id you never tell me you were rich?”

 

  “Hmm.
My parents are rich, but I’m not, right?”

 

  “That’s what rich people always say!”

 

  You sell this mansion and that alone would be enough to feed 100 generations!

 

  “Haha.
Miss.
You will be inheriting all this eventually anyway because you are the oldest child of the Dunareff family.”

 

  “You didn’t need to say that, Grandpa Paul!”

 

  Marie wasn’t denying his words though.
Ah… what’s this sense of betrayal that I’m feeling?

 

  “The Dunareff Family often takes in in-laws when the head of the family is a lady.
Of course, we also provide a portion of the businesses that we own to the in-law’s family along with incredible support.”

 

  O… kay? But why are you looking at me when saying that?

 

  “Ms.
Marie has been renowned for being both beautiful and clever ever since her childhood, and has been called the Flower of the South.
There were so many people that wanted to marry our young miss, that the marriage proposal letters didn’t even fit into one of our potato warehouses.”

 

  “Umm… I see.”

 

  “In the last generation with Sir Lergen, Miss Leticia, who used to be the family head back then, even gifted him with a mansion built with jewels.
Hahaha.
Even that was only worth less than 8 hectares of a potato farm, though.”

 

  It seemed that this old gentleman was a person of the Dunareff family, after all, considering how he was comparing things to potatoes…

 

  “G, Grandpa Paul! Why are you talking about that all of a sudden!?”

 

  “Hahahaha.
I’m just saying things.
Hahaha…”

 

  His expression facing me was a bit burdensome, so I changed the topic.

 

  “Sunbae.
You know the castle that I was talking about?”

 

  “Ah~ You mean Castle Duke, right?”

 

  I asked her if she could look into the castle of Sebancia Duke, who used to be hailed as the hero of the south hundreds of years ago.

 

  “It seems that someone has bought the castle recently!”

 

  Right… Castle Duke was one that was under someone’s possession even in the last iteration.
The owner was like… a trader from the archipelago at the southern tip of the continent or something.

 

  “Castle Duke has indeed been recently purchased by Count Casseus, who does trading at the archipelago.”

 

  “Oh~.
He’s a noble?”

 

  By the way, nobles were an honorary title in this world, like how famous actors were knighted and old nobles appeared on TVs in the modern Earth.

 

  “Miss.
Our Dunareff Family also has peerage.”

 

  “Oh, right.
What were they again?”

 

  “The family head is the duke of Reff, marquis of Rangol, count of Cardriol, viscount of Crancia —skip—.
He has the above 25 peerage titles.”

 

  “I’m sure you’re the only one who remembers all of that, Mr.
Paul.”

 

  “It is a must as the Head Butler of the Dunareff.”

 

  Right… the thing called peerage existed per region, and it was indeed possible to have multiples of them, like how King William I of England was both the king of England and a duke of Normandy of France.

 

  But still, isn’t 25 too much?

 

  “I think Korin wants to visit the count’s castle!”

 

  “We are very lucky then.
Count Casseus has visited Reff City for his business.
If we invite him to our mansion, he will gladly join us for the party.”

 

  “I see! That’s great, Korin! We can talk to him about it today!”

 

  Count Casseus.

 

  That was indeed the name of the one who possessed Castle Duke in the last iteration.
But… was this quest meant to progress this easily?

 

  In any case, after 30 minutes on the carriage, we finally arrived at the actual mansion.

 

  “Grandpa Paul.
Where’s mom and dad?”

 

  “The family head and madam will be coming tonight.
They told me to apologize for not being able to make it in time.
The other young masters and young misses will have their holiday starting in 3 days.”

 

  “Then we can rest until then! Korin, follow me! I’ll show you your room!”

 

  After getting off the carriage, I followed Marie, who was hopping up the stairs.

 

  “The 1st floor is where all our workers stay! We have rooms starting from the 2nd floor, but our family stays on the 3rd floor!”

 

  “Then should I stay on the 2nd floor?”

 

  “No! You can come here, Korin!”

 

  She led me to one of the rooms on the 3rd floor, with Mr.
Paul following from behind.


 

  “This is my room! And yours is here!”

 

  “The Evergreen Room, I see,” commented Mr.
Paul.

 

  “Evergreen Room?”

 

  “Yes.
For generations, it has been reserved for the future family head’s fiance—”

 

  “M, Mr.
Paul! You don’t have to say that! I’m just giving this to him because it’s the best room we have!”

 

  After saying that, Marie explained several things about the Evergreen Room, before going into her room which was connected to the Evergreen Room.

 

  The bed was a queen-sized bed that was a bit too big for me to use by myself.
It was my first time seeing such a fancy and large bed.

 

  – Knock knock!

 

  I came out after a shower in the bathroom connected to the room when someone knocked on the door.

 

  “Who is it?”

 

  “My name is Wilson, sir, and I am a massager working in the mansion.”

 

  “Umm… Please come in?”

 

  The man who then walked into the room looked like a professional massager that you would see at expensive spas.
He asked whether I wanted to have the massage in another room or not but I told him that I wanted to do it here. 

 

  – Creak! Crackkk!

 

  “Aah.
That feels good…”

 

  “Haha.
You have a lot of cramps.
Let me start from your shoulders.”

 

  “Thank youuu…”

 

  This was so relaxing…

 

  Was this paradise?

 

  I wanted to spend my whole life here if I could.

 

  ****

 

  Meanwhile, Marie was being served by maids for the first time in a long time.

 

  “Oh my.
Miss.
Your skin is as soft as a baby’s!”

 

  “Your skin’s very beautiful.
Even prettier than last winter!”

 

  While looking after Marie’s skin, which was as soft as a mochi, the maids were bustling with noise.
It was normal for maids to say things that would put their masters in a good mood, but all their compliments for Marie were genuine.

 

  Actually, there was something the employees at the mansion had decided on before Marie’s arrival.

 

  ‘You remember right? Don’t ever talk about vampires in front of Lady Marie!’

 

  Everyone was greatly shocked when they heard how Marie had awakened as a vampire.
Even though it wasn’t that rare for people to sometimes awaken into a demi-human, the reception and public consensus against them was by no means positive. 

 

  But even so, Marie was still Marie.

 

  Those who knew about Marie knew how adorable and gentle she was.
The maids who had been serving her for a long time felt like they were sending off their daughter when she headed to the Academy, and yet she had come back as a demon!

 

  In order to make sure she didn’t feel down, they decided to be careful with their words.
Actually, the newspaper companies that the Dunareff had shares in made sure to portray her as a victim, and the public perception was therefore not as bad as it could have been.

 

  As long as there was enough money and power, it was possible to make a serial killer into a saint in this world.
And besides, who would dare openly pick a fight with the royal Princess of the Potato Empire?

 

  “Ms.
Marie.
How is life at the Academy?”

 

  “Nnn… I think I need another uniform.
It feels stuffy around my chest.”

 

  “Oh my~.
That proves you are still growing even more.
We will prepare the best designers and master dressmakers.”

 

  “Hmm… And, can we get one for a male as well?”

 

  “For a male?”

 

  “Ah~.
Is that for your peer that you came here with?”

 

  This is it! The maids looked at each other, before immediately deciding on the next topic.

 

  “He was a very handsome-looking gentleman, right? Very amicable and had a great personality as well.”

 

  “Nn.
He’s a great person.”

 

  Marie replied while slightly burying her head into her clothes with flushed ears.
The maids paused after seeing that conspicuous change.

 

 

  ‘That’s youth.’

 

  ‘Youth it is.’

 

  ‘Does anyone know anything about that gentleman?’

 

  ‘He’s a Grade 5 Knight, apparently.
It’s a bit low for him to become Miss’s spouse, don’t you think?’

 

  ‘No no no.
Mr.
Verg told me he’s a Grade 1 Knight.
Apparently, he is on a similar level with Sword Master Lunia Arden of the East!’

 

  ‘Hoh…’

 

  After silently sharing information in less than 3.7 seconds in front of their master with nothing but eye contact, the maids decided on the next direction of the conversation.

 

  “Oh really~? He looked like a very reliable person.
What kind of person is he?”

 

  “Hmm… First off, he’s handsome…”

 

  ‘Is he?’

 

  ‘Objectively speaking, I guess?’

 

  ‘But not as much as our Miss.’

 

  “Very responsible, nice…!”

 

  ‘His personality seems good at least.’

 

  ‘How about his family?’

 

  ‘It doesn’t matter when Miss is from the Dunareff.’

 

  ‘You’re right.’

 

  “He said he wanted me to be happy.
He called me a good person, nice and pretty…! Hehe…”

 

  ““……””

 

  Hearing those last words, an ominous feeling struck the three maids.

 

  ‘His tongue… is quite smooth.’

 

  ‘Is he a player?’

 

  ‘No way… right?’

 

  The maids all got an ominous feeling, because this lady from the Dunareff family had been protected from the surroundings due to her absolute position in the south that she had been living a life that was very distant from men.

 


  Even though there were enough marriage proposal letters to fill up a warehouse, that meant nothing because someone burned them all down while screaming, ‘These guys are all after my daughter’s wealth!’

 

  In other words, it meant that Marie Dunareff knew nothing about men!

 

  “Umm… By the way, Miss.
This might be a very sensitive topic, but…”

 

  “Nn? What is it?”

 

  “Did you perhaps, provide the young gentleman with any financial support… or were there talks about borrowing money by any chance?”

 

  ‘Y, you idiot! That’s way too straight-forward!’

 

  ‘But! She won’t tell us if we don’t ask like this!’

 

  For some reason, she was right on the mark.

 

  “Hmm~.
I did invest some into his business!”

 

  “Ohh…”

 

  None of the maids had the room to scold the one who accidentally let out an audible gasp.
After a while, they carefully asked a question with a shivering voice.

 

  Their hands weren’t even moving at this point.

 

  “Umm, by business, you mean…?”

 

  “He said he wanted to create an inn! And he said he would definitely multiply the money by three times! Korin is very smart and capable!”

 

  ‘…Shit.’

 

  The maids all shared the same sentiment.

 

  ****

 

  Considering how all the influential people of the area were invited, including the mayor, the party itself was a comparatively normal one held at the garden.

 

  Of course, even a normal one was extremely big when held at the Dunareff mansion. 

 

  “Korin…! Everything here is delicious! Do you want some hash browns?”

 

  “Yes please.”

 

  Marie was in a casual dress, leading me forward by the hand.
Since she was the protagonist of this party, we naturally ended up gathering a lot of eyes from the crowd.

 

  “It was called a party, so I was thinking of a banquet of nobles, but this is quite different from what I expected.”

 

  “Hnn? Well, it’s because everyone’s just here to say hi~”

 

  She said as if it was natural for the influential people of the area to greet her.
Seeing how there was a whole crowd that was eager to strike up a conversation with her… it might be correct to say that it was a part of everyday life for her.

 

  “Oh right! We need to deal with your thing first, Korin!”

 

  “With Count Casseus?”

 

  “Nn nn! He’s right there!”

 

  It seemed that she was going to prioritize my business first.

 

  “It’s your party so how about you enjoy it first?”

 

  “Hmm~.
Why bother?”

 

  “…”

 

  Damn, she was just built different or something! Was she implying this was just an everyday stuff for her that she didn’t need to bother enjoying it? Was this the dignity of the rich farmers that had control over the continent?

 

  Together with Marie, I headed to a corner of the garden, where a man with a slightly darker skin that was normal for people from the archipelago was sharing a conversation with the guests.

 

  Count Casseus.

 

  He was a named character that you inevitably had to meet when clearing the quest of the Unique Grade demonic spirit sealed inside the Great Library, Sebancia Duke.

 

  While looking for news about Sebancia’s wife and his daughter, Ruina Duke and Cecilia Duke, there was a need to visit his castle and the player had two choices.

 

  One was to infiltrate Castle Duke in secret and look for clues.
Of course, patrol guards would come for you if you got discovered and killing them would increase your infamy points so it was way too risky if you weren’t maining stealth.

 

  The standard procedure was to finish Count Casseus’s questline and get the official permit from him.
The problem, however, was that he would ask you to defeat the Sea Serpent that was wreaking havoc at the archipelago.

 

  In any case, Count Casseus was a strict and seasoned NPC that matched his appearance of an old merchant.
Even when he was talking to us, the heroes of the country, he was strict in the sense that we had to finish his quest beforehand if we wanted to ask him for any favor.

 

  “Hello, Lord Casseus!”

 

  “Lady Marie?”

 

  What was going on?

 

  Why does he have such a bright smile on his face? When we were looking for him, he was like, ‘You’re a guardian? Maybe I can get a permit for you if you deal with this troublesome problem of mine,’ with a discontent look on his face, was he not?!

 

  “I’m Marie Dunareff!”

 

  “Casseus Vlandria.
Nice to meet you, Madam.”

 

  Marie pushed her hand forward for a handshake, as Casseus received the offer with a wide smile on his face.

 

  “I am the director of Dunareff Construction.”

 

  “Of course, Miss.
And I am the head director of the Vlandria transportation business.”

 

  “Wow.
I love the buttons on your coat.
Did you make them by carving obsidian?”

 

  “Yes.
We have stores in each port city that take care of jewelry.”

 

  “No wonder! Oh, by the way, I have a monster carrier – one that’s called Hresvelgr.”

 

  “Right.
Actually, I saw it on the way – it looked incredible!”

 

  “You see, the bed inside the guest room of the carrier is a bit shaky, and it’s quite uncomfortable.”

 

  “Well that’s not good! You see, my wife runs a furniture business.
She also has very firm beds and maybe she can do something about it.”

 

  “Sounds great.
I would love to see her if I can.”

 

  “If you may, please come to our castle.
It would be an honor to introduce my wife to you, Miss.”

 

  “Wow~.
Castle Duke, right? The castle of the hero, Sebancia Duke! Can I please have a look at the office as well, then?”

 

  “Of course you may.
Would you be okay with this week?”

 

  “I think Friday would be great! If you’re busy…”

 

  “No, we definitely have time, and we would make one even if we didn’t for your visit, Miss.
We would love! To see you on Friday!”

 

  “Then, see you on Friday!”

 

  After making an appointment with Count Casseus in the blink of an eye, Marie came to me with a wide smile on her face.

 

  “I got the appointment! It’s this Friday!”

 

  “…”

 

  I had to board a ship, dive 60 meters underwater and fight against a damn snake inside the ocean just to go into that castle and yet…

 

  “Korin.
Do you want to go shopping tomorrow? He said he will be hosting a party, so I think we need to get some formal clothes! And it’s also boring to stay home doing nothing, right?”

 

  “Sure, of course.
Let’s do that.”

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