At lunch, I told Veirya and Leah, “I need to make a trip to the city; it won’t take long, so I won’t bring you two along.”
Veirya nodded calmly then lowered her head to continue eating. Leah, on the other hand, looked surprised: “Papa, are you going to the city for something?”
“Yeah, Papa has some business. It’s very complicated. Papa needs to visit the bank to see if Papa can get the machine and mine.”
I thought that it’d be excessively complex to explain loans and pawning things. Leah and Veirya didn’t understand the concepts of bank loans and company shares.
Company shares and bank loans had only just been introduced in this world. In reality, the two things, bank loans in particular, were fantastic. As aforementioned, what banks did was actually convert your credibility into a tangible product in the same way that nations turned credibility into money. You required credibility or something that could represent your credibility to pawn it with the bank in exchange for money.
The issue was that pawning an item in exchange for money was what someone with no class would do. Anyone with a couple of brain cells wouldn’t choose that route. A skilled individual could make it happen with empty hands. Banks and company shares had a glaring flaw. For instance, if I bought a hundred gold coins worth of shares, I’d have a shareholder right in the company, which, in turn, allowed me to receive a bonus annually. That bonus would convince the bank I could repay the loan and interest that came with the loan. Further, I could use the share as collateral to exchange it for money. Then, I could use the money to buy shares. Then, I could use a larger share as collateral in exchange for more money. That allowed me to go off and buy shares of the company yet again until I possessed fifty-one percent of the shares, thereby becoming the biggest shareholder.
Once I reached that point, I’d acquire ownership of the company. I just needed to repay the bank the sum for fifty-one percent of shares that I bought. Moreover, I didn’t need to immediately pay the sum. I could purposely sit back and wait for the annual bonus to pay it off.
How much was my capital in the deal? That would be the one hundred gold coins that Edward bought the land with. I basically turned the one hundred gold coins into money that could buy out a company. A businessman’s true power is never what he can buy with the money on hand, but his ability to make money without any leverage. It’s only admirable if you can get what you want when you have nothing even if you were threatened.
The reality was that, regardless of how well-thought a plan might be, the rationality behind it was very simple. All finance problems were very simple. Buy low and sell high was the cornerstone principle.
Aforementioned flaw had been addressed and banned in the modern era. One must guarantee that they had assets to buy shares. Regardless, you could only do it once. You couldn’t utilise the rinse and repeat method that I mentioned anymore to avoid impacting the stock market. However, you could buy shares and then loan money to buy some more. That was a form of gambling, though. If you won it, you’d strike it rich, since you had no capital. If you failed, on the other hand, you’ll be superman-ing off a roof. Most people who loaned the extra money loan it at high interest rates. Unless you could make it rich in one breath, it was excruciatingly difficult to repay the loan. As such, the stock market was a high-risk coliseum, and it was very hard and then harder to analyse the stock market.
What else was there to my plan? First, I needed to see if Edward would accept me joining with an investment. He sold his wife and daughter to a brothel, which proved that he didn’t have much money. In saying that, I was certain he wouldn’t let me in after our talks broke down last time. If I couldn’t buy a share, there was no way I’d have a share as collateral for money. In other words, I needed to find a chance to acquire a share; that wasn’t a high hurdle to overcome.
Money was involved. The land was in my territory; therefore, it was a simple matter for me to make it impossible for him to continue on. There was no need to be too concerned about that for the meantime. The bank was my chief concern; I had no idea what stage of development the bank was at in this era. If it was just a simple pawn-an-item-in-exchange-for-money entity, then it wasn’t good enough. I needed to be able to exchange shares for money.
I needed to make a trip into the city. I could remember the city. Originally, the chapel planned to control the city, but due to their extermination, the city was under Queen Sisi’s jurisdiction once again. The last time I visited it, I didn’t get a chance to see the bank.
Anna served up fruit and asked me, “Will it be too much of a rush to go tomorrow? You have been busy even before Her Majesty visited. Would you be too tired to head straight to the city next?”
Veirya looked up at Anna. Anna looked at looked back surprised. Anna lingered for a moment, for she had no clue why Veirya looked at her. She hesitated until she finally realised why: “Lord Veirya, you need not worry too much. I am merely caring for my master as a maid and nothing more. You can rest assured.”
I froze stiff. I conjured a number of explanations as to why Veirya looked at Anna, but I never thought that Veirya was jealous. Wait, Veirya was jealous? I wasn’t convinced. Under normal circumstances, Veirya would never be angry over such a thing. She didn’t care about me or if someone else cared about me. Nonetheless, Veirya nodded once she was content before returning her attention to solely on eating.
“Seriously? That’s why you looked at her?! Veirya was jealous as Anna cared about me too much?!” I exclaimed in my mind.
Veirya was weird ever since what happened with the Elven Queen. She changed her attitude toward me considerably. To be honest, Veirya getting jealous was cuteness overload. I was truly astonished.
“Yeah, Papa. You must be tired after all of this. Leah wants to be together with Papa, too.” Leah pouted. She grabbed hold of my hand and pleaded, “Leah won’t get in Papa’s way. Leah will be a good girl. Leah just wants to be with Papa. Please bring Leah along, Papa.”
Veirya had decided to stay home, but after Leah said that, Veirya said, “I want to go. Too. Otherwise. You two will be in danger.”
Veirya then paused for a short moment but continued before I could respond, “Do you remember. That Leah. Was nearly kidnapped. In the imperial capital? That’s why. I must follow you.”
Angelina looped her arm around Veirya and smiled: “You can’t go with your belly in its current state. There’s no drug that can undo the effects on your belly. You need to wait for three more days for your belly to flatten. What, are you expecting him to take care of you out there? When a man is working, don’t interfere. You know how smart he is.”
“A brain. Can’t fight,” argued Veirya.
“But you can’t fight if you don’t have a brain, either,” rebuked Angelina.
I helplessly smiled as I watched the mother and daughter pair. Hopeless, I said, “I’m just visiting the bank. I haven’t made enemies or plan to do anything. What danger could there be? Rest assured; I should be back soon. Take care of the Elven Queen during my absence. By the way, Leah, I’ve received books from the elves for you. You’ll be able to study with the diplomat elf from now on. You must be studious. Papa will bring back a present for you.”
Leah’s gravity-drawn shoulders painted a picture of her heart as she knocked on her bowl with her spoon. I felt apologetic when I saw Leah’s reaction. It was true that I hadn’t played with her in a while, but it was a fact that I was getting busy. It’d be fine for me to bring Leah along. As Veirya said, nonetheless, it was dangerous. It was safer for Leah to stay with Veirya.
I stroked Leah’s head, but she ignored me. She continued pushing her bowl around. Intrigued, Veirya watched Leah. She hesitated for a moment before putting her bowl down and picking Leah up to put on her lap. Leah hugged Veirya; she sobbed on Veirya’s belly.
Angelina went over to stroke Leah’s head and placate her: “Leah, be a good girl. Your Papa isn’t going out to play; he’s going out to work. That’s how it is with men. Men must go and work to feed their family. His family must be considerate and understand his position.”
I sat in my chair feeling horrible about it. After all, it was my problem. Anna couldn’t really say anything, either. I couldn’t go back on my words and bring Leah along.
Veirya looked up at me: “I think. That Anna. Is right. You can. Stay home. For a few days. With Leah. And then go.”
I bit down on my bottom lip. Honestly speaking, I didn’t want to do that. I was the type who was always had his foot on the accelerator because I didn’t want to delay my plan, especially for no reason. Although, I, admittedly, had nothing to do at the moment, I couldn’t stand the feeling of delaying my plan. But nevertheless, spending some time with my daughter wasn’t a pointless endeavour. Leah was more important than what I was thinking about.
I finally nodded: “All right, then. I’ll rest for a while before going to the city.”
From Veirya’s’s embrace, Leah softly sobbed, “Papa… you should go…”
I smiled helplessly. I stood up and went over to Veirya. I gently took hold of Leah’s hand and looked at her head. In a tender voice, I said, “Leah, your smile is more important than anything.”
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