T/n (CSV): 3nd and final regular chapter for the week.
Note: st8_lupe was busy this weekend, so our new editor Kajin edited this chapter.
Roan swallowed back a groan as he stared at the scenery around him.
The Istel Kingdom was suffering from an even more grievous food shortage than he had thought.
Haggard and dried out corpses frequented the sides of the road that the caravan band was passing through, and the smell of death emanated heavily from the villages they sometimes stayed or passed by.
The Istel people pouncing up madly and begging for food whenever they saw the caravan was a frequent event, and the assaults by thieves and bandits continued endlessly.
‘The food shortage will continue until the autumn two years from now.’
Although the mysterious and sudden drop in the crop harvest would improve starting next year, it simply wasn’t possible for the Istel citizens’ situation to improve with just a single year’s worth of good farming.
‘Next year and the year after that. I have to create a footing in the Istel Kingdom by then.’
And that footing was the very purchasing of the Istel Kingdom’s farmlands, more specifically the long term leasing of the farms.
Currently, the Istel Kingdom’s farmers as well as nobles were putting out the farms, whose fertility had fallen as far down as it could go, as clearance goods.
However, there was no one in the Istel Kingdom that had the rooms to purchase them.
No, even if there was someone, there was no one who would purchase the useless lands that wouldn’t grow anything even if one planted the seeds.
In the end, the Istel Kingdom had reached a point where it allowed even foreigners to purchase the farms.
But, not as a complete sale but as a fifty-years long lease.
Its situation was desperate enough to fall to such means in order to secure a source of revenue.
But despite so, the number of people who stepped up to purchase the lands were a minority.
Even the outsiders believed that the Istel Kingdom’s lands were abandoned by, and cursed by a god.
‘We will lease those very lands wholesale.’
At the moment, the price had already fallen as far as it could fall.
Although others may sneer and point describing it as a foolish act, it mattered not to Roan.
It was because he knew that the fertility would rise once again starting next year.
At that moment.
“We can see Ceres Castle!”
The middle-aged man at the lead shouted aloud.
At the end of the extensive road, an awesome and grand castle appeared.
‘That is the very capital of the Istel Kingdom, Ceres.’
Roan unconsciously gulped.
Including both the last life and the current life, it was a place he was visiting for the first time.
The size of the Ceres Castle was stupendous.
It seemed to be multiple times greater than the Rinse Kingdom’s capital, Miller.
‘Since the Istel Kingdom’s national strength is originally much stronger than our kingdom.’
The Istel Kingdom was a rich and powerful nation that built its strength upon its astronomical grain yields.
Currently, even its national strength had become low as that crop yields fell.
Meanwhile, the caravan’s lead had reached the first sentries and came to a stop.
“You guys, are you grain merchants?”
The gaunt-looking sentries asked with slightly elated faces.
Clay opened the wagon’s door and answered while poking only his head out.
“Yes. We brought plenty of all kinds of grains.”
As soon as he spoke those words, the sentries waved their hands and shouted.
“Pass! The crop market is near the east gate!”
A hint of desperation could be felt from his voice.
Not anywhere else but the very capital’s inspection was relaxed like so.
It was a situation where even the capital’s sentries left the questions for later and passed if one was a grain merchant.
Clay lowered his head deeply to bow and then closed the wagon’s door.
“It’s the grain merchants!”
“Look at those bags!”
When they entered the castle, the residents flocked up like a swarm of bees.
But unlike other the people of other villages, they didn’t unwarrantedly touch the goods nor block the road.
They were simply elated from seeing the incredible number of grain bags.
“How, how much have you brought?”
“Is there more to come?”
They hoped that the grains would be spread plentiful enough so that the price of the food would fall.
Roan merely showed a bitter smile, unable to say any words.
‘Although the amount we brought is quite a lot, there’s no way that the price of food would drop because of it.’
There was the fact that the foods were simply too scarce, but the even greater reason was in fact the black market.
Currently, the Istel Kingdom was directly controlling and running the grain market to allocate and replenish the deficient grain supply.
At the same time, it was trading the grains at a fixed price to stop the price of the grains from exploding up.
To the merchants who were trying to leave an even bigger profit, this market management means by the Istel Kingdom weren’t attractive.
Due to that, black markets specializing in only grains appeared all over the kingdom.
This black market had brought an explosive inflation of grain prices, and by the time the grains passed through countless merchants and were sold to the citizens, an incredible price that no one could possibly purchase was attached.
Although the Istel Kingdom had labored extensively to curb the black markets, it couldn’t achieve any results due to the simply great number of markets and spontaneous opening and closing times.
Consequently, the price of the grains refused to fall below a certain price and continuously soared, and the ordinary citizens holding empty stomachs became the norm.
If Roan wanted to create a large profit, using the black market instead of the proper grain market was much more effective.
‘But we are using the proper grain market.’
To him, it was more important right now to leave an impression of the Charity Trust as a fair and trustworthy company than leaving behind a profit.
While thinking of this and that, the caravan band arrived at the grain market near the east gate.
“What may be the company’s name?”
A squalid looking manager glanced at the grain carts and asked.
With a cheerful smile, Clay showed the company license.
“It’s Charity Trust.”
The manager wrote down the name into a log, then waved his hand.
“Calculate the quantity!”
The moment he ordered, the market employees crowded around and began to count the number of grain bags.
While that went on, the market manager began talking with Clay and negotiated the price.
No, in truth it was merely negotiate in name, and was no more than simply announcing the predetermined price.
“Okay. Let us sell it at that price.”
Clay nodded his head without much contemplation.
“Yes? Ah, yes.”
The manager made a little surprised expression.
It was because he was the first merchant who sold the grains without any complaint.
“Okay. It’s good that the work could be done quickly.”
The manager quickly completed the document while smiling cheerily, and handed it to Clay.
It was because he was worried that he would perhaps change his mind.
Clay thoughtfully checked the document in his own way and signed at one side of the bottom corner.
Soon, the grain bags were moved from the wagons they brought to one side of the market.
“It’s quite more than I thought?”
“With this much, usually the merchants would sell it at the black market.”
The laborers whispered amongst themselves while hauling the bags.
Roan too chimed in enthusiastically while hauling the bags like them.
That was, from anyone’s eyes, look of a company laborer without a doubt.
Thanks to that, there was no one who suspected Roan.
Once the transaction was finished, the caravan group, including Roan and Clay, headed towards the outskirts of the capital.
They rented out an old inn a whole.
Because there was quite a large number of company members, it wasn’t something suspicious.
“Although we sold them at the proper grain market, we were left with a larger profit than we expected.”
“That must mean that the food situation is that bad.”
Roan made a bitter smile at Clay’s words and shook his head.
‘It looks like they raised the purchasing price of the grains since the food situation isn’t good and because of the black market, but…… although it was an unavoidable choice, the Treasury will soon reach the bottom if they continue buy up grains like this.’
Even without that, the Istel Kingdom was paying an incredible amount of war remuneration due to repeated wars and losses.
While Roan was thinking of various thoughts, Clay asked with a careful voice.
“My lord, must we really purchase the farmlands? Right now, the Istel Kingdom’s farmlands have completely lost their fertility and it’ll be fruitless regardless of what kind of crop seed we plant.”
Clay, who thought of himself as being smarter and more discerning than others, was very pessimistic of the work this time.
‘This is no different than just throwing away money.’
Buying the lands inside the Rinse Kingdom instead with the money earned from the grain trade would be much more effective.
Although they wouldn’t be able to buy a large amount since the price of the land was simply too expensive, at least the chance of crop failure was much lower.
Roan shook head head while smiling cheerfully.
“Don’t worry. My eyes are without fault. The Istel Kingdom’s farmlands will regain their fertility starting next year.”
His voice was full of certainty.
“If my lord says so, then it must be.”
“I simply follow my lord’s orders.”
Harrison and Brian didn’t hold questions anymore.
A look of restlessness was still plain on Clay’s face.
He wanted to check for a clear evidence and reason.
But even so, he couldn’t just push and corner Roan.
“Since the price of the farms aren’t expensive, there won’t be a big loss even if a problem possibly arise.”
It was a comment with the failure in mind.
Roan faintly smiled and simply nodded his head.
“Sure, just think of it that way.”
At those words, Clay slightly lowered his head.
“Then, I will personally go out to purchase the farms starting tomorrow.”
Roan lightly replied.
For four days starting tomorrow, it was scheduled for Clay to personally go purchase the farms.
After that, they would entrust the works to the real merchants who came with them, and Roan, Harrison, Brian and Clay planned to go over to the Pershion Kingdom after disguising their identities once more.
Roan looked around at everyone and spoke in a quiet voice.
“We are currently no different than in a hostile nation. All of you keep your heads straight and make sure not to make a mistake.”
All of them answered in one voice and lowered their heads.
Roan inhaled deeply as he looked at that sight.
‘Nothing special needs to happen……’
A small wish.
Perhaps because that wish had reached the sky, nothing special had actually happened to Roan and his group.
But at the place far away from them, 1
A strange crack was breaking apart in the Pershion Kingdom.
Although it wasn’t certain, it certainly was something special.
Pershion Kingdom’s Capital Althus Castle.
The Althus Castle’s north gate was wide open and the inside of castle churned with an incredible wave of crowds.
On each sides of the newly maintained street, they lined up one after another and wore exhilarated faces.
At that moment.
With the sound of horns, a group of people appeared at an enormous triumphal arc at the end of the street.
The head of the group, the man on the snow-white horse, was a handsome young man overflowing of grace.
With a gentle smile on his face, he looked towards the north gate.
“Un? It’s the First Prince.”
“Prince Reitas has personally came out.”
Some of the castle’s residents recognised the young man and whispered.
The young man, he was in fact Reitas Pershion, famed as the First Prince of Pershion Kingdom and as a remarkably outstanding talent.
Originally, he was highly popular amongst the residents of the capital, Althus, and all the citizens of the kingdom.
Because the current king, Ave Von Pershion was simply so incompetent, the expectations for Reitas, who was outstanding in various ways, was unlike any others.
“Anyway, when is Prince Manus coming?”
“It should soon be about time he arrive.”
“Kuu! To destroy the Byron Kingdom and the Istel Kingdom’s allied forces all by himself!”
“He’s really amazing!”
The castle’s residents soon turned their heads and stared at the north gate.
With completely elated faces, they fussed about.
The person the castle’s residents were waiting for was in fact Manus Pershion.
The saving hero of the kingdom, Manus had defeated the Byron Kingdom and Istel Kingdom’s allied army and was finally returning in triumph after reorganizing the border region.
The people’s eyes and interests were all headed towards Manus.
Reitas, who was standing in front of the triumphal arc, was already outside of their attention.
Reitas’ gentle smile slightly shook.
The tips of his eyes trembled sharply.
The little brother’s name stayed between his throat and the top of his mouth.
One side of his chest ached bitterly.
‘In the end, you have came out to the world.’
Something hot and large sat down in the middle of his chest.
A short wave appeared in his deep and calm eyes.
‘Although the people of the world holds me up as a talent or whatnot, but……’
That the real genius was his little brother Manus Pershion.
‘My beloved little brother, I have truly despaired when I couldn’t win against you with my talent.’
Reitas and Manus’ relationship was close.
Reitas cherished his little brother Manus and Manus followed his older brother Reitas well.
But as the two continued to grow, that relationship had twisted strangely.
Although Manus still looked up to Reitas and followed him, Reitas was slowing distancing himself from Manus.
He was afraid.
That he would be eaten alive by Manus’ unbelievable talent.
‘I had hoped that you would go on a journey or simply read a book without being interested in politics or power……’
Thankfully, Manus didn’t showed himself to the outside world as Reitas’ wish.
He had simply passed free and quiet days absorbed in reading and journeying that he enjoyed.
But the Byron Kingdom and the Istel Kingdom’s invasion had changed everything.
‘When everyone said to consent to the humiliating terms and end the war, you alone insisted on fighting against them.’
Although everyone had called it insane, Manus led a legion and marched alone, and perfectly defeated the enemy forces.
‘And then, you became the kingdom’s, the citizen’s hero.’
The presence-less Second Prince Manus spread his fame as the hero who saved the kingdom.
Reitas let out a short sigh.
‘My little brother, my beloved little brother. Just what should I do with you?’
If not careful, he could have the seat as the next king snatched away by Manus.
To such a degree, Manus’ fame was inconceivably great.
Reitas’ worries became deeper.
At that moment.
Deng! Deng! Deng!
With a bell sound, an enormous legion showed itself outside the castle gate.
Finally, Manus and the Manustima Legion he leads arrived.
< Pershion Kingdom >.
The flag of the kingdom entered the castle gate first.
< Manustima Legion >.
< Manus Pershion >.
The legion flag and the commander’s flag followed behind.
“Manus Pershion! Manus Pershion!”
The saving hero of the kingdom, the Second Prince Manus Pershion appeared wearing a silver armor.
Although he looks similar to Reitas, he somehow exuded an impression of a mischief.
But his eyes were clear and deep, and a leisure and grace could be felt from his every movement of the hand and feet.
“Thank you everyone! Thank you for coming out like this!”
Manus brightly smiled as he waved at the castle’s citizens.
And while he was doing so, he spotted Reitas at the end of the street a moment later.
Manus quickly spurred his horse and sprinted up towards Reitas.
The sound of horse hooves noisily rang out.
With Reitas in front of him, Manus pulled his reins and got down onto the ground like flying.
The weighty armor shook greatly.
Not minding that, Manus walked towards Reitas.
Reitas watched that sight quietly for a moment, then slowly got down from his horse.
When he took about two steps towards Manus, suddenly, Manus kicked off the ground and flew.
A rough hug.
Manus brightly smiled and hugged Reitas roughly.
“Brother! I went and came back!”
A sight that simply couldn’t be seen as an etiquette of the royalty.
But it was an honest look without a hint of a lie.
Reitas stood still for a moment, then carefully hugged Manus’ back.
“Yeah, you’ve done well.”
He spoke with a soft voice.
Like that, the brothers stood still and passionately hugged each other for a while.
The citizens threw up an incredible cheer.
And at the same time.
“Manus Pershion! Manus Pershion!”
Everyone chanted Manus’ name.
From nowhere did Reitas’ name rang out.
Reitas tightly hugged Manus and buried his head on his shoulder.
The face that had been gently smiling turned stiff.
He let out a short sigh.
‘Ah…… my beloved little brother Manus, I……’
His heart ached.
‘Can’t seem to leave you like this.’
Once more, a short sigh leaked out.
The sigh rode Manus’ shoulder and disappeared like a wind.
< To Pershion Kingdom (3) > End.
Translator : CSV
- the author purposely used a comma here ↩