Eleventh Run, Our Battle has just Begun!!

“Just a guess is fine.
Try telling me what you think the Laguna house is going to do.”


To build a cooperative relationship with the First Prince.

Depending on his answer here, the way Klein will be treated is going to change significantly.

“Almost all of the area from the center to the northwest of the Kingdom is under the control of the Laguna house.
Perhaps he is going to try making money by producing and smuggling contraband from the territory he controlled?”

Klein has already become keenly aware of what the prince will do to an incompetent.

That’s why he probably has no choice but to show the prince his good side as much as possible.

Thinking so, Klein decided to answer the prince based on what he saw and heard in the future.

“I see.
Plants that can be used in narcotic production are prevalent inside the territory the Marquis acquired recently.
I left them alone because some of them can act as a food source for the people there but……..he might try conducting business with it huh.”

There are narcotic plants in the northwestern part of the Kingdom.

Even if you don’t go out of your way to cultivate it, the grasses that provide a hallucinogenic effect are growing all over the place.

In the future, it was rumored that Marquis Laguna openly created a drug empire using them.

Not only drugs, but Klein also heard rumors that he even auctioned off the young ladies of the fallen noble families and his suspicious deals with foreign countries.

Such rumors are going to start circulating about a year from now but as far as he knows, no one was able to prove their credibility.

Still, the fact that such rumors were coming out means that something must be happening behind the scenes.

With that in mind, Klein starts telling the prince all about those rumors.

“Not only the underworld, I think that the Marquis is also intending to expand his power in the legitimate business as well.
For example, he might try to take over the royal family’s purveyors——Thrud company and the likes might be especially in danger in this case.”

“So he might try to gain more influence by doing that huh.
Well, that does sound likely.”

The Marquis may forcefully take over a rising company or crush a major company using the financial power he gains from the contraband.

With that being the case, the Marquis can take control of rural aristocrats’ territories by using their territories as liabilities for their debt.

Right before the Asgard house was destroyed, the Laguna house made quite a flashy move in that endeavor.

The Marquis must have laid quite the groundwork to achieve that.

When Klein named the company that first fell to the Marquis’s hand, the prince seems to have some ideas about them as well.

“Hmm…..if things do develop in that direction, allowing that company to be swallowed up by the Marquis would be extremely bad for us huh.”

“Even more so than the contraband business, Your Highness?”

“Conducting business involving contraband is illegal in the first place.
If we launch an investigation, we will surely be able to damage his business.
In this case, a legitimate company can be legally hijacked.”

Klein agreed with the prince.

After all, f they speak out against such a venture, the Marquis can always reply that they have no business talking about the company he bought with his own money.

“So, if it’s you, how would you deal with this matter?”

If the Royal Family forcibly acquires the company themselves, it will cause a problem of trust so the Royal Family’s hands are tied in this case.

On the other hand, the information Klein has is only based on rumors.

He doesn’t know how to go on offense and he can’t come up with a way to stop the Marquis on the spot either.

“If it’s me, is it?”

“That’s right.
To prevent this, what would you do?”

When the prince repeated his question, Klein started pondering on it.

After a while, a good idea came to him.

“How about we make them a concession.”

“A concession?”

“Yes, for example, the silver mine is certainly located in my territory but I lack funds and manpower to fully develop it.
That’s why I will invest the development funds into multiple companies.”

What came to Klein’s mind was one of the proposals from the territory development in the proposal contest.

“Investing in them would only increase their capital——no, I see.”

The First Prince immediately realized what Klein was trying to get at.

What he is trying to do is to forcefully make a risk hedge for those companies.

“To conduct a financial battle in the Royal Capital, both sides would have to throw around a large sum of money.
If the Marquis’s aim is to swoop in and buy out the weakened companies then all we need to do is forcibly diversify their risk and have them conduct their business elsewhere as insurance.”

If they pour all their money into the capital, once the business in the capital is ruined, everything will be absorbed by the winner.

That’s why the capital should only be one of the company’s many branches.
In other words, they just have to make an escape route for these companies to survive the hostile takeover.

In truth, what caught Klein’s eyes about this plan was its slogan of [Efficient Territorial Development].

The ultimate goal of this plan is to lure the merchants in with delicious deals and make them become reliant on the Asgard house until they can’t survive without it.

Although this method is not much different from that of Marquis Laguna, Klein does not intend to be forceful about it.

If he only looks at how he can protect the merchants then this plan would be quite effective as well.

“Alright, I will leave the details to you.”

“……as you wish.”

Knowing that the prince is saying [Get it done], Klein agreed to do it after a short pause.

The risk of him colliding head-on with the Marquis is high but right now he has no choice but to agree.

After going so far as to forge his relationship with the prince, he can’t possibly refuse to cooperate now.

After all, he no longer has any choice but to take the prince’s side.

Above all, the reaper herself——-the smiling knight is standing beside him.

Since he doesn’t have the choice to stay neutral anymore, he must proceed with this even if he has to be targeted by the Laguna house.

“For your reward, you will have to wait until I ascend the throne.
Consider your service an advance payment.”

“I understand.
Please leave this to me.”

Whatever the case, Klein is now in a secret agreement with the First Prince.

After that, the prince promised to support the Asgard territory and it was decided that they will keep in touch with each other through a spy.

With the conversation over, Klein heads off to see the Prime Minister.

The talent introduction the King promised was successfully arranged and Klein has achieved everything he set out to do in the Royal Capital.

Protection from the Royal Family.

Cooperation with the First Prince.

And securing human resources.

With things going greater than he expected, Klein heads back to his territory.

However, he does not let his guard down yet.

Considering the things that have happened to him so far, there might be an unexpected pitfall out there somewhere.

That’s why he was in a forced march back to his territory while being vigilant against any possible assassins.

Fortunately, nothing happened on his way back and he successfully came back to his territory alive.

“Everyone, listen.
Through the introduction by the Royal Family, we will be hiring a large number of specialists in every field for territory development.
With this, our territory will develop dramatically in the future.”

“Oh, my.
When did you come up with such a plan……”

“This is amazing! Klein-sama!”

In exchange for half the profit from the silver mine, the Royal Family will protect them in case something happens.

Not only that, the Royal Family also introduces talented people to help manage their domestic affairs.

Those talented people will also give the younger generation the know-how as well as act as their teacher for a set period of time.

Klein has returned to his territory with those promises from the Royal family and his Head Butler along with other people in the mansion were amazed.

“Half the profit is it.
You’ve gone and done it again, young master.”

“Vargas, stop calling me young master already.”

The young head who has always stuck to the safer path.
That is Klein.

He hasn’t made any big move to this day but he suddenly made such a flashy turning point for their territory at the capital and paved the way for their prosperity.

Since he suddenly came back with those results, Vargas, who was making preparations for the silver mine, was puzzled.

“Ah, it seems that the mining equipment from the royal silver mine that operated until last year will be dismantled and delivered to us later.
The technicians in charge of them will be here as well.
Let’s dig hard.”

“If they are willing to give us that much then I guess this is not a total loss.”

In particular, the results in terms of human resources were wonderful.

Before leaving the capital, Klein had scouted some talented officials with the help of the Prime Minister.

He was familiar with some of them from the proposal contest as well.
That’s why he gave his priority to those that gave him useful proposals first.

With the preparation for the territory administration completed, the Asgard house now has many options to expand its power.

“I will be inviting various businesses to our territory as well.
Since it seems that miners will also migrate here, we need as many inns and restaurants here as possible.
I want our blacksmiths to focus on making pickaxes for the mine too.”

“If the population increases, I think we will need more general stores and clothing stores as well.”

Marie, who’s fond of new things, was hoping to see brand new stores opening in the territory.

Military power, production, technological power, economic power, regardless of their differences, the key to increasing all of them is the population.

“The difference in productivity is around 30 times huh.”

“What are you talking about? Young Master.”

“It’s nothing.
Also, yeah.
Please, stop calling me young master.
People are going to question my dignity right.”

While replying to Vargas as usual, Klein set his plans in motion.

Everything is to protect his life and the lives of the people who chose to follow him.

“The real battle starts now.”

To strengthen himself as much as he can, and to establish a solid foundation that will not crumble in the face of violence and devious plots.

Klein set his goals and raised his right hand up before addressing his gathered vassals.

“Alright, let’s do this together—–Our battle has just begun!!”

In response to Klein’s shout, his vassals and servants all vigorously cheer.

No matter how small his step is, it will be a step away from the future where everyone dies.

In Klein’s eyes, he finally started to see the light that will help him avoid the path of destruction.

TLN: This series really has long chapters huh.
Welp, that’s the end of the first arc, the Survival Strategy.
Tune in for more next week.

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