Chapter 98 – A Struggle of Techniques
"But ten runic armored trains is still far from solving this basic problem that plagues our Empire," Solomon said with a faint smile. "Your should know of our sincerity. If the Stuart clan is able to make some changes in the quantity of our purchase order, then not only will they have my deepest respect, I'm sure the entire Empire would be grateful for the Stuart clan's generosity and cordiality.
Solomon specifically emphasized the tone with which he spoke of the Stuart clan. There were checks and balances present among the great families of the Federation. If the Stuart clan obtained a strong partner from the outside, then it would undoubtedly be very beneficial to them.
Carolyn simply smiled. This kind of strategy wasn't enough to confuse her. "Our clan attaches great importance to its friendship with the Kaiser Empire and your highness Solomon. However, you should know that the rules and regulations of the Federation are very strict. If, after the delivery of the runic armoured trains, everything were to go smoothly and without a hitch, I believe we will definitely be able to dispel the misunderstandings present in many people's hearts.
"A good start is equivalent to winning half the battle. Following this continuous and deep collaboration, I believe a railway for the runic armoured trains will definitely cross the entire Empire."
Solomon tried to appeal with emotions but such tactics were useless against Carolyn..
Both of them had radiant smiles on their faces, seemingly satisfied with the deal. Yet, neither reached their objectives. The Stuart clan indeed wanted to make some demands. While the entire event had been left to the Stuart clan to handle, the Federation still governed over it all. A high taxation rate meant that the benefits acquired by the clan weren't as high as expected. To gain greater control over the resources, private deals were definitely required. However, the two sides needed to probe each other's standards.
"To be honest, I personally feel more interested in rune cannons. The cannons arranged by Miss Carolyn today at the public square were too magnificent. I've been thinking that next time Miss Carolyn comes to the Empire, your reception cannot lack those heart-stunning cannon roars. Missing them would make my heart feel much regret." Solomon gave Carolyn a faint smile. "I don't know if Miss Carolyn is willing to part with a few dozen rune cannons and delegate them to me? Of course, I will definitely not disappoint Miss Carolyn on the aspect of price."
Carolyn had long known Solomon to have an ulterior motive, but she didn't think it would be rune cannons. "Your highness Solomon, rune cannons are weapons specifically used by the military and have the highest restrictions set by the Federation. Even we, the Stuart clan, don't have the privilege to sell them."
Solomon smiled very radiantly, his handsome face expressed his ample sincerity. He focused his gaze on Carolyn as he said, "Naturally I understand. You are, however, an intelligent person, so I will get to the point. The Stuart clan of the old era and my own Rothschild Family are friends. Therefore, the Empire tried at all costs to choose the Stuart clan as our business partner. Our Rothschild Family has always known to repay favours and grace, and I think this is not something you will doubt."
From the old era to the new era, regardless of their prosperity or decline, a Rothschild's pledge had never once been changed. This sort of integrity was extremely valuable.
Since the conversation had reached this stage, Carolyn had to find an excuse. She couldn't allow her opponent to head down this path else a huge compromise would have to be made because of their friendship. It was a small world, and there were always moments when mutual help was required. The problem was that control over rune cannons was indeed very strict. Although it didn't reach the level of nuclear weapons in the old era, it still wasn't allowed to be exported.
Of course, if the Stuart clan were able to achieve this, then even if they were given massive benefits it would still mean the Rothschild Family had to owe them a massive favour.
The talk of the gun salute was naturally a con, and both knew this in their hearts so neither needed to clarify on the topic.
Carolyn remained silent for a time while Solomon waited with extreme patience at her side, a faint smile still present on his face. Finally, Carolyn watched that smile and said, "Your highness Solomon, we of the Stuart clan feel your sincerity and greatly value the friendship we have with you and the Rothschild Family. I will raise this matter up with our elders council as I believe there is a solution to every problem so long as one's sincerity is adequate. Will you be able to stay here for a few more days?"
The Stuart clan placed great importance on their collaboration with the Kaiser Empire. However, there were large-scale inner conflicts and struggles between the five clans. For example, the opportunity to sell runic armoured trains to the Kaiser Empire was something all of the five clans could achieve in collaboration. Yet, this role had become the Stuart clan's victory in the end. Them achieving this final right wasn't something that happened by chance.
Following the shift of Earth's tectonic plates, along with the frequent use of communications, collaborations and strife related to it because inevitable. As such, even the Stuart clan had to fight for opportunities.
A qualified politician would definitely not agree to everything one says about a matter. Speaking on this point, Solomon already knew the matter was settled. "Regardless of its success, I am grateful for the passion and friendship exhibited by Miss Carolyn. In fact, the moment I laid eyes on you, I was instantly amazed by your beauty. Only now do I know your intelligence surpasses even that."
Carolyn gave a sweet laugh. In all honesty, all beautiful women didn't like people praising them on their beauty and would rather be praised in other aspects. This especially applied to a girl like Carolyn.
Solomon was certainly a veteran in this aspect. He had already achieved his preliminary objective during their first round of discussions.
Carolyn suddenly changed the topic. "The Kaiser Empire was founded on a principle of bravery. I presume your highness Solomon is an expert among experts. This Carolyn has just learnt a few sword techniques. Would your highness be interested in comparing a few pointers?"
" 'The Stuarts, are the best with swords within the Federation.' Even in such a distant land I've heard this saying quite often. You are slightly mistaken on a point, however, and that is I personally don't like martial strength." Solomon had replied with a conspicuously embarrassed expression on his face. He waved his hand as he spoke and a male child with a next-door-neighbour's appearance walked over with a smile.
Solomon smiled faintly as he said, "Enoch is the is best at close quarters combat among my personal bodyguards. If Miss Carolyn is interested, would it be possible to offer him some pointers and advice?"
Carolyn had the status to personally challenge Solomon, and him rejecting should have ended it all there. Yet, he had actually sent one of his lackeys up to meet the challenge. When they saw Solomon's actions, quite a few of Carolyn's subordinates revealed unhappy expressions.
Carolyn hadn't replied when a middle-aged man stood from her group of subordinates. "Although my humble self might not be the strongest within Miss' group of subordinates, I also look forward to seeing the might of the Kaiser Empire and would like to ask for advice."
Carolyn had only planned on probing the strength of the Empire, but it was regretful that Solomon wasn't willing to accept her request. Still, being able to witness the capabilities of his elite bodyguards could be considered witnessing their strength with a limited view.
After these considerations, she nodded.
Finished discussing the challenge, the subordinates of both parties rapidly retreated in order to give both side ample space for their fight.
Darwin Yatton, a member of Carolyn's inner circle of bodyguards, was also a heavy soldier. The plates of his golden heavy armour rubbed against each other, creating clinking sounds with his every movement. In his hand was an excessively heavy sword that spanned a meter and sixty centimeters. He raised it to his chest with ease, his figure devoid of any outward strain. Darwin was an elite who had experienced a baptism of blood and fire on the frontlines. Simply by standing in place, he exuded an imposing aura akin to a deeply rooted mountain. Like an iron bastion, he was impregnable!
As for his opponent, a silver-haired… child who was halfway through puberty. He wore a thin and flimsy outfit with a slender sword dangling at his waist. It just resembled a very long toothpick. As he stood in the center of the large space, it appeared as though his thin and petite body would be blown away by a gust of wind. A trace of a smile appeared on his face.