236-sound of footsteps

Now, back to food, there's a nation that's in trouble because they can no longer export the food they used to export.

It is our neighbor, the Zabine Empire.

The Zabine Empire has a large land area, but its food self-sufficiency rate is not high due to the many deserts in its central region.

Although the nations do not get along well, the Mental Kingdom, or rather the Mental Royal Family, has not stopped the merchants from exporting food. Rather, it is the best way to extort money from the Empire. In particular, it was more convenient to export fruits and leafy vegetables, which cannot be preserved, to the empire and convert them into money rather than letting them rot, since the country would receive taxes.

At present, however, wheat and other grains, as well as potatoes and other long-lasting potatoes, are not flowing to the Empire because Patrick is buying up all the fruit.

As for leafy greens, cabbage is in short supply because Patrick has popularized okonomiyaki, and flour, which used to be used only for bread and pasta, is now used for okonomiyaki.
They started using other leafy vegetables as substitutes for cabbage, which also did not flow to the Empire.

This left the Empire with the most troublesome problem of maintaining a country: food shortages.

In fact, the country where Grace and the others lived was exposed to the ravages of war because of the shortage of food in the Empire.
The country Grace and the others lived in was a multi-racial nation, but it was a rich country with a high food self-sufficiency rate, and it exported food to the Empire.

The Empire was under a non-aggression pact with the neighboring Mental Kingdom, so in order to solve the food shortage, they attacked the neighboring country opposite to the Mental Kingdom.
At first, the Empire demanded an increase in the amount of food imported, but since the Empire refused to export food while starving its own people, it decided to take in the entire country, which is smaller than the Mental Kingdom.

This is similar to the time when the Mental Kingdom took in the northern mountainous regions to prepare for war with the Empire, only for a different reason. Such is the nature of national convenience.

The result was a victory for the Empire, so the food shortage was somewhat alleviated, but the war had ruined the fields, so the harvest for next season would be reduced.
Even if we try to wage more wars against the neighboring countries, the countries ahead are large elven kingdoms with lush greenery and a large population of wizards.

Elves are not allowed to use offensive magic for invasion due to their religion, but they have no problem using offensive magic in warfare for the defense of their country, making it a very formidable country.

So the Empire can't be attacked.
The means of obtaining more food are limited.

The sounds of war are steadily approaching.