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!
ED: clover, xtostos, eristol
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.”
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.”
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.”
“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.