Feb 22, 2020 1:42 PM
Osirian Isama
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He reads through it, rapt. "How did you get all this -"

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"Mostly I have girls go shopping. Especially new ones nobody's seen working for me yet."

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"You hire women?" one of the underwriters asks.

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"Preferentially, though not exclusively. They're cheaper, nobody's picked them over for talent, they aren't going to take what they learn and go rent their own storefronts and steal my customers, you can even do most of the work pregnant if you're not a moron and those I won't hire, and all that for it being slightly annoying to arrange that they're never alone with me or one of the other men in the back and sending my brother to walk them home if they stay late finishing something up. Some of the lady customers love it, they'll coo over the turquoises with the shopgirl and she can send them home with a whole set."

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"Huh."

"Seems fine to me," says the prince. "How long have you been at this?"

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"I've had Trilliant for three years, before that I worked for Kosai Zaki's outfit, he trained me."

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"You have a license, three years of accounting and sales records, so on?"

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"License through this very church. I didn't bring all my records to this meeting but I have them."

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The underwriters have more legal questions. The prince has more business operations questions. So many business operations questions, actually. What his research project is like, which spells he thinks he can replicate, what kind of scale he could eventually work at...

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Isam's getting faster but most of the scale improvements will be from training more people. They do have to be really good at making jewelry, wrapping some wire around a chunk of malachite for fifteen minutes won't do it, but it should still scale faster than turning the same people into wizards. He's managed stuff that calls for this list of spells, might be able to get fancier with more practice, he's got most of his career ahead of him yet.

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Eventually one of the prince's advisors will say very quietly that they have more than enough for the loan.

He stops. "Of course. - I very much appreciate your patience."

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"It's no trouble, I appreciate the interest."

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"This is my favorite part of my job," he says very sincerely.

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Isam laughs. "Well, may lots of people issue suspicious-looking discounts for you to investigate, then, I suppose."

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"That'd be really good news! What hour is it -"

       "Sixteenth bell, your grace."

"I'm sure you have a lot of work to do but you'd be welcome to join us for dinner."

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"I'd want to send someone to tell my brother not to expect me, sometimes he doesn't eat if I don't come home."

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"Of course. We're eating at Empire, three blocks from here, do you know it?"

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"Haven't been. Do you have someone I can send, or should I just nip home and tell him myself -?"

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"I can send someone." There's a guard at the door. "He's at your store?"

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"No, he'll be home by now, he walks one of the girls who lives near us end of the day."

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He reads his home address off the paperwork to the guard.

"What's the message?"

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"Mm... 'Khalil, his grace invited me to dinner. Drop in on the Abazas if you're not up to fixing something, they've said they'd be glad to have you over any time - just cross the street and knock.' - you can't leave that part out, sometimes it matters."

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He seems to puzzle over that for a second. He nods at the guard. The guard leaves. 

"Thank you for joining us."

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"The pleasure's all mine, your grace."

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They can walk over to the restaurant. It is the sort of absurdly expensive restaurant that sensible people don't eat at even if they're quite well-to-do. Maybe for a very special occasion. 

He asks him business questions the whole way.

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