“What the director did was wrong.”
He even sided with Louise. She really appreciated his small words of support.
“You want me to take care of it? I know a few ways to make him stop breathing by tomorrow morning.”
…Oh dear. So it wasn’t just words. Louise shook her head with all her might.
“Don’t do that! I wish Sir Hesse would act less scary.”
“…Ahh, really? You’re so cute! To the point I want to make you my countess! Young lady, are you not interested in the position? No, I have to go to the Sweeneys? I’m sure you’ll need a son too, right, Mr. Sweeney?”
Louise broke into a smile as Hesse was exclaiming, “I mean it!”
“Won’t it be more troublesome if we stay here long?”
“It’s fine. The ambassadors will arrive just before the curtain opens anyway.”
Hesse took a few leisurely steps to stroke the flowers in the private box, and a faint fragrance filled the narrow room. The decorations were to make sure the performance would be viewed with a pleasant mood.
Louise briefly reviewed this choice. Of course, the beauty and fragrance of flowers was meant to enliven one’s space. But this wasn’t a universal view, as some people had a severe reaction to flowers.
Louise asked something she needed to confirm.
“This box. Didn’t the director say the Chancellor would use it?”
“Yes. There’s a good view of the stage from here. It’s usually used by the Countess Lassen because she donates large amounts of money to the center.”
Louise recalled the contents of the documents her parents arranged. For one thing, the performance would play an important diplomatic role, as it was written by a playwright in the country that the delegates came from. Every minute detail was reviewed as to not cause any inconvenience or disrespect. Because of that, her parents–
“–called Sean Wood.”
At Hesse’s voice, Louise looked at him urgently.
“We need to replace the flowers.”
“All the flowers here! We also need to thoroughly clean this place. If possible, replace this velvet chair with a new one!”
“Aren’t the chairs already new?”
“No, that’s not what I’m saying!”
Louise just managed to hold in the torrent of words.
Louise held her hands tightly together in effort to calm herself down.
“The Chancellor is allergic to flowers!”
Hesse knew something about that. It was a painful condition where pollen caused inflammation of the eyes and noses.
He looked around the flower-filled boxed for a moment before exclaiming out loud,
“The diplomatic mission will turn into a disaster!”
Everything had to be set in order. Even if the decorations were not suitable for the Chancellor’s constitution, they couldn’t just tear down the flowers at random.
“You’re a future count! It’s for the country!”
Louise pushed Hesse’s back towards the director’s office.
“But I really can’t act aristocratically.”
“Don’t you really want to help your favorite prince?”
“Yes, I like my boss when I’m at work, but I’m on vacation today.”
“Is your brain is taking a break too?”
“Isn’t that normal? Unlike like Louise, who spends her vacation studying.”
Why did that crap make sense?
“Of course, if Louise of the Greenhouse is asking for a personal favor, then I could do it.”
Louise immediately joined her hands and shouted earnestly.
“Well, to be honest, wouldn’t it be better for the Sweeney family to wait for them to fail?”
He asked seriously, setting down his joking attitude.
“Sir Hesse, this is not a business issue.”
Louise clutched his arm seriously.
“You can’t take a flower allergy so lightly. It’ll be terrible of someone gets hurt. The symptoms can be serious and even life-threatening.”
And if the man really is a chancellor, he would try to hide the pain in his handkerchief throughout the performance.
“Well…it turns out some of it is a business issue too.”
“We still need to procure enough beautiful and complete artificial flowers for our guests now…I think there’s only one place in the capital city. Maybe.”
“Do I have to negotiate there?!”
“It’s okay. That’s not the role for Sir Hesse.”
Louise smiled and corrected his words.
“We just need to get some information. You won’t be the one negotiating.”
Louise glanced at one of the clocks in the arts center. The performance was about forty minutes from now. There wasn’t enough time to see if there were flowers in stock at another flower garden.
The director of the arts center was in a panic over Hesse’s sudden intrusion. The director checked the time, then summoned the manager of the flower company. When confronted with the question of why he decorated the box with real flowers, the man argued that he had never been given any information about the allergy. It seemed that inexperience had been the cause of all this.
The Royal Arts Centers had commissioned the services of the Sweeney family for quite some time. When it came to royal events, the Sweeney family would always collect information as given to them by the arts center per the contract. The new flower company was unaware of this procedure, so work had gone on as usual. Or perhaps the information didn’t arrive on time in the first place. Either way, it was too late for the team to handle things ahead of a national event.
Hesse grumbled amid the futile arguments.
“Tell me what I should do to help. I can run to the Sweeney mansion and bring the artificial flowers, but it might be too late!”
The director frowned, knowing he had no other choice.
“Then deliver the artificial flowers of the Sweeney family and use them to decorate the box.”
Hesse looked back at Louise for confirmation, but she shook her head.
“We need a contract with the center.”
“It’s just one box. No more!”
“Only if I get to sign a contract.”
Louise fixed him with a smile.
“Unless, of course, you have another reason why you can’t sign with us.”
The director debated with himself internally for a moment.
“So you’re heir to the Sweeney family. Come to think of it, I heard you were a first-year at the Academy.”
He muttered about Louise to himself in a small voice and frowned.
“I understand that have not yet reached adulthood and have no right to negotiate a contract.”
But she’ll was going to help them, she was going to provide the artificial flowers…or the Chancellor would really become unwell.
“That’s rather a headache. If we don’t have a Sweeney representative, I’d rather just remove all the decorations now.”
He was going to take down all of the decorations? Louise’s and the flower company manager’s expressions crumbed. Didn’t that mean all the plants would end up in the trash?
“That’s not possible!”
Louise and the manager shouted at the same time. The director yelled back at them in an irritated rage.
“Then what! I can’t use the flowers, and there is no Sweeney who can sign a contract!”
The moment Louise made to protest, the door to the director’s office opened with warning.
It was quite a rude interruption. Louise whirled around. Standing by the door were two people, one of them who was a very flustered Sean Wood. She had no idea how he got here. From his expression, he must have been dragged here without any proper explanation.
And then there was the person who brought him.
Louise’s eyes widened at the sight of Ian. He was breathing uncharacteristically hard, as if he had sprinted all the way here. Louise, of course, urgently gave him a bow. But he didn’t care about such things, and he held out a slightly crumpled sheet between Louise and the art director. It was written in Mrs. Sweeney’s hand, and it said that she would entrust Ian as Louise’s legal guardian.
“Is this enough?”
He gave a friendly smile to the director, but Louise knew that smile as the evil smile.
“Now you can proceed with anything you want. Isn’t that right, ward?”
The first thing that answered was the clock on the wall.
The director was aware of the urgency in that sound. Just as Louise had said, it was clear that the negotiations should proceed quickly and efficiently.
It was time.