Chapter 216 – Handling the Meffy Commercial Nation – part three
“Congratulations on your engagement.” I told Gregoir and Princess Abigail.
We were currently in the same venue that Dirk had attacked a small while back, though this time the people gathered here are quite different, even if the majority are still part of the Serdis group.
Right now, the party’s purpose is to celebrate the engagement, as well as the election of Gregoir Serdis as the Grand Duke of Meffy.
“Thank you for all your help, Reiko, this wouldn’t have been possible without you. You’re very happy for her help too, right, Abby?” Gregoir said this as he openly caressed her body.
“Ah… Of course… Thank you…” Princess Abigail said.
She wasn’t being that comfortable when being caressed by this pig-like man who one-sidedly decided to call her by a nickname, but well, that’s just the fate of political marriages. High nobility cannot complain about being married off by a pig-like man.
“My name is actually Rena, by the way, so call me like that from now on.” I told Gregoir.
“Of course, I understand.” He replied.
He was a bit surprised by it, but I couldn’t care less. I just didn’t want this pig uttering mom’s name anymore.
“Anyways, will you tell us about the two people behind you?” Gregoir asked me.
“I was about to get to it. This one is Dirk.” I pointed towards the man with an incredibly angry expression that was right behind me.
“Oh my, you brought Dirk Fastria with you?” Gregoir asked.
“No no. The Fastria family is no more, as they tried to undermine the legitimacy of the election, right? This is just Dirk.” I told him.
“Oh, of course. You’re right about that.” Gregoir replied.
It was really easy to push all the blame to the Fastrias when the head of the family was dead, and Dirk was under my custody, so the family is no more… And well, their vassals can’t do much without the heir anyways.
“Anyways, Dirk is a very patriotic man who is quite brilliant. It’s almost as if he was raised like the heir of a big company, you know?
“Since he also has a strong desire to help princess Abigail, I decided he’d be a good assistant for you, Gregoir.” I made it clear with my expression, that this was not a suggestion, but an order.
“Ah, I see… I’ll be glad to have him work by my side then.” Gregoir replied.
Like this, any Fastria vassal who wishes to rebel will be held back since Dirk is being held as a hostage… And at the same time, he’ll be a shackle to Gregoir, while also being a living seed of dissent.
Not to mention that since he is there under my orders, Gregoir cannot harm him, so Gregoir will have no easy way out of this mess… Essentially weakening the national power of Meffy considerably.
“And the next one is Eren Claudia Wallace. King of the Wallace Kingdom.” I introduced Eren next.
“It’s a pleasure.” Eren greeted everyone.
He was grumbling about it when I pulled him all the way here from the Beginners’ City, but he is doing his job properly now.
And once his title was formally announced, both princess Abigail and Gregoir ended up having a completely dumbfounded expression on their faces. The rest of the party instantly went quiet as well.
“Abigail Meffy Landork and Gregoir Meffy Serdis, you two are now gracefully awarded with the titles of Dukes of the Wallace Kingdom.” Eren told them.
Gregoir and Dirk went pale at this statement, while Abigail was about to faint. Gillian gently supported her from behind though, so she didn’t fall down.
“You two will be given control of the territories of the Sekondia City, the Serdis City, and their affiliated territories within the Meffy district of the Wallace Kingdom, any objections?” Eren asked them.
“Ah… No, of course not… Your majesty.” Gregoir replied.
Then, Eren gave a ceremonial dagger and a bunch of documents to Gregoir, and said, “Let’s schedule the official ceremony to celebrate your promotion later, then.
“As for Bruce Sekondia, he’ll be working as a Lieutenant for the military of the Wallace Kingdom.” Eren told them.
Gregoir wiped off the incredibly greasy sweat off his face, then knelt down and started looking over the documents.
I wonder if he is happy about being given control over the Sekondia territory… Though well, Bruce Sekondia is my servant, so that delicious industrial area is actually mine. Gregoir has it in name only.
But it would be a pain to be its ruler in name, as I’d need to actually show up in case some trouble occurred, so it’s better to leave those annoying bureaucracies to be handled by the puppets instead.
“Ah…” Former Princess Abigail finally muttered something.
“What is it?” Eren asked her.
“Well… It’s just… Who will rule the territories associated with the city of Fastria?” She asked.
“Those will be under the direct control of the Wallace Royal Family.” He replied.
“I see…” She muttered.
It just couldn’t be helped. That region will be the most annoying one, so we should make sure to wipe out any annoying vassals that try getting in the way of our ruling. While I want the central power of Meffy to be weak, I don’t want people actively trying to rebel after all, it would be a hassle.
“And that should conclude the announcements… Then, Rena, I need to consult with you about something, can we go talk?” Eren then said.
“Oh? Alright.” I replied.
Can’t say I know what was Eren’s reason for that, but I went along with him.
Once we were outside the venue, I asked him, “Well, what did you want to consult about?”
“Well… Just what do you think of someone who steals a whole country for a souvenir?” He asked me back.
“Wouldn’t that person be crazy? One can’t carry a country.” I replied.
“… Then what did you get me as a souvenir?” He asked.
“A direct continuation of our territory, a base of operations to expand into the Northern portion of the continent, and a high amount of money and resources to further fund future war expenses and increase our overall national treasury.” I told him.
“Damn it…” Eren muttered.
“Eh? Are you dissatisfied with it? Why though…?
“Oh, I see! Should I have given you princess Abigail too?” I asked him.
“Huh!?” He seemed to be confused, so I figured I’d explain it.
“I wouldn’t recommend this course of action as it will be more troublesome to handle this territory like that, but I suppose it can’t be helped if Eren wants a beautiful woman by his side. I can add that to the deal too, I guess.” I told him.
Really though, the current arrangement was probably the ideal one, but mom did tell me that gifts and surprises are meant to be done in a way that makes the other party happy, so I guess I should cancel Abigail’s engagement with Gregoir?
Eren sighed, said, “Hey, Rena.” then walked closer to me.
“What?” I asked, while still trying to think of an ideal solution to the problem.
He got extremely close to me, to the point that we were almost touching one another. I had to look up to keep staring at his eyes.
Then, for some reason, Eren gently lifted my chin with his fingers and said, “A beautiful woman is right in front of me though?”
“Eren…?” I asked. I didn’t quite get what he was doing right now, so I just stared back at him, wondering what he’d say next.
And yet… No words came. The both of us just stayed silent, staring at each other’s eyes, for quite a while.
… I really don’t get what he is thinking. What should I do? Understanding people’s feelings is hard enough already, but I don’t have enough empirical evidence to base myself on in this situation, so I’m totally lost.
“Ah! Enough already!” Eren suddenly exclaimed.
“Eren?” I asked, still confused about what just happened.
“Are you a wild animal or something!? Will you lose if you look away!?” He exclaimed.
“I don’t know what you’re angry about…” I told him honestly.
“Why are you stupidly and honestly looking back forever! Be a bit more self-conscious or have a bit of shame at least!” He replied.
“Huh…?” I don’t get it… Mom told me that I should talk to people while looking them in the eyes… Is there supposed to be some sort of exception in certain cases? Did I happen to meet one of those exceptions, so Eren got indignant about it?
But it’s hard to know what was the trigger that was supposed to make me look away…
“Your body may look like this, but you’re still a child on the inside, I suppose…” Eren sighed.
“I’m sixteen years old though?” I was still quite confused. What of my behavior was childish?
“You’re just way too pure… For better or for worse.” Eren told me.
“Huh…?” I couldn’t make a good reply for a while now…
“Well, I guess it would be a sin to have any feelings for you when you’re like this.” Eren sighed once more as he said that, but I just couldn’t understand what he was saying… What got him angry? And what is he suddenly trying to convince himself of?
… Well, it seems like the motive of his dissatisfaction weren’t my souvenirs though, so I suppose it’s alright.
Then, as Eren turned his back to me and started walking back to the venue, he stopped moving, turned around and said, “Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention it… This dress looks great on you.”
“Oh, is that so?” I replied. I wasn’t planning on fighting today, so I was using a long dress this time, but I didn’t expect to actually receive a praise for it.
Then… There was silence for a small while, until eventually, Eren broke the silence by saying, “Well, that was it. Bye.”
“Huh…?” I was still confused by it, but Eren went back to the party venue, so I couldn’t really ask him to explain what was all this just now.
Maybe he is just tired? Perhaps I should ask Hanako and Takeo to make some tea for him with their scales later.