Chapter 81: Residents near the border
While burying the harvested potatoes in the sawdust, Leon spoke.
“Oh, it seems like defeat is highly likely… Well, if the village chief says so, then it must be true.”
“I wonder what will happen to this country if we lose the war.”
“Well, the history of this region has always been a history of war. Even this village has changed countries multiple times.”
“I know that as history, but we have never been caught up in the midst of it.”
“That’s true. Everyone feels the same way.”
“Will there be any changes in this remote village?”
“Well, maybe just changes in tax rates and laws? If you’re curious, you can ask Gustav-sama, who used to live in the neighboring country.”
Diana opened her mouth slightly and pondered for a while.
“Come to think of it, why are there so many nobles from other countries in this village?”
“Oh, that’s easy to explain. This place is conveniently located with the border crisscrossing through it.”
“You can easily escape to either side. You can flee to the winning country or invade the losing country.”
“What?! Is everyone here for that reason?”
“Yeah. Even if the border is sealed, they turn a blind eye to the countryside and as long as you have money, you can come and go as you please.”
“Is that so?!”
“…Diana, you really are a proper lady, yet you were raised without such knowledge, huh?”
“Well, you know, that’s just how it is. The custom of not giving unnecessary knowledge to women still prevails in the city.”
“Then maybe I should teach you some naughty knowledge…”
“Fufufu… Please, Leon.”
Leon brushed off the sawdust with his hand and took out a map from the bookshelf.
“This is the borderland where we live. The outskirts of Pabst village. Beyond that is the mountain range. The valley continues, separating us from the neighboring country, Eisenstadt.”
It was clear from the map. The jagged border was winding like a snake.
“Yeah, I see.”
“In other words, this is a village near the border.”
“Looking at the map, it’s really close to Eisenstadt.”
“That’s why I can understand the village chief’s intention to make this place a candidate for a hotel. It can accommodate customers from both sides.”
“Especially important people can cross through this mountain range and reach a third country.”
“What?! You can do that…?”
“It’s a treacherous path, but if you’re determined, you can do it. Although I can only think of a king or someone similar who would need to do that.”
“Oh, Leon… Kings don’t need to cross to a third country. They stay in their castles.”
“I see… I never realized that this place was where so many countries’ borders meet…”
Diana looked at the color-coded map. She had never even thought about such a place before.
“So, did you reach out to the nobles?”
“I sent detailed letters to various people. I’m sure those who want to build something will come to discuss it while they’re here.”
“That’s good. If there are positive responses.”
“If not, we can leave it to the nobles that Village Chief Roberto mentioned.”
“That’s a good idea. Securing accommodations is a pressing matter.”
After returning the map to the bookshelf, Leon held a candlestick in his hand.
“The sun is setting… Should we go to sleep, Diana?”
Surrounded by the scent of a new home, Diana fantasized about the cottage.
It felt like another small village was being created in this borderland.
She might see landscapes she had never imagined when she first arrived here.
In Diana’s closed eyes, a vast space from the map spread out.
Two weeks later.
Several carriages arrived at Diana and Leon’s location.
The carriages of Ishtar Trading Company.
The carriages of Belz Trading Company.
The carriage of Duke Dreves.
And the carriage of Duke McGallen.
Each of them arrived on the spacious land with mixed stones and got off.
The first to get off was Klaus. Diana immediately ran up to him.
“Oh, Duke McGallen-sama. I heard the rumors about Sophia-sama. Congratulations!”
“…It’s a bit embarrassing to hear it again.”
“Today, Sophia-sama is taking a day off, isn’t she?”
“Oh, she wanted to come, but I asked her to refrain. However, she’s doing fine without morning sickness and taking it easy.”
“I see. In that case, there doesn’t seem to be any need to worry for now.”
“Sofia wants to experience raising a child in nature. She’s thinking of building a small separate residence here as a vacation home.”
Next, the Dreves couple.
“Oh, Carl-sama. Did you wake up for farming?”
“No, not me… Katarina is enthusiastic about it. She seems to enjoy farming. She begged me to get a vacation home.”
And then, Daniel from Belz Trading Company.
“What is Daniel-sama’s purpose?”
“Diana, there’s a way to say things, you know… Well, you see, in my case, I wanted to run a relatively large inn with many rooms.”
“To display art pieces, I assume?”
“That’s one of the purposes, but… I also thought it would be perfect for proposing a total coordinated display for interior design.”
“Your business acumen is truly impressive. I should learn from you.”
Lastly, the renowned Ishtar Trading Company.
“Fufu, the day has finally come. Now I can be with Diana anytime.”
Diana turns her face towards Gustav.
“What kind of inn will Gustav…?”
“Well, I plan to have a slightly larger inn. Around six rooms or so.”
“Oh, it’s quite big.”
“Quite seriously, I’m considering it as our final dwelling. It would be nice if we could live here once we pass on the family business to our children.”
And then, Roberto’s carriage arrives, significantly late.──
“So Roberto is coming too.”
“He’s probably coming to check the plot. They’re planning to lease the land from Pabst village to the construction company.”
“Oh, it’s a bit complicated, isn’t it?”
“It seems they want to ensure that the land returns to the village if the owner of the building dies. There have been numerous cases where the land and houses of people who died in the war couldn’t be dealt with, causing troubles in various countries.”
“Well, with such circumstances…”
Roberto gets off the carriage and shows Diana a weak, awkward smile.