Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Prologue (Part 2)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Prologue (Part 2)

Volume 14: Prologue (Part 2)

If Demiurge was not there she’d have to find Entoma and have her use [Message] or have her older sister investigate his whereabouts. With that in mind, Albedo initiated the teleport. ——–

In the Kingdom of Re-Estize and in its capital, Re-Estize. There lies the castle Ro Lente, which contains the Valencia Palace, within which is an office.

In the office where generations of kings performed their duties, its rightful owner, Ramposa III, was nowhere to be found. Instead, the room was being occupied by the second prince, Zanac Valleon Igana Ryle Vaiself.

Zanac’s face grew dark as he stared at the documents that were submitted, a heavy sigh escaped his mouth. Surely no one could keep a cheerful expression after reading through said documents, its contents detailed the current state of the Kingdom.

During the Battle of the Katze Plains, though it would be more accurate to call it a massacre, much of the Kingdom’s population lost their lives. Even so, it wasn’t as though the damage inflicted on the Kingdom was lethal. Its population was around nine million and of that, 180,000 died, a mere 2% loss. Plus, a multitude of them were the second or third sons of farmers so they were practically “spare men”. In other cases, they had lost apprentices with barely any experience. So although saying this out loud would sound cruel, nothing of value was lost through their deaths.

Still, they had lost 4% of their male population, those who were young and strong to boot. The negative impact of this loss was gradually becoming apparent and this was all clearly outlined in the document.

Zanac let out a groan as he placed the document on the table, his vision shifted focus to the other person in the room. “Oy, sister. How would you deal with this if you were in charge?”

Upon hearing the question, his sister, Renner Theiere Chardelon Ryle Vaiself, who sat on a chaise longue far away from him, smiled as she raised her head. Renner, who was looking through a different set of documents had a worrisome smile.

“Even if you asked me what I would do…onii-sama, how can I give an answer when you haven’t even given me enough details in your question?”

“It’s about this.”

Zanac did not bother with an explanation, he just picked up the documents he had laid down and fanned them around. Renner stood up, walked towards Zanac, and took the documents from him.

“…This?”

After scanning the document from top to bottom, Renner replied in a casual tone.

“That…there’s nothing we can do about it, right?”

“Dear lord…”

Zanac raised his head towards the sky.

If his sister, who was much more brilliant than him, said this, then there really wasn’t anything they could do about it. However, as rulers, they could not just give up on something like this so easily.

“Is this matter really that troublesome? Though our nation’s strength has waned temporarily, but that’s all it is, it’s all temporary. I don’t believe that it’s serious enough to warrant us doing something about it?”

“If our nation’s power is weakened, then people will start to die from starvation right?”

Due to the repeated clashes they have had with the Empire, their inability to store sufficient grain had continued on to the present day. It was in these conditions that they ceded the crucial grain-producing region of E-Rantel, which was directly under the king’s rule, to the Sorcerous Kingdom. The loss of life on the battlefield also meant that they lost a sizable chunk of their labor force.

Perhaps the consequent effects were not as pronounced for now, but years down the line, it was highly likely that the decrease in grain production would cause the price of grain to skyrocket till the point where the poor could no longer afford it. No, it was safe to say that this was definitely going to happen.

“That makes sense.”

“That makes sO mUcH SeNsE. Say, sister, if it’s as iNsIGnIfIcAnT as you make it out to be, how will we deal with the chance that a drought or a cold snap occurs, causing crop failure?”

“High-level druids seem to have the ability to control the weather, so I believe we’ll at least have a way to deal with issues regarding sunlight. Since we’d only have to hire adventurers for it, it would be highly cost-effective. Still, whether or not such high-level druid adventurers exist is something we should find out as soon as possible. If this was in the past we could’ve always relied on adventurers from the Empire in cases of emergency, but now that the Empire has become a vassal state of the Sorcerous Kingdom, that could prove to be difficult.”

“Ah, I see, let’s handle droughts this way then. What about cold snaps, sister?”

“Druids would have to work hard on that as well.”

Zanac carefully observed Renner’s face, one that’s all too familiar to him.

{Does she not know about that?} Zanac thought.

As Renner said, high-level druids can cast spells to create temporary rain, so droughts could be dealt with. However, he remembered hearing from Marquis Raeven, his confidant, that druid magic is powerless against cold snaps.

For a cold snap, the weather must be maintained through the entire season. To that end, a high-level druid must be assigned to each village. It was simply not realistic to gather a few hundred high level druids, which were rare to begin with.

This level of knowledge in magic was not part of conventional education, so it wasn’t taught even in noble families. This fact applied to the royalty as well. The only reason Prince Zanac knew what he knew about druids was because he had actively sought out that information.

The fact that magic casters didn’t hold any status in the Kingdom was probably to blame. If it was like the Empire where someone as great as the Tri-Arts Magic Caster exists, it might have been a completely different story. However, the Kingdom’s ignorance of magic and desire for brave, strong cavalrymen had already become deeply rooted in their culture. A magic caster capable of changing the status quo never appeared.

As a result, nobles who believed that “magic is cowardice” on the battlefield passed that notion along to the next generations. Ignorance about magic turned into disdain, and a vicious cycle was born.

To Zanac, magic was an art with incredible power. For people to distance themselves away from it due to old, boring traditions would bring about a day when the Kingdom would unconditionally lose in the struggle for power with its neighbouring countries akin to death by asphyxiation. Zanac had therefore considered hiring a teacher who’s knowledgeable in magic for his future children. Some nobles should follow suit once they find out the royalty is being educated in that field, right?

No, even without doing something like that, the appearance of the Sorcerer King, one who commands powerful magic caused a paradigm shift in the minds of the Kingdom’s citizens, noble or otherwise. Perhaps the era when everyone would want to learn about magic had finally come.

Though it was disappointing that the trigger for change was an external source, it was ultimately beneficial to the Kingdom so they acquiesced.

Considering the current state of the Kingdom, it was natural for Renner to not know. Even a genius would arrive at the wrong answer on unfamiliar turf. Blindly trusting in his sister could prove to be very dangerous.

Renner, however, was close with the Adamantite class adventurers team Blue Roses, so obtaining detailed information on a spell was probably not too difficult for her. Was it really possible that his sister, a person that could be described as a singularity of intelligence, knew of the problem but didn’t bother to check with her sources?

Then again, Renner had no reason to lie about such a small detail. It was probably just a rare manifestation of her human side; in other words, she’s being a dork.

It was clear that Renner had no interest in the throne, her goal seemed tiny to Zanac. It’s better to say that her goal would become unachievable should she ascend to the throne. Even if she’s plotting against him, it wouldn’t benefit her directly.

“-sister, a cold snap is difficult to deal with even with the power of a druid.”

“Is that so? If that’s the case then it would be quite unfortunate. Ah! But the problem is about grain, right? We have plenty of supplies so it’s not a problem. That’s excellent news, Onii-sama.”

Zanac made the exact opposite face as Renner’s smile.

“By grain, you meant that? I would not want to touch that…are you sure people won’t turn Undead from eating too much of it?”

If one were to ask the question “does the Kingdom have surplus grain?”, the answer would be yes: a generous supply sat waiting in some merchants’ warehouses. But, they shouldn’t make plans that relied on said grain, because it was technically not the Kingdom’s.

The Sorcerous Kingdom, ruled by the terror that was the Sorcerer King, leased those warehouses from merchants of the Kingdom and put grain there. Such a thing had never occurred throughout the entire history of the Kingdom.

Apparently the merchants were allowed to sell the grain, but its price was a bit higher than market price due to a tariff. The price was set by the Sorcerous Kingdom with no room for negotiation. As such, the people did not buy any of it and it had been sitting there, waiting in the warehouses.

The Kingdom’s wealth was not flowing into the Sorcerous Kingdom at the moment, so frankly this was not detrimental to the Kingdom. The current situation made it feel like everything was fine. But Zanac, concurring with Renner, thought that was part of the Sorcerous Kingdom’s strategy.

“The Holy Kingdom is consuming the same grain, so the grain itself should be harmless, right?”

“No, perhaps they wanted us to think that way and only the grain in the capital was tainted?”

Renner smiled bitterly.

“You don’t really think so, do you?”

“Well, I guess not. Afterall we checked the contents.”

Regarding the use of the warehouses in the capital, the Sorcerous Kingdom’s official statement was that it was to store grain to be used as food aid for the Holy Kingdom. Apparently plans were made to transport the grain to the Holy Kingdom from these warehouses.

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