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Chapter 161 Impact
“…That’s the end of my report. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the current state of Duke Armenia’s territory’s economy is at its best.”
Moneda said this with a bright look.
He would occasionally report the status of the banks and other market trends, and would communicate to me his plans for the future.
As he had said, the territory’s economy was in good shape.
It wasn’t just the flood prevention project. All other facets of local public assets were also experiencing a slow but steady improvement.
The population was also increasing.
Along with this trend, trade was also rising.
While demand rose both inside and out of the territory, employment was going smoothly, and expenditures were rising as well.
“Oh, right, Moneda. There’s something that bothers me about this territory.”
“What is it?”
“It seems that prices in the capital are climbing slowly? Mostly in food products.”
“…I can’t believe that you know that as well.”
“Anything to do with the capital, I need to learn and confirm all the details. Although it won’t influence our territory at the moment…what do you think of it?”
“I haven’t heard that any other territories are doing poorly in terms of crops, so it bothered me as well. I did some research, and none of the other merchants’ guilds were purchasing products to stockpile. That’s why I also think it’s quite strange.”
“You really do live up to your name. Even Tanya said that it would take a while to investigate all that.”
“I guess I can say that I’m still not out of practice. Although I’ve left all my duties at the merchants’ guild, I still pop up at other territory’s guilds from time to time.”
“I see…no crop failures or other disasters, but products are decreasing…and to prevent discontent, gradual purchase of those.”
“One of the possibilities is that the manufacturer of the grain hasn’t released the stock, but is keeping them. Or maybe the palace is buying them…those are really the only possibilities.”
“Or perhaps the Towair Kingdom is interfering once again…”
My self-absorbed muttering hadn’t made its way into Moneda’s ears.
“Fortunately, when other territories raised our taxes we bought a great deal of food to stockpile it.”
Thinking back to it, it seemed that even this step was within our enemies’ calculation.
…Even though I might just be thinking too much.
No matter what, as Moneda said, the lucky thing is that we have enough food to go around.
“We need to consider releasing the storage. Moneda, keep your eye on the market.”
“Speaking of which, bills and checks seem to be becoming common. This means that the bank is playing its intended role. Thank you for that, Moneda.”
“Receiving praise from you is honor enough. It’s only with your help that I could have done it. That special ink you gave us…it could have benefited you, but you provided it to the bank without asking for anything in return.”
In the past, I had given ink developed by the Azura conglomerate to the bank.
Although they had originally been trying to make something else, they ended up producing ink that would change color under light.
With all the recent support from inventors and researchers, we’ve invented quite a few interesting products like that.
Especially those things that, if sold normally, could only be sold as toys…even so, it’s a pity to pretend that they were never invented. So the Duke Armenia’s family ended up purchasing those products.
Then we gave them to the bank. A unique ink like that…they used it on many bills and checks to prevent forgery.
There was plenty of other effort we put into preventing forgery as well.
“Of course, there isn’t much other use for that. We’ve found a perfect fit here in terms of usage.”
“Speaking of perfect fit, I’ve brought the sample that we talked about earlier.”
“And I was wondering where this tangent was going from ink…ah, I hadn’t even said yes to it yet. Let me see it, then.”
I stared at the paper in my hand that he had handed me.
“Quite beautiful. You’ve put a lot of effort into anti-forgery.”
“About that…please look at these files.”
Looking at what Moneda had handed me, I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Having to sharpen your blade isn’t deterring you at all…it’s gotten to the stage that you can function normally under any circumstances.”
“I see. You really are a merchant…I’m impressed. I’ll think further about it.”
That was when Sebastian walked in.
In a rare moment for him, he looked flustered…I couldn’t help but develop an annoying premonition.
“What’s happened, Sebastian?”
“The neighboring country of Acacia has sent messengers…and said that the first prince has arrived to survey Duke Armenia’s territory…”
Just like Sebastian, I was in immediate panic. Even Moneda opened his eyes wide in shock.
…The impact was larger than I could imagine.
The country across the sea from Duke Armenia’s territory, Acacia, served as an entrance to Tasmelia, and had built up generations of diplomacy.
That country spoke a completely different language, had completely different culture. Everything was so different.
Although they sent representatives to the capital once every few years…I had never heard of royalty visiting specific districts.
Was it because trade had become so lively?
“A-anyways, I’ll go and meet with them now. Moneda, I’m sorry…”
Before I could even finish Moneda lowered his head and departed.
“Shall we greet him?”
“…No. If I surpass royalty and meet with the prince directly, it will leave them a bad impression. Plus, because of me, the Armenia’s territory has a very odd relationship with the nation of Tasmelia…worst case scenario, we might be seen as plotting conflict.”
“In that case…should we turn him away temporarily?”
“Yes, I think that would be best. We must be diplomatic about it. Just let them know that we assume that they’re here to rest on a regular visit to the palace.”
Sebastian’s face looked ashen.
That was only to be expected. I probably didn’t look much better.
“Sebastian, have you reported this to my father?”
“We’ve sent out messengers on our fastest horses to deliver the message.”
“It’s good that I have you…we can’t keep him waiting too long. I’ll go right now.”
(Let me know if there are alternate translations of the country names in this text. I wasn’t able to find previous instances so I translated my own.)