting out of this safely! Huh――, so funny! 」
The Count must’ve not understood yet. There are no guards or escorts within the range of his voice, the servants are busy running around putting out fire on the villa outside. He probably never thought that he is trapped for good.
「Look at your guards. Your servants are busy putting out fire. The people you hired with money or those that protect you because you are a noble are nowhere to be found here. There’s only a useless on his own old man and an ambitious betrayer here, and an avenging woman! 」
Marrieda purposefully taught him what is the reality. It is obvious even to herself that she didn’t do it out of kindness.
There are only three protagonists here. Ardis and Nicole are only playing as the role of a sword and a shield for Marrieda.
「Avenge……? I don’t recall doing anything to buy the hate of some girl from a business association. Stop with your groundless accusations. 」
Marrieda replied coldly at the Count who seemed to want to act ignorant till the end.
「Act stupid as much as you want. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember. Even if you don’t, I remember. It’s the unshakeable truth that you and the betrayer there are the people that killed my parents. 」
「Hmph. Looks like you are quite imaginative. In the first place, why would a noble such as me kill mere merchants. 」
The Count who was still acting innocent was hit by Marrieda’s words full of intensity.
「You are the one who said it! For the gold ore trading route! 」
The Count widened his eyes. It’s something that Marrieda should’ve not known. His expression looked too much like the words of 『How did you know? 』.
「……That’s right, you even thought to marry me to your third or forth son. I’d like to think that I also have the right to choose. Spare me from ever being related to someone like you. 」
Marrieda spoke of what she learnt in her prophetic dreams. Naturally, the Count that had no idea about Marrieda’s ability had only one suspicion of where the information leaked.
「……Kuzeon……you bastard!? 」
「No, I didn’t say anything! Please believe in me! 」
The Count looked at Kuzeon suspiciously, but the betrayer was panickily trying to defend himself. Disregarding that, Marrieda followed up more.
「What a fool you are, Kuzeon. A noble would never trust someone like you. Just like how you were using him, he was using you too. Isn’t it because you knew that, that you even started wagging your tail to the Jimberyl Business Association? 」
Now it’s Kuzeon’s time to be surprised.
「I know you’ve been secretly making ties with Jimberyl. Since you failed in making me a marionette, you even tried to get Jimberyl to buy Litte, weren’t you quite ambitious? 」
It seems like the Count heard it the first time as he glared at Kuzeon.
「Though……, seems like you were cast away ever since their president went missing eight years ago. 」
As if pitying him, Marrieda was digging wounds with her cold words. The demonic beings attacked Reiten suddenly eight years ago, resulting in the defense battle that even Ardis participated in.
It was known that the president of Jimberyl Business Association which was the greatest in Reiten at that time disappeared. Kuzeon seem to thought that he had been doing it in secret, but Marrieda had known about it all in advance but only pretended not to.
If Jimberyl hasn’t collapsed yet, then Kuzeon might’ve headed their way this time. Marrieda then switched over to the Count.
「From what I’ve heard, the former Count Emires is quite splurgy. Because of that, the financial situation of the house is already on fire when you inherited the peerage and had to make debts here and there. That’s reaping what you sow but……」
Saying so flatly, Marrieda started walking forward slowly.
「Even though you could’ve resolved it with legitimate methods, of all things, you looked at our Litte which was climbing quick. Not just trading routes, you even planned to take over the entire association by killing the president and sticking a hand in the management. A table example of what a corrupted nobleman abusing his power would do. A story that you can find anywhere, I suppose. 」
Marrieda’s words stopped momentarily. After a short while of silence dominating the entire office――.
「Don’t fuck with me! 」
Despite her calm reading tone until now, Marrieda suddenly slammed with a yell.
「It’s what my ancestor continued to nourish, and my father finally managed to have a chance to expand it! Litte is an irreplaceable place for me, it’s what little remaining of what my parents left! And as if…… as if something like that should ever be touched by you assholes! 」
Marrieda’s bloodshot eyes shot through the Count. Was it because of her anger and pressure, even the Count shrunk back.
「I-I see……. Looks like conversing with you is meaningless. If so……」
With a strained cheek, he glanced at Ardis and Nicole for a moment, then looked at Kuzeon.
「Do it! 」
Did they see it as a chance that Marrieda started walking by herself approaching them, together with the Count’s signal, Kuzeon suddenly jumped towards Marrieda.
His hands was holding onto a dagger in his pocket. They probably thought that they can restrain Marrieda if she’s in that position before Ardis and Nicole can reach them.
Certainly, if their attempt is successful, then even Ardis and Nicole can’t easily approach. However, something like that was seen a million years ago.
The reason why Marrieda approached them defenselessly was because there was no risk in doing so at all. The next moment, something hit the dagger that Kuzeon held, making a ringing sound.
With a painful scream, Kuzeon fell on the ground.
「W-What is that!? 」
The Count had surprised eyes seeing the two swords flying in the air. The two swords without being held by anyone pointed their edge at Kuzeon and the Count.
Because of Ardis’s sword magic protecting her, Marrieda approached the two without any fear. Even if Kuzeon suddenly jumped at Marrieda, his movements are incomparably dull compared to the flying swords.
Ardis had stationed flying swords on the ceiling way before Kuzeon had started moving,
「As I thought, I really am underestimated. Do you think I’m so stupid to be exposing myself to danger because of anger? Nee, Kuzeon. I mean, I might’ve not known when I’m still a kid but, didn’t you stay near me for a whole eighteen years? Do I really look like such a stupid woman? 」
Kuzeon who was groveling in pain had no room to answer Marrieda. With a painful groan, both his hands were grabbing onto his leg that is bleeding in full force, he didn’t even try to look at Marrieda.
「Nee, are you listening properly, Kuzeon? How about replying me? 」
Marrieda with an expression void of emotions picked up the dagger on the ground, and stabbed it into Kuzeon’s thigh without any hesitation.
「I know I’ve been pretending to be a little airhead at times but, if you can’t even see through that much, isn’t it your incapability being a merchant? Well, if you were that capable, then you wouldn’t be working at our association. 」
Marrieda pulled out the dagger stabbed into Kuzeon. Three more painful scream came from Kuzeon in the office.
「Do you know how much I endured leaving my parents’ murderer beside myself for all these years? Do you know how painful it was to keep someone that’s eyeing for a chance to take over the association every day as a confidant? 」
While shedding tears escaping from the stress of pain, Kuzeon trembled.
「How many times have I wanted to strangle that neck whenever I saw your back. How many times have I wanted to spit on your face seeing your smiling face at me. ……All of that, for the past eighteen years! 」
「P-Please forgive me……! I only, for……!」
「What do you want me to forgive you for? 」
Saying so chillingly to Kuzeon who was begging desperately, Marrieda stabbed the dagger into his throat.
「the association――! 」
Kuzeon who was going to speak something gargled out blood. His hands were stretched out trying to say something for a while but, eventually, his arm fell on the ground and stopped moving.