Nier stood up from among the group of kids, watched me walk over, bowed and asked: "Do you have orders, your majesty?"
I looked at the side of her face that was still swollen. She started to look a bit livelier. A moment later, I smiled as I shook my head and said: "No, nothing. But after we get back, I'll rub some of the elves' spring water on your face for you."
Nier looked at me and asked: "Why?"
"It hurts, doesn't it?" I looked at her eyes and sighed. I felt slightly dispirited, lowered my head and softly said: "Sorry… I originally wanted to get her majesty to apologise to you, but… I didn't have the courage in the end…"
Nier aggressively drew her sword which frightened me and I retreated one step. NIer looked at me and coldly said "Her majesty is never wrong. I was punished because I made a mistake. This is her majesty's reward. Your majesty, no one is to speak ill of her majesty, even if it's you. Her majesty is never wrong!"
"But! But you left me because I gave you the order to! You just followed my orders, so you're not at fault!"
"That still doesn't mean her majesty is wrong! Her majesty is never wrong! Those who claim that she is wrong are all traitors and rebels. I can't allow anyone to malign her majesty, even if it's you! Your majesty, my sword can penetrate your throat. Please do not think that our relationship has eased up by any means." Nier's sword was very steady. She looked at me expressionless and had the tip of her sword at my throat. I raised my hands in surrender and I could see my terrified look in the reflection of her sword.
Nier hasn't changed a bit. I thought she'd accepted me after I stood up for her last night, but her loyalty was still devoted to her majesty, and she hasn't eased up towards me in the least.
Nier is the same as those Valkyries, isn't she? If her majesty were to tell her to kill herself, she'd probably kill herself without hesitation. Nier is a Valkyrie, but when I see her reveal her smile when she's with kids, I feel that she's just a normal young girl.
A young girl ran over and tightly hugged Nier's leg, looked at Nier fearfully and exclaimed: "Big sis!! Don't fight with each other!"
Nier lowered her head to look at her, then at me and finally sheathed her sword. She then crouched down and pacified the young girl. She didn't look at me again. Her white cape was facing me who was determined and lonely.
This is a form of blind loyalty, isn't it? It's also a form of fanaticism.
Seeing her loyalty pains me. If Nier were a normal girl, if she were an elf, she would be a warrior in the imperial guard unit. She'd probably play around freely during breaks and go on dates with the man she loved, have kids, leave the imperial guard unit and live the rest of her life peacefully.
But unfortunately, she's a Valkyrie. The empress is her everything. She can't have her own feelings and her own love. She likes children but can't even buy candy for them. Her life could end at the wave of the hand or a word from the empress.
Is she happy?
For the current Nier before me right now, being able to serve the empress must be her idea of bliss. She's afraid of leaving the Valkyrie squad and the empress. If she left the empress, she'd suffer a break down, because in her world right now, the empress is her world. If… If I showed her a different world, would she realise something?
I helplessly smiled. Nah, forget it. Nier would never spare a look for a different world. I'm already satisfied that she doesn't kill indiscriminately under my orders. As for the future, I really don't know when I'll be able to lift her sense of loyalty. When will I be able to become an existence more important to her than her majesty?
Ah, scratch it.
I turned around and returned to the workshop. The red-haired lady hit the two coins lightly with a small hammer. When she saw me come back in, she said: "I've got good news and bad news, which do you want to hear?"
"The good news?"
"The good news is that these two coins are indeed different. Their exteriors look the same, but you can tell that they're different once you hit them with a hammer. However, I'm not quite sure what's different about them."
"You've told me the bad news as well."
I chuckled and picked up the two coins. I then placed them on the table instead of hitting them with the hammer. Since I can't figure out anything using physics, let's use some chemistry to reveal the truth then. In my memory, the closest thing to silver is cup.r.o.nickel. Cup.r.o.nickel is commonly mixed with silver goods. However, in this era there shouldn't be any records of the two being mixed yet. Chemistry exists here, but it's not advanced and hasn't become a system. I'm too lazy to write up the periodic table, so I'll leave it in the hands of the next generation.
Nitric acid does exist though. I just created a reagent of nitric acid and a bunch of other chemicals to create smoke-less gun powder, and finally got rid of the side-effect of choking from released gun powder.
I picked up the concentrated hydrochloric acid bottle and carefully placed drips on them drip by drip… I can't imagine life without pipettes… As I expected, one of the coins soon showed a layer of deposits.
This is a silver coin, while the other didn't have anything.
This is bronze.
I turned to the red-haired lady and asked: "Does Castor manufacture cup.r.o.nickel…?"
"Cup.r.o.nickel? What's that? Oh… you mean white-coloured bronze? That's really cheap stuff. There are natural mines containing it in foreign countries, and it's also manufactured in the East. It's not considered valuable or expensive anywhere. Huh? Are you saying that this isn't a silver coin but a bronze coin?" The red-haired lady was surprised as she picked up the silver coin without any deposit on it and scanned it.
I nodded and said: "That's right. This is no longer a silver coin, but a bronze coin. To be honest, it's not easy to make a silver coin out of cup.r.o.nickel and get the weight so close. If cup.r.o.nickel were indeed a valuable metal, then it means that the value of Castor's currency will indeed rise. But since cup.r.o.nickel isn't valuable, it means that the value of Castor's currency will depreciate."
"What does that prove?"
"Isn't there a rumour that the value of Castor's coins would be rising in price going around? That's why a lot of people are collecting Castor coins and the number of Castor coins circulating on the market is decreasing. If their currency doesn't rise in value and depreciates, then there'll be a huge number of people who want to get rid of their Castor coins. Then there'll be someone who'd collect them at a low price. So, who's the one profiting here?"
The red-haired lady t.i.tled her head as she looked at me completely baffled…
I sighed, and said: "The winner would be the ruler of Castor. Castor must be facing a huge financial crisis at the moment. I initially thought it really would rise, but I noticed that their envoy had to resort to sewing on b.u.t.tons to replace the missing ones on his sleeve. If it were Castell, he would've chosen another robe to wear. A country that can't even spare money for its envoy must be facing financial difficulties. But mentioning monetary value in the face of a financial crisis makes no sense whatsoever."
(Increasing monetary value can improve currency compet.i.tiveness, but the country would have to invest greater quant.i.ties of rare metals into their currency.)
"But my guess has been proven correct. Castor is facing a financial crisis. The ruler of Castor has already resorted to using cup.r.o.nickel to replace the silver in their coins. They should be in their experimental stage at the moment. If n.o.body notices it, then soon there'll be a large scale popularisation of their new silver coins. And as such, their country will earn the difference."
"But that method is akin to only treating the symptoms. Once it's revealed that they're actually bronze coins, the compet.i.tiveness of their coins will suffer a huge blow. Resorting to killing the goose that lays the golden egg means that Castor is on the brink of bankruptcy."
I placed the coins down, looked at the completely baffled red-haired lady and continued: "So what does Castor need most right now? They need to retrieve all their silver coins, because their silver coins are actually copper at present. So how can they retrieve all their circulating coins? They'll need people to h.o.a.rd them. Everybody is h.o.a.rding their coins, waiting for their value to rise right now. When it depreciates, n.o.body would be willing to suffer the losses, and so they'll immediately look for somebody to exchange it for them. And so who's going to be the one who'll exchange their coins in ma.s.sive volumes for them?"
"That's right. Castor's trading company was first to spread the news. They want to retrieve all of the Castor coins."
I stood up, picked up the two coins and then left via the door. I laughed and said: "If it weren't for this bottle of hydrochloric acid, I probably would've never discovered this, since this metal is difficult to distinguish in the first place. But since I've discovered what's going on, Castor now has an exposed weakness. I'm going to personally pay that trade company a visit. I want to sit them opposite me at the negotiation table!"
Translator Comments: Many questions were asked about the uncensored chapters so I've put a Q&A below to answer them for you. And please. Please read it. After yesterday's big announcement, somebody immediately went and wrote a review saying there's no s.e.x…. As opposed to being triggered (and no I'm not lashing out at him/her), I'm just completely flabbergasted, I'm not going to bother…. Anyway, it's in the Disqus comments. Read it.
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