Celis nodded her head over and over again like a bobblehead. As Reina gently tapped her on the shoulder, she came to her senses, blushing with embarrassment.
「Hm. I see that there will be no problem with carrying out our agreement, then. I’m glad to see that.」
「I-, I’m sorry…」
As her ears twitched with embarrassment, Vermudol smiled wryly. It seems that she had a lot to improve on as a ruler. She was not very good at negotiations.
The world of diplomatic relations is completely different from the real world. The term “straightforward” becomes “easy to understand,” “considerate” becomes “easier to push into doing things for us,” and “generous” becomes “it’s okay to be excessively demanding.” The same goes for internal struggles for power as well, and if someone were to rise up to challenge Celis’s authority, they would undoubtedly try to take advantage of her.
A lack of understanding of these concepts could put Celis into immense danger. However, if she had beside her a capable person that could protect her from these vocal threats, there would be no problem.
Vermudol was certain that Reina had the power to do this, but he figured that she probably wouldn’t stick around for too long.
It was already very strange that someone like Reina, who had been missing for ages, happened to be residing in the castle of the Canal Kingdom. It’s likely that, once her work here is over, she will head off somewhere else.
Vermudol imagined the various horrible situations that could unfold after she leaves… Not letting his thoughts escape his mouth, he forced a smile.
「So, about our tentative treaty of friendship… Right now, this treaty will be signed on the basis of a personal relationship of trust between me and Princess Celis.」
Celis nodded in response to Vermudol’s words.
Right now, there were two political powers that were seen as “legitimate” by their respective side in the Canal Kingdom’s civil war.
In this situation, an outside kingdom signing a treaty with one side would be the same as acknowledging them as the legitimate power. It would be seen as an outside intervention in the Canal Kingdom’s domestic affairs, and if things go wrong, it could devolve into an all-out war with a completely unrelated kingdom.
This is why they had to twist the reasoning, to try to make clear that “it has nothing to do with the kingdom.”
「This does not mean that the Zadark Kingdom is upholding the authority of Princess Celis, but it is rather a personal gesture of support for her as she works to help her people… It is a response to the kindness that you have shown in your concern and care for your suffering people.」
As he said, It was not a direct statement of support for her authority, but a response to her request for “support for her people.” If it had been such a statement, he would be unable to make the order to “not help the townspeople,” and even if he were to do such a thing, it would only hurt him in the long run.
「As for the form of support that we will provide and the time at which we will begin… I think that beginning immediately would be a bad move. We will notify the surrounding kingdoms of our support and finish preparing our own kingdom beforehand, so please understand.」
「Yes, that would be fine.」
This was also a problem that she would have to face in the world of diplomacy. If she didn’t have a full understanding of what the support was and why it was being provided, it could lead to unwanted misunderstandings. It would be quite troubling if rumors that “Princess Celis is engaging in conspiracy with the Mazoku” were to spread out into the streets. She had to have some sort of story to support herself.
Also, the actual amount of support that could be provided relied heavily on the Zadark Kingdom’s budget. The budget for the mission could easily be decided by Vermudol. However, there was a lot of preparation necessary, and it would take a lot of time to gather all of the resources and men needed, both of which were very limited.
It was possible for him to draw not just from his men but from the townspeople, hiring them as mercenaries, but the preparation and advancement of the plans would have to be carried out over at the Zadark Kingdom.
「As for the specific plans, I will have you send them to me by letter. Please promise that you will do this as soon as possible. I plan to leave behind a messenger in case of emergency. Do you have any concerns?」
「Y-yes! I m-mean, no. There’s no problem.」
It was quite strange for him to ask if there were any problems after already having sent over tons of undercover agents, but a “messenger” was not something that he could leave behind without saying anything.
「In response to your request for support, there will be many Mazoku from the Zadark Kingdom entering this kingdom, so please understand. Also, I would like you to explain to me the situation that this kingdom is in, as thoroughly as you possibly can.」
Upon hearing Vermudol’s request, Celis gulped.
She looked into Vermudol’s bright red eyes and began to speak.
「Understood. The first thing that I must talk about is my other sister… The Second Princess, Eltrinde.」