Volume 2 Chapter 1

Volume 2 Chapter 1, “There will be Two Churches. And so it begins!”

 

—- The Palace of Winter, a Large Room, Strategy Committee

The Hero: “Ah— Dammit!” Slams table.

Elder Maid Sister: “I- I’m sorry…”

The Hero: “I— I said this many times before. We have to find a peaceful solution, a peaceful solution, but at this rate, we might as well be like those potatoes subjected to a Class A Hellfire Destruction Spell, right!?”

Little Maid Sister: “I’m hungry.”

Seneschal: “Shall I bring something?”

Disciple Merchant: “Sure, how about some Porridge.”

Little Maid Sister: “Porridge!? That’s not tasty!”

Seneschal: “In that case, I shall bring some cream pastry.”

Lone Winter King: “I apologise.”

The Female Paladin: “That’s alright, Hero. I was there too.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Hero, Hero, please do try to calm down.”

Iron Fist King: “Gahaha! We can’t help what’s already happened!”

The Hero: “What the hell is wrong with you guys! Aren’t you even the least bit concerned about what could happen to your Kingdoms, huh! Is that what you royalty do!”

Iron Fist King: “The situation is as it is. Please just listen, we must calm down.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “It was a brilliant performance, surely our subjects will understand as well.”

The Hero: “If we don’t do something, I’m going to get very angry!”

Iron Fist King: “That being said, the seriousness of the situation is that we’re being accused of heresy.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Yep.”

The Hero: “?”

Iron Fist King: “It would be nice if they would stop saying that about us.”

Lone Winter King: “Yes.”

The Hero: “…?”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Oh, I’m sorry, I should explain. The Hero…… has just returned to the Human World after all. In other words, unfortunately, the Central Continent is still falsely accusing us of heresy. Of course, they will probably falsely accuse us to the end. The ultimate aim of the Central Continent is most likely to force our dependence on them and weaken our Kingdoms…”

Lone Winter King: “In other words, the real question is, ‘How much do we value our independence from the Central Continent?’”

The Hero: “I understand that much.”

Lone Winter King: “However, the performance by the Elder Sister Maid has altered the direction of the wind. To the Central Continent, everything may have been normal until now, but to us… In other words, to the Southern United Kingdoms, we have always faced the problem of how to orientate our country in order to achieve independence for our people.”

The Hero: “…”

Elder Maid Sister: “I- I- I’m sorry…”

Lone Winter King: “The impact of that performance was not small. And, like a Fire on the Plains, its force is only set to increase.”

Seneschal: “Right now, what we’re facing is a spate of insurrections by nearby serfs against slave-owning landlords.”

The Female Paladin: “Mmm.”

 

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Explanation

Porridge: A type of gruel made from ground oats. As it has no taste on its own, in order to make it palatable, various additional ingredients are often added. Porridge without any complementary ingredients (or with the mere addition of salt) is considered to be a dish particularly disliked by children in Europe and North America and is, in fact, one of the Worst Three Dishes.

Fire on the Plains: If a fire is started in a wide plain, due to the lack of obstacles and abundant amount of fuel, it could potentially burn forever.

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Seneschal: “The branches of the Holy Church of Light in the Southern United Kingdoms have been instigating insurrections against the King and against the Military. The rulers of the Kingdoms are now being seen as heretical traitors, so it was to be expected.”

The Hero: “Is that so?”

Seneschal: “Yes. Well, this is from the Church of Light, but the Potatoes which have made our lives so prosperous up to now are to be confiscated. The Settlers and the Landlords are now embroiled in such chaos. No matter how you think about it, they are surely torn by what the Church of Light is doing……”

Lone Winter King: “To remove potatoes from our growing population is next to impossible. Right now, we face the conflicting options of either allowing our people to starve in subordination to the Central Continent, or turning our backs to the Continent.”

Iron Fist King: “Those are our choices.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Yeah.”

Lone Winter King: “At the very least, we should try working with our people.”

Iron Fist King: “What are you saying? We should just impale a few of those serfs!”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “My, my. Such things don’t happen in my country. Ohohohohoho.”

The Hero: “What are you saying!? Are you drunk!”

Lone Winter King: “No, no, it does happen in your country!”

Iron Fist King: “Hohohohohoho!”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Well, well, it appears the Southern United Kingdoms will be in trouble in any case.”

Little Maid Sister: “This bread is delicious!”

Seneschal: “Isn’t it?” Smiles

Disciple Merchant: “It’s nice that it’s hot.”

Little Maid Sister: “How do they make it so sweet?”

Seneschal: “I think they put raisins in it.”

The Hero: “Enough of that! Try to understand what’s going on!”

Lone Winter King: “Mmhmm.”

The Hero: “Let’s think about the strategy, the direction and the impending war! Properly!”

Seneschal: “Well, I definitely think we should live together with the citizens. The reason why we would raise our flag in defiance to the Central Continent is to protect these very citizens, for these citizens, we may very well be destroyed in this war. If our people die in the fires of this war, we will have lost everything.”

The Female Paladin: “Hero.”

The Hero: “Okay, first, Female Paladin.”

The Female Paladin: “I’m bad at thinking about things.” Ahem.

Iron Fist King: “Ahahahahaha! The fool appears!”

The Female Paladin: “I will protect the purity of the Hero!”

The Hero: “Who let these guys drink so much, damnit. They reek of wine… One, two, three. Four? Five cups?!”

The Female Paladin: “The Battle Techniques of the Holy Order of the Lake, the Sword of Love, and the Indulgence of Slaughter are without parallel!”

The Hero: “It may be without parallel, but it’s completely useless here, isn’t it?!”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Then I’ll speak next.”

The Hero: “Alright, second will be the Queen of Ice and Snow. The well-endowed middle-aged woman.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “I’m a married woman, so I should probably bury people who make such comments, shouldn’t I? Anyway, when it comes to dealing with this issue, I think all we can do is the Emancipation of the Serfs…”

The Hero: “A surprisingly valid point.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Because of the potatoes, the Dependent Population has greatly increased, so I think we should start considering more radical solutions.”

Iron Fist King: “But, shouldn’t we do this when we aren’t at war with the Central Continent?”

 

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Explanation

Emancipation of the Serfs: This refers to allowing serfs the freedom to move or to change occupations. Of course, they can continue to remain  farmers as well, but at the very least, they will no longer have to mindlessly follow the orders of the Landlords. Truly a joyous thing.

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The Hero: “What will we do about that?”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “War is something you people are interested in, so I’ll leave that to you.” Gulp, gulp, gulp. “Another glass please.”

Seneschal: “Yes, coming right up.”

The Hero: “Oh no. This grandma didn’t think of anything either…”

Iron Fist King: “Hehe, then I guess it’s time for me to take the stage. Hero. I am the Sixth King of the Kingdom of Metal, the Iron Fist King!”

Slams table!

The Hero: “There’s no need to be so excited, but alright, third, the Iron Fist King.”

Iron Fist King: “First, we should establish the frontlines of the Armies of our Triple Entente at the Northern Plains. In order to ensure that the harvests of our gentry do not diminish, this time we need to be on the offensive. We’ll add the excess food stocks to the salaries of the mercenaries. Wait, we still have some of that monetary aid from the Central Continent. We’ve got some saved up from the previous Kings as well.”

The Hero: “Ohhh! You finally said something solid!”

Iron Fist King: “And we can sally forth and meet those Inquisitors and the Armies of the Central Continent on those Northern Plains. If we use the previous Crusades as a reference, they should have at least 50,000 strong. We will break them there!”

The Hero: “Hmm.”

Iron Fist King: “And then we will continue to move North and take out their garrisons! Invade their cities! We will force every Kingdom we come across to pledge allegiance to the South, we will win a stunning chain of victories! We are an invincible Army of Steel!”

The Hero: “Umm— “

Iron Fist King: “And then we will continue to the Holy City, we will attack it in waves, day and night until the City falls! We will never look back. They will tell tales of our conquest for centuries to come! Gahahahahaha!”

The Hero: “Alright, that’s enough!”

Seneschal: “If we follow that plan, we’ll be decimated.”

The Hero: “…What shall we do…”

Elder Maid Sister: “I’m sorry, Hero.”

Lone Winter King: “Hmm, we need to look at this fundamentally.”

The Hero: “Have you thought of something, Your Majesty?”

Lone Winter King: “Honestly, no.”

The Hero: “—“

Lone Winter King: “But if we focus… I’m sure we can think of something.”

The Hero: “Ah— That’s enough. Oi, anyone? Has anyone thought of anything?”

Seneschal: “Umm—“

The Hero: “Ahh, and who are you?”

Seneschal: “I am just a nameless soldier, Hero, sir!” Salutes.

The Hero: “No, you’re the only sober one, so you’re the only useful one here.”

Seneschal: “I have also not thought of anything, but something has come to my attention. No, it would be better to say that I’ve noticed something.”

The Hero: “Yeah?”

Seneschal: “First, I’m afraid I believe the Central Continent has yet to send its troops out as of the present.”

Disciple Merchant: “That’s probably true.”

The Hero: “What evidence do you have?”

 

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Explanation

Dependent Population: The percentage of the population which does not contribute to the economy by working, but nonetheless continues to consumes food and requires supplies. Each working person usually has to support a few dependents such as children and elderly parents.

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Disciple Merchant: “Firstly, the primary goal of the Central Continent is to subjugate the Southern United Kingdoms, not to obliterate it. If the Southern United Kingdoms were obliterated and the Demons decided to invade, all that would happen is that they would lose the shield by which they protect themselves. As such, shouldn’t we try to put pressure on them for some form of peaceful negotiations?”

Seneschal: “Moreover, the majority of the military power of the Central Continent is decentralised among the nobility. As a result, they would need a significant amount of time in order to mobilise and equip their armies, and if they did manage to move their armies out, there would be a problem with reward. In this situation… I wouldn’t like to consider it, but the outcome would likely be the fragmentation of the Southern United Kingdoms and the rewarding of parts of the Kingdom to the nobility. In order to achieve this, they must ready an army capable of crushing any opposition in the Southern United Kingdoms. That will require time.”

The Hero: “Hmm, and what are your intentions?”

Lone Winter King: “It’s almost wintertime. And we have a short while before spring. If everything is normal, that would give us at least six months.”

The Hero: “Six months…”

Lone Winter King: “But… No… Something like that…”

Seneschal: “…?”

The Hero: “What are you thinking of, Your Majesty?”

Lone Winter King: “No. Well… I was just worried about something. It’s impossible. I think it’s impossible, but…”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Young King, stop beating around the bush.”

Iron Fist King: “Gahahahaha! There’s no need to be modest!”

Lone Winter King: “The Holy Empire… At the very least, they must control some segment of the Demons, right?”
0019

Pause.

Lone Winter King: “No, it’s just a thought. Hahaha. Well, if that’s the case, that would explain why they can rest easy about another invasion from the Demon Race. That’s why they can afford to relax the pressure they’ve put on the Southern United Kingdoms. For example, if they could time it to coincide with the Demon Invasion to accuse us of heresy again, they could take advantage of our military and economic exhaustion… No, it’s just an empty thought.”

The Hero: “Well, with regards to that, all I can do is go out and investigate it…”

The Female Paladin: “What!? You’re going? You’re always going off, Hero! You’re going to the ends of the world again— No— to the top of the world!”

The Hero: “Get a grip on yourself.” Shakes.

The Female Paladin: “Ugh.” Headdesk.

The Hero: (Uhh, I guess we’d better start on something… Someone, something… What would she do? How would she think? We can’t just look at things on the surface. We’ve got to consider structural deficiencies and profit-loss mechanisms… What?!)

Little Maid Sister: “Tada! This is pie!”

Seneschal: “Wow! This looks very refined…”

The Hero: (Why are we even fighting to begin with? Is this about… the land? Or for prosperity? I suppose it’s for prosperity…?)

…In other words, stockpiling money might create ‘Wealth’, but it doesn’t contribute to ‘Prosperity’. Goods and capital flows must be established without stagnation in order to achieve ‘Prosperity’.

The Hero: (In other words, umm, this is a related topic. The flow that comes from buying goods and selling goods… That is prosperity, is it not? In that case, our World isn’t prosperous, is it? It’s too closed up… The Church is doing it, the Holy Empire is doing it. Why? Setting limits on the world, making it smaller… What is the point?”)

Iron Fist King: “It’s golden and pretty!”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “What’s this inside? Quail meat and eggs?”

The Hero: (In other words, what the Church wants is… to become Rich? They want to monopolise the wealth. No, not just the wealth. Knowledge, popularity, power… they want to monopolise everything?)

Disciple Merchant: “How interesting, it has a very refined texture.”

Little Maid Sister: “That’s right! It’s because of the pears, I think. ♪”

The Hero: (If the environment remains closed, a hierarchy under which other people’s gains get sucked up is created. This is a never-ending cycle, isn’t it? Is it… what the Demon King would call something that needs to be changed?)

Elder Sister Maid: “Hero…?”

The Spirit… By way of a miracle, the Spirit bestowed life onto humanity; by way of the Blessings of the Earth, the Spirit bestowed wealth; by way of our fractured souls, the Spirit bestowed freedom to us all.

The Hero: (Monopoly… Life… Wealth… and Freedom… To monopolise is the attempt to solely own something. This is not Being Prosperous, this is merely Making Others Poor.”

Lone Winter King: “Hoho, there’s something sweet here too. Hmm, delicious!”

Seneschal: “This is surely a luxury food.”

Iron Fist King: “It’ll probably go great with alcohol. It could be a little saltier.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “It’s light, and quite similar to Palace food.”

The Hero: (Making one person… the focal point. The gathering point. Allowing him and him alone to reach the top.)

Disciple Merchant: “This can surely become a new product!”

Little Maid Sister: “Ehehe, really?”

Lone Winter King: “Yeah, I’ll even write you a Royal Rescript personally!”

Seneschal: “We will designate you as the Royal Purveyor.”

Iron Fist King: “Ohh, me too.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Send some to the Kingdom of Ice as well.”

The Hero: “Focus here! You damn royalty!”

Elder Maid sister: “I- I- I’m sorry, hero.”

Iron Fist King: “Gahahaha! There’s no point laughing while crying, Hero. Which one will you have?”

The Hero: “Which one?”

Little Maid Sister: “The quail pie or the pear pie? ♪”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “There are two types. They’re both delicious though.”

Little Maid Sister: “Yep. ♪ So which one?”

The Hero: “—“

Seneschal: “Hero?”

Lone Winter King: “Heh.”

The Hero: “— “

Elder Sister Maid: “…Hero?”

The Hero: “Make a Royal Proclamation.”

Disciple Merchant: “Proclamation? For a new tax? Or a new law?”

The Hero: “The Kingdoms of the Triple Entente of the Southern United Kingdoms will formally recognise the Holy Order of the Lake as the national religion of the state and the True Faith of the Spirit of Light.”

Seneschal: “Eh?”

The Hero: “That’s right! Who decided that there could only be one Church! It’s fine even if we have two! It’s good to be able to choose! Let’s do it! We’ll do it then. Hey, wake up, Female Paladin.” Shakes the Female Paladin.

The Female Paladin: “Ugh, ughhh—“

The Hero: “Then let’s put the Royal Seal on it and make it into law! Here! The Speech by the Elder Sister Maid? Let’s put that into writing as a teaching of the Holy Order of the Lake. We’ll make Agricultural Technology one of the precepts too! Isn’t that great? We can replace books on theology with books about that. If you like, we can even issue coupons for the people to exchange for Tubers.”

Lone Winter King: “And what would be the point of that?”

The Hero: “There will be two ways to the top. There will be Two Churches. And so it begins!”

 

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Explanation

Royal Rescript: These are official orders issued by the Emperor or by Kings of countries, particularly in Japan. For it to be a rescript, the orders have to be in response to a request by the people or by the government.

Royal Purveyor: These refer to the merchants, craftsmen and businesses that are officially given the license to supply the Royal Family or the Church with certain goods or services. By becoming a Royal Purveyor, the business then usually becomes very popular. This is because being a Royal Purveyor is testament to the quality and class of the product. For this reason, it is a status that every business would like to acquire. In pre-war Japan, Purveyor to the Imperial House was a fairly common title among businesses.

Proclamation: This refers to an official statement or declaration in order to spread knowledge about a certain law or decree that has been put into place. In most cases, a herald goes to cities and villages to make the announcement. However, the Hero intends to distribute leaflets and rely on the people to pass the message based on their own sense of justice.

Tubers: Tubers are a family of plants to which the potato belongs to. They have no seeds and are grown from the tuber themselves. A single tuber can be cut up as long as it still contains the shoot, and in this way, many plants can be grown from one tuber.

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—- The City of the Gulf, Merchant’s Quarter, a Large Office in the Chambers of Commerce

Young Merchant: “Huh?”

Shrewd Accountant: “Umm, like I said… There’s been a new Church.”

Young Merchant: “The Holy Order of the Lake?”

Shrewd Accountant: “Yeah, at least that’s what the Triple Entente declared.”

Young Merchant: “…”

Shrewd Accountant: “What is happening?”

Young Merchant: “Hehehehehe.”

Shrewd Accountant: “?”

Young Merchant: “Hahahahahahaha! Is that so! Is that how it is now! Who is responsible for this? That person? No, it feels different. That person wouldn’t do something so brazen as this. She would at least inform me first. Something so schismatic, only the Hero would do it. Ahahaha!”

Shrewd Accountant: “Councillor……”

Young Merchant: “Is that right, there’s another Church? Ahaha. That’s excellent! They’ve really done it!!! I’m sure the leaders of the Holy Church must be seeing red or blue. In fact, they’re probably black with rage, aren’t they?”

Shrewd Accountant: “That’s to be expected. It’s a frightful situation.”

Young Merchant: “Ahahaha. Excellent! What a rare event. This is worth at least a hundred gold pieces! How wonderful it is to see those old men swimming in the cold water now.”

Shrewd Accountant: “That’s true. Well! They’ve gone ahead and raised someone accused of heresy to sainthood, don’t you think they’re being too confrontational about it?”

Young Merchant: “What’s the situation?”

Shrewd Accountant: “They have support from the people who have been oppressed by the Holy Church of Light in the Central Continent. That was to be expected though. However, there’s something that worries me…”

Young Merchant: “Something that worries you?”

Shrewd Accountant: “This thing is being distributed.” Takes out leaflet.

Young Merchant: “Paper? That’s got to be expensive.”

Shrewd Accountant: “No, well, it seems that the Kingdom of Ice is coming up with new factories…”

Young Merchant: “Factories?”

Shrewd Accountant: “They’re like large workshops. They can produce paper in huge quantities. Moreover, using printing from the Kingdom of Metal, they can even print words onto the paper fairly cheaply.”

Young Merchant: “Hmm, I see. That’s… like using a seal.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Yes, you’ll understand when you read it, but it’s like this…”

Young Merchant: “…” Flinches.

Shrewd Accountant: “Yeah, that’s right. They intend to liberate all the serfs. That would explain why the surrounding Kingdoms have seen an incredible number of serfs migrating to the Tripartite Union.”

Young Merchant: “Hoho.”

Shrewd Accountant: “You’re not surprised?”

Young Merchant: “If it’s them, this sort of thing is fairly standard.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Is that so?”

Young Merchant: “And what of the internal situation at the Union?”

Shrewd Accountant: “There are three Councillors in the Holy Church Faction and two in the Tripartite Faction. The rest are all Centrists. The Disciple Nobleman is… He’s really something. Just with a speech, he managed to convert one member of the Holy Church Faction and bring two members to the Centrists. Amazing.”

Young Merchant: “Hehe… How interesting, there’s a price to pay for this struggle for supremacy.”

Shrewd Accountant: “I’ll summarise the economic situation, then.” Flips page.

Young Merchant: “I don’t need to know the whole thing… But it’s good to know some things. How is the price of wheat?”

Shrewd Accountant: “It’s gone up by two points since last week. The price seems to be increasing steadily. It’s winter, and the Crop Failure in the Central Continent seems to be continuing. Looks like there’ll be a famine this year as well.”

Young Merchant: “Buy.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Buy? But if we release the Union’s stock of wheat, won’t we get a fairly large Profit Margin?”

Young Merchant: “…Well, there are many who view that we should buy while the price is still rising. Let’s just go with that for now.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Y- yes.”

Young Merchant: “For now, buy enough wheat to raise the price by six points. Send that around to all the merchants of the Union.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Understood.” Scribbles.

Young Merchant: “In that case, here’s a memo for the Union’s branch managers. Iron, charcoal, silver. Buy everything.”

Shrewd Accountant: “How many points?”

Young Merchant: “It would be unnatural to micromanage to such an extent, let them handle it.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Yes.” Scribbles.

Young Merchant: “Next week let’s go up to 100 points. Next month, buy up to 250 points of wheat.”

Shrewd Accountant: “?!”

Young Merchant: “What’s wrong?”

Shrewd Accountant: “That’ll raise the price by three times?! That’s completely abnormal! I’ve never heard of anyone buying wheat like that. Where in the world will we get the funds to do that?!”

Young Merchant: “If you check, I’m sure you would find we definitely have enough funds for it.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Even so, this is highly irregular.”

Young Merchant: “Is it?”

Shrewd Accountant: “Just what do you intend? If you do this, we’ll lose a significant amount of our reserves. What is the point of filling our warehouses with so much wheat!”

Young Merchant: “Ahahahaha. It just looks that way. We’re not just buying it, don’t you see?”

Shrewd Accountant: “What do you mean?”

Young Merchant: “We’re selling the gold from the Kingdoms.” Smiles.

 

—– The Palace of Winter, a Large Room, Strategy Committee

Seneschal: “Just from what I saw along the border roads, there were 12 people yesterday.”

The Hero: “Hmm, the pace is dulling faster than we expected.”

Lone Winter King: “Mmm.”

Elder sister Maid: “As I thought, freedom isn’t such a big thing after all…”

The Hero: “Well, it’s difficult to say.”

Lone Winter King: “We have to teach words to those who have no words to say.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Indeed…”

The Female Paladin: “Bah. Why don’t we just kidnap a few?”

The Hero: “Are you really a Paladin?”

Lone Winter King: “Well, even if the pace is this slow, winter will still end.”

 

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Explanation

Points: In Economic terminology, this is the percentage rise or fall from a set index of prices at a given time for a given good.

Crop Failure: A case of bad harvest arising from bad weather, poor soil conditions or other circumstances which may cause crops to fail.

Buy: In a stock or commodities market, traders usually set a base and a ceiling price for their goods or stocks. When the price of the good rises beyond a certain level, the traders will automatically buy as a failsafe so they will not miss out on the opportunity. But when the price of the good falls below a certain level, the traders will automatically sell everything so that they do not lose all of their money. Nowadays, this all takes place electronically and automatedly so that the trader will not go bankrupt if his position collapses overnight.

Profit Margin: The difference between the cost of purchasing the good and the selling price of the good. The key to being a merchant is to buy cheap and sell high, and hopefully buy again when it is cheap again.

Selling Gold from the Kingdom: Even when I read this on the forums (TL Note: and when I translated it), I had no clue what it was saying. It’s fine even if you don’t understand right now (though at this moment the Young Merchant is probably the only one who understands). When you start to understand what this means later on, you’ll probably applaud him.

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The Hero: “That’s right. At the very least, we’ve won over quite a number during this winter and we’ve also strengthened the existing routes. Over time, our Church will grow in membership and in clergy. But at this rate, we’ll be squeezed out. Yeah… It’s an incredibly massive hurdle.”

The Female Paladin: “We’ll send out missionaries, but the Holy Order of the Lake doesn’t even have fifty. We can’t hope to match the Central Continent.”

The Hero: “Hmm…”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Missionaries? — Can we do it without missionaries?”

The Female Paladin: “Do you have an idea?”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “How about poets? My country is renown for its Bards. Luckily for us, since it’s almost winter, all the bards roaming the land are gathering in my Royal Capital. If we contracted these people, they could spread throughout the land singing. They could sing about the Teachings of the New Church and about coming to the Three Kingdoms.

Songs are powerful, right? Farmers don’t know how to interpret or remember difficult words and sermons either. If we want them to remember and spread it, the effect of a song from a Bard will probably be far more widespread.”

The Female Paladin: “That’s a good idea!”

The Hero: “How many are there?”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “I don’t know exactly, but I would be willing to say close to 500.”

Lone Winter King: “Alright, I’ll be counting on you then. I’m sure we wouldn’t mind paying for this as well.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Okay… Hmm, we should write up Letters of Recommendation for the Bards and send them to the colonies? For each colony they go to, we could give one silver piece per bard?”

The Hero: “That’s good! Umm… How would the Scholar say it, an incentive?”

Lone Winter King: “Incentive?”

The Hero: “We’ll pay those who demonstrate that they can do work.”

Elder Maid Sister: “Umm…”

Lone Winter King: “Yeah, what’s up?”

Elder Maid Sister: “Aren’t we supposed to be discussing a war?”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “Well, in a situation where the Demons could invade at any time, I think fighting among ourselves would be very stupid.”

Elder Maid Sister: “Then I think we should not fight with the Church either.”

The Hero: “…Hmm.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “What do you mean?”

Elder Maid Sister: “I think the people from the Church would probably abuse the Missionaries and Bards. They would call them liars, tools of the Demons… Heretics.”

The Hero: “They probably would.”

The Female Paladin: “How stupid of them.”

Elder Maid Sister: “At this rate, our conflict with them could become a war. And humans should not be fighting with each other.”

Lone Winter King: “That’s true.”

Elder Maid Sister: “That’s why I think the content of the message that the Missionaries and the Bards and the leaflets we’re going to give out should not be overflowing with criticism against the Church.”

The Female Paladin: “But it’s clear that we do oppose those people. No matter how we phrase it, we’re still at odds with them.”

Elder Maid Sister: “That may be true, but the large majority of believers are just simple people who believe in the Holy Spirit of Light, right? To these people, the differences between the Churches barely make sense.”

The Hero: “That’s…”

The Female Paladin: “So are you saying we should just ignore it? Just keep quiet?”

Elder Maid Sister: “I don’t think that would be an appropriate response either. I think we should praise instead of criticise. The Holy Spirit of Light is a noble existence. Justice, determination and peace. These are points which we can agree on. Which means, these are points that the Church of the Central Continent cannot refute, and hence the people who respect the faith will respect us as well.”

Queen of Ice and Snow: “But that won’t win us followers from the Settlers, will it?”

Elder Maid Sister: “That would depend on the methods that we use. Much of the wastelands to the South have not been developed. It will be hard work, but there are opportunities. The opportunities to cultivate the land are a gift from the Spirit. The Southern United Kingdoms can open up these areas to settlers, where serfdom does not exist, where anyone who works there is entitled to the fruits of his labours without fear of famine. Taxes will be low as well. If we do that, surely there will be lots of people willing to move here?”

Lone Winter King: “So we’ll entice them with food and land… Theoretically that should work, and we could even turn that dreaded emptiness into a weapon.”

The Hero: “Is everyone whom she teaches this capable?”

Elder Maid Sister: “When I have to take care of my glutton sister… I try my best to come up with something.”

 

—- The City of the Gulf, Merchant’s Quarter, a Large Office in the Chambers of Commerce

Shrewd Accountant: “Councillor, the price of wheat in most cities has gone up by six points.”

Young Merchant: “What’s the effect on the market?”

Shrewd Accountant: “The noblemen and the merchants are extremely pleased. We are seeing a significant number of those with wheat in their hands attempting to exchange it for gold. The farmers are still being quite guarded. After all, this isn’t just a commodity to them, it’s food. However, there are also significant exchanges taking place in that sector.”

Young Merchant: “Is that so?”

Shrewd Accountant: “The current price isn’t very different from an average year’s. I believe that is why we aren’t seeing a stronger reaction just yet.”

Young Merchant: “Understood. — What we’re going to do next is issue Agricultural Futures.”

Shrewd Accountant: “I’m not familiar with the term. What do you mean?”

Young Merchant: “That’s because I’ve just invented them. Here, listen up.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Why don’t you use the blackboard?”

Takes out chalk.

Young Merchant: “It’s winter now. Winter Wheat is sown in autumn, grows through the winter and is harvested in the spring. Currently, the wheat has been sown, but they haven’t been harvested… And they’ll only be harvested in six months. In that time, many things could occur to jeopardise the harvest that would take place six months later.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Mmhmm, this is common knowledge.”

Young Merchant: “But if something were to happen during this period, the wheat yields may fall dramatically and the incomes of the Landlords and Farmers will fall. Otherwise, there could be brilliant weather, and every farmer could experience a bumper crop of wheat that may cause the Market Price of wheat to fall significantly.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Mmm.” Scribbles.

Young Merchant: “This is where we issue a Wheat Future. In other words, an agreement to purchase the wheat after it is ready.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Do you mean we will pay in advance?”

Young Merchant: “That’s right.”

Shrewd Accountant: “So the Landlords and Farmers sell wheat which they don’t have yet.”

Young Merchant: “That’s right. However, when it comes time to delivery… At the beginning of the year, in early spring, we can be assured that they will be able to sell that certain quantity of wheat.”

Shrewd Accountant: “In other words, if the crop is good, the Landlords would already have sold the wheat and they wouldn’t have to incur additional costs in trying to find a buyer.”

Young Merchant: “If during or before the transfer, some kind of crisis occurs such that the Market Price increases, we would also be able to get wheat below the Market Price.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Can you predict the Market Price?”

Young Merchant: “The Central Continent, Holy Empire and Church have issued the excommunication for heresy, and hence the likelihood of there being a war is high. Eeven if we do manage to avoid a war, that will also be to our benefit.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Why?”

Young Merchant: “If we manage to avoid a war, then the population will not decrease. What we lack right now are funds and shipping ability. Those can be considered the ‘pulses’ of the Market. Since there is more demand for the food, the stock of wheat will artificially be depleted, and hence there’s no way that the price of wheat can go down.”

Shrewd Accountant: “…”

Young Merchant: “Conversely, if the yields of wheat in the continent exceed our expectations, the Union might go bankrupt.”

Shrewd Accountant: “…I see. It’s a way of artificially manipulating the Market Prices. As far as this Wheat Futures thing is concerned, we’re still tied to the noblemen, right?”

Young Merchant: “That’s one way of putting it. There are possible options.”

Shrewd Accountant: “I don’t understand your aim…”

Young Merchant: “This relies on the judgment of the Landlords and Farmers. They will be thinking about the Market Price of Wheat for the next year. As long as we have the Wheat Future, so to speak, we’ve basically borrowed a large amount of wheat and are waiting for it. We don’t have to worry about harming the fields we control. When it comes to the springtime harvest, they have to remember to separate the Wheat which they need to transfer to us.”

Shrewd Accountant: “Is that so…”

Young Merchant: “Our present goal is to suppress the price fluctuation of Wheat. This is the first step. Even in early spring, the amount of wheat which they can freely control would be very little. They would barely have any left on their hands. However, if the price of wheat were to suddenly rise… Actually, it doesn’t even need to rise very high. Everyone thinks, ‘It would be terrible if such a thing happened.’ This uncertainty would be to our advantage. Using the Future, they would hand over the Kingdom’s gold. It’s a cheap investment.” Smiles.

Shrewd Accountant: “—“

Young Merchant: “The Central Continent nobility are beginning to taste what a slightly long winter is like. It’s the start of a fun dance. This Waltz — buy, sell, exchange. The effect of this drives the entire Continent.”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Market Price: The market price of a good is determined by the supply and demand of the given good. In this case, the good is Wheat.

An Agreement to Purchase the Wheat After it is Ready: One type of Future. A future is an agreement to purchase a given amount of goods at a given time in the future at a given price. A future helps to stabilise the price of a good whether its Market Price increases or decreases, so that the seller can be assured of a minimum sale price. This was likely first begun in 16th Century Belgium. Back then, the Wheat Future was not a sale for money, but a barter trade for a physical good.

Waltz: A type of music performed in triple time, typically for dancing to.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

—– The City of the Gate, Independence Committee, Office

Knock knock.

East Fortress Base Commander: “It’s open— Come in— “

Fire Dragon Lady: “How are you, Commander?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Not good, not bad. The weather is brilliant but I’ve got a mountain load of work. No matter how much I do, it never ends.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “If it never ends no matter how much you do, how about you just don’t do any of it?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “My, my! What a privileged lady!”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Not at all!” Glares.

Wealthy Demon Merchant: “Hahaha. You’re still the same.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Oh! It’s Uncle Cloud Dragon.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “He came to visit us to conduct trade negotiations.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Am I intruding? Should I come back later so you can talk freely?”

Wealthy Demon Merchant: “No, no, it’s a simple matter, though there are many parts. You really are a very brave person, you know.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “No, no. The Free City isn’t just a name, we’ve really got to do what we can. I am very honoured that a merchant like yourself would make the long trip here to see us.”

Aide-de-Camp: “Yes, indeed. Ahh, Your Excellency, please have some Cocoa Tea.”

Wealthy Demon Merchant: “Hahaha. With this, I don’t have to scrutinise any fine print or offer any money from inside my sleeve. I don’t have to do anything really.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Well, that is because the City of the Gate is governed by a Free Council. According to the laws for civil servants, those who are found accepting bribes will have their heads chopped off. — Uncle? What is your business in this City?”

Wealthy Demon Merchant: “Haha, just some daily necessities. Salt, metal, potatoes, maize. Cocoa Beans. Cotton. And maybe some ores as well.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “When you say it like that, it appears your organisation is going to be a very massive business in the City.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “The Wealthy Merchant would like to sell potatoes to the City, and purchase salt here…”

Aide-de-Camp: “Oh my.”

Wealthy Demon Merchant: “In the past, we used to get our shipments of salt from the Isle of Light. Ah, it hurts to talk about it.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I see…”

Wealthy Demon Merchant: “Oh my, how could I say something so insensitive in front of the Human Base Commander? Please excuse my dementia.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “…”

East Fortress Base Commander: “No, no, don’t think anything of it. To plainly speak, we also took quite a beating from you Demons. Lots of my subordinates were disbanded, but I suppose when we live in this world, we get used to all this conflict… I’m just grateful to wake up alive every morning — that’s how I think anyway.”

Wealthy Demon Merchant: “So young yet so tenacious.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “We’ll try to do something about the salt.”

Wealthy Demon Merchant: “Then I’ll leave it to you. Thank you for all the generous tea.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Aide-de-Camp, please see this gentleman out.”

Aide-de-Camp: “Yes!”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Cocoa Tea: This tea is made from Cocoa beans which are ground and roasted in order to extract the fatty oils that give it the flavour before adding sugar to the mix.

Money from Under the Sleeve: This refers to bribery. In the Edo period in Japan, in order to give bribes to officials, a paper bag of money would be passed from hand to hand, while being hidden by the long sleeves of Japanese clothing at the time, hence gaining its proverbial reputation.

Cocoa Beans: From processing cocoa beans, one is able to obtain either cocoa to drink or chocolate. In real life, Cocoa was brought to Western Europe by Columbus from the New World, but in Maoyuu, it is a plant indigenous to the Demon World.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Door closes.

East Fortress Base Commander: “What a powerful presence.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “That’s because Uncle is quite an authority figure in the Demon World. He may look like that now, but he used to be very fearsome in the past.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Right then, I have something I need to discuss with you.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “So do I.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “How about you go first.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I’m worried about something… Have you heard of the Demon Race known as the Pale?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “The Pale? I think we’ve done battle with them, but I’m not too familiar. At that time, I couldn’t even really distinguish the Demon Races anyway.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “The Pale are a Demon Race consisting of the pale-skinned descendants of the Elder Gods. There are small-sized ones and large-sized members in their Race, which appears to consist of a federation of minor Races. Combined together, they excel at warfare.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Hmm…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “The Dragon Race and the Fairy Race don’t really interact too much with them. Well, actually, we don’t really have much interest in interacting with other races. — The Pale were historically one of the Four Great Demon Races from which the Demon King would be chosen, or a Royal Race. There were some among that race who sought to conquer the Demon World.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “This stinks of a conspiracy.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Recently, there have been Demons of the Pale sighted around the City…”

East Fortress Base Commander: “…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I haven’t confirmed this information myself yet, but that’s the word on the street. The City of the Gate is a precious land where Humans and Demons may interact freely. Of course, we shouldn’t bar Demons of the Pale from staying here, but— “

East Fortress Base Commander: “It’s worrying.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “…”

East Fortress Base Commander: “I understand, I shall investigate. Shall we entrust this to the Demon authorities? In any case, let’s do something about it. Leave it to me.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Thank you… And what did you want to say?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Ahh, that’s right.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “The Wealthy Merchant requested for salt.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Yes, and?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “There isn’t any salt in the City.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Well…”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Isn’t this a problem?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Such as it is, it’s an unreasonable request. The Demand for salt everywhere is very high, and the price is accordingly high as well. Even the Dragon Race has only one salt mine under our control.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Well… There is one place we can go to.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “The Human World.”

 

—- In a Courtyard, the Memories of the Demon King

The Demon King: “…Ahh! Ahh?!”

Tumbles.

The Demon King: “It’s already so late! … Ughh. Wh-What? My back hurts. No, my whole body hurts… Why…”

The Chief Maid: “So late? It’s been two days.”

The Demon King: “Ohhh.”

The Chief Maid: “Please try to understand the limits of your body.”

The Demon King: “But it’s so interesting, I can’t stop.”

The Chief Maid: “I understand your emotions but— “

The Demon King: “Where are we?”

The Chief Maid: “I specialise in taking care of my principal. If you don’t exercise at all, and just sit here reading books and reports all day, your muscles are going to become stiff.”

The Demon King: “I suppose that’s true.”

The Chief Maid: “Shall I make you some tea?”

The Demon King: “It’s fine, but why not.”

The Chief Maid: “I am eternally grateful.”

The Demon King: “You can stop saying that.”

The Chief Maid: “But you saved the life of this slave.”

The Demon King: “…Sorry.”

The Chief Maid: “No, I didn’t mean anything by that. There’s something very important though.”

The Demon King: “What? New research?”

The Chief Maid: “No, I’ve come up with a new way to make tea.”

The Demon King: “What? That doesn’t help anyone at all, I don’t want it.”

The Chief Maid: “A world comprised only of things which are important has no meaning. This is what it means for life to have colour. The Path of the Maid is one which places much emphasis on this colour.”

The Demon King: “I would be grateful for tea in any case.”

The Chief Maid: “Understood, Mistress.”

The Demon King: “Mistress?”

The Chief Maid: “It’s a title, please wait.”

The Chief Maid runs off.

The Demon King: “But, my race is a race of pretty strange people… One could even call us the very definition of a strange people. They don’t make them any stranger than us. We like to keep the room in order.”

Clank… Clink clink clink.

The Demon King: “— Economic Fundamentals, Optimisation, Pareto Efficiency, Domestic Demand, Income, Production, Growth, the Hollowing-Out Phenomenon — things like these are inexhaustible. This is probably what one could term a set of values. From a theoretical point, these mark the beginning/creation of a new set of values. Through this set of actions caused by the creation and beginning of this set of values, the world has been broadened. Through the acquisition of this new viewpoint, we are reevaluating every world event. In other words, we are expanding the number of angles we look at the world from.

I believe that by holding many viewpoints, we can gain glimpses into many different worlds. This is the meaning of knowledge and learning. This is the raison d’etre for my Race. We believe in new concepts. We believe in expanding the world through new concepts. When concepts meet other concepts, they merge, giving birth to a flux which none of us are able to predict or imagine. What we are left with is a fruit. The fruit of the World.

Theoretically, we see that T = n (n+1) /2. How wonderful… How wonderful it is to know that. But, above this, the world is wonderful. This world is rapidly, rapidly expanding, not just for us Demons, but for…

The Demon King: “…for anyone with a soul. How splendid it is to call them that. In the distance, just how far does this expansive world stretch for? What sort of Combinatorial Explosions will take place? When two concepts like ours come into contact, what sort of fantastic world will we be able to witness?

The Human World… Perhaps to an ordinary Demon like myself, it is almost unimaginable. What sort of castles will it have? Will their villages be similar to ours? How strange will it be? If only I had more pictorial or video evidence…

We flow, goods flow and cash flows too. In fact, it is difficult to think of something which stays still. Even time flows. However, things which appear, rarely completely disappear. No matter how they are washed away, something still remains. Just like that Cosmic Library. I hear the songs of the records of billions and billions of worlds being sung. Why doesn’t everyone else hear it too? I really want to see it, that which is so proud, so high above, that which sings. No matter how I think about it, or how anyone else does… We’ll never reach it.”

The Chief Maid: “Mistress, the tea is here.”

The Demon King: “Eh? What are you doing standing there?”

The Chief Maid: “…I said I would show you the new method.”

The Demon King: “Hmm.”

The Chief Maid: “Ahh!”

The Demon King: “Ahh?”

The Chief Maid: “Ahhm wait, wait, umm!”

The Demon King: “What are you saying?”

The Chief Maid: “Quickly, catch!”

The Demon King: “Eh?”

Throws.

The Demon King: “Hot! Hot! It’s hot!”

The Chief Maid: “Are you all right!”

The Demon King: “What’s with this cloth, ahh!”

The Chief Maid: “It’s a new method.”

The Demon King: “…”

The Chief Maid: “Knowledge sure is amazing. I will devote myself to further study.”

The Demon King: “Just what sort of material have you been consulting!”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

T = n(n+1) / 2: In order to sum up every integer from 1 to n, instead of using a calculator or other means, one simply has to follow the equation given. In this way, one can speedily solve large equations in an era without mechanical computing, hence opening up new dimensions of Mathematics.

Combinatorial Explosion: A computing terminology. As the amount of data increases, the number of ways to connect each of this data and the resulting possibilities of functions increases exponentially. Very soon, one will have more functions than a computer is capable of processing properly.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

 

—– The Kingdom of the Mist, in an Unspecified Street in an Unspecified City

Bard: “ We learnt, oh we learnt, from the Scholar as she came!

The first to learn were the Free among the people, the first of the four. Those who had lived a life among the grass. Next came those whose lives were one with the water, the people of the Lake. Third came the people of the sand and the barren waste, they who lived in hardship and with fortitude. The fourth were the men of the South, the settlers like wind who occupied the frontiers.

The wheat she brought wherever she went, like gold that came from her hands. They blew like wind across the land, and from the ground they so burst forth like fires red and warm and hot.

Where was spring? Where was spring? The time of harvest reared its head, as did the heads of the golden wheat. The potatoes that grew like hills below, sprung forth their fruits like mountains high. To the South, to the South. That is where the fruits they grow. To the South, to the South.

Come one come all, let’s go. 

 

—- The Palace of Winter, a Large Room, Strategy Committee

Door closes.

The Hero: “How goes our plan?”

Lone Winter King: “As expected, the literacy rate is one problem. Thanks to the widespread effect of the bards, we’ve seen an increase in the number of settlers as well.”

Seneschal: “Even outside of the Southern Kingdoms, music is important during winter.”

The Hero: “And what is this report?”

Flips.

The Hero: “…”

Lone Winter King: “Are you concerned about something?”

The Hero: “No, it’s just that, we’re not the only ones in this world.”

Lone Winter King: “That’s right.”

Seneschal: “Huh?”

Lone Winter King: “It’s either we share our profits, or separately, we are all compromised. That is something we should not forget.”

Butler: “While we’re on it, what about the others?”

Lone Winter King: “Ahh, the Iron Fist King and the Queen of Ice and Snow have returned from abroad. I suppose they can’t be away forever.”

Butler: “…” Sighs.

The Hero: “What’s wrong?”

Butler: “This room completely and unpretentiously reeks of men.”

The Hero: “The sisters have gone to be with the Queen of Ice and Snow. Even though the bards are already spreading the word, it’s still better to be doing it directly. After that, it seems they’ll be heading to the Kingdom of Metal to create an original copy of the printing press. They’ll be going with the Female Paladin and some guards. In other words, this is now a men’s paradise.”

Seneschal: “The Female Paladin too?”

Butler: “Are we at such a precipice?”

The Hero: “That’s right, do we need to go so far?”

Butler: “…” Sighs.

The Hero: “That being said, have they said anything?”

Lone Winter King: “Of course, look.”

Places a crate of letters on table.

The Hero: “What!? That’s a lot. Why is there so much!?”

Lone Winter King: “Well, when it comes to the Central Continent, we can’t really say it’s a unified country or anything. Up until 20 years ago, they were a group of small states that constantly fought among themselves, and up till the Demon invasion, the only thing that tied them together was the Church. That’s why, even though they’re just criticisms, there’s naturally quite a lot here.”

The Hero: “Then I suppose the content is all the same?”

Lone Winter King: “Yeah. At its core, it’s basically just a series of official denunciations from the Holy Church of Light. Right now, it seems that they’re threatening to Excommunicate us. The rest are declarations from Kings and Nobles. The content is mostly just asking us to apologise.”

Seneschal: “Well, well, most of it are just words for decoration, that’s why each of them takes up about three pages.”

The Hero: “What a bunch of fools.”

Lone Winter King: “Well… There’s no choice. I’m afraid from these official denunciations, it seems they are concerned that if they do not do anything about us, they’ll anger one of the factions in the Central Continent. To put it another way, if the Tripartite Union continues to be denounced by all these Kingdoms and nobility, we could find ourselves isolated and bullied by everybody else.”

The Hero: “Well, it’s not like we didn’t know that. Actually, if we actually do get excommunicated, it’s likely that trade will grind to a halt, right.”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Excommunication: This refers to being abandoned by the Church. In the Middle Ages, the Church was often the centre of much of life and society. In other words, those who were abandoned would find it difficult to live in human society, this applied for excommunicated countries as well. In the novel, excommunication is also an extremely severe punishment.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Seneschal: “That’s right.”

The Hero: “That’s probably why no country has gone against the Church till now.”

Lone Winter King: “That’s right.”

Lone Winter King: “In any case, I’m thinking of forming the Army into smaller divisions and sending them to patrol the borders.”

The Hero: “That’s a good idea.”

Seneschal: “The provincial officials have reported unrest within the region.”

Butler: “With regards to that, I’ve received reports as well. It seems that mercenaries have become bandit groups and are operating at the borders of the country. Furthermore, with the rapid emancipation of the serfs, there have been cases of reprisals and robberies against the landlords.”

Lone Winter King: “This is a real problem, what a headache.”

The Hero: “Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m not very good at this sort of thing. I don’t have any good suggestions, and I don’t know much about this.”

Lone Winter King: “When it comes to this, I doubt there’ll be some sort of sudden miracle. When a problem like this happens, we’ve got to deal with it as soon as we can. It’s certainly amazing that we’ve managed to turn all the serfs into free settlers, whom each own their individual fields. However, in this case, no matter what, they have to cultivate fresh lands on their own. Those who cultivate new lands have the right to own them. However, when uncultivated lands turn out to be uncultivable, that’s when these sorts of violent incidents begin.”

The Hero: “I see.”

Lone Winter King: “Moreover, since they don’t have the sort of manpower or organisation that the landlords do, it’s difficult to do labour-intensive work like cultivating new lands.Also, maintaining and supervising things which everyone else uses in the area, like public facilities, is next to impossible.

Actually, even if we manage to control the rate of this sort of violent revolution, compared to the land area, the number of citizens who live in the land are few, clearly an impoverished country. Liberating serfs is a good thing, but there’s no point in ostracising the landlords in retribution.”

The Hero: “Is there any way to solve this?”

Lone Winter King: “First, we’ll have a patrolling guard. We should select soldiers who know the region well to patrol the villages within the area. That should take care of our basic defences. Next, we should severely punish those who break the law. We need to ensure the safe existence of the landlords, and restore law and order to the citizens.”

Seneschal: “I will join in the patrols as well. We will make a tour of the villages in the country, and return in two weeks to reform and regroup.”

The Hero: “Mmm.”

Lone Winter King: “Next, we’ll have to carry out a census and a collectivisation.”

The Hero: “Collectivisation?”

Lone Winter King: “That’s right. We’ll classify a few households of free colonists, up to ten, as a collective. We’ll supply them with facilities and treat them as a single administrative unit. This applies for taxes and corvee labour as well. We’ll distribute seedlings and other necessities to the collectives so that they can combine their labour for easier development. If there’s any more trouble, then the patrols will have to deal with it. If we receive news that one of the families are making trouble, then we’ll move them to another collective.”

The Hero: “It’s a good idea, but it seems troublesome.”

Lone Winter King: “That’s right, it is troublesome. It’ll probably take a lot of effort. On top of that, this is just a transitional stage. Right now, we’ll probably have to force the colonists into these collectives, but in future, I hope to create a freer system of collectives. It’s going to be tough, but there’s no choice. I believe this to be right. The paper that the Scholar left behind should be helpful with this.”

The Hero: “Is that so, why?”

Butler: “For this sort of thing, we’ll need to keep a massive amount of records. We’ll have to start an extremely detailed census-taking exercise, and put into place a massive records-keeping division.”

The Hero: “Huh… Well, this is completely out of the fields of expertise from both me and the Female Paladin.”

 

—– The Kingdom of the Lake, Capitol, the Headquarters of the Union

Shrewd Merchant: “…The price of wheat has started rising abnormally.”

Young Merchant: “It’s started.”

Shrewd Merchant: “Yes. It’s up 64% from last year and 9 points from last week.”

Young Merchant: “It was a good idea to move our headquarters to the Kingdom of the Lake. It would be disastrous if the information came in late.”

Shrewd Merchant: “Shall we begin?”

Young Merchant: “Are you hesitating?”

Shrewd Merchant: “No, I too was born a merchant. I have the stomach for something like this. Let’s see the results.”

Young Merchant: “Exactly. Are the preparations for the communications and the fast horses done?”

Shrewd Merchant: “All ready.”

Young Merchant: “This too is about to become a battleground. We shall not sleep nor rest.”

Assistants: “Yes!”

Young Merchant: “Then, let’s begin.”

Shrewd Merchant: “Yes.”

Young Merchant: “We will now commence with the operation for the Union to corner essential goods like wheat, metal, salt and charcoal. Buy wheat up to 320 points of last year’s prices and the rest up to 240 points.”

Shrewd Merchant: “…”

Young Merchant: “Of course, do not needlessly spend money. Make sure you stay vigilant throughout the entire process and look out for our interests. Except this time, we’ve got more interests than just profit. We have to maintain the price of the good.”

Shrewd Merchant: “Yes.”

Young Merchant: “I expect that the political situation will deteriorate. Make sure to pay attention to the shipment and storage of goods. Mercenaries usually only accept money as payment. It is necessary to secure their allegiance so we can try getting them to accept direct payment in wheat or other commodities. In this case, let’s arrange to pay them weekly rather than monthly.”

Shrewd Merchant: “Understood.”

Young Merchant: “Have you drawn up the Wheat Futures?”

Shrewd Merchant: “The contracts have all been arranged.”

Young Merchant: “Stay in contact with large-scale landlords and noblemen, please.”

Shrewd Merchant: “…”

Young Merchant: “Then, here it begins.”

Shrewd Merchant: “?”

Young Merchant: “The Church faction is probably going to disapprove of our cornering the market.”

Shrewd Merchant: “Yes, they’re already expressing some measure of displeasure.”

Young Merchant: “What would we do if they began ratting us out to the Church? We would have to throw away all the profit that lay in front of us, or we would lose a lot of our trading rights, that’s something we can’t allow as merchants.”

Shrewd Merchant: “…What should we do?”

Young Merchant: “We use a Black Hand. Send the three Councilmen away for two weeks.”

Shrewd Merchant: “…”

Young Merchant: “We’ll finish all we need in two weeks. Once we begin something like this, we can’t stop it halfway.”

Shrewd Merchant: “I understand.”

Young Merchant: “Let’s disguise our purchases then. I’m sure that no one in the Central Continent is expecting something like this, but we can’t hold it for long. The disguise will probably be broken within two weeks.”

 

—– The Holy Empire, a Coastal City, the Noblemen’s Quarter

Coastal City Citizen: “Huh!? What!?”

Commodities Merchant: “Yeah, didn’t I say already? One sack of wheat is now eight silver pieces.”

Coastal City Citizen: “Are you stupid? What kind of price is that?”

Commodities Merchant: “You haven’t been here in a while, have you?”

Coastal City Citizen: “Well, yeah. I’ve come all this way with my cart to buy things from you. You know you can feed a family of eight with that, right?!”

Travelling Merchant: “Hey, gimme some wheat.”

Commodities Merchant: “Sure, how much do you want?”

Travelling Merchant: “How much is it?”

Commodities Merchant: “One sack of wheat is going at eight silver pieces. We’ve also got coarse, second-grade wheat at six-and-a-half silver pieces. Barley is going at five silver pieces.”

Travelling Merchant: “Show me the second class.”

Commodities Merchant: “Here it is!”

Travelling Merchant: “Hmm… There’re bugs mixed with this.”

Commodities Merchant: “Nowadays, you’ll find that common everywhere. I’ve got plenty of buyers.”

Travelling Merchant: “Fine. Give me twenty-five sacks.”

Commodities Merchant: “No problem, it’s a sale then.”

Fills sack.

Coastal City Citizen: “…Dammit, fine, give me some second class wheat too.”

Commodities Merchant: “Sure. One sack for seven silver pieces.”

Coastal City Citizen: “Huh!? Wasn’t it just six-and-a-half silver pieces!”

Commodities Merchant: “Sir, this second class wheat was going at four silver pieces a sack last week. It’s probably better for me not to sell anything and just keep it all.”

Coastal City Citizen: “…Dammit! Two sacks. Four sacks of barley as well.”

Commodities Merchant: “That’s a great purchase you’ve just made.”

Baker: “Cheap! Cheap! Buttered grape bread! Two for fifteen copper pieces.”

Fills sack.

Coastal City Citizen: “How is that cheap? It’s so small as well. How could that be worth fifteen copper pieces? Just what is going on? …There’s nothing for it. Let’s get some lentils and peas. This year, we don’t have the Blessings of the Spirit of Light. Well, let’s hope it gets better next year.”

Coastal City Citizen: “Ehh?!”

Merchant: “Lentils are going at four silver pieces a sack. Peas at six and a half silver pieces.”

Coastal City Citizen: “What the hell?! I understood that the wheat harvest was bad. It’s true that the weather hasn’t been too brilliant. But didn’t the legume crops turn out great this year?!”

Merchant: “Well, that’s true. But— ”

Coastal City Citizen: “Ahh.”

Merchant: “Just think about it. Those people who usually eat wheat will switch to eating barley or peas when the price of wheat rises too high, right? Those people who usually eat barley or peas will switch to other foods like beans, buckwheat or walnuts, when the price goes up as well, right? Understand? The demand for legumes is far higher than usual in the Human World right now. That’s why the price is going up.”

Coastal City Citizen: “Why is this happening…”

Merchant: “I’ve been working hard to try to lower the price as well.”

Coastal City Citizen: “…?”

Merchant: “That being said, the noblemen are speaking about fixing the prices of beans, commodities and things like bread next week.”

Coastal City Citizen: “Fixing…?”

Merchant: “Yeah, they’re going to fix the prices.”

Coastal City Citizen: “Brilliant! Then as long as I buy within month, I can get wheat and beans cheaper!”

Fills sack.

Travelling Merchant: “My, my.”

Coastal City Citizen: “Ahh, you’re the merchant from earlier.”

Travelling Merchant: “Didn’t I meet you at the Commodities Merchant’s?”

Coastal City Citizen: “Yeah, you’re a Travelling Merchant, right? How are you?”

Travelling Merchant: “You don’t understand anything, do you?”

Merchant: “There’s no choice. He’s never had any connection to the farm anyway.”

Coastal City Citizen: “What do you mean? What’s going on?”

Merchant: “…Huh.”

Travelling Merchant: “I probably shouldn’t say anything, but I’m a traveller so it probably shouldn’t affect me too much.”

Merchant: “I’ve been weighing the beans.”

Coastal City Citizen: “And?”

Travelling Merchant: “The prices of wheat, barley and oats have been rising constantly. I sincerely don’t believe that the prices are going to fall any time next month. What do you think will happen if they do fix the prices of wheat and bread? They’ll all probably go bankrupt. If the price of wheat remains this high, then Commodities Merchants and Bakeries won’t even be able to open.”

Coastal City Citizen: “Ah!”

Merchant: “That’s right. Even though the prices are rising, they’re still trying to sell everything they have. Of course, they keep enough for themselves so they don’t starve to death.”

Coastal City Citizen: “…That’s—”

Merchant: “Alright… How about this? If it really is as he says, then none of the shops will be open next month. You should probably buy some bacon and beans, or at the very least some barley, in preparation.”

Coastal City Citizen: “I-I-I understand!”

Merchant: “I’m closing up for today, so I’ll give you a discount.”

Coastal City Citizen: “Give me two sacks of lentils and peas.”

Merchant: “That’ll be twenty silver pieces.”

Travelling Merchant: “Give me twenty sacks of peas.”

Merchant: “Alright. Give me a hand with these then!”

 

—- The Palace of Winter, a Large Room, Strategy Committee

Disciple Merchant: “Your Majesty, Your Majesty!”

Assistant: “Wha—”

Seneschal: “Oh, it’s the Disciple Merchant? What’s up?”

Disciple Merchant: “I have an urgent report that needs to be made. Where is His Majesty the King?”

Butler: “Ohh, Disciple Merchant. He’s over there.”

Lone Winter King: “What’s up?”

Disciple Merchant: “Your Majesty. It’s an emergency. I have a report. Something has just been announced.”

Assistant: “Ho—”

Lone Winter King: “What’s wrong? Is it a tax issue? Or has something happened with the military?”

Disciple Merchant: “Your Majesty, it is indeed a tax issue.”

Assistant drags flipchart over.

Lone Winter King: “Read out your report.”

Disciple Merchant: “I shouldn’t, Your Majesty. Time is of the essence.”

Butler: “How proper…”

Disciple Merchant: “I’m still learning how one talks with a King.”

Seneschal: “He has indeed grown.”

Disciple Merchant: “Allow me to explain this in simple terms. Flip!”

Assistant: “Yes!”

Disciple Merchant: “Right now, the price of goods which the Central Continent imports from the Southern Kingdoms is rising quickly. At the same time, the volume of gold being transferred is increasing.”

Assistant: “Yes.”

Lone Winter King: “What do you mean?”

Disciple Merchant: “In other words, something you could buy for five gold pieces last week costs ten this week, twenty next week, and it just keeps on rising.”

Butler: “Won’t that be tough on the people?”

Disciple Merchant: “Of course. But, in response, noblemen are expending their gold reserves in large quantities. If the gentry disseminates their gold to the people, they might be able to achieve some sort of equality, but at present, that the prices aren’t something which the people can afford is the reality of the situation. That’s why we need to act fast. Oi, flip!”

Assistant: “Yes!” Flips.

Disciple Merchant: “As you can see from this chart, prices are currently twice than last year, this is an unprecedented speed.”

Assistant: “Mmm.”

Seneschal: “I understand… But why are you so worked up?”

Butler: “This is a really big deal.”

Lone Winter King: “Hmm.”

Disciple Merchant: “This is probably the work of somebody trying to corner the market on wheat.”

Lone Winter King: “Work? For what purpose?”

Disciple Merchant: “That’s not important. We don’t have the luxury right now. But against such a skilled player, we do not have the upper hand.”

Seneschal: “Player?“

Disciple Merchant: “Ahh, forget I said that.”

Disciple Merchant: “What’s important is figuring out what will happen from now on.”

Lone Winter King: “Yeah, our response is the top priority. What do you predict will happen?”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Player: This refers to a player in a game. However, in this case, what they are playing with are massive amounts of money in the form of wheat moving across the market. In other words, the one who loses the game also loses this massive sum of money.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Disciple Merchant: “Within the Kingdoms of the Central Continent, a massive shift in wealth distribution is taking place. Already, the wealth of the cities are being gathered by large merchants, landlords, feudal lords, noblemen and nobility. However, this price inflation is affecting the prices of all the goods, it’s gotten to the state where there’s not much point holding cash anymore. As time goes by, all the prices have been rising incredibly.”

Butler: “Hmm…”

Disciple Merchant: “As a result, there is currently significant government expenditure, but the effect of this is limited due to the actions of a group of determined noblemen. Due to this group of determined noblemen, the flow is unlikely to cease. Oi, page three.”

Assistant: “Yes!”

Butler: “?!”

Disciple Merchant: “That’s right, there’s still somewhere where the prices have yet to rise, somewhere far away, in other words, the Southern United Kingdoms. It is likely that their next course of action will be to begin purchasing large sums of goods from us, and we are already seeing signs of a segment of society at work here.”

Lone Winter King: “If that happens, then the prices in our Kingdom?”

Disciple Merchant: “Will undoubtedly rise.”

Assistant: “That’s incredible.”

Butler: “How do we counter this?”

Disciple Merchant: “Allow me to elaborate. First, we need to determine that such an economic attack will actually take place. If the other side has no intention of doing so in the first place, that would be a disaster. This is a risk. If we get it wrong, the Kingdom may even collapse.”

Lone Winter King: “I understand.”

Disciple Merchant: “Firstly, tariffs. With an emphasis on wheat, we’ll impose a tariff on all goods produced within the Tripartite Union intended for export.”

Lone Winter King: “Like a transit tax?”

Disciple Merchant: “Flip.”

Assistant: “Yes!” Flips.

Disciple Merchant: “It’s similar but far more limited. This only applies to goods which are leaving the country. Whether it’s grain or potatoes, one carriage of goods needs to pay a tax of ten gold pieces.”

Seneschal: “Ten!? That’s a bit harsh.”

Disciple Merchant: “What? We have to be more concerned about our own pain and suffering. If we don’t impose this tax, all of our food will end up being sold to the Central Continent and we’ll all starve to death.”

Seneschal: “Is that so? Then I guess even twenty would be fine too.”

Butler: “We can’t allow a famine to take place.”

Disciple Merchant: “Next is to restructure the wage salaries for people connected to the Palace.”

Lone Winter King: “What do you mean?”

Disciple Merchant: “At present, the relevant question is, ‘How much is one gold piece worth?’ In other words, if one can usually buy three sacks of wheat with one gold piece, how many can one buy now?”

Butler: “Hmm.”

Disciple Merchant: “Usually, two gold pieces are about a month’s salary, but we’re not sure about now. Even if it’s still the same now, we won’t be sure about the future. In other words, this is the collapse of the fiat currency system. That is why at least part of the currency system is likely to collapse. Important occupations like soldiers and ministers should no longer be paid in gold, but in physical, real value goods like wheat.”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Government Expenditure: This refers either to the government spending money on public works and other goods, or giving money to the people to spend. This introduces demand for goods into the economy and can help to boost the economy during tough times.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Seneschal: “How about potatoes? They’re delicious and there’re lots of them.”

Disciple Merchant: “Flip!”

Assistant: “Yes!” Flips.

Disciple Merchant: “Luckily, our Kingdom and the Tripartite Union has made the shift from wheat to potatoes. This is an unforeseen stroke of luck among our misfortunes. The potato is currently seen by the Central Continent as a heretical crop. Barring some miracle, we’ll never be able to sell any. We can use that to our advantage.”

Lone Winter King: “By fixing the price.”

Disciple Merchant: “That’s right. We can pay a fixed amount of money to buy potatoes from producers. We can then sell potatoes at a fixed price to people who eat them and to food establishments in the cities. We can adjust this price once every two months. We can use the potatoes to prevent famine among the settlers. By doing this, we should at least be able to stabilise the faith that the people of the Tripartite Union have in the currency. In other words, how many potatoes can they buy with one gold piece? If we can assure them that one gold piece will be able to buy one month’s worth of potatoes, then we give meaning to the currency again. On top of that, there are a lot of other good points. Potatoes keep better than wheat too, right? Didn’t you encourage its production?”

Lone Winter King: “That’s how we’ll deal with it?”

Disciple Merchant: “For now, those are our financial options. But there’s more.”

Lone Winter King: “What?”

Disciple Merchant: “This isn’t my specialty, but if the price of food goes up in the Central Continent, there are going to be people starving. Of course, the state law and order will likely weaken too.”

Butler: “Is that so?”

Lone Winter King: “Mm? What’s wrong, old man?”

Butler: “No, no, it’s just that there have been rumours of mercenary groups becoming bandits. They get hungry and they just go off the grid accept to attack our convoys.”

Lone Winter King: “There is talk of such a thing.”

Disciple Merchant: “If they’re bandits, then they shouldn’t be too concerned with whether or not the potato is a heretical crop. They may even come to raid and pillage cities and urban centres.”

Seneschal: “This is my responsibility! Please rest easy. I have activated three times the usual numbers for the Kingdom of Winter. But how will you deal with them?”

Butler: “They may be bandits now, but they used to be mercenaries before. They’re surely very proud.”

Seneschal: “Yes!”

Disciple Merchant: “There’s one more point, and that’s about the emigrant population. Winter is coming, and if the Central Continent gets any colder, there’s likely to be a famine. If that happens, we can expect a large-scale migration across to our borders.”

Lone Winter King: “If that’s the case, it’s just what we want then.”

Disciple Merchant: “That’s only if we can find something for them to eat. To fulfil that, I advise that we should increase the potato harvest substantially.”

Lone Winter King: “I understand the details, you have advised me on them well.”

Disciple Merchant: “No, no, this is my responsibility.”

Assistant: “Yes.”

Lone Winter King: “I respect your views very much. I’d like to make you the Finance Minister starting today.”

Disciple Merchant: “Eh?”

Lone Winter King: “It’s a Marquis position. It comes with a salary and a position.”

Disciple Merchant: “No.”

Lone Winter King: “Don’t be modest. As Finance Minister, you’ll have three times as much work. I’m counting on you.”

Disciple Merchant: “W-wa-wait! That’s not what I mean! I’m going to die!”

Lone Winter King: “Hahahahaha. I’ll make the announcement soon. If there’s anything, make sure you come along too. Oh that’s right, I’ve got a state dinner tonight. Come along! It’ll be fun!”

Seneschal: “My condolences.”

Butler: “Hurry up and get married. Boobs have a powerful impact on the working ability of young men.”

Disciple Merchant flinches.

Assistant: “…”

Lone Winter King: “Hahahahaha. Alright then, I’m going!”

Butler: “Wait, Young Man! I’m coming too.”

Lone Winter King and Butler walk off.

Disciple Merchant: “…”

Assistant: “Are you alright?”

Disciple Merchant: “It’s probably impossible.”

Assistant: “Shall I get you some tea?”

Disciple Merchant: “Please.”

Assistant: “Yes ♪” Scampers off.

Disciple Merchant: “But… This flow…”

Disciple Merchant: (I do know who is behind this. To pull off such a major feat of economic warfare is only possible if you’re the Union. They’ve managed to corner the market so quickly. But what is their objective? Are we their enemy? Or their ally? How can I, the mere third son of a merchant, hope to take on a behemoth like the Union. But… Aghhhh. I can’t run away from it this time.

What are they doing buying wheat and all these daily essentials? How are they even paying for all of this? They don’t seem to be buying anything else. They must be using some sort of contract, unless they’re paying for this out of their pocket… What would be the point? Is this just some investment? They increase the price of food products, then sell it all and make a killing — is it possible that’s their entire objective?)

 

—– The Courtyard of Memories, the Memories of the Demon King

The Chief Maid: “—!”

The Demon King tinkers around.

The Chief Maid: “—!—!”

The Demon King: “Oh, did I get it wrong?”

The Chief Maid: “—! Hey, answer when I call you, please!”

The Demon King: “Ohh, you shocked me there!”

The Chief Maid: “I’m the one who’s shocked!”

The Demon King: “In that case we can be shocked together.”

The Chief Maid: “Is that all?”

The Demon King: “Mmm.”

The Chief Maid: “Mm? —! When did you last change?!”

The Demon King: “It’s fine. Lions and bears don’t change either. Neither do Dragons or Massacre Troopers. They don’t do that, and yet they’re still alive.”

The Chief Maid: “That’s not good. You can’t be a human-shaped bear. You’re already a grown-up woman. You should start to act like it.”

The Demon King: “If it’s about age, I’ve been this way for a hundred years.”

The Chief Maid: “Right, that’s because of the Cosmic Library, right?”

The Demon King: “I’m not good at dressing myself.”

The Chief Maid: “Aghhh! Enough! Stop saying that—! Are you really going to be the Demon King?!”

The Demon King: “Yeah…”

The Chief Maid: “Don’t shine that in my face!”

The Demon King: “Sorry.” Turns off.

The Chief Maid: “Don’t expose the flab on your chest either.”

The Demon King: “I can’t?”

The Chief Maid: “…Don’t tell me, it’s not for me?”

The Demon King: “No, it’s not.”

The Chief Maid: “That’s good, but…”

The Demon King: “It’s really just something convenient for me. It’s a bit strange that you’re concerned at all.”

The Chief Maid: “…”

The Demon King: “My coronation is next month.”

The Chief Maid: “—This means you’re going to become the Demon King. You do understand that, right?”

The Demon King: “Hmm.”

The Chief Maid: “Have you entered the Palace of Death? I don’t know about the other Races, but this Race tends to spend a lot of time gaining knowledge in the Palace of Death, doesn’t it?”

The Demon King: “By this Race, I suppose you’re referring to our Race.”

The Chief Maid: “I’m a… new member to the Race.”

The Demon King: “It doesn’t matter if you’re a new member, we’re one Race.”

The Chief Maid: “More importantly, will you be going there to absorb the wisdom of the Demon Kings of History?”

The Demon King: “To be precise, I won’t so much be absorbing as being contaminated by them.”

The Chief Maid: “Isn’t it the same thing?”

The Demon King: “It’s completely different. The contamination will change my entire body. If I were just absorbing there would be a way to revert things, but when I’m being contaminated, there definitely isn’t.”

The Chief Maid: “Is it something extremely bad?”

The Demon King: “No, well, there are limits. Everything has its pros and cons. Even though I’ll be contaminated, I’ll still be me. Till the end, my sins are still my responsibilities.”

The Chief Maid: “All I’m hearing are the cons.”

The Demon King: “Moreover, absorbing occurs in an instant, while being contaminated takes time? Though it wouldn’t seem that way.”

The Chief Maid: “Huh?”

The Demon King: “I’ll be in the Palace of Death for just a short while.”

The Chief Maid: “Eh?”

The Demon King: “I’ll be inside for a while, and then I’ll be right out.”

The Chief Maid: “Huh!? Wh-What are you saying!? Just like that, you’ll receive Demon King-level combat ability? How can it be that the Demon World can be ruled like that? To begin with, how are you going to fight!?”

The Demon King: “I can rule without violence.”

The Chief Maid: “What are you saying?”

The Demon King: “Take a look at NDC Number 300. Humans have an individual combat ability far below that of even a middle-level Demon yet they’re perfectly capable of ruling themselves. Combat ability was never a prerequisite to governance.”

The Chief Maid: “That may be so, but then why would you want to be the Demon King? Excuse me for saying this but you seem like a research insect.”

The Demon King: “This is another life experience, you understand, right?”

The Chief Maid: “Life experience…”

The Demon King: “Yeah, I want to experience both worlds like they have never been experienced before. And if possible, I’d like to meet my destiny as well.”

The Chief Maid: “Eh?”

The Demon King: “Look.”

Heart beats very quickly.

The Chief Maid: “This… is…?”

The Demon King: “He was born last week.”

The Chief Maid: “A human… boy?”

The Demon King: “I used a long distance telegraphic lens so the resolution is quite bad but according to that Infinite Library, this could be the one.”

The Chief Maid: “A boy…?”

The Demon King: “The Hero.”

The Chief Maid: “…?!”

The Demon King: “One of only two Living Singularities in this world. The Child of Destiny. I’m sure he’ll be very handsome in twenty-five years’ time.”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

NDC: This refers to the Nippon Decimal Classification system which is used by Japanese libraries in order to differentiate library books by genre. Number 300 are books on Social Sciences, within this, Number 310 are books on Political Sciences.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

The Chief Maid: “Don’t tell me…”

The Demon King: “Yes. Hehehe — I would really like to meet this person.”

The Chief Maid: “B-But, he’s the one who has been prophesised to kill you, isn’t he!? What are you thinking of!”

The Demon King: “That’s fine too.”

The Chief Maid: “—”

The Demon King: “He will come to meet me. He will come from a great distance… He’ll come from somewhere we’ll never have contact. Well, I’ll probably die by his sword, but before I get killed, I should at least get to say hello. Or at least, salutations, or something like that. And if a miracle occurs — maybe I’ll even get to rub that black hair of his. It’ll definitely be fluffy-fluffy and wonderful.”

The Chief Maid: “You can’t be serious.”

The Demon King: “I’m completely serious. This is the only chance I have, in order to see a ‘future which has never been seen before.’ In order to create a story which has never been told even in that Library — in order to meet my destiny.”

The Chief Maid: “But… even so.”

The Demon King: “It’s decided.”

The Chief Maid: “What will you do about the Wars of Succession?”

The Demon King: “Well, we’ll act appropriately.”

The Chief Maid: “They’ve gathered six brave warriors and fighters from throughout the land, right? You’ve got no chance of beating them. And if you don’t defeat them, you can’t become the Demon King.”

The Demon King: “Well, I’ve got my work cut out. I’m not good at fighting but I’m very good at balancing profits and losses.”

The Chief Maid: “That’s impossible.”

The Demon King: “How cruel.”

The Chief Maid: “—!— Are you being stupid!?”

The Demon King: “Winning or losing is not the issue here. This is the only chance. The only problem is that whether we win or lose, will we regret gambling… Or should we try gambling?”

The Chief Maid: “… You—”

The Demon King: “Mmm? Did I say something strange?”

The Chief Maid: “Nope.”

The Demon King: “…”

The Chief Maid: “…Mistress.”

The Demon King: “What is it?”

The Demon King: “Mistress. You’re a cruel, cruel fool.”

The Demon King: “What are you saying? I’ve been called the Professor of Lost Worlds.”

The Chief Maid: “But you’re still a fool.”

The Demon King: “Hmm.”

The Chief Maid: “Allow me to be your maid.”

The Demon King: “Eh?”

The Chief Maid: “I will be your follower.”

The Demon King: “What are you saying? Don’t be stupid. This is my dream, my chance. I don’t need to drag other people in with me.”

The Chief Maid: “In that case, you should give it up. When you’re the King, when you’re the ruler of the Demon World, you don’t do anything else but drag other people in with you! Are you saying that you’d bet your life and everything you’ve worked for for that dream?”

The Demon King: “—”The Chief Maid: “I also have a dream as well, Mistress. I want to pursue the Way of the Maid. I am deeply indebted to you. But above this, I’ve never seen anyone as useless as you, Mistress. You’re both really simple yet incredibly gifted. You really are the perfect Mistress.”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Living Singularity: A singularity is a highly unique point. In other words, the two Living Singularities are the Demon King and the Hero. To this world, they are the most special existences around which the Fate of the Universe now revolves.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

The Demon King: “Is that enough? I’m the one who’s got a fool next to me. It’s like I’ve died, am I dead? Really.”

The Chief Maid: “That’s because you don’t know about maids, Mistress.”

The Demon King: “Huh?”

The Chief Maid: “No matter what sort of books you read, they always extol the excellent qualities of Maids, like their domestic ability, governorship, problem solving ability. Much has even been written in praise about their battle ability, hasn’t it? In fact, the Maids in the Early Victorians and the Japanese people in the stories of the Library have often been elevated to the status of living goddesses.”

The Demon King: “Is that… so?”

The Chief Maid: “Yes, be assured.”

The Demon King: “Really.”

The Chief Maid: “I’ll make you some tea.”

The Demon King: “Ah, ahh. Thanks. Umm… Chief Maid.”

The Chief Maid: “I don’t have any subordinates, though.”

The Demon King: “Even without subordinates, you’re the Chief.”

The Chief Maid: “Thank you.” Smiles.

The Demon King: “But, that’s… Is it alright?”

The Chief Maid: “Yes, of course.”

The Demon King: “…”

The Chief Maid: “Your dream is to wait for the Chosen One, there’s nothing else I can do but support you through it. That’s what happens when you’re the Chief Maid.”

 

—- The Central Continent, Kingdom of Mist, House of Nobles

Steward: “My Lord! My Lord!”

Obese Nobleman: “Mmm. Cut me another plum.”

Young Maid: “Yes…”

Steward: “My Lord!”

Obese Nobleman: “Hey! Shut up! I hear you! What do you want to say, you noisy person!”

Steward: “It’s here!”

Obese Nobleman: “The mustering call?!”

Steward: “That is correct!”

Rips open envelope and pulls out mustering call.

Obese Nobleman: “Hmph. The Commanding General is going to be the Grey King of the Kingdom of Mist… I knew we would get mustered but I didn’t think it would be this soon. Hahahahahaha. Those Barbarian Kings of the South, let’s stop with this pointless negotiating back and forth. The truth is that it’s going to end very quickly.”

Steward: “What shall we do?”

Obese Nobleman: “Send word for an emergency muster to all the lords in the land!”

Steward: “Yes!”

Obese Nobleman: “What a splendid timing. We’ve spent most of our military budget buying up all the wheat. That Wheat Futures thing just appeared this year as well. My treasury is completely empty now.”

Young Maid: “U-umm… Here’s the plum…”

Obese Nobleman: “Haha. Oh, how sweet.” Bites.

Obese Nobleman: “With this much money from the King, it should be easy enough to pay the salaries of our knights and the mercenaries as well…”

Obese Nobleman: “We can get 700, no, 1000 soldiers, maybe even more than the Grey King. If we do this, we might be able to win the support of the Bishop. It might help him win the White Cross of Light, no… Maybe even the Primarchy.”

Obese Nobleman: “The price of wheat has gone up again. But with this much money, we can afford to do quite a bit more. Hahahaha. I hear the pork in the South is particularly delicious.”

Obese Nobleman: “That’s because their treasuries are overflowing with gold, hehehehe. We can hold our heads up high now. This war… Well, the mustering will take place in half a month’s time. It’s winter, but it’s still best to get a move on before the snow accumulates around the New Year’s. It seems the Grey King is getting very pumped about this as well.”

Steward: “I shall draft a reply right now!”

Obese Nobleman: “Alright. Draw up a list of every knight under my command! Select and distribute the leadership roles and appointments! Prepare the weapons!”

 

—– The Kingdom of the Lake, a Rich District

Young Merchant: “Hahahahaha. And how is your daughter?”

Incredibly Rich Nobleman: “Haha. My daughter is at a marriageable age. Her mischief is really overheating. Haha.”

Young Merchant: “No, no, a lady is like a butterfly dancing among the flowers. I’m sure there will be many brave knights and illustrious noblemen vying for her hand in marriage.” Smiles.

Incredibly Rich Nobleman: “Do you really think so? Mm? You have a certain position in the Union, do you not?”

Young Merchant: “No, no, someone like me is far too young. It would be highly premature to have such an opportunity to get close to the nobility like this.”

Incredibly Rich Nobleman: “Hahaha, how humble you are. What do you think? I’m going to have a ball in my territory, there’ll be many noblewomen at attendance. You’re invited.”

Young Merchant: “But I’m nothing more than an uncultured simpleton…”

Incredibly Rich Nobleman: “Ahahaha! Please don’t worry. It’ll be a party to celebrate the coming of the new winter, so… it’s the kind of party with hundreds of names attending.”

Young Merchant: “How splendid.” Smiles.

Incredibly Rich Nobleman: “Hahahaha! Today’s negotiations were certainly nice. So, one Pigeon’s Blood will set me back 450,000, right? Hehehehe. What a great deal.”

Young Merchant: “Thank you for your kind patronage.”

Incredibly Rich Nobleman: “Ahh, allow me to introduce you to some noblemen as well. In that case, I’ll give you a discount when we confirm the date of the ball.”

Carriage rolls in…

Young Merchant: “Ah, it appears my carriage has arrived.”

Incredibly Rich Nobleman: “Indeed. Then please take care.”

Young Merchant: “Thank you very much.”

Incredibly Rich Nobleman: “Mmm. I await the day of our next business negotiations. See you again!”

Carriage door closes. Carriage rolls off.

Young Merchant: “…”

Young Merchant: “Heh… That was nice. 450,000 for one ruby. That’s really not bad for just one night. It’s a bit strange that it’s being paid for in wheat, and he didn’t give me any sort of guarantees either way… It’s not like I can eat rubies in any case.”

Cold wind howls.

Young Merchant: “It’s cold. Well, it’s winter in the Kingdom of the Lake too, I guess. Winter’s about to come to the South.” Coughs.

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Pigeon’s Blood: A type of ruby which is a deep, murky red, similar to the colour of pigeon’s blood. It is the very highest grade of ruby.

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Young Merchant: “Shall we go back? Well, we could go back to the Military Headquarters tonight as well.”

Carriage rolls on.

Beggar: “Please, sir.”

Young Merchant: “…”

Young Merchant: “How inappropriate.”

Carriage hits someone.

????: “Ah.”

Young Merchant: “Oh I’m sorry.”

Young Merchant: “Who would be wearing a cape and a hood so late at night? A Northerner? She sounds like a young woman…”

????: “No, no.”

Young Merchant: “It’s dangerous for a young lady to be walking around so late at night. Please be careful and return home as soon as you can.”

????: “I’ve been waiting for this Honoured One.”

Young Merchant: “Huh?”

????: “You.”

Young Merchant: “Huh?”

????: “We’ves met once before.”

Young Merchant: “Huh? Oh. As I thought, I recognised the cape.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Indeed. I apologise.” Removes cape.

Young Merchant: “Ah. Ahh!”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Do you remember me?” Smiles.

Young Merchant: “What are you doing here?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I’ve been looking for this Honoured One.”

Young Merchant: “Why?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “You’re a merchant. You’re the kind of person who can get his hands on anything. At least that’s what I heard at the banquet…”

Young Merchant: “That’s a merchant, alright…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “?”

Young Merchant: “Your… tail.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “What about it?” Waves tail.

Young Merchant: “No, this is a bad place. Let’s move somewhere else.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Yes, I have something to tell this Honoured One.”

 

—— The Kingdom of the Lake, a Rich District, an Inn rented by the Young Merchant

Young Merchant: “You’re very reckless.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Why?”

Young Merchant: “Uhh, humans don’t have tails.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Oh, that’s right.” Grins.

Young Merchant: “Would you like some tea?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “It would be great if you had some firewater… It’s really cold here.”

Young Merchant: “It’s much colder here than where you come from, I guess.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Since coming here, my tail has never been warm. The Human World sure is a freezing place.”

Young Merchant: “Well, that’s because it’s currently winter.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Winter…”

Young Merchant: “Don’t you have that in the Demon World?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I’ve never heard that word before. Well, I understand what it means though. The closer you are to the Second Gate, the colder it is, and the further away you are, the warmer it is. That’s the Demon World for you.”

Young Merchant opens door.

Young Merchant: “Mmm… Come in then.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Thank you very much.”

Young Merchant: “So, milady, why are you here?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I have come to meet with this Honoured One.”

Young Merchant: “Could you stop calling me ‘This Honoured One?’”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Then what shall I call you?”

Young Merchant: “Merchant.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “In that case, I have come to meet with the Merchant.”

Young Merchant: “Huh… All the way from the Demon World? Wait, using Teleportation Magic? Demon Magic is far stronger than Human Magic after all.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “That’s not true. According to my father, the Ceremonial Magic of ancient Humans is far more powerful. Demons are only adept at harnessing the superficial layers of Magic. I came to the Human World using a Teleportation Seal.”

Young Merchant: “How did you know where I am? Where is the Hero?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “No, I kept it a secret from him— I am here of my personal capacity. I found you using Seeking Magic. It’s a very convenient spell.” Chuckles.

Young Merchant: “You certainly sound very pleased with yourself.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Well, I have been fairly successful after all.”

Young Merchant: “Quite right. I am definitely impressed by your abilities. I’m sure it takes a certain type of person to have accomplished this task.”

Young Merchant: “Alright then, what sort of goods are you looking for, milady?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Salt.”

Young Merchant: “How much?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I’m not sure. But it’s important.”

Young Merchant: “What a vague request.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “That’s why I’m here.”

Young Merchant: “…?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “The volume of such requests is likely within your field of expertise, that’s why I’ve come to look for you.”

Young Merchant: “Hmm.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Salt is a luxury good in the Demon World. We would like to import some.”

Young Merchant: “…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “…” Tail sways.

Young Merchant: “…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “…” Drinks wine.

Young Merchant: “…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “…It really warms you up.”

Young Merchant: “You can drink the entire pot.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Did you hear me?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “…?”

Young Merchant: “You know this is a real puzzle, right?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I’m a foolish girl, but I’m sure this wouldn’t be a puzzle to an expert like yourself.”

Young Merchant: “Don’t you think you’re thinking too highly of me?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “A smart girl would gather all the possible information about a subject before acting. But for a girl to gather so much information on the subject will require so much time and effort, it isn’t likely to be of use to anybody. These are the Lessons of the Dragon I learnt from my mother. To get as many merchants into our hands as possible, we’re willing to solve as many puzzles as we need. To secure the help of you merchants would certainly be my greatest honour and pride.”

Young Merchant: “If it’s just salt, then there’s no problem.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “…Ahh, I feel warm to my tail.” Smiles.

Young Merchant: “You’ve really drunk a lot.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “The wine in the Human World is really something.”

Young Merchant: “Is this your first time in the Human World?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Of course it is. It’s a very precious experience. There’re lots of delicious things here like bread. It’s a lot more expensive than I’d heard though, it cost a lot of my travelling expenses… And this Church thing sure is fantastic. Their hymns and carols are something else altogether. They’ve got that instrument, the one as big as an entire building. That was a truly heavenly experience. You humans sure know how to enjoy things.”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Instrument as Big as a Building: This refers to the Pipe Organ. One pipe is required in order to make a different note or quality of sound. In order to make sounds which span 5 octaves (60 notes) with 5 different types of sounds, 60 x 5 = 300 pipes are necessary. Moreover, in order to produce a richer and deeper timbre of sound, a single sound may require a few pipes. For this purpose, the larger-scale Pipe Organs may even use thousands of pipes, resulting in an entire building being needed to house some of these organs.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Young Merchant: “…Will you stay in the Human World for the time being?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “?”

Young Merchant: “To make arrangements for the Salt.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “Really?”

Young Merchant: “Yeah.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I am grateful.”

Young Merchant: “It would be unbelievably troublesome if you were to run into some danger here.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “The tail?”

Young Merchant: “Yeah, well, the horns too.”

Fire Dragon Lady: “I’ll cover them up. I think it would be really interesting to see the way people panic when they see them, though.”

Young Merchant: “…”

Fire Dragon Lady: “…” Waves tail.

Young Merchant: “You—”

Fire Dragon Lady: “?”

Young Merchant: “Your existence really throws a spanner in the works. Don’t you think there’s still too much we don’t know?”

Fire Dragon Lady: “What about?”

Young Merchant: “Unfortunately, about cooperation.”

 

—— The Winter Palace, the Audience Hall

Door closes.

The Hero: “Your Majesty!”

Butler: “The Hero has arrived.”

The Hero: “They’ve declared war?!”

Lone Winter King: “That’s right. I received a formal Declaration of War this morning. On top of this, at about the same time, I also received a Writ of Excommunication from the Church.”

The Hero: “That’s too fast.”

Seneschal: “I apologise. I had better expectations.”

Lone Winter King: “No, I had no choice — The situations have changed.”

The Hero: “Situations…?”

Lone Winter King: “Mmm, we’re on a tough path. Starting with wheat, the prices of goods have risen all across the board.”

The Hero: “Prices? So we can’t buy food?”

Lone Winter King: “It seems that way. You can hear the details from the Disciple Merchant. I’m not completely sure about the structures or reasons for this myself. But basically, the prices are twice as high as they were last year.”

Butler: “To top it off, it’s also winter.”

Lone Winter King: “I fear this price hike could be the machinations of some of the higher-ups in the Church. If the price of wheat rises, peasants are going to find dealing with the winter very difficult. It’s the same with mercenaries too… They will probably try to invade the Southern United Kingdoms, plunder us, and use it to tide through the winter. If those snooty noblemen who don’t care at all about the pathetic state of their impoverished peasants don’t want to go bankrupt instantly from those insane price hikes, they’re going to have to make this a very short and decisive war. At any rate, that’s probably why they’ve rushed to give us such an urgent declaration.”

The Hero: “Is that so…”

Seneschal: “Your Majesty, the precise words of the Declaration—”

Butler: “Let me read it. Umm. Ahem. On the first month of winter, on the Fourth moon, we will adjourn to battle on the Northern Fields, it says.”

Lone Winter King: “Hmph. That’s a very succinct message.”

The Hero: “Ten days.”

Butler: “If we don’t go…”

The Hero: “What will happen?”

Seneschal: “If we’re speaking about this war, whether or not we take note of their Declaration, the Central Continental Armies will continue marching onwards. If we look further ahead, this will become a siege. — Starting from our Kingdom, the Southern United Kingdoms has built lots of fortresses in preparation for the Demon Invasion. But, to the North of our territory, in the direction of the Central Continent… In other words, in the direction from which the Central Continental Army will invade us this time, apart from a few sentry towers and minor fortifications, we don’t have any fortresses which can stand up to them for any extended period of time. They will invade our Capital Cities and demolish us there.”

Lone Winter King: “Well. It looks like we don’t have any choice but to accept their Declaration.”

The Hero: “Ugh, I don’t want to fight— I don’t want to fight!”

Lone Winter King: “This is a war between us foolish humans.”

The Hero: “No. This— These are seeds which I planted.”

Lone Winter King: “No. ‘Recognising the Freedom of the Serfs’ is a decision that was made by Humanity. It is a war for Humanity. There is no need for you to shoulder this responsibility, Hero.”

Seneschal: “That’s right, Hero!”

Butler: “Even at this point, we are very grateful to you, I’m sure you consider us to be an annoyance.”

The Hero: “No… That’s not true.”

Butler: “Hero…”

The Hero: “I didn’t say it correctly, but that’s wrong. Such a thing is not what you’re aiming for. This could really be the end.”

Seneschal: “…”

Lone Winter King: “It’s true that whittling away either of our military power here is of no advantage to us at all. This does nothing to increase either of our International Powers either. Why does the Central Continent not understand this?”

The Hero: (Those who wish for war are dictators. In this limited world, there are those who wish not for Prosperity, but for Influence and the creation of their private Oligopoly… That cannot be denied.)

The Hero: (What will you do? How will you stop them? Assassination, Your Majesty? …Don’t be stupid, Hero! That’s the same as when I went to the Demon King’s Castle. At the very least, if I had half a year… No, just three months…)

The Hero: (At the very least, just a while longer…)

The Hero: (This price hike thing is probably the work of that Merchant. Only that guy would do something like this. It must be him… It has to be. It probably isn’t just him but he definitely has some kind of pivotal role in this… Why? Why is the price of wheat going up? Ahhh—! I don’t understand! Why is the Demon King missing at a time like this! If she was here, she would have solved this issue in a heartbeat!”

Really? But you’re the Hero!

The Hero: “Why am I remembering this at such a time…”

Have you ever thought, ‘There’s something beyond that hill yonder’ or ‘What will there be at the place where this ship is sailing?’ That happy, expectant feeling?

The Hero: (Why is it that at moments of life-and-death like this, I always recall the first time I pointed my sword at her, and she pointed those sparkling eyes at me?)

That’s why I want to see it.

The Hero: (So defenceless)

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

International Influence: This refers to the various elements of power which a country controls. This is not just limited to military power but also extends to economic, governmental, diplomatic, scientific, technological and even cultural influence.

Oligopoly: This refers to a state of Economic Competition within a market. In this structure, the entire market is controlled by a few individual firms or people (typically 2-3), but can also refer to a political state where the country is controlled by these few people.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

But precisely because of this, if we can welcome this ‘Alternate Future,’ not just for me but for the Three Thousand Worlds, this will be another thing that has never been seen before.

The Hero: “—”

Seneschal: “Hero.”

The Hero: “Your Majesty, if we do go to war, how can we fight in such a way as to avoid as much loss as possible?”

Lone Winter King: “What the enemy intends is something that has been done many times. In these sorts of battles, two armies meet at a predetermined time on this wide, open field. The strategy will likely consist of… large swathes of knights charging at each other head-on. If tactics, numbers and equipment are not vastly different on both sides, such a battle will likely go on 1-2 times a day.”

The Hero: “A knight’s battle, then.”

Lone Winter King: “Of course that won’t be all. In order to fully develop the true force capability of the Knights, extensive preparation will be required. Alongside the Knights will be foot-soldiers and squires. Unless some accident which causes the entire battle to completely dissolve occurs, such as the Commander getting captured, this could potentially go on for days. Both sides will suffer severe losses and the loser will be the one who capitulates.”

The Hero: “I don’t want us to make these sacrifices, whether it’s the Armies of the Southern United Kingdoms or the Central Continent.”

Lone Winter King: “…”

The Hero: “It’s not a sweet thought. But it’s something I consider essential.”

Lone Winter King: “…”

Seneschal: “Your Majesty…”

Lone Winter King: “It depends on the weather.”

The Hero: “Snow, then—”

Lone Winter King: “That’s right. It’s piled up quite high over here, but in the Northern Plains it hasn’t yet begun to snow. If those plains become snow-covered first — if snow falls, the war plans will fall too. The battle will have to be postponed as well.

In these ten days, if no snow falls and the good weather continues, there will be nothing in the way of this pitched battle. On the contrary, if snow really begins to fall, amidst the falling snow, we may yet be able to find a way to avoid this battle.”

The Hero: “Yeah.”

Lone Winter King: “At worst, four weeks. At best, if we hold out for two weeks, snow will fall. That’s how long we need to endure for.”

The Hero: “Can we do it?”

Lone Winter King: “…I’ll take it up. I will not lose this Winter War. I stake my name on it.”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Predetermined Time: In wars during the Middle Ages, the scouting ability and communications of an army were very low. As a result, they were often unable to locate the enemy and would spend a long time searching for each other. Even if they did know where the other was, this information tended to be old, and it was often that when Armies marched to where the enemy was meant to be, they would be long gone. As a result, instead of fighting, both sides would often retreat endlessly while expending large amounts of grain and other resources. In order to prevent this, it was often necessary for enemies to arrange the battle at a predetermined time and place.

Snow: Snow does not necessarily completely impede the movements of an army. However, the cold will reduce the speed of movement of soldiers and also decrease morale. If equipment and preparations for the cold are inadequate, sicknesses like frostbite or hypothermia may also decrease the number of battle ready soldiers. Furthermore, sending of supplies is difficult when roads are blocked by snow, and there may be the danger of supplies being cut off from the front.

Winter War: A war being waged in the winter requires a very specific set of combat abilities. Instead of foot soldiers, ski soldiers may be deployed and also used for transport. Since soldiers are fighting in heavy winter gear, with the strong winds causing swirls of snow which may block their line of sight, much of such wars fought hand-to-hand at close quarters. As a result, there will be a massive difference in combat ability between troops trained to fight in winter and troops which are not. Even in Japan, the Japan Self-Defence Force has specialised divisions trained for Winter Warfare.

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< The Song of the Nameless Bard                                                                                              Chapter 2 >

12 thoughts on “Volume 2 Chapter 1

  1. The plot thickens.

    Finally i get to see another enemy in this novel. From the beginning i thought that the central continent would post some sort of threat and now this “pale” royal demon race, bent on conquering the demon world perhaps?

    And even the demon king’s race is interesting. You can “join” that race somehow, maybe even take their form O.o?
    Also this universal library makes one ageless..mhm interesting facts.

    Also two points. One is where the young merchant takes a caption from the fire dragon lady, here:

    Young Merchant: “A smart girl would gather all the possible information about a subject before acting. But for a girl to gather so much information on the subject will require so much time and effort, it isn’t likely to be of use to anybody. These are the Lessons of the Dragon I learnt from my mother. To get as many merchants into our hands as possible, we’re willing to solve as many puzzles as we need. To secure the help of you merchants would certainly be my greatest honour and pride.”

    and then the young merchant says demon world instead of human world.

    This two errors appear just before the pipe organ explanation.

    Great read as always. 10/10

      • Rereading the series again, Firewater should refer to a high proof (alcohol content) beverage (i.e., alcohol pure enough that it readily burns). I’m fairly certain you know this (unless this was, perhaps, translated from katakana, in which case it would be understandable), but others may not.

  2. Pingback: Chapters Completed in Recent Weeks | NanoDesu Light Novel Translations

  3. “T = n(n-1) / 2″…
    I thought the correct equation was “T = n(n+1) / 2”, instead. From the equation you’ve given you obtain the result of the finite addtion from 1 to n-1, not n.

    • Yeah this is correct. The equation should be n(n+1)/2 for sum from 1 to n. If this was written incorrectly in the text though we should just keep the incorrect equation… (maybe with a footnote)?

      What the hell this is the weirdest place to be doing math…

      • The text says T=n(n-1)/2. :/ Could be a mistake on the author’s part, or a mistranslation I suppose. As the translator, I think I’ll make the call to change it to T=n(n+1)/2, to make everything make sense. 🙂

  4. Actually, by “Selling the gold from the kingdoms”, he probably means that he foresee the loss of value for the money used in the kingdoms, so he is turning the money they have into products, to later sell them for the “money of the triple entente”.

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