Chapter 64 – Unfair Trade (1)

Episode 64 Unfair Trade (1)


Over the clanging of bells, the watchman shouts.

“The outsiders have appeared!”

Something seemed to have happened in the village.

Vikir scrambled to his feet.

” ……Is it war?”

Beside him, Aiyen turned to look at Vikir with a puzzled expression.

“Are you serious?”


When Vikir gave her a puzzled look, Aiyen reached out and stroked her hair once, roughly.

She smiled.

“There’s no way in hell there’s a bunch of lunatics in these lands who would challenge our Balak to a fight first.”

That’s right. No one would challenge Balak to a fight unless they were a high level demon.

Outside the borders, there was no one who could stand up to Balak, except perhaps the Baskervilles or the Morgans.

Even the cannibalistic Lokoro tribe was no match for Balak.

How could a tribe of only 300 people declare war on the Empire, much less their neighbors?

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Balak had no one to look out for in the continent, except for ‘Madame Eight Legs’, who reigned as a local nightmare.

“……Then who is the intruder?”

Vikir asked, and Aiyen rose from his seat and drew back the curtain at the entrance.

“It would be quicker to see with your own eyes.”

As she spoke, Vikir turned his gaze toward the outside of the barracks.


There was a rather unexpected sight.

White-skinned, blond, jet-black, and blue-haired people.

All dressed in clean clothes and speaking in a familiar language, they were clearly Imperials.

“……Houses of Bourgeois.

Vikir frowned, though only slightly.

The Seven Houses of the Empire.

The Baskervilles, represented by swords, the Morg, represented by magic, and the other five are the Seven Pillars of the Old Country, sworn to the Emperor’s service.

The Bourgeois family was a tycoon family that had amassed a great deal of capital through trade and commerce, and was one of the Seven Families, along with the Holy House of Quavadis and the Poisonous House of Leviathan.


“It’s been a while since you’ve been here.”

Aiyen’s blunt words broke Vikir’s reverie.

Her expression was a slight frown.

Merchants from house of Bourgeois are known for doing whatever pays the bills.

They’d probably come this far underborder with supplies to trade with the natives.

Aiyen didn’t look too impressed with them.

“This is actually not necessary. they are selling something that is not here, psychologically this makes us feel like we will regret it if we don’t buy it…I’m not suited with those kind of merchants.”

And to a certain extent, Vikir agreed with her.

Before the regression, Hugo had a saying about bourgeois families.

“There are fools who think money is power. They’ve never known what real power is.

There was an undisguised contempt and irritation in his voice.

He didn’t like the idea of the Bourgeois who proudly boasting in the rich land in the capital of the empire while the Baskervilles were fighting bloody frontier battles with barbarians on on the borders of the empire.

What’s more, the fact that he’s sneaking into their territory and trading with their enemies, the barbarians, doesn’t make him look good.

The other families were similar in their dislike of the bourgeois, but it was ironic that they had no choice but to do business with them.

Diplomacy, trade, commerce, real estate, banking, and all other aspects of the empire’s monetary economy were influenced by the Bourgeois.

“But how did they get here?”

Vikir looked bewildered.

If the Bourgeois were to send merchants this way from their seats on the ecliptic of the Empire, they would essentially have to pass through the territory of the Baskervilles or the Morgans.

Especially to reach the depths of these border, they would need to procure large amounts of supplies, and that would be impossible without the help of the locals.

There was only one thought in Vikir’s mind.

“…… Smuggling.

They had trespassed on the Baskervilles’ property and made their way to the border.

And they had most likely smuggled themselves in via Underdog, the city closest to the border.


They made their way to the center of town and began to unload their cargo while Vikir stood still and watched the merchants of Bourgeois Avenue.

“Now, as usual, it’s a five-day market. We came here first, before the other tribes!”

The merchant, who came from a bourgeois family, was a middle-aged man with a long mustache.

Sir Smuggler.

He had a gentle and kindly appearance, but the greedy gaze in his eyes was unpleasantly scanning the bodies of the young Balak maidens on display.

Soon, the merchants began to pull various items from their packs and distribute them to the natives around them.

They were cheap glass beads, brooches, whistles, perfumes and cosmetics of shiny materials, and, to my surprise, the Balak warriors accepted them with a twinkle in their eyes.

“Here, free, free, try these!”

The merchants gave away all sorts of goodies to the locals.

The middle-aged women and older men were especially excited.

“Here are some glass beads that you can put in your bed to help you have good dreams, please take one.”

“Here are some perfumes, ladies!”

“There are also cosmetics, cosmetics!”

The glass beads not only sparkled, but also gave off a nice scent.

Neither did the perfume nor the cosmetics.

The natives were accepting them, as well as me, because they are hard to smell in the barren jungle.

Soon, the merchants who had attracted people by handing out freebies began to sell their products in earnest.

They were mostly grains and vegetables, things that could not be grown in the jungle.

The prices the traders demanded from the native Balak, who did not use currency, varied.

Animal skins, bones, teeth, rare parts such as gums and antlers, and forest products such as precious mushrooms, spices, and medicinal herbs.

Sometimes, gemstones or gold.

When Vikir saw it, he thought to himself.

“What a rip-off.”

Indeed, the natives of Balak were trading their diamonds for the merchants’ corn.

For the natives of Balak, it was a profitable trade, turning worthless rocks into edible grain, but for Vikir, who knew how much they were worth……, it was unbelievable.



Aiyen stepped forward.

Her eyes flickered between the diamonds and the corn.

Then she stood between the girl with the diamonds and the merchant with the corn.

“This is an unfair trade,” she said, “it’s ridiculous to trade a diamond for a kernel of corn.”

As Vikir listened to her, he thought, “Right!

Aiyen had some bones to pick, and he should be able to stop this unfair trade.


“……You should get at least two bags of corn.”

After speaking, Aiyen looked back at Vikir and gave him a victory sign with his finger.

Vikir sighed lightly.

She may be an accomplished warrior, but she knows nothing of the world outside the Empire.

The natives of Balak were a bit rough around the edges, trying to devalue the merchants’ wares, but well, …… Vikir thought.

“Hmmm. Hmmm. This radish isn’t very sweet. I don’t think I can trade for a pearl clam, at least I’ll take two radishes.”

“Damn it, did you bring this cabbage too? It’s wilted and bug-eaten in so many places! This is why I can’t give you a whole pair of antlers. You’ll have to take one!”

“Do you know how hard I’ve been drying these otter skins, you should give me at least two more potatoes!”

Everyone is a haggler.

In the empire, the value of crabs, antlers, otter pelts, pearl shells, diamonds, wolf teeth, and bear bones are traded for sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn, radishes, barley, cabbage, and more.

“Oh no, we can’t afford to lose to Balak’s warriors.”

“Well, I’m afraid you can’t keep raising the price of your goods like this, but I can’t help it. I’ll meet your demands this time, Nene. You’re a good bargainer~”

“We don’t have anything to offer, either.”

The merchants quickly take the natives’ goods, even though they are grumbling.

Soon enough, the agricultural products-potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, cabbage, radishes, carrots, barley, and rice-are gone, along with cheap glass beads, brooches, and perfume.

In their place were deer antlers, mushrooms, sea turtles, ivory, bones and skins of all kinds, peony, reishi, matsutake, jewelry, gold, and the hatchlings and eggs of small and rare beasts.

The merchants pretended to be calm as they looked at the goods piled high on their carts, but inwardly they were jumping for joy.

I wonder how many tens of thousands of times this is.

When the trade was finally over, the merchants’ demeanor became arrogant.

They saw more goods than they could carry in their carts, and now they began to accept goods based on their merit.


A girl stepped forward.

She could not have been more than twelve years old. She was pretty, with dark hair and dark eyes.

She carried several plump caterpillars, carefully roasted on twigs.

They were a delicious and prized food among the Balak natives.

The girl held out the caterpillar skewers and said to the merchants of Bourgeoisie Street.

“Excuse me, can I get a glass bead?”

But the merchants’ attitude was cold.

“There’s a glass bead, but what’s that?”

“This is the caterpillar of a sunbeetle.”

Several of the younger Balak children looked at the skewer of caterpillars the girl was holding and gave her an envious glance.

The caterpillar was a rare insect that tasted unusually like a mixture of milk and egg yolk, and it was worth a lot of money.

However, the merchants of Bourgeois Avenue looked at the girl’s caterpillar skewer with disdain.

“……Wow, you’re not giving this to me to eat, are you?”

“Haha, kid, that’s for you brown-skinned people. White people don’t eat that stuff.”

“That’s why you’re black as a dung beetle. Hahaha!”

“Why don’t you give me something else instead of that, like showing me up your skirt.”

They taunt, sneer, and sexually harass the girl in an imperial language she can’t understand.


One of the vendors shoves a skewer of caterpillars out of the girl’s hand.

She drops the caterpillars to the floor.

She couldn’t understand what the merchants were saying, but she could at least guess the meaning of their jeers, scorn, mockery, and lustful glances.

Just then.


A boy picked up a skewer of caterpillars that had fallen to the floor and devoured them in one bite.


He stood in front of the merchants, gulping down the caterpillars in his mouth.

His face and body were covered in black charcoal dust, as if he had just spent the night in an open fire.


The girl looked up at Vikir, panicking.

Vikir patted her on the head, then turned to look at the merchants.

He spoke in a fluent Imperial tongue that stunned the merchants in front of him for a moment.

“This trade is invalid.”