Chapter 0208 <<Intermission>>
“It’s so peaceful~”
The carriage was filled with the fragrant aroma of Kona coffee, soothing the minds of those weary from the journey.
The transparent coffee cup made of ice in their hands presented a very fantastic view due to the amazing contrast with the devil’s liquid that was swaying inside.
The perfect taste, the enchanting atmosphere, and the captivating aroma that captivates all…captivated Ryo, who slowly flipped through the materials in his hand and lost himself in the ‘scenery with coffee’.
What else could this be described as if not peaceful?
But the other side of the carriage…could very well be a battlefield.
The adversary is a bunch of tough-looking documents.
Homework from an older brother.
In a tough struggle with an A-rank adventurer.
“If I were to caption this scenery, the most fitting would surely be ‘An Elementary School Student on the Last Day of Summer Vacation’.”
Ryo looked at Abel with a gaze that contained a great deal of pity as he said it.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I sure as Phi know that you’re making fun of me.”
Abel said so, but he did not break his concentration.
Then he raised his voice a little.
“Goddamn it! Just when I thought I was all done, I find a whole bunch left at the bottom of my bag! How the heck did this happen…?”
“I can think of a few…”
Ryo’s mutterings were met with a quick glare for a moment, and then Abel immediately returned to his struggle with his homework.
“All for the sake of world peace, how burdensome…”
Ryo said as he sipped his coffee.
After a while, Abel, who had been wearing a furious expression all through, changed to a pained face, the speed of his pen slowed down…and finally, stopped moving completely.
At this point, even Ryo became concerned.
“It’s nothing, just…”
Saying just that, he remained with a bitter expression on his face…pondering something again.
Ryo peeked at the ‘homework’ in Abel’s hand.
“Regarding the demise of the Inbury Duchy…? That’s a very pertinent current affair.”
“Well, the questions were set by my older brother after all. They only contain practical questions…the impact of the fall of the Inbury Duchy on our Kingdom is multifaceted.”
After taking a breather, Abel asked Ryo.
“Ryo, why would a country fall?”
“Abel, that is the same as asking why do people die?”
“Those are two different things, right?”
Abel refuted, tilting his head.
“They are the same. Both have a life expectancy. Though in the case of the Inbury Duchy, it’s more of a sudden illness than reaching its life expectancy…”
“Well, normally, a country’s life expectancy is two or three hundred years.”
“Huh? That short?”
“Yup. five hundred years at most. According to a great historian…who was once a politician, a judge, and finally a historian. Well, maybe not exactly the life expectancy of a nation, but rather the life expectancy of a polity. Either way, the rise and fall of a nation is an esoteric subject that, on its own, takes decades of research and study into the depths of historiography enough to write dozens of books. It’s certainly not a subject that can be casually explained in a carriage, that’s for sure.”
“O-Oh, I see…”
The historian Ryo was referring to was, of course, Ibn Khaldun, and the rise and fall of nations was Edward Gibbon’s ‘History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’.
For Ryo, who took a leave of absence from his university major in Western history, the rise and fall of nations was a very interesting topic…but he understood that if he got stuck in it, getting himself out would prove to be as difficult as trying to get out of a swamp.
Now, for someone like the Lord Progenitor of Land who has eternal life, it might be interesting to get started on this research~ or so his mind wandered.
“Also, although I used the expression ‘sudden illness’, when there’s a huge nation bordering another small nation, the small nation is more likely to be swallowed up. One biomathematician even formulated such a historical event into a mathematical formula.”
Abel seemed lost.
Ryo sighed and gave up trying to explain the rest of the story.
“The point is, we’ve already got a formula for the rise and fall of a nation.”
“T-That can’t be true…”
Abel, who will (likely not) become king in the future, didn’t want to believe such a thing.
If truly the fall of a nation can expressed…by a formula, then where does that leave the people who live there…the ministers, bureaucrats and officials who work selflessly….
“Of course, it’s not absolute. And personally, I think that once a country goes through a major civil war or a major war turning it into a battlefield, it goes through a reset. So I don’t think you need to worry about it too much.”
“… Then, Ryo, are you saying that after a certain amount of time, a country should go through a civil war or a war and start all over again?”
“No, of course not. You see, after a war or a civil war, the neighboring countries will start circling in like sharks trying to make a move, naturally. When that happens, the survival of the country itself can go either way…so it’s best to avoid the war altogether if possible.”
Ryo stated clearly.
And then continued.
“Abel, the duty of a ruler hasn’t changed since ancient times.”
“To make his people happy.”
“That sounds vague…”
Abel kept frowning.
“Not really. Do just one thing, and I assure you the people will be happy. And by doing so, many of the problems that befall a country can be nipped in the bud before they arise.”
Ryo said, nodding vigorously.
“Just one thing?”
“That’s right. I’m talking about improving the country’s economy. And I’m not talking about the specifics and nitty gritty of it all, no! It’s important that the ‘people feel that the economy is doing well’. In the first place, the word ‘economy’ is derived from…nah nevermind, scratch that. As long as you do this, there will be no threats to public security. Because if the economy is doing well, there will be no room for insurrection. Moreover, you’ll start seeing an increase in the marriage rate and birth rate. So the population of the country will increase, even without an immigration policy. The people’s willingness to work will also increase. Because when there’s hope for the future, they will be more willing to buy things, like houses and other stuff, which also means that there won’t be shortages of things to sell. Which will in turn, further improve the economy. So Abel, ‘Making the people think the economy is booming’, is the axiom that great rulers have always adhered to throughout history.”