The girl’s name was Lia, and she was fourteen years old.

After a frantic moment, the barely soothed Lia told me what had happened.

Leone did a good job.

I knew Leone would be good at perceiving my intentions.
My expectations were perfectly met.

“I really owe you a lot, my lady.
How should I repay this favour…”

Lia fidgeted with her fingers as she said.
And soon, it seemed like something popped up in her mind as her eyes momentarily sparked.

I was a bit uneasy about that for some reason.

“P-please take this!”

Sure enough, what Lia held out to me was the salary envelope she was clutching tightly.

“This is your first paycheck.
Wouldn’t you need to use it?”

“It’s not enough to repay the favour I have received from your ladyship! Please accept it.”

Lia held out her paycheck envelope with a burdensome gaze.

I knew how grateful she was, but it was Lia who really needed the money, not me.
I couldn’t take that kind of money.

But if I say no, she’ll just hang on to me until I do.

Not only would it be awkward, but it wouldn’t look good in the members’ eyes.

But I really can’t take her paid.
What should I do with this?

I stared at Lia, lost in thoughts.

At that, Lia’s face turned slightly red.

“Then how about this.”

“Please tell me anything you wish for, my lady!”

“Will you back me up?”


Oh, they don’t use that phrase here.

“I want you to be my ally.”

“Milady’s ally…?”

Lia, unable to understand what I was saying, blinked in daze.

“Yes, that is the best thing I could ever receive.”

“But what’s the use of having a kid like me as an ally… ?”

Lia looked like she was about to cry.

But she was wrong.
Lia would be of just enough strength for me.

Because if I’m with Lia, the repulsion toward me would reduce a bit.

A person’s heart could not be converted into money, since it could not be bought.

Thus, if more people take a liking to me through Lia, was there any means of reciprocation better than this?

But I don’t think I need to explain much to her though.

Lia’s expression was gloomy.

I continued while wiping Lia’s eyes with the handkerchief I had brought.

“Just you being by my side already gives me a lot of strength.
People also call it friendship.”

“Friend-… I am milady’s friend?”

Lia, who had been muttering blankly, jumped up from her seat in panic.

“There is no way a kid like me could be a friend of your ladyship!”

“Why is that?”

“Because you are beautiful and noble! I’m ugly and dense!”

Lia said with conviction.

I looked at her and nodded.

“I see.
Then it will be difficult.”

Lia also nodded.

“Lia is cute and lovable, but I am not lovable.
It will be difficult to get along.”


Taking advantage of Lia’s confusion, I pretended to be in tears and showed off my best acting.

“Lovely Lia does not want to befriend me because I’m not lovely.”

“That can’t be it! How lovely your ladyship is!”



“Then will you be friends with me?”

“Yes! Ah…”

Lia, who belatedly realised what she had just uttered, hurriedly covered her lips.

Nevertheless, it was already late.

Lia was so adorable that my lips kept curling up into a smile.

“You can’t go back on your words now.”


“This is a gift to celebrate us becoming friends.”

I squeezed my handkerchief into Lia’s hand.

“Milady… Can I really be your friend?”

“Of course.
And since we’ve become friends, now I’m not a noble, but um….right, call me sister Eureia.”


“Great job.”

I stroked Lia’s pink hair as a sign of compliment.

I did not necessarily get close to Lia just because she would be of use to me.

When I first met Leone, he was around the same age as Lia.
Maybe that’s why she reminded me of Leone at that time, and I couldn’t help but want to get closer to her.

I looked down at Lia, who was smiling like a cute hamster under my hand.
It was not a bad start.
A smile was drawn on my lips.


On the way back after completing the guidance for Eureia, it was difficult for Yuphon to hide her uncomfortable feelings.

Her nerves were as sharp as her pointy glasses.

Yuphon had been dissatisfied with her from the moment she received an official letter from her superior about Eureia Craycia.

Someone parachuted.

Yuphon Alexia.
She was the only daughter of a fairly well-known household that ran a trading business, although the family name had now been erased.

Her father was a brilliant businessman, and she always admired him.

Although she didn’t spend much time with him, she liked the gifts her father bought for her on business trips, and carried the pride of him bearing the livelihood of countless people.

She decided that when she grew up, she would inherit her family and become a great businessman like her father.

But her dream suddenly shattered one day.

A trading ship loaded with goods worth tens of billions was sunk in a pirates’ attack.

Everything was looted.
Everyone on board was killed.

Above all, her father was also on that trading ship.

Her family, which lost all of its trading goods in a pirate raid, quickly fell into debt, and eventually, they had no choice but to sell their mansion and castle to pay off the debt.

From an aristocrat, she had fallen to a commoner, and there was no one to help her.

She struggled to live and barely managed to join the Cheshire Merchant.

She made her dream come true as she climbed up to the upper floors of the Cheshire guild.

She immersed herself in work, enduring the pain of her overloaded body for it.

And now, she had been able to rise to the top of the ranks, which were said to be difficult to reach.

To some, Cheshire might be just a gigantic merchant, but to Yuphon, the Cheshire Merchant was the beginning and hope of a new life.

And yet…

There are some that lucked out from using connections.

Just because Eureia was the vice-chairman’s lover, she took what Yuphon had struggled to achieve so easily.

Yuphon was very displeased with her.
That’s why she served her Lorcara tea and asked for a review.

She introduced it as a prototype they were about to release, but in truth, there were many opinions within Cheshire that the tea’s scent was disappointing.

That said, Eureia joined the guild while the release was being delayed, so there was no way she could figure out the cause that no one else could.

She wanted to discourage her with that.

However, she was neither discouraged nor hesitant as Yuphon had wished.

Rather, she spoke as if she was very knowledgeable.

‘Green tea does not go through the oxidation process.
Rather, it has to go through a process called ‘kill-green’ to suppress oxidation.
And this tea leaf is the kind that fits ‘kill-green’ more than oxidation.’

She gave reasons that no one had.

In that regard, Yuphon found it preposterous.

How did she know about that when she only joined with the help of her lover? She’s not even worth listening to.

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