Bark grabbed his bloody chest with trembling hands.
Varia, who was watching the situation, finally regained his composure and opened his mouth.
“…I apologize for the rudeness, so please have mercy, Sir Akin.”
If they didn’t bow and apologize, it wouldn’t be strange if someone’s neck was blown off.
Even Varia, someone who had a great influence on the entire North, was just a meaningless existence in front of the Lord’s power.
The knight who cut down Bark was Akin Kradel, the vice-captain of the Iron Blood Knights.
From the moment a big man like this showed up in person, he already had a hunch that something unusual had happened, but the words that came out of the other’s mouth were beyond his imagination.
The Lord’s order, why…
Why did the newly enthroned Seventh Lord ask for him and Scarlett? Didn’t he arrive in the capital just yesterday?
What was even more incomprehensible was the vice-captain’s attitude.
Anyone could see that he was overbearing on their side, but was polite to Scarlett.
While Varia was confused, he couldn’t help but feel an ominous feeling that something terrible was about to happen.
The vice-captain who drew the sword approached Scarlett and stood next to him without paying attention to the fallen Bark.
“Then we’ll move right away.”
Scarlett looked at Thane and the elders in embarrassment, as the others were looking at the knights at the same time.
“Umm, why are taking the family head…”
One elder opened his mouth involuntarily, but shut it back immediately.
He had no choice but to do so because Bark who did the same, was now in that kind of situation.
However, the vice-captain answered in a polite voice this time.
“Don’t worry, the Lord asked us to escort the workshop owner, so it’s definitely not a bad thing.”
The elders had no choice but to remain silent.
Although they were worried about why the Seventh Lord was looking for the family head, but they couldn’t stand in the way of the knights either.
Thane grabbed his wounded arm and stood up.
Scarlett saw that and was about to talk to the vice-captain, but another elder stepped forward and said.
“Family head, don’t worry and go. We will treat Thane’s arm right away.”
She hesitated, then nodded.
Knights were attached to both sides of Scarlett. Some knights then approached Varia.
Varia let out a small sigh and turned to Bark.
“Treat your wound.”
The knights led the two of them and moved straight to the Lord’s castle.
After passing through the main gate of the castle and entering the inner sanctuary, Scarlett looked around with a nervous expression.
Just looking at the sight of the knights standing guard throughout the castle, she felt the severity of the situation.
There was no way that she, a mere outsider, had ever entered the interior of the castle like this.
When I reached the huge building in the center, there was an elderly butler waiting at the entrance.
He bowed his head and greeted Scarlett.
“My name is Floto, the head butler. The Lord is waiting for you, let me lead you there.”
Then he turned his gaze and took a quick glance at Varia before he started walking in the lead.
Passing through a wide and long corridor and stairs, we arrived at the highest floor of the building.
When I arrived at the central hall on the top floor, I saw a man sitting on a chair looking at something, and a female knight standing behind him.
Upon seeing the scene, Scarlett’s face was instantly filled with doubt and bewilderment.
It had to be. Because the faces of the two were familiar.
The unknown customer who visited the studio in the morning and bought a scarlet potion, and paid three platinum coins as if they were a penny.
But what were they doing here…
Floto said and bowed his head.
Scarlett also looked at the man with a dazed expression.
Suddenly, the conversation she had with Thane flashed through her mind. A conversation about the newly enthroned Seventh Lord.
“As you commanded, I brought you the owner of Alkimas Workshop and the head of the Varia Merchant Corps.”
Putting down the thing he was holding in his hand, the man slowly turned his head to look at Scarlett and opened his mouth.
“We met again so soon, workshop owner.”
Scarlett, who finally grasped the whole situation, lost her mind for a while, then belatedly lowered her head.
“It’s an honor to meet the Seventh Lord…”
The Seventh Lord then turned his gaze to Varia this time.
Varia did not dare to make eye contact and hurriedly bowed his head.
“It’s a lifetime honor to meet the Seventh Lord…”
“Why do you think I called you?”
Varia felt his heart froze at that indifferent and cold voice.
Varia had noticed by now. Why did the Seventh Lord call him and Scarlett?
Unlike his side, the knights treated Scarlett politely, and then there was the reaction of the Lord now, as if they were already familiar with each other…
Varia desperately shook his head, feeling a sense of crisis and fear for the first time in his life. What kind of answer should he give?
Soon, Varia dropped to his knees and said.
“I have committed a mortal sin, my lord.”
In an instant, the hall became quiet.
Varia hung his head on the floor and waited for an answer.
After a while, the Seventh Lord opened his mouth again.
“What sin did you commit?”
“I coveted the talent and labor of Alkimas Workshop and did various dirty tricks on them. I blocked the distribution of materials, conciliated the workshop’s customers one by one, and threatened the workshop owner and elders like I did today.”
Varia confessed his sins like flowing water.
He started out empty-handed with nothing but a sense for money and built up the current merchant group.
No matter how much he thought about the most likely way to survive here, this was the best way. After all, the Lord would know everything.
Scarlett, who was standing next to Varia, looked down at him as if he was a little bewildered.
The Seventh Lord asked her this time.
“That’s right, workshop lord.”
“What do you want to do with the Varia Merchant Corps?”
Scarlett and Varia’s eyes met.
Varia looked up at her with the most earnest gaze.
“Please forgive me, workshop owner. I will formally apologize for everything I’ve done until now, and I will thoroughly compensate you for everything. And I promise that I will no longer be blinded by greed and commit dirty tricks against the workshop.”
Scarlett looked at him with a complicated expression on his face as he spoke up and pleaded.
Then she let out a small sigh and nodded her head.
“I get it.”
Varia was contemptuous enough to make her teeth tremble, but she didn’t want to ask his head for it.
The story ended blandly like that, and the Seventh Lord gazed down at Varia and said.
“Hopefully, I don’t have to call you here again.”
Varia shuddered from her seat and followed Floto out of the hall with a drained face.
Left alone, Scarlett stood still, with a bewildered expression on her face.
The Seventh Lord looked at her and said.
“You must be wondering why I am helping the workshop.”
“…Yes, that’s right.”
The problem with Varia, which had been hounding her, was quickly resolved with just a few words from the Lord. To be honest, it felt unrealistic.
As much as she was grateful, Scarlett did not know what the hell was he trying to do by helping her.
“The reason is simple. Your qualities as an alchemist stood out for me.”
“The scarlet potion is quite good. I hope you will focus on your research and develop that potion even further. That’s why I solved the annoying problem for you.”
Scarlett’s face became even more incomprehensible.
“So what the Lord was saying is that you’re not planning to ask anything from me just because you highly valued my abilities?”
“If you don’t understand, think of it as a debt. One day, there may come a time when I would need your ability. You can consider paying me that favor when that time comes.”
To Scarlett, that sounded even stranger.
How could a Lord ever need the help of an alchemist like himself?
“If you don’t have any further questions, you can go.”
Scarlett was silent for a moment, then bowed her head deeply.
“I have received a great grace from my lord. As you wished, if the time comes when the Lord would need my ability… I will do my best to help.”
After saying goodbye, Scarlett went outside, following Floto, who just returned.
The new Seventh Lord was truly mysterious, she thought.
After sending the two of them back, I finished drinking the tea I was drinking.
That guy acted pretty fast.
I thought of Varia kneeling down and apologizing, and I smiled.
Just like that, he lowered himself and confessed, so the investigation of Varia Merchang Corps was no longer necessary. The conversation only took a few minutes.
Anyway, this was the end of the workshop issue.
Varia noticed I was involved with the workshop, so he could no longer show his ambition. He even tried to mend his relationship with Scarlett.
Of course, I didn’t need her ability right away.
However, if I formed a relationship with the NPCs who appeared as good characters in the game one by one like this, they might be a big help to me someday when I least expected it.
Then, what’s left is…
I looked back at the map I had set down on my desk and crossed my arms.
The sooner I leave here, the better, so I could find the next mystery.
I’m a little worried about the route I should take.
My top priority right now was to collect all the mysteries within the realm of Calderic.
And among them, the most necessary was the defense-type ability.
Therefore, it’s already fixed that the next mystery was the ‘floating curtain’. But the route I should take to get there was still not fixed. I had to be careful about going around Calderic after all.
I was thinking about that when Floto came back and called me.
I wondered if there was anything left to say about the workshop or the merchant group, but the words he said next were totally unexpected.
“A guest has come.”
“The Fourth Lord is here. He said he came to see the Lord.”
I almost spit out the tea I was drinking.