The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~ – Chapter 13
Chapter 13: Paper, ink, and illustration rights
“Welcome everyone. Thank you for taking the time to attend this bidding event despite your busy schedules. We have gathered representatives here with the authority to make decisions. I promise to keep the discussion concise and to the point.
As I made my opening remarks, I noticed that most people in this country tend to be friendly, but the expressions of the representatives from the large trading company were difficult to read. They simply nodded.
There are seven people gathered here, which seems to be the right number. We don’t want too many participants as this bidding event is not meant to be nationwide.
I have handed the reins of the discussion to Lord Balk. He will take charge from here.
“We are seeking a trading company that is capable of creating maps. If there are any who feel uncertain about their knowledge of the terrain, settlements, and towns in this country, you are free to leave. However, if there are multiple trading companies willing to work together, that would be acceptable as well. The profits will be substantial.”
Lord Balk’s confident voice and words left me in awe. I could never speak with such assurance. I have been granted the power to make the final decision on who will receive these “profits” by His Majesty and His Highness. They told me to stand tall and concentrate on that.
Merchants are not to be trifled with. They’ll swallow you whole if you show any signs of weakness.
“A map is a representation of the terrain, roads, and settlements of our land, including the towns and their locations. This is a concept that our country lacks, but it’s becoming increasingly necessary, especially for merchants. With a map, you can easily show someone the roads without having to explain it to them one by one. As trade and transportation grow more active, it will be important to update the map annually. That’s why we’re proposing the creation of a mapping department to provide accurate maps.”
I believed it would be better to entrust this new department to a trading company instead of having it located within the royal palace. Allowing the private sector to handle matters related to the country will foster a greater sense of ownership.
There’s some discussion among the representatives of the trading company, but they haven’t made a decision yet. This is where the real negotiations begin.
“The cartographic department of the trading company will be granted exclusive rights to the paper and ink used for nationwide distribution, excluding purchases made by the government. Additionally, the company will also have the rights to the illustrations used on maps. The government may also request the transportation of documents from various locations. ——Please keep the discussion within 15 minutes.”
While the country employs the materials and craftsmen for paper and ink production, the finished product is expected to circulate outside the palace and be used by merchants for their contracts. Paper is preferred over wooden tablets or parchment as it is cheap to produce, readily available in large quantities, and more convenient to use.
The right to use map illustrations is a valuable asset as it allows the company to sell maps commissioned by the government. This could result in significant profits and a steady income as the government would need to purchase updated maps each year.
Merchants understand the worth of paper and ink through post-war free trade and the potential for stable and lucrative profits through transportation services for the government.
The discussion heated up and became animated. Glancing at Lord Balk, I queried if we could wrap it up within the next quarter of an hour. He replied with a sardonic grin, stating that it was out of the question.