Suzzane had started a few businesses while Locke and Angelina were away. All of them had begun to generate considerable profit after six months but it wasn’t enough to cover her incurred cost just yet. Even so, Suzzane was confident that she’d be able to expand her business in due time. The elder’s of Billie’s clan were thoroughly impressed with the young woman’s competence.
By all means, Suzzane wasn’t all that young. She was about the same age as Glace and the fact that they’d regarded her as a young rookie was pretty telling; entry into the trading business scene must’ve been difficult in Aomar.
Nothing was easy. While Suzzane wasn’t a spellcaster nor was she an impetus practitioner, it didn’t mean that she had no worth. As one of Locke’s lovers, she still hoped to do something for him.
While joking around with Kristin, Locke was reminded of something. He turned to Suzzane, who was sitting diagonally across him. “How’s the security like in your shop-lots? Would you like to hire a few people for assistance?”
His experience as a militant had brought him a revelation of the hidden backdoors beneath the peaceful guise of Princeton City. While the city looked peaceful, its underworld was complicated and chaotic. Trouble would find its way to Suzzane if she failed to manage her relationship with them.
Though Locke had been away for a year, his network of connections still existed. He could contact anyone from his Imperial Academy classmates or Pabo and Kris from his small group to request assistance.
“Don’t worry, I’ve already taken care of all the necessary arrangements. Plus, Billie’s helping me out,” answered Suzzane with a beaming smile.
As time passed, Locke eventually realised that Suzzane wasn’t as soft and vulnerable as portrayed. The young business owner was incredibly resilient and independent. While Suzzane assured that she had everything under control, Locke made a mental note to bring this up to his good old friends. That way, he’d be able to leave for Botania in peace knowing that Suzzane was in good hands.
The most profitable of Suzzane’s businesses was none other than her trading house that operated rather uniquely. The establishment did not carry a specific list of items but instead sold whatever was available. Any normal trading house would’ve gone bankrupt in a matter of months with this approach.
The main thing that set Suzzane’s trading house apart from the rest was the fact that it sold precious items that money couldn’t necessarily buy. Glace’s special concoction was one of the main items sold in the trading house.
One had to agree that the Felippe bloodline was indeed amazing. Young Kristin was a dual user of magic and impetus while Glace showed unrivalled competence in the art of potion brewing. Though Glace was just a low-rank Lehrling, she could already brew potions that could only be mastered by mid-rank Lehrlings. Her innate talent had attracted plenty of attention from experienced casters in her institute.
Many prominent clans had expressed their intention to work with the future potion master but Glace had politely refused all of them. Her rejection hadn’t received any backlash since everyone knew that those who lived on Sachiel Street were of significant influence.
Apart from Glace’s potion, Suzzane’s trading house also carried various rare items. Though the nature of its operation was similar to sundry shops, none of the latter carried potions. Potions were precious merchandise, after all. The trading house in the southeast of Princeton City eventually garnered its fame, attracting the patronage of Knechts and Lehrlings that’d returned from the Alkaline Forest and Baikal Lake.
“You’re more than allowed to mobilise the guards in the mansion.” Angelina, who was discussing recent developments of the Faustian Kingdom with Gage, lifted her head to tell Suzzane.
“T-Thank you!” Suzzane nodded gratefully. The growth of her businesses had indeed attracted more trouble from gangsters and those with ulterior motives. They were getting increasingly difficult to handle as Suzzane couldn’t possibly halt the disruption just through goodwill. She needed stronger influence to suppress them.
The secret guards and royal guards in the mansion were elite militants that’d been through strict selection. They were all impetus users and using them on measly gangsters seemed too heavy-handed even.
Angelina returned a curt smile to Suzzane. The competition between Locke’s women remained strong. Their current peace and willingness to collaborate were owed to their excellent emotional maturity and genuine affection towards Locke.
The dinner table was filled with concerns for Locke, a serious discussion between Angelina and Gage, Kristin’s giggles and Suzzane’s occasional response. Glace and Laffey, however, were oddly quiet at their little corner of the table.
Glace wasn’t a big fan of liveliness. Despite her intense yearning for Locke, she couldn’t bear to stare at him longingly in public just like Suzzane. Plus, her niece’s blatant attraction for Locke was making things difficult for her.
Glace let out a helpless sigh. She’d raised Kristin like her own daughter so she understood her well. How could she possibly stoop so low as to snatch Locke away from her darling niece?
Laffey, on the other hand, didn’t have much opinion. She’d always been a servant raised in a margrave’s estate. In regular aristocratic homes, servants weren’t allowed to be at the same table as their masters. It was only because Locke couldn’t care less about noble antics that she was allowed to have meals with them.
While the others were caught up in lengthy conversations, Laffey filled Locke, Kristin and Glace’s plates with more food.
“Whoa, Laffey! Are you trying to feed me till I burst?” Locke complained jokingly.
The pile of food on Locke’s plate was half as tall as him. It may look excessive but the portion was only a starter for a knight’s appetite. Laffey had merely filled it according to Locke’s usual appetite.
Laffey blushed at his tease. It had been a whole year since they last met and time had posed a distance between their initial familiarity. Laffey didn’t dare be as carefree around Locke as before since he was her master's lover. Plus, Locke could easily request to bed her since she was a servant.