Olsylvia Academy, North Campus, Filomena Nobility Academy. An obscure corner of the Grand Hall was now the focus of the entire fellowship. Isaman was the President of the Euphemia Royal Academy’s Student Union and played an important role in the alliance between both academies.
“Grand Duke Bellina, I don’t like to drink! How about this, modify your terms. It is not good for a girl to drink so much alcohol.”
With a polite smile on her face, Isaman refused Bella’s gesture. It was not because of a weak alcohol tolerance. Rather, it was because this fine wine – “Song of Marais” – was the worst thing she had ever drunk. Furthermore, she had never intended to humor Bella’s request.
“In that case, I shall take my leave. It’s no fun at all being here!”
“Grand Duke Bellina, please hold on. We can discuss this further!”
Seeing as Bella was about to get up and leave, Isaman immediately grabbed on to Bella’s sleeve, preventing her from leaving. Her actions caused the students from the two academies in the vicinity to freeze momentarily as it clearly gave the impression that Isaman and Bella were more than friends.
The expression on Isaman’s face was akin to a young girl who was madly in love and was pulling on the other party’s sleeve to seek their attention. In addition, there had been some nasty rumors that Bella was only interested in girls, which caused the boys to be worried that Bella had already set her eyes on Isaman.
“Isaman, my princess, you don’t wish to drink. Neither will you allow me to leave. What do you want me to do then? This puts me in a really difficult position.”
Bella was filled with glee as she watched President Isaman squirm. This lass would not look for her unless it was necessary. Since Isaman had put aside her capacity to seek her out, it meant that she had a favor to ask of her and Bella now had the upper hand. For a “dirty old woman” like Bella, she had no reason to give up the opportunity to flirt with a pretty girl.
“I do not enjoy drinking this particular wine. If you would be so kind to switch it for something else, I might consider it.”
“Is that so? If you have the time, we could go to my hostel…”
“No way, this is a matter of principle. I will never agree…”
Even though her words were refusing Bella, Isaman’s body language indicated otherwise. Her tightly clenched right fist was still holding on to Bella’s sleeve, which kept her from being able to make a swift escape. Isaman had a vague feeling that Bella’s apartment building was fraught with danger. She was afraid that if she were to enter the building, she would never see the light of day ever again.
“Princess Isaman, could you…”
“Bella, that’s enough from you. Do not try to push your limits any further. I am here to set up a deal with you. If you do not wish to proceed, I am going to leave.”
Isaman was seething as Bella adamantly refused to cooperate with the “show” she had intended to put on. She would never have come to such a place if she did not have a favor to ask of Bella. Isaman hated attending these kinds of functions. Boys would immediately swarm towards her and attempt to hook up with her, annoying her greatly.
Isaman had whispered the part about her coming to make a deal under her breath. If any of the onlooking students heard it, it would be a disaster. Until now, President Isaman had no record of “transactions of authority” with any student from the Olsylvia Academy. This would be a first.
“Princess Isaman, this is the key to an apartment in the apartment building next to mine. If there is any matter that requires my assistance, please wait there for me. This is not the place to talk. There are too many people here. Moreover, this wine is not good at all.”
“Bella, since you knew that this wine tasted so bad, why did you suggest that I drink an entire vat of it?! You did this on purpose!”
“Who knows! By the way, I almost forgot to tell you. I would prefer to interact with girls who are wearing dresses. If you appear in this uniform, I will not entertain you. Remember to change into something pretty before our meeting. Also, the secret tunnel to the…”
Isaman was on the verge of giving up on striking a deal with Bella. This girl is problematic and seriously, she had far too many conditions. Even arranging a meeting with her ended up feeling like a clandestine rendezvous. Furthermore, in her subconscious, Isaman had always felt an indescribable aura of danger from Bella.
“Bella, I will see you again tomorrow afternoon. Honestly, you have the strangest hobbies. Do you really prefer girls just like the rumors say…”
“It’s a secret. However, if you wish to have an in-depth discussion about that topic with me, you’re absolutely welcome to do so!”
“Forget it, we don’t interact much anyway. See you tomorrow.”
As soon as she had finished speaking, Isaman released Bella’s sleeve and turned to leave, grabbing the keys that Bella was holding on her way out. The other students had been unable to hear their conversation as they were all too far away.
From the outside, it appeared as though Bella and Isaman had pulled each other close and exchanged an intimate whispered conversation. Afterwards, Bella had given a set of what looked suspiciously like a hotel room’s keys to President Isaman, who accepted it before walking away.
No matter how you look at it, it just seemed like two people making a deal. The puzzling thing was that there weren’t many things which the two girls could trade in a transaction. They were from different empires and were both female, which made any reasons for this deal incomprehensible.
Bella did not care about how others looked at her. She picked up a second vat of wine and gulped it down like it was fruit juice. Her aggressive actions managed to scare away a group of “brave souls” who were thinking of trying to hook up with her. With the ability to drink two consecutive vats of “Song of Malais”, Bella’s alcohol tolerance put many of the boys to shame.
“Bella, here you are! Let’s set the formalities aside. I want to speak to you about something.”
“Eh? President Lucia, why are you wearing the academy’s conservative and stuffy uniform too? Honestly… Fine, let’s drink a different wine! This one here is pretty bad.”
President Isaman had barely left before President Lucia had rushed up to Bella. She had been observing Bella for a while, but since Isaman was around, she had not wanted to intrude. After Isaman had walked away, she had then seized the opportunity to approach Bella.
Along with Lucia, there were two other maiden Holy Knights whom Bella had seen in the competition – “Thunder Knight”, Aurora, and “Dusk Knight”, Daphne. The two of them flanked Lucia on each side, as though they were her part of her personal guard.
Bella had already found out that Aurora was the Vice-President of the Filomena Nobility Academy’s Student Union. However, Daphne had no known association with the student union. Therefore, Bella currently had no idea why she was here.
The girls here were all wearing the Olsylvia Academy’s uniform, which basically covered them from head to toe, preventing anyone from catching a glimpse of anything that was potential eye candy. If President Lucia had not appeared, Bella would have left by now.
“Grand Duke Bellina, this is the signature fine wine from the Manasvir Empire. Many of the nobility have stored it in their cellars as part of their private collection. It’s not appropriate for you to simply declare that this wine does not taste good.”
“Daphne, don’t waste your breath. Let me show you my collection instead!”
Bella did not intend to flaunt her wealth. However, at the sight of the “Dusk Knight”, Daphne’s aloof expression, she decided to have a little fun and try to shake up this beautiful maiden knight who had darkness attributes.
In the same instant, Bella removed the storage ring from her right hand and casually picked out three bottles of fine wines. Compared to the “Song of Malais”, which was stored in vats, these were in glass bottles.
“Oh my goodness, this bottle of sky blue wine is from the fabled underwater holy city of Atlantis – the “Azure Heart”. The strange writings on the bottle are genuine scripts of the Oceanic Race.”
“Heck, she even has a bottle of “Grace of River Styx”. Isn’t that a wine that is exclusively made for the royal family of the Demon Race’s continent? This is not something just anyone can procure. How did Grand Duke Bellina manage to get her hands on it?”
“That gold one, I don’t recognize the words on the bottle. It looks a little like the script in those old religious books that the Church has.”
The three bottles that Bella had taken out had rendered all of the onlooking students dumbfounded. They were expecting to see Bella make a fool of herself, but the “Azure Heart” and “Grace of River Styx” were incredibly rare wines that money could not buy. The “Azure Heart” was from the oceanic race’s holy city, Atlantis, and the “Grace of River Styx” was produced on the coast of the demon race’s continent.
Although the “Song of Malais” was a famous wine, due to its simple production process, it was not too expensive. The wine cost less than twenty silver coins, or what used to be a few thousand dollars in the previous world. On the other hand, the “Azure Heart” and “Grace of River Styx” were about one billion dollars in the previous world’s currency. This was not something a tycoon could do. Calling Bella even a magnate would be an understatement.
“Aurora, this bottle of blue ice wine is for you. Daphne, this black bottle of wine is my gift to you.”
“Duke Bellina, this is far too expensive. I cannot accept.”
“Duke Bellina, I apologize for my ignorance earlier on. However, this is much too valuable. I cannot…”
Of course, Bella ignored all of their rejections. She had always enjoyed using the tactic of sticking to her guns when she was picking up girls. Without a second thought, she pushed the bottles of wine into their hands.
While gifting Aurora and Daphne the wines, she took the opportunity to whisper something intelligible in their ears. After hearing what Bella said, both girls stopped their objections to the gifts and finally accepted them. Bella had told them that if they did not want the wine, then she would just pour it away.
This was a reckless waste of valuable natural resources, thus Aurora and Daphne had no choice but to accept the generous gifts to prevent Bella from committing such a blasphemous act. Bella’s only request was for them to be more casual and address her as Bella, not Grand Duke Bellina from now on. There was no need for them to adhere to such formalities.
As for the bottle of fine wine that was gifted to President Lucia, there was no mistake that it was made by the God Race. Bella had no idea where those demonic lords had obtained these wines. These bottles had been tributes to the Demon King by the demonic lords and were retrieved from the Hall of Pandemonium in the Darkness Sacred Region.
“Bella, I haven’t discussed anything with you, yet you gift me with something so expensive. Now, I have no idea how to proceed with this discussion.”
“It’s nothing, President Lucia. You’re one of us!”
Bella was currently the secretary of the Filomena Nobility Academy’s student union, there was nothing inappropriate about claiming that the girls were “one of us”. However, the definition of the relation differed between individuals, and Bella and President Lucia clearly had different opinions of the matter.
After Bella gifted the wines, she held President Lucia’s hand and pulled her out of the Grand Hall. Aurora and Daphne had quickly followed suit. The onlooking students waited for Bella and the others to leave before showing up. Her plot was too complex. Out of nowhere, Bella simply took a moment to show off and flaunt her wealth before leaving behind a group of dumbfounded spectators.
It did not matter that Bella had run off. The main thing was, she brought President Lucia, Aurora, and Daphne along with her. There was no joy in the world as the magnate had once again whisked the beautiful young ladies away with her immense wealth.
This double attack caused many of the onlooking boys to gulp down a vat of the “Song of Malais” and collapse on the table in hopes of seeking solace in their dreams. At the moment, Bella’s strongest competitors were the male saviors, Scott and Adelaide. However, due to their trespassing in the restricted area the previous night, they were now under lockdown and had missed the opportunity to contest Bella in person.
Bella could not have expected that the News Club had already placed her name at the top of the list of Olsylvia Academy’s Top Ten Tycoons just moments after she had left the hall. The previous contenders for the top spot were Nina, the Director of the Rose Society, and the Director of the Golden Legend Society. Their wealth had always relegated Bella to third place or lower.
On their way out of the Filomena Nobility Academy’s Grand Hall, Bella, President Lucia, and the others were stopped by two elders in the corridor. Bella had a vague idea who these two old men were as they had just met in the last month.
The elder dressed in golden royal robes was the dean of the Euphemia Royal Academy, Prince Alex, and it was currently his turn to be principal of the Olsylvia Academy. This elder reminded Bella of the emperor in her substitute, Princess Felia’s memories. He was the current emperor of the Octavio Empire.
Bella had to admit, a person’s disposition was innate. Prince Alex definitely possessed the unique disposition for an emperor. It was a shame that Bella could only focus on the lavish rings on his fingers that were sparkling so brightly, it was practically blinding. However, these rings looked rather different from the run-of-the-mill storage rings.
Prince Alex was one of the youngest among the deans of Olsylvia Academy. While the others were basically elderly men who had grandchildren, Prince Alex only had sons and daughters.
Standing beside Prince Alex was the dean of Filomena Nobility Academy and Lucia’s grandfather, Elvis. Unlike Prince Alex, Elvis was part of the high nobility from the land of mages, Aldridge Magical Empire. Elvis also held the title of a Duke.
Luckily, his title had a similar status to Bella’s, avoiding some of the embarrassment of being overshadowed by a special student like Bella. The last dean of the Filomena Nobility Academy was only a Marquis. One could only imagine the embarrassment the dean would have felt about keeping to noble etiquette towards his students.
“Ahem, Grand Duke Bellina, this is…”
“Principal Elvis, I know who he is. He’s Principal Alex from the academy next door. Alright, I have some girl-related personal business to discuss with Lucia and the others. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll have to take my leave.”
As soon as she had finished speaking, Bella had grabbed Lucia in an attempt to leave. She hated listening to the preaching of these old men. According to novels from the previous world depicting experiences in the Other World, most principals of magical academies were old men. Other than their propensity to talk one’s ear off, they also enjoyed manipulating the characters using all sorts of methods. She was no idiot. There was no way she would fall into the trap by sticking around!
“Erm, Grand Duke Bellina, don’t be so eager to leave. I have something that I wish to speak to you about. Could you just hold on a minute?”
Prince Alex was politely blocking Bella’s way. With him standing there in front of her, she did not dare to barge her way through. Even in the Other World, she would have to pay if she knocked down any of these old men. No matter how affluent Bella was, she was not willing to waste money like that.
“Hmm, Principal Alex, do you have a daughter?”
“In fact, I do. Why… do you know that stubborn lass of mine?”
“No, that’s not the case. You see, I’m rather shy and I would very much prefer to speak to girls. Next time, just invite your daughter.”
Once Bella was done speaking, she disappeared on the spot, taking President Lucia, Aurora, and Daphne along with her. The use of a transportation scroll, which cost upwards of a few hundred gold coins, left the two deans gaping at the spot where she had stood earlier.
If the transportation scroll was activated successfully, it would be almost impossible to track Bella’s next location. The scroll was worth every penny. Bella had gotten the scroll from her sister, Lisha. She had not spent a single cent on the scroll, thus using it was not a big deal to her.
“What a wastrel. Transportation scrolls do not grow on trees! However, I admire students who spend indiscriminately without hesitation. Alex, my brother, I think you can save your recommendation letters for another time!”
“Dean Elvis, would it be possible for you to arrange another meeting with Grand Duke Bellina? I have many exemplary and brilliant boys among the royalty and nobility in the Manasvir Empire who would…”
“Ahem, this matter… Well, our academy is always discouraging students from falling in love at a young age. As deans, we should set a good example for them instead of encouraging them to engage in such relationships. Am I right?”
Ultimately, both men were from different empires and Duke Elvis would never sit back and allow Prince Alex to make use of the matchmaking opportunity to sway Bella over to his side. Because of this, Bella was fortunate enough to avoid being harassed by a bunch of “official matchmaking documents”.