Chapter 47: Response to letter
A week later, Gauche finally arrived at the palace with a response to the letter.
The elder was absent, so Gauche finished his duties at the palace alone as usual and made a casual visit to His Majesty’s office.
During that week, we didn’t waste any time.
First, we shared Nejia’s story with His Majesty’s intermediary and Lord Balk.
We chose to limit the audience to Lord Balk and the intermediary because of the sensitive nature of Nejia’s work.
However, Lord Balk suggested that we make the alliance treaty public sooner rather than later.
He believed that the people should know that only Nejia and Baratonia possess the silkworm cultivation technology, and that we should publicly commit to protecting Nejia in case other countries become interested and war looms, particularly the extreme winter land.
Naturally, His Highness Auglia and I agreed.
There was no need to keep this information under wraps.
The silkworm cultivation technology alone would bring great benefits to the nation.
While it takes time to develop and raise the insects, once the silk threads can be spun, Baratonia will be greatly enriched.
As for the alliance treaty to safeguard Nejia, who gifted us with this technology, there was no need to keep it a secret.
But If we present it as a vassalage, there will be nobles who may demand taxes from Nejia.
These types of individuals exist in every country.
Lord Balk suggested that we announce it as an alliance to avoid such issues.
We maintained close communication with every government office and promptly drafted a document outlining the Nejia-Baratonia alliance treaty.
This document was printed and distributed throughout the land.
Simultaneously, His Majesty directed two-thirds of the country’s wheat stockpile to be transported from the storage to the port town.
This would be purchased using national treasury funds to ensure that we could immediately provide food upon the arrival of the representative from the extreme winter land.
Soon after, Gauche arrived for a meeting.
While I was waiting in the finance department to discuss plans for supplementing the remaining national treasury, I received a sudden call from the intermediary.
Lord Balk, His Highness Auglia, and I promptly proceeded to His Majesty’s office, where we met with Gauche, who was waiting in the intermediary room.
Unperturbed, Gauche took out a response letter from his pocket and presented it to us.
His Majesty silently retrieved the letter from the desk and perused its contents before letting out a deep sigh.
“…Thank you, Gauche-dono.
It appears that the war has been averted, and they have agreed to temporarily provide ten ships for wheat transportation.”
“That’s a relief.
They share our aversion to war… If it can be avoided, there’s nothing better.”
Overwhelmed by the fear of war, I slumped to the ground.
Lord Balk and His Highness Auglia rushed to my aid, guiding me to the sofa.
Despite their comfort, tears welled up inexplicably within me.
War brings nothing but misery.
Countless individuals in this nation are still trapped in a web of anger and grief, which further complicates relationships and provides no escape.
If war were to break out once more, it would not be the soldiers who would bear the brunt of the impact, but the civilians.
The land would be ravaged, crops decimated, and people left to starve, waiting in fear of their impending death.
I was present in the palace during the previous war.
Although the city was spared, the castle was fraught with tension and unease.
I’m ashamed of how I consoled people by assuring them that the Kingdom of Balatonia only sought independence and that all would be well.
However, now that I’ve interacted with numerous individuals here in Baratonia, I feel embarrassed.
I never used to feel insecure, but now I realize it was only because I was numb.
Let’s work together to build a new culture.
I was overcome with relief and tears when I realized that the lives of the people near me were no longer in danger.
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