I Will Divorce the Female Lead’s Siscon Brother (Novel) Chapter 76

                                                        


C76

The man who fed me with a spoon smiled mischievously.

"Your worries seem to have eased a bit. Have you finished eating? Dessert is still left."

"But there's no time for that."

"All this is to give talented individuals more work to do."

"Am I a staff member?"

"Because you have excellent intelligence."

"... I really can't help it."

I smiled and took the utensil back into my hand. It felt good to be praised.

"Mmm, it's delicious!"

In the end, it was the right choice. Maybe because my mindset was different from before, I felt the taste of the food more clearly.

"It was worth the effort to hire a talented chef."

"Did Tay do it himself?"

"Jack took care of it."

"Is that so?"

We enjoyed the food quietly, making strange jokes. It was a fun night.

The next afternoon, I entered the same restaurant as yesterday. This time, eating was not the goal.

"I wrote it in a hurry, so the content is a bit vague. Please look only at the basic essence."

Terence carefully read the various documents I handed him. After a while, he commented:

"... It's an innovative method of tax evasion."

It was a variety of tax evasion methods designed by Elliott. The Iver guild drastically reduced the taxes paid to the country using these ingenious methods.

"I don't know much about this field, but I do know that they skillfully evaded the law."

Terence, who had been absorbed in the document's content, suddenly tilted his head.

"But I don't understand this part. Does it avoid customs duties by smuggling expensive luxury items into the country using transportation magic...?"

His question was completely natural.

"Isn't the labor cost of a wizard who knows how to use transportation magic higher than the fee?"

"No need for a wizard. The Iver guild has secured a transportation device."

"Then, isn't it the greatest invention of the century?"

It was the work of a wizard and an eccentric inventor, one of the seven talents gathered by Liena.

"Although the distance is short and the target is limited to inanimate objects, compared to the existing method, it is very efficient as it only requires a magic stone without a wizard."

Unlike yesterday, I placed the map I brought on the empty table, which had no cutlery.

"Here."

My finger pointed to a small island located off the northwest coast of the empire.

"This island belongs to Liena. It's an island that Duke Cassius bought for his daughter as a birthday present a few years ago."

"I remember. It became a hot topic in public view."

"Iver's merchants were the first to gather foreign luxury items here."

"Ah, I understand. Then it spread to nearby lands."

"That's right. And they sold it disguised as domestically produced. If it's a smuggling goods storage warehouse, it must be within the transport range of this island, and the goods must also be transported to Iver's nearby branch..."

I slowly moved my finger and drew a small circle on a specific spot.

"Approximately, it will be around here."

Unfortunately, detailed location was not provided in the novel, so I had no choice but to group it all together.

Terence rubbed his chin with a thoughtful look on his face.

"This area is Cassius Territory. I think it will be difficult to conduct an official search until we have solid evidence."

"Also, if they notice that someone is looking for the contraband storage warehouse, they will quickly move the location."

"We have no choice but to proceed secretly with a small number of people."

"Is it possible?"

"Please don't worry. My subordinates are quite capable. Besides, Ethel has significantly reduced the range."

"If possible, avoid using anything belonging to the imperial palace. It's full of spies planted by Cassius."

"I'll keep that in mind. What the hell is Cassius?"

"Information from local residents can also be useful as a reference."

"As secretive as it was, it wouldn't have been possible to go unnoticed if it had been transported regularly."

"That's right."

I felt so embarrassed that I scratched my cheek.

"I guess I was worried without any reason. Tay will take care of everything."

"It's not like that. You can worry more."

"What?"

"Please continue to worry more about me and show me the way I should take. I need your guidance."

There was still a smile on his face, but his face and eyes looked extremely serious. Embarrassed, I looked away.

"How dare I guide His Highness the Prince?"

"Why do you underestimate yourself so much?"

Terence asked as if genuinely puzzled.

"Ethel is a great person. To me, you seem more like a genius than that Elliot or something."

... Isn't this an overly inflated evaluation?

"Who was the person who, at a glance, discovered the hidden circumstances of the butler, who was the confidant of Duke Cassius, and brought him to your side? Also, who solved the mystery of the time capsule that no one else could solve?"

That's all from the novel!

"I understand. It was like that."

From Terence's perspective, who didn't know the truth, I would have seemed like a genius who knew everything. Since I had nothing to say, I pretended to figure everything out on my own, and this misunderstanding occurred.

"This tax evasion method alone is confidential information from above. Even if you were a member of Cassius in the past, it wouldn't have been easy to discover."

"Well, that was somewhat thanks to overhearing the conversation between Liena and Elliot... In fact, all the other things are the result of fortunately obtaining information."

"The fact that everyone knows the information doesn't always lead to good results."

Terence shook his head resolutely.

"Have confidence. Ethel is the one who made the right decision based on the information at hand, used it appropriately, and acted bravely."

"..."

"This document you gave me is like that. You knew the general outline of their conversation, but didn't Ethel think about the details and write them all night?"

That's right. Since 'Return and Walk on a Path of Flowers' is a romantic novel and not an economics book, it doesn't list one by one the complicated tax evasion methods. There was only a scene where Liena was impressed after hearing Elliot's explanation that there was this and that method, and he just shrugged.

After returning yesterday to the embassy residence, I replayed that scene numerous times with my original visualization ability. Also, by comparing the guild references scattered throughout the novel with real-life tax laws, I deduced the specific method Elliot used.

"After all, what I said is correct, isn't it?"

Terence, who listened to my story, declared:

"Ethel is a great person."

"...There are still many things I don't know."

"Even so."

"I was stuck, so I asked Ambassador Leok many questions. The tax law book also belonged to the ambassador."

"What does that matter?"

Terence's fingers passed very gently under my eyes. It was so quick that it seemed like an illusion.

"You're the one who wrote the document without even sleeping until this place darkened."

Although it was just a simple fact, it was something that strangely stayed engraved in my heart. It was the first time. The fact that someone told me I was amazing in this sense.

I realized again. Indeed, I had been feeling sorry for myself all this time, consciously or unconsciously. I regretted my past, where by inertia, I couldn't leave my marriage with Leandro for two years.

"That's why I've never been able to truly accept praise from others."

While reading the novel, I thought it was natural to be ahead of others. But thanks to Terence, I changed my mind.

"Thank you. Thanks to you, I have strength. And..."

"And?"

"That's right. I'm quite amazing."

Terence blanked for a moment and then burst into laughter.

"I like the fact that there's no excessive humility. I would like to officially hire Ethel."

"As a staff member?"

"Yes."

"I'm so cool that I'll be paid a lot."

"That's a big problem. I might have to sell this building."

About half an hour later, we started discussing seriously again. There was still a lot of work to do to push Elliot.

-------------------

Capital, Iver Guild Headquarters.

Elliot Rudd listened to his subordinate's report with a bored expression in the office prepared for the assistant manager.

"In the end, what you're saying is that there wasn't much movement yesterday either."

His assistant lowered his head.

"I'm sorry. She goes out every day, but aside from shopping in the city center, she doesn't do anything special."

"Ethel Wallace seems very comfortable."

It was the guard assigned to Ethel by Elliot, and he had been confessing every move of Ethel for almost a week.

"I thought that if Tara, the link, was caught, something would happen... Suddenly, she's going shopping."

With just that, he had no idea what the intention was. 80% of his brain cells argued that Ethel was acting foolishly according to her nature, while the remaining 20% warned him to be careful because there was something deeper than he thought.

"If that woman really hides her intentions and deceives the guards, it's not an easy thing to do."

He wasn't satisfied with the guards he put. Talented people were assigned to track Tara's whereabouts that night, so Ethel wasn't assigned a very capable person.

"I'm sure they watched closely, but not from a close distance..."

If Ethel had two identical outfits, a place to change, a wig, and a collaborator with a similar body type, she could easily fool the guards.

"Ha."

Elliot ruffled his bangs with annoyance.

Things didn't go as he expected.

Tara was imprisoned due to Elliot's strong assertions, but like a parrot, she only repeated the claim that she met Ethel through Liena. Liena seemed to have trouble deciding whether to believe Tara or Elliot.

"Did you really see it?"

Meanwhile, the image of Ethel shouting those words didn't leave Elliot's mind. He didn't want to admit it, really didn't want to admit it, but...

"Maybe I misjudged her."

His warning brain cells increased by 30%.

"We are increasing the number of surveillance personnel. From today, ten of the people investigating Tara's whereabouts will be assigned to Ethel Wallace."

"So much?!"

"Prepare even to find out how many hairs she has."

It was at the moment when he was giving new instructions.

"Manager! We're in big trouble!"

One of the high-ranking employees rushed into the office shouting urgently.


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