Chapter 191 – It seems to be the Beginning of the Incident

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It’s a slightly sudden story, but the Trident Principality has access to the ocean. If one takes the Trident Principality’s structure into consideration, it should be obvious that it would.

Because becoming a shield against the Miasma Forest and the demons lying beyond would be the goal of a country in that location, there were no complaints when the Trident Principality was founded. Or maybe it was very popular and normal to doubt whether a country could be created in such a dangerous place.

The Miasma Forest is an abnormally large forest, even if based on Renya’s knowledge. It’s far bigger than any of the countries on the human continent. Its width covers the entire area ranging from the continent’s northern extremity to its southern tip.

Conversely, returning to the story about the Trident Principality, it’s a state that was created or allowed to be created as a shield against the Miasma Forest. Hence, there was no reason for the Trident Principality’s width to be inferior to that of the Miasma Forest. In other words, the Trident Principality’s northern and southern borders are much further apart than the eastern and western ones.

Of course it’s impossible for a single noble to manage that long of a border. The number of nobles governing territories situated at the boundary line between the Trident Principality and the Miasma Forest reaches two digits if you include Margrave Renya Kunugi.

However, if one were to ask whether all of those nobles at the boundary were actually functioning as the principality’s shields against the Miasma Forest, anyone would deny it.

For some strange reason most of the invasions through the Miasma Forest take place at the continent’s central area. It almost never happens that the demon army invades from the northern or the southern edges.

Based on that, the nobles at the northern and southern tips serve their purpose as long as they govern their territories well while also mitigating the damage of somewhat bigger hordes of monsters.

By the way, the one governing the territory in the center of the continent was none other than Renya. This place had been given to him purposely. Renya, who knew this fact, has been harassing the archduchess by sending long, ridiculing letters composed of fervent complaints.

Putting that aside, there is no connection to the ocean in the Kunugi Margraviate because of its location. Furthermore, generally rivers grow wider the closer they get to the ocean. Hence there was no big river in Renya’s territory.

In that case, one might wonder whether it wouldn’t be extremely difficult to secure water, but since sorcery tools that generate water, springs with copiously gushing, clear water, and rivers with a reasonable width existed all over the place, it was possible to secure water without much trouble by creating, drawing or transporting water from those places.

However, the number of fish in these water sources is low. The rivers’ flow speed was high for some reason, resulting in the fish being small and thus not suitable to eat. A small amount inhabited springs and similar, but probably because clear spring water had a low amount of nutrients, the fish living there were mostly small as it didn’t seem to be an environment where a lot of fish could live.

In short, the fish circulating the market in the Kunugi Margraviate were mostly fish that had been brought in from other territories. Their variety and freshness couldn’t possibly satisfy Renya.

This was a very grave problem for Renya. It was such a serious issue for him that it drove any serious thoughts about the demon king, the demons, or the monsters out of his head.

“That being said, isn’t there some plan on how to deal with this?” Renya asked.

It was Shion’s place – something unexpected in the eyes of the other members – where Renya went to look for an answer. But to Renya this wasn’t an unexpected turn of events at all since Shion or Mayria were the best candidates for this kind of topic. After all they were both daughters of the Trident Principality’s archduchess.

Renya assumed that the two might possess plenty of information on such matters.

“Renya, I wonder what to think about me being the one to tell you, but I think there are other issues you can wrack your brain over such as the demon king or the demon’s army led by him, despite them staying docile for the moment.” Shion brushed him off.

“That side will work out one way or the other. In the worst case, I will somehow deal with it. However, this is a problem I can’t do anything about, despite having thought about it quite deeply.” Renya insisted.

“No…umm, for the demon king’s existence to be inferior to the issue of establishing a trade route to procure marine products…” Shion muttered with a stupefied gaze after having been asked for a consultation by Renya, who earnestly brooded whether there might be some good method to obtain marine products while groaning in her room.

“For me it’s a big problem.” Renya stated powerfully.

“O-Okay? Well, in that case…if you make contact with the nobles at the sea through mother…but, since the ocean is quite far away, there are no methods to circulate the goods, are there?” Shion considered the issue.

Even if he were to obtain marine goods, it would be meaningless so long as there’s no proper way to transfer them over a long distance.

The simplest method would be to transport marine goods that wouldn’t easily rot by drying or smoking them, but Shion somehow understood that this might not be what Renya was looking for.

“Don’t tell me you’re going to use a transfer gate for the sake of your own gourmand desires, are you?” Shion grilled him.

“Even I hesitate to use that method.” Renya answered.

It wasn’t impossible. After all Renya possessed a considerable amount of funds and an incredible number of magic stones. Assets that wouldn’t run out even if he were to operate the transfer gate in his own city 24/7 for an entire year.

However, that would in turn become a hindrance to the people using the gate for other purposes.

A transfer gate is used after switching the channel to the destination. Normally it’s already good enough to possess one such device, and two is mostly regarded as having a lot. Even Klinge only has one transfer gate.

Moreover, it’s specified so that it can’t be used by different people at the same time.

Besides, even if he were to obtain a certain amount of marine products by using that method, the transportation cost would be fairly high, making it difficult to circulate them among the common people.

Of course it was possible to ignore the costs and distribute the food while accepting to go in the red, but that would be a bit different from Renya’s intention. It’s not like he wanted to donate the marine products. It would be pointless if there didn’t exist a distribution channel which was continuously available even after the trade became independent from Renya’s support.

Renya didn’t intend to spare any effort on paving the road in the beginning, but it was unthinkable for him to take care of it forever. Once it developed into something that could be done by others, he would quickly leave people he can trust in charge of it. Saying that he wanted to spread marine products to Klinge so that he could buy them up himself was Renya’s honest notion.

“Even if it’s you, you can’t do anything about distances, can you?” Shion inquired.

“There is a method to handle that part somehow.” Renya refuted.

The information that it was possible to transport personnel on the scale of a corps as long as one could create something like a path through a precise mana circuit wasn’t anything he could shout from the rooftops, but Renya had obtained that piece of information from Emil who assumed that the demon army had used this technique to mobilize. Which doesn’t mean that it’s a method exclusive to demons. It’s also not related to needing some sort of special component.

In other words, it’s a technique that can be used even if one isn’t a demon and as long as one knows how to construct the paths.

Renya thought he would try to obtain information regarding the construction method from Emil, but once he very carefully examined his own knowledge, he found out that the construction method was properly recorded in the sorcery knowledge he had received from Emedra. Renya was constantly grateful towards Emedra for having given him such a great present.

“But, that means…some kind of facility connecting from Klinge to a territory with access to the ocean would become necessary…and as far as I know, such a facility doesn’t exist, does it?” Shion countered.

“You just have to build it if it doesn’t exist.” Renya declared without hesitation.

“Pardon?” Shion asked again, sensing something unbelievable in Renya’s words.

In response Renya indifferently repeated the same words while donning a curious expression as he wondered whether he had said anything weird, “You just have to build it if it doesn’t exist.”

“Just build, you say…” Shion mulled while trying to form her very own reasoning.

Because Shion was aware that she isn’t overly smart and that she doesn’t know many things, she pondered whether Renya might know something important she might have failed to notice.

But, after contemplating it so much that it seemed as if steam might come out from her head, Shion stopped brooding over it, fixedly stared at Renya’s face and curtly said, “It’s impossible, no?”

“Where there is a will, there is a way.” Renya objected.

“I’m telling you, it’s absurd. Do you know just how far away the ocean is?” Shion asked back.

According to Shion’s somewhat unreliable knowledge, the ocean was so far away that it would take a carriage seven to ten days at full speed to reach it, even if it advanced north or south in a straight line from Klinge.

The Forest Labyrinth, said to be used by the demons, spanned over a far longer distance than that, but she didn’t know who created it, and she also didn’t know how long it had taken to create that place to begin with.

However, even though such a distance would for sure be much shorter than the Forest Labyrinth, Shion knew that – assuming someone tried to create something similar – it would require an amount of funds that could make one’s eyes dizzy and time that would make one faint.

“No matter how abundant your funds might be, it’s not a project that could be handled by a noble of a single country. I think Mayria can make a more detailed calculation in regards to the construction time and the necessary funds than I could, but rather than doing something like that, it would still be more realistic to build an exclusive transfer gate, wouldn’t it?” Shion commented.

“I have the manpower.” Renya clearly asserted, appearing confident.

Feeling a strangely bad premonition because of Renya’s bold attitude, Shion tried asking, “Just for reference, what kind of manpower is it?”

“Look, there are at least three lively people who don’t know what to do with their stamina and abilities.” Renya replied.

Being told so, Shion thought of the four heroes.

Certainly, in the current situation with the demon’s movements having quieted down, the heroes almost never get their turn to shine, and leaving their abilities aside, they likely have more than enough stamina as well.

However, just as Shion was about to think, It’s not four, she thought back on Kurz. No matter what Renya might say, he doesn’t seem to have any intention of making Kurz, whom he favors, do such heavy work.

“Let me confirm for the time being, but what are you planning to have the heroes do, Renya?” Shion inquired.

“Public works. Mainly digging a hole.” Renya answered curtly.

“Don’t do it, okay? I beg you, give up on that, please.” Shion pleaded.

Even under normal circumstances there had been complaints from all over the continent about the fact Renya had assembled all the heroes. Although such complaints have mostly died out by now, there’s almost no doubt that the complaints will resurface if it’s revealed that the gathered heroes are being used for public works.

And, Shion couldn’t come up with a method to extinguish those resurfaced complaints except forcibly retracting the reason for the complaints since the fault would completely be with Renya this time.

“H-However, in that case the manpower for creating the path…” Renya stammered, obviously troubled.

“Let’s think of another way?” Shion cracked a smile, not allowing Renya to refuse.

“In the first place, although you might say digging a hole, it’s impossible not to go through the territories of other nobles, isn’t it?” Shion argued.

“It won’t be exposed as long as it’s an underground path, right?” Renya replied.

“Yeah, sure…you could say that, but..only for the time being, no?” Shion said.

Although only vaguely, Shion believed that it might be somewhat difficult at the present point in time to change or stop Renya’s line of thought, and thus decided instead to slightly alter the direction of the discussion.

“Isn’t it fine to do all this planning after first going to the ocean and checking out whether it’s actually worth all the trouble? Renya, you’re a Lost. You have never seen the ocean in this world, have you? Isn’t it possible that there are no marine products you like?” Shion reasoned.

“…That’s yet another argument that completely lacks any dreams and ambitions…” Renya made a slightly sad face.

Seeing that, Shion followed up in a hurry. Shion thought that it would certainly hurt Renya’s mood to have his preferences denied from the get-go, but bulling through with one’s preferences is also troublesome.

“It’s just an example. An example, okay? On the contrary, there might be marine products there which stir the wish in you to transport them to Klinge even if it’s slightly unreasonable. Isn’t it worthwhile to devise means on how to get it done after you’ve discovered such goods?” Shion asked.

“You…have become glib, haven’t you…?” Renya said half naturally and half astonished.

Shion averted her eyes while making it seem natural, “I will refrain from commenting on that. So, which do you prefer, Renya, north or south?”

“Definitely north. Somehow I’ve got a hunch that there are more delicious things in the north.” These words lacked any basis or even a mental image, but Renya replied immediately.

Shion nodded, “I got it. I will contact mother for a bit and try asking her about a noble who has a territory in the north and doesn’t have any problems with us staying there.”

“I see. I suppose I will wait for the reply then.” Renya answered.

First of all, we must look for a place that accepts an investigation. The easiest way to get this information is from the archduchess through Shion.

Deciding that course of action, Renya was about to return to his room, but suddenly stopped.

Once Shion looked at Renya again, who had stopped moving, Renya turned around and asked, “How about digging a path below the Miasma Forest?”

“Hmm, isn’t it better to consult with Emil and Croire about this rather than with me?” Shion suggested somewhat irresponsibly while thinking, I feel like the matter of the heroes doing public works is already set in stone. In that case I got to fully delegate that matter to someone who knows more about this field and might be able to avoid it more skillfully than me who’s no suitable obstacle for Renya.



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