Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 33: I Had an Audience
It took Seiichirou some time to understand the meaning behind Aresh’s words.
Ruminating, he replayed Aresh’s voice in his mind and then looked again at the face of the man who held him.
Seiichirou opened his mouth. “Nononono, you’re saying that now!?”
By now, he was well aware of Aresh’s feelings. Otherwise, he would not have gone out of his way to sleep with this tired old man so many times. Seiichirou would have been stupid not to notice the knight’s overly protective nature.
However, in his present situation, Seiichirou knew he could not live without Aresh’s protection… his protective barrier and recovery magic.
Furthermore, Seiichirou still had to continue working on the miasma purification project that the kingdom was currently burdened with. If anything, Seiichirou needed to make haste and finish that because he was the most susceptible to death by miasma. And even without that, mana would slowly weaken him to death over time, and if he drank a supplement to try and counteract that, he would be poisoned to death. Not even recovery magic would be enough to save him from his eventual demise at that point due to the negative side effect of magic intoxication.
If Aresh were not by his side, he would have died at the snap of a finger.
He knew that he was taking advantage of Aresh’s kindness towards him, but right now Seiichirou’s first priority was to deal with all of the damage in the kingdom caused by miasma.
That’s why he thought he’d think of countermeasures once everything settled a bit, but…
“What do you mean, ‘You’re saying that now?’”
This aristocratic knight, who was eight years younger than him – with his black hair down and his face that oozed sex appeal, spoke arrogantly, “No, even if you say that now, you already know I have a dangerous constitution that requires you to acclimate me with your magic power, and besides that, I’m obligated to go to the source of the miasma until it’s contained.”
Their relationship had never been one of equals to begin with, but with this, one couldn’t help but think that Seiichirou’s life was being used as a shield.
“That’s true, but that’s why you won’t leave my side, right?”
“No, I’m telling you that’s a humanitarian issue…”
“So it should be more efficient.”
Seiichirou was dumbfounded hearing Aresh answer so suddenly without any qualms whatsoever, as if it was natural to him.
While it was true that Seiichirou could not be apart from Aresh for very long due to the nature of his work, he also thought it was unnecessary for them to have a physical relationship.
Even if he never intended to fall in love with Aresh, Seiichirou felt it was important to say something.
“You’re not going to leave, so it’s better to make my intentions clear. Moreover, it would be easier to convey my actions that way.”
“I-Indeed! No, but don’t you think that it would make me uncomfortable and make me hold animosity towards Sir Aresh?”
“There’s no way. It’s clear from looking. You want clarity rather than ambiguous information, you, who want efficiency in everything you do, would value results rather than the effects of your partner’s words and deeds.”
Aresh’s analysis left him speechless, and Seiichirou felt nothing but awe at the man’s sagacity.
Certainly, Seiichirou was an unparalleled efficiency freak, and he was also crude when it came to methods he used to achieve it. The bottom line is that it’s all about getting the maximum result in the shortest time possible.
As Aresh pointed out before, even if he is the only one working in the department, in the long run, he should nurture his successor. However, Seiichirou, who prioritized grasping and rebuilding the accounting system in the palace and resolving the miasma purification, came to the conclusion that “It would be the fastest to do everything by myself.”
It didn’t matter if it was a good thing or not. It was just for the self-satisfaction of Seiichirou who wanted instant results.
Even with regards to his mana resistance and magic intoxication, in reality he should have consulted a doctor and taken some sort of countermeasure. But even as he said it was troublesome, he turned a blind eye to it because being serviced by Aresh took the least amount of time and didn’t interfere with his work either.
However, this was the price he had to pay for that choice of his.
“It’s a win-win situation, Seiichirou.
I know that you can’t give me an answer right now. That’s why, I’m going to take advantage of that chance.
Because that is the most efficient way.”
Aresh, unlike his usual cold countenance, had a childish expression on his face. The confident laugh with his handsome face, was enough to make any woman fall in love with him at first sight.
Two days after returning from the first purification expedition, Seiichirou was summoned to the audience chamber.
In front of him were the king of this country, the first prince, Julius, and Yua.
One level below the royalty was Kamil, the Prime Minister, in addition to several nobles he had never seen before, Radim, the Second Knight Commander, and Aresh, the Third Knight Commander. On either side of the kneeling Seiichirou were other nobles and the civil officials, including Zoltan and East.
“Raise your head.” Hearing Kamil’s voice, Seiichirou lifted up his head.
The king, whom he had never seen up close before, had golden hair, unlike Julius’ silver hair, and looked somewhat older than Kamil, who seemed to be about the same generation. Norbert’s father was there too.
“First of all, good work on the expedition.” The king’s direct words of appreciation made the surrounding nobles a bit discomposed, but he didn’t care and the conversation continued. “In doing so, I heard that you took measures against the miasma in addition to the purification.”
The expedition was only for the purpose of the Saint’s Purification, and Seiichirou’s work in that expedition without prior report to the royal family should have been condemned. However.
“I already received a report from Viscount Baranek before the expedition returned.”
Julius, who was beside him, glowered at the King’s words. Incidentally Viscount Baranek was Norbert’s foster father.
“May I be permitted to speak?”
In response to the King’s answer, Seiichirou opened his mouth while kneeling.
“I have a connection to Viscount Baranek through his son who is also in the accounting department, and he has ordered me to experiment with a permanent countermeasure for miasma damage to help both the country and the royal family.”
Although illegitimate, he was a man trusted enough to be handed over his own child. Even if you take into account his status making that possible, Viscount Baranek was a man whom the king had deep faith in.
The script was that this was an action that Viscount Baranek thought of for the sake of the royal family, and Seiichirou was merely helping him.
Kamil and Aresh have too high a status and were also responsible for a lot of practical work, so their power was unbalanced. On top of it, his adopted son, Norbert, was a direct subordinate of Seiichirou. There he couldn’t use him.
“I have consulted with His Excellency the Prime Minister, and I deeply apologize for having to report to you after the success of the experiment, so as not to cause Your Majesty any unnecessary distress.”
And to the very last, he didn’t forget to emphasize that he had the Prime Minister’s approval. It was too big a project for the Viscount to take up arbitrarily.
“As I mentioned in my report, we have temporarily prevented the miasma from amplifying.
“Depending on how long the barrier lasts, we may be able to solve the miasma problem by dispatching users of barrier magic on a regular basis.”
“How dare you make a decision by yourself! Our kingdom has the Saint! We don’t need such a useless project!” 1
An objection was raised by the nobles standing in file.
Seiichirou’s expression did not crumble despite the repeated censures coming in quick succession.
“Silence! You are in the presence of His Majesty!”
Just as the nobles fell silent to Kamil’s voice, Seiichirou signalled to the royal palace attendants with his eyes. The attendants handed out the documents they had received in advance to the nobles.
“What in the world is this…”
“This is a comparison of the projected expenses for the next 50 years if we summon a Saint and the projected expenses for sealing it inside a barrier.”
The cost of summoning a saint, the cost of the ritual, and the labour costs of those with tremendous magical power. The Saint’s projected living costs for the next 50 years, taking the costs up until now as a basis, as well as the subsidy paid to Seiichirou, who had been dragged into the summoning.
Further, the costs of holding an expedition thrice were also considered.
In contrast, there was the labour costs of those needed to seal the barrier, as well as the cost of planned periodic expeditions. The cost of building and maintaining a building for the stationing of observing guards for the next 50 years, and the labour cost of the guards.
Even with a back of the envelope calculation, the difference in cost was five times.
“As for the maintenance of the barrier seal, it is still in the experimental stage, but even now, three days later, there are still no reports of the barrier disappearing.”
In addition, he had taken the higher number when calculating the number of barrier seals. Even so, the difference was staggering.
“The costs for the Saint Summoning ritual this time were only because of the literature we had lost.”
“In the first place, you were never supposed to come here. Don’t just arbitrarily lump in the calculations for your subsidy too.”
The opinions were dime a dozen, but even if you discounted them, the Saint route was the expensive one. Most of the nobles shut their mouths at the clearly stated figure.
“The Saint is this kingdom’s treasure! You should be ashamed, disgracing the Saint with such methods, contriving calculations! ”
Seiichirou narrowed his eyes at the abuse from the altar.
“That’s right! What do you think of the Saint!?”
“Our Kingdom solely exists due to the Saint!”
“You’re just a weak creature from the other world who wants to cast a shadow on the authority of the saint!”
Following Julius, it was the nobles with strong ties to the church who raised their voices. They felt it was advantageous to have a kingdom with a Saint. No, only Julius had slightly different intentions.
In the first place, he was restricting a person’s whole life.
Such a thing should just be rid of.
The king’s expression did not change, Kamil narrowed his eyes just like Seiichirou, and Aresh knit his brows. He opened his mouth, as if he’d explode if left alone.
“I want to go back home!”
A pitiful shriek, almost unbecoming of the situation, cut through the tense atmosphere.
Hasr: Unfortunately, Jen had crunch time at work this week, so no gifs… BUUUUUUT we just announced the winners of our fanart contest so go check em out here
We also got this snazzy new logo if you noticed~