r, who put his people first above everything, conveyed that he could not fulfill Melsa’s request.


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“I will give you magic stones instead.
How large of an amount does the Kingdom want…“


Still, it was obvious that they couldn’t last a year on just ‘stored rice’ alone, which was why they sought food aid from another country.

The Shogun finally talked about magic stones publicly.


“…No, thank you.
There’s no need for magic stones.“


” ” “?!!!!!!” ” “


Melsa bluntly refused the Shogun’s offer that had been made with determination.


“The Kingdom does not have any magicians, so even if we possess them, they will only end up as mere stones.
They cannot replace rice.“


“You don’t need magic stones, you say?“


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“Yes, my Stuart family doesn’t need them.
Please negotiate the transaction of magic stones with the Kingdom.
A count family being in possession of such things will only bring trouble.“


“It has to be rice no matter what…?“


“Yes, it has to be rice.“


Melsa didn’t back down.


“If the Imperial Japanese people are not used to eating the Kingdom’s food… I will make some dishes that suit the people’s taste using the ingredients brought from the Kingdom.
Will you be willing to give me rice then?“


‘If you can’t proceed with the negotiation, provide alternatives.
Don’t let go of your purpose, but still give the other party some room to think.’ Making the most of what she had learned long ago at the academy, Melsa stood her ground for the sake of rice.


“That’s impossible.
The Kingdom and Imperial Japan have completely different cultures.
The climate, soil, and people.
Basically, everything.
A dish that the people can accept readily with ingredients from a country they have never associated with before is a bit…“


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“I will make you one right now.
Even the Kingdom will find it a pity if that much wheat flour is only used to make dumplings and udon.
Ume-san? Can you show me the way to the kitchen?“


Melsa stood up directly.


“Eh??? Hey? Melsa? What are you—? Huh? Where are you going? Hey?”


Oliver was surprised when Melsa suddenly stood up after the conversation in Imperial Japanese, which seemed like it would never end.
He wanted to stand up and follow her, but couldn’t as his legs had gone numb.


“What the? I can’t feel my legs, ugh…”


Oliver, who had imitated Melsa to kneel on the tatami-matted floor[2], was now groaning in agony.


“This way, please.“


Oliver desperately dragged his numb feet to chase after Ume, who was leading Melsa down the stairs to the kitchen. 

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