Queen and Businesswoman
Melissa arrived at the imperial palace three days after setting out from the south. The reason she had the privilege of setting foot in the rear palace was thanks to the sky-blue cape Lin Dongqing lent. She had never seen the cape before, but she was surprised to find out it was so effective. Not a single soul dared to stop her at the doors despite eyeing her in a way that had her hike a brow up.
A surprised lady-in-waiting inquired, “What is your relationship with Count Lin Dongqing? He gave you the cape, correct? In that case, were you seeking an audience with Her Majesty?”
“Yes… He sent me to talk to Her Majesty about something.”
Despite being an incredibly confident woman, Melissa still felt afraid when she was about to meet the empire’s Queen even though they had yet to meet. Her reaction made it seem as if Queen Sisi’s imperial palace was a monster waiting to gobble up someone.
“Please wait here for a moment. I shall go notify Her Majesty.”
Not long after, Melissa entered the rear palace and up to the balcony on the second floor. The interior decoration of the imperial dazzled even Melissa, who had already seen some of the most artistic buildings around already.
Sisi scattered bread crumbs on the tea table and watched the small birds energetically bouncing on her table. Though she only wore a plain white dress, Melissa was swept off her feet at the beauty of the burgundy hair under the crown and subtle smile spread across Sisi’s lips.
Queen Sisi turned to look at Melissa: “Welcome to my rear palace. Madam, how shall I address you?”
“My name is Melissa, Your Majesty. C-C-C-Count Lin Dongqing introduced me… I have something to discuss with you…”
Sisi responded with a small nod: “I, of course, knew that. There is only one copy of the sky-blue cape you have with you, and it belongs to Lin Dongqing. I granted you an audience thanks to the cape. It’s been a long time since I’ve granted anyone an audience. Go on. Is it your issue or Lin Dongqing’s?”
“Umm… it would be something we discussed together,” answered Melissa. Nervous, she licked her lips. “We plan to join the purchase of the shipyard together, so we hoped you could financially support us and give us a loan.”
“Oh?” responded Sisi, hiding a ridiculing undertone beneath her smirk. “Interesting. I have yet to chase him down for sneaking to the South as soon as he was appointed, yet he’s here to ask for a loan? In saying that, since the minister of business has asked you to come, does that mean that you can provide me with a profit? If you can’t, I won’t agree.”
Melissa nervously passed on to Sisi what Lin Dongqing told her. During the time Sisi listened, she maintained her ridiculing smile. Melissa didn’t have any idea what Sisi’s smile meant or if she’d refuse. Queen Sisi wasn’t a Queen who was easy to deceive. Sisi and Lin Dongqing were definitely on good terms, but Sisi might not have believed her.
Sisi touched her face after Melissa finished and then picked up her teacup on the table, startling he birds off, some of which grouchily left as they didn’t get to finish eating. Sisi’s eyes looked wider than usual, which indicated that she was deliberating. Melissa stood stiff, nervously observing Sisi maintain a relaxed sitting posture.
Having Sisi invest was the first step of the plan. Only once Sisi made the investment would others follow suit, thereby allowing the loan to continue, subsequently allowing more garbage bonds to be offered. There wouldn’t be anyone who’d be willing to invest otherwise.
“Hehehe, normally, nobody would be willing to invest after that speech. It doesn’t sound as though it’s a very reliable investment. Normally, I’d kick you out now. Nobody would accept that request from you. It resembles a scam more than an investment.”
“D-does it?” Melissa’s heart skipped a beat. No investment from Sisi meant no investments from anyone else, and she would head to bankruptcy. Melissa brooded inwardly, “How can I accept this ending…? I’ve come so far. I’ve fought for so long. Is this really the end of the line for me?”
“With that said, it’s Lin Dongqing’s proposition, and I’m aware of what he’s capable of,” continued Sisi. “Lin Dongqing often achieves what others can’t. As such, I plan to accept the proposal. I’m also eager to see what return Lin Dongqing can give me. I know what you’re thinking, and I support Lin Dongqing. I shall loan you twenty thousand gold coins from my personal account. I shall also allow you to advertise your idea with my name. That will be my way of supporting Lin Dongqing. Also, you’re aware that you have to repay loans. I want the right to the shipyard. I want to become a shareholder of the shipyard.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
There was never any doubt that Queen Sisi would make that the condition, and Lin Dongqing already saw it coming. Queen Sisi wasn’t just prudent but also greedy. Either way, Lin Dongqing and Melissa could accept it.
Melissa didn’t need the shipyard nor did Lin Dongqing. It was better off exchanging it for Queen Sisi’s support. Thus far, the plan was coming along smoothly. Once they had Queen Sisi’s gold coins, the nobles and banks would know what their job was.
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