“Indeed. There would be problems if Lord Heal was king.”
“Yes. I agree. It would be considered an insult…”
If my father was king, then it would not make sense for me to claim to be one as well…
Rienna was royalty, and Ashton was also close to a royal family. And so they knew what these familial relationships could be like.
And so Baris had another suggestion.
“As for this position of king, it can be put on hold. However, as I understand, a country can still have a palace even without a king. And why not have one, if not just for appearances?”
Should there be a king, if only just in name…? All of them recognized the king as the highest authority in their tribes.
Perhaps Mappa was interested in kingship, because he kept looking at me and the others.
However, no one paid him any attention.
That being said, I was sure that my father would be just as against someone else being king. After all, this island was supposed to be part of his territory. It would be just as wrong to him.
“Indeed… I agree with building a palace. However, I think we better not have a king at all…”
We should all discuss and decide things together…as a republic.
The Sheorl Republic… Yes, it had a nice ring to it.
Baris nodded in agreement and then returned his gaze to the others.
“Very well. There will be no king. Now, we should start work on the building of the palace and the administrative district at once. Is everyone in agreement on this?”
No one had any objections.
After that, we talked about what kind of town we wanted to make.
The main things we decided were that the entrances to the cave would be covered by buildings so they would look like temples.
They would be holy ground that only citizens could enter… That would be an excuse to keep people away. It was Baris’s idea.
We also decided to leave the World Tree as it was.
Aside from that, we decided on smaller matters, like building a hot spring in the commercial district and how we would vote on a design for our flag.
Once we were in agreement, the meeting was over.
Then Baris walked up to me as if unsure about something.
“That was a good meeting, Lord Heal. So, about the letter that is to be given to Berfalt…”
Baris showed me the letter.
He had written down what I had asked him.
We had merely used force against their men as an act of self defense.
We didn’t want to be enemies with the Dragon Kingdom. And to show that it wasn’t a declaration of war, we were sending the prisoners back to them.
And I suggested that as a responsible country, they have stricter rules against piracy, and that we sign a no-raid agreement…
This letter was just a draft, and so there was no name on it.
In the first place, we didn’t even know the name of their king. I would have to ask Berfalt about it later.
However, the contents of the letter were fine.
I nodded to Baris.
“It’s perfect. Not too aggressive or demanding… Unless they are incredibly hot-tempered, it shouldn’t be taken badly.”
“Then I shall make a fair copy. Also, about Berfalt…”
“Yes. He wants to return the ship to you no matter what. And so he will return here after sending the prisoners.”
“I see… But he won’t have much money…”
“Yes. I tried to tell him, but he kept objecting to it. He will not change his mind.”
He really was stubborn… However, he had lost his ship and his cargo.
We had acquired two ships and didn’t need more money. He didn’t need to give us anything in return.
And then Baris made a suggestion.
“…In that case, why not ask Berfalt to buy us goods, just like Kamyu? If you pay him for the work, he will also make a profit. Just tell him that you are lending the ship to him and occasionally ask him to do business with you.”
“I see… That’s a good idea. Do it.”
Baris bowed his head.
“Still…you really are helpful, Baris. Just like you did earlier, you’re quick to understand my intention.”
“If anything…I was too slow. For that, I am sorry.”
“There’s no need to apologize. I’ll continue to count on you, Baris.”
“Aye. Now, I must go and prepare the letter to give Berfalt. He will depart tomorrow, so we must finish repairing the ship and storing the supplies.”
“Yes, thank you. I’m going to go mining. I leave the rest to you.”
“Yes, Your Majesty…”
Baris said, and then walked briskly away towards the ships.
Your Majesty… Did he really want me to be king?
Well, as long as it was just between us, it didn’t really matter.
But he would have to be more careful around outsiders…especially in the presence of people from Sanfaris.
It was with such thoughts, that I returned to digging.
Later that day, one of Baris’s assistants came and brought the letter and the money that were supposed to be given to Berfalt.
However, my hands were too dirty, and so I asked for the letter and amount to be read aloud.
It wasn’t a shocking amount of money, and the letter was pretty much the same, so there was no problem.
And so I told the assistant to pass it on to Berfalt, and then I returned to my digging.
The next day, Berfalt and the other former slaves got on the ship and left Sheorl.
We watched as the ship carrying the gold and prisoners sailed away.
Voices of gratitude could be heard, echoing from the deck.
“Ahh, they really were nice people.”
Berfalt was alone in the captain’s cabin as he counted the money he received from Heal.
The sack of gold was about the size of a person’s head.
These gold coins had no markings, and looked like they were newly minted. And even Berfalt could tell that they were made of high quality gold.
“This is such a great amount… He asked me to do many things, but I don’t know if I could even use all of this…”
Berfalt had been told that he could keep what remained as a fee, but he thought he would only take what he knew was the proper amount, and return the rest.
And so he locked up the gold in a chest and picked up the letter from his desk and was about to put it away.
But then he looked at the Barleon letters on the back and muttered.
“…The Sheorl ‘Empire’ huh. They will surely be a grade trading partner for merchants of the Amolis Republic.”
And like that, Sheorl became the Sheorl Empire. And Heal would become known to outsiders as its Emperor.