One way to avoid such a situation was to plan ahead. Regardless, Bahamut was content with the project progressing as smoothly as it did.
“Yes? What’s the matter?”
The branch manager of Lugano cautiously entered the room and surveyed the surroundings before addressing Bahamut.
“What? Is it really?”
“It appears so.”
“Yes, Lord Bahamut, I believe you should see it for yourself.”
“Hmmm… understood. Let’s go right away.”
Due to such an unexpected situation, Bahamut and Isolda displayed slightly embarrassed expressions.
“This is quite unexpected…”
“Let’s go for now. In any case, it might prove beneficial to us in some way.”
Saying that, the two of them stood up from their seats. Nevertheless, their faces still betrayed a sense of unease.
“So, you wanted to speak with me?”
“That’s correct, Mr. Bahamut.”
The man seated before them was Jake, the Lord of Lugano.
Bahamut wore a visibly uncomfortable expression and gave a slight nod, signaling Jake to proceed. It meant that if Jake had something to say, he should get to the point.
As a result, Jake began to feel a deep sense of displeasure toward Bahamut, who displayed such attitude towards him, a lord and aristocrat, despite the other party’s considerable status as a merchant.
However, the one currently holding the power was also him— a person who held not only his own fate but also Linda’s fate in his hands. So regardless of his dissatisfaction and wounded pride, he suppressed his emotions and addressed Bahamut.
“I would like to propose a deal to you, Bahamut.”
“Yes, precisely. It’s about this…”
Jake placed something in front of Bahamut as he spoke. It was a crumpled letter, covered in dust and bearing burnt edges.
Bahamut picked it up, and his expression grew colder as he read its contents.
“It pertains to the gold mine we developed. I’d like to make a deal with you using this.”
Jake spoke with confidence, and in response, Bahamut frowned and replied in a cold tone.
“I anticipated this, but it’s truly audacious. Wasn’t this gold mine originally discovered by us?”
“Yes, but due to administrative issues, you eventually relinquished it and left. Since then, we bought and developed it, so legally, this land belongs to us, regardless of what anyone says.”
Although Bahamut wanted to point out that Lord Easter had intervened, but there was no concrete evidence to support that claim. Moreover, Jake was legally the rightful owner of the gold mine.
“If it’s indeed a gold mine, its value could be substantial. Enough to pay off all the debts we’ve incurred and generate considerable profit. I’m willing to hand it over.”
Jake’s words made Bahamut sigh deeply.
With the Archbishop’s order in place, it would be relatively easy to eliminate Jake here. However, if he did so, ownership of the gold mine would revert to Easter, the local lord, leaving no room for the Beden Merchant Company to claim it.
‘I never expected that the place where I casually sprinkled a few gold flakes as a trap would turn out to be a real gold mine. This has taken an unexpected turn…’
While Bahamut remained silent, lost in his thoughts; Isolda, who was standing beside him, asked with her characteristic cold voice, “So, what are your conditions? Even if we wanted to, we can’t simply release you, as you’re a target of the Holy Church”
“I understand that. I don’t expect to become a lord again under the current circumstances. All I request is for you to allow me and Linda to escape with the property we own.”
They had already relinquished most of their assets, but they still had money from a loan secured by the mine, a sum worth a hundred gold coins—a staggering amount that few could accumulate in a lifetime.
‘Even though I won’t be able to live as extravagantly as I did during my lordship, given that everything else has been lost…I will have at least this much.’
Jake, clinging to that small glimmer of hope, sported a faint smile.
In response, Bahamut closed his eyes for a moment, deeply immersed in thought.
Having acquired the iron mines he had sought and securing territorial rights in Lugano through a deal with the Archbishop, adding an unexpected gold mine to his assets would virtually eliminate his concerns about resources.
Bahamut knew he had to make a decision that maximized his benefits, while setting aside personal sentiments.
‘I have too many responsibilities to act on impulse. I really wish I could punish these despicable individuals.’
Finally, as Bahamut reached a decision, a deep sigh escaped his lips.
“Alright. I accept your offer.”
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