I Thought It Was a Common Transmigration - Chapter 98
‘Why is it my fault that I’m being dumped here? It’s your fault for sending me out here to do this, you bastards.’
Edith in the original story must have grown up receiving this kind of brainwashing all her life.
The only thing I’m grateful for about my parents in my previous life is that they were rather indifferent to me.
I have to take care of myself, look after my brother, and help the family. Otherwise, I’m an ungrateful person. If they had brainwashed me, I would have lived a much more miserable life.
‘Then I would have been at the mercy of Count Riegelhoff even after I was reincarnated as Edith.’
I shuddered at the thought.
I took the letter and approached the fireplace, poking around the ashes with the fireplace poker.
There were still embers, so I held the letter over them and burned it.
‘It was a letter that would have been better off as firewood.’
When I was satisfied that the letter was completely burnt, I tapped it several times with the poker to reduce it to ashes. With a long yawn, I returned to my bed and lay down.
I wondered how to avoid arousing suspicion by suggesting that the mansion’s window security should be strengthened.
The next day, while I was still in a bad mood because of the letter from the Riegelhoffs, an unexpected and unwelcome guest announced a visit.
“Count Sinclair says he will be visiting this Friday.”
Killian’s brow furrowed in displeasure as he delivered the news.
“He wants to see my father and talk business for next year, I think it’s about the iron ore distribution rights, but who knows, maybe it’s because Lizé has gotten some attention at the National Day ball.”
Yeah, I think that’s what happened in the original story.
At the National Day ball, with the Ludwig family’s treasure around her neck, Cliff as her partner, and Catherine’s support, Lizé becomes a social hot potato.
When Count Sinclair realized that Lizé, whom he thought he had sold well, was worth far more than he had realized, he approached Duke Ludwig to claim parental rights.
‘It was, of course, futile.’
Count Sinclair had already signed an agreement to relinquish all rights to Lizé when he gave her to Duke Ludwig in exchange for a debt of 30 million sennas.
Duke Ludwig is not a man to be trifled with, and there’s no way he’s going to be fooled by the ‘A thousand miles between parent and child’ line.
“How is Lizé?”
On my last visit, Lizé was still shivering in her room. This time, she was probably even more frightened.
“She says she’s okay, but I don’t know if she is. She’s not looking too good, and Cliff is with her right now trying to comfort her.”
In the original story, Killian also became Lizé’s protector and kept Count Sinclair’s bullshit at bay, but now Killian is by my side, not hers.
While I’m grateful for this change in reality, I still can’t help but feel like my life is a lantern in the wind.
‘I hope I can keep Killian’s favor from waning until the last possible moment.’
I prayed fervently that I could make it through the coming winter and into next spring.
“It’s been a long time, Your Excellency.”
Count Sinclair greeted Duke Ludwig warmly as he entered the room.
The brown-haired, lean man looked younger than his years, but still somewhat wizened.
‘Just by looking at the impression, it’s hard to believe that he is Lizé’s father.’
Duke Axel Ludwig coughed as he remembered the angelic Lizé.
“It’s been a while, Count.”
“Yes, I had to miss the National Day ball this time due to some business on the estate. Did my children say hello to you at the ball?”
“Of course, haha.”
The Duke glanced at the Count’s children that he had brought with him.
Bringing Damien, the eldest, was understandable, but bringing his daughter, Leila, was odd.
Honestly, it was Countess Sinclair and her children who mistreated Lizé, especially Leila, and Duke Ludwig was not pleased to have her here.
But Leila was smiling at the Duke. One would think that the Duke and Leila were already acquainted.
“What brings you here today?”
Duke Ludwig cut short his lengthy greeting and got to the point.
Count Sinclair flashed him a broad smile and sipped his tea.
“I’m not sure which story I should begin with, so as not to raise any misunderstandings, so shall I begin with, um…… Count Riegelhoff?”
“What? Why are you bringing up Count Riegelhoff all of a sudden?”
“I know why you had Sir Killian marry the daughter of Count Riegelhoff, Duke. It’s for the iron ore distribution rights, isn’t it?”
There were a lot of little reasons attached to it, but the most important one was the iron ore rights.
It would be a problem if Count Riegelhoff, who controlled the largest distributor of the raw material from which blades could be made, aligned himself with Archduke Langston.
But the external reason was simply ‘strengthening the alliance’, and Duke Ludwig couldn’t help but nod.
“It’s not just that……”
“I’m not here to question the reason, but rather to lighten your burden.”
Count Sinclair’s face was filled with confidence.
“When we last visited, I only vaguely mentioned that we were likely to obtain the distribution rights to the iron ore, but now it is all but confirmed.”
“Where’s the iron ore from?”
“Latis, up north. You know that iron ore has been discovered there, don’t you?”
“I am aware. But I thought it would take quite a while for the mine to be developed.”
“No. Count Morento, the lord of Latis, lied because he was afraid that Latis would become a battleground.”
Duke Ludwig stopped sipping his tea and looked at Count Sinclair with a surprised face.
“Count Morento’s terms were demanding, but for the next ten years, starting next year, we, the Sinclairs, will have the right to distribute the iron ore of Latis.”
The iron ore from Latis was already known for its quality, so to have the right to distribute it under the Sinclair family was a game changer for the Sinclairs.
Especially for the Sinclair family, who have interests related to iron ore rather than mining rights or gem distribution, in line with the Ludwig family, who hold military positions. Then the Sinclairs would finally have the power to be a rival to the Riegelhoffs.
‘But where did Count Sinclair get his money from……?’
As far as Duke Ludwig knew, Count Sinclair’s finances weren’t much better than before.
The Count, sensing the Duke’s suspicion, laughed.
“Of course, I’ve had a little help from the imperial coffers, but I’m not defrauding the Duke; it’s the distribution rights I’ve been able to get because I’ve agreed to give Count Morento a third of the distribution profits.”
Thirty percent of distribution profits is a hefty price to pay.
For Count Morento, it would be like making a fortune while sitting still.
“I congratulate you on securing the distribution rights to the iron ore of Latis. But why are you telling me about it?” asked the Duke, trying to sound nonchalant again.
The reason Count Sinclair mentioned Count Riegelhoff before he made it clear that he had gotten the iron ore distribution rights was obvious.
Now the Duke understands why the Count brought his daughter Leila Sinclair here.
“Your Excellency the Duke of Ludwig. The Riegelhoffs can no longer be called imperialists, nor are they allies of the Ludwigs.”
On that, the Duke agreed. Probably all of the nobles present at the National Day ball knew that.
“Only Your Excellency and Sir Killian suffered greatly from Count Riegelhoff’s tricks. If it weren’t for the alliance, he wouldn’t dare to match his daughter with Sir Killian.”
The Duke was at a loss for words. Everything was as Count Sinclair had said.
“My poor judgment caused Killian to suffer greatly.”
“Count Riegelhoff is a cunning man, Your Excellency must have known that, but who would have thought he would betray you, even with his daughter as a hostage, and yet he pretended to care so much for her outside.”
The Duke shook his head and sipped his tea again. His insides felt like they were burning.
“Speaking of which……”
The Count leaned forward, lowering his voice slightly, “How long do you intend on keeping that worthless hostage?”
So that’s what he’s all about, the Duke thought.
“She’s already married to my son, so what can I do?”
“It’s not the time to insist on such benevolent thoughts, Your Excellency, lest you end up falling prey to Count Riegelhoff’s machinations.”
Count Sinclair was poking at Duke Ludwig’s sore spot.
“Isn’t Count Riegelhoff the very force you’ll one day have to deal with as well as Archduke Langston, and yet you choose to let Edith Riegelhoff remain in House Ludwig? Is that the right way to go about it?”
When Count Sinclair hit the part that was already bothering him, a deep furrow appeared between Duke Ludwig’s eyebrows.
It was then that Leila spoke up.