Monday, May 21, 2018

Page 1771

((Triple Monday -- Page 3 of 3))
“I do not mean to say that you should refuse any and all help they may offer,” said Amelia, “and I am sure that you understand these people better than I do, but all the same, I am advising caution. If you do decide to enter into any kind of financial negotiations with them, I hope you will include me. Truthfully, I would like to be present for such negotiations with anyone, but them in particular, should the need arise.”

Hector just looked at her for a moment longer, perhaps thinking on her words, and then he said, “...Of course.”

The tone of that response was a bit more reserved than Amelia might have preferred, but such was the nature of her young lord, she’d come to realize. Bright-eyed reassurance and enthusiasm was not something she should ever expect from him, she supposed.

“...There’s something else I’m wondering about,” said Hector. “With all this... stuff about needing a loan... I mean... why me?”

Amelia tilted her head at him. “I am sorry. I am not certain I understand. Why you?”

Hector stood up and walked over to the side of the room while rubbing his neck. “It’s just... if I don’t even have the money to pull this off in the first place, then why don’t we just let someone else do it?”

“You do not wish to save the country?” said Amelia.

Hector gave her a flat look. “Obviously, I do. I’m just saying, wouldn’t it be better to leave it to someone more suited to the task? Someone like... my friend you already mentioned? Mr. Fullister? Just as one example.”

Amelia frowned. “And the potential here to make an enormous amount of money and restore Warrenhold to its former glory? You do not find that motivating?”

“...Would it really be like that?” said Hector. “Because this bank sounds like a lot of responsibility and headaches. And I have enough of those, already. Besides, there are other ways we can make money, aren’t there?”

Amelia took a breath and leaned back her in chair. She’d thought that she had already convinced him that this was a good idea. It seemed fairly self-evident, but now it appeared as though he wasn’t going to be swayed by appeals to future prosperity or self-interest.

Which was very strange.

No doubt, he had many other things on his mind. She supposed it was understandable that he wouldn’t want yet another. But there was something he wasn’t seeing, and it seemed as though she would have to be the one to explain it to him.

“It has to be you,” she said, interlocking her fingers and resting them on her lap. “I can tell you now that, yes, several other people in this country will likely attempt this very same tactic. However, I earnestly believe that you are the only one who might be able to pull it off before foreign intervention squirms its way around the Queen’s regulations.”

“Why?”

“Because you are a national hero. Most of Atreya adores the Darksteel Soldier. And yes, some still do not, but everyone at least knows who you are. Aside from perhaps the Queen herself, you have better brand recognition than anyone else in this country.”

“I have better what?”

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