Develop 106

Chapter 106 Disturbing Shadows

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 After we had finished buying the furniture, we were chatting with Gibbett-san in the reception room of the Harvest Hoe while the Brown-Hatted servants were taking the furniture to the carriage.

 ”Well, that sofa is really great! I received such a nice thing, I personally want one too,” Gibbett-san said.

 ”I’m glad you like it. Considering all the help you’ve given us, it’s not quite enough to cover all the expenses,” I replied.

 ”As I said before, Master Neil does not need to worry about that. Thanks to the monopoly on crops from the settlements under Master Neil’s control, our firm has been able to make a lot of profit. This is a kind of compensation for the monopoly,” Gibbett-san continued.

 However, the contract with the Harvest Hoe only involves buying crops from the colony, and there is no clause about monopolizing them

 In reality, they are just in a monopolistic state because I only have a contract with the Harvest Hoe as a wholesaler.

 That’s why Gibbett-san is giving us a lot of flexibility to maintain this monopoly.

 Even if we start selling crops to other firms in the future, it wouldn’t be a breach of contract.

 In fact, the demand for vegetables grown in Denar has been increasing recently because the vegetables grown in the pioneer areas have become famous, and the production rate of crops has been increased to the point that we are shipped every day, so we should not increase the number of wholesalers because there is a surplus of crops.

 Therefore, I think that the monopoly of the Harvest Hoe will continue to be maintained without this kind of flexibility, but there are still many frontier areas that we cannot manage by ourselves, and it would have been better if we could have gotten help from them.

 ”Master Neil, I want to talk to you about something serious,” Gibbett-san said, changing the subject.

 Gibbett-san, who was just chatting and laughing, suddenly became serious and corrected his posture.

 ”Recently, I’ve heard rumors about some out-of-season crops being sold, and some greedy people have been sniffing around the Harvest Hoe, hoping to make a profit as well,” said Gibbett-san.

 ”Are you saying that there are people trying to steal crops? ” I asked.

 ”There are certainly shortsighted people like that, but what’s more troublesome is the existence of those who have researched how to grow out-of-season crops and are trying to cultivate them for profit. I don’t think there are people who would be foolish enough to try to touch the land directly controlled by the nobles, but if they find out that they can’t get any information even after investigating us… ” Gibbett-santrailed off.

 ”They might get impatient and come to the settlement to try something?” I guessed.

 ”Maybe the idiots are already looking into it behind our backs. Have you heard anything about this from Gaadhir-san?” Gibbett-sanasked.

 ”No, I haven’t heard anything about it. In the first place, Gaadhir-san is only guarding around buildings where people are, so even if intruders enter the farmland at night, they might not notice,” I replied.

 For now, Lewya is also monitoring the entire settlement with the help of spirits, so there shouldn’t be any problems.

 ”I see… perhaps we shouldn’t have been concerned about quality,” Gibbett-san mused.

 ”When you say quality, are you talking about the personnel we’re looking for to guard the settlement?” I asked

 ”Yes, as I’ve told you before, we’re looking carefully to avoid letting strange people into the settlements, but in this case, even if we find good people, we can’t hire them carelessly,” Gibbett-san explained.

 ”What? Why?” I looked puzzled.

 I thought that now was the time to hire new people and increase security, but Gibbett-san answered my question.

 ”The fact that we’re looking for personnel to guard the settlement is probably known to those sniffing around us. Even if we find good candidates, they could be pawns prepared by those people to be hired by us,” Gibbett-san said.

 ”You mean they’re trying to steal information from the inside?” I asked.

 Currently, the settlements have many secrets that cannot be revealed to the outside world.

 Therefore, when hiring new personnel, Gibbett-san are very cautious and avoid hiring people who are difficult to deal with and prone to complaining.

 The reason is that they hired people to protect the security of the settlements, but if the security deteriorated because of the people they hired, it would be the end of the story.

 ”It’s a bit of a problem, isn’t it, that we can’t increase the number of people we need to hire, but we can’t do it without thinking about it,” I said.

 ”That’s why we’re consulting with Master Neil. If you can overlook their combat skills, we can hire three people who are independent and unlikely to be dissatisfied with life in the settlement,” Gibbett-san continued.

 ”Who are these people?” I asked.

 ”There is a village called Floren in the area where we buy crops, and some young people there are interested in earning money outside the village. Since they have never left their village since they were born, they are not likely to complain about inconvenience as those who are accustomed to living in the city,” explained Gibbett-san.

 ”I see. Is the reason you want me to overlook their combat skills because they have no combat experience?” I asked.

 ”Well, that’s one reason,” Gibbett-san hesitated before continuing.

 ”One of them is about to come of age, but the other two just became adults recently,” he added.

 ”Oh, I see. That makes sense,” I said

 Nobles become adults at the age of fifteen, but for commoners, it’s at the age of ten.

 However, even though they were considered adults in the eyes of the world, they were still children in the eyes of the adults around them, and could not be expected to be a force to be reckoned with.

 Still, it was much better than leaving Gaadhir-san alone, and even though there were spirits watching over the place, they would only report to Lewya if they found something suspicious, but they would not take action, which would inevitably delay the action, so in the end, we needed more manpower.

 So I told Gibbett-san that I wanted to hire the three young villagers when the last one became an adult.

 After loading the furniture onto the carriage, we left the Harvest Hoe and headed back to the settlement.

 ”Why do you look so melancholy?” asked Diana.

 ”Did I look like that?” I asked.

 ”Yes, is it because you’re worried about the conversation you just had?” Diana asked.

 ”That’s part of it, but to be honest, I’m feeling a little sad about leaving the lively city,” I said.

 I wanted to enjoy the festival if possible, but I couldn’t leave the settlement for a long time, so I decided to go back to the settlement, but when Diana heard what I said, she let out a sigh in a show of sympathy.

 ”Sigh… Master Neil lacks the awareness of a ruler, doesn’t he?” Diana said with a hint of disappointment in her voice.

 ”No, I’m sure I’m aware of it,” Neil replied. “That’s why I don’t stop by and leave early when I’m done with my errands even if I’m lonely.”

 ”No, I’m saying that you’re not aware enough when you make such comments,” Diana retorted. “Are you sad to leave a city that was full of vitality? If you have time to envy other places, didn’t you think of making the settlement a place as lively as Denar? That’s what being aware as a ruler means.”


 I couldn’t say anything back to Diana’s words.

 Diana was right, I had been feeling like a tourist looking at the bustling city of Denar.

 I had always thought of the city as something else, and I had unknowingly separated the city and the settlement, treating them as if they were different things

 But in reality, it is not so. As long as we conquer the labyrinth, reclaim the land, secure the safety, and increase the number of people, even that reclaimed land will become a city at some point in time.

 Denar’s lively city was also the vision for the future settlement I was aiming for.

 It was only natural for me to be criticized for not realizing that.

 ”Shall we think of some events to hold in the settlement?” Diana suggested.

 ”That’s a good idea,” I agreed, feeling a renewed sense of purpose.

 Although it is still far from the festivities in Denar city, it is still much better than the New Year’s celebration without any activities, I think about the small events to be held in the frontier area.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.

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