Chapter 14: Friends
Not long after leaving Olivia’s Magic Stone jewelry store,
Elliot, who had been walking silently behind Sally and Nikka, abruptly spoke up.
“… How about we have a little talk?”
“Yeah, I don’t mind. “
“Well, I suppose so. Given that it’s late at night, how about we get something to eat?”
They all go to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
They take a seat at a table and place their order.
After an appetizer toast, Elliot asks Sally. “Do you know the story about Olivia?”
“Yes—I knew about it. I learned about it about six months ago. I’m surprised you didn’t know.”
“I tried not to get too deep into it.” Elliot mutters.
“To be honest, what did you think when you heard that story?”
“I thought it was an odd story. Many things don’t add up.”
“I agree. And who is this Viscount Bergor?”
“He’s an elderly noble who reigns over the Daregas region. He’s had a lot of success in recent years, and I hear he’s been shortlisted for a promotion this year.”
Sally’s anxiety increased.
“Gordon-san told me that Olivia is a fantastic magic tool maker and one of the best in the last twenty years. They say that magic tool makers are easy to use as political tools, and I believe that she’s being targeted.”
Elliot is silent, with a grim look on his face.
Nikka comforted Sally by patting her on the shoulder.
“Olivia has a store here and she has many customers from the nobility. Above all, there is Gordon-san, who is well-connected with the nobility. It won’t be that simple.”
Elliot reflected as he overheard their conversation.
(There is, without a doubt, no straightforward way out of this situation. And I doubt the aristocrat who sends such invitations will make the moral decision. He may even attempt to impose his other sons on her on the spot.)
Elliot imagines a strange man standing next to Olivia, and he feels an unfathomable sensation.
The three talk about their future plans.
“If I hear anything else, I’ll call you.”
After this conversation, Elliot leaves Sally and Nikka behind and walks around the city alone at night, thinking about Olivia.
He’s been keeping an eye on her for the past two years.
He’s seen how hard she works.
Before she owned her own store, she trained to exhaustion to improve her skills.
She has worked hard to open her own store. She has shown her work at design exhibitions and learned how to deal with customers.
It is outrageous that a greedy aristocrat would use the fruits of her labor for his own advancement.
(This should never be permitted.
I thought I could at least look out for her as a friend.
I was prepared for that.
But that’s not enough anymore. I can’t protect her.
I should make up my mind.
I must be prepared to push on and be hated.)
Elliot takes a deep breath.
Then, squinting his eyes, he looked in the direction of Olivia’s store before slowly disappearing into the night.
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