“Tsk! Selina, that fox…”
Eliza’s face was boiling with frustration as she bit her lip. The stalemate between Selina and her had turned completely to Selina’s favour because of the perfume she obtained from who-knows-where. She was heartbroken by the fact that Philip was so easily tempted by a mere perfume, but the most difficult part was watching Selina seduce Philip like a fox wrapping her tail around its master.
Plus, all of the girls have begun flattering Selina in an attempt to find out the source of the perfume, so Eliza had to continue the battle alone. Sadly she couldn’t think of a method to turn the tides once more.
“Huhuhu. You seem to be in a dilemma.”
Eliza was surprised by the sudden voice behind her. She turned, only to see Isaac’s face. A hint of disgust could be seen in Eliza’s eyes.
“What is it?”
“You don’t have to be so tense.”
“Hm. I’m not being tense. I’m just irritated by the fact that I have to talk to you.”
Isaac felt his temper flare at Eliza’s blunt insult but he reminded himself of the saying ‘the customers are always right.’
“I had a proposal to help you in your fight for your love, but if you refuse then…”
Eliza called out to Isaac, who began to turn around as he stopped finishing his sentence. He may not have been trustworthy, but she was in no position to refuse help.
“Wait! What do you mean by that?”
‘She took the bait!’
Isaac continued speaking nonchalantly, trying his best to hide his grin.
“It’s nothing. I just got the urge to help you when I saw you in such distress. Of course, I will ask for some payment in return.”
Eliza began weighing her options. It was clear that she was conflicted on whether to trust Isaac or not.
“Fine! Let’s hear you out first.”
“Huhu, you are well aware that Selina has come one step closer to victory thanks to the perfume, don’t you?”
The moment Isaac mentioned that accursed name, Eliza’s eyes lit up and she grit her teeth. An act so ferocious that even Isaac flinched and backed off.
“Ahem, you will need an item of your own to compete against Selina’s perfume.”
Eliza’s expression changed, and soon, she nodded as if she understood everything.
“To think I couldn’t think of such a simple thing. You must be the man who gave that Selina her perfume. I don’t care how much it costs. Bring me a perfume that will put the Spring’s Whisper to shame.”
‘It’s a problem that everyone’s so smart here.’
Isaac felt threatened when Eliza managed to deduce he was the main culprit in such a short moment. Isaac might be able to run the business with this new idea, but these smarty-pants could attempt to steal his business at a moment’s notice. Isaac waved his finger left to right as he thought to be more careful next time.
“That’s no good. What’s important is being first. Since Lady Selina used the perfume already, using a similar method will make you seem like you’re just following the trend. You must approach this from a new direction.”
“What would that be?”
Isaac smiled at Eliza’s question.
“Do you like cooking, by any chance?”
The chefs who run the student cafeteria were cooking instructors hired to teach the students. Due to the restriction in the Campus where only students and instructors are allowed in the Campus, they created a subject for cooking and filled the instructor spots with the most famous chefs within the Empire. Although they were instructors in name, all they did was prepare the meals for the students. It was bending the rules, but if they didn’t do this, everyone in the Campus would have to eat the disgusting and awkward meals made by the students themselves.
A sweet and delicious aroma filled the student cafeteria’s kitchen, which had been reserved thanks to the efforts from Mazelan.
“Huh, I must say it’s unexpected.”
Isaac stated his surprise as Eliza brought the final products to him. When would a noble lady ever need to get their hands dirty? Isaac ate one of the cookies to find out what it tastes like.
It was crispy on the outside, but the inside had the perfect softness to it. The small nuts sprinkled within the well-baked cookie enriched the flavour to a new level.
“Of course! Baking cookies with my mother has been my hobby ever since I was a child.”
Eliza proudly smiled as she watched the cookies on the table, but Isaac shook his head and spoke the cold truth.
“But it’s a failure.”
“What! What could possibly be wrong with my cookies?”
“There is nothing wrong with them.”
“Obviously! Even the famous bakeries in Gabelin begged me for the recipe.”
“That’s the problem. It’s too delicious.”
“A noble lady baked some cookies, but the cookies taste like they were made from a famous bakery. Would the people truly believe that you baked it yourself?”
It was infuriating, but she had to admit it. Many of the nobles thought food was something that simply comes out when you order the chefs. Even Eliza would have known nothing about cooking if it weren’t for her mother.
“The most important thing is the person who will eat your cookies!”
“Think about it. A woman asking a man to eat some cookies she baked herself. This alone is akin to confessing ‘I have feelings for you!’ But those cookies taste like they have been made by a professional! Then it’s a total failure. He will never believe that you made it yourself.”
Eliza nodded her head in agreement. She asked Isaac to continue, so Isaac began his speech with a passion.
“Now, think of this! You approach the man with a hint of embarrassment. You pause for a moment, then give him some cookies that had been lovingly wrapped, and ask him to eat the handmade cookies. The man will seem hesitant in appearance, but his heart will be taken over with happiness.”
“But there’s a key! The key is clumsiness and passion.”
“Clumsiness and passion?”
“That’s right! Which do you think leaves a stronger impression? Giving the cookies with perfectly fine hands or with hands that has cuts and wrapped in bandages?”
“Yes! The cookies that had been made despite the injuries are sure to garner more interest. The man will clearly notice the injured hands and will ask you why. You then hide the hands in shame and try to avoid the question. But even the slowest of the idiots will figure out that the injuries happened while making the cookies. Then the man will fall into a pit of emotions knowing that you had gone such lengths to give him those cookies!”
“The taste is not important. No, as long as it’s not disgusting and is edible, it will be fine. This plan shouldn’t be done in a single day! Twice, thrice you will cook and the taste will get better each time! Then, the man will have no choice but to feel the love in the cookies. That this girl is putting her heart in her cooking to improve the taste just for him.”
Feeling emboldened by Eliza’s positive reactions, Isaac preached to Eliza like a cult master brainwashing his followers.
“Now! Are you ready to win over the love of your life!”
“Are you prepared to injure your hand no matter what to win your love!”
“Love does not come to those who wait! It is something you fight for! Are you ready to give Selina your revenge?”
“Then make it again.”
Eliza was so captivated by the speech that she forgot that she started to call him as chef. And those feelings soon turned into her motivation for her cooking.
Isaac contemplated on his life choices, wondering how he ended up in a situation of giving dating advice for a high school romance. But it was fun nonetheless.
At the end of the day, Isaac’s plan was a success. Philip fell for Eliza’s cookies of love, and all Selina could do was watch in anger as her love was taken away, for she had nothing to retaliate with.
And unlike Selina, Eliza boasted to everyone who both provided the perfume for Selina and advices for Eliza. Thanks to Eliza’s advertisement, Isaac’s business started to take off.
“You want me for your business?”
Gonzales couldn’t hide his confusion. These were the first things Isaac said to him when he took Gonzales to a corner to talk about something.
“Sigh, sorry to disappoint you, but the Campus is strict with its commissions.”
“I am aware.”
“No, I’m telling you this because you don’t seem like you know it. I did bring that perfume for you because it was hard to reject you, but it was very dangerous. Do you think nobody tried to bring goods from the outside to sell to the students at a high price? If you’re caught, you are punished on the spot without a court hearing.”
“I didn’t know the punishment was that severe.”
“That’s why I’m telling you to stop with the pointless schemes.”
“But do those rules apply when an outsider, a man who is not a part of the Campus, tries to make a profit off the students right?”
“Hm? Y, yes.”
“Will the Campus have rules banning trade between students?”
“They do. Trading goods for money is banned for the students.”
Gonzales cringed. He couldn’t help but think Isaac was making a fool of him.
“I am both a student and not at the same time. Since I am not enrolled in any of the schools, they can’t apply any rules on me either. That’s why I couldn’t say anything about the bullying as well.
Gonzales was well aware of the beatings Isaac’s regular beatings. He was feeling quite sorry for him since there was nothing he could do for him.
When Isaac saw Gonzales nod, Isaac smiled as if he was holding the trump card.
“You know about all the goods I asked for you to bring?”
“I sold them all already.”
“In just two days?”
Gonzales’ eyes opened wide from Isaac’s words. They were all small goods, but the amount he brought wasn’t something that could sell out in a mere two days.
“It just means they are that popular. Of course, I have made a decent profit while including the fees for getting the goods, transportation, and other miscellaneous costs.”
“H, how much?”
“At least three to four times my costs?”
“I’ve heard your inn wasn’t doing too well. I’m also aware you are worried about your childrens’ education too. I’ll give you an opportunity. I will pay you back double the total cost of the goods you bring.”
Those final words from Isaac helped Gonzales make up his mind. The entire reason why Gonzales started to work as a sailor again was because of his financial crisis. His heart burnt black whenever he watched his wife sigh about their uncertain future. The offer of double the profit for just delivery was a temptation he could never resist.
Midterm report on Surveillance target 728
Surveillance level 5
Unlike our expectations of him giving up in the Campus due to the lynching from the students, the target started a business targeting the students. According to the discussion with the Law team, the target’s business is illegal from the standpoint of the Empire’s law but made legal due to his special standing. Field agents have decided that the target is extremely resourceful and prone to abuse the loopholes of the law for profit. They are requesting further analysis to see if his old personality matches the current and an increase in surveillance level.
Orders on Surveillance Target 728
The target had been widely known as stupid, dumb, introverted, and suicidal but considering these facts were deliberately leaked by the family itself, there is a possibility that the target purposely acted out those accusations.
If so, the target is extremely intelligent and wise and is devious enough to hide his true self at such a young age. But due to lack of accurate intelligence as a whole, it is not enough to judge the target purely on analysis of his mental capabilities. Orders are to continue surveillance without the increase of the surveillance level.
One of the field agents has already approached the target 728 prior to the headquarters’ orders. Unable to withdraw to prevent leaking classified information. Requesting on increasing the level as initiating close surveillance.
Unable to raise the target’s level. Although approved for close surveillance, rejecting the mission to confirm on target. Disobeying this order will result in a warning.
“Is it about time to start?”
Isaac watched the sunset while submerging himself on the cushions of the chair. With a cup of orange juice in hand, he looked as if he was on a vacation.
His business had finally stabilised after 6 months with the end of the year close by. Isaac’s main clients for his unofficial business were women. He did not abuse the fact that it was a monopoly but simply sold slightly higher than what everyone would have accepted as fair price after considering the costs for delivery and the isolated nature of the Campus. In truth, Isaac’s share after paying Gonzales for his troubles was so small it may as well be considered an allowance.
The main goal for this plan wasn’t to make money in the first place. The goal was to seize enough power within the Campus so that no one would dare bother him, giving him the peaceful life he always wanted.
The nobles of the Empire could enter the Campus without an exam, and that is their privilege. But if they don’t have the talent, their names will be removed. That is why there are nobles who had given up early on and transferred to another school or those who put in the effort for the honour of their family. But there are also those who entered the Campus purely for the sake of it, only to realise the difference between them and others and gave up on everything.
Shuren, Louise and Bohrden were the latter case and they would deal with the inferiority complex and depression by bullying commoners or harassing female students of commoner birth.
“Ah, I’m bored. I haven’t had a good exercise since Isaac that bastard hid himself.”
“I know. We can’t go to see him since we are banned from entering the port, and it seems he’s too scared to come out anymore.”
“That’s fine but have you guys noticed all the girls got prettier lately?”
“Yeah. I don’t know how, but it seems like they are putting on makeup.”
“Where could they possibly have gotten them?”
“Who cares? It’s good for us at the end of the day. Am I right?”
They snickered amongst themselves and changed the subject to more vulgar subjects. They talked of how one of their maids were pretty or how one of them peeked at a girl when she was getting changed or how someone else grabbed another girls breasts – a conversation full of shameful boasts.
But at one point, Louise noticed a familiar face.
“Huh? Isn’t that Isaac?”
“I can’t believe it feels nice to see him after so long.”
“We better give him a warm welcome then!”
They came as a group and threw a flying kick at Isaac. Isaac rolled on the floor, thinking to himself that he was lucky those three weaklings were from the School of Administration. Isaac believed he would be hospitalised at this point if they were from the Military School.
“Oh! Nice kick!”
“Maybe I should have gone to the Military School instead of the School of Administration.”
Isaac felt sad that those three were his juniors. He was prepared for this, but it still irked him.
The three looked back in bewilderment. No matter how smart they are, they are still just children. When a toy behaves differently from what was expected, their reaction is always the same.
“I think he finally lost it.”
“Hey, hey. Don’t be so mean. Who knows? Maybe he practiced some martials arts to fight back while he locked himself in the port.”
“Oh dear, I’m scared. Maybe I should let him hit me a few times.”
Isaac sighed, watching the three laugh like hyenas.
“Oi, you juniors.”
“Juniors? Who are you to act superior to us?!”
Slap! Shuren’s hand swung mercilessly across Isaac’s cheek. Isaac’s tongue tasted the rustic blood.
After spitting the blood on the floor, Isaac looked around to make sure no one was around. Then he talked back at the three with a cold stare.
“I know you fucktards are rubbing at me because of your damn inferiority, but why do you come outside to ruin this beautiful world? Go back to your room where you belong and have a good look in the mirror to see how incapable and useless your existence is in this world.”
The three were in such shock that all they could do was gape silently like goldfish. Isaac continued with a smile.
“Was that too difficult to understand? Maybe I shouldn’t try to talk like a noble to you guys. Shall I bring myself to your level? Go fuck your mother, you shitters.”
Their rage was at its tipping point. Isaac taunted at the three angered students to come at him.
“Come at me, fuckers. Or are you scared? I guess those balls are just for show.”
As the three screamed at the top of their lungs and jumped at Isaac, he curled himself onto the floor.
“What do you mean you’re going to stop the business?! I’m running low on my perfume!”
“Do you think you can get away with just a refund?”
“I’ve waited for so long and you’re telling me this now?”
There was an outrage among the female students around Isaac. On the outside, he seemed like he couldn’t handle the commotion by the girls, but on the inside, he was smiling.
Almost a year had passed since this business had started, and now Isaac was irreplaceable to the women of the Campus.
How drug dealers sell their drugs is simple. They sell their drugs extremely cheap at first. And as the addiction begins to build, they also raise the price along with it. The customers who have become addicted have no choice but to buy the drug no matter the price. That is why addiction is to be avoided at all cost and such offers must be refused at the start.
Isaac’s business was similar to a drug deal. They all fall in a dilemma of the high price and the real price, but once they taste it, they always come back.
It was too heavy to bring everything in a single bag once every year. Servants could only help them up to the Gabelin and the moment they get on the ship, they had to move the bags themselves. The hardest part was disembarking the ship and moving the bag all the way to their rooms in the boarding house. Even after all that trouble, they couldn’t last a few months with what they brought.
But now thanks to Isaac, they could bring any goods at any time, lowering the unnecessary baggage they needed to carry. It was true they had to pay much more than what was required, but it was a small price for the extreme convenience it brought. But now he talked of stopping his business out right. This was not happening on their watch.
“As you can see, I am quite injured.”
Quite wasn’t even close to what had happened. Isaac had purposely taunted them to receive as ferocious of beating as possible. He was beaten so badly that he was on the brink of death. If it weren’t for Mazelan who found him, Isaac might have died.
“T, that is regrettable. If you want I can introduce you to a friend of mine who specialises in medicine. You can take the orders once you are treated, right?”
Those words brought hope in the eyes of other girls. Despite their optimistic eyes, Isaac slowly shook his head.
“The problem isn’t treating wound. In honesty, it takes great courage to even step out from the port. The thought of leaving the port scares me greatly, but I mustered the courage for you ladies, who have no idea as to why I hate to leave the port. I have no choice but to come here since you ladies can’t enter the port, but there are those who would lay in ambush each time I leave the port…”
“Who are they?”
“To think there are people who still stoop to violence in the Campus, the centre of academics! It is an insult to the name of Campus!”
“As you are well aware, I cannot fight back due to the situation I’m in. But there are three who would go to extra lengths to abuse me. I’ve been beaten by them so much that it became natural to remember their names. They are Shuren, Louise and Bohrden from the School of Administration.”
“Ah! I know them! They are the trash who gave up the moment they enrolled!”
“I’ve heard of them too! They follow and harass commoner girls like dogs in heat!”
“Shuren is the second son of the Earl Borco Family right?”
“Louise and Bohrden are from the Viscount Segan and Baron Luco Family who are the vassals of the Earl Borco Family.”
“Hmph! I guess birds of a feather flock together.”
While the girls insulted them without pause, Isaac added a few more words to add fuel on their anger.
“And they somehow managed to find out about the orders you were making, and told me to hand it over to them. They said they will deliver them instead… I’ve managed to hear their plans to use them as weapons by giving them to girls they like and try to seduce them…”
“What! Those pieces of trash have really lost their minds! How dare they even attempt to look at me like that?!”
“Ah! I’ve never been so insulted!”
“They even said they might even seduce the women from College…”
PR Note: A “cur” refers to an aggressive dog, typically in poor condition, and it can be otherwise referred to as a mongrel. In essence, the girls are calling the three “horny dogs.”
Those final words were the decisive strike. The students of College were like idols to the students of Campus. When the girls felt their idols were insulted by the lesser beings, their feelings surged beyond anger and transformed into murderous intent.
“Don’t you worry. We’ll take care of it. Can you take the orders again when it’s settled?”
“Of course. I’ll happily wait for that moment.”
Isaac smiled, watching the women leave in unison.
“You’re quite scary, aren’t you?”
Mazelan, who had been watching from a corner, spoke to Isaac. He knew that this exact moment was the reason why Isaac started his borderline-legal business. He knew that this moment was the reason why he purposely provoked those injuries on himself. Isaac had used those injuries as evidence to hide the lies in his confessions. He watched Isaac painstakingly spend a full year to build his reputation amongst the girls in the Campus, making it impossible for anyone to ever doubt him. This exact moment in time was when Isaac’s revenge came to fruition, and those three would become an example for all the men in the Campus that Isaac cannot be messed with. Mazean saw that Isaac had finally grasped the goal he wanted, a peaceful life.
“Do you know what the easiest thing in the world is?”
“Turning people into idiots.”
Mazelan suddenly felt uncomfortable at the accompanying smile on Isaac’s face.