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Chapter 8 ~ Negotiation with Earl
Onto the next morning, we went to the fortress and dropped by the guild to see whether the processes of becoming A Rank is over or not.
From our pervious discussion, upgrading to A rank is possible. However, this process is still under reviewing.
“Yesterday, Earl Carlton was inquiring about your party. Maybe they want to give you some tasks.”
After we asked about the rank processing, the guild staff who I usually talked to told me the news.
“Don’t tell me you’ve told them explicitly about us?”
“Of course. After hearing their requests, I emphasized the part where you’re very skilled in fighting. But they seem to be interested in your Earth Magic ability. The request may be something related to constructions.”
Due to the specific job request, the guild will refrain from telling the requester more information than necessary. This is especially true when we are the one who asked them to keep our information confidential in the first place.
“I will come to meet you again, I guess.”
“Are you going for a direct request? If possible, I hope you will go through the guild first.”
“It’s another matter. Actually──”
Ellie briefly explain to them about the pioneering project and that we are going to meet the Earl today.
“Don’t tell me you are thinking about retiring anytime soon, do you?”
“That is not it. We are going to find substitute officer to take care of things.”
“Then it is fine.”
“Well, everything will be determined during our negotiation with the Earl today. Since the development was done in smaller scale, there is no need for any involvement from the Guild side. I will still report the final verdict to the Guild though. Let’s go, everyone.”
That was our first impression based on our observation from the sky.
The town where the Earl resides, Miyaga, is the largest city in this region. The long walls that fortified the vast land is not comparable to the likes of Siory town. The building inside is huge with a wide road connecting them.
A fine building at the centre is the town hall which contains the Earl house.
A large garden spread in front of the building. Looking closely with the 《Hawk Eye》skill, many silhouettes of people can be seen gathering there.
Is there a festival or a rally?
“What, Masaru. Have you not seen a large city before? The capital city of the empire is larger, you know?”
This is supposed to be a different world, yet the silence indicates that there is peace. In Japan, there is no walled city as large as this one, therefore my first impression comes sincerely from my heart.
“I already located the lords house, let’s get down and get inside the town.”
Since this is a large city, the security around the gate are very strict. There are dozens of armed soldiers patrolling around. I don’t want them to get wary of us for approaching too close while flying, so I prompted everyone to land quite a few distances ahead.
Outside the walls, the farmland spreads out as far as the eye can see. Although there should be lesser crops in winter, we can see people working on their farmland.
We joined the crowds walking in the highway, when we reached the gate, the soldiers came gathered around us.
“The Earl is waiting inside. I’ll guide you in.”
One of them is the knight who relayed the message at the village yesterday. It seems that they were anticipating our arrival.
Looks like many soldiers waiting at the gate was not because the city is huge. The main street of Miyaga is jam packed with fully armed soldiers, where we are being escorted courteously.
“They are trying to threaten us. Those guys wants to have the edge during negotiation, hence all of this aggression. Don’t scream, Masaru.”
Ellie whispered to me.
Today we are wearing our casual clothes. I stored my sword before we entered the town, although in this case I should have been more prepared. There are about 20 soldiers in vicinity, and the fact that we are unarmed and defenceless makes us vulnerable.
They are not particularly hostile, they are being courteous yet in state of wariness. There are many shops on the street, but I couldn’t afford to look on it.
“Calm down, no worry.”
Well yeah, they are just 20 people. At our current state this was not enough to be a threat.
They have one mage that we need to keep an eye on, but the skills of the soldiers including the captain are about the same as those of common adventurers. Nothing me and Sati couldn’t handle.
Even if we were caught off guard, we should still be able to handle things somehow.
Besides, we are just going to hold a discussion today, nothing more. I’m not going to rely much on my power. Just like Ellie said, there is nothing to be gain if we try to solve the discussion forcefully.
So, that is what I’ve thought initially, yet after we arrived at his manor and went through the gate, we were greeted with an army of fully armed soldier aligned in their positions. It is hard to estimate the number of soldiers on the ground, from what can be seen their number is no less than 1000 men.
This must be the gathering that we have seen earlier from the sky……
“The reinforcement troops that went to the Elf Country who just returned yesterday.”
One of the solder told me.
It looks as if they were called on an emergency call. Indeed, if you are an ordinary adventurer, there is no way they will think on opposing
But this doesn’t serve enough as our opponent.
They should have prepared at least ten thousand more. Perhaps include some battle-hardened warrior like Sergeant-dono.
Compared to the time during our defensive battle at the Elf Country, this amount to nothing.
However, the way it is, I don’t feel like getting the attention of these soldier’s stationed here for taking on the lord. This limits my movement, which makes it very effective.
The lord was right there, sitting at the centre of an enclosed space where he is surrounded by 100 of his men. I wonder if that seat is for other visiting nobles. The lord is a middle age man who seems to be sitting alone, wearing luxurious clothing.
He is looking down menacingly from the top. That is not the looks you give when discussing with your friendly neighbour.
I climbed up the stairs, guided to the seat, where I stand directly in front of the lord.
I wonder if the negotiation will be done in this manner……
Standing on this high position, all the soldiers are visible in my sight. The same could be said vice versa. All the soldiers have their gaze lock to me.
“So, you are Masaru Yamano. A B rank adventurer. A magic swordsman. You are supposed to be good with Earth Magic.”
A low and intimidating voice. A beautifully kept bearded face. A solid body. I gulped down. Is this guy a warrior?
“Y-yes. Thank you for setting up the place for our discussion today, Earl Carlton.”
My task today is just to greet him. Today’s negotiation will be handled by Ellie.
“First of all, we would like to give our token of friendship to the esteemed Earl. Masaru, please take it out.”
I went down from the VIP seat. If the soldier moved back a little, this place should be enough to put out the gift.
“Excuse me, this thing is big, so could you guys leave some space? More. Please get down a little bit more.”
I’m drawing extra attention from the soldiers. But, the dragon that I’m pulling out is huge. I don’t want anyone to get crushed underneath by mistake or get hurts in any way.
“Let’s forget the fact that doing this is a pain in the neck. All of this.”
Ellie whispered to me.
I can’t take out only the neck part and above in this situation. It is necessary to push for the advantages in this negotiation since the beginning. Truthfully, this doesn’t serve as much as a pressure, but we must take our chance to become the dominant.
Well, leaving aside the military, this place looks like it has weak defences.
Finally, there was enough room to take out the dragon, then I come leaning closer to Ellie.
“This is the prey that we hunted down the other day. This is quite a valuable item, so I hope that the Earl and his subordinates appreciated it.”
“Giving out a prey as a gift is very adventurer-like, an admirable prude…nce……”
Turn out that we have overdone it while asserting our advantageous position. The Earl become ceased of any words after being displayed with a 20-meter-long dragon. The head is apparent even from the platform, facing the front. A buzzing voice can be heard from the soldiers on the ground.
Although it is just a corpse, it is still a dragon suddenly appearing in front of them.
It came out as a shock. A perfect execution.
“I believed that this will serve enough to provide all the other soldiers?”
“A ground dragon……. this is colossal.”
Ellie has a smug face on. This is the prey that she defeated by herself after all.
“Beyond that, to think that you have a Space Magic that is strong enough to contain all of this……the Adventurer Guild is telling the truth when they said that you are an excellent adventurer.”
He pointed to the chair. It is the one directly facing the Earl. The seat is across the table at the opposite site.
I wonder if I’m qualified to sit there. Not to mention, alone?
However, the Earl is sitting by himself. The others are all standing behind him.
“The gift, I accept it. I will enjoy it with the others on later time.”
He took a sit and starts talking to me. The dragon did make him surprised, but he is not upset about it. There seems to be some improvement from his response. The threatening atmosphere that lingers at first were gradually disappearing. At least now we are being treated as someone at the same standing during this negotiation.
If I were put in the Earl’s position, I wouldn’t like to have my backyard to be filled with the remains of the large dragon.
But even if the dragon turns out to be an eyesore, he can’t move it unless he brings few mages here to dismantle it first.
Nevertheless, the Earl is still leading thousands of troops. Even though we can take down a single dragon, we are still deemed inferior compared to the might of an army.
“Let’s get into the matter regarding the pioneering.”
“I am telling you straight away. I will purchase the pioneered land. Of course, with a hefty price.”
Too straightforward. But I couldn’t say that I want to sell it. Although it feels like thing will be easier if I said that it is on sale.
“That land is not for sale.”
Ellie who stood behind me interrupted rather slowly, looking at me like an idiot.
“Then I wouldn’t allow you to continue the land development.”
“We don’t need a permission from the Earl.”
A heated discussion starts over my head. Couldn’t you guys get any friendlier? We even give them a gift.
“It’s my territory, hence my citizens. I wouldn’t allow any pioneering without permission.”
I came here with the intention to get a permission from him, but turns out he is not willing to permit us right from the beginning……
“An unhabituated land belongs to no one. The citizens are allowed to freely move within the kingdom.”
But afterwards the Earl made a good point. Since the land is within the rule of the Earl, everyone migrating inside is automatically considered as the Earl citizens.
“I have an obligation to protect the citizens. How can I let my important population to participate in this dangerous development project?”
“The new settlement is directly adjacent to the Carlton territory. The amount of dangers is the same.”
“Although you seem to possess quite a strength, wouldn’t you still continue your adventuring? How do you plan to protect your people?”
He went directly to the fatal pieces. Perhaps, this guy was notified by the village chief regarding our circumstances, but he has yet to know about our transition magic.
“This area was protected by the Carlton Family for generations. Suddenly, an unknown adventurer wants to have a piece of this land, do you think I will forgive that!?”
I guess he doesn’t like a suspicious adventurer. We fitted that category exactly. What should we do now?
Isn’t this impossible? I wonder if threatening him like Martin will works.
“But on that basis alone, you have no right to stop our pioneering project?”
“……you are right. I have no right to stop you.”
Land reclamation is approved under the kingdom law.
“However, I’m going to ask you to put on notification where the villagers are not allowed to participate. I have an obligation to protect my people.”
The lord is forbidding it. Like that, how many villagers left are going to participate?
This is impossible……
“If you are still unwilling to put it on sale, I will allow you to serve under me as a knight. As my subordinate, I will grant you the territory, effectively make you the independent lord. Is that good enough?”
“Then, we are not going to talk further.”
“There is nothing more to talk about. In the first place, you adventurers have no one to back you up, so thinking about the pioneering project itself is wrong.”
“Reclamation of an unhabituated land is permitted by the kingdom.”
“What if something happens during the exclamation process? Who are going to guarantee you? Do you have anyone backing you up?”
A guarantee in case an accident happens. A security insurance. The Adventurer Guild will not do such a thing.
Ellie came from a family of a noble, but their territory is at the Empire. It is said that her house is from the other side of the kingdom. Rather, we are currently sending money to support them. They can’t become our guarantor.
We are just a single village, whatever happens, we are more than enough to protect ourselves. But the Earl has raised this as the condition.
“Our guarantors are the Gods worshipped in our shrine!”
After Ann declared so, both me and Ellie faced her, who has kept silence till just now.
A powerful organization like the shrine can become our backer, but the officials from the shrine are far away, plus we have never makes an exchange with that person before. Will they support us, by becoming our backer?
“Huh!? Is this reclamation project related to the shrine, miss priestess?”
Certainly, the shrine does not know about this project, and the Earl is aware of it.
“We will talk about it……I mean, we will urgently tell them.”
“So, are you going to request for an official support? Will the knights come to your aid as requested?”
“To what extent their support will be at this point is……”
“Then we are not going to talk further.”
Ann already give her best. I’m going to comfort her later.
“Then the Truth Officials will serve as the backers.”
Afterwards, Tilika who silently stand behind me slowly get in front and talked.
Once, Tilika master promised to provide cooperation when something happens……but to what extent?
Based on what I heard, there’s not much Truth Officials assigned here. In fact, there is only Martin around.
“If you are unsatisfied with people of unknown origin, then please consider myself. I can get him a backer. I’m an official spouse of Masaru, a third grade Truth Official, Tilika Yamano.”
Truth Official……n, no, even if the Truth Official is going to back up, they still don’t possess real fighting strength.
The sudden appearance of Truth Official did shakes him off. Ann clothes clearly indicate that she is a priestess, but Tilika has no apparent traits as a Truth Official besides her eye. Even the villagers don’t know that Tilika is actually a Truth Official.
“Certainly, the misdemeanour organization can be relied on. But, we are currently at the frontier, where powers reign over everything.”
Right, power. The most important aspect. If we were not here, I wondered what would happened to this area, during that time.
The rampaging locusts, the appearance of the monster’s army at the Elf Country, even if this town somehow managed to repel them, I wonder how much damage it would suffer.
Though I’m unsure, this is a power that can be relied on. Now, how should I break this to the Earl himself. Looking at his smug face, I bet he is feeling victorious inside.
No, the place where the locusts came from, weren’t it from this town? Maybe I’m just speculating things, thinking that they were heading this way.
“We have the strength and the ability to kill whatever dragons are out there. In addition to that, we have received the support from the truth organization. Although the negotiation from the shrine side are yet to be done, there is a high possibility that we will receive their aid as well. Yet, you are still not satisfied?”
“But that doesn’t solve the issue where you, the vital members are not around. Or, are you going to retire from adventuring and start focusing in village management?”
Ellie seems to be loss of word to say back.
We are required to give up our life as adventurers. What should we do now?
“We will put a substitute during our time adventuring. In case the insects are coming.”
We can easily do that because we have Space Magic. But I still want to conceal our gate ability.
However, for him to negotiate with his hands down, perhaps this insect is as good as what this Earl said.
Our discussion has reach an impasse.
We are proved to be a threat to the current administrative, but their hard work might as well all go to waste if they decide to contest the Truth Official. Even if we select a substitute officer, the problem lies in how we can communicate with them. We were told that we have insufficient force, but in order to protect a village, a vigilante team will serve as more than enough. There is no need for us to stay.
The Earl is putting out weak excuses to prevent us from continuing the pioneering.
But here, we are faced with a problem which disallowed us to promote development without the Earls seal of approval.
In the end, we are at the end of our ropes inside this troublesome situation……give up……no, we will come again after preparing ourselves……
While both sides are thinking hard on how to press the matter, Sati cried out.
What? Don’t tell me its Sati’s turn next?
But didn’t Sati serve as our back shield?
“Something is coming.”
Concentrating in Magic Sense────a strong mana reaction is coming here with great speed!?
I rise up and see the place where Sati points at. They are coming from the sky. This mana reaction is……
“There are intruders coming from the sky! Everyone, prepare for the interception!!”
The military officer standing behind the Earl also noticed it and immediately issued a warning with a loud voice. The soldiers gather around the Earl and preparing for combat.
“No, wait a second. That is.”
“Here it comes, prepare to protect the Earl. Archers, into the position!!”
But no one will listen to some unknown adventurer scream. Everyone is perfectly working under the commander’s command.
The soldiers, fully armed with swords and spears, aiming their bows towards Lily-sama and the other her two attendants who descended on top of the dragon that I’ve put out.
“What the, why aren’t you coming to visit my country!”
Lily-sama said, pointing to me without wasting a breath.
Since I didn’t drop down at the Elf Country, she went out all the way to search for me here?
“I’ve been very busy the past few days, so……”
“Liliane-sama!? I have not heard about your arrival at all.”
Alongside me, the Earl replies so to Lily-sama. Once they noticed the elves, the soldiers retracted themselves from the combat posture.
“Earl Carlton? I didn’t come because of you.”
Coming inside someone else house suddenly and not greeting them, when being called out, saying that it doesn’t matter to them. How rude can you be?
Lily-sama, did you purposely come to incite the Earl wrath? I would like it if you will stop making the situation worse than it was.
“Princess, shouldn’t you go and greet the Earl first?”
One of the royal knights, Titus-san says to Lily-sama. Nice follow up.
“Oh. You are right. Ah~ Earl Carlton. I’m grateful to you for sending us reinforcement squads. Later, an official messenger will be dispatched regarding that issue.”
“Hah! It is natural for us to send reinforcement to the Elf Country. We are an ally after all.”
Lily-sama seems to possess quite a great standing even in the human realm. Even considering how bad her manner was earlier, the Earl naturally lowered his head.
“But we couldn’t make it in time during the war, which resulted in many deaths for the elves. Just how are we going to apologize.”
“Don’t mind it. We have received reinforcement on the way.”
“But they are just adventures!”
Somehow everything clicked together.
In other words, when the elves were refused from any reinforcement forces, the adventurers single-handedly took the matter into hand and rescued the Elf Country. The Earl moved his army too, but only after the war has ended. It was said that the rewards only go to the adventurers. Then, afterwards, the story about adventurers starting a village arises.
There were just 8 of us, and our party formation was rather complicated that time.
“Aa, right. At first, I was going after any help that I can get after leaving the country, but adventures turned out to be stronger than expected……”
“I see. The adventurers are performing well there.”
The Earl said bitterly.
“That’s what happened. Even this dragon was defeated during that time.”
When she said that while indicating the dragon underneath her by kicking it several times, she suddenly turned her face as if she just remembered what the objective is for coming here.
“Ooh, now that I remembered. Masaru! Follow me back to the Elf Country!”
“No, I’m currently being tied to something right now.”
“Then get over it fast with whatever business you have with the Earl.”
“Please wait a moment, Princess. Masaru-sama, what is the topic for your meeting today?”
Titus-san lends the assistance from the side. What a sharp woman.
“Umm, you see……”
I explained the flow of our discussion so far.
“Someone who is going to back up the pioneering project? I’ll do it. Please let me be your backers!!”
“No, even if you say that.”
The Earl is giving off a disapproval tone. Although she is currently a princess, Lily-sama doesn’t hold any official position. Right now, she only has her two attendants.
“What’s the matter? Am I not enough to be a guarantor? If so, I will request for a formal permission from the King for the elves full support.”
“Then, I will allow the pioneering project to continue. However, will the Elf King allow his men to be dispatched over this reason? Wasn’t the elf side keeping minimal contact from outsiders until now?”
“Might be. If I couldn’t obtain the King permission, then I will consider the trade volume increase that the Earl has asked for a while. Although I can’t promise anything here since this fall under the jurisdiction of my older brother, as long as I wish for some flexibility, it could be done.”
“……I will allow it under that condition.”
“That is fine by us. Masaru, you agree?”
I give a little thought and agreed to Lily-sama plan, since Ellie is also in agreement.
Although he decision was made rather abruptly, the elves side will definitely help. The Earl was forced to agree since we are getting a backup from the elves side. On the side note, he is getting an increased trade route with the elves, so this is a win-win situation for both of us.
It was nice to get an agreement from the Earl, but why the support from the elves side?
We are just doing some land reclamation for a small village……