“Papa, you’re in a great mood!”
At breakfast the next day, Leah, who held a big loaf of bread in her hands, happily welcomed me. She was right. As long as I was happy, Leah would be happy. I couldn’t say for certain if that was because we slept together every night, thereby gradually bringing us closer. It could be thought of as Leah digging her tentacles deep into me at night when I was sound asleep, maybe.
Veirya gave me a small nod: “Did something good. Happen?’
“I’m waiting for someone to come, actually.” I bit off a chunk of bread.
Angelina laughed: “Don’t get carried away. You’re a little different to how you were before now. Even the way you eat has changed. Who are you waiting for? You waiting for Lucilia to come fight for a man…? Okay, my bad. I shouldn’t have used that as a joke.”
Angelina quickly ended her joke the moment she noticed her daughter’s murderous gaze. Veirya emitted a cold aura but didn’t mention a thing.
“Who are. You waiting for?”
I had a hunch that Angelina’s joke raised alarms. Anyhow, I explained, “The people from the bank in the city. The people from the building that we met Francis at last time when we went to the city. He’s supposed to come and deliver me money.”
“Did you do something good, Papa?” asked curious Leah. Though I was on cloud nine, she didn’t know the reason behind my good mood. “Papa, you haven’t done anything the last few days. Why would someone send you money? There is no free kind gesture in this world, so Papa must’ve done something, right?”
Leah cleverly mixed in the elven language when she asked her question. I didn’t expect such a dramatic improvement from her. She stammered when trying to pronounce their words just days ago, yet was already able to combine humanity and elven languages together smoothly. While I was aware that a father should feel proud that his daughter was so intelligent, a monstrous learning ability is, rightfully, terrifying.
“No, Papa was at home, true, but Papa’s plan was still proceeding. Sometimes, you don’t need to do anything yourself. One letter can change the entire world.”
For instance, Queen Sisi tore down the merchants’ alliance with simple letter. In fact, the letter wasn’t clear on anything. In the end, she never granted them the so-called mintage right.
“What did Papa do, then?”
Ross’ eyes flicked up, reacting as though he didn’t expect me to look to him. I touched his ear and questioned, “Ross, you’ve been with me the entire time. You can pretty much figure out what I’m trying to do, can’t you? I already told you the standards of businessmen, after all. I’ve made myself a profit this time. What did I buy for cheap and sell at a higher price?”
Plop! Ross dropped his piece of bread into his bowl of soup. He began to fluster and then frantically look side to side. Unfortunately, there was nobody who’d give him a reminder or hints. I didn’t intend to give him the answer. If he wanted to be my pupil, he should know what I was doing. It wasn’t a challenging question. After I visited the bank, they were going to deliver money to me when I never gave them anything. At the same time, a letter came from the imperial capital, which I led to me feeling delighted after reading it. Recently, I had been doing things related to the coal mine. It wasn’t rocket science to deduce my plans. If one couldn’t deduce my plans with that many clues provided, they were extremely unlikely to have any future in business.
“Y-y-you are… working on the coal mine…” Ross stuttered, while checking to see my response due to fear that he was wrong.
I continued eating whilst sporting a poker face. I could maintain a stoic visage and control my heart beats in front of Lucilia, so would it even be considered a challenge to control my expression in front of a catman?
“Then… you… you want to the bank… Now the bank is sending money to you… In… in my opinion… I think you… you exchanging something for money… And the money… mm… sh-should be connected to the coal mine… Previously… you spent one thousand gold coins… so… you exchanged… the coal mine for money… and… and… mm… I suppose… there should be a buyer… at the imperial capital… So… so… the coal mine is worth money now. Therefore… you are happy… I meant… the bank would be happy… sorry…” stuttered Ross, afraid that I would get angry if he was wrong.
Fundamentally, Ross was correct. Howbeit, he didn’t figure out the intricacy between the bank and I. I was slightly disappointed but still quite content. After all, it wasn’t something a kid could immediately wrap his head around. One Leah was frightening, so if Ross was just as astute, I’d be worried.
“You’ve got the main idea correct. With that say, you didn’t come into the bank, which explains why you don’t know the connection between the bank and I nor do you understand what taking loans with collaterals means.”
Ross was relieved to hear he was right.
“Taking a loan with collateral means that you pawn the bank something in exchange for cash. Hence, the more valuable what you pawn is, the more you will be able to loan. The reason I’m happy is because I bought shares for one thousand gold coins, but those shares will now give me more than one thousand gold coins given the status quo. To put it into perspective, I exchanged one thousand gold coins for one thousand and five hundred gold coins. This is what is meant by buy low, sell high.”
“I see… I see… Sir… Y-you truly are incredibly smart… I never thought of that…”
Ross fiddled with his ear once I realised what I did.
I was absolutely proud of myself and elated. It was my power, after all!
Nobody in this world could match me. To top it off, I had a gorgeous fiancée, an adorable daughter, Sisi backing me and, worse came to worse, I could flee to the elven lands. What could cause me to fail now? I was immune to failure. Victory was mine as soon as I clicked the button. Ross, spies, none of them can do a thing. I was invincible.
*A loan and a loan with collateral are two separate terms in Chinese. They, however, are both translated to English as simply ‘a loan’, and the different concepts are lost.
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