an: for your convenience, all conversations in any world have been translated to English.
Qantasia was just another average fantasy world. Like Kaomagi, it’s a world of swords and magic, only that there wasn’t any evil lord trying to destroy the world every century, and racial discrimination was still a thing.
It was a month since Alicia stepped into the Otherwordly Court and now, Alicia was sent here as the heiress of the Bell Conglomerate. A Bell Conglomerate branch gave the Otherworldly Court a distress call 5 days ago that some aristocrat was threatening the business in this world. However, they could only gather little 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 were assigned to it.
And that other Court Wizard was a native in Qantasia.
When Alicia first met him, he was a tall man, 192 cm in height, and about 20 years in age. He has a short black hair and eyes, a scar on his left cheek, and covered in an old beat-up cloak with tears visible.
“Name’s Jonathan.” He said so in a rough voice.
Incidentally, 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.
In the capital, Coast City, where the main branch in Coastline was located, the group was wearing clothing that would suit the place as their robes would make them 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 wearing his usual attire.
Overall, the group looked like a merchant’s daughter with two attendants plus one experienced bodyguard.
Moving on, 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 was a light blue cloth behind the rusty bell that looked as if it was covering the bell. Below it was a sign that said ‘Bell Conglomerate.’ A bell since the founder’s last name was ‘Bell’. Rusted symbolizing how the founder was penniless, worth nothing. Golden spot on the bell symbolizing the worth in everything. The cloth was supposed to be cleaning the bell, the strive of a poor man becoming rich. Light blue representing honesty and trustworthiness in business. Such was the logo of the Bell Conglomerate, arguably the richest mercantile business anywhere.
And someone was threatening this business.
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 a 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.
OC means Otherworldly Court in case you still don’t know what it means.
“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!” he welcomed them into the office which was a simple room with a few chairs and a desk.
“Oh… Owen and William are here too!” the manager greeted them 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 grandfather, the manager. She then left the room.
“Alright, I’ll explain right away,” the manager proceeded 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 manager continued. “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,” the manager coughed. “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 employed bodyguards in every workplace, especially in other worlds, for obvious reasons.
“I see,” Alicia nodded. “What did he do?”
“About three days after the incident,” the manager explained. “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…” Alicia nodded in understanding. “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,” Alicia firmly answered. “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…” Alicia was flustered by the manager’s behavior. “You will get dizzy…”
“Well, how are we going to do this?” Will, meanwhile, asked the more important question.
“I know! Let’s beat this guy up!” Voice suggested as she came out of Alicia’s chest.
“Wha! Who is this… creature, 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.
Interrupting them, there was the sound of the door knocking.
“Yes, come in,” the manager called, wondering who could that be.
The door opened to reveal one of the staff.
“S-Sir! That bastard SaltWaters is here!” the staff reported while panting.
“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,” the manager greeted curtly. “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 was Davis, said with full composure and disinterest. Unlike the conversation before, managers of Bell branches were trained to keep themselves composed 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?”
“What you say is a bunch of nonsense,” the manager firmly denied.
“But the evidence says otherwise.” The noble rebuked coyly. “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 seemed 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’ as if he was very sure of his victory.
“Hold it.” A woman’s voice interrupted. That woman was none other than the heiress of the Bell Conglomerate, Alicia Bell.