Chapter 70 – Trade City of Lanct
A city with white plastered walls and red bricks, the great city of Lanct.
It is the center of Germania Empire’s commerce which networks the whole Eura continent.
For a city in this world, the streets are very clean and beautiful.
It is probably because the city is where the Tsurube river curves so it is fully equipped with water and sewage system.
The water system of the great city of Lanct supplies 100,000 citizens with clean water every day. There are a lot of fountains, public baths, and public toilets throughout the city and beneath it is a sewage system.
On the Piperatica Boulevard, the road you’ll pass through upon entering the city gate, is a straight road that runs to the center of the city. Along with it is diversified shops and markets that are full of richness.
In the center of the city, there is a luxurious castle which is the symbol of the royalty of Duke Lanct. There are also multi-story buildings where various guilds and trading companies’ headquarters are located.
「Silesie’s hero-sama, Duke Lanct seems to want to greet you.」
「I see, show me the way.」
While being guided by the silver-haired butler knight, I feel like I’ve become a millionaire.
Well Kato-san, how much is your salary? Can I hire you?.
A lot of amazing artworks are lined up on the way to the castle.
Even one casual painting decoration on the passageway is obviously a masterpiece. Even someone like me who doesn’t understand painting wants to stop and look at them to appreciate.
The painting depicts a cute blonde girl with an innocent smile. The captured heartwarming scene was her casual everyday life with her gentle father.
「Perhaps this pretty girl is the princess knight in her childhood.」
If so, time is cruel.
Oh, this is not the time to appreciate artwork.
I was brought to a gorgeous marble throne room while waking to an outlandishly luxurious carpet.
There, the princess knight’s father, Duke Emeheart, who’s the ruler of Lanct Duchy, was waiting.
He has the same soft blonde hair as her daughter and clear blue eyes. He is a handsome middle-aged man with a well-balanced face and rich beard.
He’s wearing high-quality silk clothes but he’s not like those who wear that kind of clothes just to look elegant. He has a natural elegance himself and he looks like someone who’s born a millionaire.
Sensei, who’s next to me, whispered to my ear.
「He is called Duke Emeheart Lanct Am-main also known as Duke Millionaire. He is also the leader of the feudal lords of Germania empire and is a good-natured man who’s making efforts in promoting arts. Though he’s on the enemy’s side, please keep an amicable relationship with him for now.」
Duke Millionaire, he is called as such and he’s really one.
Duke Emeheart is one of the richest men in the world. Given the duke’s enormous wealth, wearing a silk robe with the emblem of the Am-main family, the scarlet hawk, is rather a simple hobby.
If Duke Millionaire wants to, he can wear even more luxurious clothes. Something like embroidered with gold threads and decorated with precious stones.
「Ooohhh, welcome, Silesie Kingdom’s Hero Takeru-sama. I’m glad to meet you. I’m Emeheart, lord of Lanct.」
「Same here. I’m astonished by your hospitality Your Highness Duke Emeheart.」
「Please call me Emeheart. Sawatari Takeru-sama is the regent of Silesie Kingdom and above all, you are a hero like Crown Prince Freed whom I serve.」
「My apologies, Duke Emeheart.」
Though he has a nice smile on his face, he is tough enough to casually mention the crown prince’s name.
Though he receives us hospitably, there is a large group of mercenaries in the city. Though they are here with the use of the power of diplomacy, he doesn’t intend to make more concessions.
Talking to a clever nobleman with sensitive mercantile spirit made me feel good.
I don’t know what sensei is thinking but it looks like he doesn’t mean to threaten the Am-main family.
「As the lord, I will give you as much as hospitality as possible so you can finish your business with the “White Tower of Trials” with peace of mind.」
「That’s what I wish from the very beginning. I have no intention of causing trouble to Duke Emeheart.」
Louise herself said that she wants an orichalcum sword so I really want to get one.
In addition, if we can replenish the supply for the mercenary we hired using the empire’s resources, that would be great.
When I look at this handsome middle-aged duke, I can’t help but think if she’s really the father of that bouncing lady.
「That’s great. I think my unworthy daughter has caused hero-sama trouble so I’ll apologize for her.」
「No, the empire and the kingdom are still enemies so I think the hostility of Princess Eleonora is natural.」
Duke Emeheart sighed with a slightly gloomy face.
「My unsatisfactory daughter, to think that she’ll cause trouble to Crown Prince Freed by making a futile expedition just before the prince’s important coronation.」
「As you can see, my Duchy is built up and made by trade. As long as this war continues, the circulation of goods with Silesie Kingdom and Roland Kingdom will be cut off. Our house has already taken a great deal of damage. Market prices are already starting to rise.」
「In the event of war, that will indeed happen.」
Everyone knows that. Even my economic staff Sherry asked me to buy food before the market price in this city soars even higher.
The City of Lanct lies halfway between the imperial capital and royal capital. The imperial army has downplayed logistics so they are sure to try to procure supply locally.
It would be best if a large group from the imperial army forcibly try to replenish here and cause an economic blow by making the market price soar.
「I hope that the day will come when the kingdom and the empire can form a bond again. As a small lord sandwiched between the two countries, that’s my only wish.」
「Yes, I wish for that too.」
Criticizing the war freak crown prince in front of me might not only be a lip service but also part of what the duke real intent.
When you enter an enemy’s bosom, it is better to mix your real intention a little than to completely lie.
Duke Emeheart was a person with good understanding so he left a good impression on me.
With just that, he was able to gauge how formidable the other party is.
After the audience with the duke, we decided to go to the hotel.
A short distance from the center of the city, there are areas with taverns and restaurants. We are going to stay in the most luxurious hotel in that area.
The royal suite of a large, white-walled hotel, that the butler knight Kato-san prepared for us, is clean and has complete facilities. There’s a soft, fluffy bed and there’s even a luxurious bath.
What a comfortable city. The Ox’s castle’s living environment is similar but it can only be called inferior if compared to the great city of Lanct.
It even makes me wonder if I have returned to the present.
「I’m thinking of going around the bookstores. What about you, Takeru-dono?」
When Lyle-sensei said that, I thought I should try strolling around the city too.
Louise seems to be going to the weapon shop and the slave girls whom I brought said that they’ll bring their money to go and see the bazaar.
「I will, prepare first.」
I unpacked at the hotel and went out to the city to take a stroll. However, when I got down to the lobby of the hotel, Kato-san, who’s waiting like an attendant, called out to me.
「Hero-sama, if you’ll go to the city, I’ll guide you to the recommended spots.」
「Then, I’ll trouble you.」
「Right, I want to see rare products.」
「Then, there’s this good place.」
That said, Kato-san guided me to a semi-circular, multi-story shopping mall.
It’s amazingly luxurious. I wondered if I’m still in a fantasy world or some modern city.
There are various stores inside. There’s a shop that sells exotic carpets and silk fabrics for high-end customers, there’s a jewelry shop where various precious metal ornaments, such as gold and silver, are lined up, rock salt from various places, stores that dealing with expensive myrrh and spices, stores with the finest alcohol and there’s even a professional taster or the so-called wine appraiser(wine master) in that store to serve the customers, and there are also popular coffee shops. It’s really a treasure trove of rare products.
Lanct, one of the world’s leading trading hubs, really brings the riches of the world together.
What I’m interested in was food. I thought that I might be able to make curry if I mix rare spices here.
Ehto, what kind of spices should I mix to make curry?
For the time being, let’s buy a set and try it later.
Though I don’t know if cinnamon is used as a spice for curry, I know that it can be used for coffee or for making sweets so I naturally bought it.
As for rice, Viola is trying to cultivate brown rice that an old man brought us once in a swamp.
Sooner or later, the day when I can eat curry rice might come.
In addition, I found something even more interesting. It’s a black-brown seasoning in a pot.
「Hou, this one’s rare.」
「This is a fish sauce(garum), hero-sama. Though it’s slightly stinky, it is said to be the queen of sauce.」
For a moment, I thought I was dreaming and finally found soy sauce but I guess I’m wrong.
This garum is made by mashing fish’s internal organs and blood until it becomes a paste. It will be seasoned with salt and spices there then fermenting and finally slowly boiling it for a month.
「Yeah, the smell is certainly strong but it is similar to Worcestershire sauce.」
When I taste the black sauce poured into a small plate from the large pot, the taste of seafood spreads in my mouth.
Though there is a strong fishy smell entering my nose, there is also this kind of delicious taste that can make you addicted to it.
「Hero-sama, forgive my poor knowledge for not knowing this Worcestershire sauce but garum is a rare seasoning from the people of the south sea.」
「I want this too.」
One large pot is expensive, one gold coin. However, it is said that the real value of this rare seasoning is expanding the dishes you can eat.
According to Kato-san, since there are river fishes that can be caught in Lanct, they are also trying to produce their own fish sauce by imitating the southern region.
Duke Emeheart is an able person after all.
Since they can get fresh fish, they’ll try making fish sauce.
「As expected of a great city.」
「I am honored to receive your praise.」
At the coffee shop, drinking the finest cup of coffee while eating a soft, honey-coated bread for dessert made me feel really good.
The shopping mall is full of happy shoppers and just looking at them makes me feel happy.
This is certainly a wonderful city.
I bought a mouth-watering noble rot wine for me to drink and a bottle of distilled liquor with very high transparency like water as a souvenir for Roll.
When I was dreaming of trying each wine like a wine appraiser, I finally understood why Lyle-sensei said that this is a city to “covet”.
If they can really show off their richness like this to everyone, many ambitious people will surely want to obtain this city.
「Hero-sama, do you feel tempted?」
「Yeah, it’s a rich city after all.」
Looking at my complexion, Kato-san immediately understood what I’m thinking about.
This person is not my tourist guide because of good intentions but he is here to keep an eye on me.
「If possible, I would like to request you not to expose this rich city to the ravages of war.」
「Don’t worry, I’ll absolutely avoid that. As soon as we reach our goal, we will pull out at once.」
I don’t want to trouble Kato-san who has taken care of me.
「If hero-sama wants to obtain Lanct intact, how about marrying Princess Eleonora?」
I’m in a good mood so why would Kato-san say that?
And why would everyone I met want me to marry their princess?
Moreover, the princess in question is that Princess Knight Eleonora, that’s simply impossible.
「Duke Lanct allowed the princess to become a knight because he wants her to become Crown Prince Freed’s woman.」
According to Kato-san, Crown Prince Freed’s mother is not a princess knight like Eleonora.
She is the “Germania’s War Maiden” who often stood on the battlefield and is truly a dignified queen.
「However, the crown prince did not even lay his finger on her when the princess exposed her disgraceful exploits as an incompetent general.」
Even if I’m the crown prince, I wouldn’t like that useless princess knight.
「I have been serving the Am-main family as a butler knight for a long time and the title “Lanct’s War Maiden” but it has a notorious meaning. Because of that, the house can’t find a son-in-law so the existence of the house itself is now in crisis. I’m already old and might only live for a few more years and given the situation, I might even die because of worry.」
「Kato-san has it hard too.」
Why was “Lanct’s War Maiden” notorious?
Well, there aren’t many high-rank nobles that can match with the tomboy princess so even if they want her to be their bride, there aren’t any praiseworthy enough to be the son-in-law.
She’s also the only daughter so the princess’ knight’s position is incredibly high. I think that makes things harder.
「If it is hero-sama, you are a perfect marriage partner. In that case, as long as you had a descendant that can inherit the duchy, you can have as many concubines as you want so please consider it.」
「Well, I’ll think about it.」
When Kato-san bowed like that, I couldn’t just refuse.
Though it’s just a lip service, I decided to reply in a positive way. Anyway, I’m quite hated by that princess knight so she’ll definitely refuse.
After taking a break at the coffee shop, I went shopping again.
There are a lot of items I bought that time too. Lanct really overflows with rich products but I can’t buy them all so I’ll just buy only this much.
All kinds of rare books and magic tools are available too so sensei will surely be overjoyed.