The Vampire Empress.
I was a bit surprised by the notification; it reminded me of those video games I played but there was no user interface for me to play around with. After releasing both of ours hands, we both sat back on our seats as my mind continued to wander around how to look for the rewards.
A quest would generally have rewards which means that quest must definitely have a reward somewhere… but the question is where to find the rewards list and where is the rewards?! You can’t be telling me that brat didn’t give any rewards?!
“What are your plans now?” the Baron inquired.
Immediately, I reverted my attention back to the baron with a professional smile as I replied, “I am thinking of purchasing as many resources as possible for the town to start rebuilding, we already have a solution for the curse which is why we are looking into rebuilding the lives of the people on the town.”
He looked at me before nodding several times, “How about you take a look around at merchants from our fief? Since our town places are not that far away, most of them should be able to sell you a good amount for a fair price and deliver the resources directly onto the town when they are ready.”
“Not to mention, since you are someone who my daughter clearly trusts considering how she brought you here to perform a deal with me. I can provide a letter that should give you a discount on most merchants, you can take it as my investment to the town as well,” he smiled.
There were no disadvantages to what he said. It was like a one-sided deal for me, to be honest, but then again, it’s an investment for him and towns are investments in the eyes of the nobles since if you invest a large amount early onto a town, you can have an opportunity to receive a percentage of the land under a subsidiary leadership state according to the books.
“I will accept your generous offer then. If there comes an opportunity where we will be giving out land, I will place you as a priority,” I said before he shook his head.
“You don’t have to worry about that, all I want is a tiny place for my businesses to be branched on once the town is ready to go. I can sense that the Duchess is not someone ordinary especially with the recipe provided,” he replied with a smirk.
“We will go ahead with that then, though before we leave, I want to at least show a live demonstration to the chefs about how to make the bread. Do you mind if I do a demonstration?” I stood up and asked before he looked at the chefs who all nodded vigorously.
Afterward, we were guided by the chefs to the kitchen where I did the same instructions as I did nearly three hours ago. The cooking didn’t take long in the kitchen though since everything from the tools to the equipment was top-grade. After a short while, five baking sheets of cheesy garlic bread were complete.
“I still can’t help but be surprised by how simple the procedures are,” one of the chefs said as the others nodded simultaneously.
Ayaka who was sleeping immediately woke up after smelling the bread’s delicious aroma and looked at the baking sheets before taking a glance at me with sparkling eyes, “Mama! I wanna eat!”
“You can have one for yourself, little lady,” the Baroness suddenly spoke as she took a knife and sliced the bread into several parts on one baking sheet before handing one to Ayaka who didn’t hesitate one bit, taking the slice before screaming in delight.
Her face reflected the faces of most people who enjoyed the bread; squinting her eyes as she continued to take several bites like an adorable girl she was before the Baroness eyes suddenly glowed as she asked, “Right… I forgot to ask but is that girl perhaps an elf?”
“Mhm… she was one of the children we found that was being enslaved by a slave trader on my first day, the slave trader was executed, and the children were freed except for this one who somehow clung to me saying that I am her Mama,” I showed a bitter smile before Ayaka looked at me with her cheeks puff.
“Mama is mama!” she shouted angrily.
Poking those two cute little cheeks of hers, the bitter smile on my face grew, “I understand…”
The baroness looked at us with a nod before saying, “Little lady, do you perhaps know who your parents are and where they are?”
“Mama is here,” she clung to me while glaring at the baroness, “Mama is my mama!”
“I see…” the baroness nodded several times before showing a smile as she looked at me, “If the girl is indeed determined that you are her mother and if you are accepting her then you can register for guardianship for her until she grows eighteen or until her real parents find her.”
“Since elves are creatures who usually never leave their homeplace, it is going to be hard to find her real parents which is why I recommend you take guardianship of her before someone else impersonates as her real parents. You can head to the Adoption Center near here and send them my vouch,” she said before taking out a cute rabbit emblem.
The emblem had a V letter at the center which from what I can remember on the books meant that was a vouch emblem which is used by nobility to vouch for someone’s credibility. They are imbued with a hard to recreate spell that makes it hard to fake.
“I will follow your suggestion,” I smiled before taking the emblem as I looked at the cute Ayaka who had her eyes pinned on the emblem, “Though I want to ask her first since this concerns her life and not mine. I want the two of us to have mutual consent before we do something like this.”
“You really are a kind person,” she smiled before the Baron coughed from behind.
“It seems like the two of you had quite the conversation. Anyhow, do you want to receive your payment now or do you want to retrieve it after your shopping?” the Baron looked at me while holding ten leather bags in his hand.
“I will receive the payment since I will also need to buy some necessities for myself with it,” I said before he nodded.
“This is the full payment, they are inside ten leather bags for safety and also since they are all paid in gold coins to make it easier for you to transact around since there is hardly any shop that has a platinum coin worth of gold coins anywhere unless it’s the capital,” he said before handing over the leather bags as Ayaka took it with ease.
You could see the weight of the leather bags just from looking at it and the little girl over here who looks weak somehow manages to hold all ten leather bags with ease. The shock of all the people around us could be seen on their faces.
“Mama, what is this?” she looked at me curiously.
“It’s money, Ayaka. Don’t mess around with it,” I said before she nodded as I turned my attention towards the Baron who also handed me a vouch emblem but this time, it was that of an eagle, “Thank you for your help, Baron and Baroness Valeria.”
“It’s no problem for us, Duchess. You can think of us as your first allies on this land,” the Baron said as I nodded with a smile before we were escorted out towards the door as he told us several names of the merchants he recommends, telling us their directions as well which showed how not every noble is corrupt.
People tend to have a bad look at nobles simply because they are wealthy but in all honesty, not all nobles are bad. It’s like how the people in the modern world look at billionaires just from the outside, they see them as wealthy and with unlimited wealth and insults them, but they never took into consideration how the billionaires are, how they would feel if they were the one being insulted.
“My lady, sorry for leaving a bit!” Felice suddenly intercepted us as we were outside, she was dressed in a more clean, white military outfit with golden accents and the emblem of the Valeria family on her chest.
“It’s fine, are you ready to move to our next errand?” I asked before she saluted which made me a bit embarrassed as her parents were behind her, “You can greet your parents goodbye for now, if you want…”
Lowering her hand, she looked at the Baron and Baroness with a smile, hugging them as she said, “I will be leaving, for now, dear Mother and Father. Please take care.”
“We should be saying that to you,” the Baroness flicked Felice’s forehead who pouted a bit as she averted her gaze.
After the three waved themselves goodbye, Felice soon returned to us where we rode the carriage towards the closest town on the fief. We were finally going shopping after a long time of business!
—Author note: The chapter may be a little shorter than usual (around 1,500 words short), sorry!