Episode 24: Just because you’re cute (5)
T/N: Bonus 3. Please read at rubymaybe translations~
Just thinking about it made Tarkan furious. He thought Aristine would surely get upset so he was holding it in till now.
But here she was, completely swept away by the money.
‘The nerve to seduce people with money.’
Aristine, who got seduced, didn’t even remember him; she was only paying attention to Zodiac.
‘And he did all this without even getting my permission.’
Tarkan’s golden eyes were practically sizzling as he glared at Zodiac.
Zodiac was a very perceptive man so he immediately realized what was upsetting Tarkan and hurriedly explained.
“Only women can sit on the sofa and take pictures with the Princess Consort!”
Even before this, only women were allowed and it was going to stay that way in the future.
The security guards–who guarded the photographs–were on standby at all times, closely monitoring the situation.
However, such words couldn’t get through to Tarkan.
“W-Wait, how about we limit it to children?”
Even though he felt his life was in danger, the merchant blood in Zodiac’s veins kept his mouth moving.
Zodiac’s mouth flew shut at that growling voice.
Aristine looked at Tarkan, dumbfounded.
‘He’s good at his job; why are you acting like this?’
This was an employee who increased sales by 14 times through marketing.
‘If it was me, I’d give him a pat on the back and brag about it.’
She felt bad for Zodiac who did a good job but got scolded instead. However, there was a more pressing matter at hand.
“So, about the image usage fee we agreed on…”
As she carefully brought it up, she could feel Tarkan looking at her with disbelief.
But Aristine held her head up confidently and looked at Zodiac.
Even if he wasn’t going to use her image in the future, he had been using it so far, hadn’t he?
“Oh, of course, I shall pay for the time so far. But for the amount…”
Zodiac scribbled out the figure they agreed upon earlier and wrote a new number.
“I think a lower price is more appropriate.”
Aristine’s face was dyed with shock.
‘Two zeros are gone…’
It was still a huge amount, but it was a lot less than she expected to get, so the disappointment was even greater.
It felt like it was given and taken away.
Aristine’s purple eyes were filled with immense sadness. When those eyes that mirrored the light of dawn were covered in melancholic glaze, it made anyone who saw them feel sorry for her.
Her silver eyebrows were tilted in grief, making her look even more pitiful.
‘All this because of money?’
Tarkan was speechless.
The dreary atmosphere around Aristine made him feel like he had made an enormous mistake.
(Tarkan)“I can make up the missing amount, you know.”
(Aristine)“That’s not the issue. It feels meaningful when I earn it myself.”
Her voice was very clear when she said that. Her eyes were focused with an independent glint.
Although Tarkan felt a little disappointed, he couldn’t avert his gaze from the light in those eyes.
“Then, how about we do this?” Zodiac, who was watching this, quietly offered, “We remove the life-sized figure but keep the photo panel as is.”
“What?” Tarkan immediately frowned and turned to Zodiac.
Zodiac licked his dry lips and quickly continued, “The affection between both of you is so clear and vast that everyone makes a fuss about how good you look together.”
“We’re not exactly affectionate,” Tarkan said and turned away with a frown.
But Zodiac saw it.
The corner of Tarkan’s lips twitched for a second. Even now, his face was rigid, but his ears were red.
“At any rate, the two of you are the most famous couple on the continent. We should make good use of this opportunity.”
“That is true. I think it will also benefit us politically,” Aristine nodded in agreement.
She was already onboard with using her photographs, so she had no issues. As they both expressed its advantages, Tarkan nodded his head as if he was giving in.
“Alright. In exchange, I see a few pictures that need to be replaced so make sure you check it with me beforehand.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Zodiac looked at his boss, giving a polite smile.
‘Tsk, tsk. He’s going to remove all photos of Her Highness alone and fill everything with couple photos.’
But inside, he was clicking his tongue.
Being a clever businessman, Zodiac was good at telling what his customers were thinking. From the moment Tarkan ordered the consignment sale of Aristine’s scalpel, Zodiac realized how Tarkan saw his wife.
‘I even scoffed when people talked about their fated love and whatnot.’
Anyone who actually knew Tarkan would have done the same.
‘I never expected His Highness Tarkan to be so flustered by the Princess Consort.’
Reality is often more surprising than fiction.
Zodiac looked at Aristine, who was the true power in this room, and smiled.
‘I must impress the Princess Consort!’
His senses as a businessman were screaming those very words.
Of course, it wasn’t just because Tarkan was flustered by her.
‘I was so surprised when I got the scalpel’s information.’
A scalpel stability test conducted by Umiru, an authority in the medical field. He heard that the provisions of the test were personally decided by Aristine. Not only that, but she also provided a guide on how to market it using the provided material.
‘She is an amazing person.’
Even he who headed over a merchant company as a professional manager was blown away by those materials.
Thanks to it, the scalpels alone sold out as soon as it was released, regardless of Aristine’s photographs.
Frankly speaking, the photos were simply a means to draw the public’s attention and maximize the merchant group’s profits.
“Then, since we are done with that, I would like to ask Your Highness, the Princess Consort, to produce as many scalpels as possible.”
“We are making more even now, but is it still not enough?”
“Not even close. Orders keep pouring in, so we are always out of stock.”
“With the amount of sales, that makes sense.”
Aristine nodded as she stared at the graph of scalpel sales.
“There are many places that want to sign a contract in advance to reserve it and get the items when it’s in stock.”
“It feels bittersweet that I can’t sell because we’re out of stock,” Aristine smiled proudly and continued, “I’ll talk to the blacksmiths. It might be a good idea to add more manpower too.”
‘I have to strike while the iron is hot.’
Aristine clenched her fists.
She thought it was going to be a success and she believed it too but actually seeing the results gave a new and different feeling.