I Thought It Was a Common Transmigration - Chapter 131
“I heard that the Duchess almost got into trouble because of the cowardly machinations of the Riegelhoffs. How can so-called noblemen commit such moral shenanigans, what a bunch of cowards they are!”
Despite his grave expression, Count Sinclair was actually cheering when he heard the news.
‘This is good news for us!’
His prediction came true wonderfully.
He had just heard that the Emperor had given the disposal of the Riegelhoffs to Duke Ludwig, and that the entire Riegelhoff family had been decapitated and their heads hung in the Imperial Palace.
He was trying not to laugh too hard now.
“Well, it’s not a very pleasant memory, so enough of this.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I was just so enraged that I couldn’t take it anymore, Your Excellency.”
Despite his profound apology, Count Sinclair thought things were going very well.
He glanced at Leila, who had accompanied him as he began to talk about the northern iron ore distribution rights he had recently acquired outright.
Leila glared at Killian, then quickly feigned a look of concern at her father’s gaze.
“By the way, Your Excellency, have you thought about the talk back then?”
“What do you mean the talk back then?”
“The matter of Sir Killian’s…… marriage.”
Killian’s eyes widened at that.
“What do you mean by that?”
Count Sinclair gave him a kind, sympathetic look, as if he understood everything.
“I’ve heard that you’ve had a lot of trouble because of your sham marriage to the young lady of Riegelhoff.”
“Where did you hear that?”
“It doesn’t matter where I heard it. It is true that Count Riegelhoff offered his daughter to you in exchange for iron ore distribution rights and loyalty to the Emperor.”
“That is true, but……”
“Rufus Riegelhoff, that man has been so devious from the beginning!”
Count Sinclair interrupted Killian when he tried to say something more.
“Now that the Riegelhoffs have been dealt with at last, it is time for you to take a new wife, and that is why I recommended Leila as your wife to the Duke the other day, with all due respect.”
Leila’s cheeks flushed, and she locked eyes with Killian before bowing her head slightly.
She tried to hold it in, but a happy smile was spreading across her face.
Killian, however, was having none of it.
He frowned and turned slowly to the Duke. “Father, is that true?”
“It is true that I have been offered such a deal.”
“And you would have me listen to it? I already have a wife.”
Then Count Sinclair spoke up again. “I can understand your dislike of arranged marriages. But more than half of all marriages among the nobility are arranged, and you are the scion of a duke, so you must put the interests of the family first.”
“Do you mean to say that my feelings are worth nothing?”
“Oh, of course not! My dear Leila has always admired you, and she will make a fine wife, faithful to you, and no match for that prostitute of Riegelhoff!”
Count Sinclair’s words were meant to discredit the Riegelhoffs, the enemies of the Ludwigs, but they only made Killian more irritated.
Looking at Count Sinclair, who had no time to stop himself, Duke Ludwig put his hand to his forehead.
“How dare you insult the daughter-in-law of the House of Ludwig, Count Sinclair?”
Killian’s increasingly fierce mood baffled Count Sinclair and Leila.
“Why are you suddenly like this, Sir Killian? Isn’t she already dead!”
“Who’s dead? Edith Ludwig, now Countess Ryzen, is alive and well. What did you say, a prostitute?”
Killian’s fists were shaking.
Only then did Count Sinclair realize that Edith was not dead, and that she was still Killian’s wife.
But that didn’t mean he could back down.
“Well, first of all, my apologies. I certainly didn’t mean to insult the Ludwigs. But, Sir Killian, think well of it.”
“Think well of what?”
“You are the second son of Duke Ludwig, but soon to be a loyal servant of the Emperor and a new Count. Does it make sense for such a man to have the daughter of a traitor as his wife?”
Killian felt like he could draw his sword right then and there and cut this man’s head off.
“Killian. Be patient. He is, after all, an ally of our house and a loyal servant of the Emperor.”
Before he knew it, Cliff’s hand was over Killian’s, resting on the hilt of his sword.
Killian let out a long breath and then spoke in a voice that was heavy and cold, “I, I love Edith deeply. I’m crazy about her, she’s my only wife.”
“I don’t think you’ve gotten the point yet, so I’m going to take the liberty of turning a blind eye just this once, but if you pull one more stunt like this…… you’ll have to be prepared to turn me into an enemy, Count Sinclair.”
Seeing Killian like that, Duke Ludwig sighed and shrugged. “I’m sorry, Count, but this is where we’ll have to end our discussion.”
It was a great loss for Count Sinclair and Leila.
But the bad news didn’t end there.
“Oh, and by the way, I don’t think we’ll be bothering you with iron ore distribution rights.”
“The Emperor confiscated their southern iron ore distribution rights when the Riegelhoff family was executed, and he was kind enough to give them to us.”
It was the worst of all worlds for Count Sinclair.
In order to attach himself to Duke Ludwig, he’d risked great losses to gain control of the northern iron ore distribution rights.
‘If the biggest buyer of iron ore is gone, what good does it do to control the distribution of iron ore?’
This time, Count Sinclair’s hands began to tremble.
At this point, he had to hold on to something.
“I- I see, but, Your Excellency, I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while now……”
“No matter what the contract says, the relationship between parent and child is unbreakable, and it’s time for you to give me back my Lizé.”
And that was the worst thing Count Sinclair could have said.
“Are you…… trying to play games with me?”
A gravitas that Killian couldn’t match emanated from the Duke.
“You must think that contract you made with me is a joke.”
“But is there any law in the world that prohibits a father from taking care of his own daughter?”
The Duke glared. “Not the words of a man who willingly handed over his daughter in exchange for a debt, are they, Count?”
This time Killian spoke up, taking Cliff’s hand in his own. “Hold on, brother. Weren’t you the one who stopped me from killing him?”
Cliff’s hand clutched the letter knife on the table.
Count Sinclair and Leila, who had assumed he was just fiddling with the letter knife, flinched back when they heard Killian’s words.
In the end, Count Sinclair’s frustration at having to return home with nothing was palpable.
On his way out of the parlor, he spotted Lizé sitting by the fire in the first-floor parlor.
Count Sinclair’s eyes widened and he rushed toward her.
At his urgent call, Lizé turned around with a puzzled look on her face.
“Lizé, come home now. I don’t care what anyone says, you’re my daughter, and you need to live with your family!”
“Yes, family! Your family is us, not those people whose blood you don’t have a drop of! Forget about your childhood. From now on, this father of yours will raise you……”
Count Sinclair, who had tried to woo Lizé by appealing to her emotions, since she was so innocent, was stunned into speechlessness by her obvious mockery.
“Not only did you make me born into the world as you please, snatch me away from my mother as you please, and then abuse me as you please, but now you’re telling me to forget the past as you please?”
“Family…… well, let’s call it family, as you say, then you’ll have to settle your debt to the Duke again, and have you got the 30 million sennas ready?”
Count Sinclair’s jaw dropped at the mention of money.
Lizé smiled sardonically, as if she knew he would.
“Listen carefully,” she said, “I don’t accept people like you as my family, not even if you are a Ludwig.”
Earl Sinclair’s eyes widened at that, not at all like Lizé.
“The world won’t fall apart if you don’t get the ending you’ve set for yourself; if anything, a funnier, happier ending might come your way.”
Lizé remembered what Edith had said.
It hurt, but she had to accept it for now.
And with that, she decided to say goodbye to her frustrating past of pretending to be nice.
She’d always trembled and cried in front of Count Sinclair because of her fake good behavior, but she’d always wanted to verbally assault him.
“Li- Lizé…… my God, you’ve lost your character since you’ve been living here!”
“What a rude thing to say to my fiancée!”
Cliff, who had come up behind Count Sinclair, said in a low voice.
“Y- your fiancée?”
“Yes, she is my fiancée, not your daughter.”
“Then I shall soon be your father-in-law, hahaha!”
“Do I need to show you the contract again? You have no rights, no ties, no claim on her.”
At those words, Count Sinclair, who had been frowning at Lizé’s behavior, spoke up.