The 1st-degree assassination targets—their existence was the weakness of the Kingdoms’ Alliance. If the Drake family of the Umberto Kingdom was the core of the military that supported them, Count London of the Redford Kingdom could be the last hope of the nation.
The moment he gave up, everything would be over. Redford’s debt, which had been somehow prevented, would quickly plunge the kingdom into ruin. They were at the cliff’s edge.
Count London’s voice was sincere. He didn’t hesitate to bow his head even though he went to a person he knew nothing about, and despite being a rich man, he knew to extend his hand.
‘The Golden Bank’s debt is just starting. If they start pressuring Redford in earnest, the people will have to pay off Redford’s debt, or they will try to leave the nation immediately. Before the nation’s pillars get broken down, they’ll be eager to get something out of it.’
The kingdom had one pillar called London, which supported the huge land. Looking at the pillars in the strong wind, Roman Dmitry spoke,
“As Count London said, I will accept the collateral as the bare minimum of safety. But Count London, and I know that this deal isn’t much of a benefit to Dmitry. So do your best. Just as Cairo defeated the remnants of Kronos and regained stability, Redford should also do that.”
100,000 gold. It wasn’t just out of good intentions. For the balance of the continent, he bought Redford. It was Roman Dmitry’s judgment that the longer the kingdoms held out, the more power and time Dmitry would get.
At that moment, Count London was speechless. He didn’t think that would be his answer. He ran everywhere to get help, but he never expected to receive a positive response from the Dmitry family. The beings who were friendly to their kingdom had turned their backs on him, but Roman Dmitry said he would extend his hand despite knowing their condition.
Of course, he also knew the truth. The downfall of Redford would mean that Roman Dmitry would have to get into war, and an all-out war wasn’t on his mind right now.
Even though he knew that, he felt odd. Actually, despite running around until his feet became sore, he thought that Redford might just collapse.
‘… It isn’t the end, then.’
His father, who always thought about the safety of the nation, said, ‘If you don’t give up until the end, then the answer will come.’
The real end. It was when he lowered his head and couldn’t look at the reality in front of him because he found no other way, his father planted a solid emotion inside Count London’s head, saying he shouldn’t give up.
A child who had grown up in a rich family setting since childhood. Taking over the burdens of his family, he looked at Roman Dmitry with a determined face.
“I will not forget this day. We will somehow overcome the crisis in Redford and repay Dmitry for helping us out.”
The last chance—Count London strongly held to that chance.
Five days prior to the debt repayment. Returning to Redford, Count London prepared to meet the Golden Bank. Even though the money was ready, that was just the start.
In order to solve the issue with the Golden Bank and get things to work, other issues needed to be slowly addressed, and the most important thing now was self-growth.
Because they couldn’t continue to receive the power of external forces forever, he studied various ways to expand the business of the London family and earn money in the right manner.
In the process, Dmitry looked like a true savior. Commercial cooperation opened the way for the smooth export of resources.
Two days later, Roman Dmitry visited Redford. It was to deliver the money that was promised and to see Redford with his own eyes.
“Mr. Roman Dmitry. Welcome!”
At Roman’s visit, Count London had a bright smile. At first, they didn’t have a connection, but they were now valuable guests in Redford and London, to the extent that they would welcome them.
He opened the door to the mansion. A party was prepared for Roman Dmitry, and upon entering, soft music began to flow.
“Mr. Roman Dmitry, we prepared this for you. I hope you enjoy this place comfortably with your companions.”
He nodded. Sipping the champagne, Roman looked around.
‘Redford found a clue to solving the nation’s problem. As for the Kronos Empire, they will no longer welcome the existence of Count London. They will definitely be trying to bring him down. It’s not clear when, but it will be before the negotiations with the Golden Bank are initiated.’
The visit wasn’t just for him to take a look. If it was just to deliver the money, he could have just given it the same day they met, or he could just send a subordinate, but he visited the place on purpose.
Even until the day of the negotiations, he decided to keep Count London safe. If he were assassinated before the negotiations, then Redford would fall.
“Find out the structure of the London mansion. If the situation we are concerned about happens, the safety of the Count is a priority.”
Chris took a step back. He disappeared from the party with his troops, and Roman Dmitry smelled the champagne.
This was the night before the storm. The people of Redford had a bright future ahead of them, but right under their chins, Kronos was preparing something.
Redford and London—they were worth using. If they could get over this crisis and get back on track, they would become a strong support for the Kingdoms’ Alliance.
Count London’s expression and his eyes showed they were worth helping. His reason for taking such a long step was to secure a reliable ally for the future.
However, on the other side of the party, the servants carrying the food had stiff faces at the sound of people laughing.
On that evening, a man who went to a shabby pub put down his beer mug nervously.
“Tch! The arrogant nobles. The nation is having a hard time, but they are having a party with expensive food and laughing.”
It was a servant, Jacqueline.
This party was quite excessive. Count London prepared the best party to show his gratitude with food and drinks, which was something they shouldn’t do in a crisis.
Jacqueline was temporarily brought in from outside for the party. For him, who didn’t know much about Dmitry and London’s story, watching the happy faces of the people holding their stomachs and laughing made him upset.
“Jacqueline, what is it?”
The bar owner asked.
Like Jacqueline, he was also reflecting on his life, and he seemed curious about the customer.
“What is it? This time, I went to work at the London family for a party, and they were all laughing hahahaha with food laid out that most commoners could have eaten for a year. Does it make sense? The Redford royal family insists on taxing and persecuting us every time, saying that the nation is in trouble. Yet, the nobles get to enjoy their own luxurious life like always!”
He drank the beer, and even though it was cold beer, he didn’t feel the heat inside of him stop.
“And what? A place to celebrate harmony with Dmitry? Fucking trash! So many people lost their jobs as Count London’s business ate the other ones. And what did that guy even do for the nation? We are living so hard because of greedy people who only care about money, but upon seeing Roman Dmitry laughing and eating with them, it made my stomach hurt.”
“The nobles have always been like that. When did those guys think about our safety?”
“Still, they hold power. If the nation is suffering, they should be thinking about us and not the other nation’s people.”
He expressed more anger. When Jacqueline raised his voice, people gathered in twos and threes and reacted similarly to him.
“There is no such thing as helping out anymore. Count London is committing a traitorous act against the nation by hoarding the wealth of the nation and giving it to people like Dmitry. How long do we have to hold onto our hungry bellies? If things continue like this, it is obvious we will die from hunger, and not because of the Kronos Empire picking a war with us.”
Slowly, it began to rise. The remarks crossed the line, and Jacqueline’s eyes flashed with killing intent.
Right then, the owner of the pub signaled the staff to lock the door and said in a hushed voice,
“Jacqueline. As you said, at this rate, all of us might die from starvation. Right now, your wife is about to give birth to her third child, and she can’t eat properly, so she isn’t even lactating. Then let’s turn this situation around. If we rob Count London’s mansion, steal their wealth, and leave Redford, we can survive starvation.”
Jacqueline was shocked. Even though he was angry, attacking the nobles was a different thing.
However, the reactions of the others were different. When the people showed a reaction of agreeing with it, even Jacqueline began to get pushed into the idea.
“Right, fuck this. We cannot stay like this forever. Let’s call together people who will agree to this and go get our rightful share from Count London.”
It was a small thing that pissed them off at first, but now it was burning in flames.
Fire broke out. Torches lit the night road, and a group of people strode to Count London’s mansion.
The weapons were clacking, and they weren’t really weapons but tools for farming, such as scythes and others.
And the mansion appeared.
The guards who were guarding the front gate raised their weapons with shocked faces.
“If you come closer, we will have to attack you.”
There were just two guards outside, and the number of commoners was too great. As Jacqueline raised his voice, hundreds of people rushed in, making the guards feel overwhelmed.
The guards gulped despite having weapons in hand, and their eyes wouldn’t stop shaking.
And being the representative, Jacqueline said,
“Call Count London right now!”
“He isn’t someone you can just call out like that!”
“Like what? Fucking dog! Count London is a traitor who is selling the nation. The people of Redford are starving, with no food to eat or feed their wives, but he invites outsiders and holds parties for them. If he had given us the money he spent on the party, we would have had a couple of warm days at home. So call Count London right now. I need to see and speak to him.”
They were enraged. The original plan was to kill the guards and loot the place, but common people had a conscience that didn’t allow that. Jacqueline chose to summon Count London, and as a commoner, it took a voice accompanied by force to create such a situation. So he called people.
At first, people were taken aback by the fact that they would visit a noble family, but when they heard about what had happened, they all expressed their anger.
Redford. It was a nation of poor people. In the place where beggars were everywhere, even if they only went out on the streets, they didn’t even get to see the nobles with their heads raised.
Jacqueline gritted his teeth. If things went wrong, a shred of their conscience would get broken, and the scythes would plunge into the necks of the guards.
And it was at that moment that the gate opened.
Was it Count London?
The moment their eyes focused there, contrary to people’s expectations, Roman Dmitry opened the door and appeared.