Volume 4 Chapter 5-4

「Then shall we go out to intercept them right away? It’s possible to attack if we fire from above, but inflicting damage would be difficult with the angle of elevation if they shield their heads. It’s true that we still need to hit them with a similar method regardless, but…I think it could also be difficult to fight a thousand without the help of the fortress to protect us.」

「We’re fine on that part. The carriage is on its way back loaded with new weapons.」

 The artificially made potassium nitrate weapon prototypes that we secured in mass bulk.

 We gain an advantage from their overwhelming force as well as the low cost, ease of mass production, and the ease of handling—even a monkey could do it.

「Oh, are you referring to the weapons you mentioned last time you were here, Cyril-sama? Are they finished?!」

「Ho, now that’s encouraging.」

「As long as we have that, then even if the elves aren’t around, we can handle them by ourselves, aha.」

 Everyone got into good spirits.

 I had indeed shared the concept of the new weapon when we were talking about defensive measures in the case of my absence.

 They must have remembered that.

「Cyril-sama, with those weapons of yours, perhaps even a regular strategy…close the gates and launch the weapons from the walls, or perhaps tie them to arrows, which would immediately deal a huge blow to the enemy, enabling us to bring the fight into a decisive battle of brief duration.」

「Yeah, that’s fine. Don’t try anything complicated. You five have done a good enough job strengthening yourselves, but overall skill is still low. You wouldn’t be able to carry out complicated orders even if I were to try and give them.」

 And thus, the conference regarding the upcoming battle with the Empire had concluded.

「That’s all I have to discuss about the Empire. Next, let’s talk about the management of Belle Erucy. I took a look inside when I came here. The population has increased, yeah?」

 The last time I came, there were around 300, but this time it had increased to 400 people.

 The base was originally made for a few thousand in mind, so there wasn’t any problem with space.

「Yes, it is just as Cyril-sama says. Somehow or other, we had settled in here and found work as well, so these newcomers must have heard the rumors and made their way over. Other than the remnants from the villages that were ravaged, there are also appear to be people from poor villages coming here for that reason.」

「And the rules are still upheld, yes?」

「Of course. For those who can write, we have them make a register that states which chieftain they’re affiliated with, and if there are any problems in their conduct, we chase them out.」

「Do you think there will be more people to come?」

「No, lately it’s calmed down.」

「Very well. Then as planned, accept only up to the 500th person. Anything from that point on, you will have to close your heart and cut them off. We won’t be able to foster any more than that.」

「Right, as you wish.」

 We could only handle a maximum of 500 people living here this year.

 It’s almost time to sow seeds. There isn’t enough seed rice to feed more than that many people at the moment, and even if we were to plant hemp in all the empty ground, there would only be up to 500 people who could tend to it.

 We won’t be able to allot any more work than that in Bell Erucy.

 Any work that involved something other than growing crops would be a little further ahead. We can increase the number of people once we’re able to put those industries on the right track.

「We’re likely to have too many workers for seed sowing if the number of people increases. I have crop seeds that I’d like you to plant using all the remaining farmland. You may take any fruit or leaves you get from them that you are able to eat, but anything that remains after harvest, I would like you to have the workers give back to Erucy.」

「……We will follow whatever decree Cyril-sama mandates, owing you a great debt, but are you asking the workers to do this for no pay? I’m not sure how I would go about explaining this to them.」

 The kobold chief was perplexed. He had no issue with returning the favor that was graciously given to them, but reassuring everyone from the villages who was already doing their best to survive every day was an entirely different problem.

「Nah, I wouldn’t tell you to do any of that for free. I already paid you in advance and loaded the carriages with lots of wheat, barley, some salt too that I brought over, and even some goats that were born last spring. Does that sound good?」

「You would go that far for our sake! Please allow us the honor of accepting such gifts! To be completely honest, we were driven by anxiety not knowing if we’d be able to maintain our food supply before harvest time if the number of people were to increase.」

「I’ll do it too.」

「As will my place. I’ve always been fine with doing Cyril-sama’s will for free.」

「Look at you, getting all cocky, punk.」

「Thanks. The five of you can decide on the allocation of farmland and rewards after you look at the seeds that arrived here. Make sure you discuss this with one another when you decide, okay?」

 All five of them nodded when I said that. That’s when the discussion began.

 As expected of chiefs who already had the achievement presiding over village affairs, all I had to do was give them a guideline to follow and they would move the conversation along without me having to do anything further.

 There were also many amongst the ranks of the five village groups who had experience in battle, and they were regularly bridging the gap between races by cooperating and practicing together under the five chieftains, so there was no doubt that their proficiency would be increasing given enough time.

 It was a good trend.

 At this rate, we should get a large amount of hemp in three months. Yes, the hemp of devils that I tampered with.

「Well, let’s just hope that the Empire doesn’t have any tricks hidden up their sleeves.」

 The meaning of why, at this timing, the Empire chose to charge in with small numbers despite the existence of the fortress of Bell Erucy…

 That was the one thing I didn’t quite get, and it was also the one source of anxiety in me.

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