――It has been 2 weeks since the <Yatagarasu> case.
I was staying in the Viscount Chrebl residence in Fauno City.
Currently residing within the Chrebl residence were: Alfred-tousan, Julia-kaasan, Steph and the other servants, along with Elemia, Donna, Beck, Grandpa Ganash, several of the kids from the children’s room, and finally myself.
Miguel’s absence wasn’t really because he was being ostracised; he was currently staying at an inn with his mother, Moria-san.
As for the kids from the children’s room, we planned to escort them back to their homes one by one, as soon as we’d ascertained their identities, but they were taking residence inside of the estate for now.
Donna, as the eldest one, along with the fairies under Melby’s command—including Cecil and Cecila—were very helpful in looking after them.
Nebil and the former emissaries of “Orochi’s faction” remained in the Nest to monitor the other emissaries.
The knights of the Third Army that was under Dad’s command also stayed in the Nest, where the ex-emissaries of <yatagarasu> remained under house-arrest.
Many of them had simply been tricked, but because of that, it was hard to tell how much leniency we could possible give them at the moment.
Even in the Japan of my previous life, I’d heard that things like mind control were treated as occult, until religious cult-organisations started causing terrorist incidents.
I repeatedly consulted my dad about how to best plead their case here in Marquekt.
According to Dad, His Majesty the King will no doubt be presiding over this case directly.
For that reason, it is necessary for all related personnel, including Dad, to head to the royal capital, Monokannus, but they were currently still questioning the emissaries inside of the Nest. Grasping the full extent of <yatagarasu> took priority, so I was told that it would be several months before their departure to Monokannus.
“Aren’t there any summons from His Majesty?”
“Ed’s speech has thoroughly improved.”
At my question, Dad made a comment of admiration like such, then,
“I received an order from His Majesty: to obtain the full story and receive clarification about the whole incident, and < Yatagarasu>, on-site.
For this case, I was given full authority as the main lead.”
“…Don’t they usually send people from the capital?”
“That’s probably the case in other countries.
However, our king is someone who will assign authority to determined subordinates without any hesitation.
Thanks to that, work is easier in regards to location, and I’m glad.”
The current king of Santamana Kingdom, Vistgard the First.
All I knew was his name, but since Dad has said so much, he must be a good king.
“…Come to think of it, you’re going to the Fairy Hamlet today, right Ed?
Did you finish all of your preparations?”
“Ah, that’s right.”
“Yes, well, um… don’t be too late, okay?”
“…? Mn, of course.”
While confused about Dad’s way of speaking―like he had something stuck in his teeth―I left Dad’s study.
“A visitor will be coming today, so Edgar-kun can take your time in the Fairy Hamlet, okay?”
Just when I was about to leave, Julia-kaasan said this to me, before giving me a larger allowance than usual.
I couldn’t help but be puzzled.
Since I returned from the Crow’s Nest, Julia-kaasan has been with me around the clock; even getting the time to raise my skills has been difficult.
However, that suddenly reversed today.
“…Wasn’t she somewhat distant?”
I asked Melby.
“I-I don’t think that was the case?”
Melby said with her eyes averted.
…This was indeed strange.
Both Dad and Mum, and possibly even Melby, feel somewhat distant.
Melby can’t lie so perhaps she’s just trying to dodge the question, but…
“I did too much of my own free will, so maybe they’re upset?”
During the events at Ranzrack Fortress and <yatagarasu>, I’d only done so because I didn’t have a choice, but for my parents to still consider that as a young child willfully leaping into danger wasn’t strange.
Furthermore, having reincarnated, I don’t have much of the fundamental innocence a child should have.
Because I’m a strange infant who’s more attracted to raising his skills than his papa and mama.
It’s not like there wasn’t a chance of them running out of patience with me either.
“Well, she did say a visitor was coming, so maybe they’re just busy.”
If it was the me from my previous life, they might’ve distrusted me more, but because I had been born in this world, I have been blessed with both Julia-kaasan and Alfred-tousan’s trust and affection.
So far, they have never seriously doubted me.
However, I need to consider what I can do for them henceforth.
“For the time being, let’s take a trip to the market.”
I could be treated by Cecil and Cecila in the Fairy Hamlet, but the fundamental amount of food required for fairies who wouldn’t die even if they didn’t eat, and humans, was completely different.
Besides, it’s awkward to have them make food for me with such tiny bodies.
Let’s buy lunch at the marketplace and bring it with me.
After all, I received some spending money from Mum.
I rolled the copper coins I had received from Mum around in the palm of my hand.
It’s a little late now, but let’s recall how the currency of this world works.
Marquekt’s―No, more accurately, Santamana Kingdom’s—currency, as typical of the fantasy genre, consists of three varieties: gold coins, silver coins, and copper coins, with one hundred of each equating to the value of a single coin of the higher currency.
That said, since it’s a hassle to carry one hundred coins for each, there are large copper coins, large silver coins, and large gold coins that are all worth ten of their respective currency.
One copper coin is worth about ten yen from my previous world, so a large copper coin would be worth a hundred yen. Continuing this, it would be one thousand yen per silver coin, ten thousand yen per large silver coin, one hundred thousand yen per gold coin, and one million yen per large gold coin.
However, the coins must have the round seal of the kingdom’s mint bureau engraved on them, otherwise they can’t be exchanged, unless they’re entrusted to specialised money-exchange businesses.
Also, apparently money-exchange businesses have reduced exchange rates compared to regular currency.
This was to prevent the smelting down of money.
If large coins weighed the same as small coins, it’d be meaningless to specially carry large coins, so a large coin only has 1.5x the size of a normal coin.
If smelting was approved then, since one large coin could be exchanged for 10 small coins, the quantity of metal used to make the coins would increase if smelted.
Depending on the amount and price of the metal, by exchanging large coins for small coins and then smelting them down to sell the smelted metal, a commission could be earned.
This was why a royal decree was established saying that coins without the round seal can’t be used, and that exchanging money has also become unfavourable.
What’s interesting is that apparently the large coins used to be close to ten times the size of the small coins at first, but they gradually shrunk with the years and now had roughly the same difference in size as a 100 yen coin and 500 yen coin from the Japan of my previous life.
In short, to bridge the ratio difference between the value of coins and value of material, the country applied a seal to the coins and certified that “this large copper coin has the value of ten copper coins”.
Hence, large coins could be said to be a conversion currency that could be exchanged for ten small coins, as assured by the country.
“Hmm… In that case, on all the copper coins―no, wouldn’t printing paper currency and applying a seal to them be better?
For example, an arrangement where a certain bill can be exchanged for one gold coin.”
I’ve asked Dad about this kind of thing before.
“Hmm, it certainly sounds fine in theory.
However, the paper would get dirty and torn, and would also be quite easy to counterfeit too, wouldn’t it?”
That certainly would happen, considering the technology level of this world.
Furthermore, because paper was originally an imported good and also has a high price in Santamana, paper would be more expensive than a single copper coin.
“In my previous life, the country would issue paper bills that assured their conversion to gold.
The advantage of this method was that as long as people had faith in the country, more paper bills than there was gold could be issued.
Thus, the issued paper bills could be lent out to financiers at low interest rates, in turn allowing the money to be lent out to merchants, and thus letting them produce a steady flow of money.
If conditions worsened, the interest rate could be lowered as compensation. It was even possible to control the prices of commodities.”
“…That appears to be a rather unreliable method though.
Wouldn’t it be a big problem if everyone with paper bills simultaneously wanted to exchange them for money?”
“It’s enough to manage the country soundly.
In my previous world, they even ended up ceasing the conversion to gold.
Well, even if that’s difficult, I think you should still be able to collect enough deposits to form a bank.
In this world, is there anyone who is entrusted with money, who then takes that money to invest in promising projects?”
“If I had to say, I suppose some of the gold craftsmen do that.
The gold and silver being used as materials are expensive by nature, and customers entrust them with the gold and silver in their possession to be processed.
Thus, besides gold crafting, they’re also entrusted with gold and silver from the customers and issue deposit receipts.
Because it’s dangerous for conspicuous nobles and high-ranking adventurers to carry valuables on their person, it seems they intrust their gold and silver to gold workshops.
Of course, the workshops employ strong guards such as former adventurers. The gold and silver is also stored in sturdy safeboxes that are under strict management and locked with several keys, and won’t even budge a bit to magic.
Apparently the gold craftsmen also loan out the deposited gold and silver to merchants and such, and receive interest back. Naturally, it’s only for the very few merchants whom they place their trust in, it seems.
I’ve heard that deposit receipts, containing the same value as the amount of gold and silver deposited, are also used as an endorsed method of payment.
Maybe this is similar to the paper bills you described, Ed.
In the past, the merchants in Fauno City who became unable to pay the market tax were able to request the use of deposit receipts as a security for loans, or so I’ve discovered.”
“That’s probably a business with very good prospects.
It’s profitable, and I think it’s also a good encouragement for a new type of industry in one’s territory.”
I told Dad what I knew about banking and currency trading.
“Now that you mention it, it might be true.
I’ll discuss with Poporus-san, and perhaps let him give it a try?”
Poporus-san referred to the village chief of Trenadette Village, who also happens to be a former merchant and Steph’s father.
It seems like that village chief used to be quite a shrewd merchant in the past.
He said he wanted to settle down after he built a family, so Dad appointed him as the village chief of Trenadette Village out of gratitude.
“Huh? But Poporus-san said that he wanted to be a direct retainer of Dad though?”
“Oh, is that so?
It’s because that person is very capable.
He did indeed settle down after forming a family, so perhaps he feels unsatisfied?”
“Hmm… It seems to me like he wants his family life to be more prosperous though.”
“That certainly might be true, but they’ve started the experimental cultivation of cotton in that village, so it’s gradually becoming more prosperous.
That’s why I believe that him wanting to become my direct retainer is because he’s now wanting an even greater job.
He might be saying that with self-awareness, or might be unconsciously desiring it for the sake of his family.”
It seems like he’s saying something very deep.
“Ed, it might be good if you remember this too.
People are unrestricted when it comes to being able to grasp their desires by themselves.
Moreover, there are cases in which it is easier to understand from the point of view of an outsider.
In the future, when you are in the position to employ others, Ed, try to read between the lines and infer what the other party truly desires.
Despite having given them their desired position, them being unsatisfied with the treatment and such unexpectedly does happen.
That said, we can’t disregard their wishes either, so it’s difficult.”
“How can we tell things like that?”
The most important thing is to have an interest in the other party, I suppose.”
If you’re interested in the other party, won’t their personality and situation naturally flow into your head?
In that case, you’ll also come to know their desires.
An ancient sage I respect once said.
“A feudal lord who takes an interest in their people will naturally have a good reign.”
That’s why, when you have your own subordinates, Ed, it would be good to take an interest in them.
If you do that, then you’ll naturally know what to do and will be able to heed their wishes without much conscious thought.”
As expected of Alfred-tousan, he gives significant advice.
To be honest, I never thought of myself as a person who stands above others, but with a long life, I can’t deny the possibility of it happening.
I will gratefully bear in mind Dad’s advice.
Now, delicious smells came drifting my way when I arrived at the marketplace.
I purchased some deep-fried land shrimp, grilled sand-turtle innards, and baked bread for myself, and chose some nuts and berries to bring as presents for the fairies.
Holding the bag filled with food in my arms, I entered an unpopulated alley, then had Melby open up a gate and travelled to the Fairy Hamlet.