You Dare - Chapter 1
Sofia rushed to the second floor. Every time I moved, the airway made a grunting sound, but I forced myself to hold back my cough. Soon she approached the very end of the hall and opened the door.
Rahee looked at Sofia with a puzzled look as she put down the instrument she was just playing in her arms. What’s going on? Sofia isn’t someone who forgets to knock no matter how urgent it is. On her flushed face, Rahee’s heart sank..
Sofia couldn’t answer and struggled to breathe. Coughing- The sight of her aunt bursting and shaking, Rahee approached her.
“Are you okay, Aunt?”
I was in a hurry, but my body didn’t follow me, so I couldn’t even bring up the matter. Sofia quickly closed her mouth with a handkerchief. Just by looking at it, she wasn’t all right at all.
“Do you want me to help you with your back?”
When Sofia hold up for a long time, Rahee approached her.
Sofia raised her hand in a fright as Rahee came near. I don’t want to transfer germs to my little neice. She looked at Rahee with a pale face only after stabilizing for about five minutes. Of course, it had been at a certain distance.
“The guests will be coming from the island. Never come down from the drawing room, even if there’s a loud noise.”
Sofia looked at Rahee and stood tall.
Rahee quickly rolled her hair. She came to this mansion when she was 12 years old, and so far after five years, all the guests were debtors. Is it a debtor again? Seeing Sofia’s dark expression, I thought she was right.I was looking forward to hearing from my parents for a while. It can’t be true.
“Don’t worry. Your aunt can take care of everything.”
The 17-year-old girl’s face was full of worry. I felt ashamed and sorry for my aunt who takes care of me, as she looks already tired of living when she is old enough to laugh at the rolling leaves.
“Rahee, you just have to play that or that. So don’t come down to the drawing room. Okay?”
Sofia smiled gently, pointing to the instrument on the chair. In fact, I wouldn’t tell Rahee that there were guests coming. But I thought it would be better to tell the child in advance if she heard a loud noise. Usually smart and quick-witted. When I first came here, I was not good at the Imperial language, but now after five years, I spoke perfectly like a person here. So I had to warn them because I could understand everything they said outside.
Rahee smiled, trying to reassure her. She lifted up the instrument as if she were relieved and started playing it.
Sophia stared at Rahee for a long time and closed the door. As a young nephew alerted her, it was now time to greet her guests. With a smiling face after preparing refreshments, I wanted to liberally solve the conversation. So she murmured her prearranged words all the way down the stairs.
At the time of the red sunset, two cars entered the mansion. The shiny car was roaring with golden decorations on a dark blue background. Also, a small flag was flying on the front post of the car, and the door was decorated with unicorn embossed on a bronze plate. Perhaps, the outside was plated with gold.3
Sophia was waiting for the guest in front of the main building in advance. Finally, two big cars stopped.
The first thing she saw was the writing on the car. Not many families or companies in the Kosimo Empire could own cars more expensive than the imperial family. However, it was possible with the wealth of a family member. Rumor says Devitch Bank is the first bank in the empire.
Nevertheless, he said that he could buy a country with a small amount of cash he could afford. Finally the door of the car opened and the gentleman in the tailcoat got off. Flashing buttons on a navy tailcoat, sword-rinked blue trousers and high-end shoes, which stood for Devitch Bank. As a uniform only for employees working there, the employees were proud to work at the Devitch Bank.
They got out of the car and lined up on both sides. It was very polite to see if there were still more VIPs to get off. Sofia swallowed her dry saliva. He seemed to have come at last.
When a gentleman got off the carriage, Sofia smiled and greeted him.
“How are you? Sofia de Sallator.”
When Sofia bowed politely, the gentleman also exchanged greetings with a slight nod towards her.
Sofia was surprised by the hypocrisy of the bank’s president, whom she had heard only through rumours.
I was speechless for a moment.
“Nice to meet you, Countess Salletor.”
The slightly curly blonde was neatly combed, and the unusually white skin was bright as ever. There, his sculptural features were perfect without a sense of reality. He had blue eyes, a sharp nose, a stubborn mouth, a tall height, and even a good physique. His appearance was beautiful, but his glaring eyes were as sharp as a sharp sword.
Especially, the black velvet tailcoat, the brilliant white cravat around the neck, the flashing gold button, the trousers of the knife crease and the glossy shoes that seemed to show the face was to fell without a flaw. But what was more surprising to Sofia was that the bank president was very young, though he was a handsome man.
It was natural to be drawn if you’re the president of a commercial bank, a middle-aged gentleman with a bellyful of money.
But I think this guy is 26 or 27 years old.
“I’ll take you to the drawing room.”
Sofia led him. Although it was the butler’s job, there were only two remaining employees left, because of the poor finances of the mansion. Sofia struggled to squeeze her heart into the drawing room.
It wasn’t because I saw a handsome man after a long time, but because I felt that even if I told him about my situation, it wouldn’t work. Especially the cold, blue eyes pierced her breast. His expression of no emotion, and most of all, he came into the mansion and looked at the situation inside the house.
Perhaps he looked like a man hardened by habit by not revealing his feelings for a long time. Devitch’s bank president was sure in that regard. Though younger than the gentlemen who performed him, there was a strong energy that overwhelmed his surroundings.
“My introduction is late. I’m Lawrence Devitch.”
Lawrence politely introduced himself to Sofia before he sat down. Unlike his cynical expression, his speech was cultured.
“Try the tea first.”
He didn’t even look at Sophia’s recommended refreshments. It was embarrassing to suggest that they would treat him again. At the same time, the executive secretary, who was standing next to Lawrence, opened his mouth.
“I’m the bank president’s executive secretary. I’m going to tell you the main point.You know that the owner of Salletor has a huge debt on our bank. Despite the due date, you still couldn’t make the payment on time, let alone the principal.”
“I’m sorry, my brother hasn’t returned from the East.”
Sofia answered cautiously, covering her mouth with a handkerchief. Lawrence began to scrutinize Sofia. Seeing that every time I spoke, my throat was pounding and my face was not in color.
“I’m going to die soon.”
It was a woman with a fatal disease.
“Looking at Sallator’s finances, even if the owner is coming back, he doesn’t seem capable of repaying his debts.”
The expression that you have a mouth but have nothing to say is just for this occasion. Sofia only heard the secretary’s words dimly. I would at least explain if I could afford to pay off my debts. So she made a decision.
“Mr. Banker, the Sallator family has gone bankrupt. So there’s no way I can repay my debt. All that is left in the family is this mansion and a small estate.”
Sofia spoke frankly. It’s up to you to kill or save, but you don’t have the ability to pay off your debts. There was no way, so I had to appeal to the public. At the moment, the air in the drawing room became cold and the secretary, who was speaking quietly, stopped talking. Sofia waited for the bank president’s reply with her head down like a sinner. Soon Lawrence, who was indifferently looking at the situation, began to speak.
“Lady Sofia, how long has this mansion been?”
Lawrence asked as to confirmed.
“As far as I know, it’s over a hundred years old.”
‘The old house will cost more to repair, so the land excluding the building is not enough to pay off the debt. It’s not complicated when you have more collateral.”
I said it as if I were checking, but the end was harsh. It was a fear of saying that if you do it like that with nothing in your stomach, you could be in big trouble.
At the gruesome sound, Sofia look at Lawrence as if she were playing. Soon she bowed her head in his frosty smile.
“Please wait a little longer. There will be a solution if my brother returns from the East.”
I had to buy some time somehow to avoid being driven out into the streets. It was his absence that he owed a lot of money in the first place. So anything would have been solved only when he came back.
“Will he be back here? Rumor has it that the owner of House Sallator was killed in the rebellion in the Ryeoguk region.”
Lawrence asked Sofia again.
“What? My brother dead?”
She was surprised as if she had been struck by lightning.
“Didn’t you know?”
When he asked back, Sofia coughed for breath. Her face was swollen and her blood stood on her neck, and soon she trembled.
The gentlemen turned their heads, saying they might get infected too.
Then a clear voice shook the crowd.
“You’re talking too much!”
All eyes turned to the drawing-room. There stood a girl who looked about seventeen years old. Her dark hair, which was well over, slender face, and her white skin was spotless and clean. However the appearance of the girl was very interesting! I thought she was a Westerner but seems like something Asian-like mixed person.
The gentlemen’s eyes were wide open. They all tilted their heads at the first race in the world.
“You look amazing.” The secretary vented her mind unconsciously. She was still not a mature woman who was hard to be able to called pretty.
No, it’s unique. It was the first thought Lawrence had ever seen a girl.
The neat eyebrows seemed to have been drawn with a brush, and the slightly raised corners of the eyes were unpretentious. The nose, neither too big nor too small, was smooth as if it had been made out of white clay, and the small but thick lips were vivid scarlet. Above all, the eyes of the girl was the most powerful.
The eyelashes that cover the pupils are dark black, but the eyes are amber. It was a rare strange eyeball in the Empire. Especially, I wondered if the hair that was wavy without any curls was real human hair.