The night ended in—how should I say it… freezing cold? Because I had no other clothes to use, I had to sleep with as little clothing as possible, wrapped in a blanket while they placed my clothes in a place to dry which was too embarrassing. The regrets I had over not bringing any clothes when coming to the town were immeasurable.
“Milady, you should stop acting weird,” Raeliana and Lia both looked at me with a wry smile.
“What do you mean weird?! Who wouldn't be embarrassed in this situation?! I am literally naked here, where are my clothes?” I rebuked while covering myself with a blanket, sitting on the corner of the bed.
“It was milady's fault for heading to the town of Iana impulsively without bringing clothes, after all,” she responded as I showed a pout.
Indeed, I was impulsive but it’s not my fault that I forgot about clothes. I was too focused on finishing the revival of the town as fast as possible that I didn’t take into consideration that I would need to change clothes a lot…
“My lady, how about taking a bath first while your clothes dry up?” Lia who was sitting on my bed suggested. Hearing about the bath brought horrific memories out of me, just remembering the hell I experienced because of the bath of this kingdom…
“Err… can you help me bathe?” I asked while peeking out from my blanket. My face felt like burning, the honorable Ayumi asking help from others to take a bath… can you imagine such a scenario?!
“Now… this is the milady we know,” Raeliana chuckled as I glared at her, but she shrugged it off as always as she clapped her hands, “Now, now—let’s not play the glaring game, how about we head to the bathtub now?”
“I don’t trust you,” I glared at her before staring at Lia who was silent for the most part, “Lia will be the one to help me—Raeliana is too untrustworthy to do so for me!” which made her laugh a bit more as she looked at me with a smile.
“Milady is acting like a child, how long has it been since milady acted this childish,” her smile grew as she looked at me warmly. She wasn’t wrong though… normally even as Ayumi Ai, I wouldn’t act this childish but somehow, I felt like it isn’t wrong for me to do so now… it felt like I was free to do anything, like the shackles around me all broke apart.
I was free to do whatever I liked was what I was feeling, whether it’d be to act childish, noble, or simply me… the feeling of being what I wanted is indeed the best.
“Enough talking… let’s finish our stuff as fast as possible since the people are waiting for us,” I pouted before the two of them nodded simultaneously as I was guided into the bath where the two of them helped me take a bath. They also taught me how to turn on the bath but for some reason, whether it’d be because of a curse or something, my body would immediately forget how.
I wonder if Ayumi Windsor was actually a clumsy person inside, my mind seems to be somehow—how should I say this—naïve or hmm… simple, well it was hard to explain but for sure, it wasn’t something bad at all other than the fact that I would have a hard time remembering some stuff.
After some time had passed, we were finally out of the room fully clothed with our hoods up. There were a few people nearby but all of them simply walked past us without taking a single glance at me which made me feel more confident that I wouldn’t run into trouble since I heard that noble daughters tend to get into trouble with the public a lot, according to what my other memories are telling me.
“Where should we go first, my lady?” Lia whispered as we swiftly while inconspicuously made our way out of the inn where I looked to my left and right for a few moments.
“I need Raeliana to deliver this letter to an official post office while Lia and I head to the bank to request a loan under the town’s name, of course, we will meet up at the bank since I don’t feel safe with Raeliana heading back to the inn by herself,” I said before the two of them nodded as I took out a letter from my pocket which I wrote last night under a blanket, handing it over to Raeliana who took it without hesitation, “Remember, we will be waiting at the bank, okay?”
“You shouldn’t worry much about me, milady. I have around fifty times better memory than you, after all,” she winked which irritated me a bit, but I shrugged it off as the three of us soon separated from one another. Lia and I went towards the right side while Raeliana started dashing towards the left.
I followed Lia all the way since I didn’t know much about this place but from what Lia said, she knows where the bank is located so all I could do was trust her.
The town did look energetic even in the morning though, children ran around happily playing with one another while adventurers who came back from their quests walked next to each other either patting themselves in the shoulders or flaunting their harvest. There were also merchants all around.
After a few moments of walking, the two of us soon reached a fairly luxurious white building with golden accents. The building had a single sign with the symbol of a bag of gold together with the words, “Branch of the Nostalgia United Bank.”
“Let’s head inside,” I said before Lia nodded as she walked in front of me, opening the two wooden doors in front of us as a luxurious and spacious quartz room filled sparkled before us. There were plenty of people whether it’d be commoners or adventurers roaming around, some deposited their money while others withdrew their money.
We didn’t feel out of place with our hoods up either, there were plenty of others who wore hoods and weren’t questioned about it which made me sigh in relief as we walked towards a free counter where a lady stood with a bright smile, “How may I help you, young lady?”
“I’d like to talk with a manager of some sort here, if you don’t mind,” I said while taking out the Windsor emblem for a second which was enough for the lady to nod without any questions.
She did look a bit surprised but professionally calmed herself which impressed me as she quietly walked towards the room on the back without creating anyone to be suspicious of us which I guess was because she thought we were moving in incognito because of the hoods we wore.
After some time, she soon came back as she whispered in a soft voice, “Please follow me,” to which both Lia and I looked at each other and nodded as we followed behind the lady towards a room over at the distance, opening the door as we entered inside before she closed the door.
I looked around confused and cautious, turning my attention towards Lia as I asked, “Were we fooled?” before she shook her head with confidence as her lips curled up before she took out her sword and turned her attention towards a corner.
“We weren’t fooled, my lady. It’s just someone who loves to play jokes,” Lia answered before slashing towards a vase as she said, “Come out, Richard. Don’t make our lady wait too long, our time is precious!” before the sword slashed vanished as a figure appeared.
The figure was that of a black-haired man with common blue eyes but what made him different was his aura. His aura matched that of a rich person, while also matching that of a playboy. He wore a white and gold tuxedo which made him look nobler.
“As rough as ever, Lia,” the man laughed a bit before turning his attention towards me as he kneeled in one foot with a rose on his hand, “Dear me—it seems like our Princess has turned more beautiful than I expected… how about having a meal with me, dear Princess?”
“I don’t like playboys,” I answered out of instinct—or rather, it was how my counterpart would react. Richard Hans, the heir of one of the richest merchant families in the kingdom and also an incredibly famous playboy who kind of fell in love at first sight on me… or should I say on Ayumi Windsor but ended up being rejected by her at first sight with a disgusted gaze.
The disgust that she had on him was so immense that I couldn’t help but also feel disgusted while looking at him. It felt like my entire body would puke from staring at his playboy characteristic, but I endured it as much as I could as he smiled.
“You never change, do you?”
I shrugged off his words while replying, “I would never change especially when in front of someone who managed to break hundreds of innocent girls’ hearts.”
“Hahaha…” he let out a dry laugh before sitting down on a couch as he placed the rose on his hand while asking, “What does our dearest Princess who hails from the mysterious Windsor family need from someone like me?”
“It’s simple—I want a small loan of a billion gold coins.”
“Are you serious right now?” he asked before I rolled my eyes.
“Do you think I would really ask for a billion gold coins, use your mind a bit… I am only here to request a tiny loan of thirty to fifty gold coins under the Town of Iana’s name for reconstruction, to purchase food for the citizens, materials, and those kinds of stuff,” I said before he frowned his eyebrows a bit.
“So the rumors of you being sent to that cursed land by the Queen is indeed true, to think that you accepted it without hesitation is indeed worthy of praises but even though we are acquaintances, I still have to be fair, you should understand that right?” he answered as I nodded.
“That’s why I am willing to give a blueprint that is worth more than the loan as collateral. Do you want to take a look at it?” I said before looking at Lia who nodded as she took out a rolled papyrus paper which I also ended up making last night with a little bit of help from Raeliana who, I have to say, is extremely talented in everything.
He didn’t hesitate and took the blueprint before opening it for a few seconds and immediately closing it after as he looked at me with a bit of surprise, “Dear Princess… could you please stop giving me a shock, even from a single glance of what was inside… I could tell this blueprint is worth hundreds of gold coins.”
“You could even make more from selling this blueprint alone!” he said before I shook my head with a wry smile.
“I don’t want to sell the blueprint simply because I want the town to be the first to construct buildings that use those designs. You should know more than me as a merchant how much attention we would grab if we managed to turn a town like Iana into a glorious, beautiful town… right?” I said before he nodded with a frown.
“If you indeed manage to successfully change the town of Iana to a town with buildings like those then it would definitely attract a lot of attention, not only from merchants but from ordinary citizens who are bored of seeing the same buildings all over and over again…” he said before sighing as he added, “With this blueprint as a collateral, we are more than willing to loan you around a hundred gold coins to two hundred gold coins or more with a deadline of two years.”
A hundred gold coins, it seems like his schemes indeed make him worthy of being the heir of one of the richest merchant families in the kingdom.
From his perspective, the chances of the Town of Iana possibly paying all of that money back within two years is near impossible which means if we do fail to pay up that money then the blueprint which would cost even more than that would definitely be his for a bargain but what he doesn’t know is the Town of Iana will be more than capable enough to repay all that loan within two years.
As long as we succeed in planting a fair amount of Aramium, enough that the price would not drop from its already high of two gold coins per, then the profits we would receive would be way more than enough to repay the loan by ten times more.
“I’ll accept your offer, two hundred gold coins within two years which is to be paid five days after the deadline as per the unspoken rule. Is that correct?” I said before he nodded with a smirk on his face.
“You sure are one risk-taker, Princess. You can trust me on holding this blueprint for two years, not a single person will be able to take a look at it nor would be able to learn of it, should someone manage to then the entire loan will be free,” he replied before flicking his fingers as a heavy bag of gold appeared on his hand.
After magically materializing the bag of gold on his hand, he soon handed it to me as he held his hand as if asking for a handshake, but I shrugged it off as my disgust—or should I say, my counterpart’s disgust on him was to the extreme that I felt like I would puke immediately upon shaking his hand.
“As expected,” he laughed bitterly before smiling as he said, “Well then, I hope to see you again in the future, dear Princess of the Windsor family.”
“I hope to never see you again as well, Richard Hans,” I waved my hand before gesturing to Lia as she took out another bag where the two of us split the bag of two hundred gold coins into two bags of one hundred gold coins for security.
After hiding each bag of gold inside our hoods, the two of us soon left the room where the lady from the reception could be seen bowing her head a bit as we nodded, walking our way towards the exit where Raeliana was already waiting when all of a sudden, a window appeared in front of me.
You have completed the side-quest [A small loan of a billion dollars] and have therefore received the following rewards:
[2x] Fresh Aramium Seeds
 Experience Points