The next morning.
Although he stays within the mansion, Vio does not fancy meeting with Legion anymore, and informs Jill not to involve himself with the knight as well. Sitting down on a chair in the parlor, he flips through pages of sales reports from businesses that make use of Leca’s flowers.
“Are the inks that popular? …How unexpected.”
Originally, Vio had thought the candies, which rejuvenated magic essence, would be the most sought-after item, especially among those whose occupations involved using spirit magic. Contrary to that belief, it’s the inks that are selling like hot cakes.
Magic essence is similar to water. The amount that each individual can carry differs.
Like one’s heart, the vessel that accumulates magic essence is not visible from the outside. The size of the vessel depends on the person. Apart from relying on spirit stones, the only other way to use spirit magic is by utilizing the magic essence collected in one’s vessel.
Each time a person calls upon his reserves, the contents decrease, but the vessel will refill itself over time. When the reserves are completely depleted, it takes a while before they are replenished. Overdoing it will burden the heart. At worst is death. Those who have weak constitutions must restrain themselves from excessive spirit magic usage. All of this was originally the words of the Great Spirit, and as such has been accepted as common knowledge.
Since it takes time for magic essence to accumulate, Vio assumed that the rejuvenating candies made from Leca’s flowers would garner a high demand. Since the ingredients are easy to gather, the candies are cheap enough that children can buy them with their pocket money.
(Perhaps if it takes time to recover magic essence, then it would be more efficient to purchase the pricier spirit stones. With those, a person can replenish his reserves just by touching them.)
As he analyzes the documents, a knock sounds on the door. At Vio’s acknowledgment, Jill guides in a man in his early thirties.
He appears honest, ashen strands tied up together at the back of his head. When he meets eyes with Vio, he lowers his head in a fluster.
“Mr. Rock (ローク). Please sit down.”
“Yes. Excuse me, Lord Violant. I’ve come to submit a status report on Amade village.”
“You have been a great help.”
Rock lowers himself onto the ottoman facing opposite of Vio. Jill stands behind his master.
At the sight of Rock’s green eyes darting left and right and wandering around, unable to keep composure, Vio breaks the silence.
“As usual, you are uncomfortable in this environment. Do you feel nervous coming back to report every week?”
“Y-yes. People like myself find this place too splendid and can’t get used to it. I apologize for the discourtesy.”
Thinking he’s being scolded, the large man hangs his shoulders, giving off a despondent and dejected air.
Rock is an inspector that Vio hired for the tax bureau.
He hired two others to watch over Rock, so that the bureau and the inspector cannot conspire without Vio’s knowledge.
Managing the same place for too long leaves room for dishonesty. Therefore, the location of the bureau Rock is assigned to changes at random.
Currently, Rock is responsible for Amade village’s.
“I am not angry. May I have your report?”
He presents the report made of three sheets of parchment. After receiving them, Vio skims through the pages.
“Do pests frequent Leca’s flowerbeds? What happened to the fencing?”
“Yes, when I last examined them, I noticed that a hole had been dug at the bottom of the fences. That must have been the way the pests invaded. So for the first course of action, we plugged the area around the hole with stone.”
“I see. Of course, this will surely help. Incidentally, when was pesticide paint last applied to the fence?”
“If I’m not mistaken, I think half a year ago. Ah—that’s right. Perhaps the coating has become less effective after the snow piled up.”
“Jill, how is the stock of paint?”
Not missing a beat, he responds, “There are three cans.”
“Then, Rock will deliver all three to Amade village. Only plug in the stones at areas where the paint is worn thin. Other than that, there should be no problems.”
Vio shuffles the papers.
“How are the flowers? Give me a rundown on what has changed for the villagers.”
“The villagers were affected by the pests. Luckily, since few flowerbeds were impacted, the situation should be fine. It seems that the day before yesterday, everyone cleaned the warehouses where the flowers had been grown in the winter. They brought the flowerpots outside and tiled the soil. The villagers were overcome with joy to work with the flowers.” Rock counts off from his fingers. “Also, the dog from the village head’s residence gave birth to seven puppies.”
Rock looks happy as he reports this, the previous tension all but dissipated.
Leca’s flowers used to be treated as simple weeds or edible vegetables, until Vio set his sight on them.
Aside for the winter, the flowers bloom all year round in this region. They resemble dandelions from Earth, except the petals are stained red. Although the flowers start off white during their blossom, as they absorb the magic essence within the air, they grow increasingly crimson. To use one, just pick it up.
Vio took notice of this plant when, during a festival, the people in Leca town had crushed the flowers into pulp, painting patterns on their faces with the red sap. He remembered doing something similar with Japanese Morning Glories back on earth. By chance, Vio drew a magic circle using the sap of Leca’s flowers. Even though he did not compose a spell, the magic circle still illuminated. As a result, he came to the conclusion that the flowers contained a great deal of magic essence.
Vio asked the village elders if they had known of this fact. However, he was astonished to discover that besides as food, there was no other known use for the flowers.
As a weed, the plant was easy to cultivate and matured quickly.
Following these observations, Vio had a spacious storehouse constructed, making it possible to grow Leca’s flowers in the winter. Only during this season did the hearths needed to be attended to. Yet in this region where winters stretched long, firewood was a precious source of income. No one was willing to share.
In the summer, each household made an agreement to send small amounts of firewood to a joint-management storehouse. Despite that, the firewood would be taxed lightly.
When Vio had arrived in this new world approximately two years ago, both Leca town and Amade village were impoverished. Desiring money to purchase tea, he somehow became wealthy through trial and error. The meals at the start of that year were pretty terrible. He feels embarrassed whenever he recalls those days.
“Oh? The village head’s dog gave birth? Well then, apart from delivering the paint, bring some chicken meat as a congratulatory gift. Raise the pups well so that they can guard the flowerbeds.”
Roku appears joyful, his eyes brightening.
This is because whenever meat is conferred to the village head, it is given out to everyone in the village automatically. Such is a custom of Amade village.
This means Rock will also get a taste of it if he is present, for the meat is considered emergency rations.
“By the way Rock, you were in charge of trade previously. Do you have any insight on why inks are selling more than the regenerative candies?”
“That’s because they’re practical. Leca’s inks already contain magic essence. So, even people with low magic reserves can use magic if they can draw magic circles using the ink. For people like us, these items are more valuable than luxury products.
“Also, inks blended with the powder of spirit stones are much cheaper to use in the long run than some everyday goods. Light magic is particularly convenient. Since it lasts pretty long, it costs less than the price of oil.”
“Huh, I see.”
Though unforeseen, if an item is beneficial then that is all that matters.
“I have troubled you with reporting. Please enjoy some tea in the next room. After that, return to Amade village. Jill.”
“Yes. This way please, Mr. Rock.”
“Thank you, Lord Violant. May you receive the Verdurous Spirit Yuglena’s divine protection.¹”
After bowing with words of prayer, Rock heads toward the door with Jill.
Yuglena is the Great Spirit that protects the Kingdom of Istia. In this world, those who gain a great spirit’s blessing become sovereigns. Naturally, countries exist wherever the great spirits are present.
Rock pauses mid-step and looks back all of a sudden.
“Oh, that’s right. I heard a new knight arrived. He’s both diligent and excellent. No wonder he is Lord Violant’s knight.” And the inspector departs.
“Hard worker? What on earth is he talking about?”
Vio knits his eyebrows. He has a bad feeling about this.
Ending notes: Oh boy, can anyone guess what Vio’s “bad feeling” is about? Missing Legi already. Also, I’ve decided on Walmcardo for that “evil” country.
Also, Roku or Rock? ローク. Yuglena? (ユグレナ).
Huge love to Nome for checking over the lines!
- May you receive the Verdurous Spirit Yuglena’s divine protection¹: Close enough, maybe? (緑の精霊ユグレナ様のご加護がありますように)
As always, if you enjoyed this chapter, please leave a like or a comment below, and rate/review this novel on NU if you can!
You can also add to my tea fund wink wink.
Edited 3/2/18 (changed “Green Spirit” to “Verdurous Spirit”)