Rivelia cuddled Kunette to her hearts content, screaming with joy as she described how soft, warm, and fluffy Kunettes fur was. But soon after she had her fill, her satisfaction was replaced with a depressing sense of disappointment at her own will. She fell on her knees and despaired, and Kunette was kneeling next to her in the same position.
Meanwhile, the female students envied Rivelia who managed to hug Kunette, while the boys envied Kunette for being hugged by Rivelia. But their envy didnt stop them from cleaning the tent of the sandwiches.
“Huhuh, this is a huge success, Sunbaenim.”
Krent approached Isaac with a brimming smile.
“It was a last-ditch effort, but I didnt think they would actually go ahead with it.”
“Its true that there was quite a debate about this, so we decided to invest only our familys money in this plan. This project aims for profit in a long term scenario rather than an immediate profit, after all.”
“Well, I must say that I am in debt to you. I was very close to falling for the trap which she had set.”
Isaacs original plan was built around selling the sandwiches at first. If Krent hadnt tipped Isaac off about the changes in the rules, Isaac would have walked into the trap Rivelia had set in advance.
With Krents input in mind, Isaac had to quickly change his plan. The plan had many holes, but the master of the Rivolden Merchant Guild managed to make a big decision like this in such a short amount of time. Isaac assumed it was expected of a man who ran one of the largest merchant guilds in the Empire.
“But are you sure about keeping it a secret from Kunette”
Krent muttered to Isaac with worry as he glanced at Kunette, who was still drowning in depression.
“Dont you think ten pots of honey are more than enough”
“Its true but...”
Even Isaac would not be able to pay for 10 pots of honey every day. So Isaac decided to make another secret deal with the Rivolden Merchant Guild.
It was to use Kunette as the mascot promoting the Rivolden Merchant Guilds goods. It would have been difficult for Isaac, but the merchant guild would have no problem in paying for so much honey. This was a deal made under a contract; there was nothing to be ashamed about. The only questionable part was that Kunette herself didnt know of this fact and thats what Krent was worried about.
“Im sure shell be happy to hear that shes earning the honey shes receiving.”
Isaac was well aware that Kunette was trying to refrain from asking him to give her honey, despite her urges. Isaac found this to be too cute and couldnt stop himself from feeding her all the honey he had, but Isaac firmly believed that children should be able to eat whenever they want.
“Then why didnt you tell her from the start”
“Because Kunette is the only thing that could get through to that girl.”
If Kunette knew that the Rivolden Merchant Guild was going to supply her all the honey, she would have never allowed herself to be cuddled by Rivelia. In order to stop Rivelia from attempting anything else once her plan failed, she had to get on Isaacs side one way or another and Kunette was the best tool for that. Kunette herself said that Rivelia was a little girl, after looking at her with that All-Seeing Eye of hers. And there were no little girls that didnt like cute things.
At the end of the day, Isaac managed to reap a profit without any costs, so it was the best result he could have hoped for.
The Week of Suffering had passed. Once Rivelia was conquered by Kunette, the plan went without a hitch. The only problem was that because of this incident, the rations took longer to be depleted, making the Week of Suffering last longer than just a week. There were some complaints, but it was on the Rivolden Merchant Guild to deal with them.
Rivelia seemed quite depressed about the fact that she fell to Kunettes charms, but she continued to cuddle her every day without forgetting. Kunette too seemed depressed that she couldnt hold her desire for honey in check, but later on, she became so used to the cuddles that she willingly walked up to Rivelia for the cuddles and then demanded Isaac for the honey, which she rightfully earned.
She later learned the truth about the mascot part and became upset, but Isaac convinced her by listing as much bull** as possible. Some of his reasoning were how amazing she was, how she wasnt receiving the honey out of pity but earned it instead, that its a reward for her great work, that there would be no honey if she didnt let Rivelia hug her, that marketing oneself is a blessing in itself, and that she can eat honey whenever she wants now. Kunettes mind was easily appeased with those sly words from Isaac.
“What are you crying about now”
During the Week of Suffering, which lasted for a fortnight this time, Isaac could not receive any orders from the students. Expecting a mountain of orders to come, he sent Reisha and Kunette, but they came back crying instead.
“What do we do!”
“What do you mean what do we do What, did you lose the list of orders on the way back”
“No. We didnt get a single order.”
Isaac sighed at the impossible words that Reisha let out, and decided that Reisha who was crying wasnt the right person to talk to. He turned his head to Kunette, who didnt even ask for honey anymore and just walked into the kitchen for that honey which she rightfully owned.
“...We had tea with Rivelia.”
“You had tea for the entire day”
Isaac couldnt understand how someone could drink tea for three hours. For someone like him, tea was something you gulped down within seconds. There should have been more than enough time to receive the orders once it was done.
“Rivelia was constantly holding on to us so that none of the other students could get close and give us their requests.”
“Hmm, I guess that girl actually likes you guys.”
Isaac remembered the merry look Rivelia had when she got a hold on Kunette and smirked. He believed that this wasnt much to worry about.
Another fortnight had passed, and once again, not a single order went through to Reisha and Kunette during that period. This was when Isaac realised how serious this problem was. He thought that she would give up at some point, but she seemed much more patient than he had imagined.
“If you wish to capture the general, first capture his horse. Using one of the principles in the Thirty-Six Strategems, thats rather grand of her.”
Once he understood Rivelias intention, Isaac found it both impressive and adorable. Rivelia managed to figure out Isaacs personality in such a short time.
Isaac thought to himself for a moment He first considered dealing with the issue by going to the Campus and settling things himself, but in all honesty, he found it extremely tedious. It was a nice experience to be surrounded by all the girls of the Campus, but this wasnt the case for Isaac; he wasnt the centre of attention because he was admired by the girls. Their relationship was more like master and servant, so Isaac needed to be very careful with his behaviour. That was the reason why he pushed the business onto Reisha and Kunette.
“Do we have to go again today, Sunbaenim When its obvious well be held again”
Reisha asked. Her expression clearly showed that she did not want to go no matter what. She only worked for Isaac because she found doing the business very enjoyable, but when things turned out this way, she was more than ready to drop everything and leave.
“Does she really look like she wont stop”
“Yeah. How do I say it... She looked like she wanted to see who will give up first.”
“Thats a problem...”
Its true that they have 3 hours for lunch period, but not a single student in the Campus actually used all that time to have a break. Time management was crucial in keeping up with the curriculum in the Campus. If you fall behind, you are left behind. The College was no exception.
The fact that Rivelia, the greatest of all geniuses and the centre of admiration, was enjoying a tea party was ludicrous. It was clear that this was just a front to harass Isaac in any way possible.
“This is no good...”
This could lead to a drop in Rivelias grades. For someone like her, it would simply mean that she would fall from the status of the greatest of all the geniuses to just a normal genius, but Isaac wouldnt be able to escape the blame. Just as there were many people who anticipating Rivelias success, her failure would lead to their ire directed toward Isaac.
“Man. Does she not know her own value Tsk, I guess Ill teach her myself.”
“What are you doing here”
“Do you really have to do this at the cost of your grades”
“Hmph! I dont know what you mean.”
“You should know that even if it is tedious, I can just receive the orders myself.”
“Ha! I guess that would mean I would have to see that despicable face of yours every day.”
Isaac could only sigh at Rivelias attitude as she stood her ground.
“Then are you really going to hold Reisha and Kunette every day”
“Hmph! Im simply having a break from my busy schedule.”
“To have a tea party every day with Reisha and Kunette until graduation You should know that its impossible.”
“Why are you saying that its impossible As long as you continue to profit against the poor students of the Campus, I will not stop sacrificing myself for these two, who are obviously being used as a tool.”
“So youre going to have tea every day”
“T, thats right.”
Once again a chill crawled up her spine. She hesitated, but she quickly put up a front to hide that moment of reluctance.
“All right! Then I will sponsor it with everything I have.”
“If youre going to have a tea party, then you need to do it right. Screw this disgusting tea leaves. Just name whatever you want. I will get you the most famous and rarest tea leaves within the Empire. And using these cups from the Campus will surely ruin the flavour of the tea. Ill also get you the fanciest tea sets and snacks to go with the tea, so you can enjoy the luxurious tea party every day.”
“What is your aim”
Rivelia began to worry when Isaac seemed so eager to support her actions.
“What aim Im simply sponsoring this tea party of yours out of good will.”
“I dont need your help.”
“Youll quickly tire yourself of these low-quality leaves supplied by the Campus. Im just trying to help you before that happens.”
What Isaac said was true. Unlike the fancy menus supplied by the cafeteria, the tea was made by boiling bags of low-quality tea leaves in a giant pot. Sometimes it would be too bitter, while other times it was too bland. It wasnt something anyone could enjoy every day.
“Ha, fine. Then I accept your kindness. First, I want the Lublanc Sky, the speciality of the Lublé province. It is a premium tea set where only 20 of them are made every year, but Im sure you will find a way to bring one here with your amazing talent. Ah! I would also like you to bring every type of tea. Of course, they must all be of the highest quality, not from your run of the mill tea shop. Is that possible”
“Sounds rather expensive.”
It was obvious that she wanted to take this out of Isaacs control. Even the Rivolden Merchant Guild would find it difficult to bring these goods to Rivelia.
Just having the money wasnt enough for these goods. Since they had a limited supply, the buyers had to make reservations years in advance to get them. Some of them held such fame that they didnt accept orders from commoners or lesser nobles because out of pride.
“Are you telling me that you cant do it”
“Not at all. But I think it will take some time.”
“Ha. I didnt expect you to have them straight away either. But youre not going to say that youll have it after a year or delay it for as long as possible, right”
“I think ten days should be enough.”
“Ha! Can you really supply all of that within ten days If you can, then I will most definitely have a tea party every single day. It is rare to enjoy such quality tea in such abundance.”
“Is that a promise”
“Of course. I swear upon my name and my family.”
“Tsk tsk, youre still so young.”
“What was that!”
Rivelia shouted back at Isaac who was clicking his tongue.
“You shouldnt put your name or your family on the line so easily. Especially when youre swearing upon it. It should be done so after meticulous calculation and planning.”
“Ha! Thats none of your business.”
“Well, I think swearing your name is going too far, so Ill pretend I didnt hear it. Lets just call it a promise between us.”
“Are you trying to back out now”
“We will see in ten days.”
Rivelia was worried at how relaxed Isaac looked, but at the same time, she was aware of how difficult it is to buy the goods she demanded.
“Hmph! We will see indeed.”