Redemption of the Blue Rose Princess - Chapter 10.3
“You’re the one who conspired with Ealdar, Duke of Sherford.”
Clovis’ clear voice quietly echoed in the room, announcing the name of the traitor. That didn’t bring much reaction from the Duke though, as he just met that accusation with a glare. The nobles around him, however, were in a huge uproar.
“What is this nonsense? Accusing the Sutherlands? The Sutherlands who had been loyal to the country ever since its birth?!”
“Not only this is an insult toward the Privy Council itself, but it’s also an insult toward all the nobility of Heilland!”
“This is an insult! An insult!”
The Marquis of Maurice, Mac Grant stood up among the uproar created by the members of the Privy Council.
He was one of the nobles who supported the establishment of the Trading Company, but even he couldn’t fathom the meaning of such accusation toward the Duke. He glanced at Clovis with a suspicious gaze, though there was also a slight expectation mixed in that gaze.
“As we all know, Cromwell-kun is a capable aide. There must be a reason for him to suddenly accuse Lord Lloyd like this. Let’s hear what he has to say before we express our displeasure on him.”
“Thank you for your assistance.”
With his hand on his chest, Clovis opened his mouth,
* * *
“I harbored some doubts about the confidentiality of this meeting. The feelings didn’t come out of nowhere, there was a trigger to it… The letter I received from the Marquis of Rozen.”
Clovis then took out the letter he received from Jude and gave it to Dreyfus. The latter read through the letter briefly while furrowing his brows.
“This is the list of the merchants that the Mercurius Trading Company tried to recruit… The data matched the report received by the Regional Council, what are you trying to pull?”
“Please look through the list more carefully.”
Urged by the aide, Dreyfus looked through the letter again. In addition to the previous list, there was also a list of the nobles that Lloyd talked to and their responses to him. He went on to read more of the letter then his stern look was replaced by a look of surprise. (T/N: This probably meant to be Jude, but the raw has it as Lloyd, so I just followed the raw)
“Oi, there is something wrong with this list. There are names that aren’t in the list received by the Regional Council!”
At his outburst, Clovis showed him a beautiful smile.
“True. But, as the letter said, that list is the complete list.”
“What?! So the list that Jude gave me previously was incomplete?!”
Dreyfus shouted loudly.
That meant Jude never revealed to anyone else that he was trying to contact more people. Even Alicia didn’t know this. She showed her surprise when Jude told her directly about it.
“The truth of the matter is, the Marquis of Rozen tried to gain the cooperation of thirteen merchants in total, but he only reported ten of them to both the Regional Council and Chancery. Since he kept this to himself until the last minute, both Alicia-sama and I weren’t informed of this fact.”
“Damn you, Jude! How dare you lie to me like that!!”
“Please forgive him, Lord Jude has his own reason for this…”
Clovis lowered his brows. He felt sympathy toward the man who was slamming the desk in his frustration.
The three merchants that weren’t reported by Jude were long-time collaborators of the Marquis of Rozen. Each of them were capable merchants with a wide connection. Jude trusted their personalities, so he told them the full story about the Trading Company he was about to establish.
But, because the matter of the Trading Company was something that needed to be discussed by the Privy Council, it turned into a state secret. Since someone might target them for this information, Jude had no choice but to hide them.
“For that reason, Lord Jude didn’t give any report about the three of them. It was to maintain the confidentiality of the Trading Company, at least until the meetings held by the Privy Council ended.”
“I see… I see… Like hell I would be convinced with just that!!”
After nodding a few times, Dreyfus roared.
“That’s not a good enough reason to keep Her Highness in the dark! That bastard… I hate him!!”
“Calm down, Dreyfus. This isn’t the time for you to vent about the petty quarrels between you and him. Boy, continue.”
Clovis gave the man who intervened, the Head of the Legal Bureau, Adams, a bow.
“Continuing on. Among the merchants who withdrew their cooperation, the three previously mentioned merchants weren’t among them. This prompted Lord Jude to contact the merchants who withdrew their cooperation and tried to convince them to rejoin the project.”
Oddly enough, those merchants avoided the Marquis like a plague. Though, Jude was persistent and he managed to meet with one of them. When he brought the topic of the Trading Company to that merchant, he was frightened. The merchant told Jude that he had been threatened to not give his cooperation to him.
The merchant stubbornly refused to say who threatened him, but Jude’s contact was wide, he managed to find out that after the first meeting of the Privy Council, that merchant was seen arguing with unfamiliar men in an alley.
According to the witness, the men tried to convince the merchant to back down from some kind of project, but the merchant laughed it off and left the men alone after a few minutes.
“The next day, however, someone broke into the merchant’s house and ransacked his property to the point that no one could enter his house. Fortunately, no money or goods were stolen, but when people came to comfort him, they noticed that his expression was unnaturally pale.”
“I see. The culprit’s motive was not the merchant’s wealth… It was to blackmail the merchant into backing down from the project…”
“The culprit wasn’t caught and they didn’t leave any proof, but that’s probably the reason. The very next day after that happened, the merchant sent Jude his letter of withdrawal.”
After that, jude tried to gather information about the other merchants and it turned out that all of them also received the same treatment.
On the other hand, the three merchants whose names weren’t included in the report had not been contacted by anyone even though they were the ones who gave him the most cooperation for the project.
The Marquis then concluded that there was someone who tried to sabotage the result of the meeting. And they got their information from the data submitted to the Privy Council.
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