“I will be counting on all of you then.”
I signed my name and stamped the letter with my seal. I then handed it to the representative of the merchants and nobles.
“Food is hard to find in winter, plus we don’t have reserves prepared in the city this year. Do not hoard food causing the prices to soar. Of course, you will benefit from it, as well. I will compensate for eighty-percent of the food you currently have, according to volume, as long as you are willing to lower your prices. As nobles, you definitely have provisions stored at home. We will buy it from you at 150% of what their current worth is.”
“Alright, Your Majesty. We will definitely see that it is done.”
We were basically done with pricing discussions. Now the city won’t fall into starvation due to food and fuel shortages.
I can’t create a state-owned commercial and industrial system, yet. If these merchants possess provisions, they’ll definitely raise the price of food. Distributing money to the people wouldn’t allow them to keep up with the speed at which they raise their prices, either.
Hence, I negotiated price points which we could all accept. The food reserve the city needs will have to be purchased from these nobles.
Freya is as reliable as ever. She even considered this. Is food worth money? No, it is not. However, prices increase once you add the cost of transportation into the equation. But this group of merchants have shown enough sincerity in doing business with the royal family, and as a result, it didn’t cost much.
After the discussions ended, the representatives of the merchants and nobles stood up.
One of the nobles looked at me with a smile and said, “I am very glad to be able to do business with the royal family. I must say, you are very thoughtful and attentive, Your Majesty.”
I waved my hands as I smiled and replied, “Not really. Being at the post, one will worry about any matter concerned therewith. I am still a far cry away, compared to Her Majesty. I will surely require your help with many other things in future because I have just come here and still have many things that I am ignorant of. So I will be counting on all of you.”
A merchant said, “You need not say so, Your Majesty. We are nobles of the empire. Being able to be of service to you is our honour. Further, we are very happy to be able to do business with you. You speak with fairness and intelligence. If possible, we hope that we can do more business with you.
“Yeah? That’s great then. Money which isn’t circulating around is dead money. Whether or not this city will be able to thrive will depend on all of you. Don’t leave tonight. I have prepared a banquet for you all. You’re more than welcome to bring your lovers and guests over to enjoy it.”
“We will definitely be there. Thank you for your invitation, Your Majesty.”
“Alright! I won’t see you out then.”
“You do not need to see us out, Your Majesty. See you tonight.”
“Uhm, see you tonight!”
There was a group of guards organised to send the group on their way.
I sat on a chair to the side and caught my breath.
Nier looked at me with concern from behind and said, “Your Majesty, have a short rest. I think you should delay the work for the afternoon. It’s fine for you to have a short break. Though they say one can be so diligent with work that they forget to eat and sleep, if something happens to you, then nothing good will come out of it.”
“I’ll be alright, Nier. I’ve just recovered, so I’m still feeling a little weak is all. It’s not so bad that I need to rest. There’s nothing much to do in the afternoon, anyway. I just need to make a trip to the factory and then to check on my personal guards.”
“Your Majesty, my heart aches for you seeing you so tired…” Nier frowned and then said, “You must eat a proper lunch, no matter what. Head over to the dining hall first. I will go and cook for you today… You’ll definitely get sick if your nutrition is poor.”
“Alright.” I nodded. I then stood up and walked out of the place with Nier. I took in a deep breath, and the cold air woke my somewhat foggy mind, a little.
I bade Nier goodbye, then walked to the dining hall.
After making a turn, I ran into Lucia, who was walking quickly. She looked a little angry, as though she was looking for something.
When I called out to her she turned to look at me and then ran over. However, she had anger in her eyes.
I paused, going through my memories to see if I did anything that I should be sorry to her about in the last twenty-four hours…
After I had held her last night, petite Lucia curled up into a little ball and fell asleep. I soon woke up after a short respite to go over documents.
It doesn’t seem like I did anything I should be sorry about to her…
“Your Highness! You’re a little too much! You left without saying a word in the morning! You didn’t even call for me today!” Lucia stood with her arms akimbo and looked at me angrily. She angrily complained, “I was so worried about you, yet you don’t even care about me! I wanted to stroll around with you, yet you left without a word! You didn’t even leave a written message! I looked for you all morning!”
“Sorry, sorry!” I pressed down on Lucia’s shoulders with a smile and said, “Sorry, Lucia. I’ve just arrived here. I have too much work so I don’t have time to take you out for a stroll. If you want to go out to play, you can go with Luna as long as you put in a word first.”
“I don’t want to go out if it’s not with you!” Lucia stamped her feet and then looked at me with suspicion and said, “Your Highness, how busy are you? If there are lots of jobs, can’t you just get Her Highness to handle some of it? It’s not embarrassing for you to delegate work if you can’t handle it all.”
I smiled helplessly and replied, “Lucia, it’s different. This is my domain. Her Highness, and Her Majesty, are just guests here. I can’t have guests working for me, as the owner. It’s alright, Lucia. I think I’ll be done soon. It’s mainly because there are lots of things to attend to when establishing a new city. Once it officially begins to take off, things will be fine.”
Lucia grumbled, “Your Highness! Don’t you lie to me! I’m not ignorant! Her Highness is busy the entire day, too, even though the elven kingdom is stable! I don’t think your jobs will decrease in the future. Your Highness, if you are so busy, when will you have time to get married to me?”
“Soon. Soon. Lucia, don’t worry. I don’t have any thoughts about getting married in this freezing winter, either… I think… we should get married when the weather gets warmer, all right? Even if I’m busier then, I’ll still hold our wedding. You and Nier are more important than this city, to me, so I won’t give you two the cold shoulder for the sake of work. I was in the wrong this morning. That won’t happen again.”
“If that Nier wasn’t mentioned, what you said would’ve been more beautiful…” Lucia blushed a little and proudly puffed her chest while maintaining her akimbo posture.
She said, “It’s alright! Your Highness! I’ve already waited for over ten years, so I don’t mind waiting another month. You don’t have to worry about me too much, Your Highness. Go and do what you enjoy… other than seducing other women, that is. If another flirty girl appears by your side, I’ll definitely kill her…” Her coldest voice told me she wasn’t joking.
It looks like Lucia is still feeling very angry and wronged after failing to defeat Nier last time. She was not going to let that happen. Does this mean that I’ll have to strictly choose from the Valkyries if I want to start a harem?
If I did, Lucia wouldn’t even need to bother, because Nier would stomp her…
‘Goodbye, my harem life… But two moms and two wives are enough…
‘Wait… why did I count my moms, too…?’
“I’m going to stick with you for your work in the afternoon. I’m your wife, so I naturally have to work with you!” Lucia patted her chest. She looked at me with her small face full of pride and exclaimed, “Watch me, Your Highness! I’m a superb assistant!”
But I, uhh…
Honestly don’t have much faith there…