I didn’t anticipate a war breaking out. The possibility did occur to me; I just didn’t think it would be then. The moist atmosphere, high volume of rain and high likelihood of cyclones terrorising the South in our summer would make it an unwise time to wage a war there. Given they could wait until anytime in winter and make sure to wrap up prior to spring’s entrance, it hardly made sense to me unless is was spontaneously ignited.
Usually, wars started as a result of someone breaking a taboo are hard to resolve for the so-called taboo had already been broken. A war waged over spilt milk means that the initiator will never be satisfied no matter what the defender has to offer as compensation. War is complex business. Everybody knows that war is the toughest path a nation will have to walk.
If they didn’t get what they wanted in a war, the government that started the war or Queen Sisi would have their hands full trying to compensate losses and appeasing the angry masses. If they had resorted to war, then it meant there was no other way to resolve the issue. Needless to say, besides those who worshipped war mongers, other nations would analyse and deliberate prudently before lighting the sparks for a war. Trying to end a war is even more difficult than starting one.
Every nation has something it desires. From the perspective of another nation, the desires of other nations meant suffering damages at the hands of those trying to take what they wanted. Therefore, there was no way the victimised party could accept the terms at the negotiation table. In saying that, it didn’t mean that there was no way to resolve the issue, although it would be the toughest deal to negotiate. Behind you would be the well-being, benefits of the entire nation’s people and the trust the monarch has for you. Consequently, compromising would be very difficult. At the same time, refusing to compromise would inevitably mean war.
Some are just the puppets of a negotiation. By that, I mean that there are some who don’t have any actual control in a negotiation. In essence, they are a mere messenger for their monarch. Nevertheless, I wasn’t a puppet negotiator for the war. I was a negotiator, who could have Sisi abide by the results of my negotiation.
Indeed, it wasn’t my nation, but I couldn’t disappoint Sisi. It wasn’t solely because I was a noble of the empire. I had a grander reason: I didn’t want Sisi to be disappointed.
Despite not considering the task impossible, I had to prepare for the worse. I didn’t believe the indigenous people could match Queen Sisi’s military equipped with firearms. When westerners first entered North America and South America, the indigenous people were no match for the westerners. If you like, you could say they out-scienced them. That being said, I had yet to hear any reports from the military in the South, which was an indication that the soldiers’ firearms weren’t enough for them to win. Obviously, they didn’t return with news of a triumph as Sisi wished for.
Unless we could score an overwhelming victory on them, there was absolutely no reason for me to negotiate with them. More importantly, were the indigenous people even willing to talk out the dispute?
I didn’t think Sisi was worried about the original inhabitants. The fact that they waged war against Sisi indicated that they thought too highly of themselves. Sisi’s real concern was them winning the support of businesses in the South. Sisi had always taken taxes and loaned money from those businesses. The North’s businesses main focused centred around the military, so the businesses up north couldn’t match the power of the businesses in the South. That being the case, Sisi was worried that it would be overwhelmingly costly to win the war if the businesses in the South joined hands with the indigenous people and split off from the empire.
The world revolved around money. By that logic the businesses in the South were the most powerful people in the world and even had the means to build a military. Even if they were poorly trained soldiers, the fact that they were traitors from the empire would be enough to jeopardise Sisi’s rule and, as a by-product, the empire’s foundations. Consequently, Sisi’s plan and plans would have to be put on indefinite hold.
“So, you agree to help, Veirya? Thank you so much. Had it not been for your understanding and assistance, it’d be impossible for me to personally go there. I’m so glad to know that there is someone who will help me resolve this issue.”
Sisi clapped while wearing a gentle smile then held our hands and said to me, “Lin Dongqing, you are my count. I, therefore, completely trust you. I’m leaving this all in your hands. I hope you won’t be a disappointing noble. I shouldn’t need to say that, since you’ve yet to let me down. I trust you.”
Veirya promised, “I swear. To do my best. To protect him.”
“Good. I can’t think of anything or anyone who could stop you two together.” Sisi wore her pride on her lips.
“Your Majesty, I can negotiate, as it is my job. Having said that, I need you to provide me with some things. More specifically, I need you to answer some questions for me.”
“First, I need one victory, one convincing and overwhelming victory even if it’s not one that will determine the end victor. I can only negotiate if you can achieve that.”
“I can promise you that. The entire military is yours to command. One victory is unquestionably possible, so there’s nothing for you to worry about there.”
“Second, I want to know if they speak the same language as us.”
“They don’t. Apparently, some people in the South do understand their language and can speak it. Their language is very similar to the South’s dialect.”
“Third, will they accept peace talks?”
“That… I’m not sure of.”
“I see. There is a fatal lack of information, then.”
“Will you still go, then?”
“Yeah, I will.”
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