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When I got into the sky on Stardust, I saw that construction had already begun.
This was by the shore of a large lake. It was located at the back of the mountains in the northern part of the river from the town, Suomi, which was located at the southern side of the country that met the North Sea.
There were various reasons for setting up a new base here.
The wood needed for papermaking could be obtained here. That was because there was a mountain, where quicklime could be obtained, a little away from here. Thanks to the large lake, there was no need to worry about running out of the water, and I could always use the water mill.
There were various reasons but the biggest reason was that this was the enclave of the Hou Household’s main family.
The Hou Household’s territory extended through the southern side, so it was surely a province of the Hou Household, but most of them were given to the Knights under jurisdiction of the Hou Household. The land where the Hou Household’s main family barely the surrounding area of Karakumo from the whole area. However, the exception here was that the Hou Household managed this place as an enclave.
Since the other lands were given to the Knights under my household’s jurisdiction, it was difficult to meddle in. Of course, if there were good reasons such as they oppressed the territory or did something crazy, it was possible to meddle in. However, if we meddled in without such reasons, it would become a burden.
Stardust landed on a nearby vacant lot.
At the factory site, all employees worked hard with the carpentry tools purchased from the royal capital. Nearby was a military tent borrowed from our residence in rural area.
I took off the safety belt and jumped off Stardust. Then, Cuffe was approaching leisurely.
“Well, have you come?” (Cuffe)
“Well, how is it going?” (Yuri)
I said it while pulling the reins of Stardust.
“It’s ahead of schedule. It’s good that there’s no problem with wood.” (Cuffe)
In this area fishing villages, they also did forestry while fishing in the lake. In this country, forests were everywhere. but there were few places where water transportation was convenient.
Trees couldn’t be used for building materials immediately after they had been cut down, and it must be dried to remove moisture. So, it was nice to have enough stock of building timber. After all, it was easy to make a wooden building
“The former carpenter man you brought before… He’s leading the people here.” (Cuffe)
“Is that him?” (Yuri)
He tried to kidnap me on the street. Then, he came to the company with his family. Instead of becoming a papermaker, he built three shacks using used carpentry tools. But now, everything had become ashes.
“It was good to bring him in.” (Yuri)
“That guy brought many of his carpenter friends. They probably not having hard time with the job.” (Cuffe)
“When those guys are available, can they make a wagon?” (Yuri)
‘It’s time to expand the development not only in papermaking but also in various fields. After all, it is necessary to transport it because the major consumption area of paper is the royal capital.’
“It’s about time I expand my business beyond paper. The wagon is partially made of iron and suspended with leaf springs. So, the ride should be a few steps better.” (Yuri)
‘The current carriage is directly attaching the platform to the wheel. So, the vibration transferred directly. The vibration could be considerably reduced if it was built with suspension. Even if the suspension system doesn’t use a hydraulic cylinders or iron leaf springs, it’s possible to make leaf spring by stacking strong wood, and put on it.
It should be good enough as long as it doesn’t carry tons of goods. If I could make something good, I could do research while covering the demands in the company. Then, I could sell it to the traders as it is.’
“I don’t really understand, but did you come up with something new again?” (Cuffe)
“It’s my job as a chairman to think about it.” (Yuri)
Cuffe had a look of ‘I wonder about that…’.
“For now, I have to explain it to the carpenters. Anyhow, I think it will start slowly. That will be after the buildings are completed.” (Cuffe)
“In any case, I’m going to prepare a paper for the patent. Please look at it when you have free time.” (Yuri)
“Got it. By the way, I’m not going to ask them to practice papermaking.” (Cuffe)
It took at least two weeks to practice making uniform paper. Cuffe might have intended to practice with the carpenters once the work was finished.
“That’s fine. Hire people as many as money allows. There are no Witches here. Nobody can blame me if I do whatever I want.” (Yuri)
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After that, when I looked around the employees, who were sweating while swinging axe and beating hammer, there was a shadow coming close with a good momentum from the downstream side. It was a Galloping Bird.
I had been riding all year along, but there weren’t many people who ride Galloping Bird.
The only people who rode Galloping Bird were the Knights and the courier officers who served the royal castle. The others were those who rare Galloping Birds, but they were less noticeable.
The Galloping Bird stopped in front of me. When it stopped, the Galloping Bird bellowed and its claws shaved the soil.
I involuntarily frowned.
‘It wasn’t because I’m about to be run over, but it’s because the rider treats the bird roughly.’
‘If a rider makes such a sudden stop, it might break the Galloping Bird’s legs. If its legs doesn’t stop, the nail would be pushed into the ground in the case of a sudden stop. Although it’s an animal that people overwork its feet, if such a burden is put on the claw, it will surely bring bad effect.’
‘Well, that’s if it’s my bird, but it doesn’t matter because it’s that person’s own way of handling it.’
The mounted person calmed the Galloping Bird and jumped from the saddle. And he suddenly knelt on the ground. Toward me.
“Haa…Haa… I’m here for a visit. Please excuse me for being late.” (??)
‘??? What’s with this guy? I don’t remember being his boss, so why would he salute me the most?’
“Are you Jano Ek?” (Yuri)
I asked cautiously.
“Yes, I am. Yuri-sama.” (Jano)
‘Yuri-sama??? There’s no reason to call me Yuri-sama…’
“Please raise your head. I’m not here as my father’s son.” (Yuri)
“P-please excuse me…” (Jano)
Jano Ek raised his head in a sorry manner.
‘The type is different from what I thought.’
Jano Ek was the nephew of Rakune Ek, who was reprimanded by my aunt-in-law, Satsuki Hou. He became angry and was subdued in a conference. Eventually, the Ek Household was demoted.
This was the land that was previously owned by the Ek Household.
The Ek Household was given a fine rank of the feudal lord and was given a vast land. Strictly speaking, from around this big lake, down the river to Suomi, leading to the North Sea, all of the basin was their territory. However, upon demotion, obviously, all the fief were confiscated.
It sounded bad when it came to confiscation, but since the agreement was breached, they had to return what was originally the land of the Hou Household. That was it. However, even if the fief was granted from the start, they had it for a hundred or two hundred years. Therefore, it would be natural to feel that the fief was taken away if it was forced to return it. Sensuously speaking, the word ‘confiscation’ was right on the spot.
At that time Rook was recently appointed as the head of the household. Thus, Satsuki did almost everything regarding the management of the surrounding area.
Rakune, after being put into dungeon, was given a dagger. Then, he pushed it into his belly and committed suicide. The Ek Household was expelled from the vassals.
After that, regardless of how great was the Ek Household, when Rakune’s father heard the news about the fief, he, his wife and his son were all committing suicide. Committing suicide meant to die by cutting one’s throat with a dagger.
However, the whole family couldn’t endure the humiliation that the Ek Household had suffered. It seemed that they asked the Hou Household for forgiveness. It was clearly written that they were making direct appeal with the intention of succeeding the will.
When Satsuki heard that, she took a lenient approach against the Ek Household and the hardcore Ki-X-gai Household. (TLN: The X here mean that Yuri doesn’t remember the exact name.)
They said that they couldn’t bear the humiliation. She replied them with ‘Oh, really?’, but since they were asking for forgiveness, it couldn’t be helped to allow a small discretion.
So, Satsuki temporarily placed the son of Rakune’s younger sister as the prefectural governor of the fief. That person was this guy, Jano Ek.
To put it simply, there was a possibility that if they worked hard for a few generations, they might be able to revive the Ek Household. However, since it was just prefectural governor position, he was basically like an apartment manager, who didn’t own land, and didn’t belong to the Knights.
When I saw Jano Ek for the first time, I knew that he was a Knight. He should be about 40 years old. However, due to the unique nature of Shanti, it seemed that he looked as if he was about 30 years old.
“I’m sorry I had to ask you to come here.” (Yuri)
“That can’t be! It’s only natural to welcome Yuri-sama.” (Jano)
‘Yeah. Well, considering the standpoint, this reaction is something that some people think it’s normal, but it’s difficult for me. Is it from the standpoint of a public figure or a private person?’
‘Looking from the other side, he doesn’t know who am I. It would be hard to think that I am the type who doesn’t emphasize the detail, so the reaction is correct. And since he lives in a land far from the royal capital, he knows nothing about the company. Of course, he doesn’t even know that Hou paper exists.’
“Please take care of me from now on…” (Yuri)
“Please don’t worry. I would rather be indebted to Yuri-sama. If you have any requests, please don’t hesitate to tell us.” (Jano)
‘I feel like saying that he is a hotel man from a certain hotel.’
“Yes. If I have anything, I would like to ask you for advice.” (Yuri)
“Well, of course.” (Jano)
‘Well, he’s the type of prefectural governor, so it’s rather easy to do, right? At least, he won’t take any action to obstruct the company’s progress. Ideally, it would be better if he has unreserved nature…’
After that, I decided to go down the river to the seaside town of Finland at the request of Jano Ek. At present, the mansion of the Ek Household was regarded as the prefectural office.
Since the Ek Household’s private assets weren’t confiscated, the mansion is one of their assets.
‘In other words, they are using a private mansion as a prefectural office even though he isn’t a feudal lord. In my opinion, there’s a confusion between public and private spaces. I feel a bit uncomfortable, but this is probably not restricted in this country. It is a society of aristocratic system after all.’
“Well, the royal capital’s production base has been set on fire.” (Yuri)
I was having a small business chat in a guest room of the Ek Household.
“Ooh, that was a disaster.” (Jano)
He threw interjection.
“Not at all. At any rate, I was going to move here someday. It’s difficult to do business in the royal capital.” (Yuri)
‘The business will still continue in the royal capital, but if I move the production base, the ‘weaknesses’ shown to the Witches will be overwhelmingly reduced. This is true because it is clear that the production in the royal capital would eventually peak off.’
“I see. Is there such a thing? You’re really excellent even though you are young, Yuri-sama. With this, the Hou Household is safe too.” (Jano)
‘I wanted to say that I’ve prepared security and the foolish matters due to diplomatic affairs, but I didn’t. In such a talk, it is important to talk about thorns that don’t stick to each other. Nevertheless, I’m not trying to butter up.’
“No, I’m still inexperienced. I hope I can contribute to the household through my company.” (Yuri)
“Not at all. It’s a good thing. This Jano Ek could feel it.” (Jano)
‘He is that kind of guy, huh?’
“…At any rate, the Ek Household’s mansion is wonderful.” (Yuri)
Since I had nothing else to talk, I began to praise the mansion. In fact, it was a splendid mansion.
“No, no. compared to the Hou’s mansion, this one is really poor…” (Jano)
When I was having idle talk like that, the door to the guest room was knocked.
“Come on in.” (Jano)
When Jano said that, a maid opened the door and entered.
“Please excuse me. The tea is ready.” (Maid)
The maid, who came in, quietly prepared teacups and tea utensils.
‘It is the way of the Knight households. The way of Knight households means that the waiter pours tea from the pot in front of the guest, instead of coming out with tea in a cup. On top of that, it’s a good thing to let the guest choose the cup first.’
‘This is a courtesy to prevent poisoning. It’s hardly seen in the coffee shops in the royal capital.’
“Yuri-sama. Would you prefer to have alcohol?” (Jano)
‘Shanti are drinkers, so there is a custom to drink alcohol from daytime.’
“No, I have something to do later.” (Yuri)
“How about just a little bit?” (Jano)
“No, I’m still immature, so if I drink, I can’t stop myself from doing something embarrassing.” (Yuri)
‘This is an excuse. Underage may hinder brain development. Shanti’s life is long, but I don’t want to become someone irritating by the age of twenties.’
“As expected of you. That’s remarkable.” (Jano)
In the meantime, the maid was preparing tea as clattering sound produced. When I looked at her, I was thinking ‘the maids in the main household are amazing after all’. In other words, she wasn’t skilful. She was nervous, and her hand holding the pot was trembling.
Sure enough, when she was trying to lift up the tray, she knocked it down at the end of the cup. I quickly avoided the hot water that suddenly flowed toward me. It didn’t caught my feet, but my coat got slightly wet.
“Uwaa, I’m sorry! Please forgive me!” (Maid)
For some reason, the maid bowed down to Jano, not me.
“What are you doing!?” (Jano)
There was a sound of something got hit.
‘Uwaah. This guy hit the maid.’
‘It’s different if I was hit by boiling hot water from the head and got huge burn, but since I avoided, there’s no reason to hit her.’
“You fool… do you understand what you have done!?” (Jano)
Jano grabbed the maid’s slender arm.
“Hurts, it hurts–” (Maid)
The maid was extremely shaken up.
‘Wait a sec. Wait, wait, wait, STOP.’
‘Her hand is going to break. The maid is about 15 years old or so, and she’s about a junior high school student. So, if a trained Knight holds her like that, her hand will break.’
“Please stop it.” (Yuri)
I said in a commanding tone.
“Aah… I’ve shown you an unsightly behavior…” (Jano)
Jano completely returned to the face of receiving guess from the face that seemed to lose in anger, probably because he had regained his mind in an instant. The maid’s arm had also been released.
‘What’s with this guy? He had a gentle face. Then, he suddenly changed 180 degrees. Is he from a family who easily lose temper?’
“It’s fine already. You, go back.” (Yuri)
I ordered the maid, even though I wasn’t the owner of this mansion.
“Y-yes… please excuse me.” (Maid)
The maid left the room as if she was about to run away, bowed to me, and closed the door.
“She’s very rude… I’ll teach her later.” (Jano)
‘That’s not the problem, you know.’
“That’s not the problem. The people of this land belong to our Hou Household. I think it’s not good to hurt them by hitting them or breaking their arms, alright.” (Yuri)
In the first place, I don’t like the idea of hitting woman without hesitation, but unfortunately, this is done everywhere in this country as a part of upbringing and discipline. Cuffe doesn’t do it, but in shops around here, there are also owners, who are hitting the head of children unreservedly at every opportunity. Therefore, I won’t say that it is bad. But breaking bones are way too much.
It’s a different matter if this is another territory, but here is the territory of the Hou Household. The people of the fief aren’t his belongings. I think this guy may wonder what’s wrong with it.’
“Haa… you are right. This Jano Ek will keep that in mind from now on.” (Jano)
‘Anyhow, I don’t really understand this guy. It’s fine that it’s impossible for him to become the feudal lord in his generation. I need to be careful.’
- The picture is actually available in later chapter but since the map is different from the real map, I decided to use it now.
If anyone can edit the picture and make it in English version, that really helps. If not, I have to use OCR software to identify the words, and this may take sometime to complete.
- The map has been edited by me.
- BTW, I don’t condone harming animals and hitting people especially woman unless it is to protect oneself. Just use the Dominating Aura haha.
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