Helen of Anarchia: 6. House of Coins

The silver coins of Anarchia were all produced at the Common House of Coins which owned all the silver mines of Anarchia. To obtain a coin, one had to deposit a sack of rice at the house. Thus, the Common House of Coins was also the largest rice store in Anarchia owned by Ramoj family for as long as Anarchians could remember. Krato Ramoj was the head of the family when Laku Janaut, Milak Larkin and Sonlu Arani were rebuilding the ship.

The Common House of Coins then again sold the collected rice back to the people primarily to those who did not depend on agriculture for their living. The silver mines were making the House of Coins richer every passing moment. Tila Shintu was amused at the concealed power of the Common House of Coins and of Krato Ramoj. She became good friends with the three best friends and helped them in shipbuilding with her wondrous ideas, and also shared the stuffs she got amused at.

Tila Shintu was the only child of Nolat Shintu and he could go to any lengths for her happiness. She was brought up in luxury where all of her demands were fulfilled instantly. Nolat Shintu did not even want his daughter to go out in the sun, but Tila Shintu was a free bird. Her curiosity took her to the most difficult of places where even laborers did not dare to go. She was accompanied by two bodyguards everywhere she went.

Tila Shintu once in a while brought wine at the coast and shared it with the three best friends. She also told them how a retired teacher in the northern Anarchia named Zarin Kaik under the influence of wine was telling people that there was something bigger than everything we see. She told them that she believed in Zarin Kaik to some extent. That there must be some other land like Anarchia someplace far away, that was why she was with them, rebuilding a ship. But she also told them how ridiculous she found Zarin Kaik’s other ideas like the world was created by the same person who gifted wine to Anarchia. ‘How can a person who can’t be seen, without speaking and writing implant an idea in your mind!’ she exclaimed.

It was one cloudy evening under the influence of wine when Laku Janaut told his friends and Tila about the greatest of obstacles in their voyage – the lack of method to know direction in the ocean, especially during night. The stars couldn’t help them during a cloudy night. It was the hardest puzzle for the moment. Tila Shintu was stunned at this puzzle. ‘Was there no single way to know the direction?’ she thought. But there must be a way which they did not know.

Drinking wine and talking became the favorite pastime of the upper class Anarchians. The high price made it a luxurious commodity and controlled its use. Krato Ramoj, the head of the Common House of Coins was a valuable customer of wine from Nolat Shintu’s winery. Krato Ramoj bewitched by the taste and effect of wine said to Nolat Shintu one day while they were walking in the vineyard that sometimes when he was drunk enough he thought of replacing rice sack with a bottle of wine for a coin. Nolat Shintu stayed silent and thought about the economics of Anarchia. Before leaving for his home in his horse drawn carriage, Krato Ramoj smiling slyly asked Nolat Shintu in a jocose manner, ‘Will you sell your winery to me?’

Nolat Shintu had more than fifty potters employed to make wine bottles of clay whose design were specific to his winery. More than one hundred persons worked in care of vineyard and about a hundred people in the winery. And, he began all this on his own. And a rich person comes and asks him to sell it. He couldn’t ever do it. Instead, he thought of expanding his winery and weapon making all over the Anarchia and beyond if Laku, Milak and Sonlu along with Tila found any place.

The family of Krato Ramoj was big. There were more than one hundred family members living under the same roof. His house was a large two storied building with ninety eight rooms. It was the largest house of Anarchia. The two storied wooden house had survived for sixty three years. Hundreds of workers were employed in the service of Ramoj family and the maintenance of the house. The men of the family spent their time supervising the miners. The house had many conflicts within it, but everyone feared Krato Ramoj. It was because of him that the family was still living under the same roof and the rebel and dissatisfied members did not raise their voices. Krato Ramoj had killed his own brother thirty years ago who tried to burn the house and disrupt the integrity of the family because of his differences with Krato in handling the House of Coins. Nobody pointed a finger at him then. Nobody dared then and nobody dared now.

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