Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi
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Chapter 421: Homefront City: Part 1
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Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi
Author :Ofuro Ashitsubo
© Wuxiaworld

Chapter 421: Homefront City: Part 1

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Third Person POV–

Rafen. Morning

Sunlight shines through the 20-gold1 silk curtains and illuminates the beauty.

「Auu…… is it already morning?」

The woman lets out a slight moan as her eyebrows furrow, her graceful face burying into the 5-gold pillow to hide from the light.
She doesn’t particularly have any trouble waking up, so after rolling in bed for about ten seconds, lifts her upper body and stretches with a soft “guu”.

Under her extremely thin 8-gold silk negligee, the pale nipples on her ample breasts and her neatly trimmed brown pubic hair can be seen.

Although it was already summer, the mornings naturally felt a little too brisk for her naked body and the woman pulled the 10-gold sheets over herself.

「Sally. Maruru. Are you awake?」

The beauty――Nonna, claps her hands and calls her attending maids.

「「Yes, madam.」」

Two maids wearing tidy dresses opened the doors of the adjoining room together and walked over to the 50-gold bed.

On one side is Sally. She is a capable-looking girl who is a little taller than Nonna, but has a slimmer body. Her compact face displays her seriousness.

On the other side is Maruru. She is a gentle-looking girl who is a little shorter than Nonna, and whose face and body is the direct opposite of Sally’s, plump and soft.

「As usual, you’re up 15 minutes early again. Here, a warm towel.」
「Are you fine with the temperature of your tea being hot as usual?」

Nonna wipes her face with the 5-silver towel and drinks tea from the 3-gold cup.

「I went to bed early yesterday after all…… might as well start the day along with the morning sun.」

Nonna steps out onto the veranda with the cup in her hand and overlooks the city with a troubled face.

Despite the sun not having risen, there are still countless laborers moving around in Rafen, the sounds of hammers and saws echoing throughout the city. Ever since the battle in Rafen, this is a sight that could be seen every day.

「I know the repair of the city is needed, but I think the sound is getting closer and closer.」

Nonna couldn’t really complain and simply puffed her cheeks as she rested her chin on the hand railing.

「The mending of the walls, moat and watchtowers were highly prioritized before.」
「With that finished, it looks like they can start working on the restoration within the city.」

Nonna repeats that she knows, swinging her feet back and forth.
Then she realizes her near-naked appearance and checks to see if anyone was looking before returning into the room.

「Here, madam.」

A 10-gold white fox gown was put on Nonna by one of the maids and she takes a seat on a 5-gold chair.

「I get the restoration, but doesn’t it feel like construction is being done in places houses never existed before? The town area seems larger than before the fight―― you two, come and have some tea. I can’t calm down by myself.」


Nonna groans unhappily as she quickly pulls two 2-gold chairs toward her and urges the maids to sit.
Then she carefully pulls out a small 10-copper table, which she bought at a street stand with her beloved, and places her cup on top softly enough that a scratch would not be left on the surface.

「As you wish, I’ll join you. Yes, it certainly looks like the town area has gotten larger. Much of the ongoing construction appears to be for new construction rather than restoration of residences.」

「Many people who lived outside the walls took part in the battle. In addition, the men of many families joined the volunteer army. It wouldn’t be right to leave them outside the city.」

Rafen is a growing city and new residents are continuing to enter.
However, that doesn’t mean everybody can unconditionally get a house.

Apart from the lucky ones who were given free houses by the early population growth policy, not only would money be needed to buy the house and furniture, but other necessities such as vegetables and firewood would also need to be purchased from merchants, unlike in rural villages, where it’s possible to be self-sufficient, and the expenses can add up really quickly.
Furthermore, the head tax for inhabitants of Rafen is several times higher than farm villages, which can put a heavier burden on larger families.

Walls that deter bandits and monsters, security that allows strolls at night to be safe, easy access to clean running water from the aqueduct with the opening of a cork……all of those can’t be obtained at no cost.

Adolph is being as compassionate as possible, but continuing to give away everything will eventually ruin the public finance.
At the very least, one would need enough money to have a decent house built to be able to live within the walls.

With that said, Rafen, being the largest city in the east, produces a vast number of employment and business opportunities.
People aiming for those openings gather outside the wall in crude dwellings and come work in Rafen during the day.
It has gotten to the point that the assembly of those individuals is gradually creating a small city outside the walls.

「I guess I feel sorry for them……」

Their small city and lifestyle was crushed during the battle in Rafen.
Since the battle was fought with a wall in between, it was inevitable that those on the outside would suffer collateral damage.

Fortunately, South Yuguria is not savage enough to murder harmless civilians for sport, however, they mercilessly destroyed or burned down the buildings that interfered with their offensive or camp construction.
They would raze the city to the ground, heartlessly saying it’s their own fault for living outside Rafen.

「It is the master’s kindness that allowed the victims of war damage to be given a house within the walls and only have to pay the fee in installments at no interest……」

「I’m sure the one who decided that was Adolph. There’s no way Aegir-sama understands what interest or pay-by-installment is.」

「Madam……」

The two maids look troubled.
Nonna clears her throat and finishes drinking the one-person portion of tea worth half a silver.

「Gosh, because of the war, our family finances are in dire straits…… the treasure storage is also pitifully empty. Even I, as the legal wife, have to live a frugal lifestyle. And the clothes I’m going to give my children will have to be made by the craftsmen within the territory instead of ordered from the Federation……」

「Still, the people are very grateful for the master’s―― no, Adolph-sama’s policy. There was a time when I heard complaints of why the attack reached so far into the city……」

「Now it’s “the affectionate and lustful feudal lord”, “compassionate Adolph-sama”, “Myla the demon”.」

Pleased to hear her husband praised, Nonna holds out her chest proudly and lights a 3-silver incense.

「While it is the duty of the feudal lord to thin of the people…… there have been stories of households falling into ruin for being too kind. Now that Aegir-sama is absent, I have to keep a watchful eye…… I’m going out.」

Feeling pumped, Nonna leaves her gown and stands up.
The maids quickly finish their tea and follow.

「How about Ana-sama and Val-sama?」

「It’s too dangerous to take them out with construction going on all over, let them sleep until noon. Tell that to the wet nurse.」

The maids acknowledge Nonna’s instructions and prepare clothes for the excursion.
When Sally goes in front of Nonna to remove her negligee and releases her breasts, the wind created by the spilling of the giant mounds blows the maid’s neat bangs away from her face.

「Maruru, support them. They’re so splendid that I can’t carry them while I put on madam’s clothes.」

「Pardon me…… such incredible weight. As expected of the madam.」

Maruru lifts up Nonna’s cleavage with both hands so that Sally can dextrously help Nonna change.

「I will protect the Hardlett family’s assets!」

Her body was wrapped in street clothes worth 20 gold, shoes worth 5 gold were put on her feet, a necklace worth 50 gold was hung around her neck, and finally a bracelet taken out of a locked box worth 1 silver was carefully slipped onto her wrist.
Nonna sets out with an imposing air, her outfit completed.
That appearance was literally the young wife of a great feudal lord going to observe the lives of her citizens――

「Morning, Nonna. Where are you going to waste money today?」

Then she encountered Carla at the entrance, which totally erased the noble atmosphere, turning it into an annoying babbling city girl atmosphere instead.

「How rude! It’s wartime so I’m going to check to see if money is being spent needlessly in Aegir-sama’s place!」

Nonna and Carla argue their way to the city.

Passing soldiers on patrol were bewildered at the sight, but still salute to Nonna, while the maids try dissuading her tactfully.

「Madam, people are watching……」
「I know! It’s because Carla is here that everything devolved to this vulgarity!」

Nonna pulls out a 5-gold paper fan from the valley of her breasts and fans herself as if trying to cool herself down.

「Why are acting all high and mighty? This isn’t our city. Take it easy…… your boobs are showing.」

「I’m not acting. I’m actually a noble……maybe I should have worn clothes that covered up my chest a little more.」

Nonna flicks her head to the side with a “hmph”.
As her enormous breasts jiggle from the momentum, the security guards turn their heads as far as possible to stare.

「I could hear them shake.」
「Nonna-sama is pretty amazing. She has that beauty combined with that body…… and that valley must be the greatest in all of the Central Plains.」
「If she wasn’t the madam, I would prostrate and ask her to marry me. She seems to be a big spender though so I might not be able to support that lifestyle.」
「What are you guys talking about? The firm ass of a man is much better?」

The patrolmen gossip amongst themselves.
However, Nonna’s ability to listen in on conversations is extremely high.

「You gave me a dirty look, didn’t you!? I’m telling Aegir-sama! Do your work properly!」

As soon as Nonna glares back, the soldiers apologize and flee in a hurry.

Nonna snorts in disgust, meanwhile Carla smiles wryly.

「What a big deal, you didn’t lose anything. It’s more impossible for them not to see those monstrous things…… they’re really huge.」

Carla mutters while giving them a good squeeze herself.
Since this is something that occurs rather frequently, Nonna lets her do as she pleases, however, pushes away when her nipple gets pinched.

「Aaaーah, if only I had these, then I would be the legal wife.」

「Hey wait, the way you said that makes it seem like I seduced Aegir-sama with my boobs!」

「Eh, is that wrong?」

Nonna sticks out her hands and grapples with Carla.
Sadly, because of the difference in physical abilities, Carla easily avoids Nonna while laughing and provokes her further.
It was right when the two maids were struggling to separate the play fighting.

「Au.」

Carla’s rather large ass bumped into and knocked down a little girl.

「Oops, sorry about that.」
「Gosh, what an uncivilized ass.」

Carla extends a hand down to help the fallen girl get up.
The girl, still young, did not yet recognize the faces of Nonna or Carla.

Without any pain besides the impact from landing on her bum, the young girl reaches out to grab the hand offered by Carla.
Suddenly, she sees Nonna, and changes her mind, crawling on the ground to cling to Nonna’s leg instead.

「……why?」

「She must have realized what a savage you are. Innocent eyes are a good judge of character.」

Carla became dissatisfied at the result, while Nonna somehow felt content, as Maruru picks up the girl.
Then the girl looks up at Nonna and speaks in a vanishing voice.

「――please spare some money…… beautiful lady.」

It was as if time stopped and Nonna froze in place.

「……a beggar?」

「You’re the one clad in expensive clothing. You’re one to talk about human nature.」

The girl seems to ask with more persistence as Nonna stares with kind eyes, but then she turns away coldly.

「Why are there beggars in the main street during the day? If Myla-san was here……」

Nonna started off angry like she was about to scold the girl, only to trail off when she saw those pure eyes.

「……please. Please spare some money……money…… please.」

Tears well up in the girls’ eyes as she clings on desperately.
Sally and Maruru could not exert enough strength and were easily shaken off.

Nonna let out a deep sigh.

「Meaningful spending over luxury, right?」

「Shut up! Haa…… how much?」

Carla was quick to throw a jab at Nonna, who flares at her in response and then accepts her purse from the maid.

In an instant, the girl’s face lights up.

「L-lots please!」

She sticks out both hands cupped together.
But when she sees Nonna’s brows furrow, she quickly retracts her hands.

「C-copper. 3 copper coins…… no good?」

Carla looks off to the side.
The street stand beside her is selling large loaves of bread for 3 copper.

「Copper coins? I don’t carry copper.」

Nonna takes a silver coin from her purse and hands it to the girl.
At first, the girl stared blankly, then her face transitioned to disbelief as she lowered her head to the ground for a deep bow.

「T-tha……thank……」

Whether because of nervousness or excitement, she couldn’t seem to articulate herself.

「Enough, just go. Also, if you do something like begging, your character will drop. Lastly, don’t go excreting wherever you want like that idiot over there like some wild――」

「I don’t wanna hear it. It’s my hobby.」

Puzzled, the girl didn’t know what else to do but smile.
Then, her gaze shifted and her eyes opened wide.

Nonna and Carla also look where the girl’s eyes landed and see a woman in her thirties come out of the back alley with a muscular man hugging her shoulder.

「Hehe, that was pretty good for how thin your body is. Man, I feel refreshed.」

「……thank you.」

The laborer gives the woman’s ass one last rub before leaving.
The woman sees him off with a friendly smile and then hunches over to count the copper coins in her hands.

「Mom?」

When the girl calls out, the woman freezes and her head turns to the source of the voice like a rusted gear.

「Mom? She’s the mother of this child? What is she thinking, letting a girl like her beg――」

Nonna approaches the mother to criticize her.
Seeing that, the girl runs over to protect her mother.

「D-don’t!」

Perceiving the situation from the appearance of the woman shrinking away in fear, Carla grabs Nonna’s shoulder and stops her.

The woman’s clothes were wrinkled and her neck was covered in multiple red marks.
Her gait was also awkward due to how painful it is to probably open her legs.

「Naruna, don’t come……」

「W-why? Ah!?」

A sticky sound accompanied the white cloudy liquid that dripped down to the feet of the mother when the girl hugged her.

「So the mother is involved in prostitution and the daughter is a beggar.」

That was when the mother noticed Nonna.
Discerning her identity as the feudal lord’s wife, she lets out a small shriek and bowed her head along with her daughter’s.

「Begging and prostitution outside of brothels is illegal in Rafen.」

「I’m aware! However…… please, I ask that you overlook it.」

The mother’s face stuck to the ground as she pleaded.

Despite the main road being loud with the shouts of the laborers and the sounds of construction work, people couldn’t help sensing the abnormality and gathering to see what was going on.

「What’s that? A mother and child prostrating? Shoplifters? Pickpockets?」

「There have been quite a few lately. It’s because the people from outside the wall were let in…… damn trash, taking advantage of Adolph-sama’s kindness.」

「Geh, look who she’s with. It’s Nonna-sama! Aaーah, it’s over. There’s going to be two more people taken to the dungeon.」

As more bystanders start to make a fuss, the parent-child duo turn red to their necks and begin to tremble.
Nonna saw that and looks sideways at Sally.

「This way.」

Sally points to the restaurant nearby.
Maruru chases out the customers and even the store owner.

The concerned parties move into the vacated store to avoid the eyes of the public and once they were freed from the judgemental looks, the mother and daughter explained their circumstances in tears.

Their family consists of four people that lived in a small shed outside of the walls; the husband worked as a transporter for a store within Rafen, the wife took care of the husband while also doing sewing work to assist with the family finances, and the daughter tends to the newly born baby.
It was a humble lifestyle and one that kept them from starving.

The drastic change happened during the battle in Rafen.
Their house and furniture burned down and the husband, who joined the volunteer soldiers to protect his family, lost one of his legs in the fight and could no longer work.

Although Adolph’s policy granted them a house within the walls, they had to raise money to pay for food expenses and the husband’s medical bills.
The wife was the only one who could work, but her needlework was only at the level of a side job and was not earning enough.

Thus, the wife decided to secretly sell her body cheaply to laborers hungry for women while the daughter was forced to beg everyday.

「……I understand the situation, but I can’t turn a blind eye to actions that diminish Rafen’s image.」

The mother’s shoulders twitch.

「At this rate, the young girl will become a pervert who defecates outside night after night.」

The daughter’s shoulders twitch.

「So you will need to be re-educated. Tomorrow, come to my place to do a live-in apprenticeship. You will work as a trainee.」

The two were speechless and so was Carla.
And thus, at the wage of 30 copper a day, Nonna increased the number of apprentice maids by one.

After bowing over ten times, the mother and daughter left the shop.

「So there’s some good in you after all.」

Carla praises as she plays with Nonna’s hair from behind and grabs her breasts.

「Stop that! I only thought the legal wife of the Hardlett family should have more attending maids.」

Nonna whips her head to the side with a “hmph”.

「Have you become less inclined to spend on luxury?」

Carla asks as she pokes Nonna’s cheeks. Nonna doesn’t turn her way and flatly denies it.

「I won’t stop. I’ll continue buying luxurious items.」

She spoke on before Carla could complain.

「I’m sure there are still many more citizens besides those two living in poverty.」

Carla couldn’t help refraining from making fun of Nonna with the different aura around her than usual.

「By controlling myself and not buying one piece of clothing, I can save a few or even a few dozen. But that would be pointless.」

Nonna jingles her expensive necklace.

「What they really need is not daily income, it’s wealth. Even if you give them enough money for the short-term, unless they attain wealth, nothing will change. Once they achieve wealth, they will not need to ask for charity.」

Nonna stands up, her extravagant dress fluttering accordingly.

「If the Hardlett family is wealthy, the people will be saved. For that reason, my luxury is needed!」

Nonna throws her chest out with pride and chuckles.
Seeing that, Carla giggles to herself.

「Now you’re talking. I don’t get that stuff, so that’s why you’re the legal wife, eh?」

Carla happily hugs Nonna.

「’Kay, let’s indulge in luxury…… and also-」

「What is it?」

Nonna listens as she brushes Carla aside.

「You’re quite similar to that woman. Especially that laugh at the end, it’s almost identical.」

Nonna doesn’t retort and simply pinches Carla’s nose.

Some time after the two bought a single piece of jewellery, they spotted Adolph taking charge.

「Aah…… if it isn’t Nonna-san……」

Adolph slumps his shoulder at the sight of Nonna and anxiously pats down his hair.

「Adolph. I have something to say.」

Nonna declares as she quickly walks over to him.
Because of what happened earlier, Carla nods as well, her face filled with expectations.

「What’s the meaning of building all these houses!? What do you think you’re doing with my money!?」

Carla stumbles.

「Such a waste! What was that earlier!?」

Adolph looked like he was asked to do the most unpleasant thing and was about to explain himself until a voice shouted out.

「Chase out the foolish ones――!」
「It’s their fault we had to sacrifice needlessly――!」
「Don’t spread their wicked teachings――!」

The citizens are yelling something as they march along the road.

「What is that?」

Nonna puts her anger aside to ask Adolph.

「Well, it’s apparently a demonstration parade. It’s a method of expressing opinions of the people to the ruler that Jim-san and the others from Libatis have popularized…… this one looks like it might go out of control.」

「Don’t be fooled by the childish appearance――!」
「Remember what they did to you――!」

The people march forward while scattering small sheets of paper.
Nonna picks one of them up and gives it a quick glance.

「Let’s see, “Altair is a heretical religion”, “ Countless heinous deeds”, “The mayhem in the south was Altair’s fault”, what is this?」

「It’s a citizen’s parade against the church of Altair. Because of their behavior in the earlier battle, the enemy’s will to fight was heightened and we suffered more casualties than necessary. Also, it appears the words from the South Yuguria prisoner of war regarding Altair’s past deeds have reached the ears of the people. I’m hearing the details for the first time and also think that done some pretty horrible things.」

「Eeeeh, not interested. If you don’t want to believe in the religion of whatever, just leave them alone.」

Nonna and Carla don’t show any concern while Adolph seems to be at his wit’s end and a tuft of hair loosely falls from his head.

After the demonstration proceeds through the city, they stand in front of the Altair church and protest loudly.
A few believers try to argue back, but their voices are erased due to the difference in numbers.
The young Altair and Remia also attempt to plead their case, but their explanations fall on deaf ears, and the protesters maintain their one-sided abuse.

「I don’t know much about this Altair or whatever, but if Aegir-sama has given permission, any number of people defying that cannot be tolerated. I will do something about this as the legal wife.」

Nonna puffs out her chest and walks toward the church of Altair.

Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 25 years old. Summer.
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave. Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area. Mountain Legend. Friend of the Dwarves. Friend of the King of Aless. Dragon Slayer Hero.
Elf Mediator. Sex King of White City.

Subordinates:
Celia (battalion commander), Myla (rat hunting), Irijina (commander), Luna (commander), Sekrit (pregnant belly ship captain)
Leopolt (strategy preparation), Tristan (staff officer plenipotentiary), Gido (escort unit), Yakov (105th commander), Brynhildr (vampire), Ivanna (angry, lactating), Annette (service)

Nonna (awakened legal wife), Carla (bad influence)

Army:
Under Protagonist: 42 000

Escort Unit: 100
Infantry: 10 450
Cavalry: 1100
Archers: 1200
Cannoneers: 450
Bow Cavalry: 8700

Independent Celia Squad: 950

Aless Soldiers: 14 000
105 Army Corps: 4940
Cannons: 60, Large Cannons: 30, Dwarven Cannons: 16, Field Artillery: 20, Chariots: 50

Battleship Suvorov, Battleship Aless of Aless (being repaired)
Large Combat Ships: 5, Small Combat Ships: 20, Transport Ships: 20

Port City: Stationed in Patena

Enemy Force: Confirmed Portion
Western Army: Approx. 50 000, Magrado Local Army: Several Tens of Thousands
Fleet Stationed in Tebia: (Battleships: 1. Large Combat Ships: 8, Medium Combat Ships: 46, Small Combat Ships: Approx. 90)

Assets: -30 gold (Nonna’s jewellery purchase -30) Natia’s reward money borrowed by Nonna
Sexual Partners: 783, children who have been born: 69 + 565
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