* * *
‘Now then, Charlotte’s finally been dealt with.’
I feel so refreshed right now.
All that hard work for the past couple of days to fuel the rumors was finally rewarded.
In fact, I didn’t need to take up such a complicated approach to this matter.
I’m fully capable of dealing with Charlotte myself.
If not that, then I could have just told Father first and asked for his help.
‘There’s a risk that both those options would cost me reputation points.’
With both the former and the latter option, it’s more likely than not that people would think that I framed Charlotte.
Perhaps even the duke would think that I had set her up.
Wasn’t that the kind of public image that Roella accumulated for herself thus far
‘I’ve got far too few reputation points to take such a risk.’
I had to skirt around the matter a little bit, but in the end, it was the safe route.
The bigger the rumor got, the bigger the possibility that other people would believe me rather than Charlotte.
And that would at least reduce the dangers of me losing reputation points.
Even though Charlotte got dragged away after all that fuss, it seemed like my plan worked perfectly well.
Especially since I didn’t get any notifications about lost reputation points.
Since the bigger problem has been solved, what’s left is…’
The problem named ‘Charlotte’ got handled already, so naturally, what’s next was ‘me’.
I waited carefully for the right timing, and right as I saw Father’s lips move, I spoke up first before him.
Deprived of the first move, the duke replied a beat late.
At this, I opened my lips calmly, staring into the blue eyes that resembled Roella’s.
“Um, I got conned.”
Originally in life, the one who gets in the first punch wins.
Though, I’m not really sure if that saying is applicable to a situation like this.
Taken aback by the sudden confession, the duke could only echo what I said.
Nodding, I explained.
I gave investment money to Count Siever’s second son, but he ran away.”
“If it’s that household’s second son, hasn’t his name already been stricken off their family register”
When he pointed this out sharply, I could say nothing back.
Suddenly, I got a bit resentful of the original Roella.
‘I mean, if you’ve been scammed several times already before, shouldn’t you at least take the time to research first before going through with your next investment’
The only person who was unaware of Hargan Siever’s situation was Roella herself, the investor.
Even the duke knew that he’d been kicked out of his household already, so there really was no other dunderhead as foolish as her.
What’s the point of blaming her
I’m Roella right now.
“Yes, but I found out about it after I’ve already made my investment.
If I knew any better, none of this would have happened.
I was too careless.”
“How much did you invest”
“About three months worth of my allowance.”
There was no reply.
And that was understandable.
Roella made the same mistake, one after another, despite being warned several times before this.
But then she still went ahead and invested a huge sum of money under the duchy’s name.
I waited patiently for his response.
In any case, I already knew what kind of punishment I’d be given.
After all, I read about it in the original novel.
‘No crying, no yelling, and no allowance for six months.’
Honestly, I wasn’t concerned about any of that.
Since I had gone through a truckload of rude customers in my previous life, I was confident enough that I’d be able to hear anything at this point.
Besides, about the last punishment…
‘Well, I managed to survive with just uncooked ramen noodles in place of three meals before, so.’
As long as I have a place to sleep in and some food to eat, I’m all good with losing a bit of pocket money.
If I ever need some, then I can just sell some jewelry and use that.
This was essentially the reason why I didn’t care about any of Charlotte’s threats.
However, the duke’s following question was slightly outside my expectations.
“Then, have you paid off the entire investment”
The unexpected response made my eyes go wide.
I thought he’d yell at me first.
“…I paid him mostly with the money I got from selling precious items and jewelry, but there’s still a sum that I have to pay off.”
I’ll cover that for you.”
A series of surprises just kept coming at me, so I couldn’t help but ask blankly.
However, this time again, another unexpected answer was uttered.
“Instead, there really is no next time.
You’ve already been warned about this several times before.
Enough already with the same mistake.”