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Volume 3: Chapter 257 – Gathering Shadows (2/3)
Pale had to send a messenger to Agarmua House.
As she walked back to her office, she thought of the king’s intentions and a faint smile appeared on her lips.
A fierce civil war broke out when Blanche took her position. Word had it that it was none other than Barad himself who was behind that. Moreover, Shirad was heavily dependent on the Holy Shushunu Kingdom’s import of agricultural produce. Naturally, Barad’s relationship with Shirad couldn’t be shallow.
Just from that, he was a good choice.
From another perspective, however, this assignment could be an attempt to distract Barad from being able to raise his grandchild, allowing the king to cut off a future source of trouble. Having great nobles with large territories near
Presently, the goblins are strong, so they can’t rebel, but should the goblins weaken in the future, even if only for a moment, there is no telling how these great nobles will act.
Who can say for certain that they wouldn’t try to destroy Revea Su, the city meant to be the very image of racial harmony?
Given such considerations, it only makes sense to pluck the problem before it could grow. But the Goblin King probably hadn’t thought that far. Pale didn’t mind, though, since they should indeed use what they could now, and it wasn’t a problem yet anyway.
“It is the duty of the king’s retainer to provide whatever he is lacking.”
After Pale reached her office, she summoned Gi Za Zakuend. Gi Za came in a bad mood, but Pale narrowed her eyes and smiled.
“Didn’t you want to whittle away at those great nobles you hate so much?”
A cruel light of delight flashed from inside his eyes as his lips twisted into a smile.
“So be it.”
The next day, Gi Za visited the Agarmua mansion to inform Barad’s son, the present head of the house, that he would be accompanying Gi Jii Yubu’s army to negotiate with Shirad Kingdom.
Barad’s son was so shocked he tried to run away. When Gi Za saw that, he happily told him.
“Refusal will incur a penalty. This is an important duty that will influence the country’s relationship with another country.”
Barad’s son sweated buckets, but he didn’t even have the luxury to scream. As soon as Gi Za left, he ran to his dad and cried. At that moment, Barad realized what the goblins intended. No, he had no choice but to realize it.
In the first place, the reason why he submitted his resignation was because he had no choice but to accept their superiority in their information network and the precision of their thoughts. They must’ve realized already that his son was incompetent.
And yet despite that they were leaving this diplomatic mission to him.
If so, then that could only mean that they didn’t care whether this mission succeeded or not. Barad knew that the goblins had their eyes on him, so he could only see this designation as the goblins pushing his family toward their demise.
Were his enemies humans, he would have had many tricks up his sleeves that he could use to avoid danger, but there was no telling if the same tricks would work against goblins.
Barad nodded with a bitter face. The next day, he dropped by the royal palace to inform Pale that he would be going in place of his son.
“Is that so?”
Pale emotionlessly replied before briefing him on the date of his departure and what conditions they are willing to accept. After that she saw him off to the borders.
“…Please take your time and don’t rush.”
After Barad resolutely said that, he rendezvoused with Gi Jii Yubu’s regiol and immediately started negotiating with Shirad. It was rare for diplomatic missions such as this to take years, but even then, Barad was able to settle the problem in just two months by relying on his connections and momentum.
He was able to make Shirad cede a part of their borders, and was even able to make them consider an alliance. With such achievements, naturally, Gi Za could only click his tongue.
“Well done. As expected of you, Barad Agarmua-dono.”
Pale smiled and praised him in front of the king, and Barad nodded while hiding his displeasure.
“I’ll be expecting much from you in the future too.”
As the Goblin King’s red-blood eyes looked at him, Barad quietly bowed. Barad should’ve already become used to such intimidating auras, but the king’s presence was so strong that even someone as experienced as him inadvertently faltered.
The only conditions the king required for an alliance was the provision of commanders and soldiers. But Pale found those too few, so she also demanded that they recognize the equal rights of species other than humans.
She demanded that they recognize the right of other species to a fair trial, poll tax, and that discriminatory tax on non-humans be forbidden.
Of course, there was a tacit understanding there that if they were to breach their terms, the only thing waiting for them was a blood sanction.
Shirad accepted these conditions. After all, were they to refuse, they could just imagine Gi Jii Yubu’s regiol advancing all the way to their capital. With a sword essentially pointed at their throats, Shirad didn’t put up much of a resistance.
But because of Barad’s excessive threats, Shirad’s alliance had an unexpected result.
Even more countries gathered around the saint, and all the neighboring minor nations announced their intent to join.
The conditions Barad gave to Shirad stood up and walked on its own, growing a tail and some fins, becoming three times bigger than what it originally was before making contact with the other nations. The minor nations that barely had any information on the goblins until now were terrified by these rumors.
—If you fall under the rule of the goblins, the tax you’ve been demanding from the demihumans will be demanded from you too!
—Your right to a trial will be taken away, and the goblins will come up with whatever decision they want!
—Your women will give birth to their children, your men will become slaves, and your children will be eaten!
Nothing could strike terror into the hearts of humans as much as the unknown.
They had been driven so far that they could only ask for help from the saint even if she truly was nothing more than a puppet.
In this season where the green tips of the branches delighted the eyes, a silent tension filled the air between Alrodena Kingdom and the Coalition.
Most of the compensation paid by Kushunora was invested in Yoshu’s projects. The reconstruction of the capital city as a result of changing the capital to Revea Su. Compensation for Germion State and Pena that was damaged during the war.
The construction of Revea Su led by the salamander, Barrui, was exclusively handled by the merchants sponsored by Alrodena. The Hama Company, the Messa Deon Company, and the Rudunoa Company. These companies took all the jobs from the guild and constructed everything.
Yoshu had asked the guild branch at Revea Su to prefer these companies, so that’s what they did. As a result of these constructions, Messa Deon and Rudunoa grew.
The system of employing the laborers introduced at the guild and mobilizing even the slaves was the Goblin King’s idea. Until now, it was only the craftsmen who could do these constructions, but by splitting the work and simplifying it, even people without any skill could do the job.
Hama Company, which expanded its business from trading medicine, steadily expanded itself to become a large company. Pale hoped that the Messa Deon Company and the Rudunoa Company would follow in its footsteps and expand the scope of their trade as well.
As these companies gradually increased their momentum like a ball of snow tumbling down the hills, Pale submitted a proposal to advance into the market of the minor nations. She did so in order to install bases to gather intel.
It was simply too difficult to advance into the minor nations without a foothold.
If they were to use a drug as potent as Vine, they might trip right from the start, but if they were to hide behind the merchants, they would be able to significantly lower the risk. Anyhow, it was a merchant’s job to sell goods to the people living on the land.
So long as you’re not overly greedy, it’s surprisingly easy to become familiar with the locals. But of course, the customers and the countries must also benefit.
The ones in charge of gathering intel would be Pale’s Elks Clan. This clan was like a family to her, so she’d always intended to find a way to keep them safe. This was also related to the profits of her country, so there was no reason to hesitate.
On the second year of the king’s calendar, from the winter to the new spring, the Hama Company and the Rudunoa Company built a branch in the minor nation of Shirad.
Although this move may be but a small trick right now, in the future, it will greatly improve their ability to collect information.