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Chapter 13 – “Another family discussion!? Mum is coming.”
Mum was coming to the Capital today. Why so suddenly, you ask? It’s because I mentioned my financial state in one of my letters. I regularly send letters to my parents because of how worried they are about letting their kids live alone here. That’s why I write whenever I can. Some of those letters may have included my grumblings about shop management.
She replied, “Send me your account book,” so I did and then…
Apparently that had been a bad idea.
I got this letter saying that she was coming immediately, which is why Loser(Bizef) was accompanying my mum here. Mum, I might have exaggerated things a bit in the letters, but we’re really okay now. Geez, the shop is just fine. Dryas-kun’s ideas should make everything just fine.
Geez, I was trying my best not to get her to worry too…
Well whatever. It was a good chance to see Mum again so I’d be lying to say I wasn’t somewhat happy. I decided to get the business talk over with and then spend some quality bonding time with her.
It was about time for her to arrive I think…
Before long, I heard the sound of an approaching horse carriage.
Was it her…?
I rushed out of the store to check. Alighting from the carriage was my beloved mother.
Before I knew it I had rushed over to embrace her.
“It’s been a while, Tilea. Have you been well?”
“Yeah. Both Timu and I have been great.”
Fwahh, it’s Mum. It’s been a while so I’ll fawn on you! I rubbed up against Mum’s chest. Waah, it’s so warm and soft. And I missed this smell. Sniff sniff.
“H-, Hey, Tilea-chan. Sup!”
Loser(Bizef) interrupted our mother-daughter bonding.
Honestly, it’s called reading the mood! Mum and I are supposed to be catching up right now!
I glared at him. He looked flustered and confused as though he had been expecting something else.
I felt a little sorry for him. Thinking about it, he went out of his way to escort her here. I mean, he had ulterior motives for sure, but it still wouldn’t do if I forgot to say thank you.
“Bizef-san, thank you very much for accompanying my mother here.”
“No, no, it was nothing.”
“Don’t say that. I’m grateful.”
“It’s fine, I said, fine. I had some business in the Capital anyway.”
“Yeah, to tell the truth I’m moving here.”
“Huhu, surprised? If you have any troubles, you can come find me any time.”
“Haha… I see.”
Hey, Loser(Bizef). I’ve completely seen through you. When the hell would I go looking to you for help. Trying to rely on you would make everything ten times harder.
I gazed coldly at him for a while.
“Bizef-san, I really have to thank you too. Please take care of my daughter.”
Mum started to thank him. Please, Mum, the way you worded it sounds like I’m getting married to him.
“Mu-, AHEM, Sera-san, please leave it to me. I’ll take care of Tilea-chan and Timu-chan for you.”
Oi, what the hell did he almost say just now? Are you already pretending to be my husband!?
Oh god, please stop that Mum. You’re looking at him like he’s your future son-in-law or something. He’s going to misunderstand, okay!
Loser(Bizef) was in a good mood after that. Probably because he thought he had my parents’ approval or something. He even started getting touchy-feely with me…
Bro… If you keep this misunderstanding up you’re going to meet my cestus, okay. Seriously.
Anyway, after I was done hugging Mum, she moved onto the main topic.
“Tilea, I looked at your ledger,” she said, letting out a huge sigh.
Probably because she thought I was buried in debt. Well I was, but we had a plan, okay. I tried to put her at ease.
“W-Well, it’s true that I overspent a little but it’s okay. I’ve got a plan to turn this around. Plus, you have to know that nobody can beat my cooking.”
“A-, A little!? Do you have any idea how serious this is? Why didn’t you ask me for help earlier!”
“Sorry, b-but I’ve been thinking about the pricing and like the location and all sorts of stuff and――”
“Tilea, we’re a little past that stage. It’s too late.”
“D-, Don’t be like that, come on. I know it’s going to be hard to pay back a few dozen million but…”
“A few dozen million!? Show me that account book again.”
“Eh-!? What do you…? Wasn’t it like 30 million gold…?”
“Hahh~ Tilea, you forgot a digit. Right now you’re 300 million gold in debt.”
WHA-!? I flusteredly looked over the ledger again.
Umm, so you carry this over and then…
After agonising over the maths…
“Tilea, this calculation is wrong. This one too. And also you forgot to add the price of this fish. There’s also…”
Mum began accurately pointing out everything I did wrong. Wow, she’s not the manager of the restaurant for show.
After a lot of fixing, the result…?
300,000,000 gold in debt. Double checked.
O-, Oh my god… With this I can’t even use Dryas-kun’s plan.
A debt in the hundred millions…
Even the government would feel it if they had to bail me out.
“M-, Mum? What do I do?”
I looked at my mum tearily.
“Tilea, when you told me that you were working at a restaurant, I assumed you meant as a chef. Never had I imagined that you were doing everything from the cooking to the management…”
Mum had a good point. To begin with I thought I was going to work for Or’s dad or something. But then Or just left everything to me. He just gave me money and didn’t ask for a thing. I thought it was pretty reckless of him but then decided it might have been his way of saying he trusted me. That’s why I thought I would do it all… but then I let him down like this.
“W-What should I do? I told Or that I was just 30 million behind. Awawa, for that to have turned to 300 million…!”
“Or-san is the owner of this restaurant?”
“Mn, it’s actually Or’s… Ortissio’s relative that owns it though. Or is just the middleman who hands me the funds.”
“And this Ortissio-san provides you with money on a monthly basis? He didn’t say a thing about this debt?”
“Yeah. And far from each month, on some months I even ask for money each week but he’s never complained about it.”
“Each week…? Speaking of which, the month before last you used an absurd amount of money didn’t you.”
“The month before…? Ohh, right, right, there was this fishing boat that had just come back from the ocean with some fresh hamachi yellowtail so I kinda――”
“You silly girl! Both you and your father are such idiots whenever it comes to cooking. Listen, when you buy ingredients you need to match the needs of your customers.”
“B-But… it was so good. I couldn’t just let it go. And Or said it was okay too and gave me the money.”
After hearing my excuses, Mum held her head in her hands. Yeah, thinking back on it, even I think I was being ridiculous.
“…I’ve heard enough. Anyway, can you arrange a meeting with Ortissio-san for me?”
“Eh-!? A meeting with Or? I dunno…”
Mum isn’t used to chuunibyou like I am so will they even be able to communicate?
“Tilea, don’t think so much about it. At this point you can only leave it to me, right? Or are you telling me that you can tell him you’re 300 million in debt?”
“M-, Maybe not. But Or and I are close so…”
“Tilea, you can’t be that disrespectful to Ortissio-san. Isn’t he the son of a noble here?”
“Mn, yeah. But Or and I are close, so we don’t care about that.”
Or might be a major noble but he’s never been arrogant about it. He treats commoners like me equally. Actually, I’ve kind of ended on top.
“Hahh~ You only know the friendly people from Beluga, but the nobles of the Royal Capital are strict when it comes to their money.”
“R-, Really? Or never seems to really care that much though.”
I mean, whenever I bring up money he immediately forks some over. Not a bit of hesitance. I’m basically robbing his treasury and he doesn’t care at all.
“Tilea, it’s impossible that a noble would thoughtlessly waste money. He has a reason. I need to meet with him to find out what it is.”
“That’s impossible. Mum, Ortissio doesn’t scheme like that.”
I mean, I’ve never met a more stupidly honest person. If I found out somebody like that was actually a schemer I don’t think I’d be able to trust other people anymore.
“Tilea, have you never thought it strange? It’s unnatural that somebody would just hand you this much money. Not only that, but to leave the entire store to somebody with zero experience like yourself…”
“That’s because he saw through my skill in cooking and――”
“It’s true that you inherited your dad’s talent. I’d even call you a first class cook. But leaving the entire store for you to manage would be unthinkable. From what I’ve heard, he’s basically left everything up to you these last few months, hasn’t he. Then in that case it wouldn’t be strange to think that he’s bankrupting you on purpose. To being with, it’s unthinkable that he suddenly prepared a store for you.”
“Like I said, Or and I are close――”
“Tilea, what do you mean by Close? Don’t tell me you’ve become his mistress or something?”
I choked on my drink. Me, Or’s mistress? Don’t even joke about that.
“M-, Mum, don’t suddenly say something so shocking. I’m not that cheap, okay.”
“I know. I don’t think you’d do that either. But I can’t explain this situation any other way.”
Mum was getting agitated. I mean, looking at this objectively I can kind of see her point. You wouldn’t just hand over your shop to some random girl you met on the streets. No matter how great my cooking was, it was completely unnatural.
In other words, Mum was suspicious of Or. Suspicious that he was handing out all this money because he had his eye on me…
But I couldn’t tell her the truth either. That Or prepared the restaurant as consolation for trying to assault me.
Ahhh, what do I do. I don’t think I can fool Mum. But if I told the truth it would make her suspect him even more…
“That’s why I want you to arrange a meeting, Tilea. I’ll make sure to find out the truth for you.”
I don’t think she was giving me any other option. Mum was being really adamant about it.
Can’t be helped.
I decided to just arrange the meeting. After that I’d just deal with whatever happened.
Or, no matter what you do, don’t start trouble with my Mum.
Lost in my thoughts, I headed underground to look for Or.