Lusitania Van Pelt
"Cousin Luci! Hug!"
"You know you don't need to captain obvious me, don't you?"
"Hehe, Luci, what's new with you?"
"Nothing with me, but my bro? He made Ci-07 Auxiliary Vice-Undersecretary!"
"Woohoo, go Linni!"
"You never change."
"Neither do you, which is why I can drop the captain obvious. You're still reliable."
"Meh, like anyone but you gives me the time of day."
"Me, and mom, and ours."
"As I was saying, no one else seems to think we're even proper kagomine nobility, being born of the second child of a Feyd."
"And yet, you're viceunder, at state, hardly no one."
"And yet, my cousin, the son of my mother's brother."
"Step-son. You know as well as I do I'm not legitimately Amarat Seniors."
"No one dares say that to either of our faces."
"That's for a different reason, the kingmakers hate me."
"None of them want to see me on the throne."
"The oneunfortunately can no longer fill."
"Great elements above! I.. I didn't know" He held her for a moment, and they were silent.
"You thought being Viceunder was high?"
"Under sounds nice and high, what'll you do with Linni?"
"Whatever your mom tells me, we aren't fighting anymore, and he's actually stopped being dead weight and managed the Tsou and the Nisei for Meihomei at the same time, which would be impressive in normal circumstances. Considering he was handling all of the rest of the overflow because he was practically State by himself, while everyone else was in Lai Dang preparing the treaty, he's earned to stop looking at his shoes so much."
"Did you tell him that?"
"Yes, not in those words, but I told him I was proud of him. Then Meihomei granted him two peacock ribbons of service. He's been floating in a kind of crazy cat person haze ever since."
"Still a hermit huh?"
"Not exactly, but he doesn't relate to people the way most people at state do. I've lived with him the first half of my life, and I'm not sure I get him half the time."
"I heard someone calling him sweet pappoo when I was visting him last time, overheard his phone."
"Well, I didn't know he had someone, but good for my brother, I need a bit of attention from someone who knows how myself, if only a massage or three."
"Working myself into knots, and being a senior diplomat during wartime never was the most restful thing."
"I know, but you gotta ask for the leave for mom to approve it, remember?"
"I would, if I knew where I'd go..."
"Brescia, my dad and your mom's property in Tagliare. The weather's great, you can swim, sunbathe, and no one knows who you are to mess with you."
"That's yours now."
"It's not mine unless I find someone to take care of it. And I got enough to keep me busy, here and elsewhere, if you or Linni want it, it's yours."
"And if we fight for it?"
"I'm taking it back, just because the only thing I can't stomach is the thought of you fighting over it. If you want to time share it though, I can arrange that, just no fights."
"Don't we need money to take care of all that? I thought Brescian agricultural land was expensive."
"Dad took care of all that for us, it's making money, and depositing into an account in your name until you're 25..."
"I'm 24 and three quarters..."
"Then in a quarter arnd, it'll revert to an account under your control, instead. Since it's my dad who set it up, we only get to change the arrangement when the youngest of his sister's children or his chidren is 25. Which is Linni."
"Then I, his son, get to change the arrangement, I of course, will just give you the property, and the revenue from it."
"Could we make another arrangement?"
"Sure, what did you have in mind?"
"Seems to me your money managers, and your dads' for that matters, are some of the best, what if me and Linni asked you to ask them to make sure we can retire sometime?"
"I'll set up a meet with Burrshire Fund Management . Lunqui Zvei will take care of it."
"You're that famous Lunqui Zvei my cousin mentioned?"
"I am Lunqui Zvei, I am a humble financial advisor."
"Surely you do not need to keep your eyes on your shoes, my cousin mentions your results are impressive."
"The prince gives me credit I've not earned."
"How did you know my cousin was a prince?"
"I don't have many clients, I have few clients who are not a trust, foundation or corporation, and I know all of my clients quite well."
"Well, hopefully, you will have a few more when we're done, I'm looking for a financial advisor, and I don't have my cousin's extreme means, but I do want to look after my inheritance from his aunt and his father, which are ... for lack of a better term, sizeable."
"And just what kind of risk/reward ratio are you looking for, for these investments?"
"Well, I don't totally blot out risk, but I am hoping to retire on the proceeds..."
"You've been above the need to work for a living for some time, according to the family financials I've seen of you and your brother."
"What? My cousin showed you...?"
"Only while I was acting in trust for your whole family, as the advisor hired by his father's firm."
"Oh, but you feel...?"
"I don't see where a concern would be, none of the properties I invested for that trust were doing in any way but stellar, and your shares of the trust fund, when they will vest, will make you a very, very rich woman."
"How does that work?"
"Amarat Senior, his father, granted shares of his properties, to all three of you. Those were invested, they were backed, in a sense, by his properties in Benevento, his shares in Brescian Shipyards, with handsome returns. Those returns were in turn, re-invested. When Secret Edict 967 from Meihomei was formulated, that particular trust fund, became a majority shareholder of Sirius Technologies, a major defense contrator. That decupled, to my last count, the value of the trust fund."
"Hmm, how many zeroes are we talking?"
"Mid-seven zeroes. And that was two years ago, before they were handed massive contacts. I don't know how you managed to stay off the radar so long, you'll be one of the twenty richest people in Kagomei."
"Well your cousin, for starters."
"He's a prince of the blood! If he wasn't, someone's not doing something right."
"And that'd be me, since he trusts me with his money. But so far, I have been all of timely, fortunate and perspicacious on his behalf.
"Just how many times is he richer than me and my brother put together?"
"Hmm, I try not to think of it that way, but at least six, since he owns almost that many more shares of most of the companies involved."
"Ok, ok, I think we've satisfied the proprieties..."
"Hmm, yes?" His pulse was racing.
"I'm not totally comfortable with getting involved with you while you work for me, but Amarat tells me you haven't trained your replacement yet."
"I actually have, I should have you meet Cegorina Xuvorova tomorrow."
"Oh, but wasn't that the woman that was suing Amarat for financial impropriety?"
"Yes, except the impropriety, if there was one, was Meihomei's. Rather than punish her for finding out the truth, she's spending a time in the private sector, maybe she'll like it. If not, she's going back to forensics later. In the meantime, I've tested her on some accounts and she's very insightful and yet, a prudent investor, exactly what our firm guarantees."
"Oh, so, I meet her tomorrow, what are we going to do with the rest of today?"
"Look, you're the one who wrote me about being unable to put me out of your mind..."
"I'm just at a loss for words, I'm not exactly a veteran dater..."
"Oh, me either, but at least I know that's what I want to do..."
"Hmm, where should we go then?"
"Since I'm the rich heiress, I'm tempted to show off, we're going to State, where there is a Wiennese opera showing."
"At #3? Don't you need permits or something?"
"I'm the CI-08 Vice-undersecretary , if you needed a permit, I'd be one of the ones counter-signing it with Nameihomei..."
"Amarat's Mother, Nameihomei, Domei of Garay, Domei-actual of Innu , Feyd of Simular, Stark of Byzance, Stark of Wheelbro, Willow of Lilleath, Willow of Ingred, by the grace of the elements Aumhava of Garay."
"Gulp, she only ever said 'Domei of Garay'. She's a princess of the blood too?"
"Meihomei's adopted sister, if they make closer imperial royalty, I don't know how."
"Amarat is Bameimeito right now. He's the closest thing to imperial royalty after his mother, now that cousin Shen passed."
"Thanks." She sniffled. "I didn't spend that much time with the little sprout, but I do miss him."
"Ten? That's no age, either."
"No, but the plague is indiscriminate and cruel."
"Still want to go see the opera?"
"I'll pick you up at eight tomorrow, if you don't already know, Opera is very dressy. I want you at your best."
"Responsible Disclosure, Bameimeito's residence, Nellun Speaking."
"Nellun, it's Lunqui."
"Ah, yes, wish to speak to the master?"
"Ah, no, it's you I need a favour from..."
"Oh, wow, how can I help?"
"I... have a date, an Opera Date, and I have no idea how to put on the suit I rented for the occasion..."
"Oh, let me ask the Master, I should be over in about 20 minutes. When is the date?"
"I will hurry then. See you soon."
"A lucky lady?"
"I'm the one whose lucky, she's the Master's cousin?"
"Lusitania 'surely lightning would not dare strike me again' Van Pelt?"
"Her temper isn't legendary, the legends of her temper break the suspension of disbelief required of fictional accounts... When she wades into the sea, she expects the sea to move! Are you sane?"
"Err, yeah. I'm pretty sure I'm sane, besides, I just said she was pretty, then she told me to show up at the Opera."
"You have a long road ahead of you, not many people have withstood her, or her temper, or met her standards..."
"She... invited me to a date, certainly, that's gotta mean something?"
"Yes, but she's famously demanding, and extremely proud... You may be in over your head..."
"Sigh. I can only do my best, we'll see if that's good enough..."
At the opera, two people are whispering.
"Psst, why did you wince just now?"
"Fluffed note, sorry, can't help it."
"What? There's twenty instruments playing, which one?"
"That gombu1, I play for my own amusement... But I don't blame the player, that's a very difficult piece, I wouldn't even try it yet..."
"Hmm, you may have to play for me at some point."
"Err, well sure, but you'll have to visit, I'm not up to transporting the gombu yet..."
"Silly, we have another one downstairs, you can play for me after the Opera..."
"Oh, what should I play?"
"What's your favourite piece to play?"
"Nightmusic to Joy, by. It's so happy!"
"Hmm, seems you are a skilled player, that is no beginner's piece."
"I just do it because I like it, I've never played for an audience before..." He was blushing.
"I'll try to be a good audience, I've been letting my temper get the better of me too much latelly."
"Yes?" Her voice was sharp.
"I don't mean to trigger your legendary temper in any way, but I was... warned about it. I'm glad I did nothing to trigger it..."
"Oh, no, so far, you've been such a fine, attentionate date, and you are a man of arts, of culture, I like that quite a lot." She laced her fingers into his, and they didn't say anything until the end of the performance, for there were no further fluffed notes.
"This is some serious concert hall, won't they mind us using it?"
"State had it built to invite artists from around the world to invite visiting ambassadors, we don't have any in residence, I'd know."
"Why is no one visiting?"
"Because they're using the one upstairs for that Opera."
"Oh, were there ambassadors visiting?"
"No, they demurred, and said they'd visit next month for the festival instead."
"Yeah, our friends from Nisei are going to visit, and bring their local delicacies and share with us ours, like the Oranges, the delicious mussels."
"Oh, what kind of delicacies?"
"Have you ever had Yoté Fren? Or Shiintaka mushrooms with your longthins?"
"Hmm, yes for the fren, no for the mushrooms. They sound delish though."
"Oh, they are."
"Are we having more of these festivals, or just the Nisei?"
"No one suggested any more."
"Hmm, everyone's busy recovering from all the excitement of signing Lai Dang, at least in my department."
"Oh, I imagine that was a lot of work?"
"We basically lined up every single country we were not hostile with, and buried the hatchet with two... Then got them to sign commercial agreements."
"Are you a lawyer?"
"I know some basics, but no, I'm not a professional attorney. They're specialists, I'm a generalist, I have to know a bit of culture, arts, economy, geography, history, psychology, agriculture even some military theory."
"Wow, you do all that?"
"If I don't, I may sign off something we'd otherwise want to keep to ourselves. But, like when we got everyone to agree to Lai Dang, we got everyone to sign in to some win-win."
Lunqui started playing.
"Damn, your playing is so good, I got shivers from that last note..."
"Shivers? But it's just a happy piece..."
"You did it again..."
"I don't see..." He had trouble continuing, being interrupted by her lips on his, the kiss was rather insistent too.
"You don't mind if I sit here, do you Lunqui?"
"Distracting..." He didn't answer.
"I won't hold it as a measure of your Gombu ability then..." She winked.
"Oh." He tried to kiss her back.
"Nuh-huh, no, you haven't earned that... yet."
"You are such a tease..."
"Hmm, maybe." She winked at him.
"Responsible Disclosure, Residence of the Bameimeito, this is Nellun Frangibald, how can I help you?"
"It's Lunqui again..."
"Did the Opera go well?"
"Yes, oh yes, and the next date after that, kinda."
"Oh, third date jeebies?"
"No, just wondering, she kissed me, but she won't let me kiss her..."
"Hmm, sounds like a power game. She gets to decide when you kiss..."
"Well, I did ask, she mentioned I'd have to be 'worthy', should I be worried?"
"Hmm, not necessarily, it does sound like she's highlighting your lack of dating experience, more than anything. Making sure you don't think she's casual about such things... I have to say you're doing great, considering her reputation..."
"What do you mean?"
"She's known to eat men for breakfast, spit the bones and watch the tears spring out..."
Towards Linnaeus Van Pelt
Towards Lusitania Van Pelt
Towards Lusitania Van Pelt
Towards Amarat Jr Veneer
Wealth & Financial state
- Gombu: Kagomine and Moniqan for Piano