"If I give up this land as part of Mariabelle's dowry, I will have to give an explanation to the kingdom. However, if your highness and Mariabelle were to have a princess, and marry the heir to the kingdom, there would be no problem since the land would be returned to her as part of her dowry."

Renato laughed at James' words.

"To begin with, let's say I have a daughter. Certainly, marrying someone who inherited the blood of His Highness Edward may lead to unhappiness."

"It is true that marrying a man who has the blood of His Highness Edward in his veins may bring misfortune. He might find his true love after marriage," James agreed.

At first, James was furious about the sudden breakup of the engagement, but in hindsight, it was probably still better than being neglected after marriage when she will be told that he had found his true love.

Either way, though, the deed was still a disgusting one.

"If so, what is Sir Berkeley's aim?" Renato said without taking his gaze off James.

After a moment of silence, James let out a sigh and relaxed his shoulders.

"It's simple, Your Highness. It's an insurance policy to keep the Berkeley family alive."

"...Is the situation really that dire?"

James shrugged his shoulders lightly at Renato's question.

"Well, I'm sure you are well aware of that, Your Highness."

"The storehouses in Berkeley's and other nearby houses have very strong locks, rats can't get into them as easily as they can into other warehouses."

"I'll take that as a compliment." James quenched his thirst with a cup of tea.

"The future of the Berkeley family would depend on the upcoming meeting."

James began to explain, choosing his words carefully.

"The truth is, although the mines that have been gifted to us to produce high-quality sapphires, the veins weren't very large, and by the time of the princess's wedding, the number of sapphires being mined had already begun to decline. However... a new vein of rubies has been discovered."

"Have you reported it to the royal family?"

"No. At that time, there was a ruckus over the sudden breakup of the engagement. I wasn't able to report it. However, there were several people from that side of the mine. Perhaps the word has already gotten out."

Renato heard this and wondered what he would have done if he had belonged to the kingdom.

As long as the engagement was broken off, the Marquisate of Berkeley would lose their allegiance to the royal family.

But even now, the wealthy marquisate, ruling over a breadbasket region, doesn't want to get richer.

Moreover, as compensation for breaking off the engagement, they have even connected the mine to Berkeley's territory.

If they couldn't find one, they could fabricate one. If his position was compromised by his crime, he would be unable to oppose it even if he wanted to.

As a result, Marquis Berkeley's faction might abandon the royal family, but what if there were other sources of support?

"The royal family will try to take the mines away from the Berkeley's by saying they had concealed up the report of the discovery of the ruby vein in the mine," Renato said.

"Yes. And my daughter will soon become the queen of the Galleria Empire. It would not be surprising if she was accused of overthrowing the state."

"If it is the crime of overthrowing the state, it is a major crime."

"The whole family would be condemned to death and the Berkeley family would be destroyed."

Renato understood that James' fear was justified, but that won't stop him from taking Mariabelle as his queen.

"Originally, I was going to let her have the lands when I linked her with the imperial nobility. If push came to shove, I could let just my wife and children escape there," James said.

If a daughter of a noble family was given land as a dowry when she married into another country, she would be treated a little differently there.

Taxes are paid to the original country, but the laws and regulations conform to those of the marriage destination. In other words, it becomes a kind of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

"I see. If you are going to be charged with a crime, you might as well have a wide place to escape from the start."

"I hope the royal family will be satisfied with the mine alone."

"If that is the case, the Berkeley family is willing to support the next generation of the royal family of the Galleria Empire."

But James was convinced that probably won't happen.


"I don't think it will be possible. Duke Danzel will sidetrack us."

Renato, who knew the situation in the kingdom well, made the same prediction as James.

"He will be able to take sole responsibility for the kingdom's food supply. Why wouldn't he take advantage of this opportunity?"

The wheat from Berkeley and imported one.

If both were seized, they could be priced as Duke Danzel wished.

The kingdom would gain a shadow ruler without the people's knowledge.