I had gradually gotten used to having all eyes on me when I was around the nobles. Still, it made me nervous every time. Melissa’s attendance in the circular hall was a surprise to me. She must’ve had an epiphany that war was coming and came over. She probably had to be heading back soon to attend to her business, though.
The businessmen in the South even thought that Sisi’s military didn’t have what it took to fight back. Well, they ended up learning that the noble’s military in the North had as much battle experience and spirit as they did money. I still didn’t know if they contacted foreign mercenaries or not, but I’d hedge my head on the North’s military wiping them out.
I knew that I basically got ahead of the colony’s administrator when I visited the South, so the man had it out for me in his eyes. Plus, he completely fell out of grace with Queen Sisi. Sisi didn’t officially declare me the administrator, but judging from the status quo, I was the sole administrator. I also designed their unemployment. The colony in the South was no more, so they had nowhere to lay their hands on.
We had something important to discuss, yet the boy shadowing me was timid. If I wasn’t in front of him, he’d probably crumble under just a minute amount of pressure from them.
I sat down in my seat and smiled politely: “Long-time no see, ladies and gentlemen. It was a very new experience in the South. I recommend you all go for a vacation there after this. I’m sure you’ll love it to bits. Let’s not beat around the bush this time. I’m not feeling well, so let’s cut to the chase.”
I was pretty sure they knew I wasn’t ill. It was my excuse for not coming, but I was quite awkward as I ended up coming. Since I came, I needed to play my role to the end.
Melissa touched her face and dimpled: “So, let us begin today’s topic, then. We are here to discuss the foreign nation’s support. I am a businesswoman from the South. I am also a victim of their attack. Nevertheless, I will obey Her Majesty. I will provide them with military uniforms and ensure their quality.”
The clothing was nothing for Madam Melissa. She managed to get Sisi’s approval in their last trade, so she could easily copy our factory’s model. Add her labour workers to the equation, and she’d be able to swiftly provide a large volume of military uniforms. That would mean there would be a compromise in quality, unfortunately. Having said that, Madam Melissa was bound to provide them with the best clothing to win Sisi’s acknowledgement. Sadly for them, our support was essentially a command from Sisi.
We were providing support. Free support. All of the clothing, gun powder, guns and weapons were to be provided for free. Out of our own pockets. Well, not mine. On the bright side, it was just a temporary loss. They could vie to win the majority of the market before the merchants from the South could after the war. Whoever arrived there first had the upper hand. Once they built a solid foundation, it would be incredibly challenging for their competitors to compete.
“I shall provide guns and gunpowder, in that case,” I stated. “I know you will all follow Her Majesty’s commands, right? You have all crossed paths with each other, which led to our altercation, correct? I know you wanted to go to the colony to occupy land or sell goods. Alas, their status quo has changed. It’s not our colony; we can’t take over their land. That said, I’m sure you’ll have ways to make money. This is about support. We’re providing kindness and our goods. Whether or not we can sell our goods to them later on will depend on what we provide now.”
No businessman could accept losing money. There was also no telling if the faction we supported would win the war or not. If they lost, all of our donations would’ve been for naught. They weren’t aware of the situation in the South. Hence, they didn’t believe me and resented me.
I didn’t think there was any point in me saying any more. I clearly had to believe they had a chance at winning to help them. I, however, wasn’t on their side. My blind optimism was pointless. I patted the boy’s shoulder and whispered, “Your turn. Go and tell them.”
“Wh-what do I tell them…?”
A grin came to my lips: “Simple, tell me what you usually tell me. They’re merely afraid you won’t win. Go and convince that you can win.”
I was of the belief that the boy would be able to convince them. He was always confident in his country and proud of it for some reason. At the conference, to the contrary, he appeared small and insignificant. I moved out of the way so that all of the nobles could see him. He stood there in a daze. Fear and tension led to his lips trembling. Nothing I said held weight at that point. They wouldn’t believe me, but they would believe him without a shadow of doubt.
After standing there in silence for a long time, he took in a deep breath, shut his eyes and readied himself to die. He then asserted, “I am seventeen this year. I have served my Queen for five years. I have killed a total of fifteen people for her. There are countless more soldiers who are not afraid of dying and are waiting for your supplies to kill the enemy!”
I wanted to slap his tears out of him for saying that. What sort of nonsense was that? What was the point of it?!
Maybe his fearless declaration was enough for the minority of the empire that had become nobles. Additionally, I was sure that they knew what I’d get as long as Melissa was around. As businessmen, all that mattered was income.
MYSD Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wjzmysd