Isekai For My Ex Chapter 29: FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
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"That's right… that's right I should not think about something like this" Rara said to herself as she was denying something within herself while looking at the mirror.
"Yes… that's right, I haven't fell in love with him, I'm sure it was just the heat, today I'll just be convincing him to lend us his knowledge in the case that the queen rejects my plea" then she splashed her face with the water provided to her by her assistant.
Separate from the refugees, Michaela accommodated her in an inn owned by the royalty, aside from the fact that she was still a princess of the empire, she needed to come to the palace as often as possible, this way Michaela wouldn't have to send a carriage just for her.
"Besides… today that queen will be giving me her answer, if she rejects it, I won't see him ever again" then her sad reflection showed in the rippled bucket of water that she used.
Today was the day that Michaela was going to tell Rara her answer, they decided to meet at the planning chamber with the whole party, Michaela, Erneis, Claire, Andrei, the ministers and herself.
Rara quickly fixed herself, today she wasn't wearing the usual dress, she wore the armor that Claire gave her, it was also silver in color and it showed her curves at the right places, it wasn't the bulky armor that she always wore, but it was the same kind as Claire had.
"They do like their light armor" Rara expresses her discontent on the quality of the armor the kingdom uses for their soldiers, Kydus knights boasts of their strengths, as such they wear armor from head to foot weighing heavily. While the knights of Ethareri wore armor was light and has gaps which made them move faster.
Rara went out of the inn and starting walking towards the castle when he saw Andrei, in front of the bakery who was intently staring at the coins in his hand in front of a baker.
"Huh?? First thing in the morning?" She was startled to see the man she didn't expect to see until the meeting, she stopped and looked at him, he was still blankly staring at the coins in his hand, "Gold coins?? Is he planning to buy something? Wait… from a baker?"
She went to him as she got a gist of what had happened.
"How much was it?" she asked the lady baker.
"Only 10 copper but this man only has gold coins, I don't know if he's bragging or something but I don't have change for that amount first thing in the morning! Not if he wants to buy the whole stock" The lady complained, while Andrei stood there dejected.
Rara made a wry smile thinking about the words that came from her mouth when she saw him was the same as the baker's, "First thing in the morning?!" but with different purposes.
"Okay, I'll pay for it" she reached to her pocket and gave the lady ten copper coins.
"Did you just pay for me?" The dejected looking Andrei seemed to have recovered and asked the young lady in front of him who paid the bread he bought.
"Don't mind it" and she walked away from him and followed the path going to the castle, Andrei shortly followed her after, the two walked side by side.
"No, I'd feel bad" Andrei took ten gold coins and tried to give it to Rara, but the young girl just stared at it and at him, she repeated the action three times alternating between the hand and his face.
"I don't know if I'm right or not, but perhaps are you… illiterate? Even with that weapon-making ability?" Rara straightly asked Andrei in the eyes.
Andrei who couldn't handle the fact that a girl who's like 15 or 16 years old have called him illiterate stabbed an invisible dagger to his body.
He then recovered and ate one bread. He remembered that in the world he is in, only nobles and those who are higher ranked has the privilege to education.
"Yes… I'm not able to read and write, but I do know how to count… except that I don't know your country's conversions, that Ms. Baker got mad at me"
Andrei thought that Rara was going to laugh at him but instead the young girl just stared at him and took the a gold coin from his hand and presented it to him.
"You see, it's simple a gold coin represents a hundred pieces of silver coins, and a silver coin represents a hundred copper coins, understand? Simple right?"
She gave him a lecture out of nowhere, Andrei was glad that instead of laughing at him like the haughty know-it-all middle school kids he encountered in his world, the young girl apparently was kind enough to teach him.
Michaela was busy in her duties, and Claire was nowhere to be found, in his day off Andrei would go around the town, with an allowance that Michaela gave him, at first it was silver coins, but when the Bouncing Claire bombs were slowly being mass produced, his allowance became bigger than it was before, until it became 20 gold coins a week.
He usually goes to town buying all sorts of food that he wasn't familiar of, the country's cuisine was very delicious compared to his original world.
Michaela since the day she toured Andrei was very busy of handling her duties, and Andrei couldn't find Claire anywhere, "Or perhaps she was just in the castle and I just didn't notice her?" he thought of the girls no-presence and stealth passive powers.
The two both went together to the direction of the castle.
When they reached the castle, the guards immediately opened the gates when they saw Andrei who was carrying a basket of bread with him.
"Are you really taking that bread to the meeting?"
"Huh? What meeting?" Andrei asked.
"I mean… today was going to be the day that Michaela's gonna answer me right?"
"Wasn't that called off?"
"Huh? Why!?" Rara's expression became angrily surprised.
"Didn't she order a messenger to tell you that it was postponed?" Andrei tilted his head in curiosity.
"No one went to me! And why did she postpone it!!"
"Calm down… Calm down… she really didn't want to do it, but she heard a sudden news and she had to go to the ministers as soon as possible"
"What news?" Rara recollected herself and finally calmed down.
"I really don't know the details but when I went down for breakfast I saw her reading a letter and then her face suddenly became scared, she didn't even finish her breakfast and immediately took off" Andrei said in a worrying tone, with Michaela's expression he didn't want to intrude, he decided that he would wait for Michaela to tell him.
Rara finally let out a sigh, "So that's why you're buying bread instead of having breakfast, why didn't you order one of the maids to get it for you?"
"No, this is fine… it's boring to eat alone in that large place, I'd rather eat outside while seeing the scenery" he said looking happy.
"He's… similar to me" Rara thought, but kept the words to herself, he remembered when his father was too busy being the emperor of the palace, and when her siblings became busy on their responsibilities as sons of the emperor.
She would always eat alone in a long table inside the palace attended by maids, the routine went on daily that she would get sick of it and secretly would go outside to get some fresh air and eat while watching different scenery's.
He took a bread from the basket and took a bite of it. He took another one and shoved it to Rara's mouth that was left open while looking at him. "You haven't eaten right?"
The girl took the bread from her mouth and protested, "Just how disrespectful are you?! I'm not hungry!"
"Yes you are! because when you're hungry, it's more likely that you are to burst in anger just like that" Andrei pointed at her as if making fun of her as if she was his little sister.
"Oh right, since you're here and all, let's have breakfast together"
The two went and ate at a restaurant that Rara recommended, because Rara didn't brought a penny with her, Andrei had to pay for her, it was an expensive restaurant but for Andrei's bag of gold it was trivial.
"I didn't know that it was that expensive" Andrei let out a complaint in a small voice.
"Didn't the queen gave you 20 gold coins weekly?"
"Yes, but yeah... it's another story" he gave a wry smile.
Andrei would use the gold secretly for his own leisure such as collecting and buying things.
"So, this where I go, see you" Andrei waved to Rara as he went to the direction where the bombs are being assembled.
The girl got confused but immediately followed him, which made Andrei ask, "Hey, why are you following me?"
Andrei walked faster, but she was able to catch up immediately and pulled him by the collar.
"Teach me how to make those weapons!" she said in a serious tone and bowed asking for the favor.
"If the queen rejects my plea, our forces would split up and my forces wouldn't be able to make a stand without those weapons against such a force"
He couldn't see her face as her silver-white hair covered her face, he felt embarrassed when young girl bowed to him, however when he felt that she was being serious, he couldn't help but allow it to happen until she finished what she wanted to say.
"That's right…." Andrei thought to himself, "Even if we just lend them the bombs, there are barely people involved in the making of it, even the blacksmiths are stills having a hard time in replicating it, if we teach them… -no that wouldn't be enough time"
While Andrei was thinking the girl still bowed her head.
"Please raise your head" Andrei lifted her chin upwards until she was standing straight
"I really don't think that Michaela would reject your plea, she's thinking of it, and I believe she doesn't want to leave the innocent civilians outside to die.
And strategically it would be a win-win situation for both of you, all we can do is believe on her"
Andrei patted her head.
"Win-win?" Rara lifted her face and asked about the unfamiliar word.
"Ahhh, it means that both of you would benefit from the situation"
"Ahhh alright, but I'm not really confident" the girl looked sad, her red eyes started to get watery as she thought of her father and her people, each time she thought of how her father was doing, her heart would break. The country was closed, spies have sent them information, but they really didn't get the overall situation of the castle. All they knew is that the Emperor gave orders to gather all the nobles forces.
Andrei knew the weight that she was carrying in such a young age of 15 to 16, but he couldn't just make a decision on a whim he knew his position very well.
But this suddenly changed when Rara started to cry, her tears went down a river. Her eyes still showed a ray of conviction and determination, however being burdened by the responsibilities, and the possibility of being rejected of the help from her last thread of hope, her eyes couldn't hide her frustrations anymore.
"Okay okay I got it, don't cry! I can't promise real help, but when it comes to it I will help you okay? Even if it's just me" Andrei said in panic
With these words, the girl felt that her frustrations lightened up a bit, she slowly lifted her face, and from there Andrei could see that her eyes and cheeks still had the tears, the clouds covering the sun cleared and it shone on her directly, her surprised face could be clearly seen, and she could only look Andrei in disbelief.
Did she just hear the words she was looking to hear from someone? did she just found someone whom she can rely on? Is it okay for her to rely on that person? Rara wanted to doubt the person's declaration of his support, but it felt so real, "Is he serious? For someone like me? Who was a stranger to him until a few days ago?" she thought.
"You are not lying right?"
"I'm not" Andrei gave a wry smile, "I'll be in trouble with Michaela though, but if it's just me I can just sneak outside the castle and lend my strength to you if you need it"
"What if she breaks up with you because of that?"
"Well, that's a different story, but I feel like helping you" this time Andrei was clear of his answer to the girl who couldn't even believe what she heard. "This is what I truly feel"
The girl didn't say a word anymore and clung to him as if there was no tomorrow, Andrei felt that he had a younger sister that hugged him so he didn't feel that embarrassed, although he was surprised at first.
He patted her head and said, "So quit acting tough and smile, I'll support you whenever you need it, leave it to me, everything will be alright"
Andrei was reminded of his past.
In a modern audio-visual room Andrei presented his thesis, he was on his corporate attire and was wearing his anti-radiation glasses, the panel sat in front of him and there were several audiences at the back to give him support, one of them was Ann.
"... so by that theory the A.I would gather user, weather and traffic data altogether, analyze using predictive analytics and produce the result closes to accurate on the fastest run time as possible"
And he finally finished his discussion, it was the time for defending his thesis, series of questions was thrown to him and he answered them outstandingly, however one of the panel seemed to be irritated and wanted him to start over.
This made everyone on the audio visual room shocked that his adviser forgot to follow proper etiquette and went full blown angry.
"What the hell are you thinking old man! No matter how you look at it, it's already complete! You can't just reject something like that! The other panel agreed too!"
"Re-defense! It will be a re-defense! I am the chairman of the department"
"What about being the chairman! Then can you tell everyone why did you reject it?"
"Because it's trash!" everyone on the room was startled even Ann.
"Don't worry, the next panel would be better" Ann comforted him, they sat on the convenience store corner at the night, there were rarely cars passing by and the moon and stars shone at the sky.
"Yeah, but to enroll for another semester just for that…" Andrei thought about his living expenses, and got depressed, he quit his part-time job to focus on his thesis, his family would rarely send him money since he refused the military academy letter.
He had no money to enroll for another semester.
"Then, I'll lend you some" Ann offered with a smile, however Andrei's ego wouldn't allow this.
"No, even if your parents support you, you also don't have enough money to lend me that much" he sighed.
"Then I'll find work-"
"Then let's stop studying, get married and find work?"
Andrei stiffened and was surprised, but he knew that this was a bluff to make him motivated, he knew how scheming his girlfriend was, so he calmed himself to respond.
"No, we are already almost at the finish line, I'll be okay somehow"
"Then let me lend you mone-" enthusiastically Ann tried to say.
"-I said no"
"Hmmmp!" Ann blew out her cheeks.
"I really appreciate the help" he patted his girlfriend on the head who crossed her arms angrily looking away, "But, I'll be okay, I promise" he smiled and kissed her on the forehead.
And the two smiled at each other finally.
"Don't worry, I have your back, leave everything to me, everything will work out fine soon" Ann said to him seriously, she took the other end of her earphones and moved closer to him, she inserted it to his ear and played her favorite music.
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