There was one common trait shared by cities known to be trading hubs—an open market. Without this, the variety of goods and market outreach would be severely limited.
Conversely, a country that practiced isolationism was described to be a closed market, and they were often accompanied by poverty and rampant smuggling. If a country remained closed for too long, it might find itself lagging far behind the rest of the world, resulting in its decline and eventual elimination.
Rosa City was definitely not isolated, but compared to other trading hubs, its towering city walls felt like the very antithesis of open.
It stood as a fortress as much as it did a trading hub. In terms of defensive capability, it surpassed even that of the Saint Mesit Theocracy’s capital, Loren. Yet, beyond its thick protective shell, the level of prosperity on display was incomparable to anywhere else on the Sia Continent.
It formed quite an interesting contrast.
It couldn’t be helped though. Rosaians were terrified of invaders and with good reason. Rosa City had been invaded no less than ten times throughout its history, and the traumas it suffered resulted in its civilians suffering from a series of incurable mental diseases ranging from ‘invadephobia’ to ‘starvephobia’ (borborygmi phobia). The side effects manifested in how they liked things to be big and thick.
Anything that could be scaled up would be scaled up, be it the city walls or the moat. All weapons in their armory had to be ready to be drawn at any moment. Granaries must be full at all times. In fact, the citizens of Rosa City had a habit of stockpiling food in their own homes.
This was a city that was extremely afraid of being plundered, but admittedly, their wariness actually did them some good. More than a century ago, when the Austine Empire finally recalled its troops and the Theocracy decided not to interfere in Rosa’s affairs anymore, there were numerous smaller countries in the vicinity who were tempted to take a slice of this rich and delicious pie. However, all it took was a walk around Rosa for their ambitions to be quelled.
Holy shit! The first thing you do right after ending the war is to repair and fortify your city walls? Do the Rosaians have a screw loose?!
That was the common thought shared by the rulers of nearby small countries back then.
Clearly, the invasion would be much tougher than they expected with those whopping huge walls standing in their way. In order to conquer the fortress known as Rosa City, they would have to invest significant military forces, and if things went wrong, they could very well suffer grievous losses.
And there was indeed plenty of room for things to go wrong, for Rosa had close ties with the powerful neighboring Ascart Fiefdom back then.
Roel’s grandfather, Blanc Ascart, had just signed an engagement contract with the Sor
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