f the estate.
There was a manastone mine in this territory, so there was never a need to worry about money.
Manastones were an energy source that activated magical tools, making life easier.
Compared to modern things, it could be said that it had the same role as a battery.
The only difference was that batteries were common and cheap, so anyone could use them, but magic stones were very rare and expensive.
Even wealthy aristocrats could not use them to their heart’s content, so they only used magic stones when they were absolutely necessary.
However, the expensive manastone mine belonged to the villainous duke.
Based on how poor the estate is right now, this must be before the mine is discovered.
They didn’t even know that a huge treasure was lying within their reach, and went hunting beasts for a small amount of money instead.
It was like putting the first prize lottery ticket in a drawer and doing a part-time job that barely paid the minimum wage.
If I found the mine and enriched the estate, I would surely get Altair’s approval right away!
Fortunately, the novel also revealed information about the location of the mine.
It was something along the lines ‘the mountain range that was thought to be a den of demons was full of magic stones’.
That said, if she were to investigate the mountain range belonging to the Aylesford estate, she would be able to find the mine soon.
Even those with a golden spoon would have to be envious of this!
She felt like running out to the mountain range with a shovel to dig the ground right away.
As she was grinning at the beautiful future visualised in her head, Anna entered the room and came to stand next to her, dismayed.
“Are you not feeling well? I think you may just have a face cramp…!”
It seemed that she was so excited about her unexpected luck that she couldn’t control her expression.
I just have a lot on my mind, that’s all.”
She hurriedly adjusted her expression and gave a faint smile as if it was nothing.
At the sight, Anna drooped the corners of her mouth with a look of pity.
“You must be having a hard time the past few days.
You stayed locked up in the castle and only looked at the papers….sometimes, it is crucial to get fresh air in order to stay healthy.”
Anna, who had been hesitating for a long time to say something, looked at her and asked carefully.
“So that’s why,… Madame, how about going for a walk?”
“Yes! Because you haven’t looked around the castle properly yet.
A short walk brings you to a large lake, where you can also take a boat.
The mountain range seen from the boat is very beautiful.”
The mountain range!
Walk or not, she was curious about the mountain range anyway.
Even though Nadia had yet to say anything, as if able to feel a positive answer from her, Anna smiled broadly and clasped her hands together.
“No worries! I shall show you around, Madame!”
Anna was not wrong.
Following her guidance, Nadia walked out of the castle for a change, and a huge lake with the mountain range in the back emerged.
It felt like her heart stopped at the magnificent nature that she couldn’t see in the capital city.
Only then could she understand why they call it ‘breathtaking’.
It was so overwhelming that she forgot about the mountain range for a moment, even though she was dying to know where the mine was.
“Aren’t you glad you came out?”
Anna looked at Nadia, who was in awe, with a proud face.
She just nodded in return, agreeing to her words.
While she was admiring the scenery, Anna worked diligently to prepare a boat for them to go on a short tour on the lake.
It was a small boat that would only be enough for two people to sit on.
“I will row the oars, so please relax and enjoy the scenery.
The closer you get to the mountains, the better the scenery!”
Mesmerised by the scenery, she forgot her original purpose and boarded the boat to begin the tour.
Without hesitation, Anna rowed vigorously towards the middle of the lake.
As the mountain ranges were getting closer and closer, her vision was so full that it was difficult to capture the whole big picture.
The great natural scenery truly had the power to move people.
For a moment, all the complicated thoughts that had occupied her mind vanished, and she fell in love with the relaxation that nature gave her.
Of course, that didn’t last long.
Anna’s scream broke the tranquillity.
She turned her head to see what was going on, and an oar, which should have been held tightly in the maid’s hands, was floating away from the boat.
How did the oar end up that far away…?
“My hand lost strength and the oar slipped out of my hand, I’m sorry Madame! Alas, what should I do? I can’t reach it even if I stretch my arm out like this!”
Anna raised her voice as she floundered her hand in the air.
She seemed to be flustered, but her tone was different from usual.
“Oh no! We’re isolated in the middle of the lake! I’m so scared, Madame! How great it would be if a wonderful knight appeared and saved us!”
T/n: Aha! So she’s acting! I knew she was suspicious from the beginning!
Anna looked around anxiously, but Nadia didn’t think it was that serious.
It was not far from the castle, so if they waited, someone would eventually come to save them.
However, Anna’s condition seemed too unstable for her to say that they should wait patiently.
She was gibberish and worried about not knowing what to do.
She measured the distance between the boat and the oar with her eyes.
It was a long way to reach out, but it was within easy reach by swimming.
“Calm down, Anna, I will bring the oar back.
I’m a good swimmer, so it’s no problem…”
She was so nervous that she couldn’t even understand what she was saying at once.
She clenched both of her fists in a ‘Trust me!’ gesture so that Anna wouldn’t be anxious, and turned to the lake.
“M-m-ma-madame? What are you going to do?! You-, you’re going to swim…?!”
Anna started stammering, looking more bewildered than before.
She took a deep breath and jumped straight into the lake.
Watching her dive into the water, Anna shouted in shock.
The water was much colder than she expected, but she didn’t mind and headed towards the oar.
But somehow, her body didn’t move forward as smoothly as she thought.
Her body felt heavy as if someone was pulling her down.
She felt like her body was shaking.
What’s wrong with me?
Without a chance to look for an answer to the question, strength was gradually drained from her body.
The sound of Anna shouting ‘Madame!’ mixed with water splashing buzzed in her ears.
Simultaneously, her vision was gradually fading away.
It flickered dark then bright repeatedly.
Her body, which had become heavy, gradually sank to the bottom.
At that moment, when her consciousness was close to losing and her vision was completely consumed by darkness, a strong force pulled her upward.
Amidst all of that chaos, she felt a strange sense of security that she had never felt before.
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