Flame Kingdom – 23.2

— Huh? 

“… Ermm, Erika-san? Are you listening to my explanation properly?” 

“Yes, I’m listening… It is something difficult to succeeds, and even if succeeds, a new problem would arise. And it cost money to do, right?” 

“That is right. Though it was something I thought, I personally think it is not a good idea, what do you think?” 

“Is that so? But I don’t think so… Based on what you told me… The bottom line is that we’re going to postpone dealing with the problem, no?” 

“… That is right.” 

“In the first place, for us, what we wanted is to earn time, right? Time to make Tera strong, to be strong enough as to not lose against Sorbania… And if you can buy time with that plan, then I think it is a great plan.” 

“B-But still!” 

“It is fine…” 

Slowly, she held Kota’s hand. 

“Listen, Kota. Like I’ve told you before… ” 

‘Let us do this together from now on,’ she said… 

“…” 

“Even if you think by yourself, even if you carry it by yourself, you’re not alone… Tell me what you think. Let me think together with you. Let me carry your burden together with you. Share your suffering, your grief… And happiness with me.” 

Just like a holy mother. 

Erika who floats a smile after saying those words was dignified, fleeting and beautiful… 

“… Pfft…Hahahahaha!” 

“W-What?! D-Did I say something strange?” 

Her expression then completely change. From a holy mother to an adorable girl with a sulky face. 

“… Ehem, that was rude of me.” 

He stroked Erika’s head, causing her to cast a suspicious gaze at him. Kota opened his mouth, with a smile more broad than before, while Erika keeps glaring at him… 

“… I think I will start by developing the port.” 

“Developing the port?” 

He nodded his head while smiling at Erika, who had her face turn red and hold her head with both hands. 

“Tera is facing the sea, no? In spite of that, the means of transportation of goods are via land route. I will name the area near the port as the ‘commercial area.'” 

Though by doing that, there were various problems… The biggest one would be the cost of performance. The funds for the acquisition of lands, the funds for port development and trading house… If they were going to launch such port development project that scale, unless some white gold coins gushing out of the sea, then the cash flow won’t be able to catch up. In addition, Tera was genuinely inherited countryside territory… In some case, it won’t be weird if people skeptical about such infrastructure development in such an area. It would be good for Tera to have it, but most people probably going to say it would be better for them to develop the highway. 

“Because we’re considering the future, we need the port for business someday. In other words, we need to plan ahead. Using this, it would definitely make Tera more developed than now…” 

“… Wait? I understand that we need the port for the future of business. But… How are we going to do it?” 

“About what?” 

“About the money, of course…” 

Indeed, it was no exaggeration to say that Tera had the most significant economic boom since its creation… But it was also not an exaggeration that they didn’t have the income to carry out such a huge infrastructure. Erika’s opinion was very legitimate… Therefore, Kota too should’ve noticed about such a thing. 

“That is why let us get somebody to pay it…” 

“… What?” 

“… Like I said, let us get somebody to pay it.” 

“L-Let somebody to pay it? D-Don’t tell me, you’re going to borrow from the Flame, the royal family to pay it? I will tell you beforehand, we can’t do that! Right now, I still owe some debt to the country—…” 

“Not from the country…” 

“— That’s why I can’t borrow from them… Huh?” 

“In the first place, we’re not going to ‘borrow’… I told you, we’re going to make others pay for it?” 

“Let others pay? — Wait a minute! Just who the heck are you going to ask to pay for that?!” 

“The merchants of course…” 

“A-Are you going to ask extra taxes? That is absolutely unacceptable! If you do such a thing, the merchants who had come to Tera would leave and go somewhere else!” 

“That’s right. The low taxes was what brought them here… That is why extra tax is out of the question.” 

“Then!” 

“That is why we make an ‘investment’ out of it…” 

“I-Investment… What?” 

Kota nodded in affirmation. 

“To be honest, I have no sense of naming, but… How about we go with ‘Rondo de Tera harbor development project public company’ ?” 

Economic Trivia. 

Netherlands East India Company. 

Officially, the union east India company. It was said as the world’s first trading company, which was a joint stock company, but in fact, they could perform war, diplomacy, or even treaty by themselves. Rondo de Tera port development project public company is close to that image. Thank you very much for your continuous support of this series…