smile and turned to Panamera.

“Well, it’s not something that she has to decide today.
Besides, I don’t think I’m ready to get married either.”

Panamera scoffed at my light-hearted response.

”…You’ve certainly developed the village well in such a short period of time.
You have made a great achievement, one which will resound throughout the region.
There will be no shortage of people who will begin to look at you in a new light, and your village will undoubtedly prosper.
But… don’t you want to achieve even greater things?”

“So you’re saying that I could achieve those “greater things” by marrying Arte?”

“Of course.
You must be hesitating because you haven’t experienced the boons related to being an ally of the Count.
Let me tell you that, if you marry Arte, Count Ferdinand and I will give you our full support.
And, most crucially, Count Ferdinand will promise to not launch an expedition to reconquer the lands which your father took from him.”

 Panamera spread her hands out and told me this with a flippant attitude.

 This smells of a scam.

 It’s true that the things she lists are benefits, but the more that I hear from her, the faker it all seems.

 Indeed, this is truly a textbook political marriage, one which ensures that a ruler limits the number of his enemies will increasing the number of his allies.
Adding on my economic profitability, Count Ferdinand would have a lot to gain from me marrying his daughter.

 But there is one thing that worries me.
This seemed to be for the Count’s benefit rather than mine.

 It is obvious that he had originally intended to marry off Arte in order to ensure he wouldn’t be targeted by a hostile neighbor.
But, now that such a threat had been proven to be unsubstantiated, why was his matchmaker still so ardent about marrying her off.

 As I looked at her suspiciously, Panamera suddenly burst out laughing.

”It seems that our positions have been reversed, doesn’t it?”

 Panamera muttered this and leaned her weight gracefully against her chair, giving me an arrogant look.

“Get us some rooms, we are going to stay here overnight.
Think hard about my offer.
If you need help deciding, you can always talk with me or Miss Arte.
Well, it’s what I would do.”

“What? Did you say you were staying overnight?”

 I couldn’t help but retort without thinking.
Although my outburst was rude to the Viscount, her tone was just unbearable.

”Hey! Finally, I get to see what’s underneath that adult persona.”

 My smile twitched violently while watching Panamera making an overbearing smile.

”So… are those soldiers are staying today as well?”

 When I ask her that, Panamera nodded.

“Well you see, this area is still technically hostile territory.
Being a frail, helpless girl, can’t you have pity on me? All I’m asking is that you let me sleep in safety.”

 Who’s the hell is frail? If anything, you are the most powerful person in this entire village!

 Many insults were brewing inside me.
It was then that Panamera turned to look at Arte.

“Now, Miss Arte, where would you like to sleep tonight.
If it is your wish, I could have Van arrange for you to be given a room in the mansion.”

“…No! I mean, I can’t be in the bed with a man before… you know.”

 Who said that I was going to share a bed with you?

 I inwardly retorted at Arte’s statement.
I wonder if it’s because her mind was full of ideas of marriage and, um… consummation.

 Looking at the way she turned bright red and looked down, she must have imagined quite a thing for a ten-year-old.

Note: I’m not sure I like where this is going.
Also, RIP Tillship.)

 It’s easy to tell when she blushes, perhaps because her skin was such a pure white.

“Ah, such a pity.
Then, if Arte does not wish to sleep in your room, then I would like it if you arranged it so that I could instead, after all, such a room must be very comfortable.
Where do you usually sleep?”

 I let out a deep sigh at her nasty grin.

”Don’t worry, that won’t be necessary.
I’ll make an inn for you to sleep in tonight.”

 When I told her this, Panamera laughed out loud, thinking my statement to be a joke.

It wasn’t.

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