Chapter Three

The Decision

(Part 1)

 

 

The city located to the south of Rondéville Kingdom’s royal capital, Lunéville.

East of Lunéville was Pinéaville, next to the Akradist Kingdom’s territory. When it was known as Pinéadist, it had developed into a majorly fortified city-base as defense against invasions from the east.

However, the Pinéa region merged together during the king before last’s reign. When the previous generation’s king invited Akradist’s first princess to be his queen, its importance as a base was lost. Still, it changed into an important trade route to the royal capital. From then on, its walls no longer suited it as it transitioned into an agricultural city.

Not that it had a specialty product even though it was called an agricultural city either. Two big thieves guilds that were entrenched in Rondéville, led by [Sal of the Copper Paper] and [Mabelt of the Lotus], mutually fought for supremacy to rule its underground.

Of course, though most citizens would leave a city like that, some couldn’t for various reasons. They spent their days in fright and destitution while the guilds fought.

Then came Hector, demoted to a troublesome location (self-proclaimed) of such low importance.

And then was Frank, a man selected to become the Guild Association’s Lunéville Branch Manager at the young age of twenty-seven.

The two thieves guilds were expelled without a trace by these two people’s efforts, transforming the city into a safe place for everyone to live free from worldly cares.

It was this place that the girl, Ilya Schultz, set her eyes on.

“I’ll never forgive those who try to destroy its tranquility. O-other than the townspeople (mostly) that is.”

Finally finding Lunéville after her long life as a wanderer, it was her haven.


 

“An inn town?”

Ilya had met with Frank in the parlor. Haku was sleeping soundly while rolled into a ball on her apron.

“Does Ilya know that the amount of people coming here recently has increased?”

“Yes… mostly.”

She knew that the majority of people arriving came for the cooking.

The rest came sniffing out the money trail, Commerce and Industry Guild’s guild members aiming for travelers and guild members.

Ilya’s thoughts weren’t far off the mark.

“Though Lunéville has come to be acknowledged as safe and peaceful when compared to surrounding cities, even the royal capital has come to know of it. It seems that the budget compilation meeting the other day increased Lunéville’s development plan.”

Looking over the documents Frank presented to her, she certainly did see the fortunate contents to redevelop Lunéville into an inn town. Each of the documents had been carefully affixed with Rondéville king’s seal.

The contents were regarding boundaries and road maintenance. It was scheduled for a new road to be constructed, replacing the one they had had up till then.

“Was Hector-san at the royal capital?”

“Yeah… he was complaining about the aristocrats’ tastes. He just went there to plan ahead.”

(My condolences.)

Was it better to call it house arrest or imprisonment? Ilya expected the other aristocrats probably had something like an allergic reaction from the upstart aristocrat trying to stick around.

“Did Hector-san have something to say about the project?”

“No, I didn’t ask. He probably isn’t against it though. If that man said he seriously didn’t like it, he would have torn it up and thrown it away on the spot.”

“I-is that so?”

She held the impression of him being gentle, so that was surprising.

“Though the budget’s contents are normally assigned by the country, it appears that they won’t be issuing a quote for it until the next budget compilation. I’d like for you to put out a commission to the guild to calculate the costs.”

“To the guild…? To begin with, how far are they planning on turning this into an inn town? I don’t understand the plan.”

“By how far, do you mean the scale?”

“No, the kind of people that would stay here.”

If they made accommodations for upper class people, but made accommodations for others to be multiple people sleeping in a group, she wouldn’t approve.

“That is to say, the amount of people is directly tied to the deterioration of public security. Don’t remove Lunéville’s good point by attracting unsavory individuals.”

“Most would come as guild members though. I doubt they would spend much money on lodging.”

“I assume you have no problems with maintaining our current quality of clientele?”

Frank thought for a moment, nodding before long.

“I want to continue on how we are.”

“… Mmm.”

Recently, most of the inns had been at max occupancy.

The branch would lend private rooms to individuals that were unable to secure hotel lodgings in harsh weather.

The branch had also sent out a commission for citizens who owned houses to rent out rooms.

Marketing probably had some uneasiness over more being sold out than were left to sell, thinking it was a bad situation.

“Gathering all of the landowners and working with them to establish their residence areas and inns is Hector-san’s job right? The building costs of the landowners’ dwellings, including the explanation of the total infrastructure improvement costs by Hector-san, are you sure that is alright?”

“Yeah. Charon’s gotten in contact with the Industry Guild, so they’ll send some people out.”

The people called over this time were architectural engineers that belonged to the Industry Guild.

Housing construction was different from general commissions, each party (contractors rather than groups) would gather and carry out a construction commission meeting at the guild. Then, each party would estimate the construction costs for the commission, with the one with the lowest bid amongst the gathering getting the rights for the construction.

Whether they would participate in the meeting would depend on each party, with larger parties staying away from small profit commissions by an unspoken agreement.

Though it was also possible that a client would send the commission directly to a party and not the guild, since the merits like contribution compensation and rank-ups disappeared as well, so long as there wasn’t some special circumstance, such arrangements rarely happened.

Accordingly, if the Mercenary Guild’s duty was to manage and unify guild members belonging to it, the Industry Guild’s role was to maintain reasonable pricing and check for moral hazards in the construction industry. Though there were also the roles of maintenance and development, the current status quo had each business relying on others.

By the way, in the case of do-it-yourself people, they could accept commissions even if they weren’t qualified to be an Industry Guild member. Because there were no carpenters in Lunéville, Sullivan was the one to take orders and mend armor.

Now let’s return to the main subject.

First was to make arrangements for the Industry Guild representatives and calculate the rough expenses of the dwelling structures and facilities. Then, based on the costs, look for candidates to reconstruct inns for the landowners.

However, there was a point of uncertainty that had to be clarified before going any further.

“The budget is just for road maintenance materials, but will the subsidies regarding housing construction and immigration decrease?”

“That’s right… it’ll be carried out by the country. There’s no question that they would keep those expenses in mind as well.”

“… They may tell Hector-san to take it from the subsidies though.”

Although Ilya thought that a country should help those in it out to gain their favor, she didn’t expect the plan to stand on such wishful thinking.

At any rate, it wasn’t a waste for them to figure out uneasy factors.

“Then there would also be the transportation of the materials for construction and its guards, as well as guards for the road maintenance.”

“Yeah. Given the situation, we need to have the inn construction go through first before improving the road.”

“… For the increased amount of people.”

“That’s right. If mercenaries were used to guard Lunéville, the amount of personnel staying here would increase substantially. Could we cover it?”

By ‘it’, of course he was referring to meals.

“I don’t think there would be any problems with the distribution if we purchased a large amount of foodstuffs… What about food and drink shops?”

“That’s, well… people interested in setting those shops up haven’t turned up.”

“Is that so…”

Though to tell the truth, something like that was inconsequential for Ilya. What she was truly worried about was there being more monsters with the increase in people.

Considering the source of monsters, it wasn’t hard to fall into a vicious cycle since the amount of monsters increased proportional to people.

The number of monsters went up as the number of people went up. To exterminate monsters, people gathered.

Truly a vicious cycle.

In order for there to be more commissions for the guild, everything worked out with the increase in monsters. However, since the plan this time was simply inviting more monsters to come, it produced a contradiction. The guild, which should have been removing the town’s threats, was exposing it to more danger for the sake of profit. So even though it was against what she truly wanted, Ilya, who was a mere receptionist, couldn’t intervene.

More importantly though, she knew that the townspeople wished for the expansion.

(There’s no way I could go against it.)

Muttering that in her mind, she settled her murky feelings.


 

After a lot of conferences and meetings, around a month had passed for the documents and commission registrations to be completed in various places, as well as an additional several weeks for transporting the materials and the start of the construction.

“Ilya, sorry! Please bring this to Elizah!”

Accepting the dish from the kitchen next to the counter, she headed towards the temporary terrace established outside of the entrance.

When she was about to open the door, Elizah appeared after vigorously opening the door. Since Ilya was nimble, of course Elizah was as well, they passed by each other without colliding as though they were dancing gracefully.

“Ah, sorry Ilya! Thanks!”

“It’s alright, I can bring it. Elizah can leave it to me.”

“Got it!”

On the other side of the door, there were twelve large tables that faced the main street placed on the terrace. However, they were all packed. Even if it was always like that inside, they had to clean up despite people eating and drinking while they stood outside.

“Sorry to have kept you waiting, here is your yakitori.” [1]

“”” Oooh~! “””

“Allow me to take your empty dishes.”

They were getting drunk, so she immediately retreated when she sensed danger from the looks in their eyes. Elizah, who she had exchanged roles with, shared a wry smile with her after she returned inside, probably due to her working at the reception desk instead of Ilya. Frank was standing at the counter.

“Sorry, Frank-san.”

“No, you’ve had it tough. Sorry as well, Luke. You had to come in despite today not being your night shift.”

“It’s fine, I have a lot of free time on my hands after all.”

Frank smiled bitterly, that’s just how Luke was.

Currently, Ria, Rachelle, and the wolf beastkin Darren were on the second floor serving tables. Elizah, Clarice, and Cynthia were moving about the first floor serving tables. Ilya and Luke were at the reception desk.

In other words, everyone was working. They were so packed that they’d reached the point where Darren and Clarice, who mainly worked reception services, had to take turns waiting on tables.

“But this is an amazing amount of people…”

Catching Frank’s mutter, Ilya glanced over the dining area.

The faces of newcomers were mixed in with those of their regulars, primarily Industry Guild workers. With the inn construction and area development rush, Lunéville’s population had temporarily inflated considerably. In addition to the terrace they had added on, they were also delivering some directly to the construction site.

“I wonder if it’ll be bad if we don’t hire more waiters ahead of time?”

“Please don’t forget about the kitchen.”

“T-that’s right.”

Her endurance wouldn’t be a problem due to her cheat, but doing it alone would be mentally stressful.

Since they had already asked Hector for it, the Association’s Lunéville Branch was in the middle of extending its dining area. The building next to the branch was currently under construction, but Frank still hadn’t decided on its opening staff.

As for why Frank was still racking his brains, that was because of him being vigilant due to the assassins that had invaded the other day.

(Even though he said that he’d say something if he saw them…)

When she lightly scowled at Frank with a pout, the person in question felt Ilya’s gaze and turned towards her.

“Do you think the branch’s faculty are good as is?”

“Yes. With everyone’s capabilities, I don’t think we can’t do it.”

“Un. That’s right.”

“If the branch’s operations increase, we can just remodel the second floor’s dining area into an office.”

“Right.”

Nonetheless, the fact was that waiting on tables and being a receptionist right then was a big burden.

Ilya decided that she would snatch the people that seemed like they could help when she next got a chance.

 

 

<- Chapter Two | ToC | Next Part ->


 

Footnotes:
  • Yakitori is kind of skewered meat grilled over a charcoal fire, with the skewer itself generally being made of wood. Typically served with a sort of sauce. Return

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