Kakei Senki Wo Kakageyo! / Kakei Senki Wo Kakageyo! Chapter 1

 

“That young fellow is a really strange child”

The peddler with beard exhaled a sigh, he wasn’t sure if he should be surprised or amazed.

“In the countryside, every children around would be crazy for a toy”

As for him, he was a peddler who buys and sells convenient goods from the city to the country side while making wooden dolls and spinning tops. Because the goods weren’t bulky and lightweight, he can gain a decent amount of profit. It might not sell well in poverty-stricken villages, but generally there should be a house or two with a small amount of cash.

The young fellow did not even look at the toy in front of his eyes, he was from one of the wealthy farmer families. He should be around five to six years old. He had adorable blue eyes and black hair, his clothes were not made locally. It makes sense. He’s the son of the village head here.
The Kiko village here looks up to the Heavenly Region mountain ranges in the north. This village was located in the north-east border of the Astoria Kingdom who controls the eastern half of the continent. This village could only support about seventy households. Their village is a part of Earl Helrev’s territory.

Although the farmers only grew Seirra and Mekong wheat… the so-called noble wheat and rough wheat. In addition with the farmer’s small cattle ranches, the peddler was able to make a small amount of profit. Horses were demanded as highly as warhorses here.

“Oh yeah, these are popular goods. Right, I should line 3 horses together and bring them along”

He tried to continue his explanation, but exhaled a small sigh. His selling intuition told him that the dull young boy won’t even be amazed. Anyways, he shouldn’t try to force the young boy to buy.

“That, well… there should be something that would interest the young fellow”

Feeling puzzled and lost, he took a single parchment paper from among his belongings. It was tied by a red string to a hazel-coloured tube. It was newspaper issued in the capital. The article contents of the recent major events were “local-friendly”, profitable for the peddling merchant’s customers.

“I understand that I can’t buy it, if you let me read it here then I don’t mind”

“No, look here, this should be sealed? There should be a unique knot”

Haa, the young fellow had a keen nose. It was quite shocking. Ironically, the young fellow had a innocent smile stunning the peddler.

“Is this your first time seeing the newspaper…?”

Without replying, the young fellow took the parchment and untied the string in a familiar manner. As if he was worried about the direction of the sunlight, he sat near the peddler and crossed his legs. He furrowed his brows, and started to read the newspaper. The young fellow’s manner struck the peddler speechless.

“Oh wow, it’s quite absurd. The princess is pregnant” “That fat priest ordered for custom bishop clothes soon after being promoted” The young fellow muttered while reading the newspaper carefully. The way he grumbles, reminds me of drunken mens in city taverns. Because the earlier comment was done in a childish voice, the peddler had a strange sense of discomfort.

“Thank you very much. I look forward to seeing you again”

The young boy bowed politely after reading the newspaper, and quickly left. In the end, the peddler wasen’t able to speak a word. Before he left, he passed the newspaper and the string along with one white copper coin. The young fellow had paid the proper price for newspaper in the countryside. In fact, the peddler didn’t tell him the price.
He snapped back to reality and chased after the boy in a hurry. He felt something was wrong. It was not curiosity. Of course, it wasn’t a business intuition. However, he was fascinated.

The boy stood out from the others in many ways. He was the only one who felt aloof and nimbly avoided the mud-stained path from the other noisy, clumsy village childrens. He was the only one wearing urban tailored clothes and leather shoes, while the others wore shabby handmade clothes and were barefooted. Although the young fellow had silky, trimmed shoulder-length black hair, he disregarded the others dusty unkempt hair.

The peddler arrived at a lively group under a great camphor tree. It became warmer day by day during spring. The delicate shades of leaves and branches swayed gently in the environment. The group gathered at the base of the big camphor tree, and started to allocate different jobs for the accumlated equipment. There were small wooden chairs, black painted wooden board, chalk and a rag.

“Alright then, let’s begin…”

One of them leaned the black painted wooden board without any dirt onto the trunk of the camphor tree. The usage was obvious. This is a classroom. Someone was going to teach.

“I see, there is an extra guest”

Although I’d must say… I don’t think the countryside is a good place to teach. Even though the young fellow is one of the youngest here, he was the one teaching. The childrens were taught in a ingenious fan-like position so as to not get into each other’s way.

“No… for some reason, this feels unsettling”

He might have stepped into a fairy world like in children stories. But such books were too expensive, they were usually read in a rental bookstore. If you look at his perspective… Although he had a bitter sweet childhood, even he had dreams.

“Knowledge is valuable. If a person hinders his studies, he will be correspondingly rewarded”

The fairies should be coming here soon… The peddler smiled and opened his hands. A warm feeling occurred in his body which had been exposed to the harsh wind of life.

It was a misunderstanding.

He was soon surrounded by small imps who unkindly pulled his beard and poked him. He soon had to make a sincere apology and pay his tuition fees. The tuition was one white copper.

It was cheap. Listening to the lesson, He was convinced. Perhaps the childrens were attending the lecture free of charge, but one white copper was really cheap. Even if it was done in cities, the class lectures would be popular. The literacy lecture contained an exercise problems which were very rare.

For example, reading and writing. The ordinary educating institutions were destoryed by the strong influence of the church. They only practiced repeatedly over the contents of the Bible. Those were the rumours. However, it was different here.

“Please continue to read. [I can do it. I can’t do it. Anyways]”

“[I can do it. I can’t do it. Anyways]”

“[If I can’t do it, I’ll try again tomorrow]”

“[If I can’t do it, I’ll try again tomorrow]”

The peddler hit his knees as he realized, he was too worldly-minded.

“Let’s write this down. [If you want a brother, you should go to bed early]”

“Teacher, why should we go to bed early?”

“Because it will convenient for your parents. Childmaking is a secret romantic spell”

The young fellow taught with an amusing refreshing smile. He told them they might hear shrieks or moans during the night without a guilty conscience. The peddler was surprised when he heard that, people were commonly told several years later that they came out of their parent’s crotch.

He had frequently come across many unusual things in his business career, but it was quite unexpected to hear this kind of subject being taught in a classroom. How much can 10 bags of rough wheat be sold in the city… it was a story often repeated about villagers who fought a fierce battle for money.

“Uh… I decided! With one month’s worth of rough wheat, I want to buy fresh fish and clothes from the flower shop!”

“I would sell the rough wheat to the Starlight and the Solar companies and then buy clothes and shellfish!”

“Okay. If you’ve finished calculating all the transactions, please submit in the wooden boards. The ones who are free should come here and grade”

As a businessman, he could not help himself from being astounded. The each children were calculating the virtual shopping and taking into account all the transactions prices and discounts in order to obtain the most. It should be noted that some of the childrens were not only using the addition method but even multiplication. There were even some childrens who can use division. Usually only merchant apprentices know that – and it gets even worse.

No no, more than anything, the young fellow is already abnormal to teach them!
After the childrens finished the lesson and left, the peddler who was fidgeting did not even move from his spot. A few children surrounded the boy at the base of the camphor tree. They politely asked corresponding questions after the lessons. He continued to wait until everyone left.

“I’m not complaining about the fee, it was worth it but… do you have some free time?”

The young fellow snorted and did not seem to be interested, he was about to go somewhere again. The peddler followed him and thought what unusual things he could offer while rubbing his hands together.

“No, this was a fascinating lesson. Could this village be somewhat related to a merchant?”

“Peddlers like you come once a season. It’s the countryside”

“Well, ah, I see… then why the arithmetics…”

“It’ll become less difficult to be cheated if they can calculate. It is wise to save on deals”

There was no warmth in his voice. On the contrary, this was sarcasm for the peddler. It was common knowledge for peddlers to haggle and sell inexpensive items highly to the country folks who don’t know a single thing.

“Uh, well then, was your dad a merchant in the past?”

“He’s a thoroughbred farmer. My mother is also the same. Although this village is not 30 years old yet, most of the villagers came from villages close to the cities. I think you understand my meaning, yes?”

“That’s… you’ve suffered hardships, right”

This territory was once held by the Astoria Kingdom but had antagonized the western Iberia Empire. Nowadays, this place had rapidly revived in the past few years. This happened after the so-called “The Holy Flame Festival”. Prior to that, there had been a long fifty years’ war.

Thirty years ago, Iberia had been pushing forward with their invasion. The Astoria Kingdom had been outnumbered and had barely left any resistances. The south, middle, and northern region had been dyed by the color of Iberia. During wartime, soldiers often started pillaging before occupying the area. In order to avoid it, they had no choice but to fall back or run to the southern border. There is probably at least one of the villagers who had chosen the latter.

Thinking deeply about the Kiko village’s past, the peddler suddenly realized. No. He shouldn’t be thinking about these things. He quickly caught up the distance that had been opened a little.

“Wait, I just want to know a little. About how much arithmetic can you use?”

“As much as a head clerk in a merchant’s household”

“W-what!?”

In front of the shocked peddler, the young fellow wore a cruel smile for the first time.

“A clever merchant can live. Although the area might take awhile to completely revive, it’s wonderful that success and failure will only depend on one’s ability. More than anything, only an utter fool would bear the consequence by being killed by a selfish individual”

He should be around five to six years old. He should be just a kid from the countryside. Even so, the peddler was awed when he looked into the young fellow’s profound blues eyes. Due to his career, he had met with many people but he couldn’t recollect any of them like this.

No… He remembered there was one such person. But that kind of man shouldn’t be in this kind of lifestyle. There were many stories concerning that man but the world’s opinion of him unsettled the peddler.

It has been said, he was the biggest criminal that planned the death of the hero. The princess that had fell in love with the hero, received a blessing from the church and finally brought his death. The bloodythirsty madman who had killed both friends and foes with his sword. The devil who had tried to bring harm to the human society, taking advantage of the chaos during the war. His loathed name was Solomon.

Before the peddler even started shaving a beard, he had met with Solomon at Astoria Kingdom’s militia camp. At that time, military supplies were being delivered. The military personnel in charge of supplies had said the goods were imitations and refused to pay the full price of the goods. He was the one who had threatened the military personnel with his sword and spear. At that place, Solomon charged the military personnel as an “act of embezzlement” where the military personnel denied saying “Other goods were also brought in, so why can’t it be discounted?”. Afterwards, it led to a business negotiation. The peddler remembered it was a good deal.

Solomon. Thirty years did not even pass by. At that time, he had displayed overwhelming swordsmanship. If this young fellow also wields a sword…

“Young lad… what’s your name?”

If his name was Solomon, he would be convinced by it.

“My name’s Marco”

Ah, a different name. That’s natural. However, the impression of young fellow did not disappear as the peddler engraved the name to his memory. He had a faint premonition, that the young fellow will be extraordinary. In other words.

‘I know about Marco. The world still doesn’t know about Marco. This imbalance is a good fortune. A man cannot grab on a soaring dragon to see the heavens, but if a young dragon were to lie down on the ground, even that ordinary man might be able to see the heavenly scenery.’

In later years, Marco’s name had resounded across the continent. In Marco’s list of confidants, there was one man by the name of Rory. It was the peddler who will later uprooting an influential dishonest noble merchant household, causing them to take flight.

Marco and Rory.

On this spring near the countryside, the two of them appeared like a clever son and his stupid father. That will all be in the past, as it turned into a master-servant relationship when Marco’s military fame shock the whole world.

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