Chapter 26: The Meagre
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Sorofya.

This was a name that no one in Sia Continent didn’t know of.

Find the original at Hosted Novel.

In this world, where the flow of information was severely limited by geographical distance, it was only natural that those who were born in the Austine Empire wouldn’t have heard of the Theocracy’s Xeclydes, and vice versa with the Austine Empire’s Ackermanns. But the name, Sorofya, was known by almost everyone regardless of which country they were from.

And the reason for that was the Sorofya Merchant Association.

The merchant association was born in the Rosa Merchant Confederacy, which was located at the heart of the Sia Continent. Its name was derived from the Rosa River that flowed through the entire northeast region.

Ease of travel, imparted by the river, and an ideal geographical location, allowed the area to swiftly grow into a trading hub shortly after the inception of the Third Epoch. Despite so, the civilians living there didn’t enjoy good lives.

This important trading hub was a strategic military location as well, making it a place countries fought for. To make things worse, Rosaians were incredibly wealthy, which meant that a successful military campaign could very well reap great benefits.

As a result of that, Rosa ended up changing hands many times.

This tragedy continued until 200 years ago, when Rosa was under the rule of the notorious tyrant emperor of the Austine Empire, Karwen II. The Rosaian merchants were finally unable to tolerate the brutal rule of their colonial masters, so they raised their flags and staged a revolt, eventually leading to the founding of the Rosa Merchant Confederacy.

Of course, all was not smooth during the founding of the nation.

The few major merchant houses who masterminded the revolution faced immense pressure from the Austine Empire, both militarily and financially. Some of them gave in to the monetary incentive provided by the Austine Empire and backstabbed the revolution, whereas others caved to the military pressure and raised their hands in surrender.

There was only one merchant house that continued to persist in its ideals, and that was the Sorofyas.

The Sorofya House was the only one that showed backbone amidst all of the money-minded merchants, and it was precisely because of their grit that they suffered the most during those dark times.

Indeed, the Sorofyas were the ones who were backstabbed by the other merchant houses. Nearly their entire family was captured by their own allies and handed over to the Austine Empire in exchange for incentives. The only one who managed to escape then was their youngest son.

When the Austine Empire attacked Rosa City, they brought all of the Sorofyas out to the frontline and used their lives to threaten the youngest son into opening the city gates and surrendering completely. Yet, the plan was foiled when the obstinate old patriarch ran right into the blade of a sword and committed suicide, choosing death over being used as hostages.

The death of the Sorofyas’ patriarch meant that the plan to force the youngest son to surrender had failed. Out of rage, the Austine Empire had every single member of the Sorofyas in their capture put to the sword, plunging the remaining survivor of the house, Grimm Sorofya, into great agony. He swore vengeance on the Austine Empire.

As future events revealed, the Austine Empire had made a bad move, and they had underestimated the tenacity of the Rosaians as well. This decision plunged them into a bitter war with the Rosaians that lasted for the next decade. They attempted everything they could think of, including massacring entire cities.

Yet, the rebels continued to fight them with increasing ferocity.

There was even one incident where the rebels were trapped inside Rosa City for seven whole months, resulting in the depletion of their rations. The only food source available in the city then were the few fish and prawns from the river. The grand Ausier Street that was previously known for its splendor had emaciated corpses lying all around.

It was during such a moment that a general of the Austine Empire brought out freshly baked bread to entice the people in Rosa City to surrender, and needless to say, the determination of the rebels wavered in the face of such temptation.

In this crucial moment, Grimm Sorofya took a sword up to the highest tower in the city and sliced off half of his arm. Holding his bloodied, severed arm, he declared to the city that they could eat him if they were hungry, but they must never surrender to the tyranny of the Austine Empire!

Watching such a sight, the populace in Rosa City all broke down into tears as they swore to rather become hungry ghosts inside the city walls than to come under the brutal rule of the empire once more. Faced with their resolution, the countenance of the general of the Austine Empire turned dark. Not too long after, he requested a swap in leadership under the pretext of illness, choosing to retire from the battlefield.

After this battle, the Sorofya House truly grew to prominence, allowing it to rally Rosaians under its banner. Despite so, Rosa was simply far too lacking in terms of military power compared to the Austine Empire.

As the saying went, ‘justice may be late, but never absent’. Just as the Rosaians were finally reaching their limits, the Theocracy joined the battlefield.

The Austine Empire had used the cruelest of stratagems in order to take down Rosa, and the act of massacring a city was a severe violation of the teachings of the Genesis Goddess Church. Even a common civilian on the streets couldn’t stand seeing the atrocities of the Austine Empire anymore, let alone the Saint Mesit Theocracy.

The most important element in a fight between massive countries was timing.

The Theocracy immediately launched a precise and deadly strike against the troops of the Austine Empire the moment it joined the battle, not forgetting to claim legitimacy through pinning over a dozen crimes on the empire, including crimes against humanity. At the same time, it also declared the independence of Rosa and provided it with great support.

This development turned what should have been some internal strife of the Austine Empire turned into a fight between two powerhouses instead.

Having gained the support of the Theocracy, the remnants of the Sorofya House spared no effort in evicting the Austine Empire from their borders. After a prolonged fight, the empire finally gave up on the lucrative land of Rosa and signed a ceasefire with the Sorofya House. With this, the curtains finally closed on a war that had lasted nearly a hundred years.

The Sorofya House had paid a heavy price for the founding of the Rosa Merchant Confederacy, losing several generations of its patriarchs in battle. However, their sacrifices were acknowledged by the newly liberated Rosaians, and the Sorofyas were granted the dominant position in Rosa’s politics. It was also then that the Sorofya Merchant Association emerged on the world stage.

Over the past hundred years, the Sorofya Merchant Association had managed to permeate every country, turning the Sorofya House into the wealthiest power in the world. They were dubbed as the Uncrowned King due to the massive influence they could potentially exert over any country.

The Ascart House was one of the Five Eminent Noble Houses of the Theocracy, and Ascart City was considered one of the more distinguished cities in Saint Mesit. However, as the patriarchs of the Ascart House had mainly dabbled in the military, very little focus had been on the development of commerce. Compared to the cities managed by the other four eminent noble houses, Ascart City could be considered the least prosperous.

That being said, it was ranked highest in terms of safety. Only a fool would dare to cause trouble in the territory of a powerhouse that had a powerful army under his command. As such, the populace of Ascart City lived a rather peaceful life. Merchants favored such stable environments, and naturally, the Sorofya Merchant Association wouldn’t pass Ascart City by.

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“Young master, this is the latest winter collection of the Sorofya Merchant Association.”

“Got it.”

Inside a resting room, Anna handed a large but not bulky catalog into the hands of the black-haired boy, Roel. He had just ended his daily swordsmanship training, and after receiving the catalog, he began flipping through it.

This catalog, designed in a similar fashion to the menus of high-class restaurants in Roel’s previous world, contained a list of the Sorofya Merchant Association’s recent masterpieces. It included a picture and description for each product, allowing the customers to grasp a better understanding of what they were going to purchase.

The Sorofyas had a deep understanding of the customers they were dealing with, fully grasping how much nobles valued their reputation and loved comparing with one another. The wealthier nobles, in order to flaunt their affluence, tended to purchase the entire catalog in a breath. The Ascart House was not lacking in money, but being without a matriarch, it didn’t have much use for the items inside.

The dress that Nora was wearing the other day was also ordered from the Sorofyas, which showed just how far-reaching its influence was.

Roel couldn’t help but feel a little overwhelmed as he browsed through the winter collection. Even the leather cover of the catalog felt like an extravagance to him.

This little booklet must have cost at least one gold coin, right? Haaa, it’s no wonder why the Sorofyas are able to rake in the big bucks.

Roel couldn’t help but wonder just how much the Sorofya Merchant Association was actually earning as he continued flipping through the collection.

There was one thing he was looking for in here.

Translator Notes

Hahaha I changed the challenge a bit from 10 unique commenters per chapter to just 10 unique commenters, but anyway, we still met the challenge anyway ◔‿◔
Hooray!

Well, a part of the reason is due to Welmar said that these two chapters should go hand in hand. He said that we had too many world-building chapters, such that there isn't as much action as desired. Most importantly of all, he mentioned that this chapter ends at a steeper cliff than the previous (ikr, he's a horrible person (┛ಠ_ಠ)┛彡┻━┻)

Anyway, here's the next challenge hahaha.
【Challenge 2 (Ding!)
    Description: Have fifteen unique commenters on one chapter
    Reward: An additional chapter
    Progress: 0/15 (In Progress)】
Ehehe, challenges do need to get progressively harder ~~ and honestly, we do spend quite a bit of effort in the chapters so every single one of them are valuable at least to us (•̀ᴗ•́)و. 
Welmar spends a lot of time making thorough edits, such that even Tribe hasn't been pointing out any mistakes in the last few chapters (He used to be able to find mistakes in nearly every single chapter of LoHP and Tyrant).

-StarveCleric

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