Redemption of the Blue Rose Princess - Chapter 8.2
The nobles listened quietly to Nizel’s explanation.
Alicia watched over the nobles with a tense expression on her face, making sure that she wouldn’t miss the slightest reaction that they would make.
A large-scale trading company that would work outside the noble’s jurisdiction, freely going back and forth between various regions, selling both goods and information from each region. In order to make this vision a reality, it was necessary for them to have the nobles’ cooperation so that the company would be able to move freely in their regions, thus making the exchange of goods and information be as active as possible.
Normally, merchants would have to pay a certain amount of tax in exchange for the noble’s permission for them to operate in the said noble’s territory. However, if the Mercurius Trading Company would do the same as the ordinary merchant, the amount of tax they needed to pay would be too much for them to bear and it would paralyze their business capabilities as a whole.
That was why in the proposal, it was stated that in exchange for the Mercurius Trading Company to be exempted from paying the tax, instead, they would pay a small amount of transportation fee, the nobles would be allowed to come freely to the headquarters of the company itself, the territory of the Marquis of Rozen. The benefit that the nobles would receive was that they would be able to sell the goods from their territories on a larger scale than they had been previously.
In the long run, the trading company could promise them enormous wealth. However, for the nobles, letting small companies or individual merchants to roam their territories freely was disturbing enough, let alone a huge company like the proposed Mercurius Trading Company.
Now, who will state their objections toward this proposal first?
Cold sweat slid down Alicia’s back. The Princess’ gaze was fixated on the nobles inside the room, it was the best thing she could do to hide her nervousness.
“…That’s pretty much the gist of the proposal.”
Before Alicia knew it, Nizel finished explaining all the details related to the establishment of the trading company as he pushed his silver-rimmed glasses.
“In order to make the trading company a reality, cooperation from each territory is essential. Therefore, the King wishes to hear the wishes of the members of the Privy Council as the representative of the people, and to prevent any bad blood that might come forward later.”
Even under so many gazes, Nizel wasn’t intimidated. On the contrary, he was the one who unleashed the aura of intimidation toward the entire Privy Council, as if he was urging for their answers.
“I’m sure each one of you has your own thoughts on the matter. Then, those of you whose in agreement should clearly state your opinion, while those of you who are not, state clearly what are you so dissatisfied with, after that, we can move together to find a solution so that everyone will be satisfied.”
There was a slight murmur among the nobles after Nizel finished his talking. Eventually, Daniel Bain, the Marquis of Harber spoke up from his seat in the back, far from Alicia’s seat.
“I agree with Princess Alicia’s proposal.”
His words caused a small commotion. Nizel, not minding this, calmly urged the Marquis to continue.
“May I know the reason?”
“Because it would be a great help to us if we had such a trading company operating inside the kingdom.”
The Marquis turned his gaze around toward the other nobles, trying to convince them with both argument and his gaze.
“My territory is poor. We lack manpower, we have barely any craftsmen, only a handful of merchants actually came here, moreover, the location of the territory is isolated from the rest of the country. The Bain family has been trying to change this situation, but there’s a limit on what we can do on our own.”
“I also agree.”
Like Daniel Bain did, the Marquis of Maurice, Mac Grant also expressed his agreement.
“I’ll only get a small amount of transportation fee while having to pay for an intermediary fee? I don’t care about that. In fact, I’d be more than happy to pay as much money as I can if that means our territory would be able to sell its products.”
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but, I have to disagree here.”
It was the Duke of Jerash, Fudge Hobbs who interrupted them while staring at them intently. While stroking his beard, the duke raised his eyebrow.
“I’m not sure that territories that are already rich would benefit from this. More importantly, I have to bear with the fact that my territory would be intruded on while I have to pay them for them to intrude my territory? Ridiculous. If you people with poor territory wish to involve yourself in this, then, go ahead, but count us out.”
Lord Hobbs’ argument turned the meeting into a huge uproar.
Both necessary and unnecessary words were thrown back and forth. At one point, the Head of the Financial Office gave a report about the income and expenditures of various regions over the past few years, making the debate continue to heat up.
Alicia was overwhelmed by the scene in front of her.
Their opinions are… Divided?
She thought that the Privy Council would immediately come to a consensus either in favor or against the proposal that she made. In reality, however, it wasn’t that simple.
For the first time, Alicia witnessed that the Privy Council was not monolithic. Nobles with rich territories, nobles with poor territories, they were all part of the kingdom of Heilland. They came from different backgrounds, different circumstances, thus they developed completely different point of views regarding various matters.
Next to Alicia, who was surprised, Clovis watched the meeting proceedings with a different feeling.
Things were going as he previously expected, the nobles whose territories were poor were mostly in favor of the plan, while the more powerful ones were against it. What surprised him was that the stalemate was proceeding longer than he had expected.
I thought that man would immediately take the initiative…
He had an ominous feeling toward Lloyd Sutherland, who was sitting right across from him with his arms folded and his eyes closed. He was a man who could control the flow of the discussion with but a single word.
Of course, he pretended to not notice Riddhe, who had been glaring daggers at him since the start of the meeting.
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