Noon, 14th Day, 11 Month, the Year 2813.
For the first time in over a year, Ryouma visited Pireaus, the capital city of the Rozeria Kingdom.
A first big city after a long absence.
The fortified city of Epiroz boasted an exceptionally large population, but it cannot be compared with how big the royal capital of a kingdom was.
Well, although the city population was not as big as Tokyo or London, this city was still one of the biggest in this world.
“The atmosphere around here is not really good…”
Ryouma had come via the first gate to enter the city.
Although he had said the atmosphere was not good, it did not mean the smell was bad.
Of course if one were to sniff carefully, unpleasant smell from the sewage can be felt but that was the same in every city, and it was not that bad because the road was maintained properly.
There were various things if one were to compare it with the clean sense of a modern people, but this was not a poor environment when one had to consider the technology this world possessed.
But certainly, the atmosphere around the city was heavy. –
While surrounded by around 20 soldiers around him, Ryouma advanced toward the Royal castle. –
“Somehow don’t you think the atmosphere feel restless?”
“The street shops also does not seem to have much activity either.”
Sara and Laura seemed to have sensed the same thing.
They looked around suspiciously.
“The problem is ‘what’ had happened huh…”
Ryouma’s eyes looked straight on the street.
The city where the country had ended a civil war should have been lively.
Streets where it was filled with crowds and vendors being built here and there.
Originally the voice of the shopkeepers trying to attract customers should have reached even where Ryouma was.
It was wrong to say that he did not hear anything, but somehow it felt like the shops’ owners have lost all of their enthusiasm.
“Maybe Queen Lupis reign is not very good?”
“I guess so…”
Responding to Sara’s question Ryouma glared at the royal castle.
If the government had been going well, the situation won’t go this bad.
There was not much change around the main street, but it seemed that the number of people living on the streets had increased.
“Well, Like this it won’t be hard for us to gather farmers I think…”
They were people who abandoned their land and homes.
Although it was almost like they had same status as refugees, but it actually have a different meaning: people who lost their own country because of war or religious crackdown were called refugees, but many also called those who lost their home due to economic reason as well.
Well, both were people who lost their homes.
In front of these people, only two roads existed.
One was to be sold as a slave, and the other was to die on the roadside without anyone’s care.
Unfortunately, unlike modern society, in this world, there were no such things such as world organization or NGO to help them.
For these people, there might be a great chance for them willingly to migrate to an underdeveloped Wortenia peninsula.
“Queen Lupis is unable to get rid of the troublesome people after all. Particularly those with a dissenting attitude.”
“Indeed. Well, it was convenient for us if she ended up like this. But still, just what happened to make it end up worst this fast?”
Just like Laura had pointed out before, Lupis might even be glad to let these homeless people emigrate.
The existence of these homeless people caused a decline in public security.
It was better for her to push these people to the peninsula rather than letting them live within the royal capital.
The problem here was why the number of these people had increased over the past one year.
Of course, bad luck also existed in this world.
There were also people who loved to gamble and live in debts, while there were also people who have lost their homes because they could not work due to illness or injury.
A lot of such human beings existed within the royal capital even a year ago.
However, the number of people sitting in the alley have definitely increased compared to one year ago.
Although there was no war.
And yet the number of such people had increased, there was only one possibility, and that was the government had not functioned properly.
“Probably, the aristocrats had tightened the taxes, or because of bureaucratic corruption…”
There might also be another problem, but the most apparent one might be due to the confusion among the regional aristocracy because Lupis had caused the power to gather around her too much.
It was common for people with a reformist agenda to collide with people who wanted to protect their vested interests.
Either way, this was a proof that Lupis government had not yet gone well.
(This is pretty desolate…)
Looking at the state of the capital of a kingdom, it was not difficult to imagine what kind of rural aristocracy looked like.
If that was the case, another big problem comes up.
The movement of Princess Ladine.
If the political instability continues, a power that wanted to overcome the current situation would arise.
And surely a revolt will happen. Apart from whether or not it would develop into a civil war depend on the government changing.
At the end of the civil war, Ryouma had predicted that the Rozeria kingdom would fall in five years, but apparently, it would be shorter than that.
(I hope the flames of troubles won’t reach us, but I guess that’s impossible huh?)
However, contrary to Ryouma expectation, even if there was a movement, he had confidence that this reinforcement to Zalda kingdom would still happen.
Wortenia peninsula was part of Rozeria Kingdom, no matter how much it was left apart.
Thus it cannot be said that no matter what happens nothing will happen to the peninsula.
(Well, I will leave the rest to Genou and Bolts.)
After reading Elena’s letter, Ryouma had already consulted how to respond to some extent.
Originally Ryouma was going to provide assistance with full reinforcement, but he cannot leave Sirius city empty either.
The current human ressource who have to perform domestic administration will be Bolts, who had supported Lione as a second in command for many years.
Ryouma turned his eyes toward Bolts who was looking at the surrounding end of the group.
It seemed like Bolts himself felt unhappy for not being able to go to the battlefield, but Ryouma had regarded his domestic skill highly.
Although he had not received a proper education, he had known the world by experience, thus he can make use of his experience for work.
In this place, where the majority of people were warrior types, someone with internal affairs ability-although not a specialist- was highly valuable.
Ryouma crossed the castle’s bridge while chewing the goddess of luck.
“Ryouma-sama… May I have a bit of your time?”
Sara entered the room where Ryouma was guided into and called to him.
She made sure that no one was around.
It seemed that she didn’t want anyone to hear what she was about to say.
“Oh? What’s wrong?”
Ryouma looked at her while smiling.
“No, it’s nothing… It’s just, Ryouma-sama, why did you reject Nelsios-san’s offer?”
It was about the meeting of last week.
Nelsios came back and made a proposal that was actually favorable for Ryouma.
Specifically, it was about the matter of synchronizing and harmonize the relationship between the elves and the humans, Nelsios suggested to use the young elves as the defense force of the peninsula, but Ryouma ended up refusing it.
Ryouma did not tell anyone about that matter.
Only one person, Sara who happened to have been watching the event on the spot was the only one to know about it, but she was still unable to understand, why Ryouma refused such a suggestion.
She had been thinking about it all this time, but was unable to find the answer.
“Oh, is this about last week meeting?”
Ryouma nodded while saying that as if convinced of something.
(Well, she seems to have thought about it herself, but unable to find the answer…)
The appearance of Sara who tried to think hard about it appeared inside Ryouma’s mind, immediately after that he broke into a grin.
“What Sara is curious about are the reasons as to why I rejected Nelsios-san proposal right? And also, why I did not tell anyone about it, yes?”
For Sara who was at the site at that time, the proposal was very favorable for Ryouma.
The proposal where the young elves would move to Sirius city to help guard the city. They would be able to provide elvish technology as well, which in turn would have been a great help for Ryouma.
In particular, the idea of moving the young elves to Sirius city would have been very attractive to realize Ryouma’s dream.
In fact, everyone knew, that Ryouma had a dream of harmonizing the relationship between the humans and the demi-humans once more.
Had Ryouma not have such intentions, he would have tried to eliminate them.
Just like how he destroyed the pirates.
That was why Sara could not understand why Ryouma refused Nelsios offer at that time.
Although she said refused, Ryouma didn’t directly refuse Nelsios, Ryouma told him that he wanted to hear Lione, Laura, and the others opinion first.
“It’s simple. That was Nelsios-san testing me.”
Toward Ryouma who said those words as if it was nothing, Sara could not hide her surprise.
“A test, is it?”
“That was, you know, he tried to find out how serious I’m as a person who wants to harmonize the relationship between the humans and the demi-humans. Does Sara know the reason why I invited Nelsios-san all this time?”
Toward Ryouma’s question, Sara hesitated and began to talk about her thought.
“To harmonize the relationship between the humans and the demi-humans… And to communicate such intention?”
Ryouma nodded deeply toward Sara’s answer.
She surely understood Ryouma intention.
“However, if that is the case, then Nelsios proposal would have been perfect is it not?”
“Certainly… However, if we’re late in figuring out something, we might end up in trouble.”
“End up in trouble, is it ?”
Ryouma quietly nodded while showing a bitter smile.
(Well, I guess she could not yet understand it…)
It might be because of the difference in experience.
Or was it the difference in talent?
Either way, such ability was necessary for a ruler.
And Lupis also lost everything because she could not understand about this matters. –
“Well, the answer is simple. Indeed we do not have any repulsion against the demi-humans. However, that is if we talked only about us. It is impossible to predict what the farmers who were going to migrate into Wortenia peninsula thought about it. Am I wrong?”
“Light God religious believers…”
After she heard Ryouma’s explanation, everything began to connect.
(I see, come to think of it, my sister and I had come from the central continent, thus we did not care about it too much, while most of the people under Ryouma are mercenaries and slaves. We do not believe in the Light God Meneoz so strictly. However, that was not the case if we talk about the farmers that are going to migrate…)
The Holy City Meneoz, the stronghold of the Light God religious organization was located in between the southern kingdoms and Kirtantia Empire.
Although the distance was far, and the faith of the people in western continent eastern and northern part was relatively gentle, the degree of the faith between individuals varied, if one were to make the wrong move, it might even cause an armed uprising.
Of course, since it was an uprising caused by commoners, it would have been easy to crush them, but the opinion among the demi-humans about the humans would have without a doubt turned to the worst.
“Besides, Nelsios-san’s suggestion is actually impossible. That man might be one of the clan’s leaders, but he was no dictator. There’s no way that the whole clan would move by his thoughts alone.”
Nelsios was certainly an influential person, but no matter what nation one ruled, it was difficult to move soldiers with an arbitrary power alone.
Besides, one cannot dispel the history of human persecution so easily.
“Nelsios-san individual sentiment aside, among the demi-humans there exist those who are unable to forget the hatred they had for the humans. Of course, that was also include us.”
“I see, then Nelsios-san suggestion was…”
“He tried to find out, whether or not I could see the reality. Even though the ideal is being recognized, it does not mean I have the qualification to realize it, no? Had I jumped to Nelsios suggestion right there and then, he might never believe in me ever again.”
A quiet smile appeared on Ryouma’s face while he said those words, and cold sweat run down Sara’s back.
(What does this person’s eyes see, I wonder? The far away ideals? Or the close reality?)
Such thought appeared inside Sara’s mind. =