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Chapter 14 – Makeshift Ideas and Negotiations
Hmm, importing food is no longer a problem since we can just go buy it by ship to a trading company that has the marquis’s contacts. But maintaining the port is a hassle. I don’t want to have to fight back with the Galette every time, so what should I do?
“Mage-sama, can you help us?”
“Umm, at this point, would you choose to take your family and friends with you to escape?”
We could escape with ease now. Well, now that Lucca is holding on, I don’t think they can choose that option…
“If we could, we would try to make do with Lucca’s defenses. It would be very difficult to move to another country, and Lucca is currently holding its own. Could you please do that for us?”
Well, yes. I’m not going to abandon my hometown either, but if I can get the imperial army that is besieging the capital to back off, Lucca will be able to handle it.
“I understand, Alessia-san. We just need to buy food. I think that maintaining the port is a form of cooperation in terms of defense. The question is how to defend it.”
“If you lend us your ships, we will fight them off.”
“Well, we have damaged the Imperial Navy, and we don’t know if the next ship will come soon. In the event that the Girasole is the only one fighting them off, won’t the military in Lucca be jealous? I am afraid of what will happen if we take all the credit.”
“I didn’t think about the aftermath, but is it dangerous?”
“Well, I don’t know how it is over here, but have you ever heard of someone being dragged down by too much activity?”
“…Well, there is.”
“Well, I’ll try to think of a way for everyone in Lucca to do their best to avoid any hassle. Are you two sure you don’t need to visit your families? I’ll be here thinking things over, so that won’t be a problem.”
“We are going to see them tomorrow, that’s all right.”
“Okay, I understand.”
In between, I had lunch, and while distracted by other things, I came up with a slightly makeshift idea. I wondered if this was possible.
“Alessia-san, may I ask you a question?”
“Yes, what is it?”
“I think the marquis is rich, am I right?”
“Eh? Yes, Lucca is a prosperous trading city. The marquis family has been the lord of the city for many years, so I think he has some wealth.”
“I see. Thank you.”
…I guess the luxury liner is overkill. I would probably enjoy it more if I bought it on my own anyway, so I guess I’ll just go for another ferry.
“Um, is there something wrong with the wealth?”
“No, I thought that as an operation, we could rent out the Fortress for a limited time until the Imperial Army withdraws from Lucca or Lucca falls. But I don’t like the idea of not being able to use the ferry for a long period, so I’m thinking of asking for a price that would allow me to buy another ferry anyway. What do you think?”
“Wouldn’t there be a lot of problems with renting out the Fortress, such as the facilities? Besides, I don’t think they would be able to operate the ship even if they rented it out.”
“Yes, you are right, Dorothea-san, but all the conspicuous facilities on board will be covered up with a ship disguise. I will explain that it is just a very large wooden ship with powerful barriers. As for not being able to move it, as long as the bay entrance and exit are protected, blockading the harbor will require a large number of ships. If the Fortress is anchored at the entrance/exit of the bay, with the Fortress as a base, can’t Lucca’s army do something about it?”
If it is necessary to move the ship, I will go there because there is no danger of being attacked if I am on board. The disadvantage on my side is that I will have one less summoning slot on the ship for a long period.
“If that is the case, Lucca may be able to defend itself. However, the number of people defending the city will also decrease. I think it will depend on how the marquis decides on that.”
“Oh, yes, that’s certainly true. That might be difficult since it would mean sending hundreds of people on board the Fortress. Well, just talk to them and tell them that I will rent them a ship with a powerful barrier system for 120 platinum coins, and if that is not acceptable, then fine.”
“I understand. I’ll be on my way now, so could you please have the ship docked?”
“Yes, I don’t know what will happen, so I want to move as quickly as possible.”
“I understand. Ah, please ask them to introduce me to a store in the city by the sea that sells large quantities of food. Also, a list of food requirements would be helpful.”
I docked the ship at the port and saw Alessia-san and Dorothea-san off. I think they are getting a bit ripped off. But since they can rent the Fortress, which is, in a sense, invincible, for a certain period, the rest depends on the marquis’s judgment.
“Fufu, Master. The ferry is very conspicuous. Was that okay?”
“Yes, Ness is right, but it’s already conspicuous, and we need the ferry if we’re going to import large amounts of food. I’ll have to do my best to hide my true identity as a mage. Ness and Shea, be careful.”
Hmm? Instead of showing them the ferry, would it have been better to be a mage who brings food in a small boat, though it’s unclear what kind of magic it is?
“Uh, now that you mention it, would it have been less dangerous to have a mysterious mage bring in a small boat with a lot of food than to show a ferry?”
“Either way, it would have caused a commotion. I think that bringing a large amount of food in a small boat would be seen as more dangerous because it would be less conspicuous.”
“I agree with Shea. The ability to carry a large amount of supplies discreetly is quite attractive. I still think that a powerful barrier on a ferry would be better.”
“I see. That’s good to know. Thank you.”
Thank goodness. I was afraid I had screwed up. It’s true that the ability to sneak in large quantities of supplies is a threat, isn’t it? I guess the ferry is more reassuring because it’s more conspicuous.
“And you two, the reason we’re acting is so that our identities won’t be revealed once we’re in Lucca, right? Do we really need to keep acting if we’re not going into Lucca?”
“…It is possible that we might have to enter Lucca suddenly, so I think it would be more reliable to keep acting.”
“I think Shea is right. Since we have decided to let them on the ferry, we should do what we can to help them.”
“All right, then, let’s go for it.”
~Alesia’s point of view~
Whew, I never thought I’d have to come to the castle more than once. I talked to the gatekeeper, and he showed me to a place that looked like an office, perhaps because the war council had finished.
“Then, let’s hear the result of the discussion with the mage.”
“Yes, Mage-sama said that he would not enter the city until the situation became very dangerous because it would be too stressful for him to be watched. As for food, he needs a list of stores in the city by the sea where he can buy it and a list of what is needed.”
“Hmm, I understand. Is it correct to think that it is possible to purchase food if there is a list of stores and a list of items to purchase?”
“Yes, although you would also need to pay for the purchase. It is possible to get to the store, make the purchase, and come back.”
“That would be a big help. What about maintaining the port?”
“Mage-sama said that for 120 platinum coins, it is possible to set up a large ship with powerful barriers at the entrance and exit of the bay. The loan period is until the imperial army withdraws from Lucca or Lucca falls. Once the ship is in place, only Mage-sama will be able to move it.”
At the 120 platinum coin part, the civilian officials were surprised, but… I don’t even know what the marquis thinks because his expression doesn’t change.
“Hmm…120 platinum coins… that’s a lot of money. Is it worth it?”
“I apologize, but I can’t go into detail, as that would be in violation of our contract.”
“Just tell me what you can tell me.”
“As far as I can tell, if you put someone on that ship with a long-range weapon, there would be no problem with the port.”
“I can’t make a decision on my own. Call the Commander of the Knights.”
One of the civil officers left the room.
“We will proceed to talk about food before Dumun arrives. How much food can you carry?”
Dumun was the one who explained the current situation in Lucca to us this morning, wasn’t he? He was the head of the knights; I have a feeling he would yell at me if he heard 120 platinum coins.
“I think it will be brought in by a large ship, so all I know is that it’s a lot of food.”
“Hmm, how big is it?”
“I apologize, but I can’t talk about it. But if there are large ships in the harbor, I think I can give you a rough idea.”
The Knight Commander entered with the civil servant. The marquis explained this to the knight commander about the story. “120 platinum coins?” I heard a surprised voice that said that. Thank goodness that it was the marquis who explained the story to him. If it had been me, he would have yelled at me for sure.
“Alessia, wasn’t it? Can’t we have the mage prove his identity and bring him here to explain himself?”
“I am sorry, Sir Knight Commander. He said he would not be present at the negotiation. If we try to force him to identify himself, it would be a breach of contract, and he would not cooperate.”
“Why does he go to such lengths to conceal his true identity? He’s not a criminal, is he?”
“I’ve only heard that he doesn’t want to be bothered, but he is not a criminal.”
“Does the mage think he can get as much as 120 platinum coins for such a vague explanation?”
“I think Mage-sama doesn’t care either way. He will cooperate at the very least, but I don’t think he will do everything in his power to help Lucca.”
“Stop it, Dumun.”
“I said stop.”
The Knight Commander is very angry. But I must tell him that. Ilma said her biggest fear is that Wataru-san will abandon us. We can’t ask Wataru-san for everything.
“Have you ever been on that ship before?”
“Hmmm… It’s fine. I will prepare it then.”
“Marquis-sama! He might escape with it.”
“That is a possibility, but if Lucca falls, even if we have the money, it will only be taken from us. If we continue to be surrounded at this rate, we will eventually reach our limits. If the port is liberated, we will be able to hold out and escape. Dumun, select the weapons, soldiers, and adventurers that we can take to the ship.”
“The list and payment for the 120 platinum coins and food, right? It will take some time to prepare. Please wait in the other room.”
After about two hours, the knight and some soldiers that we had met in the morning came with the 120 platinum coins.
“Here it is. I will escort it to the ship.”
“Sir knight, I thank you very much, but you are not allowed to enter the ship.”
“I have been asked by the Knight Commander to accompany you if I can, but is there any way?”
“This has not been discussed with the marquis, and it is definitely not possible. He is hiding his true identity, so there is no way he can keep a watchful eye nearby.”
“But it is 120 platinum coins. I think surveillance is to be expected.”
“I agree with you, but Mage-sama does not. I think he would just refuse to provide a ship if he had to be monitored. For me to bring the surveillance, I cannot ask for it. Either you give up the surveillance, or you give up the ship. I ask you to make a choice.”
“I understand. I give up the surveillance. But I will escort you to the ship.”
We managed to conclude the negotiations without incident. I hope this improves the chances of Lucca’s survival.
3 thoughts on “Striving For The Luxury Liner – Vol 5 Chapter 14”
Thanks for the chapter
Thanks for the treat.
I really like alessia politics arguments… Thanks for the chapter…