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Chapter 1: A Discussion in the Office
The so-called royal castle was the residence of the King, a place for socializing, as well as a workplace for Seiichirou and the many other civil officials who worked at the castle.
However, the main workplace was in a separate building a little ways away from the main tower in which the royal family lived and received guests. I was summoned from the accounting department, the farthest corner, to the Prime Minister’s office, located in the central part.
“I apologise for summoning you all the way here.” The intellectual handsome man, who had his strawberry-blonde hair neatly combed down as usual, said so as he sat down on the sofa in front of Seiichirou from his desk.
It was the sofa he had seen many times in his countless visits to the Prime Minister’s office.
“No.” He gave a brief reply and took a sip of the tea he had been offered. It was a slightly astringent tea, made just for Seiichirou’s tastes.
While he didn’t like interruptions in his work, since he had been called by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom, Kamil Calvader, it wasn’t as if he could ignore him. Also, since Kamil and his subordinates now understood Seiichirou, he was no longer summoned abruptly as he was in the beginning, and was now served tea with low mana effects.
The reason why Seiichirou, who was only the Assistant Manager in the Accounting Division, has such frequent opportunities to talk with the Prime Minister was because he was acting to manage the “Miasma Damage Countermeasure that does not require the Saint’” as proposed by he himself, under the Prime Minister’s order.
After Seiichirou was dragged into the summoning of the saint and came to this world, he reviewed the sloppy ledgers of the royal palace and also came up with and implemented a “Miasma Countermeasure that does not require the Saint’s purification.”
Since this was not a problem that he could not solve using his own position, he borrowed the name and help of Kamil, the Prime Minister, and his subordinate, Norbert’s, foster father, the current Count Baranek, who was a Viscount at the time.
Kamil, who was against the summoning of the Saint from the beginning, had been working behind the scenes to understand the opposition and lay the groundwork, and now that their interests were completely aligned, they joined forces and the country too, began to move in the direction of ending the Saint’s purification in this generation.
In addition, it was Kamil who gave Seiichirou his post, and he was very impressed with Seiichirou’s corporate slave nature.
For those in charge, “corporate slaves (talented people) who work of their own will even when left alone and achieve more than the expected results” are a convenience if anything.
In addition, being thoroughgoing rationalists, they were a match made in heaven. 1
While Seiichirou knew that he was being made good use of, he himself wished to be made good use of, and unlike a certain excessively nosey Knight Commander; a boss who was quick on the uptake made communication a breeze, and Seiichirou was quite content with his work.
And just like that, he had become used to being called into this room but had no idea what he was here for this time.
He had already submitted the report on the results of the second expedition, the documents squaring the accounts of the expenses, and the estimate for the building for the guards, and was told to wait for the next expedition since it was still on “hold”.
As for the research on transfer magic, which was to be carried out in place of the Saint Summoning, the budget of the Court Magic Department was still being discussed while balancing it with the other departments. While they were recruiting more personnel, the interviews were to be held the following week.
Well, that droopy-eyed mage must be wilfully going on with his research somewhere.
Perhaps one of them was on the fast track, or perhaps a nobleman from some department had interfered in something… If it was a nobleman, there was not much Seiichirou could do, so maybe it was a department. The Third Order had been suppressed by Aresh, so there may have been a complaint about the budget proposal from somewhere in the internal affairs department, or something like that.
Seiichirou racked his brains to think up a possible reason, but the result was completely out of his imaginations.
“Ah, Mr. Sei, welcome back! What did the Prime Minister tell you? Ah, if it’s something you can tell me, that is.”
When Norbert saw Seiichirou finally return just before the lunch break, he ran up to him like a puppy who had found its master.
Norbert had been acting as Seiichirou’s watchdog as of late. He wondered for a moment if the man was asking despite being in on the matter, but reconsidered on seeing his cheerful demeanour.
Seiichirou raised his voice as much as he could so that Norbert and the rest of the accounting department, who were secretly listening in, could hear him. “I will be transferring over to the church tomorrow, so in the meanwhile, I’ll be distributing and handing over my work.
The black boots stomped on the luxurious carpet, in the centre of the administration department, where bureaucrats from other countries visited frequently.
Aresh, had brushed off the knights of the First Division, who mainly guarded important dignitaries and tried to hold him back, and forced a trembling squire to open the door and accosted Kamil, who was on the other side. He was enraged and had thrice the number of wrinkles between his brows.
Kamil, who was working on some papers at his office desk, stopped the knight in the room lightly as he took off his work glasses and asked him a question, “Ah, Captain Indrak. You have made quite the stir. Is there anything you need?”
Aresh stopped in front of the desk and looked down at Kamil, his tall body making no attempt to hide his intimidation. “I have lots to say. What do you think you’re doing, sending a member of the Accounting department to the church?”
In response to the question he had anticipated, Kamil put down his pen in a graceful manner without panicking and looked back at Aresh. “I thought that the person in question had properly explained it to you, and you had consented… Am I mistaken? ” Saying so, the man tilted his head, as if to peek behind Aresh.
“…You aren’t mistaken.” Seiichirou answered as he had been dragged with his hands tied behind by Aresh.
He was once again seated in the lounge suite and offered a usual tea, as well as Seiichirou’s special tea, and managed to let out a sigh while Aresh inspected it.
“I’m telling you, Sir Aresh. As I explained to you yesterday, the church’s income report hasn’t been submitted, so I’ve been assigned to investigate that.”
“I heard that. But it isn’t as if it has to be you.”
Hearing the dialogue from the previous night repeated for the umpteenth time, Seiichirou sighed. “I’m the one who knows the most in detail about accounting, and the church’s income and expenditures are unclear in many parts, so there’s a possibility that we need to fundamentally rebuild the management. So I thought it would be faster for me to go…”
He had repeated it time and again, yet averted his eyes each time, feeling a gaze not unlike those of that of a parent’s disappointment at not having birthed a successor yet.
If it was just a survey, the other people from the accounting department could do it, but when it comes to identifying problems and making changes, the quickest way is for Seiichirou himself to take a look.
“But I was the one who decided that Seiichirou was the most competent, including the incident of the miasma countermeasure? ” Kamil, the chief executive of the administration, interjected, but the intensity of Aresh’s gaze did not change.
“…The church houses the idols of the deities, that are offered many kinds of magic, making the mana dense there. It’s impossible for this guy; he has no resistance.”
The church’s accounting system was certainly unique, but the main reason for its existence, protecting the deities meant that to profess their faith, there were quite a few magic spells used, including barriers, which made it a place rich with mana.
“But didn’t Seiichirou go to the source of the miasma—the Forest of Magic and come back safely?”
It was because Aresh had carefully applied the [Barrier Magic] and “acclimatized” him. However, Aresh was not so shameless as to say that out loud and Kamil was not one to overlook a momentary gap.
“In the first place, Captain Indrak,” He leaned against the backrest and crossed his legs, “you should be a little more aware of your position as Commander of the Third Order and the fact that you have a strong political voice with your marquis bloodline.”
“I understand that you’re worried about Seiichirou, but I’m troubled that your patronage is so obvious.
In the miasma countermeasure plan, I am supposed to be the one giving orders to Seiichirou. And if you — a noble — also blatantly take Seiichirou’s side, the political power will be too unbalanced and you will cause unwanted animosity.”
Indeed, with the Prime Minister and the Third Knight Commander on his side, he was too strong. That was why Seiichirou relied on Kamil instead of Aresh for the miasma countermeasure plan.
Aresh was too close to him.
Of course, the fact that the two were living together was immediately known after such a grand move, and Aresh’s protectiveness of Seiichirou was now a well-known fact among the civil officials and knights. These days, there are even people who go out of their way to visit the dining hall to observe.
Nevertheless, Aresh openly heeded Seiichirou’s wishes during the expedition before. In no time, the rumours spread with no regard for the truth of the matter, and Kamil even heard speculation that the Third Order was at the mercy of the accounting department, or that their budget was being laundered.
“I’m not saying that you have to stay with me and go to work together no matter what it is. I’m saying this because of the commute and the time it will take. In the meanwhile, the disgraceful rumours of the third knight order should disappear too.”
“…” After Seiichirou was assaulted by the Knights before, Aresh had openly announced his protection of Seiichirou.
Of course, it’s not to say that it was just his worry for him that led him to offer him to live together, and that he never had any wish for the man to be by his side. However, disregarding the fact that Seiichirou was from another world, he had now grown to become a pillar for the kingdom.
He wanted to keep Seiichirou where his eyes would reach and protect him. He didn’t realize that this act would lead to suspicion and animosity from the Third Order, as well as Seiichirou.
Aresh closed his eyes for a moment, as if taking in everything, and then opened them again and turned his gaze to Seiichirou. The man from the other word; so fragile that he would die soon if left alone. The dark circles under his eyes were perpetual, his eyes stagnant, his face was lifeless and his body was thin.
He was an anomaly totally outside Aresh’s expectations.
It wasn’t just him being weak. His way of work was also at fault.
“Sir Aresh…” Seiichirou called out to Aresh. He sensed Kamil’s gaze on him too. Aresh resigned himself with a sigh.
“In addition, if we can get the cooperation of the church, your research on miasma control and summoning magic will advance at a rapid pace! There’s no way we can’t take advantage of this! ” The sigh that he had just let out was immediately sucked in.
That afternoon, the shouting that came from the Prime Minister’s office was the talk of every department.
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