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Botsuraku 134 – Part 1
After the luggage cars had been connected, the magic train departed for Helan, full steam ahead.
Though it had been used only to some extent, it has had a tremendous economic effect. Before, only a limited amount of goods could be transported in each car, but connecting ten luggage cars together has allowed for a large number of goods to be transported at a low cost.
The first thing impacted by this was the price of ingredients.
Their prices settled day after day and gradually began to drop.
Producers were able to transport their goods in large quantities, stabilizing their operations in an attempt to continue to increase their supply.
This was just one example. By many other similar reasons, the economy around Helan was about to reach its golden age.
Though our assets are limited now, anyone could see that these lands would be able to create an immeasurable amount of goods. And then our pockets will start to fill up accordingly.
I haven’t introduced the passenger car yet.
There hadn’t been any more accidents since that unfortunate event with the deer, but one could not be too safe about this.
Besides, its first run wasn’t exactly comfortable, so I needed to concentrate my efforts on that.
I used buffering material on the linking sections of each car in order to absorb impact, and also worked on further improvements for the wheels.
The magic train will probably have more chances to carry people in the future, but until it becomes more common, only wealthy people may be able to use it.
So it was said these wealthy people had softened the sound and impact of the magic train to make for a more comfortable ride, and decided to have Eli on their test ride.
She was wearing a splendid dress, complete with a leather travel bag. Though it took some effort, I was able to have her hold a parasol too, all so that the passengers could look at her and liven up the atmosphere.
Waving her floral fan close to her face, the smiling Eri gets on the passenger car.
Then, after each round trip, Eli would always get down from the magic train with a distressed expression on her face and a sore butt.
“This is no good, really no good! I will not be cooking today!”
“The next one will be better! So please, please cook!”
After sending the grumpy Eli back to the mansion, we went on to deal with the improvements on the magic train. I would be nice if she would cook for us…
Improving the magic train will improve the economy of the Helan territory, so we can’t be half-hearted about it.
Much of the Gap Company’s investment has been poured onto the magic train as well.
They certainly eat a lot of money but are the ones who spew out the most money too.
“Lord Kururi, the Dragon’s Spine will be crossing the borders of the Helan territories soon.”
While I was working on the magic train’s improvements, a man who I hadn’t seen in a while showed up at the warehouse.
His head was as bald as ever, and he was wearing that charming smile of his. The owner of those burning eyes was Grash, who had been in charge of the construction of the Dragon’s Spine.
“I see, it was faster than expected! That’s because this train’s leader is really good, huh?”
Grash shyly hid his face as if he had some kind of itch.
“Please, stop. If you say that, then the reason why this is running this smoothly is that you are great. After all, you are our leader, Lord Kururi.”
“Oh, stop, you…”
I also hid my face out of shyness.
What are we doing? Praising each other, hiding our face from each other…
I hope no one is watching this. Gross!
“Let’s return to our main topic, shall we? The completion of this Dragon’s Spine means that magic trains will now be able to run around the entire Helan territories, so we can expect further economic development in the area.”
“Yes, without a doubt.”
Grash wholeheartedly agrees.
“But that’s not the only thing that matters.”
Once again, that was a good answer by Grash.
Both of us, who are at the spearhead of this project, are still looking towards the future.
“From now on, I will be working outside of the Helan territories. The circumstances may change, but I still definitely need you strength, Grash.”
“I had thought you would say that.”
“But it really depends on the upcoming negotiations. To be honest, I don’t know just how much I can tell you about them. You have done so well and I have been putting you through so much…”
“The fact that you think that makes me really happy. I also want to do more and more, but at the same time I want to praise myself for a job well done so far.”
“Of course! You deserve it. Feel free to praise yourself to your heart’s content!”
We then kept on praising each other for a job well done, and worked out strategies and business negotiations for the future.
Finally, the time had come to begin our negotiations with the Lord of the Karasas territory, west of Helan.
For that, we had prepared several bargaining chips.
A magic train running around Helan and becoming the core of the region’s economy would be a good demonstration.
We headed for Karasas as soon as the date was settled.
We have already sent a letter to the Lord of Karasas to inform him of our visit.
Though it would take some effort, I decided to take the magic train there on the appointed day.
It was also the day we first used the new passenger car. We had a squad of 300 Iron Heat Corps members on board.
I was at the driver’s car together with Grash and Mr. Lotson.
In the sky, Poobe –who has grown and now has a stronger and bulkier body– was following the magic train, matching its speed.
We ran the magic train all the way to the Helan borders, then we stopped there.
There were no more rails beyond that point.
Poobe also landed near the point where we had stopped the train.
There was a checkpoint on the road by the territorial border, and we were approached by officials of the Karasas territory when they noticed us.
“Mr. Kururi Helan, right?”
“We were informed of your visit by our lord, but what is the reason for you bringing such a squad and even a dragon with you?”
“I just felt like it.”
“You… felt like it? But we can’t just let such dangerous elements into our territory that easily! Please leave your soldiers and your dragon on that side of the border. We will then guide you to our lord on that condition.”
“Oh, okay. You guys wait here. I’ll go have a chat with the Lord of Karasas for a while.”
“Are you sure, boss? Please call for us if the talking gets too troublesome. We’ll help smooth out those negotiations.”
“I’m counting on that. I’ll be back soon. Expect some good news!”
So Grash, Mr. Lotson and me stepped into the Karasas territory while everyone else stayed behind, cheerfully seeing us off.
To be honest, the Karasas territory seems to be quite unremarkable.
Being close to Helan means that the neighboring territories are pretty much all the same.
I guess I can sympathize a lot with the worries of those poor fellows who only own excessively huge plots of land.
We headed towards the house of the Lord of Karasas, hoping that our negotiations would go well.