“How about Padula coast?”

“It is the second port city on the territory of Conler.”

Fortunately, even the Kingdom of Lacom was quite willing to trade with the guild of Conler. Vincent Taylor, the owner of the guild of Conler, who had earlier seen the potential of the Kingdom of Lacom, crossed over to the Kingdom of Lacom. His handsome appearance and deep manners made a very good impression on Lacoms king. Indeed he is Hestia Taylors brother. 

The Taylor family has long been the closest family to Conlers. The Taylor family was originally interested in magic; they even made it through the Magic tower. As such, they were easily fascinated by the magic of Grand Duke Conler. It was in awe of the unknown power they didnt have. But there were some changes in the Taylor family: Vincent was interested in commerce, and Hestia stood out in swordsmanship. The two were working hard for Conler in their respective positions.

“Its rather good.”

The reclamation project could not be undertaken without the permission of the royal family, even if its within the territory of the noble. But this time, due to the imperial order to move to the villagers, the Conler family was able to win.

The emperor must be having a stomachache by now.

“I looked at the map and tried to figure out the best path possible.”

Grand Duke Estin nodded when he saw Gilberts shortest route in advance.

Perhaps it was a foregone conclusion that if spices were imported and sold, they would be sold at Giefroy, the largest city in the territory of Conler. Therefore, the optimal path between Giefroy and Padula was needed. Rather than simply finding the shortest route, there were also traces of efforts to find the optimal route so they can easily obtain meals for workers who would like to stay in the lodging business or construction work when passing through those cities.

Grand Duke Estin looked at Gilbert with considerable satisfaction. If things went well, other cities could also develop together. 

Externally, Gilbert Conler resembles the Grand Duke but Grand Duke Estin knows how much Gilbert tries to imitate him.

In fact, Gilbert was very different from Grand Duke Estin.

If Grand Duke Estin was the type to commit first and plan the next, Gilbert was the type to start after preparing a preliminary investigation perfectly. Preparing the report about the Padula reclamation project must have taken a lot of his time. 

“You seem to have gotten a lot closer to Mary.”

“Ah…oh, I have a story to tell, father.”

“What is it?”

Gilbert spoke as clearly as possible about Baron Bruno. Grand Duke Estin was quietly listening to Gilberts story, but Gilbert could tell.

He must be very angry.

Gilbert knows Grand Duke Estin well, the angrier he is the colder he looks. Indeed, Britinas ice flowers. The white snow falls silently and covers the whole world to the point you cant see anything. 

He couldnt read anything from Estins expression where the snowstorm of anger fell. After a moment, Estin tapped the desk lightly with his index finger.

“Ill have to move the meeting forward as soon as possible.”

“……Yes, Father.”

“It would be better to inform the public internally and externally of what will happen if you touch Conler.”

Estin smiled furtively. Baron Bruno, who had not participated in the meeting under the pretext of not feeling well for a while. He didnt know what the hell he believed in, but it was true that he didnt like his recent behavior.

The Bruno family was not such a historic nobleman. It hasnt been long since he became a lord of a small estate and a loyalist of Conler. So, he didnt trust him that much, and he didnt want to bother.

But its not good to cross the line.

“And Mary.”

“Yes, Mary.”

Gilbert carefully brought up Marys story. The purpose was to raise an opinion that it would be better to quickly attach a tutor to her to get a proper education.

However, it was quite shocking for him to see his father carrying Mary earlier. His father seemed to care about Mary Conler more than he thought. Is he affectionate because he met his daughter after a long time? Gilbert cleared his throat, thinking it would be better to talk carefully.

“Shes a cute kid.”

“……thats what she is.”

Yes, he might be fond of his daughter whom he met after 9 years.

Gilbert tried to interpret it that way.

“Look at the picture hanging in the painting library. She seems to be quite talented in art.”

“What? Oh, yes.”

“It would be better to have a drawing teacher. Benedict would be the best.”

Even though he hasnt seen her for nine years, was father always like a fool?

Benedict was the best painter of his time and said he was glad that the same artist was living in the same era. He was offered to be a royal painter, but he refused, saying that portrait was not his scope. Still, he was the best painter in the continent in name and reality.

His father, who wanted to use him as a painting teacher for a nine-year-old child, was quite unfamiliar to him.

Come to think of it, there were two strange paintings hanging in the painting library; they were her paintings.

Gilbert thought that on his fathers birthday, he should give him some books related to aesthetics as a gift.

“Then Ill go out. You must have a lot of travel fatigue, so please rest well today.”

“I will.”

Gilbert, who gave up talking about Marys tutor, took the report, the map, and his hardcover notes as he got out of the office.

There was quite a lot to pack, so his notes fell to the floor.

“Oh, the notes.”

The hardcover notes were used to simply record Gilberts ideas, as well as what happened and how he felt that day. Gilbert picked up the note that had fallen on the floor faster than lightning, fearing that the embarrassing contents of the notebook would be discovered.

Then he found it.

a small piece of paper sandwiched between the notes. 

“What is this?”

No matter how much he thinks about it, he doesnt remember putting this paper in his notebook. Gilbert, who saw the clumsy square paper, unconsciously let out a laugh. 

“Whats going on?”

“Oh, no. Mary really seems quite talented in painting.”

On the clumsy square paper, a boy and a girl were drawn with the words”You did a great job.” It was obvious that it was himself and Mary.

Come to think of it, I think the painting in the painting library felt like avant-garde? I think it went quite well with Benedicts style.

Out of Estins office in a hurry, Gilbert looked once again at the square paper. He didnt expect to receive compliments like this, saying, “You did a great job.” Hes always been in awe, how long has it been since hes received such pure praise.

So, Gilbert strangely did not realize that he had become tolerant of Mary.

The shoulder of the eldest son of the Conler family seemed to have lightened up a little.

***

“Oh, my.”

“Miss Mary, whats wrong?”

“No, its nothing.”

My ears are itchy for some reason. I think someone is talking about me now.

I quickly shook my head at Bonitas worried remark. But Bonita came before me.

“You didnt bump into anything, did you?”

“Hehe, my ears are just itchy.”

Bonitas a little overprotective. I guess Im a… a person who bumps with everything.  Even so, Bonita worrying about me is not bad. No, to be honest, it was rather a good thing. But I dont mean to make her worry, though.

I dont have any intention to make them worry. 

“Oh, Im bored.”

Hestia and Gilbert are checking the magic training center in the annex to see how much Rex is capable of, and Lucas is out on a town again, should I play with Grand Duke Estin……?

Thats why Im hanging around with a picture book next to Bonita, who is busy sewing.

Id rather go to town with Lucas.

I remembered the place I saw when I was kidnapped in Giefroy before. Hestia said that where there is light there is darkness. I finally asked Bonita what I had been curious about.

“Bonita, I have a question.”

“What would Miss Mary be curious about?”

“In Giefroy…… Is there a place where poor people live together?”

When I said it, Bonita stopped sewing and looked at me for a moment.

“How did you know that?”

“I went to buy a dress last time and just overheard it.”

Bonitas friendly dark brown eyes were in agony. Perhaps he was wondering if she could tell me a story about it. I glanced as close to Bonita as I could.

Im so curious. That there is such a place in Conlers territory.

Hestia didnt tell me either.

“Its called the Tana District.”

“Tana District?”

“Its a district created by people who came from small cities thinking there would be a lot of jobs in a big city. Not only in Giefroy, but also in the capital there is this kind of district. Since its a place where the people who failed gather, criminal acts are also taking place for money……. Anyway, you dont need to worry about that.”

“Why?”

“What?”

“Dont I need to know more if its within the territory of Conler?”

“Miss…”

“Its good to live happily together. How can there be no remedy?”

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