Eugène, watching the auction with a frown, had a question.
In his view, the current auction price was far less than the value of the girl’s chosen jewelry.
If the auction price was set lower than the price of the jewelry, Count d’Estuaire, who arranged the auction, would only lose money.
Eugène did not understand how the Count would be compensated for the difference.
“… What if the auction bid is lower than the original value of the jewelry”
Eugène, unable to fully understand the auction method due to the lack of information given, asked the Emperor after a brief hesitation.
“That’s what makes this auction so popular.”
“The pleasure of being able to determine the fate of others just by the tap of your fingers is not something you can easily enjoy anywhere else.”
The Emperor smiled vaguely after throwing out the riddle-like words that Eugène could not readily understand.
“The official name of the auction they’re currently holding is the ‘Charity Auction’.
It’s a charity of precious metals in support of women who are in trouble.
When the auction is complete, the jewelry belongs to the woman who chose the item, not the nobles who paid for it.
Of course, the auctioneer does not intervene in the ‘voluntary price’ paid by a woman who is moved by their charity afterward.
They only connect women in need with benevolent nobles.”
The Emperor gracefully ridiculed the folly of those who tried to cover up their vulgar acts under the pretext of a respectable cause.
“The price that is being traded there now is the official ransom that will be placed on that woman in the future.
But there is one condition.
The ransom is only officially recognized when the price of the jewelry she chooses matches or exceeds her auction price.
This is the place where she decides the price of her ransom, but at the same time, this is also a place to test how much she knows her worth.”
A piece of jewelry like that was the price of one night It was not easy for any prostitute, no matter how beautiful, to be guaranteed a fair amount of money for sex.
Besides, what could a prostitute do when she knows her limits That kind of value judgment was not required for a prostitute who only received lust.
“… Is this how one becomes a courtesan these days”
But courtesans were different.
They enjoyed a high reputation in the social world as they were treated almost the same as noblewomen.
The courtesans had to be able to swat men’s desires, which didn’t only include mere lust, and so, they were required to have not only a beautiful face but also speech skills and culture, along with a sense of humor and wit.
Contrary to the poor disrespect of the Emperor, courtesans needed more than just beauty.
Accurately grasping the value of one’s own product belongs was one of the most basic traits among them.
“It’s quite a different process from what I was aware of.
I suppose the ways of the world were too dark for me since I had immersed myself in military affairs.”
“It’s only been a few years since this method became popular in the capital.
It’s a new practice established by Count d’Estuaire.”
The first auction ended while they were having a small conversation.
As expected, the first girl was sold at an auction price that was less than the price of the jewelry she had chosen.
The girl dropped her shoulders in disappointment and went down the stage.
However, the auctioneer didn’t care about the outcome and introduced the next piece of jewelry with a carefree smile.
The second girl on stage was said to be the hidden daughter of a prima donna who dominated the entire capital more than twenty years ago.
She had the common backstory of how she had a gifted talent just like her mother but had to give up her dream because she was not in a position to take music lessons.
She chose a simple pearl bracelet, unlike the first girl who was greedy, and although the final bid was reasonable for the bracelet, she didn’t look very happy.
It was because it was dealt at a price that was too low for a courtesan.
The third woman on the stage was the daughter of a local judge from the south, a virgin who was miserably abandoned after being seduced by a man of low status to elope in the name of love.
The fourth woman was the daughter of a noblewoman whose bloodline was questioned because her mother was taken away by pirates and then returned to give birth, and the fifth woman was the wife of a soldier, but she became a widow without recourse as her husband died during the last Landrienne Revolution.
All the stories of women introduced with jewelry were like that.
Dramatic false stories that could only fit the heroine of an opera were sprinkled like gold dust on the heads of women who came out to sell themselves.
Everyone was aware of the fabrications, but they didn’t point it out.
The women, like sugarcoated pills which were simply bitter medicine coated with sugar, covered themselves with the stories they made up to hide their true origins like outerwear.
It’s certainly the best place to hide your identity.
Since everyone here lies about themselves.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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How long has it been Eugène, thanks to his unyielding corner, faithfully carried out the Emperor’s orders in spite of taking on an absurd task.
He looked at the stage more seriously than anyone else in the salon, and though it took him a while, he did end up discovering something remarkable.
He leaned towards the Emperor and called him softly, who, pretending to put down the glass, bowed his head toward Eugène.
“Can you see the right shoulder of the woman on stage”
“Yes, I can.”
On the stage, a woman in a gorgeous evening gown with arms exposed to the shoulders, which was the current trend, was wearing a necklace with a sapphire locket around her neck.
She claimed to be the widow of a soldier who lost his life in the last war, and as she claimed, she seemed more mature than any of the other girls who had been on stage.
However, even her relatively old age compared to others was not a flaw for her at all.
Compared to the maidens who had not yet grown up, the mature body in its mid-20s was only emphasizing the distinctive difference.
“If you look above her shoulder, you’ll be able to notice a tiny blue hook visible through the delicate lace.
That tattoo looks familiar.
It’s a tattoo that Rodom’s sailors give to their children in a superstitious sense when they get sick.
It’s engraved to hold onto the life of a child who is trying to escape, like catching a fish with a fishing hook.”
After listening to Eugène, the Emperor focused his attention and tried to check the woman’s tattoo.
But no matter how narrow the field of vision, a glimpse of a bluish blotch was all he could see through the lace.
Though his vision wasn’t particularly bad, it was hard to tell whether it was a loop shape or just a dot.
“You have good eyesight.
You can see it from even this distance”
“Oh! You won’t be able to see it.
I have been training to watch the watchtower since I was little, so my eyesight is good.”
The duty of the sentry in charge of the watchtower was of great account.
This is because it was necessary to thoroughly understand not only whether the faint shadows visible on the horizon in the distance was an enemy or an ally, but also whether it was a merchant ship or a military ship, the type of ship it was, how many knots the ship can go per hour, and what wind speed it was riding in.
“Then you surely didn’t see it wrong, did you”
“If I wasn’t sure, I wouldn’t have told you.”
I’ll trust you once.”
As soon as the Emperor was finished speaking, he raised the bell and entered the auction.
Eugène, embarrassed by the sudden action of the Emperor, realized what the action meant and the nape of his neck reddened.
“… Are you buying me a prostitute now”
No matter how much the Emperor liked to step up in person, there was no way he would ever expose himself to the hostile spies.
Therefore, it was obvious that the prostitute who was auctioned off would fall into Eugène’s arms.
“Regardless, you can’t openly call them a prostitute.
There should be a plausible nickname for such ladies, no”
The sly Emperor, not knowing what Eugène was worried about, rang the bell again and renewed the auction price.
Whether or not he knew Eugène’s anguish, which was proportional to the increase in price, the Emperor’s hand gesture of ringing the bell was simply rhythmical.
In the end, the Emperor achieved what he wanted.
He actively participated in the auction and won the “Sapphire Necklace” successfully, defeating the passionate competitor who kept up with him till the end.
He handed a note and address under a strange name to the servant who had come to inquire about the payment and then turned around.
“Did you really think I would buy you a prostitute”
He mischievously asked Eugène, who was letting out a sigh of relief inside.
Eugène, who until recently had no doubt that he would really do such a thing, bowed his head with a bitter smile.
“I don’t understand.
Even if I did, what’s the problem All you have to do is enjoy yourself without paying anything.”
“That still doesn’t mean there’s no price to pay, does it If I enter into a sexual relationship with her, I would have to tell you every single thing that happened in bed, from start to finish.”
Upon hearing Eugène’s answer, the Emperor tilted his head vaguely with a smile on his face.
After hearing the reason, he still couldn’t understand why he hated the idea so much.
“It’s not to the degree you must label it as a price to pay.
Opportunities to take on such a beautiful woman don’t come by very often.
…Or is there something wrong down there Is there any discomfort in the male function”
There’s nothing of that sort.
I have no problems with the male function.”
“Glad to hear that.
Don’t you have an important duty to bear me children”
It was a strange expression that could be misunderstood by strangers, but as a matter of fact, the Emperor’s words had a sound meaning: ‘Have a child quickly and receive an official promotion’.
Even though it was an extremely hasty request for him, who had not yet remarried, the Emperor confidently demanded it as if he had any right to do so.
Despite the fact that his master was fully guaranteeing his promotion, Eugène was not happy at all.
This is because he felt like he was being teased continuously as an extension of their previous conversation.
“Well then, since I’m done with my business here, let’s go back.”
The Emperor, who had a habit of moving people up and down with only a few words, calmly lowered his legs from the footrest.
Eugène followed him reflexively as he stood up, and asked curiously as he glanced back at the stage where the auction was still going on.
“The auction is not over yet, are you leaving already”
“I checked everything I wanted to check for myself.”
For a brief moment, the Emperor’s eyes glanced back at him.
Eugène looked into that gaze and realized that one of the things the Emperor wanted to ‘check for himself’ was him.
“You can stay longer if you want.
I’ll send the carriage once I reach my place.”
“No, I’m fine.”
“Really Count d’Estuaire’s mansion has a reputation for being an enjoyable place for gambling.”
The Emperor recommended it coolly as if he would even provide him gambling funds if he wanted. He’s doing all sorts of things. As if it wasn’t enough that he’s a souteneur, he runs a gambling place too Eugène shook his head, feeling the goodwill he had felt for Count d’Estuaire at the first meeting being irretrievably shattered and turned into ashes.
“I shall decline the offer.
I do not enjoy gambling.”
They made their way out of the salon using a passageway made between the curtains to keep out of the way of the auction.
The Emperor gestured to the servant holding the candle to take the lead, strode down the hallway leading to the front door, and asked Eugène.
“Could it be that you do not know how to gamble”
“No, that’s not the case.”
There was nothing special to do on a sailing ship.
Gambling was one of the representative forms of entertainment enjoyed by sailors in their spare time, and Eugène, who had been sailing for a long time, was fairly good at gambling, albeit unintentionally.
“What are you good at”
“I know how to play a simple dice game.”
“That won’t do it.
At the very least, learn trictrac.”
The Emperor said, referring to table gambling enjoyed by nobles.
“Don’t take my words lightly.
Why do you think Count d’Estuaire is even doing this Just because he needs money Contrary to his appearance, he is an ambitious man.
He’s also clever enough to know that he has to study his opponents’ weaknesses first before he hunts them.”
“You must not underestimate such a person.
Honest people often downplay the power of expediency.”
The Emperor advised Eugène coldly.
Eugène had never thought about it that way, so he felt dejected and just lowered his head.
Just then, a woman passed by them.
As she walked past them hurriedly, her appearance could be seen.
The woman’s face, like everyone else, was half-covered with a cat mask, and she had her whole body wrapped in a purple velvet cloak.
Eugène reflexively placed his hand on his hat, slightly nodded to greet her, and looked back at the woman passing by one step late.
Even in a rich dress, the woman walked so fast, she had already passed the front hall and stepped onto the spiral staircase.
“That’s the woman.”
Eugène went out to the front entrance and approached the Emperor, who was waiting for the carriage, and whispered to him in his ear.
The Emperor, standing languidly, glanced backward, and then looked straight ahead as if nothing had happened.
“That’s Madame Shuabel.
The one who’s called the Eighth Fleur.”
“… The woman who just passed by”
You mean to say she stepped here herself”
He reiterated the same remark unpleasantly in a hushed voice, so the servant holding the lamp could not hear it.
Shortly thereafter, the awaited carriage arrived.
The Emperor naturally got into the carriage, followed by Eugène.
The Emperor pulled the rope attached to the horseman’s seat and ordered the carriage to depart.
Inside the fast-moving carriage, the Emperor looked at the mansion outside the window with a profound look in his eyes.
“The silver fox of Rodom’s body has worn out.”
The Emperor leaned back against the backrest with a spine-chilling smile.
Eugène kept his mouth shut so as not to disturb him in his thoughts.
Only the sound of horseshoes pulling carriages resounded on the stone pavement.
The two men in the carriage quietly headed for their destination without talking to each other anymore, each lost in their different thoughts.