Loyalty and Gains
Previously, I thought I’d have the honour of sharing a carriage with Queen Sisi. I assumed wrong. Veirya and Leah had the right to share the carriage with Queen Sisi, while Angelina couldn’t due to her identity. As for me, I had no choice but to ride a horse. Achilles and company followed the majestic escort.
Compared to making things look easy as he usually did, Achilles looked quite anxious. Up until then, he thought Her Majesty just wanted to attack the elves due to her blood going to her head and that it’d blow over once Queen Sisi calmed down. Alas, she personally came to the North, which consolidated that she wasn’t joking and was serious about attacking the North. Most importantly, there was the blonde. The blonde kid rode closer to Queen Sisi’s carriage, presumably because she liked him.
Achilles rushed up behind me to ride alongside me. He reported, “You must have met him, the one with the bright blonde hair. When he returned last night, he spoke ill of you, stating that you were not as amazing as the legends portray you.”
I gave him a small nod. I wouldn’t feel irate over somebody bad mouthing me. I replied, “It sounds as though your days aren’t great. His blonde hair is shining brighter than yours.”
Achilles helplessly chuckled: “Haha, that kid is just my substitute. I used to be responsible for food transportation in the entire South, which was why Her Majesty valued me. Now, however, I am against her plan to attack the elves. Subsequently, she no longer trusts me. The boy found something that could spit gas. Her Majesty, naturally, likes him more. You are still Her Majesty’s favourite. Be careful not to lose favour.”
I chuckled: “Does that have anything to do with me? I’m different to you all. I don’t rely on Her Majesty’s fondness to live. That said, it looks as though not even you support her plan to attack the elves. That means there should be a fair number of people in the imperial palace who would support your stance.”
“It is actually to the contrary. Lots people support Her Majesty’s desire to attack the elves. The heartless and irresponsible fellows see the discrepancy in opinions as their chance to climb to higher heights. Only the few of us dispute Her Majesty’s desire to attack the elves after earnest deliberation. Sadly, Her Majesty is not taking us serious. Were you able to dissuade Her Majesty after I visited you?”
“If I were you, I wouldn’t dissuade Her Majesty; I chose to stop her. It looks as though my attempt failed.”
The Elven Queen was useless in the grand scheme of things. If Queen Sisi truly wanted to attack the elves, it would be useless even if the Elven Queen didn’t provide her with an excuse. If Queen Sisi was hesitant, couldn’t get Veirya’s support and couldn’t find an appropriate excuse, she might’ve given up on the attempt to attack the elves. Judging from things, though, Queen Sisi didn’t look as though she planned to give up.
Achilles went silent for a moment before telling me his final thoughts: “Whatever the case, I hope you can dissuade Her Majesty. This does not concern just my business but your income, too. It is just a form of repayment for Her Majesty’s once unconditional trust and favour for us. Do you not call that loyalty?”
Achilles didn’t expect much after hearing my response. I gave Achilles an affirmative answer: “I’m different from you. I’m choosing to dissuade Queen Sisi from attacking for the sake of money and income. Don’t worry; we’re on the same boat. I just won’t choose the same means as you.”
Achilles nodded and then looked over to the blonde: “What do you think of him, Edward, eldest son of Quilt Household? A handsome young talent?”
“An extraordinarily ordinary young man with rather cutting-edge thinking.”
“Are you talking about the loan from the bank and the machine?”
“How do you plan to handle his business, then? In my personal opinion, if his machine is actually as useful as he said, he will actually make a lot of money. How long do you estimate it will take for him to make back the capital, though? Also, we have never seen the machine that he mentioned; I have seen my fair share of frauds claiming to possess advanced technology when, in reality, they were just frauds relying on trickery.”
“My opinion is simple. I want it all.” I made a fist gesture at my chest with my left hand. Seeing my aggressive stance, Achilles retreated, figuratively speaking. I elaborated, “I can tell you that the machine can truly change the world’s things, but I don’t recommend you invest in it. Wait until I get my hands on it. Then, invest in it.”
“You want to invest and then split the profit? I think you should quit while you are ahead. Quilt Household is an influential and large family. They usually will not allow others to get involved in their business. Having said that, it seems that their in-fighting is quite intense. At the end of the day, although everyone invests their money together, everyone has their own household. Everyone wants power; as a result, it has become a situation of whoever invests more has the right to speak.”
That was perfectly normal. That was the system where one who held the most shares had the highest authority. It was basically the same as whoever possessed fifty one percent of the total shares had the right to make decisions, transforming them from an ordinary shareholder into the person in the highest position of an enterprise. Needless to say, there were those who didn’t have that level of authority in spite of having the most shares in regards to Edward’s case. In saying that, it Edward Quilt’s industry employed the shareholder system, apparently. Whoever invested the most had the final say. There was something crucial to note: Edward didn’t accept foreign investments.
“Edward ambitions know no bounds. He is not the successor to Quilt Household; he is merely the son of a mistress, but he is ambitious and is very tenacious. That is why he does not flee no matter how perilous it is when following the army. He then coincidentally met a worker, who could not find work. The two of them then kickstarted the idea. You could say that Edward has put all his eggs into the basket for this project of his. He even sold his wife and daughter to a brothel to collect the money. He is a money-thirsty, wild beast that only cares about money. If he suffers losses in this investment, he will go bankrupt. Her Majesty is interested in his product, however. If the project officially goes into operation and things go well, I think he will be rich overnight.”
“In other words, he alone invested for the entire project?”
“No, he persuaded a decent number of people into investing in his project. Lots of people are now waiting for him to profit. To be frank, I am not too convinced; else, I would invest a little.”
“Yeah? It seems I will need to do quite a bit, then.”
“You plan to get involved with it?” Achilles sounded surprised. He noticed Edward over by the carriage, so he lowered his voice: “Edward is investing every penny he has. I suggest you do not get involved. We have no grudge against him; we are all businessmen. If you go too far, he will die!!”
“I never expected to hear that from your mouth. For some reason, I never realised you were so nice. You didn’t uphold justice when you teamed up with the chapel and kidnapped my daughter?”
“I still did not understand you at the time; however, I understand Edward.”
“He’s a scumbag who sold his wife and daughter to a brothel; I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong. Furthermore, I haven’t said what I’d do, have I? Can I understand that your emotional reaction is praise for me?” I laughed.
Achilles looked disturbed in more ways than one. After a moment of silence, he replied, “We businessmen will not drive each other to bankruptcy; that is principle. Edward’s business is his life. We are people from the South; we need to join hands to protect ourselves, which is why, regardless of what may happen between us merchants, we never totally decimate others.”
“Sorry, Achilles, but I’ve never had any principles to speak off. Moreover, he only has his own stupidity to blame if I utterly destroy him. I have no obligation to take care of a fool. Achilles, don’t worry; this has nothing to do with you.”
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