"I have a daughter by name Kusandria. Tonnara's little sister. She was married off to Boldrin House of Vantaroy, but five years ago, right after Tonnara's passing, she came to me with a preposterous proposal."
"'Managing Goncourt House is far beyond Zepus's ability. You should adopt my third son and make him be the next in line', thus she spoke."
Once someone has been married off, they are considered a member of that other family. There are cases where those daughters come back as the successor of their former houses, but only if there is no other heir left, and Goncourt was not in one such state then. This proposal by Kusandria was not right and went way over her bounds.
"Whose adopted son?"
"Mine. She wanted me to adopt her son. Of course I shut down such an absurd proposal. I also warned her to stay in line. However, Kusandria learned nothing. She would frequently make the same proposal many times after."
"Did the idea really come from Kusandria-sama herself?"
"Good insight as expected of you Norma-dono. No, it cannot be. That girl may be haughty but she doesn't have the wit. I am thinking that it must be a scheme plotted by the wife of previous head of Boldrin, Cassandra."
"I believe she's the same age as me at 71. That woman is like an apparition. Goncourt House would be sucked dry down to the bones if we had that thing's grandkid as our heir."
"That was when Zepus-sama passed away."
"That might be meant to be. I cannot imagine how would this house fare with that kid on the helm. Cassandra would likely send her mole and manipulate Zepus as she likes. As a matter of fact, not an insignificant number of my relatives believed Dopus should have been the heir instead."
Norma had no idea at all about their complex situation. Even this flourishing noble house had such a strife going on internally.
"To be perfectly frank with you, there are parts of me and Kanner who were relieved when Dopus became the only choice as the heir to Goncourt. That is an undeniable truth."
Norma wouldn't say anything to that. Zepus may have been killed by Lecan, but you could say that Norma was the impetus for the event. She feels that she's like a plague to Goncourt House.
"I have no idea whether Kusandria knew about that, but she finally started making a huge push to make her son our heir. At first it was only letters, but nowadays, she has been sending a messenger every month. Had the other party not House of Boldrin, we would have cut down such shameless messengers."
"However, even if Boldrin holds power at the metropolis Vantaroy, they're still in another territory. Can't you just ignore them?"
"That's the thing. In my negligence, Kusandria has allied herself with her mother, Narae, family, Ramo Company. Ramo Company had fallen from power, pushed down by Chaney Company last year. This town is currently prospering, there are many business opportunities to be found. And yet, Chaney Company completely snatched away all of those opportunities without leaving any. Kusandria made use of that fact."
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"Yes, the town does indeed feels more lively now."
"Hahaha. Business under direct management of our house has been booming as well for the past four months. And it doesn't look to be receding for a while. Besides, us House of Goncourt holds the biggest stake in Chaney Company. Chaney Company's prosperity is also our house's. Kusandria, no Cassandra is very much aware of that too."
"What is the purpose of telling me all this internal matter?"
"Please bear with me a little longer. Dopus has a daughter, but she's still two of age. Moreover, Dopus's wife has a gentle disposition unfit for conflicts."
"Fortunately, I was yet to formally announce Dopus's right of succession. I was planning for a year of mourning period at least. By the way, do you know about Zepus's children?"
"No. I am not informed."
"He has two kids. The eldest son, Gaipus is five, the eldest daughter, Elfus is three."
"I suppose, Gaipus-sama will bear the right then."
"I do intend to let Gaipus be the heir. However, he's still five. And I am 71. Were I die, Gaipus would not be able to manage our house, and Kusandria would strut around like she owns everything."
There's no affections in his words whenever Prado talks about his daughter, Kusandria. Even though the fact that he let her daughter marry off must have been partly for the sake of Goncourt House. Or perhaps it's because this Kusandria has been completely taken over by Cassandra.
"And we have one more problematic issue. Dopus's little sister, Tendoria. She's married to a member of Haddis in this town. House of Haddis has started calling for Tendoria's eldest son to succeed Goncourt lately. Tendoria's eldest son is still eight."
"However, Haddis is of a higher standing than Goncourt. And being a noble house in the same town, they have many ways to intervene. This cannot be left alone either."
Last year, Prado's state was such that he could have died anytime within that year. He's fortunately back on his feet now, but there's no telling how long that'd last.
In other word, House of Goncourt is presently dire straits.
"There is one way to break the deadlock we are stuck at."