Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
This is just temporary cover chapter until Larvyde return, okay?
Also, should I call Human Race as Hume just like FFXII?
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 1: A Tale of Two Cities F
Author’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Yukkuri’s Note: Likely placed since it deals with refugee situation. (Sensitive matter for sensitive people)
I left the dispute clean-up to Juno and her group. In order to accomplish our original objective of meeting with the leader of this refugee community, we traveled further into the settlement. Then, after we followed the young man guiding us, he finally lead us to a remarkably large tent similar to a Mongolian yurt.
We entered the tent and saw a large Human male inside, sitting down cross-legged with both of his hands propped against the floor as he bowed his head down. It was a pose that could e often seen in Jidaigeki, and was how a retainer would behave towards his lord. The large man looked to about 30 years old, but if I was to describe his appearance, then he gave off a similar impression to that of a Native American. His large burly figure was lightly dressed, which was common to the people who came from the warmer northern region and his face was painted with what looked likes symbols or charms.
Behind him, there was a girl who wore a similar attire to him and was sitting in a similar pose, too. Her age was not that much different from Liscia or Roroa. She was not that sophisticated, but she was a girl that gave off a simple cute feeling. Both of them had similar features on their faces, so perhaps they were siblings.
「Thank you for visiting us, Your Majesty, the Great King of this Country.」(Man)
「Yes…… Can you stop with that Great King? I’m not really fond of that phrase.」(Souma)
I sat down in front of the man. There was no chair, so I sat directly on the carpet that was spread over the floor. As a Japanese, this was something that I was familiar with. Judging from the sensation, the carpet was affixed to a board. So it seems that the carpet wasn’t directly spread over the bare ground. Liscia sat down next to me. Owen, Hilda, and Carla, who had returned back from the Castle, sat down behind us.
「Fumu…… Then, how should I refer to you?」(Man)
「You may simply call me King or Your Majesty.」(Souma)
「Then I shall do so. My name is Jirukoma. I have been entrusted with the leader position by this refugee community. For helping the people of this community at the incident that happened not long ago, let me express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart.」(Jirukoma)
Jirukoma made a very deep bow as he said these words.
「I am the one who is acting as the king of this country, Souma Kazuya. Then, the ones who rescued them are the adventurers that had been dispatched as guards Please direct your gratitude towards them.」(Souma)
「I can’t do that. The deployment of the adventurers itself is due to the support from the King. We are also thankful for the continuous support of goods.」(Jirukoma)
「Then I will accept that gratitude…… However, I didn’t come to this place today to hear words of gratitude.」(Souma)
Jirukoma’s expression tensed when he heard my words. The significance of my visit should be obvious to Jirukoma. After all, this discussion about “that case” had been repeated numerous times by the envoys that I had dispatched.
「I came to demand your decision. You have heard the “recommendations” from the envoys, correct? Then, which one will you people choose?」(Souma)
「! That is-」(Komayin)
「Stop it. Komayin.」(Jirukoma)
The girl tried to stand up, but Jirukoma’s hand held her back. So this girl’s name is Komayin. Just like I had thought, they were siblings. Jirukoma sharply rebuked Komayin.
「Our words will decide the fate of all the people of this community. Do not be imprudent.」(Jirukoma)
「…… I understand.」(Komayin)
Komayin who had stood up half-way, sat back down. For a moment, the two bodyguards behind me were also on alert, but since Komayin had calmed down, they too backed down. The air inside the room became heavy. Perhaps becaise she was concerned about the situation, Liscia raised a question.
「Souma, can you explain the situation please……」(Liscia)
「…… Fine. I want to resolve this refugee problem. If the status quo continues, then it would not end well, both for our country and for the people who live in this place. That’s why I compelled a certain decision for the refugees.」(Souma)
「Either discard their homesickness and become this country’s citizens, otherwise, leave this country.」(Souma)
◇ ◇ ◇
The refugees that were chased out from their homelands when the Demon Lord Realm appeared. Their genuine wish was to repatriate back to their homeland and return back to their old lives. However, at the current state, that prospect can’t be fulfilled. The last large scale invasion towards the Demon Lord Realm ended in failure and only left fear in the hearts of the people. Even the largest major power of the Humanity Side, the Grand Chaos Empire, hesitated to send out another invasion. Right now, it only focused on preventing the Demon Lord Realm from expanding any further towards the south. This was the current situation.
Perhaps, even if we assume that the current conditions will improve in the future, it won’t happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. It will also be impossible to achieve in just several months. Achieving it in several years is also too difficult. It might take dozens of years, or perhaps we will need to be resigned t the reality that it may take hundreds of years to accomplish. Then, during that time, what will the refugees do? If they only wish to return to their homelands, then would they keep staying in foreign countries as a stateless people?
…… This is impossible. This distorted situation w ould surely become a source of problems in the future.
「The former King Albert took an attitude towards tolerating their stay. I too, in order to deal with the mountain of other problems, had accepted that position until today. Even if it was only in small quantities, I had provide aid and suport.」(Souma)
「However, now that the other problems have been resolved, I could no longer ignore tackling this problem. Even for us, we can’t continue to provide aid indefinitely and we are also troubled with the refugees staying here illegally. We have tolerated it up until now, but hunting and gathering without permission were originally illegal activities. If I permit these illegal activities then it will surely provoke the anger of our citizens.」(Souma)
The reason for this was they were not citizens of this country. Up until now, they received an air of sympathy since they had lost their homelands because of the appearance of the Demon Lord Realm. However, air is still air. When it will eventually drift away, no one knows. Their wish of repatriation won’t come true. If we continue to support these non-citizens and tolerate their illegal activities, then voices of dissatisfaction would arise amongst the citizens in the future. In the worst case, it might turn into a violent conflict.
「That’s why I compelled the people living in this place to make a decision. Give up on returning back to their homelands and live in this country as citizens, or don’t give up on returning back and leave this country for another country. I came for them to decide this.」(Souma)
「Souma, that is……」(Liscia)
「This might be heartless. However, this is necessary. In the end, a country is like a very huge person. She will easily love someone who loves her, but to love someone who doesn’t love her? Her heart isn’t that generous.」(Souma)
That’s why, while the air of sympathy still exists right now, I want to promote the integration. This country is a country of many races. Compared to a nation that is dominated by a single race, there is a pre-existing basis to receive them. ――― However, that depends on whether or not the refugees accept on becoming citizens of this multi racial country. I had spoken about this earlier when pointing the flaw in the Humanity Declaration, a feeling of nationalism that is too strong will become the source of rebellion.
「If perhaps, your people, are determined to return to your homeland no matter what and don’t have any sense of belonging to this country, then I…… will have no choice but to deport your people.」(Souma)
When he heard my words, Jirukoma clenched his teeth.
「…… We just…… want to return to our homeland.」(Jirukoma)
「I understand that feeling. I don’t mind if each person simply holds that feeling inside their heart. If the situation improves, then when the situation for the repatriation arrives, we won’t mind if you return back to your homeland…… However, at least while you are in this country, I want you to identify yourselves as citizens of this country. If you can’t then… this country is not a place for you to stay.」(Souma)
Jirukoma was at a loss for words. In exchange, Komayin stood up.
「You don’t understand anything……」(Komayin)
「Stop it, Komayin!」(Jirukoma)
「No brother, let me say it! You are this country’s king, right? You have this country as yours, right? The sadness of people who have parted with their country, what do you-」(Komayin)
「I understand it all.」(Souma)
Komayin shouted out in exasperation, but I looked straightforwardly into her eyes and spoke up.
「You should have heard about this. I am a person that was summoned from a world different from this one. Furthermore, it is a perfect one-way ticket, you see. I’m different from you guys who can still have hope, even if it is just a little. There is no way for me to return. That’s why I understand the sadness of parting with your homeland.」(Souma)
「Homesickness…… sure is hard to get rid of. In my world, there is a saying 『Home is where you reminisce when you are far away.』 What an accurate saying, but it was only after I lost it that I noticed how precious home was to me. It’s easy to say that this is how things go, but it’s not that easy to be satisfied with it.」(Souma)
When I spoke out the grief inside my heart, Liscia softly linked her hand with mine.
「However…… I have Liscia and the others. There are people that are supporting me on my side. There are people who care about me. I responded to their feelings and worked feverishly. Thus, before I was aware of it, I had started to think of this country as my own. If I parted with this country, then perhaps I would have the same sadness like I felt when parted with my homeland, at least that’s what I believe.」(Souma)
In the end, homeland is “a connection”. A connection with a location and the people who live in it. The only thing that could replace it, is another “connection”. Komayin feebly sat herself down and hung her head down. She might not accept this immediately. However, stubbornly refusing to move means not being able to move forward.
「That’s why I wanted to give you what Liscia and others had given to me. If you can love this country and become its members, then this country will receive you.」(Souma)
「To be specific…… In what way will she receive us?」(Jirukoma)
Jirukoma’s eyes became more intense than ever. It was as if he was ascertaining my true intentions.
「I am aware that it is extremely rude to ask about this, even when you have told us that “she will receive us”. However, we had seen and heard the cruel reality before we reached this land, exactly what “receiving the refugees” means. A country that exploits us in harsh workplaces like the mines as cheap labor. A country that forces us to the frontlines as anti-Demon Lord Realm soldiers. We had received this kind of treatment repeatedly.」(Jirukoma)
「Yes, typical… but I can only see those as idiotic measures.」(Souma)
「Ah, yes. First, it’s idiotic to send refugee to the frontline. National defense is the core of a country. If they make the foreigners bear this role, then eventually the country will surely face a grave national crisis.」
There were many precedents even in Earth’s history. For example, the Western Roman Empire. To counter the invading Völkerwanderung Germanic people, they invited Germanic people to peacefully migrate as Germanic mercenaries, which become the main force of the army. As a result, it caused the Germanisation of the army and the chief of the Germanic mercenaries, Odoacer, to overthrow the country. Then, in China, during the Tang dynasty era, An Lu Shan, of mixed Sogdian and Göktürk ancestry, was granted supreme authority. Because of this, he instigated a rebellion, which shortened the dynasty’s life.
「Furthermore treating the refugees like slaves was also an idiotic measure. This would only stir animosity from the refugees. What would they do if the resentful refugees plot a rebellion or terrorist acts? Weren’t they only growing seeds of calamity towards their own country?」(Souma)
「Then…… How about the policy of the Grand Chaos Empire?」(Jirukoma)
Jirukoma immediately looked straight at my eyes while asking. So I scratched my head.
「…… It’s a policy that’s so Maria-dono-ish.」(Souma)
A considerable number of refugees also entered the Empire. The policy that the Empire adopted was to offer the undeveloped plot of land to the refugees, the area that the refugees developed would then be recognized as their special temporary residences. In other words, building a refugee village, and then letting the refugees manage it for themselves. If they were able to be self-sufficient, then it wouldn’t hurt the Empire’s pockets and if the refugees repatriated back to the north in the future, then they would leave a now developed piece of land behind. There wouldn’t be any losses for the Empire either way.
……Well, something like that, was what Maria-dono might have said to persuade her people. As expected from someone called the Holy Maiden, she is a kind-hearted woman. In her heart, perhaps she felt true compassion towards the refugees. To make them achieve self-sufficiency without severing their affection towards their homeland, they were able to stay in the Empire. Perhaps if they didn’t return back to their homeland, not only they would possess land inside the Empire but they would also naturallybe able to integrate themselves as citizens of the Empire. Or so was what she might have had in mind.
What I was doing right now was the exact opposite, forcing the refugees to abandon their affection for their homeland and integrating them as citizens against their will. However,
「I am sorry, but…… the Kingdom couldn’t perform the same policy.」(Souma)
To make the refugees develop the undeveloped land and achieve self-sufficiency, certainly this wouldn’t hurt the Empire’s pockets. As long as the Empire’s power didn’t wane, then the refugees would abide the Empire and also feel a debt of gratitude. If this condition continued for hundreds of years then they also could be expected to smoothly integrate into citizens of the Empire…… However, we can never predict the tide and ebb of future events. The power we have today, might be lost tomorrow, such is the world of men. Perhaps, if the Empire’s power weakened, then what will the refugee will do?
「Since it is land that they had developed with their own sweat and blood, then wouldn’t they consider that land as their own? If it’s still the generation that wished to return to their homeland, then there will be no problems. Rather than the land that they had developed, their emotional attachment to their homeland is still stronger. However, what about the next generation? Will the ones who are born in that land, a generation that never lived in their ancestor’s homeland, accept the reality that the land that their ancestors had developed with their own sweat and blood as just something that the Empire had rented to them? Wouldn’t they instead believe that that land is their own?」(Souma)
In Earth’s history terms, there was an example in the Serbians’ case. When the Ottoman Empire conquered the Serbian Kingdom, a large number of Serbian people escaped to the Habsburg Empire (Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary). The Habsburg Empire positively received the Serbians and made them develop the frontier land near the Ottoman Empire, which turned them into Grenzers or frontiersmen militia (part farmer, part soldier) that guarded the cordon sanitaire. The Serbians continued to develop the frontier while battling the Ottoman Empire. This harsh environment gave birth to a strong consciousness of autonomy amongst the Serbians, which became a fertile ground for the growth of nationalism.
Finally the rise of the ideology of Serbian nationalism,「Great Serbia」, which brought about the Sarajevo Incident, the trigger of the First World War, and as a result, leads to the dismantlement of the Habsburg Empire. Furthermore, because of the Serbian nationalist policy that emphasized the Serbians primacy, it ignited the nationalism of other ethnic groups, such as Croatian nationalism. Thus, the gruesome atrocity-filled conflict (the Yugoslav Civil Wars) happened.
The refugees might be composed of a mixture of races, but through joys and sorrows, a spirit of brotherhood was born. This spirit was how the refugees distinguished themselves from the others, something that was similar to nationalism. The Grand Chaos Empire had brought the coal that could trigger a huge fire into their own abode. Jirukoma frowned.
「Does Your Majesty think that the Empire’s policy was a mistake?」(Jirukoma)
「No…… I don’t mean it that way. It’s a different way of thinking. It’s only that Maria-dono chose that policy by believing in the best outcome, and I didn’t choose that policy out of fear of the worst outcome. Just that.」
I remembered when I assessed the Humanity Declaration, the Empire tends to choose an option with hidden high risks to get a high return. Compared to our Kingdom, rather than the return, we chose a policy that put importance in controlling the risk. Either choice was not superior to the other. This was something that could only be known in the future, whether or not either of these choices were suitable for the era.
「Then Your Majesty, then how will you treat us? Giving up on returning to our homeland and becoming the citizen of this country, or leaving the country, not letting us cultivate land, but also don’t not turning us into slaves or soldiers…… Then, what in the world are you telling us to do?!」
Jirukoma raised his voice for the first time. Even Komayin was trembled by his menacing attitude. For a few moments, I exchanged a look with Jirukoma. And then,
「Yes Your Majesty.」(Owen)
「As your wish.」(Owen)
I ordered Owen to fetch me a long cylinder. It was twice the diameter and five times longer than that of cylinders used for graduation certificates. Inside the cylinder, there was a large roll of paper. I then unfolded that paper in front of everyone’s eyes. Jirukoma and the others opened their eyes wide when they saw what depicted on the paper.
「This is…… A city?」(Jirukoma)
「Yes. This is the new port city that will soon be completed. Its name is 『Venetinova』」(Souma)
What I had shown was the blueprint for the new city 『Venetinova』 that I had established as the cornerstone of transportation and commerce to accelerate the distribution of goods.
「When I came to this country, I commenced the construction of this new city at the same time as the development of transportation network. Recently it had reached a state where it is suitable for habitation. Although, I must say that the residential district and the commercial district are still being constructed and only the trade harbor had been finished. In the future, I plan to increase the number of various facilities and develop it into a city that become the forefront of culture. Then, before long, I will taking applications for its residents……」(Souma)
I explained while looking at Jirukoma and Komayin’s face.
「So you plan to take us, the refugees, as that city’s residents.」(Jirukoma)
Jirukoma and Komayin gulped down when they heard my statement.
「If you give up on returning to your homeland and become this country’s citizens, then I will give you your residence. There will be a lot of jobs. You may become day laborers or even shop employees. I will also continue the aid delivery for a while, just like I did for the Faewolf Tribe who opened the brewery inside Parnam. When you become citizens of this country, as long as you work honestly, then you will not feel the hunger or the cold. An arrangement to provide such a situation, lies in this place.」(Souma)
The expressions of Jirukoma and Komayin were shaken…… Even for myself, I was wondering how Jirukoma and his people looked at me right now. A savior that extended a helping hand in times of tribulation…… or, a devil that tricked with the sophistry of sweet words. Then Jirukoma and Komayin spoke almost at the same time.
「Could something this wonderful exist!?」「How could there be a thing this horrible!」
Jirukoma and Komayin looked at each other. Although their words overlapped, the pair was surprised to see that the other had a completely different evaluation of my plan.
「What are you talking about brother! This is completely a 『giving a treat to make the dog wag its tail』!」(Komayin)
「Komayin, His Majesty could be said as granting a footing for our livelihood. There is no need for us to toil the land like in the Grand Chaos Empire.」(Jirukoma)
「That’s why, you want to give up on returning to our homeland!? Does brother not feel any regret!?」(Komayin)
「All we have to do is cast away that regret and we will able to live without fear of hunger and cold weather. This is what His Majesty had told us.」(Jirukoma)
So the assessment of the siblings was divided into two…… Well, such things can happen.
「It’s understandable that your opinion differs. I personally think that this proposal is quite wonderful on one side but also quite cruel on the other side. Even when seeing the same object, it is not necessarily the case for people to have the same impressions. Whether or not they feel that this is a hospitality or a misfortune, depends on their viewpoint.」(Souma)
I sighed and then placed my hand on top of the map.
「This is the best that I can do right now. I don’t expect you to take this hand that I held out right away. The future ahead is something that depends on your decision.」(Souma)
When I made this remark, Jirukoma groaned bitterly.
「……Among this community, there are people that are persistently fixated on returning to their homeland.」(Jirukoma)
「Are they…… like the imouto-san?」(Souma)
「That’s not true! Komayin is, her mind is soft! Just now, she is just thinking about the people who live on the settlement, the ones who can’t give up their affection for their homeland, and speaks on their behalf!」(Jirukoma)
「And I thought that she really meant it. Just now when she mentioned that ‘it’s horrible’, I see that you said that just out of consideration for those people’s feelings. You…… really understand the people’s grief.」(Souma)
Komayin fell into silence. Did I hit the nail on the head? Then, Jirukoma corrected his seating posture and bowed very deeply towards me.
「We are greatly indebted towards Your Majesty’s “kindheartedness”. This is something that I couldn’t decide with my own discretion, so I want to discuss it first after gathering the people of this community.」(Jirukoma)
「…… Even after I had said that I came to demand for a decision?」(Souma)
「I understand. However, so that the hand that Your Majesty holds out to us is able to reach as many people as possible, I want to persuade them. Even if…… The refugees become divided.」(Jirukoma)
The refugees become divided. In other words, expelling the ones who won’t accept……, right……. So, it had reached this point. Even if I hurry, the results won’t change. However,
「There is not much time left. Even if we could delay the citizens’ applications, we couldn’t delay the “season”.」(Souma)
Winter will soon come. If they didn’t prepare for it, there might be people who will freeze to death. The people with the weakest resistance, the children and the elderly, will be the first ones to die. If it is possible, I want the refugees’ transfers completed before the winter arrive. Hence, I wish for their decision to take this hand. Jirukoma once again bowed very deeply.
「Yes, Your Majesty! I am well aware of it.」(Jirukoma)
「…… That’s good to hear.」(Souma)
The future already depends on themselves. The kind of decision that they will take, I will also respond to it in a suitable manner. If possible, I want to stay as a “gentle king”……
Today’s negotiation had reached its end, then…
「I hear that Hilde is in this place.」(Guy)
A man clad in a white robe, rudely entered the tent. His age was somewhere in the mid twenties. A human male with a sharp look in his eyes. A peculiar characteristic about him would be his hair. Even though, he was still young, it was pure white. The man who entered without even giving a single greeting made Carla and Owen reach for the hilts of their blades, but the man didn’t feel even a tinge of fear and roughly walked towards Hilde. Hilde stood up and then glared at him.
「Brad! You! How dare you push the lectures onto me!」(Hilde)
This white haired man’s name was Brad Joker. Just like Hilde, he was a person who propped up the medical reforms in this country, the other “Physician”. Brad wasn’t concerned about Hilde’s complaint and suddenly grabbed her arm.
「W-what are you doing!?」(Hilde)
「I will hear your complaints later. Sorry, but help me out here.」(Brad)
「…… Did something happen?」(Hilde)
Guessing that something had happened, Hilde face turned serious and calmly asked Brad.
「It’s an emergency.」(Brad)
A Realist Emergency Room
Starring: Brad Joker MD FKCS, Hilde Nog MD Sc.D.
Will both of the doctor succeed in the UKEA's hallmark surgery?
Souma: Will that be your final answer?
*ominous dramatic BGM plays*
Also Yukkuri is too lazy to make new footnote for Odoacer and An Lushan Rebellion, try to read it.
 Japanese Historical Drama.
 Play Kessen 3 if you are curious.
 “Indigenous people of America” if you prefer a more less-political term.
 ジルコマ Jirukoma. So, Gilkoma, Jilkoma, Zilkoma, Zirkoma?
 コマイン Komain “ko-ma-in”. Adding “y” in front of “in”, so the Westerners wouldn’t pronounce it as “Komein”
 A famous poem from Murou Saisei (室生 犀星, 1 August 1889 - 26 March 1962) was a famous poet and novelist in modern Japanese literature. There is a continuation of the poem: Home is where you reminisce when you are far away and sing with sorrow
 The so called Great Serbian Migration
 The area that became today’s Vojvodina, Slavonia and Hungary. Until the 18th Century, there were still many Serbs in Hungary until Treaty of Trianon.
 Hafenstadt. ヴェネティノヴァ Venetinova
 Sarcastic Souma is sarcastic