Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 176

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Regressor of the Fallen family

Chapter 176: The End of Macline’s Harvest Season

The harvesting season of Macline had passed, and the budget allocation was completed with the revenue brought in by the collection. Macline, the Bifrost Plains, and the other fortresses that had expanded after the civil war were all taken into account. If we were to consider the amount in terms of gold, the budget was a staggering sum exceeding eighty million. Yet even with such a budget, Logan’s expression remained unsatisfied.

“The amount we produce from the gold mines doesn’t even come close to this.”

“…Your Highness, you do realize that what you’re saying sounds rather spoiled, right? If you remember just a few years back, you really shouldn’t say such things.”

Logan smirked at the incredulous look Dwayne was giving him and quickly changed the subject.

“Thankfully, the post-war internal repairs are almost finished. Prioritize the allocation of subsidies to the Tower of Magi. Oh, and have the grains and wagons been sorted for the supporters?”

“Yes. All preparations are complete.”

“Good. Then call for Philip.”

“But are you really going to do it? Even if Philip doesn’t know, that person… “

“Dwayne. Don’t make me repeat myself. I’ve already decided.”

“…Yes.”

Dwayne’s expression suggested he found something unpleasant, but he could not defy the order. Shortly, Philip was summoned to the office.

The sound of tea being poured trickled into the moment, and Philip’s grey eyes shifted nervously from left to right.

‘Why have they called for me?’

He couldn’t help but feel anxious. With the increase in administrative tasks, Philip, who was essentially a temporary employee, had been slacking off recently. Instead of completing the tedious paperwork properly, he had been preoccupied with gauging the market conditions of the overflowing town or gathering rumors to find out which goods would sell well where.

Now that the man in power had arranged this meeting…

Plus, the stares of the other administrative managers led by Dwayne Filchner, Baronet of Administration, were menacing.

And so.

“Been busy lately? Not bored?”

“I’m sorry!”

The moment the question was asked, Philip immediately bowed his head. On the other hand,

‘What is wrong with this guy?’

Logan couldn’t help but be dumbfounded.

“…What’s wrong?”

“I’ve been a bit negligent with my work recently, preoccupied with other thoughts. My apologies.”

“What kind of thoughts?”

“I’ve been collecting rumors about what goods are trending in which areas and contemplating which trade would do well where. I guess I’ve gotten a bit of wanderlust from staying here too long… I’m sorry!”

“Hmm… So, what’s the conclusion?”

“Excuse me?”

“I mean, what’s the end result of these distracting thoughts? What’s likely to sell well in Macline, and what would be a good product to take elsewhere?”

As soon as Philip’s eyes started rolling again,

“The most valuable things in the Macline territory are, of course, weapons… but you won’t sell those, haha. Then, naturally, it’s the grains produced in the two plains. And if there is a need here, it would still be daily necessities.”

Like a broken dam, Philip’s words poured out relentlessly.

“Throughout the territory, there are still refugees increasing in number, and even if you give them land to till, many of them typically make basic household tools themselves. Though not artisan masterpieces, I believe we could secure a sufficient stock from the eastern imperial cities like Rusfelheim, where handcrafted goods are abundant. Ideally, we could take our grains to the northern Tritan territory…”

“Ah, enough, enough. I get it. You’d rather manage a trade guild than work in administration, right?”

“Yes, that’s correct!”

The anxiety in his eyes was replaced by a small spark of excitement.

‘Maybe… ‘

Philip felt a hopeful premonition from Logan’s affirming tone.

After signing a contract akin to slavery, Philip’s deal with the commodity Imporik had been a massive success, but since then, his work had been tediously dull.

He now had a glimpse of a much more exciting life ahead of him.

And Philip did indeed receive that opportunity.

“People should do the work that suits their abilities and talents. That’s why I’m thinking of putting you in charge of the Macline trade guild. As our family’s representative trade guild…”

“Is that really the case?”

Philip startled to his feet involuntarily.

A noble trade guild that blatantly bore the family’s banner and was backed by solid capital and power could engage in trade credit that was incomparable to regular small and medium guilds.

And with the current status of Macline, they were virtually an omnipotent power within the kingdom.

Whatever they traded, whatever they did.

Most merchants would be willing to accept some decrease in profit for the sake of their relationship with the Macline guild.

‘He wants to entrust the guild to me? On what basis? Oh right, the contract… ‘

His excitement cooled as he remembered the contract he had personally signed, practically marking him a slave.

No matter who managed it, the kingdom would benefit from the guild.

As a virtual slave, there was likely no one else more trustworthy than himself to be its representative.

‘It’s still better than doing tedious paperwork. If I deliver more than expected profits, their evaluation of me will change.’

As Philip reassured himself and clenched his fist,

“We’ve prepared all the necessary paperwork with the royal family and the Merchant’s Guild. And as you suggested, we’ve arranged ample stocks of grain valued at ten million gold. We’ve also assigned a thousand laborers, thirty knights for escorts, and ten administrators to assist in your trade guild.”

“…Excuse me?”

“The offer was more generous than expected.”

“Why, is it not enough?”

“No, definitely not! It’s more than enough to start with!”

“Good. I’ve also set up an account with Coopers Bank for an additional ten million gold as a contingency fund, so feel free to circulate as much as you need in the large cities of the eastern continent.”

“Another ten million…”

The stunning amount nearly mesmerized Philip, but

“And 0.5% of the trade guild’s profits will be your performance bonus.”

“Ah… What did you just say…?”

“Performance bonus. 0.5%.”

“Yes. I thought my ears were mistaken… Ha ha. A performance bonus of 0.5% with starting capital of twenty million…”

Muttering to himself, Philip finally sat down, trembling as he picked up his teacup.

“Ouch! Hot!”

With a snicker,

“Drink it slowly. And take some time to think about what and how you’ll manage things. You can depart right away, or if you need more preparation time, we can allow that too.”

“What do you expect from me? Why are you offering so much…?”

“I expect two things from you and this trade guild. First, the basic principle of the guild: to make a profit, and second, I want to establish a substantial network and trade routes primarily within the Imperial territories.”

“The Empire… you mean?”

There isn’t a large trade guild in the kingdom that doesn’t deal with the Empire.

The opportunity to enter that vast market couldn’t be considered less than that of a great merchant.

However, Logan’s second condition seemed to imply something beyond just typical trade routes.

“You don’t have to think too hard about it. You just need to do business well and secure a network of trustworthy contacts within the Empire.”

Despite Logan’s reassuring words, Philip’s gaze grew heavier.

‘Surely he is perceptive too… ‘

In his past life, the Golden Bug was a figure of legend who had risen from being a commoner in the kingdom to one of the ten greatest merchants in the Empire.

Of course, if they were to start an international trade guild under the banner of Macline, investing both time and capital, they couldn’t build an influence within the Empire as significant as the Golden Bug’s had been in his previous life.

No matter how much the Empire valued capable individuals, they did not treat their own citizens and foreigners the same way.

‘Rather, they discriminate severely.’

To renounce one’s nationality and become naturalized in the Empire was only possible for those whose abilities were proven: knights or magicians, or merchants of substantial wealth who had made their own fortune were the minimum requirement.

Even then, under the pretext of proving loyalty, for ten years, they would become the top priority recruits for national affairs.

So Phillip knew that what he could expect from him before the Imperial War was to establish an influence in the eastern part of the Empire that could not be ignored.

How far that range would extend, and thus how much of the talent of his past life as the Golden Bug would blossom, was unknown.

“What level of connections do you expect? It doesn’t seem like you’re talking about simple trade partners. Is it a level where information can be exchanged? Or are you perhaps looking for a level of unwavering loyalty above all?”

“…The latter would be preferable.”

While the expectation was ambitious, it was worth mentioning to see the response.

“People and time are necessary.”

“What?”

“I need a well-established merchant with firm trading posts in the Imperial cities and at least five years of time. The conditions are too harsh to start from scratch.”

Philip’s answer was unexpected.

Fortunately, both were within the scope of what Logan could provide.

“That should be enough.”

“Really?”

“Then I will assign someone to help you begin the implementation.”

“Your Highness, you did listen to me, right?”

With a slower pace,

“Sure. I’ve actually called the person you need. Dwayne, let them in.”

“Alright.”

Dwayne, who had been anxiously watching, moved slowly, and Philip looked back and forth between Logan and Dwayne in disbelief.

“…Excuse me? This isn’t as easy as it sounds, right?”

A well-established merchant with firm trading posts in the Imperial cities – those words were easy to say but represented people so few in the kingdom.

One had died during the last civil war.

Another saw his family’s downfall.

And the remaining one…

The door creaked open.

“…Huh?”

“You called for me, Prince Logan?”

“Ah, Uncle, why do you have to be so formal? I told you to speak comfortably.”

Despite Logan’s unusually warm welcome, the stern expression did not lift from the man’s face.

He was Beron Kairos, the current head of the renowned Kairos Grain Guild within the three greatest guilds of the kingdom and heir to the Kairos family.

“Representative Beron Kairos of the Kairos Guild will be assisting you in running the guild. One cannot underestimate his connections, right?”

“Wow…”

Philip let out an exclamation of amazement.

“Now, Uncle, please introduce yourself. This is Philip Claude, who will be the head of the Macline trade guild.”

“Ah… at least he has a last name. Are you a noble?”

“No. There might have been nobles in my distant ancestors, but now I’m just a commoner with a last name.”

“You’re asking me to serve under a commoner…”

“Is that a problem? Hmm, looks like the Kairos family has grown too comfortable with their current bounty, it seems.”

“…Well, it’s manageable. Yes, I will do my utmost to assist.”

“It is a pleasure to work with you, Beron Kairos.”

“Well… same here.”

Logan plainly noted that all final decisions in trade dealings lay with Philip, with Uncle Beron merely needed for connections and advisement.

The reluctant expression on Beron’s face turned into strained laughter, but Philip genuinely smiled.

Two months prior.

When Juan Douglas’s head rolled in the Macline battle, the Kairos family was one of the first houses to choose surrender.

Their knights had already been decimated, and they had few soldiers remaining, so there was no other choice.

But even after the war, the Kairos family faced a grim predicament.

The Macline family, whom they had previously dismissed coldly, was now a dominant power in the nation post-civil war.

All the Kairos family could look forward to was a bleak future.

Eventually, Old Lord Simon Kairos pleaded with his daughter, asking her to intercede on their behalf.

– Please save us. Wasn’t that your birth family?

Haunted by the notion, Marian reluctantly conveyed her father’s words to Logan.

“You can ignore it, Logan. I’ve only conveyed it as a daughter should. After all, I’m a daughter who was abandoned.”

“No, Mother. I actually have a perfectly suitable task at hand.”

Logan accepted the proposal with a smile.

That’s why Beron Kairos came to Macline, and the launch of the Macline trade guild began smoothly.

Now,

The grand trade guild procession bearing the flaming crest flag stood ready to depart from the heart of Macline Town.

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