Sophia had a mighty fine time going all in on fully destroying the common sense of the king and queen, together with a bunch of ministers and generals. After telling them about the ability to grow plants with magic, she finally came to the main event. Her portals. The blonde immediately went all out and used one to transport everyone, and everything to the lake she and Fen had accidentally created a while ago. She doesn’t do things half-heartedly, after all.
“Welcome to the… lake thingy Fenny and I created some time ago. Also, kinda sorry about the frontier town that was planned to be built here or whatever the idea was. Someone really should've told me beforehand! Also,” Sophia then faced Kira. "I'm not going to name this place. I know myself, and I'll probably just come up with something so embarrassing that I'll level this entire place afterward just to get rid of the name!” She remembered that the queen had urged her to name the creation.
"…" Naturally, she didn't answer because she was slightly preoccupied with other things at the moment.
“Woah, that was such a cool way to use the portals!” Chloe’s eyes were sparkling. “It was so seamless, too!”
“I have to admit that this was quite something.” Even Fey seemed impressed. “Totally over the top and pretty unnecessary flashy, but the control was exquisite.”
"She has a bright future ahead of her~." Mira enjoyed the show, as well. “I wonder what you’d be capable of once you stop holding back because you don’t like the attention.”
“S-Shush already!” The blonde got embarrassed. “I could’ve portaled the whole capital to here and publicly announced it to everyone at once, you know?!”
“Fair point.” The teal fox nodded.
“I don’t think I like this duo.”
“I think it’s great!” The pink fox disagreed with the full one.
“S-SOPHIA!” Once the events had finally registered, Menzor sprang up from the chair he was sitting on that had been transported with him. “W-W-WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!”
“Well, as you can see, I transported us to the accident lake we talked about before.”
“HOW?! WHAT?! EH?!” The king was properly freaking out.
“S-Sophia, could you… could you please explain what is going on here…?” Kira wasn't quite as loud but still just as bewildered.
“It’s some sort of magic I came up with.” The blonde smiled at her. “Do you remember how I mentioned that I have a way to return to the capital almost instantly, no matter where I currently am while traveling? When we talked about taking Anna and Ari with us, I mean.”
“I-I need more of an explanation!” It wasn’t enough for the queen. “This is too much for anyone to wrap one’s head around!”
“Ahaha...” She awkwardly scratched her cheek.
"So much for letting your actions speak, so you don't have to explain anything, huh?"
“S-Shush!” The blonde glared at Mira yet again before facing the king and queen. “It’s a little hard to explain the way I did it because I changed the process a lot to make it look seamless, but… hmm… how do I explain this…?” She looked at Chloe for help.
“Keep me out of this!” The pink fox wanted nothing to do with it. “This is so your project! I already have enough going on for myself!” She glanced at her mothers towards the end.
“Urgh…” She had hoped for backup here. “Can you at least help me demonstrate it?” Sophia was still looking at her while she took two small stones out of her pocket. “They’re enchanted with a direct portal to each other. Just take one and walk a little away if possible.”
“Sure, I can do that!” Chloe was okay with that much. Afterward, she took one of the rocks from Sophia’s hand and walked around 20 meters away from everyone. “Ready whenever~.”
“Thanks!” Smiling at her pink friend, the blonde then faced Menzor and the others. “As some of you might be aware of, I like to play around with magic every now and then. While doing so, I came up with something we call portals. We’ve been using them to get around places instantly for a while already. That's also why I surprised you in the castle a few times, Kira. I have one of the portals in Anna’s room we use to get in and out easily~.” She paused for a moment. “With two portals connected with each other, you can immediately go from one place to the other without having to travel the actual distance!”
“W-What…?” The king obviously couldn’t follow her.
“I can’t really blame you.” Sophia scratched her cheek again. “Well, just watch, okay?” Saying so, Sophia also put some distance between her and everyone else. “Let’s go?” While looking at Chloe, she poured some of her magic into the stone while the pink fox did the same. Immediately after, the two connected portals opened at the same time.
“W-WOAH!” The royal couple, the ministers, and the generals all gasped upon seeing the pink gates appearing out of nowhere.
“That’s not the interesting part, girls.” The blonde rolled her eyes. “Chloe, would you mind coming to my side?”
"Okay~." She stepped through the portal and immediately exited the one before Sophia.
“?!” Things got a little out of hand afterward.
A few hours had passed since. Hours of Sophia explaining what was going on, that is. It was rather unbelievable, after all. It even needed Mira's help to get it conveyed to them even a little bit. Once everyone had somewhat stopped being overwhelmed, among many other things, the blonde transported everyone back to the meeting room in the castle because it was way too cold for her liking near the lake.
“Haa… I’m tired…” Back in the castle, Sophia’s motivation had plummeted significantly. “Can we get to the details already? I’m starting to get hungry, and no one wants to see me hungry.”
“…” Menzor just looked at her. “G-Girl… Even you must understand that we can't just nod along with what you showed us! It's too much!"
“Between Mira being here with us, Fey having raided the human capital and overthrown their rulers, and Chloe being the daughter of the aforementioned overseer, are my portals really that much more exceptional?”
“…” He went silent. “T-Those are completely different things! Yes, the return of the great Mira and the whole human… thing is outlandish news, but this is… It's, I don't even have any words for that! It’s something else entirely! It’s beyond understanding! I have not even dreamed about something remotely close to it.”
“Mhmm…” The blonde wasn’t sure what to say. “Well, I kinda get that, but I’ll start going into detail now, anyway. You all better listen now because I won't repeat myself again. I did that enough in the last HOURS already. It might be quite important for the entire kingdom, so make sure to focus!”
“…” Menzor actually went ahead and slapped his own cheek to regain focus. Afterward, he looked at every single one of his ministers and generals. “Concentrate, guys!”
“…” They all nodded while looking back at him. At least half of them seemed like they wanted to make a retort along the lines of ‘funny you’re saying this‘, but they refrained from doing so. For many reasons.
“Funny you’re saying this." Sophia, on the other hand, had no qualms about openly stating it. “Alright, back to the portals.” She continued after a quick but very smug smirk. “My portals are so versatile that it even surprised me. They still do, actually.”
“Someone likes to boast, huh?” Mira smiled at her. “Well, it's for a good reason. Those things really are something.”
“If you agree, don’t interrupt!” She really wanted to get over with it. “I’m not going to share the main use of my portals because that would be of no use to anyone, among many other reasons, but I will introduce you all to the alternative way, just like the one I showed you before. I have the ability to connect two portals together. The distance between them does not matter. I mean, the lake we went to in an instant earlier is way over 100 kilometers away from us right now.” The blonde made a short pause. “It has no time limit, either. Once I open them, they stay open. Any size is possible, as well.”
“T-That is quite something…” The king found no better words.
“Y-Yeah…” Everyone agreed.
“Continuing, as I’ve announced many times already, we’ll continue traveling in spring. Anna and Ari will also come with us. Even so, I, and they too, still want to visit the capital every so often. That’s where my portals come into play.”
"I-I see…" Kira was the one who replied. "That's why you promised Ari's parents and us that we'd be able to see our babies as much as possible.”
“Exactly!” The blonde smiled at her. “I probably could’ve come up with some excuse to keep beating around the topic of us being able to visit so often, but that sounds like way too much work.”
“Are you really sure this was the easier and less work-involving solution?” Fey had some slight doubts about her way of doing things.
“…” Sophia stared at her for a moment before facing Menzor and the others again. "Anyway, let's get to my main proposition for all of this… While traveling, I want to visit all this continent's interesting places and cities. Well, and all the other continents, but that's a topic for another day. Long story kinda short, I want to create a sort of hub that connects all the places of interest with each other! Wouldn’t it be something to only be a literal stone's throw away from everything in the entire kingdom? Travel, tourism, management, trade, all that and more would be turned completely upside down and changed for the better~.”
“?!” Everyone looked shocked.
“D-Do you have any idea what you’re suggesting there…?” Menzor couldn’t believe her.
“Bad idea?” The blonde tilted her head. “I thought it would be pretty useful.”
“USEFUL?!” He got loud. “The kingdom would never be the same! Nothing will stay the way it is right now! I can’t even fathom all the implications.”
“Soo… Interested? Not interested…?”
“INTERESTED!” The king and the ministers sprang up from their chairs.
“What do you want for it?” Menzor sat down again and stared right at her.
“Hmm…” Sophia scratched her cheek. “I only have one absolute rule. My portals, under no circumstances, can be misused. If someone tries to use them for personal gain or profits, or someone plans to use them as an asset in a war, I will immediately deactivate all of them. In an offensive way, at least. If you want to use them defensively, and or to protect people, I'm all for it."
“Those are more than reasonable demands!”
“Though, speaking of personal gains,” The blonde’s expression turned mischievous. “I’m okay with the portals being generally monetized. Be it taxes for merchants, some sort of entrance, transportation tickets, or the like. Especially merchants will hugely benefit from it, after all. We should get a slice of their new profits~. Anyway, if it’s decided to do that, I want a significant portion of it. It’s only possible because of me, and I need a retirement fund!”
“Uhh…” The king paused for a moment. "If we do monetize it, which seems more than likely, you'll never need to work again, not even for a minute. Even your grand, grand, grand, and so on, children will never have to move a single finger ever again."
“I very much like the sound of that!” Sophia started smiling. “I mean, it’s not like I have money issues or ever will, but doing stuff without compensation feels weird. I love helping people, and I want everyone to have a better life, but… Well, Sophia’s life should be better, too!” She gave up on finding a noble explanation.
“That’s fair enough.” Menzor couldn't blame her. "You most definitely deserve significant compensation, so no one here would even think about denying you."
“Never!” The ministers all nodded.
“Love to hear it~.”
Afterward, it was time for a break. Menzor and his ministers had reached their limits of ridiculousness for the day and needed to do a lot of thinking and planning before they were able to continue. And to treat their more-than-throbbing headache.