“– Since we already have it, then let us take full advantage of the mine.”
Looking at the mine from outside of the office window, Wayne speaks of his conclusion.
“Is that alright? I’m sure we’re going to face Marden in war after this though?”
It was Ninim who showed concern on his side.
The operation of the mine itself was possible. There were miners and their family living in the surrounding area, at first they were confused but now mostly had gained their composure. And it won’t be difficult for them to make the miners works either.
But of course, the problem was that the Marden side was going to come back to retake the mine. After all, the Gold mine was worth that much. Ninim wondered if Marden, who was more powerful than Natra comes in full swing, how much the damage would be…
But for Wayne, he had made a conclusion based on that as well.
“It cannot be helped if they manage to retake it. But if we gave it up now, it will make the morale of our people fall, not just the military…”
If that were not the case, the story would be different.
“Then the problem is how we’re going to protect the mine from Marden army?”
“First of all, we need to grasp the surrounding geography. We had checked it briefly before, but what we have is still not enough. Also, we need to inspect the inside of the mine.”
“It cannot be helped, but, it is really hurt that we don’t have most of the document.”
The garrison protecting the mine retreated immediately, but at that time, many of the materials related to the mine were either burned or taken away. Their method was understandable since they were about to lose the Gold mine.
Suddenly the door was knocked. It was Raklum who showed up.
“Your Highness, I’ve come to report on the progress of the investigation…”
“Thank you for your hard work. Start the report immediately.”
“Yes, sir. First of all, the resident of the mine, most of them are friendly toward us. It is believed due to the fact we distributed food and also build a residence for them, as directed by your highness.”
“If you think about their treatment before we arrived, it is understandable…”
While listening to Raklum report, Ninim said those words while looking indifferent.
After kicking out the mine defenders, Natra army immediately took control of the mine.
Of course, including their families, what he saw was the miners, and their family lived in shacks.
Most of them were slaves being bought cheaply, or those who had committed a crime in Marden. But some of them despite not committing any crime was sent here due to struggle for power.
The mining labor was extremely harsh, and they were not being given a proper meal, and there was no doctors and others… It was said that they mostly died after a few years, due to the fact that they didn’t even have a proper house.
Wayne, who knew about their plight did the rationing of foods and constructing simple residences. Due to that, the resident of the mine all feel thankful toward him.
Of course, all of that was within Wayne calculation. Although consumption of foods had increased, the cooperation of the residents was also necessary for the sake of promptly resume the mine operation. It was not good if he lit a fire on his own feet while dealing with Marden.
(And it would be a shame if those people work in such inefficient way…)
When a worker died, a country didn’t just lose simple labor but also the knowledge and experience the person had. If he let them died just like that because they were miners, the mining work would be disturbed.
“How about the progress of the map?”
“I was told that the area around the mine would be completed in a day or two. However, as for the inside of the mine, the mines had various tunnels, and it would take more time to grasp all of it. I’ve also asked the miners, but most of them didn’t know the whole structure due to the rapid change of the worker…”
“I understand, please continue as it is… Is that all?”
“Yes, sir… Also, there’s another one.”
“What is it?”
“One of the mine residents wants to meet with your highness.”
Wayne tilted his head.
“If it is about a petition, I should’ve told you to deal with them, but…”
“I told him that as well, but he said he needed to see your highness immediately. According to my investigation, he was one of the officers working in this facility…”
Wayne and Ninim then looked at each other.
“What do you think?”
“I do feel curious. I think we should meet the person…”
“You heard… Raklum, bring the person in…”
Raklum then went out of the room, soon he brought back a man with him…
It was a man who exudes an aura of being tired. Most of the resident of the mine looked tired, but he looked several worse than them… It feels like he would fall just a simple poking.
But, seeing the man who kneels in front of him, Wayne thought a different thing…
“… This is the first time we met, Prince Regent Wayne. My name is…”
The man immediately raised his face when Wayne mentioned that name.
“Previously, when he examined Marden’s high officials, he had read a certain personal description. Your atmosphere seems to change a lot, but generally, everything else fit the description.”
“…Discernment was no different than rumors. I beg your pardon…”
Perint bowed his head once again.
“As your highness say, my name is Perint. Until a few years ago, I served in the Marden royal palace.”
“Did you lose a political struggle?”
“Once again, as your highness say… All of my property was being taken, and I was being thrown here as a punishment.”
“If that is the case, do you want to ask to come to my country?”
It was a common story. But unexpectedly, Perint shook his head.
“I’m thankful for the consideration, but, I do not come here for such a wish. For that, I also bring something with me. … Please.”
Perint then took out an old scroll.
Received the scroll, Ninim and Wayne confirmed the content. Their pupils shook in surprise.
“This is, is this a map inside the mine?!”
“Yes. It is a complete map of the mine.”
It was something that Wayne currently want to have desperately. Although there was a need to confirm the map, the future work progress would largely change depending on this map was real or not.
“Why are you doing this?”
“I thought your highness the Regent would need it. Thus I decided to steal it before it gets burned…”
“… I see, indeed this certainly worth a thousand gold coins.”
But because of that, Wayne was bracing himself. What kind of a wish he wanted in exchange for this map.
“Say it, Perint. What do you want?”
Perint took a deep breath as if accumulating power to say the words…
“…—Somehow, please, please do not forsake the people of the mine.”
“… What did you say?”
Due to such unexpected words, Wayne raised his eyebrows.
Even Raklum and Ninim looked puzzled. Raklum, in particular, frowned uncomfortably.
“That is rude, Perint. You don’t know how much his highness racked his brain just for the people of this nation. And for you to say something like that…”
“That is why…”
Perint continued without averting his gaze from Raklum.
“With all due respect, if I didn’t see his highness benevolence, I would’ve kept my mouth shut, and in exchange for the map, I would’ve asked gold coins. However, I didn’t do that. Also, I won’t be able to keep this secret…’
Having said that, Perint took out a bunch of documents.
“… What kind of documents are they?”
“It is mining data that I’ve secretly recorded. Please take a look.”
While feeling the disturbing atmosphere, Wayne received the documents through Ninim and read it.
As Perint had said, the documents were a record of minerals being mined from the Gold mine. Wayne read the documents from the beginning, and when he arrived at the recent one, he stopped…
“… Don’t tell me, this is…”
“Yes. As your highness realize, the numbers decreasing.”
Perint spoke the next words with a somber expression.
“This Gold mine is almost depleted…”