RW Chapter 17

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Chapter 17 Ambassador (Part 1)

“This is such a rotten place.” When stronghold emissary Petrov stepped out of his cabin, the smell of decayed wood hit him in the face. The surrounding air was damp and oppressive, causing people to feel entirely uncomfortable. He lifted his head up and inhaled through the nose. The sky was completely overcast, and it seemed that heavy rain was incoming.

“The last time you came here was a year ago,”said the assistant to the ambassador while he graciously put a wool coat on the ambassador’s shoulders, “There is nothing here, except stone.”

“It was a year and a half.” Petrov corrected. “Every season the Duke chose a different person to come around. The last time I was in Border Town, it was summer. But in addition to ore they have more, like a good variety of furs, and…“

“What?” His assistant had a blank look on his face.

Petrov shook his head and did not answer. He crossed over the side of the ship, stepping on the pier covered with moss, and a plank gave off a creaking sound from under his foot. The wood would probably  continue to support the dock for a few years, but then it would break down, he thought. Border town not only had stone and fur, but even… land.

But speaking about this hadn’t any meaning, the assistant was only an unknown city hall officer, he was unable to see this point.

Between Longsong Stronghold and Border Town was a large area of wild land, which still needed to be cleared for cultivation. On one side was the impassable mountain range, while on the other side was the Chishui River, long and narrow like a corridor. As an outpost for the stronghold, if they assumed responsibility of the defensive line, it would also bring the wide expanse of land into the possession of the stronghold. The land had not been cultivated, so it didn’t require any recuperation before plowing. Instead, many circles of crops could be planted, and on top of that, it had a natural line of defense on both sides. In the end, to produce enough for everyone to eat, it was not required to expend much effort. The food shortage in Border Town was just a way to relieve the stronghold of the problems caused by a growing population. In the future Border Town and the stronghold should become one territory, rather than the two separated territories they are now.

The only drawback was that it would need a three to five year-long operation, as well as large sums of money in advance.

Unfortunately, when talking about the foresight of investment, most of the nobility were bad businessmen.

“Hey, how can it be that the yard is empty?” The assistant pointed to a distant piece of land. “Shouldn’t they have the ore ready?”

Petrov sighed softly, “We will go to the castle, and have an audience with His Royal Highness.”

“Wait… Mr. Ambassador, do you know if he will receive you?”

He didn’t know if His Majesty would, but in his heart he didn’t want to say it.
“Let’s go, the stables are just in front.”

Trouble came now that the stronghold and Border town were divided into two separate territories. Because of the King’s order to fight for the throne, the 4th prince was left in solitude. How would a normal aristocratic or royal member ever be here? Of course they would take all of this land for themselves.

Selling minerals and jewelry in exchange for food and bread? I am afraid that the prince’s eyes only can see gold royals.

If it was himself, he would do it. To helplessly watch as one’s own territory output is exchanged for only food… The ambassador was afraid that nobody would accept this situation. In addition, the products didn’t have to go to the stronghold. Most of the nobility forgets the fact that the Chishui River didn’t end at the Longsong Stronghold. He could sell the ore at market price in Willow Town, in Dragon Mountain, or even in Red City, then take people from their cities as new refugees – it was nothing more than a little further down the river.

What could the Longsong Stronghold do then? Block the river, and cut off the prince and his party? It would simply be a defiance of the royal family of Graycastle! Everyone knew that the 4th prince was least likely to become the king, but without a doubt, it would still not be good to defy him because he was still of the king’s blood. .

The Ambassador and his assistant rode on rented horses, coming slowly forward on the stone road along the river. The stables only had old horses of mixed colors; even if they rode slowly, the horses would still tremble. And for these two stupid horses, he had still to pay a deposit of two gold royals.

“You see, sir, is that a boat from Willow Town?”

Hearing his aide shout, he looked in the direction he pointed, only to see a ship with a willow leaf on their green banner, hanging on their single pole, slowly sailing down the river. The hull waterline was very high, indicating that it was loaded with cargo.

Petrov blankly nodded, but his heart sank, the prince moved faster than he had expected. If the prince had begun to contact those towns and cities downstream, the bargaining chips in his own hands lost value. He originally intended to acquire the ore for 30 percent lower than the normal price, so that he would still earn something. Not to mention, after the stones were turned into polished jewelry, the price of luxury goods were several times higher. Unfortunately, this was not a monopoly, nor was it only his family who had the final say. Participating in the mining project in Border Town were six noble families. If they lacked majority consent, then there would be no resolution.

However, they were slow in reacting, thinking that the situation was the same as before… Or, they thought the mining project was not worth that much attention. Anyway, the remaining five were indifferent, even his own father confidently rejected him. In fact, they were wrong, the low reward of the mining output was mainly due to few other trading possibilities, if they transitioned to the normal trade, they could earn more. And if you earn more, you will be likely to produce more ore next year.

Could they achieve the monopoly scheme they thought out before? In all likelihood, no, it certainly couldn’t be realized. Petrov thought, since he could see the empty yard, the prince did not intend to let these minerals be exchanged for poor quality wheat, he had to contact the other buyers.

If they still wanted to hold this line of business, a thirty percent discount was his best bargaining chip. Since the distance between Willow Town and Border Town was further, this would end in an increase of the transportation costs, but Willow Town had more than one source of ore; the first price they would offer would likely be lower than the market price by half. As for Dragon Mountain and Red Town, the price would be even lower, so the 4th prince would agree to Longsong Stronghold monopoly – especially for the gem trade.

But the problem was, if he signed a contract, would his father agree with it? The other five families believed that it would be a simple matter to let Border Town surrender, should he dismiss the interests of the family to get the contract?

After all, in their eyes, Border Town was still controlled by their own Longsong Stronghold, and everything could be given or taken away by them.

They slowly crossed the town, heading toward the castle located in the southeast corner. It was not Petrov’s first time here, but this time the owner had changed.

When the guards saw the ambassador, they immediately went in and informed the Lord.

4th prince Roland Wimbledon quickly summoned Petrov, and when the two were guided into the hall; the prince was already sitting at the main seat waiting.

“Mr. Ambassador, please sit down.”

Roland clapped his hands and let the maid bring hearty meals. Grilled whole chicken, a wild boar leg with mushroom stew, butter bread and a large bowl of vegetable soup. Obviously, in this borderland, the royal children hadn’t the slightest impairment of personal enjoyment.

Petrov naturally didn’t hesitate, he traveled by ship from Longsong Stronghold to Border Town, and even with favorable wind it took two days; if it was a multi-masted cargo ship, it would have been even slower, maybe three to five days. There was no kitchen on board, so it usually came with eating dried meat strips or wheat bread. Seeing the billowing hot dishes, he felt saliva surging in his throat.

But thanks to years of training in aristocratic culture, he could maintain perfect dining etiquette. On the contrary, His Highness’ eating habits were a lot worse – in particular his use of the knife and fork. Petrov noted that in addition to the carving knife, the 4th prince used a pair of small sticks. When the slicing was completed, he used the sticks for all the other moves. And it looked like… two sticks were much more convenient than a fork.

“What do you think?” At the end of the meal, Roland suddenly questioned the ambassador.

“Uh, what?” For a moment the ambassador lost his spirit.

“This,” Roland shook the hands with the sticks, before answering Petrov, “The iron fork, for most people it is a luxury, not to mention a silver fork. When you are eating directly with your hand, it is very easy to put dirty things together with the normal food in the belly. Disease enters by the mouth, you know? “

The ambassador didn’t know how to answer, he didn’t understand the meaning of ‘diseases enters by the mouth’, but according to his understanding of the previous sentence, Roland was probably referring to the dirt stuck on food, and it would be easy to get sick when eating it. But when someone tried to diagnose the sickness, no one knew the reason why they died.

“How many sticks do you think you can get by cutting down one oak tree in the forest? These sticks are clean and easy to get. I’m going to promote this in the town.”
The prince sipped his wine and continued, “Of course, now my people don’t get much meat to eat, but I will slowly change that.”

Petrov felt relieved, he now knew how to answer. Routinely, he expressed his support and blessing, but in his heart he did not agree. Let all the people have meat? That would simply be whimsical, even Graycastle could not do this, and this Border Town was in this desolate land.

 


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  • ViRuss

    Ha what BS, it could not be any easier to eat than with a metal fork… It’s not like you need more than one fork per person anyway… while chopsticks.. and also the points raised by other people in the comments are very valid and true

  • Xegqu

    Thanks for the chapter

  • Sage Verdurous Sea Turtle

    thanks for the chapter!

  • ambi

    Thanks for the chapter Roxerer, Crimsonguard, and Disco Pangolin! Man can’t wait for the shock moment.

  • Nnelg

    *OAK* chopsticks? Now that’s more than just rediculous, it’s outright sad.

    Chopsticks were designed with bamboo in mind, a material which grows fast and is easily split lengthwise. Oak is neither… You’d probably have to lathe each individual stick, with a lot of waste.

    At the very least, use a softwood like pine or fir.

    • Mclaindog

      This is just him using the waiste from the deforesting he will have to do to get farmable land that the ambassador was talking about and as a Chinese of course he would favor chopsticks.

      • Nnelg

        Regardless of the availability, oak as a material is just too hard to work with… It’s like using chiseled stone tablets for routine paperwork.

  • Michael Twitsucks

    Considering how popular stews/porridge/soups were in this age of western feudal antiquity on Earth (due to versatility, filling and stretching out base ingredients), it stands to reason the same would hold true here.

    In which case, no, chopsticks wouldn’t be all that useful considering that an entire different culture with an entire different cuisine and way of life invented them (in a different parallel reality, no less). Just because the toothless man can enjoy his pureed meals with a straw doesn’t mean it’s the best eating utensil due to its simplicity.

    • Mclaindog

      Porridge and the like were popular because they were cheap and filling he isn’t going based of the mid evil but the Romans who had a balanced diet for most of the citizens including the poor and the slaves according to fossils and feces found in pompi much like why weed made porridge is because the people are cheap. Take this with a grain of my country is better than yours salt as the author is Chinese he will ofc favor Chinese utensils a spoon will most definitly still be made since chopsticks are still not the only utensil.

      • Nnelg

        Yeah, the biggest flaw in this novel is the author’s blatent Chinese Nationalist bias. Well, let’s just grin and bear it, hoping it doesn’t ruin the story in the end…

  • heheh. actually desolate land is more suited to livestock grazing than plant farming you stupid arrogant inbred nobleman. you merely more the livestock to where plants are or grubs and insects are present in the soil. you cant move a cabbage to greener pastures while it grows. or at least the manpower to do this is not feasible.

    • I agree with your main point, since livestock can eat grass which grows lots of places other crops won’t, but how do they benefit from grubs and insects?

      • Kinglight

        you do that, because the insects and grubs are already eating the plants, so may as well let the plants turn into something useful to you, instead of useful to the insects. IS what i think hes going for, but all he needed to say is let the livestock eat the grass…..

  • when i see him going on about how great chopsticks are i just want to give him a plate of peas and steak

    • right? I was wondering if he was eating the soup with chopsticks. but other than that, it makes some sense to promote their usage: e.g., it’s probably easier to keep chopsticks splinter free than wooden forks, and it’s definitely less demanding to make them.

      • Kinglight

        ya, but now you just mentioned, wooden forks, my fucking god…….ALSO it isn’t like you instinctivly know how to use fucking chopsticks….. AND YA, you need a wooden spoon anyways if you eating anything soup… chopsticks aren’t as awesome as he makes them out to be XD.

        • SanitaryCockroach

          All the food implements have their uses, chopsticks are great for grasping smaller or more slippery items, spoons handle liquids well, forks are good for stabilizing for cutting or picking up larger and tougher chunks, and knives… Well, they’re knives.

  • Oak

    Thanks for the chapter

  • Thanks for the chapter

  • Dear Friends, many thanks to the Author, Translator(s), (Editors), (Donors) for the awesome chapter! With lots of love, Jack

  • Thanks for the chapter.

  • Many thanks for this new chapter! 🙂

  • Thank you for the chapter 🙂

  • AMK

    Here’s hoping the ambassador is a sensible and honorable person, and not an arrogant prick.

    • Well, looks like he is quite sensible. Much more so than most characters before him.