Careful When Choosing A Husband - Chapter 5
Surprised, Elrose was unable to avoid it. His hand passed by her hair closely, and that movement flapped off the hood she was wearing.
“Sorry. It was out of habit…”
The man hurriedly apologized and stopped talking. His gaze was on her face, and Elrose could not move at all. He then looked at her for a long time before muttering.
“…A beggar hm?”
“No, I’m not! I just have some dirt on my face. A beggar wouldn’t carry 50 gold!”
Elrose hurriedly said, then turned around and asked.
“Then what’s your name?”
The man hesitated for a moment before answering her question.
Lakshan. It wasn’t even a name from the empire. Elrose then murmured the name several times. It was a strange name, but she got used to it faster than she thought so it wouldn’t be awkward.
“Okay, Lakshan. My name is Elrose. More than that, you owe me 50 gold…”
Elrose then said with grim determination.
“Don’t you want to pay me back with your body?”
Darkness began to fall over the mansion. Today marked the day just a week after the Count died. Ever since he laid down, people have been keen on when he would leave the world. Thanks to him, when he died, people quickly came as if they had waited.
They didn’t come in memory of the Count, instead, they just wanted to meet Camila sooner. Most of the guests visited on the first day. Since then, people who had heard the news belatedly came.
Today was the last day. There were no more mourners except for a few guests who visited in the morning.
“Finally, it’s over.”
Camila returned to her room and laid down on the fluffy sofa.
“Madam, if you lie down like that, your clothes will wrinkle.”
“Well, it’s not something I’ll wear again. The funeral is over.”
While saying so, Camila’s face was filled with relief that the tedious work had ended rather than the sadness of her husband’s death.
“It’s no problem. You go get some booze. It’s frustrating that I haven’t had a drink in a week.”
“But ma’am, the funeral hasn’t finished yet…”
“Who said more people are coming now? Just go ahead and get it, there will be a visitor soon. Take them right to my room.”
Camila’s chilling voice made the maid quickly bow and leave the room. As soon as the maid left, Camila laid on the sofa in a more comfortable position with her legs on the armrest.
“Finally, it’s over.”
She recalled her husband, Count Basilin. When his wife, who was the owner of Espensia, died, he pretended to be a father for his young daughter and stole the property that his daughter should’ve inherited. Moreover, he used the money to remarry right away.
‘But I endured it.’
Camila looked at the sleeves of the black mourning suit that covered the back of her hand. A colorful bracelet was revealed on her wrist. They were all jewels used by Elrose’s mother.
‘Now no one will be able to blame me, for everything will be mine.’
Camila stroked the things she had on with an ecstatic face. It reminded her of the people from the Basilin family who came to the funeral. They pretended to mourn for the death of the deceased but they could not hide their greedy eyes.
‘Well, I’ve calmed everyone down for now…’
She had met every one of them separately and promised to recommend them as the next Count. Camila laughed.
‘You idiots. You think I’ve been holding it on for you?’
She then looked around the room. It was an old, antique mansion, but it wasn’t her cup of tea. After the war, the capital changed drastically. The quiet nobleman’s quarter had already been filled with many shops. And this was the biggest mansion in the area.
She then recalled the guests who had visited this evening. They were the chairmen of the Merchants’ Association. They wanted to buy the mansion and the garden, saying it was a good land to build their own huge arcade.
‘They asked me to sell Espensia.’
It was run by her late husband’s ex-wife. 14 years ago, the business was at the top, but now it had become very small.
‘I can’t run the business anyways… It’s in the perfect condition to be bought.’
A deeper smile came to Camila’s face as she recalled the amount they had offered. The Basilin people never seemed to dream that she would sell the place out. While laughing at that thought, she then recalled the original owner of this place.
‘It was a good idea to put her in a convent when she was young.’
A child who insisted on inheriting her mother’s last name before leaving the mansion. None of this would’ve been possible if the child had remained here.
‘I feel like there might be a problem, but since you haven’t shown up yet, I guess you must’ve given up, haven’t you?’
A mercenary who had been meeting her behind her husband’s back was sent to the monastery. They’re used to killing people, so it wouldn’t be a problem for him to take care of a young woman. But, he hadn’t returned yet, and she hadn’t heard from him. Camila had doubts.
‘I’m spending a lot of money just for that girl.’
Just in case, she asked the guild to find Elrose.
‘She must’ve returned to the capital.’
Now that she had put 10,000 gold on the line, people would know about it.
‘It’s all over anyways.’
Under the Imperial Law, Elrose had until today to reveal her desire to inherit. However, there has been no sign that the funeral was coming to an end. Camila then thought about her future life.
‘I’m going to sell it all out. I’ll hide for a while and live under a different name and after a few years, I’ll go down to the South where there will be no aristocrats in the capital who’ll ignore me and live in luxury.’
Camila smiled even more as she thought of her future. Then, she looked at the door.
“Why is she so late?”
She wanted to have a pleasant drink, but the maid who went down a while ago didn’t come back. Camila, who was thinking of waiting a little longer, got up.
It reminded her of the expensive wine her late husband had bought in the auction house while pretending to be condescending.
‘You saved so much to where you didn’t even take a sip.’
She went down to the wine cellar while laughing at her dead husband. On a happy day like today, wine would be perfect. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to hand over a drink to the upcoming guests.
While Camila was walking down, she finally heard the sound of a carriage from afar.
‘Looks like the merchants are here.’
She stood in front of the mirror and arranged her clothes. Finally, the carriage stopped, and the sign of a man coming to the front door was heard. Camila opened the door herself and walked out.
“Welcome. I was waiting… who?”
Camila couldn’t finish talking because it wasn’t the people she was waiting for who stood at the front door, but two people with hoods on instead. The robes they were wearing were old and full of dirt.
While Camila was embarrassed, the butler stepped up.
“We are not accepting any more guests today. I’m sorry, but please go back.”
“We’re not guests.”
The butler looked with surprise at the woman’s cool voice, and that woman then took off the hood that was covering her face. Her long blonde hair flowed down to her waist and her green eyes made the people in the mansion scatter.
The old servants felt the familiarity of the gaze. A long time ago, the owner of this mansion had that hair and eye color. But she had already passed away. Instead, her daughter inherited her traits. One of the old servants then stuttered.
“E, Elrose… Miss?”
Elrose replied with a smile.
“I’m glad there’s someone who remembers me.”
The voice made everyone freeze in the hall. Among them, Camila was in the most shock.
Camila managed to remember Elrose’s appearance which she had secretly seen 14 years ago. She was a child who looked like her mother.
Elrose undeniably resembles her mother.
Camila then looked at her outfit, which was very shabby as if she had a hard time getting here. It was a robe full of dirt and it looked no different from the appearance of the refugees in the capital.
Despite her appearance, all the servants, including herself, remained still from Elroses’ voice and gaze.
“I’m back, to receive what was mine.”
The owner came back. Dignity was with Elrose.
Camila gritted her teeth. She was embarrassed by her sudden appearance, but now she’s a big problem.
“That can’t be right. You have to get married if you want to inherit your fortune! That can’t happen since you’ve been in the monastery!”
Elrose can’t inherit anything without getting married.
‘There was no way the monastery could’ve taught her anything like the inheritance part of the Imperial Law.’
Since her father died, she must’ve thought she could just inherit the title and property. The corners of Camila’s mouth went up. Now it was Elrose’s turn to panic, but contrary to her thought, Elrose was not surprised.
Instead, she pulled out a piece of dry paper from her arms and shoved it in front of Camila.
Camila looked at the writing on the paper.