Chapter 46: The Flower of Farucci
"I want to form a merchant guild."
Melina was once in the same position. She had her own merchant guild back when her husband was still alive, but not anymore. Nevertheless, with her management experience, she was confident about rebuilding what was once lost.
"A merchant guild… What will your guild be selling, Joshua…"
"This." Joshua produced a silver token and placed it on the table. It was a VIP ticket for the Weissenasche Theater.
Melina studied the gleaming token. It looked expensive, but fancy items like a silver-plated coin would not sell well in Norland.
"No. More precisely speaking, my product is this."
Joshua pushed the token toward Ynor and pointed at him.
"Joshua, are you talking about human trafficking?"
Melina gripped Ynor's hand tightly underneath the table to soothe his unease. If Joshua really planned to treat Ynor like material goods, she would reject him immediately.
"I meant Ynor's voice, charisma, and persona. I'm sure you have heard of the Flower of Farucci, right, Madam?"
"Flower of Farucci?"
Melina took a quick glance outside the window and noticed the light from the glowing runes above Norland National Theater.
Old age had not dulled her mind and intuition. Melina understood instantly what Joshua was trying to pull.
"Do you plan on letting Ynor become an actor in a troupe, Joshua?"
Ynor's appearance alone lent him potential. Melina believed that her adopted son was certainly no less charismatic than the so-called Flower of Farucci.
"Ynor is already an actor, but it's not as complicated as being in a troupe. If you'd like to find out more, I believe you should give the latest show in Weissenasche Theater a try, Madam."
Joshua had prepared everything in anticipation of this day. From the concern Melina showed for Ynor, the old woman would probably accept Ynor more easily after she watched "Beauty and the Demon".
Given that Ynor's love for Melina was sincere, it would be ideal for Melina to accept him as family.
Joshua pushed the two VIP tickets to Melina.
"I'll drop by tomorrow afternoon with the relevant contracts. Until then, please take some time to study the tavern business, Madam."
"I think I should be able to handle it."
In fact, she needed to excel in it, so Melina accepted the tokens. The only way for her to continue living in Norland as a merchant was to be open to changes, and she had prepared herself for that.
"I think I'll take my leave now. Oh… one more thing."
Joshua took out a pouch full of gold coins and tossed it to Ynor, who caught it on reflex.
"We can't hire a professional actor who can't read. Please use this money to send Ynor to school, Madam."
Joshua understood that Melina was in desperate financial straits. On the other hand, Norland's magic academies were the top in the world and the most expensive. Only nobles or geniuses could afford to enroll themselves in those institutions.
Ynor was neither, but he still had the right to learn. Everyone had the right to learn.
"Your H… Sir…"
Ynor slipped into the panicky and fearful state he was in when he first met Joshua. He had such a deep inferiority complex that even after he arrived in the human world and gradually forgot about his lowly succubi status, Joshua's appearance reminded him once again of his worthlessness back in the Demonic Realm.
"Now that I am investing in you, you will have to repay me in full one day."
Joshua saved any words of motivation for Ynor. Sometimes, the cruel truth of reality was a much better motivator than any chicken soup for the soul.
"Do you understand?"
Ynor nodded profusely. Words failed him as he sobbed quietly and watched Joshua leave.
At the same time, in Norland National Theater.
Hyrlan sat in the VIP seat that cost a thousand gold coins and did not feel particularly engaged. The only thing that occupied her mind was how nosy that guy called Ricard was.
The action unfolding on stage was bland and uninspiring to her. No matter how enraptured the audience was in the show, all Hyrlan could see was a bunch of people singing and dancing on stage.
The operatic delivery of the dialogue was so boring that Hyrlan would have yawned if not for her determination to keep up an image.
"Hyrlan, the Flower of Farucci is making her entrance!"
Sitting beside her, Sansa whispered excitedly into her ear. That perked her up as she focused her gaze on the stage to witness what the legendary world's most beautiful lady was all about.
When the only black swan of Blackswan Theater, the Flower of Farucci stepped into the limelight, Hyrlan became convinced that the person who came up with the title "Flower of Farucci" was straight-up bonkers.
That was because the black swan on stage was very… petite. She had an even smaller build than her sister, Ciri and was just slightly over five feet tall. Meaning, the Flower of Farucci was almost definitely younger than fifteen.
She was just a child.
Nevertheless… as an adult, Hyrlan was impressed by and jealous of the child's charisma.
It was true that she was a beauty, but coupled with a luxurious long pitch-black dress, she became the center of attention the moment she stepped onto the stage. Her every smile and gesture beckoned the audience to drink in her performance and immerse themselves in the show.
It was a powerful quality that demanded attention. Even Hyrlan, who had been awed by Belle's beauty, found herself impressed. However, she snapped out of it soon after.
The Flower of Farucci was not just beautiful but also uniquely enchanting. Hyrlan could not find the words to describe the quality she had, which was not unlike her sister's. Even though her moves were graceful and confident, the smile on her face felt more like that of a demure young lady of noble descent.
Still, the characters seen on the stage were generally fake.