Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
I cut Marquis Valdir’s words and spoke.
Everyone’s eyes were on me.
The diplomats of the Natsha Kingdom, even the nobles who were on the same side, looked at me as if they were dumbfounded.
As expected, they didn’t read the data I gave them, huh?
I wrote down the value of Khan there though.
“Why can’t you hand over Khan’s sovereignty?”
The man next to Diane asked in a fierce tone.
“Please look at this.”
It was much better to show the data than to explain it a hundred times in words.
As she checked the data I had brought out, Diane’s eyes shook wildly.
Marquis Azef reached out his hand hastily.
“Give it to me.”
The document was passed into Marquis Azef’s hands.
His eyes moved up and down, quickly scanning the document.
The nobles of the empire stared intently at Marquis Azef. They looked curious about what it was about.
“What is it about?”
Marquis Valdir, who was sitting next to me, even went so far as to ask me.
Not feeling worth answering, I neatly ignored him.
Marquis Valdir called me in a fierce tone, but I still ignored him.
After reading the document, Marquis Azef put down the document with a slight frown.
I looked at Marquis Azef and said.
“As stated in the document I showed you, the Randell Alliance was an alliance that was established about 900 years ago by the nobles of our Cardin Empire who settled on the island.”
To be precise, the ship was wrecked due to a storm and was washed away to the island, and then they settled there.
In other words, the founder of the Randell Alliance was from the Cardin Empire.
“So it makes no sense to say that the Natsha Kingdom wants to reclaim their land.”
I quietly went in after their words.
“In a way, our Empire should be the one that needs to reclaim the land of Natsha Kingdom.”
It was an unreasonable demand to ask for the return of the land when the ancestor was from the empire, but they said nothing.
Of course, they were. Because they were the ones who made such a ridiculous demand first.
But, foolishly, the imperial nobles didn’t notice it and were caught up in their words.
Of course, some things were said so logically over there, and since the Natsha Kingdom suffered damage several times due to the Empire’s faults, it was natural to compromise from here.
But I have to say what I have to say.
No matter how wrong it was, it was absurd that we were the only ones being subjected to strange demands from the other side.
“Where is the proof that the content of this document is true?”
The man next to Diane said with a dissatisfied face.
I smiled and returned what they had said.
“There’s no proof that it was fake.”
The man was speechless and shut his mouth.
I looked at Diane’s expression. She looked calm on the outside, but her eyes shook.
“If you don’t believe me, I’ll show you the history books that the Empire has. If that’s not enough, let’s borrow the history books held by the other country.”
“…there is no need for that.”
Diane returned the document handed to Marquis Azef to me.
“Because I already know. The fact that the founder of our Natsha Kingdom was from the Cardin Empire.”
As expected, you knew, huh?
Of course, they investigated it.
It was 900 years ago, so it was a bit difficult to investigate, but it was not the information that couldn’t be found if you dug deeper.
“But the case is completely different.”
Diane put her hands on the desk and leaned her torso toward me.
“900 years ago, merchants of the Cardin Empire settled in a land that no one owned and formed the Randell Alliance, but the Empire robbed Khan that was the Randell Alliance.”
Salmon jumped up from his seat and shouted.
“Our Empire got Khan through legal procedures!”
Diane snorted and attacked back.
“Are you talking about the legal procedure that the lord of Khan had no idea about?”
Lost in words, Salmon furtively lowered his tail and sat down quietly.
I glanced at Salmon.
I know how he feels about the Empire, but he acted too hastily.
“Do you know how much damage our Natsha Kingdom has to suffer because of the pirates who use Khan as their base?”
Diane slammed the desk.
“As time goes by, because their plunder is getting worse, trade with other countries, including the Empire, is getting harder and harder.”
The nobles of the empire, overwhelmed by her momentum, couldn’t even make a sound.
“Despite that, with a good heart, we tried to take on the task that the Empire couldn’t handle, but if it comes out like this… fine.”
Diane tilted her lips obliquely.
“Instead of Khan’s sovereignty, I would like you to compensate us for all the damage we have suffered so far.”
As if waiting, the man, who was sitting at the very end, held out a document.
The document contained information about compensation for damage.
Did she prepare this in advance? As expected, she’s an opponent that couldn’t be underestimated.
The nobles of the empire, who read the compensation document from the Natsha Kingdom, opened their mouths, screaming in silence, without exception.
Needless to say, the amount offered by the Natsha Kingdom was an enormous amount equivalent to half of the empire’s annual tax revenue.
It would be much better to give up Khan.
“You choose. Will you give us Khan or will you compensate us for the damage?”
Diane asked with a triumphant smile.
I stared at her, then nodded.
“All right. We will hand over Khan as the Natsha Kingdom wants.”
As soon as I accepted it easier than they thought, Diane and the other diplomats from the Natsha Kingdom looked at me with strange eyes.
“Instead, our empire will not trade with the Natsha Kingdom until all pirates are clear from the Natsha Kingdom.”
At the added words, the diplomats of the Natsha Kingdom, as well as the nobles of the empire, began to buzz loudly.
Marquis Valdir looked at me with flustered eyes. He looked like he didn’t understand the situation either.
Of course, he didn’t. Because I asked this question separately to Kalian yesterday.
He seemed to want to ask me what I was talking about right away, but he couldn’t because there were eyes around, so he swallowed his words.
Diane raised her eyebrows and looked at me.
“Are you threatening us now?”
“Threat? There’s no need for that. It’s just a situation where we have no choice but to do so, so I hope you understand.”
“What on earth is the reason you have no choice but to do that?”
Diane asked as if wanted me to lay it on her at once.
I was waiting for that word, so I immediately explained the reason I had prepared.
“Until now, the Empire has continued to trade with the Natsha Kingdom despite the great damage caused by pirate plunder to take responsibility for it.”
However, if Khan was passed over to the Natsha Kingdom, the Empire had no reason to take any further losses as we weren’t responsible for the problem anymore.
Diane frowned at my words.
“The reason the pirates are like this is because the Empire didn’t manage Khan properly. Are you saying you’re going to pass all the responsibility onto us?”
“It was the Natsha Kingdom that said they would take on the task that we couldn’t handle.”
Again this time, I returned what they had said and shut their mouths.
“Or should we lend you navy and warship to escort the trading ships in the Natsha Kingdom whenever they come and go?”
“…you’re not saying you would lend it to us only once, right?”
Why are you asking such an obvious question?
“Of course not. We will support you until the pirate issue is resolved.”
I replied with a smile.
“If the pirates rob your supplies, we will take the responsibility that occurred in the Natsha Kingdom. Because it is a matter of convoy.”
Taking on not only the pirate issue but also supply damage made the expressions of the members of the Natsha Kingdom’s diplomatic missions darkened.
The country that the Natsha Kingdom mainly traded with was the Cardin Empire.
However, if the Empire declared that we would not trade anymore, the Natsha Kingdom would be hit hard.
The Empire also suffered a blow, but compared to the Natsha Kingdom, it was at a level that could be still endured.
Of course, it would be a problem if they cleared the pirates in the Natsha Kingdom, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. At least, it would take several years.
Diane’s expression, which couldn’t have been unaware of that fact, was distorted without any doubt.
Marquis Azef also showed an uncomfortable look.
Diane discussed with the others for a while and then said as if she was being generous.
“Instead of Khan, we will choose the compensation for the damage.”
I can’t believe she said that. She still hasn’t come to her senses, huh?
I refused like a knife.
“I refuse. Khan’s value isn’t worth the amount that’s written here.”
Diane bit her lip hard.
“…are you really not going to trade with us?”
“If you take Khan into the Natsha Kingdom.”
“Didn’t you refuse even if we offered to receive compensation instead of Khan?”
“How could I accept what the Natsha Kingdom wants when the compensation is ridiculously high?
Perhaps because they took it that we would accept it if the amount was reduced from my answer, they scrambled again and offered a new amount.
It was less than the amount initially offered, but it was still insufficient.
“May I suggest another alternative?”
“Before that, I would like to talk about Khan’s issues first.”
Diane nodded, saying yes, with a slightly suspicious look on her face.
“As everyone here knows, the fact that the pirates have established their base in Khan is not only suffering the people of Khan but also making trade difficult in many ways.”
I got up from my seat and looked at everyone.
“So our Emperor would like the Kingdom of Natsha to lend him its power.”
“Are you saying you want us to clear the pirates together?”
If there were warships, the pride of the Natsha Kingdom, and knights and wizards, the pride of the Cardin Empire, it was not a dream to clear the pirates.
“So what is the benefit for us?”
Diane asked in a sharp tone.
Now was the real start.
I took a short deep breath and answered.