This is machine translated, and all copyrights belong to the author. Please note that the translator might take creative liberties for better readability. Thank you for reading.
「I feel sick……」
「Just a bit more, Haruto.」
The two rode on a camel carriage. Camels were more common than horses in the desert, so the desert people used camels. The two were aiming for Samarkarud, the largest settlement of the desert people. By the way, Roa’s house-sitting.
「Would you like to dispel the mood by looking outside?」
Haruto opened the window curtain a little and looked outside. The view offered nothing but camels along with mercenaries riding on each one. But since Haruto was a diplomat, he was riding on a camel carriage. Haruto’s assistant…… to be exact, was the one responsible for monitoring him and expecting him to fail.
「Oh dear, I’m not gonna take care of that.」
He heard the desert people’s circumstances from Aisha and thought that it’s not possible to fail.
「I wonder why you need so many mercenaries?」
「I don’t need it…… it’s only for intimidation. It’s to show that Claris can hire so many soldiers!! What do you think?」
Besides the gem that will be presented to the chieftain, there were also camels loaded with alcohol. This was to show the financial strength of Claris.
「It’s warlike. But the desert people will not be bothered by this. You have to at least bring 100 fire dragons. Ah! The specialties of the desert people, I’m looking forward to it since roasted fire dragon is delicious. When we return, I’ll definitely give it to you for a welcome.」
「Fire dragon…… a fire-breathing dragon. How do you kill something that blows fire?」
Aisha answered Haruto’s question with a smile.
「It’s easy. First, crush the eyes with a bow. Then provoke it and make it fall into a pitfall. Then just poke it with a spear. What’s important is to aim the spear in the eyes, nose, or mouth. The scales are really hard.」
「What do you do if it breathes fire when you try to pierce the mouth?」
「It’s all right. It can be avoided with intuition.」
Listening to the story so far, it did not seem difficult.
「But this is the story if it went well. The arrow might burn before hitting, and fire dragons are also not so stupid to enter a pitfall. Most of the men who hunt will run out of patience and will enter into mortal combat. Then they’ll continue to fight for about three days and three nights.」
「That’s not easy.」
Haruto was amazed by the low boiling point of the desert people. It’s unbelievable to fight without using traps if a dragon was their opponent.
「But most of the dragon’s attacks will not hit, though? Father also fought against three fire dragons and won.」
Was it the fact that the fire dragon was weak, or that the desert people were too strong that he should worry about.
「Even so, it’s hot. It’s winter now. I think I’m about to go crazy. How do you guys live?」
Claris was cold. The snow was rare, but it’s usually cold. However, as soon as they crossed the Great Forest, it got hotter. Because he was in a cold place before coming here, he felt it’s extra hot.
「Is it that hot? The oasis is colder than here.」
Haruto had a bit of hope with those words.
「By the way Haruto.」
「Hn? What is it?」
「You’re cured of your illness?」
When Haruto heard that, he put his hand on his throat. It’s still unpleasant, but not to the point of vomiting.
「Ah, it’s okay now. Maybe because I got used to it.」
Since his transmigration, he only got to ride horse-drawn carriages. He gradually got used to it, and because of that, he’s not to the point of vomiting, probably.
「I see. That’s good.」
Aisha smiled sweetly. Haruto did not think anything of that smile.
It soon became night. The desert quickly cooled down as the sun went down, and now, the delegation could feel that it’s winter.
「Ah, I’m tired.」
Out of the tent, Haruto stretched. They would arrive at Samarkarud tomorrow. He had just made the final confirmation with the other diplomats.
Among Haruto’s acquaintance, there’s only Aisha in this mission. Because he was feeling lonely, Haruto looked for Aisha. Aisha was sitting by the bonfire alone.
「Can I sit here?」
「Ah! Haruto. I see the meeting ended, cheers for the excellent work. Go ahead.」
Aisha hit the ground beside her, and dust rose from the impact of being hit. Haruto sat at the place Aisha struck.
「So, how was the meeting?」
「It’s me who will directly negotiate. I had to sign a secret agreement with Eugene, and they don’t seem willing to cooperate with me. I wonder if they want me to fail. Oh well, I think it’s okay since I made it that way to not get disturbed.」
Haruto’s position as a newcomer was not good, but if he succeeded in this mission, all that would be solved.
「Even so, it’s frigid.」
「Is that so? Well then, I will strengthen the fire.」
Aisha said so and put a camel dung on the fire. In the desert where wood was scarce, camel dung was precious fuel.
「The thing that surprised me the most when coming to the desert is using camel dung for fire.」
「I was also most surprised when I went to Claris and saw that you guys are using wood for fire unsparingly.」
They looked at each other and laughed.
Aisha laid down on the ground. It was dusty, but Haruto still laid next to Aisha.
「Look, look. The Cross Star can be seen. It absolutely does not move from the North. In the desert, we travel with that as the landmark. There’s a legend that says it’s the guardian angel of every journey.」
Haruto saw the direction where Aisha’s finger pointed at. He could see the stars lined up in a cross shape. It would be like the Big Dipper from Earth.
「I see. This place also has it.」
Haruto murmured unintentionally. It’s been nine months since he came to this different world. No, it could be said that only that much time had passed. Those nine months were much darker.
「What are you talking about, Haruto?」
「Nothing, I thought it was different from the star from my hometown. There was no Cross Star from my hometown.」
Aisha didn’t miss hearing Haruto’s slip of the tongue.
「There is no Cross Star? At least on this continent, you can see the Cross Star everywhere. Where on earth did you live?」
「Heh~, a different world.」
「It’s true. Whether you believe it or not depends on you.」
Haruto said while looking at the starry sky, regretting his previous slip of the tongue.
「I believe it.」
「Was it because my pulse is stable?」
「It is, also…… Haruto is not a person who’ll lie with something so silly.」
Aisha smiled sweetly. Haruto decided to keep an eye on Aisha.
「It’s useless revealing it to other people. For now, only you and Roa know about it.」
When Haruto said so, Aisha smiled joyfully.
「I guess I’m now on equal standing with Roa? In other words, a fiancee?」
「You can’t become my fiancee just by that.」
Haruto retorted with a bitter smile.
「What kind of place is that, by the way? That place called Earth?」
「That’s right. There was no dragon, magic or blessings.」
Aisha’s eyes sparkled as she stuck to Haruto. Lying down, he could see the cleavage between Aisha’s clothes.
（It’s quite large. Is it like a D or an E……）
Haruto, while thinking of such lewd thoughts, told Aisha about Earth.
On the afternoon of the next day, they arrived at Samarkarud. Haruto and Aisha decided to separate temporarily. She would probably get scolded.
The delegates were welcomed. Along with the roasted fire dragon, all the cooked dishes seemed to be meat. They were also subjected to the intense dance by the women (they can leap for about three meters) and the passionate performances by the men (like shattering a sword). The son of the chieftain was thorough…… Aisha’s father strangled a dragon in front of him, then cooked a dish with it. Although he knew it in advance, Haruto was still a bit surprised by this. Some of the other diplomats directly fainted.
It was a way of negotiation that would only be possible because every desert people had the 『Battle Blessing』.
（It seems that this threat is not that much.）
Even the mercenaries hired by Claris had also gone down. Though the treasures did have an effect since they were genuinely pleased.
Even so, Haruto had the『Mind-Heart Blessing』, so he could hear the real intentions of the other person. There’s no better advantage than this since just understanding the other party’s intent would make the situation uneven.
This day was purely to enjoy the desert people’s welcome and to heal the tiredness from the trip. The negotiations would be tomorrow.
「Patriarch, those guys are pretty scared.」
That was Aisha’s father…… Hesaam. When Hesaam strangled the dragon, there was even a person who fainted among the delegates.
「Not everyone. There’s one, a man who felt no fear. Didn’t you notice?」
The Patriarch…… Umar looked at his son from a higher chair while speaking in a low voice.
「Is there such a fellow?」
At Hesaam’s words, Umar raised a brow.
「What a joke! I told you that your role is to find a suspicious person in that group. Killing dragons is only one way.」
An angry voice like thunder echoed. Hesaam hesitantly shrugged his shoulders.
「He is a man named Haruto Asuma. Indeed, he protected Aisha, so we welcome him… but it’s a surprise that I did not feel any terror from him. He seemed to be enjoying himself even in the second half. This is troubling. We can’t intimidate that guy.」
To intimidate the opponent was their means of negotiation. For example, during the talks with the Kingdom, there were 50 heavily armed fighters always beside them to scare the envoys from the other countries. Even the Empire would make their national strength visible by escorting envoys from other countries to pass through four rooms of extreme luxury.
Umar… had always been negotiating by intimidating the opponent at the welcome parties. The opponent would then make concessions. It’s the first time Umar met an unaffected person.
「It looks like this negotiation will be complicated.」
In contrast to his words, Umar was smiling happily.
「Such hospitality, I thank you very much.」
When Haruto had an audience with Umar, he was greeted politely, so Haruto continued the pleasantries. It’s to convey the fact that 『your intimidation didn’t work』.
「I’m also glad to have you. I appreciate beautiful treasures and alcohol.」（This boy…… is provoking me.）
He seemed angry even with a smiling face, Haruto observed while talking to Umar. The first thing that caught the eye was his height. It’s close to two meters. With bulging arm muscles and a huge spear behind him, he doesn’t look like a human being. Haruto wondered if the spear was put there for intimidation. He wanted to believe that was the case.
「Now then, they told me you protected my granddaughter, Aisha. I really appreciate that, and I need to thank you.」（When intimidation doesn’t work…… should I give him something?）
When Umar said that, a woman, with clothes that exposed a lot, brought a box. She even sat next to Haruto and personally opened the box.
「This is our gratitude. Please accept it.」（How’s this? Surely, you’ll be shaken by this.）
It was a ruby necklace. Because the origin of the ruby was from the East, it was treated as a costly jewel in the West.
「Thank you for this. I will make it my family treasure.」
Hearing the unhappy tone of the other party’s real intentions, he definitely had to accept it. Looking at the beautiful red color of the ruby, Haruto thought of giving it to Roa.
「Well. Let’s not talk about that and cut to the chase.」（Damn, he didn’t seem interested even with the rubies. This kid annoys me.）
Umar smilingly said so. If Haruto looked closely, he could see that this person’s expression was a bit cramped. This guy was at his wit’s end.
「I agree. The normalization of the diplomatic relations with the desert people is the intent of the whole Claris’ parliament.」
Claris was a city that flourished as it traded with the East. Trade was continuing at a private level now, but in this state, they didn’t know when it’d be interrupted. Even in the worst case, diplomatic relations must return to normal.
「We also want Claris to be our good neighbor, but if they disapprove of us using resources, then there’s no room for discussion.」（The Great Forest is our lifeline. Trade can also be made at a personal level, but wood cannot be obtained without the Great Forest. Only this, I cannot concede.）
「Yes, I understand. Then let’s recognize your rights to the Great Forest.」
Haruto said frankly. Umar made a disappointed face for a moment.
「I agree. Let’s define 50 kilometers west from the top of the Great Mountain Range to be considered as the Great Forest. How about it?」
「Well, if that’s the case, then there’s no problem.」（Isn’t this talk proceeding too smoothly?）
There were reasons why Haruto conceded the territorial rights so readily. For Claris, the Great Forest was indeed a great mountain of resources, but they have an alternative. Moreover, it’s necessary to cross the Great Mountain Range to carry the things taken from the Great Forest, so it’s very troublesome. The military power of the desert people was enormous, so they’d protect it at all costs. For that reason, the idea that they could cede the Great Forest was prevalent in Congress.
The problem was from how far from the Great Mountain Range it should be. Since it’s a large forest, it could be claimed by both Claris and the desert people.
「However, this has conditions. It’s the resumption of trade with Claris. In that case, I would like you to eliminate the tariffs on luxury goods. As this matter is already approved by Congress, the rest is up to your conditions.」
Haruto advanced strongly. After Umar suffered for a while, he opened his mouth.
「I see, the trade will surely become active if the tariffs disappear. We accept.」（It hurts to lose one source of income……, but in exchange, we would have the resources from the Great Forest. And in the long run, it’ll be profitable.）
Haruto, who was listening to his real intention, was relieved. It’s Branch who gained the most with the abolition of the tariff. Haruto could persuade Branch since it’s included in the treaty. Haruto then continued the negotiation.
「By the way, it seems that mana stones can be mined in the desert.」
「Ah. It’s only recently. That mining.」 （Why is such a thing…… Aisha! That idiot!!）
Haruto continued to talk while pitying Aisha, who would be preached later on.
「Actually, in the West, the need for magic stone is rising with the development of magic tools. I hope that we can develop it jointly…… How about it?」
Umar answered Haruto’s proposal.
「It depends on the conditions. What would be the distribution?」（Claris’ merchants are smart. I can’t be careless.）
Haruto had the answers to Umar’s questions in advance. The desert people needed help in developing their mining technology while Claris wanted to employ the desert people if there were personnel shortages in Claris’ workers (slaves). In this case, Claris wanted mana stones to be sold preferentially to them, and part of the mined mana stones would be paid as the technical fee in exchange for the mining technology. Most importantly, they had to borrow money from Claris’ merchants to start the endeavor.
They had a little dispute on the amount of the technical fee, but they finally agreed on the price. By the way, as for the merchant lending the money, one person had already been decided. It’s Eugene. 40% of the total should be borrowed from him to have him recover the damage cost made by Aisha.
Moreover, as the production of mana stones increased, the sales of the magic tools would rise. It’d be Adonis who’ll benefit this time.
「Next is our request. I will not say to abolish slavery, nor will I say to release the slaves who committed a crime in Claris, but I would like you to strengthen the crackdown against slave-hunting.」（There’s a possibility that Aisha can become a slave if she did something wrong.）
It was a possibility, but once she became a slave…… Haruto was scared for a moment. Haruto’s heartbeat rose, and Umar looked suspicious. Haruto was in a panic.
「Yes. It’s a problem even for us. Upon returning to our home country, we will immediately respond.」
Whether or not he’s satisfied with Haruto not telling a lie, Umar still nodded.
「Then, let’s decide on the fine details later.」
「I agree. This is time well spent.」
After that, Haruto suddenly cut in.
「Now then, I would like to talk about private business with you from here.」
It’s outrageous to make a business deal in the middle of diplomatic negotiations with another country, but no one’d blame him for it. Besides, the other diplomats weren’t helping since they hoped for Haruto to fail and because they’re not in his position.
（It’s really convenient.）
Haruto loosened his mouth.
「Personal business you say…… All right. As a thank you for protecting Aisha, I’ll listen to your story.」（As expected, he is still a merchant. I feel like he’s planning something from a little while ago…… is it an attempt to obtain benefits over the other diplomats. This guy is shrewd.）
Since Umar gave permission, Haruto started talking.
「Does the Patriarch know about soap?」
「Soap? Ah! I know about that. Is it like the Green Stone that’s been popular in the West lately?」（I can personally say that I’m secretly buying it.）
Unfortunately, Haruto still heard it. But even if he knew, it’s too early to address it. Haruto took out a bar of soap from his pocket.
「It’s me who developed that soap. I would like to sell this soap to everyone in the desert. Patriarch, no Umar-sama, would you like to sign a contract with me?」
There were five large families among the desert people. Each clan would produce a patriarch in turns. Haruto didn’t want to negotiate with Umar as the chieftain of the desert people, but rather as the head of a large family.
Haruto had not been in business for a year yet, but his success as a diplomat would help Haruto in a good and bad meaning. A merchant who’d sweep Haruto off his feet would eventually come out, and some people would also steal the manufacturing process of the soap. If he could contract with Umar’s clan, he could have a stable sales point. A thick connection was also possible.
On the other hand, Umar’s clan could also make money since they could trade directly with Haruto. Money was power, so Umar’s influence would also increase.
Umar went silent but then started to laugh the next moment. The surrounding desert people were also amazed by this.
「I see. Is this the reason why you protected Aisha? To eliminate tariffs when selling soap? You’re quite a calculating fellow. All right. Let’s cooperate.」（I like it!! You’re a pretty good lad. This is a pass.）
It seemed like he passed, Haruto tilted his head for a moment. What exactly did he pass?
Umar looked strangely at Haruto. Haruto couldn’t afford to ask what exactly did he pass at, so he could only gloss over it.
「No, I was only surprised since you laughed so suddenly. There is another contract that I would like you to sign. I’d like you to supply me with coconut oil steadily.」
「Coconut oil. Indeed, a stable supply is difficult unless you directly have a contract with us. All right.」（Coconut oil…… from the flow of this talk, it should be used in making soap. The soap smells a bit like olives…… so I’m sure of this. Is the raw material oil? Let’s research it a bit.）
The raw materials had been identified. Oh well, it’s well-known that Haruto bought ash and olive, so what could he do about it?
Thus, a deal was made between Umar and Haruto. By the way, it was a secret except for the ones involved.
「Aisha. Did you reflect?」
Umar went to Aisha’s room. Aisha had been imprisoned as a punishment.
「Yes, Grandfather. I’m sorry, but I have a favor……」
「About Haruto Asuma?」
Before Aisha finished speaking, Umar interrupted. Aisha’s eyes went wide.
「I can smell him on you.」
That’s right, Aisha stiffened. She’d began to smell of him after a while.
「Did you not even notice it?」
「I don’t know my smell……」
That’s why Aisha’s face went red.
「What is it?」
Aisha’s face became even redder.
「Well, that’s so sudden.」
（But this is is also convenient, right? It’s painful to lie about going there to research about soap.）
「That soap is lovely, and it’s enough to change history. If I can connect with the man who can manufacture it, it will convince the others around me. Now, go over.」
Aisha’s face turned bright red, thanked Umar, and left.
（Asuma Haruto. Perhaps your value is higher than you think.）
Umar thought so and left Aisha’s room.
Last Edit: 09-01-2020 1:58 AM
This is machine translated, and all copyrights belong to the author. Please note that the translator might take creative liberties for better readability. Thank you for reading.