“Huh? You want to know who mentioned it? Everybody is talking about it man. Hence why I’m doing this.”
“N-No… I meant, who told you? Or who did you ask?”
“I went and asked Henry next door…”
“Got it. Thank you.”
“You’re Henry, right? Umm… I wanted to ask you, from where did you hear that the value of Castor’s currency was going to rise?”
“I heard it at a restaurant. That’s what the restaurant owner said.”
I panted slightly as I looked at the huge courtyard before me. I backtracked and pretty much ran through every street of every suburb, asking everybody who knew about it. In the end, all the clues I gathered pointed towards this particular trading company. Basically, all the news claiming that the value of Castor’s currency would rise was mentioned by a particular merchant from this trading company.
Everything else aside, I was exhausted. These boots aren’t remotely suitable for getting around in a rush, so why do so many people wear them?!
Trading companies are essentially alliances people create to improve their prominence and with it, their benefits. This in turn reduces bickering between merchants and companies, and the cooperation means that they have support. I don’t know if the claim that Castor’s currency would rise in value was a business tactic of the company or an individual act of a merchant. If it’s the former, then I want to know if they have some sort of relationship with Castor.
I looked at the door and felt that it was probably best to not alert them by asking about the currency matter. That said, I still have to investigate the matter. I checked out the logo of the company. They used a horse carriage for their logo… Hmm… I keep feeling like I’ve seen it somewhere before. I couldn’t recall where I saw it after thinking about it for a while. But I honestly feel that I’ve seen it somewhere before. The elves have granted me very keen senses. However, my brain capacity as a human limits me from remembering everything my senses pick up…
I knocked on the door and the door to the courtyard opened. Two people rushed over to greet me and then ran back. Inside the courtyard, I could hear people shouting and horses neighing. The centre of the courtyard was filled wooden boxes. Some were open. Inside were boxes of apples, mink, nails, wheat, salt… It was just a scrambled collection of everything.
People inside the company were shouting orders to move things or split up material delegations, so there was no one to bother with me. I fumbled through their goods to see if I could find any problems. If they were Castor merchants, then their goods must be connected to Castor. Such goods could be for example, fish, things you’d normally come across.
Nothing I found indicated that the goods were somehow connected with Castor…
“Are you looking to buy something?”
I looked at a guy who came running over with books in his hand. He waved his hand, looked at me, and then asked: “Then are you here to bring in goods or are you from another shop?”
“Umm… Neither… I just want to know… Mmm… Where do you guys deliver to?”
“We deliver to many places. We deliver to the mountains in the North, the elves border, the desert in the West, and the plains in the South.” He looked at me with a frown and asked: “You are here for…?”
I was put on the spot. It’s best I don’t bring up the matter about Castor’s currency. If I alert the one responsible, they’ll become more cautious, making it even more difficult to investigate. I hesitated for a moment and then asked: “Do you people have sea goods then? Like eel or fish and the sort…?”
He shook his head and then replied: “Unfortunately, we don’t deliver to Castor. You should try your luck somewhere else. We, Six Horse Carriages don’t do sea travel. I suggest you check out the sailing boat trading company… But before you leave, check out our stock. If you want to run a shop, you’ll need good building materials… Our nails are made by ironsmiths from the desert. I guarantee…”
After I rejected his offer, I left the “Six Horse Carriages” company and sighed. There’s no reliable information here. I only managed to prove that the company wasn’t connected to Castor. So then why would a company not connected to Castor make that claim?
There’s definitely some connection. I just can’t figure it out… So what do I need to do now to investigate…?
I raised my head up to look at the sky. It was getting dark. I spent the entire day outside chasing up clues I had today, and I haven’t got much after an entire day… Looks like I’ll have to spend another day investigating the matter if I want to get to the bottom of this. I’ll go pay Castell a visit tonight when I get back. Castell should be a merchant, right…?
What about NIer…?
I sighed. Nier isn’t easy to comfort. You can’t smooth things over with her with a bouquet of flowers, a ring or a meal… I reckon she’d be moved to tears if I get her majesty to hug her. But are you asking me to go back to the empress and ask: “Mom, my bodyguard is ignoring me, can you please give her a hug?”
What the hell is that bullshit?!
As I was slowly walking somebody shouted loudly from my side. I turned to see the boss I bought eel from yesterday kneeling on the ground… How did I end up here again…? I nodded and said: “Please rise.”
“What are you doing here, your majesty?”
“Oh… I’m heading back… The eel you served me yesterday tasted great.”
He wore a scrunched up smile that made it difficult to discern his facial features. He rubbed his hands and elatedly said: “Please come by anytime if you wish to have some again. Please come by anytime. How about I give you a dish now?”
I looked at his carriage before him and noticed he was about half-done with packing up, so I said: “It’s fine. Do you take your stuff with you every time you head home?”
“No, no. This barrel belongs to the trade company. I have eel in here…”
I casually glanced at the barrel. I looked at the eel inside the bucket and…
I was shocked. I suddenly recalled where I saw that carriage logo. In order to prevent mixing up barrels, trade companies mark their barrels with a small logo. Normally, people don’t notice it, and it’s also inside. But in order to fit a few more barrels, the barrel was placed sideways right now so I could see the bottom of the barrel with one glance. And there I noticed that small logo!
I saw it through the water yesterday!
This is the fish the six horse carriages trade company sold!!
“Unfortunately, we don’t deliver to Castor.”
They lied. Clearly they ship eel and this sort of fish, but they claimed otherwise. They come from Castor and they’re the ones spreading the news the Castor’s currency will rise in value. There’s definitely a problem. Both Castor and their currency have problems. The same goes for that trade company. I must carefully investigate that trade company!
Luna, who was cleaning the staircase handrails by the entrance smiled, bowed and said: “Welcome back, your majesty.”
I nodded nonchalantly and then called for a messenger. I wrote a fairly rough note and gave it to him. I then said to Luna: “Luna, tell the kitchen staff to prepare food and wine for two people. I want to eat in the dining hall tonight.”
“Castell! I feel that the formal clothing faction are too much! On one hand they want peace, while on the other, they’re asking for war. It’s our army and yet they keep trying to take control of it! That’s a bit much, don’t you agree?! That applies particularly to that fatso. He dared to point at me and act out before me. Doesn’t everybody know he wants to buy army materials?!”
Castell laughed, and stretched his hand out to stop Kurt from continuing. The two of them were walking in a corridor in the palace. Kurt’s face was red and showed that he was frustrated. Castell, on the other hand, was as calm as usual. Castell turned around, looked at him, smiled and said: “General Kurt, it is pointless for you to bring this up with me. Do you think that I can get Mr Federline to ease up?”
“You’re her majesty’s favoured retainer! There isn’t a problem with waging a war, but please don’t let the reason for us heading out to war be because of those from the formal wear faction!”
“That has nothing to do with me. I cannot possibly change her majesty’s decisions. Her majesty has yet to pass down an order anyway. I am more concerned about his majesty.”
“His majesty? Wasn’t he not going to get involved?”
“No, he has already taken action. His majesty is also very sharp. He has discovered the most important key.”
Castell watched the messenger rush over. He smiled slightly and softly said: “It is his majesty’s messenger. This must mean his majesty has understood….”