In A Different World With A Smartphone - Chapter 221
Arc 24: The King is Busy in Many Ways
Chapter 221: Ferzen and the Bridge
「I am sorry for asking the unreasonable」(Touya)
「No-no, don't worry about it」(Reinhardt
The King of the Restia Knight Kingdom waves his hand while smiling. He's still the same good looking guy. As expected of older brother-in-law Reinhardt. I'm not married to Hilda yet though.
Right now, we're riding a carriage of the Restia Knight Kingdom, heading towards the royal palace of Ferzen. The Knight King of Restia has arranged a meeting with the King of Ferzen.
I've transferred the carriage along with the escort knights just before the castle town because I can't suddenly intrude on the royal palace with [Gate], and we arrive with the Knight King Reinhardt under the sounds of clip-clop being raised by the horses.
I've shown the findings of the theft that happened to the Knight King of Restia and reported about Ferzen being suspicious which had made him cross his arms and whack his brain. When he had asked for a reason,
「How should I say this?... I'm wondering, would that Ferzen King do something like that?」(Reinhardt)
Restia and Ferzen are neighbors. There are only the Ferzen and the Lail Kingdoms to the north of Restia and this country doesn't have any borders with anyone else beyond those two. As such, the association of this country with its neighbors is deep as well.
It seems they've been hostile to each other during their long history, but they are moderately continuing a relationship as good acquaintances at present.
According to the Knight King of Restia, the King of Ferzen is broadminded, flawless, doesn't fuss about minor details, and has a personality that's totally unsuitable for a magician. He's unusual since they are saying that body training is his hobby.
It's being said that the late king of the Ferzen Kingdom had been absorbing himself in magic research, and that he died in an accident during a particular research. So then, the one who has succeeded him seems to be his younger brother who in turn became the current king.
The present King of Ferzen, Boulange Frost Ferzen has been different from his older brother from the time they were children. If anything is being said about him, it's that he liked martial arts more than magic. It seems he didn't change even after he became the king.
This time, the reason for the official visit is regarding the small Einlash Island in between Rodomea, Ferzen, Lail, and Restia, which is floating in the Rondo Sea that leads to the Great River Gau.
This island is tentatively a territory of Restia, and there seem to be many strong magic beasts there, and not even the resources can be mined there. The land has become thin so crops don't grow much either, and there are magic beasts lurking in the nearby big river around that also attack ships. Honestly, it's an island beyond anyone's control.
However, I've looked at the location of the island and suggested an idea that hit me to the Knight King of Restia.
Well, long story short, I've proposed to them to build bridges connecting the four countries with this island as the center.
The bridges will have extremely large distances, but it's not impossible to build them. If they will be built, the trade will also become possible and considerably easier for Restia, Rodomea, Lail, and Ferzen. Well, if purchases and business tradings become possible on this island, it may be able to develop as a commercial market.
Naturally, customs or something similar will be established by each country, and they will be able to manage imports and exports.
I'll build the bridges from the island to each country and I expect to get part of the toll for passing through this island in exchange for undertaking the extermination of the magic beasts.
I've already gotten the permission of Rodomea and Lail and all that's left is getting the permission of Ferzen. I intend to make a trade road only between the three countries if I don't receive their permission but I don't think they will make their own country suffer a loss in this situation.
「I've heard that Ferzen is developing magic technology」(Touya)
「That's right. They are also researching sorceries that have already become obsolete like artifacts, ancient magic research, engraving sorcery, enchantng sorcery, talisman arts, ninjutsu, and beast faith sorcery」(Reinhardt)
[Magic] basically has only seven attributes, but apart from them, [Arts], which uses magic power and which has accomplished its own peculiar development, exist as well. To understand it easier, it's similar to the ninjutsu which Tsubaki-san uses.
These aren't being influenced by something like magic attributes like magic does, so it's something that anyone can learn. However, an unthinkably intense training will be required. If there's a person whom it takes five years to acquire that knowledge, it seems there is also a person who cannot learn anything but basic arts even after studying for a decade. This could mean it's a field in which a talent may be even more necessary than in magic.
It's also difficult to grasp all of those arts because certain arts are only being succeeded by some families of in some places. If I am not mistaken, talisman arts are being said to be the skills used by the guys called Daoshi, in Yuuron.
「Although Touya-dono has it too, but approximately 60% of weapons and armors enchanted with magic are made in Ferzen. Their success rate isn't 100% unlike Touya-dono's [Enchant], so they probably can't do a stable mass production」(Reinhardt)
「Do you mean they have a lot of failures? But how much is the probability?」(Touya)
「It seems it's good if they've succeeded in one out of ten times」(Reinhardt)
So it's under 10%... Well, it's no wonder it will become expensive as well.
A method to increase the success rate of the enchant magic or anything similar seems to be in [Library]. No, there may be none in case of a system which has developed individually. In reality, ninjutsu was born in Ishen, but it seems no one lived there 5000 years ago...
Our carriage passes through the castle town while I'm thinking about such a thing, and enters the royal castle of Ferzen.
The Ferzen Castle somehow differs from a French Mansion-looking castle and appears to be more to be like a British Fortress. It looks dignified, or perhaps I should say that I can feel its history. Standing on a hill, it feels like a retro-looking castle of a magician.
We arrive at the castle doorsteps, and I get down following the knight king. We then see a single man standing at the entrance door to the hall.
He has passed 40 years. He's also pretty tall and he's wearing a glistening and crackling muscle armor. He looks like an american football player or a pro wrestler.
His beard hides a lot of his face from the bottom side, and his swept-back hair that has a little gray hair mixed in has been combed in a disorderly manner. A golden embroidery is sewn into his white short mantle, a platinum silver scepter is held in his hand.
Even more than that, what caught my eyes are the big scratch marks on his cheek. What's that? Did he even fight against a tiger?
「Welcome to Ferzen, Knight King of Restia and the young Sovereign King of Brunhild」(Boulange)
Saying that, the giant───King of the Ferzen Kingdom, Boulange Frost Ferzen, broadly grins.
「I see. Bridges to Einlash, eh? Certainly, the profits that each of the respective countries will be receiving should be considerable if those bridges are built. However...」(Boulange)
The King of Ferzen strokes his beard while hearing our story.
「Is there any problem?」(Toya)
「Even if the bridges are built, Einlash is a territory of Restia. Having said that, wouldn't it be possible for Restia to stop the trade of the other countries depending on their motive?」(Boulnage)
「You don't have to worry about that. That island will be divided into four parts and will be transferred to their respective countries upon the completion of the bridges. We will instead have each country pay 10% of the tolls to Brunhild as fee for constructing the bridges to their own countries」(Reinhardt)
The Knight King of Restia flatly answers the concerns of the King of Ferzen.
Honestly, it's fine to build the bridge for free too, but I should properly take it or troubles may arise in the future as what the statewide governor of Rodomea has said. Therefore, I've decided to take it.
The fee is quite cheap, but it's still a good amount of money since I will build a considerably long distance bridge. That money is going to be returned by having 10% of the toll be given to me as payment. I've also decided not to take any more money after getting the full reimbursement. They will be able to pay it back in ten years at most if it goes favorably. Of course, I don't mind them paying in one go if they can do it.
I've actually intended to install transfer gates, but I would then be the only one who can repair them in case they break. A bridge is better if the future is being considered.
「However Brunhild Sovereign King, there will be a total of four bridges with one for each country. Can you really build them?」(Amond)
The one who has opened his mouth is a man past his middle age who is sitting at the round table same as us. He's the prime minister of Ferzen having a chestnut hair and blue eyes with an expression of a hawk on his face. Is his name Amond?
「I can do it in three days if the materials are available. It's not like I'm building a complex bridge」(Touya)
「No matter how much you look at it, aren't you exaggerating by saying that it would take only three days? Even if the Sovereign King used those giants called frame gears, you probably wouldn't be able to complete four bridges in three days, right?」(Amond)
Amond isn't frank but he directs doubtful eyes at me. Well, it can't be helped if he can't believe it, right? Besides, I'm not going to use frame gears to construct those bridges.
That's because I'm going to use [Workshop] to construct them the same way as we've done with the castle of Brunhild. The work this time is more difficult, but [Workshop] is now being powered by [Tower]. As such, it can now be used to accomplish about this much.
「I won't use frame gears for the construction. There's something that can take the materials and transfer them to the designed place. In other words, it can remake a mass of stones in the form of a bridge」(Touya)
「...Is that an artifact?」(Rudou)
「I guess, it's something like that. Though only I can use it」(Touya)
The one butting from the side is a skinny and gloomy man whom I don't understand what he's thinking about. His eyes are shining in dazzle right now even though he had eyes like a dead fish until a while ago. He's a court magician of the Ferzen Kingdom. Was his name Rudou?
「Why is it that only the sovereign king can use it?」(Rudou)
「The only answer I can give is that it's that kind of an artifact. This matter is of the utmost confidentiality even in our country, so please forgive me」(Touya)
「Is that so?... It's regrettable」(Rudou)
Slightly sighing, Rudou's eyes once again return back to looking like a dead fish. It seems he's absolutely indifferent towards things that don't interest him.
The King of Ferzen looks at me with a bitter smile.
「I am sorry. The guy's research is wearing him down and he's tired」(Rudou)
「Ahh, it is okay. I don't mind it」(Touya)
I'm used to such reaction towards an unknown magic which is similar Charlotte-san of Belfast or her master Rin.
In this place are me, the Knight King of Restia, the King of Ferzen, Prime Minister Amondo, the Court Magician Rudou, and one more person.
「The sovereign king does not only have the giant soldiers but also possesses wonderful artifacts and tools. As expected, have you discovered them in some ruins?」(Lizes)
「...Most, but not all of them. There are things which I've personally made too」(Touya)
「Ah, I see. The sovereign king also has all the attributes on top of being the possessor of [Enchant]. Truly enviable」(Lizes)
Lizes, the guild master of the [Mystic Chamber of Commerce and Industry] which manages all of the resident Ferzen magicians, artisans, and merchants, says that and laughs. He has grizzled hair and he's wearing sunglasses. I didn't know that sunglasses existed in this world too... Moreover, they carry some kind of magic power. It's certain that some sort of enchantment has been applied on them.
Suspicious. Oh well, I can't conclude that he really is suspicious just because he's wearing sunglasses though.
Frankly, after meeting the Ferzen king, I don't think this person is the mastermind behind the stolen frame gear, just as the Knight King of Restia has said. It's only my intuition, but he may be hiding his true nature very well.
Prime Minister Amond, the Court Magician Rudou, and the company president Lizes.
One person among the three of them may be the mastermind. He may perhaps be working independently without the permission of the King of Ferzen. All three of them probably have that much power.
Not good- not good. It's discourteous to start doubting everyone here.
「I accept the matter regarding the bridge. We'll pay a part of the toll to Brunhild same as the other three countries, which will be taken as the repayment for the construction costs, once the construction is over」(Boulange)
「Your majesty. Is this alright?」(Amond)
Prime Minister Amond asks a question as confirmation.
「It may be a heavy loss if it's only our country who doesn't participate. It's too complicated to consider that the other three countries will conspire and invade our kingdom. The Sovereign King of Brunhild is the one doing the mediation, so the dukedom will probably help if something happens, right?」(Boulange)
「If it ends up that way, we will」(Touya)
You may say that those four countries have a friendly relationship at the moment. However, I don't know when the situation will develop to the point of even having a war after something serves as a motive. There's even the possibility that the bridges will be used as an invasion route. Therefore, I intend to make defensive barriers and walls as countermeasures against that just in case.
「Now then, there's something I want to show to the Sovereign King of Brunhild assuming the matter of the bridge is good with this, but do you mind?」(Boulange)
The Ferzen King expresses a fearlessly broad grin while looking at me. Why?