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Heavenly Castle

Chapter 120: Breakdown

Chapter 120: Breakdown

Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”

「Wha-what did you say?」

With Taiki’s mild demeanor and softhearted words and deeds, the two didn’t imagine that he could refuse.

They didn’t think that he would push his own way without a just cause.

「……Slave trade is profitable. However, is there a need for more? Even without the slave trade, Taiki-dono has an overwhelming military might and a flying island, right? No matter the area, Taiki-dono should be able to gain much greater profits than us.」

There, they tried to appeal to Taiki’s pride, namely in his ability and state power. However, Taiki immediately shook his head.

「No, no, I’m not that interested in money. It’s just as I said at the very beginning, my desire is to improve the labor conditions of slaves. That is all. As such, I’m going to continue with the slave trade up to the point when the only slaves that remain are under the contracts that I approve of.」

Inishida and the prime minister turned pale after that declaration. The very definition of give an inch and he’ll take a mile. At the current rate the downfall of Karluk Kingdom’s economy is obvious.

Thus, the panicking prime minister said while wiping the cold sweat.

「Eh, ehm, but…… Your Majesty, as the brilliant King of Heavenly Country, Your Majesty is sure to leave their name in history, if rumors were to spread that Your Majesty was harboring foreign criminals, and on top of that, through force, crushed a small kingdom, that only built its fortune through trade, and even took over its slave trade, wouldn’t it put a stain on Your Majesty’s good name……」

Getting flustered, the prime minister still tried to falter Taiki’s determination, but Taiki only laughed and waved at him with one hand.

「No, no, I have no such intentions at all. With Karluk Kingdom’s location, there is no doubt that any other enterprises will also bring you economic prosperity. It’s fine.」

Being told so in a nonchalant fashion, both Inishida and the prime minister were at loss for words.

And, as silence fell upon the room, Taiki, looking as if he recalled something, suddenly said.

「Ah, and it’s not like I saved ex-slaves that were assaulting nobles? Those people just followed after us by coincidence.」

「Wha?! As if such an outrage can pass?! We have reliable reports from eyewitnesses! Stop spinning lies!」

Inishida shouted as he sprung up from the chair. Slightly taken aback by that, Taiki forced a smile.

「Haha…… Well, actually, the slaves that serve us were there. If harm were to befall them, and that was by the hands of the knights moving directly under the Karluk royalty’s orders, we would have no other choice but to take the matter seriously? That’s why, to avoid this becoming an actual war, we protected the slaves while sticking only to the minimal self-defense.」


Startled by Taiki’s words, Inishida’s eyes went wide, then, he turned to the prime minister.

In turn, the prime minister squeaked with pale white pace.

「Ple-please wait a moment! A-a-according to what we’ve heard, no such information ……!」

「Hm? Are you saying that in that chaos you managed to grasp the identities of everyone present? If so then that is amazing…… By the way, as embarrassing as it may sound, we managed to identify only a few people from more than one hundred that were there……」

Seeing Taiki blabber such nonsense with an embarrassed smile, Inishida bit his lower lip.

Looking at him somewhat apologetically, Taiki continued.

「By the way, as we then confirmed with the Reginshion Company, the people that for some reason followed us turned out to be masterless slaves. All of them were once sold through the slave trade of Karluk Kingdom.」

「Oh, oooh! Then, those people are……!」

「Yes. Slaves that escaped the grasp of Karluk Kingdom.」

Involuntarily, Inishida raised his voice at first, raising his head. But Taiki’s line shocked him.

「Why, why would it turn that way?!」

Taiki replied to Inishida’s shout with a wry smile.

「Suppose you were selling weapons. Wouldn’t the sold weapon belong to no one once the buyer is dead? Well, in Japan, if one were to find an object without an owner it would either become the property of the finder or the state, but as one would expect, humans are not treated in such a fashion. By the way, we checked, and there is actually not a single word in Karluk Kingdom’s law about masterless slaves becoming the property of Karluk Kingdom……」

Taiki, who couldn’t see slaves as a property, explained to Inishida and the others, who couldn’t see slaves as anything but property.

For Inishida, it’s nothing more than Heavenly Country’s King using his military might to have his own way, while Taiki is thinking that he is saying obvious things.

「As such, some of those former slaves said that they want to work at our store, so for now I have some of them working there as clerks. That’s how it is, it might not sit right with you, but can you forget about this matter? 」

Being told so, Inishida flumped into the chair and breathed out a deep sigh.

「……In the end, small countries can’t oppose major powers, huh…… Do as you please. I lost any desire for further talk.」

Taiki gave a surveying look to Inishida, who said those words with a tired look.

「……What if I asked Inishida-san to buy and sell slaves under the same contract as we do, what would you do?」

Being asked so, Inishida snorted and let out a jeer.

「Cease your mockery! We still have hundreds of slaves of good quality! As they will go to the same place as always, royal families of foreign kingdoms!」

Upon investigating slaves of the highest grade, Inishida concluded that they couldn’t operate in the same way.

But, Taiki gave him a sad look, sighed, and then said.

「Don’t say that…… If you will agree with our idea of changing the treatment of slaves, we, in turn, will provide you with our cooperation. An alliance is fine, cooperating as trade partners is also fine.」

Taiki spoke softly, trying to persuade Inishida, but Inishida hit the armrest of the chair with a fist and answered with a glare.

「……Stop making a fool of me. Didn’t you say just moments ago? That our country has the most suitable location for commerce. We fully understand that as well. From now on we will make full use of that and will gain even larger profits. Enough to leave no gap for you to interfere.」

Perhaps out of pure antagonism, Inishida refused Taiki’s proposal. Originally, the prime minister was all smiles upon hearing the proposition with such good conditions, but all color drained from his face the moment he heard Inishida’s refusal.

A proposal of alliance on equal terms from a major power. Refuse this and it would be no wonder if you would be seen as having a hostile position.

While the prime minister’s shoulders were slightly trembling as he was on the verge of going into hyperventilation, Taiki narrowed his eyes, sighed, and looked at Inishida.

「……So you are going to stick to the old ways?」

When Taiki asked for reconfirmation, Inishida snorted and waved dismissively with one hand.

「Of course. You spoke your mind a lot, but in regards to slave trade, our country is ahead of you. If you are going to sell special and high-priced slaves, then we can sell a massive number of cheap slaves, whose life and death doesn’t matter one bit. Then, post-war prisoners and booty that comes from crushing bandits. Many of such slaves are ruined, but there are some good articles among them, including children of noble families.」

As Inishida spoke in words that seemingly were aimed to provoke Taiki, the prime minister that stood beside him, let out a short shriek.

Looking at him with a sidelong glance, Taiki sighed and shrugged his shoulders.

Thus, negotiations of Heavenly Country and Karluk Kingdom broke down. Taiki returned to the skies, Inishida immediately assembled knights and ordered them to obtain more slaves.

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