Not far from Girat gold mine, there was a small town.
It was a quiet town which previously has no problem and no industry, but now it was different… Soldiers gathered from the neighborhood due to Natra army occupied the gold mine, causing the atmosphere around the town to become heavy. Residents who had connection had fled the town since a while ago, while the others could only hold their breath.
A traveler who came to this kind of town was definitely people who were drunk or had some special circumstance.
Ziva who had rented a room in the inn where the birds are singing was definitely the latter.
“… That was all the report about the people of the mine.”
“You did well…”
Inside the room, there were two men. One was Ziva, a diplomat of Kingdom of Marden. The other was the spies he had personally hired.
Ziva sent out the spy to get information to help him in negotiation, and at the same time, he got to this town was because it could make him sit on the negotiation tables more quickly. It had been a few days since he waited, and right now, he received the report of the spy, which by all means hard to believe.
“I can’t believe that the people of the mine were treated that badly…”
Ziva sigh deeply while he was sitting in a simple chair inside the room.
He had heard rumors. That they had used people without thinking of their wellbeing. However, the entire mine operation had been delegated to Horonie, the Stella certainly made a profit out of it, but the Mardia could not pursue the matter.
(… No, well, that is not the problem right now. Besides, the upper echelons of the Mardia faction also involved in this…)
He was someone who had seen the political strife involved gold mine in a big country. In this case, it won’t be difficult to even make Madia faction involved. And if the upper echelons were silent, the lower one like Ziva won’t be able to do anything. If he tried to force it into a problem before it actually becomes an actual problem, it would be impossible.
“… They didn’t feel oppressed by Natra, this is not a mistake, right?”
“Yes. On the contrary, the Natra army had distributed foods, and build them houses. … I’m afraid that the heart of the miners had already no longer in Marden.”
“I guess, that makes sense…”
There was no way for people to be loyal to a country which treated them like slaves.
For them, Marden was the vicious oppressor, and Natra was the benevolence liberator.
“Natra Kingdom’s crown prince… I heard he is a virtuous young man, but it seems the rumor is true, huh? What about their military movement?”
“it looks like they are in the middle of investigating the surrounding topography. Though it was still in the first stage, they had also started building a defense mechanism…”
Natra side seems to be steadily preparing for defense.
He cannot stay relaxed like this. Ziva then makes a decision.
“I have no choice but to go. As a messenger, I will sit down on the negotiation table…”
“It would be dangerous. In some case, they might execute you…”
“I have to at least prepared for that, or else we won’t get anything.. Let us bet on that crown prince virtue.”
With a firm determination, Ziva began to prepare for the negotiations.
On the other hands, Wayne who unknowingly being praised by the enemy’s diplomats…
He was groaning lying face down on his desk.
“… Don’t be lazy, please continue your work…”
Even Ninim words didn’t carry the usual power… This time, she was in tune with Wayne mind…
“… It’s depleted, you know… The gold mine is… To actually ended up with this kind of result after deciding to take the gold mine… It cannot be helped if my tension gets lowered…”
Since then, Wayne and his allies had thoroughly investigated the authenticity of the materials.
The result was true. It was almost certain that the gold mine was depleted. Thus Wayne disappointment was no surprise. If he was just an individual person, he might just laugh it off, but he could not do that if it involves the national strategy.
“But, we can’t just silently didn’t do anything either…”
At the same time Ninim directed those words at Wayne, she also directed those words toward herself.
“We have no choice but to decide on our future policy.”
“Policy you say, like this we only have withdrawn as an option.”
While slightly raising his face from the desk, Wayne said those words with grumpy mood.
“I thought it would be worthwhile to take this place. Due to its value, we will occupy and solidify our defenses. But, what if it is not worth it? Then the best way is to get out of this place as soon as possible.”
It was reasonable. While they were here, it was expensive to maintain the troops. It would cost even more expensive if one were to try to dig into the enemy territory. It would be the smartest move to withdraw immediately…
“What are you going to do with your promise if you withdraw? You told Perint that you won’t forsake the people of this mine.”
“I’ve been told to not abandon the people, but I’ve never been told to abandon the mines. We can just bring them back with us and give them homes. There’s no future for them even if they remained here, besides Natra is originally a multi-ethnic nation. It won’t cause enough problem with just bringing Marden’s miners.”
“… That is a reasonable reason…”
Ninim nodded in agreement.
“So then, we’re going to issue a decree and prepare to withdraw?”
“… No, not yet.”
“If we withdraw now, a lot of complaints going to come out…”
Not only the military, but this had also already become a national affair, if he decided to abandon the territory they got after such an expedition, the people would be enraged. At least, he needs a big reason to persuade them to abandon the area…
“Why don’t we at least tell the military the fact? If it would cause inconvenience, at least we should tell the commanders…”
“Even if we limit it to only commanders, it will always get leaked to the soldiers somewhere… And if it leaks, morale will fall down, and if we do this poorly, those who outraged might assault the citizen here… I like to keep it down as much as possible…”
“Which mean… We have to wait for the Marden to start the army…”
“Right, Marden should prepare a large army to get the mine back. If the difference in force becomes clear, we can convince our people to withdraw, but…”
The reason why he seemed half-hearted was because of all of the unexpected events that had happened…
“How about selling the Gold mine to another country? Like Cabarine?”
According to Perint, the vassal of Horonie was in charge of the mine, but the amount of gold mined was changed in the report every time the money went through an official. Thus it was highly possible that he didn’t know the exact detail of the mine.
In other words, only Perint and Wayne who were in the field know the gold mine had been depleted. So it was not entirely impossible to just hide the fact and sell the mine to another country, but…
“It would be hard to sell it when we only have it for a short amount of time, and in the long run, we still need to clash with Marden. Not only the profit would be small, if they found out that we tricked them, the other nation would resent us…’
Thus the matter had turned into something troublesome. It would be a shame to let go of something they had got through a lot of effort without doing anything.
But still, Wayne still thinks where to sell the mine.
At the time he thought that a loud noise came from outside the house.
“I wonder what is going on?”
Ninim then looked out through the window, she saw soldiers rushed back and forth… If it were the enemy attack, then soon the door of this room would be knocked…
“Your Highness, pardon me for my intrusion!”
Wayne immediately asked Raklum who appeared short of breath.
“No, that is not it.”
Hearing that, Wayne then urging him to continue using his glance.
“It’s a messenger. A messenger from Marden has just arrived…”
At that time when he heard the report, Wayne’s eyes opened wide not because the messenger had arrived.
It was a flash of an idea come to mind…
“The person asked to meet with your highness. What your highness response?”
“… Did the person give a name? What kind of a dress the person wore?”
“He called himself Ziva. He said he is one of Marden diplomats. In term of behavior and dress, I think it is true that he is a high-ranking government official.”
“It sounds familiar… How about you Ninim?”
“Indeed, I as well… But I think, such a person should’ve been in the Marden royal palace?”
“Alright then, Raklum, bring in the messenger to the reception room. I’ll be right there soon. Also, don’t be rude to him…”
Raklum immediately turned back his heel and leave the room.
“Ninim, prepare to receive him..”
“I understand. I will prepare the drink and food—…”
Then her lips, who was in the middle of talking, stopped… The reason was because of her master facial expression…
“What’s wrong, Wayne? Making that kind of funny expression…”
“Oh nothing, I just thought, it comes out of nowhere indeed…”
“… What are you talking about?”
In response to that question, Wayne laughed, and he said…
“Of course, the way to sell the Gold mine.”