This chapter was supposed to come out yesterday but I was a bit out of it and the editing made 0 sense. But it’s here now, so there is that.
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Anyway, here’s the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
The reconstruction of Bashtar had begun.
The treasures brought by Kurats and the Nosferatus left Clodette bewildered.
As for Marika, she fainted on the spot.
【”Iiiiih! I’ve never seen these types of jewels before!”】
Cornelia, and even Lunaria and Frigga, could do nothing but foolishly look on at the pile that contained jewels, gold, and even the fangs and tusks of rare monsters that could only be found in the monsters’ very own territory.
Of course, this could not compare to the Jermungand kingdom’s treasury, but it was still more valuable than what the most prominent marquis of the kingdom, the marquis of Strasbourg, possessed.
With this kind of budget, pulling Bashtar back from its decline would be quite easy.
【”Alas, the castle collapsed, and this is all we could salvage from the rubble, it’s less than half of the treasury. With enough time, the rest could be salvaged, as well.”】
There was some disappointment in the voice of Triestella, who still had the appearance of the human woman Stella despite her identity having been revealed to some.
Back when she returned to the castle with Kurats, she had found that roughly half of it had turned to rubble, and the other half had been close to collapsing.
It was a ridiculous sight.
This made her look at Kurats with even more awe, knowing that he had crushed such a mighty and sturdy castle with a mere swing of his sword from 12 miles (20km) away.
【”How much is this worth?”】
The only person who could answer Cornelia’s question was Marika, and she was currently still unconscious.
【”I think this might be worth more than Lapland’s national budget…”】
Frigga barely squeezed out those words with a dubious look on her face.
Though she did not attach much importance to money, she was still in shock.
If we had that kind of money in Lapland, our arsenal would be so much stronger… These sorts of silly thoughts came to her mind.
【”―― And you said this isn’t all of it?”】
Like everyone else, Lunaria shuddered at the sight of those riches, but for different reasons.
Stella had said that more than half of the treasures were still in the castle.
If Stella, who was merely one aristocrat among many, had so many treasures for herself, then how many did the monsters as a whole possess?
Perhaps if they felt like it, destroying the economy of a country would be akin to twisting a baby’s hand for them.
Having likely guessed what Lunaria was thinking, Stella showed a true beauty’s distant smile.
【”We Nosferatus are special because of how much contact we tend to have with humans. Even among the aristocrats ranked higher than me, only the five dukes possess assets equivalent to mine..”】
There was also the demon lord, but Stella could not even begin to imagine the fortune he had.
【”That’s good, but…”】
Complicated thoughts were circulating through Lunaria’s head.
If the remaining half was here, Stella’s assets would likely be comparable to the national budget of the Jormungand kingdom. A kingdom which had enough riches to single-handedly compete economically with one or two of the continent’s five major powers.
This renewed Lunaria’s judgement regarding the terrible threat that the monsters could potentially present.
She had started forgetting about that due to how menacing the neighboring country, the Asgard empire, had been as of late.
But at the end of the day, the biggest danger for humanity was still the demon lord and the monsters under him.
【”Is it that astonishing even to you, Lunaria?”】
Kurats’ question took Lunaria by surprise.. She had been lost in her thoughts regarding the threat of monsters until now.
Lunaria let a silly, childish voice escape her.
At the same time, she realized that Kurats’ mysterious face was near her, prompting the blood in all her veins to flow with greater vigor.
She became visibly red.
She tried to say something but no words came out, so she chose to once again scurry away like a scared rabbit.
【”…What a child.】
Stella had noticed that these actions were all due to Lunaria still having no experience.
The sight of Cornelia and Frigga’s intermingling with Kurats had likely made Lunaria imagine things that she had not thought of before.
Her inexperience was only going to make things worse and worse, so it was probably better for her to let herself be embraced as soon as possible, but Stella was not generous enough to gift such advice to a rival.
On the contrary, she a very wicked smile on her face, thinking it would be great if Lunaria could lose her spot as the legal wife to be.
After all, it wasn’t rare for lovers to split without anyone doing anything to make it happen.
【”Sister Stella, please lose that expression.”】
【”She’s been single for so long, it’s not surprising to see she’s trying to make trouble now.”】
【”Like you’re one to talk!”】
Seeing her former subordinates pull away from her, Stella finally came back to her senses, only to find that Kurats was staring at her with an indescribable expression.
【”Master! It’s not what you think! Please don’t look at me like that!!”】
【”I get that you’re a monster, but even knowing that, that was one heel of a repelling smile.”】
『No matter the world, women are sinful beings.』
◆ ◆ ◆
Afterwards, Stella prostrated herself before Lunaria to apologize for her clearly malicious intentions.
A bit later, Bernard and Gilbert also showed up, and also had their turn fainting after seeing the treasures. The room was pretty noisy the whole day.
Usually, mercenaries were a crude people who would never let go of such a treasure after being near it.
However, having seen Frigga in battle and having witnessed Kurats’ monstrous display of strength, they would certainly not try something so dangerous.
If they were to randomly offend Kurats, he could kill them by flicking a stone with his pinkie.
Moreover, antagonizing the future heiress to the throne, Lunaria, could mean becoming the enemy of the whole Jormungand kingdom in the worst case scenario.
There was definitely no place on the continent where mercenaries behaved better than in Bashtar.
【”I saw it happen. Earlier, the lord swung his sword, and a tree a hundred meters from there was cut in half.”】
【”I saw him do the same at the rocky area at the border of the town, he swung his sword and a spring suddenly came out of the crown.”】
【”I want miss Frigga to be the one to take my life…”】
All the mercenaries had their reasons as to why they did not dare to provoke Kurats, though some had stranger reasons than others.
Well, even without feeling scared by his new sword, they probably wouldn’t dare to go against a person who could dig canals and a reservoir with his bare hands.
The first one to recover her consciousness among the multiple people who had fainted in the room was Marika.
【”Call all the merchants!”】
This was the very first thing Marika shouted once she regained consciousness.
Such a quantity of gold and jewels could not market itself.
What Bashtar needed the most right now was the money to hire personnel and buy materials. As the person in charge of the territory’s finances, Marika was more aware of this than anyone else.
【”Fufufu… With this… I won’t have to bow down to those misers anymore… Oh, they’ll see… I’ll make them kneel and lick my shoes!”】
【”Iiiiih! Please calm down, Marikaaa～～～!”】
Clodette was clinging with a teary face to her friend who had fallen to the dark side.
Clodette knew from experience that when Marika would start going on a rampage, she would be the one who would end up in trouble.
Though she was airheaded, Clodette was actually the more down-to-earth one of the two.
【”On another note, did you find the Bolivia mine, Lord Kurats?”】
Although he had ended up in a fight after Triestella’s attack, the reason Kurats had gone to the monsters’ territory in the first place was to investigate the state of the Bolivia mine.
The Mithril mine was absolutely essential to bring Bashtar’s industry back on the its feet.
【”―― Yeah, I crushed it on the spot, now I bet even a child could mine it.”】
Who could blame Marika for replying to her master with a somewhat informal question?
After all, Cornelia and Frigga, who had also been listening, were equally confused.
【”Like I said, I crushed the Bolivia mine. I’m serious.”】
【”While I was at it, I also leveled the path form here to the mine to some extent. With a few more tweaks, we’ll be able to have ourselves a road towards there in a snap.”】
【”Even if there is a road, the only ones who can move around the monsters’ territory without trouble are princess Frigga and yourself, my lord…“ 】
【”Don’t worry about it. There are no monsters in the Bashtar territory anymore.”】
This was due to Kurats’ order to Stella.
The monsters’ society was built on strength through and through. Their absolute obedience to the orders of their superiors was a foundation of their hierarchy.
All of Stella’s subordinates had been ordered to retreat from the boundaries established in the great invasion 70 years ago, and were told not to do anything.
Although the attacks from monsters with low intelligence, like goblins and demonic beasts, could not be completely stopped, the mercenaries and the guard force would be able to deal with those by themselves.
【”My lord, w-why do you think there won’t be any monsters anym- …Huh? Could it be you eliminated all the monsters from-…”】
【”No, even for me, eliminating all the monsters of the territory in the span of yesterday would be a lot… (Though I bet I could do it). But i’m telling you the truth. It would help me if you didn’t ask for more details.”】
【”―― I understand. So the road is safe for sure?”】
【”Some small fries might show up on the way, I don’t know, but it will only be the kind that even a vigilante corps can deal with.”】
Kurats felt like he had just heard a sound that did not fit a maiden’s mouth come out from Marika’s lovely lips.
He decided to forget about this for her own dignity, but the side she showed the next instant rendered his efforts futile.
Markia shouted while powerfully clenching her fists.
Intimidated by Marika’s energy, Kurats answered meekly.
【”May I use our budget to fund recrutements?”】
【”I have no intention to be stingy.”】
As if to say “Now that you said it, don’t you forget it.”, Marika’s smile completely faded.
【”Clodette! We’re going to contact every single one of our old colleagues! We’ll bring enough gold to slap their cheeks with it!”】
【”I-iiiiih! B-but Marika, they would never come to Bashtar…”】
【”Now that the Bolivia mine is back on the table, we have enough funds to dazzle them into coming here! They will be convinced, one way or the other! You’ll get to go back home and to take a bath once every three days, Clodette, how does that sound?”】
【”…You’re right. It is important to rest. That’s good.”】
Clodette nodded and answered with a distant look in her eyes.
Apparently, the two friends did not even get to go back to their homes as they worked on managing Bashtar’s domestic affairs.
It was only thanks to their management skills that the country’s funds were properly attributed, to a limit, each time Kurats would do something completely absurd.
【”Honestly, I feel guilty now.”】
『It seems I failed to take that aspect into account.』
【”Let’s get a theater troupe in the capital, too! It’ll be cheap when you consider the advertising it can bring us! Then we’ll take those damn, crafty merchants’ own personnel! Guhuhu… Compared to interests we’ll get from the Bolivina mine, getting ten people who can handle management and accounting will be a breeze!”】
【”Say, Clodette. Will Marika be okay?”】
Kurats quietly whispered in Clodette’s ear.
She nodded in response with a troubled expression.
【”Marika is very patient, but when stress accumulates too much in her, there is a recoil. What she’s saying is pretty sound, so at least, there won’t be any problem on the management side of things…”】
It seemed like Marika had been really stressed out from negotiating with merchants all this time. Meanwhile, Kurats had been completely unaware that any of that was happening.
He sighed quietly as he thought of the disastrous payback that was coming for those merchants.
After this, Marika went on a rampage, as Clodette expected.
【”How long do you intend to sell oil in such a place? Don’t you need money for your mother’s treatment back at your home?”】
This man was a colleague from back in the days Marika still worked in the tax office.
He wasn’t the sociable type back at the office and he had gone off his carrer path since then, but that was because his only focus was to send money back to his hometown.
And Marika was aware of that.
【”B-but, I’m pretty sure I’ll lose everything anyway if I drop dead, no amount is worth dying for!”】
【”Will you be able to say that again after seeing this?”】
Marika dropped down a bag full of gold.
The man gulped, still hesitating. The gold’s radiance felt like an evil temptation corroding his soul.
【”Come on, this is an opportunity that won’t wait for you. Right now, Bashtar has enough assets that it can throw this kind of money around like it’s nothing. If you don’t want it, I’ll just go to the next guy.”】
Clink clink clink!
Marika flaunted the bag of gold coins and played around with it.
【”T-this is so frustrating! But the gold… it’s making my reason go away…!”】
【”Good, welcome aboard～～!”】
Translator’s note: The chapter was way too short so I decided to add a part of next week’s chapter.