The interior of the Cheshire Guild was the spitting image of a high-end department store.
A fountain in the centre, a bar where you can have a drink, a resting area where you can sit and relax, and an information counter.
The most alien space for this world.
And yet, the scenery was so familiar to me.
“Wow… It’s like being in another world….”
Eril muttered in ecstasy.
I told her to wait, and then headed to the information counter.
The receptionist, who saw me approaching, smiled and spoke to me.
“Is there anything I can help you with?”
I rolled my eyes, contemplating for a moment.
Here came the problem.
How could I meet the guy on the top floor of this building? It was impossible for me to go up right away.
In that case …
I’d have no choice but to make him come down from there.
I parted my lips.
“I want to report something.”
“Report? What may it be?”
“About the Cheshire Guild’s missing owner.”
At my words, the receptionist’s expression hardened.
Her gaze sharpened.
Her tone of voice also lowered.
“It’s a bit difficult for me to tell you directly, but I think I can to that person.”
“Who might you be talking about?”
“Duke Leone Finisis.”
The receptionist bit her lips tight like a clam.
I smiled at her and told her the real purpose of my coming here.
“Let me meet him.”
“You can wait here.”
At my request to meet Duke Leone Finisis, the woman at the counter called for the Guardians.
(similar to guards or escorts.)
Surrounded by guardians, I arrived at the room on the 6th floor.
They told me to wait and left, leaving me alone.
I looked around.
From old-fashioned wallpaper, wooden furniture, to antique decors.
On the outside, it looked like a perfect drawing room, but on closer inspection, there are torture tools inside.
How did I know?
Cause I made it.
Occasionally, people trying to find out my weaknesses would sneak in, and I lure them all the way here to make them think they had safely made it in, and then torture them to make them reveal the mastermind behind.
But I never expected to come back to that room.
I guess that is why people say you don’t know what lies ahead of you.
At that moment, I felt a sense a movement from behind.
The door opened and a man entered.
I sat on the sofa and looked at the man sitting across from me.
Dark green hair, eyes of the same colour, sharp gaze, white skin and silver-rimmed glasses.
He hasn’t changed at all.
He was Duke Leone Finisis, who I wanted to meet.
He was the current owner of the Cheshire business.
He was the person I met four years after I fell into this world.
He was fifteen years old at the time, and he came to me for help, stained in blood.
As I heard his story, I knew he was caught up in a power struggle, both of his parents died, and he barely managed to escape by himself.
At that time, I had a lot of wealth and power, but I never interfered with the world of the nobility.
It’s annoying to get involved in their fight, and I was too busy with business, so I didn’t want to get dragged into someone else’s battle over power.
And of course, it was also for the reason it would be easy to attract some unpleasant guests.
So I turned down the boy’s request to help him get revenge on his uncle who killed his parents and also tried to kill him.
However, Leone stuck to me, and I felt sorry for him, who was on the verge of death after losing both his parents in an unwanted fight at a young age.
So I made him a deal.
In return for helping him to avenge and become a duke, he became my assistant.
At that point, I was struggling to manage the growing merchant group on my own, just right when I was pondering over whether to find an aide.
I thought that a subservient relationship with a clear contract would be better than simple employment.
But of course, I also wanted the wealth of the Duchy of Finisis.
That said, I broke my own rule of maintaining neutrality and helped him.
Eventually, he became a duke safely.
And as promised, he became my aide and we led the merchant group together.
It was a subservient tie at first, but at some point, he became my best friend.
That’s why I came to him.
I think he would recognise me.
“So you’re reporting on our organisation’s head?”
As soon as he saw me, he snorted.
His eyes looking at me were cold.
More precisely, it was like looking into the eyes of a corpse.
He looked completely different from when I last saw him.
“This is ridiculous.
If this is a joke, then it not even funny.”
Even his voice….Although it was summer at the moment, his tone sounded cold and inexorable enough to turn the surroundings into winter at once.
Was that really the Leone I knew?
He looked so different that I thought he might be someone else, only with the same name.
It’s only natural that things change, since 7 years have passed after all.
Was he twenty-eight this year? His build became much larger and his voice was deeper too.
However, it felt a little unlikely to say it was simply a change according to age…
“Lady Eureia Craycia, daughter of a Viscount family.”
I shuddered as my name came out of his mouth.
He had come to finish my background investigation during such a short time.
“The debt to your family is huge.”
“It’s sad to see you’re trying to pay off your debt, but you have found the wrong way.”
… No matter what, this change was just too drastic.
His coldness sent chills down my spine.
Still, I looked straight into his eyes.
I didn’t know why he had been so hostile, but I had come this far, I could not back down.
“Do you still want the information about the head of the Merchant Group?”
As soon as I spoke, he sneered as if he had heard something funny.
But it was just for a moment.
He quickly hardened his expression and replied in a chilling tone.
“Seven years, after the reward was raised, how many people have come to visit, and how many scammers do you think there were?”
Ah… I see.
I now understood why Leone’s attitude was so cold.
When I disappeared, Leone placed a huge bounty on my whereabouts, and he got endless visits from scammers.
Though I was dead in the first place.
It was unknown why my dead body was not found and I was regarded as missing, but the expectations, disappointments, and disillusionment Leone experienced during that time must have been beyond comprehension.
In addition, I, Eureia Craycia, was in an astronomical debt, so the intention would have been much more obvious.
“Normally, I wouldn’t have left this alone, but I will just let this slide.
Please go back.”
Leone stood up from his seat as if I was no longer worth dealing with.
Just before he left the room, I opened my mouth, which was kept shut all this time.
“The owner would often say this. ‘Actually, I am not from this world.
I am from another world’.”
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