Grabbing each doc.u.ment one by one with furrowed brows and a scowl, I examined them before tossing them so they scattered onto the ground. I stared motionlessly at the bundle of doc.u.ments that fell with a thud and turned to Ian wearing a baffled expression and spoke.
“Those doc.u.ments are all related to your debt, correct? The ones that need Ian’s signature. Is that correct?”
I came face to face with him as I pulled out a sheet of paper from my person. There was nothing written on the white rectangular piece of paper that wasn’t large. However, the key point was the mark laminated with special material on the back.
“This is the blank check the Aztane family employs for business use. The limit is about a hundred thousand gold. You only have to write the numerical amount of gold on this side, and pa.s.s it onto any business the Aztane family. Simple, right?”
Ian probably heard about it. It was known that the Aztane bank only released three of these checks for each year, with the term for the blank check being limited to one year.
One of the blank checks would be possessed by me, the remaining two were carried by Grandfather. This was done to quickly secure any business deals that we'd stubble onto by chance.
Although there is concern of the blank business check getting stolen or lost, the transaction cannot occur unless I am present or there is proof of my approval.
“So the acc.u.mulated debt and interest of the budget and increase the lacking budget for this year? I am going to write down that right here.”
I gently wrote down the numbers with the pen he was previously playing with and showed it to Ian.
“Simple, correct? If you agree to my conditions this is all yours.”
“So how will you proceed?”
His eyes gazed motionlessly on the paper that fluttered from the wind. I didn’t know what he was thinking as he lifted his gaze from the check. I felt a chill in my body as I looked into his red eyes.
The people who couldn’t help but compliment his beautiful ruby-like eyes would probably feel fear seeing him now.
“I have a few questions.”
“Ask as many as you would like.”
“The first question, what is your reason for giving me this amount of money?’
“You can see it as an investment.”
“What kind of investment?”
“If you accept my deal than I shall tell you. Originally it's not common to share investments those who are not business partners.”
His face turned into a scowl as I brightly laughed.
“Then the second, is the Aztane viscountess someone who can personally operate that amount of gold? A hundred thousand gold pieces surpa.s.s the kingdom's yearly budget of gold. Is the lady allowed to use that amount as you please?”
“Are you having suspicions?”
“What would the state of my mind be if I don’t have my suspicions?”
Indeed, suspicions would arise if not the Aztane Viscount but for his granddaughter to be allowed to brandish such a great sum of money. It’s a valid thought. Still young enough to have a few months left till my coming of age ceremony.
“If I answered would you trust me?”
“Then I shall give you the answer. Yes, It’s possible. That’s enough, right?”
“What? What kind of answer was that…”
“You said that you would trust me if I answered. Then trust me. I’m saying that I am able to manage a hundred thousand gold.”
“Look here, Lady L…”
“Please comfortable call me Laurencia. We spoke about this yesterday.”
“Laurencia, I am not fooling around right now. Honestly, you speak sweet words. If I were to have that much gold I would be able to resolve my debt and handle all of the things that I postponed. However, to receive such a treat would be reckless. So, it would be best if you answer truthfully.”
Goodness gracious, he has a lot of suspicions! Well, the best way to succeed is to move with suspicions, be suspicious of everything. Only trust the people standing next to you. Grandfather also advised of this. It’s saying to have thick skin and thick bones. But to trust in someone who doesn’t trust will be your greatest mistake.
“What is it that you want from me?”
Finally, the words speaking about the main point made my eyes sparkle.
“I would like to make a contract with you.”
“Yes. A contract. A powerful contract that I can trust that is bound by money. If you agree to the contract and fulfill its terms all the money is yours.”
I lifted my hand and drew a line with my finger.
“...Good. Alright, I listen to the contents of what will happen with the contact.”
“Are you accepting my deal?”
“Shouldn’t it be that I first look at the contract and think about the conditions before agreeing to the deal?”
“A reasonable response.”
I brought out another paper doc.u.menting the contract from my person. I had prepared it knowing that he would agree to my terms.
“This is the contract. Please verify the contents before signing down there. Then stamp your seal and sign with your own hands. With this, the contract will be officialized.”
“...I still haven’t started reading it.”
“Please slowly savor the contents.”
I enjoyed those words.
A contact is like a delicious meal. With one taste you would become enamored, with the second taste you would fall under a spell where you wouldn’t be able to part. If everything thing goes as to how I had imaged and planned excitement courses through my body.
Every time I give a contract to a person I become concerned. If they like it, or if they don't, I didn’t know what the conclusion would be. No one knows if the contract will do good or harm.
“I have a question.”
With a bitter expression, he raised his head.
“...Why do we need to get married?”
“The reason is written there.”
“So ‘In order to protect the Aztane family’s possessions from the people who seek them…’ is what is written. In detail what kind of people are you talking about?”
“I will explain that once you sign the contract.”
The way to make a successful contract is to show one piece at a time in order to spark the curiosity of the others. Ian has fallen under the charm of the contract I had written and continued to ask me questions, and I answered calmly.
And Ian had his final question sitting in his mouth.
“Towards the end…”
“Please ask comfortably.”
“Thank you for that. Then I’ll ask as I please. This, what is the last article of your contract?”
The last of the 32 conditions of the contract.
Skins.h.i.+p is prohibited.
What? Is this really that shocking?
“It’s not as if this would be a marriage because 'I love Ian to death' and that 'I can’t live without you', nor is it that we will grow old together with a child. A marriage bound by contract, so there is no need to bear a child, no need to act out of love.”
Besides I’m fed up with men. I had been stabbed in the back by the man I had trusted, because of this I have no thoughts on being with a man.
“Unless it’s for official occasions where we need to act out as a couple, we will respect each other's privacy. Ah, because Ian will need an heir, I will be fine with you having a second wife.”
“Indeed… would that be impossible?”
Even though he is clearly gay would an heir fix anything? It would be faster to adopt a child that looks like Ian and say ‘this is our child.’
“Anyways that is the context of the contract. How about it, what your impressions after reading it?”
“...even though it goes over many topics it’s easy to understand.”
“The first thing the Aztane family teaches is the method on how to write contracts.”
Beaming a smile I pulled out another contract from my person. At the bottom of the contract, I had placed the family seal and signed before handing it to Ian.
“This is a second copy.”
I gave him the contract to sign and received another back to keep as a copy. The contract was signed in a blink of an eye.
To have them sign without them having time to think. That was my specialty.
After straightening his thoughts he tilted his head. I had tucked the signed contract in my person, and placed the other signed contract and signed into Ian’s hand.
Ian’s eyes grew wide as he looked at the lovely check in his hand.
“Wait! Just now something came and left?”
“Thank you for signing the contract.”
“There, wait. I still have many things to ask you.”
“Please slowly ask them at a later time, and there is no need to have a marriage ceremony now. We only need to announce our engagement and have the marriage ceremony at a later time. So there is no need for us to live together now.”
“Anyways, thank you for signing to the contract. Please invite me to the party that will be announcing our engagement once you figure out the date. Please inform me ahead of time before deciding. Then, goodbye.”
I had to quickly leave after finalizing the contract. Otherwise, he would catch me.
Ian recovered faster than I thought and stopped me. I turned my head to look at him thinking that this was troublesome.
“Is there a problem?”
“...Let me ask you one more thing.”
I don’t know if he has a lot of suspicions or questions. I turned and clasped my hands, beaming him a smile.
“Please tell me.”
“... even though I'll receive this money Laurencia, will there be no damage to your side? This is a staggering hundred thousand gold.”
I gasped in surprise as I suddenly donned a shocked expression. Elegantlycovering my mouth with my hand, I laughed.
“What are you talking about? Don’t worry about that Ian.”
He looked at me with apprehension in his eyes as the tips of his lips raised into a smile. This smile wasn’t a real smile but simply a business smile.
“That amount is equivalent to dust to the Aztane family.”
Although it is a rather expensive pile of dust.