Flame Kingdom – 21.2


“….”

“…”

“…”

“… Emm… Erika-san?”

“… What?”

Inside private Erika’s room, Kota was sitting on the chair facing each other. She looked mad. Erika-san is definitely angry!…

“E-Emm… I’m sorry for taking Sonia with me without permission. I know it might turn into an international problem if I took Sonia-san without the lord, Erika-san’s permission, but… Ermm, Erika-san, why are you looking at me with those cold eyes?”

“… Nothing…”

‘This idiot really didn’t understand?’, was what Erika thought… ‘I wonder whether he did it on purpose or not.’ she continued…

“It can’t be helped that you bring her along. But we don’t have a residence suited for someone from Royal family such as Sonia…”

Saying that Erika sighed… In the first place, lately, many kinds of people had come to her current residence. It can be said to be an excellent opportunity…

“… I guess let us do a major renovation.”

“… Emmm, Erika-san? It might be presumptuous for me to say this but, Soia-san said ‘I don’t mind with a normal ordinary residence’…”

“That is not the problem… Listen, alright? If Sonia said ‘I don’t mind an ordinary residence,’ you can’t let her stay in a really ordinary residence, understand? Sonia is a princess after all…”

It was more like if someone said ‘You can come wearing everyday clothes to the party,’ then one really come wearing a T-shirt and short pants. One can imagine what would happen. Terra would be the one who felt ashamed if they didn’t show proper respect and attitude toward foreign royalty.

“… Though I think the conversation previously deviate from a normal conversation for a princess?”

“… Did you say something?”

“N-No, nothing! I didn’t say anything! I didn’t say anything but, are you sure this is fine?”

“About what?”

“Erm… The money…”

“W-H-O-S-E fault do you think this is?”

“I-I’m sorry! It is my fault! But—”

“… Don’t worry. I talked with Earl Baden while you were gone… We will pay only half the price for the next winter wheat stockpiles…”

She said that looking proudly.

Hearing those words, Kota was looking amazed.

“… Really?”

“Yes.”

“How did you do it?”

“Oh my? Isn’t that obvious? Just like how we did it in Terra?”

‘By negotiation,’ she said…

Erika was grinning while looking at Kota.

“… That is why you don’t have to worry about money. Well… Though~, I don’t want to use it for something like this!”

Saying that Erika glared at Kota. Since this was the current guilty Kota. She thought he must be frightened by it…

“… Kota?”

But, in spite of that…

“… I see.”

Kota didn’t look frightened, and he gazes back at Erika. Due to his sharp gaze, Erika blushed involuntarily…

“… Sorbania, they said they are going to circulate their own deposit certificate. And also, they will circulate it in Terra…”

The heat on her face then cools down after she heard Kota’s words…

— A question mark floats above her head. Sorbania deposit certificate circulating in Terra?

“…I don’t understand the meaning of that but, that means Sorbania would also spread their deposit certificate, yes? Then we could use both certificates? Isn’t that a good thing? That means the transaction with Terra would become more convenient, no?”

As she said… If Sorbania deposit certificate circulated in Terra, it would make it easier for Sorbania merchants to come to Terra… Then Terra would become more active, and there was the possibility the economic boom would be bigger than now…

“… I agree. I don’t deny that.”

“Then—”

“Then? What happened after that?”

“After that?”

“Sorbania deposit certificate circulated in Terra. Erika-san, if you’re a merchant, a bigger company or small company, which one do you think to offer bigger payment?”

“Well… The bigger company, of course?”

“And if you want to deposit money, where do you going to deposit?”

“…”

In response to Kota’s question, Erika answered in silence…

“… Terra was able to collect a lot of money by issuing the deposit certificate.”

Countermeasures against forgery were prepared, time and money were needed for that, but in the end, all of that was only an initial investment. At present, it was possible to issue a large number of pieces, in term of cost basis, one hundred gold coins certificate didn’t even exceed one gold coins to make, at best it would only cost one copper coin. After all, it was only a piece of paper.

“Thanks to the deposit certificate that could be made only with one copper coin, Terra was able to collect more white gold coins. Furthermore, the certificate had ten years of the repayment period. With the white gold coins we acquired, Terra made investments, turning the economy…”

Just like how Maria and the greengrocer borrowed money, Terra also lends white gold coins at the same time as the deposit certificate being issued… The white gold coins deposited in exchange of certificate were used to give loan to people. Such was done over and over. Thanks to such movement, Terra economy was moving more actively, and Terra itself would gain revenue in the name of interest income.

“With the circulation of Sorbania deposit certificate means that the value of Terra deposit certificate would be reduced. In other words, the cycle of the economy in the future would be slower. And the one who would feel it the worst would be here, Terra…”

Among the traders who were in Terra, if they asked about the territory most of the times they would answer ‘Ah, it was that country…’ Naturally, Terra was a territorial province that was deserted until just a few months ago, and although it was possible to deposit 10,000 white gold coins, only big trading companies could do that.

“Most of the trading companies in Terra have branches in Sorbania. Even Maria-san, her main store is located in Sorbania. For convenience, many of the trading companies would then use Sorbania deposit certificate.”

If Terra deposit certificate ceases to be distributed, Terra would not be able to collect more white gold coins. Not being able to circulate the money, the market would also become small. And the small amount of money circulating would mean the value of money goes up, causing the price of goods goes down. When that happens, the shops would make less money, and recession due to deflation would come…

“B-But! Just like Kota said, Sorbania deposit certificate would be circulated along with Terra deposit certificate, no? Which mean the value of money would still be—…”

“As a result, Terra would lose its currency sovereignty. The economy would depend on Sorbania’s economy, the policy would depend on Sorbania’s policy, and there would only be Sorbania’s ideal…”

Terra would become the so called dependency territory…

“… T-Then we should stop Sorbania’s deposit certificate–”

“That is impossible. With how Terra now, it is impossible to stop Sorbania’s move…”

If Terra were more powerful than Sorbania, then the story would be different. To begin with, if Terra had more power, the story would not become like these… In other words…

“No matter what we do… It is inevitable that Sorbania would invade Terra…”

“… Why…”

“…”

“… Why, such a thing!”

In response to her words, Kota frowned… What Erika had said was something Kota wanted to say since a while ago…

“There are two reasons…”

“Speak…”

“The first is because Terra success had caught the King of Sorbania eyes. I thought sooner or later something like this would happen but… I thought it would only happen in the next two or three years…”

To begin with, what Kota did here was only a rehash of what they did in modern Japan. The thing they did in Terra was something everyone could do in any territory. Just like Columbus, Kota was only the first who did it…

“… I see.”

Erika bites her lips. If that was true, they should be happy about becoming a model for another country, but at present, they could not feel happy at all… Seeing that Erika, Kota continues to speak.

“… The second reason is…”

He clutched both hands.

“… The second reason is because of my naivety. Sorbania is indeed a great power, though I did think it would be convenient, I was late to realize that the foundation we had was too light…”

Like Erika and Emily, Kota was also a person with common sense. The thing that King of Sorbania did was akin to that of changing the currency in modern Japan without any warning, like telling the people ‘we will abolish the Japanese yen, and only use electronic money starting now!”. Which was outside of common sense.

“To be honest, there’s also a side of me that thought I was able to do all of this because this is Terra. The territory is small, and comparatively out of sight. Since the territory is relatively new, the ties of obligation still small(politics) I thought, Sorbania won’t be able to do it as well as Terra…”

If one decided to do something new, it would be better to have fewer people with the authority to make the decision. It was often said ‘the size of an organization was not an excuse for slow decision-making,’ but the speed of decision making would become slow in proportion to the size of the organization structure.

“That’s why… I’m very sorry, Erika-san.”

‘You want to develop Terra, and here, I manage to corner Terra instead.’, he said…

“W-Wait, Kota!”

“All was due to my naive perspective…”

“Y-Your head—”

“… But, I won’t let it be like this…”

Hearing that, Erika hold back what she wanted to say…

“–Kota?”

“… I won’t let it end like this. Fortunately, there would be some time until Sorbania manages to circulate their certificate. We will use that time to strike the next policy.”

“… Eh?”

“… Young, level of knowledge, lack of experience. There are many factors to be looked down upon…”

To the extent, he himself was feeling unpleasant about it…

“Negotiations, the power to push, cutting card, where to cuts… We are not falling behind in that regard…”

That was why… This was his own personal fault, that was what Kota had thought…

“… I’m very sorry. I know that it is shameless of me to say this… I know that but… Erika-san.”

… ‘Please give me another chance,’ he said…

“…”

Kota kept her head bowed down…

“… Around.”

“Erika-san?”

Inside Erika’s mind.

“… Don’t joke with me!”

Something snapped.


-Economy Trivia-

Credit Creations.

One of the three primary business of a bank was Credit Creation. It would be complicated to explain in detail, but roughly speaking, 100 yen would be deposited and said 100 yen would be loaned to another person. Thus the 100 yen become 200 yen. It was called a modern alchemy, creating 100 yen out of nowhere by using Credit Money through banks…