No worries, I’m sure the story isn’t going to turn into a merchant novel. Maybe. Next update will come a few hours later. Please inform me of any errors.
Chapter 29 – Romaine’s plans
The start of every year was called the ‘Month of Winter chords.’ One charismatic person would host the event, so the first month was also called the ‘Month of socialization’, and many banquets and festivals were held during that time period.
The sixth month was called the ‘Month of Hazy Summer’. The word ‘hazy’ referred to the moonlight during the summer nights, where magic woke up from the Summer’s Slumber. This was when the wizards, both living and undead, had their busiest activities.
When it came to the seventh month, the ‘Month of flowing fire’, it was when the day was longest throughout the year. The Sun God would reach the peak of his powers and the beast-kin in the far east held their biggest celebration, the Festival of Flames.
Similarly, the kingdoms who were under the protection of the Holy Cathedral of Fire considered this month an important one. The celebration for this event that happened once a year in Aouine should have started early, but the noble officials in the Grinoires region had no mood to spend time on the events due to the constant battles they faced from Madara.
However, it appeared there was some changes as there were rumors that the army comprised of frightening undead creatures had stopped at Dragos and did not proceed any further to the north. The Silver-Winged knights had won two victorious battles and reclaimed much land, despite several defeats. Many more rumors spread throughout the land, and people were unable to differentiate the truth. Fortunately, most of the commoners would rather believe in good news, and they praised Duke Nakkin for being wise and strong.
On the seventh day, Incirsta’s army turned towards Randner, and the villages in the Grinoires area received their peace again.
People started claiming that the war was over because it was the time when the Sun walked on the Earth, and once the undead touched the ground they would burn up, and the kingdom was naturally going to go for a counter attack.
No one knew where the rumors started, but it was spread around the nearby areas within a few days.
Brendel sat next to a wooden table and listened to the farmers’ discussion nearby him. He and a few others had just left Ankries and were heading to Bruglas without much issues. The undead numbers were getting smaller, so the farmers were at least right about the war ending soon.
Marden had successfully brought the villagers to Ankries, and the news of the fall of Bucce region quickly spread to Fortress Vermeire. He naturally became a hero and the guards and militia that he brought along were glorified and placed into a list where rewards awaited them. Freya and Romaine were also in the list, but this was certainly not the end of the rewards. Brendel knew that there was a more important play going on later.
[After the war, the kingdom is going to require ‘Heroes’ in order to boost the morale of the citizens. In a war, victory or defeat isn’t that important, but it’s more important to have figureheads that allow people to look at.]
When Brendel and the others reached Ankries, Marden and the the militia were sent to Bruglas without any delay. The nobles wanted to gather goodwill from the capital, and the army needed to be praised, therefore they had no reason for any clashes.
In the end, the glory was attached to the local White-Mane army instead of the local nobles, which signified that Ankries also had political clashes between the two factions.
However, two news surprised Brendel.
[Bucce’s guards did not get wiped out by the undead forces entirely. Bretton and a few of the men close to him survived. Ahh, I feel really annoyed when I think about that hateful bastard, but at the same time I somehow feel relieved that he survived this.]
The other news really surprised him and made him feel at a loss.
[The ‘Tiger’ Luc Beson survived. What should I make of this? I know I changed history somewhat, but what did I do to help him survive?]
“Damn these bastards! What does it have anything to do with these cowardly nobles when Madara changed their targets to attack? Why doesn’t anyone know Brendel and who is Earl Nakkin?”
Freya was grumbling at the side and he looked over to her, only to find that she had a displeased demeanor.
Brendel could not suppress a smile.
“Earl Nakkin is the current head of the Douglas family. The family is very well known in this area and they go back a long time in history, and there are no common nobles that can be compared to them.”
She jumped slightly when she suddenly heard him speak, and her earlier temper subsided quickly. “B-but he can’t take the credit that others made….”
“The goals from the upper echelons are different from us. We basically will not have any contact with them. Furthermore, there’s no need to get angry with the farmers here. You look down on the nobles because you already know what’s inside their hearts, but these farmers are ignorant of the truth. In their eyes, the nobles are people of high importance that takes care of the country.”
Freya paused slightly when she suddenly realized that she had stereotypical thoughts as well in the past. She believed the city dwellers to be arrogant because of how much they know, while the nobles are far above the commoners who controlled everything. She looked closely at the youth. After she met Brendel, she had learned many more truths about the world, and seemed to grow up a lot.
The events that appeared mysterious and difficult had become common place now.
[Was Brendel the one who changed me, or did the war somehow changed my views?]
Brendel noticed she was deep in thought. “What are you thinking?”
“Have I changed?”
“Humans naturally change, Freya. It just depends where the change is.”
“What?” She looked at him in slight confusion.
“Because you see more things then the others, and know more than the others, that you find the world becoming more insignificant. That is wisdom.”
“Then what about you?”
“You can think of it this way. When you know the things I know, the world would become complicated in your eyes, and the events from the future would cause you an endless amount of worry.” The youth paused for a while before answering.
Freya thought about it and shook her head to show that she did not understand.
Brendel smile: “You might come to know of it in the future—”
He suddenly Romaine placing her chin onto the table with utter boredom with her puppy eyes on him. His pleasant mood was cut by half.
“What is it not?” He asked.
“Nothing.” Romaine immediately denied it.
Brendel found himself at a loss for words. The common sense of the girl in front of him frequently stopped his conversation from continuing. He contemplated for a while before changing the topic.
“Come to think of it, what are you planning since yesterday?”
Romaine’s eyes shone and she sat up.
“I’m calculating the price.”
“Ever since the Month of the Moon Flowers, Ankries’s food prices went up by fifty percent. If the war continues until winter, then the merchant Romaine will be able to make her first profit.” She answered with logical sense.
Her words surprised both of them. It looked like the lass was having a great time for the past two days in Ankries, off to complete her own adventures, but did not realize that she had investigated the market.
But Brendel was surprised at the merchant girl’s acuity, while Freya was surprised that her best friend had a serious side to her.
“Looks like you can’t complete it,” Brendel got interested and replied: “The war will only last to the middle of the seventh month. Looks like your first plan is about to go up in smokes, great merchant lady.”
“Most likely.” Brendel said that it was hundred percent in his heart. He was hoping to see the dejected look on Romaine’s face, but he was quickly disappointed. (TL: We now know that he’s a S.)
“Hey, Brendel.” She blinked. “I heard that Bruglas constantly supplies food and wine to Dragos, Ankries and the Bucce region every year right? Ankries and Dragos are also Grinoires’s most important southern areas because they produce food right?”
[You even investigated this?] Brendel looked at little Romaine.
“Then Bruglas with the population of thirty-five thousand, they would have stopped producing wine at the end of the fifth month because of the war situation right?”
“Considering that the nobles received the news early, I think they might have stopped doing so at the beginning of the fifth month.” Brendel reflected on the overall Madara invasion and realized that very few people would notice any signs of the war because of how controlled the information was.
Romaine nodded. “Then if the war ends during the middle of the seven month, Ankries wouldn’t be able to support two festivals, and if Bruglas wants to transfer wine and food, they would have to do so from the north and pass over the Grey Eagle mountains. If that is the case, the wine prices from that region should be expensive if you add on the fees incurred by the journey.”
“Who exactly told you this?” Brendel listened in surprise.
“My aunt said that ignoring the advice from your elders would be punished by the Gods.” Romaine looked at the two in front of her and answered seriously. “Old man Anton, the cripple Carl and Mister John are people who had produced wine for half their lives for Bruglas. Brendel, do you want the Great Merchant Romaine to introduce any of them them to you? They are really good at what they do!”
Brendel looked at the merchant girl and her imaginary wagging tail that was working furiously. He could believe that people liked her carefree spirit, but what was with the ‘Great Merchant Romaine’?
“So you want want to gain a profit before the war ends? That’s your plan?”
She nodded furiously.
“You lack the capital?”
She continued to nod furiously.
“Wait,” Freya finally found an appropriate time to stop them. She frowned as she spoke. “Brendel, you’re aren’t going to become crazy like Romaine right? We don’t have much money.”
“Perhaps little Romaine can give us a surprise on this matter.”
But Freya did not believe that such an opportunity would drop onto their laps.