Chapter 5-31 : Dealing With The Client Ⅰ
「One of your goals in coming here…? Do you have more business in this village?」(Sarasa)
「Not exactly in this village, but in this region… What do you think my other business is?」(Ferik)
“I wouldn’t ask if I knew it!”
If he wasn’t a prince, I would reply like that… Well, I’ll just take a guess then…
I started thinking with the limited information in my head.
Because he doesn’t want anyone else to find out about his bald head, I don’t think it’s related to his head or the hair growth agent.
Could it be…
「Does it has something to do with Baronet Kirk…?」(Sarasa)
Prince Ferik raised the corner of his lips when he heard my answer.
「Why do you think so?」(Ferik)
I think he knows about my conflict with Baronet Kirk, but I don’t think someone as great as him would take the trouble to deal with it. In the first place, it’s the problem between me and Baronet Kirk.
Unless… Baronet Kirk did something that was detrimental to the country.
But… I wonder what he did…
While I was thinking, I suddenly remembered what Kate-san and Iris-san said about South Strugg.
「South Strugg…? Ah, that’s right!」(Sarasa)
「Oh? Seems like you just realized something.」(Ferik)
「Yes, and I think it has something to do with the town of South Strugg that Baronet Kirk governs. South Strugg is not a large city, but the trade between that town and the country to the south, The Principality of Dorland, had continued to expand for decades until it eventually stopped growing when the current lord started governing.」(Sarasa)
The royal capital is located in the eastern part of the kingdom, so the largest trading partner of this kingdom is the country of Ubel which is located in the east.
Another trading partner of this kingdom is the Principality of Dorland, which is located in the southwest of the kingdom. It’s far from the royal capital but the kingdom managed to establish a business relationship with that country thanks to the existence of the town of South Strugg which is not too far from it.
In the beginning, the trade with the Principality of Dorland wasn’t that good. The kingdom could only make a small profit from it.
However, the situation started getting better several decades ago when this region was governed by the first lord of the Kirk House.
It became even better when the second lord of the Kirk House paved the highway that connected the Principality of Dorland with the town of South Strugg. Because of that, the number of people who travel between the Principality of Dorland and the town of South Strugg increased, as did the number of transactions.
The trade with the Principality of Dorland was getting better from time to time, and the town of South Strugg became prosperous.
Both the first and the second lord of the Kirk House had transformed South Strugg from a mere post town into a trading town. The townspeople were very grateful to both of them. They lived a good life without anyone starving.
However, when everyone thought that the town of South Strugg would become one the most prosperous cities in the kingdom, it stopped growing when the third lord of the Kirk House, the current Baronet Kirk, started governing.
「I see. That’s not a bad guess.」(Ferik)
「Umm, it’s just my speculation, but… Would you like to hear more?」(Sarasa)
「Of course. Please continue.」(Ferik)
Prince Ferik smiled and looked at me with a sharp gaze.
「A while ago, the head of the Lotze Family, Adelbert-sama, asked a professional mediator from the royal capital to help him solve his conflict with Baronet Kirk. You know about that and thought that you might be able to use the same method.」(Sarasa)
The kingdom wants to trade more with the Principality of Dorland and grow their business relationship, but the current Baronet Kirk is a hindrance and can even become an obstacle.
However, since this region, which is governed by Baronet Kirk, hasn’t fallen into destruction, the government can’t punish Baronet Kirk just yet. If they forcefully punish Baronet Kirk, they might lose trust with the other nobles.
Therefore, they had to find another way, and while looking for that, the mediation method that Adelbert-san decided to use to solve his problem with Baronet Kirk caught Prince Ferik’s eye.
Perhaps Prince Ferik found out about the conflict between Adelbert-san and Baronet Kirk because I asked my senior, who was a daughter of the marquis, to help me find an expert mediator. The marquis’ family is close to the royal family after all.
「It isn’t too hard to find out that I was involved in that matter. After you found out about me, you did some research to know more about me by asking the Royal Alchemist Training School for my personal information. That’s why you knew about my grades. After you learned about me, you sent your best friend, Nord-san, to me.」(Sarasa)
Nord-san came soon after we solved the conflict between Adelbert-san and Baronet Kirk, and I think it’s a little suspicious.
When I glanced up at Prince Ferik, waiting for his reaction, he raised the corners of his lips even more.
Honestly, I’m a bit scared of his wicked-looking smile…
「I see, I see. Fufu. That’s a good speculation. I expect nothing less from someone who graduated from the Royal Alchemist Training School with excellent grades. You’re right about Baronet Kirk. Nobles are people with high status in this kingdom. They have important responsibilities. I can forgive mediocrity, but I will never forgive imbecility.」(Ferik)
He didn’t give me a clear affirmation, but his words showed that my guess wasn’t too far off.
「What you said was almost right, except for one thing, and I have to correct that. I didn’t send Nord, nor ask him to investigate you. I had no idea that he came here. Well, you know, he’s full of surprises, after all. Let me apologize one more time for all the trouble he had caused.」(Ferik)
「P, Please raise your head! He is indeed weird, but he’s a responsible person!」(Sarasa)
I panickedly waved my hands and shook my head when Prince Ferik lowered his head and apologized in Nord-san’s stead.
Looking at my panicked face, Prince Ferik giggled.
「Fufu. You laughed at my bald head once, right? So you don’t have to be so nervous.」(Ferik)
「Aa… That’s… I, I’m sorry…」(Sarasa)
I was lost for words when Prince Ferik read my expression easily.
「You have a sharp mind, but you still have to learn how to deal with royalty and get used to them. Ah, maybe I can include this kind of lesson in the curriculum at the Alchemist Training School. I can ask some royal family members who have free time to teach the students.」(Ferik)
Prince Ferik put his fingers on his chin and muttered his ridiculous idea.
Nooo! Stop it!! My juniors will cry for sure! Especially those who are not from noble families!
When I was at school, we took a lesson about manners, but the lecturer was a noble, not a royal family member.
Talking with a noble and talking with royalty is a whole different thing. If you upset a royal family member, they might chop your head off! Especially if you are a commoner and have bad grades in school!