Chapter 275 – Money War (3)

Episode 275 Money War (3)

A fresh rumor was making waves in the business world.

“Did you hear? Colosseo Academy has a bunch of young geniuses.”

“You mean the ones who did so well in the recent mock investment competition?”

“The crazy thing is, they weren’t ‘mocking,’ they were playing with real money.”

“Huh? Those ridiculous rates of return mean were real?”

“Why, of course. That’s probably why everyone accepted the invitation today.”

Oracle. An investment club that earns ridiculous real-world profits in mock investment competitions held by the Bourgeois Family.

Not much is known about their identity.

However, it is known that they are students at the prestigious Colosseo Academy, and their identities are certain.

As such, many in the financial world were curious about the “party invitation” from Oracle.

It was common knowledge that the largest and most ornate hall in the Imperial Capital had changed hands.

The new owner had paid all cash for the building and left a huge 10% tip.

Furthermore, the rumor that the new owner immediately started renovating the exterior and interior of the big, fancy hall as soon as he bought it also freaked people out.

What’s the point of building an extension on such a huge and gorgeous hall?

Therefore, not only the general public but also some of the most prominent figures in the business world were paying attention to Oracle’s actions.

And then.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

May Xth. Time for the nine bells of the public square clock.

It was the date and time written on the invitation sent from Oracle.

The wealthy from all over the Capital, or provinces, gathered at the party hall in response to the Oracle’s invitation.

A hundred people at most, but more than three thousand with their attendants.

Then.

“What? Who’s that?”

“Oh my. I can’t believe he accepted the invitation.”

“This is the first time I’ve seen him in person.”

“Someone big is at the party.”

The old gentlemen and ladies of the business world stepped aside.

A carriage drove majestically through the center of the hall.

The family crest was a white triangle on a black background.

This was the mark of the ‘Sinan’ family, which was famous for being wealthy in the north.

And in the carriage was a person who caught the attention of business figures.

Viscount Sinan Saltsail, also known as the Salt Merchant.

He was the leader of the Sinan family, one of Don Quixote’s maternal families.

Saltsail is a famous nobleman and a wealthy merchant who is considered one of the most important merchants in the North.

His wealth, accumulated by transporting 60,000 tons of salt across the empire, is almost unrivaled in the north.

“Hehehe – yes. Let’s see what kind of extravagant party you’ve brought people all the way to the imperial capital.”

Saltsail stroked his mustache and looked out of the carriage.

Then.

“……!”

Saltsail’s carriage stopped.

A strange figure stood in front of him, blocking his path.

A body that still looked like a boy. His face was covered with a cute cat mask.

On his feet, he wore long boots, giving the impression that he had stepped out of a fairy tale.

Saltsail asked.

“Who are you and why are you blocking the way?”

The boy in the cat mask answered.

“My name is Cat in Boots. I am your guide to the party of the day.”

His voice was dry and emotionless, but his pronunciation was clear and understandable.

After proving his identity with the invitation in his possession, Cat in Boots climbed into Viscount Saltsail’s carriage and sat down beside him.

“Now, we have about 23 kilometers to go to the party.”

Saltsail could only frown at Cat in Boots’ words.

Then.

“……hmm?”

Viscount Saltsail’s eyes widened slightly.

He could see something bluish on the center road in front of him.

“What is that?”

Viscount Saltsail pulled his head out to look ahead.

Only then did he see what was in front of him.

It was a blue cloth. A large curtain had been drawn around it, covering the inside.

Cat in Boots said.

“My master has put a great effort into tonight’s party. He said that the gathering of precious people could not be revealed to the outside world, so he purchased specially good silk cloth and pitched a tent around the hall.”

Now Viscount Saltsail’s carriage was passing by the side of that curtain.

The silken curtain looks like a blue night on the ground.

Saltsail, who has a keen eye for luxury, immediately recognizes the material.

“Is it blue silk lined with the highest quality purple silk? Hmm, you have a good eye. I have one of those around the house, and it’s 16 kilometers long.”

As Saltsail spoke in a proud tone, Cat in Boots next to him quietly said something.

“My master has circled 21 kilometers this time.”

“What?”

Saltsail looked back at Cat in Boots as if his pride had been hurt.

But Cat in Boots was just Cat in Boots, and there was no other reaction.

Soon, Viscount Saltsail’s carriage arrived at the party hall.

A curtain had been drawn over the entrance to the hall, so it was hard to see the outside of the building.

He could only guess that it was a fairly tall palace-style building.

“Before you enter, I’ll give you a brief instruction.”

Cat in Boots explained the ‘dress code’ for today’s party.

Today’s theme was Red capes.

However, Saltsail tilted his head as if this was his first time hearing that there was a dress code.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a dress code before.”

“Oh, no. There must have been a miscommunication, but don’t worry, I have a cape for you.”

Saltsail’s eyes narrowed as he saw the red cape handed to him by the Cat in Boots.

“Hmph? This is Asbestos cloth, the finest cotton cloth that has been in vogue since the Warring States Period, and it’s embroidered with the teeth and claws of the vicious beasts of the western jungles. This must be a very valuable garment.”

“You must be an expert in fabrics and fabrication.”

“Of course, I have two sets of clothes like this myself.”

Saltsail was at first inclined to give in to the offer of a cheap cape.

However, in his opinion, the cape offered was very valuable, so he was quite satisfied.

The cape was also lightly enchanted, so there was no reason not to take it, as it would keep food and alcohol off of him and keep him warm.

“Would you like to have a cocktail on the way to the party?”

Cat in Boots politely held out a glass.

Red liquor and clear ice cubes floated in the clear glass.

Saltsail took the glass and grunted.

“I don’t know much about alcohol. This stuff just makes me want to pee.”

“Is that so?”

Cat in Boots nodded toward Saltsail, who was complaining but was still thirsty as he poured down his cocktail.

Then.

They passed through a dark hallway into a bright, spacious room.

Saltsail’s eyes widened slightly.

“Oh, this is…….”

An ornate interior greeted SaltSail.

The floors were marble from southern Jasmunhald, and the ceiling was hung with a chandelier of canned rubies from the Western Red Fang Castle.

The walls were painted with red stone pigment, one of the rarest and scarcest of the rare minerals, and for some reason there was a golden sink in the center.

There are also statues carved from expensive coral, and duck down rugs on the floor.

The walls were lined with purple silk curtains and dotted with well-dressed maids holding bottles of perfume.

Even Saltail, who didn’t even snort at the luxury and pleasure, nodded in approval.

“……That’s nice.”

Saltsail glanced back at Cat in Boots standing in the distance.

“Beautiful main building. Someone in the Imperial Capital has some taste. It rivals the main building of my mansion.”

Saltsail nodded with a satisfied expression, as if he had found a good match for his wealth and luxury.

…… but.

“What do you mean?”

Despite Saltsail’s praise, Cat in Boots could only shake his head.

Then Saltsail also tilted his head.

“What I mean is, I said the main building was nicely decorated…… Hmm?”

Something wasn’t right.

Instead of talking, Saltsail looked around.

Sure enough, all the guests who had come with him when he entered had disappeared, leaving him alone.

Except for Cat in Boots and the maids with the perfume bottles, he was the only one here.

Saltsail said.

“No, where are all the people at the party, and why is the main hall so empty? I don’t think they’ve all gone to the bathroom.”

Cat in Boots opened his mouth as if to say, What are you talking about?

“Of course, all the other guests are in the main building.”

“……What?”

Saltsail’s expression turned puzzled.

If the main building is somewhere else, then what is this place?

To Saltsail’s puzzled look, Cat in Boots told him the truth.

“This is the restroom, not the main building.”

t/n: Puss in Boots