Editor: Thor’s Stone
“Why do all the conditions include dragon fangs?”
“Oh, that. Well, His Majesty has always coveted a sword made from dragon fangs, you see.”
Silas-san also recommended that I offer the dragon fangs as part of the tribute. He might have been aware of this particular fact already.
“So I have to choose from these three options, correct?”
“That’s right. ……Are they not to your liking after all?”
“Let’s see. I think most people wouldn’t choose any of these options normally.”
Baron Herring nodded dejectedly and hung his head down.
“It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? The people who came up with these damned proposals were feeling so full of themselves, saying something like this can still be considered an overly lavish treatment for a mere adventurer. That’s just how much they want those dragon fangs.”
The baron began to speak with his head still hanging down.
“I was only granted the title of baron five years ago. Thus, I am more familiar with the mindset of commoners than most of my peers.
People can attain happiness even without becoming part of the nobility, and indeed, many find becoming an aristocrat a rather troublesome affair.
However, those who have inherited their titles among my peers are mostly biased in their views. They think everybody looks up to us nobles and wants to become one as well…… And that’s why they came up with these sorts of conditions.”
“Why do those who endeavor to subdue creatures like dragons or those who have attained great fortune want to obtain lands of their own? Most of the members of the royal court do not comprehend such a thing.
When I arrived at this city, I heard that not only did you subdue and kill one dragon, Alan-dono, but you even managed to tame a living one as well.
If it’s you, Alan-dono, then I’m positive you would be able to obtain at least a rank of baron unconditionally in each of the other neighboring kingdoms.”
I did remember Cleria saying my achievements would have netted me a baron title without a doubt in the former Starveek kingdom.
However, we’ve already started the construction of our new base within this kingdom, so the option of moving to another country was no longer available to us.
“The news that a live dragon is following you willingly has not reached the kingdom’s capital yet. I believe the conditions will become much better once they receive the news though……
Ugh. I really should have refused the job of being an envoy…… Uh, I’m not saying it’s your fault though, Alan-dono. Please pay my earlier words no heed. I am ultimately the one at fault for being too greedy.”
“……Did you have any pressing reason to accept this job?”
“A particularly troublesome peer has been eyeing me for quite some time now, and if I managed to do well this time, he agreed to overlook everything between us until now, so I was compelled to accept.”
There seem to be various circumstances huh. It’s true that it’s his fault for accepting the job when he could have simply refused though. I’m a bit curious about what those circumstances exactly are now.
“If it’s alright with you, can you tell me a bit more about your circumstances?”
“……I managed to get myself a wife who’s well beyond my current station, you see. My wife is from the branch house of a particularly well-known and influential noble family. They vehemently opposed our marriage, of course. But my wife forcibly arranged everything and we ended up getting married anyway.”
Now he’s just gushing about his wife. But it’s pretty different from the image of nobles I heard from the rest of the Clan.
“Even though it was a marriage between fellow nobles, I didn’t think such a thing would actually be tolerated in the end.”
“Well, normally, it would not have been. However, my wife pressed a sword to her neck and threatened her family that she would commit suicide if they didn’t allow her to get married to me. Otherwise, the marriage would have not pushed through.”
Man. That’s one bold lady.
“Most likely, if I fail this job, my house will be crushed underfoot, and my wife would be forced to lawfully divorce me and then returned to her family. In fact, I believe they pushed this job onto me expecting such an outcome.”
But judging from the apparent age of this baron, his marriage should have been quite a few years ago already. Would there still be a point in having his wife return home after all this time?
“I see…… By the way, how long has it been since your marriage?”
“It was just three months ago.”
“……Forgive me for asking, but how old is your wife?”
“She’ll be eighteen years of age next month.”
Un. On second thought, I don’t think there’s any reason to pity the good baron after all. But I think I understand why the wife’s family is so insistent in having her return to them. I think the baron’s guess about what’s going on is mostly correct.
In any case, was this guy really that damn charming?
Uh, ahem. Something like that isn’t important, I guess. Let’s proceed with the talks.
“In other words, you accepted the job of being an envoy for love, correct?”
“……W-Well, you can put it that way, I guess.”
“Wonderful! What courage. Color me impressed! To think you would even risk your noble house going under just to ensure that you wouldn’t lose your wife!”
“……N-No, I do not deserve such praise.”
“Oh, but I truly am impressed! If that’s really the case, then I should do my part and ensure this negotiation of ours is a success.”
“Are you serious, Alan-dono!?”
“But of course! However, I still find the three proposals you offered me quite unattractive. In fact, I instead find Gantz, or rather, the Great Demon Forest to my liking. I like the place so much that I’m actually compelled to stay in the long term.”
“What! The Great Sea of Trees, you say!?”
“Yes. It really is a good place. To be honest, when I heard about the places your kingdom was offering earlier, I thought it would be better if I got granted rights to the Sea of Trees instead. Would it be possible for me to change the land the crown would award me to the Sea of Trees instead? Oh, and you’ll still get the dragon fangs as part of the trade, of course.”
“Are you really in your right mind, Alan-dono!?”
“Of course I am. I’m completely sane, Your Lordship.”
“Alan-dono, I think it’s best for you to give up on the Great Sea of Trees. As far as I know, five noble houses have attempted to develop it in the past as well. There was even one headed by an earl among them. But all of them ultimately failed in the end, without exception.”
“You really are a good man, Baron Herring. However, there’s no need to worry. Ah, and in addition, I’d like to get the right to declare all the land I manage to successfully develop as part of my territory. That would motivate my men and future subjects to work hard in cultivating the land after all. What do you think of this condition?”
“That’s…… I’m sure something like that would be approved. The five houses I mentioned earlier also asked for such a condition as well.”
“That sounds wonderful! So, I believe there are no further problems, correct?”
“……Are you really fine with something like that?”
“Yes. I would be more than happy to accept such terms.”
“……Understood. Thank you very much, Alan-dono. I am in your debt. I will never forget this favor for as long as I live.”
“No, no. In fact, it should be me thanking you for such an opportunity. Well then, since we’ve settled the talks, should we call everyone back?”
I opened the door of my office from within and found everyone standing by just outside, so I called them back in.
“Now then, we’ve finished our talks, so I’ll give you all a brief summary. It still hasn’t been set in stone, but if all goes well, I shall be granted the title of baron and given a part of the Great Demon Forest as my territory. And every piece of land we successfully develop shall be counted as part of our territory as well. As thanks for being bestowed such grace, I have decided to offer both of the dragon’s fangs to the king.”
Nobody reacted after I finished my summary. Uh, but Cleria’s mouth seems to be twitching a bit.
Baron Herring looked nervously at everyone’s expressions. I bet he’s worried that some of them might oppose the terms we discussed.
“……We will abide by Alan-sama’s will.”
When Adjutant Dalshim replied as such, Baron Herring sighed in relief.
“……Now then, Alan-dono. When will you be departing for the royal capital? Ah, and there’s a need to arrange for adventurers to act as your escorts as well.”
“Actually, the dragon material auction will be held for three days, starting from today. If possible, I’d like to depart after four days. As for the escorts, I’d like to hand that job to the members of Shining Star.”
“Oh! That would be most welcome. Well then, let us arrange to depart on the morning of the fifth day.”
“Understood. That should be fine.”
I asked the baron about the inn he was staying at so we could keep in touch and sent him and his retinue off with everyone.
“Let’s tell everyone else the good news right away.”
It looks like Cleria couldn’t hold her joy back any longer. Elna, Serena, and Sharon were also smiling happily. We headed straight for the dining hall where the rest of the Clan members were waiting.
We then told them about the results of the discussions with the baron.
“We did it, Alan-sama!”
“As expected of Alan-sama! Such splendid negotiation skills!”
“Well, that so-called negotiation wasn’t really all that difficult to begin with. Apparently, due to certain reasons, they didn’t even consider offering the Sea of Trees as our territory.”
Everyone wanted to hear about the details of the talks, so I briefly summarized my discussion with the baron.
“I see. So that’s why they sent a baron as an envoy……”
“It still isn’t official, but I guess it’s almost decided. I’d like to have a celebration with you all immediately, but a three-day auction for the dragon materials will begin starting today. And so, I was thinking of having a big feast on the night of the third day instead.”
“Also, I want everyone to prepare for our departure to the royal capital in five days.”
“Alright then. Some of us will head to the auction venue in the afternoon. Let’s have lunch somewhere in the city and head for the Commerce Guild afterward.”
It seems Karina-san prepared ten seats for us since we’re the seller of the dragon materials. Hence, I, my four party members, Adjutant Dalshim, and the four sub-party leaders will be attending.
After having a quick lunch, we immediately headed to the Commerce Guild. There were already lots of people gathered in front of the guild building. It was very crowded.
“There sure are a lot of people huh. Are all of them actually merchants?”
“They probably are. I didn’t think such a number of them would turn up.”
The interior of the guild building was even more crowded. It was packed to the point that it was difficult to move around. Karina-san was shouting something behind a reception table.
“In accordance with our earlier announcement, the only items we are auctioning off today will be panaceas! Aside from the bidders, everyone else should vacate the guild building!”
It looks like she was shouting about the details of today’s auction.
“It’s about time, so we will lead you to the venue now! Show our staff your guild certificate and proceed to the auction venue on the second floor!”
It looks like the only ones eligible to participate in the auction are C-ranked or higher guild members. The first floor of the guild building was vacated little by little as the eligible merchants all went up to the second floor.
“You’ve come, Alan-sama!”
“Of course. I’m curious about the auction as well.”
“Well then, I shall guide you to the auction venue.”
Under Karina-san’s guidance, we also made our way up to the guild building’s second floor.
The auction venue was a large room that encompassed the entirety of the guild building’s second floor. There were probably more than 200 merchants in attendance today. Everyone sat on small, round chairs which were lined up closely with each other.
“Please come over here, everyone.”
The seats Karina-san guided us to were located right behind the stage. We ended up in a position facing the attending merchants. I would have liked it if we were guided to somewhere less conspicuous though.
Once we took our seats, we immediately caught the attention of the attending merchants.
Before long, the figure of Silas-san finally appeared. He stood up on the stage and slowly ran his gaze toward all of the merchants present in the venue.
“Well then, we shall now begin today’s auction!”
It’s finally time. I wonder how much a panacea would sell for?