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Chapter 7: Promoted
As it turned out, ‘Countermeasures for the Forest of Magic’ was the largest drain on the defence budget.
To start with, although it was said there would be an outbreak of miasma from the forest every 100 years, in truth, the timing wasn’t exact. It had already been 120 years since the previous incident. The saint had also been found in either this country or an allied country the last few times, so the budget had room to spare. Additionally, because the Forest of Magic was poorly understood, previous generations didn’t seem to see an issue with throwing money at the problem.
But this time, once the first signs of a miasma outbreak were seen, the country had used their budget on a gamble. They used a secret art to kidnap the saint, and the extra Seiichirou, from another world.
Originally, there should have only been one person summoned to this world. But because Seiichirou was brought along as well, funds had to be allocated for his living expenses, which increased the costs. That was a separate matter though, and he didn’t intend to decline the payment. When he’d been kidnapped, he’d lost everything, his family, friends, and savings. That money was reparations he deserved.
Another issue was that the first prince, infatuated with the legends of the saint which were passed down in this country, cared for Yua’s every need.
That in and of itself was fine. He could use all the money he wanted on her, whether it be out of infatuation or admiration, as long as that money was his own.
However, everything being given to Yua was earmarked as the “Sain’s Budget” and paid out from the government spending, and the requests for approval were being sent to Seiichirou’s workplace.
To begin with, the amount of money used to support Yua’s daily life was already three times as much as what Seiichirou was given. That was due to the difference in status between a saint and a normal person, so he wasn’t going to complain about it. However, the spending was taken even further by the vast number of requests for money to pay for accessories and clothing for her.
From the prince’s perspective, the funds were necessary expenses to get the Saint used to the culture here, as well as ensure she came to like the country. Unfortunately, the prince’s money sense was that of a royal, and he’d taken it too far.
Things are fine for the moment, but if it continues like this, it’ll be a problem if the miasma causes any damages…
The miasma would start by affecting the vegetation, followed by animals, and then finally it would spread like an epidemic amongst the populace. Damages to vegetation would mean less tax revenue from crops, and if the animals were affected that would also mean less income from livestock.
For some reason, the higher ups all seemed to think the money would just continue to roll in even if they did nothing. As Seiichirou ran simulations in his head, he picked at his nails. He’d started that habit after coming to this world, likely because he’d had to give up smoking.
Beyond those issues, there were other troublesome things.
“Why did you deny our requests?” the knight from the Third Order demanded.
It was the second time he’d been confronted today, and Seiichirou let out a sigh without even realizing it.
Even if Seiichirou relaxed his regulations now it wouldn’t matter, because no one had resubmitted their requests. Instead, he was simply seeing more and more complaints.
If Seiichirou left the complaints to Helmuth, the man would just end up giving in and approve the requests. That was why Seiichirou explained it every time, but there were simply too many people complaining. They interrupted his work, and he couldn’t get anything done.
“I don’t want to talk to a peon, where is Director Sommelier?” the knight snapped.
“Director Sommelier just stepped out,” Seiichirou replied.
That was a lie. In order to ensure the others didn’t encounter any people with complaints, Seiichirou pushed them to take lunch around this time. On the other hand, he remained in the office instead of heading to the cafeteria, continuing to work while he ate a pre-prepared sandwich.
Compared to the phone calls he’d received back in Japan, this was like a pleasant break.
As he passed his daily life like this, the thing he feared finally came to pass.
The first signs of the miasma outbreak began to manifest.
Reports of damages to crops came in from the villages closest to the Forest of Magic, and of course, revenue began to fall.
The saint was still in the midst of her purification training, and it seemed the first prince had no intention of letting his precious saint near the forest just yet, so the situation wasn’t going to be resolved any time soon.
And just like that, the fact that the national treasury was on the brink was finally exposed, and the accounting department was held accountable as a result.
“What kind of management have you been doing?”
“What do you mean there isn’t any money?”
“You better not have been embezzling!”
The legal department’s top brass came down hard on them, leaving Helmuth a nervous wreck.
As for everyone else, they had just been doing what they were told by their superiors, passing the budget as they were ordered, so why should they have to put up with being blamed now?
With dark circles once again under his eyes, Seiichirou was waiting for Helmuth to stumble back to the accounting department office.
“The documents are ready for you, Director Helmuth,” Seiichirou said.
Staring at the stack of papers Seiichirou held out, Helmuth was dumbfounded. This wasn’t the time to be continuing on with their normal duties.
Even though Seiichirou’s livelihood was guaranteed by the country after he was accidentally summoned alongside the saint, he was the kind of weirdo who’d actually volunteered to come work in the accounting department.
Since he’d only just arrived from the other world and didn’t really know anything about their culture, Helmuth had only agreed to it because it was an order from above. He hadn’t held any expectations for Seiichirou, yet the man had turned out to be very useful.
For some reason, he voluntarily worked overtime, and before Helmuth knew it Seiichirou was sorting through the documents meant for him.
Seiichirou was a weirdo and a workaholic, but his work ethic was amazing. It sometimes caused issues with people from other departments, but Seiichirou always handled those issues himself.
But at the moment, Helmuth wasn’t in the mood to deal with his overworking tendencies.
“Sorry, can I look at this later? I have something I have to finish immediately,” Helmuth said.
Exhausted, Helmuth managed to squeeze out an answer, but Seiichirou just stared at him with his usual dull gaze and proffered the papers once more.
“That’s fine. These documents are the records of the national expenditures for the last twenty years as well as the applications made this year. I’ve also included a budget plan for the future. Please look this over and present it at the next meeting,” Seiichirou said.
“…what?” Helmuth was left utterly speechless.
At the meeting the following day, the representatives of every department, including the legal department, were left in utter shock.
The detailed documents Seiichirou had assembled accounted for the exact expenditures of every department for the last twenty years. It also included a record of budget requests made to the accounting department over the last year.
The report also contained an estimation of costs associated with any future damages caused by the miasma outbreak.
Because the members of the accounting department didn’t have a high status, the other departments tried to pin the blame on them, and then pretend nothing had ever happened. Unfortunately, it was hard to deny their fault when there was proof of requests for payment to places like the red-light district.
“Did you make this?” the man sitting at the center of the room asked.
With his reddish-blond hair slicked back, the prime minister Kamil Calvada cut a striking figure in the meeting room. When he spoke, Helmuth’s heart nearly leapt out of his chest, and he gasped before opening his mouth to speak.
“As I said before, the director isn’t here at the moment, so you can speak to me instead,” Seiichirou said.
“And I said I don’t want to talk to you!” the knight snapped.
It was already a daily occurrence for members of other departments to come and complain about their requests being rejected, and Seiichirou had to fight back the urge to kick them out every time. Even if they came to protest, they knew very well that their chances of changing anything were slim.
Though he said Seiichirou wasn’t worth talking to, in truth, Seiichirou was the very person who had rejected the request. If not him, then who else would be responsible for the situation?
“Mr. Helmuth really is in a meeting though,” Norbert’s sly voice interjected into the conversation.
Unable to simply stand by any longer, Norbert had thrown Seiichirou a life preserver, but he was derided for being “nothing but the son of a viscount,” and ended up giving in.
Being a member of the Third Knight Division, the man looked down on nobles he saw as lesser than himself. Rather than his own family name, he was using his position as a knight of the 3rd Division to look down on them.
“Considering the current budget for the Third Knight’s Division, if any more requests are granted, it’ll have to come out of the yearly budget for the boarding house,” Seiichirou explained.
However, when Seiichirou said that he would have to reduce the standard of food offered in the boardinghouse if any more requests were sent, the man, as expected, erupted into anger.
“How dare a lowly official threaten us! We’re the Knights of the 3rd Division!”
“Then I’ll just have to give him the proper position.”
The voice that joined them wasn’t raised in anger. Instead, it was a calm, gentle voice that seemed to echo through the room. At the unexpected words, both Seiichirou and the knight stopped
The knight turned to face the man who’d interrupted them. Looking past both the knight and the stunned Norbert, Seiichirou saw a man with reddish-blonde hair clad in a deep blue mantle that signified his rank. Even with just a glance, it was plain to see that this dignified man in his forties was someone of high standing.
The knight immediately bowed to the man, and the members of the accounting department sat up, stiff and straight. Only Seiichirou was too bewildered by the turn of events to react.
Prime minister? Is that the same as the prime minister back in Japan? 1
Though the accounting department was still in the royal palace, why had such an important man come to such an out of the way department without even a word of notice?
Though the question was on everyone’s one lips, no one actually voiced it. Instead they waited, stiff in their seats, for the prime minister to speak, while he leisurely ventured deeper into the room.
As the prime minister drew near, the knight blocking Seiichirou’s way hurried aside, leaving only the dumbfounded Seiichirou behind.
“Hmm, this is the first time I’ve gotten a good look at you. You aren’t as bad looking as they said,” the prime minister drew close to Seiichirou’s face, speaking in a voice only Seiichirou could hear.
Before Seiichirou could react, the prime minister stepped back and tilted his head to look over at the knight.
“So you’re refusing to listen to this man because he doesn’t hold a position and he’s low-born? In that case, I’ll give him a position that bestows the power he needs to enforce his decisions.”
“Ah, no, that’s not—”
Seiichirou was even more flustered than the panicked knight. Even though he hadn’t addressed Seiichirou even once, it was clear enough who the prime minister was referring to.
“W-wait a moment, Lord Prime Minister… what are you—?”
“I’m giving you the position of the accounting department’s assistant director,” the prime minister said. “Please continue to work hard for this country’s sake.”
As soon as the prime minister announced that, the staff in the accounting department burst into a clamor, but Seiichirou didn’t join them.
“Management? I know I’m not the best suited…”
No way! I don’t want to be a manager, and a middle-manager on top of that. I’ll just end up with the work of those both above and below me shoved onto my plate. I just want to do my own work in peace without worrying about anything else!
But the flustered Seiichirou had misspoken.
To others, Seiichirou’s protest might have sounded like a humble refusal, but he was dealing with the prime minister, who was known as one the country’s brightest people. At Seiichirou’s words, the prime minister’s emerald green eyes narrowed.
“Oh, so it seems you have experience in management.”
By the time Seiichirou realized his screw up, it was already too late.
A refined smile floated across the prime minister’s face. He reached out and placed a large hand on Seiichirou’s shoulder, gleefully whispering in his ear.
“You really are a wonderful corporate slave. I’m looking forward to seeing your continued efforts.”
While everyone else was absorbed in the prime minister’s delighted atmosphere, Prime Minister Kamil looked through the document once again.
There’s no issues with the information or the presentation. He also clearly explained his predictions based on that information, and even included several different suggestions on how to proceed. No one expected him to do any of this, yet he did all of it without prompting. It seems we got a good surprise out of this extra that came along with the saint.
Researching that amount of data, organizing it into a report, and including a plan of action wasn’t something that could be done in a short amount of time.
A corporate slave was it? Someone who will work beyond normal hours of their own volition, without even the promise of a reward…
What a wonderful pawn that would be, working all on its own.
Someone like that…
There’s no way I’d let him go.
Kamil began humming, causing the escorting knight to blanch, doubting his own ears.
Hasr: Really sorry for the delayed update, we do have chapters in the pipeline, but the delays got to them. The manga chapter should be out this week too!
Here’s one of Grace’s many Troll TL notes till then~ (It’s her birthday, go wish her)