Predatory Marriage — Chapter 66. Plans of Rebuttal (2)
“Yes. Would you like to try one? This is dried palm that Kurkans eat. I had a hard time looking for this.”
Count Valtein flamboyantly displayed his expertise in date palm eating etiquette. “Eating this is quite difficult. You must learn the proper way! Trying it once or twice without the correct technique will waste the dates. I assure you, many are unaware of this method.”
The unique and interesting goods piqued Finance Minister Laurent’s interest. He took the fork he was using for refreshment, picked up a date and ate it. Then he drank the tea straight away.
“Oh no, it is quite a bit of sugar…”
“It’s not sugar! Date palms are naturally sweet.”
Despite the count’s rebuttal, Finance Minister Laurent, could not easily iron out the frown on his forehead. Count Valtein smiled as he watched the minister drink his second cup of tea.
Even though Valtein detested sweet things, he had eaten two dates already—just like season, his taste bud changes. Leah, who was with them, could only look at him in astonishment.
“I think this is popular nowadays because it is good for one’s vigor,” Valtein continued to praise the sweets.
While they were eating, Ishakan’s memory of eating the dates suddenly popped into Leah’s head. Imagining the man, she hurriedly shook it off.
The culture of Kurkans was getting popular in Estia these days. The foreign customs had been quite appealing to the aristocrats who were awfully fond of new entertainment.
From the ruler’s perspective, it would not be favourable. However, the more one tries to suppress the people from doing something they wanted to try, the more they wound it fascinating. Thus, preventing the Kurkan culture in becoming a trend was not an option.
All they could do was wait for the Kurkans to return to the dessert after negotiations took place, thus taking the trend with them.
Count Valtein offered the dates to Leah, but the latter only refused to eat them. She instead sipped some lightly brewed black tea and raised the main topic she wanted to tackle.
“What happened to the favor I asked of you?
“Yes, princess.” Count Valtein immediately put down his teacup. “I found out the Kurkans are currently moving in Estia with three divisions.”
The first was tasked to meet and appease the key figures of the kingdom. They had already seen this in action. The Kurkans had taken the initiative to approach Count Valtein.
The second was to track down gypsies and arrest them. In the first place, the relationship between the Kurkans and the gypsies was already marred. However, there appeared to be more than meets the eye for their conflict.
“The last one was the same as what the princess had expected. They have been looking for the Kurkan slaves that had been captured here in Estia.”
Leah nodded as she heard the words of Count Valtein. Slavery was illegal. However, in the face of money, the law did not exist. There was an immense demand for Kurkan slavery, they were strong and valuable. Slave dealers would illegally capture them, and sell them off, making a fortune.
“Therefore, did you do what I instructed?”
“Of course. It will proceed as you wish.”
A smile grew on Leah’s face. Upon seeing her satisfied expression, Count Valtein brightened like a child who had just been praised.
“Count Valtein did a great deed for us. Because of that, it gives us at least a chance to get out of the negotiations.” Finance Minister Laurent spoke his opinion with a dark face.
“However, is not the negotiation too hard to achieve right now? That incident at the palace, which should not have happened, did after all.” After hearing the catastrophe that had occurred in the queen’s Palace, she had almost given up.
It wasn’t because she couldn’t understand the Finance Minister. In fact, it was only normal to react that way.
“We should try utilizing it well. As you are aware, we cannot just idly stand by and do nothing.”
Leah looked at them one by one. She clearly stated her next thoughts, emphasizing how important it was to be on good terms with the Kurkans.
“The treaty is the last chance for Estia.”
Count Valtein and Finance Minister Laurent sighed heavily and nodded in agreement.
Minister Lurent seemed to contemplate deeply for a while, before speaking up.
“We are already helpless once you go, princess. Even if we could negotiate the deal, how can we lead a decaying country among ourselves?”
“I cannot properly sleep these days because of that. Does the queen really think that the Crown Prince can handle all of this?”
“Maybe. Perhaps it is because the Crown Prince himself is atrocious and ambitious.”
“I do not know why the prince behaves so foolishly, while his mother behaves like a fox.”
Count Valtein, who was unintentionally complaining, immediately checked his surroundings. He had just insulted two of the most powerful people in Estia in one statement.
After confirming that the maids were nowhere in sight, he laughed mischievously, like a child caught acting suspiciously.
“I think that the queen will regret it once you are gone. She will be hitting the soil, full of remorse, and immediately summon you back.”
It appeared that they were not alone in their thoughts. The Minister of Finance, Laurent furtively nodded with Count Valtein’s passionate speech—saying that Leah should not forgive the queen even if she knelt on her knees.
Count Valtein only stopped babbling after Leah raised her hands. She softly sighed and he wrinkled her nose, confused as to whether he had stated something wrong.
His eyes were wide open as he listened to her words that followed.
“I’m thinking of locating the slaves by myself.”
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
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