Chapter 43: Elder of Nejia and King of Baratonia
Do the inhabitants of Nejia place a high regard on promptness? We requested them to summon the delegate of Nejia to pay a visit to Your Majesty this morning, and he arrived shortly after noon.
Myself, His Majesty, His Highness Auglia, Melissa and Gwenna, who are familiar with Gauche, stood facing each other.
On the other side were the delegates of Nejia, referred to as the Elder, who sold the lute to me and Gauche.
Beneath the records regarding the cultivation of silkworms and the growth of the most potent plant for dyes, there were accords between Baratonia and Nejia.
You will serve as our eyes and ears, gathering intelligence and taking action in the event of an emergency or carrying out reconnaissance and information warfare.
On the surface, we will regard Nejia as a vassal state and place it under our protection, but without imposing taxes and treating it as an equal ally… Auglia, do you have any objections?”
His Highness Auglia answered promptly to the King’s reading of the document, without any hesitation.
The Elder and Gauche were gazing at the king with a look of expectancy.
“…hmm, is it necessary to include this as a clause in the treaty?”
“Your Majesty, it’s not just about us.
Others must have a stake in this too.”
It was not the elder but Gauche who answered.
He was a bit well-behaved, but he maintained the attitude of an equal.
“In the event of Baratonia betrayal, Claire will serve as the top priority for retaliation.
But what if Nejia betrays Baratonia?”
“There is only a single road that connects our country to the outside world, and our population is limited, making us vulnerable to destruction.
Despite being referred to as the active military unit, we are not invincible.
Our numbers may not be enough to overcome the violence that threatens us.
What we are betting on is life.
Even so, is it okay to weigh the lives of all the citizens of Nejia and myself against each other? I understand that there is no choice.
Nejia cannot carry out mass murder, it can only infiltrate the royal palace and kill key individuals.
I am not the King or the prince, but objectively, I am currently the one who is playing the most significant role in the advancement of this country.
The king pondered for a moment before turning his gaze towards me.
“Claire, are you comfortable with this arrangement?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.
I am prepared.
We should form an alliance with Nejia as soon as possible.”
That’s right, we need to move quickly.
The conflict with the Faithnum Empire happened more than a year ago.
There is a peace agreement in place, and because I am here, there won’t be any fighting between the Faithnum Empire and the Baratonia Kingdom.
However, other countries may not be so forgiving.
The Baratonia Kingdom is surrounded by powerful nations and allies from the Faithnum Empire.
We are rich in grain storage, have a thriving trade in paper and fishing, and have acquired the technology to produce silk, a specialty product of Nejia.
The Baratonia Kingdom is a tempting target for other nations.
I have been focused on domestic affairs, but Baratonia is a rich country to the extent that I wouldn’t be shocked if we were suddenly poked in the side.
Until now, the Faithnum Empire was a nominal shield, but that is no longer the case.
And for Nejia, the shield was gone.
Now it’s Baratonia’s turn to be the shield that protects Nejia.
In return, Nejia will offer valuable information to Baratonia.
His Majesty has reached an agreement with His Highness Auglia and me.
This alliance will become a binding contract that will be passed down from generation to generation.
I am currently a sacrifice, but as the contract evolves and changes over time, our alliance will strengthen and we will work together as one united front.
Baratonia has been a vassal state for a long time, but Nejia has never been a part of any other country.
Instead, it possesses information about all countries, as if it has delicate threads connecting it to all nations.
His Majesty signed the document with care.
We each signed two copies of the document to be kept in our respective countries, and the Elder also affixed his signature to two copies.
At that moment, the Elder and Gauche rose from their chairs, knelt down on one knee, and lowered their heads in respect.
The head representative of the country bows… meaning, they don’t mind if they are beheaded anytime, but by doing so they show that they believe in it by demonstrating it in their posture.
“From this moment forward, the Nejia Country shall serve as the shadow of the Kingdom of Baratonia.
We will provide the necessary information and carry out the necessary tasks.
In return, we have received the assurance of protection from the Kingdom of Baratonia.
Henceforth, we shall be the shadow of the Kingdom of Baratonia.
A shadow can only exist with a body to cast it and receive the light.”
“Elder and Gauche, please raise your heads.
Your pledge is sufficient.
What we lack is knowledge and a broad outlook.
A shadow is something that extends far and wide.
No one exists without a shadow.
This alliance we have formed shall last.
Please, raise your heads and take my hand.”
His Majesty rose to his feet and extended his arms.
After contemplating His Majesty’s words, the Elder and Gauche followed suit, taking the His Majesty’s hands.
With this, the alliance was formed.
It must remain a secret from other nations, but if Nejia were to come under attack, Baratonia would serve as its shield.
I felt a fire in my chest.
Despite being considered a failure of lady education, I possess a wealth of knowledge.
The alliance that has just been established must be recorded on paper as a part of history.
So that we never betray each other.
“Now that our alliance is set in stone… I apologize for my direct manner of speaking, but let me start by sharing some information right away.”
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