I Don’t Trust My Twin Sister - Chapter 7
She frowned at the papers before scattering them on the floor. Looking up, she asked Ian who was staring blankly at her actions.
“Those documents are the debt-related documents, right? The ones that need Ian’s signature.”
She took a small paper and faced him. There was nothing written on the white rectangular sheet of paper. However, the core of the paper was coated with a special material.
“This is the blank cheque that the Aztane family uses for business purposes. The limit is about 100,000 gold coins. You just need to write down the number of gold coins here and take them to the business run by the Aztane family. It’s simple, isn’t it?”
Ian knew that the Aztane bank only issued three sheets a year. Each blank cheque had a limited period of 1-year.
One of those blank cheques was carried by her and the other two by her grandfather himself. It was to ensure a good business whenever they got the chance.
“We need to pay back the debt including the interest accrued by the Order of Veridian, and increase the reduced budget in the city, right? So I’m going to write this down here.”
She picked up Ian’s pen and wrote down the numbers.
“See, it’s simple, isn’t it? If you’re willing to trade with me, I can pay you all these gold coins.”
“So, what would you like to do?”
She looked up into his eyes that were staring at the paper in her hand, fluttering in the light breeze. His eyes slowly shifted to look at hers. The sight of his red pupils gave her chills.
His eyes, that resembled beautiful rubies, were a little scary.
“I have a question.”
“Please go ahead.”
“First of all, why are you supporting me when the amount is this huge?”
“You can call it an investment.”
“What kind of investment?”
“I’ll tell you if you accept my proposal. It’s not a good decision to talk about an investment to someone who’s not your business partner.”
He frowned as she smiled.
“Second, can Miss Laurentia, who is not yet the housekeeper of the Aztane family, manage that amount? A hundred thousand gold coins is more than the Empire’s annual budget. Can you take them out at will?”
“Are you doubting me?”
“There is no reason for me to trust you either.”
Well, it might be suspicious that the granddaughter of Viscount Aztane wielded that much of money at her heart’s wish. Even if her coming-of-age ceremony was just around the corner, she was still young.
“Will you trust me if I answer?”
“Then, I’ll answer now. Yes, it’ll be possible for me. Is it fine now?”
“What? What do you….”
“You said you would believe me if I answered. I can gather 100,000 gold coins. Then trust me.”
“Call me Laurentia. We talked about this yesterday, right?”
“…..Laurentia, this is not a joke. This amount is definitely enough for settling all the debts and for taking care of the things we’ve been putting off. But it’s too reckless to accept. I want you to be serious about your answer.”
*Yes, that’s right. You’d only succeed if you doubt people before trusting them. Trust the people who are always next to you.*
This was always the advice of her beloved grandfather. And yet, in the end, her biggest mistake was to trust someone whom she couldn’t even doubt a bit.
“What do you want from me?”
His eyes shined as he said the last word.
“I want you to sign a contract.”
“Yes, a contract. A strong, reliable contract supported by wealth. If you sign it, I’ll surely pay for all of these.”
She stretched out her fingers and drew them through the air.
“On a lump sum.”
“…..Fine then. Let’s hear a little bit about the contract.”
“Are you responding to my proposal?”
“That depends on the type of contract, doesn’t it?”
She took out a file from her bag and passed it over to him with a smile. She knew she would be asked about it, so she prepared the terms beforehand.
“What is this?”
“It’s the contract. Please check the contents and sign the banner. For your information, please use your family seal and sign at all the places that need your signatures. That way, you’ll be more confident, I believe.”
“….I haven’t read it yet.”
“Take your time.”
She liked the phrase.
The contract was like delicious food that was impossible to deny. Once you tasted it, you’d fall in love with it. Nothing could be more thrilling than the things she always wrote in it.
Whenever the other party saw her contracts, they were always in high spirits. Regardless of whether they liked it or not, they always wondered what the deal would bring to them. And those results often created advantageous situations that no one could predict.
“I have a question.”
He shuffled his hair with a confused look on his face.
“……Why should we get married?”
“It’s already mentioned.”
“It says ‘To protect from those who seek the property of the Aztane family……’. Whom are you referring to?”
“I’ll tell you once you sign it.”
A contract was supposed to go smoothly only when people got more curious about it. As he slowly got indulged in its charm, he kept asking questions, and she kept answering him leisurely.
“Please feel free to ask me.”
“Thanks. What about the clause at the bottom of the contract?”
“Oh, that one?”
A clause paired with the last of the 32 terms of the contract.
‘Huh? Is that so surprising?’
“It’s not like we’re getting married out of love. It’s just a contract marriage, so there is no need for us to be intimate with each other or have a child.”
Besides, she was tired of such romantic fantasies as she was backstabbed by a man whom she loved and trusted for the welfare of her family.
“I don’t want both of us to break into each other’s privacy, except when we’re supposed to act like a couple in front of others. Ah, but it’s fine for you to have a second wife since the Veridian family would also need a successor to carry on their name.”
“Will that be….difficult?”
If that was not possible, they could also adopt a child and claim him as their own. She was quick-witted.
“Anyway, since you’ve read it, what do you think?”
“….It sure does have a lot of information, but it’s easy to understand.”
“Well, the first thing a member of the Aztane family learns is the art of writing a contract.”
Smiling brightly, she took out another contract. She stamped her family’s seal on the bottom and signed before handing it over to Ian to finish his signing.
“This is the second part.”
From her point of view, it might have looked frivolous.
It was her talent to get a contract signed right away.
Coming to his senses, he saw her holding a blank cheque in front of him, two files already resting in his hand.
He blankly stared at the neat cheque in her hand before widening his eyes.
“Wait! What did you just say?”
“Thank you for accepting my proposal.”
“H-Hold on. I still have a lot to ask.”
“I can slowly answer all of your questions later. Oh, I don’t think we need to get married right away either. It wouldn’t matter if you simply let people know of it as an engagement and then proceed slowly. Which means that we don’t have to live together right now.”
“Anyway, thank you for accepting it. When the engagement date is set, you can hold a party. And I’d really appreciate it if you inform me about it in advance. Well, goodbye for now.”
Finally, it was time for her to get out of his mansion before she could get caught. But as she was about to reach the door…..
Ian, who recovered faster than she had expected, called out. She glanced back, afraid of meeting his eyes.
“Is there a problem?”
“……Yeah, I have one last question.”
She turned around, gathered her hands politely, and smiled.
“…..Laurentia, would you be facing any problems if you lend me this amount? It’s a freaking hundred thousand gold coins!”
With a startled look on her face, she covered her mouth with her palm.
“What do you mean? Don’t worry about that, Ian.”
She pushed up the corners of her lips and faced his anxious eyes. It was a smile that she always showed to her business partners.
“That’s just dust for the housekeeper of the Aztane family.”
‘Okay, a little bit of an expensive dust.’