༺ Our Fair is open for Business (4) ༻
There might not be a miraculous solution to dispel my worries instantly, but I could at least make an effort to alleviate the gloomy atmosphere. And to be honest, being consoled by Rutis, whom I had considered as one of the dimwits, was a bit humiliating.
Even if he was conveying Louise’s words, it had still come out of Rutis’s mouth. If Louise had decided to use him in order to give me shock therapy, it was a good choice. Having someone like him worried about me was so pathetic that I couldn’t help but return to my senses.
‘Although I’m grateful.’
I was, of course, thankful for both Louise and Rutis. However, it felt like receiving candy from a 5-year-old kid that was passing by because he felt pity for me.
But I was the one who created the situation, so I couldn’t blame anyone else but me.
“That’s why you can stop now.”
As I looked at her with tired eyes, Louise laughed awkwardly while turning around. Louise’s quest was not solely Rutis’ responsibility, but a quest shared by the entire club. I wonder how relieved Lather and Tannian was when Rutis spoke to me.
I couldn’t help but admire how well Louise distributed things. As expected from the protagonist of a romance fantasy novel.
Sir Villar looked at me with pity. It seemed like the next one was Ainter, so I stood up and walked toward Louise. I couldn’t tolerate receiving comfort from someone I investigated.
“Why did you do something you’d become sorry about?”
Louise lowered her head, but she was still smiling. I also couldn’t help but laugh at that.
It seemed like she realized I wasn’t angry.
“If I need your help in the future, I will tell you.”
“And don’t do something like this again.”
Only after I gave Louise the reply that she wanted was I able to stop the relay of the five members. Of course, there was no way that I’d be put in a situation when I needed Louise’s help, so it was more like a bluff.
Soon, the final day of the fair and the booth came.
While hanging around with Marghetta, I never saw the 1st Manager around. I was only able to see her when I went to the forest to meet up with the 4th Manager. She was definitely hanging around somewhere in the Academy, but I wasn’t able to see her at all.
“I’ll be going.”
And I was still being kicked out in the early morning. Louise’s work prohibition remained. I wonder if she would let me off the hook at the end.
After seeing Louise reply with a smile, I realized that wouldn’t be the case. After all, she was ranked 1st, and I was about the 7th.
As I glanced at the display area while leaving, Louise’s cookies were placed less prominently compared to the other snacks. The cookies didn’t sell well until now, so there were many leftovers. That’s probably why she initially made them in smaller quantities.
Thankfully, Louise didn’t seem to care whether what she made sold well.
“They’re going to announce the rankings tomorrow, right?”
“Yes. They’re taking a long time to compile the results, so they’re doing it tomorrow.”
“I hope everything gets sold out since it’s the last day.”
Although I can’t interfere with the work, I left a word of encouragement as the Advisor and left the booth.
And on my way to the main gate of the Academy, I quietly took out the communication crystal when I didn’t see anyone nearby. Since I had informed them in advance yesterday, it should be fine to ask them now.
* * *
Recently, oppa’s face seemed to have brightened up a bit.
Although he didn’t seem to be completely over it, it was alright since I had expected that. If that were something he could be over with just a few words, he would’ve already forgotten about it. I just wanted him to get a bit more comfortable, so it was a satisfying result.
In reality, I don’t know what was inside oppa’s mind. In such a situation, getting too close could become harmful to him.
The reason why I got close despite that is that oppa looked like he was about to explode at any moment. Thankfully, oppa laughed it off, but I was really scared that he’d become angry.
“It won’t be easy. The chains he put on by himself had to be freed by himself.”
I felt like I couldn’t handle it alone, so I asked the club members to comfort oppa, and in the process, Lather gave me serious advice. He said that the unknown shackles of oppa can only be released by him.
“But still, he could get over it faster with some help.”
Still, Lather listened to my unreasonable request, adding positive words.
‘If someone helps…’
If someone helps oppa, will he be able to become free from his chains faster? I hope he doesn’t collapse like before…
No, No. Oppa became brighter. So let’s not think about dark things. Oppa will eventually overcome it, no matter how long it takes.
Yes, he will definitely do it.
I was thinking that when I saw a customer walking toward the booth. It was the Vice Principal.
‘He also came yesterday.’
I’m glad that he liked what we made. Yes, it’s time to focus on work. If I get caught up in negative thoughts and neglect my tasks, it’ll be troublesome. Yes, let’s stay strong.
I greeted the Vice Principal with a smile.
“These cookies seem perfect for a quick snack.”
The Vice Principal bought all of the cookies I made.
* * *
Because there was a meeting of the Student Council, I wasn’t able to meet up with Marghetta. As the person in charge of my morning routine disappeared, all of my morning plans were blown up. How sad.
Because I had nowhere to go, I went to the forest. The 1st Manager was also there. They were planning to withdraw today, so it worked out well. Since we’re all gathered in one place, I could say my goodbyes here.
While we were talking and killing time until the afternoon, the request I made to the Vice Principal about buying the booth items became a topic of discussion.
“Executive Manager, that sounds like cheating.”
“Well, isn’t it just someone else buying them?”
“No, that’s not the problem—“
“The Executive Manager is right.”
“I don’t have anyone on my side.”
The 1st Manager’s tackle and the support of the 4th Manager. It was something I was used to seeing, which made me feel more comfortable.
What the 1st Manager said about cheating wasn’t that much. I was bothered that only Louise’s cookies remained in the end, so I asked the Vice Principal to buy them all. Wouldn’t it make her feel good if all the cookies she made were sold on the last day and remained in her memories?
Of course, I decided that I would give back the money that the Vice Principal spent on buying the cookies. Lousie’s cookies didn’t seem to suit his taste anyway, so I’ll eat them and take care of it.
“How can an Advisor buy all the items in a club booth?”
“I didn’t buy all of them, just the cookies.”
“If you bought those, then everything will be bought. From what I’ve seen, only the cookies were left behind.”
Unable to refute their words, I kept silent as the 1st Manager’s gaze felt like it was piercing me.
“Aren’t you too lenient towards Louise? You seem to care for her more than about Penelia.”
The 4th Manager flinched at those words, then looked at me with faint eyes. The 1st Manager said something weird and just messed up with the 4th Manager’s mind.
“But our kids worked really hard…”
“Your juniors? They would have lost anyway.”
Even if I hadn’t bought all of Louise’s cookies, the pastry club would’ve won. There’s no way another club would’ve been able to defeat members of the royal family and a saint candidate. However, even in the face of my realistic statement, the 1st Manager remained undaunted.
“My juniors won’t submit to injustice!”
“I’m not sure about injustice, but I’m sure that they at least learned how to adapt to society.”
I couldn’t understand why she showed so much affection for her club juniors. It wasn’t like she’d remember their faces once she returned to the Prosecutor’s Office. I really have no words for the 1st Manager’s unique way of playing.
After chatting for a while, it seemed like enough time had passed, so I stood up from my seat.
“Good luck on your way back. I hope to see you in the Prosecutor’s Office next time, not the Academy.”
“As expected, you miss us, right?”
It wasn’t that I missed the Manager trio. I said that because I wished an incident that made the 1st Manager and the Masked Unit come to the Academy didn’t happen while I’m here. Of course, this was a vain wish considering there were four other organizations besides the Third Honor. I’m not sure about the 1st Manager, but I was definitely going to see the members of the Masked Unit again.
Anyways, as I pulled the 1st Manager’s mouth, she moved her arms while struggling. I wonder when she’s going to learn.
As I returned to the booth, Louise came running excitedly. As I looked at the shelves, there didn’t seem to be anything left. It seemed like the Vice Principal had already visited the booth. As expected of the Vice Principal. He moved right away as soon as I asked for his help.
“What? Did something happen?”
As I reacted dumbly, as if I didn’t know what was going on, Louise talked excitedly while moving both arms. Even if she didn’t care about her cookies remaining, she probably couldn’t help but feel happy at selling them all.
“They’re delicious, so it’s obvious that would happen.”
As I answered with a smile, Louise smiled brightly.
Thank you, Vice Principal. Let’s keep this secret forever.