Alicia Chapter 13.1: Problems of the Conglomerate – Introduction
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an: for your convenience, all conversations in any world have been translated to English.


PIING

Qantasia

Year 456

Qantasia was just another average fantasy world.

Like Kaomagi, it’s a world of swords and magic. Only that there isn’t any evil lord trying to destroy the world every century and racial discrimination still exists.

It was a month since Alicia stepped into the Otherwordly Court.

Now, Alicia was sent here for as the heiress of the Bell Conglomerate.

A Bell Conglomerate branch gave the Otherworldly Court a distress call 5 days ago that some aristocrat is threatening the business in this world. However, they could only gather a few information unless committing anything that would spill the beans to its ignorant workers.

Alicia along with Owen, Will (who was forced to join despite being a fully-fledged guardian) and one other Court Wizard are assigned to it.

The other Court Wizard is a native in Qantasia.

The first time Alicia met him, he is a tall man, 192 cm, about 20 years in age. He had a short black hair and eyes. There was a scar on his left cheek. His body is covered in an old beat-up cloak. Tears were visible in his attire.

“Name’s Jonathan.”

He said so in a rough voice.

Seemingly, Alicia never saw his right arm.

Onto the story, they were now in a country called Coastline, a nation that spanned over the coastlines.

The names of the countries in this world were not creative.

They were now in the capital, Coast City, where the main branch in Coastline is located.

Right now, the group is now wearing clothing that would suit the place as their robes would make them more inconspicuous.

Alicia was wearing a white, frilly, blouse and a brown skirt over a green coat. She also wore a pair of brown boots. She looks like a merchant’s daughter in a medieval town.

Owen and Will are also wearing similar clothing except with pants instead of a skirt and a simple tunic.

Jonathan was still wearing his usual attire.

The group looked like a merchant’s daughter with two attendants plus one experienced bodyguard.

In front of them was a three-story building with a large emblem.

The emblem was that of a bell. The bell, however, was rusted all over but a single spot which was gold. There is a light blue cloth behind the rusty bell that looks as if it was covering the bell. Below it was a sign that says “Bell Conglomerate”.

A bell since the founder’s last name is ‘Bell’. Rusted symbolizing how the founder was penniless, worth nothing. Golden spot on the bell symbolizing the worth in everything. The cloth is supposed to be cleaning the bell, the strive of a poor man becoming rich. Light blue representing honesty and trustworthiness in business. Such is the logo of the Bell Conglomerate, arguably the richest mercantile business anywhere.

And someone is threatening this business.

CLING CLING

The group went through the door, ringing the doorbell, to reveal a bright room with minimal decoration. It was… economic with a few cushions and other merchant stuff.

There were few people there, most were sitting on the cushion talking to each other about business.

In front was the receptionist’s desk. It was manned (or womaned) by a young girl with a long wavy light blue hair.

Jonathan went to the receptionist first.

“O-Oh! Hello Jonathan, what can do for you?” The receptionist greeted with a hint of red on her cheek. Though the person she greeted didn’t notice it.

“OC business…” He said softly in a ruffled voice.

“I’ll bring you to the manager.” The receptionist said as if it were normal. She then beckoned the group to follow.


“Jonathan! I thank you for coming,” the manager said. He was an elderly man wearing a brown suit. “Please, have a seat!”

The office is a simple room with a few chairs and a desk.

“Oh… Owen and William are here too! And… Who might this young lady be?”

“Alicia Bell, daughter of Ronald Bell, your boss,” Jonathan answered.

“O-Oh! Young mistress Bell! Please excuse my rudeness!” The elderly man said while bowing in a panic.

“It is fine…” Alicia said, trying to calm the old man down.

“Y-Yes, madam! Excuse me!” But the old man was still panicking.

“Calm down, old man!” Will shouted.


“I will explain what happened.” The manager introduced himself as Alfred Davis, said after finally calmed down. “You may leave, Maria.”

“Yes, grandfather. Excuse me.” The receptionist, Maria, replied to her father, the manager. She then left the room.

“Alright, I’ll explain right away,” the manager proceeds to explain.

“It started three weeks ago when our restaurant we’ve just opened in this capital was visited by Doug von SaltWaters, the local aristocrat.”

What kind of name is salt waters!?

“He visited the restaurant having heard of the highly successful start of the eatery, high Bell standard. The restaurant, of course, was full. There was a line waiting for a chance to take a bite!

“So, aristocrats being aristocrats, went in anyway and demanded the customer sitting on the balcony seats to give their seats. And they happened to be my granddaughter and her friends…

“Anyway, first come first serve, Maria promptly refused the request and told him that she is my granddaughter and promptly asked him to wait in line. That noble of course still wanted to eat on the balcony and started to drive out the diner at the other seat. Maria intervened and told them to hold their ground. And the worst part, that SaltWaters even took interest in my granddaughter and tried to take her as his plaything!”

“What!?” Jonathan contorted. His fist tightened. “Sorry, please continue.”

“As I was saying, that aristocrat tried to take my granddaughter. Maria, of course, told the guards to kick him out, right in the arse! And that is where I believed he is trying to crush us.”

The Bell Conglomerate employs bodyguards to every workplace, especially in other worlds.

“I see,” Alicia nodded. “What did he do?”

“About three days after the incident, a bunch of thugs came and tried to trash the diner. The guards beat them flawlessly. One of the thugs made a slip-up and revealed they were hired to do so, not that they needed to.

“Anxious, I decided to order the guards to personally escort every employee to their homes, and surely enough, the very next day, one worker was almost mugged if not of her bodyguard. The bodyguards tried to wring out information from the thieves, but they knew little, only that they were paid by a mysterious man telling them to target any Bell workers. Furthermore, 16 workers reported receiving death threats telling them to leave their work or else. I made sure they were protected.

“I am sure that noble is behind this. He did similar things as well. Any people he didn’t like were rumored to be crushed by any means. Fortunately, the king had passed down a law to prevent nobles from doing whatever to us commoners easily, though it’s not so effective. So, this harassment is all he could do. I tried to gather information, but it came out short. We couldn’t find a single trail. By the second week, it was then I decided to call for your help.”

“I see… So that is how it is…”

“Yes… And I’m afraid that he will do more drastic measures. His pride won’t allow anyone to trample upon it.” The manager said grimly. “He wouldn’t stop until this branch gets crushed. My granddaughter had lost her parents at a young age. My body isn’t fit enough to do labor work. I don’t know what will happen to her until your father came to me and picked me as a manager ten years ago. Now, not only me and my granddaughter but all the staff have more adequate lives. So please, help us!”

“I see, we will try to stop it. I promise you as the successor of the Bell Conglomerate.”

“A-Ah… Thank you! Thank you!” the manager bowed up and down relentlessly.

“P-Please… You will get dizzy…”

“Well, how are we going to do this?” Will asked.

“I know! Let’s beat this guy up!” Voice suggested as she came out of Alicia’s chest.

“Wha! Who is this, young mistress?” the manager said in surprise.

“Just some annoying pixie,” Owen answered. “Don’t mind that thing.”

“Did you just called ‘that thing’! Short cream!”

“What did you say?” Owen contorted in anger. Ready to squish her once again.

“C-Calm down!” Alicia exclaimed.

KNOCK KNOCK

There was the sound of the door knocking.

“Yes, come in.”

The door opened revealing one of the staff.

“S-Sir! That bastard SaltWaters is here!”

“W-What!” the manager yelped in surprise.


The manager told the Court Wizards to wait in the office while he deals with the visitor. Of course, they didn’t listen, wait around for a little bit before going down to eavesdrop.

There, they saw the manager facing a slightly fat blonde man in some fancy attire. Doug von SaltWaters, accompanied by two of his men.

The people lounging around the first floor had left, they did not like the noble. Only Maria, the receptionist, remained behind the counter.

“Greetings, mister SaltWaters. For what reason have you graced us with your presence?”

“Good afternoon, mister Davis. I am here to enact justice.” Doug taunted. “You have been quite naughty.”

“Hmm…? Whatever you mean?” the manager, whose surname is Davis, said with full composure. Unlike the conversation before. Managers of Bell branches are trained to keep composure during situations like this.

One of the attendants handed Doug a bundle of paper.

“I have here evidence that your company has not been paying taxes,” Doug accused. Waving the bundle of paper. “From such a wealthy business as yours, the consequences would be grim.”

The elderly man stayed silent.

“Furthermore, I have testimonies of some of your employees stating that they were given wages below the standard as indicated by the law,” Doug added. “The list goes on and on. What do you have to say?”

“Lies.”

“But the evidence says otherwise.” The noble rebuked. “Tell you what, I will let you go under a few conditions. First off, your granddaughter has taken my interest. Perhaps you could give her to me as my concubine.”

The slightly fat man had brazenly declared so. With the word ‘give’ as if Maria were an object. Maria backed away a little with fear in her eyes. Jonathan seemed to tense up. His left arm seems to be holding something.

“I refuse.” The manager declared immediately.

“That fast? You don’t have a say in this matter.” Doug taunted. Waving the bundle of ‘evidence’. Very sure of his victory.

“I-”

“Hold it.” A woman’s voice interrupted. That woman was none other than the heiress of the Bell Conglomerate, Alicia Bell.


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Azhure Raven

Author of the 'Wizards of the Otherworldly Court' web serial. A person who thought too much that he could make a story out of it.
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