Tritoma Celsia, a renowned merchant with a bad reputation, was a trader who imports all kinds of goods, from industrial products to daily necessities from foreign countries.

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A long time ago, he deceived poor-quality products and sold it as top-quality goods, which were exposed and his bad reputation spread rapidly.
Of course, Tritoma was brought to justice by the national law and served 10 years in prison.

Now, he has changed his mind and seems to be doing honest business.
However, those who know his old reputation point the finger at him as a “vile merchant.

Tritoma is now forty-seven years old and unmarried.
He has several mistresses and children, but he does not have official wife.

He does not seem to be thinking of having a successor take over his business, and is doing business freely.

However, it seems that his nature has not changed, and seems to be doing business barely on the edge of the law.

Seeing such report, Hydrangea has a headache.
He was, as the rumors said, a man full of problems.
At any rate, he sent a letter to Count Northpole, saying that he would like to meet with him and discuss the matter once.

◇◇◇

Hydrangea’s suffering was not limited to Count Northpole family.
When he announced his engagement to Violette, se received a mountain of letters asking him to reconsider.
Among them, Shamlock, the royal prince, seemed to want to marry his daughter and opposed the idea fiercely.

Prince Shamrlock’s child was only seven years old.
She is not old enough to marry.
He begs him to wait another ten years, but he politely refuses.
It is quite painful to be asked to break off his engagement everywhere he goes.
He is driven by the thought that he must get married immediately.

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However, the problems of Count Northpole house prevent him from doing so.
He was told that he could visit them at any time, so he decided to go and ask them about the situation as soon as possible after his work was over.
Count Northpole greeted Hydrangea with a frightened look.

“I am sorry, I didn’t expect the Duke to visit in person”
“it’s fine, don’t worry.  I’m using transfer magic, so it only take a moment”
“But, I’ve heard that high-level magic consumes a lot of magic power”
“Never mind”

It seems that the basic knowledge about magic has been drilled into him.
It is rare for those who cannot use magic to pay attention to those who can use magic like this.

“I appreciate your concern”
“No, it’s just what my sister said”
“Miss Violette said so?”
“Yes.
She has always been more interested in magic than most people, and she used to read the spell books hidden by my father”
“I see”

When he met her the other day, she was very eager to learn magic right away.
His mouth relaxes as he recalls how she runs in her cat form and confirms it carefully.

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“Umm, also thank you for the firewood.  Thanks to you I can sleep well at night”
“I’ll have it delivered again”
“N-No, I can’t take advantage of you”
“It’s not that much to buy firewood anyway”

While he was talking like that, the butler brought him tea.
His forehead was sweating, maybe because he prepared it in a hurry.
Since there were only a few servants, he must have been greeting the guests, guide them, and brew the tea alone.
Thinking how hard he worked, I drank a cup of tea.
The tea was thin, with no aroma at all.
Thinking how hard the butler worked, he drank the tea.
The tea was thin, with no aroma at all.

When he was wondering when he should start the conversation, Count Northpole spoke first.

“Actually, today I have something to say to you as well”

Count Northpole began to speak with moist eyes.

“It’s about my sister, Violette’s dowry and trosseau”
“Oh?”

He have already provided her with necessities, But, he decided to ask him about it.

“My father, had prepared a dowry for her, but─”

Count Northpole was sweating on his forehead, and it was dripping even more like rain.
It was an unusual sweating.
His complexion was pale, and he became concerned.

“What’s wrong? Did someone steal her dowry?”

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“N-No, it’s not like that……”

He wondered if he should make another guess.
He was at a loss, but it would be a waste of time to wait for Count Northpole to say it.
He asked him without hesitation.

“If so, did some unscrupulous merchant take it from you?”
“!”

Count Northpole’s eyes widened and he began trembling.
It seems he was right.
What kind of situation was it that he even had to give up her dowry? He was exasperated.

“Why would you do that? Is it because your sister not cute? Let me tell you, I am not saying this because I want a dowry”

If it is money, he has enough to sweep and throw it away.
He just wanted to know why Count Northpole had gotten himself into a situation where he had to touch his sister’s dowry.

“I-It’s just t-there is nothing I can do about it”
“What exactly do you mean by there is nothing you can do about it?”
“T-that’s……”

Count Northpole shut his mouth once again.

“If you can’t speak, I will make you speak”

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Hydrangea held out his hand to Count Northpole  and cast a spell.
It was a spell that interfered with his mind, forcing him to confess.

“Speak, or you will suffer?”
“Guh……!!”

The confession spell would make him suffer more and more if he did not tell the truth of what he was asked.
The magic is manifested by moving his fingers like a conductor and chanting a spell to deploy a formula.
It is a simple magic that does not require the use of a crystal want.
Count Northpole, who had been hit by confession spell, held his head down and opened his eyes wide.

“Why did you give your sister’s dowry to Tritoma Celsia?”
“Ha…… kuh…… ugh……!”

This is the first time he have ever used this magic on anyone other than a criminal.
The spell book said that if you didn’t say it immediately, you would suffer so much pain that you would vomit blood.

But Count Northpole would not speak even after ten, twenty, or thirty seconds.
He seemed to be the ultimate stubborn person.

“I ask you again.
Count Northpole, why did you gave the dowry away?”
“Stop it! Don’t make onii-sama suffer!”

Bang! The door was opened.
It was Violette who entered the guest room.

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