Chapter 16: Azul Chamber of Commerce
“What do you mean “failed”? You went with dozens of wyverns didn’t you? You didn’t cut any corners!”
“Don’t joke around!! I can’t cut corners!! What the hell is that woman? My wyverns died with a strange sound! If they have such powerful skills, tell me in advance!”
“No, there shouldn’t be such a thing…..”
The adventurer’s unexpected words make me unable to say anything. I thought it was an excuse for failure, but his expression was desperate and more than anything, he must have been in a hurry to escape. The dirty clothes show how dangerous his situation was. It was not an act.
I’d heard that this woman, Vigna, was indeed the strongest of the King’s guard. But can she really be that overwhelming against wyverns that are also good at long-range attacks? I know none of the refugees who went to Asgard had that kind of fighting ability….
“No way… the other party has an unknown weapon…”
“If you knew that why didn’t you tell me? Thanks to you, my servants are….”
“Wait! I didn’t know either. I don’t even know how your wyverns were defeated……”
“Master Raymond, we have a problem! You have a visitor!”
As I was trying to get some information from the adventurer. The door was violently opened. The person who came in was one of our employees… I’ve already told him not to disturb me because I’m in the middle of a meeting… This guy is fired.
“What’re you doing? I told you not to let anyone through because I’m busy. I’ll take care of the visitors later….”
“Hey, come on, isn’t that terrible? You wrote me a letter saying you wanted to talk to me, so I made time for you… And since I made time for you, I came to greet you with a gift.”
Pushing past the employees, the visitor was the worst man imaginable. Why… at this time? Don’t tell me this guy was followed? But the red-haired man gave a small shake of his head. That’s right.
This is because he took the long way around and hid in several places so that his relationship with me would not be discovered and then came back here…… If he can track him, he must have a network in this city or he must have great hiding skills or he must have detection ability. But that is not a human’s skill.
As Raymond struggled to think, the visitor said his name with an arrogant smile on his face.
“I didn’t see you when I visited you before. My name is Grace Vermillion and the one next to me with the big bag of food is Galatea, she’s a bit shy and I hope you’ll forgive her for dressing so hotly in such a place. The other woman is Vigna. She’s my escort. I know you said you were busy, but I’m sure you have no meeting more important than talking to me, the third prince.”
The man in front of me, Grace Vermillion, sat down ill-manneredly on the seat in front of me before I could say anything. The woman next to him, Vigna, is holding a mysteriously shaped sword, saying that if we do something rude, she’ll cut us down.
And I ended talking to him in this desperate situation.
17. Raymond and Grace
“So… what is it?”
I start a conversation with Grace Vermillion, sweating coldly inside. The rumored knight named Vigna is standing beside him with an arrogant smile peculiar to the royal family. Is this a warning that she’ll kill me if I try to solve this problem roughly? In fact, she has a sword in her hand and she’s radiating a murderous intent. The person next to her, wearing a hood and carrying a large sack was also creepy, a person called Galatea. I can’t even see her face, so I don’t even know how old she is, but is she skilled in some way?
“I’m sorry I’ve neglected you so many times in my letters. I just happened to be in the neighborhood, so I thought I’d come by and discuss business with you. I brought you a souvenir. Would you mind buying it right now?”
“A business meeting? Thank you for that. What exactly did you bring me?”
I wondered as I put on a sales smile in response to his unexpected words. A business meeting at this time? I wondered if he had found out that I had attacked the village, but was today’s visit really a coincidence?
When my guard relaxed a little,
“Oh, I definitely want the adventurer here to see it. I’m certain you’re familiar with monster materials from your line of work. I want you to take a look at the quality. Galatea, please.”
“Yes, Master. Leave it to me.”
With those words, the contents of the bag that the girl called Galatea was carrying were spread out on the desk and when I saw it, I was dismayed and the adventurer’s face was soaked in rage.
“Grace-sama, this is …….”
“Oh, those stupid wyverns that attacked our village but didn’t achieve anything. Because the Azul Chamber of Commerce was kind enough to give me a quote on monster materials when I visited them earlier. Since you’re so good at handling this kind of thing, I’d like you to buy this from me.”
Looking at his words and the goods he had laid out, I realized again the horror of the man in front of me. There were the skins of the wyverns that the adventurer had probably used to attack the village. He even mentions that we estimated the cost of the material for the fire dragon scales, as if he hasn’t forgotten.
No doubt, Prince Grace considers us to be his enemies.
“Yes, of course, we will take it at the asking price.”
He replied with a sarcastic smile as I nervously replied inwardly.
“No, it doesn’t matter what the market price is. I’ve heard that one adventurer has a skill that allows him to use monsters. If you, red-haired one, know of him, can you tell him I’ll kill him without mercy the next time?”
“You! …… I understand.”
Just as the red-haired adventurer was about to rise from his seat at Grace’s words, Vigna’s strangely shaped sword was thrust at his throat. The adventurer replies to Grace, his face twisted in frustration.
Seeing him in such a panic, Prince Grace laughed happily. What stupid prince? He’s a very bad and troublesome man.
“That’s all I have to say. If the monsters attack again, I will consult with you. Well, if the monsters don’t attack, there’s nothing for us to do, so don’t worry. You know what I mean.”
After saying that, they left. I was completely beaten…. They said what they wanted to say and left before we could get into position…….
In short, if you interfere with us again, we won’t show any mercy, but if you don’t interfere, we won’t do anything to you. But with this, the possibility of having a proper business meeting with them has completely disappeared. On the other hand, if we left the situation as it was, the profits of our trading company would only decrease. In any case, we’re doomed.
“What the hell, I’m busy right now!”
“I received a letter from… Prince Kyle…”
That one word makes me feel like I’ve found a ship in distress at sea. Oh, yes, I have Prince Kyle, I’m certain I can count on him to help me out…
“Hooh. I was so nervous. Did I come off as arrogant?”
“Yeah, it’s okay. I think you were annoying them with your usual rotten prince shit.”
“What do you mean, “usual”? I’m a gentle lord! You’re the one who suddenly pulled out your sword. I was so surprised I laughed so hard!!”
After I went to the Azul chamber of commerce for business talks, the tension in the carriage was broken and when I made a comment, Vigna spit venom as usual.
Damn, my feeling calm in this exchange makes me feel like I’m being trained.
“But I sensed fear and impatience from the merchants of the Azul chamber of commerce. Master’s plan seems to be a success.”
“That’s right, Galatea’s really great. Thank you for finding out the enemy’s base.”
“Ehehe, I’m glad, Master.”
I stroke her head and she smiles happily. It’s soothing after all!
“But is it okay to provoke them like that? Won’t they do everything in their power to destroy our village?”
“If I didn’t give this warning, they’d try to take advantage of me on a regular basis. It would be nice if the other party could just quit as it is but if we’re attacked, I would have to fight thoroughly this time. However even if they have the strength, it will take some time to gather their forces. I’ve asked Edward to check on the movements of the Azul Chamber of Commerce and we’ll just proceed with the development of the mine.”
“Well, that’s fine, but mine development isn’t something an amateur can do. Sure, there are craftsmen, but do you think they can do it so smoothly?”
“I’ve already taken some steps. That’s why I’m going to go talk to Edward-san about it.”
And so we drove the carriage to the Harrison chamber of commerce.
Chapter 18: Mine Development
“Oh, I didn’t know there was a mine here that could dig up such high-quality mithril…. As expected of you Grace-sama.”
“No, this is also one of Souzi’s relics and thanks to our people slaying the ancient fire dragon that lived there, we were able to develop it. So…. is it possible to make the request I told you about earlier?”
“Yes, but are you sure that the contract is okay as it is? To be honest, I think I’m making too much money…”
When I showed him the actual mine, Mr. Calco’s eyes lit up, but when it was time to talk business, he looked a little uneasy.
After going to the Azul Chamber of Commerce to greet and quarrel, I was allowed to have a business meeting with Mr. Calco, who mainly trades in minerals. I met him at the party via Edward.
“Of course. We’ll sell all the mithril gemstones we produce in our mines except for ten percent exclusively to your trading company. In return, I’ll need you to provide me with a number of reliable technicians to work in the mines. However, since the work will be done by our own people, the output may not be very large at first….”
“It doesn’t matter if that’s the case… but as you know, rather than selling it as a rough stone, It’s better to process and sell it under Bowman’s guidance, that is, hire workers at once and proceed with development…”
“That’s right… However, Bowman is busy with other matters at the moment and I don’t want to irritate the people around me any more than I already have because I’m too conspicuous in so many ways. It’s not a good time to invite people from outside. ……”
“Azul chamber of commerce?”
I nodded at Calco’s words. I told him and Edward that the Azul chamber of commerce invaded our territory with monsters.
I don’t know how the Azul chamber of commerce will come out, but they also sell mithril products, so it’s possible that too much mithril will flow to the market at once, which will be irritating. If we call people from outside at this moment, there might be people with malice among them.
If it’s a refugee, I can check them with World Library, but it’s difficult to see all the day laborers and above all, the original purpose is to foster industry in the territory rather than profit.
“I understand… it might take some time for us to get a magician who can handle fire and earth.”
“No, you don’t need to worry about that. Donovan, take care of that.”
“Yes, leave it to me.”
I replied with a smile to Calco-san who apologized and gave instruction to Donovan, who was waiting for me. He then took the “Dragon Powder” made from what wyverns use to spit fire from a special mithril powder flask.
It would have been nice to let the magic stone absorb the fire magic, but then I wouldn’t have been able to adjust its power in the field.
“Now, everyone, please move away.”
Having said that, Donovan struck a hard wall that could not be dug with an ice axe, investigated the condition of the wall and ground, then set up the “Dragon powder”.
It seems that he’s accustomed to the work because he has a long history in the field. He may not be able to lead the entire operation, but he may be able to take charge of some parts of it.
“What is that?”
“It’s called gunpowder. It’s a kind of artificial fire magic. Donovan, it’s in your hands.”
“Leave it to me. When I was in the mines, I kept seeing the powerful magic the wizards unleashed. It won’t be a problem.”
As Donovan confidently replied, with a roar, the dragon powder exploded, destroying the hard soil. It was a little shaky and scary, but I don’t know if Donovan’s calculations were good or if Souzi’s technology was superior, but it seemed to have worked. I hope it was the former, if possible.
“This is a convenient way to do this without using magic. We can get to work on this right away.”
“I’ll also prepare the people in charge of the work and residence. Thank you.”
And so, the development of the mine began. The next step is the mass production of weapons and the training for its use.
Chapter 19: Preparing for battle
“Bowman, how are you doing? Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Well, it looks like the mass production of guns is going well, especially with …… Oh, yeah, why don’t you equip yourself with one of these?”
“No, you know I’m weak don’t you? If I had metal armor, I wouldn’t be able to move very well.”
After the exchange in the mine, I came to Souzi’s workshop where Bowman was working. He was right, things were going well and there were already several guns in the workshop. I know that Neil and his team are testing the prototypes that were made earlier under the guidance of Vigna and Galatea.
More than that… I get tired of seeing the metal armor in front of me. I don’t have much good memories of armor. I remember wearing it a long time ago and being ridiculed by my brothers because I couldn’t move.
“It’s okay. You can try it out now. I’m really busy you know.”
“Alright… what is this? Isn’t it too light? Oh, I can move! I can move!”
I was surprised at the lightness of the armor as I reluctantly put it on in response to Bowman’s words. When I wore iron armor before, I could barely walk, but with this, I can run with room to spare.
It’s about half the weight of conventional armor. If I could make a small shield for the girls and children, I could protect myself a little.
“This is an armor made from a mixture of aluminum and mithril alloy according to your instructions: Super Mithril Alloy. It’s rustproof, light, and has great defense!”
“It’s great, except for the naming sense! But I think I could wear this on the battlefield.”
I thought that the super mithril alloy was too easy, but I put on the armor that Bowman had made for me and moved my body. It’s amazing, I can even jump!
In this case, I’ll be able to move around the battlefield with this. Bowman said with a serious look on his face while I was moving with tension.
“Grace… the whole point of this territory will be meaningless if something happens to you. However, this will be a battlefield. I know you’re planning to take charge as the leader anyway, right? I may not be able to protect you as well as Galatea or Vigna-chan, but I know the armor will do it for me.”
I understood why he had made this armor at this time when he’s busy mass-producing guns. He made the special armor so I could protect myself as I moved around the battlefield, just like he made a magic bayonet for Vigna.
“Thank you. I’ll treasure this.”
“What are you talking about? I’ve been enjoying my time here and I’m just trying to protect my workshop. Now, get out of here. There are other things to do you know. And… you haven’t had a chance to talk to Vigna lately, have you?”
“Yeah, I get it. I’m sure this Ultimate Armor will save my life.”
“You made fun of my naming sense a while ago, but you’re quite something yourself!”
We exchanged a few words as I headed to my next destination.
At the training center a short distance from the village, the sound of gunfire had been echoing for some time. The dry popping sound was disconcerting at first, but then I got used to hearing it.
“Yes, aim properly and be careful of the recoil. This gun can pierce iron armor if it hits and it can attack from a distance that magic can’t reach. However, it can’t fire continuously and it’s heavy and large, so your movement will be greatly limited. The first thing you need to do is to make sure that the bullets go where you aim them.”
“It’s not like a bow, it only flies in a straight line, so be careful when your opponent is hiding. Depending on the situation, you may be able to catch them off guard.”
“Yes, I understand.”
It seems that Galatea is teaching the guards, led by Neil, how to use a rifle, a gun with a long barrel and Vigna is teaching them how to use a handgun, a small gun that can be carried in one hand.
The reason why they are using two different types of guns is because they have different roles. The rifle is useful for sniping, while the handgun is more useful for melee combat. If a battle were to start, their work would be crucial. With only Vigna as our wizard, guns are our lifeline.
I told the people that there might be a battle and two of them left Asgard, but the rest stayed. Morale was naturally high. Thank goodness.
As I was watching them train, Galatea caught sight of me. She smiled and said something like this.
“Vigna-san, it’s late and we should probably end the training. Besides… I think Master has something to tell you.”
“Well… we don’t want to overdo it, so let’s call it a day.”
When Vigna says so, Neil and the others lie down on the ground just as if they were at their limit. I wonder if they were being trained in Sparta. By the way, Galatea can be sweet, but when it comes to training, she becomes unreasonably strict. Maybe that’s why Neil looks so happy.
“So…. what can I do for you?”
“Huh? Yeah, I just wanted to talk to you since we haven’t talked much lately.”
“Hmm, well… wait a minute. I’ll come back to the village with you when I’m done with the weapon maintenance.”
She then quickly went back to the weapons. I feel like I’m missing something but Is it my imagination? No, I’m really just here to see how everyone is doing… I didn’t come here just to see Vigna!
“I sense rapidly pounding hearts from Master and Vigna-sama. She’s really a tsundere. How precious.”
When I’m a little confused, a smiling Galatea speaks to me. I don’t know if she’s making fun of me or not. I have to correct one misunderstanding.
“Galatea, you don’t have to be wary of weird things and Vigna is not a tsundere It’s true that she looks rough, but she…. really cares about me. So don’t get me wrong.”
It was Galatea’s turn to be confused by my words, but eventually, she claps her hands as if she just got the point.
“I’m sorry about that. I didn’t know the word “tsundere” doesn’t exist in this world. It seems that there was a discrepancy in perception. A tsundere is a woman who cares about someone but can’t be honest about it, so she usually takes a cold attitude. So…. fight on Master.”
“well… eh… ha…?”
What, is that what tsundere means? Wait! wait! wait! Galatea used to call Vigna Tsundere when she first met us. Then, she’s been talking about that from the beginning?
“Sorry to keep you waiting, let’s go.”
Vigna stares at me a bit weirdly because of the suspicious expression on my face due to the shocking fact I just learned. It looks cute for some reason, though it looks the same as it always does……
Then, we said goodbye to the smiling Galatea and went home together.
Chapter 20: Confession
“Ah, how’s the training going? Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, guns are great weapons. Especially the rifle, it’s a good weapon to fight wizards even if you can’t use magic. I’ve asked Agni to build a high platform for me, so I know it will be quite useful. The handgun is also easier to use than a bow and could be useful in melee combat. I think it might be able to overturn the difference in skill. Do you think the mine will work?”
“Yeah, they’re sending us some mining engineers, so we should be able to handle it. We’ll be able to get our own mithril, aluminum and magic stone. It’s going to be a lot of work.”
That’s what Vigna and I were saying as we walked. Oh man, there’s no atmosphere here! It’s been a while since the two of us have been alone, but all we do is talk about work.
But …… there may be a battle from here. Everything we’re doing is in preparation. Things are going to get busier. I don’t want to regret not telling her at that time.
“Thank you Vigna, for…..”
“What, did you suddenly eat something weird….?”
She speaks with a strange look on her face. Isn’t it a misunderstanding that this woman likes me? Well, even if it is, it doesn’t change what I’ll do……
“it’s because you came with me. I know you’ve had a tough time with all the changes in our lives. If you hadn’t come along, I might have died in the street.”
“Yes… but I don’t regret it. It was because of you that I became a Kings guard knight in the first place… and it was cause of you that I became strong.”
“Yes, for you. That’s why I never had the option of staying in the castle.”
I know it wasn’t just the setting sun that made her face red as she said that. Maybe my face is red as well.
isn’t it a nice atmosphere? I feel like I can say that in this flow.
“You know… when the fighting calms down, there’s something I want to tell you. Will you listen to me?”
I said in a shaky voice or rather, my voice trembled, which is more accurate. My heart was racing rapidly.
I mean, there’s no response, didn’t she hear me? As I was thinking that, Vigna stopped and grabbed my shoulder. What’s this? Scary!
“No, if you want to talk, say it now.”
“Eh… ha… no, there will be better timing for this kind of thing.”
“Don’t you know? That’s called a death flag. And…. I’ve been waiting years for these words. I can’t wait any longer. Say it now. Or I’ll tell you myself. What do you say?”
As she said this, she looked straight at me. I tried to back away, but she grabbed my shoulders to keep me from escaping. I don’t know why she’s threatening me when we both love each other.
I stare at her with anxiety and notice that she’s biting her lip and her arms are trembling. Oh, crap, yes, she’s a tsundere. She can’t be honest with me, but she’s thinking about me……. And she’s insecure.
There are things that can’t be conveyed without words. I had to say it, Vigna was discouraged comparing herself to Galatea and that Bowman didn’t make weapons because he was waiting for me to make a decision. So I finally said my feelings.
“I love you, Vigna. I think I’ve always liked you. So please… marry me…”
“Thanks Grace…. I’ll always love you too. But I won’t marry you, you’re the third prince and lord of this Asgardian territory. Your first wife should be someone with a more solid identity.”
“Hey, you’re spoiling the flow… So, you don’t mind if I marry someone else…?”
“I’m not okay with it, but it’s the best way to develop the territory and in return, I’ll give you everything I have.”
“What the hell is that…… ?”
Before I could say anything else, her face came at me and our lips collided. It hurt when she hit my teeth. This is a …… kiss, isn’t it ……?
She’s holding her mouth with tears in her eyes, as if she’s in pain from too much momentum. It’s not the kiss I was expecting, but it is what it is. I guess she’s thinking of me first, even at a time like this. That’s nice, but it’s not the same.
“If that’s the case, I’ll just have to get better so that you don’t have to think about it. I’m going to marry you.”
“Yeah… well, I’ll wait and see.”
Her face was bright red as she withdrew. Then I draw her in and kiss her properly this time. Now I have another reason why I can’t lose.
The two of us walked back to the mansion together. I was embarrassed to see Galatea, Bowman, and even Noel smiling at me when I got home.
Then, a few days later, I received a letter from Edward. It said that the second prince, Kyle had come to town. The Azul Chamber of Commerce relied on him. And his wizard-fortified bodyguards are powerful and good at invading…..
So I guess that’s what I’m saying. …… The time for a decisive battle is approaching.