Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
After a brief moment of silence, Klein raised the black tea and took a sip. He said with a smile, “It’s something that can be considered, but Emperor Roselle once said to never be in a rush to make a decision. Only after repeated comparison will one receive the best answer.
“Are there any other options?”
Walter, who wore a white glove, replied without any abnormality to his expression, “Phelps Street would also satisfy your request. I recall that Unit 9 is available for rent. It’s a two-story villa with more than ten rooms. It comes with a stable, the servants’ quarters, and a small garden. The furniture and wares are relatively old, but they’re considered decent. The annual rent is 220 pounds.”
That’s quite a reasonable price… Reasonable… However, Phelps Street means that it’s less than 100 meters away from Saint Samuel Cathedral. Although this does help in being right under their noses, many of the pedestrians will be Nighthawks. It would be very inconvenient for me to leave and return, making it easy to make mistakes… Klein, who originally had a budget of about 160 pounds, suddenly felt 220 pounds was a pretty good price after undergoing the catharsis of the gardened manor’s price.
This made him suspect whether Butler Walter had deliberately offered him an expensive choice at the very beginning.
Klein pondered for a few seconds and said, “Any others?”
Walter replied without showing any signs of impatience, “160 Böklund Street is also available for rent. It’s a three-story house which also comes with a garden, a stable, servants’ quarters. There are more than ten rooms, but its location isn’t as good as Unit 32. The decorations, furniture, and wares can be considered decent. It has an annual rent of 315 pounds.”
315 pounds… The rental fee flashed past Klein’s slightly numb mind. He asked in thought, “What do you suggest?”
At that moment, he had already decided on an answer, but as an employer, he wasn’t in a rush to express his decision. This was because he would easily be belittled if his decision had a slip up in common knowledge.
Walter seriously thought and said, “160 Böklund Street.
“In comparison, the neighbors here will be more helpful in entering high society. As for Unit 32, it’s overly extravagant. To rent it immediately will make your surrounding neighbors believe that you lack the necessary self-restraint, making it seem inappropriate.”
To put it simply, to rent a house costing 1,260 pounds a year so easily will make neighbors define me as an ostentatious nouveau riche… To a tycoon who’s trying to enter high society, such a reputation will be terrible… Klein sipped his black tea and asked with a smile, “Then, why did you offer me the selection of 32 Böklund Street?”
Walter unhurriedly bowed and said, “Honorable sir, I’m only a butler. My responsibility isn’t to decide, but to present all suitable options and give you certain suggestions for your consideration.
“In a situation where I’m unaware of your exact preferences, I have to do my best to provide you with all possible options.”
Very professional… He’s likely worried that Dwayne Dantès is a nouveau riche who enjoys flaunting his wealth, so he first gave the choice of 32 Böklund Street as a way to probe me, so as to adjust his suggestions and management style… Klein smiled and said, “Let’s eliminate Unit 32. We shall choose one of the two.
“Before I make the decision, I’m accustomed to paying a visit. Let’s head off after lunch.”
“Yes, sir.” Walter continued wearing that stern, old-fashioned expression.
South of the Bridge, Harvest Church.
Emlyn White was wiping the silver candle stands as he was mulling over the clues provided by Miss Magician.
A secret Beyonder gathering… That’s equivalent to providing no clues. It will be rather difficult to pursue the matter. And I won’t be able to participate in the gathering in short notice… Emlyn observed himself in the silver stand’s surface as he combed his hair.
Then, he put down the wiping cloth, retreated to the first pew in the cathedral, and sat down as he watched Bishop Utravsky praying seriously before the altar with his gaze unfocused.
Thoughts came to his mind as they occasionally created sparks. Emlyn suddenly grasped a detail.
Why would a puppet that garners the Primordial Moon believer’s immense interest happen to appear?
Moon Puppet… This feels like it’s bait. C-could it be a trap designed by Rus Báthory and the others? Emlyn’s eyes lit up as he suddenly stood up.
Rus Báthory was a Sanguine Baron who was participating in the hunting competition. He was viewed by Emlyn as his strongest competitor.
The more Emlyn thought about it, the more he found it as a possibility. This was because he knew that Báthory was an antique enthusiast, one who especially enjoyed collecting all sorts of strange trinkets from the Southern Continent!
After pacing back and forth a few times, he curled the corners of his lips and chuckled. He silently said, I have no way of entering the Beyonder gathering to seek out the location of Windsor, but I can monitor Rus Báthory and finish off the target before he does!
Haha, I look forward to his expression when that happens.
Yes, Miss Magician’s clue is indeed worth 100 pounds.
Just as Emlyn was feeling abnormally excited, Father Utravsky ended his prayers, walked over, and looked down at him. He said with a gentle voice, “Our piousness is not in our language, but in every detail of our body language. You were not being focused enough today.
“Wipe the candle stand again.”
“A-alright,” Emlyn replied, suddenly feeling ashamed.
After the priest turned to walk to the confessional, he snapped to his senses as he muttered, amused and incensed, I’m not pious at all. I don’t have to appear pious!
Rows of straight Intis parasol trees lined both ends of the street, making the streets appear beautiful and tranquil. With his gold-inlaid cane in hand, Klein slowly walked out of Unit 160.
He silently drew a breath and turned to look at Walter.
“Tell the owner that I’m very satisfied.
“I’ll temporarily rent it for a year. We might move to a better place later, such as Empress Borough.”
His words hinted at his ambition to obtain an aristocratic title, as Empress Borough was a place where the nobles gathered.
As for why he didn’t rent half a year to save on money, it was because such high-end estates only accepted long-term contracts. One year was the minimum.
To be frank, if money wasn’t an issue, Klein had quite a liking for the house. Its lawn was clean, and the garden was beautiful. The furnishing was befitting, and the wares were exquisite. There were plenty of bedrooms, sufficient furniture, and many washrooms on every floor. Even the stables and servants’ quarters at the back weren’t shoddy work. It was the best residence Klein could’ve ever imagined in the past.
Walter immediately replied, “I’ll hire a solicitor in a while.
“Sir, what specific requests do you have regarding servants?”
Klein strolled underneath the Intis parasol trees and smiled.
“I’d first like to hear your suggestions.”
Walter thought for a moment before saying, “Sir, you will need a housekeeper regardless.”
During the interview, Klein had mentioned that Dwayne Dantès wasn’t married and had no children, nor did he have any mistresses in Backlund; therefore, he didn’t need a lady’s maid.
Dwayne Dantès nodded gently without expressing any intentions. Walter continued, “Her duties would be to manage the female servants and the expenses of the household. Sir, you can’t leave everything to me or the same person. Balance is an art in politics, and it’s also a good method when managing a household. Emperor Roselle once said that absolute power definitely corrupts.
“I’m confident in myself before money, but it’s only confidence.”
Hmm, very honest… A housekeeper is needed. She’ll cost about thirty to forty pounds a year… Klein nodded.
At that moment, Walter was walking behind Klein to his side. He extended his hand to stop a rental carriage.
On the carriage, he continued, “I will get the Family Servant Assistance Association to produce a name list for the selection of the housekeeper. You shall choose her personally, and I won’t provide any suggestions.
“Based on the current residential situation, you will also need a steward who can be male or female. You will need a valet, a lady’s maid in charge of the bedrooms, and two chambermaids who will be in charge of the living room and activity room. Two footmen to valet guests, a parlor maid, a scullery maid, two laundresses, and two handymen.
“Apart from those, you will need a cook, two gardeners, two coachmen or one coachman and an assistant coachman. If necessary, you can have an additional attendant, a steward’s boy, a nursery governess, and a second cook.
“You currently do not have any carriages, but you’ll definitely have two in the future. A four-wheeled carriage costs about 300 pounds. A two-wheeled one costs about 100 pounds…”
As he listened to his butler introduce the required servants in detail, Klein’s mind went numb. He didn’t wish to do the accounts on how much he needed to spend. After all, it was paid on a weekly or monthly basis, and not an annual basis.
Ignoring the attendant, steward’s boy, nursery governess, and second cook, there will be ten to eleven male servants, and the female servants with the housekeeper will number about nine to ten… It’s basically several times what I calculated. Each week’s expenses will exceed 10 pounds… This can only be determined after all of them are hired and their salaries are negotiated… There’s also the carriage… Klein’s mind couldn’t help but drift when he saw Walter’s mouth moving nonstop.
Seeing the staid and extremely dignified Mr. Dwayne Dantès nodding from time to time, Walter subconsciously broadened the topic.
“In the future, you will also need to rent a manor in the suburbs to entertain friends to have a wonderful weekend over there. There’s no rush. It can wait until you hold several dances and banquets at Unit 160…
“Sir, do not mention housemaids in front of the neighbors of this street. Only those with salaries below 500 pounds a year will hire housemaids because they’re unable to hire enough female servants to handle the different parts of the household…”
Klein listened numbly as he reflexively wore a warm smile.
Back at the hotel, he watched Walter leave before he sat back down, his expression collapsing.
When it was twenty minutes to three, Klein rubbed his temples and slowly got up. He went into his bedroom and prepared to begin this week’s Tarot Gathering.