Chapter 47: Sophia Philinover (2)

“Whoooo….”

Milton sighed exhaustedly in his room after the banquet was over. He had no idea how many young ladies he had danced with. And as for his disappointment in the ladies who had tried their best to initiate bodily contact with every dance… 

“That was great. What a catch.”

Nope, there was no such disappointment. It’s not like he’s a hero in a romance novel who considers all females as rocks until the heroine comes along. How could Milton not like his popularity with the women when he was single? With a clenched fist, Milton recalled all the young ladies he had met today. 

“Although the portraits were all exaggerated and a scam, they were still quite beautiful.”

Looks-wise, the aristocratic young ladies were all above average. This was because, in most cases, the mothers would all be very beautiful, so the young ladies all had a genetic advantage. Not to mention, the aristocratic ladies all paid attention to their faces and took special care, unlike the commoners. For a good match, not only is the family prestige important, but the beauty of the person was equally important.

Many young ladies often dream of a man of higher status falling in love at first sight with their beauty and marrying them. Of course, the man in their dreams is handsome, powerful, and above all, only loves her. They were basically imagining a Cinderella story where they were the main character, but it’s not like it never happens. There have been cases where the young lady wields her beauty as a weapon and marries way above her station. So it’s natural for them to have an above-average beauty.

‘Well, there’s no one as beautiful as the Charlotte Merchant Company’s head. But then, her beauty wasn’t that of a human but that of a fox spirit.”

Anyways, in Milton’s life, no, not even in Park Moonsoo’s life, he has never been this popular with beautiful ladies before. How could Milton not enjoy the peak of his life when it came running to him like this?

“Shall I start meeting with them one-on-one tomorrow? The first person should be…”

Milton smiled happily as he recalled the shortlist of candidates in his mind. 

The day after the banquet.

Instead of returning to their own territories, many of the nobles continued to stay in the Forrest Territory. All of them had one thing in common, they all had daughters. In order to match their daughter to Milton, the nobles spared no effort. Thanks to that, Milton was able to meet one beautiful young lady per day. During the meetings, Milton carefully considered which of those ladies would be decent enough to marry. And so, ten days passed. 

“They all kinda suck.”

Milton sighed after meeting ten women in ten days. He wasn’t trying to be picky. He thought it’d be easy to pick a suitable wife since there were so many candidates. But once he had met them personally, such thoughts disappeared.

‘I want to tell the people in Korea who call women gold-diggers to come and live here.’

This was a completely different level. They all pretended to be modest at the banquet hall, but it was all a lie. Is it because they think that since Milton was meeting with them privately, he must have feelings for them? They quickly showed their true colors. 

One woman subtly hinted that she didn’t want to spend her entire life in the country, so they should quickly move to the Capital. Another woman was pretentious and thought she was better since her family was more traditional.

But the worst one was the woman Milton had met yesterday. Every action she made revealed just how arrogant she was. The most decisive factor was when the serving maid accidentally broke the plate and dirtied her dress. She immediately slapped the serving maid across the face in front of Milton.

Then calmly spoke…

[Since there is no Lady in the house, the servants naturally have no respect. Do not worry, My Lord, I will correct that.]

Full of pride as though her actions had been correct. 

“Truly eye-opening. She’s vain but doesn’t have basic manners. That’s what it is.”

No matter how much Milton thought about it, he just couldn’t get married to such women. He’d much rather live as a bachelor. 

“I can’t help it. It’s not that I’m not marrying, it’s that I can’t marry.”

Muttering to himself, Milton decided to forget about marriage for the time being. 

However…

“My Lord, a guest has come.”

“A guest? Didn’t I say I won’t be seeing anyone today?”

After dealing with vain aristocratic young ladies, Milton had wanted to forget about everything and just take a break.

“That is… Young Lady Philinover says she really wants to see you, My Lord.”

“Damn it…”

Milton couldn’t help but curse. He was tired and annoyed, and now there was a woman who was forcing her way in…

“Tell her I’m tired today and can’t meet with her.”

“Yes, My Lord.”

Milton sent his chamberlain back. 

A while later…

“My Lord, as she left, Young Lady Philinover asked me to pass this on to you.”

“Huh? What is it?”

“I’m not sure what it is, My Lord. She asked that I deliver it to you and then left.”

The chamberlain was holding several large paper scrolls. 

‘It’s too big to be a letter. Wonder what it is.’

Intrigued, Milton decided to check its contents. 

“Here, give it to me.”

Milton received the scrolls from the chamberlain and opened them. 

Then…

“This is… a blueprint?”

Blueprints were drawn on the scrolls. And they weren’t just ordinary blueprints either.

“Isn’t this a blueprint of our territory?”

Looking at the drawings, even Milton, who knew nothing about civil engineering, was able to see at a glance that it was almost professionally done. 

“City planning, outer wall extension, port development, and road planning?

The blueprints were either what was currently being worked on or what must be done for the development of Forrest Territory.

“…Who did you say delivered these?”

“The daughter of Baron Philinover delivered them, My Lord.”

“Philinover? Philinover… Philinover… Ah! Is it that person?”

After muttering the name a couple of times, Milton was able to remember meeting Baron Philinover during the banquet. Amongst the nobles who had attended the banquet, Baron Philinover a newcomer. He had been active in the Capital until moving to the Southern Region three years ago. Although the exact reason was unknown, it’s said that when a noble from the Capital moves down South, it means that the family has collapsed. He had also invested the least amount in the port development. 

“What reason could he have to have his daughter deliver this to me?”

Milton was deeply absorbed in thought looking at the blueprints from Baron Philinover. While Milton had received a lot of gifts from the other nobles, this was his favorite. He felt as though the Baron had seen the direction Forrest Territory was developing in and had given Milton guidelines to help move forward.

‘I should meet with her.’

“Request Lady Philinover to come.”

“Yes, My Lord.”

Although Milton had gotten tired of meeting with the young ladies, it became a different story if he was meeting them for business. 

A while later.

A beauty with slightly curled, bright red hair soon appeared in front of Milton.

“I am Sophia Philinover. It is an honor to see you again, Count Forrest.”

Sophia gracefully greeted Milton.

‘She definitely feels like a Capital’s noble.’

While Southern nobles weren’t mannerless, they lacked the sophistication due to subtle differences. Compared to them, the young lady in front of Milton was both clever and sophisticated.

“It’s a pleasure to see you. But, you came much quicker than I had expected.”

“Yes, I didn’t leave and instead waited in front of the manor in case you asked for me.”

Milton perked up.

‘If you consider the aristocratic young lady’s pride, that couldn’t have been an easy thing to do…’

Thinking she had been harshly ordered by her father, Milton felt a bit sorry for her. 

“I wasn’t feeling well, so I took the day off. I apologize for making you wait.”

“No, Count Forrest. It was my fault for coming so suddenly without notice. I’m just happy to have met you today.”

Milton saw her gently smiling. 

‘Her face and clothing are innocent, so why does she seem so sexy? Is it because of her hair color?’

It really was because of her hair color. If you looked just at Sophia’s face, then she looked gentle and innocent, but her fire-red hair color gave her a seductive image. There were a lot of reddish-brown hair colors, but Sophia’s hair was much brighter and closer to a true red color. 

When she smiled, her innocently seductive look was like an arrow straight to a man’s heart. 

“Cough…”

‘Let’s focus. Focus.’

After losing himself to her beauty, Milton shook himself awake and focused back on the main point. 

“The gift you gave me was intriguing.”

Sophia gave him a bright smile.

“Thank you for the acknowledgment.”

“It looked like the work of an expert architect? Could you please tell me whose work it is?”

At that, Sophia blushed and shyly responded.

“Such overwhelming praise, My Lord. An expert architect? I’m embarrassed by such praise when I’ve only ever self-studied.” 

“Wait. You’re telling me…?”

Milton was truly surprised. 

“Lady Philinover, are you saying you drew those blueprints?”

“Yes, although I’m embarrassed to say so, those were done by me, they are my children.”

“……”

Milton was dumbfounded. Could this young lady be lying to him right now? Could she be that reckless? But why tell a lie that could be uncovered instantly?

‘Shall I check it?’

“I have a couple of questions I wanted to ask.”

“Of course.”

“In the blueprints for the city planning…”

Milton began to ask questions about the parts he had been curious about. If she wasn’t the one who had drawn them, it would be obvious.

But…

“It became like that because I prioritized transportation. Once the residential areas were built, I thought it would be better to maximize transportation from the beginning rather than repurchasing land and moving residents to expand the road after it had all been built. And over there…”

There was no pause in her answer. She knew the structure and purpose of the blueprint so well that she was able to answer Milton’s question without glancing at it. 

‘She really drew it? Aristocratic young lady architect? Unbelievable. It’s not like she’s a 21st-century Korean female living alone and interior decorating…’

Milton was dumbfounded. This was like saying that she was an idol but liked to do hard labor as a hobby. At least, that’s how Milton felt. Sophia Philinover certainly was unique. Milton wanted to know what her abilities were like. 

[Sophia Philinover]

Architect LV. 2

Strength - 05          Command - 25

Intellect - 79                 Politics - 52

Loyalty - 05

Special Traits - Architecture, Civil Engineering, Art. 

Architecture LV.5: Has an excellent sense in designing buildings effectively.

Civil Engineering LV.6: Shows excellent ability in the construction of civil engineering facilities such as roads, bridges, and levees.

Art LV.4: The aesthetic sense is excellent and the perspective in viewing arts and crafts increases.

‘That’s surprising. She’s really an architect?’

Doubting her abilities even after checking the status window was meaningless. Even more so, her talent as an architect was incredible. That her intelligence stat had reached 79 was proof of that. Because her knowledge in architecture and civil engineering was so great, her intelligence stat was close to 80. And on top of that, all her special traits were related to architecture. These traits would not have come if she didn’t have extensive knowledge about the civil engineering industry, everything from the small buildings to the national infrastructure. 

“In this part, the city’s drainage system is arranged by taking advantage of the difference in terrain…”

Sophia had been elated to expound upon her blueprint that she had been endlessly explaining while Milton had been admiring her. 

“Cough… Lady Philinover. May I ask a question?”

“Of course, any time My Lord.”

Her eyes shined as if begging Milton to continue asking her questions about architecture. 

“You’re a young lady from a noble family, so how do you have such deep knowledge about architecture?”

Sophia blushed as though she had just realized where she was.

“Forgive me. It’s a bit strange, isn’t it? That a woman is so fascinated by architecture…”

Seeing her crestfallen, Milton responded.

“I think it’s unique.”

Shoulders drooping, Sophia replied, “I… I love architecture. From an early age…”

“You like architecture?”

“Yes, I’ve liked it since I was a child.”

“That’s a pretty peculiar liking.”

“Yes, it’s a bit unusual.”

Sophia smiled bitterly and began to talk about her childhood. 

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