Chapter 75: A False Silver Vein (part four)

With this chapter, we now know what they have to do. Next set of chapters will have fluffs! But that will be for later. Enjoy this chapter!

TL: clover

ED: clover, xtostos, eristol


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By the time we arrived in the city, the sounds of the church’s bell that told us it was 10 am was echoing.

Given the preparation, I have to go back to the Water Palace in about an hour.

 

Town of All Kinds of Goods just before the launching ceremony was crowded and flourishing.

Standing room were being rented at high buildings and the likes, snacks and drinks that are easy to carry around everywhere were being sold on the street for the spectators.

It was a festive mood different from that of Ignitia, unique to the trade city.

 

I looked at Harold’s appearance beside me.

His expression was dark and hard.

If there was nothing wrong, we would have been having fun together in that crowd.

 

“Boss, please bring us to the guild hall.”

 

Gilbert gave directions to the coachman.

The coachman skillfully took advantage of back roads and detours to reach the guild hall while avoiding crowds.

 

The guild hall is close to the image of the Joint Government Building in my previous world.

I guess the biggest difference is that there are private guilds inside the building.

The interior of the guild hall is refined, with base of white and gold, similar to the interior of the Water Palace.

I wonder if the Turm family is also involved.

 

The walls of the central staircase were lined up with portraits of the important personages of Knot Reed.

Mixed among them, occasionally there were portraits of people with facial features closely resembling those of Gilbert and the owner of the wand store.

 

Gilbert guided us to a room that looked like a large conference room.

Although it was a conference room, it didn’t feel dull or uninteresting, instead it was decorated to make it feel formal and dignified.

In the center of the room, there was a large and heavy oak table.

On the other side of the table, a special notary was waiting along with piled up documents.

 

“Bernhard-niisan, I’m counting on you.”

“Gilbert, you……please do things in moderation. I will make an exception this time.”

 

He seems to be the seventh older brother of Gilbert.

He has the same pince-nez as Elder Turm and his remaining hairs are red.

 

Notary public Bernhard held out his hand as if demanding something.

Gilbert hurriedly took out the bundle of documents from his bag and handed it over to him.

Bernhard carefully confirmed that the papers were all present and sighed in relief.

 

Gilbert was sitting in front of Bernhard while Harold and I were seated on his left and right respectively.

Tirnanog kept standing behind me.

 

“Everyone, I apologize if our family’s youngest child was being a bother.

So? Gilbert, you have come this far, there must have been some results, right?”

 

Gilbert told Bernhard about the details of this investigation.

That the destination of transition was the waste mine in the County of Nibelheim.

About the malicious conditional branch secretly incorporated in the transition magic circle.

 

When he finished talking about everything, Bernhard opened his mouth while writing something on his wax board.

 

“To tell you the truth, we have already heard of the fact that the transition destination has become the waste mine.

This morning, a contact from the property manager of the County of Nibelheim turned up.”

 

According to Bernhard, it seems that Earl Nibelheim had let his property manager conduct a confirmation on-site.

The Earl didn’t want to involve his son in every problem and seems to be working hard steadily behind the scene.

 

“Does that mean what we did was useless, Nii-san?”

“No, we were uninformed about the branching metastasis.

It seems that the property manager didn’t make detailed observations at the time of the investigation.

If this is true, the correspondence of the Turm Insurance Company side will also change drastically.

The possibility is high that this will be treated as being 100% the fault of the merchant Gustav’s non-performance, rather than being pursued as a blunder caused by the Earl’s carelessness.”

“Really!? Then, that means Tou-san can somehow get through this, right?”

 

Harold’s voice echoed brightly.

But Bernhard shook his head with a difficult expression.

 

“That’s not very likely, there are two problems here.

First, the camouflage of the transition magic circle that Gustav made the mage protégé make. This is very inconvenient.”

“Why is that?”

“Because of the problem with our domestic law, we cannot make a ruling on metastatic magic just based on our private judgement.

It is necessary for this to be audited by Lindis and Hafan.

Turm can finally decide the amount of insurance money after taking into account the information obtained by Lindis and Hafan.”

“N-no way……”

 

Harold’s voice lost all animation.

Even though we proved that there was no negligence by Earl Nibelheim, this time another problem has surfaced.

In this fraud case, there is a feeling that the more we struggle, the worse this situation will become.

 

“Oi, oi, Nii-san. If that is the case, people won’t trust the Turm family.”

“Gilbert, say that to Eberhardt-niisan, not me.

Well, our insurance company is not as vicious as manticores.

We won’t pay the full amount, but we will do a temporary repayment of the insurance until the end of the audit.

“Then, the Earl may have to consider reducing his operating ventures, huh……that’s tough, Nii-san.”

 

It is an adequate solution, but this is a harsh situation.

Wrinkles gathered between Gilbert’s eyebrows as well.

Bernhard kept on explaining it indiscriminately.

 

“There is another problem as well. It’s the nuisance fee for the successor of the County of Argene.

Depending on the amount of the nuisance fee, even when taking into account the temporary insurance repayment and gains through reducing operating ventures, this may still leave Earl Nibelheim’s fundraising in a risky position.

The Earl Nibelheim’s business will slowly roll down the slope towards bankruptcy.”

 

This is where I will come in.

I don’t want to add further troubles to Earl Nibelheim.

 

“Well……however, Nii-san. If we can buy some time, isn’t there still a turning point?”

“In this case, he has received loans from various directions.

If the shareholders know that it’s unlikely that their funds will be paid back, many people will wish to annul and return the contract.

 

Bernhard declared so and I looked around.

Harold and Gilbert who had been silent exchanged looks with me.

I nodded and opened my mouth.

 

“Regarding the matter of the nuisance fee, please do not worry about it.

The successor of the County of Argene will most likely refuse to accept it.”

“Yes……?”

 

Bernhard opened his mouth halfway and stared at me.

He looked at Tirnanog who was holding himself back behind me and furrowed his brows.

Bernhard leaned towards Gilbert and beckoned him, exchanging words with low voices.

 

“Oi, Gilbert. By saying so, who is this lady?

I thought that she’s an official from the County of Nibelheim, but now that I think about it, her escort is too extravagant.

Is she actually an official related to the County of Argene……no, the Duchy of Aurelia?”

“Bernhard-niisan, I’m not allowed to speak about it, so please give me a break on this.”

 

Even though I was the subject of their secret talk, I could hear them clearly.

Rather, hearing Gilbert’s reply, wasn’t the way he worded it pretty much the same as outright saying it?

When Bernhard returned to his original posture, he cleared his throat.

 

“Ehem……then, as a representative of the Notary Guild, I will confirm that with His Excellency Ernst to that effect.

After that, it will likely be up to the judgement of his esteemed daughter.”

 

Harold looked at me with a crying face.

I nodded back at him with a small smile.

 

“Yosh, in that case, the withdrawal of loan by the investors won’t happen immediately, Nii-san.”

“Most of the shareholders are merchants based in the West. This is due to the Duke of Aurelia’s reputation.

They will think that His Excellency is showing compassion to the Earl of Nibelheim.”

 

Life lines were connected somehow.

The business situation will be difficult for a while, but it seems that we were able to prevent catastrophic ruin.

There was a relieved air flowing among us.

But the air also froze with the next words of Bernhard.

 

“However, there is one exception.

There is only one person who doesn’t consider the reputation of the Duke of Aurelia or the trends of other investors.”

“T-that is……?”

“Margrave of Urs, Harlan Lucanrant.

He will not be swayed by anyone’s speculation, instead he will press the Earl of Nibelheim until he fulfills his contract.

He won’t deal the finishing blow until the Earl is barely holding his ground at the critical moment.

Furthermore, the troublesome thing is that he is the biggest investor of the Earl.”

 

Bernhard shook his head with a grave expression.

Harold, whose few hopes were getting a beating, hung his head with a crushed appearance as if struck.

 

“Aah……so it’s that Harlan……”

 

Gilbert looked up to the ceiling and muttered while sighing.

Be that as it may, the Nibelheim family’s ruin can’t be prevented without the aforementioned fundraising and reorganization of its industries.

If Harlan interferes with that, there will be no telling what the other investors will do.

 

“……I’m sorry that I cannot help you more, Gilbert, Harold-botchan.”

“No, this is enough, Bernhard-niisan. Thank you.”

 

Bernhard settled the papers and stood up.

His time as Gilbert’s brother is over, he needs to return to become the notary public.

And, sooner or later I have to meet up with Palug for the preparation of the launching ceremony.

 

As we left the conference room, Harold staggered and collapsed onto his knees.

Tirnanog quickly supported his body.

 

“Why, this kind of thing……”

 

Harold’s muttered voice got hoarse and soon disappeared.


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22 thoughts on “Chapter 75: A False Silver Vein (part four)

  1. “……I’m that I cannot help you more, Gilbert, Harold-botchan.”
    I guess there’s a word that missing?
    Thanks for your hardwork, can’t wait for the fluffy part fufufufu
    Is klause gonna show up in this arc? 😮

    Like

  2. Possible edits later.

    For now I’m just confused about how this situation developed. Where does the notary guild get their 10% value from in regards to the responsibility of the merchant Gustav?
    From the known events so far, Gustav was the one that ‘sold’ the usage rights to the Argene Silver Mine to Nibelheim. And it had been established that Nibelheim II did inspect the transport circles and the mine itself (since Gustav did have the correct additional key). In other words, Gustav must have been the one responsible for ordering the creation of the transport magic circles since these were part of what was sold, or at least as responsible as Nibelheim II. Given that the magician added some malicious parts and such, and the overall situation, responsibilty should be on the Merchant for messing up/scamming his customer. To sum it up, from the Notary Guild’s perspective the Merchant guild should have been the one messing up here – and as such insurance should be paid in full to the amount agreed during the negotiations.
    I mean, I could excuse this with insurance companies being mean and awful and stupid, but I feel that would be really out of place in this story.

    So yeah, I’m not really convinced of this development.

    Next, even disregarding this insurance circus I still don’t get why the group is so down in the dumps.
    Speaking of business, there is no way the Nibelheim family would (in reality) fall apart from this within a year after the deal even in the worst case scenario, and yet they’re all acting like they missed some sorta deadline to saving the entire territory. Which they haven’t.
    Let’s be realistic: The current silver mines of Nibelheim are not yet exhausted – otherwise a new silver mine would have been negotiated at the latest one or two years ago already. Mines do not dry up out of complete nowhere, especially not when you’re in a world with literal magic. There are ways to estimate stuff like this, so chances are the industry of Nibelheim is gonna do well for at least another year.
    Next is the price of a new silver mine: in full it might be several years worth of mining, but so far only an introductionary charge had been paid. Surely still a formidable sum, but nothing that should be beyond the ability of current Nibelheim to pay back over the next year or two. Loans aren’t taken because one lacks the money at this scale, but rather because one does not wish to muster so much money at once (installments are easier to manage than single huge blows). On the other hand this means that it is of course still possible for Nibelheim to pay back those debts, it’s merely a defty financial blow but nothing impossible.
    Lastly, loaners: The parties that lend money to Nibelheim would be stupid to demand back the money at once if they knew the silver mine deal didn’t work out. That’s just not how loans work, neither how you make money off them. That said, even if they were so exagerratedly hasty there is no way for them to enforce such, generally speaking. After all it’s loans, they are meant to be returned over time. In other words, as long as return payments are made they have no grounds to complain, including Harlan. And as already stated that’s going to be at the soonest in a year or two.

    Wow, long comment, but shady business needs to make economic sense, else I am not satisfied.
    tldr: They have at least 1-2years to find a solution, no need to be heartbroken yet.

    Like

    1. I mean, this won’t happen in the first place if Nibelheim II did some research that the Argene mine is not for sale. So the biggest blame is still on his carelessness. And as Bernhard said, he can’t pay the full amount before Lindis and Hafan audit it themselves, since that’s how the law goes. It’s faulty, but that’s how it is.
      About the silver mine being exhausted. It was mentioned before that Earl Nibelheim did in fact negotiate for this silver mine for about a year (chapter 67), so during that duration, the mine in Nibelheim territory has become exhausted.
      And about the loaners, I agree with you. But I guess from the investor’s point of view, the fact that it is uncertain whether their money will be paid back is something to be concerned about. I think they invested in Earl Nibelheim in the first place because he found a new refining method for silver. From their point of view, if Earl Nibelheim doesn’t the mine to get the ore from, there will be no point for them to invest in him, and it will be hard for him to pay their money back. So, even if he still has 2 years to find the solution, he needs to find other income (and while he made profits from making wands during war, I think he doesn’t do it anymore ever since Harold’s accident. Since it was said that he didn’t even carry his own wand anymore) to proof that he will be able to pay them back.
      Especially to Harlan. I think from his bloody reputation, he was expected to be something like loansharks. Like, he will be banging your door demanding money for 2 years. And by his reputation, he can also resort to violence if things don’t go his way. He is unpredictable. Just from this, it becomes urgent that they make some business to get the cash flowing.
      Just some theory lol.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, I took an hour or so to type up a lengthy response with edits and all .. and wordpress didn’t post it twice in a row and now the entire thing is gone .. man, this was a lot of important edits too this time.
        Expect edits in an hour or so. This time for sure.

        Like

          1. Hn, sure, why not. I started and still do these edits because I’m invested in wanting to enjoy the story myself. I always pick up the parts where I’m not sure what’s meant exactly and check them with the raws on syosetsu in order to further that enjoyment for myself. So no need to feel bad.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I think you can edit from the website. I don’t know how it will look like on your side, but you should be able to edit the chapters directly from the website.

            Like

  3. You could lend a standing room at a high building and the likes, and sell snacks and drinks that were easy to carry around everywhere on the street for the spectators.
    It was a festive mood unique to the capital city that was different from Ignitia.
    –> Standing rooms were being rented at high buildings and the like, and snacks and drinks sold that were easy to ..
    It was a festive mood different from Ignitia’s, unique to the trade city.

    商都 (Shouto) is trading+city, rather than capital. She’s comparing the atmosphere to the big festa of Ignitia’s capital a few months back.

    There is no question that this blunder happened due to the Earl’s carelessness, but it is likely that 10% of the blunder was due to the merchant Gustav’s non-performance.”
    –> The likelyhood is high that this will be treated as being 100% the fault of the merchant Gustav’s non-performance, rather than being pursued as a blunder caused by the Earl’s carelessness.”

    Turns out the notary guild is more reasonable than I had thought. 十割 means 10*10% = 100%, and 問われず means it will Not be blamed/charged as ‘blunder caused by Earl’s carelessness’ so the exact opposite.

    We won’t pay the full amount, but we will do a temporary repayment of the insurance until the end of the audit.”
    –> Your text format is messed up here.

    “Then, the Earl must keep in mind the reduction of business, huh……that’s tough, Nii-san.”
    –> “Then, the Earl may have to consider reducing his operating ventures, huh ..

    What Gilbert is referring to is that Earl Nibelheim will likely have to fundraise money through reducing ongoing costs in other areas of his territory management (e.g. maintenance costs and the like) in order to further make up for the delay in potential full insurance reimbursement. After all, the audit may take a considerable time.

    It was a safe solution
    –> It was an adequate solution

    Reworded for intent. Erica probably means that this is an appropriate course of action to take for the Notary Guild, but leaves Nibelheim in a tough spot nevertheless.

    Depending on the amount of unnecessary fees, even if we consider the insurance for rebuilding and business contraction, there is the danger of this becoming cash flow risk.
    –> Depending on the amount of the nuisance fee, even when taking into account the temporary insurance repayment and gains through reducing operating ventures, this may still leave (Nibelheim’s) fundraising in a risky position.

    What Bernhardt means is that, while Nibelheim gains two plusses from temporary insurance and money raised from cutting expenditures of the territority, Argene may demand a nuisance fee that would drain these funds – a problem because Nibelheim really needs these raised funds to secure a new mine/business instead.

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  4. I didn’t want to have any further troubles with Earl Nibelheim.
    –> I didn’t want to add further trouble to Earl Nibelheim.
    Erica has no troubles with Nibelheim, she merely wishes not to add any to them in the first place.
    “Regarding the matter of the nuisance fee, please do not worry.
    The successor of the County of Argene would like to refuse to accept it.”
    –> “Regarding the matter of the nuisance fee, please do not worry about it.
    The successor of the County of Argene would most likely refuse to accept it.”
    Reworded for detail. Erica does not outright want to reveal her authority so she speaks as if she was merely aquaintanced with Argene’s intent, but not the successor herself.
    “Bernhard-niisan, I’m not allowed to speak about it, so please excuse me.”
    –> … so please give me a break on this.”
    I feel please excuse me may be too formal for their chat.
    Although, hearing Gilbert’s reply, I felt like I would say almost the same thing.
    –> Or rather, hearing Gilbert’s reply, wasn’t the way he worded it pretty much the same as outright speaking about it.
    I love Gilbert’s family for this. They have no sense for confidentiality.
    And it will be in the form of judgement in accordance to his daughter.”
    –> After that, it will likely be up to the judgement of his esteemed daughter.”
    They will think that His Excellency paid for the Earl of Nibelheim.”
    –> They will think that His Excellency showed compassion to the Earl of Nibelheim.”
    The western merchants won’t think the Duke pays anything for Nibelheim. Instead, Duke Aurelia’s good reputation (and not demanding nuisance fee) would make them more likely to trust Nibelheim to fix their situation, even if they start suspecting something about it.
    Either way, without making the cash flow and rebuilding the industries of the territory, we couldn’t avoid the destruction.
    If Harlan pressed there,
    –> Be that as it may, the (Nibelheim family’s) ruin can’t be prevented without aforementioned fundraising and reorganisation of it’s industries.
    If Harlan interferred with that,
    Reworded for consistency with other edits.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So, looks like the Notary Guild is more reasonable about all this than I thought after edits. I also took note of your info that the Argene silver mine had been in negotiations for a while already.
    Now then, how do they solve this situation? I’d say there are three ways for Nibelheim: 1. import raw ore and process silver using their superior methods. This retains their self-authority the most, but offers a smaller profit margin. They would also need major reintegration of their mining industry that now needs to refocus on other things.
    2. rent/buy a new silver mine. I reckon all available mines are in control of the Dukedoms/Ignitia. I imagine this could turn into a deal where they rent a mine, where they use their expertise and labor to mine and process and profits are shared between Nibelheim and Dukedom. Interesting option, long-term solution but possibly less self-authority left.
    3. find a completely novel usage for existing industries using resources that still exist plenty but have been unused so far. I’m thinking of porcelain – the miners mine the so far uninteresting clay and the silver workers refocus on producing porcelain. This might be the best option, in fact, although it requires a hefty start up investment since expertise must be refocused on large scale, similar to first option.
    I’m honestly curious how this will turn out.
    Sorry for the amount of comments, but I didn’t want to risk losing the content again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Why do I feel that Harlan is involved on this matter? After all, if the earl don’t have the money he will have to pay it with his own territory, in others words, Harlan who lives at Lucarant will have a new territory in the Aurelia’s area…. if they didn’t get Erica’s help the merchants of Knot Reed wouldn’t be able to receive any money and would receive a blow, coupled with the terror on the sea of Knot Reed due the monsters being nurtured by the spiritual energy from the prays that is sent to the sea… the city would loose it’s strength and would become a easy target for Harlan who would have been stationed in the neighboring territory or even for other enemies…….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The way this arc is written seem to hint at it being the main investor Harlan himself that set up the whole fraud in order to weaken Aurelia and create chaos that he could profit from.

    Like

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