I’ve finished talking with the envoy from the elders of Socina City’s side. I didn’t agree to their request, but neither did I reject them. I don’t want to see either of the envoys again so I had Freya tell them that I wouldn’t be working again since I had just gotten married. However, I began preparations to head into the desert at the same time. It’s just that I’m slightly reluctant to leave as I don’t want to part with my wives. We did just get married after all.
“The desert? Ah, you’re talking about the metal in the desert, right? Well if you want an opinion, their metal certainly is good quality, but the transportation and costs are very high so I rarely ever saw it. However, it certainly is very useful. If we had it, we could indeed use it to make gun-barrels and spear-tips.”
The red-haired lady looked at me and then scrubbed her hair. She looked at the blueprint before her and continued, “But your majesty, if you want to purchase it directly from the desert in the south, it’ll be too expensive. If you did that, your guard-unit would basically be a unit made out of gold. Would you bear to train them like usual then?”
I shook my head as I looked at her and responded: “I don’t intend to buy metal. I want to go and find that type of metal because I heard that the metal they have is actually very cheap. The expensive part is mining it and the delivery fees. I want to go there and buy up a mineral mine. A new mine has supposedly been discovered there. All we need is a smelting method. As long as I have those two in my hands, I’ll be able to get my hands on a mine, and I’ll be able to transport the mined materials back here without a hitch.”
“Isn’t that good then? When I left last time, I went to the desert. There was indeed a rumour that a new mine was discovered deep in the desert. However, it hasn’t be confirmed if it’s true or not. But since you think that it’s true, I’ll take your word for it. It would be best if you could make it a reality because I really want to enjoy the pleasure of fiddling with that type of metal.”
She laughed but I didn’t leave. I continued while looking at her: “But I didn’t come here just to mention it.”
“Do you have other business with me then?”
She looked at me somewhat boggled since I never brought up anything else before. I respect her greatly so I never poke my noise into her business unnecessarily. I don’t mind how she runs the factory or what novel things she makes.
With my eyes on her, I sincerely said: “I hoped that you could come with me to the desert.”
She hesitated for a second then scratched her head and answered: “Ah, I thought that’s what you were going to say……”
“Yes, you know about this metals stuff best, and if I am right, you went to look for it in the desert last time but were unsuccessful. I’m not familiar with the desert but I know how frightening the desert is. Without the help of someone who’s familiar with the desert, I’ll die in there for sure which is why I need your help. I need you to come with me to the desert. That way, I will feel a little safer.”
“Don’t you have anyone else to ask around you, your majesty? And if you need a guide, the five nations of the desert are all Elizabeth’s vassal states. Any of them can be your guide, right?”
“No, I don’t intend to reveal my identity this time. I’m not going to announce that I’m the prince of the Rosvenor Empire regardless of where I go, because there are two other powers that are competing for this metal like me as well. The two of them want to trade this metal with me. I didn’t reject or agree to their offer. In a situation like this where my position is ambiguous, if I reveal that I want to take it all for myself, we’ll only become hostile with each other with nothing for me to gain out of it.”
I looked at the red-haired lady and broke it down: “Further, there is no one I can send on the job. Freya needs to stay and manage the city’s affairs. I don’t want for Lucia and Nier to put themselves at risk again, not to mention the fact that Lucia is pregnant. Luna doesn’t know the desert so it’d be pointless to bring her along. Therefore, you are the only one I know who can help me.”
After listening to my explanation, she massaged her shoulders in a somewhat irritated fashion and responded: “Your majesty, I just came back from there not too long ago. And you also noticed that I went there to search for it to no avail. It’s the first time you’re searching for it so you’re in high spirits and keen, but I’ve lost motivation.”
I made a small bow and then said: “Please, sister. You are the only one left I can trust. You must help me. If you can help me, you can do as you please with the metal we acquire. You can do anything you like. As long as we can satisfy my unit’s requirements I would even be willing to buy if off of you.”
“Yeah?” She gave me a strange look then chuckled and said: “Raise your head, your majesty. How should I put it? Though I have always been with the Galadriel tribe as well as having helped Elizabeth and Vyvyan all this time, I have never had them plead me like this before. This is the second time you are pleading me like this. Well, whatever. I’ll make a trip with you to the desert out of consideration for your two mothers and your sincerity.”
“Thank you so much!”
“It’s nothing, it’s nothing. My work is really interesting too. Haven’t I always been wiping your family’s ass?” She laughed cheerfully. But then she quickly switched to a stern expression and said, “But your majesty, you must remember that the desert is different to this place. The natural climate and environment there is harsh. Your status as a prince isn’t even worth a bottle of water there. It’s an extremely dangerous place. You must remember to bring your guard-unit along and they must be fully-equipped. If you insist on going, you must be mentally prepared for your guard-unit to suffer sacrifices.”
I nodded and replied: “I understand. I trust them!”
The red-haired lady nodded and responded: “Good then. I shall prepare then, your majesty. Just let me know when it’s time to set out. Your majesty, you have lofty ambitions just like Inard did back then. That was the first time I saw an elf take the initiative to interact with humans. At the time, I believed that they would meet a tragic ending, but it doesn’t look like that’s the case now. So while I think that you are being rash, it might be a good thing. I shall give my all to assist you. However, I want to play with those metals……”
Well, the matter with Lorana looks like it’s been settled. I managed to persuade her who was most suited for this job. If you want to go to the desert, you really do need a suitable candidate. I did say that the people by my side who I could rely on and could help me couldn’t walk by my side this time. So I can only rely on myself no matter what happens this time.
Ah, and Lorana.
I returned to the palace and bumped into a frantic Luna.
Luna looked at me and excitedly called out to me: “Your majesty!”
I noticed her hasty expression so I smiled and asked: “What’s wrong? What are you in such a rush for? Did something happen in the palace?”
She nodded furiously. She looked like she couldn’t hold back her smile. She looked at me, and in a serious and excited tone informed me: “Did you know?! Did you know?! Miss Nier was sent back here because she was not feeling too well. After the doctor saw her, we found out she is pregnant! Miss Nier is pregnant!”