This chapter is the edited version of another translation. You can find the original chapter post here.
Please notice that this chapter has NOT been re-translated but only edited in order to improve the readability.
Please be sure to thank the translator in the link provided above, if you wish to express your gratitude.
This chapter was merely moved to this blog as the original blog has been inactive for quite a while.
By no rights Infinite Novel Translations claims ownership of the translation.
Editors: Garit, Loxy, Shasu
“The territory belonging to the Baumeister House is actually large enough to be comparable to the territory held by an archduke.”
After breakfast, my brother Erich gave me a brief explanation of the family’s circumstances. Erich has the same mother as me, meaning that he is of noble descent as well.
I was worried that people might find it strange for a six year old boy to ask such questions, but my new parents, my brothers and the servants didn’t seem to find anything strange about it at all.
Or rather I, as the eighth son, who is 10 years younger than the fifth son, Erich, am treated like an immature child. As such, I don’t garner much attention.
But being treated as a kid actually saves me some trouble sometimes.
“If we develop everything, then Father…”
“If we ‘can’ develop it. Yeah… it must be hard for the Margrave.”
But Erich’s response left open the question of whether we could successfully develop the territory.
My new home, the Baumeister Knight Territory, is located on the south-east side of the kingdom, and faces the sea. But a vast swath of savage land and untamed forest lies between the villages and the coast.
The forest is called the “Demon Forest” by the people, and it is known to hold rare ingredients and medicinal herbs of various natures, as well as mineral and jewel deposits and other fabulous riches. If it could be developed, the territory would become enormously wealthy.
But the Demon Forest is a den of monsters.
While the reason behind the forest’s monster infestation is unknown, the prevailing theory among the people is that common wild animals in the local ecosystem evolved naturally, becoming huge and brutal.
The monsters reproduced rapidly, and even the weakest among them could be considered too strong for a normal person to defeat.
Still, the fur and tusk that can be harvested from such animals are considered an valuable commodity, and the meat of such animals is said to be delicious, and is widely considered to be of the highest quality.
The demand for these rare goods gave rise to a group of people who specialized in hunting monsters. These people are known as adventurers. Eventually, as the number of adventurers grew, an organization known as the adventurer’s guild was formed in order to support and manage them. However, the adventurer’s guild had refused my father’s request to establish a branch office in the Baumeister Knight Territory, probably because the territory was considered frontier territory. This was a problem given our close proximity to the Demon Forest and other dangerous monster territories.
“The stronger adventurers certainly could earn a lot in the Demon Forest, but monster dens of that level exists in many places around the continent…”
Apparently, there are thousands of places on the Lingaia continent, varying in size from small to large, where monsters could be found. Monsters lived in the wilderness, on prairies, in rivers, lakes and marshes and, of course, in the wooded areas like the Demon Forest.
After monsters take an area as their territory, they hunt and kill any humans or other animals that had been living in the territory or that are unfortunate enough to happen upon it.
As Arthur mentioned, the miserable defeat of the Margrave Breithilde’s army stands as a stark example of what happens when people underestimate the strength of monster territory.
“About the defeat of the Margrave’s army, Father and the previous Margrave Breithilde were too impetuous… a sentiment that was shared by the royal palace as well.”
Some adventurers with considerable ability make a living by hunting monsters. To do so, they enter monster territories stealthily, in small groups.
Of course, for every successful monster hunter, there were many people who lost their lives. However, because a fortune could still be made from such pursuits, the reward was considered to be equal to the risk. In fact, there were many people who had become famous enough to be asked to serve in the royal palace because of their exploits hunting monsters, some of whom became nobles. Or at least Erich’s story suggested as much.
“But Erich, if that’s the case then why did the guild refuse to establish the branch here?”
“Because they’re busy.”
Apparently, there are multiple monster territories near the royal capital.
The monsters in such territories are merciless to any military force or band of adventurers foolhardy enough to enter their territory, but for some reason they never come out of that territory. Not even one step.
Humans who invade monster territories to seek their fortune quickly find themselves fighting desperately against the resident monsters, who mercilessly seek to eliminate them.
Even with a huge number of people choosing to become adventurers, many fail, die or choose to retire early and, as a result, the number of adventurers never grows beyond a certain point. Due to the limited number of adventurers that can combat the monsters, there are still many untouched monster territories, even in the center of the Lingaia continent. Because they are unable to clear the various monster territories, the Helmut Kingdom and the Urquhart Holy Empire have come to call them the “Bruises of the Continent.”
That’s also part of the reason that the Baumeister Knight Territory has not been developed.
“The only reason that a vast territory the size of the Baumeister Knight Territory can be ruled by someone with the lowly title of knight is because it is on the frontier.”
The first head of the Baumeister House was a destitute knight who lived in poverty without duty. He took 10 poverty-stricken people and started a farming village on this open ground.
“The royal palace didn’t think that anyone would actually settle in this area. The Baumeister House was only admitted to the nobility because the palace received a report that our ancestor had succeeded in setting up a village.”
That said, the Baumeister Knight Territory is located in the most remote region of the kingdom and, because it was not easily accessible, trade with the rest of the kingdom was limited.
“Over time, three villages were founded at the foot of the mountain range that forms the border to the north and west of our territory. The total population of these villages is about eight hundred. Most of the people work as farmers, but some choose to hunt game and gather valuable goods in the forest. A few even mine iron and copper.”
The local region consisted of the Breithilde Margraviate to the west (as Arthur had explained at breakfast, the Margraviate suffered a painful defeat in our territory some years ago), and an alliance of weak nobles with small territories that formed to the north.
A mountain range runs through the area. However, large swarms of wyverns make their home in these mountains, and many other monsters live elsewhere along the road that connects our territory and the Margraviate. Because the route is so dangerous, the only trade that reaches our territory comes in the form of sporadic caravans that arrive once every few months.
“Adventurers are required as escorts, but even with guards the thin mountain road is barely passable. As such, the goods we are able to import are quite expensive.”
Erich explained that, because our villages are so remote, escort duty for caravans is fairly unpopular among the adventurers, a problem that is only exacerbated by the constant threat of attacks by wyverns and other monsters.
In order to attract more adventurers to act as escorts, the merchants were forced to significantly increase the reward that they offered, an expense that the merchants passed on to our villages in the form of increased prices for trade goods. Apparently, Arthur imposed no tariff on the merchants, even though it’s his right as the reigning lord to declare one.
“Because the caravans won’t come if we declare a tariff.”
Erich continued with a wry smile. In short, we were beset on almost all sides by monster territories with tenuous lifelines to the rest of the kingdom.
The royal capital had decreed that the local area, including the huge swath of untamed land surrounding it, was part of our territory. However, because our house is poor and weak, and because the territory is so savage and remote, it is impossible to develop it.
In the Baumeister Knight Territory, my new home, this is our reality.