IBMV – 8.2

The Editor cleared his voice urgently. He stooped back and forth, even though his opponent was not in front of him. 

“Isn’t this Lord Spencer? To what do I owe the pleasure?” 

-I will not tolerate tardiness for your bill this month. I must receive the full amount on the due date.

It was like a bolt of lightning struck him out of the blue. 

Feeling his hand holding the phone grow oily with cold sweat, the Editor asked. 

“The other day… didn’t you say you would extend the expiration date? Didn’t you?” 

– Things have changed. You’ll have to pay me back on the due date. 

The money was borrowed at a time when the newspaper was in bad shape. 

The Editor irrefutable proof that Princess Ashford had a relationship with a slave. 

‘If you write this article, you can make a fortune and pay back the debt. But if you fail to pay back the money you borrowed before that, you will go bankrupt.’ 

The expiration date was tomorrow. 

“Please…! Please give us more time!”

The editor-in-chief begged for help, but the answer was firm. 

When he implored him to tell me why he was doing this, the Editor heard the sound of Lord Spencer clicking his tongue. 

-Hey Editor. You’ve messed with the wrong person. 

“What do you mean by that?” 

-Princess Ashford. She’s a scary woman. I don’t even want to turn her into an enemy. 

At Lord Spencer’s words, the Editor grasped a series of events only then. 

The princess had orchestrated this all in retaliation for the articles.

Because she had let it go once the Editor had thought it would be acceptable to do it again.

“Hahahaha!” 

‘Is this how it feels to fall from heaven to hell overnight?’ The Editor laughed like a madman, but in the end, he couldn’t accept reality and drank himself to sleep. 

***

Hanson habitually opened his mailbox before going to work. The mail came, and he opened the envelope on the spot. Upon reading the contents, his face turned pale. 

It was none other than a court order. 

The report said that he had been reported for trespassing on private property, so he was asked to appear at the court.

Hanson’s head was dazed for a moment. 

He didn’t think anyone noticed him sneaking into the Duke’s estate. 

‘The crime of trespassing on private property is a misdemeanor that ends with a fine. Don’t panic. Once you’ve published this article, you’ll make a lot of money too. There won’t be a problem.’

Hanson went to work with a false sense of hope in his heart. 

‘I’ll publish an article with even more compelling content than last time. Again, newspapers will be selling like hotcakes.’ 

Arriving at the office with such a happy imagination, a fellow reporter spoke with a severe look on his face. “Hey, Hanson. What a disaster!”  

“···?” 

“Our newspaper is going under!”

Hanson retorted back with an expression of incredulity.

“Nice prank.” 

But after hearing the whole story from a fellow reporter, he was speechless.

Belatedly, Hanson realized how enormous a mistake he had committed. 

Princess Ashford. 

She was a ferocious tiger he had poked thinking it was a kitten. 

Realizing it was too late to remedy the hopeless situation, Hanson flopped into his chair, muttering miserably. 

“I’m screwed now, ·····.” 

A few days later, <Daily gossip> went out of print without even a whisper. 

People vaguely wondered what had happened to the active newspaper that had suddenly disappeared.

Hearsay had it that the newspaper had slandered a noble—there was curiosity as to who it was but fear at offending such an influential aristocrat outweighed any inclinations of inquisitiveness. 

Sometimes knowing was dangerous. 

*** 

“My lady, I have followed through with the punishment as you ordered.” 

I was pleased to hear the progress report from the butler. 

“Good work.” 

The butler bowed his head and then took something out of his inner pocket. 

“These are the pictures.”

The butler laid the pictures down on my desk and then exited the study. 

There were dozens of photos from the picnic.

I was surprised at the pile and tsk-ed my tongue at the reporter’s enthusiasm. 

I’ll have to hide these pictures and keep them in a safe place. 

Some photographs were misleading and would definitely make tongues wag.

Namely, the picture of Kian tilting his head and “kissing me.” 

I had an idea what it would look like when taken at an angle, but when I saw the picture, I felt my face get hot inexplicably.

*** 

Having taken care of the newspaper that hadn’t known it’s place, I decided to celebrate. 

That evening, I was going to have dinner with Kian at a restaurant downtown. 

“It’s famous for lobster dishes from the southern part of the country.” 

In the carriage, I showed the restaurant’s promotional brochure to Kian.

He said in a slightly jittery voice. 

“I like seafood dishes.” 

His pure expectation was so cute that I laughed unintentionally. 

“What’s your favorite item on the menu? Is there anything you can’t eat?” 

While excitedly chatting to Kian, the carriage stopped in front of the restaurant. 

‘I hope the chef makes food that suits Kian’s taste,’ I thought as we entered the restaurant.

“Oh my… Kian?” 

A lady I had never seen before suddenly put on a show, as if she were announcing that she knew Kian.

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