Chapter 08: Obvious things
I was swinging my sword in the yard and was covered in sweat and dirt .
So after that I took a bath to get rid of the dirt .
After taking off my clothes, I went into the bathroom to be washed by the full-time maids .
It felt good, in the normal sense of the word .
The parts of a person’s body that can’t be washed with one’s own hands inevitably come out, and when you’re tired, the way you wash yourself becomes careless .
The maids do it for me, so the dirt, grease, and even fatigue are washed away .
It’s no joke, it’s a bathing experience that will help recover your strength .
After that, I was dressed by another maid in the changing room, when the receptionist’s maid came in .
“Master, a visitor is here to see you . ”
I looked at the business card as the maid held it out to me instead of accepting it .
Murray, Viceroy of Hojoi .
I have heard that name somewhere .
I leave the maid to get dressed and explore through my memory about the visitor .
“… oh, he’s an upstart from my domain . ”
Somehow I managed to remember him .
The empire has a large genus-oriented aspect to it, partly because the empire has given the princes a fiefdom .
Unless there’s something very special, it’s common for them to look up to the royal family, the lords of their native lands, as their sovereign .
That man Marley, who is currently the governor of a different place than my fiefdom, should have a strong sense of being my people .
But what’s this Marley doing here no, I suppose I’ll find out when I see him .
“Send him to the parlor . I’ll be right there . ”
The maid left the changing room with my orders .
I didn’t do anything special .
I let the maids make sure I was well dressed and groomed .
Finally, I hung the Leviathan around my waist and then leisurely walked out of the changing room and headed for the parlor .
A maid was waiting in front of the parlor, and when I arrived, she bowed and opened the door .
Inside the parlor, a middle-aged man sitting on the lower seat of the sofa stood up and knelt down to me in a fluid motion .
“Ded Murray . Your Highness, I am honored to meet you, sir . ”
“Don’t be so formal . Sit down . ”
“As you wish . ”
Murray got up and waited for me to still get to the top seat before he sat down on the couch himself .
“Ded Murray . This is the second time we’ve met, as I recall?”
From memory, yes, but I checked it out just in case .
“Yes, I had the pleasure of greeting you about a year and a half ago when His Majesty assigned me to be the Viceroy . ”
” Yeah . ”
That means it’s an assignment greeting .
That’s also an essential courtesy for the lord of your home town .
“Well, it’s good to see you . How’s the assignment?”
“… . ”
“You look like you’ve bitten down on a bitter bug . ”
” I have been ordered to do so largely because I am from Almeria . ”
“Because you”re from Almeria…? Well, that reminds me, His Majesty ordered me to go to flood control . ”
“Yes, sir . ”
This time I remembered it perfectly .
Hojoi is a land that is situated at the corner of a great river .
Therefore, it has fertile land as a granary, but every once in a while a great flood occurs and it becomes a great disaster .
His Majesty’s idea was to completely eliminate this and make it a stable granary, and the Governor appointed to do so was Murray from Almeria, the land where the Water Clan lives .
“Doesn’t that look mean it’s not working?”
Marley gave me a small nod .
” The budget wasn’t coming down, and we couldn’t afford to wear a sleeve . ”
“Budget? Why wouldn’t it be? It’s an edict from His Majesty . ”
“Yes, but the Ministry of Finance gave a reason why,”
…Oh, okay .
So I guess that’s why you came to me, to see what I can do about the Ministry of Finance .
“Okay, follow me . ”
“Eh? Oh, Your Highness!”
I left the mansion with a puzzled Murray .
I had my carriage ready, and Murray and I came to the Finance Ministry together .
It was a repurposed former detached building to the west of the Royal Palace, a building with a high level of prestige and pomp .
In the most prestigious room in the building, I was confronted by the Minister of Finance, Maybrick .
Maybrick is an old man in his sixties, his face wrinkled but with greasy eyes .
I sensed a certain emotion that was clear .
On the surface, he appears to be respecting me, the prince, but deep down he’s looking down on me, saying, “You little bastard . ”
I meet people like this all the time . I knew right away that this guy was one of them .
I sit down across from Maybrick, while Murray, whose “stature” is diminished, stands behind me .
“How is it that you came so unexpectedly, Your Highness Noah?”
“Murray told me about it . It sounds like you’re reluctant to give the budget . ”
“I don’t think so . ”
“So why don’t you release it?”
“I have a very good reason for this . ”
If you’re going to tell me that I don’t understand anything just because I am a kid, then shut your mouth right now . ”
“… . ”
Maybrick’s complexion changed .
The previous gaze of contempt retracted .
“Of course I won’t do that kind of disrespect . ”
“Then explain . ”
“Yes . Hojoi was flooded again last year . ”
I turned around and asked Murray, he nodded .
“What about it?’
“At that time, His Majesty had issued a royal decree exempting the Hojoi from taxes for a whole year . ”
“So, in other words, there’s a tax slush fund that’s up for grabs and we can spend it, in the view of the Ministry of Finance . ”
“…Are you kidding me?”
“Nope . ”
“Due to the flood, his Majesty waived the tax, you know why? Because there’s no tax to be extracted . That’s a favor, of course, but the fundamental problem is still there . You’re saying this as it is natural, do you take me for a fool, you dumb-ass?”
“Ah… . ”
I heard Marley let out an exclamation from behind my back .
I ignored it, glaring at Maybrick even more .
“Well, that’s not what I meant, sir . ”
“Well … actually, I can’t tell you right now, sir . ”
“You’re aware of all the talk about building a new summer resort for His Majesty, aren’t you?”
“Yes . His Majesty is quite old, so you’re talking about building a summer home north of the capital, where it gets very hot every year, right? What about it?”
“Even though it’s a villa, it’s used by His Majesty . It’s the same with the detached palace . It will be a city for about five thousand people, in the name of a villa, at a very early stage . That will cost an enormous amount of money . ”
“… . ”
“That’s why the treasury was cut off . ”
“Shut up . ”
Maybrick freaked out .
He was getting on a roll as he spoke, spitting forcefully, but he freaked out when he heard my low, stifled voice .
“You!, that’s a huge disrespect!”
“I dare not…”
” You are trying to make my father a fool of himself . ”
He tried to argue with me, but I wouldn’t let him say it .
“We need flood control in a flooded area, but can”t get the money out of the treasury now because we’re building a vacation home? You’re suggesting that you’d make His Majesty that kind of a fool . ”
Maybrick jumped up and got down on his knees in front of me .
“Then give us the money . Or would you prefer that I go straight to His Majesty?”
“Pl,Please don’t . Immediately, immediately get the budget for Hojoi!”
“… . ”
I glared at Maybrick, who was still on his knees, and then that guy screamed and jumped up .
He ran out of the room as it was, ranting something loudly .
Since the content was that he was going to send the money to Hojoi as soon as he was done blustering to his men, I let him do what he wanted .
I waited for him to come back to report once, so I waited it out .
In the meantime, Murray looked impressed .
“Excellent work, sir . This Ded Murray, admires you, sir . ”
“A great negotiating push, skillful words that took advantage of the other party’s weaknesses and missteps, not his own position . I’m ashamed of my own shallowness in asking His Highness for this ”position” . ”
So it’s about that .
So he thought that me, the Prince, was planning to forcibly have my own way on this matter .
“Actually…… . Good gracious! Being lost for words against those verbal attacks . I truly am considering to prostate against you to show my respect”
Murray was so impressed that he kept praising me, lifting me up, until Maybrick came back .
I parted with Murray outside the Ministry of Finance .
He had to get back as soon as possible and push for flood control, so I didn’t keep him back, and we parted ways .
After completing my work, I climbed into the carriage and was about to return to the residence .
At that moment, a young eunuch came running from across the street .
He was a little older than me, about 10 years old, and was wearing the eunuch’s uniform .
He came up to me and knelt down, gasping for breath .
“Ju, I wish to address Your Highness the Thirteenth . ”
“His Majesty wishes to see you . Please report to him on your way . ”
” His Majesty? All right . Where to?”
“I’ll take you there . ”
I followed in a carriage, led by the young eunuch .
Upon entering the Royal Palace, we were on foot .
As a rule, horses and carriages are not allowed within the walls of the palace, as it is forbidden to be standing higher than His Majesty .
So I dismounted and walked, following the young eunuch to the gardens, which are His Majesty’s favorite .
I found His Majesty feeding the birds in front of the fountain, and I gave the child eunuch a little money as pocket money, and then I went straight to His Majesty and knelt down on one knee .
“I have come in response to your summons, Your Majesty . ”
“Come on, make yourself comfortable . ”
“Thank you . ”
“Let me start by saying good job . ”
I tilted my head and wondered what he was talking about .
“It’s about Hojoi, I heard you smashed Maybrick . ”
I was pleasantly surprised .
It just happened just a few minutes ago, I mean, I just got out of that Finance Ministry .
So how do you know about this already? Sire .
“Information is a weapon, and you should get in the habit of constantly polishing it . ”
“… I will . ”
I bowed my head .
What can I say…… . amazing . I mean, that’s all I can muster up .
” I say again, good job . ”
“No, I’m just doing the obvious” .
” The obvious is hard to take for granted . ”
His Majesty fed the bait he was holding to the birds that had flocked to him .
One by one, tossing it to them .
“Many of them have good mouths, and some use their sycophants . But there are few that can take it for granted . ”
His Majesty turned towards me .
He approached me and gently patted me on the head .
“You’re only six years old, but you’ re really something…”
He had a strange expression on his face, a father and an emperor, two happy expressions mixed together .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!