Redemption of the Blue Rose Princess - Chapter 8.3
Among the core members of the Privy Council, the Sutherland family was the most influential. But, the head of that family, Lloyd, had not opened his mouth even once since the meeting began.
Due to how heated the discussion became, Clovis stood up to answer some questions and concerns the other nobles had brought out. Originally, he was planning to wait for Lloyd’s reaction before trying to speak up, but in this circumstance, he couldn’t help but bury that plan deep inside his mind.
“I’m Clovis Cromwell, the aide of Her Highness Princess Alicia.”
With his beautiful, amethyst-colored eyes downcast, he announced himself with reverence in his voice. With that, he immediately exposed himself to the cold gazes of Riddhe and other conservative nobles, obviously, his distinctive black hair was part of the reason why he received this treatment.
In the past, he would probably have backed down and run away if he were to be asked to stand in front of the nobles of the Privy Council, as his blood, the Graham’s blood, that ran through his vein was a taboo, something offensive, akin to an insult toward the kingdom itself. But, him who was standing in the meeting right now was a different man from his past.
The gaze of the girl sitting next to him, looking up at him with a faithful gaze, gave the young aide the courage to stand his ground, as he would do anything to support dreams. His master’s gaze acted as a support for him, filling him with enough strength to meet the gaze of those nobles calmly.
Well, even with the Princess backing us, I don’t think those old farts in the Privy Council will just nod their heads if we face them head-on like a group of bulls.
The aide remembered the conversation he had with Jude, back when he visited the Marquis of Rozen’s territory. Vividly, he remembered the mischievous smirk of the young lord.
That’s why, I’ll teach you, as a fellow target of hatred, the art of bargaining. It’s a magic trick to get the answer you want.
The young lord said that there were two points that Clovis had to keep in mind.
The first point was to convince them that the Mercurius Trading Company was something that they needed. While at the same time, trick them into thinking that trying to start something similar wouldn’t be worth the effort should also be prioritized.
Say, you have something that you want to get, and people also want that something for themselves, to ensure that you’ll be able to get that something, you have to trick the other people into thinking that getting that something would be a bad idea. Well, you’re a capable one, so this should be easy for you, Clo-kun.”
“Firstly, let me address the argument that said a financially rich territory wouldn’t benefit from the proposed trading company…”
During the discussion with the Chancery, this was one of the points that they were sure would be brought up by the Privy Council, so he and the other members of the Chancery made sure to thoroughly discuss countermeasures toward the argument. In the end, the answer they reached was to explain that the kingdom’s art industry would be left behind without the trading company’s existence. All that Clovis needed to do here was to convince them with this answer.
Though, convincing them wasn’t actually a hard challenge as they had something that could be used as evidence. The records of the trade ship cargos, Jude kept such records as part of the management of the Port City Held.
How could I fail to notice something so simple?!
Jude proceeded to explain as he pulled out those records.
This part is the amount of cargo coming in from other countries, while this part is the amount of cargo going out from ours to other countries. If you compare both numbers, you can see that our products are being pushed aside by other countries’.
Also, he said, while he showed Clovis said record happily. In several countries, including Ealdar, the number of influxes increased in recent years. All those countries were the countries where trading companies or similar organizations with the same modus operandi as the Mercurius Trading Company operated.
The Duke of Jerash groaned as he stared at the trade records of the Port City Held. As the data was easy to understand, it was a simple task for him to see that even though the domestic industry seemed robust at a glance, but it was actually in dire straits.
“The worse thing about it is the fact that this doesn’t only happen in Held. We saw similar numbers in the previously submitted trade records of Viola, which is a major trading center by land.”
Clovis boldly mentioned the name Viola, a city located in the domain of the Duke of Sherford. But, the Duke himself only twitched his eyebrows in response. His son though, showed his hostility clearly as he bared his teeth in irritation toward the aide.
As a result of the data presented by Clovis, it was clear that a tide was turning the opinions of the Privy Council nobles around. The nobles started to gauge each others’ reactions toward the said data, especially the reactions of the side that didn’t share the same opinion as them.
In the midst of all this, the conservative nobles presented another new problem, trying to put down the other side’s momentum. However, this backfired as the other side presented enough evidences and objective point of views to repel them.
“Still, why the Marquis of Rozen? I’m aware that there is a need for the trading company to have a headquarters somewhere, but why should it be inside the territory of that nutcase Jude?”
“That Jude Nicole, don’t look down on him!”
Instead of Clovis, the one who interrupted the conservatives was the Head of the Regional Council, Dreyfus, who answered with his intense voice. The other nobles opened their eyes wide in surprise as this was the same man who was known for his hatred towards Jude, yet he spoke up to defend him.
Dan Dreyfus was a bearded, burly man, some would say that he looked like a mountain bear. Contrary to his looks though, he was a compassionate and open-minded man who was highly trusted by the other members of the Privy Council. If Lloyd was respected because of his position, then Dreyfus was respected because of his compassion.
“Huh? The wind probably blew in the wrong direction. You actually defended Lord Jude?”
“Well, I might hate the guy, but after seeing his work, what can I say? I’m impressed by him.”
Clovis involuntarily lifted his lips gently. The movement of his lips was so subtle that the only person who noticed this was Alicia, who was watching her aide with bated breath. Though, the other nobles were busy looking at Dreyfus, who clenched his big fists as he gave a powerful speech, so there was no way that they would notice Clovis’ change in expression.
“Besides, he promised that he would cover the whole cost of the trading company’s establishment! What an honorable and manly man!”
“By the way, the cost of the establishment would roughly be this much…”
The number that Clovis presented caused the biggest uproar among the noble ever since the meeting started.
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