The restoration of the damaged rooms, the repair of the whole mansion, the installation of the lighting, and the construction of pipelines to supply magic to the lights are finished. The only thing left was to install sturdy doors in the rooms where non-combatants would take shelter. Once that was done, our job would be completed...
"Haa... Is today the end?"
"Hey, your hands have stopped."
For the first time today, I let out a sigh.
Since a few days ago, everyone's attention had been scattered, and we were easily distracted.
The reason was obvious, and that was because this job was almost over.
It's a cash thing at all, and initially, some of us were reluctant to take on this job as it was a request from a noble, but the promise of good food and drinks had won them over completely.
When this job is over, we will return to the city and have to say goodbye to all that.
Well, I am not qualified to say anything about others when I am wondering what will be the new day tomorrow, even though today is the last day of my work.
Nonetheless, we couldn't stop working just because of our sentimental attachment. So, I was hitting the backsides of my companions to get the job done.
"Ronim, the installation and connection are done."
"Okay, let me check it out."
And I walked over to the newly installed door.
The door is made of wood like the other doors to match the atmosphere of the house, and does not look sturdy at a glance.
"Here we go!"
When I lightly punched the door with my fist, it makes a dull sound as if I had punched the iron door, and the surface of the door rippled unnaturally.
This door is equipped with a defensive magic, and it is much sturdier than any other iron doors in terms of sturdiness alone.
"Hmm, the magic is working properly."
"Yeah, job's done."
Usually, the team would cheer and make a fuss when the job was done, but today everyone was unusually quiet.
It's probably a sign that they are anxious for the job to be over, but a contract is a contract.
"Larnan, what's up?"
"You're going to tell the client the job is done, right? Can I join you?"
Since the job is finished, I have to report to the nobleman of the client that the job is done.
but I'm not sure if it's necessary to bring Larnan along since it's just a report.
However, there is a possibility that he may ask us to do some additional work for him.
In that case, negotiating with that elusive noble on my own is a little daunting, so after some hesitation, I decided to bring Larnan along.
I hope that Larnan will not attack the nobleman.
After that, we wandered around the mansion and found Diana. We told her that we have finished our work, and she took us to the reception room where I had been shown on the first day.
As we sat on the comfortable sofa and waited, Diana entered the reception room carrying a tray with the client, coins, and documents.
"Sorry for keeping you waiting, Ronim-san... and this is?"
"This is Larnan, my assistant."
"Nice to meet you, Larnan-san. But, actually, the job is finished with this."
When I saw the client smile with a wry smile, I felt disappointed inside because it seemed like there would be no additional tasks.
In retrospect, it was impossible for the client to give us another job under those conditions.
They paid a lot of money to complete the urgent construction work quickly and would take their time finding a contractor who would agree to their favorable terms for the remaining work.
The fact that the meeting ended so quickly without any additional requests makes sense if I think that this was their intention.
"Alright then, as promised, your payment. Diana, can you please?"
At that signal, Diana placed the tray she was holding onto the table.
The gold coins were stacked in sets of ten for easy counting, and both I and Lanan counted them individually to confirm that we had received the exact amount specified in the contract.
However, when I check the details of the contract again, I realize that it's a terrible deal.
I had originally made the offer with the intention of rejecting the request, but this was too much for such a small amount of work.
We looked at each other silently, and I guess Larnan, who was sitting next to me, thought the same thing, and we took half of the gold coins on the tray and pushed the tray back to the client.
"This is more than enough for the services."
"What? But the contract states that-"
"Master Neil knows we're obviously taking a chance. We had no intention of taking on this request for that amount. We Dwarves take pride in our craft and charge more than other races' craftsmen. We don't deal with those who undervalue our skills and try to negotiate lower prices."
"That's why, because we are so confident in the value of our own skills, we have no intention of selling them for less than their worth or more than their worth."
This is the pride of us dwarves, and I put all my strength into pushing the tray back towards the client.
"I'm sorry we twisted the terms."
"No, we're glad to keep our expenses down as well. I'll make sure to revise the documents accordingly."
Larnan shouts a warning to the nobleman who is about to leave the room because he needs to correct the documents due to the change in the amount of the fee.
"Master Neil, Gibbett mentioned that there may be additional requests in the future. If there are any, would you consider giving us the opportunity to fulfill those requests as well?"
I was surprised at Larnan's words.
I must be dreaming that he would use honorifics to take advantage of a nobleman.
He had offered to act as our negotiator to smooth out the transaction, but he was usually the kind of guy who would oppose even taking on a request from a noble, let alone sit at the negotiating table with one.
And when he asks me if I will accept the request, I stare at his face, dumbfounded, as he continues to negotiate.
But before I knew it, Larnan had successfully obtained additional work through the negotiation.
As we walked down the hallway of the mansion after finishing the negotiation, I couldn't help but ask him what had caused his unusual behavior.
"Larnan, I can't believe you acted that way towards a noble. What happened?"
I ask him what he means.
"A nobleman, huh? Ronim, did that young fellow really look like a noble to you?"
"What? What are you talking about? He's a real nobleman, isn't he?"
Neil Atmiras, a nobleman with a family name, and there is no doubt in my mind about it.
"He's not a real noble. He doesn't have the bearing of a noble."
"What do you mean?"
"It means the young man lacks the desire to deceive others or to extract favorable conditions for himself."
"That's ridiculous! That noble wouldn't do that―"
I see... that's what Larnan means.
It's natural for a man of desire to try to get more favorable conditions for himself when making a deal, but in the case of a nobleman, there's also the matter of appearances.
In short, they are always at the mercy of their business partners, and they always try to make them give in to their demands in an imposing manner and with great force, so as not to compromise their dignity as nobles.
We, dwarves, would not like to be blackmailed like that, but that nobleman did not have such an attitude at all.
"Ronim, you were so focused on his position that you couldn't see his true nature. You thought there must be something behind it because he's an aristocrat."
"There's no ulterior motive behind his actions. It's truly enviable. I guess he has never experienced any setback or been cheated badly by anyone because of his noble status since he was born. He has never doubted the goodness of human nature because he has been helped by the people around him. It's as if we are looking at a person who lived in another world."
"You mean, like an 'idealistic' person...?"
"It's just an analogy. Now that you've heard it... maybe some of it makes sense to you."
Larnan's words reminded me of the time when I first came to the frontier.
At first I wondered why they treated us as if we were their guests.
We were not hired laborers but guests of the nobleman.
I never thought I'd be the one with the prejudice that the other party was a noble, pointed out by Larnan.
"I was really foolish to be on guard against that harmless young man. I'm pathetic."
"You're absolutely right."
"Let's drink tonight, Ronim. We'll get back to work tomorrow."
And so we continue our work on the settlement.
I hope that the nobleman, or rather Master Neil, will grow up, but I fear that this country and this world will not allow it, and I fear for the future of the kind-hearted young man.
This is the end of the dwarf point of view.
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