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Common Sense of a Duke’s Daughter

Chapter 95 Negotiations

Marquis Rudolf was one of the nobles part of the second prince’s faction. I didn’t know what he was thinking, but after he attended the commemoration party of the nation’s founding, he sent me an invitation to a party he was hosting.

…Now, one thing bothers me here. Why did he react so much to Marquis Rudolf’s name?

The answer to that was simple. He wanted to hide his connection to Marquis Rudolf. 

“…Sorry but, why bring up Marquis Rudolf’s name here?”

“You are very close with him, right? So much so that you were able to ask Edward-sama for your request.”

“……!!” Vuld was so surprised that his mouth opened wide in reaction. Ah, he had such interesting reactions.

Hiding my smile behind the folding fan, I silently looked at him.

“….More importantly, let’s move to the main topic.”

“Main topic, you say?”

“Yes, that’s right. It is about our management collaboration with Bennel Conglomerate and Azuta Conglomerate.”

“If I remember correctly, we were supposed to provide funds in exchange for Bennel Conglomerate’s location and personnel in the capital and other locations… right?”

“Yes, you are correct.”

“…I am sorry but, I cannot consent to that.” 

“….Wha!”

“It is certainly true we need land and labour. However, it will be fine if we acquire them from other sources… I do not think I want them so much as to pay you the amount you asked.”

“That might be true. However… If I may say something, Iris-sama, I had assumed that Azuta conglomerate wanted to connect with Edward-sama though.” Here it was. Using ‘Edward-sama’s connection’ as his lance and shield, he was trying to produce conditions advantageous to himself.

However, I did not plan on agreeing to their terms. After all, the funds they requested were absurdly high. To the point it makes you wonder how they loaned such a large amount of money…

“Yes, it is exactly as you assumed, Vuld-sama. We, the Azuta Conglomerate, want a connection with Edward-sama to make a foothold in the capital… However, after thinking it through, we decided that we could just consult someone else. Just as your company had consulted Marquis Rudolf.”

“How do you…!” He didn’t even try to keep up his appearances anymore. He expressed his surprise so apparently.

“Fufufu, our company has quite the big ears, you know? I would suggest you not always find faults in your employees. After all if they were to, say, complain at a pub, it would spread very easily.” This was why I appreciated Tanya. Truly, her information gathering skill was amazing.

“Kuuhh…..!”

“We have gone astray from the main topic, haven’t we? Even after you went to all the trouble to ask Marquis Rudolf for a ‘request’ to establish a connectioni with Edward-sama and collected labor from Azuta Conglomerate, now your company’s internal condition is similar to that of a fiery chariot. It’s already in such a precarious state…. If I were to reject today, you would have to close down your shop tomorrow, wouldn’t you?” 

The ‘request’ was to have Edward-sama be a bit partial towards his company. In other words, he needed Edward-sama’s protection to poach personnel from our company. If this happened, it would be harder for me, who doesn’t want to aggravate the situation with the royal family, to complain about royalties.

Well… it is not like I was the only one who does not want trouble with royalties… it is the same for other businesses as well. In other words, this would mean they would make the entire trade guild discontent so there was nothing to be afraid of.

Normally, when attempting to poach personnel from our company is that blatant, we could display our exhortation to the trade guild. However, along with the excommunication commotion, we were unable to do that because they were under the royal family’s protection.

And due to that, all our complaints were crushed. Of course he wouldn’t want me knowing this.

Now let’s return to the main topic. It was probably a good deal for Marquis Rudolf. After all, he would profit just by acting as an intermediary between Edward-sama and the merchants. And because it was a relation connected by ‘profits’, when the operation of the conglomerate gets this bad, it was pretty obvious it would be cut down.

“………….” He was in a state of clear dismay.

“…..At this rate, you won’t be able to do anything due to the debt. You have two choices, either to terminate the deal with me and commit a double suicide with your company; or cleanly cut your ties to the debt and the company, and start anew.”

He looked at me with hate. Well, I guess that couldn’t be helped. He tried over and over again to say something, but stopped himself…. As if he just suddenly realized something, his restless expression settled.

….What did he realize?

“….Meaning, your condition is for me to retire, correct?”

“Yes. In turn for not providing funds to this company, you will not hold any connection to it ever. That is my condition.” 

Vuld sighed and smiled. He wore a refreshed expression as if he had just sorted out everything in his mind.

But, seeing this, what I thought was…. Shameless—that word summed up what I thought. 

His eyes were gleaming brightly in contrast to his expression. Even in this state, he was only thinking of how he could profit.

“…….I understand. I will abide by those conditions then.”

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