Gordon, the old butler, handed her books, warehouse keys, and seals.
The butler was an old man whose hair was all white.
However, his movement of handing over the objects was polite and disciplined like he was trained to be.
Nadia’s expression became slightly subtle as she looked at it.
‘….He is giving it to me so easily, though?’
Ledger, key, seal.
All three were objects that symbolized a wife’s position.
Of course, it was also because it was almost impossible to force a hostess of the house to leave out of the household’s affairs.
Nevertheless, it was unexpected for him to let Nadia take over so easily.
She expected there would be some rejection.
Nadia looked down at the objects she was handed over suspiciously.
‘Is it just an imitation… No, I would have noticed right away.’
Then, why would he hand over the rights of the hostess of the house to Nadia so easily?
Her eyes darkened for the possible reason.
She calmly skipped through each number in the ledger.
There was only the sound of the pages turning for a long time.
And when she turned the last page, she found out a very surprising fact.
“Why are there so many debts?”
Nadia had known the situation in the Winterfell family wasn’t good from her previous life, but this amount was too much.
Nadia doubted her eyes.
The situation was more serious than she expected.
She wondered if someone had siphoned off a lot of funds, but at least the numbers in the ledger were not very empty.
Then, what the hell was the reason for a fine territory to be in debt?
The butler replied with a gloomy face.
“It can’t be helped due to the nature of the North.
Every few years, monster attacks happen, the land is barren, it’s not like our trade has developed, we don’t have any specialties…”
“Don’t you get settlements from the royal family for conquering monsters every year?”
It was her father who deliberately reduced the settlement funds.
Even such a father would realize that he was too much if he saw the debt amount.
“W-We were able to endure it so far because we still had the previous settlement! Moreover, this year, the Karla’ai expedition overlapped with monster hunting.
We had to cover the household expenses with the settlement funds we don’t have.”
“You shouldn’t have participated in the expedition! There’s no way that you didn’t know that war costs a lot of money!”
“We didn’t want to participate either! We were in a difficult position, too! But to clear our name, someone used military duty reasoning to force us to–.
The butler freaked out and covered Fabian’s mouth.
Although he didn’t continue what he was about to say, Nadia got the picture.
“That somebody… has to be my father.”
Um, that is..
Madam, I mean…..”
Nadia sighed and palmed her face.
There was no place he hadn’t destroyed, that bloody father.
Although Nadia had never did it herself, people’s household shouldn’t fall apart so easily.
Winterfell’s vassals wouldn’t look at her nicely.
‘Well, I have made plans to make money anyway…’
Still, there was no way that it would be an easy task because there was a huge amount of debts piled up.
Nadia sighed as she rubbed her face over and over again.
Let’s say you got this debt for the Karla’ai expedition.
But since, you won, you should be able to receive your share accordingly.”
“Ah, that… As you already know, since the land of Karla’ai is initially a wasteland….”
Contrary to what people knew, the war was originally caused by the King’s pride.
The King wouldn’t let a mere savage wander around the western border of his so great kingdom.
He succeeded in evicting the savages far away, but that was all.
In other words, it was an expedition where there was nothing to gain from the win.
Nadia made a long painful sound inside her head. How did Marquis Winterfell solved all these debts in his previous life?
No matter how hard she tried to look through her memories, nothing came to her mind.
The butler brought a glass of cold water for Nadia who had been groaning for a some time.
He seemed to bring it to calm the heat came from her head.
Then, he said with a gentle voice.
“Madam, I have a good solution.”
Nadia raised her head quickly.
“Although the relationship between the family is not good, you have become a member of the Winterfell family…”
My last name is Winterfell now.”
“In that sense, I mean….”
The butler subtly lowered his voice.
“If Madam would pay off the debt using the dowry when the situation gets bad… I think it would be a really great help.”
The butler had this saying through his eyes.
No matter if Nadia liked it or hated to be a part of the Winterfell family, she would have to live in the North for the rest of her life anyway.
Her reputation in the mansion wasn’t good because of her family, and if she gave the dowry to his husband’s family at times like this, it would be a win-win situation.
‘So you’re asking me to save you….’
Nadia was finally able to realize why the butler handed over the ledger and the seals so easily.
It wasn’t a test, but a request to be willing to resolve the financial situation in the Winterfell family before it collapsed.
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