Flame Kingdom – 23.1

If one were to write without fear of causing misunderstanding, then a banker job was actually quite popular. 

Well, a banker was said to be a cold person or not sociable people. But in reality, such a thing was not true. If one were to describe a banker job in short sentence in this ultra-low interest era, that would be making people thinking ‘I want to borrow money,’ sometimes they would become like that of a stubborn ramen owner when doing business. 

Their job was more than just buying and selling things that were without shape(credits), but for them, trust was the most important. Though ultimately, an individual appeal was also important in being a banker.

A certain level of communication skill was also essential so that people would always think ‘even if everyone offers low interest, I would always borrow from you who always do well.’ If there was someone who said ‘That is not true. Banker were people who always cold, or sometimes bossy’. Then whether that was the banker being an idiot for getting misunderstood, or the customer was only being a ‘bad customer.’ Whichever the case, no one could blame both sides unless clear investigation was being done. 

They sound cold not because they were discriminating the customers, it was more like distinction. Even a  Bank was just a commercial company. It was impossible for the banker to have a warm chat due to the limited time they had for each customer. 

Then again, a banker was one of the most stable professions. It was said that the financial situation right now was very unfavorable that people said a Bank would collapse as a result of major financial restructuring, which would then cause the collapse of the monetary system. But such a thing was not true, there would always a life-boat being thrown somewhere. In the end, the Bank cannot be shut down. 

Furthermore, a banker was basically fallen into the category of a high-income job. Of course, there would always a better job in terms of income out there, such as working in a foreign-funded enterprise, or government-financed company. There were those companies, but in the end, no one can’t deny how the salary system of a bank works. The point was that, in comparison, the banker had a higher annual salary compared to most adult workers. 

In addition, being a banker, there was a social trust attached to them. (Though it depends on each place/country). Many of city banks or regional banks dated back to more than 100 years. Though the saying of ‘old things are good things’ didn’t exist, but it was a fact that a long-established enterprise would always have the people trust. In fact, unless one had a grudge against the banking industry or had a better job, most people would say ‘A Banker? You sure have a good job…’ when they heard one work as a banker. 

Anyway, back to the beginning… 

A banker means one who had good social skill, stable occupation, high standard income, social trust among the people. And unless one had a fatal flaw in one’s character, being a banker usually makes one more popular. 

Mainly as a married partner. 

Even when one had minimal appeal when it comes to becoming a love interest, they would still be popular as a ‘marriage partner’ interest. Such a tendency was more pronounced as people get older, people would choose a man with money but have no dream than a man who had dreams than anyone but didn’t have money.

It was the same with appearance, someone with the appearance of an ordinary man but with the stable job had a better impression in the world, than unemployed good looking men. Love could be blind, love may be deep, but marriage was the product of compromise and calculation.

Love was an addition, while marriage was subtraction. It was necessary to have the courage to compromise than missing the marriageable age because of pursuing ideals. 

The dandelion near you was better than the rose that was far away. 

Such as ‘he was not my taste’ or ‘my husband attire was the worst. I’m ashamed to walk with him.’ sometimes could be heard as a happy idle complaint. Since if one didn’t have enough food or good shelter, they won’t even have the time to make such an idle complaint. They could speak about their taste or sense because they didn’t have to worry about tomorrow’s dinner. 

If you were wondering why I talk about this at length, the reason was I want to tell you, in reality, Kota was a popular man. Not only he was a banker as explained above, but he also graduated from a famous university among the society, while his looks were also among the average. In addition to that, his demeanor was soft and gentle. 

He also didn’t mind jokes, and unless the woman was the type who say ‘please, rely on me!’, his evaluation might be higher among those who favor men that could solve any problems by themselves. 

It was hard to say if his ability in sport was good, but in marriage, the percentage of sports being used was rare… Apart from the night exercise. His artistic sense was equal to none, but such a thing had low priority in marriage life. From an overall average people perspective, Kota was an excellent marriage partner. <TLN: This is overall average JAPANESE people perspective, not the world.>

“… Ah.” 

While brushing Erika’s head, Kota unfastens his hugs. Erika reluctantly looking at Kota’s eyes with a disgruntled look on her face. 

“… Somehow, I feel like being treated like a child, was that my imagination?” 

“That is not true, you know?” 

“I wonder…” 

“In the first place, an adult woman won’t get angry just because they were being treated as children…” 

“… Muu….” 

Erika inflated her cheeks and stare at Kota adorably again. 

“… Somehow, I had these feeling that you’re used to this…” 

Hearing Erika’s words, Kota shrugged his shoulders. Well, Kota was a healthy twenty-six-year man, there was no way he feels bad for getting hugged. 

He might not one to be called a young man, but it was not right to call his life that of the life of a hermit, with that, even when his ulterior motives were being seen and then being told ‘I actually feel very good about Matsushiro-kun, you know’?, or saying ‘Then’ after those words… 

For Kota, it would be hard to say there was ‘no love’ in his life. Though he was not exactly a Hero, compared to him who had experienced many things, Erika was only a level one. At least, when it comes to how to treat a woman, he knows one or two things… 

“It is because I do have a certain degree of experience in life…” 

“… Hmmph! As expected of the Demon Lord! It seems your experience with a woman also pretty high, huh?!” 

“… No, not really… Or rather, are you a child?” 

“Being a child is fine! After all, I don’t have much experience, unlike you!” 

… Incidentally, even though Kota might be a Demon Lord, he was someone who could not do magic. – 

“… So?” 

“So? About what? 

Erika who realizes that being sulky won’t have any effect to him decide to speak after sighing deeply. 

If she had said ‘…More’. 

Without a doubt, Kota would hug her again in panic. In the end, she was a princess who was not suited to stay as a spoiled girl. 

“Don’t play dumb. This is you we’re talking about, I bet you’ve already thought about something, no? I tell you upfront if you say ‘it’s secret,’ I’m going to hit you for real, understand?” 

“I won’t say that… First of all, this is not the time for me to act blindly after all..” 

Though Erika had said ‘It was not your fault…’ It was him who had decided to come to the negotiation table, and ended up getting a surprise attack. That was why, it was not entirely wrong if she said ‘you’re the one who says ‘leave it to me,’ no?’. 

“… There are very few measures that could be taken at present. Sorbania has the right to release their own deposit certificate. There’s no way for us to stop them…” 

If they did that, it would become a serious issue of domestic intervention… In the first place, Sorbania had all the right to ignore Terra complaint. The negotiation itself happened because their side didn’t want an unnecessary argument. 

“… It would be impossible to stop the circulation then.” 

“As I said before, that would be impossible. Their certificate will flow into Terra just like how water flows on the rivers…” 

“… Then, there’s nothing we could do?” 

“None, that is what I wanted to say but…” 

“There’s something we could do?!” 

Erika leaned toward Kota when she heard his words… 

“W-Wait, Erika-san?!” 

“What now?! I told you I will hit you if you keep it a secret! Or is that precisely your intention?! If that is the case, then, put your cheek out and let me slap you now!” 

“Violence! Calm down, let me explain first!” 

He manages to control Erika and pushed her face away with his hand. It had caused cold sweat appeared on Kota’s forehead, but the situation was also kind of fun for him… 

“There are two things that we could do to fight against the enemy…” 

“Two?” 

“To weaken the enemy or to make ourselves stronger. These are the two things…” 

“… It might be rude for me to say this but, isn’t that obvious? – Well, anyway, that is fine… So?” 

“If we choose to weaken the enemy, it would be easy to say but hard to actually do it. Natural disaster, wars, famine… Any disaster befalls Sorbania would do, as long it has nothing to do with Terra. A person misfortune is another person fortune…” 

“…” 

“… Please don’t look at me like that… I know it is not right for us to pray for other people’s misery…” 

But apart from that, in the end, Kota was not a saint. Rather than one thousand death happened on the other side of the world, he would feel more sadness when the cat he had kept died… But the girl in front of him seems to show a sad face even though the people who died were Sorbania’s people… 

“… I’m sorry. Even though I understand that that is the best method, I…” 

Rather than ‘don’t want to do it,’ it was more like ‘can’t do it.’ If one were the leader of country/territory, there would be times when one needs to make a decision that didn’t match with one’s ideal. And when it comes to that, Erika was still immature as a Lord. 

“Though I said that, I have no way to make Sorbania suffer either. So, in the first place, it is impossible to make Sorbania weaker, see?” 

When she heard Kota’s words, Erika was obviously relieved. Even though she understood the method, she was not convinced… 

“So then… We’re going to make Tera strong?” 

Erika asked that question while tilting her head. Kota nodded his head in affirmation while smiling after seeing her adorable gesture… 

“That is right…” 

“But… Kota, you said earlier that is difficult to do, no?” 

“That is also right…” 

“…” 

“…” 

“…” 

“… Then, it is impossible, after all?” 

“Emm… I didn’t say it is impossible, though… ?” 

Saying that his gaze wandered around for a while before continue speaking… 

“… Then, tell me…” 

“… The odds are pretty slim, and it will use a lot of money. Moreover, even if it succeeds, it is only something that would provide Terra with more future probability…” 

“…” 

“But in the end, if it succeeds… At least, Tera would very likely to win against Sorbania. That is the kind of plan I’m currently thinking…” 

“… What is that…” 

“…” 

“… If you have such a good method, then said it earlier!” 

“… I guess you’re right. About that, the plan is—” 

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