Ziva, who already inside the reception hall, sat in a chair and waited for his negotiation partner to come.
He looked around quietly, slight tension could be seen on his face.
But that alone was reasonable. Since from his point of view, he was inside the enemy territory. It was a place with a high possibility for a massager getting killed. And while he in the middle of a discussion, armed force might gather outside.
(… But, that seems not going to happen…)
Since if it was to dispose of him, it should’ve been done before he reached here. And given the fact that he was a key figure in Marden and the crown prince reputation, he was sure that he would be brought in for discussion.
(In the first place, the discussion itself is the biggest problems…)
If anything, that was the reason why he looked tense.
Due to the limited time, he didn’t have the time to investigate his discussion opponent. The only information he knew was fragmented. Whether that was actually good or bad, no one knows.
And while he was worried about such a thing, the door once again was opened. What he saw were white hair and red eyes. It was Fulham. Though for him to see Fulham person here was not weird, after all, Fulham was not uncommon in Natra.
“His Highness the Regent is coming in.”
Then after the girl announced, a young man appeared from behind her.
“–Pleased to meet you for the first time, your Highness.”
Ziva bowed respectfully to the young man.
“My name is Ziva, a diplomat from the Kingdom of Marden.”
“Natra Kingdom’s Regent, Wayne Salema Albarest.”
‘Young’ that was the first thing that appeared inside Ziva’s mind. He had heard that the regent was a teenage young man, but when it comes to seeing it with his own eyes, as expected, he still could see some innocent on the youthful man visage.
However, Ziva could feel the proud and dignity in his behavior as one who led a country. Inside Ziva’s heart, he was convinced that the young man in front of him was not a mere decoration.
“– First of all, your Highness, I wish to apologize for my sudden visit.”
When Wayne sited on his chair opposite to him, he began with a formal apology…
Wayne, who had Ninim stand behind him also responded tactfully…
“I’m well aware that there’s a problem between us that requires a quick resolution. Rather, I highly welcomed you.”
Wayne shrugged his shoulders.
“Still, no matter how urgent it was. To welcome a guest in this kind of room. I wish we could welcome you with a room with more class but, please forgive us for this…”
“Your consideration alone is enough, your Highness. It is our fault that we didn’t contact your Highness beforehand. Being welcomed alone make me feel thankful…”
“I’m glad then…”
Wayne then smiled slightly as if he was talking to a friend. His smile confirmed his characters, which make other people thought that he was surely being loved by the Natra people.
But still, Ziva didn’t let his guard down. He was not Natra people, he was from Marden, the real thing would start from here…
“Now then, Ziva-dono, what did you come here for? As you know, right now this is not a place that Marden people could enter as they wanted…”
Here it comes… The main subject. Ziva strengthened his heart and began to talk…
“Of course, I’m here to thank you, your Highness, for taking care of this land in place of our army, and also to discuss the return of the land…”
In response to Ziva’s words, it was Ninim and the soldier who was their escort who expressed confusion with ‘Ha?’…
Had he say return the mine bluntly, the soldier without a doubt would’ve killed him. However, Ziva’s words were too unexpected.
In fact, it was the same with Wayne. However, he felt surprised due to a different thing—
(I see, they seem to be ready for a drastic measure, huh?)
While Ninim and the soldier were stunned, Wayne was instantly aware of Ziva’s intention.
(Wayne, what is going on?)
Ninim asked Wayne by writing scribbles on a paper.
(It means, he want us to treat this invading each other matter as something didn’t exist.)
He quickly writes a reply.
After looking at the reply, Ninim eyebrows twitched for a second. Wayne smiled, which only she could see.
For Marden, the gold mine was something that they need to get as soon as possible. However, if the negotiations begin, it was inevitable to mention Marden’s aggression, and would, in turn, bring the talk of reparations, repatriation of prisoners of war, the return of borders and other things, which would cause the return of the mine being prolonged.
(But to think they would go as far as treating the war between our country as something didn’t exist… This round old man, in contrast to his appearance, he is quite bold, huh?…)
In addition, by treating the war didn’t exist, it would also eliminate the fact that Marden had lost, which could be used to save King Fushtar’s face. Wayne thought that was a pretty good feat.
“I have no words to express our thanks for taking care of our most important land when our country is being threatened by the other neighboring countries such as Cabarine. Of course, we would prepare a reasonable reward.”
Not using compensation for the act of aggression and the repurchase of the gold mine, he instead uses the word of ‘reward.’ Of course, the amount of the reward would be discussed but, with that, the negotiations would be a lot smoother compared to ordinary post-war negotiations.
At first glance, such negotiation might benefit Marden more, but in fact, Natra also reaps some benefits.
“Honestly, your Highness had saved us. The gold mine is our country lifeline after all. If the mine is being taken by another country, we would’ve mustered all of our force and try to get it back at all cost…”
That was the merit.
Avoiding further war with Marden. In fact, for Wayne, that was great.
He might have won at Porta Wilderness. But then, what next? And then if he wins after that, what next?
It was apparent that when it comes to national power race, Natra was in disadvantages. In the first place, when it comes to national power, Natra was inferior. That was why, even if they manage to defeat Marden completely, another country would immediately attack them. Of course, such problem also applied to Marden but– Whether or not King Fushtar understands such risk, in Wayne’s eyes he highly doubt it.
(King Fushtar, his pride is too high… He would definitely try to get it back even if he loses many times… And the more he lose, the more aggressive he would become. I definitely don’t want to sink together with such a person…)
Therefore, for him, it was not that bad to erase the fact that they were at war. And with the stigma of being defeated gone, King Fushtar might also stay silent for the time being. In the meantime, Natra could enhance their national power using the money they received from Marden.
Of course, there were also disadvantages. The biggest problem would be the nation’s honor.
Notably, the military would definitely revolt. Since eliminating the war means their achievement would also be gone… Even with Marden paying them money, there would still need to deal with the emotional problem…
But even with such a disadvantage, there was still another reason to accept Ziva’s proposal.
(I could see from the flow of our conversation… It seems the Marden side is not aware the gold mine has been depleted…)
Such a fact was only known to Wayne and a few other people.
Even if they kept the gold mine and kept hiding the fact, one day it would be revealed, and as a result, the morale of the army would fall… If they sold the mine to another country, such grudge might get averted.
But, what if they sold it to Marden now?
If they returned the mine immediately before they had a hand on it. Even if Marden found out the mine had been depleted, it would be hard for them to place the blame on Natra. And even if they asked to return the ‘reward’ money, Natra could just say they didn’t know anything about the depletion… And with the truth come to light, the army would also re-evaluate Wayne’s decision…
(This probably the only chance for us to stop the war and make a fortune by selling a dead gold mine…)
(“Are you going to accept the proposal?”)
Asked by Ninim using scribbled paper, Wayne affirmed…
(“Yeah. However, if we bite on it immediately, he might realize something. I’ve got to act hard to get for a bit…”)
(“Isn’t it better not to be too greedy?”)
(“It is okay. I will make it as natural as possible…”)
Wayne smiled at Ninim, who looked anxious.