Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 42 – False Report
Information, if manipulated properly, could become a weapon as powerful as a nuclear bomb. What should I do now for the upcoming crash of monetary value in the near future?
First, borrowing money from the merchants. Now that I was a duke, I earned enough credibility to borrow money from quite a few merchants. For some reason, they held me in high regard and lent me a large sum with an annual interest rate of 50%. Fools! Since I borrowed money with that annual interest, there was no way inflation would just stop at 50% either.
The purity of the gold coins in the Carling Empire was set at 50%. Gold, it seems, is fundamentally precious everywhere. Silver was next, followed by copper, which was the most common and abundant, mirroring Earth. Every gold coin is equivalent to 500 pieces of copper. It was supposed to be more but… even if they increased copper production, demand was lacking.
To reduce the value of the currency, there was an option to cast a large amount of coins. But simply reducing the purity of gold coins would do just fine as well. For example, by reducing the purity by 5%, they could mint ten times more coins than they currently do. If anything, I could even use the gold coins I had on hand and re-mint them as new ones. The same could be said for silver.
That said, if I stopped it at that, the weight of the coins would reveal the truth. I needed another setup… but there was no common standard in this world either. If the coins were a bit larger, the people wouldn’t notice. Then, I could apply gravity magic to increase the weight and match it with the real thing. Once the magic stone embedded within the coin ran out of mana, they would naturally become lighter. People would easily find out they were fake coins.
Faulty coins were currently circulating all over the place, so the nation was just mass-producing coins to make up for it. My goal was to increase the circulation a hundred times over. For this reason alone, we increased the number of coin-minting craftsmen in the Poitiers duchy and turned it into a factory. The fake coins would be used by rookie slaves who had no idea of internal info, making it convenient that even in an unlikely case of failure, there wouldn’t be a big loss.
With the fake coins, I bought food and clothing to put them into circulation. It didn’t matter if the price was on the high side, I would still buy it at 1.5 or even double the market price. I also purchased slaves. It was a loss if I didn’t make use of my increased funds, so I bought an additional 1,500 of them. Since 500 were currently being loaned elsewhere, it was quite amazing that I became a master of 2,000 slaves. With that much manpower, there were a lot of things I could do.
Originally, the pace of minting gold and silver coins was intentionally slowed so that the money wouldn’t overflow… but the quantity exploded and was being used in large quantities all over the place, so it didn’t take long for the hellish scene to be completed. Especially at this time, there was a mysterious rumor about how it would be better to sell crops early this year since there was a good harvest, so most merchants would have sold out the food in their warehouses.
…A month after casting large amounts of fake coins and buying food from various places, a famine began to spread outside the Poitiers duchy, Deal duchy, and Schult duchy. It was an abnormal situation where everyone had money yet nobody had food, so they couldn’t buy any. I already confirmed that no tactic like this had been used in the past, so the nation now experienced hyperinflation for the first time. Congratulations.
Due to the increased number of checkpoints, merchants couldn’t come and go as easily since they had completely blocked the circulation from the outside. I also put up a sign saying that bringing food outside the territory was punishable by death. I was the law in this place. If any other territory had food at the moment, the plan would be for naught, so it couldn’t be helped. The amount that could be slipped out might be a drop of water in the ocean, but I wasn’t willing to share even a single drop.
Perhaps because of this decree, rumors spread to the other territories even though entry was blocked, so even within the Deal duchy, hoarding and bulk purchases occurred all over the place, so famine occurred even within the Deal duchy. But it was still better compared to other territories. The price of foodstuff only tripled in price. And since our self-sufficiency rate was almost 100%, things were relatively manageable.
The purpose of this was to destroy the fragile economic system, but playing around with money like this was quite fun. In particular, the famine in the Klaus duchy and the Upper Terrence duchy was quite severe, to the point that Sir Wagner had to use his own money to save his people. Serves him right.
As the economy was being completely destroyed, I returned the debt I owed the merchants who came to collect for the sake of entering our economic zone. Since only three months passed hence, I made sure to pay the interest of 12.5%. At the current stage, it was hard to tell the difference between the real and fake coins, and the inflation rate of other territories reached an interesting rate of 3000% within three months, so I didn’t think the coins I paid were worth the money anymore.
Regarding the fake coins, I could have mass-produced them without borrowing money from merchants, but I did it anyway because I could. This way, I could prepare a larger amount of money, increasing its destructive power. Now that it came to this point, the Carling Empire might send an army to punish me, but they couldn’t, since mobilizing the army needed logistic resources they didn’t have.
All this happened at the start of harvest season for wheat and the rest of the major grains, so the famine would continue for the next few months, probably. Even so, the fact that I purchased foods from other territories hadn’t been revealed. This was only possible since the information was transmitted at a slow rate in the Middle Ages… but at this rate, I didn’t even need to produce fake coins.
While the other territories were fighting for food, the foods I hoarded in the Deal duchy rotted in my warehouse. It was a waste to leave it like that, so I gave food to each village through soup kitchens. I guess doing good deeds made me feel much better. Let’s close my eyes at the fact it was huge match-fixing.
Want early access to Cannon Fodder, Melancholy of the Demon Army Officer, and I Was a Man Before Reincarnating, So I Refuse a Reverse Harem? Support the translator on Patreon!