The Banished Villainess' Husband - 15
From that day, I began to live in a confined temporary lodging where I couldn’t do anything other than sleep.
Kurou-san is giving the thumb up and said that he would come up with the house’s blueprint tomorrow.
I hold the small refrigerator in my hands.
I did this for the pudding…
Well, at least I don’t need to repair the house, even I make a profit with house renovation…
……But I still don’t get it.
I still don’t get why something that I made is so valuable…
「What’s wrong, Franc? 」
「What are you doing? 」
「Fufufu, I was making yeast. Maybe this is enough! It’s something that can help you make delicious and fluffy bread! Don’t worry! ……in a book! Right, I read it in a book! 」
Wow, the duke household must have many rare books.
I nodded in understanding.
Rather than that…… it’s here.
It was later than I thought.
「…… . Umm, I’m going to tell you. A-ano, Franc? I have something to say to you… okay? 」
「Etto, sorry. Can we do it later? I haven’t fed Lucy yet. 」
「Oh! O-okay. I’m sorry I forgot about Lucy. See you later. 」
Somehow, Lana’s expression was very delicate… what kind of things did she want to talk about?
It worried me, but I took the lamp and went out.
After that, I went to put some hay and freshwater for Lucy before lightly brushing her.
Then I went to the wooden gate.
Sure enough, there was a black carriage.
The coachman stepped down to open the door and invited me in.
I can hear the night bird’s voices.
With a sigh, I stepped into the carriage with no lamp on.
There sits a man in a black robe.
「Hey, long time no see, Dardis. It’s been what… a month or so? 」
The man takes off the hood of the black robe.
The identity of the man behind the hood is Dardis Quarl Dest, he comes from Count household and also the crown prince’s 『friend』.
I saw the bitter expression on his face, I’m pretty sure he’s in my position being troubled by those people.
「Oh, really… you’ve managed to get away successfully. 」
The irony can’t help but make me laugh.
But I agree with that.
As for me, this is literally a godsend.
I never expected to be Miss Elana’s husband.
Is my father, with His Majesty and the Prime Minister on his side, doing his job somewhat comfortably?
I could have replied it with such sarcasm, but the look on Dardis’ face didn’t seem to do it justice.
「And? Make it quick, please. Or Miss Elana would be suspicious. 」
「Tsk. …Starlet embezzled public funds money at the behest of His Highness and his father. 」
「Are you nuts? 」
「I wouldn’t have done it either! …but I’m buying a dress for Miss Rifana as a present! 」
「…Right. You were an idiot. But, of all things, you’ve got your hands on money for the public funds?? 」
I knew it, you’ve turned into a hopeless fool.
When I look at Dardis’ pale and troubled face, my sincere condolence to him.
Yep, he’s trying to find someone else to blame.
「I don’t know what should I do. 」
「Will you manage somehow? Where are you going to get the money? What’s the total amount? 」
「It’s none of your business! 」
「You’re unreasonable. I mean, you’re relying on the wrong person. Why do you need me? 」
「It’s His Highness! 」
…Yeah, I have a bad feeling about this.
「His Highness has asked you to come back… 」
「Eh, but why? 」
「I know you’re going to say that. His Highness is not that stupid. 」
I’m not sure about that.
I don’t know when he’s going to ask me to come back.
What position are we talking about?
I mean, even if I came back, my standing won’t get any better, right?
「But, I was told to tell you. 」
「I won’t do it. 」
The exchange conditions are bad.
Alfred… you’ve become this kind of guy.
Rather, this is more of intimidation.
I was so flabbergasted that I burst out laughing.
He slowly re-crosses his legs and traces his lips with his injured fingertips.
A 『Friend』 with his foot on the gallows.
This guy with his head in his hands, frightened and even in tears… I want to help him, but…
「…We were going to start maintenance soon on the waterway, right? 」
「You only gave her a dress, right? His Highness wouldn’t allow you to give so many dresses to his 『Fiancée』. 」
Err, the Crown Prince, seems to have a big heart?
If a『friend』 gave a dress to my 『Fiancée』, I would probably just snicker.
He will have to show them some leeway since he just switched fiancée, he didn’t want the guardian dragon to question his love.
She loves only herself, so she doesn’t think anything when she accepts a gift from another man.
It is nothing more than a tribute to those who have 『Holy Light』.
All the peoples in the country love her, so it is rather natural that she should be given a dress or two…
He will show that much leeway to the guardian dragon.
Well, something like that.
In fact, it is said that the guardian dragon sees the one with 『Holy Light』 is being cherished.
I don’t know what’s really going on.
It would be a kind reminder that those who possess 『Holy Light』 must be cherished.
So, the only thing His Highness can do is put a limit on how many ones can gift, which is 「One dress」.
Because it wouldn’t feel right to see your fiancée receiving a dress from another man.
Even if it wasn’t, Alfred could do it.
Unless he didn’t want to.
When it comes to Miss Rifana, he’s just amiable.
She also treats him like a king.
No, I think it’s the other way around.
When he became the King, he could not think a more suitable wife than her… or something like that.
So, he really wants to marry her, and can’t allow her to change her mind to another man inadvertently.
However, he doesn’t want people to assume he can’t afford to have the guardian dragon as his fiancée.
Maybe for that reason, he allows them to gift her.
The most expensive one probably cost one Gold coin.
「…Well, I don’t think I could give many dresses to His Highness’ fiancée. 」
「I suppose. 」
But one gold coin is normally a lot of money, though.
And as much as I don’t like to think about it… He’s embezzling public funds to gift Miss Rifana a dress… Starlet, you can’t be serious… you’re not really planning on getting Miss Rifana, are you?
While I’m not one to talk about other people’s affairs, having a love affair with the Crown Prince’s fiancée is extremely difficult.
It’s never going to happen.
Moreover, the other party is someone who has『Holy Light』.
「Hmm, I’m going to teach you a simple trick to hide your embezzlement. 」
「What does it take to maintain the waterway? 」
「Uh, it’s stone and wood. And also… 」
「What are you going to do with it? 」
「I heard it’s to repair the bridge… so what? 」
「…Do you have any paper? 」
「Etto… I have no paper… 」
I took out a stone slab and a brush.
I guess this is the norm when you don’t have paper and ink.
Meanwhile, I drew up a blueprint for a bridge that maintained its strength while minimizing the amount of wood used.
Well, I wouldn’t be too confident in the strength unless I actually made it… Threading a few ropes will keep the balance and keep the cost down.
Then the foundation would be placed in the centre.
It’s kind of like a suspension bridge.
The way to build the bridge is to build the foundation in the middle of the river and then place thick pillars into it.
Using this, the framework was built and ropes were used to secure the bridge from both sides.
The stonework is much less costly than preparing the original stone bridge.
Besides, the original stone bridge can be modified into a foundation…. yep, you could make a wider bridge than the one before.
「If that doesn’t work, then I don’t know what else to do. 」
「I-I don’t know, maybe this will… 」
「Yeah, right. 」
Now, let’s get out of here.
And Lana said there was something she wanted to talk to me.
She might get suspicious if it’s too late.
「Wait, hold on! 」
「Jeez. Do you need another favour? 」
「Come back, please. 」
「I told you I didn’t want to… 」
「We don’t want this anymore. 」
We were friends with the 『Prince』 because we were his helper.
With me gone, I guess all of the reckless behaviour was directed at them.
I could easily imagine it.
「Is this a joke? 」
「I’m not kidding. We can’t do this without you, we can’t… Please… 」
「No, I—I’ve been putting up with this for three years. 」
Eight years, to be precise.
From the moment I was invited to a tea party when I was ten years old and introduced to Alfred and the others as 『Friend』.
It only started to get worse when I was fourteen when I made my social debut.
——『…Fran, watch me. Let me show you the true value of your talents. 』
I was given to her, it’s my reward.
My real worth.
She has shown and given it to me.
No more selling it cheap like before… I’m sure I shouldn’t.
「I’ve already been paid off. You ditched me to Miss Elana. Tell him I said that. 」
「Ugh?! She’s weak, why did you keep her?! 」
Is that how you see Lana in your mind?
Well, people do have a weakness.
「Yeah, sort of. 」
「What a despicable woman! Eufranc, you need to get away now! 」
「Oh, no. My life is so much better than before. You should think twice before you wreck something. 」
「Don’t scream too loud. You’re attracting the beasts. 」
I get out of the carriage.
I was expecting the coachman to block my way, but that wasn’t the case.
Dardis closes the door quickly, perhaps because he’s afraid of the beast.
Aww, it’s so annoying.
「Welcome back. You’re late. 」
「Yeah, I got into brushing. Huh, it looks good tonight. …Er, bread? Huh? 」
「That’s for tomorrow! You do look a little sleepy, don’t you? 」
When I got back to our temporary lodging, Lana was waiting for me with a meal.
The leftovers from this morning and stewed dried meat soup.
Oh yes, it looks good.
But she caught me yawning.
Whatever it was, I was focused on thinking about the blueprints for the bridge.
「You’ve been up all night. Maybe you should go to bed after dinner today? 」
「But, Lana has something to tell me… 」
「Uh, we can do it tomorrow. It’s not that urgent. 」
Then I will be grateful and sleep in peace.
Tomorrow, I will start rebuilding our home.