Village Sub-Chief Wozuma’s Take on What Happened
(Wozuma’s Point of View)
“… Village Chief, please don’t make such decisions lightly.”
After Village Chief Kehma returned from his Draco inspection visit, he promptly fell asleep. Ichika reported various matters to Wozuma in his stead.
The moment he met Village Chief Kehma on the following day, those were the first words out of his mouth.
“O-Okay. Sorry, Wozuma. I guess I did a bit much there, didn’t I?”
“Yes, you did.”
Yes, he’d very clearly overdone it. He’d overdone it to the point that he oh so wanted to tell him to not treat Draco’s Village Chief—the aristocratic child genius Cid Pavuera with the full backing of the Pavueran lord—as if he were a child.
But he truly, truly had gone too far.
It all started with the duel Village Chief Kehma was forced into when he first made it into Draco.
The fact that the duel started was fine. However, Wozuma was certain that this was meant to be a chance for Village Chief Cid to utterly crush Village Chief Kehma.
At the end of the day, Village Chief Cid had chosen Harvey to be his champion. Harvey, the one known as the Dark Knight, was a famously strong person in Pavuera. He had definitely issued the challenge with the intent to win.
Wozuma knew. He knew that Kehma was a mirror-like existence.
If one were to challenge him seriously, he would respond in kind. That was the man called Kehma whom Wozuma recognized.
The match’s conclusion was too one-sided.
Kehma had Meat Kuroinu stand as his champion, sure, but what in the world was [Faked a handshake and bam balam bang!] supposed to mean? Even after having Ichika repeat the story for him, Wozuma truly couldn’t tell what had happened. Only after several retellings did he finally piece together her meaning.
Although Wozuma had long since understood that Meat Kuroinu held a strength far outstripping one might believe such a small body could hold, for her to be able to brandish an adult man as if he were a sack of potatoes… He couldn’t help but feel somewhat light headed at the thought.
However, holding true to his title as a prodigy, the young Village Chief realized that all he could do from there was pivot into a more amicable approach.
After showing off his mightiest force of power and having it taken out, he’d effectively had no other choice. A man who continued to show hostility from then on would be nothing but a fool.
Had he seriously believed that he ever had a chance in besting Village Chief Kehma, a man who won against a Dragon?
… Perhaps it was due to the propensity for a human who knew naught of their Village Chief to believed that Hero Wataru was the sole person responsible for the Dragon suppression’s success?
The Village Chief hadn’t brought that hero with him and had mere maids as attendants. He likely believed that this was the perfect opportunity. Wozuma himself might even have thought as much.
However, it was a trap.
Forcing Village Chief Kehma into a duel was equivalent to incurring the wrath of a God.
Village Chief Kehma demanded [Friendly Relations] as his prize. This was truly a very Village Chief Kehma-like thing to do and was something Wozuma felt nothing but admiration towards.
Also he had merely said [Friendly Relations], given that it could be taken as irritability at there needing to have been a duel at all, it was in fact a [Favor Owed]. However, as it was stated as [Friendly Relations], this blurred the upper limit of what could be asked.
Village Chief Cid had in all likelihood been swindled by Village Chief Kehma. His tired looking expression was merely the expression one had as they thought about how to outdo another, after all. It was a blunder to believe that his expression meant that the upper limit of the [Friendly Relations] could be lowered.
The moment he’d agreed to the [Friendly Relations], Village Chief Kehma had effectively already won.
Village Chief Kehma immediately followed up by loaning out that magic tool under the guise of [Friendly Relations], dealing the finishing blow. It was a magic tool Wozuma had no knowledge of, but it appeared to be one that came from the dungeon, a thing that could produce a hot spring.
The [Friendly Relations] were quickly made use of, but it would lead into mutually beneficial trade dealings. It was a deal that couldn’t be outright refused due to the [Friendly Relations]… but it wasn’t a one-sided offer, either.
It was what it was, after all. A magic tool that could bring forth a hot spring. Water itself was a valuable resource, let alone to a village in the mountains. He’d offered an incredibly valuable magic tool to them.
As Draco did actually have an issue with securing enough water, it was becoming difficult for them to expand further than they had. While simultaneously providing them with a magic tool at a [Fair Price] and making good on their [Good Relations], he’d managed to collar them.
They would obviously continue looking for a way for them to not rely on that magic tool, but they would be forced to continue that [Loan] until then. However, it was just as obvious that if the price was too high, they could cancel the offer.
This would definitely turn future negotiations into Village Chief Cid offering more money and the Dyne Company asking for less. On that point, Dyne, knowing well of Village Chief Kehma’s way of doing things, would certainly settle on a price lower than average market value.
It was such a splendid display of forcing a debt on someone that he wanted it to be placed in every textbook across the land.
Moreover, it wouldn’t look as though it was a strong-armed deal at all. It would simply be a hierarchical relationship between a religious founder and a believer.
That issue is likely why Village Chief Cid said that he was thinking about joining Beddhism so lightly. He’d likely intended to put off actually becoming a believer under the guise of having to wait for a baptism or the like.
However, as Beddhism fully advocated that once one said they were a believer, they were one, that goal of his was dashed.
Although Beddhism was simple to join and leave, it wasn’t something an aristocrat could say so simply. Village Chief Cid had only said that as he had no choice so that he could pay back even a small bit of what he had come to owe.
Yet while that may be so, Village Chief Kehma hadn’t made any unreasonable demands. Beddhism taught that one should not overwork themselves, after all.
Then when Village Chief Cid—who’d been driven into a corner and unable to back out—played his hand and offered to build a proper Beddhist shrine in the best part of town, Village Chief Kehma told him to just put some tiny thing in the inn.
With that, the [Friendly Relations] agreement had simply been deepened.
In other words, the [Loan]—the [Debt] from their perspective—was steadily growing larger. The upper limit of that [Friendly Relations] was dictated by their [Relations], after all.
At this point, it wasn’t a stretch to claim that Draco had already been taken control of.
All of that happened from a single visit. Within a single day.
Wozuma couldn’t help but tremble with awe as he sighed for the umpteenth time. If he’d had such ability when he was working in the Imperial Capital, he would have long since become the prime minister.
“Umm. I’ll not do anything as the figurehead Village Chief for a while, alright?”
Wozuma responded, relieved that Village Chief Kehma wouldn’t do something so momentous again anytime soon.
He never thought that he would come to pity Village Chief Cid in the span of a single day.
“Really, not doing anything would be great. Please, don’t do anything.”
“I get it, I get it. I won’t.”
But he’ll have to set up that hot spring magic tool, isn’t that doing something?
Wozuma prepared himself.