What Madame Shirka was implying was simple. Count Ward also used pawnshops excessively. The couple were the same.
“Even if one was broke, how could she make a deal with.. untrustworthy establishments?”
“Isn’t that just a matter of how urgent it is? If you’re urgently looking for a pawnbroker who deals with cheap, secret deals, someone might tell you a place or two.”
Pawnbrokers… but pawnbrokers were people who made money out of things. Such an impetuous noblewoman would be called a patsy. But there was no reason to kill them.
Usually, killing the customer is a last resort. If I have to keep my identity a secret, I would give up all of my money. I’ve killed customers before, but that started when I wasn’t desperate for money. When money was more important, I didn’t kill customers as much as possible. I had to get paid.
It feels weird to be thinking like this next to mother. However, in order to dig into these problems, it was necessary to recall my experiences of those days.
“Do you think such people would be able to kill a noble?”
Madame Shirka burst into laughter at my mother’s question. “Marchioness, for people like us, money is important. You can’t make money by killing customers,” she stated. “Even if they don’t pay, we can’t treat nobles recklessly. Perhaps something like that happened to the Countess after an argument with her lover? Love is another word for hate, after all. A love filled with rage after a messy breakup is able to commit a crime, driven by passionate feelings.”
It’s a feeling I don’t quite understand, but I know there are many people like that in the world.
“That’s right. That person had it coming.” Someone nodded and said, some seemed to agree and some said nothing.
The models were standing at the side of the curtain. One glanced this way. She noticed my gaze, and turned her head back. She looks like she has a lot to say… However, Madame Shirka didn’t care about the models. She seems busy listening to the stories of nobles while also pretending to be aloof. If I have to gather any information, I will have to win over Madame Shirka. I think the stories of noble ladies in this boutique are more substantial than in any other store in Schway. Well, for the moment, what I’ve heard is enough.
“Well then, if you want to buy a dress, please tell us in turn. Shall we start with this first?” Madame Shirka stood up and said before I could do anything more.
The eyes of the women started shining, and the dresses were reserved one after the other. Mother, of course, decided on the dress she wanted with a glance. The women, who had raised their hands, immediately lowered them as they saw mother taking a look.
“Madame Shirka’s new works are always great.”
Right? There’s no one like Madame Shirka. I’ve been to all of Schway’s famous boutiques, but…”
“Oh, my escort is here. He used to work at the palace. Then everyone, be careful on your way home.”
“I’m going this way.”
Women came out of the reception area, with their guards and servants waiting in front of the store. They exchanged formal greetings and scattered around. They were guards in name only, the majority of them seem to have been picked just by their appearance.
Still, I don’t think anyone’s going to come at me recklessly on a visible street. Everyone else seems to think like that too. Those without an escort didn’t seem to be in danger; they just felt ashamed. They just left the store quickly before others noticed that they had no escort. We got into the carriage waiting nearby. Mother looked at me only after the carriage had left.
“You seem to be interested in a horrible thing like murder. Is there any reason?” she said, sharply.
“It’s too big of an incident to say that it just happened in the Teresa district. So I was a little curious.” I spoke in the most honest and innocent tone possible.
Mom looked at me silently and shook her head. “These days, all three of you are weird. Bad things happened, but I thought it was time to forget. I’ve said this before, but I want you children to be a little bit more like children. How can all three of you suddenly change at once?”
Perhaps that’s what my mother sees. But when I think about all these things, they remind me of the memories of my past life… Is it my fault? Should I feel sorry for my mother? But it’s Aaron who deserves to be thrown as a scapegoat in this case. He’s the weirdest these days.
“Aaron is really weird these days,” I said, mercilessly throwing my brother into the fray. “The last time we went to the Glouster estate, he was a little strange. I think he might have a crush on Princess.”
“What? That – ”
Mother was obviously trying to say something bad, but stopped in time. I’m sure of it. My mother, who is the epitome of elegance, almost cursed! I was thrilled that my mother hated the princess so much. But I couldn’t make it obvious; mother wouldn’t like that.