Chapter 35: Inheritance (1)
The man in front of Juno was Marquis Trish’s legal representative. He was well aware of the marquis’s situation. Nevertheless, the reason he referred to Juno as "my lady" instead of "Countess Sergien" was to emphasize that she was the legitimate child of Marquis Robert.
"I have plenty of money, so I don’t need this mansion," Juno said.
Juno looked at her surroundings. The mansion of House Trish was more like an antique because it belonged to an old aristocratic family, but this place meant nothing to her. It reminds me of the awful past.
Juno returned her attention to the legal representative. "I was married. Just because my husband is dead doesn’t mean I lost his surname."
"Your father decided to give you your inheritance."
She scoffed and pointed to the child in the drawing room. "You’re also going to leave her with me?"
"Let me make it clear. I have no intention of inheriting anything from House Trish."
The legal representative hurriedly caught up to Juno who was about to leave. "Wait! Don’t you feel sorry for your sister?"
For that poor thing? The remains of the past that she didn’t care about or feel the need to care about, were at Juno’s feet. She wanted to forget about it, but her anger was still there. This isn’t even amusing.
She stared at the legal representative for a long time before shaking her head. "Why should I?"
"You know what happened."
The legal representative’s eyes widened as if he wasn’t expecting Juno to bring it up herself.
"I was the daughter who was sold to a rich, old man because of my father’s mistress and her child."
"N-No, my lady—"
"Countess Sergien, the child is only ten years old…"
"I don’t care. You should leave her at an orphanage."
As Juno was leaving the mansion, someone approached her and the legal representative.
"Countess Sergien." He was a man wearing the knight uniform of the Imperial Guard.
Juno scrutinized him as she put her hand on the weapon hidden in her coat.
The legal representative confronted the knight. "Who are you? This is private property, so—"
"I’m here to speak to Countess Sergien," the knight said.
"If you wish to make an appointment, please send a letter. Don’t try and meet with me in person," Juno said.
The knight handed her something. After a moment of hesitation, Juno took it because she saw a familiar seal on the envelope. It made sense that only the royal family used the Imperial Guard for these kinds of errands.
"Is it from the royal family?" Juno asked.
"Correct." The knight had a proud look on his face.
Juno examined the envelope; however, even if it was from the royal family, she wasn’t obligated to open it now. After eight years, Juno had the power to do that.
"His Majesty made a promise to me. He would make an appointment in advance like everyone else."
Juno walked past the knight.
"My lady, where are you going?" the legal representative called.
Juno didn’t look back.
Her time was expensive, and she wasn’t going to waste it on her half-sister.
"I’m going back to work."
"Countess Sergien, the inheritance!"
Juno shouted, "I don’t need it! I’m rich!" It was a childish response, but her anger got the best of her.
Juno got into the carriage and said, "My time is money."
The door closed, and the carriage began to move as if it read Juno’s mind.
"I’m not her anymore."
The pitiful Juno Trish was no more; she was now Juno Sergien, a rich widow and skilled alchemist. Her anger began to subside. Juno couldn’t afford to be resentful about her past.
She looked out the window. "I’m Juno Sergien."
In the crowd were a lot of dolls and objects made through alchemy. Throughout the empire and in other countries, Juno opened shops to sell her products. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say she had an influence on everyone’s daily lives, regardless if they were commoners or nobles.
"That’s Countess Juno Sergien’s carriage!"
People began to look in her direction. Their gazes were filled with awe and respect.
Everyone knew who Juno Sergien was, and no one ignored her. Juno smiled at a passing child.
By the time the carriage reached the mansion, Juno was in a better mood.
Juno entered the mansion and patted Hebe on the head.
"My lady, where have you been?" he asked. He grabbed Juno’s hand.
"It was a waste of time." She felt better now.
"Would you like me to bring you some sweets?"
"That would be wonderful."
"Okay." Hebe smiled and nodded.
"My lady." John approached them, which caused Juno to sigh.
The conversation at House Trish’s mansion came to mind. "I need to think about what to do with the inheritance. Would you like to accompany me?"
John nodded. "All right."
"Let’s go to the study first."
Hebe, listening to their conversation, let go of Juno’s hand and said, "I’ll bring the food to the study!" He hummed as he went to the kitchen.
Looking at Hebe’s back, John asked, "What’s wrong?"
"The legal representative said I would be given House Trish’s legacy."
"Are you sure?"
"But…" John had seen the marriage contract and remembered its contents.
Nodding, Juno said, "I want some advice. My teacher is in the workshop, right?"
"Yes, my lady."
Upon arriving at the workshop, Juno approached Peter. "Teacher?"
"What?" He didn’t turn around.
"I need your help."
"I paid a visit to House Trish."
Peter looked at her. "Isn’t he dead?"
"The problem is the will."
Peter began to tidy up his workspace. Rising from his seat, he approached her. "Go on."
John pulled out a chair for Juno. "Please sit down, my lady."
She leaned back in the familiar chair. "Teacher, you remember how I couldn’t inherit anything, right? That clause was there."
She sighed. "However, it seems I’ll be inheriting everything."
"That’s not surprising. What else?"
"There are conditions."
Peter raised his eyebrow.
Juno gritted her teeth. "I was asked to take care of a child. Father and Lilith’s daughter."
"…Are they mad?"
That was exactly what Juno wanted to say. Why did Marquis Robert write such a thing in his will?
While Juno remained silent to control her anger, Peter asked, "Will you do it?"
"Then what’s the problem? It’s not like you aren’t wealthy. Do you want the money?"
"What am I going to use it for? You gave me a large amount of money already, and I’m wealthy enough from my business deals," Juno said.
"Do you have to accept it?"
"The legal representative is very persistent." He seemed to be a very righteous man who was determined not to send the child to an orphanage.
Juno smiled as Hebe entered the workshop while holding a tray filled with desserts. She would always be in a better mood whenever she saw him because he was so cheerful. However, Hebe brought something else besides dessert.
"What is that, Hebe?" Juno asked.
"Hm? Oh, letters. One from the royal family…"
Juno remembered the knight she encountered at House Trish’s mansion.
"The other is from Marquis Robert Trish’s legal representative…"