TL: Next chapter maybe in a day or so. I probably want to finish up this month’s remaining chapters so I can concentrate on drawing.
TL: Recently I have been doing some color study/possible brush techniques on how other artists paint faces, also some basic anatomy fundamentals (not shown here).
Sakimichan’s inuyasha suit painting, some quick brush strokes to test out her smooth painting style. Copied version on the left.
The improved version is on the right, much better right? (mostly face and arm)
Chapter 32 – Expansion (13)
The wealth Graudin left behind was handled quite messily. Brendel had left the management of it entirely to Amandina, which she then allowed Romaine to use the wealth to invest in Trentheim’s businesses as well as restoration to the city.
Soon after, Ciel, the three commanders, and the grandmaster craftsman Bosley were given a certain level of rights to use the wealth as well.
Brendel arranged it in this manner purely to enjoy the convenience of not having to deal with it after attempting to do so initially. Even though he accepted the responsibilities as a guild leader for a certain time in the game, it was under the system’s assistance to log in the members’ contributions and basic calculations for budgets.
Now that he lacked this function, he realized the amount of administrative work was overwhelming him, and quickly discovered that it was becoming a chaotic mess. After several attempts to put together a budget, he found many issues that made it unable to work.
He soon threw it to Amandina who also had trouble handling it on her own.
In the end, it was Romaine who went up to Amandina and suggested that she would take control of the entire budget by herself by logging in the data and stabilizing the entire system.
It was the first time Brendel realized Romaine’s prototype system worked.
When he glanced at her accounting methods, he realized that he did not understand the majority of it. When he inquired about it, she replied that it was taught by her aunt. The symbols looked familiar, so he asked Ciel if the latter knew anything about Romaine’s method, and he received the reply that it was probably the secret language between witches.
Brendel nodded and did not mind the secretive nature. The people he could rely the most on, leaving his summons aside, were Freya and Romaine.
After studying it for a little longer, he finally looked at the people quarreling a short distance away. It had been persisting for quite some time; Jana’s voice was the loudest, Cornelius seemed to be arguing for his cause while Bosley was trying to drown out Jana, and Amandina interjected from time to time. But the person who spoke the most was Medissa who attempted to dissuade them from fighting. It seemed like no one was going to convince each other.
“What are they arguing about?” He asked.
Romaine immediately shook her head happily, imitating Amandina’s disapproving voice: “Only the ones involved know how valuable resources are, my lord—”
Brendel’s brow raised up and felt like he had guessed what the core issues were.
Amandina had a disapproving frown on her forehead while she looked at the people in front of her. Even though she maintained her basic manners, she was truly annoyed inside.
She definitely supported her lord in his decision to get his own army. She also knew that Jana, Cornelius, Raban and the Nightsong Tiger had their missions from Brendel, and that Jana was recruiting citizens within Firburh to create the initial structure for a private army.
But the problem was not in that area.
There were a total of fifteen thousand citizens within the city. The autumn harvest was just over, and the total amount of grains were just enough to keep the population going for the next year. In other words, there was no guarantee that there would be surplus food for the mercenaries and they had to rely on trade.
Yet Trentheim was most likely about to face many battles. The food needed to sustain these soldiers was nearly twice the amount.
Considering that the city was also undergoing development, the workers would similarly require more food. Finally, the Subterrane Dwellers also wanted access to food. Graudin had provided them partially by starving the citizens within the city, but they could not do the same thing.
With all these things into considerations, the amount of food required was quite substantial.
If he wanted to go one step further and control the entire Firburh, the deficits would become even more apparent. For this year alone, Amandina knew that the grains in the south were in a shortage.
It was partially due to this year’s unstable weather, but the real reason was Madara’s invasion.
Even if she wanted to purchase grains, she was going to have another problem. The invasion in the south by Madara was over, but a great war in the north was about to happen soon. Dark clouds were gathering all over Aouine. (TL: Civil war in the north.)
The outcomes from consecutive wars meant that the prices of food were going to be more stable than gold. Their prices would go high up, and it would not just be a little.
The devious merchants in Ampere Seale, the largest trading harbor in Aouine, knew what was going to happen. They would not lower their prices out of pity but drive the prices up as much as they possibly could.
Purchasing grains at this point of time was difficult.
Amandina had rubbed her forehead many times in frustration over this matter, but she was unable to think of a solution. She had factored in the silver mine in the Schafflund region, which was also part of Trentheim’s territory, but this was a military matter and could only suggest Brendel to capture it. If he denied this suggestion, she could only think about the resources she had at her fingers to solve this issue.
Furthermore, Lord Macsen and Lord Palas’s armies were reaching Firburh, and her lord was unlikely to leave this place. Because of that, even the self-centered Romaine obediently delayed her plans to implement her business strategies.
Jana had come to Amandina in order to arrange the recruitment of a private army, but doing so at this point would mean that the latter needed to provide nearly double the funds because of the issue of obtaining enough food for them.
Amandina did not want to imagine the consequences of doing so.
She convinced the female commander to put this issue aside with great difficulty, or at the very least, wait till the citizens felt safe in the city.
Then Bosley came along and sought money as well.
The reason he had was that Brendel wanted him to establish a workshop. Before he could think about making Magic Armor, he would first require a large workforce and assets. Forget about whether Trentheim mined metal ores; even training craftsmen apprentices needed a large sum of money.
Because Bosley was originally a royal craftsman, he never had to consider the issue of money, and naturally demanded it when he realized that he lacked the funds.
Cornelius was the next to join in, also with the issue of money. He was not there for the recruitment of soldiers, but the remuneration for the mercenaries’ expended equipment. The mercenaries in Firburh right now could be seen in-name only, as they were more like Brendel’s private soldiers.
Since these mercenaries were without a normal income, the equipment they expended had to be replenished and their lord Brendel naturally had to take responsibility. He had silently agreed that he had a hiring relationship with them.
But Cornelius also understood they were in the same boat and Brendel was currently lacking in funds, so he did not even mention their wages.
The mercenaries were going to be embroiled in constant battles, and it was an urgent situation to replenish armors, weapons, and ammunitions. He had to come and demand money from her.
Amandina was quickly overwhelmed. The little money she had right now was simply insufficient, but before she could think of a solution, the three people in front of her started arguing because they could not find a common point to agree on.
The arguments generally went along the lines of ‘your matters can be delayed, my stuff is more important so you can get lost’, and Amandina initially tried to dissuade them, but after a while, she angrily joined in the battle.
Medissa who passed by them hastily went over to stop them from fighting. Scarlett who accompanied the little Elven princess felt that it had nothing to do with her and merely sat from afar and watched them quarrel, feeling nothing but boredom.
The arguments were reaching boiling temperatures.
Bosley had been in the Royal Faction for some time, and his oratory skills were quite formidable, having barbed sarcasm in every sentence, and caused Jana to nearly drown in his litany of sneering words. Her face was visibly flushed with furious anger and was about to shout him down when she suddenly stared behind him with a grimace and instead said:
The others paused, then turned around and greeted Brendel: “My lord!”
Brendel put on a poker face and scoffed through his nose: “It seems like there’s an ongoing party?”
Everyone lowered their heads, but Bosley merely tilted his head and thought for a while. After a moment, he also did the same and said:
“My lord, based on your words, we should have a common goal and enemy, so I won’t cause trouble for you. However, as everyone knows, a war is a contest between wealth. It seems like your situation isn’t an optimistic one—”
Brendel did not answer him. He understood this point well. An average person would feel that Graudin’s wealth was massive, but it was clearly lacking if he wanted to use it to build the city. As an example, the amount of money spent on fixing the wall was huge……
Amandina had to spend twice the money to get the craftsmen to work for him. It was quite unthinkable because a normal lord would have forced their citizens to work for free.
[It’s the same old story of instilling citizens’ trust in me. Cornelius and Raban had recommended using force to make the citizens work for free, but Jana and Amandina objected to it. Romaine also objected, but her views were on the future economic reasons. I chose not to do so because I don’t want to stoop to Graudin’s level. But this problem has to be solved somehow……]