Remember that every manager in branches outside Kaomagi Earth is that, a manager. Even the ‘main’ branch in one world is led by a manager and it is made sure that the manager is known to simply manage the branch and not the owner of the company itself.
Hence, the true owner, Ronald Bell, is known to every world with a Bell branch.
In other worlds, Ronald was only known to be the owner of Bell Conglomerate and maintains a mysterious persona. Nobody except the managers knew his face and his whereabouts are unknown. Only that he frequently travels from place to place.
Few knew the true purpose of the Bell branches.
Hence, Ronald could put himself in negotiations in other worlds. This stretched the first Rules of Engagement. Although it says ‘let none witness you‘ it could simply entail witnessing Court Wizards and not an innocent merchant.
Alicia was taught of everything she needed to know about the Bell branches.
Even before that, her father had trained her in the art of business.
She was taught of stretching the first rule and now uses it to its full advantage.
Alicia in businesswoman mode: on.
“M-Miss Bell?” The manager said in surprise.
“How dare you interrupt, little girl!” Doug said in anger. “Who are you!?”
As Alicia walked towards the two men, Owen and William hid behind the counter where Maria Davis was. Jonathan stood behind her.
“First, you have done well to keep your composure, Davis. I will take over.”
The manager, Davis, nodded to the compliment. Alicia then turned to the noble.
“My name is Alicia Bell. Daughter of Ronald Bell, owner of Bell Conglomerate and the heiress.”
The slightly obese nobleman raises his eyebrows.
“Yes, it is true.” The manager confirmed before the SaltWaters could even ask.
“Hoh, the daughter of the supposed owner of this company?” Doug leaned a bit to get a good look at Alicia. “Your face is quite lovely,” He complimented. Shifting his eyes at a lower angle. “But you lack any sort of chest.”
“Excuse me?” There was a vein popped out of her forehead.
“Did he just call her flat?” William asked his partner.
The ice wizard simply stood there, staring at the bastard with killing intent. The Wind Guardian stayed silent.
“But, it adds to your charm, no?” Doug flirted.
“I’ll beat his ass…” Owen cursed.
Alicia simply stood there in disgust. Then said.
“Although I have already heard of it. I will ask again: what business do you have with the conglomerate? Assume I am the owner of Bell Conglomerate.”
“Hmph, your lackeys have been committing crooked business,” Doug smirked. “And I am here to bring then to justice!”
“First of all, never call my employees ‘lackeys’ and if you want to bring ‘justice’ you go report to whoever in charge of administering it. You did not even bring any guards. You have no reason to come here.”
“W-Why my reason for being here is for… Negotiations! Yes, negotiations until you came along!” The rebutted aristocrat excused. “And I was going to bring the guards later anyways!”
“You have no reason for ‘negotiations’ and there is no reason to call the guards later unless it would be troublesome if the guards arrested my subordinate right now when you want to make demands. In other words, what you are doing is blackmail.”
“W-What! Do not address this as though I am the villain!”
“Well, you are being a villain here.”
“W-What! You dare mock me!?” The fumed noble was ready to assault her, but Jonathan glared at him to make him back down.
I didn’t know you can be savage! We’re practically the same person!
Voice, since when we are the same person? We are nothing alike.
What are you saying?
Dunno! I just felt like saying that!
Owen grinned reminiscing the times when Alicia was shielding him from bullies. She got into a lot of arguments and she would employ the savage speech which made the bullies cry.
“I wonder why you would not bring any guards here to arrest my manager in this branch,” The Bell heiress wondered. “Is it what you demanded earlier? Maria belongs to herself and herself alone!”
Maria is a beautiful woman for her age. She promptly nodded.
“Whatever!” The perverted noble growled. “Your manager has done against the law under your watch, what are you going to do about it?”
Alicia stood silently as she hears this statement. It’s as if she is considering the noble’s statement. Sweat ran from the elderly Davis.
“So, now do you believe me?”
“Now what nonsense are driveling, liar?”
At that statement, Alicia took into a stance and gave out a speech.
“We, of the Bell Conglomerate uphold trust and honesty high. The light blue cloth in our emblem represents that. We pick does worth of our trust to be given the position that they deserved. I believed my manager did no such thing as you said.”
“Oh yeah? If I am not wrong, he was just a poor commoner living on the streets. His kind are not trustworthy.”
“We do not just pick a random person off the streets. We know who to trust and we can see talent that others are blind to.”
Alicia then turned to the manager.
“Mister Davis, you do not need to worry, regardless of who you are before. You have been entrusted to manage this branch. That is proof enough. I will not fall for this fat man’s lies. So, lift your head with pride as a manager of Bell Conglomerate!”
“Ah… I thank you!” The manager bowed to his future boss. Tears swelled his eyes. His granddaughter smiled, proud of her grandfather.
Alicia then turned to the SaltWaters.
“So whatever you accuse is not true and it will never be!” Alicia pointed her finger towards the noble.
“Well,” Will commented. “Our mentor had always been able to pick anyone loyal enough so there wasn’t any problem, but regardless, that way of thinking is seriously flawed. You can’t trust someone that easily. And you never know when they will betray you.”
“Even so, to them, it’s a wonderful idea.” Owen rebuked. “The Bell family will always cling to that. That’s why we’re here today.”
“Yes, he’s right.” Maria who was there agreed.
“Though your subordinate Air Court Wizard can betray the court. So, your right about the last part.” Owen muttered. “And the Bells would simply not hope that happens.”
“I know and I still don’t understand that.”
While the peanut gallery ensues. Doug had made his counter-argument.
“Whatever! I have the evidence here!” Pointing the bundle of ‘evidence’ towards Alicia in a weak grip. “So everything I accuse is-”
Suddenly, the Bell heiress swiped the ‘evidence’ off from the accuser’s grip.
“So this is the pile of ‘evidence’ you speak of.”
“Y-You! Give that back!”
Alicia retreated past Jonathan for cover while reading the bundle of paper.
“For twelve consecutive months, the amount of tax paid was zero.”
“Quite a serious offense, no?” The noble said, trying to recover any shred of dignity.
“Who made this report?” Alicia read the name who made the report. “Collin. Oh my, there is even a seal.”
“Then that makes this report valid!” The noble smirked.
“If I may say,” The manager interrupted. “Collin is definitely not the name of the tax collector that collected this branch’s taxes. I happened to know the name of the tax collector and his name is Reygard Millers. I believe he was here in the lounge a moment ago before you came.”
Then, a backdoor opened revealing a man with black hair and a monocle in a green suit.
“My name is Reygard Millers. You called, Mister Davis?” The man in green asked.
“Oh, Mister Millers, you were listening? Then please examine that ‘report’.”
“Will do, Miss Bell?” Reygard asked for the paper.
“Here.” Alicia handed over the tax report.
Reygard then examined the report carefully. “Hmm… It actually seems real. The paper is of the same material and the seal is authentic, Collin was my fellow tax collector co-worker.”
The noble gave a smirked.
“Except that Collin is currently under suspicion of embezzlement and accepting bribery over the last month in which was recently proven to be true.”
“This report seemed to be created about a week ago and it is contradictory to my report. It seems Collin has taken a bribe to forge these documents. He will be arrested with the evidence of his crimes. So this document is no longer valid, only a waste of good paper.” The tax collector then gave the wasted paper back to Alicia.
“And that makes one forged evidence.”
Hearing this, the SaltWaters tried to use the other document to save his accusation.
“There is still the complaint of the undercut wages.”
“Let us see about that.” Alicia reads the document.
“Instead of a recorded testimony, it is more akin to a petition. A general topic about a complaint of low wages with blood seals and their names signed.” Alicia complained. “Mister Davis, do you recognize any of these?”
Alicia gave the document to the Manager.
“Hmm… Carl, John, Paul… Why all of these names are the employees that were fired three days ago!”
“Why were they fired?”
“They were frequently harassing the other employees, women specifically. They were given multiple warnings, but they wouldn’t listen. So, I deducted their wages and finally, I fired them. I have the records for the legal procedure of their resignation”
“I see, their wages were deducted, with a justified reasoned. It seems the document was recorded before they resign.” Alicia then turned to Doug. “It looks like you are trying to make this as though they were underpaid unfairly. Unfortunately, now that they have resigned, that document is useless.”
“Then how about-”
“Two ‘evidence’ are proven to be false, would that not make the other documents false too? Do you agree, Mister Millers?”
“Yes, I do agree with that.” The tax collector with the monocle affirmed. “Actually, in court, when two evidence presented by the same person is proven to have no credibility, it is legal to assume every other evidence that would be presented will be false also. It is to save time, though such thinking is flawed.”
“Well, as he says, we do not need to waste time proving the credibility of every other document here. We will assume they are false too.”
“Grr…” The noble grunted in anger. It was not supposed to happen like this. He was supposed to blackmail one of the wealthiest merchants in the market and have it under his thumbs along with that receptionist girl. How could his plans be thwarted by some woman with a flat chest claiming to be the daughter of the owner of this merchant business who doesn’t even show his face! Preposterous! This is preposterous!
“Mister Millers, what charges can he be given for forging evidence?”
Wait, maybe there is a chance to turn this around!
“Oh? Do you think you can arrest me with that?” Doug smirked. “I am a noble, I can easily say that you forged these pieces of evidence to frame me! Who would they believe? Me, a noble or a commoner like you!”
“You are still not giving up?” Alicia sighed.
“Actually,” The tax collector retorted dejectedly. “He has a point. Even with the new laws passed down by the king, we commoners still can’t fight nobles that easily.”
“See? Even with that foolish king’s new laws, you cannot stop me!”
“I see, so these papers are useless then.” Alicia sighed again.
The next action surprised everyone.
The Bell heiress tore the false evidence in half.
Voice, burn these papers.
Right away ma’am!
The ripped documents were then burned with loyal maneg. Alicia then tossed the burning papers aside.
While the action Alicia did technically broke the first rule, Qantasia is a world with magic. People would assume she was a mage using fire magic.
Furthermore, with the month of experience in the Otherworldly Court, Alicia was now taught how to actually use loyal maneg.
Loyal maneg is the actual soul compressed to fit in disloyal maneg which was safer to use. Loyal maneg reflects the Court Wizard’s self thus, there is no need to use a specific wording for its orders. For Alicia, she can tell Voice what to do and the pixie will almost flawlessly do what was told no matter how vague it is. Such orders on loyal maneg are called ‘Vague Orders’, the true appliance of loyal maneg.
Alicia was still taught disloyal maneg orders for formalities and will still be. It was still safer to be used since its cost is always minimum unless Alicia specifically orders the amount of maneg used. The vague orders of loyal maneg on the other hand, have varying costs controlled by the Court Wizard unconsciously. Even with Voice regulating the amount of loyal maneg used, it’s still safer to use traditional orders. Alicia can still override Voice’s loyal maneg regulation unknowingly. Very simple vague orders are fine though.
“Y-You’re a mage!?”
“Yes and with that, we are all back to square one. I presume you have no more purpose being here.”
“Why you…” The rebuked noble tried to get close to the rebuker, but Jonathan gave another glare at him to stop him in his tracks.
“I’ll get you for this!” Doug said a generic bad guy defeated quote before turning back to leave the building. His two attendees whose presence was forgotten follow suit.
“Well, good riddance.” The tax collector commented. “He’s an idiot to try crushing a very rich merchant business. Think about the local economy. It’ll crash the market!”
The receptionist peeked up the counter. Owen and Will followed suit.
“Ah, where are my manners.” Reygard the man with a monocle gave a slight bow. “My name is Reygard Millers, the capital’s local tax collector. A pleasure to meet you, Miss Bell.”
“Likewise,” Alicia too, gave a bow. “My name is Alicia Bell, daughter of Ronald Bell, the owner of Bell Conglomerate.”
“How polite of you, also that was a superb performance, burning the papers at the end was surprising.”
“Thank you, though I may ask, why is a tax collector such as yourself be here?”
“I simply like this place.”
“The tea here is good, and ever since this branch was built, it helps people out of employment, giving them more adequate lives. If I dare say, your branch increased the tax revenue! I am also good friends with Mister Davis.”
“So, what will you do about that noble? I’m sure he will do more rash decisions to take you down.
“Do not worry, I have an idea. Though it is quite simple really.”
Thus, they begin the counterattack.
In the manager’s office…
“We have school so we will come back later in the next 4 days.”
“Huh…” The manager muttered. “HUU……..!”