Volume 4 Chapter 7-2: Lies

Voldeck laughed as if amused.

「I see, you’re quite bold. You’re amazing! A genius, I’d say. As far as my research goes, you have ironmaking technology that surpasses our country, you’ve crafted bows with unbelievable performance, and you’re a military genius who has defeated our forces repeatedly despite being vastly outnumbered. Even when twenty of our best attacked, you single-handedly fought them off! On top of all that, you’re quite the businessperson. Didn’t you make a fortune in Erin?」

「Well, yes .」

「That explosion you showed us this time was also incredible. Two hundred and fifty people died in just a few minutes. I was truly amazed. If the Empire had attacked with full force without knowing about that, it would have been a disaster.」

「You seem to want to say that knowing it once means you can prepare for it.」

「I don’t think such a thing! We have no intention of attacking your village.」

Duke Voldeck shook his head in an overreaction.

「I see, then you don’t mind if we capture the soldiers you sent to the Empire to ensure the information is accurately delivered in the event of your death?」

Countless soldiers saw this attack.

However, even if those troops returned to the Empire, accurate information would not be conveyed. Everyone was in a state of madness at that time. There was no trace of calmness.

Some limited individuals could convey objective information such as the actual range, power, and quantity. Perhaps the only ones who could do it would be the subordinates of Voldeck, who had decided from the beginning to observe behind the Duke of Florandy’s army, who were trampled and in a panic.

For a moment, Voldeck’s eyes narrowed as he listened to my words.

「It’s a joke. We haven’t done anything. It’s alright. Those soldiers will reach their destination without interference on our part. In the first place, I plan to return you safely. There’s no point in silencing you.」

「You have a bad personality.」

「I get that a lot.」

Mainly from my two wives. Their words are filled with affection, though.

「Don’t you have any ambitions? Like trying to dominate other villages or even taking over the Empire?」

「I have no such intentions. As long as I have Erucy, that’s enough for me. Actually…」

I paused my words for a moment.

「I want to obtain what I want by my own hands. I don’t want to take from others. So, don’t try to take from us.」

That’s my true feelings. Voldeck raised the corner of his mouth and then spoke.

「We’ve gone off on a tangent. Well then, Elf Chief, let’s get to the main topic. It’s about the return of the iron equipment stored in this base. A full set of armor is four gold coins (240,000 yen), and a two-handed sword is two gold coins (120,000 yen). So, the total for about three thousand sets is 18,000 gold coins (1080 million yen), as the condition for the return, right?」

「That’s the price we offered, yes.」

「As for the Empire, if the armor is priced at three gold coins (180,000 yen) and the two-handed sword is at one gold coin (60,000 yen), we are willing to accept the request. So, a total of 12,000 gold coins (720 million yen).」

「You’re haggling quite a bit.」

「The losses from the previous defeat, the cost of replenishing troops, and compensation to the families of the fallen soldiers have all cost a lot of money. The amount that can be paid by the Empire is that much. It’s also a headache for me to take care of all of Florandy’s territory now that he’s fallen from grace.」

I see, the logic is sound. In that case…

「Let’s return 2,000 sets for 12,000 gold coins (720 million yen). We’ll keep the rest. There are plenty of people outside the Empire who want Imperial-made equipment. We only called to the Empire because we just didn’t want to go through the trouble of transporting them.」

Outside the Empire, Erin would be the primary market, but the road there had only enough space for a single carriage to pass through, and it was a mountain path. I didn’t want to make multiple trips to transport heavy iron weapons.

Using [Samsara Recursion] would result in me being absent from Erucy for a long time. The restriction of carrying four tons and the limit of once every twenty-four hours were strict. Even if I tried my best, it would take four to five days for one round trip.

Even so, I would rather refuse than be haggled down like this.

「I can’t refuse when you put it that way. Alright, that’s fine. Three days from now, about ten carriages will come here with the gold coins. How will the handover be? Can we enter the base with the carriages to load them?」

「That’s not acceptable. On the day of the handover, all the armor and swords to be handed over will be placed outside the gate.」

「Understood. Then, the contract is established. I’m glad everything ended without any problems.」

Duke Voldeck extended his hand for a handshake, and I responded to it.

Then, I escorted him and his retainer outside.

On the way, many hostile and murderous glances were directed at Voldeck.

Everyone here had been driven out of their villages by the Empire. They harbored deep hatred.

「Elf Chief, let me give you a final warning. If you continue like this, the elf village will eventually be destroyed. Your weapons and tactics are excellent. But once something is out in the world, no matter how advanced it is, others will catch up and replicate it. Countermeasures will be developed. When that happens, the elf village, outnumbered, will be finished in an instant.」

That is the truth.

No matter how advanced the technology, once it’s known, it will eventually be reproduced. Finding the concept is the most difficult part, and it spreads every time I create something.

「Perhaps each time, you might create something new. But that’s only as long as you’re alive. The moment you’re gone, what you’ve created will easily crumble.」

「What are you trying to say?」

「Why don’t you stop being so stubborn? You can gain significant concessions due to your efforts so far. I believe Lurvish has also asked you, but would you consider using your skills for the Empire? We won’t treat your village harshly, either. For starters, if you hand over half of the fire foxes, that would suffice. We’ll also provide some compensation. Your contribution and half of the fire foxes. With that, the Empire will protect you. The elf village will be safe. You will be remembered as the hero who saved the elf village. If you give us some of them, you will be able to save the fire foxes you like; it’s all advantageous.」

There’s no need to consider such conditions.

「Those can’t truly be considered concessions. The only magic stone exchange I can accept is after the natural passing of the owner, the magic stones can then be exchanged for appropriate compensation.」

Magic stones are said to be retrievable only while alive, but it’s possible to crystallize them within a few minutes after dying. Retrieving magic stones immediately after death as a keepsake is a custom among both the elves and the fire foxes.

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