“Welcome, your highness Wayne.”
As the mission convoy arrived at the foot of the mountain, the one who greeted them was Perint who served as the governor of the Girat mine.
He was originally a vassal of the Marden Kingdom but, he was expelled to the mine after losing political strife, and lived a harsh life in the mine. However, after he was found by Wayne, who led an army to take the gold mine, he had been selected as the governor of the mine area.
“It was quite the trouble wasn’t it?”
Wayne gets out of the carriage and laughed as he started speaking with such words and continue…
“I’ve never thought I would be visiting this place again this soon… I’m sorry for all the trouble we’ve caused.”
In fact, Wayne had visited this gold mine during the winter patrol. At that time, a big feast was being held, so Wayne slightly feels a bit guilty.
“There’s no such a thing, your highness. Please be relieved, no matter how many times your majesty visited, not a single person here would feel unhappy about it. We’ve set up a small banquet to welcome your highness, please come.”
Led by Perint, Wayne walked with Ninim and his escort.
(… Still, this place sure changes a lot.)
Such thought crossed Wayne’s mind as he saw the surrounding scene. What in front of his view was a city that had evolved from what it used to be.
After Natra took over the governance of the gold mine, the people’s lives working at the Girat gold mine have improved dramatically. That was attributed to Wayne’s government policy.
Speaking of mines, it was known as a place with a harsh working environment, workers would lose their lives one after another but, during Wayne’s government, no such a thing happen. Rather than working like slaves, and change people one after another, Wayne had planned the safety condition, housing, food, and other necessities. That was because he had considered miners as a profession and their knowledge and experience were important.
Of course, there was also a reason where he didn’t want to do it badly and caused rebellion, and after occupation, they did that for philanthropic appeal which now it was hard for Wayne to pull the policy back but, for the miners working there, it was a policy that was greatly welcomed.
And in exchange, they worked hard to respond to Prince Wayne’s expectation. Of course, some of them tried to take advantage of the environment and be lazy, that was why, Wayne who understand their feeling as the person who wants to be the laziest among all, promulgate a law solemnly.
The whole mine becomes a lively atmosphere, and the rumors would spread to the surroundings of people. As the people increased to the mine, the merchants started to come as well, and if the miners’ salary was good, the number of people who think they could make money here would also increase. Following that, craftsmen also started to come in response to the demand for housing and miscellaneous goods–, like that, the mining town was completed at the Girat Gold Mine.
“I already saw it before but, the mining town changes a bit isn’t it, Perint?”
“Yes. repairs of the tunnels and equipment damaged by the war have been completed Mining work is also going well thanks to the increase in manpower. We’re not exploring new veins in parallel with gold mining.”
Gold mining is going smoothly. Such a good report. Wayne who heard such a report had a sloppy smile on his face.
“That’s fine. However, don’t neglect the management because you rush to mine. The people who go in and out have increased, which also means the imprudent people also have increased too…”
“Yes, sir! I will keep that in mind.”
Perint respectfully bowed his head. As Wayne nodded in response, he got a side job from the side.
(Wayne, your face.)
It seems his expression had slackened too much. As Ninim reproved him from the side, Wayne immediately tightened his expression.
(In any case, the mine seems to turn well.)
As far as Wayne aware, everything was good. It was also worth it to pave the road from the royal capital to the mining town, making the flow of the people and goods smooth.
And thanks to that as well, he was able to run on the road that hasn’t yet dry completely from the snow. That was one of the things sometimes society failed to understand. -=TLN: No matter which country, sometimes society could not understand why the government builds this and that infrastructure.
(Then, the armed force is the one I should be worried huh?)
The gold mind was a perfect target for any forces. If the mining town becomes splendid, the value would also further increase. Many powers were already aiming to take it away. In order not to make that happen, one must focus on defense.
Actually, Wayne had already done that. A new defensive fort was built west of the mine. It was intended to intimidate the Marden remnant and Cabarine. It was Hagar, the veteran General who was entrusted with the fort.
However, the fort hadn’t yet been fully functional, and the number of soldiers packed there was minimal. Hagar says “To make this fort fully functional, it takes three times the material, personnel, and money.” And Wayne who heard that had been worried about from where he could pull out those…
While remembering that, Wayne and his entourage reached the most prestigious mansion. It has been around since Marden’s rule, and it was now used as a guesthouse.
“Perint, what about Hagar?”
It was a casual question but, Perint showed unrest on his smile.
“Yes. The General hasn’t arrived yet… Maybe he had an urgent business…”
“Is that so. Alright, that is fine then…”
Wayne went to the building without any particular concern.
While walking behind Wayne, Perint was feeling nervous.
The feast at the guesthouse proceeded without much interruption.
Wayne talked with the miners, merchants and listened to their stories while eating the food served in the banquet. There was no tension, the atmosphere was also calm.
Only once, the situation broke.
That was when Hagar appeared.
“Your Highness, I’m sorry for being late. This Hagar just arrived.”
To the old man who kneeled in front of him, Wayne responded with a wine glass on his hand.
“Finally, you’ve come. However, aren’t you slacking too much?”
It was a complaint directly from the prince. Seeing Wayne who was known for being a generous and wise ruler complained, it surprised the people.
“There is no excuse. I was lacking in virtues.”
Hagar apologizes and the gaze gathered there. Wayne laughed and said…
“I’m just joking. I know you’re busy. Now, come, sit with us.”
With that, Hagar joined the banquet with Wayne. Wayne didn’t find fault, and the people attended the banquet secretly sighed in relief.
When the party was over, the night continues, Perint exhaled deeply in the corner of the mansion.
There were two reasons for the sigh. One was that the banquet had been completed successfully. The other was due to the concern he had been holding in his mind.
Suddenly a voice comes from behind him. Looking back, it was Raklum.
“Ah, Raklum-dono. I’m sorry for calling you this late.”
Raklum who often traveled with Wayne thus he had the chance to meet with Perint several times.
“Don’t worry about it. Leaving that aside, it is rare for you to call me like this specifically, is there any problem with tonight security? ”
“No, that is not it.”
After shaking his head, Perint couldn’t immediately speak. That was because what he was trying to speak may shed on someone’s loyalty.
“… I want to hear your opinion first before speaking with his highness. I want to make sure at all costs.”
Perint continues as Raklum begins to understand that what he said might be a dangerous thing.
“A certain rumor has flowed into this place. The rumor started around the time when his highness visited this place.”
“… A rumor is it?”
Perint then continues after several seconds passed.
“The rumor said that General Hagar had strong disagreement with His Highness Prince Wayne, and the relationship between them fall apart—…”
“… An estranged relationship between Hagar and me, huh?”
While sitting on the chair in a room inside the mansion, Wayne muttered.
“Yes. Such a rumor seems to circulate everywhere.”
Ninim stands next to me responded politely.
A relationship between the crown prince and the army had fallen apart. From the common people’s perspective, that was a serious problem. If one deal with it badly, it could lead to a massive revolt, but—
“It looked like the strategy is going well, Hagar.”
In response to Wayne’s words, Hagar responded respectfully.
“A plan to circulate the rumor that his highness relationship with the army falling apart, and that they tried to gather anti-government people…”
Yes, the rumor in which Hagar had a strong disagreement against crown Prince Wayne was a plan Wayne had brought with him during the winter visit to lure any rebels.
Wayne thought that any insurgents didn’t move because the leadership had been busy due to the inspection.
That was where Hagar caught his eyes. Hagar was a military man with high standing. In this country where Generals had little to no experience, he was one of the few who had many records in the battlefront. With such a background, he was sufficient as a leader of the rebellion. The idea was that if there was a disagreement with Wayne, there would be no shortage when it comes to rebels molecule trying to make contact with him.
“Now there is no contact in the present time, but the result will come out soon.”
“Good, when you find something, contact me as soon as possible.”
After some conversation, Hagar left the room.
The remaining people in the room, Wayne looked happy but Ninim, she had a different expression on her face.
“Ne, Wayne, are you really going to continue this plan?
“What, Ninim disagree?”
Ninim naturally nodded her head.
From the beginning, this plan had a huge implication, crown prince Wayne and highly trusted veteran General, when the top-level government official had huge discord which may cause rebellion, this kind of plan will cause great anxiety in the country. Ninim feels that there was no merit in doing such a thing just to lure out rebellious molecules.
“I understand what you want to say. This makes me like someone who looks suspiciously at my own vassal.”
“Do you think any of them would revolt?”
“I want to continue this operation to confirm that, and take the lead in case of emergency.”
“… Then you must think about a way to withdraw the plan soon.”
Ninim gives advice candidly.
“This operation can hurt General Hagar honor if we left it too long. Moreover, General Hagar is someone who was born in a country that values honor a lot.”
The honor was important to many people, and military men usually obsessed with it. Perhaps because their work was close with death, it makes the feeling of wanting to leave good grace on one’s grave stronger.
In addition, Hagar was old. Ninim thinks it was natural for him to seek spiritual rest rather than greed, and it was not very good to hurt the honor of such a man.
“Like that, he might be disgusted by Wayne and he might raise rebellion for real.”
“That is not true. During the round inspection, I had a lot of discussion with him, toward me and Franya, he views himself as our Grandfather you know?”
“But then is that a reason to make such Grandfather as a lure?”
As Ninim counter attacked his argument, Wayne raised both of his hands.
“I understand, if there is no result in a while, I will withdraw the plan. Is that okay?”
Ninim nodded. Since the plan was already in motion, that was the only compromise one could get.
Wayne on the other hand.
(I think she worried too much.)
He complained inside his mind.
“You think I am thinking too much didn’t you?”
*How did she find out?!* As Wayne make such expression, Ninim pulled his collar.
“I will tell you this Wayne, you’re too optimistic. I know that you have to be careful but—”
“No, un, I understand. My bad.”
Wayne immediately tried to stop Ninim who start to show rage.
Meanwhile, Hagar, who left Wayne’s room, didn’t return to his room, he left the mansion and looked up at the night sky alone.
“Oh— Isn’t this General Hagar?”
Hagar turned around, what he saw standing there was a woman.
“Oho, you look familiar.”
“Yes. My name is Ibis, a merchant who has been coming in and out of this town.”
A woman who calls herself Ibis bowed her head. It was a conduct that she had mastered since she had become a merchant.
“… So then, what do you want from me?”
Hagar asked, and Ibis responded.
“Actually, I have a proposal for your excellency.”
“Hou… And what kind of proposal?”
Ibis smiled gracefully. Her smile was soft but, one could feel immeasurable darkness behind it.
“— it is a proposal that may solve your excellency problem.”