… Beim’s Eastern Guild Branch was functioning as the city’s Guild Headquarters.
Adele had borrowed a room to work on Beim’s revival, pretty much staying there every night in her daily life of work.
That the Guild had a public bath and lodging facility, and workable environment was a large contributing factor. Simultaneously, she herself wouldn’t use the high-class lodging facilities, as while the place functioned as a workplace, it also had to deal with the visitors that came every day.
Adele sat on the leather-coated sofa, talking with a former guild executive, a low table in-between them. The other party was from the north branch… the executive who once led adventurers in relation to the port.
“Beim has always managed its port to now! What is the meaning of one-sidedly snatching it away!?”
Despite the thin rings forming under Adele’s eyes, she used the tea with a harsh bite poured in her cup to maintain consciousness.
(Really, please, just go away already. I’m busy here… there are no seats left here for you guys.)
Beim had fallen. At the time, the upper echelon had swiftly pulled out. For that sake, and with the emotions of the city manipulated by Lyle’s party, its impression of them was the worst. In essence, he had lied about his name to enter the east branch functioning as headquarters.
Maksim was standing behind the sofa, beside him a few female knights as well. They were borrowed from the four-nation alliance, but as there were Valkyries around as well, Adele was relieved.
“… I’m sure your people already understand, Beim no longer recognizes your order. That is why you lied about your name when you requested this meeting, isn’t?”
Adele saw her opponent’s expression warp vexingly. Rather than not having the leisure to care, this really was just a waste of time.
What Lyle wanted was the Guild’s knowhow, and the executives who held massive power… and abused it were unnecessary.
“… I would like to plead acceptance for a portion of the merchants and Guild executives who came to cooperate in the development of Beim. It can even be South Beim. We haven’t come emptyhanded. You need information about the Labyrinth the city managed, don’t you?”
Sensing what Adele wanted, the executive offered information. But Adele uninterestedly supped her tea.
“No thank you. We already have the documents. We’re going to have a Labyrinth-specialized party from South Beim come over here as well. And the adventurers’ Guild will fall under the management of the country. The alliance had already proceeded talks in such a manner. In Cartaffs and Djanpear as well, they’ve easily shifted it that way. Faunbeux has shown sympathy for our opinion.”
“W-what relevance does that have to this matter?”
Adele drained her tea, leaving the cup on the table.
“Plenty relevance. To be blunt, you are unnecessary — a hindrance even.”
The executive stood. His hair was a mess, and his clothes were a little dirty as well. It was evident he hadn’t live a decent life since his flight. That he came to Beim must have been because he was considerably pressed.
“You can’t mean you’ll take our legal property at the port…”
Adele’s expression didn’t change.
“Well let’s see. A reward was necessary for our assistance in this endeavor, so yes, we took away your property. Using reception and fees to set up shop at the port as a reason, there seem to be quite a few people who’ve found themselves quite exploited.”
Here, Adele disclosed the secret of the trick.
“It not like everything went as we wanted. But you and your merry friends danced on Lyle-san’s palm just as he thought you would. We’re already done with you. But…”
Seeing her opponent’s mortified face, Adele spoke.
“… If you plan on selling us the management knowhow, we’ll pay a considerable price for it. If you accept that deal alongside your exile sentence… we won’t have to make use of more-violent means.”
The surrounding knights pulled their swords. And Maksim readied his spear.
“Are you the ones who exiled us first? And a few other executives have already sold their knowledge and left Beim. If you hand over profitable information soon, we will have no choice but to pay an adequate reward for it.”
The former executive gripped his hair with both his hands, and looked down. Regretfully, but while considering the sum he could get if he sold the knowhow he possessed…
… Tanya had come to see off her former-executive superior.
Similarly, alongside a group leaving Beim, he had decided to move to the countryside with his family. Tanya was the only one who came to see him.
Her superior smiled as he always did.
“You sure are faithful. You didn’t have to come see me off. You know what sort of treatment we’re receiving in Beim, right?”
Tanya looked down.
“I’m still in debt to you for picking me up. And when you’re the one who stayed in Beim to the end…”
Her superior gave a powerless laugh.
“There’s no helping it. Even if it’s exile, it’s just from Beim… no, just the city sector of North Beim. I was able to pull out those conditions. I’m not confident I can live too far off, so I do think it turned out fine.”
Tanya raised her face, and made a serious expression. Clenching her fist, and she made a proposal.
“Thinking of your ability, you’ll be necessary to the city from here on. If you ask Adele-san…”
“… Give her a –sama. She is substantially the representative ruler of Beim. And if I’m there, the guild personnel will turn to me. By my way of doing things, it’s fated to revert to the old Guild ways. What I and they seek is fundamentally different. So it will eventually birth cracks… and I’m already tired. With my reward, I formed a pioneering corp. I think I’m going to take it easy, so think you could keep out of the way, Tahnia?”
Tahnia was Tanya’s other name. Her name as a Sweeper. When her superior gave out orders he didn’t want to, he’d give them to Tahnia rather than Tanya.
“… I’m sorry.”
“Sorry. But I can’t stay here. And life out there isn’t too bad. Rather, whether North Beim can really be rebuilt or not… you’re going to have it rough, Tanya.”
The two laughed lightly before parting at Beim’s gate…
I think I let out quite a stupid sound.
In the office of Rhuvenns’ castle, I found myself amazed upon hearing Novem’s report on her arrival.
“No, as I was saying, about your maids. At present, the only one in a standing where they can look after you is Shannon-chan. But rather than look after, she…”
It felt as if I was looking after her. While she had gotten able to do this and that on her own, Shannon was fundamentally unsuited to battle.
Listening to Monica, Novem, or perhaps Miranda’s orders and helping out was the most she could do. Even if she had Demon Eyes, she was junk who couldn’t master them. I was surprised that Shannon was even being considered my maid, but…
“No, there’s Monica and the Valkyries, they’re much more skilled than any attendant.”
There, Novem’s gentle smile suddenly turned scary.
“That would be troublesome! Lyle-san, understand that we’re short-staffed right now. Monica-san and the Valkyries have work to do. You have to leave what can be left to the maid. And… there’s already been pressure for the maid role. At my place, the topic has come out a few times transmitted through Eva-san.”
“Eh? I never heard of it.”
There, the Third let out an impressed voice from the Jewel.
『In my era, maid was a role reserved for the talented girls and the daughters of our notable houses. It was treated as a few years of education and training for no charge. Though I ended up taking in the daughters of the houses that lost their bread earners in the war as well.』
The Seventh seemed quite intrigued by the Third’s take.
『It changes by the scale of the territory. In my time, while there was still the education side to it, I also hired maids for the work. The daughters of vassals would work in the Walt House a few years, and that made for their bridal training. But… thinking of the status Lyle is aiming for, it has to be that.』
『Definitely that. Mistress candidates maid in name, or mistress assistants, right? Uwah, I’ve read it before in a book. That one came out quite bloody.』
When the Third was letting out an unpleasant voice, he sounded like he was enjoying himself. The Seventh was the same.
『Because women like that sorts of story, that sort of thing came out a few times. From a man’s point of view, it’s nothing to laugh about, but… I see, so Lyle’s going to be burdened with such a muddy inner palace.』
No, I don’t want to. Personally, I’d like to refuse.
“Y-you mean like a helper, right? Um, what sort of girls are the maid candidates?”
Still with a serious expression, Novem.
“At present, I can’t say the outcome, but it is limited. If it’s going to be noble daughters, the first and second daughters of a Count House in Cartaffs have voiced their desire. Of the elven tribes, hunters and performers… some raised their names under the condition they would be helping Eva-san as well. Talks have come from dwarves and gnomes as well. At present, you do not discriminate against demi-human races, so they wish to use this opportunity to raise their status, or perhaps aim to maintain that status quo.”
When I was being chased by Bahnseim countermeasures, my own allies were bringing in problems.
“… Isn’t that definitely related to the factions? I don’t like muddled factional wars.”
There, the Third laughed.
『Factions form in the smallest villages, you know? If you’ve got three people, there’ll be a faction. You’ve got to control them well. Rather, we just talked about this!』
The Seventh was the same.
『They’ll form regardless. It’s often the case they form unintentionally. But Lyle… don’t gather everyone in the Jewel again. We’ve learned our lesson. We don’t want that again! … As I thought, one wife is enough. Yep.』
I wanted one too. Yet with everything you guys have said, it’s not only my fault it snowballed like this! … I think.
“Give up. I’m trying to pay as much mind as I can to whatever would become a burden on you. But not just the maids…”
“… There are factions forming in the army as a whole. Maksim-dono pledged his allegiance to Adele-san, so the only ones who have actually sworn loyalty to you would be Baldoir-dono and Blois-dono. But Blois-dono is scraping up soldiers from Bahnseim, while the others are gathering around Baldoir-dono.”
“Eh? Baldoir was doing something like that?”
The Third sounded fed up.
『As. I. Was. Saying! They need a rival horse, so they got close to your close associate Baldoir-kun. I doubt the man himself wished for it.』
Novem looked at me.
“And within the four-nation alliance, Lorphys is a bit of a problem.”
“Within the alliance, Lorphys alone hasn’t put out any woman close to you. Because of that, its contributions within the alliance are low, and its morale is lowering. When it’s surrounded by countries on our side, I don’t think they’ll secede, but…”
But? When we’re so busy, why are they feuding over that? I don’t think I’m wrong for thinking it, and I think that isn’t actually wrong. But the Seventh looked at my situation and noticed.
『Hmm, Lyle. When you get larger in scale, these sorts of problem will come out no matter what. Give up.』
“Got it. I’ll do something about it… Is it that? We’re short-staffed in various places?”
Novem nodded with her smile. Her smile was so cute I decided to forgive.
“Yes. To be honest… even if we win, we don’t have personnel capable of maintaining the continent. While we do have a considerable number of soldiers, rear support alongside looking after you… Monica-san has her physical limitations.”
When we hadn’t even won, why do I have to mull over all this? I’d like it if they concentrated on the war just a bit more.
… Clara looked at the mass-produced Porter model taken from Bahnseim.
Gathering magicians- what’s more, low ranking ones- she was teaching them golem magic. The practice mass-produced Porter was truly made just as if it were a wagon with no horse.
Simple and sturdy. But it demanded competence form its user.
Sitting on a wooden crate watching her, Damien yawned. He had collected data from the Valkyries, and spent another night up analyzing it.
Having returned to South Beim, Clara got into training personnel capable of using Porter. Saying she wanted expert advice, she dragged Damien out.
But the man in question.
“… This is no good. If you don’t modify the golem, they won’t be able to use it. Wouldn’t it be better if you shortened the period, and remade it easier to control?”
Clara corrected her misaligned glasses.
“As I thought.”
“If you already know, don’t ask me. You’ve already got a considerable amount of experience operating Porter, and you already had talent from the start. That’s why you can control the current Porter. When it comes to Porter, aren’t you better than me?”
Hearing that from Damien who perfected golem magic, Clara was delighted. But that truth conveyed a not-so-delightful truth to her.
“… Meaning to make it usable, we have to remake the golem itself, and make it easier to handle?”
Having his back rubbed by Automaton No. 3 looking after him, Damien spoke.
“Or rather, this one was made terribly. Like, let’s just go mass produce them or whatever… it feels like it was put together in a hurry? If you load with it too much baggage, won’t it break?”
Clara looked at Bahnseim’s Porter she had gone to lengths to retrieve. Unlike their own Porter, it was hard to develop any affection for the frame built with a demand on function alone.
“… What should I do. Adele was rejoicing at how we could reinforce the back line without having to pay extra.”
Damien looked at Clara.
“Ah~, who was that again?”
No. 3 told him with a smile.
“The woman acting as Lyle-dono’s representative in North Beim, master.”
“Oh that girl! She sure is loud when it comes to money. And wait, it’s rare for you to drop the honorifics on someone.”
Hearing Clara call her simply Adele, Damien felt it was rare.
“I’m no good with Adele. Hah, do you think it’ll pass through if I ask for funding?”
To Clara, Damien smiled.
“Won’t it be impossible even with the money? I mean, old Letarta’s one thing, but the craftsmen of South Beim are all quite busy. I don’t think they can hold down their own plans.”
Clara made a serious face.
“… Is that person really supposed to be good at internal affairs?”
She complained about the absent Adele. Damien tilted his head.
“Who knows? She seems good with money? That pink hair…”
No. 3 made a suggestion, but perhaps Damien wasn’t uninterested…
“Right, that person was more amazing.”