29. A New Resource
The coniferous forest of Arkhangelsk could become a resource.
When I mentioned that to Alex-sama, he shook his head.
“While firewood can serve as fuel and the wood as building material for houses, do other countries have enough need for importation?”
In the United Kingdom of Sterling, where industrialization was progressing, iron from the mines was necessary.
His doubting whether or not the trees were needed was natural.
I smiled at Alex-sama.
“Normally, they wouldn’t, but the wood can also be used as materials for ships.”
I remembered the trade ship of the United Kingdom of Sterling.
I recalled that the ship moored in the port of Arkhangelsk was quite old.
The merchant said that due to the increased demand for ships, their prices were rising. As such, it hadn’t been replaced with a new ship.
Alex-sama clapped his hands.
“…That’s right, in the United Kingdom, trade is expanding at a tremendous pace. They also have territories on islands around the world.”
“For the war with the Orleans Empire, they’ll need warships. This comes from what I read in an encyclopedia, but ships require larch-like conifer wood.”
While explaining, I began to think that it was a good idea.
I thought that there was nothing else we could offer, but the biggest resource was right in front of us. The territory of the Margrave of Arkhangelsk was covered with an endless coniferous forests.
Elena reluctantly asked me.
“Except, there are other places that produce wood, right? Will it truly go as according to onee-chan’s words?”
“It’ll be fine. Originally, timber for large countries was exported by the Republic of Ninorsk. However…”
Ninorsk was a small kingdom. In recent years, many of their forestry resources had been exhausted. As such, they were having trouble producing high-quality timber.
The same went for the other areas of the Kingdom of Rushie.
Due to the fact that our territory was on the outskirts, we still had forests left.
In that case, I thought we could export timber of better quality at a cheaper price.
The demand for timber for ships would surely not fall below that of iron ore.
Alex-sama and Elena stared at each other at my explanation, it was as if they were impressed.
“Onee-chan… knows a lot of mysterious things…”
“Ahaha… When I was at the academy, all I did was read…”
It was also because Elena described our land as beautiful. For that, I had to thank her as well.
Still, I thought that I was useful once in a while.
Alex-sama was also staring at me with his sapphire-like, blue, eyes. The color of praise could be seen within them.
“The question now is cutting them down into logs. We’ll need to find lords who’re unoccupied, or leave the task to outsiders…”
“That’s true. But for the time being, I don’t think the merchants in the United Kingdom will tell us to repay our debt right away.”
Meanwhile, we could take some time to lay the foundation for forestry, and if possible, solve the issue with the Kholmogory mines.
The territory of Arkhangelsk would develop, and we wouldn’t lose our place.
First, we’d negotiate with merchants from the United Kingdom of Sterling.
Then, we’d start with the forestry…
When I was thinking about that, Alex-sama suddenly took my hand.
It was so sudden, I was surprised and proceeded to blush.
“Without Alisa, I wouldn’t have been able to solve this problem. It’s all thanks to Alisa.”
“No, no, I merely came up with an idea…”
“That’s not the case. Like I said, I need Alisa.”
Alex-sama blushed as he smiled. His large palm tightly enveloped mine.
…His grip was stronger than usual.
I was happy but also embarrassed.
When I turned away, I caught glimpse of Elena.
“His Highness Alexander and my onee-chan are so close, neither of you hesitated to flirt in front of me.”
After hesitating a little, I whispered.
“Indeed—I love Alex-sama.”
The strength of Alex-sama’s grip only grew. Looking up, I saw that Alex-sama was blushing. Even his ears were red.
Then, he muttered, “I also love Alisa…”
I was happy that he said that—but, to do so in front of my sister… It was a little embarrassing.
Elena had a slightly lonely expression on her face.
“Somehow, I feel like my onee-chan is being taken away and that makes me a little lonely, but… my onee-chan looks happy…”
“That’s why, Your Highness Alexander—please make my sister happy. Otherwise… I won’t forgive you.”
In other words, Elena had approved our relationship.
Alex-sama nodded and smiled.
“For Ms. Elena to not forgive me, that’s indeed scary—but it’s alright. I promise, I’m not going to let go of Alisa.”
“Thank you… Ah, I wish I had a fiancé like His Highness Alexander…”
Elena’s fiancé, His Highness Mikhail, had no interest in Elena.
For now, neither Elena nor I could do anything about it.
…But I was sure Elena could do something.
She could either captivate His Highness Mikhail, or ignore the circumstances of her house and abandon her engagement with His Highness.
Neither would be easy, but at that time, I wanted to help Elena as much as possible.
Elena grinned as she looked at us.
“I’m going to stay here for a while. Thank you, my brother-in-law and onee-chan.”
***T/N: Ichaicha all the way.
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