Otherworld Nation Founding Chronicles - Chapter 49
’’This is the border fort?’’ (Ismere)
’’Yes. As expected, is it different in Cretia? (Almis)
’’Yes. In Cretia, the borders are fortified completely with stone forts. Although all the domestic checking posts are made with wood...’’ (Ismere)
In other words, our country's forts are just ordinary checking posts in Cretia, huh...
’’Or rather, why aren't they fortified with stone?’’ (Ismere)
’’Well, it's because we don't have the technology. Stoneworks need knowledge of mathematics. There's also the skill needed to cut the stone to the appropriate size. Furthermore, you need quite the heavy labor to carry the stones.’’ (Almis)
Nonetheless, the only wooden border is here.
This fort was built 20 years ago. Since then, it's only been repaired at times but never reconstructed.
There was a time a reconstruction plan was decided. Sometime after that, however, the Ars Territory was seized by King Ferrum.
King Ferrum didn't have leeway to reconstruct the fort. Besides, he was able to establish friendly relations with King De Morgal so he didn't need to.
That's why it was left alone... However, since it returned to the Rosyth Kingdom, there's no way we could leave it as is.
’’As expected, it would be problematic if we don't rebuild with stone.’’ (Ismere)
’’That's right...Nonetheless, there's no place we can get stone suitable to be turned into building stone in this territory.’’ (Almis)
Incidentally, we also don't have the ability to cut them.
Even if I have Ismere direct the stone handling, without the materials then nothing could happen.
’’Where can we get building stones again?’’ (Almis)
’’If I recall correctly, the DeBell territory is this country's biggest producer of building stones.’’ Tetra responds.
It's the DeBell Territory?....
What to do? Should I ask them? But I don't want to negotiate with that person...
’’...It's not like we have to get the stones from them just because they're the biggest producer. I think we can also get them from the areas directly under the control of King Rosyth.’’ (Tetra)
’’What. You should have told me that from the beginning. You made me jittery.’’ (Almis)
It's better to completely avoid people you don't agree with after all. Half-hearted superfluous relations deteriorate.
’’I'll order building stones from King Rosyth. Ismere. Can you do the planning?’’ (Almis)
’’Yes, that's alright. I can plan with just a few alterations that thing that was planned a considerably long time ago.’’ (Ismere)
’’How long until It'll be complete?’’ (Almis)
’’Including the material estimates, I would say it'll be done in a week's time.’’ (Ismere)
Ismere sticks out her chest full of confidence.
’’What kind of plan do you intend make?’’ Qingming asks Ismere.
’’Hmm. We don't plan to particularly revise much. It seems like Lord Almis wants to quickly finish the repairs, you see. For the meantime, we'll reinforce the fort with wood. We'll then construct a stone wall around it. If it's this much then we should be able to do it even with Adernia Peninsula's technological strength, right?’’ Ismere replies as she surveys the fort while writing down notes.
’’Is that all?’’ Qingming asks, a little disappointed.
Ismere smiles bitterly.
’’Right now, it's that kind of talk. After that, we'll slowly reconstruct it with a focus on stone walls. It's a fort after all so we can't destroy it completely and then rebuild.’’ (Ismere)
’’I guese there's that too. Haha. I'm sorry. I asked something strange, huh.’’ (Qingming)
Qingming makes an embarrassed smile.
’’For the meantime, I absolutely need to accomplish this task. If I do that, my accomplishments will increase. After that would be the Ars Clan mansion. I want to improve so I can't be helped. It's something with a lot of pointlessness. If I persevere, they'll get pleased with me and someday they'll take me in as this country's architect. With that I can participate in this country's construction and...’’
At that point, Ismere lets out a sigh.
’’What's wrong?’’ (Qingming)
’’This is the end, right? The Rosyth Kingdom is small so they won't be building anything big. It would be great if this Kingdom would just get bigger but the king seems to be dying and the successor seems to have little skill. I'm so worried.’’ (Ismere) (TL Note: It's tough being an architect.)
Qingming pats Ismere on the back to console her.
’’Aren't you an expert? You won't get executed even if the country gets destroyed, you know.......I'm sure you can still distinguish yourself at the De Morgal Kingdom. That is if they get to know that it's you who designed this fort, ne? Well...that's another story for when this fort becomes a big success.’’ (Qingming)
After hearing Qingming jokingly say this, Ismere smacks him in the head.
’’Don't tell me such reckless things!! What would you do if we get fired?’’ (Ismere) (TL Note: Ismere said kubi ni naru which also doubles as to be beheaded.)
Ismere asks in an angry tone. She's smiling though.
What Ismere likes is herself being employed by a country. It's not King Rosyth, not Almis, not the Ars Clan, and not anyone in particular.
’’Yes. But I'm getting motivated. It's my first work after all. If I succeed here then there's a possibility King Rosyth will ask for me directly. Perhaps, even the Rozel Kingdom...Alright, let's do our best!!’’
Ismere gets pumped up.
Just as she promised, Ismere finished the plans in one week and showed me the necessary materials and labor. Impressive, it's wonderful work that you could even call excellence exceeding oneself.
’’As such, please let me procure building stones.’’ (Almis)
’’I see. No problem. It's for national defense, after all.’’ (Rosyth)
King Rosyth cheerfully accepts.
’’By the way, did you not ask Regal DeBell? He's your neighbor after all plus his building stones are high quality.’’ (Rosyth)
’’Please cut me some slack.’’ (Almis)
King Rosyth grins.
This guy is mean.
’’By the way, is it alright not fortifying your border with the DeBell Territory?’’ (Rosyth)
’’......I haven't come to a conclusion yet regarding the succession, you know?’’ (Almis)
King Rosyth smiles at my frank response.
’’Either way, you'll end up going to war with Regal DeBell, you know? After he becomes King, who would be the one eyesore for him? Well, in that case, it would become necessary to also build a fortress in your border with him.’’ (Rosyth)
’’Do you intend to rush me? It's not that simple you know?’’ (Almis)
After Regal DeBell becomes king, the possibility he will depose me would be unusually low. Why? Because I am entrusted with the border with King De Morgal after all.
Although the DeBell Territory also shares a border with King De Morgal....because of topographic reasons, the battle site would be in my Ars Territory.
If I were to defect to the De Morgal Kingdom, the Rosyth Kingdom's defensive lines would retreat dramatically.
Regal DeBell would probably not want to cause bothersome problems immediately after he becomes King. (TL Note: MC you underestimate the power of stupid and a big head.)
Besides, if you think about it clearly, I've already decided. I intend to sit down and carefully deliberate on the matter until the very last moment possible.
’’By the way, why did you send Ismere over to my place?’’
King Rosyth is not blind. Furthermore, he can speak Cretian.
I can't find a reason for him to send away Ismere.
’’She won't be able to make plans for a fort against Regal DeBell if she was in my court, right? Besides, your place is better than the soon-to-die king's place.’’ (Rosyth)
Certainly, if an architect employed by King Rosyth were to do such a thing then relations between the Rosyth Clan and the DeBell Clan would break down completely....
’’Do you really want me to be king that much?’’ (Almis)
’’Yes. I desire it. I want my beloved daughter to have a happy marriage. Besides, I don't want that little brat to become my son. If I was made to have that kind of son then that brat Ferrum would have been a much less objectionable choice.’’ (Rosyth)
You say that much, huh...
’’I'll think about it very hard. I shall give you my conclusion soon.’’
I bow my head to King Rosyth and leave.
When I returned to the mansion, I don't know why but everybody headed by Tetra is on the lookout for me.
’’What is it? What happened?’’ (Almis)
’’Refugees have come from the DeBell Territory.’’
Another troublesome matter, huh....
Come to think of it, refugees always bring in troublesome matters with impeccable timing, huh.
’’How many? What did the DeBell Clan say? Did they ask for them back?’’ (Almis)
’’The numbers are 200 people. They still haven't sent a message.’’
There's no way they won't notice 200 people going missing, right?...
Before long, they'll send a message asking them back.
’’First, who knows that refugees have come?’’ (Almis)
’’Only the members here and a portion of the soldiers. We're concealing the information since Ron encountered the refugees exactly while he was in the border forest when he came to exterminate the bear.’’
This means that should things go well, we could completely get away with feigning ignorance. In the first place, fleeing is a felony. Furthermore, they fled somewhere within the same country so the success rate is low.
They fled taking into account that much risk so it must have been a considerably horrible rule. Even in hearsay, I heard it was horrible.
Well, for the meantime....
’’Call the refugees' representative over. I want to talk to him.’’ (Almis)
’’Are you the refugees' representative?’’ (Almis)
’’Yes, that is correct. Somehow, would you please take us in?’’ (rep)
’’First, please tell me under what circumstances you escaped.’’
If it's a stupid reason then I intend to send them away.
First, concerning the taxation, if I were to summarize them then it would be something like this:
Bridal Night Tax
They thought of these many taxes. If it were me, just collecting them would be too troublesome.
Is Regal actually a hard worker?
How should I put it? Death tax and funeral tax are separate, huh. Marriage tax and bridal night tax, too.
With this, you'll understand why'd they flee, huh.
’’In addition, the DeBell clan's relatives commit acts of lawlessness.’’
It was natural for them to rape and rob anyone, even killing on a whim.
It's governance at a level you don't hear about even in novels. Really dreadful.
Now then, I'm kind of suspecting they're exaggerating for it to be that horrible but...
I tell the representative to please exit the room and wait for a while. I then call Tetra, Yal, and Bolus.
I tell them the representative's story. I then ask:
’’It was considerably horrible but, is that story believable?’’ (Almis)
’’I heard this indirectly from other people, but for the most part that's the truth. There was someone crying about getting raped when she couldn't pay the bridal night tax.’’ (Tetra)
Yal also nods in agreement.
’’I also asked about the taxes and...it's true that they were being exploited considerably. They were even selling away their children at regular intervals.’’ (Yal)
Bolus also nods when I looked at him.
’’I also often hear of the DeBell Territory's cruelty. During the old Lord Ragou's generation, refugees often come too. They flee here even during the time of King Ferrum.’’ (Bolus)
In other words, DeBell hell was even more frightening than Ferrum hell, huh... Someone is always better huh. Or should I say worse?
’’However, as expected, things like murder and rape seem to be exaggerated. What do we do?’’
Let's see. I want to take them in. I'd be a failure as a human if I abandon them here.
I don't know if they'll live if I send everyone back to that horrible place.
But how can I deceive the DeBell...
In the Rosyth Kingdom, the permission of the lord is necessary for the migration of the population. In this situation, legally speaking, I'll become the one in the wrong.
It's often said that a bad law is still a law. At this rate, I'll become a criminal but...
That's right. If we hide the refugees somewhere far then can we make DeBell overlook us by feigning ignorance?
If we get lucky, King Rosyth would favor me in a trial after all.
However, do I have a place where Regal DeBell's investigation couldn't reach?....
I have one. It's just the right place.
’’Then let's send them to our old village. We haven't managed to put together people to send there right? They definitely won't be found out there.’’ (Almis)
That place only has 30 people even though it's the size that could support 200 people. It's such a huge waste.
Let's throw 200 refugees in there. The original 30 were also refugees in the first place. They'll probably get along fine since they have something in common. Let's make them understand what we felt that time, the pain of taking in new members.
Although they'll be a little bit over capacity, if we send them some aid then they should be fine.
Hiding them there is most suitable. There should still be a lot of the old barriers we erected remaining there so, for us, that forest should be a garden. We'll be able to immediately get rid of any invading dogs ridden by sorcerers.
Furthermore, unusually, very little clansmen know about the existence of that village so there should also be very little clansmen who would know that the village is my territory. It's a blind spot.
’’It's decided, yes? Let's stealthily move them late at night.’’
’’Then let's get this over quickly tonight.’’
’’If it isn't Lord DeBell......Please come on in. We will present you a humble meal.’’ (Almis)
I courteously welcome Regal DeBell. I intend to score as much good points as possible.
First, we will present a meal and make Regal be full. Aggression is calmed by a full belly, don't you agree?
Now, after completing the meal...
’’Lord DeBell. On what business did you grace us with your presence?’’ (Almis)
Well, we should know what he came here for, right? He's here for the runaways.
’’Lord Ars. Our territory's population has fled, you see. There is a high possibility that they went to this territory. Do you not know of this?’’ (Regal)
I answer the question.
’’I am terribly sorry but I have not known anything about that. Let us have it investigated immediately.’’
Regal raises his eyebrows.
The refugee's destination is a choice between my territory and De Morgal Kingdom after all. If you consider the distance, the one with the highest possibility would be my Ars Territory.
It's an obvious lie but...It's not like it's impossible that they'd fled to King De Morgal's place even if you say the possibility was low. It's not a big deal if they can't get any proof.
I ordered the sorcerers to erase all potential evidence such as the refugees' smell and footprints. It's the perfect crime.
Nonetheless, the other party doesn't seem to understand.
That's only natural.
’’I see. By the way, Lord Almis Ars. Did you know about the law in this country......that you need the consent of the both lords in order to move a population?’’ (Regal)
’’Yes, naturally. What about it?’’ (Almis)
As expected, he's doubting me, huh.
However, you don't have evidence so...
After this, I feigned ignorance no matter how many times I was asked the same thing by Regal.
’’Damn!! To be playing dumb!’’ (Regal)
Regal kicks a chair away. He unsheathes his sword and slashes at the bed and wall.
After doing that to release some stress, he calls for Bermet, his close associate, and Gilberto, his close friend and most intimate relative.
’’What do you think about this case?’’ (Regal)
Gilberto answers first.
’’There's no mistake. I think they fled to the Ars Territory. It was the village I'm in charge of after all. If they fled from there, then without exception they won't be able to think of anywhere but the Ars Territory.’’
Naturally, it's not impossible for them to go to the De Morgal Kingdom. However, it would take them several days to go to the De Morgal Kingdom.
It's impossible to flee there in one night.
’’However, because we don't have conclusive evidence, we will just lose if we sue them, don't you agree. Almis Ars seems to have gotten all evidence like smell and foot prints erased somehow after all.’’
Furthermore, it's obvious that King Rosyth favors Almis. We will be at a disadvantage in a trial. We will certainly lose.
’’However, we managed to give a warning. There won't probably be a next time.’’ (Bermet)
As expected, even Almis won't be able to pull the same thing many times. That's Bermet's conclusion.
’’In otherwords, we're compelled to give up........I'm watching you. Almis Ars...’’ (Regal)
A week after this affair, a report that a large-scale rock salt mine was found in the eastern part of the Ars Territory near its border with the DeBell Territory has rapidly circulated around the Rosyth Kingdom.