As His Fiancée!!
Ricardo’s father, Gerard, made a sullen face and rebuked Leonardo.
“……..Aldini, this is a meeting between us two.”
“But the topic is about me and Francesca right? Why talk in secret, just come to me directly instead.”
Hearing Leonardo’s words, her father snorted lightly as if amused.
“You can sit down if you want. I’ll have someone bring a chair.”
“No need. Unfortunately, I don’t intend to stay here for very long.”
Leonardo shrugged his shoulders, and laughed in a sarcastic manner.
“No need to look so cautious. A matter of making alliances between you two has nothing to do with me, and I don’t intend to butt into your matters at all.”
Seeing him like this, Francesca simply pursed her lips silently.
(……….Leonardo, he’s not even looking at me……….)
He continued to look at only her father as he spoke.
“Do you really want to free Francesca from me that much?”
Francesca’s shoulders jumped and neither her father nor Leonardo failed to notice that.
“To keep my daughter happy is my duty, no matter how it may be.”
“Then, you really should tear her away from my side. After all, I will most certainly bring misfortune upon Francesca one day.”
Francesca called her name but even then, he refused to look towards her.
He hung his head, smiled at his lips, and then spoke in a quiet voice.
“——this was, after all just another convenient way to use her.”
Hearing Leonardo’s words, her father’s eyebrows twisted in displeasure.
“The Calvino family head’s weakness was always his sweet adorable daughter. Meaning, if I could use my position as her future husband, I could always bend you to my will. [If you want to see your daughter happy, do what I say!] I could order you around like that.”
In her father’s eyes, the colour of anger began to seep in.
“You sure you have resolved yourself for what will happen in that case?”
“Right back at you. Are you sure that you aren’t the one that needs to be more careful? If really don’t want me to marry your daughter, then you will either have to wage war against me, or bow your head to me. I’m sure even you understand that.”
(Leonardo, just what the hell are you saying……….!?)
The Leonardo that was talking was almost a completely different person to the Leonardo she knew.
No matter however many times she called his name, he refused to even react. He didn’t seem to even notice her, and showed no interest in even acknowledging her existence.
“This is a good chance for you as well right? If you heed my demands, I am willing to ignore the fact that the Calvinos and Serranovas were trying to join hands to destroy our house after all…….”
Leonardo looked at her father alone, and scowled at him.
“——–I don’t care if you break off my engagement with Francesca.”
Francesca couldn’t help but gulp in shock.
(Leonardo is willing to break off our engagement……..?)
That was something Francesca had always wanted to happen.
But right now her heart was in a strange turmoil, and was beating very fast. Leonardo, still nonchalant as ever, continued to talk to her father.
“Let’s see, how about you give all the distribution channels you have with our neighbouring country to our Aldini family as the price for that?”
“As for you Serranovas, I’ll have you lot surrender the territory you have in the south to us as well.”
“What did you say………!?”
Gerard glared at Leonardo.
“I’ve always wanted that territory you see. Serranova’s beloved tobacco farms. Right now it’s honestly being wasted in your hands, but I could redevelop those back into their former glory.”
Gerard’s anger was quite understandable. After all, the weight of the demand Leonardo had made was something, only the people in the know would understand.
(The distribution channels that our family has with the neighbouring country is something that was gained as a gift after Papa and Mama got married……..! As for the Serranovas and their territory in the south, they had their high quality tobacco farms that could really only be grown in that area. Furthermore, that area also has many other large production facilities as well. Both of these were extremely important to both families as vital and unique sources of income……..)
Her father continued to stare at Leonardo with a heavy and cold gaze.
Leonardo on the other hand, simply raised his two fingers and tilted his head to side as he laughed.
“Like I said, this is a rare chance for the Calvinos to break off my engagement with Francesca after all. As for the Serranovas, this is your only chance to make sure that my family doesn’t form deeper relations with the Calvinos through our marriage.”
Ricardo’s father grunted with mixed emotions. Leonardo of course, only seemed to find that even more amusing.
“You think I am very dangerous right? The decree from the king to solve the drugs incident……as well as the incident at the party, you think I’m behind both of those problems right? It seems more like you just want to pin it all on me but, honestly, it’s not like mere Serranovas like yourself would ever catch me anyway.”
“……….your words, so you admit it after all eh.”
“Stop with the foolish talk? Without proof there’s nothing you can do. And to find said proof, you’d need the help of other powerful families anyway.”
Saying that, Leonardo laughed.
“If you accept my demands, Francesca will be free. The Serranovas, could build stronger ties with the Calvinos and can build a true alliance. If that happens, you might have a non-zero chance to actually corner me you know——-And I will gain both the territory and the distribution channels that I have really wanted.”
Leonardo looked at them challengingly, as his eyes met with Francesca’s father’s cold stare.
But, her father didn’t speak up instantly which was still a very satisfactory result for Leonardo.
“As for the distribution channels with our neighbouring country, that’s something that you have never allowed anyone else to ever lay their hands on until now. To have made you reconsider even that is already quite the great result for me for today, I must say.”
“With [just that] you can release your daughter from her unwilling betrothal. On top of that, since that will allow your two families to form an alliance especially to suppress me, dare I say, my conditions are quite fair. Don’t you think so?”
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Saying all that, Leonardo turned on his heels.
“In two weeks time, I will call for a meeting between the three families. Make your decision until then if possible, it’ll save my time as well.”
Ricardo’s father called out to him to stop him but Leonardo didn’t even bother looking back.
“The participants will be all the people that are currently present here. The time will at 8pm at night. And the place will be 17th district’s mansion.”
(………that’s the location for the final event of the game’s first chapter. The place where Ricardo and Leonardo battle …….)
In the end, are things going to end up turning out exactly as the events happened in the game then?
(Even while they were still engaged, even after becoming his friend, will Leonardo end up opposing [Francesca]…?)
As this thought seemed into her mind, Francesca was at a loss.
“Shit……..!! That brat is one crazy bastard!”
A thumping sound of a fist hitting the table echoed. Gerard angrily glared at the door Leonardo had left from.
“Calvino, your daughter will continue to get used by that greenhorn from here onwards as well! It’s exactly like I told you. If we want to crush him, we need to make a move as soon as possible……!”
(Leonardo is, using me?)
She had been thinking about it from the day she regained her memories of her past life.
(This world was that of a game that I had played in my past life, and in that the mastermind was deemed to be Leonardo. And now I have been reborn as the game’s protagonist, and was getting dragged into the underworld because of Leonardo’s scheming——-that’s why, I had been working so hard to avoid all that. And yet..)
“Letting your daughter decide whether to cancel the engagement or not is far too naïve. This concerns not just us, but the other two families as well!”
(After actually meeting Leonardo in this world, I began to think that there must me more to the game’s scenario. A side I didn’t know about. But that contradicts with what Leonardo did just now, and he is very openly trying to use me to gain advantages in the underworld.)
Recalling that, Francesca hung her head down.
(Just like Ricardo’s father said, this is a problem that will involve all the great 5 families. This isn’t just a matter of [who will be the person I marry in the future] or something simple like that, I know that but………)
That voice, was aimed towards Francesca.
When she raised her head, the person who had called her was Ricardo, who had been very silent until now.
Ricardo had stood up from his seat, and was kneeling beside Francesca to talk in her ear without letting their fathers hear.
“You should say the things you want to say, and clearly at that.”
Right beside them, the chat between their fathers was still continuing. Ricardo took a glance at them, and then looked at Francesca once again.
“Normally, we are not in any position to intrude in the talks between two family heads.——but, I believe you, and you alone do have the authority to interject in this matter, right?”
Hearing that, Francesca tightened both of her fists.
“Sorry Ricardo………right now, I’m the same as you. I am not in any position to say anything to our fathers either.”
“……….the only thing I can do is……..”
Francesca psyched herself up, and then energetically stood up from her seat.
“Forgive me, Papa, Uncle!”
The two fathers stopped their conversation and looked towards Francesca in a surprise.
“I seem to have forgotten my manners and made a glaring mistake as a noble lady!! This is a huge problem that I must rectify as soon as possible! And so, please allow me to leave my seat for a while!!”
“Wai-wait, young lady, where are you going………”
“Why of course!”
Francesca grabbed the hem of her frilly dress and readied herself to run as she spoke.
“To see Leonardo off! After all, I am still..”
Looking directly at their fathers, she clearly spoke.
“—–Leonardo’s fiancée after all!!”
Saying just that, Francesca began to ran.
Seeing Ricardo smile at her and nod, she thanked her inside her heart. Her aim was simple. She wanted to reach Leonardo’s back.
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