(TL: My speed drops to a third when I’m not procrastinating on something. Someone paint me red.)
The Ancestors + α’s Plan
『For the sake of what’s to come, I was thinking we should fight Beim’s merchant and Guild to an extent.』
With a serious expression, putting his elbows on the round table, and using both his hands to cover his mouth, the Third sent a look around the gathered members.
Inside the Jewel. Me and the ancestors sat around the conference room. The Fifth alone was sitting on the table, lending his chair to Milleia-san.
Everyone around nodded with serious faces, but I looked around doubtfully.
“And how do you really feel?”
There, the Third gave a light, ‘Oh? You noticed?’ in a frivolous manner. The Fourth let his glasses catch the light, and let his lips curl like a crescent moon.
『Beim is too dangerous. Even if she be the daughter of a prominent merchant, they very fact she can put out a hundred thousand gold is abnormal. So for the sake of the future, how about you make a long-term promise. Wouldn’t that make your future easier to manage, Lyle?』
… Meaning these people think it’s natural that Beim is going to assist us. But to regulate what comes after that, they’re thinking of putting some pressure down.
“… Even when we don’t know if we’ll win or not, should you really be trying so hard to make enemies?”
As I felt tired, Milleia-san smiled and spoke.
『Oh, isn’t it fine Lyle? You can’t go underestimating merchants. If they felt like it, they’re in a position where they could kneel before a noble, with a weapon concealed in their suit ready to kill them any time.』
The Seventh shared Milleia-san’s opinion.
『It’s not like they’re all that sort of merchant, but when interest grows too big for you to control, it’s only left to be snatched up. Lyle, this is for your sake. No, for the continent’s sake as well.』
The Fifth looked up at the ceiling.
『Don’t underestimate merchants or money. You don’t want them taking control of the continent behind your back. But it’s natural that we’ll win. And so has come the time where we decide what to aim for in our victory.』
I stared at Milleia-san’s smile, as I thought…
(She told me to call Vera’s father father-in-law, but I see it was to fan the flames… each and every one of them…)
… But even if I say that, I received Vera’s support, and was in a state where I could already make another move. And for out next actions, we would have to have a clear picture of our future standings.
“What my position will be in the future, was it?”
The Seventh nodded with a serious face.
『That’s right. It’s not as if all’s well as long as you win. You’ve got the lives of at least nine wives on your shoulders. And going further, there’s the fate of those who choose to follow you. I definitely won’t forgive you dying a hero’s death. What we’re assisting you with is fighting, and living through it all. And that’s what you’ve decided. Throw away any foolish desires for heroism.』
The Third looked at me, as he leaned his back into his chair, and put his hands on the armrests.
『Well, even if you win, it wouldn’t be strange if you’re killed for being of the same Walt house. It’s true that Celes is the Walt House’s sin. But we won’t recognize this journey if it leads to your death. If you’re to die, then Lyle… to be blunt, I don’t care if the continent goes through its long era of chaos.』
The Fourth used a finger to push up his glasses, corrected their position, and straightened his back.
『So even if you win, quite a few things will be affected by your position. What sort of victory do you long for? Is it possible? And where should you aim for the future? To change the phrasing, do you want to stand at the lead to destroy Bahnseim, or do you want to put someone else at the lead to destroy Bahnseim.』
Milleia-san brought it together.
Laughing to herself, and using a hand to cover her mouth.
『It’s pretty much whether you’ll become king or not. Do you want to aim for prime minister? Or do you want to reclaim the Walt House’s territory? Even if you call it kingship, based on how you choose to rule, the position’s name will change though.』
Should I reclaim the territory I was supposed to succeed?
Or dig deep into the center of the country?
Stand at the head, and become king?
The Fifth looked at me with a serious expression.
『I won’t tell you to decide right now, but you’d better decided it soon. Because of Vera, we’ll be able to move sooner than anticipated. Unless you decide your future standing, we won’t be able to decide to what extent we should go against the Guild and the merchants.』
The Third clapped his hands. He clapped them twice, and gave a smile as if to blow away the dark atmosphere all at once.
『Well, right now’s the stage to prepare this and that. From here on, you can make as many revisions as you want. So think about it. And fire up father-in-law Fidel some more. It seems his daughter is his weakness.』
To a delighted Third, the Fifth…
『Daughters are ones that will be sent off one day. What is he thinking, doting on her to such an extent?』
A dry opinion as always. But Milleia-san looked on it quite pleasantly.
『Father sure is awkward.』
It seems that’s how she took it.
The day after returning to Beim.
After returning from the journey, I had fallen asleep right after returning to the mansion. But once I awoke, I was called by Adele-san…
“What is this supposed to be?”
In a room with a heaping mountain of documents, I stood before an Adele-san on the verge of tears, and yawned.
It wasn’t that my fatigue wasn’t going away. I’d been spending some fulfilling days lately, and from it came a sense of tiredness.
With much to think of, the matter with the Trēs Trading Company was going to make things busy again.
“They’re documents from Zayin and Lorphys! Why are they piling up like this!? What did you do, Mr. Lyle!?”
Behind Adele-san, Makzim-san stood nervously. I’ll bet he wanted to console her, but the words weren’t coming out.
I picked a paper off the mountain, and confirmed its contents.
“… Why is this form here? This is completely irrelevant to me.”
There, the Fourth gave some advice.
『Hmm. They either want to borrow your processing power, and request work, or they want to show off the fact you still have a connection to them… Well, that Adele kid looks overly earnest, and she’s properly working, so they just kept sending them one after the next. Even so, there’s a dubiously large number of documents.』
So that’s how it is? I thought as I addressed Adele-san.
“Isn’t it because you’re dealing with them so earnestly that they keep coming in? In the first place, it isn’t my job, so you could have just sent them back, you know.”
There, Adele-san unsteadily collapsed onto the floor.
“T-that can’t be~.”
“M-miladdyyyyy!! Please wait right there. I’ll prepare some cake for you at once. It’s delicious cake, you know! Cake!”
Maksim called out the name of Adele-san’s, somehow getting her to stop crying. With tears still in the corners of her eyes, she endured the urge to cry, and was about to complain to me, but…
“Lyle! Is it true that you managed to get research funds!?”
… The door slammed open with good momentum, and toppling the document pile over with the wind, Damien entered the room.
With a smile, he led his three Automatons.
“Ah, master is smiling like a young boy… This scene shall be preserved in my memory banks for all eternity.”
“With this, we can purchase the machinery we wanted, master.”
“mr. lyle, good job.”
No. 3’s comment irritated me a bit, but I ignored it. Generally, just like Monica, they showed little interest in anything besides Damien.
If you asked, they would do work but the effort they put in when it came to Damien was on another level altogether.
There, with a tray in one hand, with cake and drinks on top, Monica made her appearance.
“Lowly mass-produced rejects. Acting all cutesy without doing any work… Chicken Dickwad, you must be glad you got a maid as capable at work as I. Monica. Lucky bastard.”
Placing a drink and cake in front of Adele-san, she handed me a drink as well.
With teary eyes as she violently shoveled the cake into her mouth, Adele-san looked quite mortified.
“… It’s delicious.”
As she said that. And Maksim-san looked over her and smiled. His face was flushed, and I felt as if I had just seen something I shouldn’t have.
“Milady as she eats cake is lovely as well.”
Turning my attention to the drink, I dealt with Damien.
“Now then, Lyle. How much funding were you able to pull out of them? You got at least fifty thousand, right?”
To a thrilled Damien, I delivered the honest truth.
“It’s not as if we’ve officially received aid from the Trading Company, but we’ve got an individual’s support of one hundred thousand. Please prepare a list of machinery you’ll need. And please keep the estimate at fifty thousand.”
The plan to revive Monica’s sisters as golems.
That included, we’d have to put Damien to work.
(I’ll have to consult with Vera, and see if we can get the machinery for cheap. And see if she can introduce some craftsmen.)
There, the automatons…
“Cheapo mr. lyle.”
“Just how much do you think master was looking forward to his new equipment?”
“Cheapskate. mr. lyle, you cheapskate!”
The three automatons spoke to tease me. There, Monica took in both her hands, a drill even more splendid than that one she held before.
“I won’t permit any insult to my Chicken Dickwad! I’m the only one allowed to insult him!”
(… I don’t want you to insult me either.)
Letting off a low vibrating sound from the spinning drill in her hands, Monica glared at the three automaton units. And the three of them took out their various weapons, and prepared themselves.
But Damien was…
“Fifty thousand, is it… then this and that and that too… ah, but if I don’t have that one, I won’t be able to research that…”
He had already begun scribbling down a list of things to buy. What’s more, on the back of one of the official documents scattered over the place.
Adele looked like she wanted to say something, but stopped. Perhaps she understood it was pointless to say anything to Damien.
And finishing her cake, she put her drink to her mouth, as she…
“Mr. Lyle, may I say something?”
“You’ve done splendid work this time. You’ve earned up a considerable sum, and we won’t be troubled with life for a while. But thinking towards taking Celes down, there can’t help but be a problem of finances. For an individual, a hundred thousand is an extraordinary sum. But for a country…”
Right. To take on a country, a hundred thousand gold coins wasn’t enough. Even more so when we were dealing with the superpower of Bahnseim.
“I know that. Luckily, I was able to raise my name on the way. The merchants should be trying even harder to get an exclusive contract with us. I hope our financial troubles will be solved in the near… ah, that’s no good.”
Maksim-san standing behind Adele-san.
“What do you mean no good? The rumors have even spread in Beim. The Trident Serpent, was it? I do think the merchants will want to sign contracts with you.”
After taking down such a big shot. Our evaluation had risen even higher, and the sum we’d get from a contract surely jumped up.
But even that wasn’t enough. And according to the ancestors’ plan…
“No, how should I put it… I kinda have to make an enemy of the merchants and guilds once, so…”
Taken aback, Adele-san dropped the cup in her hands. With that as a signal, the automatons glaring at one another got to work.
They promptly took out their cleaning implements, and began cleaning up the mountain of papers. What’s more, the four of them worked together to clean the room.
“Ah, I’ll take care of that one.”
“Then leave this stack to me.”
“Very well, then I this one.”
“Then I, Special Model Monica shall take care of this area.”
(Could it be these girls actually do get along?)
“… What are you talking about, Mr. Lyle?”
“No, please, just call me Lyle. I’d prefer it if you dropped the honorific.”
Breathing out a sigh, I began worrying over what was to come.
… The Trēs Trading Company.
“That fiend! Drawing financial support from my Vera, what is the meaning of thisss!!”
A worked up Fidel raised a loud voice as the family ate its breakfast together.
Vera quietly continued with her meal, While Gina called her boyfriend Roland over to the table. Fidel would usually try to drive him away, but having heard Vera’s story, he didn’t have the time to pay mind to Roland.
Gina used this opportunity to hear Roland’s impression on the food.
“How is today’s breakfast, Roland?”
“Yes, well… it’s quite delightful. Lady Gina.”
Hearing that, Vera chewed on a piece of bread, as she spoke.
“Just talk normally. You usually don’t have honorifics between one another, right?”
With a cold sweat, and a bitter smile, Roland seemed mindful of Fidel. But Fidel’s attention wasn’t anywhere near Roland.
“Vera! Your father has no intentions of recognizing such a man! Even if he saved your life, was recognized by the sailors, is an amazingly skilled adventurer, and is a former high-ranking noble… dammmmn, he’s perfect!!”
It seems Fidel was in conflict with the part of him that wasn’t a father.
Of all else, Lyle was an excellent asset. Even if he was a known womanizer, there wasn’t a single rumor of him treating them badly. Marrying his daughter, and forming a business relationship wasn’t a bad thing, or so his merchant parts whispered to him.
And Fidel the father was giving some strong opposition.
Vera ate her meal, as she spoke to Gina.
“What? So do you two eat together every morning?”
Gina averted her eyes a bit, in embarrassment.
“Well… yes. I’m trying to get him to recognize us.”
Inside her head, Vera.
(I think you’re having the opposite effect there. Well, even if he hates it, keep showing up as a family, and maybe father will compromise eventually.)
Vera and Gina often received marriage proposals. Because they were the daughters of a prominent merchant, even in Beim.
But Fidel didn’t let those sorts approach his daughters at all.
She thought it was excessive care, but Vera had noticed it was also to raise her and her sister’s value, and irritate the surroundings.
(My father the merchant, and my father the father, is it. Parents sure have it hard.)
Thinking of it as someone else’s problem, Vera looked at Fidel.
“Dammitttt! Who was it!? Who was it that said the sailors wouldn’t let anyone lay a finger on Vera!? Getting the sailors’ approval, that just has to be a Skill!”
“And I told you it wasn’t, didn’t I? Just finish your meal already. You’re going to be busy today, aren’t you? I’m also busy.”
“S-sorry. Did you have plans today?”
After Fidel calmed down considerably, Vera spoke.
“Yes, Lyle’s coming over.”
On her words, Fidel flew into a rage once more…