“He went too far!!”
Achilles turned around with a smile to look at the bishop, who aggressively threw his teacup onto the ground. He leaned onto the wall with his hands in his pocket. With a smile, he said, “There’s no need to get angry, Your Excellency. That’s just how things turned out; there’s nothing we can do about it. We did so much, yet he still found out, didn’t he? However, we still failed. It’s not our fault. It’s our subordinates who were too stupid and revealed too many clues. Plus, the man is honestly very smart. Smuggling goods as we are doing here cannot be exposed. If somebody discovers what we are doing, we either kill him or let him join us. Actually, I’m very happy that he took the initiative to join us.”
“But he asked for too much. He just walked off with a quarter of our earnings. That’s far too much, isn’t it?! We aren’t making a lot in the first place, yet he asked for that sum without any regard for us, not to mention that he wouldn’t make any compromise. We’re losing a lot with him joining us!”
“What can we do about that? He has the initiative. We have to give him as much as he wants; otherwise, we won’t be able to walk away with it regardless of how much we make. Indeed, two-hundred and fifty gold coins is bit big of a sum, but we can’t do anything about it. In saying that, given the scenario, we’ll have to write off that part of the profit as an expenditure. If we split the remainder according to our original agreement, you will earn three-hundred gold coins. Meanwhile, I earn two-hundred gold coins.”
“Just three hundred?! That’s not enough!”
“That’s not my problem.”
“You never thought about doing proper business in this deal, did you?!! I gave you such a good opportunity to make money, only for you to speak up for that man. Did you two join hands to steal the flavouring to pocket it for yourself?!”
Achilles shook his head. He then looked at the bishop, who went from ashamed to angry. With a smile, he explained, “Bishop, Your Excellency, you just reminded me that that is another possibility. You have to bear in mind that I am a merchant that is motivated by money. You gave me a chance, and I did as you said. However, the current problem does not lie with me. I do not have any reason to put up with your reproaching and suspicion for no reason. If you suspect me, we can break off now. I, instead, will go and work with that man. I am sure that I would earn close to the same amount from it even if we have to pay taxes, since we would not need to split anything with you.”
The bishop froze for a moment. He took in a deep breath and rubbed his face. A short moment afterwards, he meekly said, “Is there really no way around it? Three-hundred gold coins aren’t enough.”
“You can go and conduct some other trades, then. As for this trade, we’re stuck with this cut. Trying to make all the money in one swoop is unrealistic to begin with. Three-hundred gold coins from this isn’t bad. This is how business is. Whether you earn lots of little is secondary. What’s most important is not making a loss.”
The bishop sighed again. He looked at Achilles and despairingly asked, “Is there really no other way?”
“No. It is not that I am unwilling to think of one, but that our smuggling plan has been discovered, which means that we either kill him or let him in. If he did not serve Lord Veirya, I would consider the first option, as well; however, Lord Veirya is with him. She is a warrior who was capable of slaying the Demon King. Are your troops a match for her? Did you see the last soldier? Did you see him beheaded with one slash? If we use the first option, I am afraid that we will die an even worse death.”
Achilles stood up and gave the bishop a small bow, “So, then, I have other business, so I shall take my leave now. This is the only option we have in this matter. I hope that you can bear with it, and proceed with our flavouring trade with the elves. This time, you are making three-hundred gold coins. In future, you will have more gold.”
The bishop didn’t speak. He just covered his face in silence. Achilles left the tavern. He looked at the only home with a courtyard. He gently pursed his lips and chuckled quietly. He said to himself, “How interesting… What did Lucia call him, Travor? An owl? He really is akin to an owl. He’s always on the branch, but he watches the entire forest. Once he takes flight, he’ll definitely be able to capture his prey.”
Current time at the Imperial Palace located in the imperial capital.
“Queen Sisi, I hope you can accept my sincere love. My love for you is akin to the starry sky, bright and always shining. I can promise that I will always passionately love you and respect you. I hope that I can leave my mark on your beautiful and bright smiling face.”
Queen Sisi lay on her side on the bed and silently listened to her servant read aloud the love letter that would make one blush. The lady-in-waiting next to her couldn’t help but cover up her face that was burning up a little. The love letter from the elf was passionate and straightforward. The suave Elven Prince also had the unique clear and incredibly handsome face that elves had. His passionate love was irresistible.
Queen Sisi, however, didn’t have the slightest interest in the Elven Prince’s love letter. She lay on her bed and carefully scanned her fingers. She gently stroked her smooth fingernails that didn’t have a single blemish. She looked up with just her eyes whilst wearing a ridiculing smile.
“That is the end, Your Majesty.”
The passionate love letter made even the servant, who read it, feel touched, yet Queen Sisi didn’t show any reaction. As a result, the servant felt very awkward.
“Uhm, you may leave now.”
Queen Sisi’s reaction to the Elven Prince’s love confession was very bland. After she finished checking out her fingernails, she flicked her hair out to her front side. She earnestly checked every strand of her hair. She considered a single strand of hers to be significantly more important than the handsome Elven Prince’s love letter.
“But… Your Majesty, how do we reply to this love letter? You are humanity’s Queen, after all. It would be a little rude to not respond to elven royalty’s marriage proposal.”
“Do I need to explicate it? Reject him, obviously,” replied Queen Sisi. She irritably swung her hair behind her then took off her long stocks and threw them aside. She gently stroked her smooth thighs, and then her pretty feet to ensure that neither had any blemishes. She then reached for her skin lotion. She rubbed her legs. “I have no use for a body of skin. If I want, I would have more than plenty of stronger and more handsome men than him. An Elven Prince who has never appeared before soldiers, dedicates his competence to writing pointless words in the forest and a man who lacks courage wants to be my husband?”
“Your Majesty, that is your reply?!”
“Don’t miss a word. Write just that. Since he proposed, he should be ready for rejection. If a man doesn’t even have the courage to be rejected, he has no business professing his love.”
Queen Sisi grumpily looked at the servant, causing him to shudder. The servant immediately bowed and left. Upon hearing the door shut, Queen Sisi let out a heavy sigh, “Why are all the men who like me this sort of trash? Love is very important. The husband that I’m looking for must be a fearless, gentle and meticulous knight, not a walking body of male flesh. I want love, not a trade. How strange. Love is the only thing I want right now, yet why can nobody give me it?”