Chapter 115 – Chasing the Counterfeit Money
「That, you do not need to do」
Iris clearly said after showing an instance of panic.
Iris stared at me with the strict expression of hers.
Just looking at that, it would seem that she is seriously telling me to stop, but unfortunately, I have seen her drunk.
It was clear that she was pushing herself.
『She’d get angry if you point that out』
I guess so too.
I agreed with Eleanor.
In this case, saying it strongly from my side would make her show a more stubborn side instead.
If so……I should get information from Helene or Althea first.
And when I was thinking of that, the pub’s door opened.
One knight showed himself and entered in a hurry.
「Your Highness! You are here」
「What happened, Panos?」
The young knight called Panos who seemed very serious and honest stood in front of Iris, and saluted with heels together.
「There is an emergency report that Her Highness must know」
Panos glanced towards me.
「Do not mind Viscount Yuuki. Tell me the report first」
Panos answered and then said while staring at Iris with a serious face.
「We found out that paper notes of unknown origin are circulating in the market」
「What did you say?」
Iris narrowed her eyebrows.
「This is one」
Panos took out one paper note.
It looks exactly like the real one with a glance. It was completely the same with the one that Iris showed me before.
However, Iris took that, and with just a glance.
「It’s true, it’s fake」
「Eh? How did you know?」
Iris pointed at the small letter beside the King’s portrait in the middle.
It is just two letters, but what is that?
Iris explained as if she understood my doubts.
「That’s right, Kakeru Yuuki’s『Ka』. Mercouri’s paper notes have the letters Ka, Ke, Ru, Yu, U, Ki for each bill. More specifically, there is another rule, but there would be at least one of those」
「What are you doing without permission!」
「I put it in secretly, praising Kakeru’s achievement」
「It wasn’t just on the portrait of the coin……?」
I got amazed.
My face is being used on the coins that are being reissued together with the paper notes.
I heard that before, so I knew about it.
It was the first time I heard about the paper note though.
「Ones that have letters other than those, in short, they’re fake」
「So, what is it with that?」
Iris asked Panos.
Panos said and casted magic on the paper note.
The next instant, the paper note shined and a certain emblem appeared.
Mercouri’s Royal Family’s emblem appeared after reacting to the magic.
Iris’s complexion changed.
I took out Helene’s fan that I have always brought with me and casted the same magic.
It’s the one that I got from Helene when I saved her when I just came to this world. I casted the same magic for that and an emblem appeared.
There is a magic that only those from Mercouri Kingdom’s Royal Family can use.
When that magic is used, a certain emblem would be embedded in the object the magic was used on.
And, I’m the one who suggested to Iris about using that to issue paper notes that are impossible to counterfeit since it is a magic that only those of the Royal Family could use.
However, right now, a fake note with that emblem appeared.
「What does this mean?」
「Does it mean that a person other than those of the royal family was able to use that magic?」
「That is impossible!」
Iris clearly denied.
「It is not a high-level magic. Even a three-year-old from the royal family could use it, but no one can use it other than the royal family, it is such a thing」
「That means……someone from the royal family made this?」
I remembered the delusion that my acquaintance told me in the past.
Even in the real world, most of the paper notes are printed by the country, that is, using a special machine.
It is a delusion about, if one were able to obtain that machine that the country uses, they would be able to spend a rich life by making “real” fake notes.
That is similar to this situation. The royal family is that special machine, and this is the substantially real fake notes.
「Such thing……there is no way. Everyone from the royal family are decent people」
「Wouldn’t there be exceptions that couldn’t be managed?」
「Even so, it is impossible」
Iris continued to assert.
「Everyone knows about Kakeru. Everyone from the royal family knows about the letters put in here was from Kakeru’s name. That is why, even if those from the royal family does such unscrupulous thing, there is no reason for them to use a name other than Kakeru’s」
『Kukuku ,that’s exactly right. There is no need to change that intentionally. If they know about it and are able to use magic, they should just make the real one」
「I see. It means」
I thought for a little.
I thought, organizing the situation.
「It means that, it is work by a person who can use the royal family’s magic, although not involved in the issuing of the money」
Iris made a solemn face and nodded.
Such person does not exist, but the situation says otherwise. She had that face.
She started to think with such face.
I stared at her.
It is a solemn face, but a good one.
It fits very well with Iris’s usual atmosphere, a face of a woman I like.
It is much better than the face she had drinking, and even being stubborn in the end.
I stared at her for a while, but finally, Iris said to Panos with a resolute face.
「Let’s return. We must first find out where this came from. Everything starts from there」
I stopped her.
「You want to know where the fake notes came from right? If so, I have an idea」
Every man knows his own business best.
I warped to Delfina’s place taking Iris with me.
Inside the Merchant Company, in Delfina’s room.
I sat with Iris on the sofa with Delfina sitting across us.
I handed her the fake note and explained the situation.
「And so, I want you to investigate it」
「Why are you asking her?」
「I told you, every man knows his own business best, right? If you want to know the flow of money, you must consult a merchant」
「If it is a great merchant like Delfina, she’d easily find it out」
「Ara, is that compliment?」
「I only said what I seriously thought」
「Fufu. I only need to investigate where this came from hu」
「Yeah, right away, if possible. Can you do it?」
「”Right away”, is impossible」
Is it something that is difficult even for Delfina?
Although this is just my impression, I thought that I can leave it to her, and she would find it within a day.
「Right away is impossible, but I can do “already”」
Iris and I got surprised.
Delfina smiled gracefully, and “PanPan”, clapped her hands.
The door immediately opened and her subordinates entered in bulk.
There were several bundle of notes placed on the table between me and Delfina.
「It is those fake notes」
「What did you say!」
Iris lost herself, took a bundle, stared at it intently, and casted the magic.
The notes showed an emblem, and then, Iris checked the letters mentioned before, flipping each note.
「All of them are fake」
I asked Delfina.
「Is this all of it?」
「It is just a part」
Delfina answered with a casual face and Iris’s expression tightened.
「After all, it is something that had started to circulate in the market a little while before. We accepted all of those that we could, kept them, and searched where it came from」
「Kept and investigated……? Did you knew that these are fakes?」
Come to think of it, that’s right.
I also looked at Delfina with eyes saying “how did you know?”.
「I knew with a glance that『Kakeru Yuuki』is put in these after all. Including the reason for it」
Iris raised her voice.
She became flushed with red in an instant.
Delfina continued without pointing that out.
「That’s why, I immediately understood that those that were not like that were fake」
「And from then on, I gathered them as much as I could, and searched for their source」
「Can you tell me where’s the source?」
「I am a merchant you know?」
Delfina smiled gracefully.
Just like Iris’s crisp expression, I like this smile of Delfina.
「What do you want in return?」
「As long as the fake notes that we have gathered are bought at ten times their price, then」
「That’s really like you」
『And, she is gathering tons of them, and additionally, she’s probably continuing to do so』
That is Delfina.
「Is that good?」
I asked Iris, and Iris nodded.
We gained a clue from Delfina.