The next day.
It’s my first time coming here again since I came here to recruit Caulkin-san and the others.
I knocked on the door of a bigger house. When I felt the presence of mana, the door opened.
“Excuse me.” [Ryouma]
I obeyed the voice and went inside. Inside was the same man from before.
“It’s been a while. Revel-san.” [Ryouma]
The rumor yesterday had me concerned, so I asked Dolce-san to get me an appointment with someone who knew more about the situation. The person he introduced me to was Revel-san. He is both the counselor of the slum and the person that negotiates with the government office, so according to Dolce-san, there was no person more appropriate than him.
“Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule.” [Ryouma]
“If it’s just talking, then I don’t mind. Use that chair over there.” [Revel]
I borrowed the chair from the corner of the room and sat myself in front of him.
“From what Dolce tells me, it seems you’re hiring again.” [Revel]
“It’s only for part-time work, but yes, we are preparing to hire more hands.” [Ryouma]
“That will do. As you know, there have been more restless people in the slums these days… That’s what you came here to talk about, right? But what exactly do you want to know?” [Revel]
“If you don’t mind my asking, everything.” [Ryouma]
“Haven’t you investigated the rumors already? I’m sure there are things you already know about.” [Revel]
He’s heard that Carm-san has already investigated the rumors. He’s also heard that I met the head of the government office coincidentally yesterday. But despite that, I barely know anything about the situation at the slums. After talking to just two people, at most, all I can do is guess, but whether that guess is right or not, I don’t know.
There could be false rumors and misunderstandings between the residents and the government office.
And besides, I’m sure the slum also has something to say about the situation. That’s what I want to find out.
If there’s anything I can do, I’d like to help, but without sufficient knowledge, I might just end up getting in their way instead.
“In that case… Let’s start with the cause of the rumors. It’s true that we can’t trust the government office. We’ve been agreeing to their inspections for a while now, but because of the people being evicted, the people are growing restless.” [Revel]
“So what is the reason you can’t trust them?” [Ryouma]
“Everyone knows that the head has changed. But that doesn’t mean we can just forget about how they treated us before. It’s still too early for everyone here to forget what the previous administration did.” [Revel]
“It hasn’t even been a year, after all…” [Ryouma]
“Ahh… But I actually want to try believing in the current administration.” [Revel]
Oh? This might be rude on my part, but that’s unexpected.
“Why do you want to trust Bernheid?” [Ryouma]
“Because he came here just like you did. And we talked about the situation over at the office and the situation here, as well as the reason for their requirements, and then he left. Settling at the roads, obstructing the roads, and the danger of collapsing buildings… I think he’s right. The previous administration never really bothered to come here and inspect, so there are many here who’ve grown negligent. I can’t deny that.” [Revel]
He paused for a moment, then continued.
“But… There are people who lost their homes because the government office refused to pay for the cleaning of the latrine pits.” [Revel]
I was speechless.
As I quietly listened to him, it turns out that a portion of the people, who relied on cleaning the latrine pits to make a living, were unable to pay their rent and were chased out when their pay was cut. Because of that they had no choice but to live on the roads or in abandoned buildings.
In other words, the previous administration was the cause for the increased homeless on the streets.
These people were victims. And to have the people who took their houses away from them and tell them ‘Don’t live out here in the streets! Find a proper house!’ was just flat out insulting.
“Well, it’s something like that. That’s why there’s a lot of dissent among the people. Those who’ve lost their homes are renting a room from their acquaintances, but everyone’s been doing that since they started being chased out of their homes. Things aren’t going to change just because the public office started talking. There are volunteers that help out with the repairs, especially those with construction-related skills, but it’s just not enough…” [Revel]
“I see…” [Ryouma]
It seems the slum people are already doing what they can.
“We’re currently looking for another way to remedy the situation… The new head, that youth, Arnold, says he’s preparing jobs for us, but there’s a lot of people wary of him. They say that even if the head changes, the things the government office does won’t change.” [Revel]
Given the circumstances and the state of mind of the affected people, it’s only understandable. The trust needs to be fixed… Hmm?
“Excuse me. I have a question.” [Ryouma]
“Are the people able to make a living?” [Ryouma]
If I recall correctly, it was after the day I cleaned the latrine pits… When I received the payment for the job…
“This is a mining town, so as long as you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, there’s plenty of jobs to go around.”
“If you can make a living elsewhere, there’s no reason to waste your time cleaning the latrine pits.”
Right. Those were the reasons Wogan-san gave on why the people refused the latrine pits job.
“Ahh… There were some stubborn guys right after the incident, but if we help each other out, we can get by if it’s just food. There wouldn’t have been a fuss if the administration just kept quiet.” [Revel]
“The credibility of the government office aside, hypothetically speaking, what would happen if the housing problem were to be solved?” [Ryouma]
“The people wouldn’t have any reason to complain and the rumors will also calm down… What about it?” [Revel]
“…I think I might have been looking at this the wrong way all along.” [Ryouma]