Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 256 – The Movement of Northern Power
While busy with work related to the new type of preserved food, Isla and I were summoned to the meeting room by Sylphy.
What is this? When we showed up at the meeting room, not only Sylphy but also Melty, Sir Leonard, Danan, Ellen, and Driada-san were gathered there. It was unusual for Ellen and Driada-san to show up at the meeting, not to mention Melty, Sir Leonard, and Danan.
On a large table in the meeting room, a map of the kingdom of Merinard and the surrounding area was spread out, giving me the feeling that the meeting was not going to be a simple one.
“It looks like everyone’s gathered here, so let’s get started.”
“What in the world is going to start now?”
“A meeting to discuss the situation in the north.”
When I frankly asked Sylphy why I had been summoned to the meeting, she answered. The northern countermeasures, huh?
“When it comes to the north, was it the Duchy of Dihart and the Kingdom of Tigris?”
“That’s right. Both of them are practically vassal states of the Holy Kingdom. The Duchy of Dihart is a puppet of the Holy Kingdom, and the Kingdom of Tigris, whose state religion is Adolism, is a half-subject to the Holy Kingdom. For us, the Kingdom of Merinard, they are potential enemies.”
“I see. So, what has happened that you are holding an emergency meeting?”
“Well, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. Melty.”
“Yes, please see here.”
Today Melty seems to be in work mode. With a serious expression on her face, she laid out on the table some documents with a lot of numbers written on them. There were several sets of about ten sheets on the table. I picked up one of them and started looking at it. Hmm? Was it a list of trade volume and price changes for each commodity in each city?
“Any place, in particular, that looks suspicious… Hmm?”
I can’t say for sure because I don’t have the basic knowledge to make a comparison, but I am concerned about the gradual increase in the price of food. Within the Kingdom of Merinard, the food self-sufficiency rate should be well over 100% due to the effect of the fields I planted in the early fall. However, according to the data in this document, food prices are gradually increasing slightly. The trade volume seems to be equally high… or is it too much?
“Isn’t the volume of food traded oddly high?”
“Yes. It is not unusual for food prices to rise in the winter, but this is certainly not the case in the Kingdom of Merinard.”
“Hmm. Large quantities of food are still being brought in from the Great Omit Wilderness by transport air boards, and food must continue to be produced in food production centers south of Erichburg. And the fields Kosuke built are still producing food, even in winter.”
Sir Leonard and Isla agreed with my statement.
“Those fields, do they continue to produce crops even in the winter…?”
“I can’t think of anything else to say except that it’s insane.”
And Ellen and Driada-san, who heard Isla’s story, are shocked. You guys? You see the fields in the courtyard and the medicinal herb fields, don’t you?
“We did something similar in the elves’ village, though.”
Even the elves did similar things. My power isn’t insane… no, but it is still insane. But I disagree that people are going to be dismayed by it.
“Kosuke, that magic farm was able to operate because of its enormous magical power, the large number of elves who are skilled in spirit magic, and the Black Forest, where the spirits of life and plant life are strong. It is not worth the cost to operate such a magic farm in another country. Even the elves of the Black Forest had to spend a huge amount of magical power to produce enough food for only 300 people.”
“Once Kosuke-san’s farm is established, it grows many crops with only simple care. I thought the magic farm of the elves was amazing when I saw it for the first time, but after seeing Kosuke’s farm, its very existence itself is a blur.”
“Is that so…?”
Let’s accept reality. Yes, yes, insane, insane, insane. I won’t make Isla look like a cat with blank stares with space as a background over and over again.
“So, what does this data suggest? You mean that the northern countries are preparing for war?”
“…That wouldn’t be surprising now, but Kosuke is a man with versatility. No, we know that your abilities are extraordinary.”
“He has an extensive range of knowledge. Although he tends to focus on manufacturing.”
“I’ve just taken a shallow and wide variety of things. It’s not like I have any specialized knowledge.”
Once you start looking into real expertise, it’s too deep to look into and understand. I just remember what my mind can comprehend from the net and books. I have a reasonably good memory, though. And even if I have the knowledge, whether or not I can put it to use is a different story. I didn’t look up anything I wasn’t interested in.
“Kosuke has been strong in military affairs from the beginning… Well, we can assume that Kosuke was right. We actually sent personnel to the northern towns to investigate, and it seems that merchants from the Duchy of Dihart and the Kingdom of Tigris are buying a lot of food. They say that the autumn harvest was poor, but according to the merchants of the Merinard Kingdom who do business with both countries, they did not hear anything like that in the fall. It is not impossible that there may have been a poor harvest in areas far from the borders of the two countries, but considering the time of year, we should assume that the two countries are gathering food for the war effort.”
“I see. As for the Research and Development Department, we would like to oppose sending Kosuke to the north, but I don’t think we have any choice.”
“Well, we have a certain amount of ground to cover both canned food production and instant noodle production and management, don’t we?”
Since the direction has been decided to some extent, the work has already entered the stage of a modest trial-and-error process. For canned foods, we are searching for suitable content and making prototypes. For instant noodles, we are still searching for the right thickness of noodles, steaming time, and heat drying time, and pursuing the best taste. The only way to find the optimum value is through repeated trial and error.
“Are you sending Kosuke to the north?”
“Yes. It is necessary to set up a defense system in case both countries invade. Of course, it will not be right now, but only after we have a defense plan in place.”
“The work itself won’t take that long.”
With my abilities, I can build a stronghold or even a fortress in a whole day. There is still a month or so before the winter ends, so moving me would be more efficient after having a solid plan in place.
“In that case, the defense plan for the east side should also be advanced as soon as possible.”
“Umu. The Holy Kingdom may take advantage of the chaos in the north to attack. I think it will be difficult.”
The Holy Kingdom sent 20,000 troops into Merinard’s territory at the beginning of autumn and were completely crushed by an attack with technical air boards and my automatic grenade launchers, as well as air strikes by the Harpy Bombardment Squadron.
A 20,000-strong force is not a large force compared to the total military strength of the Holy Kingdom, but it is also not a force of a scale that can immediately fill in the gaps.
“It’s probably that. They are probably doing this to analyze our moves and our fighting ability.”
“Perhaps. They are probably trying to get a clue about how to attack us by having the vassal states attack us.”
“I guess so…”
“We have to be careful with Kosuke’s guards, don’t we?”
“Hmm. That’s our biggest weakness.”
“I know, right?”
My existence is the driving force behind the progress of the Merinard kingdom, and at the same time, it is also the greatest weakness. If I were the enemy, I would do whatever it took to get me on their side or get rid of me as quickly as possible. Well, I don’t intend to be easily eliminated. But there’s a precedent… That fucking fox bastard. I’ll shear him again in the spring.
“Guard, huh…? It would be best if I could take Lime and the others with me.”
Lime and the others came out of the corners and ceilings of the room to deny my words. They are basically stuck in Merinesburg, or rather, the royal castle of Merinesburg. There is the trick of the sewers and escape tunnels, but even that has its limitations.
“We’ll have to rely on Grande and our trusted soldiers and adventurers. Zamir can’t leave the western guard, and neither me, Melty, nor Isla can leave Merinesburg.”
“I can move, you know.”
“What are you going to do with all those extra guards?”
Ellen raises her hand but is immediately rejected by Melty. Ellen’s ability to see the truth is dependable, though. Her miracle powers are amazing, too. But she’s even more powerless than me when you approach her.
“I don’t really want to get Grande involved in this kind of thing…”
“That’s that, and this is this. I, too, am against taking Grande out to the Holy Kingdom or any other battlefield of humans and having her wield her power as a dragon, but I think we can count on her to protect Kosuke outside of the battlefield from those who would seek to kill Kosuke.”
“Overprotective. Grande understands that if she stays with Kosuke, she’s going to get involved in some of the humans’ troubles to some extent. We should rely on her where we can.”
“Mm… I’ll talk to Grande.”
“You should do that.”
I am sure that Grande will be supportive if I tell her what happened, but I don’t want to take advantage of her goodwill and use her too conveniently. Hmm… I’ll just talk to her for now.