As His Friend
“*cough* anyway! Seeing how vast this field is, it’d be much faster if there’s more people to help right? Although, I don’t think I’ve been much help to be honest.….”
“………that’s not true. Especially considering we’ve had to let go of some employees recently and decrease the number of workers here.”
Understanding the meaning behind Ricardo’s words, Francesca hung her head.
“You guys really are in a tough spot, money wise, right?”
“We did increase the variety of tobacco we grow to expand the brand, and have been trying to make some smart moves. But, the workload has also increased and it’ll take some time before we see any real profits from it.”
Ricardo wiped the sweat dripping down the side of his face with the back of his hand.
“I’d love to give you the info you want as thanks for helping us but, the reality is, we haven’t made any progress on the investigation on our side either.——And today, Father has been called to the palace to talk with the king again.”
“For an interim report, I imagine?”
“That, and also to talk about the madness during the night party. If we keep disappointing his Majesty like this, our family really will be in a tough spot.”
While taking the next batch of leaves from Ricardo, Francesca spoke up.
“Ricardo, do you also think that Leonardo is behind all these incidents?”
“………to give my frank thoughts, yes, I can’t think of anyone else that can be considered more suspicious than him. But, the drugs incident aside, I don’t see why Leonardo would cause that chaos in the party.”
“………I’m not convinced that he’s behind the drugs incident either though……..”
As she mumbled and grumbled her objections, Ricardo shot a glance towards her as he spoke.
“You’ve come to trust Aldini a lot huh.”
“Rather than trust, it’s more that I’m angry at him. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things this past week but, this time Leonardo has been doing things a bit too one-sidedly and it’s like he is making decisions for everyone all by himself.”
Recalling the words he spoke during the meeting last week, a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration began to smoulder inside Francesca.
“He told me, to not chase after him again.”
“It might really be as Leonardo said. Even if I did catch hold of Leonardo right now, I don’t think he’d even listen to anything I could say to him. He’ll just ignore everything, and will continue to take actions that would completely destroy the balance between the 5 great families……..”
But Francesca had no way of understanding why Leonardo wanted to do something like that.
“That’s why, I’m trying to figure his real motives right now, no matter what the cost.”
“………no matter what, eh?”
“Yes. And once I do, I will run straight to him and shout [I see through all of your thoughts!]”
“I will corner him, get angry at him for trying to play the villain like this………and then, I want to help with whatever it is that Leonardo is thinking of doing.”
And then, she muttered again.
“………..Because, Leonardo is my friend.”
After all, Leonardo too called Francesca his friend.
“I have been thinking this but…”
While observing Francesca, Ricardo calmly spoke again.
“I genuinely don’t want to get engaged to you, even if you were to beg me for it.”
“Eh, Why? out of nowhere!?”
That was quite the harsh way of putting it as well. When anyone says it so bluntly to you, it’s genuinely shocking regardless of whether you liked the person or not. After all, it’s not like she wanted to get engaged to Ricardo either.
“Even if it was a temporary engagement, even in that short time, I feel like I’d get dragged around into some crazy shit. I unfortunately don’t have a habit of wanting to jump into the middle of a typhoon.”
“I’m just a normal person you know! I don’t even want to live in the underworld, and am completely safe in every way possible!”
“A normal person, won’t openly talk about wanting to corner the head of one of the five great families, and most certainly won’t possess some weird mysterious skills either.”
Having the topic of skills brought up, she was lost for words.
She had shown her skill to him in that party, but Ricardo never even mentioned them again as consideration but, there was no way he wouldn’t still be curious about them.
(What do I do? Is he going to question me more about my skills now……..?)
Although she was readying herself for a interrogation, Ricardo didn’t really seem interested in following through.
But, he still spoke this way.
“That’s why, if this situation can be solved without me needing to get engaged to you, that would be the best for me as well.”
“I will help you however I can……..Consider it a thanks for your help with the harvesting.”
He was blunt and awkward in the way he spoke but, he was still a very reliable person regardless.
Francesca chuckled, and only said [thanks] as a response.
The net day.
Yesterday’s clear weather was just a rare occurrence and today it had once again been raining all day. While hearing the sound of rain pouring down, she shut herself inside her father’s study, ad continued her investigation.
(Today, Papa had been called by the King instead. Marriage between nobles like us require the King to acknowledge it, and if something were to be changed in that regards, that too will need to be reported as well………..the day of responding to Leonardo was next week, I need to hurry.)
Pulling out a book and quickly scanning through it, she put it back inside the shelf.
(What exactly is Leonardo’s true goal? Was he really involved in the drug trafficking or the night party incident? I don’t even know that so where do I even begin looking for……….?)
She was starting to panic, and had forgotten to even have her lunch today. She had completely lost the sense of time and was completely engrossed in her search, when suddenly, her Little bro called out to her.
“………..I’ve brought some Orange juice, young miss.”
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Taking the glass from him, she turned her gaze back to the book in her hand. Seeing her like that, Graziano sighed again.
“this and that, all of these books are related to stuff related to the Underworld, aren’t they? Even though you avoided it all for so long, why are you suddenly putting your neck back into this just for that Aldini’s sake?”
“……….Graziano, weren’t you the one that constantly said that [you should give up and quickly become a normal member of the underworld already.] didn’t you?”
“I still think so. But, the fact that it was Aldini who is the reason that changed you just pisses me off that’s all.”
What kind of silly reason was that? Francesca tilted her head in confusion but [haah, the young miss will never get it], he said that and began to sulk again.
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