Chapter 10: My First Villagers

Posted bytheredsargeantJuly 22, 2020Posted inFun Territory Defense

 The battle only lasted around fifteen minutes.

 It felt like an eternity and like a single moment all at the same time.
At any rate, we were able to achieve the best possible outcome.

 The attackers that had surrounded the village were routed.
A few escaped, but the majority of them were dead and the rest were dying.(T.N.
Note: Awww… no fight scene.
Less work for me I guess.)

 A while after the battle was over, the villagers began gathering behind the entrance gate.

 Men and women armed with spears and shields warily stared at us from behind the fence.

 There are about fifty of them.
If that’s all the combat assets that the village could muster, then it is woefully poor.
Well, for a village of this size, it might be considered a large amount.

 I look at the village with a sigh.
The wooden fence is made of thick posts and is well maintained.
However, the walls are just simple lumber.
The same is true for the densely packed houses behind the wall.

 If an army were to be sent from the Kingdom of Yelinetta or Count Ferdinand’s territory, the village could easily be burnt to the ground with a few fire arrows.

 The only reason such a situation has not occurred are the Woldburg Mountains, which are said to have a dragon infestation, protecting their back and the difficulty in sending a meaningful military expedition to such a remote area.

 I believe anyone would send such an expedition, but if there was a situation where we had to fight either power, the village undoubtedly would be annihilated.

 Will I was worrying about some worst-case scenarios, Till walked over to me.

”It’s time, Van-sama.
It wasn’t like we planned, but we’ve arrived at the village.”

 Till told me and I nodded in response.

It’s our first meeting.
Let’s greet them with dignity.”

 I stepped out and made my way to the entrance of the village.
Two knights stood in front of me, with Dee and Espada standing on either side of me, and Till and Kamsin lined up behind me.

 Orto and the others guard the carriage and keep watch on the captives we’ve captured.

 While the villagers are whispering around staring at me, I open my mouth.

I’m Van Ney Fertio.
I’m the lord assigned by Marquis Fertio’s to rule over their new estate, which includes this village.
From now on, this village will be managed by me.
But please be assured that I won’t ask any unreasonable demands of you or impose any unfair or heavy taxes upon you.”

 When he uttered a greeting that was not at all like a nobleman’s, the villagers looked at each other in visible confusion.

 Seeing this, Espada wrinkled his brows and stepped forward.

”You are in the presence, Van-sama, our new lord.
Open the gates.”

 A voice far more powerful and dignified than mine rang out solemnly, and a small old man appeared from among the villagers and opened his mouth.

“Open the gate.”

 At the old man’s order, the villagers hurriedly opened the gate.
Behind the open gate, men and women in their 20s to 30s were standing with spears and shields at the ready.
In the front, the old man stood defenseless, staring at us intently.

”……..I am the elder.
My name is Rhonda.
Thank you for saving our village.”

 I give a bow to Rhonda, who politely bows his head in turn.

”I have heard that until now, neither a lord nor any soldiers for self-defense have been sent to this village.
First of all, I would like to apologize for that.
I would like that take upon myself to fill the roles and provide the protection which you were so long denied.
I would appreciate your understanding and cooperation while you are under my management.”

 For some reason, I ended up greeting him more like a service business salesman than as a lord.
There would never be a nobleman who would greet a villager like this.

 At any rate, the villagers, including the elder, were frozen in place, their eyes shaking wildly.

”Huhaha… Bwahahahahaha!”

 I could hear Orth laughing behind me, but I ignored him and waited for Rhonda’s answer.

 After a few seconds, Rhonda blinked his eyes and opened his mouth.

”What incredible politeness.
Please follow me to my house.
I will show you around.”

 Rhonda turns around with that and walks off to the back of the village.
We follow, but the villagers gaze at us with wary eyes.

 It seems that this is going to be a difficult territory to rule.

 I wouldn’t call it a hovel, but it was a shabby building, to say the least.

 All you have to do is line up some stones, lay salvaged wood for the floor, put up some primitive pillars, and roughly lay some wood for the walls and roof.
It was a barbarically simple building.
The building might survive the wind and rain, but it will fall to the softest earthquake.

 Well, I haven’t experienced any earthquakes in this world so far.

 In such a ramshackle building, there is the village chief with two middle-aged men in front and two diagonally behind them.
On the other side, Espada, Dee and I were sitting, both groups facing each other.

There were originally a hundred and fifty residents in the village.
However, they were raided twice over a period of six months which reduced their numbers to one hundred and ten.

“…So this is the third time you’ve been attacked? Were they all from the same group of bandits?

”No, they were all different.
The first group was manageable because there were only about ten of them, but the second group were ex-mercenaries or adventurers, and we only fought them off after an entire day of fighting.
The one who showed up this time was yet another different group.

“Why do you think they’re so interested in this village?”

 When I ask, Rhonda stammers at first.

 But he quickly opens his mouth.

”This village is isolated from the other villages, not to mention the larger towns.
Since the lord has changed, knights no longer garrison this area.
In the past, the border with the Kingdom of Yelinetta was close, so the border watch knights of Count Ferdinand’s territory used to patrol the area.
Since the territory changed hands, the knights lost their reason to patrol the area, so they left.”

“So you’re saying that the village is in danger of extinction because of the Marquis of Fertio.”

 Ronda became silent as I stated in exact words what the chief had been implicitly saying.

 It’s a criticism of the Marquess family.
Even if I wasn’t sitting here, it would have been taboo to say, let alone the fact that I was directly across from him.

 Well, had I been an aristocrat with a short temper, Rhonda’s head would have been cut off as soon as they showed any disrespect.

”I’m sorry.
Count Ferdinand had set up deputies in each city, but we pulled out all those administrators.
It seems that our family selected those who had experience as lords and deputies from the Marquis Fertio’s territory and placed them in order from the larger towns, but we still don’t know the situation in the smaller villages.”

 When I replied honestly, Rhonda looked at me with observant eyes.

”…In other words, the Marquis put us on the back burner, didn’t he? No, I guess all nobles are like that.
A small village pays tax rates that are equal to a big city but are treated as if they are less important.
All of a noble’s people should be treated equally, but…”

 Did he trust me or did he just need to vent? Rhonda began to verbalize his anger at the nobles.

 But I won’t listen to it.
I need to redirect the conversation to something more productive… and less treasonous.(T.N.
Note: I took a bit of creative liberty on this part because the original MTL read like some kind of aggressive caveman speech.)

”Village chief, please cease.
I want to talk to you about matters pertaining to the future administration of the village.”

 When I told him that with a snap, Rhonda held his tongue as if he were angry.
I see a hint of hostility in the eyes of the two men and women sitting next to him, but my hand was forced.

 I look at the three of them in turn and open my mouth.

“There’s no point in complaining, resenting, or lamenting the state of this country.
I know you are dissatisfied, but simple slander behind closed doors won’t change anything.”

“Hah! Of course, a nobleman would say that.”

 A middle-aged man stood up and yelled at him.
Probably Rhonda’s kid.
In other words, the village chief’s heir.

 I see that he’s big in stature and has a powerful light in his eyes.
But with such a short-sighted personality, there is no future for any village put under his rule.

 I gave him a stern look and let out a low voice.

“Please sit down.
I will dictate where this village is going, I am the appointed lord, not you.”

 When I tell him that much, Rhonda looks up at his heir with narrowed eyes, causing him to sit back down with a scowl.
Seeing this, I put my hand over my chest and open my mouth.

”The nobles are indeed to blame for the flaws of our country.
To be specific, the laws laid down by the royal house of Berlinate, the founder of our Mordial kingdom, were flawed.”

 When I said this, not only were Rhonda and his subordinates shaken, but also Espada and Dee, who were sitting next to me.

 A person from a marquis family criticized the royal family openly.
An ordinary nobleman would never do such a taboo and suicidal thing.

 But what should I be afraid of? I am the lord of a doomed village, and I have nothing to fear.

 I proudly looked around at everyone with my chest puffed out.

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