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With the actions in Bucharest concluded and Romania stabilising itself, the old benefactor Yugoslavia had been invited for talks. While the capital had been liberated and was slowly becoming filled with government offices again, the Queen however preferred to meet the King of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in one of her castles. Hunedoara castle, an old building with quite some history was located in Transilvania, had served as residence for Maria up to now and was also planned to host the meeting between the Yugoslavs and Romanians. The Queen did have quite a few matters she wanted to discuss...

 

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Hunedoara Castle

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The invitation was certainly one that he had hoped would come, and arrive it did after the Romanian people pulled themselves up. It was certainly a relief to the Sovereign as he gently dropped the phone back into its cradle, the tip of his digits briefly touching upon the grey casing. He had just called ahead to the Romanian Monarch to inform of his travel route by motorcade, the distance between the two Kingdom's capitals being a minor one all considered so it wouldn't be much of a stretch given that it was barely a five hour trip.

His gaze lingered on the telephone before he shook his head, cementing the righteousness of his current path before he looked towards the three people who would be going with him towards the Romanian Kingdom, or Queendom in this particular case. The Kralj grinned at the trio as he stood from his seat, the man raising a hand to scratch at the beginning of a beard; if he were to let it happen, the small hairs bristling against his fingers.

"Suppose I can't convince you to try and get hitched with the Romanian Monarch, eh boss?" came the rough voice of Dražen Cižek, a smarmy grin on his face as he stood almost laid back if Dragojev were any other person but he knew better. The woman standing next to the former sailor snorted, rolling her eyes at the 'question' from her colleague.

"Please, Dražen, there's no need to be so crass, you're not in the Navy anymore," Jela Zedorica retorted sharply, her chestnut hair done into a simple bun atop of her head and with her arms crossed as she glared at the former sailor.

"Here we go again," muttered the voice of his third and final comrade in this endeavor of his, the voice being slightly melodious but the woman's face was all but. Her golden locks cascading around her shoulders as she covered most of her face with the palm of her hand, the woman fatigued from her colleagues constant yet silly bickering, and if he was anyone else he would have mistaken them for an arguing couple. The thought made him bite inside his cheek to keep from laughing.

With a sharp whistle from their Kralj, the three stood at attention due to old habits.

"Now, while I do appreciate the attempt to lower the nervousness, I do expect you three to be on your best behavior on this little trip of ours, alright?" he asked the trio and received their, knowing very well that at the least they would follow his orders and not cause an international scandal. Dragojev mentally cringed at the thought before banishing it, not needing any more to burden him.

"Well, I do suppose it's showtime," he muttered under his breath as the foursome left his office, heading down towards their waiting vehicles and start the journey to the Romanian Castle of Hunedoara.

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While the car was still underway, Maria would oversee the last of preparations for the visit. Watching out for any shortcomings and quick to point them out, as well as to reprimand the one responsible for it, the Queen would be both a source of annoyance and terror to the castle staff. But even though it was hardly a pain most of them easily could accustomed to, eventually, they all had to acknowledge that there was hardly any way around her, for it was pretty clear that a certain monarch could make their lives hell, if she so wanted. According to a secret report by the administration board of royal castles, no less than three people had already committed suicide since Maria had taken over. Of course, it was not yet clear whether it was really genuine suicide, however such matters were hardly investigated and in the end, most others in the castle could understand that there could be plenty of reasons to end one's misery when working here.

 

But the terror would soon end (at least for now), when a note arrived at Hunedoara castle, informing Maria of the Yugoslav monarch being now close enough, duely reported by one of the many informants of the royal administration. As she withdrew to her private quarters for a short duration, the atmosphere in the castle got almost visibly lighter, once the heavy door to the Queen's quarters closed and the lock came to rest. For now, the horror had ended. Not that she would stay in there forever, but soon enough, she would reemerge to await the guests in the courtyard.

 

Once the guests arrived at the castle, they would be checked by the royal guard, which duely patrolled the entrance to Hunedoara castle to keep out unauthorised personel, before letting the Kralj pass, respectfully saluting and wishing him and his guests a good stay. Awaiting the Yugoslavs would be Queen Maria I de România, together with the majordom of the castle, who was responsible for the castle administration and strangely enough, the sole person in the whole estate to be on good terms with the monarch. Maria was hardly a person to appear in public often and had a hatred for photographs. Most people in the country knew the monarch from the very few press releases that passed the censorship, from coins or from paintings (or photographs of paintings) that decorated offices and school classes. These paintings however were pretty much all the same, showing with very slight variations the monarch in the same way, a young woman, long blonde hair, hazel eyes, pale complexion and clothed in the colours of carmine and raven black. And while there were those who wondered whether the Queen really only was fond of these two colours, to the Kralj and his entourage, Maria would present herself exactly like on the paintings, with a kind and friendly smile, a pair of white gloves and a parasol against the sun that was covered by the cloud-filled sky. Maybe, beneath that parasol only the monarch was to shine brightly, was the joke of the castle's staff (whenever they were absolutely sure that noone was listening in on them). "Greetings, I welcome you to my humble residence. I would hope, the journey was somewhat pleasant."

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Thankfully, his cohorts wisely kept their mouths shut, simply bowing out of respect for his fellow Monarch as he gave his own bow of respect, a soft smile on his face.

 

The Kralj tucked away a rogue brown strand of his hair behind an ear, "The trip was uneventful and rather peaceful, your excellency," he answers before continuing, "The peaceful Romanian landscapes certainly gave my subjects and I something to talk about during the trip," he adds.

 

"I will admit, your excellency, that your castle is certainly an impressive and majestic one," Dragojev adds, having drunk in the Gothic-renaissance architecture of the castle, the sight of the castle having given the Yugoslavian monarch ideas for his own castle. But he was going on tangents that he had already entertained, bringing his focus entirely back onto the current meeting as it wouldn't do to let anything past his sight. This was a momentous occasion and would certainly lead to better things for the neighbors, the Kralj sincerely hoped.

 

With his piece said, the Sovereign folded his arms behind him, hidden away by the royal purple cape that he was wearing. The piece of fabric was one intended for travel as protocols established by his Council effectively forced him to act and wear the damn thing during diplomatic missions championed personally by him, done as a joke at first before being taken seriously to signify them as the heirs of the now revived Eastern Roman Empire.

 

Sometimes his Council irked him so.

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"Thank you.", Maria would state, curtseying before her peer in return. "It is an old castle, but I am proud of it and it indeed has a nice ambiente to it."

 

Waving the Kralj and his entourage the follow, Maria would enter the interior of the castle. While the building was medieval and had thus comparably little furniture, it still seemed to be not too bad. The floors were covered with long running carpets, the walls most often uncovered, which however showed the gothic arches and columns which ensured the stability of the construction and had held the building up for centuries by now. At some corners, the royal banner would be displayed and quite a few suits of armour decorated the hallway, placed at corners, as if standing guard. At times, even pieces of wooden furniture would be around, made from dark wood and old-fashioned, it most often was antique or at least held in a reminiscient style, as the castle had been outfitted properly to allow for a proper living style for the monarch. "I do hope you do not mind the somewhat modest interior. I personally prefer to not stuff this historic building with unbefitting accessoires and modesty, to me, is a bit of a virtue. It would be quite bad if the treasury would all flow into an extravagant lifestyle, while important things that actually need funding get neglected."

 

Finally, they would arrive at a hall, which was a bit more generously furnished than the rest of the place, though still quite spartan. The most notable feature however was a large long table, made of dark wood, with multiple seats, made of similar design. Servants, dressed in old-fashioned black and white suits, would offer the guests and their monarch seats, as well as tea and cake. "I am pleased to have you here. After all the trouble that was in the past, I am happy to have Yugoslavs over for tea and cake, instead of them having to deal with our organised crime." Smilingly, Maria would count three spoons of sugar for her Earl Grey, before stirring the cup with her silver spoon. "Not that I am not grateful. But I think I need not state what utter national embarrassment these criminals were. We are still working on recovering the losses to our nation, we incurred thanks to them." The Queen sighed. Somehow, she wished they'd spend their time in the dungeons instead of a somewhat proper Romanian prison. But that would take away from her credibility when making demands of others in the future.

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"It is of no issue, your excellency. Personally, I simply made do with a make-shift throne room and office for more private matters," the Kralj replied with, "It would not do for a person as I to have such grand belongings or estate when my own people are in need and wanting," he added as he and his companions accepted the seats, the Sovereign graciously sitting down across the Romanian Queen.

 

"Only a very small slice and simple tea, please," the Kralj replied in Romanian to the servant that had approached him, letting his three companions to enjoy the small treats and drinks of the Queen. Dragojev raised a hand to smooth the maroon colored tunic that he was wearing, making sure there were no creases or unsightly things, a thing he had been forced to learn thanks to his Council again. The servants had just finished their tasks, his own but as requested small slice of cake and tea sat in front of him as his subjects looked at him for a second, he nodded at them in return knowing very well the silent question they had asked of him before they started to dig in at their refreshments.

 

The Kralj stifled a chuckle once the Queen had finished before waving a hand dismissively, "I can assure you, your excellency, that it was no trouble to the Kingdom. The whole situation was one we would gladly repeat in order to protect and safeguard our neighbors from unruly 'citizens' as them," he commented as he gently grabbed his cup, lightly blowing on its contents before taking a sip of the tea. "The Kingdom would be more than happy to assist their neighbor given the situation, since we indeed were most likely a factor in any losses that might have occurred during our 'dealings' with that aspect of Romania," Dragojev offered to the Queen as he smiled politely at her.

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Maria would simply smile at the comment of Dragojev. "I thank you for your kind words. It surely was a help, though one I'd hopefully not need anytime soon again. And it seems we Romanians enjoy some order again." For the most part, the Queen would just enjoy the scene of the Kralj and his companions, watching them silently as they ate their cake. It would be an Esterházy cake made by the royal confectioner. After a short moment of deliberation, Maria decided to order a slice of cake herself, though she had considered to decline and see what'd happen.

 

After it seemed that Dragojev and his entourage had settled, Maria would decide to start a small discussion. "Now, as Yugoslavia is these days the oldest of the Balkan nations, I am sure that you did hardly miss the events in our common neighbourhood. Might one ask what the Kralj of the Yugoslavs thinks of these developments?"

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Well, it was high time to finally have the open discussions, he figured as the Kralj contemplated on the Regină's words, going over the past and current situations that seemed to center either within or around the Balkan Peninsula. He let out a sigh as he raised a hand, gently rubbing the bridge of his nose, the past stresses of the previous situation with Constantinople came back sharpy before leaving just as quickly.

 

"You have to understand, your excellency, that I love my people to the point of being hesitant of putting them in danger which is why the Kingdom rarely acts without having exhausted all avenues of diplomacy," he started with as he clearly remembered how quickly the situation with the Babylon 'Empire' had devolved from their uncompromising stance. "With regards to the prior situation with the City of World's Desire, Constantinople, and given how completely uncompromising the Babylonians were I gave the men and women stationed throughout the city orders to stand down so as to prevent needless bloodshed of my loved subjects and prevent damage to the residents of the City and the City itself."

 

The Kralj took the moment to glance to one of the windows that he hoped was in the direction of Anatolia, seemingly glaring at the Babylonian Empire from afar. "Needless to say, the Kingdom as a whole does not see the Babylonians in a positive light given their rather fanatical and uncompromising stances," he left the implied wording that the Kingdom saw the 'Empire' as a threat be unsaid, knowing well enough that his fellow monarch would grasp the implied meaning.

 

"As for the situation that goes on in Southern Italy, since the Kingdom does not recognize the 'government' of Sparta, it does not and will not see the 'claim' that the Spartans state they have on the southern portion of Italy as legitimate in any fashion," Dragojev finishes as he takes another sip of his beverage.

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For a few moments, Maria would join in looking with a bit of disdain at 'Anatolia', before returning to an unfazed smile, when the conversation came to rest on southern Italy. This seemed quite interesting. Still, as the Kralj explained, Maria would eat her cake, listening and awaiting a good time to give a reply.

 

"Romania has once worked to keep a Middle Eastern country out of the Balkans, we'd gladly do it again. It is good to see it is not necessary though. I guess the lives of one's subjects should not be carelessly wasted, however, I do think that certain matters require a certain devotion and self-sacrifice. Sometimes, it is about higher values, that we need to step up and fight. Even if it is a bloodletting of sorts."

 

Maria would sip from her tea, wondering whether her words had been a bit too radical, but in the end, she had already said them. "I think Babylon will stay out, and if they do not, it might be war. For now, however, they seem more than satisfied on their side of the Black sea. Of far greater concern at the current moment, to us, are the situation in Southern Italy, as well as in Poland, where in both cases, a potential crisis could develop. And while Yugoslavia has chosen to not recognise Sparta, I doubt that such would let us simply ignore the issues that come with conflict. Overall, these events to me, just highlight that the peace we live in is fragile and we should not get complacent."

 

The queen would start smile a bit more cheerfully again. "As the Queen of all Romanians, I see it as my duty to ensure that this country remains united under my rule and prosperous, as well as respectable. We have secured our Northern border due to our alliance with Belarus, Hungary and Ukraine. However in the south, such agreements are not in place and such is very worrying, given that we constantly have one crisis emerge after another. Who knows what will come from this?"

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The Kralj of Jugoslavija took a moment to reflect on the Regină's words, knowing that they rang with truth. "While we may have chosen to recognize one Greek nation simply for the virtue of being the metaphorical descendants of the Roman Empire, we are not ones to shy away from conflict as the world saw at our rather speedy move to safeguard the City of World's Desire from any possible attempt of conquering or attack that may have come from the Babylonians," he replied before tilting his towards the sole male of his party, "And this one has been the main one within my Council to keep my head 'straight' as it were, reminding me that my people would fight tooth and nail for their independence and my right to rule and safeguard them from the evils of the world," he added as he shook his head in amusement.

 

"While I may be hesitant in sending my people to fight, it is the will of the people that cements the movement within my heart and resolve. My people and I are metaphorically one, ensuring the peace and prosperity of all within our borders."

 

Dragojev took a sip of his tea, the beverage being rather refreshing despite the heat, "To the situation in Southern Italy and the south of our borders, We find ourselves detesting the actions of the Spartans. Having a country as militaristic and martial-oriented as the Spartans as our southern neighbor is something that I know sends feelings of wariness into my people and I imagine into others."

 

The Kralj gently grasped his fork and deftly cut a small portion of the offered cake, eating said portion afterwards. The cake was exquisite, the Sovereign thought before laid the fork back on the small platter. "However, I know not the future or what may happen, thus it behooves me to ensure that the Kingdom's and its allies are safe from any and all foreign power who may wish them harm."

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Maria thought for a moment how best to phrase her next sentence, given this seemed a bit delicate a situation. "I understand that you are worried about the Spartan actions and do not look favourably at their policies. I would not say that our opinion of Sparta is necessarily bad, on the contrary, Romania does even hold security ties with Sparta, which are still untested, but which we are not going to readily abandon." Maria's expression became quite a bit more serious, as she continued. "Given these circumstances, while Romania cannot and will not try to force you to be friends with Sparta, it would be very unpleasant for us, were conflict to erupt between Yugoslavia and Sparta. Such would have grave consequences also in our relations with your Kingdom, for obvious reasons."

 

"This comes not out of ill will towards you, but I am not willing to break my promise to back up our allies, should they need us." Maria would return to her more cheerful mood, hoping that her worries had been received with the intented weight. "Now, I do not want such matters to unecessarily spoil our mutual relations. It is my honest desire to see the Balkans at peace, especially our two countries. Even if Romania has ties with Sparta, and Hungary for that matter, we respect Yugoslavia and would hope that an amicable spirit be between our two countries. Thus, I feel like it may be good to address these possible sources of conflict, so as to prevent unnecessary bloodshed."

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"It is not our intention to keep the policy of the numerous Balkan countries to be one or solely centered around the Kingdom's own policy, we would never do that to our neighbors," explained the Kralj as he raised a hand, stroking his chin. "The issue is that there needs to be some level of civility and diplomacy used to its highest extent if the Balkans are to be peaceful with all, otherwise we do not see the Peninsula being peaceful enough before each country is at each others throats due to their foreign policy dragging them into wars started outside of the Balkans."
 
"That is one of the key issues, amongst the whole slew of issues with the Spartans," added the Sovereign, taking a sip of his tea with the beverage being half-way finished before he continued. "If conflict were to erupt between Sparta and the Kingdom because a Yugoslavian ally requested our help, the Kingdom will go to war to protect its interests, your excellency."
 
"You have been informed that we are hesitant in going to war or becoming involved in military conflicts in general but we will never brook from our promises," Dragojev said grimly, the Serbian Monarch letting out a sigh as he raised a hand and massaged the bridge of his nose.
 
"The Kingdom sincerely does not see any resolution being made between ourselves and the Spartans," he started once more before adding, "But in the name of being neighborly and friendly, we would be willing to participate in any attempt to create such a resolution between the Kingdom and the Spartans."
 
He smoothed his tunic before adopting a smile, a slightly more pleasant look on his face than previous due to the serious nature of the topic, "That being said, the Kingdom is hopeful to see Romania as more than neighbors given our pleasant and positive interactions so far."

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Maria would smile, seemingly satisfied and enjoying the response. "That makes it much easier then. I'm sure, a honourable person, such as yourself will understand our own course of action then, should our allies, including the Spartans, be at war. For, after all, I myself too pride myself in being a faithful ally." Maria giggled for a moment, before asking for another cup of tea. As she pured spoon after spoon of sugar into her cup, she would add. "A ruler faithful to ones allies will come to their assistence regardless the outcome. A ruler faithful to their people will know how to pick allies wisely." After having added no less than seven spoons of sugar, the Queen stirred the cup of tea and took a sip.

 

"Well, Romania has little issue with being closer to Yugoslavia, depending on what your idea of closeness is."

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"We don't doubt your words, your excellency, but we don't see the Spartans as a wise ally and most likely never will," he replied with before shaking his head, "Excuse us, the topic of the Spartans tends to be one that we're all wary and distrustful of," Dragojev excused himself to his fellow monarch as he finished his cup of tea, the Sovereign of Yugoslavia taking a moment to ask one of the Host's maids for another cup of tea.

 

"The Kingdom was thinking of something to nurture positive relations, something like what we have the Bulgarians in Zapadnaya. a treaty of non-aggression and trade to facilitate and foster positive economic growth between our two countries."

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Looking somewhat surprised, Maria would give a cold reply. "I would think that it is quite obvious that we cannot sign a non-aggression pact with you, as long as there is reasonable cause to believe your country might be at war with one of our allies. We do not sign treaties that sell our allies out, so, for as long as these tensions are in the room, no such thing can be signed by us. Naturally, we could make an exception and sign a non-aggression pact, with stipulations that do not bind us, should Yugoslavia enter into a war with one of our allies or mistreat its Romanian population. Because these are the sole two reasons I could envision to feel compelled to attack your country."

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Dragojev raised an eyebrow at the retort, "Like I have said before, your excellency, the Kingdom is willing to see if there is possibility to resolve the issues with the Spartans, regardless of whatever we may think of the attempt we will do so with the best of our abilities," he replied with sincere honesty, "The Kingdom sees issues with the Spartans in terms of their..." the Kralj trailed off for a second as he tried to come up with a good word for it, "aggressive policy but we shall see what happens in this 'meeting' that you wish the Yugoslavians and Spartans to partake in."

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"I am sure, as long as Yugoslavian and Lacedaemonian interests to not conflict, peace surely can be secured. As far as I know, Sparta has little interest in Yugoslavian holdings and yugoslavia would seem to not have an interest in Greece. So, unless dragged into conflict via allies, the aggression should not happen and you should be able to come to terms.", Maria stated in a rather carefree manner.

 

But in a moments notice, the happy-go-lucky nature would turn dark, as the Queen sighed and shook her head. "If I may ask, why is it Yugoslavia sees itself in need to support the Milanese? Milan is in our opinion hardly less aggressive, assisting the Alvonians to expand and form their Fourth Reich. I am sure, if this linkage would not exist, we would be great friends, and Yugoslavia surely would make a good partner, not just to us, but maybe also to our alliance with Hungary, Belarus and Ukraine, helping to keep peace in Central and Eastern Europe. But as it stands..."

 

Suddenly the smile would return. "Well, I'm sure, once the matter with Sparta is settled, nothing stands in the way of our cooperation... and well, as long as Yugoslavia treats its Romanians well. But you treated us well, you wouldn't cause trouble to my countrymen, right?" Maria giggled.

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Dragojev chuckled before nodding, "Normally, the Kingdom would see no issue nor reason to support the Milanese but the issue was raised when the Spartans deemed it necessary to interfere in Italian affairs."

 

"Frankly, your excellency, the Spartans have no reason to be involving themselves into the Italian Peninsula considering the distance and complete difference of cultures. That is why the Kingdom sees reason to support the Milanese Republic which in its very nature is still inherently Italian, the Spartans however are not," he said before proceeding to take another sip of his tea. "With regards to Milan and Alvonia, I imagine its more or less an alliance of convenience more or less. The Kingdom does not support the attempts of the government of Alvonia with the rest of Germany, we would only be supportive of such a measure if it was done through more diplomatic means instead of outright conquering the territory and as well as releasing the western polish provinces that they have no claim nor right to."

 

"With regards to the Romanians within our kingdom, even if we should find ourselves on opposing sides; perish the thought, you can trust that the Kingdom would ensure in its power and entirety that your people would be safeguarded and unharmed. Anyone who would dare go against their Kralj's words or decree will be made an example of," Dragojev replied with before adding, "I do not see benefit in terrorizing civilians simply on the basis of being a foreign national of an enemy the Kingdom might be opposed to militarily."

 

"And should the Romanian people ask to rejoin with their brethren or if you, your excellency, should request the territory to be returned. The Kingdom would be more than happy to see peoples being reunited once more under one country."

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Maria would seem delighted for a moment, though the Queen would waive the Kralj off. "As a sign of good faith, I shall trust your words that you care for these people. Naturally, this comes with our hope that Yugoslavia does not risk the safety of its people, including these Romanians lightly, and especially not in a way that would pit Romanian versus Romanian."

 

Maria would sigh though, as she came yet again to speak on Milan. "I do not condemn Milan for assisting Alvonia, as long as Milan will never condemn me, should I assist my allies in Sparta. I doubt I can convince you to rethink your committments, Kralj Dragojev, however, I do fear we might end up on opposing sides of a conflict this way. And while it is honourable, to stand up for Italians, I myself would not commit to such a matter. The Italians are not my people, the Romanians who'd die in a conflict are. If sparta requires our help, I will assist them, not merely because it seems right to do so, but because I know that if Romania would come under attack, the Lacedaemonians would come to our help. And given the position we are in, their assistence may be very welcome. Milan on the other hand... I would see them more of a liability than a help. Honourable Kralj, if Romanian soldiers ever land in Southern Italy, or fight elsewhere for Sparta in an armed conflict, this will not be for Italians, nor solely for Hellenes. At its heart, it will be for Romanians."

 

Breathing in and out slowly, the Queen ordered her thoughts, before finishing. "Should it come to war between Yugoslavia and Romania due to this issue, I would hope that such be a fair and gallant fight. Unless Yugoslavia wants to make it unnecessarily complicated, which I doubt, we will be defending our allies first and foremost, not unnecessarily beating on Southern Slavs. I cannot offer you a Non-Aggression Pact at this time, but I can offer you my promise that should you fight with the honour that you display defending Milan, Romania will try to keep civilian damage limited, we shall in no peace settlement ask for more than Romanian soil and after the conflict, you are again welcome in my house. Naturally, this is no document you can carry home and display to your people, nor do we hope for this war between us to happen. But this is our position, in acknowledgement of the most likely events. If you manage to avoid a bloody struggle, the better, but I am not optimistic there..."

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The Kralj would smile at his fellow monarch, "You and the Romanian people have our word and promise that we will never pit brother or sister against each other, it'd be dishonorable and underhanded to do so between our two peoples."
 
"The situation in Southern Italy and the issue with the Spartans is that they ARE the aggressors, there is absolutely no method that the Spartans can claim that they are defending simply due to the nature of their interference in that region of the Italian peninsula," Dragojev replied with, "I don't bedgrudge nor mistrust the good Romanian people and her Queen in thinking and seeing the Spartans as a wise ally, that is solely within the purview of Romania's policy and not my area to judge. The Kingdom would have no issue with the Spartans as they stand had they not interfered in former Italy or not be as aggressive, same way the Kingdom would have an issue with a non-European power invading European lands or possessed said lands. We do understand that Romania sees Sparta as a wise choice of an ally but Yugoslavia sees differently simply on their aggressive policy alone."
 
"That said, the Kingdom completely understands the need to protect an ally's interests," Dragojev started once more before taking a few moments to sip once more from his tea, "And the Kingdom offers the same promise to the Romanian people and its kingdom should we ever find ourselves on opposing sides, you have our word on that, your excellency. Still, that does not prevent anything official from being created that would benefit both of our countries economically, your excellency," he added as he sliced a small portion of the cake, taking his time to enjoy the rather tasty morsel of food.

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Slowly, Maria nodded. "I would hope this keeps relation amicable between us then, even if tragedy strikes." The Queen sipped from her tea, visibly relieved to have at least this matter settled.

 

"Now, even if Sparta were to be the aggressor, I am unsure as to why this matter needs outside intervention. Kralj Dragojev, I think this world has quite a few wars, yet if we were to participate in them all, merely for what we feel is the 'opressed' and 'weak', so to say the victims of the global disorder and to help them, do you think it'd be wise? Italy is hardly any different from Brandenburg or other wars this world has seen in recent years, there are so many. Why would one tie themselves to a country like Milan, which quite clearly is putting your country in, if I may say so, unfavourable position. Much worse than any alternative." Finishing her remark, Maria however merely sipped from her tea again, before adding. "I doubt that I'd change your mind, so, at least you're an interesting person."

 

"Now, for an economic treaty, what do you have in mind, if I may ask?"

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"By that route of logic, your excellency, the Kingdom shouldn't have extended its hand to ensure the safety and well-being of the good Romanian people or effectively declaring war on the criminal elements previously within Romania," the Kralj replied with, "Neither should the Kingdom have extended itself to protect the Albanian people to our south or the Italians in the north when the former Italian state collapsed. For the Kingdom and our people, it's simply a matter of what is right and honorable, even if that may be contradicting in terms of how modern politics are done these days, we still hold such values."

 

Having finished his remark, he proceeded to take a few moments to finish his cake, washing it down with a sip of his tea, "Now with regards to a treaty of economics between our two countries, I do believe we can start with something simple to establish and cement our relationship as neighbors within the Peninsula. Increased trade over inland routes, ensuring for the regular businessman to trade between our countries with minimum hassle and concrete laws without any possible loophole that can be exploited."

 

"What do to you think, your excellency?"

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"It does seem reasonable enough.", Maria would answer, after she finished her cup of tea yet again. "It would be good to see trade flourish between us and strengthen our respective economies. I could agree to such an agreement." On the other matter, she decided to drop it for now.

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A communique would be sent to Belgrade, from the Royal court of Greater Romania.
 
 

To Dragojev Kralj of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes,
 
Given most recent developments in Europe, it seems to us, that maybe it would be time to call for a new meeting between the two of us, so as to discuss future relations between Romania and Yugoslavia. We would thus like to invite you to join us in our palace in Bucharest, as we sadly currently cannot leave, given we are required to finalise the peace with Alvonia.
 
With kind regards,
Maria de România
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