“Damn! What is this? I knew things were going too well!”
His fate changed after becoming Pagma's Descendant. In the past, he lived an unlucky life. After becoming Pagma’s Descendant, most of the results were positive, no matter what hardship he went through. But why did he have to go through hardship everywhere he went? Did he have to accept it just because things worked out well?
Grid suppressed his anger. He looked around at all the people before asking, “Isn’t this the kingdom’s second largest city? Doesn’t that mean it’s rich? So why are the people in this state? Eh? Were they robbed by a group of thieves or something?”
“In the past, it was the richest city in the kingdom; however, everything changed 10 years ago when the giant worms appeared.”
“The giant worms? What do those monsters have to do with Reidan?"
Lauel explained to Grid, “This is what Faker found out after questioning the administrator and the people here.”
10 years ago. Reidan was the second largest city after Reinhardt and was called the second capital of the kingdom. However, this situation changed once the giant worms appeared on a large scale.
The giant worms ravaging the land were so strong that they couldn’t be subjugated with a regular army. They quickly turned the western part of the kingdom into a desert, leading to a shortage in resources and supplies, including water.
To make matters worse, all types of desert monsters started to appear. This situation got so bad that it Reidan was eventually isolated from the kingdom around it, falling into a food shortage.
“Large-scale support from the kingdom became impossible so the former lord of Reidan gave up. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their home.”
But some people didn’t leave. It was due to the circumstances of each people. 40,000 people remained behind in Reidan.
"They had to prioritize protecting the rivers and lakes that hadn’t been dried up yet. But with their strength, they couldn’t protect the rivers and lakes from monsters.”
King Wiesbaden tried to help by searching for talent to rebuild the west. However, there was no one good except for Earl Ashur, and Earl Ashur couldn’t leave Patrian.
"In the end, people were unable to get help from the kingdom and chose the empire. They asked the empire to be saved and the empire readily accepted. It was a chance to absorb part of the land of the Eternal Kingdom.”
The empire dispatched the Black Knights. The Black Knights were the second strongest knights after the Red Knights. But it was impossible for them to completely get rid of all the monsters in the west.
“At this point, the empire had to make a decision. In order to obtain the west, they would have to commit a large force. And that is a big burden from the position of the empire.”
Finally, the empire made a choice.
“They will protect the Hebend River directly connected to Reidan from the monsters. In return, the people of Reiden will have to make an offering to the empire every year. They offered that deal.”
“It is a reasonable proposal. The people of Reidan would’ve had to accept.”
“That’s right. But the problem was that the amount of wealth the empire asked for grew every year.”
Thanks to the protection of the empire, the people of Reidan were able to relieve the food shortage through farming. The economy was slowly revived, but so what? They became poor again after giving their wealth to the empire every year. Finally, there was a food crisis again.
"In the end, the people of Reidan reached the point where they couldn’t listen to the demands of the empire anymore. The empire withdrew their forces and as a result, there were only 20,000 people left in Reidan. They were on the brink of starvation. This was the situation when we arrived.”
Grid couldn’t believe it. "Why did the kingdom abandon Reidan? It might be impossible to get rid of the monsters in the west, but isn’t it possible to give them the minimum of supplies?”
"There was no merit. They didn’t feel the value of helping the foolish people who won’t abandon a land that can’t be rebuilt.”
It was cold but the right decision. At least, Grid thought so. “Yes, I understand the position of the kingdom. So in the end, aren’t the people of the kingdom the real issue at hand? Why would they insist on staying in Reidan, in spite the circumstances? Isn’t it a simple fix if they just leave?”
"It is unfortunate... 10 years ago, the lord recruited troops to raid the vampire lair. Most of the people who didn’t leave Reidan are the families of the young men conscripted to the vampire raid.”
"They don’t know when their sons or husbands will return so they remained in Reidan?”
“That’s right. As you know, this world is different from modern society and the reunion of separated families is almost impossible...”
10 years ago. The giant worms emerged soon after the vampire raid began. And Reidan fell in just five months. The vampire subjugation troops were scheduled to return in half a year, so the families of the soldiers had to wait until then.
They waited one year, two years, three years, four years, etc, but the vampire subjugation team didn’t return. However, the family members kept staying in Reidan. The result was that 10 years passed. 40,000 people waited for the vampire subjugation team, but half of them gave up or starved to death.
"They have been waiting 10 years for the vampire subjugation team’s return, despite the fact that the troops have probably been annihilated... Blood relationships are scary.”
Grid thought that the people of Reiden were stupid, but he also felt compassion. It was because his family probably would’ve made the same choice if they were in the same position as the people of Reidan.
"The conclusion is that the former lord is a stupid jerk? Why did he try to clear the vampire lairs?”
"Until the giant worms appeared, the vampires were the only threat to Reidan. The vampire lairs are somewhere in the west and the vampires often used the people of Reidan as their food. The former lord made an unavoidable decision.”
Vampire Duke Marie Rose. Grid recalled the vampire that he met in the past on the way to the pope and shuddered.
"...Are the vampires still active these days?”
“No. Vampires haven’t appeared since monsters emerged in the west. Considering the strength of the vampires, they wouldn’t have been wiped out by the monsters. So it is possible that they turned the monsters into their food source.”
“That is lucky. Um... So? What should I do next?”
Lauel answered instantly as if it were obvious, “We need to focus on clearing the fields.”
In the nine days of Grid’s absence, the Overgeared members defeated the monsters around Hebend River and connected the waterways to the fields. Now it was a beautiful sight because they worked hard with the people to clear the fields.
"Labor is good. The sight of the people sweating while working is beautiful.” But Grid hated doing it. “I am the duke yet I have to work in the fields with the people? Isn’t this too much?”
Lauel shrugged at Grid’s obvious dislike.
“You don’t have to. You have a different workspace.”
Lauel received Grid’s command and brought Khan to this place. As soon as they got here, he gave support staff to Khan to build a facility. That's right, it was a smithy.
"Please do your duties as a legendary blacksmith. There is a limit to the amount of farming equipment that can be produced by Khan alone. Please help him produce a large quantity of farming equipment.”
A legendary blacksmith needed to make farmer’s tools?
"Hey, what’s with that look you’re giving me?” Lauel scolded Grid. "We need your strength to revive Reidan, and you want to refuse? Don’t you feel any sense of responsibility as the Lord?”
Grid acquiesced and no longer complained loudly,
"...I was lacking in understanding.”
‘I became too arrogant after I became a duke.’
Only farming equipment? A blacksmith couldn’t afford to have the word ‘only’ in their minds. Grid regained his pride as a blacksmith. In his mind, he threw away his futile bravado and rolled up his sleeves. Then he pulled out his blacksmith’s hammer and declared, "Believe in me.”
Lauel’s face twisted as he heard the ominous words. But he thought about it and became relieved.
‘In the first place, farming equipment with a rating other than normal doesn’t exist, so I don’t have to worry.’
Combat class users had no idea about production and production items. They weren’t interested because there were few opportunities to use it. A hammer was just a hammer, a pickaxe was just a pickaxe, a hoe was just a hoe etc. Moreover, most of the production items distributed had a normal rating.
Blacksmiths aimed for mass production so it was less likely for a production class item to have a high-rating. But who was Grid? He always invested at least 20 hours, no matter what item he was making, and had already produced a legendary rated hammer and pickaxe.
“Then I’m going. I’ll go to work.”
He would produce the best farming equipment that could be used easily, even by those who were starving and had no strength! Grid pledged as he entered the city.
Lauel shouted after him. "By the way Grid, who are these two people?”
"Ah.” Grid was reminded of Piaro and Bland and told the two people. “This is what happened, so I’ll have to stay in the smithy for a while. In the meantime, you will be bored. Right? Shouldn’t you move your body to avoid being bored? Right?”
“If I look around the city and train Bland some more, I won’t be bored.”
Piaro gave his opinion. But Grid responded like he didn’t hear.
“I will tell you how to relieve your boredom.”
Grid’s finger pointed to the fields.
Piaro and Bland were always in the best position because of their noble family and their natural talents, so they couldn’t grasp Grid’s intentions at first. They never imagined that there would be a person who assigned them to work in the fields.
"Help me clear the fields. Please.”
Bland was astonished. He was an elite of the kingdom with the best bloodline flowing through him! A cornerstone of the kingdom was made to do field work?
No, he could understand since he was a hostage. But wasn’t Piaro a former captain of a troop of knights, and also one of the best swordsmen on the continent? Despite his great achievements, he was still forced to work in the fields?
Bland thought that Grid was crazy. But what was this?
“Physical training is good to increase the body’s stamina. Moreover, since I’ve never had experience working in the field, it is an opportunity to develop muscles I haven’t used very well or to experience new movements. I understand.”
Piaro readily accepted? Great Swordsman. The one closest to becoming a sword saint positively evaluated the field work and started stretching, so Bland fell silent and also started loosening up his body.
“Are you really working in the fields?”
Grid was surprised. He hadn’t expected Piaro to accept his request.
“Why so easily?”
Piaro saw Grid’s confused face and said. "I have regained my motivation after being with you and Bland for the past nine days. I don’t want revenge to be my whole life. You will get revenge for me sooner or later, so I have to shake off the past and try to live in the future. I’m not a noble anymore, so it is a good idea to learn about the lives of the common people in advance.”
Grid bowed respectfully to him not only to thank him for his help in the fields but also for his willingness to live.
'A person like that was affected by me...’
Grid had enough influence to change someone’s life. He realized this thanks to Piaro and thought deeply.
‘A lord is a person who rules over tens of thousands of people. He was also a guild master who led the Overgeared members. He should never forget. My thoughts and actions can change the fate of a large number of people.’
Grid vowed to become more mature every time he experienced certain events. However, he couldn’t abandon his inherent nature and was prone to losing his prudence whenever he was in a hurry. So he thought that he should manage himself more thoroughly.
He left Winston for the west. This was the moment that Grid’s heart once again grew in response to Piaro’s words.
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