Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
“If the Natsha Kingdom helps us clear the pirates, we will set up a trading base in Khan and set up a ‘jogyeji’ so that the Natsha Kingdom can use it.”
[T/N: Jogyeji is mainly an area set up in the open port so that foreigners can enjoy extraterritorial rights in the country while living freely. More or less is like this :D]
At my words, the diplomats of the Natsha Kingdom opened their eyes wide in surprise.
“And to compensate for the damages suffered by the Natsha Kingdom due to the Empire’s mistake, we will reduce the export tax on grain for 10 years, as well as increase the limit.”
And at my added words, their wide open mouths looked like they were hardly closed.
On the other hand, the nobles of the Empire looked at me with a puzzled look.
They seemed to not understand at all why I suddenly said this or why the Natsha Kingdom had such a reaction.
Of course, they didn’t understand.
They didn’t even read the data I gave them, and this story was a story that I had with Kalian through the messenger bird privately yesterday.
“…you knew that.”
Diane said in a trembling voice, covering her mouth with her hands.
“You knew from the beginning what kind of situation in our kingdom is… and what our real reason for wanting Khan is.”
The Natsha Kingdom was importing half of its food and producing half in its own country.
However, domestic production continued to decline every year. Land unsuitable for farming and volatile weather were the factors.
If this continued, there’s a very high possibility that their domestic production would become zero in the near future.
So the Natsha Kingdom studied various countermeasures, but there’s no other good way than to increase grain imports.
However, the amount of grain that could be imported from the Cardin Empire, the main importer, was limited, and the more imported, the higher the tax.
In the long run, the food problem couldn’t be solved.
That’s why the Natsha Kingdom, which was worried about this, tried to import grain from other countries as well as the Empire by using Khan as a trading base.
“What are you going to do, Marquis Azef?”
I smiled and looked at Marquis Azef.
“As the Emperor’s agent, I will ask. Would you accept His Majesty’s offer?”
Although it took some time to discuss with the others, Marquis Azef eventually accepted the Empire’s offer.
It was much more beneficial than taking Khan’s permanent residency or receiving compensation for the damages, so there was no reason to refuse.
The benefit was the same for the Empire.
In addition to maintaining the territorial waters, it became possible to clear the pirates, which were troublesome.
Was that all? We could also continue to secure trade routes with the Natsha Kingdom, the main exporting country.
Since the tax was lowered, it might seem like a loss right now, but in the long run, it was a huge benefit.
It was also helpful in managing the external image.
After talking more briefly, the meeting was over.
There were a lot of things that had to be adjusted in detail, such as grain export limits and tax rates, etc, so we decided to hold a meeting two days later after organizing it a bit more.
But I won’t be attending that meeting.
From then on, it would be the diplomats’ territory.
When they reported to Kalian later, I would check the report, but for now, my role ended here.
“Here is the summary of the situation in the Natsha Kingdom.”
So, as soon as the diplomats of the Natsha Kingdom left, I presented the data I had to Marquis Valdir.
There was data I had given him before, and there were new ones that I added while talking to Kalian yesterday.
Marquis Valdir glared at me, took the data, and began to scan it quickly.
As the paper flipped over, Marquis Valdir’s face grew redder.
Why is he like that? Is there anything he doesn’t understand?
“If there’s anything you don’t understand or lack, please tell me. I will explain it to you as soon as I know.”
Marquis Valdir snorted and looked at me.
“I can’t believe you didn’t share this data beforehand, did you ignore me?”
“I never did.”
“You didn’t?! You did it until now!”
He shouted, hitting the round table hard with a furious face.
“Did you want to put on airs at the meeting earlier? Or did you want to show off how great the Lady’s ability is?”
His voice echoed through the conference room.
I didn’t know if he was really angry or trying to scare me, but I wasn’t scared at all.
Rather, should I say that he’s making me laugh because he was so funny, acting desperately like this?
I tried to hold back my laughter and looked at Marquis Valdir calmly.
“I’m grateful that you consider my ability great, but I never tried to show off or tried to put on airs.”
“Ha? You never?”
Marquis Valdir twisted his lips and shook the data I gave him.
“Then why didn’t you bring this data to me beforehand? Why wasn’t it shared with me, the representative of the delegation!”
“I brought it to you.”
“Don’t lie! I didn’t get anything!”
I thought it was a lie, but looking at his angry face, it seemed that he really never received it.
“Don’t ask me, but ask your aides about that, Marquis. Because I certainly have given it to your aide.”
At my words, Marquis Valdir looked quickly at his aide who followed him to the extent of making a whizzing sound when he turned.
“Is what Lady Thebesa said true?”
The aide couldn’t answer right away and hesitated.
He couldn’t answer because if he told a lie, he could see his eyes, and if he told the truth, he thought he would get Marquis Valdir’s wrath.
But there was one thing he overlooked.
From the moment he hesitated, it was no different than already answered yes.
“Why didn’t you bring me this important data?!”
In a raging rage, Sir Vesta put his neck in like a turtle.
“The, the chief aide said it was useless data, so you wouldn’t need it…”
Marquis Valdir couldn’t say anything because his chief aide was his son.
No matter how angry he was, he didn’t seem to want to curse his son.
It was a love for his son that truly made me cry.
“Then, it seems like all the misunderstandings have been resolved, so I will get going.”
I heard Marquis Valdir yell something, but I ignored it and left the conference room.
As I left the main building and headed to the annex, someone was standing in my way.
It was Diane.
She smiled brightly and came to me.
“You’re not from our kingdom, but I can’t believe you know the situation in our kingdom so well. I was really surprised. You’re incredible, Sir Thebesa.”
“That’s what I want to say too. I almost fell for Sir Andrian’s brilliant speech.”
“You’re really, I’m so glad you didn’t fall for it. If Sir had fallen for it, we would have missed this great opportunity.”
“Thank you for thinking of this as a great opportunity.”
After the Cardin Empire and the Natsha Kingdom struggled for days to find a way to coexist, it finally paid off.
“Are you going to attend the next meeting, Sir?”
“No. My role ends here.”
I could do it if I wanted to, but it didn’t look good to go too far. I also had to know how to back off moderately.
“Well, it’s because Sir is not a diplomat.”
Diane sighed deeply as if she was disappointed.
“Is there something wrong?”
“Ah, nothing’s wrong.”
Diane smiled awkwardly and scratched her cheek.
“I was just asking because it was a pity that I couldn’t talk more with you.”
“Do we have to talk only in the conference room?”
I was like that too. I wanted to talk to her a little more too, so I said with a smile.
“I think it’s just in time for tea time… what do you think, Sir Andrian? Would you like to join me?”
Diane smiled brightly at my suggestion and nodded.
“Of course, Sir Thebesa.”
The story of Leila’s successful meeting with the Natsha Kingdom reached Kalian’s ears less than an hour after the meeting was over.
It wasn’t reported by Marquis Valdir or diplomatic mission members.
Kalian directly contacted Hiltine, who followed Leila, and asked.
“Really? You said she succeeded, right?”
After hearing all the stories from Hiltine, Kalian smiled satisfactorily.
And Ver, who accidentally heard it together, was also slightly admiring her.
“I already guessed that the Natsha Kingdom was asking for Khan to open a trade route, but I had no idea that there was such a problem.”
Kalian said, putting the messenger bird, which the communication had cut off, on the desk.
“I didn’t know that either until Leila told me.”
“How did Sir Thebesa find out about that?”
“Well. She didn’t have much time, so I couldn’t ask that much.”
“If she comes back, I’ll ask her.”
Ver clenched his fist. His eyes burning with passion for learning.
Kalian said with a chuckle.
“Don’t bother people too much, give her a break.”
“You don’t have to worry, Your Majesty. Because the only person I bother is you.”
Ver said shamelessly and put the documents down on Kalian’s desk.
As if annoyed, Kalian tapped the documents with his index finger.
“I think I’m working hard, but the documents don’t seem to have shrunk.”
“I agree with you.”
So when he’s about to tell him to work, ‘chirp chirp‘, he heard a bird chirping.
It wasn’t a real bird, but it was the magic messenger bird that was chirping.
He thought Hiltine contacted him again, but the bird he had put down on the desk was silent.
Kalian took another magic messenger bird out of the desk drawer.
As he turned the spring, the beak moved and spat out words.
[This is Dwyn.]
Dwyn was Hiltine’s subordinate and a member of the Crowd Knights.
[Duke Williot went to Sir Thebesa’s house.]
Kalian’s eyebrow tilted slightly.
“Duke Williot at Leila’s house? What’s his business?”
[I don’t know what his business is, but he looks furious.]
Dwyn was silent for a moment, then said.
[Right now, he is banging on the door and saying all sorts of things, such as he will barge into her house if she doesn’t come out right away.]