TLN: Thanks to R.O for sponsoring the first patron chapter!
Chapter 115: Negotiations of the King and the Keika Village.
I crossed the door of the fortress together with Celica, and headed to the capital.
It is a bit sooner than noon,and it seems like the old man of the inn was busy with the lunch preparations.
When I got out of Minya’s room, I met a slender boy in the corridor, Leonel.
“Hello, Keika-san, Celica-san. I heard from Minya-san that you can now fly all the way here with magic. It seems that was true.” (Leonel)
“Yeah, I am a hero, after all. Please don’t talk too much about this, okay?” (Keika)
“Okay. So, are you going to be eating lunch? Minya-san seems to be helping out.” (Leonel)
“No, I won’t. More importantly, aren’t you busy?” (Keika)
“Hmm, there’s Minya-san, and 2 were hired, so it is okay.” (Leonel)
“I see. It is going well then.” (Keika)
“I would say it is going way too well.” (Leonel)
Leonel said this shyly as he tilted his head, his blonde hair flowing from that.
More like, this boy is the son of the town chief and is skillful in business, and also intelligent.
“…I thought of this just now, but do you feel like doing a new job?” (Keika)
“New job? What kind?” (Leonel)
“The job of guiding a certain village in a savage land. There’s a lot of dangers, so I think it will be a pretty difficult job though.” (Keika)
“Keika-sama…won’t that be too reckless no matter how you think about it?” (Celica)
Celica furrowed her brows in worry.
Leonel must have noticed this, his light brown eyes showed a wise light and he asked seriously.
“…Is it important for Keika-san?” (Leonel)
“They are people that trust in me as a hero after all. It is necessary for the sake of defeating the Demon Lord.” (Keika)
“Is that so.” (Leonel)
Leonel looked up and brought his eyebrows closer. A mature gesture in his youthful face.
“It is dangerous, so I won’t force you to do it. I will try to protect it as much as possible though.” (Keika)
“Where is it at?” (Leonel)
“The west coast of the remote continent.” (Keika)
Leonel then smiled.
“That’s pretty far. A place I only know from book knowledge. I want to go there one day. It might be dangerous, but…it does sound like an option?” (Leonel)
“So you will do it? That’s a great help.” (Keika)
“Yeah, I have other business, so I won’t be able to do it at once though.” (Leonel)
“I will also tell the old man later.” (Keika)
“Alright. See you later.” (Leonel)
Leonel waved his hand lightly in front of his chest and returned to work.
The store seemed to be busy, so I headed to the royal castle first.
The chalk-colored castle with several tall spires located in the middle of the capital.
I showed the Proof of a Hero to the gatekeeper and told them the gist of my visit, and I was quickly guided to the throne room.
Defeating the Demon Lord is the highest priority, so it stands above any audience or official duty.
When I walked through the corridor, Etoile walked with fast steps towards me with her red hair waving.
“Keika-sama, it is great to see you in good health.” (Etoile)
“It has been a while, Etoile. What’s the matter, coming to me in such a hurry?” (Keika)
“…It seems like the betrothal will be decided.” (Etoile)
“Isn’t that great? Congratulations.” (Keika)
When I said that, her violet eyes dampened, and she bit her lips.
“Keika-sama…uuh… My apologies… Bye.” (Etoile)
Etoile turned around and ran off.
Celica pulled the sleeve of my japanese clothes. Her pretty-shaped eyebrows moved closer in sadness.
“I request of you as well, Keika-sama. Can you please forgive Etoile-sama…?” (Celica)
“Do you think Etoile has been taught about how to be a sovereign or something like that as someone that stands atop others like you?” (Keika)
“Eh? Yes, she is royalty, so she should have.” (Celica)
“I see.” (Keika)
I simply nodded and walked ahead.
We entered the grand hall where pillars were lined up.
King Daphness was sitting on the throne at the top of the stairs. An elderly man that looks good with a white beard.
I am still standing there, but Celica has dropped to one knee and lowered her head.
The king said with a dignified tone.
“Nice of you to have come, Hero. I am most glad to see that you are doing well. Celica as well, you can raise your head.” (Daphness)
“It has been a while, King.” (Keika)
“It has been a while, Daphness-sama.” (Celica)
I saluted lightly and Celica bowed deeply.
“Keika, what was the progress after that?” (Daphness)
“The reports would be overlapping here, but I have defeated 3 of the 4 Devas. The 4th, Geadolph, escaped when I was one step to get him, but I succeeded in destroying his plan of creating an army of 100,000 undead to raid the world before it happened.” (Keika)
“Ooh! What a great achievement! As expected of the prided Hero of our nation! Do your best with that same zeal.” (Daphness)
“I will do my utmost, King.” (Keika)
I answered with a smile.
The King says this after taking a look around the hall.
“And so, Keika, did you come here today because you had some sort of request? Is it about the village?” (Daphness)
“As expected of Your Highness. It has reached your ears fast. I have actually paved the path that connects the Keika Village and the capital.” (Keika)
“Umu, I have heard about that. It has become a bit of a problem. I have been told that it would make the defense more difficult.” (Daphness)
“Yes. That’s why I am thinking of making the Keika Village the pivot of the northern defense.” (Keika)
“Hooh, can you tell me in detail what you plan on doing?” (Daphness)
I puffed out my chest and answered.
“First, I am thinking about enclosing the village with a tall stone wall. We will create a deep outer moat in its surroundings. Of course, it will come from our own pockets.” (Keika)
“Fumu. By ‘first’, you must mean there’s still more, right?” (Daphness)
“As for the defense, I am thinking not only of using humans, but beastkin and Divine Beasts as well.” (Keika)
I could tell the knights and civil officials at the throne room were agitated by this.
The king simply nodded without being bothered about this as if he found this amusing.
“Hooh! To think you would use people other than humans! …Would they be of use in emergencies?” (Daphness)
“Keika Village is at the northernmost part of the country. There’s a great forest in the north, and on the other side of that, there’s the land under the control of the Demon Lord army.” (Keika)
“That occupied land is the area where the beastkins live. The beastkins that are currently in the village are people that barely escaped with their lives from the despotic ruling of the Demon Lord. That’s why I assure you they will be fighting the Demon Lord army as if their lives depended on it.” (Keika)
“Hohoh, I understand their sentiment, but you might have invited a spy, you know?” (Daphness)
That’s a King for ya. He is poking where it hurts.
“It is not like there’s zero chance of that, but the beastkin are saying they are fine with becoming slaves if that’s what it takes, so I think they are worth trusting. If anything happens, I will take responsibility.” (Keika)
“Then, I will send mages regularly to check their minds with magic… But what’s that about stationing Divine Beasts? I have heard about forming a relationship with the Naga at Dollarth.” (Daphness)
To think the King would be the one throwing a lifeboat for me here. I have achievements to the point that the king would know about them after all. With this, the others won’t be able to complain to me in my face.
I made the most plausible sounding argument here in a way that others can hear me.
“They are Divine Beasts that have faced sourness by the Demon Lord just like the Nagas, and have lost their place to be. I met them in the middle of my travels. They have meaningful power that humans don’t have. I want to shelter them at Keika Village. They have promised to become my strength, the strength of the Hero.” (Keika)
It is slightly different, but it would have a better reception if I say that.
“Fumu, there’s the legend of a Hero that made even monsters their allies, so it could be possible.” (Daphness)
“Then, aside from the beastkins, would you please give me permission to live together with Divine Beasts like elves, mermaids, and slimes? I will take responsibility. Also, the monsters led by the Demon Lord are brutal. I would say the defensive power would increase more by borrowing the strength of Divine Beasts than with normal humans.” (Keika)
“Giving you permission immediately…won’t be happening. I will keep it in check as a test. If there doesn’t seem to be any issues, I will give the official permission.” (Daphness)
Looks like he took his subordinates into consideration and ended up like that.
I lowered my head.
“Thank you very much, Your Highness. Also, I am planning on making it a big village, so I would like to get permission to manage schools, hospitals, stores, and inns. Of course, this will be taxed. It would act as a defense for the nation, so how about making it territory under the direct jurisdiction of His Highness?” (Keika)
“I see. It would make it easier to protect the nation.” (Daphness)
A number of nobles frowned. This would lead to the reduction of the power of the nobles in the area after all.
On the other hand, the King will be able to increase his influence, so he is pretty into the idea.
It would be troubling to have them object here, so I follow up.
“We can expect pretty high earnings from the village. Regarding the lowering of earnings from the nobles in the Keika Village’s territory, I would like to request the increase of barriers in the agricultural lands of those nobles to compensate for that.” (Keika)
“Hooh. How much do you predict your earnings are going to be increasing?” (Daphness)
“People will be gathering, so I think it will be creating earnings for Dollarth and the capital really soon. I would say it will be more than the west city of Kelkira. If we free the beastkin lands to the north, Keika Village would also serve as a trading spot. We will be using the strength of Divine Beasts instead of humans, and elves and mermaids are already working.” (Keika)
The commotion of the throne room increased when they heard I am making mermaids work. I am not done yet though.
“That’s impressive… I would like to see it once. That said, direct jurisdiction, huh…” (Daphness)
“This is a necessary measure in preparation for the last battle against the Demon Lord, Your Highness.” (Keika)
Of course, that’s a lie, but if I say this, it will be judged as the judgment of a Hero -especially the nobles.
The King brushed his beard as if grabbing it and tilted his head.
“But if that’s the case, it would be difficult for a mere village. It is not like you will always be defending there…” (Daphness)
“That’s where I have a proposition, Your Highness.” (Keika)
“What is it? Tell me.” (Daphness)
“How about making the 2nd princess, Etoile-sama, the magistrate of the village?” (Keika)
“Wa…?! Etoile?!” (Daphness)
‘Eh?!’, the people make a ruckus.
There were also people who were whispering maliciously ‘that’s a bit too much’, ‘isn’t he getting too ahead of himself?’.
Celica was also surprised by this.
“K-Keika-sama?! …That’s…no, that might be the ideal result.” (Celica)
I grinned and told the King this…
“Etoile-sama took great care of me in Dollarth after all.” (Keika)
It is in the direct jurisdiction of the King and royalty will be stationed there. A noble only for tax collection wouldn’t be able to complain at all.
—Also, seeing the state of the current village chief, I think he is at the limit of his mental health.
His legs go weak just from seeing a mermaid.
When I get the Nagas and Beholder Gels to work, there’s no doubt he will collapse.
Also, if I make Etoile the magistrate of the village, I should be able to do as I please with the village without having anyone getting in the way!
The arranged marriage of Etoile would be delayed for a while.
The King made a complicated expression as if he were happy or troubled.
However, he said in a dignified tone.
“…Understood. The Keika Village will be under my direct jurisdiction and I will command Etoile to be the magistrate of the Keika Village.” (Daphness)
Nice, that’s a king!
The surroundings finally raised their voice.
‘King!’, ‘Daphness-sama, that’s too much!’, ‘Even if he is a Hero, that’s dangerous!’, ‘The marriage plans of Etoile-sama…’.
The King raised his hand and brought the voices of the surroundings to a stop.
“With just the confirmed information of Hero Keika we have, he has defeated the Evil Squid Valiamurgh, settled raging dragons, protected Ronison from an attack, and wiped out the Gaff bandit group. Our nation still hasn’t paid back any of those. Normally, this is enough to award him territory, you know?” (Daphness)
With this, it is possible for the territory of the nobles to become that of the Hero. With the territory being in the direct jurisdiction of the King, there’s still the possibility of it being redistributed.
The nobles had come to a decision, and fell silent with bitter faces.
Well, I have no benefits in getting territory anyways. Even if I don’t have tax income, I can operate plenty well with just the sales of the monster materials, and the dividends from the Dried Company. The donations have also increased recently.
In terms of position stability, a Hero has more worth than a noble.
On the other hand, if I take territory here -even if little- they will have me treated as a noble. If that happens, when the beastkin territories and Edelstein are taken back, it will be the Daphness Kingdom’s nobles that took it back, so it might end up with Edelstein being the property of the Daphness Kingdom.
I don’t want to spread the seeds of conflict for the sake of Celica who has been supporting me this whole time.
It seems like the King also gets me here.
(Or more like, who are the Gaff Bandits?), is what I was thinking, but it was the bandit group that I defeated the other day at the bronze statue.
They were apparently being led by Gaff who I cut down at the Hero Exam Tournament.
An unexpected boost.
I lowered my head with a smile.
“My deepest gratitude for your acknowledgement, Your Highness. I will work even harder on the subjugation of the Demon Lord. Also, please send my regards to the tax collectors.” (Keika)
“Umu, work hard.” (Daphness)
Celica and I lowered our heads once again and turned around.
The throne room still had an atmosphere of disapproval, but there wasn’t anyone who raised their voice and objected.
The special treatment of the Hero Keika Village was completely accepted with the cry of the crane*. <Idiom for the voice of a superior>
I suddenly thought of something and looked at the nobles and knights lined up.
It is natural for the related parties of the Vernus Church to not approve of this, but there’s also a number of nobles who are making bitter expressions.
Just in case, I check the Status of the ones that made displeased faces and remembered their names.
(When I have the time, I will investigate the internal conditions.) (Keika)
And then, I left the royal castle with confident strides.
It is high noon.
I returned to the Keika Village via the old man’s store.
At that time, I spoke to the old man and had him accept Leonel working at a different place.
At Keika Village, I told the village chief that the place will now be under the direct jurisdiction of the king, and that Etoile will be coming here as a magistrate. He once again lost strength in his legs and fell on his butt, but he learned that all the troublesome stuff won’t be his responsibility and was relieved.
After that, I met the builder Melbius and requested for even more construction.
He apparently doesn’t have enough for the material expenses, so Celica paid for that.
When I entered my residence, I relaxed.
I sat at the bed with Celica by my side.
“That was tiring -even though it is still noon.” (Celica)
“Yeah, we are more the night type after all. Time Zones.” (Keika)
When I explained what Time Zones are, Celica sighed and was impressed.
“So time changes depending on the location. As expected of Keika-sama. That was educational.” (Celica)
“The Fairy Door is convenient, but it is complicated on those fronts. We will be heading to the remote continent tomorrow to save the other tribes, so we have to stay up late in the night.” (Keika)
“Understood. Also, this has been bothering me but…” (Celica)
“What is it?” (Keika)
“When we moved into the Fairy Door separated, I couldn’t tell where you went. We have to make it so we can tell or it might become troublesome to search in the future.” (Celica)
“I see… I can somewhat tell because I have the Proof of the Hero, but it would be troubling for everyone else, huh… Alright, we will make tags, and we can wear them with the appropriate name of the location we will be heading to.” (Keika)
“That would be a great help… Fuaaah. Sorry.” (Celica)
Celica tried to stifle a yawn. It seems she was embarrassed from yawning in front of someone, her head hung down while her cheeks blushed. That’s a bit cute.
“Let’s rest after having lunch.” (Keika)
“Yes, Keika-sama.” (Celica)
I was thinking about asking Clarissa to make lunch, but it seems like Minya had brought 4 lunches from the store beforehand, so we ate that.
It was grilled miso from fish caught in Dollarth.
(Looks like she brought miso back from Keika Harbor at some point in time.) (Keika)
Minya said with her usual expressionless face.
“I thought it would make Keika-oniichan happy.” (Minya)
“Yeah, it is the best. Thanks.” (Keika)
“Okay. I will make them again.” (Minya)
When I praised her, her expressionless face didn’t disappear, but her tail was wagging happily.
Lapicia, who had been woken up, ate one sausage without saying anything despite still looking sleepy.
She went right back to sleep when she finished eating.