IBMV – 17.1

The door of the old warehouse opened with a harsh sound, irritating to angry and defensive ears. The first thing I spotted was workers armed with tools.

Then I saw Uncle James, tied up with a rope.

His clothes were dirty, and his hair was messy, but it looked like he wasn’t hit or injured.

It seems that the workers treated my uncle quite gentlemanly.

“Olivia! Save me right now!”

Especially, seeing that he had enough energy left to shout like that only confirmed my suspicion that he was treated better than he deserved.

I ignored my uncle’s cry of SOS and spoke to the workers at the Ashford factory.

“I’m Olivia Ashford. I’m here to negotiate with you all……… Who should I talk to?”

The sunshine-kissed looking woman came forward.

Did she look to be around 20 years old?

She introduced herself.

“I’m Anna Walker, the labor representative. Why don’t you talk to me?”

I almost gasped. Is she really, Anna?

I calmed down my astonishment and watched her face.

Firm-looking black eyes looked back at me. She also had ebony hair. A steady expression that seems unlikely to succumb easily to any hardships.

She had the same face that described the female lead I had read about in the novel. She was the only woman Kian loved in the original timeline.

Anna Walker.

And here she was, materialized right before my very eyes.

***

The negotiations began, and Anna and I sat face to face with a simple table between us.

Anna spoke calmly and unobstructedly, with no sign of trepidation.

Listening to her, I gathered that the workers wanted three main things:

Wage increases, shorter working hours, and a ban on exploitation of child labor.

I thought the request was reasonable, but my uncle disagreed.

“Olivia! Never listen to them!”

He went on a rampage, declaring he would never compromise and negotiate with them even if the world collapsed.

Then, the two individuals, who were guarding my uncle, looked at Anna. It was like a group of people asking their boss, ‘What should I do?’

Reluctantly, Anna rose from her seat as if she had no choice.

“He seems to have misunderstood the situation he is in.”

Perhaps due to sympathy, my uncle seemed to have forgotten that he was held hostage for a moment.

As Anna approached him, my uncle was terrified and stepped back.

“Sir James. If you accept our request, we will stop the strike and return to the factory. But in the opposite case—”

she picked up the hammer handed over from one of the workers

and said, threatening my uncle with a slap on the head.

“Don’t think you can get out of here safely.”

She looked as if she would easily smash Jame’s head like an egg.

“Oh, Olivia··… let me get rid of this right now! Come on!”

Even I, who saw it, got some goosebumps, but could Uncle James, the person concerned, be so foolish?

He was almost on the verge of fainting.

I could understand with an open heart why he had a good reason if he fell down –KOed.

By the way… Anna Walker.

Indeed, she was a worthy woman to fall in love with; Kian had good taste (TN that’s what I’m saying *swoon* what a revolutionary *_*)

Even in the original timeline, she was fearless, with a brave and righteous disposition.

So, you risked your life to save Kian.

After thinking about the novel’s contents for a while, I decided to pull myself out of my rumination and focus on the problems in front of me—in reality again.

With Anna’s gruesome threats of bloodlust, the workers were all looking nervously about how the situation would turn out.

Because if I did not accept their offer, the predicament was likely to turn catastrophic. But, from the start, I didn’t come here to fight with them.

I opened my mouth immediately:

“Okay, I’ll agree with all your requests.”

At that remark, the tense air, like a tightly pulled rubberband, softened.

A sigh of relief came from here and there.

I handed the document to Anna, who has returned to the negotiating table.

Her eyes widened as she read the document. She asked in disbelief:

“Are you sure you want to agree on this condition?”

I nodded.

It was an agreement I had drawn up in advance before I left for Lancaster, and of course, the Duke’s seal was stamped on it in advance.

I said, pointing to the blanks at the bottom.

“All I need is your signature, Ms. Anna.”

Wages are doubled, and working hours are cut in half.

There was no reason to complain about the conditions and the forms that were gathered here.

Except for one man, Uncle James was dissatisfied.

“Who’s willing to do that!”

***

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18 thoughts on “IBMV – 17.1

  1. Thank you for the translation. Uncle James, it’s clear why you were never chosen as acting Duke, you have no business savvy. A true leader would never treat their workers that way.

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