Editor: Overworked Slave Cruiser (TN: Overworked victim sounds more correct…victim of my bad grammar XD)
Day 260 after being summoned to another world: (Those who move behind the scene)
“With that being said… My report ends here, is that alright? Your Highness.”
Sudou sat in the chair while facing Princess Sardina who was intently listening to the report. They were currently in Sardina’s private office which resides in the castle of the imperial capital.
Sardina was listening to Sudou report regarding his infiltration into the Rozeria Kingdom.
“I see, well, for now, everything seems to be going well… Though there are some unexpected things that happened, it was a great result in terms of weakening the Rozeria Kingdom… Saitou, is there anything you’re concerned about regarding his report?”
Sardina asked Saitou who was standing by her side.
“Let’s see, thanks to Sudou-san, we don’t have to change much of our plans. If they managed to kill Gerhardt then Princess Ladine will also be killed. For you to be able of making the two of them survived… As expected of Sudou-san. Gerhardt aside, we have already invested a lot of money bringing up that Ladine.”
In response to Saitou’s compliment, Sudou’s expression breaks into a smile.
“No no no, It’s not really my power you see… That Princess… Oh right, now she’s a Queen huh… Well whatever, that woman is really stupid! Even if he’s a trustworthy aide, no matter how much she trusts him, to think that she was willing to risk everything for the life of a single knight…”
Sudou said those words of humiliation towards Lupis while also being humble regarding his own ability, but in his eyes, one can see he held confidence in his own intelligence.
One can say such humility is a unique trait of Japanese people.
However, such humility is only a form.
And Sardina fully understood that he’s actually a prideful and an arrogant person.
One can even say that he’s the embodiment of arrogance.
“Although her head is smart, she lacks determination… I guess one can say that was the naivety of a kind hearted person huh?”
Sudou’s criticism spared no mercy regarding Lupis since within his heart, he truly despised her.
“Ah about that… Indeed I too wonder what the enemy’s doing… Well, it is good for us if the enemy is stupid though. But if they are too stupid, it makes me feel bored you know…”
Sardina shrugged her shoulders while laughing.
While Sudou nodded his head in agreement,Saitou refutes her words with a slight frown.
“But still Your Highness. Isn’t it also troublesome for us to not destroy them completely this time?”
“Ah, it’s about that guy huh… Tch! He’s always getting on my nerves. I really hate that guy!”
Toward Saitou’s words, Sardina spat out only hateful words.
Saitou’s words made her mood instantly getting worse.
The face of a young man that looks a bit older compared to his real age appeared inside her mind, which she tried to shake off.
Well her hatred toward him is justified.
After all, he was the man who got in her way on more than one occasions.
“Well, but just like what we heard from Sudou’s report, he’s just someone who got involved by accident… I don’t think he participated in this war because he knew of the empire’s movements…”
“That’s why it was infuriating… Just when we were figuring out where he ran of to, we found him participating in the war, and furthermore by accident? Thanks to him our original plan is barely intact!”
Toward Sudou’s relaxed tone, Sardina raised her voice in responding.
“Well it’s something similar to what we’d call fate? He is the one who managed to interrupt Gaies-sama’s grand plan and also single-handedly kill Gaies-sama after all…. Khukhuhu.”
While looking at Sudou laughter, Sardina sighed.
The civil war in Rozeria was actually a strategy that the deceased Gaies had developed in order for the Ortomea Empire to conquer the easter territories of the western continent.
The Ortomea Empire who already conquered the central part of the western continent was planning on conquering the eastern parts of the continent while enduring pressure from the Ernest Gora Kingdom situated in the north, and Kirtantia in the west. <TLN: The Ernest Gora Kingdom “エルネスグーラ王国” and Kirtantia Empire “キルタンティア皇国”>
The national strength of both countries can be said to be almost equal when compared to the Ortomea Empire.
The three-way stalemate has continued for almost 20 years. The countries understood that if two parties were to engage in all out war, the third party would be the one to benefit the most from it.
Despite continuous skirmishes at the borders of each country, none of the countries have launched a major offensive
Gaies, who was the military leader and also the main brainchild of the Ortomea Empire presented a solution to the Empire. It was an established fact that if the Empire(As it was currently) were to launch a major offensive against either the northern kingdom or the western empire that it would be difficult.
Thus, Gaies proposed them to turn their attentions towards the either the southern areas of the western continents or the easter parts of the western continent. Whilst the empire were deciding which to invade first, Gaies recommended them to conquer the eastern areas of the western continent first.
The southern areas were divided into 15 smaller countries which were always having territorial disputes with one another. This meant that there were quite a number of experienced soldiers that could be brought against the Empire’s flag.
On the other hand, the eastern parts of the western continent had 3 kingdoms who had a very long rule, not only did they have a very strict status system,their citizens have tendency of being exploited by their ruler, thus it would be more easy for the empire to control the land after the empire conquers them by giving the citizen lower tax or other things.
With that reason, the Emperor made a royal decree to carry out Gaies’s plans. The first steps into the plan was the civil war of Rozeria Kingdom which also bordered the Zalda Kingdom.
The national strength of each individual nation located on the eastern part of the western continent was much weaker when compared to the strength of the Ortomea Empire but if the nations were to join together even Ortomea wouldn’t be able to grasp an easy victory. The purpose of the civil war in Rozeria Kingdom was to divide the eastern powers.
“2 years have already passed since the time Gaies received the decree from the emperor and since Sudou found Ladine. After King Farst the second gradually weakened due to age, we used poison to finish him under the guise of a disease and after all the preparations were completed, Gaies ended up passing, jeopardizing the plan.”
One can say that the Empire’s plan was in great danger because of Gaies summoning the man called Mikoshiba Ryouma.
Saitou nodded deeply toward Sardina’s words.
“So? What happens to him?”
“Mikoshiba Ryouma huh… Well… He’s really a crafty one… Although in the grand scheme of things we manage to complete all of our objectives, but…”
Sudou cuts his words midway.
From his expression, one can see he was at lost for words.
“What’s wrong? Didn’t you manage to confine him within Wortenia Peninsula?”
“Indeed… I did manage to do just that, but that man… He manages to pull a last minute condition…”
“Eh? What do you mean by that? Isn’t he being confined within Wortenia peninsula with the pretext of rewarding him with the territory as Baron? What do you mean by condition?”
Sudou nodded with a serious look toward Sardina surprised expression.
“He’s really a manly one… He manages to gauge his opponent vital point just by speaking and Queen Lupis was overwhelmed by him.”
After Sudou gives such a preliminary statement, he began to talk about what had happened during the audience that day.
That day, Ryouma immediately ask for an audience as soon as Lupis had the time for one.
“As expected, you’re fast… Mikoshiba. I heard you already have an answer?”
Lupis asked Ryouma while maintaininga strong facial expression.
“Yes, your majesty… I’m very happy for your majesty’s offer… If possible I wish to accept it, but…”
Ryouma swiftly cut his words and gazed towards Lupis, she noted that there was no fury in his eyes unlike the previous days. He was trying to show respect towards Lupis.
“Does that means you’re going to refuse, Mikoshiba?”
Lupis’s voice was getting low and cold, for a ruler to turn a mere commoner to a noble would be something many commoners would crawl and beg for but even without any words Ryouma understood from the atmosphere.
Ryouma suppressed the sudden insult that slipped into his mind.
“I wouldn’t dare… I want to express my deepest gratitude toward your majesty… However…”
“What is it?”
“Before accepting the offer, there’s something I would like to confirm… I will accept the reward after hearing the things I want to confirm…”
Due to Ryouma’s evasive words, irritation begins to appear within Lupis’ heart.
“Your majesty…It would be better for us to listen to what he’s going to say, rather than letting him get away…”
Meltina who’s standing beside the throne whispers to Lupis.
“Very well… Mikoshiba. What do you want to ask?”
Following Lupis permission, Ryouma bows his head as a sign of gratitude.
“Your Majesty… First of all… How much do you know about the current state of Wortenia Peninsula?”
“What do you mean?”
Both Lupis’s and Meltina’s expression were dyed in a colour of doubt.
“Of course, I don’t know much about it, but this Wortenia Peninsula seems to have a considerable problem, does it not?”
“Oh, my? Is that how so?”
Lupis attempted to probe Ryouma’s words for the first time and although Lupis did not plan on telling him the truth here, it was quite obvious to Ryouma that she was playing coy.
“Yes… I tried to find information about Wortenia peninsula, and I realized…”
Ryouma turn his eyes toward Lupis once again.
“This Wortenia peninsula, if we look at how big the territory was, it can be said to be a generous offer.. However, there’s a problem.”
The problem Ryouma told her are as follows.
1. The tax revenue is 0 because the place had been used to sent exiled criminals, basically, there’s no proper citizen there. No citizen no tax income.
2. A lot of powerful monsters inhabited the land, as a result, it would be difficult for ordinary people to live there.
3. The existence of hostile settlements.
4. The issue with pirates who make their base in the territory coastal land.
5. It directly borders Zalda Kingdom, and is filled with constant conflict.
The first and second were the biggest issues. After all, without tax revenue Ryouma’s ability to develop his territory decreases significantly. It is a fact that nobles require revenue to maintain their country so giving a noble territory with absolutely no revenue or funding is like throwing a live fish in a desert.
It was clear to Ryouma that Lupis bears malicious intent in giving this territory to him but for now Ryouma hid his emotions. One should only show their anger and hatred towards their opponents.
“I see! As expected of Mikoshiba Ryouma… In a short time, you’ve managed to gather that much of information… Does Mikoshiba-dono want to reject the offer because of that? Betraying her majesty expectation?!”
Meltina raised her voice to support Lupis who was rendered silenct after Ryouma pointed out all the problem.
“Mikoshiba-dono! In response to your achievement in helping to defeat Hodram and Gerhardt, Her Majesty is already breaking customs by making you a nobleman! Indeed, Wortenia peninsula is not a rich territory. However, it is a vast land within the Rozeria Kingdom, comparable to that of a duchy territory. It would be a waste to leave the land as it is and refuse the offer, don’t you think so?”
“I see… Does that mean your majesty wants me to develop Wortenia peninsula so that people can live in it?”
“That’s right! Indeed it was a harsh land. However, if it’s you, I believe we can have a high expectation!… Am I right?”
“Can I take Meltina’s words as her majesty intent?”
One can say Meltina put in a good word. ‘Because your an excellent person we give you difficult territories.’. One could interpret it that way. However, Ryouma was not easily deceived by such words.
Ryouma immediately averted his gaze from Meltina and turned towards Lupis who has a stiff expression on her face.
Towards Ryouma’s question, Lupis had no choice other than to nod.
No matter what, she can’t say that she wants to confine him after all.
And Meltina’s words are within Ryouma’s expectations.
“I see, so that’s how it is! If that the case I would gladly help!”
“What’s wrong? Is your wish just to confirm my will?”
Listening to Ryouma’s reply, Princess Lupis’s expression changes. Of course, Ryouma wasn’t so stupid, everything fell within his plans. For him to corner both Lupis and Meltina…
“That’s not it, Your Majesty! Because if I don’t confirm your majesty’s will, it would be hard for me to ask for my wish…”
A chill ran down the spin of the two who were about to hear Ryouma’s wishes.
“What is it that you wish for…?”
“Well, I just want to borrow some money to develop the peninsula… to calculate the borrowed money, I need to understand your majesty intention first… And it is really a great honor for me that your majesty put your majesty’s expectation on me. I will do my best to meet your majesty’s expectation!”
Ryouma deeply lowers his head toward Lupis.
“Wait! What are you talking about? The Wortenia peninsula is your territory! The royal family should not have to fund that!”
Meltina slightly raises her voice.
While Ryouma’s expression does not change.
“Ha? This is different! Her Majesty knows the situation within Wortenia peninsula, and she wishes for prosperity and development of the territory.”
“That’s right! That’s why we want you to develop the territory with your talent!”
“But then, I’m just a commoner. I have no property. Does Meltina and your Majesty know that?”
“Well, we do…”
“Since I have no money, I need to borrow from someone to answer Her Majesty expectation… But no merchants willing to lend funds for the development of the territory.”
Merchants hate taking such large risks, development of a territory that housed demi-humans and monsters. No matter from which angle one were to view it, there were no merits in developing it.
“That’s why, with your talent…”
Meltina desperately tried to cling to their plan.
If they were overtaken by him, everything will burst into bubbles.
If they can’t contain Mikoshiba Ryouma, Lupis would be crushed.
It is absolutely necessary for them to avoid such thing to happen.
“Of course! I have my talents. However, I’m not God! There’s no way for me to develop such land without any resource… I think the wise Queen understand that?”
Ryouma bows towards the now pale looking Lupis. Originally she planned to impose him under unreasonable conditions but since it managed to proceed this far she could not refuse him because she had already affirmed her will previously.
“How much do you need?”
Lupis ignored Meltina’s scream. They were not alone, other nobles were watching and there werethe knights who guarded the audience room. Lupis could not show any disgraceful behaviours in front of her people. She needs to show them that she is the monarch that would ask a commoner to do an important task.
“As expected of your majesty! Very understanding! Well then, the rough estimate fund that I need is around 100 billion baht!”
Following Sudou’s explanation, Saitou burst out into laughter.
For him who’s usually calm and polite, this is an unusual occurrence
and Sardina had no intention of reproaching his behavior either.
After all, she was also surprised because of the explanation.
Firstly, a cheap hotel in town is usually cost 100 baht per night.
Another 100 bath if you want to take meals in the morning and night.
That means, 200 baht is necessary for a person to live for a day.
With that, one can understand, how much the demands Ryouma had put forth.
“Such an incomprehensible amount… With that amount they have to lend the entire income of the kingdom!”
Following Saitou’s words, Sardina also nods in agreement.
“Even for the Empire, it is impossible to put forth such an amount in one go…”
It wasn’t an impossible task but no nation within the western continents are able to pass such an amount in one go since the income of a nation is fixed based on the annual budget.
Most of the things that are impossible to neglect such as salaries of the officials and capital investment in the military.
If the empire had to put out such amount in one go, they would have to spend hours working over the multi-years worth of budget.
Even for just the paperwork alone will take a lot of time.
That’s why it is impossible for the Rozeria Kingdom which has smaller size compared to the empire.
Toward Sardina’s words, Sudou nodded in agreement.
“I agree… However, it would be bad for them if they don’t put some funds despite wanting to develop the land.”
Opening up the forest, creating roads, hiring a work force and soldiers, preparing to take care of the pirates and demi humans. Money was also required to settle emigrates.
If one were to look at it from an economical standpoint, that much would be quite reasonable if one were to develop the peninsula.
“But still that many… Just what… Ah!… I see so that’s how it is!”
“As expected of your highness… did you notice?”
Toward Sardina realization, Sudou smiled and narrowed his eyes.
“Did he really think he would be able to receive that amount of money? What if, he expected to get rejected and presented smaller demands?”
Sudou picked out a piece of paper from inside his pocket and presented it to Sardina.
“The list of things that Mikoshiba demanded from the Queen Lupis… I’ve confirmed that all of them are troublesome… It seems like the territory would be completely independent from the Rozeria Kingdom.”
The clauses on the paper are detailed, and there are quite a few items.
Sardina looked at each of the conditions Ryouma put forward, from top to bottom.
Her expression then turns cloudy.
Ryouma was roughly ask for,
To leave all law, military, diplomacy, and economy to Mikoshiba Ryouma.
Exempted from a tax that nobles have to pay to the kingdom.
In other words, while being in a position of being a Baron, Ryouma held an authority comparable to that of a Duke.
“Did she… Queen Lupis… Really accept this?”
Sudou nodded his head answering Sardina question.
“I heard she’s stupid… But to this extent… This is the same as giving freedom to a venomous viper…”
“It seems like her mind was dazzled by the amount of funds initially asked, thus she gave permission without much thought…”
“Well, I understand that… But still…”
This is the same as giving freedom to a very dangerous man.
Moreover, with the land.
“Well, the saving grace is no matter how much authority over the land he has, the land has no revenue and also unexplored… Basically, he has to create everything from nothing…”
“Saitou… Do you think the same?”
Sardina asked Saitou who was in silence since a while ago.
Land without tax revenue.
Filled with monsters.
No assistance from the Rozeria Kingdom.
Just what in the world can Ryouma do?
But Saitou could not say that…
Because he also slightly holds some fear toward a being known as Mikoshiba Ryouma.
Sardina diverted her eyes from Saitou.
Everyone within the room has the same feeling of anxiety.
“Sudou… Your plan… Are you sure it’s not backfiring?”
Sudou answered her question with silence.
Sudou himself is the one who suggested Lupis to make Ryouma a noble.
And that is to confine Mikoshiba Ryouma.
Of course, Sardina also doesn’t want Ryouma being appointed to another country.
Especially the countries located in the northern and western part of the continent.
But the plan might actually backfire…
Such anxiety binds the three people inside the room.
“Well, it’s fine… Sudou… Don’t let him out of your sight, understood?”
Sudou nodded toward Sardina’s command without many words.
“Well then, your highness… The next plan, is it alright to assume that the invasion of the Zalda Kingdom begins?”
“Yes… As planned before, we’re going to invade them next month… Sudou! You remember our plan right?”
“Please be relieved. Due to the previous civil war, unrest is spreading within both the aristocracy and knights. Because they need to focus on their internal affairs, Rozeria won’t be able to reinforce Zalda.”
“Very well! I leave the Rozeria’s matters in your hand!”
Toward Sardina’s words, Sudou and Saitou nodded their head.
The Ortomea Empire began bearing their fangs toward their neighboring country.