Chapter 197 Realized Advice
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
It was a day when my work was steadily maturing, even though I occasionally took a break from the mansion.
”Neil, a new visitor has arrived for a meeting.”
”Oh? Is it someone other than a greeting or an apprentice request?”
Since then, I have instructed not to accept meetings from people such as greetings or apprentice requests, as there seems to be no end to them. However, if Lewya brings up the matter like this, it must be a meeting request from someone other than those mentioned.
”Who came and for what purpose?”
”A researcher named Kuune. It seems he is studying the labyrinth.”
”A labyrinth researcher? In that case, is it a consultation for funding?”
”That’s correct. He is seeking funding for research and permission to enter the labyrinth, saying it will definitely be useful for development.”
”It’s not like entering the labyrinth is prohibited… By any chance, is he from the kingdom’s development site?”
”You understood well. He did mention that he was researching the labyrinth in the kingdom’s development site before coming here.”
”Over there, entering the labyrinth without permission is prohibited. I thought it would be the same for this development site.”
However, a researcher of the labyrinth.
Considering the need to conquer the labyrinth for development purposes, although they may be desirable talents in the future, they are not currently needed as we have not yet embarked on the labyrinth conquest.
However, if we disregard them now, there is a possibility that the desired talents will not be available when they are actually needed. If they will undoubtedly become necessary talents in the future, it wouldn’t hurt to secure them even if it’s premature.
Besides, if we advance our research early on, it might work to our advantage when we actually conquer the labyrinth.
”Understood, let’s meet. But I have a few urgent tasks at the moment, so it will have to be another day.”
”Roger that, I’ll convey the message.”
”I’m counting on you. By the way, are you getting along well with the support team that came with you?”
”Well… it’s not going as smoothly as I would like.”
Lewya seemed a bit hesitant, and I couldn’t help but feel a slight sense of unease as I asked.
”It seems like things aren’t going so well. Is Lucena-san being strict after all?”
”While it’s true that Lucena-san is strict, it’s not unreasonable. There are aspects in her feedback that I can agree with, and the abundance of feedback is due to our own shortcomings. It would be inappropriate to say that things are not going well because of that.”
”In that case, what about your subtle reaction just now?”
“…Actually, the attitude of the people who came to support other than the head servant towards the slaves was bad. The head servant told them, ‘It doesn’t matter what their status is, as long as they work as servants.’ But even so, it seems that the discrimination against the slaves cannot be completely erased.”
”I didn’t notice at all…”
”That’s because everyone was careful not to show such behavior in front of Neil. The head servant kept saying, ‘Servants are responsible for fulfilling the duties of the master as a noble, without worrying about anything else. They should not do anything that troubles the master.’”
Those words are truly like Lucena-san, but I’m defeated. And then, I remember a conversation I had with Larnan-san at some point.
’There are currently less than fifty people, with over half of them being slaves. In this small settlement, everyone has developed a sense of familiarity, which allows for a certain level of interaction. However, if similar actions were taken in other cities, there would undoubtedly be a significant amount of dissatisfaction. So, I will ask you again, Master Neil, do you intend to continue holding festivals in this growing settlement in the future, similar to tonight?’
’Without a doubt, it would become a major source of discontent. Many people do not accept being treated on the same level as slaves. There are plenty of fools in this world who cannot find solace unless they look down on others, not just among the nobility. As Master Neil expands the settlement, it is inevitable that such individuals will enter this land.’
’Master Neil, if you truly wish to value the slaves, I recommend treating them as ‘slaves.’ That is also a way to protect them from others.’
At that time, I thought it was a story that was still far in the future, and I never imagined that we would face such a problem in this way. In this settlement, the enslaved people work as servants.
From the perspective of the servants employed by the Count Atmiras’s household, they feel uncomfortable being treated on par with slaves. In reality, except for minor details, they are treated almost on par with the servants, so it’s understandable that the servants feel dissatisfied.
”…I’m sorry, Neil.”
”Why is Lewya apologizing?”
”Servants should not cause trouble for their masters. Even the head servant told me not to say things that would give them worries. You already have enough worries about the settlement.”
”In that case, there’s no need to apologize. I’m grateful that you told me. If I had remained ignorant, I would have regretted it later for sure. Besides, the issue of the enslaved people is not just a trivial matter that should trouble me. It’s one of the problems that the settlement should face.”
However, this is a deeply rooted issue of social class and discrimination. It’s not a problem that can be easily solved, no matter how much I ponder over it. The support from my family is only temporary, and while it may resolve with time, it’s not a solution.
It’s clear that eliminating everyone’s discrimination is nearly impossible. So for now, I can only resort to surface-level measures, but there is one concern.
”By the way, how are things outside recently?”
”Oh, if you’re talking about the fields, I haven’t heard of any major issues since the wall was built.”
”Well, that’s not what I’m worried about. It’s about the large group of people, not just the slaves. I’ve been listening to their reports and petitions, doing my best to alleviate their dissatisfaction and anxiety, but I have no idea if people are satisfied with my efforts. If they feel unsatisfied and I focus solely on addressing the slaves’ issues…”
”It would imply that we’re neglecting their problems and prioritizing the slaves, right?”
”If they have any complaints towards me, that’s fine. But if it comes to directing those complaints towards the slaves, I can’t help but think about it.”
There aren’t many people who can directly express their dissatisfaction to someone in a higher position than themselves. Especially if the other person is a noble, people will seek someone to vent their frustrations on, someone who is in a weaker position than themselves.
”Sigh… I guess I ended up following Larnan-san’s advice.”
This problem was caused by my own naivety, trying to please everyone. However, I have no intention of worsening the treatment of the slaves now, and I was thinking about what to do.
”Master Neil, it’s Lucena.”
”…? Please come in.”
The door to the office was knocked forcefully, and I could hear Lucena-san’s voice sounding tense. Wondering if something had happened, I urged her to come in and greeted her.
”Is something wrong?”
”Yes, actually, earlier, one of the workers from the farmland rushed into the mansion and said, ‘Something terrible came out of the fields,’ and asked me to relay it to Master Neil.”
”If it’s towards the field, Diana should be watching now, right? Why hasn’t Diana come to report?”
”It seems that Diana judged it inefficient to leave the scene and decided to stay in command of the farmland with only the servants. She is still there.”
”So something significant enough for Diana to delegate the report to someone else has happened. What happened?”
”Well… even the person who came to report is flustered and unable to explain clearly, but it’s about a child’s head…”
”What!? A head!?”
Upon hearing Lucena’s words, I instinctively stood up, knocking over the chair. How could something like that be in the field? Did someone do such a thing? Who is the victim?
Moreover, the field is a place where the earth spirits’ eyes are always present. If there are any suspicious individuals, it should be reported to Lewya…
”Please wait until you hear the full report before jumping to conclusions. The report is still ongoing.”
”Continuing, it seems that a child’s head has come out of the field, and it is said that the head spoke.”
”…What? The head spoke? Does that mean it’s alive?”
”Perhaps, it is truly difficult to grasp what is being said, so I am reporting the situation without fully understanding it myself. At this point, I have decided to prioritize reporting quickly rather than accuracy.”
”When Diana hurriedly sent someone, even if it means sacrificing accuracy, there is no time to send someone again for confirmation.”
The nonsensical talk of a talking child made me calm down and think. Sending someone without understanding the situation, Diana should be able to predict how I will act. In other words, this is a direct invitation for me to go and check the field myself.
I put down the pen I was holding on the pen stand and interrupted my paperwork to head towards the field.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.