The Struggle of a Weak Aristocrat in a Different World C80
The Struggle of a Weak Aristocrat in a Different World C80: Returning Home
I entered my own territory, rubbing against the rattling vibrations along with my luggage. Up until now, the shaking had been so severe that I had been given the role of holding down the luggage instead of being given a ride. However, I was relieved to find that from here on, there was relatively little shaking because the roads were well maintained.
“Huh? You’re not going to continue your journey, and your destination is the Dreschord Territory?”
The old man spoke to me in a friendly manner, wearing the kind of cloth that travelers love to use.
After the last class, I noticed Alice and Claire who had come to look at me during the class, and as soon as the class was over, I slipped out of the classroom as fast as I could.
I realized that it would be impossible to avoid the customs in the capital so I disguised myself in traveling clothes and got a ride in a suitable carriage, which allowed me to escape without being detected. After that, I returned home, changing carriages over the next few days.
The new coachman thought I was a traveler or something, and talked to me casually. I don’t mind such casual conversations, so we were chatting as the carriage rocked.
“Well, yes, but with you?”
“You’re not going there because you heard a rumor, are you?”
“No. What rumor?”
I was curious about the rumors about my territory, so I decided to ask.
“I’ve been there recently and the rumors are true. The food there is good and the drinks are strong. In addition, the roads are well maintained, so the wagon wheels don’t break or get stuck in the muck. It’s a great place for us peddlers.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah. Besides, there is no tax to enter the city. The tax on the sale of goods is a bit high, but it’s taken only as much as you sell, so you don’t have to worry even if you don’t sell anything.”
He then laughed.
“If it’s going to be deducted from your sales, why not report it falsely?”
It doesn’t work that way. They make us fill out sales reports, but the auditors often come and find out if the reports are false. The law is well established, so they catch you right away.”
“Then why don’t you just sell under the radar?”
“That’s no good either. There are no customs duties, but your luggage will be searched on the way in and on the way out. Even the clothes and the bottom of the carriage are checked. If you make illegal transactions, you’ll be hit by the numbers.”
“I don’t know why, but if anyone mentions bribes, the audit guys turn pale and call security right away.”
They’re doing well but I hope they don’t all collapse from such a workload. As I was pondering this, the elder thought I was still thinking of a devious plan and warned me.
“If you’re thinking of doing something bad, don’t go there.”
“I’ll try not to do anything wrong.”
“Gahaha! Seriousness is the best!”
When I answered him honestly, he laughed loudly, which made me feel better.
The carriage rocked for a long time while we made small talk.
I was awakened by the voice of the coachman. I had fallen asleep, probably because I felt relieved to be back in my own territory.
I woke up, grateful for the kindness of the elder who had not tried to wake me.
“That’s the city!”
When I looked in the direction the man was pointing, I saw a moat being dug and low walls piled up, as if to create a boundary between the town and the fields. It was obvious that a castle was under construction.
“Where am I?”
I asked the coachman, hoping for a glimpse of the reality that made me want to turn away.
“Huh? We’re in the Dreschord territory.”
“What’s the matter, you’re lost for words? Are you surprised at how much it’s grown?”
“Ha-ha-ha! No wonder! I was surprised at first, too!”
I was so surprised that I couldn’t even speak. My despair also increased.
What am I going to do with this? What am I going to say to the nobles around me? And what about money?
I stopped thinking about it halfway through, but it was clear that the problems were piling up and that taking it easy even in my own territory was an illusion.
“Look, it’s a good time of day again, and there’s a line of carriages.”
The carriages were neatly lined up in a row on a bridge that had been built some time ago. The bridge looked shabby, but I could tell that it was strong enough to withstand the weight of so many carriages.
I wondered how many people had to work so hard to build it in just half a year.
“Hey, old man.”
“Do you have a reservation at the hotel today?”
“Will you let me stay with you? I’ll pay you.”
“I’d love to let you stay with me, but I’m booked for one person. I’m sure they’re all full right now, so you’ll have to look hard.”
There are that many people here? I felt even more depressed.
I have no choice but to leave.
“Thank you, old man. I’ll walk home from here.”
“Hey, you sure about that, buddy? You’ll have to walk a lot.”
Because my resting time is until I enter that city that I can see from here.
He stopped the carriage, and when he saw that I had gotten off and said,
“See you later, young man.”
When I looked at the sky, I saw that the sun was setting and the night was about to engulf it.
Support me on Ko-fi for extra chapters.