Hope you’re doing okay with everything happening. Going through a bit of a quarantine here in France; more translation time I guess.
For the Patrons, Chapter 82, chapter 83, Chapter 84, 85 (Easy mode) and chapter 86 (normal mode) are all available on the Patreon page, and now right here, on the wordpress.
Anyway, here’s chapter 81, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Upon waking up, Kurats found himself on a bed.
He tried raising his body to see where he was, only to be met by the pale faces of Cornelia and the other girls.
Seeing as those ‘other girls’ included Clodette and Marika, he figured the situation had to be quite bad.
【”Kurats! Have you come to?”】
【”Ah, Kurats! Can you understand me?”】
【”Master, thank the heavens, you’re safe!”】
The embrace of the very emotive trio pushed Kurats right back on the bed.
【”How are you feeling, my lord?”】
Marika seemed worn out. Kurats figured this was because of the agitation he caused.
As for Clodette, she was crying too hard to be able to say anything.
【”Yeah, sorry about this. But there is nothing worth worrying about, I just ran out of magic.”】
【”You’ve been sleeping for almost three days, how could we not be worried!”】
This came as a surprise to Kurats, too.
Just how much power had that spell taken from him?
『This great one may have inadvertently taken his own magic supply into account and dried out the magic power that is usually saved for your body’s life support. Apologies are in order.』
(Life support? You mean I could have actually died from this?!)
『That is precisely what I said.』
(That’s it, I’m never listening to you again.)
『No, there is no need to go that far, I will be more careful the next time around… Although… Using magic power beyond your limits has damaged your magic vein… You will not be able to use magic properly for some time.』
(It’s a shame, I still had many grandiose ideas to put in practice…) Bernst sighed in disappointment.
For exemple, he wanted to make it so the rampart itself could sortie in the form of a golem. He also had the idea of adding hallucination magic to make it so enemies would wander in circles aimlessly when they tried to go towards the wall.
『I believe you will recover soon, but you should be cautious. Your muscles have also been halved.』
(Man, you screwed up big time.)
【”Sounds like I really worried you all. Sorry again.”】
【”Uhhh… I was so worried… so worried…”】
【”Each thought in my sleepless nights was dedicated to master’s well-being.”】
Lunaria, Frigga and Cornelia all had dark shadows under their eyes from lack of rest.
After the tension and worry were lifted, it didn’t take long for the girls to fall asleep.
Kurats lovingly carried each of them, one by one, to their beds.
Hearing a commotion outside, Kurats went to check what was happening. There, he found Glibert talking to Bernard, the former mercenary that he had left in the royal capital.
They both looked surprised.
【”What? I heard you passed out but you look fine to me.”】
【”My lord! You’ve already woken up and recovered?”】
【”Yeah. I made a small blunder but I’m fine. Bernard, are those the soldiers I told you to bring?”】
Around 50 meters behind Bernard, there was a gathering of a hundred men.
【”Even with my old connections, these are the only freaks that were crazy enough to accept to go to Bashtar.”】
【”There is another group of soldiers who were here before and decided to stay, so for now, this is enough. Good job.”】
As Kurats expected, Bernard seemed to have quite some influence among mercenaries.
If he had tried this by himself, Kurats would have been lucky to gather even 10 people.
【”Heh, this much is nothing!”】
Bernard was indebted for life to Kurats. Not only had Kurats saved him from the death penalty even though he had been aiming for his life not long before, he was also protecting him from the nobles that had grudges against him.
Though he did not show it, Bernard was a man with a strong sense of duty.
That trait of his was precisely what had gained him the trust of even the most violent mercenaries.
【”Hey, Bruno, get over here!”】
In response to Bernard’s call, one man came closer and knelt down.
【”I’m Bruno Datwa. It’s my honor to meet you.”】
【”I am Kurats Hans Almadianos. I’ll be counting on you from now on. “】
Seeing these two giants of over two meters (6’5″) in height side by side was impressive.
【”This guy’s from the Maclean dukedom that Asgard destroyed. He’s talented and takes his work seriously. You can rely on him.”】
【”…As long as I get my money.”】
Though the words Bruno mumbled to himself were quite blunt, the redness on his cheek made Kurats think that perhaps he was simply being shy.
【”Anyway, it sure is peaceful here. I heard Bashtar was hell on earth but I’m not seeing that.”】
Bernard was clearly trying to create a diversion from Bruno’s words, but Kurats laughingly went along with it.
【”That’s only due to our lord’s intervention! Before he came, we never knew if we’d live to see the next day.”】
While he was at it with the compliments, Gilbert went ahead and added some more.
【”See this rampart? It was built by our lord in a single day!”】
【”What are you saying?”】
Looking up at the rampart that stretched far beyond the horizon, Bruno smiled wryly.
While it might have been more shabby than the one in the royal capital, it was still clearly very strong.
Judging from the strong magic power he felt from it, this rampart had also evidently been strengthened through magic.
If someone could actually construct this in a day, the builders of the country would have given up on their businesses already.
【”Sure, but I overdid it. I didn’t think I’d fall asleep for three days from magic exhaustion.”】
When Kurats confirmed Gilbet’s claims like they were a trifling matter, Bruno found himself unable to get a full word out.
【”Sorry if I worried you, Gilbert. But fear not, I may be three days late, but I’m going to finish that channel towards Narak’s fields.”】
【”Are you sure, my lord? If you’re still recovering…”】
【”I only ran out of magic, it’s nothing serious. This will be the perfect exercise to rehabilitate my body.”】
Bruno’s neck seemed to be making a creaking sound as he turned towards Bernard.
【”All of this sounds like nonsense to me, am I the weird one here?”】
【”Don’t worry, they’re the weird ones alright. But you know, sometimes, crazy things happen. That’s how the world is.”】
Despite these words, when Kurats planted a magic barrier in he ground and started very loudly digging the water channel, both Bernard and Bruno were utterly shocked.
【”We better never mess with him…”】
Mercenaries went by the philosophy that if someone became weak, they were no longer worth listening to.
But from now on, they would never dare to oppose Kurats under any circumstances.
【”This guy ain’t human…”】
【”If he said he was a demon king, I wouldn’t be surprised…”】
【”Man, I’m in a pretty bad shape today! Come on, faster! Oooooooooh!”】
◆ ◆ ◆
【”Not bad for a start, not bad at all…”】
Far from being bad, the territory’s growth was extraordinary.
Clodette was in charge of managing the territory’s finances, Marika was responsible for foreign negotiations, and as for maintaining public order and fighting off monsters, both aspects were being taken care of by Bernard’s mercenaries as well as Lucas and the 300 soldiers of the guard force who were willing to stay here.
Given the scale of the territory, it was fair to assume these numbers would not be enough, but that was not counting on the presence of the two one-man armies known as Kurats and Frigga.
Speaking of Kurats, thanks to his inhuman strength, there were five more hectares of unexploited land to cultivate. This was so much land that there were not even enough people and farming tools to use it entirely.
This was a great gain.
If the territory had a good harvest, then perhaps Bashtar was going to bring in some tax revenue for the first time in 70 years.
【”Yes, it went really well.”】
Clodette nodded in agreement with Marika’s assessment.
【”But the way things are progessing, Bashtar will go bankrupt before we can get anything from taxes.”】
This deduction was based on Clodette’s unmatched calculation skills.
Between the newly gathered mercenaries, the guard force, the hiring of new workers among the people to cultivate the land, and the construction of new housing for the increasing population, the territory’s expenses kept increasing.
When it came to purchasing supplies and food, Marika’s intervention had saved a lot of money and it also seemed like Lunaria intervened in negotiations once in a while.
Even so, they were simply delaying the inevitable collapse of Bashtar’s economy.
【”If my calculations are correct, Bahstar’s funds, or rather, Kurats’ funds will run out in four months.”】
King Christopher had granted a significant sum of money to Kurats, but that was without taking into account this great expansion.
Moreover, the territory was given to Kurats as a test. The king could not help him too much as that would defeat the purpose.
【”Depending on the harvest, we could collect tax money in half a year, but that sum would still be a far cry from what it would take to govern Bashtar.”】
Perhaps the king had not expected that Kurats would prepare an army for himself.
But even if that was the issue, Kurats would naturally not be willing to part with the loyal forces he had just acquired.
【”Maybe if I bring my own money to start us off…”】
【”Please don’t, princess. Your political opponents would turn that into a pretext for their own endeavors. You’d only be helping them.”】
If Lunaria were to help, those political opponents would later claim that Kurats wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything without the princess’ help.
If such talks were to spread, there would be no point in bringing Bashtar back on its feet.
Marika’s explanation made Lunaria bite her lip from frustration.
【”Long story short, we need money, right?”】
【”Yes, by defeating another monster of the same caliber as the Corundum Tortoise and selling it, I believe it’s possible to delay the bankruptcy for a few more months.”】
Hunting monsters was no problem for Kurats.
If he could train his new soldiers to hunt, then all the better.
That being said, this was not a good foundation for a steady income.
There were very few monsters that could be sold for high prices.
The soldiers were going to have to hunt strong monsters that would bring a lot of losses but few returns. This could end up costing more money than it brought in the long run.
It was absolutely necessary to have a more stable and solid industry in the territory.
【”Another method would be to take a loan…”】
As long as Kurats was here, Bashtar was sure to have a great future ahead.
This hell on earth was going to bring great riches in the future.
There were likely some people who would be willing to fund this project.
【”I think we’d be getting involved with the wrong people if we do that.”】
Though groundless, Kurats’ intuition was right.
There were many nobles and aristocrats eagerly waiting for a chance to trap Kurats financially for Albert’s sake.
【”Gilbert, what was Bashtar’s biggest source of income in the past?”】
【”That would be the Bolivia mine, without a doubt.”】
Gilbert’s answer came immediately, with no hesitation.
The Bolivia mine.
This mine was once renowned for housing a rare metal known as Mythril.
Nowadays, this mine stood tall right inside the monsters’ territory.