Author: Eica Editor: Eica

Chapter 33

⊱ ────── {.⋅ ✯ ⋅.} ────── ⊰

 

The man who introduced himself as Sein in a blunt tone looked around and said,

“The quality of the village is terrible. Is no one defending against the invasion of monsters?”

Hearing that carefree voice, something hot rose up in the man, but he fought it off.

Even if he had never actually seen nobles, he was well aware of their cruelty and power.

“It’s gotten worse lately. However, thanks to the nobles around……”

Hearing that, Sein snorted.

“Is this the scene of a protected village? I’ll say it again, but I’m in a hurry. I want you to tell me the truth, without adding unnecessary words.”

“…… Actually, thanks to the monsters, we couldn’t even do our job properly.”

“I see. If so, the standard of living must be absurdly low.”

That was certainly true, but he didn’t feel good listening to it. In reality, it was becoming more and more difficult to procure food.

The man’s jaw bulged, but the other person that had come out with him to greet the Lord’s representative grabbed him by the forearm, as if to dissuade him.

“We can’t mine properly, and we can’t afford to protect the village. Besides mining, there is no other means of living.”

As if to summarize the point, Sein muttered like that, looked around, and suddenly added.

“It might be surprisingly easy to solve.”

“Yes?”

Was he perhaps just trying to return it to the royal family again?

Despite his question, the man in front of him looked around with meticulous eyes, and soon passed him without answering.

 

・❥・

 

‘What does the representative look like?’

What did Luke himself answer to that?

‘He just…… looks keen and weak.’

Being keen was the impression that came from the sharp man’s tone, and looking weak came from the slender muscles of a man who had literally only worked out to get in shape.

It wasn’t long ago when all the villagers expressed disappointment at Luke’s sentiments.

What on earth was unfolding in front of his eyes now?

“So…… What did you just say?”

Windsor, as explained, was a mine with considerable reserves. The surrounding territory used the processing of minerals as a specialty.

Thanks to this, the royal family was also able to receive income without a large shipping fee, which could be said to be a win-win relationship.

But now that the situation has changed and Windsor was no longer entitled to receive royal protection. The surrounding territories were intent on securing a deal, more like plundering, albeit under the guise of protecting them from monsters.

But what?

“I have told you that we will not sell minerals mined in Windsor on your territories in the future.”

The person called the representative sat down after saying such things nonchalantly.

It may or may not be necessary to have a mine like that but if viewed from the perspective of the ‘owner,’ who is noble and prestigious, they may not necessarily want to sell the goods at a low price.

But for the people of Windsor, their livelihoods were at stake. How on earth could they make a living if they didn’t sell it at such a price? Luke’s fist clenched.

And likewise, the representatives of the surrounding territories who had gathered at the call of Sein from early morning were also looking at him in bewilderment.

“Hoh…… This is such a sudden notice……”

“What, so you’re saying you’re going to close the mine altogether?”

Someone raised their voice. All the owner knew that the only place to sell was the surrounding territories anyway, so he circumvented the question if he was taking that into account.

At that, Luke’s heart as he stood politely behind the representative was also mixed. Could it be that the Lord intended to make us move? Do they really want us to abandon the place where we have lived?

“No. All minerals from Windsor for the next year henceforth will be purchased by our territory.”

It wasn’t just Luke who opened his eyes wide at Sein’s words.

“One year’s worth of ……?”

“Do you know how much that is?”

“In monetary terms…….”

“In the first place, the owner’s territory ‘will buy’ products from her own mine……”

There were murmurs, but the gray-haired man’s indifferent expression didn’t seem to soften.

“It’s been fully reviewed and approved by my master. I want to make it clear that today’s meeting is to give one-sided notice, not to gather opinions.”

“No, what are we supposed to say to our Lord if you only notify us as you please?”

“You have to pass it on as it is, so what? Well, I advise you to find another business partner.”

At Sein’s sharp answer, one of the men jumped up in rage.

“I don’t understand! Trading is a matter of trust. We have been buying minerals from Windsor for hundreds of years. But you’re going to stop trading like this overnight? Then, what do you plan to do after that one year you mentioned?”

At his words, the others also raised their voices in unison, as if they had regained their reason one by one.

“A year is enough time for us to find another client.”

“See if we buy the minerals of Windsor after that.”

At their words, Sein gave a smile that was not a smile.

“Trust? Isn’t it presumptuous to say that we betrayed your trust when all your territories did it first?”

“What……”

“When the power of the royal family was strong, they tried to buy the minerals they wanted at a reasonable price, but when a crisis came, they used it as an opportunity to buy them at a bargain price, abandoning their loyalty.”

“…….”

“If the owner has changed and is trying to sign a one-sided contract using that as an excuse, if it’s not a breach of trust over the past hundreds of years, what is it?”

As soon as they arrived here, some of the people who had hastily put on airs, saying, ‘It would be better to deliver minerals at a low price in exchange for protecting Windsor,’ flinched.

Listening to the cold but arrogant tone emanating from the man, Luke unknowingly placed his thick hand on the edge of his chest. Somehow, a hot lump similar to reassurance spread from the depths of his heart.

It was just yesterday that the man seemed so unreliable. Now his strong backside, as if nothing could bend it, looked like the vast mountain range of Windsor.

Luke now understood that that man’s steadfastness was not his own, but rather his master’s, who was backing him up.

He knew it was because the Lord of Ensis, who became the new owner of Windsor, was there.

“On the contrary, it is my master who has made up her mind about your attitude. The Lord is trying to find someone who will not betray her even in a situation like this.”

“…….”

“Everyone seems to be worried about the situation in Windsor, so let me tell you, our territory is about to undergo major construction, so for a while it will be enough to cover the demand of Ensis, and after that…… Catlan’s vassals near Windsor could be their customers.”

Of course, it might take a bit of trouble to transport, but there was no other customer as reliable as a business partner connected by blood.

The men who had raised their voices held their breath when they realized that it was not just to intimidate them, but that they really had a detailed plan to change their contract partner.

In fact, they talked about finding another mine, but they were well aware that it would not be easy.

In the first place, there were few mines as large as Windsor. As a result, the minerals had to be imported from a fairly long distance, which would obviously cost several times the freight costs.

Sein looked around them with cold eyes and said.

“Then I hope everyone understands, and please convey it to your masters.”

As if there was no further conversation, the man stood up.

Of course, no one could grab Sein or open his mouth again. Only worries about the future occupied their minds.

Luke followed him in a hurry as he strode forward. As he stepped out of the silent interior and into the slightly cold outside, a sense of reality flooded in.

“Well…… That. Mr. Sein…….”

Luke called out to the man in a naive voice. After staring at the winding mountain range for a while, Sein turned his head with an odd expression.

“Thank you so much. That…….”

“It would be right to say thank you to the master of this place and your master, not to me.”

“Ah, yes. O, of course……”

“I initially planned to relocate all of you.”

“…… Yes?”

An absurd sound came out of the mouth of the man who had seemed like an unconditional ally until just now.

Luke foolishly asked back, and Sein continued, as if it was not a big deal.

“A few gems coming out of this place are worth it, but it is not something we need right away, and the economic situation in the territory is not serious.”

“…….”

“I would rather take my time and send someone to mine or sell ownership to someone else after the situation has calmed down than normalize this place right now. That was what I was planning to tell the Lord.”

No…… Although he was talking about it with luxurious words, wasn’t it no different from saying that he was thinking of abandoning Windsor?

Author's Thoughts

Hello, everyone! It's Eica here~ Thank you for taking the time to read my translations.

I apologize for being absent for a rea~lly long time and for the future sporadic updates. My classes and busy schedule have made it difficult for me to translate at a faster pace.

Despite my shortcomings in translating, I hope each and every one of you will have a great time reading this.

If you come across any mistakes, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Discord.

You can support me on Ko-fi, and I would appreciate it if you could rate this on NU. I value your feedback, and even though I may not respond, please know that I read and eagerly anticipate each and every comment.

Once again, thank you, everyone! Happy reading!

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Eica

A lazy cat who wants her honied indolence back. NOTE: Updates will be sporadic. Any of my novels will be updated randomly.

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