Author: lipzoldyck


“Ah, that scared me.”


Eleanor, who woke up from her slumber, shuddered at the ugly stuffed rabbit in front of her eyes. The doll with slightly crooked eyes and nose was given to her as a gift by Izmel.


“How ugly…”


Eleanor muttered softly as she tugged at the rabbit doll’s ears.


From Sansevieria pot, baby chair, to wall calendar. There was nothing regular among what Izmel had swept.


She barely refused to accept it all, and the only thing she got was this ugly rabbit doll.


That day, Izmel, who had heard the fortune teller’s love advice that he didn’t even need in the first place, was lost in thought until they parted. To think that he was so foolish to buy trouble with a copper coin. Eleanor clicked her tongue.


Eleanor, who got up from her seat, stretched all the way. Today was the day she decided to visit Marquis Blake’s residence.


“The Marquis will definitely come forward to help, but he won’t just open his hands recklessly. I hope we can make a mutually beneficial deal.”


Trust begins with an impression. Eleanor wore a calm, tidy navy blue dress and jewelry made of pearls. She was a bit anxious thinking it was a business briefing session.


On the way to Marquis Blake’s house in the carriage, Eleanor opened the window, enjoyed the familiar scenery outside. When she was young, she used to go there every day because she was hanging out with Adrian, but it was already a long time ago, so it felt a little strange.


The carriage had been driven along the boulevard for a long time before it turned a corner and entered a narrow road. And soon after, the beautiful red-brick mansion filled her sight.


“Wow, it’s really been a long time.”


The carriage bearing the Count’s crest passed through the guards of the Marquis’ family and entered the gate without any restraint. The carriage stopped slowly, and as soon as the carriage door opened, Marquis Blake, who had been waiting at the front door, approached and held out his hand.


“Marquis, long time no see.”


“Even after I told you to just call me Claude. You seem to have forgotten.”


“Strangely, I’m not accustomed to it.”


Eleanor and Claude laughed and hugged each other lightly. Claude, who pinched Eleanor’s cheek without any pain, bruised with a deliberately stern expression. Of course, in the end, even he was relaxed.


“How long has it been since I’ve seen my daughter’s face? Hm? I told you to come often, but you’re cold-hearted. Have you eaten?”


“No. Not yet.”


“You must be hungry. It will be ready soon, so let’s eat right away. Why do I feel like you’ve become half your body in a while? Hm? There’s no fat to lose.”


Claude took care of Eleanor fiercely. It wasn’t only for a day or two, so Eleanor was accustomed to matching the beat with Claude’s riot. The Marquis called Eleanor her daughter and took care of her more than Adrian, his own son.


“How have you been? Well, I couldn’t help but get to know you.”


“I had a lot of work… I’ll tell you slowly.”


“Alright. In particular, I hope for a detailed explanation of the part related to Rian. I hope it’s a story in the direction I want to hear.”


Claude playfully tapped Eleanor on the shoulder and laughed.


“Claude! You know it’s not like that.”


“To think that I raised a half-hearted person like that brat Rian with lots of difficulty, yet he can’t even live up to his face value. He hasn’t won a single heart of yours for over 20 years.”


Claude grunted slightly.


The two entered the mansion in harmony. In no time, a meal was prepared for both of them. It was a table that perfectly reflected Eleanor’s taste and palate.


“Are you sure you don’t want to be my daughter? What, am I worse than your father? I have more money, a better personality, and a better face. Don’t I?”


“Haha, Father would be angry if he heard it.”


“There is only one thing that makes him better than me, and it’s that he has such a cute and pretty daughter like you. He has good luck.”


The Blakes were more serious than anyone else about feeding Eleanor. When she was 12, she spent a summer at the Marquis’ and when she returned home, none of the clothes fit her, so she had to change all her clothes to new ones.


“Are you done eating? Without seconds?”


“I ate so much that my stomach bulged out.”


After a long conversation and a meal, the two of them sat face to face in the Marquis’ office and had tea time.


“So, shall we hear why my daughter even sent a letter asking for a meeting?”


Claude grinned kindly and crossed his arms.


Eleanor smiled awkwardly, pulling the corners of her lips. She was a little embarrassed to talk about it, quite full of anxiety. Eleanor took one deep breath, then she opened her mouth boldly.


“I want to start a business.”




Claude opened his eyes in surprise. Eleanor nodded her head and went on.


“Yes. While teaching children, an idea suddenly came to me, and I wanted to try it. Claude is an expert in business, that’s why I wanted to ask you for help.”


“You came to the right person. If it’s my daughter’s business, of course I should help her. Just tell me anything you need.”


Claude smiled broadly as if he had heard an interesting story and promised her to do anything.


“Do you need money? Or manpower?”


He rolled up his sleeves more aggressively than Eleanor. It was an expected reaction. But Eleanor didn’t want such a one-sided favor.


She smiled and shook her head.


“Thank you. But I don’t want to just accept Claude’s help one-sidedly. Please consider me as a business partner and judge me carefully.”


Claude’s eyes changed at Eleanor’s words. His benevolent smile was still the same, but that gaze had become even more serious and sharp.


“I would like to ask first whether you fully understand what it means to be a business partner, Ellen.”


He asked in a serious voice as he straightened his back and clasped his hands. Eleanor’s face froze with tension.


“As your godfather and a close friend of your father, I support all of your choices. I will do everything I can for you. As you already know, Ellen.”


Perhaps feeling Eleanor’s tension, his tone softened.


“But with you as a business partner, things are a little different. I have to treat you as the Marquis of Blake and the owner of Broden’s Merchant. I have no choice but to listen to your story while thoroughly weighing the potential of the business and the profits it will generate. It’s a numbers game.”


“I fully understand, Claude.”


“Maybe I will break your heart, Ellen. The chances of your offer getting rejected aren’t small. I’m a cruel person at work. Are you okay with that?”


Anxiety flashed across Claude’s face. He looked at Eleanor with a strange gaze and asked again with more strength.


“Can you not get hurt?”




Eleanor met his eyes directly and nodded her head.


Claude let out a dejected laugh as if he couldn’t stop her, corrected his posture and sat down.


“Alright, then try to persuade me.”




Eleanor calmly announced the business plan she had prepared over several nights. Business needs and expected effects, market prospects and sales plans. It was a very solid plan for the short amount of time it was prepared.


Eleanor gave a smooth answer to Claude’s questions that came in sharply in the middle.


“What is this?”


“It’s a draft of the textbook. This is how the concepts are organized, also simple exercises and applications are organized together.”


Claude asked Eleanor over and over again if she had come up with it alone and where she got the inspiration from. To Eleanor, homework is a very familiar concept, yet it seemed like it felt unfamiliar here.


“Well. It’s definitely a fresh item. And that makes sense.”


Claude’s mind was complicated. Even as she said she wanted to give it a try, he thought it was Eleanor’s sudden whim.


It was cute how she pretended to be an adult and talked like one, yet that feeling disappeared without a trace as Eleanor’s explanation continued. At one point, with the attitude of a perfect businessman, he began judging the items Eleanor had brought.




“I’m listening, so don’t stop and keep talking. I’m doing my own calculations.”


It was a sufficiently convincing proposal, and if it went according to Eleanor’s words, the profit that could be expected was great. Claude’s head started spinning rapidly.


If the business grows, it will be possible to expand the scope by setting up a printing shop on its own and establishing branches nationwide. Although this is an overly optimistic outlook, the Academy entrance exam isn’t just an issue for the Empire, so going beyond that wouldn’t be an empty dream.


“But being fresh means it’s unfamiliar. Elder nobles tend to be conservative…”


“The main customer base is nobles, but to be more specific, nobles in their 30s. They must be parents with children who are old enough to prepare for the Academy entrance exam. I think it’s a generation that’s sensitive enough to be fashionable.”


When Eleanor objected, narrowing the scope of the main customer base, Claude immediately dug into another branch.


“And most of them already have tutors. Will they choose new textbooks and courses over what they have done so far?”


“There must be some people who want to stick with the old way. However, most of them will probably agree that today’s textbooks aren’t suitable for children. There are a lot of thick books, so most of the times, it’s annoying to teach with the references. There will definitely be many people who welcome it.”


Eleanor, who gave Claude a moment to think, continued.


“And although it’s a bit harsh, the target we should be thinking about isn’t the tutors. It’s parents. In the end, tutors have no choice but to comply with the demands of parents. First of all, they’re the employers.”


“Certainly so. That’s right.”


Claude nodded in agreement with Eleanor’s argument. Claude, who had been staring at her face, was stunned for a moment.


When did a little girl who looked like a soft peach grow so big? He was both proud and a bit sad.


Claude, inclined to invest in Eleanor’s business, asked one last question.


“Of course, I know that your reputation has been growing recently. I’ve also heard that the Everett family has received letters asking for your help. But will the picky parents open their wallets just by your name?”


“That’s a valid question. I was worried about that part the most.”


Eleanor nodded her head in sympathy. He then asked in an urgent voice.


“So, do you have a good strategy?”


A grin spread across Eleanor’s lips. She seemed to have completely regained her confidence and composure.


“Sure. Obviously.”


Author's Thoughts

this chapter is sponsored by Aris (5/5)

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