Redemption of the Blue Rose Princess - Chapter 7.3
“I heard you came all the way here after reading the proposal I submitted.”
After giving the Princess a quick tour of his mansion, they could finally talk properly about the matter at hand. With a refreshing smile, Jude spoke up as he sat down across from Alicia. His tone sounded casual, as if he was making a light chat over the weather.
They were in a room where sunlight was able to penetrate through, a perfect place to receive visitors. Beyond the large windows, the reason why sunlight was able to enter the room, was the cityscape of Held, the city of the traders, and the wide blue ocean.
Alicia, who had been entranced by the view, felt puzzled due to the sudden change of topic for a few seconds before she hurriedly nodded.
“Huh? Um… yeah, that’s right.”
Alicia hurriedly straightened her back as she cleared her throat. It was her attempt to collect her thoughts that were previously distracted, and also to keep her guard up so that she wouldn’t be led around by the nose by the young lord sitting in front of her.
“The first person who took notice of your proposal was my aide, Clovis.”
“Huh… But, didn’t they previously reject my proposal?”
Jude flaunted his white teeth as he grinned toward Clovis.
“Have people ever told you that you’re peculiar?”
“A few times, yes.”
The young lord’s eyebrows lowered as he heard Clovis’ curt answer, while the latter leaned forward, trying to gain control of the conversation.
“I was interested in Lord Nicole’s suggestion. Creating a company that specializes in distribution, wasn’t it?”
“You can just call me Jude, in exchange, may I add ‘-kun’ to your name, Clovis?”
The aide nodded at Jude’s unchanging attitude before continuing.
“The art industries– the hardware, textiles and other crafts that are currently popular in Heilland– will eventually fall if they continue as they are when the foreign countries started to involve themselves more in their foreign trades. That’s what you said in your proposal, right?”
“Woah, I’m happy! My proposals were always rejected by the regional council, I didn’t expect someone would properly read them!”
Jude’s clear green eyes lit up as he exclaimed in an excited voice.
“I wrote everything in that proposal, you know? You agreed with my writing, aren’t you?”
“Wait. Firstly, may I know the reason why you wrote that in the first place?”
Alicia couldn’t help but interrupt the young lord’s enthusiasm.
Of course, Alicia also knew about the content of the proposal since Clovis explained it thoroughly to her in advance. But there was something in the proposal that seemed strange for her, the part where it wrote ‘The domestic art industry will eventually disappear in the future.’
The art industry, the subject the proposal was referring to, involved the craftsmen that Alicia interacted with during her recent visit to the town. It was a business that had been flourishing for several generations already. It was hard for Alicia to believe his words as she had seen with her own eyes how exquisite was the craftsmanship of those craftsmen up close.
At Alicia’s question, Jude tilted his head in disbelief.
“Why? Isn’t it obvious if you talk to the merchants at the port properly… Ah yes, right, there’s no way the Princess would have the chance to do that, huh?”
Jude scratched his cheek as he said that. He was being genuine as there was no sarcasm at all in his voice. Apparently, he had momentarily forgotten that he currently was talking to the Princess, who lived all her life in the capital, and her aide, not to a merchant nor a local official.
Seeing the young lord struggling to begin his explanation, Clovis sent him a helping hand.
“I’ve heard that the quality of the goods coming from overseas had dramatically improved over the past decade or so. Is that the main cause of all this?”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s right! When I talked to the merchants who travel from country to country, they said, compared to this country, they found more potential for profit in other countries.”
Jude continued on as he looked at the aide with a relieved expression on his face.
In the country where Alicia and the others lived, Heilland, the artistic culture was developed since the early times of the country’s history. The cause of this was the hardworking nature of the people and the harsh environment that made it difficult for them to develop more farmland, so a lot of people chose to become craftsmen.
This was the reason why craftsmanship made in Heilland had always been sold at a high price, adding more income to the nobles who had their own personal craftsmen.
“However, the production and sales system in our country hasn’t evolved in hundreds of years, we probably got ahead of ourselves and were too drunk in our past glory. I could say with confidence that our system is currently outdated.”
“The companies in our countries are mostly small companies, so the amount of work they could do is limited.”
Jude snapped his fingers and smiled at the aide.
“On the other hand, overseas, the other countries are trying to catch up with Heilland and sell their products globally. Ealdar is a good example of this. There is a huge merchant association there that goes around selling things all over the world, with the permission of the Empress, of course.”
If the products made in Heilland were of outstanding quality as they were decades ago, it would still be okay for them as they would still be able to compete. In fact, the limited production was beneficial to their industry as a whole since rarity would add to the products’ value.
However, now that the technology of the neighboring countries caught up with that of Heilland, they were starting to produce products that were not inferior to Heilland’s in any way, shape, or form, thus, putting Heilland at a massive disadvantage. The other countries were simply better equipped to take on more work and deliver the same quality of products, and of course, there was also the possibility of their growth in the near future.
“It’s easy to understand the core problem if the noble would just inquire it from the merchants, but, they only ever tried to get along with other nobles, so, let alone understand, they wouldn’t even aware of this kind of problem…”
The young lord shook his head in disbelief, once again forgetting that the two people in front of him were nobles (one of them was a royalty even). Feeling troubled, Alicia could only vaguely nod.
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