“Please… Travor, please. Please help me. Please reconsider… We’re still a little short on money… Please consider it again….I can give you anything; just please help us think of how to get more provisions, weapons and money. You’re capable of obtaining money and food with just a few words. Please help me. If you help us this time, our chance of victory will increase.”
I underestimated Lucia’s persistence. She had no intention of giving up. She persistently clung to me. She’d rather cling to my leg than release me. I had countless things in mind for the day, but I couldn’t shake Lucia off. I really wanted to go home. As long as I was with Veirya, Lucia would definitely leave me alone.
“Okay, okay, okay. Let’s do this: you won’t more provisions and money, right? I’m not going to get involved with your fight. Additionally, I hope that you won’t mention that you received assistance from humanity whether you succeed or are defeated. You will pretend that I was oblivious to your business and never assisted you.”
I really didn’t want to continue wrestling with Lucia. Plus, judging from Lucia’s behaviour, I genuinely did want to make a bet. However, I didn’t intend to directly help Lucia. If the elves failed in their attempt, I wouldn’t be able to escape a similar fate. In addition, I had a rather bold idea.
“That’s fine. It sounds as though you don’t think that we’ll win, but we will. We’ll definitely win. Elves will never be destroyed. We, elves, won’t be let ourselves end due to the foolish order of a foolish Queen. We must have our stable and rich lives from the past again.”
Lucia looked obviously elated. She immediately smiled as soon as she heard that I could help her. She very excitedly said, “Since you’re willing to help us, elves, everyone will remember you, even if you don’t let your name be known. We will definitely send you some gifts. Once we succeed, we’ll send you and Veirya some gifts. We need some provisions and money.”
I looked at Lucia, “I see. I’m not after the gift you have for me. I’m just a businessman after money. Your gift for me may not be worth money. Though Veirya considers your gratitude to be priceless, it’s meaningless to me, which is why I’m mindful of your agreement with me. Let’s do this: I know that you elves most certainly don’t want to trade with humans; nevertheless, are you willing to trade with Veirya and I?”
“That’s fine, perfectly fine. If we can work it out, I’m perfectly fine with it. As long as we can work it out, of course I’ll choose to trade with you. Nobody would mind having more money. We will only accept trading with you, though. I’m saying this out of friendship. It won’t be a very large volume; I can have our tribe come here to sell things to you. What do you need?”
I looked at Lucia and replied, “Flavouring. Just flavouring will suffice. As for the provisions, we have quite a bit available in our warehouse. You can take some; however, then comes the money problem. Unfortunately, I have no means of creating gold. In saying that, I can use your flavouring to trade it for gold.”
“Flavouring?” queried Lucia. “That was all of the flavouring that I brought over. While selling flavouring is, indeed, the best way for us to make money, I only have so much on me. I’m already out and can’t make any more.”
“No, no, no, I meant that you can go back to the elven lands and bring back more. You don’t need to bring much. You just need two, three hundred gold coins’ worth of flavouring. I know that the chapel and merchant’s people are keeping surveillance on you right now, because they don’t want your flavouring to be in anyone else’s hands. Furthermore, they don’t want you to trade flavouring in private. They’re trying to monopolise it. In turn, they’ll be able to earn more. However, if we sneak out another batch of flavouring without going through the chapel, we’ll be able to earn more. Actually, I don’t want a very high return on investment. Therefore, if you split it with the merchant, you’ll make more.”
“No wonder why I always felt as though someone was following me recently… I didn’t know what it was about. Ah, I truly don’t get what this monopoly is, money or whatnot, but you’re right.” remarked Lucia. She pinched her chin. “I can bring back some flavouring, and I can easily leave and enter this place. It’s impossible for humans to keep surveillance on me. With that said, what do we need to do now?”
I looked at Lucia and earnestly explained, “We have to go to the company. Achilles is the most vital key to our operation. There’s a very convenient condition, which is Achilles won’t accept the chapel’s surveillance. We’ll go discuss the prices and trade medium with him; then, we’ll be able to receive the payment for goods. There shouldn’t be any major hiccups. The question is whether or not you can bring the flavouring over without any hiccups”
Lucia nodded in a relaxed manner, “Isn’t that simple? The flavouring isn’t a valuable good to us, after all.”
I touched my head, “Bear in mind, though, don’t bring too much, or it’ll be suspicious, thereby making it difficult to proceed. Commissions will then be calculated based on proportions. I don’t want much. Consider it a gift to you elves. When the time comes, you just need to unconditionally trade the flavouring with us at the agreed times. Further, we’ll have the right to decide on the price; what do you think?”
Lucia folded her arms and nodded. She casually responded, “The flavouring is made from ingredients in the forest, so we can have as much as we desire. I really don’t know why you humans are so hung up over it. But, Travor, I’m sincerely very grateful to you. You’re the only person who’s truly helping us. Though you weren’t too willing to help us, you helped us a lot when we elves were in a pinch. You help us with the food and now money; therefore… please accept my personal gratitude.”
Before I could react, Lucia nimbly leaned into my side. Before I could budge, she hugged my arm with her small body. I then smelt her breath that carried the strong scent of flowers and grass in the forest next to my face. Next, I felt a warm sensation on my cheek that felt similar to a small bird’s peck.
“Cherish it. I, Lucilia, rarely give anyone this highest-honour reward!”
Lucia hopped aside after releasing my arm. I couldn’t get my body to move. It felt as though I was electrocuted. I just extended my hand in a daze and gently touched the spot that Lucia kissed. She had a red flush on her face from shyness, but she poked her tongue at me. She looked at me with a mischievous demeanour as though she found my reaction to be amusing.
“What… did you two do?”
Before I could savour the kiss, an ice-cold voice broke the amorous atmosphere between the two of us. Lucia and my smiles froze on our faces. We resembled broken robots. Lost for what to do, we slowly turned our heads in a clunky manner to meet with Veirya’s ice-cold blue eyes…