Episode 33: Is this what they call body-obsessed? (1)
* * *
A demonic beast barricade.
As the name suggested, it was a plan to defend the border from demonic beast.
A standing army made up of soldiers, magicians and warriors were guarding the borders, along with sturdy walls and moats.
It was a stringent defense but there were times when the defense was breached in the winter due to an attacking wave of demonic beasts.
Manpower was limited, and when the defense was focused on one side, the other sides were inevitably neglected.
Due to this, it had become a long standing tradition in Irugo to subjugate the demonic beasts before winter arrived. Naturally, a military expedition deep into enemy territory was fraught with enormous danger.
In the plains, there were no hiding places and no sturdy walls for defense, so the warriors went through difficult battles every year. A moving wooden fence would be shattered by a simple swing from a demonic beast.
‘If this succeeds, the battlefront will undergo a huge change.’
Aristine clenched her fists tight.
What Aristine wanted to create, was a barrier made up over several overlapping layers of physical defense spells and reinforcement spells.
While it might be called overlapping, it was practically spells being caked together.
Naturally, creating and maintain it would require an enormous amount of manastones.
This wasn’t the first time that someone had thought of setting a barricade of defense magic, but there was one reason why it had never been done.
‘Because it is terribly inefficient.’
The money alone was enough to build another wall around the national border with some change. And building another wall around the border was a stupidly inefficient method.
The reason she wanted to try something more inefficient than that stupidly inefficient method was simple.
‘To find an efficient way.’
Once the scalpel business began to run smoothly without her presence, Aristine began to focus on other things.
She began to wonder if the mana conduction rate could be pushed to the limits through the use of a new alloy.
Then Tarkan and his warriors wouldn’t have to go to the depths of the plains every year for subjugation.
And the people of Irugo would also be able to live safer lives.
When she confided her idea in the blacksmiths, starting with Ritlen, and the magicians whom she had formed a relationship after building the mana furnaces, they showed so much enthusiasm that Aristine was surprised.
Because to them, it was the dawn of another revolution.
And as a result, they developed an alloy with an excellent mana conduction and retention rate, enough to maintain layered spells with very little magic power.
It would cost an exorbitant amount to install all these barricades along the border, but it was nothing compared to magically enhancing an ordinary barricade.
The magicians and blacksmiths who gathered in the conference room jumped to their feet when Aristine appeared.
Seeing the nervousness on their face, Aristine felt strange.
She felt even stranger when she remembered how the magicians had meticulously calculated their benefits from mana furnace installation and discussed that confidentiality clause.
Yet, all of them were giving it their best for something that was rather difficult and not really profitable.
To work together to create a better future.
“How did it go?” Asena, the guild leader of the magician guild, Fractal, couldn’t bear the suspense and asked.
“How do you think it went?”
Aristine replied and at that, Ritlen’s face brightened like the sun, and he exclaimed.
“His Majesty approved!”
“Correct. And this is the budget we’ve been given.” Aristine said as she slapped a piece of paper onto the table.
Ritlen and Asena’s eyes grew big when they saw the number.
“His Majesty has quite the deep pockets.” Asena licked her lips.
“That shows how high his expectations are for this project.”
It would greatly enhance Irugo’s defense, but it would also have a great effect on their trade.
Aristine looked around the room. “And I believe that you all, are capable of living up to that expectation.”
At her gaze, people couldn’t help but swallow. They looked at her with pride in their eyes.
To them, Aristine had already changed the world.
“Now then, shall we get to work?”
Aristine broke into a wide smile.
* * *
“You’ve gotten busy again.” Tarkan mumbled disgruntledly. He fastened the necklace around Aristine’s neck and frowned unhappily.
Aristine pouted inwardly.
‘This business is for you this time.’
However, she felt a little embarrassed to say that the real purpose of the barricade venture was to keep Tarkan safe.
“It’s better for the Princess Consort to be occupied than sit around doing nothing.”
“Well, I don’t agree.” Tarkan replied, lazily adjusting the necklace that was draped over her collarbone.
For some reason, a shiver ran down her spine and Aristine furrowed her brows.
‘What was that?’
“In any case, this is a long-awaited meeting with noblewomen. I have to work hard.”
Aristine shook off the strange sensation and clenched her fists.
She had decided to attend an aristocrat’s tea party for a change.
When she accepted the invitation, there was a huge uproar among the noblewomen as well as the Issara Marquis Estate, which was the host of the tea party.
She had never attended a gathering outside the royal palace, so naturally, their response was intense.
When Aristine rose from the chair, Tarkan naturally escorted her.
The court ladies, who were contently watching the husband help his wife dress up, hurriedly approached, and handed over a shawl.
Tarkan took the shawl and placed it around Aristine’s exposed shoulder.
As they walked together, Aristine tilted her head.
‘Don’t tell me Tarkan is coming too? This is a gathering of married women…’
On a second thought, Tarkan had more common sense than she did.
‘He’s probably just escorting me to the carriage.’
With that thought, she felt proud of Tarkan and held his arm tight.
* * *
“My goodness, that carriage!”
“That is the carriage that His Majesty gave the Princess Consort, is it not?”
“I heard it is a better carriage than Her Majesty’s and I have to agree…look at that flawless white.”
“And there’s the Argen Aqua too. Haa, dear me… it is already this magnificent from a distance.”
The noblewomen, who were attending the tea party, fluttered their fans in admiration as they watched the carriage enter the Issara Marquis manor.
The carriage was so stunning that the word amazing, wasn’t enough to describe it.
After seeing such a carriage, they thought they couldn’t be surprised any more.
But in the next moment, all the noblewomen were wide-eyed, doubting their vision.
‘H-His Highness Tarkan?’
Someone they had never expected to see here, got down from the carriage.
What husband would escort his wife to a tea party for aristocrat wives? And it wasn’t just any man but ‘His Highness Tarkan’.
That cold and indifferent man, said to have no blood or tears. That man who saw women as no different from stones rolling on the street.
‘I’ve heard he is tender towards the Princess Consort, but…’
At this point, it was past being called tender.
**Sometimes, the world of this novel confuses me. I didn’t know guilds were a thing. I hope you enjoyed this chapter!
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