Chapter 59: Are you trying to bribe me?

I agreed to be Zayn’s partner and it was only because of a feeling I felt when I saw Teta’s scary look. I felt that Zayn might be in danger around her. As a result, I am now doing some dance practice with Zayn in the backroom during my breaks.

“Now we do a spin like this and then pose.”

“…How many spins do you plan on doing?”

“But it’s fun.”

“Do you want to be dizzy that badly?”

Zayn only chuckled at my words. I say dance practice, but I feel like we have only been spinning. I feel a little sick now actually.

“Can’t we do other moves besides spin and pose?”

“But the dance is fun like this.”

I puffed my cheeks and then forced Zayn to sit down.

“Let me show you other ways to dance.”

I was never an expert at dance, but I have watched enough anime dances and music videos in my previous life to know that there is more than spinning and posing.

I jump up and spread my legs when I land. I pump my right hand up and then bring it down before tilting my head to the side. I do a small spin and then shake my hips like the dancers in an anime video and then shake my shoulders to an imaginary rhythm. Bend my knees, touch the ground and then raise my hands to the air waving them a bit and then bring them to my side as I nod my head. I guess my description of dancing is not that good, but it is better than just spinning and posing all the time.

“OHHH, you are really good at dancing, my dear Laveda.”

Zayn clapped with amazement in his eyes.

“So now do you see that we don’t just need to spin and pose?”

Zayn nodded and stood up.

“All right, now let’s do a spin…”

“YOU DIDN’T GET IT AT ALL!”

I really want to flip a table here, but thankfully my break is over, so dance practice is done for today. Hopefully this will be the last dance practice, since tomorrow is the festival. Yeah, time really flew.

I dust off my apron and then told Zayn that I needed to get back to work. He objected of course, but my death glare was enough for him to back off. Zayn left through the back door with a depressed figure.

Now that I think about it, Zayn must have joined the talent show in the festival in the original timeline of the game, but I guess he lost, since he barely mentioned it in the game. Actually, he might not have mentioned it at all.

I better not think too deeply about this. I will just sing in the talent show with him and then we will take our separate ways. I do not want to have contact with this narcissist.

I grab a tray of egg bread and then go to the main floor of the store, where a line of women are buying bread, while admiring Alden, who took care of the register. I greeted Alden placing the egg bread in the display case for all to see. Alden just nodded at me, but paused before telling the woman in front of him to please wait. He approached me and then handed me a slip of paper.

“I don’t know what is going on, but Duke Ulises Rupus ordered me to hand this to you, when you came back from break.”

Zayn’s father?

I took the slip of paper and then looked at the words on it.

Little Bread Girl,       

Please visit Butterfly Creek Tavern. Just say my title and name to the first waitress that approaches you and she will lead you to me. Come before nightfall.

Sincerely,

Duke Ulises Rupus, the tenth Head of the Rupus Family

Ignoring the fact that he called me bread girl, but why does he need to meet me? Is this Zayn’s doing? He also said to go before nightfall, but I leave the bakery at closing time. Is he asking me to ditch work?

“Laveda,” I heard Alden call my name, “If you need to go then go, I can handle the customers for today.” It looks so busy, but Alden is willing to let me go for this errand…he is so nice. Why aren’t you my father?

I bowed to Alden in thanks and went to the backroom to change into my peasant clothes. I can’t exactly wear aristocrat clothes, since I am technically lying about my standing to Alden. I then grab my bag filled with some essentials and then leave through the backdoor. I leapt through some garbage that was left by the other stores that use the dumpster and then walk down the road avoiding any passing people.

If I remember right, Butterfly Creek Tavern is right around…ah, here it is. As usual, there are a lot of customers. I have never walked into this establishment, especially since there are a lot of drunks in this place. I have to admit that I don’t like to drink alcohol, even in my previous life. I remember that I would scold my father in my previous life when he went overboard in the drinking. A good press to the forehead is a good way to sober up a person.

I walk into the tavern and I can feel the stares of some of the customers. I can’t really blame them, since I am so young. A waitress wearing a red poufy dress came up to me asking, “Young lady, do you need something.”

“Duke Ulises Rupus, the tenth Head of the Rupus Family.”

I said his name and title as instructed in the letter to the first waitress that approached me.

“…I see, then please follow me.”

I obeyed the waitress, but I still feel the stares on my form as I venture deeper into the Tavern. Let me just hope my family doesn’t hear of this.

I was led all the way to a private room and in this room there were two red sofas with a glass table in the middle. A feast was on the glass table: roast chicken, corn, mash potatoes…my mouth is starting to water. Oh, there is a man sitting in one of the sofas. He looks really serious. He has long green hair…his clothes scream out aristocracy. He must be Zayn’s father, but I am a little shocked on how young he looks. He looks like he is in his twenties, but considering that Zayn is around eight or nine, I think he is around his thirties.

“My Lord, I have brought the bread girl here,” the waitress stated with a bow, but please don’t call me bread girl. Zayn’s father, Duke Ulises, nodded and then tossed the waitress a bag of coins (judging by the sound from the thrown bag). The waitress thanked him and then ran off. She looked really happy to get that money.

“Bread girl.”

“My name is not bread girl. My name is Laveda.”

I had to correct him. Calling me Bread girl makes me sound like a menu item.

“All right, Laveda, please have a seat.”

I got the idea to sit on the second sofa, since it would be rude to sit next to the Duke.

“Please have a bite.”

I stared at the food and then back at him.

“I would rather hear why you wanted to see me first.”

I want to eat the food, but I am somewhat worried about this situation.

Duke Ulises smirked saying, “Very well.” He pulled out another bag of coins and dumped it on the glass table in front of me.

“There is 100 gold coins in that bag. I will give this to you.”

“…Why?”

This is too suspicious.

“As you are aware, my son, Zayn, wants to join the talent show to pursue a ridiculous dream in singing. I allowed him to join the talent show of the festival on the condition that he has a partner for this contest. He has chosen you as his partner and as his partner I want you to do something.”

“Do what?”

“I want you to crush that dream of his.”

“…HUH?”

What is he saying? I know he doesn’t support Zayn’s dream, since it was mentioned in the game, but what is this about me crushing his dream?

“I don’t quite follow.”

“He won’t be able to join the talent show, if his partner decides on the last minute to cancel. I want you, on the day of the talent show, not to show up and in return, I will give you this bag of gold. I believe this money will help you quite a lot in this world.”

Is he bribing me? Wait a minute, bribing…Teta…now I remember. She was mentioned in the game. In fact, she was a villainous character like my sister, but she only appeared in Zayn’s route. If I remember right, she accepted a bribe from Duke Ulises when the partner agreement was made between Zayn and Duke Ulises. Teta was poor and when Duke Ulises discovered she could sing, he paid her to sing in the square to attract Zayn, so Zayn would choose her believing that it was fate that brought them together. He then paid her again to quit the last minute, breaking Zayn’s heart and preventing him from pursuing his dream as a singer. To make matters worse, Teta used the bribe money to enter the aristocracy with her talent in wood and entered the school. She even had the nerve to join the student council as a secretary and force an engagement with Zayn. Of course, she fell to ruin when the heroine got involved with Zayn.

By the looks of things, the timeline has changed, since Zayn chose me, instead of Teta as his partner, so Duke Ulises is trying to bribe me like he did with Teta. Well I do dislike Zayn, but I don’t want his dream to fall apart like this and not because of me.

“Sorry, but I refuse the payment.”

“…What?”

“I made a promise with Zayn to do the talent show and I will keep that promise, so please use that money for something better.”

Duke Ulises looks pretty shocked…I better leave now. I got up from the sofa and headed toward the door, but a vine suddenly wrapped around my wrists and pulled me back to the sofa. The vines are obviously Duke Ulises’s doing.

“Let me go!”

Duke Ulises sighed.

“You should have accepted the money. Now I have to do this the hard way.”

One of the vines spews some kind of powder in my face and I began to feel my body grow numb and my focus begin to waver.

“Don’t worry. I will release you after the talent show.”

Shoot, I am being kidnapped again. Zayn…your father makes my father look like a saint.

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