They heard the info that the third auction item was on the stage. It was time.
“We are going inside.”
“Yes, Vice Captain-nim.”
The Imperial Guard responded to Élisabeth’s signal.
She thoroughly looked through the merchant guild lobby that was full of attendants and servants from the noble households.
Finally, she confirmed that Joanne de Haas was standing behind her.
The person who attacked the prince’s carriage, the person who was the most famous ghost artist in the Empire looked scared unlike her usual self.
The young Countess warned her.
“You will need to do it properly. This is a chance that the Marquis-nim has given you.”
“Chance my ass. This is just his way of trying to take my bastard of a brother down with me…… I know, I know. Don’t look at me like that.”
‘I’m here so that I can feel free as well.’
She was hugging rolled up papers the size of her body.
Élisabeth checked the lobby again before quickly starting to walk.
The people standing on the steps moved to the side and silently bowed as the Imperial Guard walked forward.
The group instantly made it through the lobby and to the entrance of the auction house. At that moment…
“Young Countess-nim. I’m sorry but Joanne-nim cannot enter.”
Someone urgently came over and stopped them from entering.
It was an older man wearing luxurious and clean clothes.
He seemed to be Emille de Haas’s right hand man or secretary.
He stood in front of them as if to stop them from entering.
Scared employees of the merchant guild soon rushed over to block the door as well.
Élisabeth’s grey eyes turned sharp.
“Do you dare to get in the way of the Imperial Guards on their mission?”
“How could I have such disrespectful wishes? However, Joanne-nim has made a deal with the merchant guild leader-nim. She signed a contract that she would never enter the Haas merchant guild until she died and gave up her inheritance. Coming in here would be a breach of that contract and an act that disturbs the rules of the family.”
The young Countess scoffed.
She knew of the Haas merchant guild leader’s abnormal actions but she had no idea that the people around him would be trapped in such unbelievable thoughts.
To use family matters as an excuse to get in the way of the duties of the Imperial family…they lived in their own worlds far away from reality.
They were acting as if that Haas bastard was the lord of this city.
They seemed to believe that everything would end if they could not protect him.
“Cut the bullshit and step aside. We are moving as her Majesty’s second sword.”
“Gilbert, move if you don’t want to get captured. This noble lady will really pull her sword out!”
Joanne shouted. The old man silently lowered his head but did not step aside.
Élisabeth motioned with her chin with a cold look on her face.
The Imperial Guards pulled their swords out and the people, who had held their breaths while watching, groaned in fear.
Joanne became nervous and bit down on her lips. Everything looked as if it would be destroyed.
She really needed the other ear cuff.
She was not someone who could enter the merchant guild with her own two feet.
It was at that moment.
“Everybody step back! What the hell are you doing?! Snap out of it and get back to work!”
A woman’s thick voice echoed through the area.
Élisabeth and Joanne looked toward her at the same time.
An employee of the merchant guild who smelled like the sea was running toward them.
There were others behind her as well. They must all do manual labor as they all had large figures.
They pushed away the old man and the others who were shaking while standing in front of the door.
“What are you all standing there for?! Get lost!”
“Lisse, aren’t you in charge of moving the auction items?! Why is someone who would normally listen to the merchant guild leader-nim’s orders-”
“Because her Majesty is a thousand, no, a million times higher than the merchant guild leader-nim!”
Élisabeth scowled and observed them. It seemed as if an internal conflict had broken out.
This Lisse and her friends used their overwhelming strength to push the employees in the front away before bowing toward the Imperial Guard.
The young Countess clicked her tongue and…
She kicked in the auction house door.
Gasps could be heard all around them. One of the Imperial Guard members pushed Joanne from the back.
She walked into the auction house and whispered to Lisse.
“Lisse, I knew you were still sane. Good job.”
“I didn’t do it because I was sane. I’m scared as hell too.”
She clenched her teeth and responded. Her tightly clenched fists were shaking.
“However, the merchant guild leader-nim severely mocked the royal priest-nim. And you……”
Lisse looked right at Joanne.
Her eyes that had become stern from the hard work in the merchant guild started tearing up.
“You paid off the debt I had from treating my godmother. I hear things in the neighborhood too.”
She looked toward Joanne’s bandana.
Joanne was at a loss for words and just blankly looked at Lisse.
She suddenly remembered how the Marquis had smiled while looking at her hair.
‘It looks great. I think it will start a trend in the Imperial Capital.’
“Hurry up and move!”
The Imperial Guard got annoyed and urged her forward.
Joanne couldn’t even say goodbye to Lisse as she almost ran into the room.
The paintings in her arms and something in her heart were begging to be let go.
She clenched her eyes shut and then opened them back.
The noble was right. Maybe this was an opportunity.
Although he had looked this way all day… That bastard Emille looked quite happy after revealing Haade O. Jansen’s newest work, the < Creation of the Continent >.
Christelle created a piece of ice in her mouth and rolled it around.
She felt like she would turn that bastard into an icicle if she didn’t do this to hold herself back.
“It is an honor to be able to reveal such a holy piece during divine item week. The < Creation of the Continent > is a masterpiece that describes the Almighty God’s authority and creation of the continent. It took Jansen thirty years just to imagine this piece and then five years to actually complete it……”
The Haas bastard was able to say such bullshit with a straight face. Christelle sighed.
‘Your sister who drew the piece isn’t even thirty years old but thirty years just to imagine the concept? What bullshit.’
“This is mocking the Imperial family too, right? Since he is openly lying to you, your Royal Highness.”
She leaned toward the Imperial Crown Prince and whispered. He moved his chin to respond.
Christelle crunched on the ice and counted internally.
She hoped that Vice Captain Élisabeth and Joanne would barge into the room and turn it into a mess within ten seconds.
10, 9, 8, 7……
A door was sent flying, someone shouted in shock, and Christelle and Cédric both uncrossed their legs at the same time.
Vice Captain Élisabeth was truly special to match lucky number 7.
Emille’s face stiffened on top of the stage. Christelle smiled.
“What is this… Vice Captain of the Imperial Guard-nim. What is going on?”
“Emille de Haas. We received information that the Haade O. Jansen works you have been auctioning off are a scam.”
The room started boiling like water at Élisabeth’s proclamation.
The opponent was not just anybody; it was the Vice Captain of the Imperial Guard.
Christelle looked around from the stands.
The people who came from the Imperial Capital were the first to realize the serious nature of the issue and started flapping their fans.
This was the unique sense of anticipation the nobles would have when they had gossip in front of them.
Even the Duke and his wife, who always maintained their demeanor, seemed shocked.
“That makes no sense, ma’am. And even if there was such information, to use such methods to verify whether it is true……”
“Emille, stop acting like a noble!”
The auction house became quiet for a moment after hearing that shout.
Joanne almost stomped forward as she appeared.
The corners of Emille’s lemon-colored eyes rose up.
“……Noonim, I recall you vowing to never approach the merchant guild.”
“That was when I was holding back against your bullshit. I can’t watch your prince syndrome any longer. I am starting to get tired of scamming people.”
“I cannot watch this any longer either. Gilbert! Lisse! Take my noonim out of here.”
“I didn’t see you as the type to be this slow.”
Élisabeth spoke sternly.
Lisse and the others of the merchant guild walked in and blocked off the doors at that moment.
They seemed to be preventing someone from running away. Emille scowled.
“What are you do-”
“Open your ears and listen carefully, oh esteemed guests. All of you have been fooled by my brother until now. Haade. O. Jansen does not exist. Well, there is a person…”
Joanne’s loud speech stopped for a moment. Everybody was looking at her.
“I’m him. I am not from the Holy Kingdom and I am not a noble. Even the gender and age were all lies. That bastard added a backstory to the stage name I came up with!”
The guests all gasped.
“Noonim, please stop spewing such lies to dirty my name!”
“Lies? Do you really think the Marquis-nim let me out of prison for that reason? To come here and lie?”
Joanne chimed back. She then energetically walked down the path and up the stage.
The audience started whispering.
‘Didn’t we hear that the merchant guild leader’s older sister attacked the Marquis-nim’s carriage?’
‘We are getting a spectacle that is much more precious than an auction.’
Christelle, the crown prince, the Duke and his wife all heard the wave-like whispers.
Isabelle urgently asked her daughter.
“Christelle, did you know about this?”
“Yes, mother. This was our plan.”
She smiled and got up from her seat. Duke Sarnez, who was rarely shocked like this, covered his mouth.
“I’m sorry, but Marquis Sérénité has enough reasons to slander me. He had that terrible incident on the stage just now……”
“Hey, shut the hell up.”
Emille stopped talking. It was because the response came from an unexpected spot.
His head was almost creaking as he looked toward the stands.
The sparkling blue-gray eyes were full of wrath and loathing.
A voice he had never heard flowed out of the person’s mouth.
“Did the Marquis-nim look like a pushover? Do you want to get beat up? The Marquis-nim doesn’t care for shit like you. He has never had any interest. You were just playing the drums and putting on a show all by yourself before you got hit by the backlash.”
“Everybody, please tell your attendants to take out a piece of paper and a quill pen. Write out the names Haade. O. Jansen and Joanne de Haas and compare them. They are the same letters just in a different order.”
Christelle shouted loudly. The nobles actively participated.
Joanne had arrived at the steps in front of the stage at that moment.
Emille had a gaze as stiff as metal as he alighted.
He looked ready to drag off his sister at any moment. At that moment…
“Oh Almighty God!”
A black sword was pulled out and pointed at the merchant guild leader’s neck.
Some of the people could not withstand the pressure of a Grade 8 swordsman and fainted.
The crown prince had raised his body like a wildfire.
“I will check with my own eyes.”
Cédric growled like an animal. His orange eyes burned as if he wanted to burn this person up.
“Eek…… Your Royal Highness, ugh.”
“So keep that glib tongue of yours away.”
There was a prick where the blade poked into his skin and a hot drop of blood formed around it.
There was the terrible sound of the Sword of Wisdom scorching his skin. Emille groaned and knelt down on the ground.
Joanne walked past the ailing Emille and got on the stage.
Her legs were shaking after receiving the bright spotlight but she firmly held her head up and looked forward.
The stands were so dark that she could not see anybody.
But that seemed to give her the courage to continue.
“These…… Are the study pieces and rough sketches I have drawn up until now. A portion is missing because I used them as fire tinder in the winter. The rest should be under my bed or in a corner of my cabinet, but the Imperial Guard members did not manage to find them. Anyway……”
Admiration and shock followed.
Most of the nobles here were well-versed in art and were fans of Jansen.
As a result, they could easily imagine the final pieces after seeing her rough line art and pen .
Joanne continued to speak in a nervous voice.
“And this is the esquisse for < Creation of the Continent >. I don’t know what Emille told you, but it only took me fifteen minutes to draw this. It took about a week to come up with the idea too.”
“A genius truly is a genius.”
The nobles started mumbling almost as if they would explode.
They looked at Joanne with awe while looking at Emille with scorn.
The situation for the siblings had been completely opposite until about ten minutes ago.
Emille’s face was turning red and blue with shame and anger.
“This is nonsense! Your Royal Highness, my older sister is slandering me to bring down my reputation. She is probably doing this to get back her inheritance despite giving it up,”
Quite a bit of ‘something’ fell onto Emille’s head.
He couldn’t even breathe properly as he flopped around and fell.
The crown prince quickly withdrew and slashed his sword in the air.
Christelle’s eyes opened wide as she observed the things flopping by her feet.
‘Wow, isn’t this a prawn?’
“Mr. Haas. How do you plan on paying for the sin of selling a divine beast to his Royal Highness by lying and saying that it is a demonic beast?”
There was the sound of a man’s soft voice and something resembling a puppy.
Everybody looked toward the door to the auction house. The blessed purple eyes curled up with joy.
“That pink big sis over there and black haired big bro are also hungry. Can you make a lot more so that they eat well?”
The divine beast in my arm cried in a loving manner. After that…
A seafood buffet charged toward Emille.
At least Emille won’t be hungry?