Chapter 71 – Because I’d like to leave first

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“It’s a complete deadlock, isn’t it.” (Breithilde)

One week after the arbitration negotiations began, Margrave Breithilde sighed due to there not being any results appearing.
Even though our side has said that we will accept the preliminary calculations draft of Viscount Knappstein who is the emissary of the kingdom, the Browig household’s side has denied it with 『It’s far too much!』.
And another day ends with both sides not compromising about the amount of money in the discussions at all.
Also, the two successor candidates, who have appeared at the negotiations, have added the condition of 『Karla has to become Earl Baumeister’s wife!』 in unison.
Apologizing for their quiet assistance in the rebellion, albeit unofficially, they are presenting Karla as wife to me.
It was possible to comprehend it as common ground of the negotiations between my and Browig’s household, but it is also connected to the matter of distributing the rights of the Savage Lands development to the Browig household. {Translated by Infinite Novel Translations}
Naturally Margrave Breithilde’s anger about that is intense and it will likely be odd for the negotiations to lead anywhere with that.

“The relation between those two is the same as ever, but they are able to pinpoint the matters where they should work together.” (Breithilde)

The recent dispute has substantially already turned into a competition between the union of the Margrave Breithilde household and the Earl Baumeister household versus the Margrave Browig household.
Of course, because of the sequence of events until now, they are aiming for the youngster me, who is a rising family head, as they shouldn’t have anything to pull in Margrave Breithilde.

“A share of the interests due to the marriage with Karla and a reduction of the ransom? That’s a talk that can be ignored easily, but you can also say that they have no other hand but this to play either.”

“That’s nasty.”

“For royalty, nobles and merchants it’s an established tactic to aim for the weak points in a negotiation, right?”

This means it’s easy to aim for the highest reduction from me and Katharina since it will put our balances in the black for us even if we take only a fraction of the ransom.
Given that we aren’t involved in the disputes over the contested rights at all, it was also profitable as the negotiations with us are simple.

“How much is our sum of ransom in the negotiations?” (Wendelin)

“450 million cents.” (Katharina)

That’s the combined amount of money of us and Katharina’s Waigel household.
The reason why the ransom is so high is because the number of prisoners is that large.

“Even a tenth of that will put our balance in the black.” (Wendelin)

Our military forces are less than 100 people strong.
Even considering the administrative expenses for the people who became prisoners, the profit ratio would become outrageous.
It was also evidence that a high-ranking magician can earn a good income with the current war rules.

“But, we will be taken lightly if we go with a tenth at this point.” (Katharina)

“That’s right, isn’t it…” (Wendelin)

If we don’t take as much ransom as possible, that will earn us an evaluation of being no good as nobles.
However, it’s difficult to make them pay as much as possible in the current state of affairs.
If it takes time, that time will become a loss to us due to the delay in the Savage Lands development.

“How about paying in kind?”

“That’s probably difficult as well.”

Territory, mining rights and the treasures possessed by the Browig household; they shouldn’t be handing either of those that easily.

“For them to agree to payment in kind and moreover for there being merit in it for us, huh?” (Wendelin)

“Furthermore, something the Browig household doesn’t consider to have much of a value… Ah, there is!” (Katharina)

Katharina pondered about it for a little while, but she was apparently struck with some idea.

“Now that it has turned out like this, won’t it be alright if we receive the 『Herthania Valley』?” (Katharina)

“Herthania Valley…? I see! There was that move!” (Wendelin)

There are many people who don’t know about it, but Katharina, who has slightly more experience as adventurer than us, was acquainted with it.

“It’s a location said to have a large quantity of high quality mines and ore deposits.” (Katharina)

“There’s such a place. I don’t know why you think that they will easily hand it over to Wend though, Katharina.” (Luise)

It seems Luise finds it unthinkable for them to transfer such a mine area for a reduction of the reconciliation money.

“That’s because that place is a monster domain.” (Katharina)

According to ancient documents, Herthania Valley was apparently a famous mining area in the time of the Ancient Magic Civilization.
Iron, copper, gold, silver, mithril, orichalcum and all kinds of jewels; there exist abundant untouched mines and ore deposits boasting bounty reserves. If those can be exploited, it will become an enormous profit.

“But, until now it hasn’t been captured, right?” (Ina)

“Yes. It looks like various famous magicians have challenged it, but…” (Katharina)

Since they have failed, Herthania Valley remains a den of monsters as is.
Katharina replied to Ina’s question like that.

“The monsters at that place are unique.” (Katharina)

Generally, a monster, that lives in a monster domain, has more or less a shape close to living creatures albeit in a peculiar way.
There are exceptions like undead as well, but as the condition for their creation are the deaths of adventurers and such, it means that there aren’t that many of them. It’s possible to eliminate them relatively easy with 『Holy』 magic.

“However, the monsters in the Herthania Valley are…” (Katharina)

For some reason all of them seem to be made out of rocks.
Monsters like wolves, bears, boars, hawks and wyvren have an appearance that is the same as those who are living in any domain, but they are formed by rocks, they won’t starve if they eat rocks occasionally and they give birth to children made out of rock with normal childbirth.
You can probably call it dividing in two in that case?
It appears they are strange monsters that the scholars of the central government have given up on, too.
Judging from what I heard, I believe that they are many golems with independent conduct though.

“Even if they are requested to exterminate them, adventurers won’t take up the request most of the times.” (Katharina)

Although they are made out of rock, they will die if their head is cut off just like normal monsters. It seems they will likewise die if you pierce their heart.
But then again, as it’s unknown whether they might be really alive, their death is a state that can suitably be called a suspension of activity as there’s no blood flowing either.
And it’s possible to retrieve magic cores and ores from the defeated monsters.

“The majority is iron or copper ore. If it’s a small fry, it will be at most fist sized. For all that the loss of weapons is extreme because of them being rock-made. It looks like no one wants to go into the valley.” (Katharina)

If one considers it normally, other domains have a much better efficiency.

“Aren’t those golems?” (Luise)

“There seem to be many scholars believing that as well.” (Katharina)

Katharina replies to Luise’s question.
At any rate, whatever it is, but the development of Herthania Valley didn’t advance due to being prevented by those rock-made monsters.

“You are well-versed about it, Katharina.” (Wendelin)

“That’s because I had planned to become a noble by capturing that place.” (Katharina)

“You are a challenger.”

Certainly, if she captures that place, she should become a noble without there being a problem with her being a woman either. {Support the translator by reading this at Infinite Novel Translations!}
But then again, it’s completely halted at the planning stage.
That’s because there’s absolutely no prospect of success if it’s one or two famous magicians.

“I have heard that a Margrave Browig of a distant past also sent his soldiers in there.” (Katharina)

Just as around 10.000 soldiers entered Herthania Valley, they were attacked by a huge army of tens of thousands rock-made wolves, boars, bears and such. Moreover, suffering an attack by more than 10.000 wyvrens and eagles swooping down from the sky, they were apparently annihilated without even seeing the shadow of the domain’s boss.

“Is the Browig household meddling with the south to recover those losses?” (Wendelin)

“Maybe.” (Katharina)

“It’s similar to a story I heard somewhere…” (Wendelin)

Mostly it’s about the circumstances of my family’s home.

“In the past, a high-rank together with two intermediate ranks and two high ranks together with two intermediate ranks rushed in there, but they had to retreat after being overwhelmed by the number of monsters. According to the adventurer’s guild’s records they brought nothing back but a little amount of ores.” (Katharina)

Just like with the underground ruins, it’s very likely that the monsters will stop increasing in numbers if the boss is defeated making them lose their commander.
No, there was the possibility that they would completely stop to function.
If one considers the monsters at that place to be rock-made golems which are copying the shape of monsters, one can predict that the device protecting the domain will vanish if the boss is defeated.

“A legacy from the period of the Ancient Magic Civilization, huh?” (Wendelin)

“Do you know about it, Wendelin-san?” (Katharina)

“To the degree of having seen it in a crumbling book. That’s why I remembered it now.” (Wendelin)

The book I saw should be one from the study of Earl Ischrubak in that underground ruin.
I didn’t remember much of it as I read it vaguely in my free time in a half unfocussed state after having just recovered from mana exhaustion, but if I remember correctly there should be a book similar to the list of those created works.

“Wend. You didn’t have any interest as it won’t become your own, eh?” (Luise)

“In order for other people to not exploit his mines, he created a sophisticated trap or such. The ancient magic tool craftsmen were amazing, weren’t they?” (Ina)

As Luise says, if I’m requested to liberate it, it wouldn’t be worth it unless I received a large amount of money.
Ina frankly admired the greatness of the ancient magic tool craftsmen.

“There is the combat potential. And it won’t work if you don’t prepare a clever liberalization strategy.” (Wendelin)

“Wendelin-sama, Burkhart-sama, Katharina-san, uncle-sama and Luise-san; it might be possible to defeat the boss, if those five people are the main force.” (Elise)

It seems like all of us don’t feel particularly uncomfortable with Elise’s deduction.

“Certainly, that might work.” (Wendelin)

At this point in time Herthania Valley is an excess baggage to the Browig household.
If they pay with that place, we can lower the amount of the ransom a bit.
If we liberate the domain afterwards, it will quickly change into a superior concession.

“Even if it seems no good, it’s also not like it will take time to manage it.” (Wendelin)

It’s located close to the border between south and east. If it remains a monster domain as is, no one will invade it either.
Even if we lower the ransom by around 100 million cents, it will still remain an enormous positive balance in the books. It will become possible to leave first from the troublesome arbitration.
If you considered it like that, it wasn’t a bad condition.

“Let’s try proposing it right away.”

And the next day, when I present this subject at the location of the arbitration, where nothing is decided as usual, the Browig household bit into it better than expected.

“That Heltania Valley? Are you maybe planning to liberate it, Earl Baumeister?”

“There’s merit in trying to do so.” (Wendelin)

“That’s fine, but be careful with your life…”

They are likely thinking that it’s impossible for us, who ran out of mana after having cast Area Stun at an army of 10.000 with just 3 people, to capture Heltania Valley, where tens of thousands rock-made golems are assembled.
With both of them unusually not confronting each other, they smoothly accepted our condition.

“Viscount Knappstein, please leave a formal record of that in the arbitration draft.” (Wendelin)

“Is that alright with you?” (Knappstein)

“There’s no problem.” (Wendelin)

If a formal record is left behind, Herthania Valley will become property of the Earl Baumeister household according to the norms of the kingdom. If another household makes a move on it, it will be regarded as aggression by the public.
There are many cases where it will reverse into a disadvantage if a formal record is left behind for good property which has uncertain concessions, but it being recorded as being our property forever was a countermeasure to prevent Browig’s camp being able to pick a fight over it after it was successfully liberated.

“Well, then the reconciliation money of 350 million cents will be paid over 10 years.”

Since it was impossible for them to pay the total amount in one go, it was inevitable for it to be paid in instalments.

“As result of having also calculated the expenses until now, the books will balance out with just the share of one year of the reconciliation money instalments. It will become a big surplus if we can liberate Herthania Valley.” (Wendelin)

The Browig household is surprised. I will leave the arbitration negotiations first and can also liberate it since I have free time now.
In any case, after this I will aim for the liberalization of Herthania Valley.

“Margrave Breithilde, I have a little request.” (Wendelin)

“That’s fine, but please let me get involved a bit once you liberated Herthania Valley.” (Breithilde)

“Of course.” (Wendelin)

For the sake of the arrangements for the time of personnel actually carrying out the mining and the dealing with illegal digging and disturbances by the nobles adjacent to Heltania Valley, it will become necessary to strengthen the defence personnel as well.
Obtaining Margrave Breithilde’s cooperation, even if I have to share a bit of the concessions with him, was necessary to mine safely.

“Well, then I will keep those two company for a while, huh? I wonder what kind of face they will make if you liberate Heltania Valley, Earl Baumeister.” (Breithilde)

“Naturally I intend to go at it with a 100% success rate. For that reason I will mobilize a great number of people besides magicians.” (Wendelin)

There’s nothing better than quickly leaving from such fruitless negotiations.
Withdrawing from the boring arbitration negotiations, I once again challenged a difficult job as adventurer.


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