After a period of working hard, I finally finished arranging everything for the elves. I arranged their living by having them live with human families that were willing to accept them. I arranged to have one elf to a household and tasked them with the extraction and production of elves’ dye. That’s saved me a lot of trouble. However, I paid attention to lots of things when I selected homes for them. I avoided having innocent girls stay with single guys. Something will happen. Something will definitely happen for sure.
Things here have been resolved. I massaged my shoulders and then returned to my palace.
“Onii-sama, the envoy from Socina City is waiting for you in the guest room. However…… Onii-sama, there is still an entire lunch break worth of time before we are due to meet so let us have lunch first.”
Freya looked at me, smiled and went on, “Onii-sama, let’s talk about the details over lunch since… I have already secretly met with the previous envoy and have managed to find out some information. In short, this case is very complicated. If we get involved and choose the right side, we will be able to make a big profit. If we choose wrong however… mm, we will need her majesty to get involved then.”
I hesitated for a moment and then asked: “We need her majesty to personally get involved? Is it that serious?”
“The walls have ears, onii-sama. Miss Nier has prepared lunch.” Freya wore a mysterious smile. I followed her into the kitchen while baffled myself. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Freya is similar to Castell in this aspect. They both say nothing when things are relatively chaotic. But Freya’s smile is frankly quite soothing. It’s not like Castell’s which has a mocking vibe to it.
“Onii-sama, let me put it simply. After speaking to the both of them separately, I have an idea of what happened. In short, it’s a clash of powers…… More precisely, the most important thing… is that the new lord is extremely naive.”
I looked at Freya and asked: “Naive? Has that got something to do with this?”
Luna set up the tablecloth and then stepped back. Nier sat to one side and hummed a tune as she cut the meat in front of her. She doesn’t concern herself with my business. A better way to put it would be that she is the prince’s princess, not his vassal, so she has no right to stick her nose in his business.
It’s a good thing as I won’t have to deal with her trying to talk me into things. Such a princess is the best kind you could ask for.
“As I mentioned previously. Simply speaking, there are two parties in Socina’s parliament. It is not a contest over the inheritor or something because the late lord only had one wife and no kids. Therefore, the current lord was bound to succeed the throne so there is no issue there. The issue is that the elders cannot comprehend her ideas.”
Freya looked at me and chuckled. She then elaborated: “To be honest, I do not quite comprehend the things that envoy says either. But I understand it roughly as the female lord wants to share. Uhm, she wants to increase the living standards of her people like all businesses are to be state owned, to collect all the money, drastically increase the people’s earnings, to have the city determine the prices for all goods, all in order to allow everyone to lead stable lives.”
I lingered for a moment. Isn’t that a socialism prototype? A very similar prototype for that matter. That model was employed during the Soviet Union’s run, but it failed, didn’t it? It’s not going to work. Plus, you’re burying yourself if you do that when you don’t have enough capital to support it.
That has nothing to do with me. But I know for sure that it can’t be executed. If they try and execute it, Socina might not accomplish anything.
“But the elders of Socina City do not agree with it…… Of course, they are not disagreeing for the sake of Socina City, but purely because most of Socina City’s business are monopolised by said elders. If they all become state-owned, would they not be left without money? That is why the only thing they are thinking about is how to stop it from happening.”
“What are they going to do then?”
“Simply speaking, the most fundamental task is to prevent the female lord from having any capital. In other words, money. If they want to carry out that idea, money is a must. As long as they have sufficient funds, they will be able to bring the merchants on-board. Therefore, the lord requires money.”
Freya supinated her fingers, pondered something to herself and then continued, “The simplest solution is to do business. That means they need to find someone to do business with as well as goods. What the lord is looking for, is us. The good they are providing is… metal from the south. To be precise, a very important metal.”
“An important metal?”
Freya nodded and replied: “That is correct. I should say that it is the key to solving the most important issue we currently have. Onii-sama, do you know how many gun barrels you went through yesterday? Additionally, though the Earth Dragon Rider unit is formidable as a unit that charges the enemy lines, their guns and spear-tips all break. They become useless after one charge.”
I get that. I may have produced guns, but the materials used for the barrels are no good. They can fire consecutively but after four or five times, the barrels break. I’m helpless there. I didn’t learn about materials. The elves’ metal can satisfy our needs but they produce far too little of it. It’s nowhere near enough to support my normal usage requirements.
Only the imperial guards were able to use that sort of metal among the elves. Further, I can’t use the elves’ metal for nothing. It costs money. Everyone knows that relying on others to provide weapons is the equivalent of handing the rope around your neck to someone else. I don’t want to do that even if it’s Vyvyan we’re talking about.
Since that type of metal exists and humanity can produce it, it’s best that I possess it myself.
“And most interestingly, both parties offered to provide us with that type of metal. In other words, as long as we place our bets on the right team, either side will provide us that sort of metal. So you do not need to consider your gains at this point. The most important question has become, which party do you prefer?”
Which side do I prefer?
It’s the same either way because if I let their lord go bankrupt, then she’ll be completely bankrupt and therefore will be forced to obey me. In that scenario, she won’t be a threat for my business. And if I bet on her winning, I can acquire those resources, plus, we’ll have a more stable relationship with Socina City.
I’ll benefit either way then.
As I mentioned, relying on others to provide weapons is the equivalent of handing the rope around your neck to someone else.
“So, onii-sama, who do you want to support? Did you want to support the so-called representatives of the people, the elders who’ve already gained a monopoly on the businesses and have a stranglehold on the city’s life-line, or that naive lord?”
I pressed down hard and cut deep into the steak in front of me so the juice stained my napkin. I looked at Freya and in a serious tone said: “I’m not supporting either side. I want the metal and I don’t need anybody to trade with me. I want to possess the metal myself. It’s in the desert, correct? I’ll personally go and bring it here then!”