Big Sea Waves
Separating the North from the South was a water channel. A large island would be a more befitting description of what the so-called South was. The island was very much like a central business district. Compared to the small towns and cities by the border of the sea that Queen Sisi ruled in the North, the island on the other side of the water channel looked neat and wealthy.
Cruises had yet to exist in this era; I had to take the olden timber boats across the body of water. By the standards of this paradigm, the boat I sailed across on was considered a large cruise ship. Two large exhibition platforms were placed at the bow and stern where travellers could take in the surrounding view from. I leaned against a rail, steering clear of the sailors on decks since they did their best to avoid travellers.
The dampness the sea breeze created got on my nerves, while the sky wasn’t clear, yet wasn’t hidden behind dark clouds, either. A group behind threw a party to celebrate their first time travelling on water. The strong smell of alcohol, clamouring and weather miffed me. Maybe I was better off jaunting alone.
I left Veirya and Leah back on the other side. I didn’t think I’d need to take the direct and most unskilled approach and have Veirya kill Albert. To add, if I actually took that approach it would be the biggest failure. I could kill him; however, if I couldn’t deal with the aftermath, I’d have everyone in the South hunting me down. Ross wouldn’t be able to understand why I killed Albert, either. In addition, what would I do about the pregnant woman? Sure, Sisi would help me wipe my behind, but she’d definitely be awfully disappointed.
Although I could imagine killing Albert that way in my fantasies, it was impossible to actually realise. The most effective approach was to be able to work with Albert before finding an opportunity then completely crush him. Alternatively, I could side with his foes and help his foes take him out. That wasn’t what I preferred, though. If I helped his foes, I’d be giving them a boost. To me, his foes weren’t my allies. Helping someone’s enemy to take them down is the same as feeding a tiger that will turn around and bite you at some point. When his enemy enters the North, they’d be a pain to deal with. As such, the former method was most viable.
The challenge that I was faced with was walking into the unknown, better known as the South. I was a minister of business, yet I didn’t see any signs of the businessmen in the South planning to accept a minister of business putting them on leashes. In reality, all I was managing was the businesses taxes that were paid every transaction. In my opinion, that wasn’t a job for a minister of business but the tax department.
From that flow of reasoning, I needed to change the rules of the empire’s business operations. At the very least, I couldn’t be without any power as I currently was. Else, what would be the point of my rank?
I began to ponder, “How do I screw Albert over? I haven’t confirmed the situation in the South, so I’m going to need to dig around and have a certain level of knowledge of the status quo. Albert might not know my true goal for coming to the South. It’s been a long time, so I suppose Albert thinks the matter is over. In that scenario, he shouldn’t be too wary of me. I’ll make Ross my shield. I’m certain innocent Lilia doesn’t know what my aim is despite loving her being in love with her husband. In addition, since she’s always with Albert, she might be innocent enough to divulge some important information.”
I turned around to see a woman dressed slightly revealingly approach me from behind.
“Hehe, Mister, there is a long journey ahead of us. You look quite lonely here. Would you happen to have the time to join us for a drink?’
Judging from her appearance, the woman should’ve been older than me. She wasn’t young but qualified as a milf. Nonetheless, I was a man with a wife and child and, therefore, had no interest in her after being around Sisi and Veirya every day. Those two were in an entirely different realm. I shook my head: “I am sorry, Madam, but I am married. As such, when I am lonely, that would be when I think of my wife. Please allow me to refuse your kind offer.”
“Oh. That is a pity, then. I suppose good things will always be stolen regardless of the era.”
As the elder of us, she didn’t allow such a trivial matter get to her, maintaining her gentle demeanour and smile she wore when she approached me, while I walked off. Come to think of it, it was the first time in my life a woman came on to me… Even though I turned her down, I was quite happy that I was approached.
“Madam, it seems you failed,” remarked another woman behind the lady, softly chuckling before she spoke.
The so-called madam laughed heartily: “Yeah, but it doesn’t matter. It would be boring if I scored right away. Isn’t he our new minister of business? I think that he will be helpful to our family in the future since he is. I, therefore, believe my husband can forgive me.”
In order to avoid being discovered, I chose to ride the most ordinary boat I spotted as I assumed that nobody would think the new count would take the same boat as commoners to reach the South. Moreover, I never informed anyone. Sisi would consider me absent from work without reason. In saying that, Sisi was absent from work all the time, so I doubted she’d notice me.
“I wonder what Veirya and Leah are doing right now. Would they be afraid in the house? Do they think about me every day?” I mulled.
Veirya silently watched the maids, who set dish after dish onto her new house’s dinner table before backing off. Because Veirya wouldn’t take her eyes off them, one of the maids inuired, “Sorry, Ma’am, but have we done something wrong?”
“No,” replied Veirya, with a shake of her head. “I just think. You’re all very cute.”
“Ar-are we…? Th-thank you for your praise, Ma’am…”
“Why did Ma’am suddenly remark that I’m cute? Is that her way of saying she likes me?” wondered the maid, the corner of her lips having a spasm.
Needless to say, that was perfectly normal to Veirya. In truth, Veirya was fond of cute girls be it Lucilia or Leah and even the maid. If she was a cute girl, Veirya would be very fond of her.
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