“Now then, today’s meeting shall officially commence. Please quieten down.”
Everyone at the circular table fell into silence. In the silence, they could hear the echoes of shoes making contact with the marble floor in the pure white conference hall. Freya followed behind me and looked at everyone with a strange smile. I headed to my seat located at the highest point in the room, which was located at twelve o’clock relative to the entrance, allowing me to see everyone. We referenced humanity’s conference hall when we constructed our conference hall. However, the conference hall wasn’t alike Elizabeth’s one and only conference hall. To the contrary, my sitting location allowed me to see every spot. A King should be able to see everything.
“This will be the final meeting. His Majesty has attained a full grasp on the details of our meeting and private meetings. He has also earnestly reflected on your terms and conditions for a long time. Today’s final meeting will be your last chance to name your conditions and express your opinions. Furthermore, you can debate it with each other to reach a conclusion that you can all accept. I, Freya Galadriel Rosvenor, and King of the North, Troy Galadriel Rosvenor, who will act as the representative for the North and the imperial family of the North, shall make a decision and voice his requests. Please maintain your loyalty for the imperial family of the North and respect as you conduct your discussions.”
Freya waved her hand. The secretary opened his notebook and dipped his pen in the ink as part of his preparations to begin. There were twice as many notes to take for the meeting compared to usual meetings. The two parties looked at each other.
One of the humans stood up and bowed: “In compliance with Her Majesty’s agenda, I have come here as the representative of all fur businesses to discuss the export of fur with the esteemed King of the North. Our request this time is to reduce our purchase volume. Every year, we extract fur from three locations. We do not buy a lot of fur from the remaining two places. Each location is nurtured for three years. The remaining ones are split between us with one each; therefore, there is no crossover impact. However, we will maintain the initial price.”
“As the primary manufacturer in the North, we cannot accept such a condition. Your price is an obstacle for us. Changing the location from which you purchase the fur is not a solution to the pricing dilemma. You will not go elsewhere, but other locations will take the initiative to go to you. You have to match your cost of procurement with us!”
“We refuse. Transporting the goods from the North to the South will cause us to incur losses. Additionally, our transportation labour is very expensive. We cannot match your price. We must proceed with our approach. We cannot concur with you on that.”
“You think we don’t know what you’re purchasing fur at such steep prices for? You’re trying to deprive us of raw materials so that you can then monopolise the fur industry. Then, you’ll procure the fur at extremely low prices. As a result, you will be the only people they can sell fur to. We will not allow you to use such underhanded methods!”
“According to the regulations in the North, we may rightfully decide on the cost of purchase. The market is a free-for-all market. There are no issues with what we are doing. Clearly, you could purchase the fur at the same price, but you didn’t. Instead, you suck the life out of labourers in the North. You’re the blood suckers here. You milk the labourers in your factory. Purchase raw materials at low prices, and then manufacture expensive luxury goods to rake in high profits. Even if we were to remove you from the picture, we still would not have such an absurd profit margin!”
“We represent anthropoids of the North and everyone exporting fur. We don’t want to accept any of your suggestions. None of your suggestions have taken us into consideration. We won’t unconditionally support your manufacturer purchasing our goods at low prices just because we reside in the North. By the same token, we won’t allow humans to trick us with such underhanded methods. We ask that we have the freedom to choose any party to export our fur to and when necessary, we can refuse anyone. Thus, we request the right to choose.”
Freya hopelessly sighed and whispered in my ear, “I never thought they could be so noisy on the last day. It is the last day, yet they are enthusiastic as the first day. This is truly getting on my nerves. Your Majesty, shall we just go ahead and kill everyone here?”
“Your idea is more terrifying than Mommy Elizabeth’s. While this place is designed according to her conference hall, therefore the resemblance, this isn’t a hall for killing people as Empress Elizabeth uses hers. Just ignore them. I have no way of guaranteeing that I can explain myself after killing so many people here.”
I picked up the bell in front of me and knocked it a few times, shutting them all up.
They were all looking at each other with agitated looks just a moment ago, but they stopped after hearing the bell. They awaited the final verdict from the King.
I stood up, took a document Freya handed me and said, “I understand everything you are thinking now, so I shall provide you with the imperial family’s verdict. The imperial family’s final verdict remains the same. We won’t get involved with this matter; we won’t purchase fur. Our original intent to support free trade remains unchanged, and we won’t change the taxes we charge anyone. Due to this, the imperial family will regulate the prices on the free market to mitigate humanity’s agenda. In saying that, the imperial family’s conclusion on this is that humanity’s businesses can continue purchasing fur as they like under the condition that they must pay in cash so that there is no dodging payments.
“The factory may continue to purchase fur; however, they must ensure the lives of the people at the production site aren’t impacted. They must ensure the workers get rest and are paid their salary. The factory will send a member from the imperial family to supervise the situation. A worker’s union will also be founded. If the workers are affected in a negative way, the imperial family will confiscate the factory.”
I shut the document. Then, I continued: “The meeting is, therefore, over. You should all be content now, I presume. You have had all of your wishes fulfilled. Sorry, but this meeting should be considered over. Thus, if you have something to say, bring it up again in a year’s time. Now, I need to be on my way to attend the conference at Troy City. As such, I won’t keep you company here any longer. You can accept the results, I presume.”
Everyone was satisfied, yet they all wore grim looks. Honestly speaking, I figured out the North’s manufacturer’s line of thought. For me, who did quite decent in Marxism, I was able to discern the act of extortion with a single glance.
Businessmen never change no matter when and where. As for humanity, they were permitted to decide on whatever price they wanted. My question, though, was how they would transport so many gold coins from the North. Plus, the taxes for transporting gold coins weren’t low. Their costs would increase. They might be able to utilise the strategy to defeat the North’s businesses, but they didn’t possess infinite wealth. Subsequently, the driver seat belonged to the imperial family.