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After I responded that I would meet with the mercenaries, I was soon to meet with the leader of the mercenary corps.
Ritsu guides the leader of the mercenary corps into Canale Castle.
A man of about 30 with a strong body enters.
He is bearded and has a very intense face.
At a quick glance, he looks strong.
Of course, whether he is really strong or not, I won’t know until I appraise him.
“My name is Ulvard Seon, leader of the mercenary company Grandeur. I’m honored to meet you.” (Ulvard) [T/N: His name is ウルバード・セオン or Urubaado Seon, so I chose Ulvard since it sounds Middle-age-ish.]
The man said, his expression unchanging.
After that, Ulvard begins to explain their achievements as a mercenary corps.
What battles they had participated in, how well they had done in those battles, and so on.
Normally, I would have listened to this list of accomplishments and judged the group’s ability as mercenaries, but I have the skills to appraise the group.
By looking at the abilities of Ulvard, the leader of the group, I would be able to gauge the strength of the mercenary corps to some extent. Even if the quality of the soldiers is higher than others, if the one who commands them is not good, they will not be considered strong.
I half-listened to their mercenary corps’ history and tried to appraise Ulbert.
His current values are 65 for Command, 71 for Bravery, 55 for Strategy, and 45 for Politics.
There is not much difference from his potential value.
There was nothing particularly outstanding about his aptitudes either.
It’s not that he’s incompetent, but he doesn’t seem to be particularly outstanding as a leader.
It is possible that one of his subordinates is highly competent, but that person would not be the leader of a mercenary group, and the mercenary group led by him would not be particularly powerful.
Well, that doesn’t mean we don’t need him.
Quality is important in a battle, but numbers are the most important.
If they are incompetent and drag down their allies, we don’t need them, but they have some reliable skills, and I think they are worth signing up for.
It all depends on the price.
If it is too expensive, it would be better not to sign the contract.
“How much will a contract with you be worth?”
“The amount we are offering is 15 gold coins a month. In addition to the gold, we would like you to provide us with food and a place to stay.” (Ulvard)
Tax revenues have been rising recently due to the booming economy, so it is not an amount that cannot be paid.
I believe there were about 200 soldiers, so 15 gold coins a month is not that expensive. …However, considering that food is a separate payment, it seems like we will be overpaying.
“Ars-sama, may I have a bit of your time?” (Ritsu)
Ritsu, who was listening to the conversation beside me, spoke to me in a whisper.
“What did you think of his abilities?” (Ritsu)
“Not bad, but not particularly high.”
“ Well, if it’s… I think it’s best to sit this one out.” (Ritsu)
“Is that so? Isn’t there a need for more troops?”
“There is no doubt that we should reinforce our existing forces. But there are more than one mercenary corps.” (Ritsu)
“You mean there are other mercenaries coming?”
“Yes. I think that Canale is now considered an easy partner to start selling to from the point of view of the mercenary groups. The economy is up, we seem to have money, and being a county on the border with the state of Sights of which we are not allies, there seems to be a good chance that a war will break out. Given those two factors, I wouldn’t be surprised if other mercenary groups come in to promote themselves in the near future.” (Ritsu)
Come to think of it, Ritsu used to be a member of a mercenary corps.
He may be quite familiar with the mercenary situation in this area.
I think it would be better to listen to Ritsu’s thoughts.
If there are still other mercenary corps coming, there is no need to rush into a contract.
“I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to pass on signing a contract this time.”
“…I see. I’m going to stay in this town for about a week, so if you change your mind, let me know. I am staying at an inn called Rabek.” (Ulvard)
After hearing my response, Ulvard looked a little disappointed, then said so and left Canale Castle.
I then discussed the matter again with my vassals, but the conclusion that it would be better to forgo the matter this time remained the same.
A few days have passed.
As Ritsu had predicted, the mercenary group came again.
Moreover, there were three groups at the same time.
Ritsu’s prediction was completely correct. Was it just a fluke?
The number of people in the group was about 50, less than the first group of mercenaries, Grandeur.
The contract fee was also lower because of the smaller number of people.
I appraised the leaders of the first two groups.
They had some ability, but they were not very strong. Well, if they were that good, they would have already made a name for themselves. There are not so many mercenary groups whose names are not yet well-known, but whose potentials are high.
So, I appraised the third leader.
“I’m Locke Sheadle, the leader of the mercenary Bangle.” (Locke) [T/N: His name is ロック・シードル or rokku shiidoru, so I chose Locke Sheadle since it sounds a bit western, maybe?]
He was a well-dressed man with an elegant face and his hair pushed back.
He appeared to be young.
I appraised Locke.
Locke Flambarts – 27 years old – ♂
Infantry B Cavalry A Archery C
Magic Soldier D Fortification C Weaponry D
Navy D Air Force D Strategy B
The ability values are pretty good. I’m not sure why the last name he gave and the last name on the appraisal are different, though.
Well, the first name is the same, so it may not be that strange. Family names can change depending on family circumstances and so on. For example, the names of Shadow’s members did not match their appraised names at all.
With this ability value, I would say he is competent.
Especially, the maximum value of Command is 85. This is a number that is not often seen.
A unit led by a person with high Command Skill will naturally become stronger.
Although they are still a relatively small mercenary corps of about 50 members, they seem to have high potential.
Then, I also assessed not only their abilities but also what kind of person Locke is.
It seems that he is from the state of Ansel. The imperial capital is located there.
He is from Bangle County, northwest of Ansel, which is probably where the mercenary group is named after.
There was nothing unusual about him other than that, but I was curious about the fact that he had so many brothers and sisters.
He has five older brothers, one younger brother, two older sisters, and three younger sisters. Including Locke, there are 12 siblings.
It seems that two brothers and one sister of his have already passed away.
He seems to have been born in a rather unusual family.
There may be a connection between the last name he gave, and the last name shown using Appraisal, which was different. He was adopted by another family because they had too many children.
Well, I don’t think there are any particular problems.
I then asked about the contract fee.
The price was not expensive at five gold coins a month.
With that kind of price, it would be quite easy to hire him.
I couldn’t miss out on this talent.
“I can pay five gold coins a month. So, I will sign a contract with your mercenary corps.”
“…You want to sign a contract?” (Locke)
Locke looked more puzzled than pleased.
“Oh, no, I beg your pardon. We were a mercenary group without much of a track record, so we kept getting turned down in various places… I would be very happy if you would really make a contract with us.” (Locke)
They have yet to gain achievements. For that matter, Locke’s potential is quite high.
I guess they are a newly formed mercenary group.
“As long as the contract exists, I swear to wield my sword for the House of Louvent.” (Locke)
Bowing deeply, Locke declared.
What can I say, this is not a very mercenary-like behavior.
Well, it seems that some of the mercenaries are probably fallen aristocrats, so it may be wrong to think so.
“I look forward to working with you.”
Thus, I signed a contract with the mercenary corps Bangle.
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