T/n: Changed Mesotherium -> Metocerium
Chapter 290 – Return Home
Having reached a general agreement in diplomatic negotiations, I didn’t immediately return to Merinesburg―I couldn’t. There was still work to be done.
I had to set up a customs and liaison post near the border between the Duchy of Dihart and the Kingdom of Tigris, and in Metocerium, the city closest to the border, I had to build a diplomatic outpost and a guest house to receive delegations from both countries and students of noble birth.
Considering the danger and urgency of the situation, I quickly built the border posts and liaison stations, but the guesthouse had to be built using local carpenters and craftsmen. Building everything quickly and efficiently by me would be a complete disaster as it would take jobs away from the local people. If anything, I’m the one who has to create jobs.
“We will pay for it, so make it grand. If there is not enough land in the city, I will extend the wall.”
“Leave it to me. We will build a magnificent guesthouse that will showcase the majesty and dignity of the Kingdom of Merinard.”
Heinrich Le Metocerium, the governor of Metocerium, who received my request, nodded with a confident expression on his face.
“I leave it to you. Be extravagant but not too vulgar. Use this as a temporary fund.”
I took a bag full of polished gems from my inventory, laid a cloth on the table, and opened the contents onto the cloth.
“It’s a shame I don’t have any cash on hand, so I’m going to need you to convert this into cash and invest it as funds. And this is my personal thanks to Heinrich-dono for taking care of all this for me.”
Saying this, I pull out a large ruby, emerald, and sapphire from my inventory and hand them to Heinrich-dono.
“O-oooh…! Y-you are giving such things to me…?”
“Yeah, Heinrich-dono has worked very hard for me on the northern base. The kingdom of Merinard is fortunate to have a loyal, honest, and diligent governor like you to rule the north. Please continue to serve the Kingdom of Merinard in the future.”
Saying this, I smile at Heinrich-dono. In fact, I’m indebted to Heinrich-dono in many ways. He has helped us with horse-drawn wagon services to and from the northern bases, recruiting soldiers and workers, and so on. This kind of benefit sharing is necessary. I believe that people should be properly rewarded for their hard work.
“Thank you for your kind words… I, Heinrich of the House of Metocerium, pledge my allegiance to Kosuke-sama and the Kingdom of Merinard.”
Heinrich-dono puts his hand on his chest and bows his head. He is exaggerating only because of three jewels or so.
“If there is any shortage of money for the construction, please contact me in Merinesburg. I will also arrange for some Black Forest elf artifacts to be used as furnishings for the guest house.”
That’s it for the guesthouse and the diplomat’s station. From now on, we can have the auditor stay at the diplomat’s station as well. No, it might be possible to have the diplomat and the auditor serve concurrently. I’ll leave that to Sylphy and Melty.
“Can I ask you to fund the Adol religion as well?”
When I returned to the northern base after talking to Heinrich-dono and told Seraphita-san and Ellen what had happened, Ellen said to me with a straight face.
“I personally don’t mind, but are they really that severe?”
“Shamefully, pretty much. The influence of the Adol religion has become very low within the Merinard Kingdom following the elimination of the Holy Kingdom’s power. Furthermore, most of the people who had been donating large sums of money to Adol religion within the Merinard Kingdom were people who used the subhuman population as slaves.”
“So, in addition to the eradication of a major source of funding by our hands, the rest of the people are avoiding Adol religion, so their income has decreased drastically?”
“That’s exactly how it is. Right now, the church is being run using the wealth accumulated by the previous corrupt priests, but it’s going to be a bit tough if things continue as they are now.”
At Ellen’s request, I crossed my arms and pondered. I glanced at Seraphita-san.
“I know it’s easy for Kosuke-sama to provide financial support, but even if that gets them out of a difficult situation for a while, won’t it be the same if they don’t do something?”
Seraphita-san, who caught my gaze, said that she understood my intention. Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking. It would be easy for me to fund Adol religion here, but I don’t think it would be right for me to keep giving money all the time.
“Seraphita-san is right. I think that if they don’t manage to raise revenue without relying on me, they will be in a bind later on. But it’s not strange for the state to fund an organization that prays for miracles for the people and heals the injured and sick, and there’s nothing wrong with me personally donating to such an organization, is there?”
“Of course not. It is the duty of influential people to support such activities.”
“I will make a donation, and I will also contact Sylphy and ask for financial support from the Kingdom of Merinard. In return, I will ask Adol religion to do their best to become independent to a certain extent.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Ellen nodded with a mysterious face. Hmm, but that’s the thing. Once a country’s appearance is established, the power of money becomes necessary for smooth operations. Until now, we have often exchanged weapons, food, various resources, etc., directly with each other, but now that we are mainly operating in areas where a somewhat developed monetary economy has been introduced, it would be better to prepare not only raw and polished gemstones and other highly cashable items such as magic metals, but also cash.
“Money, huh…? I wonder if I can procure the money somehow.”
“Um, Kosuke-sama? If possible, please consult with Sylphiel and Melty.”
“If you do poorly, the market will take a huge hit, so it’s better to be cautious.”
“Why is it that you have so little faith in me…?”
I tilted my head. I don’t recall doing such a grand gesture in front of the two of them.
“The jewelry you just handed over to the governor earlier was such an item that it’s hard to put a price on it.”
“If it was that big, I wonder how much it would be worth…”
When Ellen saw my reaction, she gave me a cold stare, and Seraphita-san gave me a troubled smile.
The size of the gems I gave to Heinrich-dono as a personal reward was about the same size as a ping pong ball or a little larger. I had chosen the larger ones at random, but come to think of it, I hadn’t given much thought to how much they were worth.
“They’re not that big of a deal for me to have.”
Saying this, I took out a ruby, sapphire, and emerald the size of a clenched fist from my inventory and showed them. They stared at the gems for a moment as if they were devouring them and then let out a sigh as they closed their eyes or covered their eyes with their hands.
“That’s kind of the point.”
“I was so surprised I thought I was going to stop breathing.”
“Hahaha, I was just trying to prank you a little bit… Well, for me, it’s just like a stone, not to say a rock, but a little bit rare stone, because I can get a ragged piece of it.”
In fact, I can get any number of rocks and boulders in rocky areas if I hit them with my pickaxe with the vigor of clearing the land. However, in this world, resources don’t re-pop up on their own, so if I do it excessively, the world itself will flatten out.
“Speaking of which, Kosuke gave us some gems before, didn’t he?”
“I have cashed in some of them, but I’m keeping my favorites.”
“As an adventurer, I don’t have a chance to wear the jewelry even if it’s made into accessories.”
I see. I’m going to give the three of them some practical accessories next time.
“I have a pendant that Kosuke gave me…”
When I was thinking about this and that, Ellen was trying to calm her mind by squeezing her chest. Seraphita-san didn’t make any particular comment, and her expression didn’t change, but I could sense that she was somewhat sad.
“Ellen is a clergywoman, so you probably can’t wear jewelry with fancy ornaments on it, but I’ll make you some accessories next time. Maybe with mithril.”
“…Is that okay?”
“Of course. As for Seraphita-san, since she will likely be standing in diplomatic missions like this one in the future, so I will make you a dress or an ornament that is appropriate for you.”
“Thank you, Kosuke-sama.”
Ellen and Seraphita-san smiled when they heard my reply. Ellen was once nearly assassinated with a poisoned dagger, and Seraphita-san might be in similar danger if she stands on a diplomatic mission in the future. It would be better to make accessories for both of them that can cover those situations as soon as possible.
I should ask Isla about gemstones and their effects next time. Even on Earth, it was believed that various gemstones and ores, called power stones, had such effects, and in this world of magic, it is likely that research in this area is also advanced.
Time passed as we did various chores, took over various tasks, and dealt with the diplomatic envoys from the Kingdom of Tigris and the Duchy of Dihart who came to visit us immediately, and it was around early summer that we finally returned to Merinesburg.