Several hours had passed since we set out for the border with Kokodia.
The view from the carriage had changed from the cityscape of the royal capital to a barren plain.
Eugenis’ territory is made up of flatlands that spread out from the royal capital.
As it approaches other countries, the altitude increases, and the area near the border becomes mountainous.
Tyrnia’s border is mountainous, but Tyrnia’s royal capital is also flatland.
It might not be satisfactory, but it’s not like there’s no land to cultivate.
However, Kokodia’s territory is mostly mountainous,
And the main industry is mining, such as magic stones.
Because they cannot cover food within their country, they export ores and import grains and such.
There must be a reason why Kokodia rushed to declare war, even though they have been getting by this way until now.
Magic stones were created about forty years ago.
Before that, they were a country that had been trading only in ores, on a small scale,
And then they started to produce magic stones, which everyone wanted.
Kokodia accepted a large number of immigrants to mine the ores that would become materials for magic stones,
Without thinking about the food needed for all those immigrants.
Now, countries other than Kokodia can also produce magic stones.
Since Eugenis has no mines, they have to rely on other countries,
But now they can import from countries other than Kokodia.
Kokodia, who thought that they could buy the insufficient food from other countries by exporting magic stones,
The fact that the price of magic stones has dropped, and the unexpected increase in immigrants,
Resulting in a chronic shortage of food.
Eugenis’ food supplies are being sold as much as possible.
It’s not necessarily the case that the citizens will starve and die if we don’t go to war,
but I can understand the desire to find land that can be cultivated stably.
Of course, I have no intention of going along with that,
And I am heading for the border to avoid declaring war at all costs.
After leaving the royal capital, everything looked new and exciting,
And I asked Chris and Kyle about everything I could see from the carriage.
I knew that Kyle, who was not from the royal capital, knew about other territories,
But Chris had also been traveling between the royal capital and the territory before entering the academy,
And both of them knew various things.
This is my first time leaving the royal capital, and it’s my first long journey by carriage.
So I was excited for a while after departing,
But as evening approached and the surroundings began to darken, my words began to decrease.
As the twilight approached, a little bit of anxiety began to grow in my heart.
We’ll arrive at the first tower the day after tomorrow before noon.
. . .I wonder how they found it.
No, I’ll stop thinking about it.
Kyle, who’s next to me, and Chris, who’s in front of me, are silent while I’m lost in thought.
They must be considering my feelings.
“Let’s take a break soon.”
“It’s okay to keep running through the night, right?”
“Yes. I want to set up the barrier as soon as possible.
I think it will be hard for Wei and Fel though. . .”
“They must be tough guys if Augen recommends them.
They’ll take turns resting, and it should be fine to push for a few days.”
When it gets dark, we stop the carriage at a resting place right next to the road.
There’s an inn, but we’ve decided to keep moving without staying.
We will have to stop a few times for breaks and resupply, but we want to hurry as much as possible.
As I stretch my stiff body after getting out of the carriage,
Wei and Fel, who had gone somewhere, return.
They’re holding a few large fish.
They seem to be still alive and moving, but the two have calm faces.
They look quite wild, like knights.
“There’s a small lake nearby, and there were fish.
We’ll prepare dinner now, but it’s bland with just portable food.
We’ll grill them right away. Please wait a moment.”
“What! You caught them just now? Amazing!”
“I always carry a line and hook, so it’s easy once you get used to it.”
Although they weren’t gone for long, they seem to have caught enough fish for everyone.
As I watch in amazement, Wei cuts open the fish’ belly and removes the innards.
Fel washes them clean with magically conjured water.
In no time, they light a fire on some wood and start grilling the skewered fish.
Seeing this, Chris speaks to the two with admiration.
“You’re skilled at this. Do royal guards do this all the time?”
“No, we certainly don’t do this in the Order.”
“We come from a poor territory, so we’re used to catching fish and game.
The crops didn’t grow well, so we often went out to catch them.”
“Oh, I see. It was Hambel territory, wasn’t it?”
The land was returned to the royal family because for several years the taxes couldn’t be paid due to cold weather damages.
It became Duke Hambel territory after my Uncle Edgar received it a few years after becoming royal territory.
The susceptibility to frost damage remains unchanged even now,
They are still trying to find a crop that can somehow grow there.
“Thanks to Sofia-sama, the people of the territory are no longer starving,
My father was delighted.”