Develop 178

Chapter 178 Unexpected Visitors

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 A week has passed since then, and now it is the third week of Water Star. The waves of people have not settled down, and I was sitting in front of a large pile of documents. There has been a change in the types of people coming to the settlement.

 With the introduction of transporters running carriages to the settlement, individuals without means of transportation have started visiting the settlement. The purposes of these individuals vary, but the most common one is seeking employment.

 In the past, there were jobs available in the settlement, but due to the perception that the settlement is dangerous, no one was willing to work there. However, with the influx of many merchants and the start of new businesses in the settlement, there are now safe jobs unrelated to violence.

 Additionally, with the increase in population, there is a sense of security, which has led to a high number of people seeking employment. I thought that there would be fewer documents circulating regarding these individuals, but with the sudden increase in population, problems have arisen throughout the settlement, and the variety of documents has also increased, making things more complicated.

 I would like to prioritize addressing petitions that contain concerns and issues related to the settlement, but there are many other tasks that require immediate attention, so we are in a situation where we are completely understaffed. My father is scheduled to arrive with reinforcements tomorrow, so if I can get through today, things should be manageable.

 I have been working diligently in my office since early morning, trying to organize the documents. Suddenly, I heard a knocking sound on the window of my office, followed by the sound of the window opening.

 ”Oh, it’s still a mess. Or rather, there are even more documents than yesterday?”

 ”Is that Zora?”

 Blocked by the mountain of documents, I identified the person who opened the window by their voice. It was Zora, the daughter of Ronim-san, the representative of the sincere dwarves.

 She had returned to Denar, but due to the need for many construction workers in this matter, I had called for a large number of construction firms, including the sincere dwarves, to come to the settlement. Zora took the opportunity to come and check on me.

 ”Is it okay for you to slack off like this? I’m sure the sincere dwarves are busy with work too, right?”

 ”I’m not slacking off. It’s my lunch break now.”

 ”Oh, is it already that time? I thought it was still morning.”

 ”Hey, when did you start working?”

 ”Well, I woke up just before sunrise, but I was too early and didn’t have time to prepare breakfast, so I just had some bread and milk, and I’ve been working ever since.”

 If it’s already lunchtime, I must have been working continuously for about eight hours.

 ”Hey, you should eat properly, or your body won’t hold up.”

 ”I don’t have much appetite. I guess it’s because I’m tired from work, and I haven’t been moving around all day. My body is in complete energy-saving mode.”

 ”‘Energy-saving’… what?”

 ”…It means my body doesn’t crave food.”

 I messed up. I accidentally said a word that wouldn’t be easily understood. I thought it would be better to take a break, so I stood up from my chair and moved to the window where Zora was.

 ”Speaking of which, did you have lunch, Zora?”

 ”Of course, I did. And I also have this from Narsht.”

 Saying that, Zora handed me a sandwich in a basket. It must be something Narsht-san gave me, worried about me neglecting lunch due to being engrossed in work.

 ”Thank you, I’ll have it.”

 ”Thank Narsht for that. I just brought it.”

 While feeling a bit embarrassed, I turned my face away from Zora, and ignoring my lack of appetite, I forced myself to eat the sandwich and fill my stomach.

 ”How is it outside?”

 ”In a way, it’s more lively than Denar. There are small disputes happening here and there, and I often see people from the Shouhyou Spear running around.”

 ”Feeling overwhelmed?”

 ”Not to that extent, but if the population keeps increasing, I think we’ll eventually be overwhelmed.”

 ”I see… Do we need to ask for more reinforcements?”

 About a week ago, I had already received additional personnel from the Shouhyou Spear, but according to Zora, it seems that we will need more reinforcements.

 ”Wouldn’t it be a good idea to take a break and explore the settlement yourself? Instead of staying cooped up in this mansion surrounded by these walls, where you can’t even see what’s happening outside.”

 Upon hearing Zora’s words, I turned my gaze towards the window, where I saw a splendid brick wall. Until now, there had been no walls around the mansion, but due to frequent incidents of suspicious individuals lurking around the vicinity of the mansion and trying to peek inside from the windows, it was decided to hastily erect a wall, which made it impossible to see what was happening outside.

 Although I could still see the outside from the second floor, all I could make out was the shape of the buildings, and I couldn’t see any people. So, it was very helpful for Zora to inform me about the outside situation.

 ”I would like to do that, but I don’t have the courage to leave this pile of documents and explore the settlement myself.”

 ”Really, you’re strangely timid. Even if you speak to me informally, I don’t get angry.”

 ”I don’t go around boasting about being a noble. I understand that dignity is necessary as a noble, but I’m just not good at that kind of behavior.”

 ”…You’ve really changed. When you helped me, you were so confident.”

 ”Huh? What did you say?”

 ”It’s nothing!”

 I couldn’t catch Zora’s murmured voice in the middle, so I asked again, but she quickly denied it in a fluster. I didn’t have the energy to pursue it, so I let it go and continued asking Zora about the situation in the settlement.

 ”So, it’s like that. The other parts are the same as when I told you before.”

 ”I see. Maybe it’s better to increase the security personnel… Thank you. Well then, I’ll get back to work.”

 After listening to the conversation, I returned the basket to Zora, which still had about half of its contents, and tried to move away from the window, but Zora grabbed my arm.

 ”Hey, there’s still a sandwich left, you know.”

 ”I told you I don’t have an appetite. Besides, I think I did well by eating only half of what was in the basket.”

 ”Ugh… Well, if that’s the case, then stay with me until my break is over.”

 ”No, I really should get back to work–“

 As I said that and tried to move away from the window, she grabbed my arm with even stronger force. It would have been easy for me to break free from the restraint of a petite woman who could be mistaken for a young girl, but I didn’t have the courage to do so, and she showed no signs of letting go. So, I gave in and gave up on moving away from the window, deciding to accompany Zora for a little longer.

 ”Is paperwork really that difficult? Isn’t it just a matter of checking if there are any problems and stamping it?”

 ”The most difficult part is actually going through the paperwork. There are different types of documents, and depending on that, the areas that need attention also change.”

 ”I see… Hey, if it’s that difficult, why don’t I help you? I’ve also helped my father with paperwork before, so I think I can be of assistance.”

 ”Huh? But you have your important dwarf duties, right? And it’s a bit… to entrust paperwork to an outsider.”

 ”You said that important documents can’t be shown to outsiders, right? But don’t worry, I’m a dwarf, so I won’t do anything to leak them.”

 Well, Zora is not a dwarf, she’s a Mire, and that’s not what I’m worried about, but I was at a loss for words, so I took out a suitable document from the pile and handed it to Zora.

 ”What do you think of this document?”

 ”Hmm, so this is a job application… Oh, it’s a floor plan for a store planned to be built in the settlement submitted by ‘Phantom Beast Leather.’ They’re a pretty big firm that deals with leather products. But yeah, if it’s a settlement, it would be easy to obtain the materials, and there would be demand for armor made from that leather… Hmm, I don’t see anything strange in the floor plan. It looks good, doesn’t it?”

 ”I see. Then, it’s no good.”

 ”What!? Why!?”

 ”Do you see a tannery in this blueprint? Tanning produces a strong odor. Not only the smell of raw hides, but also the smell of chemicals used in the tanning process. If we were to build such a facility in the settlement, it is obvious that there would be numerous complaints.

 There would also be the issue of dealing with the wastewater that would be generated, and moreover, this facility would take up a considerable amount of space. The land in the settlement is limited, and it cannot be allocated solely to one firm.

 Therefore, in the case of this document, the construction of the tannery is prohibited, and furthermore, the size of the leather processing facility should be reduced by about one size. After making these corrections and annotations on the blueprint, the document should be resubmitted.”

 ”Wait, wait a minute. Are you doing this every time?”

 ”Well… yeah, I guess. Although the specific points to be aware of may vary depending on the document, the process of pointing out the issues and requesting improvements is the same, right?”

 ”If you keep doing that, of course you’ll be busy! Normally, some people just reject the document without even pointing out the issues, or even without mentioning the issues at all. It’s impossible to provide improvement suggestions for each and every document in this massive amount.”

 ”But if I only point out the issues and the resubmitted document still doesn’t have the improvements I intended, then I would have to point that out and ask for another resubmission, right? That would be redundant.”

 ”Well, if they can’t come up with the optimal improvement suggestions, then it’s a problem with their ability, isn’t it? It’s not feasible to teach them everything from scratch. It’s normal to give them multiple chances and if they still can’t come up with good improvement suggestions, then it means they have limited capabilities.”

 ”Rather than engaging in such acts to test their abilities, I just want to proceed with the conversation quickly…”

 ”The result is that the progress of those documents is slow and unproductive. The other party is an expert in that field, so it’s better to believe that they will provide good improvement suggestions and just stick to pointing out the issues…

 But I see, there are also documents like this. I’ve only dealt with contracts so far, so the points to be aware of are completely different. This might not be very useful…”

 ”No, that’s not true. I’ve always been thinking from the perspective of a ruler, not a protector. It might have been my arrogance to think that I have to teach everything from scratch.

 As Zora said, the other party is an expert in that field, and they might come up with much better improvement suggestions than someone like me, who is an amateur. It should be enough to just point out the issues.”

 As I pondered about the future approach to document work, the gate attached to the fence surrounding the mansion opened, and I saw Lewya entering the premises. Lewya noticed me and Zora by the window and headed straight towards us.

 ”Neil, a letter has arrived from your father through the Harvest Hoe.”

 ”From my father?”

 Since I had received a prior notice that he would arrive tomorrow, I wondered if there had been a change in plans as they sent the letter at this timing. I opened the envelope and checked the contents of the letter. When I saw a certain sentence, my body stiffened involuntarily.

 ”What’s wrong? Did something strange happen?”

 ”Oh, no… It seems that an unexpected guest will be coming.”

 ”A guest?”

 After seeing Zora’s puzzled expression, I took a deep breath and looked back at the letter. It stated that Zora’s biological parent, “Viscount Hedmar, will also accompany” them.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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