Episode 23: I just Wanted to Make Money (1)
At times like this, it was best to pass it off to someone else.
(Aristine)“Why don’t I hold a naming contest?”
“Yes, it’ll be something like ‘A steel that does not rust! You can have the opportunity to name this steel yourself!” Aristine explained and turned to Tarkan, “What do you think?”
Although she called it passing it off, increasing customer participation was quite an effective marketing tactic.
Sure enough, Tarkan nodded, attesting to that fact.
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(Tarkan)“Sounds like a good idea. It can also serve as a promotion.”
Tarkan looked at Aristine who was grinning widely and thought to himself, ‘Does she not know what kind of names people will come up with?’
It was so predictable though.
Aristine was revered as the goddess of peace.
That ‘goddess of peace’ made a new steel for a scalpel meant to save people’s lives. Furthermore, there was the widespread perception of medical scalpels as a fruitless business endeavor so people would see it as a charity project.
That the goddess of people accepted a loss and put so much effort into creating a scalpel just for the sick, and the results were even stunning.
Who would hate a royal that was benevolent, smart, and clever?
Tarkan felt like he could already hear the loud cries calling for Aristine.
‘With all that, if she asks them to give the steel a name, well.’
A few names that would shock Aristine flashed through his mind, but Tarkan didn’t say anything.
“I think the best thing to do would be to select a few candidates and make the final decision through a vote.”
When Aristine said that, Tarkan gave an odd smile.
How brave; she didn’t even know what results she would get but wanted a vote.
Aristine threw away the last chance to save herself from embarrassment with her own two hands.
“Why don’t you let that blacksmith decide on the candidates?” Tarkan asked and Aristine was somewhat surprised.
‘Tarkan is asking me to listen to Ritlen’s opinion and even suggesting that I respect it?’
She couldn’t help but be surprised. She didn’t know why but Tarkan didn’t like Ritlen very much.
‘I never expected this change. I guess this stainless steel made him acknowledge my employee.’
Indeed, this was indisputably an achievement that must be acknowledged.
Feeling proud, Aristine nodded her head, “Mn, that sounds like a good idea. I need to tell Ritlen too.”
Ritlen contributed the most to the creation of the stainless steel. She couldn’t leave him out of the naming decision.
“But the naming contest will have to wait until the scalpel goes public. I want to reveal the scalpel with a flare first.”
Aristine said and Tarkan agreed with her.
“It will be more impactful if there is no prior knowledge.”
“Mhm, and that will create a ripple effect.”
It made her excited just thinking about it.
Aristine counted down with her fingers as her mind raced with thoughts of things to do.
Tarkan silently watched her.
She was unbelievably shrewd. Let’s say her development of rust-resistant steel was chalked up to not knowing the process. But the conversations just now flowed so smoothly, didn’t it?
He didn’t need to explain further and with just one sentence, she understood everything he was trying to say.
‘And she even adds new ideas to it.’
Was this really the ability of someone who grew up alone without being able to learn or interact with people?
What if Aristine had been properly taught the royal studies? Just imagining it gave him goosebumps. Obviously, she would distinguish herself in the battle for succession and become the Emperor without much difficulty.
And no one would be able to stop her from becoming emperor.
(Tarkan)“…The Emperor of Silvanus made a huge mistake.”
Aristine raised her head at that low mutter and looked at Tarkan.
Why was he bringing the emperor up all of a sudden? Then Aristine soon realized.
‘Right, the maids left Irugo today.’
They were handcuffed and led on a long journey on foot on a road which took a month by horse-drawn carriage.
She had been so focused on the scalpel that she forgot. The incident with the handmaids was already a thing of the past for Aristine. She had already erased it from her sight, so it ended there. Her eyes were always pointed to the future.
“Well. Since the emperor’s attention is on the maids, I think it will be easier for me to do business.”
Other countries, such as Irugo, were powerful enough to stand shoulder-to-should with the Empire. There was a limit to how much the emperor could interfere but considering this was international trade, it would be best if the emperor’s sphere of actions had dwindled.
From the knights to the maids, there were problems with the emperor’s selection. It was too unlikely to be a coincidence. And this caused a stir in the public opinion.
“He has to pretend that he cares for me and loves me dearly until I die, after all.”
Tarkan looked at Aristine who uttered those words so casually.
Her expression was calm, as she was just stating the truth without anger, resentment, or sadness. He raised his empty hand but clenched his fist and brought it down just as fast.
The emperor formally revoked the titles of all the handmaidens’ families and threw them into servitude. And not just as common laborers. But to the black thorn tower.
All the laborers there were said to be the worst offenders, deprived of basic human dignity—deprived of even the right to eat and speak—and they were told to obey the orders of the researchers.
They were in a worse position than a slave.
People were very hush-hush about it but there were also rumors that they became test subjects.
‘Bad enough that they would rather be locked up in a cold prison for the rest of their lives.’
The emperor sent down such severe punishment, saying it was practically treason to commit such an offense against his beloved daughter.
The announcement showed an awareness of the public opinion.
‘Thankfully, the emperor seems to have no idea that I am preparing to open a scalpel business.’
The fact that he thought of Aristine as helpless and ignorant gave her the perfect chance. He most likely thought that sending the knights and handmaids rather than skilled personnel was more than enough.
‘But they were only interested in harassing me and seducing Tarkan.’
Thanks to that, there was a gap in his information.
The knights left a long time ago and the handmaids didn’t even know Aristine had made a scalpel. They scorned it, calling it barbaric and only knew it as some sort of carving knife.
‘Anyway, the more insignificant he thinks I am, the better.’
Although there was no way the Emperor would see the handmaids, even if he did, she felt at ease. Because they didn’t have a lick of interest in the barbaric knife that Aristine made.
‘I’m sure Caelian and Melodia will turn their blades to Rosalyn, wanting revenge.’
Furthermore, it was highly improbable that emperor would listen to Rosalyn, the perpetrator behind all this.
‘He’s likely going to stop sending additional manpower because of the risk.’
She didn’t want another maid or knight to come. Maybe an assassin would come one day.
But when that time comes.
‘My partner will protect me.’
Aristine lifted her head and looked at Tarkan. Her eyes met with his beautiful golden eyes right away.
She didn’t need to be careful, and she didn’t need to worry.
Aristine laughed and sank into the bed.
‘By the way, why do we always have this kind of conversation in the room?’
That thought suddenly crossed her mind as she stared at the ceiling.
It was more common for them to talk in bed than discuss while they were eating or having tea.
‘This must be why the court ladies keep giving us strange looks and saying the candle stays on for so long.’
They were free to misunderstand but those ambiguous looks were quite something.
Aristine figured now was a good time to put out the candle. It was already very late.
“Let’s go to sleep. I’m tired.”
At those words, Tarkan, who was watching her, also lay down next to her. He held her hand tightly as always and closed his eyes.
Soon, a sensation would rock the medical industry. No, it would rock the world.