Flame Kingdom – 25

Frontier Earl Parsena territory. 

Though it was a hereditary Earl household territory, it was a state that claims to be ‘different.’ The monarchy was mainstream in the Orkena continent, but even though the Lime city-state alliance had their leader as a non-hereditary called the consul, causing Persena to be named as the ‘remains of the Flame Empire.’ One of the reasons why it was different because the founder of Earl Parsena household had bought the peerage using money. 

As long as the territory was not blessed, all nobles had more or less experienced deficit, but Parsena which was only one province of the Flame Kingdom at the time was in a circle of deficit and devastatingly had no money. 

The debt toward the Flame Kingdom was astronomical enough to the point it had become a joke that said ‘the road from Parsena to Flame could be paved with white gold coins.’ Despite having a distance of two days by using a high-speed carriage. 

The Earl of Parsena of that time was very troubled by it. After worrying about the troubles and suffering of lack of sleep, he came up with a solution that no one at the time could even think of. He sold the title of nobility to a wealthy merchant from Sorbania, Grace, who was known as ‘the safe of Orkena continent.’ 

If a man had enough money, he would want honor next. 

Grace, who had money despite being a commoner took the words of Earl Parsena at the time to escape the hardship of being a. commoner Still, due to the pride of Earl Parsena at the time, he didn’t just immediately hand over the title, but he chose to adopt Grace as the Earl household successor, which basically the same thing. Of course, the Flame nobility didn’t agree to it and turned their criticism toward Earl Parsena, but then soon they would turn such criticism filled with contempt toward the Flame royal family who approved that. 

At the time the argument was ‘Why do we need to recognize a nouveau riche from Sorbania as a fellow member of the Flame nobility?’. 

There was also the Kingdom financial problem that draws the eyes of criticism… The debt of Parsena, which was bad debt, would be repaid all at once. 

No matter what the nobility said, the pocket didn’t suffer after all… In fact, many of them also had a deficit, and if they were able to be honest, most of them would actually welcome a similar situation. 

Thus the Kingdom government, which was swayed between financial relief and reputation, finally made a decision. 

And that decision was, ‘The Kingdom permitted Grace as the successor of Earl Parsena household, and handed over all the assets to him. However, he should never claim to be part of Flame nobility.” 

When translated freely, it was basically independent approval, which says ‘We will give up Parsena territory, do whatever you want yourself.’ As a Kingdom, they had given up a part of their territory, but Parsena had been a territory plagued with no-money trouble up until now. They thought they won’t lose anything even if they lose the territory. 

The aristocrats have also accepted that decision. Externally, the Kingdom accepted the aristocrats’ claim and defended the pride of the Flame nobility by ceded the territory. Above all, it displayed that the Kingdom didn’t make light of the pride of the nobility. 

The decision was highly welcomed, even for Grace, who inherited the land. At first, he intended only to become a noble, but before knowing it, he had become ahead of a state. 

From the point of view of him who was a Sorbania person, and had no connection with the Flame Kingdom other than business, he would choose to be released from the chain of Flame. 

‘Yesterday I was just a merchant, and tomorrow I am a King?’ Grace, who received the declaration from Flame, had said those words, but that words were indeed a fact. 

By the way, the title of “Frontier Earl’ that Parsena called itself was not a Frontier earl who had the meaning of Marquis. Located almost in the middle of Orkena Continent, adjacent to the Larcia Kingdom, the Kingdom of Flame, and Sorbania, Parsena was geographically not frontier, but because it didn’t belong to any country, it could be said the territory was a political frontier. 

The reason why they didn’t call themselves a ‘Kingdom’ was because of consideration to the other Royal Families in Orkena continent, which were noisier compared to the Flame aristocrats. 

“That is why Parsena is a bit special in Orkena continent. Unlike other countries, it rarely appears on the political stage. The current leader is Frontier Earl, Grace the Third… Well, I saw him once during my birthday party…” 

‘Still, that was something amazing, you know?’ Thus Erika said those words while changing her gaze, Kota himself was looking at the Parsena river in front of him. 

“By the way, right now we’re in the area known as Parsena northern ward. It is a section where, Parsena residence, commercial, and political center located. And the other side of the river is…” 

Erika muttered those words while pointing toward the direction of the river. 

“… Parsena Southern Ward. In Orkena continent, Parsena was known as the capital city of ‘pleasure and lust.'” 

Emily said those words with a slight bewitching smile. Her smile was quite glossy like an adult woman who drags a beginner boy into the path of evil… 

“… Emm, excuse me. I have a few questions to ask, is that okay?” 

“Sure, what is it?” 

“Errr… Why are we in Parsena?” 

The most important question. Erika had told Kota to come with her by saying ‘Kota we’re going to go out for a bit,’ but then when he gets out from the carriage, he was in front of an adult theme park. It would be weirder if he didn’t ask about it… 

“What do you mean by this?” 

“Oh my? Didn’t I told you already?” 

While saying those words, she put her left hand on her waist and pointed at Kota. 

“This is a vacation!” 

… That was what she said… 

——————————————- 

A week before Kota arrived at the heart of Parsena city, with Maria help on promotion, Terra managed to create a mutual aid organization by the merchants, called ‘Rondo de Terra merchants association.’. 

It had the purpose of information sharing between each business, and also to help during emergencies, it will also act as a contact place for buying supplies, together with each of the policies, half of the stock of the Harbor Development Public Company was being issued, and underwriting of 500,000 white gold coins was also being approved. 

Duke of Terra takes up the remaining shares worth of 500,000 white gold coins, The Harbor Development Public Company who had issued all the shares started operation on the same day, with Kota Matsushiro as the President, and Maria Search as the Vice President of the public company. Nearly 70% of the total budget, which was 670,000 white gold coins, was used to orders materials from the merchants association to build the port facility, company building, and other facilities. 

The merchants association divided the purchased material according to the investment ratio each company had. 

Thus the construction advanced at a rapid pace. Though well, it was a Harbor development, it was a massive infrastructure project. It was something that cannot be done in just a single day. 

“Didn’t I told you to go out for a bit?” 

“No well, I did hear that but…” 

In the end, they had used 500,000 white gold coins they had. Thus there was practically no money inside their safe. And since there was no money left, there was no way to strike a new policy, and since Maria was in charge of the Harbor development program, the project had been progressing well. In short, they had a lot of free time on their hand right now. Especially Kota. 

“I was wondering if there’s any work that I could do, like when I went to Sorbania but… Vacation, huh?” 

Erika heaves a big sigh when she heard Kota words, and held her forehead. 

“How much do you like work, seriously…” 

“No well, work is not something I like particularly…” 

“In the first place, Kota, aren’t you overworked too much? Sometimes the body needs to take a breather, you know?” 

“… Is that so?” 

“It is…” 

Looking back… The policy to change the territory from agriculture territory into a commercially focused territory, city planning to land acquisition for the commercial district, the negotiation with the merchants, policy for anti-counterfeiting measures, diplomacy with the Sorbania Kingdom, and lastly the establishment of the public company.  Since Kota comes to Terra, he had strikes that many policies… With that, it was no wonder that Erika worried. Of course, he also worried but… 

“But you know, I think I had enough relaxed time? I can relax in the morning, and I can even rest early in the night. I can have lunchtime during the day, and two days weekend, you know? To call me overworked myself, I would receive a divine punishment if I did that you know?” 

For Kota, this was no concern… Instead, his work now was a lot less compared to when he was working as a banker in Japan. 

“… What kind of a bad environment are you working with over there?” 

“No no, it is not a bad workplace—…” 

A bank was a business which does business under the law. Bank laws tied the bank itself, bill law dealing with bills and checks, etc. real estate registration law, buy and sell investment trust and stock law, financial product sales law, financial instrument transaction law. And the bankers had to deal with affairs according to the law. In short, banking practice was rigorous, complex, and laborious. It was said that if a banker makes a mistake, a bank could lose hundreds of millions. 

Thus they were told to never make a mistake, causing them to feel nervous, and making their work takes time to finish. 

For example, one document would need many people to confirm, and sometimes it took days to complete. During those times, no matter how much time one had, it was not enough. 

Not to mention that each bank had their own rules as well, for example, the position of a single seal on the slip, and where to place the second seal on a particular document, or a specific document needs to be submitted to the headquarter first before being given a seal. It was important to follow each rule properly if one didn’t follow the rule, they will get into big trouble. There was even a joke that, before the spread of personal computer, there were 20 books for statute law, and one book was filled with just the table of content alone. 

Of course, when you remembered the administrative regulation, everything was fine… Due to the regulations being enormous, they just need to ‘remember being reasonable.’ A bank was a company for profit, even bankers had a quota. Loans to companies, sales amounts of mutual funds and government bonds, time for deposit collection, number of the credit card being issued, and other things… Of course, specialized knowledge also required for each of the bank product, and as the number of product being handled increase, the amount of knowledge one needed to remember also increased. After all, no one would buy something if the seller said ‘I don’t know how it works, but they said it is profitable…’. And bankers who cannot contribute to the Bank earnings would be severely criticized… That alone pretty much ‘sick.’ Anyhow, bankers need to work from 8 o’clock in the morning to 10 o’clock in the night, in some cases, they need to work together until the next morning comes. It was abnormal for people who did that didn’t end up sick. And the only way to not fall ill was to improve your work or just quit… 

“….” 

“W-What’s wrong, Kota? Your face looked pale, you know?” 

“…” 

“K-Kota?” 

“O-Oh?! N-No, there’s nothing, see? Ermm, a vacation, right? I see, isn’t that fine? Right, once in a while someone needs to relax, I agree!” 

Kota was a man of effort. He was not someone that overly smart from the beginning, he was the type who need to do things in repetition until he was able to do it correctly. Naturally, during his first year of admission, where his repetition could not catch up, he was scolded by his boss, and it was a complete mess. It was about the superior but, in general, a bank was a workplace with a strong element of ‘is your boss saying yes?’. 

And unfortunately for Kota, his direct superior was such a person… Well, it was kind of trauma for Kota… 

“… When I think about it, I’m really blessed now…” 

He had lunch break time, two days off every week too… Considering that he had wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning, and sleep early because there was no convenient thing such as lamp here… And the work was also a responsible work… Making one feel more motivation rather than negative factors… There were also no detailed law and regulation that needed to be remembered. If one thinks about it carefully, Kota workplace right now was close to that of heaven. 

“… What’s wrong?” 

“… What is it? Why are you looking at Erika-sama and my face like that?” 

“… Ah, no.” 

… In addition, his employer and colleagues were both kind and beautiful. Honestly, if he even complains about all of that, he might actually really received divine punishment. 

“… Well fine. As I said the other day, I need to renovate my house. Though as expected, we’re not going to stay in Parsena as long as the duration of the renovation.” 

‘Isn’t that fine? two or three days should be good, no?’, After being asked, Erika assented with that. ‘Well, one could think of this as a company trip, which was part of the job.’ That was what Kota had thought. He was really a corporate slave. 

“But still… Why Parsena? Why can’t we do it in Terra?” 

“If we do that, you won’t be separated from your work, and you will not be able to rest slowly, no? If we stay in the territory, you will always find a job to do…” 

“… Erika-san, just what do you think of me?” 

“I think you’re an idiot.” 

Working idiot. Or rather, work addict. 

“That is why… Starting from today, for three days, forget about your work, and enjoy yourself at all cost! Don’t worry about money, eat something you like, play something you like!” 

It might be due to the tension, but Erica and Emily were raising their had and yelled “Ou~!”. It was embarrassing to see them both like that since they did that in the middle of heavy traffic. 

“P-Please, stop that! It’s embarrassing! Sonia-san, please say something too!” 

“…” 

“Sonia-san?” 

“… Eh? Ah, oh my? Did you say something, Kota-sama?” 

“No… It’s nothing but, are you alright?” 

“What’s wrong, Sonia? Are you feeling unwell? Are you tired?” 

“Ah, no… That is not it but…” 

“Well, Parsena is a city for ‘adult’? Maybe it is not fun for the ‘children’ such as Sonia?” 

“…” 

“… Sonia?” 

If it were her usual self, she would definitely respond with ‘Who are you calling a child?!’. Due to the sense of discomfort that she was acting not like usual, Erika also looked at her suspiciously. 

“What’s wrong?” 

“Ah, nothing… Nothing is wrong! Now then, Kota-sama! Since this is my first time in Parsena, please escort me!” 

“No, well, this is also my first time being here, you know?” 

“It is a gentleman duty to escort a lady even if it is also their first time!” 

‘S-Sonia! W-Wait a minute, you’re too close to Kota! Get away from him!” 

“Erika-sama, there’s no reason for Erika-sama to say that, no~?” 

“Sonia!” 

Sonia finally returned back like how she used to be a little bit… Though there was still a sense of out of place a bit. 

“… Well, fine.” 

If one were to complain about every single little thing, the atmosphere would just get worse. I think everything should be fine if he watches over with caution. 

“What’s wrong, Kota-sama?” 

“… Ah no, I think we should have a lot of fun!” 

As he glanced at Parsena landscape, Kota smiled… 


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