Chapter 9: Food Shortage

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio  Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

The people from the Kingdom of Swadia were far from being frail and aged. All of them were stout, strong men who were in their prime.

There was no way their food consumption would be a small amount.

Outright impossible!

If they were to calculate from that day onward, Drondheim’s existing food storage would only last for 10 days.

For Kant, that was a very huge headache.

Is this a joke or something?

If we run out of food and water, even at an oasis in the desert, we will definitely end up dead!

There was another more important point he had to consider.

There was no telling when the Jackalans would make their retaliation. With Drondheim still in a state of crisis and the storage of food within the fief being insufficient, Kant, as a newly appointed lord who was basically dirt poor, was practically in hell at the moment. The torture did not seem to be stopping any time soon.

This really will be quite a trouble.

Kant lowered his head and pondered the problem for a while. He knew just how serious the problem was. We need to solve the food shortage before anything else.

He had made his decision.

Whichever time or world he was in, any problem with food was the most pressing of problems, be it in reality, a game, or unfamiliar foreign world, which he found himself in at the moment.

The problem was even more apparent to Kant.

More than anything else, the people who were watching over Drondheim needed to see their bellies filled.

In order to be able to withstand a Jackalan attack, they had to keep their stamina up

An empty stomach meant one could end up in a limp, lethargic state. That made even lifting weapons difficult, let alone fighting the Jackalans, who could appear at any time.

Even the Swadian Peasants needed to be strong enough to hold up their scythes to protect their village.

I definitely need to think of something.

Kant frowned as he brainstormed.

There was the option to cut down the distribution of food to make it last longer, but doing so would only cripple Drondheim in the long run. He absolutely was not able to make a decision that would put him in a further pinch.

Without stamina, one was not able to fight.

“Let’s have a look at the storage room.” Kant returned to the Council Hall.

The militia followed behind him.

The storage room was in a corner on the first floor of the hall, which was about 322 square feet. Loaves of bread, dried meats, and round cabbages were all laid out on the shelves.

The air was filled with the fragrance of food.

“Is this all we’ve got?” Kant frowned and looked rather displeased.

A militia member answered, “Indeed, My Lord, there is just this and nothing else.”

From the looks of things, the food supplies were more or less as reported by the militia—500 loaves of bread, 250 dried portions of meat, and 100 cabbages.

The breakfast they had just eaten —16 loaves of bread, five dried pieces of meat, and five cabbages—needed to be, without a doubt, taken out of the equation.

As such, while it seemed they had a lot of food left, considering it filled the entire storage room, judging from the fact that they had 80 adults to feed three meals a day, as well as additional meals for the guards on night duty, the room full of food would still only last for 10 days.

After all, the Swadians were all healthy, strong men.

They needed huge amounts of food for all three daily meals. Worse still, given how his fief was still under development, the cost in stamina would be even greater, which meant an increased need for energy intake.

Other than needing to secure ample amounts of food, said food needed to be diversified even further.

“Oh right.”

Kant lifted his head a little and said to the militia, “We do have quite a hefty amount of supplies left in the carriages.”

Everything stored in the carriages was supplies he had prepared back in the Dukedom of Leo.

The supplies included large amounts of food.

Although they had consumed some while they were on their way to the Oasis Lookout and some were taken by the knights for their trip home, they should still have had a hefty amount left. He had specifically purchased food that was heat-tolerant and had long shelf lives.

“We checked the carriages the night before,” a militia member replied.

“There are loaves of bread, smoked meats, and sausages, as well as some salt, sugar, and spices.”

Kant nodded and asked, “How much of that do we have left?”

“With everything accounted for, it will be enough to last us three more days,” the militia member answered.

“Wait, what? Just enough for three more days?”

Kant was baffled and found what he heard unbelievable. He had purchased one whole carriage full of food.

At the time he purchased the food, he had considered the amount of food that would be consumed throughout their journey in the desert, as well as extra for their time developing the Oasis Lookout when they settled down. It should have lasted the previous 30 Swadian Peasants about half a month.

“We checked everything and found that all of that will only last us three days,” the militia member answered truthfully.

Kant’s brow was now locked in a deep frown.

This was something he had not expected.

“So, 13 days in total then.” Kant frowned.

The militia member nodded and answered, “Correct.”

Kant’s frown deepened after thinking about how much they ate during their journey. He was sure that he had not been eating much. When he recalled how the knights behaved when they left, he realized something.

Kant gritted his teeth and said, “Those bastards.”

This has to be revenge!

Those people were taking their revenge against him for having made them risk their lives to conquer the Oasis Lookout, which had been taken over by the Jackalans.

You people really have won this time. Kant pinched his brow as he deeply sighed.

However, it was pointless to be angry. After all, it had been his fault.

He thought of his current predicament and the fief that was still being developed. He realized just how much of a difference there was between reality and an ideal. The troubles he currently faced made him feel rather helpless. He wondered just how much more trouble was waiting for him.

“My Lord.”

The militia member said, “It is best to get something to eat. Besides, breakfast is ready.”

A Swadian Peasant, who served as the cook, approached them with a tray. On it was a huge wooden bowl that contained soup cooked with minced dried meat and cabbage and sprinkled with a dash of fine salt and pepper.

There were also two slices of white bread as huge as a palm, which had been toasted and smelled very nice.

“Yeah, breakfast does look good.”

Kant took the tray.

He temporarily put all those troubles behind him since it was time for breakfast.

The soup was thick, and the cooked dried meat and cabbage went well with the toasted bread.

The fragrance of food permeated the entire oasis.

The Swadian Peasants were having a great time with their bread and soup. All of them were smiling excitedly and chatting away. They even laughed when someone said something funny or to be happy about.

This was his fief.

Kant liked the atmosphere of momentary relaxation amid the tense and busy state of things.

This was the joy he had gained after leaving all that political clout back at the Dukedom of Leo behind. It was especially so given how he was in charge of everything. The feeling of having all the power in his hands was intoxicating.

Most people loved power. Few people liked living as hermits.

Ambition.

Whether they embraced it or not, it was something inherent in everyone.

“The food is very good. Thank the cook for me.”

Kant put down his knife and fork. He felt satisfied.

After breakfast, his frown no longer looked all that severe. He was in a better mood. He left the Council Hall for the pond of the oasis to admire his fief and estate. He had divided the areas up beforehand.

Mush!

Kant did not watch his step closely enough. As he approached the pond, he seemed to have stepped onto something.

The stench hit his nose before he had even lowered his head. He looked down. His usually calm face looked rather twisted. “Goddamn it, this is disgusting.”

His leather boot had stepped onto a thick, sticky brown substance near the pond.

It was excrement from the Jackalans.

His twisted face became filled with seething hatred. He scanned the area near the pond and saw at least over 30 “mines” of such nature, which practically made the place seem like a minefield.

The Jackalans, who were still in a primitive state, had no concept of hygiene or disease prevention.

Truthfully, however, such primitive beings were usually immune from common illnesses.

“Sh*t.”

Kant cursed and stepped away, rubbing his feet in the sand in an attempt to scrub off the disgusting pile of excrement sticking to his boot.

A prompt from the system suddenly appeared on his retina.

[Ding… Side Quest assigned]

[Side Quest: Clean up the oasis]

[Reward: Flour x 20]

[Introduction: Your fief is located in the oasis, but the place is currently contaminated by the dirty Jackalans. Clean up your oasis. The place holds all of your future hopes.]

It was a System Quest.

Kant was slightly startled, but his eyes became filled with joy after seeing the introduction on his retina.

It was enough to lighten his soiled mood from stepping on sh*t for quite some time.

This is just what I need!

What the Oasis Lookout lacked most, and had a pressing need for at the moment, was undoubtedly food.

Finishing the current side quest would reward Kant the food he desperately needed. Furthermore, it was 20 bags of flour, which could be used for making bread by just adding water.

While 20 bags of flour were not a lot, they would give him a few more days to come up with a lasting solution.

Kant would have better choices by then.

Whether it required returning to the dukedom to purchase food or searching the deeper reaches of the desert for a way out, all of that would only be possible if he had the time to spare without having to worry about the food shortage problem getting in the way of his plans.

Clean up the oasis. That is simple enough. Kant already had plans.

Actually, he would have arranged for the Swadian Peasants to clean the oasis up all the same, with or without that quest from the system.

The Jackalans had made a giant mess of the oasis while they were living there.

Trees?

Kant was just about to arrange for the peasants to clean the place up when he caught sight of the Desert Poplar Trees swaying in the wind at the northern side of the pond. The trees looked beautiful as the morning sun washed over their gently swaying branches.

However, another type of tree appeared in Kant’s mind.

Date Palm Trees!

They had been the reward acquired from finishing the Side Quest. All 20 Date Palm Trees were ripe.

Kant had finished two quests. He had crushed the team of Jackalans out to ambush them, and he had annihilated the Jackalan Tribe. The 20 Date Palm Trees and a Desert Bandit Lair were acquired as rewards, respectively.

All of that could be brought immediately to reality, just like how the Council Hall had materialized right before him the night before.

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