Chapter 15 – Dueling Gambling
At noon, I was eating alone at the school cafeteria “Rotasti” while contemplating the moneylender’s case. As usual, a big, blond, blue-eyed student sat down across from me. The meat on the tray looked to be about 500 grams again today. Needless to say, it was Arthur.
“What’s the matter, Glenn? You don’t look so good. Is this about the duel?”
No, you’re wrong. But it seems that I cannot hide the pressure that my life is being threatened. However, I can’t say that I’m thinking of countermeasures because a moneylender is trying to kill me. Where in the real world would you find a student who would be killed by a moneylender? This Eleanore world is really crazy.
“I knew you were right about the engagement story, as I expected.”
“No, no, it’s no big deal.”
Perhaps reading the air, Arthur switched the subject and saved the day.
“I heard that both His Royal Highness the Prince and the Duke’s daughter have denied any engagement talk.”
“Well, I suppose that’s the way it has to be.”
I heard about the Duke’s daughter denial from Freddy and Lydia in the classroom. The Duke’s daughter and I are in the same class, so it would be easy to spread the word by leaking it to her entourage. She wouldn’t even need to use her servant for this degree. Perhaps His Royal Highness Alfred is telling the story in a similar way.
“It’s only a matter of time before the royal court denies it.”
“Yes, regardless of the wording and nuances.”
Arthur nodded his head while eating heartily as usual. It is certain that the engagement story of his highness and the Duke’s daughter will flow. Once it was so clear, it would be difficult to turn it over.
“By the way, the student council is currently opening the bet now..”
Huh? Arthur, didn’t you say something ridiculous just now?
“Wait a minute! What did you just say?
“The student council is opening the bets for the duel. What’s wrong?”
I was stunned. Oh, come on, the student council is going to open a gambling hall. I don’t think it’s possible, no matter how much I think of it.
“Hey, Arthur. Is that normal?”
“Huh? It is, isn’t?”
Arthur answers plainly. He doesn’t seem to have any doubts. No, no, no, it’s not normal. Eleanore’s world is crazy after all. Where else in the world would you find a school where the student council is the gambling machine?
“Ummm. Does that mean it’s school-sanctioned?”
“It’s something the student council does, so it probably is.”
Is that so? … so it’s me the only one who thought it wasn’t normal here? Sometimes I’m bordering on dismay at the sheer craziness of this world, but this time it’s megaton-level.
“According to a senior colleague, teachers, staff, and even people outside the department can bet on it.”
This world is so crazy that dueling is not only a school activity, but also a socially sanctioned betting game. According to Arthur’s information, when a duel is held, the student council usually acts as the organizer and holds a betting hall, and the money from the temple is used to cover the student council’s operating expenses. In a sense, this is a rational system that is a source of funds for the student council, but it is highly doubtful whether this system would be accepted in the real world.
I have no choice but to accept it, even if it is crazy. I changed my mind and asked about the situation of the dueling markets.
“The bet for Dobberwin is overwhelming.”
“Is it strange for Dobberwin to this high?”
“No! It’s the other way around.”
I intentionally blurted it out, but Arthur immediately caught on.
“But as result you’ve got a higher multiplier. Much more so than Doberwin.”
“Is the world full of idiots?”
“It’s because the power of the Sword of Electra.”
Apparently, word is spreading that Dobberwin has a magic sword, and many students think that if that’s the case, the game is decided. I heard that only a few students are betting on me and most of them are betting on Dobelwyn. They have in their minds, the favorite is Doberwin and the favorite is me. In this world, this school, there are basically only stupid people.
“If that’s the case, why don’t you just bet on me?”
“I’m betting all my money. And Winds, too. I’m counting on you, Alford!”
Saying that, Arthur clapped his oak hands while praying for me.
“I can’t lose, you know.” He said.
“Okay, okay,” and hurriedly got up from our seat. I couldn’t stop thinking about the measures against moneylenders.
I couldn’t get the moneylenders out of my mind even during piano practice, when I can usually concentrate and empty my mind. Today’s piano practice ended with playing a piece of Czerny and a piece of Hanon, both of which I had written out in my brain, and I closed the lid of the keyboard early. In short, I dropped out of the class before practicing the song, which is not much to talk about.
After that, I didn’t even go near the library, where I usually go, and just stayed in my dorm room. I had never done anything like this before. I was afraid to meet Airi, partly because I was thinking about the moneylender’s case, but also because I wasn’t confident that I would be able to make things right. I didn’t know what I would say if I actually met her. I had developed a strange weakness.
I sipped my wine and tried to think calmly. After thinking about it all day, the only idea that came to my mind was to lend money to a moneylender. But it was not as easy as it seemed. I am not old man Eppel, but even a moneylender is a businessman. Just handing them money will not work, nor will it solve the problem. On the contrary, they will beg for more money.
The problem for them is that the money they have lent has burned up and they have lost the seed money they need to make money. As in any business, if you don’t have the money, you can’t work. You need money in advance for purchases and equipment. The same is true when hiring people. To make money, you need money.
But it is not so easy to solve this problem by lending money. A businessman has his own pride. A businessman who is happy to borrow money from an unknown, unknowable, and untested person of tender years is not a businessman at all. He is just a stray. This part is common to the real world.
Since my lack of name is synonymous with my lack of credibility, even if I were able to lend you money, you would not be grateful. In order to be appreciated, you need to have the trust and track record to be appreciated.
That’s where the Alford Business Association comes in.
I took a sip of wine. If this had been in Monsell, I could have used the name Alford. In Monsell, my father is the head of the guild. But this is the royal capital. The people here would not trust a local merchant association that is not a member of the royal guild. Therefore, the name of the Alford Chamber of Commerce cannot be used.
“In the end, do I have no choice but to borrow the help of one of the four major merchant associations?”
The four major merchant associations are the four major merchant associations that are members of the Royal’s Guild.
The Capital’s Guild Alliance [Ferret Trading Company].
The guild that competes for supremacy [Jedra Chamber of Commerce].
The head of the Regidorna association [Turid Chamber of Commerce].
A long-established guild in Capital [Furnas Chamber of Commerce].
These four trading companies hold the majority of the Capital Guild’s market share. If they can get low-interest loans from these merchant associations, the moneylenders should be willing to take a bite out of the deal. However, considering the situation, a company bigger than Alford Merchants, like the four major merchant associations, would not easily lend me, a stranger to the world, the trust they have cultivated over the years.
Therefore, I have no choice but to ask them to lend me their credit through negotiations, but I have no idea what kind of barter I can offer them other than money. I don’t know what kind of bait they would be willing to bite on. In the first place, I have no idea what kind of material is needed.
“Where can I tie them to if I don’t have any material?”
I downed my glass of wine, thinking, “I may not be able to tie up with anywhere.” This was my third glass. I am drinking faster than usual, perhaps because I think my life is in danger. If I drink too much, I will lose the rhythm of my life. But I can’t help it if I don’t drink. It’s harder than I initially thought it would be.
I had to make a decision.