A bit of warning from the author: WARNING! HORRIBLE GRAMMAR IMMINENT!
Chapter 2: The Heaven Lords in the New World
Part 16: Core Creation
Day 17 of arrival. 02-09-0002. 12.26
The battle had finished. The lone floating and warmly glowing giant crystal was the proof of it, together with numerous corpses of wolf and wolf-like monsters scattered on the ground. The Knights were dealing with the still living stragglers, but with the loss of the Pack-Mother, the token resistance was quickly snuffed out.
With Saki entered a new Character Tier, Yuuto at least had confirmed that it was possible for players to DSL up. Hopefully, this could increase their ‘survival rate’ in this confusing new world, just in the worst case of a hostile player or PK-maniac were out there (typical of LN plot) or a dangerous endgame monsters/entities (typical of LN plot, too). As Saki was the weakest one amongst the eight, this was reassuring for him. Not that he would let any danger approached her, of course. Well, that’s one problem down.
While the girls were celebrating Saki’s new obtained Authority, Yuuto noticed that there was an envelope with a “!” icon at the bottom left corner just above the minimized chat window. This was normally a sign that someone had sent him a message to his game account affiliated e-mail. Which was a strange thing, since they were definitely not connected to any Internet right now. He clicked it with a huge interest at this strange event.
When he clicked it, it wasn’t a mail window that opened, but a “System Announcement” window.
【You obtained the Core of “Forest of Radiance”】
【 “Forest of Radiance” is added to the Guild’s Core】
【“Forest of Radiance” can now be managed by your guild】
Core? Yuuto was a bit confused. As far as Yuuto know, RAHO didn’t employ any guild mechanic that involve ‘Core’ and the ever-present pre-installed knowledge inside his mind didn’t include anything about ‘Core’. Thankfully, there was the hardly ever used help “?” icon on the top of the window.
【The Core is a terminal connected to the Will of the World. It enables the creation and administration of a Holy Land. By spending mana and divinities, one might create direct changes over limited area. Only usable by one who possessed a shard of divinity】
An equal amount of question and exclamation marks appeared inside Yuuto’s mind.
So that means this whole forest is like a Guild’s Holy Land? Does instance were treated as Holy Land? Or perhaps it’s the opposite, Holy Land was coded using the same code used to code an Instance in the game? Is this a bug or a feature working as intended? Does the world glitch when they transported all the game stuff to this reality?
Various theories came to his head, but unfortunately the more he theorizes the more the answer seems to be avoiding him like an elusive shadow. In any case, it seems that since they had ‘obtained’ the floating crystal, he could access what was called as the Core.
Although it had been proven that he could activate or open menu just by speaking, Yuuto felt more familiar when his fingers were pushing and gliding the menu in the air. Since only Yuuto, who could see the menus, if someone saw him, perhaps they would think that he was doing some weird finger dance.
Anyway, when he had opened the Guild Administration window, he noticed a new entry.
【Secret Valley: Neuschwanensee 🔒】
【Forest of Radiance: Deep Forest of Devouring Howls 🔓】
Why didn’t the entry appear before? Perhaps because they only have a single Holy Land? Damn lazy coder.
Like a good detective, he tapped at the Neuschwanensee first.
【❎⛝❎ ERROR ❎⛝❎】
【⛔⛔⛔ Access denied. You do not have sufficient privileges to manage this core. ⛔⛔⛔】
Figures… Perhaps just like in the game, only Guild Master could manage the Holy Land, considering that the guild master absolutely forbids any player from making any alteration in his Medieval German City project, it was no wonder that he monopolized the right for himself. Not that the other members objects as they (including Yuuto) were quirky and lazy bunches who didn’t care about the Holy Land city management.
Then, how about the second one?
【Forest of Radiance: Deep Forest of Devouring Howls】
【Type: Field Instance】
【Name: Deep Forest of Devouring Howls】
《Change Type 🔒》
Just like the lock icon beside it, the “Change Type” button was locked as clicking it would just spawn another insufficient privilege error window, but the other three wasn’t. “Rename” was just like it sounds, seems to rename the location. Since “Deep Forest of Devouring Howls” was mouthful, Yuuto renamed it simply as “Forest of Aurvandil” , which sounds more poetic. He then clicked the “Information” button.
【Template: Forest of Radiance】
【Forest of Aurvandil】
【Main Flora Class: Radiant Mana Trees】《List of Flora》
【Main Fauna Family: Beasts】《List of Fauna》
【Mana Density: 18.75 Cr】
〘⚠⚠⚠ WARNING: Mana Density is too low for the current setting ⚠⚠⚠〙
Just like it name, the list of flora registered each of what seems to be the plant name – with curious Latin-sounding binomial-taxonomy name like Manaphyta or Radiarboripsida –, their distribution in the forest (with nifty map markers) and their current ‘health’, which was mostly red at the present, except for the immediate area around the crystal. Perhaps with Shastasena dead, the aberrant mana that once filled the forest had gradually thinned and replaced with a lower level of unadulterated pure mana of the world. With the mana level decreased, perhaps in the future, the luminescence lycopsid-like tree would die and the instance influenced biome range would decrease as the lycopsid-like trees replaced by normal tree and vegetation.
The next thing, the list of fauna not only registered the monsters name but also seems to record the mundane/magical creature like insects and that spawned in the forest. It seems that the aberrant mana level had decreased to the extent that most of the monsters were labeled: “Spawn error. Mana Density too low.” This wasn’t really a problem for Yuuto, but the forests seem to be a convenient place to farm low tier materials and mana stones. What a shame, Yuuto thought.
“Map” was just like its name, showed the map of the forest. There even a scale on the map, that Yuuto could judge that the forest covered an area of a square with an approximate dimension of 10 by 10 kilometers. But what interested him was the fact that he could also change the forest layout from the map menu. He quickly manipulated the console that appeared and then set the forest tree distribution into “chaotic random”. After all, natural trees didn’t follow a set of pattern when growing. Of course, Yuuto didn’t manipulate the large central clearing area where they were now, and he didn’t forget to leave a forest road so that they could exit the forest easily, otherwise, Stella might snap again which would result in extensive deforestation. Yuuto surely didn’t want this to happen. The resulting window displayed:
【Changing Map Layout will cost 0 Auric and 88,768 GMP】
(Current Guild Balance 1,099,310,192,287 Auric and 2,690,229 GMP)
(Post Guild Balance 1,099,310,192,287 Auric and 2,601,461 GMP)
〖Do you want to proceed?〗
The Guild’s Auric balance had increased by more than 400 billion Auric. That was all the money that Yuuto and the girls had, well mostly Yuuto’s money that is. They had spent more than 50 billion of it for repairing various building, canals, fields, mines, forests, etc. Yuuto was questioning where all the money went into, since the money were ‘virtual’, though they can pull it from inventory as real gold coins somehow. One trillion gold coin, just how many tons it will be.
The GMP or Guild Management Point had been quite decreased since the consumption outweighs the production, which like in the game came from the daily intrinsic Holy Land GMP income and from killing monsters. It looks like there wouldn’t be any different whether the players or the NPC who killed the monster. If the monster died, the GMP will increase. Yuuto hadn’t test if killing natives residents will increase the GMP. Perhaps he should test this later, he was lucky for the ‘test subjects’ that ‘volunteered’ yesterday.
Yuuto pressed the “Yes” button without delay and the forest stirred as the trees moved, which actually just the ground under the trees shifting. This alarmed the Knights and the girls who immediately enter a battle position. Yuuto used his hand to gesture them to stand down.
“It’s just me changing the forest layout.” (Yuuto)
“Eh? You can change the layout?” (Stella)
Yuuto then explained about what he know the core to them. Although the girls nodded and throw aizuchi, other than Stella and Saki, Yuuto didn’t think that the other understand. After all, ‘core’ is a rather obscure RPG mechanic.
“I don’t really understand, but in another word, we get the management rights for this place?” (Ichiko)
“Something like that.” (Yuuto)
“Oh! Can we summon monster and stuff? 😮” (Saki)
“Well, I haven’t tried it yet. Let’s do some experiment, shall we? Sia, Mel, Stella can I leave the cleaning to you?” (Yuuto)
“Yeah, leave it to me.” (Stella)
“Certainly, Dear Husband.” (Kiyomi)
Chie and Kiyomi readied their equipment, Stella made a rather grandiose pose (she might emulating an anime character, but Yuuto didn’t catch the reference, sorry Stella…), while Ichiko kept the girls trio away at a safe distance and erected a barrier around the members. Of course, even without being ordered the Maid Guardians were waiting around the girls in battle-ready formation. Not that all of this preparation was actually needed, since Yuuto only intended to spawn weak monsters.
Yuuto pushed on the “Customize” button. Unlike the previous button, this time there were numerous icons appeared. Cursory examination revealed that the Yuuto could customize the mana management, tree density, plant species distribution, temperature, weather and atmosphere, soil and rock, ornaments and landmarks, monster spawning point and their waiting ‘position’, traps, monster species, the loot drop chance (changing the weight so it would deviate to certain item category), and buildings or other artificial structure. There were other icons that represented biome, instance area size, treasure and loot list, DSL and difficulty, and instance type, but these icons had a lock icon pasted over them. Perhaps there were some prerequisites that he needed to fulfill before it was unlocked. Perhaps he had to pass some tutorials section, first? What with this steep curve of learning and unintuitive UI, a grand strategy game?
Yuuto calmly clicked on the monster – a stylized slime with fangs – button. Immediately, a simple window appeared:
【Current Mana Density: 18.75 Cr】
《Monster Roster Customization》
Under the monster roster customization there were various sliders, aggressive-passive, individual-group, offensive-defensive, and various sliders for skills and magic, spawn rate, mana consumption for spawning logic, preset behavior-logics and even a custom behavior-logic editor (too bad Yuuto couldn’t understand the read the code which was written in weird symbols). Yuuto didn’t change anything on it and just pushed the spawn monster button.
Perhaps because it was limited to the DSL range and the monster family of the instance, the monsters that could be spawned were quite limited. Luckily it seems that some monster were deemed universal that it could be summoned no matter the DSL or family limitation on the instance. What Yuuto summoned were the humble Muculenti! 100 of them for just 0.01 Cr! What a bargain!
There was what can be only called “space distortion” on the ground. It was as if space was twisting itself like bad photo editing effect. Then what appeared were 100 of what could be simply be said as moving oversized green colored water bag. The Muculenti were slithering (rolling) around the forest soil using the fluid they secreted on their outer membrane to ‘slip’ on the ground. They seemed to enjoy the leftover wolf’s blood on the soil, pushing their ‘mouth’ to the soil. Unlike many depictions in other media, RAHO’s trademark slime monster, Muculentus, wasn’t an oversized amoeba. But what can only be described as a large terrestrial combination of a porifera with bryozoa. The ‘mucus’ part of their name derived from their mesohyl, which was green since it contained chloroplast photosynthesize and light detection. Muculentus would gladly bring fluid and organic materials using the many flagella-like organ into their ‘mouth’ slit, which would be directly turned into the needed energy or to supplement their meager photosynthesis capabilities. Of course, since they were a bonafide monster, they could absorb ambient mana and use some magic, weak as that might be. It was a passive monster that would only attack after being attacked;if the first attack didn’t already kill them that is.
“Ew… Somehow it looks gross…” (Mizuki)
“Ugh… Seeing it directly makes me feel ill. Of all the things in the world, why do you bring out these THINGS?” (Stella)
Stella took several large steps back with a naked horrified and disgusted expression, her staff was pointing at the Muculenti mass.
“Wow, cool… 😍” (Saki)
“You like it, Mona-chan?” (Ichiko)
“*nod* I like its slushy-wushy appearance. 😆” (Saki)
“I wonder if they were squishy-wishy” (Kiyomi)
Kiyomi squatted and poke at one of the Muculenti. The Muculentus seemed to ignore Kiyomi and continue to slither on the ground slurping the piece of flesh or congealed blood on the ground. Saki followed suit and poked them with an uncanny glee. Mizuki and Tsukimi followed suit after seeing Saki enjoyed herself. Stella was looking at the girl with astonished expression.
“I AM definitely not touching THAT” (Stella)
“Umm, so what next? Kill them?” (Mizuki)
“I feel bad for them……” (Tsukimi)
“Can we keep one? 😆” (Saki)
“No. You still have Falufu-funa-futu-fu……” (Ichiko)
“Yeah, you already got a pet. So no.” (Ichiko)
“Aw… bummer… 😩” (Saki)
“Well, either you kill them now or I blow them all! Quick! Now!” (Stella)
“I never saw Stella-san behaving like this.” (Kiyomi)
“Umm… slushy-wushy-phobia? 😕” (Saki)
“I’m so glad I don’t pick the ecydracha.” (Yuuto)
“Ah, the G-monster.” (Mizuki)
“Would you like to know how atom splits from a close range?” (Stella)
“Nope, better a kitchen knife on the back than that. *note to self, Stella hate wigglying stuff*” (Yuuto)
*draw sword* “Shall we?” (Chie)
“Please wait a moment, Shia-san. Dear Husband, could we in any chance just leave them alone? I feel that they were mostly harmless.” (Kiyomi)
“I don’t care if you kill them, spare them, pet them, don’t care. Just make THESE go away!” (Stella)
“Alright-alright, no need to point your staff to me…… Let’s see… Monster positioning… Perhaps this place will be alright.” (Yuuto)
“Ara… They marched away.”(Ichiko)
“Bye-bye… slushy-wushy… 😟” (Saki)
As if guided by an unseen piper, the Muculenti were marching towards the other end of the forest. Yuuto put them on a lakeside clearing, which seems to be a nice habitat for them. From the help menu explanation, it looks like the monster would obey the Core master’s order unconditionally as long as they still receive the maintenance mana from the Core.
Yuuto could just spawn stronger monsters, but the stronger monster costs too many “Cr”, whatever that is, that Yuuto deemed it would be too wasteful just to see if the command worked. Since the command was working, for the next experiment, which is to see whether the spawned monster could drop loot, Yuuto spawned 2 Roareaf Wolves for 0.01 Cr as a test. As soon as they appeared, Yuuto decapitated them instantly. The girls were rather surprised at the sudden wolves’ appearance, but Yuuto calmed them down by saying that it was just a test.
Then, Yuuto examined the corpses. The blood and the meat were just like the real thing. Yup, they could dismantle it into crafting materials. So, spawned monsters do drop loot. Yuuto was a bit intrigued by where does the additional matter come from as this seems to break the thermodynamic law. But since it was a world of sword and magic, perhaps scientific rationale wouldn’t work here. Yuuto then gestured to one of the free Knights to dismantle the corpse and store it with the rest of the materials.
Either way, with Shastasena dead, the mana density had dropped to a dangerous level, that it couldn’t support the previous monster spawn and maintenance cost. Yuuto didn’t know how Shastasena could manage with such negative balance, so he just cut the maintenance cost for most of the monster. This would make many monsters inside the forests escaped outside, but since they wouldn’t able to obtain a high level of mana outside the forest, they would weaken or die. In case they do cause trouble later or was heading towards the villages in the south, Yuuto could send the Knights to cull them. Then he reduced the spawn rate and monster type. The monsters would be still spawning like before, but not in a large number like before. After all, for Yuuto, there is no such thing as too many materials. he also increased the growth rate of plant and herb materials. With the final adjustment, the mana balance finally became slightly positive and the warning message disappeared.
Though Yuuto didn’t know how much the current 18.73 Cr mana level compared to outside, but just by his gut feeling, the mana inside this forest was still much greater than the outside and Neuschwanensee. The mana management information window only displayed the mana income as “World Input”, so perhaps this place was a natural mana condenser, or a dragon vein was flowing under the forest, or the intersection of the world’s energy ley line network, or Shastasena’s lingering divinity – as she was categorized as a Nature Deity –, or this place was filled with mana since it was a game location transported into this world. In any case, the castle’s scholar might be interested in studying this place. Yuuto just hoped they didn’t get taxed too much studying various things he asked them to research.
It seems that the Knights had finished with the remain of Shastasena’s spawned wolves. Yuuto surveyed the forest clearing, there were perhaps several hundred dead wolves and other monsters. Aw shucks. What to do with this many soon-to-be-materials. The carts and the inventory were full, and Yuuto had reached his maximum golem number. His Japanische Geist were screaming, Nichts verschwenden! Then he remembered the menu. The buildings and artificial structure icon in the customization!
Yuuto quickly browsed the menu and several click later:
【Building a Small Iron-Stone Shell Castle with Refrigeration Annex will cost 500,000,000 Auric and 60,000 GMP】
(Current Guild Balance 1,099,310,192,287 Auric and 2,601,492 GMP)
(Post Guild Balance 1,098,810,192,287 Auric and 2,541,492 GMP)
〖Do you want to proceed?〗
It was fortunate that the guild had so much money to burn. Yuuto pressed YES, and the scenery began to change.
On that day, Yuuto added Landgrave of Aurvandil (Landgraf von Aurvandill) on his titles.
662nd YEHS, Dark-Half 5th Month, 18th day, morning
Earlier that day,
It was about the first hour in the morning when the people from Chemkla, or Neuschwanensee as they called themselves, arrived at Tinerese Village. When this news was brought to the village chief, Harima, and the de jure leader of the Barony of Riora, or Margraviate of Heitersheim as it was called right now, Mayana, they and several others they immediately went towards the still unfixed village gate to receive the Neuschwanensee’s party. Other than several Neuschwanensee Knights that had been ordered to remain and guard the Village, there were already several people gathered at that place when they arrived.
They were the entourage of the Archduke Yusis, his wives (presumably), servants (which include Florea), and several Knights in full plate armor, which Mayana conjectured to be their guards. The Archduke and the Duchesses were wearing very different attires from yesterday, several of the Duchesses even worn armor. It was as if they were going to a battle.
“Welcome Milord and Miladies to our humble village. What could we help you with today?” (Harima)
Harima greeted the entourage in his capacity as the village chief, while Mayana and Sefira, who followed her, made a bowing gesture. As always the one who replied was the Pacrux woman who claimed to be Archduke Yusis wife, Duchess Melbiena.
“Good morning people of Tinerese and Marchioness Mayana. Today, we come to inform you about the matter that we had discussed yesterday. Our side has decided that the homage ceremony will be conducted this evening at Neuschwanensee. Just like what we had agreed before, we will be waiting for your side representatives’ arrival. Our side will provide the transportation, the accommodation, and guarantee the safety of your representatives and the villages. Even as we are talking, 500 Knights already headed towards the respective villages.”(Kiyomi)
“We are thankful for the kindness that the great Archduchy Union had granted to us, Duchess Melbiena. About that matter, several Chiefs of the villages from the former Barony of Riora had already gathered, while the other chiefs and the mayor from the town of Ferinio will most likely will arrive this noon.”(Mayana)
This time it was Mayana who answered. Like always, Duchess Melbiena translated the answer into Neuschwanensee language so it could be understood by the others. The Archduke then made a reply that then was translated by Duchess Melbiena.
“We are pleased to hear that. We will wait for you in the evening. We will take our leaves, fare thee well.” (Kiyomi)
“Certainly, Milady. And may the two eyes of the Spirits watch upon you, too” (Mayana)
Then with as soon as they exchanged farewells, the Neuschwanensee’s entourage began to run in an unbelievable speed before they disappeared into the forest. Mayana never imagines that a Knight in a full plate armor could run like that. The rest of the Knights that had been tasked to guard the village resumed their patrol and moved away.
From behind Harima and Mayana, the village Chiefs from nearby villages, who had arrived earlier in the morning, walked towards her. After the yesterday afternoon audience with the Archduke and the Duchesses and having securing their promise, Mayana quickly wrote letters to every village Chiefs of the former Barony of Riora that still honored her father rule and not the current treacherous Lord. Then Nasurom assigned the letters to his best riders and dispatched them towards the loyal villages. Just like what Mayana had asked to Duchess Melbiena, several of Neuschwanensee Knight accompanied the messenger riders to guarantee their safety. Even though the Knights didn’t ride any animal, their running speed even rivaled the fastest hirma. Truly worthy of Chemkla fame.
The oldest among the village chief, with fully whitened hair that was still lush even in his age, made a bow to Mayana before asking. It was obvious he was the one who could be said as the leader of this group.
“So they are the Chemkla people? The people that Lady Mayana had mentioned in the letter?” (Kasima)
“Yes, that’s true. Chief Kasima.” (Mayana)
“They don’t seem to be that strong for people that defeat Guffatar’s Ravenous Band.” (Kasima)
“Yes. They might looks so, but there is no doubt that these people are the one who perform that deed. The kidnapped youths of our village could testify for it. Also, I believe no ordinary people could run that fast.” (Mayana)
“If Lady Mayana says so, it must be true.” (Kasima)
Chief Kasima nodded in agreement, Mayana presumed this was because he had see that even the smallest Duchess, Duchess Haimona could run with a speed that even could rival a hirma.
“Can we really leave our village’s safety in their hand? Won’t Duke Sakorom retaliate against us if he heard about this? Will the Chemkla honor their promise with us?” (Dekita)
“Chief Dekita, you are always worried too much.” (Lanesi)
“But Chief Lanesi…” (Dekita)
Meanwhile two of the chiefs that seem to be the youngest pair amongst the village chiefs (even if they were the youngest, they were as old as Mayana’s father, assuming he was still alive)
“If Lady Mayana believed in them, so will us.” (Lanesi)
“Thank you, Chief Lanesi. Please do not worry, Chief Dekita, currently Duke Sakorom is in the capital, it will take at least one week for him to return even if he heard about our annexation by today.” (Mayana)
“But will it be alright… I don’t mean to be rude, but they are Chemkla……” (Dekita)
“Do not fear Chief Dekita. Archduke Yusis is a wise one. He promised to not interfere in our custom and rule, I think he calls it ‘giving us ootonoemi’, which means granting us a self-rule. The tax that is asked of us is also low and it is even waived on account of our current miserable situation. In addition, he will give assist us with food, tools, and knowledge. All he ever asked is our utmost cooperation and loyalty.” (Mayana)
“I had read it from your letter, but I still can’t believe it. This is too good to be true. What if it is only empty words?” (Kasima)
“I understand your concern, Chief Kasima. However, if you see the goods that they give to us, I believe their words are more worthy than their weight in gold. Sefira please show it to them.” (Mayana)
Sefira then brought a small chest where the Magic Silk dresses that Mayana and Sefira wore yesterday, the high-grade magic potion, and the gems embedded gold seal that were bestowed to her as proofs of Neuschwanensee’s commitment in their words.
The village chiefs were wide-eyed at the sight of what could be said as an Emperor’s treasure. It was unthinkable that there was a dress made entirely from Magic Silk. Even a small roll of Magic Silk could already enough to feed a peasant for one year. Even more surprising, the dress possessed 8 enchantments. It was a dress that could even be called as a National Treasure. And there were two pieces of it! Moreover, these were only a ‘gift’?
Then the magic potion, some of the village chiefs, who had some knowledge of Alchemy or Potionmaking, were doubting their eyes. The magic potion was of such high mana density that compared to the common potion sold in the market, the difference was like heaven and earth. Just thinking the value of the herb and the catalyst used to make this potion could make one shudder. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that even just a few gulp of it was enough to heal all but the vilest wounds. The merchants and nobles would pay arms and legs for just one bottle. Seeing them eyeing the potion like this, Mayana didn’t have the heart to inform that there was a crate full of similar potion. When she inquired about this before to Duchess Melbiena, she replied that the potions were just a surplus good so Mayana shouldn’t worry about it that much. If it was only one crate of potion, they still got a lot so just one less crate wouldn’t matter much. This revelation made Mayana didn’t want to think too deep about it anymore.
Furthermore, the gold seal, an extremely magnificent crafted object. Numerous gems of eight different colors form patterns that created an illusion of rainbow when a light shone on them. The gems were flanked by engravings of geometric patterns made of interposing silver inside the gold. A crest of three circles and two squares, the Chemkla symbol, were engraved on the one side. Then there were small engraved letters of unknown script near the symbol. Mayana had been told that this was her name in Neuschwanensee’s letters. This served as the proof of her sovereignty as Marchioness of Heitersheim. Although Mayana didn’t know how they could engrave her name that fast into the gold seal, but since they were people that defy common sense, she just accept it as a fact without any qualm.
If Neuschwanensee had given so many objects that were equal or even above national treasure, the chance that this was all only just a ruse or a cruel joke would be very negligible. After all, Neuschwanensee also gave her 500 large gold coins that weight about 250 Rogge. Of course, it was not a legal tender of the Continental Bank. But, just by exchanging its weight alone, it was already equal to more than 1750 Solsi Gold Coin, even after counting the significant reduction from the moneychanger fee. This could be considered a trivial amount for the upper crust of the nobility, but for a small village, it was quite a large sum of amount considering 1 Solsi was about the three-month income of a farmer family. Even the total monthly tax in Tinerese, a village of more than 60 families, at the worst, it was no more than 15 Solsi per month.
“As you can see. We need not be afraid that the Chemkla people are lying to us.” (Mayana)
The village chief nodded to each other. After this showcase of gifts of such amazing value, there would be hard to think that the Chemkla people were just joking.
“Also, if Duke Sakorom indeed came to us with his army, they will need to face Chemkla’s famed Silver Brigade.” (Mayana)
“Ah, yes… The terror from 45 years ago……” (Kasima)
Chief Kasima and several other older chiefs that had personally participate in the long 3 month campaign of the Seventh Invasion of Chemkla still remember how even after dozens of assaults from all direction where no less than 50,000 people per wave attacking the wall that was just about 400 Stapas wide with a defender number not even reaching 2,000, they still couldn’t even cause any dents on the wall and the gate.
A normal wall would have been long fallen to the attacker hand. But Chemkla withstood the attack of the whole might of continent. A total of more than 1,000,000 men that was gathered from the entire continent were invested on the 3 month long invasion, without any result. The Rajul Dynasty of Ram Empire was even basically bankrupted themselves trying to invade Chemkla and in the end collapsed after a civil war. The number of people killed from the actions, wounds complications, and diseases reached more than 400,000. Truly an end suiting the Seventh Invasion’s later moniker, The Grand Failure.
But this number of casualties was just an estimation, as not only there was a high number of desertion especially on the later days, but they didn’t found most of the fallen body. It was as if most of the body disappeared after the battle. This was considered one of the mysteries surrounding Chemkla. There even an unsubstantial story that the Chemklan were cannibals and they feast on the fallen dead.
The number of the injured was oddly lesser than a normal war since in that invasion, if you receive an attack from a Silver Brigade Knight then you will either immediately drop dead or die later from a fatal wound. Furthermore, there was a great number of people that died after the battle from a mysterious disease, which was later nicknamed as the Chemkla Disease. Though, the existence of such disease was considered as hogwash by the intellectuals, since the Healer and Physician found no real disease in the body of the dead men. Though, some scholars had pointed that on the record of the First, Fourth and Fifth Invasion mentioned people die with the same description was rather hard to be dismissed, the scholars couldn’t provide conclusive answer for this phenomenone.
Nevertheless, it was the truth that back in that day it wasn’t wrong to say that out of 3 men that went to attack Chemkla, 1 will die immediately in the war and 1 will die later after the war by the Chemkla Disease, 1 will die much later as a man with broken spirit. And how couldn’t they not be broken?
The village chiefs remembered the past. They participated as one of the Ram Empire’s soldiers since at that time the whole Soipora was still a Ramian Province. They personally saw how the Chemkla’s Silver Brigade Knights could cleave multiple men with just one attack, how their silver armor couldn’t be pierced with normal weapons, how their magic was stronger than any warmages of the Academies, how even after the battle, soldiers were dying left and right from the magic after-effect or from their wounds. The village chiefs were lucky since they were amongst the very last wave when the siege was rescinded after the news that the Emperor and most of the high generals died from a Chemkla’s attack. The surviving soldiers decided to rout while the Princes return to Ram for the dynastic struggle, while the allied countries and mercenaries decided that the siege was a failure and return to their own home, looting the land along the way. If they were at the earlier wave, they might not live to see this day.
Even though 45 years had passed since that day, they still could feel the cold shiver on their back every time they tried to remember. At that time, they didn’t feel that they were attacking an army of humans, but they were attacking an army of the gods itself. Truly, it was a hubris of the kings that think they could best such army. And now that same army is protecting this land? The older chiefs believe that it will take the whole Midzu continent to defeat them, even then the chance of victory was still not certain.
Although the older chiefs seems to be convinced, the younger chiefs, who were still too young to see that war and so didn’t directly experience the horror called Chemkla, still had some doubt. Even so, a good Soiporan respected their elders, hence they didn’t oppose that much.
“Honorable chiefs, my house had prepared a small feast for the breakfast. Please have a taste before we depart for the meeting point. If there are anything else we have to discuss, we might be as well talk about it over the dinner table.” (Harima)
As the discussion seems to have ended, Harima invited the gathered Village Chiefs for breakfast. Since before noon the Chemkla people will send a carriage to transport them and the Chiefs had left their villages very early in the morning, such was the hurry of the situation as Mayana said to quickly come before the eyes and the ears of Duke Sakorom picked up the information about Chemkla, most of the Chiefs were actually quite hungry.
Unlike the yesterday ruinous scenery, the village had been mostly been put into order thanks to the cooperation of the Chemklan Knights. Just by a glance, it was hardly could be seen that this village had just been raided and looted by bandits yesterday. Most of the irreparable burned house had been demolished and new houses were being constructed to replace it.
The group entered Harima’s house where his daughter-in-laws and granddaughters had prepared numerous dishes for the breakfast. The Chiefs were rather surprised by the number of the dishes. Two baskets full of thick newly baked bread, plates of stir-fried vegetables, grilled fishes and several pots of thick stew full of ingredients, which scent greeted the Chiefs with a mouth-watering aroma.
“Chief Harima, Miss Mayana, I appreciate your hospitality for the feast. But this amount, isn’t this too lavish for us? The harvest season might be near, but you shouldn’t squander it for us.”
The Chiefs were thinking that Harima and Mayana had pushed themselves too much to welcome them. After all, most of the villages only had meager provision due to the heavy-handed tax and this village had just been looted by bandits, so the Chiefs weren’t expecting more than just few slices of bread and thin stew for the breakfast. However, for the dishes served on the table to be so plentiful, even though it wasn’t a harvest festival season, it wouldn’t be strange that Harima and Mayana had spent much of the village reserve for this feast. Although Soiporan and Holy Spirit believer, hospitality is a paramount, it will not be a boon if the host ruined themselves to treat the guests. As if to read their misunderstanding, Mayana corrected their apprehension.
“Please be at ease, Chief Kasima. The Archduke had returned to us most of the food the bandits had taken from us. In addition, they had given us some of the food the bandits had taken from the other villages, which we will return after we know which village the food had been taken from. Furthermore, the Archduke had kindly offered us 2 Ternas of grain flour and 1 Ternas of other ingredients. The dishes you see here is nothing but just a small fraction of our current food reserve. So please, eat to your heart content.” (Mayana)
Ensured by Mayana, the Chiefs then gladly help themselves to the table and enjoyed the generous serving of food that they could only enjoy at the rare occasions in a festival. Mayana was smiling at this scene. Once again, just like when she showed the gifts to the chiefs, this was a ploy so that the Chiefs would gladly throw their acceptance for her annexation plan.
It was natural that the Chiefs would be reluctant to accept being annexed into foreign power like Chemkla / Neuschwanensee, even when currently they were under an iron yoke of Duke Sakorom, as it would be hard for them to accept it with another yoke. After all, they had spent 8 long years and numerous conflicts, trying to rally their cause of independence, albeit without any clear result. The answer of: “submitting to a new overlord to replace the old ones”, wouldn’t be a satisfying answer for many. Hence, why she needed to show to the Chiefs: “Yes, it is a yoke, but the yoke is easy and the burden is light”.
This was important, since, after all, this was all Mayana’s own arbitrary decision of requesting annexation without consulting with the other Chiefs first. She might be the only surviving member of the previous lord’s bloodline and hence the heir of his title, but she was just a normal village girl. Her nominal power all came from her previous father’s influence amongst his former vassals and her position as the symbolic figurehead of the resistance against the new despised lord.
Although, she was currently just a random peasant daughter, this didn’t means that she was stupid or uninformed of the ways of the world. After all, as a noble’s daughter, she had received basic educations that commoner didn’t receive, like governance or political theory, since early age, even after she went into hiding, her previous teacher Kanoro still taught her the rest of the knowledge she would need as a noble. Previously, she might have given up on reclaiming the throne of her father, but given the last event and the opportunity the God and Spirits had given to her, it would be stupid if she didn’t use this chance.
This was why she took all the trouble to gather every Chief who could be expected for being loyal to her cause and the long-time family friend and ally, the mayor of Ferinio, which had great influence with the other Chiefs and the burghers. If she didn’t consolidate and garner the support and fealty from the Chiefs it would be hard for her to rule the former territory of her Father. Even if the almighty Neuschwanensee was backing her rule with ultimate force, if the Chiefs and the populace couldn’t accept her, then her rule would be no different than the current despised Duke Sakorom, notwithstanding if she was the heir of her late father’s title. Fortunately, as if they had read her mind, the Neuschwanensee people decided to hold the homage ceremony as soon as possible.
Legitimization of one’s rule is indispensable since there is no inherent right to wield power in being a “ruler”, as a “ruler” can only exercise power and authority because the position is fully accepted as having a power by the populace as a whole. One couldn’t just proclaim oneself to be Emperor and expected themselves to immediately have the power of the Emperor. No, it was because there were people that accepted them and hence the power came to be. If the majority segment of the populace didn’t accept them, then they would just be another “tyrant”.
To obtain enough support to legitimize her reign, she could sway the populace to accept her with hard power, which is coercion using threat of violence and would be something that she refrained from doing, or with soft power, which is the enticement to attract and obtain the populace acceptance using objects with materials or psychological value. If her ‘value’ was more than the current Duke Sakorom’s “value”, then the populace would happily lift the dais of her rule. If the populace didn’t ‘believe’ in her, then when the Duke arrived with his army, the populace could quickly turn their coat against her to save their own hide. Not that she could blame them, such was the way the weak could survive in this cruel and unforgiving world.
In this matter, the Fates were smiling at her as Neuschwanensee provided avenues to legitimize her rule. Whether this situation had been foreseen by the Archduke or not, Mayana didn’t know. But, she was grateful for it.
First, Neuschwanensee had granted her a formal title, hence Neuschwanensee had transferred their authority to her, hence for outsider perspective, she had been elevated into higher social strata. As it was a title granted from an already legitimized regime and not a self-appointed title, it held a greater value than if she self-proclaimed herself a Baroness of Riora. Of course, the fact that she was endorsed by Neuschwanensee, means Neuschwanensee would provide material and non-material support for her, which include the terribly needed ‘muscle power’ that the current Barony of Riora lacked. After all, there was no stronger external legitimization power, than a strong power backing your words.
Second, just like in the old tales, which describe Neuschwanensee as a land where silver and gold was as common as rocks and grains grew like weeds, their wealth was in such seemingly endless abundance that not only they didn’t even need any tax from a poor remote area like Barony of Riora, but they even gifted their new subjects food, medicines, even gold in such worth without any hesitance, as if all that valuable gifts were just like throwing pebbles at the side of the road. Consequently, unlike their previous master, this new kind master could provide all the food and even wealth that the populace needed. A satisfied and happy peasant would hardly want to revolt than a hungry and irritated peasant, plus they would gladly support her. Bread and Circuses, the most common way to obtain the populace heart as the common people were selfish and hardly care of wider concerns, which is the realm of the Chiefs.
Thus, she showed the gifts that she had received from Neuschanensee to the Chiefs. Just like what she expected, the Chiefs were impressed by the enormous value of the gifts and the food abundance that their new overlord could provide. Furthermore, together with her, they would travel to the very land of Neuschwanensee itself. For more than 700 years the Golden Wall stood unbroken and no known outsider had ever step their feet on its soil and live to tell the tale. But now, she would mark herself not in the footnote of history, but on the main page, seeing that she and her entourage would become the first outsider that visit and hopefully return from the land beyond the wall. Then, when the Chiefs returned to their village, they would tell the tale of wealth and abundance to their villagers, which would then spread them across the land. If she could bring the Chiefs to her side, it was the same as she obtained the populace support. Obtain the Chiefs, obtain the people. And so, even when Duke Sakorom had heard about this and brought his mighty army, he would meet with a united populace of Riora, scratch that, Heitersheim that wholly supported her.
If all according to the plan, then she would be remembered not as a girl who sold the land to the highest bidder, but as a self-sacrificing girl who requests a great and noble country to save her land from the evil grasp of a vile duke and rescued the populace by bringing prosperity to the land.
Neuschwanensee might not realize it yet, but they had woken a sleeping sow from her deep years-long hibernation.
Hmm… Perhaps I didn’t need to elaborate the last few paragraph and left it to the reader’s discretion to analyze Mayana’s true motive?
Next Chapter: Village Girl in the Big City. LoL……
EXTRA UNNECESSARY FOOTNOTES BELOW
I mean, this was never a Japanese language story to begin with…
Anyway… Here's the map...
 Actually, Myukulent. 陸綿蜇
 zuruzuru ずるずる
 punipuni ぷにぷに
 Yamato-damashii 大和魂
 mottainai! もったいない
 1 Rogge is about ~62.4 grams, so it’s about ~15600 gram or ~15.6 kg. 1 kg of gold (Density: ~19.282 g/cm3) is just ~51.86 cubic centimeter. A glass of gold (200 cc) is about ~3.86 kg. All the gold Mayana had was just ~809 cubic centimer of pure gold. If it was a box, it was a box of ~10 cm x 10 cm x 8.09 cm gold, or four glasses of gold. Gold is quite heavy.
 1 Stapa is about ~57.9 cm, so 400 Stapas is about 231.6 meter. The wall dimension was actually 250 meters. But for the natives saying 400 Stapas is more poetic than 431.78 Stapas.
1/3600 Garis = 1/600 Cladar = 1 Stapa = 6 Hansa = 36 Datar
 1 Terna = 60 Aril = 720 Sinua = 4320 Rogge = 25920 Semat = 155520 Sair. 1 Terna is about ~269.57 kg. The natives sure love their 6s.