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To Regina Nova Maxima Korvini of Cristina

From the President of the Magnean Confederation

 

The Free City of Cristina is renowned for being a major international transport hub in Europa, serving some of the busiest sea and air trade routes. The Ports of Aline and St. Izabella are some of the busiest in Europa in terms of cargo tonnage.

The Magnean Confederation, on the other hand, is landlocked, with limited access to regional and global trade. It is for this reason that my government would like to propose and negotiate the creation of a trade agreement between the nations of Cristina, Magnaeus and our mutual neighbour Fleur de Lys.

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pic.png Tri-nation area of Cristina, Magnaeus and Fleur de Lys

We believe a mutually beneficial trade agreement would comprise of a triple win for our nations. The active role of Magnaeus in humanitarian activities and international affairs can open doors which hitherto have remained closed to Cristina's businesses.

The Magnean government is looking forward to discuss the terms of this agreement. We invite you to our capital city of Venège.

 

Signed,

Sophie Gerber

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Edited by Magnaeus
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From: Queen Nova Maxima Korvini.

To: President of the Magnean Confederation, Sophie Gerber and Président du Conseil de la République de Fleur de Lys, Charles André Alexandre Mécra.

 

Salutations,

Dearest, since that glorious day we declared ourselves an independent nation again, we took as high priority a policy of integration with the rest of Europa.

Your proposal is very well received and appreciated by the people of the Free Port. At this time when we are still rebuilding part of our infrastructure after that terrible war in which we had to fight for our sovereignty, a trade agreement between our three nations appears as a great opportunity for the Kingdom of Cristina.

We are renewing and enhancing our technical and scientific resources which combined with our valorous human resources can certainly help boost the development of the region.

However, in order for any agreement to be reached between us, I think that it is firstly necessary that both the Magnean Confederation and the Republic of Fleur de Lys formally recognize the Independence of the Kingdom of Cristina before the Europan community. We in Cristina are free from the chains that bound us to that terrible political situation that limited us and confined us to isolation. We wish with all our heart that Europa can see us in the same way we see ourselves today. So many of us died for it.

Finally, nothing would please me more than to visit the beautiful Venège. I know it will be memorable and most enjoyable. I also take this opportunity to invite both of you to come and meet our infrastructure in person.

It is with great expectation that I wait for the talks on the agreement.

 

Semper Servus

Regina Nova Maxima Korvini.

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From : Président du Conseil de la République de Fleur de Lys, Charles André Alexandre Mécra

To : Queen Nova Maxima Korvini, President of the Magnean Confederation Sophie Gerber

 

Greetings,

The Republic is more than delighted to see Cristinan motivation on that matter. We count on publicly recognising and affirming the Cristina independence, sovereignty and borders, and we shall be delighted to do it during the press conference in Venège in order to mark the occasion.

The Republic does not own immense resources, nor massive manpower, however throughout the years this have allowed us to focus internally on our own infrastructure, and we shall be delighted to push our national companies to help you in the matters we have specialised in, aeronautics and the secondary trainway and electrical sector. If an agreement was to be done, we would be more than happy to propose Lysian finest last achievements, such as the EPR* and the AGV**, which are both on the edge to be deployed throughout Fleur de Lys, and if they were to be also developed in Cristina, this would allow us to lower the costs.

In this agreement, we would wish to discuss and possibly negotiate open borders between our respective three nations. This may be premature, as our diplomatic relations aren't that well established, even between Magnaeus and Lysians, but we consider this as a way to move forward and push for regional integration of our economies, which would be beneficial with the diversity all of three we may bring. As we have reasonable demographics, this would also allow us to show our region in a better posture for investments.

I accept your generous invitation to visit Cristina, I shall be delighted to personally understand further your culture and history.

Looking forward to meeting you in Venège,

- Président du Conseil de la République de Fleur de Lys

* 3rd Generation Nuclear Reactor

** Train of cruise speed of 360/km2 compared to 320/km2 for the TGV

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From: Queen of the Kingdom of Cristina Nova Maxima Korvini
To: President of the Magnean Confederation Sophie Gerber


Dearest,

I inform you that the delegation that will visit Venége, at the invitation of the most excellent President of the Magnean Confederation Sophie Gerber, is already composed. 

The delegation will be headed by me, Queen Nova Maxima Korvini, and will be attended by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Telecommunications Franco Bilaro, by the Minister of Public Administration Sir Nico Salano and by the Head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCFC) Lady Jesica Martinala, among other important heads of the political and economic scenario of the Free Port of Cristina .

As soon as the authorities of the Magnean Confederation determine the appropriate date for our visit to your beautiful capital, we will begin the final preparations for our departure on an official Cristina Airlines flight. 

We look forward to our meeting. May it be very enjoyable and profitable to all.

I wish you and the whole Magnean Confederation a great day. See you soon. 

Semper Servus
Queen Nova Maxima Korvini

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Mécra actually loved the Concorde, just the sound of the engine, pure happiness, his character was the stereotypical one of a Lysian, arrogant and eager to show his strength, plus his wealth, which wasn’t really his, more Governmental property, but as long as he was Président du Conseil, he was to enjoy those properties. Which explain why, for such short distance, Lyrie-Venège, not taking the train which would have been cheaper and easier, he preferred to order a travel in Concorde, plus on the tarmac, as he would leave the plane, he heavily appreciated the cameras showing the finest plane of Lysian industry, which had none equivalent in the World. This certainly wasn’t a Concorde AR from the 2000’s, but more a Concorde from the 1980’s, having already a certain age, but having kept its vitality thanks to the delicate Lysian care for their plane, after all, just for their military, half the budget was for the Force de l’Air

Not excited?” asked Mécra as he sat in one of those comfortable Concorde armchairs along many of what it seems to be businessmen and women, getting a splendid view on the outside, seeing all those people outside leaving in order to let the plane take off in a couple minutes. “Not much Monsieur” commented the Lady, sitting in the armchair just in front of the one of the Président du Conseil, “You disapprove?” questioned Mécra, “I am certain Monsieur le Président du Conseil already know the answer” she responded, with a tip of irony, leaving Mécra to disengage the talk. “I doubt the taxpayers would appreciate” she added discreetly as a comment, “You conservatives are strange when in power you exactly do the same, am I wrong?” tackled Mécra. “That's politics : We may continue to debate about your love for this plane, or we may work Monsieur” she dryly responded, “Fine, Madame the future Cristinan Ambassador Mrs André” said with a smile Mécra, “Just after the take off” he adjusted, as the plane started to move, driving towards the runway. The feeling for the take-off was excessively pleasant, Charles had on a few occasions the possibility to fly in a biplace plane, he simply loved to fly, even if knowing nothing to planes itself, except the economical aspect, which lead the vast majority of the Lysian economy. As the Concorde put itself in place, it started accelerating… Accelerating… Accelerating… Until you start hearing truly the music of the reactors and feel the weight of your body starting to be heavier, ears bung, and you may feel that the entire structure no longer touched the ground. The travel was to be short, but much more enjoyable, on the right way you may directly see Lac Lyrie, the plane won’t get to high altitude as the distance was far too short for such. “Here are the files on the Queen Nova Maxima Korvini” she said as she handed a document to Mécra, “Beautiful woman” commented Mécra, “Strange from someone loving men” remembered him, Juliette André. “Since the War of Independence, Cristina has known troubles it seems fully recovering, and catching to occidental standards” finally seriously started Juliette, having well-studied Cristinan History and recent political movements. “Speaking Cristinese?” Asked with curiosity Charles Mécra, wishing to see how far she was in her studies, “Jes, mi parolas ĝuste Cristinese Monsieur” she commented, having bit issue with her accent, but with further work, this would do it. “Impressive economic expansion since the last decade, thanks to a free economic zone which they implemented” she commented as Charles went on the economic page of the document, “Mmh yes…” he said after couples minutes, “You need to address her as Her Majesty” precise Juliette, as in Lysian custody, after having got rid of their Monarchy during a bloody Revolution, Lysians weren’t used much to the term of “Majesty” or “Highness”, “I’ll make my best efforts” said with humour Charles. “Two Ministries, Foreign Trade along Telecoms, and Public Administration, as their Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and main actors of their economy it seems” she added, Mécra had all the leisure of having read Queen Nova letter, but the last review was always good to take. “So do we” commented Mécra as he made a sign of hand showing the other people in the Concorde. “And she is half Lysian” noted Juliette, from blood may read Mécra in the files. “Well, this seems extraordinary, I am confident” said Mécra with a large smile, closing the file and handing it back to Juliette. What Mécra though is that this was to be rather a cordial and “easy” meeting to handle compared to those where those Derthalen lunatics were. Their exchange would pursue only for a couple minutes, before having the plane would land.

I want to see that famous smile which allowed you to be such a successful diplomat” said Mécra, as he was to stand up, but invited Juliette to stand up and move before him. Protocol was rather strict on that point, the high ranking official had to be the first to move out of the plane, which resulted in a security guard making barrage from Juliette to move, and an exasperation face from Mécra as he saw that. “Time to smile” he said with his exasperated face, and as he moved out of the shadow of the plane, having the entered in the sunny part, his face drastically switched to let his great politician smile take advantage. Shortly after he would be seconded by security guards and the promising future Ambassador, Juliette André, making a few steps on the Magnean ground, this such friendly and peaceful -this is debatable- neighbor.

Edited by Fleur de Lys
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The travel to Venège is enjoyable. Surrounded by people of her high confidence, the Queen hears what everyone has to say. She is amused as they advise her on every aspect of her visit to Magnaeus: what she must find in Venège, what this meeting represents in political and economic terms and on the local culture, as if they were giving her the "final instructions. "They treat me as someone who still needs so much guidance", thinks Nova Maxima Korvini, Queen of the Free Port of Cristina, as she smiles and agrees with her many advisers on this trip. However, she knows how good it is to have them here. After all, even after sixteen years, she is still more a militant revolutionary than a politician. "They are good men and women that serve the Kingdom very well, they all care about Cristina and that is why I brought them with me".

"Even so, I still wish Adriana was here". The Minister of State has been her friend and confidant for the past years. Of all in the government, Adriana Monadic is the one she trusts the most, but at the moment she is composing and preparing her own delegation to hustle at the Sunset Sea Islands where she will represent the Kingdom of Cristina at the meeting on the use of Artificial Intelligence.

The old Royal A-300 plane, the Lysian jewel of the Royal Air Force, has not seen much action in recent years since the queen has not travelled outside of Cristina since the death of her husband, the King, twelve years ago. Nova well remembers of her last trip in this aircraft, many good memories of those days come to her mind and her heart is comforted. She loves this plane, she loves how it takes her to the past and now to the future.

Excusing the others, the Queen leaves her armchair to go sit next to the young woman who was the quietest among all the passengers. "Nervous?", she asks Rosana Giannini, whose appointment to assume the position of Cristinese ambassador in Fleur de Lys was suggested by the Minister of State herself.

"Yes, a little, your Majesty", replies Rosana, "I hope to live up to this mission and the confidence that my Lady places in me."

"Nonsense!", says the Queen, "I have read the files about you, your curriculum... graduated from the Royal Institute of International Relations where you are now professor of political science and international relations, graduated in French and post-graduated in International Relations from Lysian institutes... and all this at the age of 24! That is impressive. Besides, Monadic does trust your skills and If she does, so do I." The Queen smiles as she holds the woman's hands.

Rosana smiles back and nods. "Thank you, Your Majesty."

The Queen returns to her armchair and to her thoughts and memories while the others continue to exchange ideas with each other.

 

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:pic: Ambassador Rosana Giannini


Upon arriving in Venège an hour later, the Queen and her delegation are very welcomed by Magnean authorities. After due official ceremonies, they enter the official limos that will take them escorted to the Hotel where top suites were prepared for them. There they are welcomed by Carlo Montalto, appointed to be the Cristinese ambassador in Magnaeus, that gives the Queen's delegation some more details on the important meeting with the leaders of Magnaeus and Fleur de Lys.

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:pic: Ambassador Carlo Montalto

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Passing all the diplomatic protocol, the Summit seems to start the next day, in order to allow Delegates and Leaders to take their marks in the City of Venège. Charles and Juliette just had the time to explore their suites and change themselves in the proper clothing for the evening.

Take a look at that” commented Charles, as while he was walking in the hotel privatized for the Summit, he was looking at wines on Vivino (Wine Application for phones, yes, it does exist), “Monsieur…” said with a despised air Juliette, “Mmh yes?” continued Charles, as he kept looking at his phone, ordering the next bottle of wines for his future consumption once back home. Juliette scrapped her throat, and started, “You’re the President of the Council, and I suppose Lysians would like to see something else then their main representative ordering its next wine bottle while attending to a diplomatic summit” giving it on a bit, in fact very much, teaching a lesson to Mécra. “It haven't started yet. But you might have a point or two…” admitted Mécra, as he closed his phone. “Great” said with a fake happy tone Juliette, “Can you note me something” he asked a bodyguard next to him, “Château Margaux 75, and L’Évangile 2007” he commented, creating another exasperation for Juliette, “Now I’m done” he said frankly with his smile… Fortunately for them, the corridor they were in was empty from other delegates. “Now, let’s pass to important things… Where do we eat tonight?” asked Mécra, as Juliette sighted. “Monsieur…” had to start again Juliette, “Listen, before trying to judge my statement, allow me to remember you the golden rule of Talleyrand, the founder of the First Lysian Republic Foreign Affairs” marked Mécra, as he was clearing his throat, “Le meilleur auxiliaire d'un diplomate, c'est bien son cuisinier. What does this sentence mean Madame the Future Ambassador?” asked gently Mécra, making Juliette silent. “Fine, let’s go” enjoyed Mécra as he moved in the direction of the elevator. “It’s not because I was used to be in the banking industry then I know nothing of diplomacy” commented Mécra, as they were both waiting in the elevator to reach the reception, “In fact, quite the opposite” he added, making, even more, Juliette ashamed of her fast judgement. Basically, since… A long time we shall say, Lysian diplomacy was successful (in most cases) because of its good abilities to place the Cuisine in the center of the talks, while naturally, the French language would only help to convince with the sweet and magic name of each plate and services parading after one another, seducing the opposition to allow a fertile discussion. The elevator opened, showing up many journalists, which once more made Mécra get out his charming smile, as he advanced, with bodyguards opening him the way towards the reception, which also has been invaded with hordes of journalists, making him move more towards another part of the building, the restaurant.

Generally, hotels have restaurants, and have sometimes, well, just plain restaurants, with kind of normal food, but hopefully the hotel which just has been privatized for the Summit wasn’t a normal hotel, but as expected for such prestigious dignitaries, a Palace which had its own “restaurant étoilé”, which would have work to do with not only the foreign dignitaries, but also the businessmen and women following them.

As the two Lysians arrived, they had the chance to admire Queen Nova Maxima Korvini, with naturally her escort, consisting of, in the first rank, the charming Ambassador Carlo Montalto and ravishing Rosana Giannini. Mécra was in order to greet Queen Nova, “Mada…” he was starting as he got a little stroke from Juliette right next to him, “Votre Majesté” he re-took himself then, as he advanced towards her, took her hand and bowed as the étiquette require. “A pleasure, and certainly leisure, that I agree too much, to meet you”, “Cough cough” expressed Juliette, as Mécra seems a bit immobilised, “Mmh? Naturally” he said, as he moved a bit, re-taking his spirit, letting the space open for allowing him to introduce Juliette, “Your Majesty, Mrs Juliette André, which hopefully shall be confirmed as the Lysian Ambassador to @Cristina” he simply delivered on a plate, allowing the soirée to begin, if our @Magnaeus friends agree to join us, or at least maybe, later?

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Months of deliberation went into preparing the press conference in Venège. Everyone and their cat wanted to weigh in on the precise language and contents of this trade agreement. Access to the southern seas would disrupt much of the existing transportation industry, both rail and trucking. Lobbying firms spent triple their usual budget to got their hands on all or at least some part of the trade proposal that was being prepared.

Gossip press was also having a field day. This would be the first time for Queen Nova of @Cristina to visit Magnaeus. After the civil war and independence from Mantella, the common folks had developed a strange obsession with their southern neighbors across the mountains.

And the reporters were also having a go at President Mécra, who has chose to fly the 120 km from Lyrie to Venège in his Concorde. For the economically sensible Magneans, this was impossible to understand. Why waste all this fuel when you just take a car, train or even a boat across Lake Venège?

President Gerber couldn't be bothered by all this media gossip. She had another diplomatic event to consider. Last year's diplomatic ball was a great success. This time would be no different. She had her usual team of specialists to make sure of that. The only worrying bit was the biting cold winter weather. Summer events were so much nicer...

President Mécra and his countrymen had taken up residence in the Hotel & Spa Chateau La Colline, together with Queen Nova and her delegation.

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Edited by Magnaeus
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After the brief meeting, the appointed Ambassador Cristinese to Magnaeus Carlo Montalto guided Queen Nova Maxima Korvini and her delegation through some of the Venège’s tourist venues to the Tennis Club owned by Nova's uncle, Daniele Alexandre, where she lost a fierce tennis match against a professional Emakeran player. After the game the Queen granted some interviews to local and international news agencies.

Later, after a stroll along Lake Lyrie, Nova and her entourage returns to the Chateau la Colline to get some rest and then change for the dinner. Neatly groomed and dressed, the Queen is led along with the Cristinese delegation to the reception hall of the famous hotel. There they are received by more journalists. Patiently and very charming, the Queen answers and replies to all questions and compliments until she notices the entrance of the Président du Conseil de la République de Fleur de Lys Charles André Alexandre Mécra, himself accompanied by a young lady. Nova then apologizes to the journalists and takes a few steps toward the Lysians approaching her.

When Mécra introduces himself, the Queen can not help but smile. With a mix of amusement and great admiration, she offers her left hand for him to kiss. She knows everything that she needs to know about the political life of Charles Mécra, or so she thinks. Her mother, a Lysian musician, is a longtime admirer of the Président du Conseil. "There are so many things you can learn from him," Joanne never got tired of repeating this to her daughter.

Votre Majesté - says Mécra taking Nova's hand and bowing - A pleasure, and certainly leisure, that I agree too much, to meet you.

Bonsoir, Monsieur Mécra. Enchanté de faire votre connaissance. - says the Queen, delighted.

The Lysian President of the Council then opens some space to introduce Ms Juliette André. Nova looks at the young woman in the eyes. Che bella donetta - says the Queen to Juliette - I'm sure you're more than capable for the task. You will love Cristina. The Queen smiles at the woman and then introduces the ambassador to Magnaeus Carlo Montalto, and the ambassador to Fleur de Lys Rosana Giannini. The finest of the new Cristinese prodigies in diplomacy and political affairs - Nova concludes with a certain air of pride. The Queen leaves to Ms Giannini the task to introduce other members of the Cristinese delegation what she does in a perfect French.

Monsieur Mécra, I have no good knowledge on the Magnean cuisine - says Queen Nova with a smile - Please, what would you suggest?

Edited by Cristina
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Juliette André blushed a bit as the Queen Nova directly spoke to her, she’ll have to get used to it, even if this was maybe the first time she would meet a Royal, and what a first time, being complimented making her blushing even more clear.

Charles Mécra welcomed without concerns the appointment of those two Cristineses, Ambassador Giannini and Montalto, taking part in this great game of Chess, which was becoming more and more approachable and crazy over time, 2018 was certainly no longer those crazy 1700’s where, by the way, “vous urinez sous l’escalier entre deux anti-chambres”, not very polite, but this was to be the Lysian expression for defining those little games which showed just how much respect they weren’t in fact. “I do hope your Excellencies shall enjoy the” hesitated a bit Mécra, “Different shall we say, climate” commented Mécra, as he naturally knew that Venège and Lyrie being next to the Lake Lyrie, a certain difference of temperature was to be expected in winter or even when coming to the power of the Sun over our heads. Having close cultural ties thanks or not to the Eternal Empire of Hémus having occupied the region, even if naturally very much distinctive nations, the Hémus (aka Latin) way was in the DNA of the three countries which were to become partners.

Juliette André would certainly enjoy the evening to refine her Cristinese, making her seal Ambassador Giannini’s presentation of the Cristinese delegates by saying, “Bela franca akcento, mi esperas fari la saman en via bela lingvo”.

While on his side the varnished Mécra had Queen Nova next to him, making him, as the seconds pass, take more and more Royal ways, in the way of how to response and talk, something rather new and confusing for a firmly confirmed Republican, but that was to be adaptable. Without doubts, Mécra had issues responding to Queen Nova request, as, in Lysian terms at least, Gastronomy and Food were two distinctive things, and in Lysian opinion, Magnaean only had food, certainly not Gastronomy, making Mécra wonder a few seconds an answer… But Mécra had an allied in this sordid situation, he was on friendly ground, you would just have to raise a little your head while entering the Hotel, to see a detail, a sign, which had on it, wrote “Château La Colline”, making the Gastronomical restaurant of this hotel, or Palace? Classification would have to be detailed later. But anyway, on a fertile ground for the Lysian diplomacy which was mainly taking its sense from the root of the cuisine behind the heavy doors, separating the spectator from the spectacle which was naturally the plate. “I believe your Majesty, tonight, the plate will be Lysian” he addressed, even if some variants would naturally have to be done in order to align to the Magnaean context or even the simple fact of this dinner to be a trilateral one. “I suppose we will have to move with the Gastronomical Menu” he commented, making sure Juliette André hear him. The Ambassador would turn and look at Mécra with a bit scandalised eyes, after all, to who the bill would go wasn’t sure. After all, Mécra was already known for his little trips in Concorde everywhere, just one kilometer away from his home, something which was becoming less and less tolerable, but when coming to cuisine and wine, the greater public generally understood those expenses. “May I suggest your Majesty to attend the parade?” he asked, as he was to offer his arm in order to escort the Queen to the long table dressed just for them, and by parade, he naturally means the dinner with the various services of plates which would turn in the most pleasant of the parades. Custodies in Fleur de Lys were strong, the same as gallantry, which made those gestures continue even if considered as insulting now in certain modern cultures, but which remained a sign of politeness and honour in Fleur de Lys. Charles Mécra allowed himself to pull the chair, making a sign for the server to remain where he was, and pushed the chair back allowing the Queen to quietly seat. The server would then pull Mécra’s chair next to the Queen, making him seat right after. Such gesture might be considered as unproductive, but was just part of a culture. Cards were given to all the guests as servers were giving the first amuse-bouche, this was in a beautiful decorated bolinette, one “Asperge sur son lit nuageux”, which you just had the leisure to pick with your knife, naturally the most external one, before sink it as much as you wish in this little cream. The idea behind the amuse-bouche was naturally to never let the table empty, but more importantly, to make the song of the main orchestra arrived, little steps to little steps, until the great final, which would arrive most likely in a few hours given how long generally those dinners were. Now, a move which was most likely considered as sexist by standards, the wine card, a very important piece of the dinner, if not the key one, sealing the vault of the dinner. The perfect combination of the wine and the meal the Palace just up of your tongue will have to enjoy is calculated to the most little part of amusement you may get from it. Now, why was such thing sexist? As “generally” (aka always) this was given to the man -as he’s considered to be the one paying the bill also- which may offend some. Mécra would have to check the menu before, which consisted of:

Mécra took a look at the choice of the card, which he would ignore nimbly, having his idea already working. As he closed the great card, the Chef Sommelier would approach the Président du Conseil, “Monsieur ?” He asked, wondering, “For the apéritif, we will start with a Deutz Rosé et simple Blanc” he started, still looking at the menu, “For the frogs, it will be a Clos-Vougeot 2001, the Langoustines a Chassagne-Montrachet 98, the Cèpes a Gaja 89, the Risotto, mmh” he pursued, having a tougher time on that one, this one being a bit the exception of the 100% Lysian soirée, “Clos des Lambrays 2003. The Carré d’Agneau we’ll take the La Mission Haut-Brillon 89, Vosne-Romanée 78 for the Lièvre, it totally deserves it. For the Truffe au Choux… We shall take a Bâtard, 2006, red. As for the cheese, I suppose a Cidre de Glace would do it for the Comté, you’ll do au verre for the plateau” he ended the easiest part, now was the desserts, something he would have to admit, he had much less space for creativity there, “For the Infiniment, what would you recommend?”, and here started a long dialogue and passionate talk with the Chef Sommelier, making Juliette André once more furious that he was putting aside the necessity to make, or eventually, talk to the persons next to him around the table rather then debating if a Kirsch de Fougerolles was to be better then a Marc d'Alsace Gewürztraminer for the Infiniment. Juliette was almost in front of Mécra, seeing the whole scene which wasn’t much of a good spectacle, she would decide to discreetly take a spoon out the table, this would also make her see how good their service is, but she would approach it near her body, and move her hand handing the spoon under the table, then throw it under, making Mécra receive it. “Que se..?” he interrupted himself in his talk, feeling where the thing which just friendlily hit him was coming from, on the left in front of him with Juliette looking at him on an insistent air, making him realize he maybe had his tongue a bit too dry to pursue the talks with the Chef Sommelier, “I’ll trust you for the rest” he had to admit to this one, giving the Chef Sommelier the card, in order to put him away and hopefully starting to talk with people which he was there for -normally-.

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Once again amused by the expressions and grimaces of the Council President of Fleur de Lys, the Cristinese Queen smiles openly and looks at Rosana Giannini. “Nous aimons Venège, monsieur ... la ville est belle et temps est très agréable” - answers ambassador Rosana.


The Queen takes Charles Mécra's arm and is escorted by him to the table prepared for the dinner. She takes her seat and looks surprised, albeit pleased, at the political Lysian when he seats next to her. She waits until everyone else takes their seats and turns to Mécra. “Lysian cousine! I have not had such a pleasure in a while” - says the Queen with remarkable satisfaction. The Cristinese ambassadors also agree with the cousine recommendation. Rosana is still talking to Juliette in Cristinese when the cards are given to the guests, Nova entrusts Mécra to takes care of the requests and turns to the Magnean hosts, praising the city and the hotel choice. “Venège is so wonderful, much more than I ever imagined” - says the Queen. “And your people, so polite and hospitable... I have been treated very well since I arrived, thank you”. She then looks around the room, the architectural style and the old decorations that harmoniously blend with modernity. “Ah, the Belle Epoque! This place reminds me of the old and beautiful cháteau of my father's family in the north of Mantella...  Magnifique”.


When she turns her attention to Mécra again, Nova finds the Lysian still talking to the Chef Sommelier. The Queen exchanges some glances with a few other guests and smiles, amused and at the same time admired with Mécra’s knowledge and concerns on the cousine. Suddenly, after ordering some dishes and wines, Mécra decides to entrust the chef with the rest of the menu.


“Mmh, Langoustines bretonnes rafraichies, doré caviar, nage réduite ... and an excellent choice of wine” - finally says the Queen with a satisfied look - “it was a really good decision to leave the menu under your recommendation, Monsieur Mécra”. Nova then looks into Mécra's eyes in more depth. “What do you expect from our summit, Monsieur Mécra?” - asks the Queen. "It is not my intent to be rude or too direct, but I'd like to know if you think it's really possible for us to reach a great agreement as expected?"
 

Many in Cristina, including me, believe that our three nations will be able to create not only the Europa’s largest trade and Industrial hubs, but also a return to our shared roots, a positive return to the great ages of the Eternal Empire, a bond that will always keep us tied in some way” - continues the Queen, secretly mourning Mantella's isolationism.

Edited by Cristina
Formatting, grammar
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As usual, the Chef Sommelier would arrive at the table, at the right of “the man”, serving him in a Bourgogne white wine glass, in order to taste, as the custody wish, this was the tradition. A fine and delicate jet was served, making most Lysians around the table waiting for Mécra to test it, and allow it to be served or not, if this would suit the second entry which was to be served, the Langoustines. Mécra will have to admit that he was to enjoy better the nose of the wine rather than the actual taste when coming to the red wines, however, this was a Chassagne Montrachet, coming from the wet regions, having enjoyed the very mineral grounds of the continent. Mécra would try to reach the nose of the wine, however when coming to temperature the white wines were the most awful in this category, the same about humidity, Mécra would then put back on the table the glass, in order to take the glass at the coupe instead of the foot of the glass, in order to warm it a bit, something which normally wasn’t necessary, a little gesture everybody would notice, making clear that the ice buckets would have to stand away from the bottles for a fair moment. He brought again the glass in order to smell it, penetrate its influence, and after a couple seconds couldn’t resist but to taste it. “Parfait” he reassured with a quiet air and tone, “However, maintain it at 13°” he would demand, having a sign of approval from the Chef Sommelier, which will call for serving the guests. Youngest Ladies were the first to be served, following my more aged Ladies, then youngest Gentlemen, more aged Gentlemen and in the end Mécra as the rule demand.

The most amusing part of a dinner like this, is to see the various table cutlery changing with a maximum of three on each side, bringing the various ways also of eating a meal in question, for the first entry, the question would be, using the cuillère à poisson? Or more likely the cuillère à caviar? And what about the usage of the fourchette? To each his way, but just by the manner of observing how somebody is to eat, you shall learn more than a thing. But as Mécra would have to make the hard choice of which utensil to use, he would get asked a question most normal when coming to a diplomatic summit, something Mécra seems to have forgotten a bit as he was called back by the Ambassador, Juliette, a few moments ago. “Peace is not comparable to a precious object that belongs to us. It must always be conquered” quoted Mécra, “And this is what I intend to do” he said with a smile, knowing too much that economic ties between nations, would ensure the risk of war to be totally put aside, and considered as madness if ever quoted. Certainly, @Magnaeus , @Cristina and Fleur de Lys have a cordial and even friendly relationship today, but History showed much how degradation can be fast. “Your Majesty is certainly anything but rude” charmed Mécra at Nova’s comment on herself as he looked her, he would turn his eyes back forward him just as he was looking outside the room, “I have placed too, my trust in this conference” he would add, acknowledging the importance of what they were doing. He would turn again back to Nova, “Open borders and suppression of customs taxes are on the agenda of the Lysian delegation” he affirmed, “With the sweet dream of a common currency” he would compliment his last sentence with. Many may criticise the Eternal Empire, as for the fair internal rivalries, but which proper Empire didn’t have some? He wasn’t exactly somebody fond of a re-establishment of an Eternal Empire, but more of an open and active community of state which would share beliefs and their vision of the World, something Fleur de Lys has been acting towards with the ISTC, but was also hoping to develop with its direct neighbours and economically. Mécra didn’t saw all of this for going to internationalisation for internationalisation, but for giving a better chance to a better daily life for the citizens, travelling and discovering other cultures with more eases, ensuring stability of the economy, and not having it blow up at the first hesitation, all those thoughts made Mécra dive deep into his beliefs, rehashing his first words as he, for the first time, acted as a politician. The Langoustines were to be dismissed by the servers, and the 3rd entry, giving more towards the Byzantine Sea was to arrive. “The Queen” would deny to the Chef Sommelier as he would show the etiquette of the bottle, before serving a jet for tasting the wine. It was a Gaja, the best people around the table to comment it certainly was the Cristineses, making Mécra also refuse to taste it as he was starting to see that he may have taken a bit too much place in the choice of the menu and that those were sticking to Lysians lore as we were in an international context. The Chef Sommelier would slightly pass behind Mécra, and arrive at the right of Queen Nova, showing the étiquette, waiting for an approval of the head of Her Majesty, before putting on the table an Italian wine glass and serving a jet in order to get the validation for service from Her Majesty.

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The Queen’s eyes follow each Mecra’s gestures and facials as he tastes the Chassagne Montrachet. She knows one thing and another of Lysian whites, having learned from her uncle. But she is now enchanted to observe how Mecra takes it to another level. The Lysian then approved the fine drink and makes the final recommendations on how it must be served.

 

“Be careful, dear one, that man knows how to handle a dinner and if he comes to apply such skills on politics you will be singing Lysian motto while dancing on the table before that summit ends”, said her smiling mother back in Cristina. It is clear for Nova that for Mecra there is no difference between one thing and the other… he knows how to get you perfectly involved in it. But she is already amused and entertained and want to see and experience more. Care with traditions always fascinated her. Cristineses tends to think and act as they are the only ones in the whole world who care for the old things and traditions, despite the advanced modernization of their city. “The Président du Conseil excels in it, at least when it comes to fine meals and beverage”, she thinks with a softy smile.

 

Some time later, when they all were enjoying the dinner, a more clear political aspect of the night comes to the table. The Queen hears each of Mécra’s words with attention. It is good to hear directly from the Lysian representative that his country interests matches with what Cristina is already doing towards the expected agreements between the three nations. Nova waits until he makes his initial statement before she starts.

 

“Cristina thinks that would be very interesting for we all and is already acting in that way. One can see it in our very recent history that when my people want something they go for it, and they go hard. Too bad it led to a sad armed conflict”, she says. “Now we wish to ensure that such things will never happen again in this region and what would be the best way to construct this if not by strengthening our economic ties? Others may follow us in that way”, she compliments.

 

When the Chef Sommelier shows her the fine  Mantellan Gaja she decides to taste and approves it, not only because she appreciates it or because she was at that point wishing to taste something more of her usage, but hoping that her gesture displays a bit of political message too.”Perfetto!” She softly exclaimed and smiled at the Chef.

 

As the discussions go on, the Cristinese Queen feels herself immersed in the ambient. Between Mécra's smiles and the expectations for the results of the important summit, between the various frivolity and anecdotes being told and the incredible degustation, Nova knows the importance of this moment. Tomorrow the conference with the Lysian and Magnean representatives may result in achieving goals she has been pursuing for more than a decade. The realisation of a dream of King Rober II, her deceased husband.

 

The Lysian was conducting everything right in the dinner. It was enjoyable moment of relaxation and fine experimentation of senses, as the Queen expected. Everything is setting the ground for tomorrow but without letting the attendants concern to much for now.

 

For now, Nova amuses herself while observing the Président du Conseil trying the Cristinese bread. With a smile she nods to him and try one herself. She continues to talk to the two leaders, one time asking president Sophie Gerber more about Venège’s last fares and fashion and on another time wondering to president Mecra when he will accept to play a tennis match against her in Lyrie. She also go back to politics and economics when she judges that is the right moment for that, telling them that agreements between the Cristinese government, the Monetary Authority of Cristina, which regulates the country offshore finance and the Cristinese Trade Organization, which determines taxation rules are already in advanced stage so Lysian and Magnean Companies would be taxed even more lightly. Moments later she also let out that improvement and upgrades are fast being developed on the Cristinese infrastructure using the most advanced technology and human resource to encourage economic activity.

 

Nova noted that the other Cristinese were also involved in healthy political debate with their counterparts but also enjoying the dinner, letting the details for tomorrow. The Queen was right to rely on the young ambassadors from the start as they were being very able to handle the moment despite their apparent inexperience.

 

Just when Nova decides she I already satisfied with the meal they brought that elegant carts of cheese. It was in her last visited to Lyrie, fifteen years ago, when she last saw this. The Queen is once more drawn to Mécra words as he interrupts a talk to announce the new event and make an analogy between politics and cheese, much for her amusement. Laughing and smiling she thanked Mécra for that lesson and cheers with him, raising her glass following the Lysian gesture. “To Peace!”

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Mécra caught the Queen’s words, knowing well that it was dangerous thing to eat Lysian on such evening, with diplomats. But fortunately, Lysians had planned it all, first of all, enough bottle just to cover everybody 2 or 3 services, allowing you to rest a bit, along the fact that, during a 5 hours meal, you could easily taste and consume 3 various bottles, with appéritif and digestif without getting drunk at all. Lysians didn’t seems such mathematicians in the first place, but when coming to this particular and delicate matter, they were. Mécra, in his own way, wouldn’t mince his words, « In fact your Majesty, this is a prerequisite to be elected, if you have diplomatic functions… Why do you think I made such high ranking in the votes? » he self-mocked.

As Queen Nova commented on Mécra’s first statement, about his intentions when coming to this summit, Juliette, newly appointed Ambassador to Cristina, which would fly back to the Free City for starting officially her mission, couldn’t prevent herself from making an addendum after the two leaders made their own statements. Being on the other side of the table, she would easily catch the sentences exchanged, and fully agree with Queen Nova extensive need to improve economic ties to ensure no war are possible. « War shall become so costly, that none of the parties may afford it » he simply added, with a smile, getting immediately Mécra’s face and eyes looking at her, as she also got the Queen’s attention. Mécra would look at her with a dark face, not really enjoying that she allow herself to interrupt in such way, making Juliette blush slightly. However it would be broken as soon as the Sommelier got there.

Mécra would find himself rather, surprised, or caught off guard shall we say when Queen Nova discussed about tax cut for Magneans and Lysian companies, which would, in his eyes at least, look strongly like fiscal evasion, a great shadow which was threatening the Governmental budget and increasing the deficit. For sure, the exact numbers weren’t known, but they were counting themselves in billions for sure, and if there was to be a Treaty, such thing would have to be handled well, along side heavy sanctions to be voted on the Republic’s side to the companies enjoying a bit too much of those regulations. Lysian Republic’s tax system have been lighter then before, with many taxes regrouped, suppressed or replaced with simpler ones. But fortunately, the governance system which shall be put in place, will hopefully get this problem solve, at least the one Mécra though about. Ambassador Juliette André would also go down the wrong way with her wine as she heard the statement, but tried to act as normal as possible, with a key discretion on this measure, not willing to start an ignited debate around this table, which surely had much more leisure to offer. For passing to another matter, Mécra would address « We complete one another rather well, Magnaens ensure the environment, Cristinese the beauty, and Lysians the plate’s content ».

First raising of glasses, as always, followed a couple seconds of silence, at least for the Lysians counterparts too occupied to enjoy the content of their drinks. Mécra couldn’t prevent himself to observe again the robe (literal translation: dress; yes, we talk to our wine glasses like that) of the Cidre Glacé. Mécra knew for sure, he would pass a bad and hard night, he no longer had the stomach he had a couple years ago, needed to digest all of this, and sleeping well, or be in great shape the next day. In fact, he favourised lunch, from 12 to 17, at least you knew you had some time to digest. He would therefore, show himself tired, and would act like if he didn’t wanted cheese… Until he see naturally the full extend of the carts, which was pushing him to reconsider his decision, which as a mature man, he naturally did, particularly when he saw the goat cheese… A Charolais, a bit young like he loved them, next to a Valençay, with a Pouligny-Saint-Pierre… That was it, he couldn’t resist. But for when the massive Comté of 48 months, he knew well to resist, as his mouth was too full of the smoothness and then the dry but light taste of the goat cheese (he ended with the Charolais, and even took young Mimolette). Now, only the desserts and digestive left… With the Pré-Dessert and Mignardises for sure. However, it would only be in dozens of minutes later, allowing the guests and hosts to rests a bit.

The natural little exercice Mécra would confide to, was unexpectedly most important, but to understand it first, you need to, on average, for maintaining your cleverness through your meal, drink a full bottle of water each two plates, while maintaining reasonable wine consumption. He would stand up, see how his reflexes were, but he was that much used to be a bit pompette as we say in Fleur de Lys, he controlled himself rather well. He approached a server, asking for where he may clean his hands, or in other words, the toilets. After being escorted, he would open one of the doors of the toilets, as each cabinet had its own urinoir, toilet, dryer, bathroom sink etc. Allowing him to take couple minutes rest, just himself in front of the mirror. It is also where he will empty his paunch, and just try to maintain focus on the meeting he was in. This may seems such little task, but try to do this on a daily basis, for breakfast, lunch and diner, this was a marathon during all your political career, and something you better excel at if you wish to maintain your relationships or create new ones, at least in a Lysian environment. The funny thing about all those meals, is that you talk during, let’s say 50% of the meal about the meal itself and wine, 40% about formalities, and only 10% about real business or affairs you wanted to conclude, and explained why you reserved this table 10 months ago knowing well how hard it was to get such table. But those 10% were at least, in Fleur de Lys, supposed to be straight and efficient, and as a matter of fact, the subjects you were talking about, or how you behave, what you order and else just defined you and made the person think about having business or not with you. It’s very particular, we can agree on that.

As Mécra made his way back to the table, feeling now better, he certainly planned good talks after the desserts, along a billard potentially, but for such talks to be interesting, he knew that during the desserts at least, the people around the table better have some potential content in their head, for allowing them to wisely think about what digestive talks will include, and naturally what tomorrow will be about. « Not to be rude, but as us, Lysians, are particularly slow when coming to decisions, and have way better discussions around a billard, I’d just love to make you pass an essay, I couldn’t resist… I fear Cristinese to be slightly mistaken, but as for the German translation for Magnaeus, be sure it’s accurate, I made it translate by a genius red hair @Sunset Sea Islands kid which just got the Nobel Peace Prize » started Mécra, with a wink towards Sophie Gerber, not willing to talk about the essay now, but at least it was now in the spirit of the people around the table, he knew this wasn’t polite at all, or even respecting the protocol, « But what’s a protocol good for if it’s not for overriding it at the pleasure of a Lady’s eyes? » he said, as he looked Ladies from all around the table, knowing it wasn’t legally a safe pretext, but it would pass.

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Posted (edited)

Nova had just tried a small piece of the Charollais when Charles Mécra passed copies of an essay to her and to president Sophie Gerber of @Magnaeus.

Surprised, Nova looks at the Président du Conseil de @Fleur de Lys with an half smile naturally drawn on her lips as she takes the essay passed by the Lysian. A bit curious, she reads on the front page… “Trattato Trilaterale di Cooperazione Europea”. The Queen opens the document and briefly browses it. She then gently passes it to Rosana and look again at Mécra. “Grazie! I am sure the Cristinese is written just fine. Besides, I like the way you think, Signore Mécra”.

Rosana Giannini, in her turn, takes a little longer on the words of the document. After reading it she looks at her queen and softly nods.

Finishing wuth the delicious cheese, Nova properly rests the cutlery. “Signora Gerber, Signore Mécra and the good people around this table, although I am enjoying the company and the meal, I may call it a night. I am truly satisfied for this night”, she looks at Mécra, thanking him for the presented menu with a soft nod. “But now I am in need of some sleep. It was such a day, isn’t it? Tomorrow will be even better, that I know for sure. For now, if you excuse me, I will leave to my suite”, the Queen says politely, expecting the others to respect her decision to leave.

Ambassador Carlo Montalto, who was still savoring a generous slice of the Pouligny-Saint-Pierre suddenly stands up, leaving the cheese on the plate to take Nova's left hand, helping her to stand. She thanks the young men and turns back to the others on the table with her characteristic smile. “Have a good night, signoras and signores. Please, don't let my leaving be the end of this great night for yourselves

Rosana passes the essay to Montalto while Nova shake hands with Charles Mécra and Sophie Herber and their ambassadors. She knows her queen will read those pages with more regard when alone in her room. The other Cristineses politely excuse themselves and stand up, each at his or her own time, leaving the dinner room after some formal last words with their counterparts. Rosana is to stay at the table for final considerations and last talks with Lysians and Magneans.

In her suite, Queen Nova dresses a soft and more comfortable silk dress and seats on a chair by a beautiful wooden writing desk and opens again the document passed by Mécra. She reads each line with attention . “Very good. It seems we have a good starting point here”. She sends digital copies of the essay to each members of her delegation and to Minister of State Adriana Monadic back in Cristina, for their consideration.

Quickly, a video conference is set up using an official app developed exclusively for the government of Cristina. Some time later, the essay gets the approval of the majority of them, Minister of Public Administration Signore Nico Salano still seeing little gain for the people of Free Port of Cristina in such trilateral agreement, for much of the others consternation.

Edited by Cristina
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« It’d naturally be just a way to govern out nations respective relations, allowing us to make and decide, through the Triumvirat, great projects, such as a common 5th Generation Fighter project, or AVG train network linking our nations » he said happy, with his usual smile, because taking some bread, putting a bit of jam on it, and taking this time some Comté that he couldn’t resist after all. « This, are just the foundations of greater projects. Healthy relations always pass through clear agreements along arrangements on how to process things, and it shall give us the most favourable terrain to have projects going beyond our dreams! » added with enthusiasm Mécra, as he would finally bit that Comté he finished to yield to.

By so many compliments given by Her Majesty the Queen Nova, Mécra would seemingly slightly blush, which was really a première, giving Juliette André a surprised face as she observed all of the scene just being played in front of her.

Juliette André would move her head, just as she seems to say “Mécra, Mécra, Mécra… Oh my dear…” being exasperated as she made a direct link between Queen Nova leaving the table and Charles Mécra throwing his big treaty paper around. “You have no sense of situations” she though, seeing naturally Mécra disappointed, and sorry to have the Cristinese delegation leaving so early, at least in Lysian standards. It was around 11 PM local time, and the cheese just been finished, however it remained all the dessert part, along the digestives, which were certainly holy in Lysian’s hearts. « Naturally » commented Mécra, at the Queen’s decision to leave, as the two Lysians would remain with the Magnaeusians and Ambassador Rosana. All around the table would stand up, in order to salute the Queen, leaving for the night. Mécra, would as his educated taught him, bow, and kiss the Queen’s hand, saying, « I wish you the most pleasant night » said Mécra, naturally regretting Her Majesty shall not be able to enjoy the dessert with them. However, he’d, as the Cristinese escort turn their back and move out, a finger snap discreetly at the height of his thigh, calling a Maître d’Hôtel to come to see him, which would be done, as one approached close to Mécra’s hear. « The Queen is tired, please make sure that the desserts and digestives are brought to the various Cristineses rooms, to be sure they may enjoy in private if they’re willing to, their dessert and a well-deserved rest » he whispered, and, to those words, the Maître d’Hôtel would go right away to execute the instructions given.

As Mécra joined his seat again, he would turn to his host, « Well, I may only propose you a good billiard à la Lysienne following our dinner, I am sure Madame la Présidente isn’t lacking skills in such sport » commented with a smile Mécra, asking to Présidente Gerber, as he would see the Infiniment Citron being served.

« Now if you were to talk more about you my dear? » asked Juliette, directing herself towards Ambassador Rosana of @Cristina, as she would, with her little spoon, attack the Infiniment Citron. It was now the 10th service without counting entre-mets, but the cadence was remaining the same, at the Lysians’ demand, knowing too well how such dinner was, and willing to have a longer period for the digestives and billiard together, along probably, knowing well their hosts, a few Iverican cigares, Septimo, which were the most delicious and hard to procure.

As the dinner would slowly be finished, a person would be escorted inside the dining room, a familiar face for both Lysians, as it was effectively nobody else the the Lysian Ambassador to @Magnaeus, Henri Carles. « Well my dear Carles » questioned Mécra, with his usual smile, as he stood up, and greeted him, before Carles would bow, and present his apologies, « I am most sorry for not having been able to attend the entirety of the dinner, however important bureaucratic matters, which are our speciality as you know, awaited me, and those were extremely urgent » he stated, being most displeased of the situation he was in. Mécra would give him a friendly tap on his shoulder, « Take a seat please, you’ll enjoy some local liquors with us » invited Mécra, « What have I missed? » discreetly asked Carles to Mécra, « Just the most important face » replied to him Mécra, with a dissatisfied face, which he shall keep only between him and Carles, certainly not willing to have other guests or their hosts suspect anything was bad, as he would continue with his great smile.

Edited by Fleur de Lys
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Posted (edited)

What a magnificent evening it had been so far. This made president Sophie Gerber very happy indeed. The guests had been wonderful. It was a treat to see these heads of state getting along so well with each other. The way Queen Nova Maxima and president Mécra interacted reminded her of old friends that know each other through and through. People who weren't there to witness it would never believe it if you told them about it later. The closeness and amicability were a joy to witness. And the diplomatic staff was also putting their best foot forward. Yes,  this truly was a marvelous moment in time.

Sophie felt a toast coming up.

"Ladies, gentlemen, if it pleases you," she started out. "I would like to propose a toast to the fortunate fate that brought all of us together tonight. These central Europan nations have always been at the crossroads of many different cultures and ideas. This dinner is an excellent example of all that is right about our region. Take for example this food which combines the best elements from each nation. This evening I have seen many of you enjoy the delightful Cristinese bread with enjoyable Lysian cheese and fresh Magnean fruits, paired with the charming Mantellan gaja. Grazie mille amici miei per questa meravigliosa serata. Let this be the start of many wonderful things to come. l'Avenir sera brillant pour l'accord trilatéral. And as they say in Magneus: A sitzunde Saager isch glich vil wärt wie en liggunde Schiisser."


(Later that evening)

The Queen of @Cristina had already withdrawn to her chambers. She was a clever lady, that Queen, knowing full well when to strategically retire and reevaluate the situation. The Lyrian delegation still lingered in the drawing room of Hotel La Colline. Apparently, président Mécra was feeling quite playful tonight. Was this the liqueur speaking? He openly challenged president Gerber to a game of billiards.

"Ah but of course monsieur Mécra I will gladly accept this challenge," remarked Sophie with a sly look and feigned amateurism. She reached for the nearest cue and pretended not to know how to apply chalk. Mécra, seeing this, came to the rescue of a lady in need of help. "Oh monsieur Mécra you have so many talents!" she said to acknowledge his completely unnecessary assistance. "As our honored guest, of course,  you are most certainly permitted to start this first game." Mécra obliged by breaking this first frame. Unfortunately for him, not a single ball was pocketed.

Sophie smiled. "You know, Charles... May I call you Charles?" she asked hesitantly. "Well, you know how we Magneans have the reputation of being very precise in everything we do." Sophie turned once more to Mécra and winked. "Let's make this game more interesting, shall we? I propose that if you win, I will tell you the story of how in university I earned my nickname Sofia la Macchina."

"A bet, this is so very exciting, thank you, madame, I will certainly accept your invitation to challenge for the win of this small game we play between friends like ourselves," rambled Mécra. "But now tell me, please, Frau Präsidentin," he continued asking curiously, "What do you expect from me in case you happen to win?"

"Well Monsieur", Sophie answered, "In the case that you lose this little game of ours..."

She didn't immediately continue her sentence, but leaned over the edge of the table. Her cue pointed straight at the whitey. With one fluent motion, she launched the cue ball into an umbrella shot, playing full color and immediately pocketing two, while also setting up a third for consecutive play. How lovely to be underestimated. She didn't look at Mécra but his mouth must have been wide open.

"... in that case you will, for the rest of this trilateral summit, stop using the silly name 'Lake Lyrie' and use the proper name 'Lac Venège' as has been the traditional description for many centuries. Surely an educated man like yourself must know this by now?"

The game was on.

Edited by Magnaeus
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    • @Mauridiviah's Mundus Liber ranks Prymont 8th globally on Inalienable Rights - ATARA Delegate speaks out controversially on survey's flaws NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Yesterday, the Mundus Liber Institute published the results for their Inalienable Rights Survey, the third global ranking they've releases this year, which ranks nations across the globe based on rights such as working hours, bearing arms, seeking asylum, and drug use restrictions. The United States was ranked eighth overall, for:  no right to bear arms foreigners not allowed to seek asylum adultery is illegal no capital punishment hard drugs are illegal Previously, Prymont has ranked third on the Freedom Index, and second on the LGBT Rights survey, with this placement of eighth coming as a shock to many. Since 2017, the government has worked tirelessly to promote freedom and rights in the country, reversing the negative effects of the socialist tendencies that held back the country from 1995 to 2017. These positive changes were apparent in the first two rankings, but many have called for Prymont to change their stance regarding inalienable rights with the release of the current survey's results. Culture Minister Brooke Weitz agreed to walk PNN through the laws that limited Prymont's final ranking, and to provide an explanation as to why they are in place. PNN learned that bearing arms is illegal to prevent frequent public shootings that are seen in countries where the right to bear arms are present, and to generally ensure the safety of the general populace; foreigners are prevented from seeking asylum due to former legislation implemented by the socialist Freedom Party, and the current National Party are seeking to overturn it; adultery is illegal to promote healthy relationships for the younger generations; capital punishment is illegal as it is seen as excessively harsh, but minor advocate groups are pushing to legalise it; and hard drugs are illegal to ensure the health and safety of the general populace, and to prevent severe health effects that come with the abuse of hard drugs. It's easy to see why these laws are in place once the explanations have been provided, yet thousands took to Wittier this morning to express their dismay and anger at their government. Foreigners being disallowed to seek asylum came heavily under attack, with many calling for capital punishment to be reinstated for society's worst offenders. There was also some support to legalise adultery, with the more vocal citizens claiming that the government shouldn't interfere in their love lives. Despite this, there was mass support for the right to bear arms and hard drug use to both remain strictly illegal. PNN Radio 1 tackled the issue this morning, with radio host Troy Aunan providing brief clarifications upon Prymont's laws and broadcasting the varied opinions of his listeners. During the breakfast show, which usually features political discussion and special guests, the controversial ATARA delegate, Julian Nordeng, made an appearance. A self-proclaimed deeply patriotic man, Nordeng was quick to criticise the Mundus Liber rankings in his uniquely interesting ways. "I mean, where do we begin?" "How about the most criticised set of legislation, the one surrounding a ban on foreigners seeking asylum in the United States?" "What about it? It's a brilliant idea, one that we need to keep! Have you seen the kind of people that are in Argis? You know, the people that we're keeping out? Ahrana is full of commie pigs. Poland-Lithuanian soldiers are killing their neighbours to spread their commie agenda. Greater Serbian politicians are killing their own people to spread their commie agenda. Argis is riddled with the worst kind of people. Do you really want these people coming into our perfectly safe country, and posing a risk to national security as the Serbian dictator tracks them down and sends suicide bombers?" "Don't you think you're slightly exaggerating there, Julian?" "Am I? Think about it, man! Everyone listening, have a good, hard think about it! Use your brains! Clearly, those Mauridivians are twisting our amazing laws to fit their own communist agenda-" "I don't think Mauridiviah is a socialist country."
      Julian Nordeng expressing his disgust at the Mundus Liber results during his interview on PR1. "Shut up, let me finish! We've been placed in the top three in both of their last surveys, right? We're an amazing country, with amazing people who follow our amazing laws. Who gives them the right to place us so low? Let's look at the results, shall we? Number one, Variota. Bollocks. That plastic surgery abortion known as Dina Diva probably sucked off every commie working for the Mundus Liber to get number one. Adaptus, number two. Bollocks again. They sucked off the commies too, but they weren't as good so they only got second. And then Mauridiviah third! The cheek of it! But that's not all, oh no no no! Ahrana... now, are you ready for this... fourth! They're communist filth! They should be dead last! And then Lysia fifth, how did that happen? The commies were probably too drunk on that water-like Lysian wine to think properly. Sayf is sixth, they're clearly up to no good, probably threatened to suicide bomb the Mundus Liber HQ if they didn't rank well, and Gallambria is seventh. Nobody even knows what they do! We should be number one, plain and simple." A spokesperson for the National Party was quick to release a covering statement, claiming that Nordeng's views were strictly his own and were not shared by the party in any way. The statement praised the unbiased work of the Mundus Liber to spread information about the countries of the world, and assured that they'd work with Nordeng to confirm his opinions and to continue his work to further improve the country. Callers to the show were quick to shun Nordeng, who eagerly fought back before the interview finished.  Nevertheless, Nordeng's comments have only further fuelled the raging fire that surrounds the Mundus Liber in the United States. While many back the decision of the institute, some continue to lambaste them, and call for their local government representatives to debate the rankings in Parliament. The National Party have confirmed that they'll continue to make the country a better place to live and visit for all, and will take on board the criticisms provided by the controversial survey.  
    • Don't mind me. I'm not casting any aspersions or anything. I don't have sole rights to it.
    • I have had a chance to look at the wiki and I am happy to say that I look forward to working with you @Rihan to put my page together once I've gotten my factbook in order.
    • "...all of Kipan is in sadness today. Much of the country has been shut down to mourn the passing of Emperor Ozu, the most enlightened and progressive of rulers in several generations. He, like his predecessor, was a benevolent ruler who truly loved his people and strived to make their lives as comfortable as possible. It was at the start of his reign that he proclaimed that all students had the opportunity to attend higher education, outright eliminating school fees. This triggered a 55% increase in the number of students in just five years. During his later years, he even took a bold step by introducing universal healthcare, covering nearly 95% of the populace. These two reforms alone have transformed Kipan. From the outside world, these actions would seem as if the Emperor was gravitating towards socialism. Ozu always firmly reject such titles, saying that it was in the best interest of the Kipanese people." "This same rationale can be applied to Ozu's deathbed declaration of abolishing his own office. NBK found a clip from an interview it had done with Emperor Ozu six years ago in which he commented on some remarks made by the Kipanese Democratic Movement. He said the following: With his death, Democracy seems all but assured at coming. At the time in which the Emperor implied in his past remarks." "The Emperor's body has been laid in state in the Imperial Palace. Members of the Kipanese population will be able to view his body for the next three days before he is buried in a private funeral that will be attended by the Chamberlain, his surviving immediate and extended family members. A spokesman for the Chamberlain would not comment if anyone of the Hundred, the group NBK is for the time being referring to as those to be convened in Ryuku, would be present." "Individuals should be alerted that demand for rail transport to Miyako from across the Metropolis and across the Islands is extremely heavy. Kipan Railways is attempting to accommodate the surge as much as possible by adding additional services."
    • With the ban of FdL, I've been rewriting my nation to be a former Limonaian colony, instead of a former Lysian colony. This has necessarily required the renaming of my nation's cities. I'm hoping in the next map update, they could be changed. Port Jacqueline would now be New Limone
      New Lyrie would now be New Sermerio
      Orville would now be Oroa.
      Zaleville would now be Umberto. Thank you!
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