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129 Part 2
Her chair rattled loudly.
She showed nothing but an extremely dissatisfied expression.
“What are you talking about? It’s a reasonable amount.”
Of course, that was a lie. It was not at all reasonable.
Basically, one Tarlant could buy about ten slaves.
Since it was ransom we were talking about, I thought to sweeten the pie a little …. A common soldier would worth around one-fifth (0.2) Tarlant.
Even if the value of a general was a thousand times that of a common soldier, it would be about 200 Tarlants.
“Don’t be ridiculous!”
“Okay, calm down!”
There were two commanders in charge of ten thousand troops, and five commanders in charge of a thousand troops. The remaining were several captain-class commanders in charge of a hundred troops each.
That was the joint result of the allied forces before the pursuit.
After the pursuit, three additional commanders in charge of a thousand troops were captured.
A total of sixteen thousand prisoners of war.
Now, I wonder how it should be shared between our allies.
One of the most important sources of income during a war would be from ransom.
As a matter of fact, the ownership of those 16,000 slaves that were below captain-rank had not been decided yet either.
It was planned to be discussed with King Demorgal and decided in the near future.
It was decided that for prisoners of war with ranks of commanders in charge of a thousand troops or above would belong to the country who captured them.
The spoils of war acquired by our kingdom were two commanders in charge of ten thousand troops, and four commanders in charge of a thousand troops.
All were the result of our soldiers’ best effort.
The total sum of 2,000 Tarlants I advocated was for the two commanders in charge of ten thousand troops and the five commanders in charge of a thousand troops.
Moreover, one of the commanders in charge of ten thousand troops was a member of Rozel’s royal family.
Perhaps the market rate was … at most around 500 Tarlants.
In other words, I was demanding more than four times the market rate ….
“This is for making up a quarter of the total reparations.”
“… What a greedy man.”
“I want you to think of it as a labor payment for persuading Adernian lords.”
Our kingdom wanted to get as much money as possible.
However, that would hinder the peace treaty to be concluded.
That got me thinking.
Was there any way to reduce the reparations for other kingdoms while raising ours?
That was the last resort I could think of.
There would be no violation of the rules since ransom was outside the peace treaty.
It was a wonderful strategy that took advantage of the loophole.
Or rather, I arranged for that loophole to exist.
The downside would be if this were leaked, our relationship with other kingdoms would worsen. However, that should not be a problem for a while since there would be a truce.
Even if our kingdom formed an alliance with Rozel, which would be considered a pincer operation … I did not think they would intentionally sell us out.
“But … even if the amount of reparations has been reduced to one-fifth, the ransom is still too high ….”
“… So you’re saying that even though you have the means to save them, you wouldn’t. Am I right? I wonder how King Rozel would think.”
Marlin showed a wry expression upon hearing my remark.
Carelessness could lead to an unavoidable execution.
I was taking advantage of the situation to size up their values.
And hence I came up with the proposed 2,000 Tarlants.
“Well, I know 2,000 Tarlants is too expensive. Tell you what … I’ll reduce it to 1,000 Tarlants.”
“T-that is ….”
“But there are conditions.”
I reduced the ransom by 1,000 Tarlants.
Of course, there would be a catch.
“Please share all the information about the shamans that are preparing to ambush our kingdom. On top of that, we want all those shamans arrested. Don’t worry, we won’t torture them. However, if you would like them released, a separate ransom would have to be paid. Also, since this is a top-secret agreement, I’d like you to protect its confidentiality. The exchange shall be done in secret.”
Marlin closed her eyes.
She was probably weighing desperately on the consequences.
Should she accept to pay 1,000 Tarlants or not? … She would be blamed either way.
Should she provide the information on the shamans or not? Which would be the wisest?
“The amount your kingdom needs to pay is 1,500 Tarlants. Perhaps it would be a better compromise if you considered the whole sum as reparations. Well, there’s a ransom and reparations amounts originally. But if you combine both, the total amount to be paid is cheaper than the estimate. It would be in both of our best interests to take action here. Also, thank you for getting a confession from Lydia. I have a better grasp of the whereabouts of the shamans in my kingdom. That’s why now is the time to present the information regarding those shamans.”
I thought it was a good deal.
Rozel Kingdom could pay a cheaper amount than estimated, and my kingdom would get a lot of money.
And the peace treaty negotiation would end sooner.
Well, I would not mind if she wanted to continue the peace negotiation either ….
Most likely than not, the negotiation would drag on.
And the tension of the situation in the Rozel Kingdom would increase.
There would be a large-scale concession.
If Marlin were the ruler of Rozel Kingdom, she would have rejected these conditions.
However, the ruler of Rozel Kingdom was King Rozel.
King Rozel might want to end the war sooner.
But he would be reluctant to pay the reparations.
Paying a large sum of money would be equivalent to declaring their defeat both internally and externally.
The amount of reparations paid directly portrayed the scale of their defeat.
However, the scale of defeat had nothing to do with the amount of ransom.
Since the amount would not be announced at all.
The authority of Rozel Kingdom would be unscathed.
“… I have to refuse these terms.”
Marlin declared clearly as she stared straight at me.
“Sure, those aren’t bad … no, I think they are excellent terms. Well, if you only think about the current situation, anyway. But it’s absolutely unacceptable considering the risk that your kingdom could become stronger with the reparations paid by my kingdom.”
“Well … that’s a shame.”
I sighed loudly.
And then stood up.
“Please get out. This is the end of our discussion. Ah, that’s too bad. I thought you were a little smarter than this.”
“Say whatever you want.”
Marlin showed displeasure while standing up. Then she left.
“I know. I’ll start preparing for plan B.”
Well, the next strategy was by my first choice anyway.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Almus’ concession plan
The cost is cheap. Peace can be quickly attained. The prestige of Rozel Kingdom is preserved. Marlin’s life was safe, even though it was hanging by a thread.*
Rosice Kingdom becoming stronger was not entirely impossible.
Thank you for the input on naming inconsistencies in the last chapter. I’m starting to use Curiu for future chapters.
* The author was referring to how Marlin could have died in the war but didn’t.