Chapter 8: Sudden Approach
Upstairs in Gordon’s Great Magic Tools Store, in a reception room with leather couches.
Olivia, dressed in a long navy blue skirt and white gloves, shows a young man and woman sitting across from her a row of rings on a black velvet tray.
“Here’s what’s in fashion now.”
“Oh my! They’re all so lovely! Nothing like this can be found in any store! Did Olivia-san design all this?”
“Yes, I did.”
“How lovely… The base is carved with a pattern.”
“Yes—This pattern is ivy, but it can be changed to flowers, stars, or any other pattern you want. You can use any stone you want, but the one here is a magic stone with detoxifying properties… Do you want to try it on?”
The woman’s eyes lit up.
“Are you sure?!”
“Yes, of course.”
Olivia extends her gloved hand to the woman and hands her the ring.
The woman looks shocked as she slips the ring on the ring finger of her right hand.
“It’s lovely… It’s slim and doesn’t appear to interfere with everyday wear.”
“Yes—It’s a popular shape since the beginning of this year, and unlike the traditional shape where the stone is placed on a base, the stone is embedded in the metal part, so it doesn’t get stuck when worn every day.”
“What kind of stones do you have?”
Olivia takes a small display case from the shelf.
Small magic stones of various colors can be found inside.
“I think a ring would go well with these.”
“Oh my! There are so many! Look! It matches the color of your eyes!”
“Oh. That’s true. And this one is your color.”
A young man and woman look at the stones in a harmonious manner.
Olivia, smiling, explains the magic stone in turn.
And then an hour later.
Olivia sees them off at the store’s first-floor entrance.
A smiling woman shakes Olivia’s hand.
“Thank you incredibly much! Coming to you was the right decision!”
“I’d like to thank you as well. It’s a thoughtful gift for her.”
The man smiled and tugged at his hat.
“Thank you. It is very encouraging to hear that. Thank you for continuing to patronize Gordon’s Great Magic Tools Store.”
After seeing them joyfully enter the carriage.
Olivia went back to the drawing room.
She removes a tray containing three items from the locked cabinet: the ring pattern chosen by the woman, a ring measuring stick, and a magical metal that can be worked with magical power.
(*Ring measuring stick: a stick used to determine ring size)
Her good friend, a senior magic tool maker in the drawing room, looks up.
“Oh, Olivia. Granting?”
“No. I’m metalworking. If you have a minute, could you take a look?”
“Yes, of course.”
The female magic tool maker stands next to Olivia.
Olivia breathes out slightly.
“Okay, let’s start metalworking.”
―For the past year.
She has worked very hard to perfect her craft. When she looked at her seniors, she saw that there were still some techniques she didn’t know.
She begged her seniors to teach her, and she practiced until she was dizzy, until Gordon said, “You need to take a break!”
As a result, Olivia’s abilities have far surpassed those of a year ago.
Olivia deftly runs the magic through the metal, wraps it around the ring gauge, and then slowly carves a pattern on it under the watchful eyes of her senior.
The finished ring is held between the fingers of the female magic tool maker.
She gives Olivia a friendly smile.
“…Yes. It’s very well done. No waste of magic. It’s perfect.”
Olivia smiles shyly, then a young magic tool maker with glasses appears.
“Oh, did Olivia do this?”
“That’s incredible. It’s unusual to get this good in a year. Also, why don’t we go out to dinner tonight to celebrate Olivia’s progress? I’ll pay for your drink. I know a fantastic location.”
The female magic tool maker throws a white eye at a young magician who is delivering a meaningless pickup line.
Olivia looks apologetic.
“I’m sorry. I have a meeting with Manager Gordon after work tonight.”
“Eh? Is that right? Perhaps after that…”
“I’m not sure when I’ll be finished. I sincerely apologize.”
Olivia bows to the young magic tool maker.
The young magic tool maker stiffens, bows to the female magic tool maker, who motions for him to leave, and walks out of the room quickly.
Then she mutters under her breath as she places the tray on the shelf in the next room.
(There’s a lot going on, but I’m having a good time every day.)
Six months ago, Olivia was asked by Gordon to design a ring.
“Someone close to me is getting married. Please make it for me.”
It is customary in this country for the man to give the woman magic stone jewelry, particularly a ring, on their wedding day.
Gordon’s acquaintance desired a ring with a distinctive design.
Olivia was determined.
After days of researching and thinking about trends, she created a ring so original and beautiful that the man was overjoyed.
The woman who received the ring boasted that “Gordon’s Great Magic Tools Store houses some of the world’s best magic tool makers who make great jewelry.” As a result, rumors spread.
Olivia received jewelry orders from customers.
She attends carefully to the growing number of customers. Day after day, she spends her nights designing.
So, she rarely thinks about her in-laws or Henry, and she no longer has trouble sleeping or bad dreams.
In the midst of these hectic but rewarding days, Olivia began to wonder,
“I hope to own my own store one day, like my father.”
(…well, it’s still a long time away.)
Starting a business in the capital is extremely difficult.
There are a lot of people, but there are also a lot of competing businesses.
She has seen many new startups open and then fail.
(If I want to open a store, I need to sharpen my skills and prepare myself. I’ll have to put in a lot of effort here for the next five years.)
Olivia has a very solid and serious attitude.
That night, Gordon asks her,
“Would you like to own your own store?”
She almost dropped the teacup she was holding.
(What? What now…? A store?)
Olivia’s eyes are wider than they’ve ever been, and Gordon, amused, says, “Your eyes are about to pop out of your head.”
Olivia can’t stop herself from pressing him.
“Wait, wait a minute—by store, do you mean my own store?”
“Yeah, technically, it’s going to be our sister store. In a nutshell, it’s a division of labor.”
Olivia keeps repeating herself without thinking.
Gordon folded his arms and leaned against the back of the sofa.
“Do you know who my regular customers are?”
“Wealthy men and their families, right?”
“That’s correct. That’s why we’ve tailored everything to their preferences.”
“Yes, that’s right.” Olivia gives a nod.
The store’s decor and furnishings are exactly what these wealthy men and their families want.
“However, the store has recently attracted a different type of customer.”
“You mean young ladies?”
“That’s correct. They’ve come to see the magic stone jewelry you created. My guess is that the demand for the magic stone jewelry you create will continue to rise. However, as long as you sell them in this store, they will eventually reach their limit.”
True, the store does not attract young women.
Gordon’s prediction that “it’s going to hit its ceiling early…” could be correct.
“And a sister store?”
“Oh, yes. It is preferable to keep those things separate so that both parties benefit from increased sales. And…well, I wanted you to have your own store here as well.”
The last one was so quiet that she could hardly hear him.
Pretending not to hear the voice, Olivia thought.
By any chance, Gordon felt guilty that her father’s store had been stolen.
(This isn’t Gordon-san’s fault. It’s my fault for not doing enough and failing to contact him sooner.)
But Gordon, with his strong sense of responsibility, probably regretted that he couldn’t help her during her times of need, even if he didn’t express it.
“What do you think? That’s not a bad idea. Why not give it a shot?”
Gordon gives Olivia a serious look.
She took a breath.
She really wanted to work here for five more years.
But Gordon was right, and there was a good chance she’d have to split sooner or later.
Besides, she wants to live up to the expectations of her benefactor, Gordon.
Olivia nodded firmly.
“…All right. I’ll consider it positively.”
“Alright!” Gordon smiled brightly.
“It’s getting late. Let’s have dinner and talk about it. I’ll take you somewhere nice!”
“Really, fufufu? I’ve heard Gordon-san has a very refined palate when it comes to food.”
“What the hell! All right! I’ll take you to the best restaurant in town!”
They laugh as they leave the room.
They have dinner at Gordon’s favorite tavern, which looks rundown but the food tastes great.
They talk about this and that over drinks and food.
The next day, they decide to look at available real estate in the city.
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