“What? Really?! Madam, you must have something up your sleeve! I trust you and your great insight!”

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“In the first place, the contract itself is a fraud.”

“What! A fraud?!”

I explained it slowly to Naol.

“Think about it.
Something is strange about this.
No matter how foolish the ancestors were, would they have borrowed such a large sum of money under these conditions?”


“They would not have fallen to the extent where there was no firewoods to be burned then as we have to do so now.
At that time, 50 million marks could have been lent by other families.
Why would they need to borrow from the Fox Merchant Association under such unfair terms?”

“You’re right.
After listening to your words, there is indeed something strange going on.”

“Yes, clearly there is a trick in this IOU that we are unaware of.
If we are able to prove that we’ve been scammed…”

“We don’t have to pay the money back!”

“And we can even receive damage compensation!”

Naol clasped his hands together as if he was praying to God.

His eyes bore a glimmer of respect.

“Madam is truly amazing! I only thought you would have a way to pay back the money quickly and never did I suspect that the contract itself was strange.
How did you figure it out? I really don’t know how fortunate we are that madam is in charge of the household.”

He took out his handkerchief and wiped his tears away.

“If it weren’t for you, what would have happened to this castle? It’s terrifying just thinking about it.
Isn’t this evidence that God hasn’t abandoned the Valruga Duchy?”

“The important thing now is to find the evidence quickly.
How long do we have to pay off the debt?”

“Since it’s next Monday, there’s five days left.”

“Alright, stop all tasks for five days and focus on looking for evidence of the fraud! I hope you know that you have to keep this a secret, correct?”

“Of course! I’ll keep my mouth shut.
If they knew what we were doing, I don’t know what those foxes would do!”


The search continued for three days. 

Naol and I spent all day and night trying to find the evidence that we had been scammed. 

“What about looking at the family seal?”

“It’s legitimate!”

“The contract paper?!”

“Also legitimate!”

“Any signs of the numbers changing?”

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“No signs of tampering!”

“Then…where is it?!”

Eventually, I threw away the documents I had been staring at.

No matter how much I inspected the documents, I still couldn’t figure out how they cheated.

Outside the window, I could see the people from the Fox Merchants Association walking around freely.

I narrowed my eyes as I stared at them intensely. 

As if I could read their inner thoughts.

* * *

“Achoo! Why the hell is it so cold here?! Besides, what about that little kid? Isn’t he completely ignoring us?!”

One of the people from the Fox Merchant Association sneezed.

They didn’t like this castle from the first moment they saw it.
The Duke’s castle was built on a steep mountain that was difficult to climb, and so they struggled coming up.
Not to mention a young girl, around the age of fifteen, came out to deal with the contract.

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Her soft hair and blue eyes were as lovely as a doll.
But she was, after all, still a child.

The Fox Merchant Association completely ignored Felia.

“It must be true that the Valruga Family is completely ruined if they allowed such a young girl to rule as a duchess! Can we actually get 1 billion marks from them?”

“I heard that they had just received a lot of money for the first time in a long while.
Isn’t this the perfect moment to grab the money?”

Rwan, the man leading the merchant union, replied with a smile.

“Haha! Who cares if they don’t have money? This castle is the collateral! We’re probably the only ones in this continent who could manage to snatch the Duke’s castle as collateral! But can this castle really be sold?” He thought about it a little more.

“It’s white in colour and very pretty so it makes for a beautiful sight, but the location…is it just because of the weather or is there actually something good around here? The entire land surrounding the castle is ruined and there are only monsters in the mountains.”

“Hey, you shouldn’t underestimate the Valrugas.
I heard that the stones used to build this castle were from a rare material…”

Another merchant interjected his words.

“When you say rare materials, what do you mean exactly? Is it a stone that blocks magic? Wasn’t there a rumour about that?”

Do you know how expensive that is? Just because the Duke of Valruga’s castle is so grand, people are now joking about it! If that was real, I would have torn down the bricks of this castle and sold it off the moment they were in debt!”

“Well, isn’t that the case? Why else would Sir Rwan want the castle so badly?”

Rwan had appeared before them suddenly one day.

Although he had inherited the management from his predecessors, no one in the Fox Merchant Association recognised a man named Rwan before.

It was an unusual case in the merchant industry, where connections were very important.

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Usually, one would bring their heir around and introduce them to other merchants much earlier.

Of course, he operated the upper management very well.
If you overlook the fact that he had dragged them out claiming that they could earn 1 billion marks from a loan they had forgotten about, he seemed to be quite capable.

Rwan made one condition before they came here.

If they receive 1 billion marks, they will have to divide it according to their shares.
But if they do not receive the 1 billion marks and instead receive the castle as collateral, they would sell the ownership of the castle.
Rwan seemed more interested in acquiring the castle than the 1 billion marks.

Rwan smiled calmly as he looked up at the castle.

“Don’t you know about the Valruga?”

That was the answer.

A white castle built on top of a snowy mountain.

It boasts delicate beauty, but anyone who had studied the history of the empire would know how strong this fortress is when a war breaks out.

When the Empire was in turmoil, the Valruga Family faced off against the enemy from the North who had invaded the Empire.
They defended the castle from 100,000 troops with merely a thousand men strong.

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The gatekeeper and the sword towards any threat against the empire.

That was the kind of family the Valruga were.

The Fox Merchant Association looked at the castle with a new perspective.

Any person born and raised in the Empire could not have known the name, Valruga.

And such a family was about to end by their own hands…

One person asked, worriedly.

“Is it really alright for us to demand the debt like this?”

“It doesn’t matter.
After all, the duke is ruined.” Rwan confidently replied.

“I’ve said this several times before we arrived.
If you’re not confident, you can leave.
But remember, the money we’ll receive is one billion marks.”

At Rwan’s words, the people’s eyes lit up with desire once again.

1 billion marks.

Even after dividing it, it would be 100 million marks per share.

That is a lot of money for a family of four to prosper without working for the rest of their lives.

After all, the Valruga family was already doomed.’

‘No matter how great the Valruga family was, how can they survive from a situation like this? It’s impossible.’

‘If I close my eyes for a moment, my family will be able to live without worrying about money for the rest of their lives.’

There was an unspoken agreement between them.

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* * *

In the end, Naol and I failed to find their method of cheating.

I had put off reading fairy tale books to Ruth to work hard, but I still couldn’t figure out how they deceived us.

Generally, a common method that was used for fraud were forging the family crests, seals or letters.
After inspecting the IOUs several dozen times, Naol confirmed them all to be legitimate.

“I really have no clue.
The contents of the IOU are the same on our end.
I’ve been away from this job for a few years, but not enough to verify this.”

Argh, I’m going to go crazy.

Time keeps ticking yet nothing has been found.
What should I do?!

Naol said anxiously.

“Madam…it’s already Saturday.
We have to come up with a solution in two days.
Shall we get some money now and delay the deadline a bit?”

“Do you think they will delay it?”


“…Then, forget about it.”


Naol and I were completely exhausted and collapsed in the office.

‘The original story shouldn’t just write about the relationship between the female lead and male lead.
It should’ve told me about this too……’

I want you to write a whole biography of the male lead!

Who, when, where, what, how and why?

Describe it according to the 5Ws and 1H principle! When I read the original story, I was dissatisfied with the settings and descriptions that were written with too much detail.
Now, the current situation is making me regret that I ever thought that.

I really wanted to become a bird and fly to the author to question their sanity. 

“We know we were scammed, but we don’t even know how we were scammed.
This is so frustrating.”

“Say, should we give them fake money….?”

“Madam, you’ll be arrested if you get caught! Forging money is a serious crime……”

We both let out a long sigh at the same time.

“Now that it’s come to this, it couldn’t be helped.”

I got up from the desk where I had been lying with a solemn expression.

“What? As expected of the Madam.
You have a secret weapon!”

I really didn’t want to use this method since I wasn’t sure if it would be successful, but now that it has come to this, it couldn’t be helped.

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If it’s all ruined, then it’s ruined.

In the end, even if we fail, we have to try something before being defeated like this.

“We have no choice but to use the panic bomb operation.”

“Huh? Bombs?”

Ah, that’s right.
There’s no gun in this world.

“There is something like that.
Don’t you trust me?”

“I always believe in you, Madam.”

“Good! Then call the Fox Merchant Association.
But before that……”

* * *

The Fox Merchant Association, who were suddenly gathered, looked rather puzzled. 

In particular, they couldn’t grasp the atmosphere in the drawing room, which was different from last time.

I was heavily adorned with colourful jewelries and soldiers of strong spirits were lined up behind me.

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Even if they were aware of the circumstances of our castle, people were weak against what they saw.

Today, just like before, Rwan was the first to open his mouth.

It appears that that man was the representative of this operation.

“I know there is still some time left…I guess you’ve already obtained the money, is that correct? As expected of the Ducal family.”

I did not obtain any money.
Since there’s no need for it at all.”

I said boldly.

Today, my concept was a noble Duchess.
Splendid hair styled in a grandiose manner, an arrogant gaze, and a necklace that was heavy enough to hurt your neck.

I wasn’t sure if this would work well, but I’ll try as much as I can.


Rwan made a puzzled face and tried to explain the situation again.

You do realise that if you don’t pay us back, you would have to hand over the Duke’s castle, right? In other words, is it alright to simply hand over the Dukedom to the merchant association? We plan to sell the castle right away to get the money.
There are many families who are interested in buying the Duke of Valruga’s castle.”

“I don’t need to worry about that at all but rather, would you all be alright?”

I nudged my chin and yelled at the merchant association.

“How dare you try to commit fraud against the Duke of Valruga! Did you ever think you could survive?”

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