“What’s going on?” [Yurdum]
After rendezvousing in the morning and informing Yurdum-san of his fate, he became utterly confused.
As Yurdum-san voiced out his doubts, he turned to me, and then to Jill-san, and then started looking alternatingly between our faces.
He seemed to be looking for an explanation, so I gave him a simple one.
“Based off yesterday’s events – and not just our discussion, but also the interrogation – we’ve judged that you’re most likely ‘not our enemy’, and that you ‘don’t have any intentions of harming me.'” [Ryouma]
“Strictly speaking, it’s still tentative. We’re contacting His Grace, who is currently at the imperial capital, for confirmation. Surely, Reinhart-sama will be able to confirm about your matter with the king.” [Jill]
“Well, that’s how it is. It’ll be some time before the results fully come out. But it wouldn’t really be beneficial for either of us if we were to keep you locked up until then, don’t you think?” [Ryouma]
Yurdum-san wouldn’t be able to move freely while he’s locked up.
So not only will the brilliant employee I employed not be able to work, I would also have to spend effort keeping him locked up.
“That’s true, but I still investigated you and leaked information…” [Yurdum]
“Indeed, which is why you won’t be working at the laundromat or the other new facilities, instead, you’ll be working under my supervision. As for my safety, as I’ve mentioned earlier, we’ve already judged that you don’t mean me any harm,” [Ryouma]
After saying that, Yurdum-san turned to Jill-san with a look that seemed to be asking if we were serious.
“It’s true that we’re lacking hands, but the biggest reason is because Ryouma asked for it.” [Jill]
“Your identity wasn’t a lie, so we can at least show you that much trust. Leaving such a brilliant person lying around despite that would be too wasteful. Especially, our current situation. In fact, I wouldn’t even mind if your liaison worked with us too, but understandably, everyone shot down the idea.” [Ryouma]
“Of course they would!” [Yurdum]
“I really don’t mind. We’re not doing anything bad anyway. I mean, I even went out of my way to obey the laws and do everything peacefully…” [Ryouma]
If I were to really ignore the law, I could wrap this whole mess up really quickly. In fact, I would’ve been able to round up all those suspicious guys during that meeting right there and then. I’m referring to Wanz and his followers, of course.
“Boss, you’re making an evil face.” [Yurdum]
“Oops, my bad. Anyway, it’s already been decided, so let’s get along.” [Ryouma]
“We’ve advised him so many times already, but he’s just too persistent. In the end, we decided to just give in. Just consider it your good luck.” [Jill]
Of the two adults, one made a somber face, while the other was confused, but regardless, the matter was settled, so it was time to go to work.
“…So, now that I’ve been released, what will we be doing, Boss?” [Yurdum]
“From noon onwards, I have a meeting with the guild master and the others at the merchant guild. Until then, we’ll be walking around, taking a look around the various related places. How are you feeling? We’ll be walking quite a bit, you see.” [Ryouma]
“My head is still confused, but my body is fine. I’ll be sure to protect you with all of my strength, Boss. I mean, that seems like a much better idea than trying to think about all sorts of stuff right now.” [Yurdum]
Good. Looks like he’s not bothered about what happened anymore.
Although he’s my guard, it’s not good to be too stiff, so we talked while walking.
“I’m counting on you. By the way, I heard from Jill-san that you were a really brilliant student. I heard you were a part of the ‘Knight Course’.” [Ryouma]
“Ah, you heard about that, did you? It’s not really something I enjoy remembering, but… me not wanting to inherit our family’s line of work that’s been continuing for generations goes way before I decided to walk down the path of martial arts. That being the case, I’ve been told to produce enough results to be able to succeed in life on my own…” [Yurdum]
“But even then, I hear that wasn’t a place a person could get to without serious effort.” [Ryouma]
According to Jill-san, the Academy of the Imperial Capital offers a great variety of courses, so it’s possible for the students to receive training according to their personal goals. Moreover, basically anyone could complete a course as long as they could cover the fees for the class, attend the required subjects, and pass the exams.
But the Knight Course that Yurdum-san was part of was a bit special, and it was exceedingly difficult just to get the qualifications to sign up for it.
“Apparently, you need to be from a noble family, and then you also need to have taken up etiquettes, basic subjects, history, magic, and so on… Moreover, on top of practical skill in magic, combat, and various weapons arts, one’s appearance is also graded, and only by having high grades in everything can one gain the qualifications to enter the course.” [Ryouma]
“Hmm, well, it is a class for people aiming to become the knights that will protect the royal family and the country in the future. It certainly demands a lot from its students. Moreover, even if you’re able to qualiy for the course, only the top 30 qualified applicants can enter the Knight Course. Life after enrolling isn’t easy either. If you can’t keep up with the lessons, you’ll lose your qualification. If someone with the qualification is able to achieve the same results, they will compete for the position. That continues all the way until graduation.” [Yurdum]
A harsh environment that made it hard just to remain.
A super harsh curriculum that demanded the best because the students were nobles.
But in exchange, if one could remain in the Knight Course until graduation, it is without a doubt the shortest route to becoming an imperial guard – those in charge of protecting the royal family – or an important office within the knights or the national army. A super difficult elite course.
That was the place known as the Knight Course.
Surely, it wouldn’t be possible to enter a place like that just by being a somewhat bright student, but for some reason, Yurdum-san’s expression was stiff.
“It’s true that I did my best, but…” [Yurdum]
And his words were evasive.
“Is it something hard to say?” [Ryouma]
“It wasn’t really something I would mention. Most people would be shocked when they heard it, and when I said it to my classmates in the knight course, for a moment, I thought they were going to gang up on me and kill me.” [Yurdum]
Hmm. What to do? I didn’t have any intention of pursuing the topic any further if it was something he was uncomfortable with, but now I’m curious.
“Nah, it’s not really that big of a deal. I mean it is true that I did my best to enter the Knight Course back then, and of course, my parents told me to keep my grades up too, and I was also thinking about my future to some extent, but the biggest reason why I got there was because… ‘I thought it would make me popular with girls’.” [Yurdum]
Yurdum-san laughed awkwardly, but upon hearing that…
“I see, that sounds just like you.” [Ryouma]
“It’s all fine if you don’t think badly of me, but uh, do I really seem that flirty to you?” [Yurdum]
“I don’t know about flirty, but you’ve always struck me as someone really used to women. Even with your job at the laundromat, I heard you had a good reputation among the women. Personally, I thought of it as a good thing.” [Ryouma]
“Yes. Besides, aren’t marriage partners important to nobles? This might be a bit prejudiced of me, and I’m not sure if I should say that there are a lot of realistic women, but there are definitely a lot who consider the future prospects of their partner, such as his lineage or wealth. So if someone is lacking in a certain regard or have no prospects, they won’t entertain him anymore or won’t include him among their candidates… I mean, that is a thing, right?” [Ryouma]
“Well, it varies from person to person, but there are certainly people who are ridiculously strict in that regard.” [Yurdum]
in that case, Yurdum-san wasn’t wrong to enter the Knight Course.
Besides, it sounds like he started wanting to walk the path of martial arts when graduation was approaching. It makes sense for him to want to confirm first if he really wants to become a knight or go down a different road. There should be plenty of roads to the future, after all. Marriage is also one one of those.
“You entered the Knight Course that has good prospects, and you may have done so because ‘you wanted to become popular with women,’ but regardless, you still put a lot of effort, and if you consider your future marriage, then I don’t think you’re wrong at all. I think your decision is respectable, and the efforts you’ve made, genuine.” [Ryouma]
Upon saying that, I realized that Yurdum-san’s eyes were opened wide.
“What is it?” [Ryouma]
“Huh, that’s the first time anyone’s put it like that. I’m a bit surprised.” [Yurdum]
“I’ve only really talked about this with my colleagues, my teachers, and my family… And not that many either, but most of time, they would just tell me stuff like ‘Chasing after love? What a weak reason!’ or ‘Can you become a knight with such shallow feelings!? Can you fulfill the duty of a knight like that!?’ My teachers and my seniors in the Knight Course even made me run laps around the school.” [Yurdum]
“Erm… Does the Knight Course have a tendency to believe that will can overcome anything? You know… Stuff like not giving you water during training.” [Ryouma]
“Now that you mention, it is something like that. Every time there’s a problem, the instructors would always yell ‘put your spirit into it!'” [Yurdum]
Thanks to that the image of the Knight Course in my head started to resemble the old sports clubs. While I was thinking that…
“Isn’t this the empty lot of the old slums?” [Yurdum]
Looks like Yurdum-san has noticed where we’re going.
“Yes. Since the project is proceeding well, the new buildings should be completed already.” [Ryouma]
“Are you going to be starting something again?” [Yurdum]
“This time I’m thinking of building something related to foods and drinks.” [Ryouma]
“Foods and drinks? Boss, don’t all your businesses include the meals of the employees in their contract?” [Yurdum]
“Yes. Of course, we’ll continue to guarantee that, but once they’ve secured their basic necessities and their wallets grow a little pumper, I’m sure they’ll want to dip their toes into some luxury.” [Ryouma]
For example, perhaps for the sake of a special day, or as a treat to oneself after working hard, to celebrate somethnig, or maybe they just simply want to eat something different.
“For the sake of those people, I’m going to build a couple such stores near the company dormitories. The concept is ‘the taste of home’. I’m also thinking of putting up restaurants that will fill your belly for cheap.” [Ryouma]
“I get the first kind, but what about the latter?” [Yurdum]
“That’s for the laborers that still don’t have money. I’ve employed a lot of laborers, but it’s not as though I’ve employed all the laborers that came to Gimuru, and the influx of laborers is yet to stop.” [Ryouma]
“I see. I see, so it’s geared toward people whose basic necessities you can’t cover.” [Yurdum]
“Yes. For the same reason, we’re also increasing the number of lodging facilities.” [Ryouma]
As for the kind of restaurants I have in mind, I’m thinking of a Gyudon store, a set meal store, and a bento store.
Cheap but filling. These restaurants were some of my important allies back in my previous life. Especially, when I was young.
As for the lodging facility, I’m thinking of the Capsule Hotel. I’ll be providing them just the minimum bed space they need.
When I said that, Yurdum-san seemed to understand.
“So the laborers still keep on coming, huh. Thanks to your efforts, the worsening of the public order has more or less been suppressed, but…” [Yrudum]
“There appears to be a group of nobles working together, and since they’re gathering workers from all over and sending them here, that must mean that they also have a lot of people working, if so, then maybe they can’t stop? Besides, although the laborers are still continuing to pour in, there’s a lot less of them now.” [Ryouma]
“I see, although they’re working together, it’s not as though they’re a monolith, so their movements as a whole is quite dull too, huh.” [Yurdum]
“According to the Duke’s family, the five nobles involved are Baron Ransore, Baron Rufred, Viscount Fargutton, Viscount Danietan, and Count Sandrick. But personally, I’m also suspicious of Baron Jerok, Viscount Anatoma, Viscount Jeromon, Viscount Sergier, and Count Bernardo.” [Ryouma]
“…Where did you hear that from? Since you mentioned ‘personally’, that must mean that you didn’t hear of it from the duke’s people, right?” [Yurdum]
Yurdum asked seriously while paying attention to our surroundings, but it’s not really that big of a deal.
I’ve employed a lot of the laborers that came to Gimuru.
And as the employer, I have the right to view and confirm their resume.
So just looking through their resume is enough to figure out where they came from, which would basically be the same as finding out ‘from whom they came from’.
And when the same places kept popping up, they would naturally remain in memory.
“The people leaving isn’t a good thing for the lord in charge of the territory, right?” [Ryouma]
“Yes, because it would cause a reduction in tax and weaken the labor force. Hence, it’s not uncommon to require one’s subjects to need permission before moving. All the more so if they’re moving outside the territory. Some recognize people leaving to make money elsewhere, but the number of people that have migrated here is really too much. Even just the people that you’ve employed is already a lot. Given that, it’s indeed hard to deny that the lord of the territory they came from may be involved. Even if it’s not proactive, they might have tacitly agreed or be half-heartedly cooperating.” [Yurdum]
“Yes. That’s why it’s just a probability. However, it’s not really my job to pursue the matter.” [Ryouma]
“Could it be you want me to inform His Majesty?” [Yurdum]
“Oh, no, no, I wouldn’t dare say a thing about your job. After all, I couldn’t possibly interfere with a royal order, now could I? Besides, I always inform someone from the duke’s family about the things I notice, so the duke should already be aware and should be moving accordingly; hence, the question of whether to inform the king or not…. I’ll be leaving that to them.” [Ryouma]
“You’re going to leave it to them? Come on, Boss. After telling me so much stuff related to the present events, there’s no way I can’t report this; otherwise, it’ll look like I hid it on purpose… You’re fully intending on taking advantage of my position, huh.” [Yurdum]
Yurdum-san made a resigned face once, but in the end, he laughed.