"If we knew that such a beautiful team was ruling this country, we might've changed the direction of our expansion!"
Sitting in one of the meeting halls located in the very centre of the island, the entire Natan's team was hosting a group of four girls and one elder man.
Right when the guests arrived, Blevik flaunted his flowery speaking pattern, summoning a blush to the cheeks of two of the girls, while making one of them red with anger.
'I guess we have a feminist here...'
Praising God for his ability to keep his thoughts to himself, Natan observed the group as they took the seats on the opposite side of the wide table.
"We came here to negotiate, not to flirt."
Contrary to Natan's expectation, it wasn't the angry girl who spoke up, but the lone guy from the defeated team. About fifty of age, he seemed like either a father or even a grandfather of the girls, who acted just as shy as the rest of Natan's squad.
"Forgive my insolence then, I was simply overwhelmed by the beauty of your compatriots!"
Assuming the leading position in the negotiations after a clear request from Natan, Bleivk continued to coax the girls, while doing his best to avoid the hateful stare from one of them and a pitiful grin on the mouth of the man.
"If you have something to say, then say it. I don't want to spend even a minute longer in your company than we have to!"
Not willing to suffer such an open approach from the cardinal of war, the angry girl fired herself up.
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'I wonder if she realised that she even stood up...'
Carefully observing the reactions of everyone to the intentionally intrusive words of Blevik, Natan couldn't help but be intrigued by the only girt that kept her feelings to herself.
While it was true that those girls could very well work as idols if they were born in Asia where such job was still popular and coveted, in the modern times, a lot of unsightly girls could turn into beauties with just a simple touch of a magic wand called the make-up.
'I wonder if their looks is just a part of their strategy for this meeting...'
There was no way that with Natan social skills, he could lead the negotiations and judge their opponents at the same time. It was better for their counterparts to assume whatever they wanted and strike when they weren't ready!
"Let's drop the pleasantries then."
As if dropping a fake face from his own, the war cardinal suddenly turned serious.
"As everyone heard from the developers, this meeting is your chance to avoid subjecting your right to stay on this island to a simple roll of dice. From what I heard, most of the people assumed that we should come up with some sort of proposition to make use of your talents while governing our lands... But I have a different question. How can we profit from potentially employing you in our team?"
Instead of pleading to them to keep the risk minimal for the sake of avoiding potential insurgency, Bleivik took an entirely different approach. While some of the players were bound to sympathise with such heroic cause, most of them were interested only in their own gain. Taking part in the events could be insanely rewarding, but the benefits were always reliant on the achievements of the entire group and the generosity of the leaders. With no clear reward and high risks of uprising failing right away, there was only so many people that would dare to join it!
"I think this topic was already covered during the introductions to the contest. What else do you expect us to offer?"
This time, it was the turn of one of the 'nice' girls to speak up. Her bewitching smile spoke wonders about the intention behind her words.
Since it was a modern time and by simply living on this island one could gain countless opportunities to not only influence the events in the game but also earn insane sums by managing the events and taking small percent of the income generated with them, it wouldn't be strange to find some people that would stop at nothing to continue living here!
'I guess this is yet another tactic to make us sympathetic to them...'
Constantly analyzing the situation, Natan couldn't fail to notice a small smirk on the angry girl's face. Maybe if she was as capable of hiding her emotions as her friend sitting on her right side, he would believe that it was just an attempt to buy the place in their team through the bed, but with how early the game was and how many people would kill to get the chance to increase their team, there was no way those girls would value themselves so low!
"While this is an interesting offer, I believe that royal marriage is best used with partners of the equal standing!"
Not letting his dick take place of his brain, Bleivik ignored the obvious provocation before turning mute to signal that he was still waiting for propositions.
"You see, our intention was to play tall from the very beginning. We negotiated a deal with the coalition about our southern ports that could still be implemented in your current situation. Don't you think that keeping this deal is worth a bit?"
Putting a small smile for the first time since she arrived, the girl sitting between the angry girl and the elder man suddenly mentioned the part that worried Natan the most.
"Can you guarantee that they will agree to extend it on our terms though?"
Not going to let them put any bet unchecked, Paul entered the conversation, turning red from the simple act of speaking to a girl.
'Basement clan shares a lot of similarities, I guess'
Sighing deeply, Natan couldn't help but compare the reaction of his pal to how he would probably act if he spoke up.
"This is a game of wits and politics, there is nothing anyone can guarantee!"
Right on point. No matter what was said in this room, they were all free. No one could say for certain that even if they managed to sign the deal, the other side would respect it!
No one could ever guarantee that this deal was supposed to be real in the first place!
"Let me get to the proposition then. I don't know whether that was your plan or what, but I would like to have you, you and you in our team. I don't need a damned feminist or slut in my company only to constantly watch my back. Take it or leave it."
Doing his very best to keep a straight face, Natan pointed at the stoic girl, the man and the smiling girl that so far refrained from talking.
Both the man and the girl proved to have at least a minimal insight about the intricacies of the game, while the silently smiling girl either hid her potential or simply knew her place. Even if she couldn't contribute anything to the real inner working of the country, she could both boost the morale of the team and act as an in-game idol to bring even more people.
"What are you offering then?"
Before any of her companions could respond, the stoic girl smiled lightly, revealing just a thin line of her white teeth.
"You said you wanted to play tall? For now, our biggest threat is this damned horde. But the only way in which they can effectively attack us is through Wabia. As long as you secure a deal with them, I will carve a province with Moruye, Azapi and Gaya cities for you guys to govern and profit from, fifty-fifty split. What do you say?"
Using the last bit of his courage and wits, Natan managed to come up with a viable proposition while maintaining a straight face.
"What the fuck do you mean by that?! Do you think you can get some and throw away some? Either you take all of us or you can stuff your ugly face up your gay brother ass!"
Seeing how the negotiations were close to closing on a good note, the angry girl once against stood up, shouting insults right into Natan's face.
"We agree. I hope our cooperation will go well. My name is Will at that."
Ignoring the shouts of the girl, the man stood up and extended his hand.
"Nice to meet you, my name is Natan. Let us win this tournament!"
The shake of their hands settled the deal.