26th, Next Move

 Since the silver mines have been operating stably, Klein’s domain has been in a golden age.

 The income has increased steadily, and the Asgard territory has grown dramatically in strength despite the current recession.

 Everything is going well, and time is passing by.

 And now it’s almost winter.

 Klein was thinking.

“It’s hard to get more soldiers, isn’t it?

 Originally, the Asgard territory employed half-farmers and half-tenants, or Tondenhei (TN : Soldiers stationed in the fields).

 Normally, they are farmers, but in times of emergency, they work as soldiers.

 However, in this peaceful Asgard territory, soldiers are rarely called upon.

 Only about a hundred guards specialize in battle, and even Hans, the leading professional soldier, tills the fields in his spare time.

 Considering that the original Viscount Asgard had a population of about 20,000, a hundred soldiers is naturally a small number.

 Even now, the number of soldiers has not increased that much.

 Those who are registered in the Guard are trained for combat, so they can be called reserve forces.

 In other words, everyone is almost a pure farmer.

“I still have to increase our numbers.
Our soldiers are weak.”

“We are in an environment where no foreign enemies exist, so I think it is inevitable that we’re weak.”

 A farmer with a sword instead of a farming-tools is not that much of a threat.

 That is why Asgard’s soldiers are weak.

 Seeing that the domestic affairs had been settled, Klein was about to start military preparations.

 With the advice of Brynhildr, a knight of the Kingsguard, he was trying to build a professional fighting force.
But now there was a problem.

“We don’t have enough food.”

 Asgard is a balanced territory.

 There is no outstanding livestock, agriculture, mining, or everything.

 Nothing was outstanding, but it was managed stably so that the territory could survive solely on its own production.

 However, with the emergence of silver mines, the town has been developed to focus on the mining industry.

 Since resources other than silver have been found, the large unexplored forests are being rapidly exploited.

 The town can now export lumber as a by-product, and the know-how of forestry is taking shape thanks to the wisdom of the people seconded by the royal court.

 The population is increasing at an accelerated rate as the new fields grow.
This will lead to a shortage of food to feed the people.

 Although things are going well now, the population will eventually reach a ceiling due to the food problem.

If you could hire soldiers, what percentage would they be?”

“In normal times, they say up to 2 percent of the population, but considering the food situation in Asgard, I think it would be better to keep it to 1 percent.”

“I guess you’re right.”

 Unless it is a fertile area with high agricultural output, in mountainous Asgard territory, one soldier for every hundred people is appropriate when there is no war.

The number of regular soldiers that the core war funds can accommodate is capped at that level.

 Klein knows that the maximum number of soldiers that can be conscripted is about 20% of the population, although they are only conscripted in an emergency.

 If the number exceeds that limit, not only will the economy not be able to recover after the war, but it will also be difficult to maintain the social functions of society, depending on the nature of the war.

 In his second life, Klein had mobilized 3,000 soldiers when the Counts of Vanargand attacked.

 But that was the number he managed to squeeze out because he was on the verge of extinction.
That was the maximum number the Asgardian territory could muster at the time.

“The population now is a little over 20,000 in the capital.
The next largest town is 5,000, and the next is 3,000.
The next largest town is 5,000.
Combined with all the other villages, it’s about 5,000 more.”

 The total population of the entire territory is now in the mid-30,000s and is expected to rise to 40,000 next year.

 If we mobilize all of them in time of war, we can secure six or seven thousand men at the most.

 However, even though there are 30,000 people in the territory now.
A large percentage of them are migrant workers.

 Klein thinks 5,000 men would be a good number since he expects many of them to return to their hometowns once the war starts.

“Considering the original limit was 3,000, we’ve been able to reinforce about 2,000 in the last six months.
We have increased it moderately if we have 1.6 times as many men now…”

 In other words, it is growing at a rate of at least 4,000 men per year that can be drafted.
 If this continues for three years, the force can be increased by about 12,000.

 With the original 3,000 men, Klein’s goal of 15,000 men can be achieved.

“But here comes the problem of food.”

We have to do something.”

 Basically, being a soldier is a job that produces nothing.

 The more soldiers there are, the fewer people are engaged in agriculture and commerce.

 The quantity that can be done if you want to do it is limited.
The maximum number of soldiers that can be drafted is 20% of the population.

 That being said.
If you mobilize 20 percent of the population, the economy of your territory will collapse even if you can survive for a while.

“If we conscript the maximum number of soldiers, how long will they last?”

“Most of the soldiers are young men in their prime.
I think six months is a good time, considering the number of stockpiles we have.”

“All the men will stop being the villages and towns workforces… That’s tough.”

 Brynhildr also makes an estimate.

 If we fight with all our might and don’t settle the matter within half a year, we will be doomed to extinction.

 In the first place, we basically take men of fighting age to the battlefield.

 While the soldiers are out on the battlefield, they only eat up the money and food and produce no profit.

 Half of the farming would stop, and above all, in the event of a large-scale battle.
If the survivors are only women, the birth rate will drop dramatically, and the rest will roll downhill.

“If we work backward, we will reach 150,000 inhabitants in two and a half years,”

“I’m afraid that if we increase the population that rapidly, we’ll have other problems instead.”

 Considering all the factors, he would like to limit the number of troops mobilized to about 10% of the population.

 Klein’s ultimate goal is 15,000 troops.

 Given the number of targets, there had to be an explosive increase in population.

“I know.
Even now, there is a lot of trouble with immigrants…but, in case of emergency, saying ‘we don’t have enough soldiers.’ is not good.”

 The territory’s population, which was about 20,000 six months ago, had to reach 150,000 in two and a half years.

 Simply put, the pace of development would have to be multiplied to keep up.

“If we are going to fight together with His Highness, I would like to have 10,000 to send to the capital for support and 5,000 to leave behind for defense.”

“His Highness will be pleased if we can gather that many troops.
But I think it will be difficult in reality.

 Three years later, the Marquise of Laguna could afford to send 30,000 men to the Asgard family, which was not even hostile to him.

 Klein had seen this.
He doubts that the first prince would be able to gather enough troops to fight against the Marquise in a decisive battle.

 As for Klein, who has seen it all, he doubts that the first prince will be able to gather enough troops to fight the Marquise, suppose he were to fight a decisive battle against the Marquise.

 Such a backstory.
Of course, he cannot tell Brynhildr.

 So we come back to the conclusion that we need our own army.

“Besides, there is the problem of food.”

Yeah, that’s true.

 The bottleneck is that there is insufficient food to support the growing number of people, even if we take the war out of the equation.

 And this was not only a problem in Asgard.

“……We have plenty of money,”

“The poor harvest has harmed the market, and we are afraid we will not be able to find any new sellers anytime soon.”

 Even Klein, which is beginning to have overwhelming financial power, has no control over what he can’t buy.

 Due to the cold summer, even Count Jotun has not been able to harvest as much food as in previous years.
There was a limit to the amount of food that could be purchased.

We’re doing fine now, so we can leave the problem of securing food for next year and onward.”

 The challenge of improving food self-sufficiency in the territory is a heavy one.

 The biggest concern at the moment is that we have only one source of imports.

“But then again.
If relations with Southern Count deteriorate, it will be the end of…this.”

 The country relies almost exclusively on imports from the Count Jotun, also known as the Southern Count.

 Even though there is enough food for self-sufficient farmers, Klein’s hometowns still depend on imports.

 If relations with the south deteriorated, they would starve.

 Brynhildr nods her head in agreement.

“You’re right, sir.”

“There are many other problems, and I don’t know what to do.”

 The people carrying the food and clothing are members of a large merchant association that the prince has called together.

 He knows that there are crooks in the Chamber of Commerce who are openly plotting treason, and if the networking support that the prince is providing from behind the scenes is cut off, it will be a dead end.

“… Well, let’s hope for a good harvest next year.
That’s all I can do.”

 The situation is a mess even though they’re on the verge of becoming one of the most prosperous territories in the vicinity.

 Klein remains on the precipice, walking a tightrope.

“For now, I have to make do with a small number of elite, so we need to train our men first.
I have to prepare a general.”

 Fortunately, Klein knows that next year’s crop will be as good as ever, so he decides to take his head out of the food chain for a while.

 The problem is that there are not enough people on the management side to guide and control the increased number of people.

“Do you want me to send more knights?”

“If I borrow too much manpower from His Highness, and his activities become stagnant, it will be a disaster.
I have to pull people from somewhere else.”

 He heard that the prince was in the process of increasing the number of nobles who would be his allies.

 The efficiency of borrowing people to help him will be reduced; moreover, if he owes too much, he will be in trouble later on.

 So, he has already decided on his next move.

“First of all, I will start with scouting people.”

 He knows most of the addresses of the people he wants to invite to his territory.

 Klein started writing letters to various people to gather a small number of elite and useful people.

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