Hifumi was notified to return to the capital for an informal conferring of a peerage.
Such simplicity is fine, huh? Listening to the messenger, this was the style during war. You could say it was an official reason in this case.
I think there is no necessity to expressly return from the front. You could consider this no more than a regulation. Actually, it seemed to be the first time for Hifumi to rise in nobility by this method.
“Maa, since Pajou is heading toward the castle currently, I doubt she wants me to accompany her.” (Hifumi)
Although Hifumi could vaguely guess Pajou’s motive, he didn’t plan on dealing with it in any special way.
As he didn’t really consider Orsongrande an enemy nor did he judge them to be allies either, he didn’t particularly care which path they would choose.
The state being as it is, Hifumi officially became the feudal lord of the central viscount territory of Fokalore. The mansion of the former feudal lord of Fokalore became his residence from now on.
Since he wasn’t very concerned about the place he lived, the new maids he had employed only were to clean as he decided to use all of the rooms without changing them.
Even though Hifumi said it would be plenty for him to use a small room like the servants used, he was persuaded by Sabnak that if the feudal lord were in such situation the servants rooms would end up shrinking even more. Thus, the result was that he would use the room Hagenti used before.
Incidentally, Origa and Alyssa also received a room for living in the same former feudal lord mansion.
The two were given rooms that were originally used by the former feudal lord’s relatives. Alyssa swiftly decided on an extravagant room to live in, but she was unusually bewildered having her circumstances being taken care of by maids.
From the time Origa returned to Fokalore she stayed close to Hifumi almost as if her position was to be his secretary. She also aspired the room next to Hifumi’s room. Thus she was finishing her work vigorously. (E: Really wants that mistress position, huh?)
Although one part of the expeditionary force returned to the capital, the majority of above 80 people stayed behind.
Revising from their organisation during the war, they divided into 4 groups to guard the territory, maintain the public order, and practice all kinds of things. They changed into a simple way of performing a relief rotation and decided to conscript new recruits from within the territory.
Alyssa was employed as army manager while Origa was employed to manage the civil officials. Merely for form’s sake Hifumi arranged this shape of system for now.
By the way, as Alyssa was anxious to manage the troops by only herself, a single woman called Miyukare, who was originally a civil official in the capital amongst the civil official slaves, was assigned as her assistant.
These decisions up until here were made and notified as they decided to move towards Fokalore. After arriving at Fokalore these were immediately realized.
And now, in front of Hifumi, four of the slaves took a written test while eagerly sitting at a desk.
The objective was to see the results of finishing the provided assignment.
Given that Miyukare secured the duty of being Alyssa’s assistant, only the remaining four had to undergo the test.
As it would affect their own future, all of them were desperate.
“Alright, it’s time. Everyone put down your pens.” (Hifumi)
The scratching sound of filling in the papers ceased and without knowing who it was, the sound of breathing out could be heard.
Since it was merely the portion of four people, Hifumi collected the sheets of paper without delay and graded them quickly.
“Alright, maa, I guess it’s fine. All of you will operate as civil officials under my direct control.” (Hifumi)
After checking the answers of the test, Hifumi tossed the papers on top of the desk and looked at everyone while talking.
“I’m so glad…” (Slave)
A single woman muttered while the others had a relieved facial expression.
“Well then, I will now explain regarding the organisation of this city’s administration. As it isn’t a city of significant scale, it isn’t feasible to make anything but a simple structure. The five of you, you guys and Miyukare, will play a leading role in the administration of this city with Origa on top. As you know, Miyukare will be transferred to the troops. Depending on the situation she will bear the duty of mediating with the administration. Caim (T/N >> Kaimu <<) and Brokra (T/N: >> Burokura <<) will carry out the budget compilation as well as tax collection. Paryu (T/N: >> Pariyu <<) will manage the creation of a family register. The administrative guidance related to commerce and industry will be done by Doelgar (T/N: >> Douerugaru <<). As I will steadily hire personnel, I will appropriately divide them and assign them to you guys.” (Hifumi)
“Ano … What is a family register?” (Paryu)
The youngest woman among the slaves, Paryu, raised her hand.
“Ah, now that you mention it, I didn’t explain that.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi had heard from Sabnak roughly about the tax system in this world.
From each farmer in a village around half of their annual harvest would be collected.
From the merchants a fixed amount of money would be annually collected depending on the scale of their business and the merchandise they dealt with.
As for the other members of the general public, a staff member would annually collect a poll tax depending on the town.
Although Hifumi said there were many leaks like that, since there were only few people who could calculate, Sabnak mentioned with confidence that this degree of taxation was the limit of what was possible.
“It is work that investigates who and where someone is living and compiles this information. Certainly, because there is obviously no concept of addresses or such either, most of the personnel will be at first sent under your supervision. After explaining the details, they will attach a number to all plots of land and houses within the city. Furthermore they will check up who lives there and what kind of occupation they have. And then you will hand this information over to Caim’s group. This will become the basic information in order to collect the taxes.” (Hifumi)
He also explained that the performance of the administration services was based on the information obtained by receiving reports about birth and death.
Although Paryu had a face which likewise could mean that she understood it or didn’t, after listening to his explanation she nodded in assent.
“Even though I have the work called ‘guidance of the commerce and industry,’ what would be good to do there?” (Doelgar)
The next question came from Doelgar, a middle-aged man with a bearded face.
“Generally it is to make a guild for every type of industry. Each craftsman and store should be coordinated through them by giving them instructions depending on the situation of the industry and the instructions from the administration. Also, those guys who are unemployed will be efficiently sent to the places, which don’t have enough hands, as manpower by the guilds.” (Hifumi)
“I see.” (Doelgar)
Doelgar seems to have understood it quickly.
“And, before long there will arrive several dwarf slaves at Fokalore. Since they are able to somewhat produce some things as well, we will distribute those goods, which have become our specialty, through the guilds in the country’s market. Everything in regards to that I will entrust to you.” (Hifumi)
“I have understood.” (Doelgar)
Furthermore, such things as tax collection and tax rate, he explained to everyone the details of what he planned during the war. As soon as the family register information was gathered, he would announce the change of the tax system.
In order to validate them, each of them would be given a private room in the feudal lord’s mansion to serve as office and would have an exclusive maid assigned to them.
All of them were perplexed by the treatment that was no different from a noble.
“You can interpret it as your work being this level of demanding and intensity.” (Hifumi)
After these words some became scared while others showed their determination.
That day the dwarves arrived in the city, they prepared the tools for the construction work in the city and were shown the blueprints while receiving the necessary explanations. The instructions were about the new buildings like the police box, where a smaller amount of guards could be stationed unlike a guard office in concern of the the city’s security. Hifumi was vigorously going through the entire city.
As new feudal lord he walked through the city on his own feet. Even though the city’s inhabitants were bewildered in the beginning, it reached the point that they greeted him as they gradually memorized his face.
Although Hifumi frankly thought of it as troublesome, considering that they had provided the money and materials for the sake of the war, it naturally turned into him improving his acceptance of the matters regarding his governmental position.
“Somehow your mood has become a bit more gentle.” (Origa)
Origa smiled while making black tea for Hifumi.
Except during work, Origa is always besides me, Hifumi thought while becoming aware of it.
“Is that so? Maa, because I have become a feudal lord there are no fellows lunging at me. Vichy hasn’t made a move yet either. Even though it would be irritating for it to be continuously peaceful as it is now, it will become a large war very soon anyway. I think it is fun to prepare for that.” (Hifumi)
However, it is was also a fact that he grew tired from the several days of peace.
As he was spending hours inside to lead the government which he wasn’t used to, he felt that the scent of battle vanished.
There was once again a hunch welling up that he wouldn’t be able to kill similar to the anguishing time he felt when he lived on earth for ten-odd years.
“That … I heard from Alyssa.” (Origa)
Towards Origa’s voice he returned his consciousness from his deep thinking.
“It’s about the matter regarding Hifumi-sama sending a written letter in order for to the central government of Vichy to hand over Beirevra. Thank you very much.” (Origa)
Given that Alyssa is apparently often consulting with Origa, I guess she heard about it then.
Although I didn’t plan on hiding it either.
“We don’t know yet what kind of effect it will have. There is no guarantee that Vichy will follow it obediently either. There is no need to thank me for something like that.” (Hifumi)
“Even if there are no results, I will gladly accept the situation just like that. Because of that, um …” (Origa)
With a deep red face Origa tried to convey something while being fidgety but she wasn’t quite able to put it in words.
Seeing her like that, although it is appropriate for a girl of her age, for some reason she ends up wearing me out recently, Hifumi didn’t consider his own gender in the slightest at all.
“You better not continue saying anything yet regarding the previous matter.” (Hifumi)
“Even I am a man. I am happy about your feelings.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi urged Origa to the couch in the reception and also sat in front of her himself.
“But, I bought you, who was a slave, as a slave. I couldn’t accomplish your vengeance properly either. Maa, I guess for Kasha this much was fine already. Even though I won’t say that I am close to fulfilling your revenge, isn’t this like the often seen part of imprinting something?” (Hifumi)
“Th-There is no such thing!” (Origa)
Origa, thinking that her feelings were denied, started to spill tears.
“Calm down. As I haven’t really settled down in this world yet, you can say that I didn’t think about wanting to have a relationship like that. It is for my own convenience. Sorry.” (Hifumi)
Seeing the figure of the apologizing Hifumi, Origa quickly subdued her feelings.
“S-Such a degree of apology towards me, Hifumi-sama, please stop it!” (Origa)
“I don’t dislike you. But, in the current situation I don’t plan to go any further than that. That’s right … once the case with Vichy has been settled, I will make time for us to talk at ease. However, only if Origa’s feelings haven’t changed at that time.” (Hifumi)
Even though Hifumi’s way of talking showed signs of jesting, Origa took it seriously.
“I understand. As my feelings won’t change, I will prove it to you that I am suitable woman to stand at Hifumi-sama’s side. Therefore, could you please watch me?” (Origa)
“… Understood” (Hifumi)
Was Hifumi’s reply sufficient for her for the time being? Regaining her smile, Origa bowed and left the room as she had to return to her work.
Hifumi, who was left behind, unsheathed his katana and checked the sword blade.
He saw that there was no nick in the blade. This had become his daily routine.
< Lover, Marriage, huh? Although I didn’t think about these things over there, now that I have become a noble, I wonder if somewhere there is an ojou-san approaching to snuggle up to me like the impressions I got from reading in books? As it is an often heard story, I wonder whether my own character will get as amicable to marry Origa or some other partner? Will I be able to cease killing people? > (Hifumi)
Other than killing or being killed, me ending up changing in such way, that is scary.
When I arrived in this world, I thought that I would be afraid for the first time.
I certainly never expected my first dread would be about relations with women, Hifumi sneering at himself in mockery.
Currently Hifumi didn’t possess anything of importance to him.
Be it the nation or the city, he was able to abandon them at any time. Sacrificing the populace in those circumstances as well, depending on the situation he wouldn’t have any qualm to do so.
Also separating from Kasha, he only thought that the usable fellows decreased by one without having any sentimental feelings.
Pajou and Sabnak as well, he intended to kill them if they asked unnecessary questions or became his enemies even if they were close to him.
< I wonder if there is a fellow who wants to become the bride of such a guy? … > (Hifumi)
Or, I wonder, if becoming the wife is impossible, to become a cherished partner?
Bearing a child if possible …
“Stop, let’s just stop. It will only cause me to feel depressed.” (Hifumi)
As it was inevitable for him to worry about various things without making a decision either, he continued to immerse himself in his work.
Apparently it wasn’t only Thorn who worked early but it was something that could be said for the entire dwarven race.
The dwarf slaves Hifumi had bought from Ular did their assigned work energetically from the first day after arriving in Fokalore.
As the exclusive development team of the territory, the leader of the dwarf slaves, Pruflas (T/N: >> Purufurasu <<), separated 10 dwarves in several groups and had them work hard on the manufacturing.
As 15 dwarves were purchased, the remainder was working at the construction of the city currently.
The manufacturing area was an extensive workshop which was bought to be utilized.
Seeing the figure of Hifumi arriving, Pruflas ran up to him.
“Oo, feudal lord-sama?” (Pruflas)
“It seems the work is making progress.” (Hifumi)
Despite it only being one day since the work had started, there were already several products lined up at the side of the workshop.
“No, not at all. Since accepting the assignment of such enjoyable work, we are doing our best. After becoming slaves, though we wondered whether we would work in the mines until death, we can now produce things that we haven’t seen until now either like this and that. We all do this in order to thank the feudal lord. Now, please confirm whether we were able to follow your instructions adequately!” (Prulflas)
Guided by Prulflas, he checked the products in turns.
Producing according to Hifumi’s instructions, there were ballistas and weapons resembling large bow-guns. In order for those being able to shoot simple wood lances were produced instead of arrows.
So that huge quantities could be produced in a short time, rather than making arrows, the lances were quickly made by simply shaving the wood.
Furthermore there were rail cars in proportion of the size of a single standard-sized auto-mobile.
Although it was troublesome to explain the constructions, he judged it to be the maximum priority of his instructions to increase the means of transportation as it was indispensable to invigorate the industry.
The mechanism to move the upper and lower ends of the handle was simple. There was also a single rod installed to control the brakes.
“Although I can understand the weapons, what do you want to do with this wagon called “rail car”? Certainly, as it is easy to move it with two people even if it has to carry heavy load, according to the blueprints it doesn’t provide a function to make a curve.” (Pruflas)
“I will draw up an exclusive rail. To say it accurately, we will lay out two poles side-by-side and place it on top of them. It will make the curves according to the curving of those poles.” (Hifumi)
“I see” (Prulflas)
“Haven’t you finished the movement test? Since I will dispatch some personnel as support, please construct two rails around the whole city.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi handed over a drawing of the whole city. It showed the traced lines of the drawn parts of the roads.
“Are there two of them?” (Pruflas)
“It’s convenient to have one going around in reverse. It will be a popular way of cheap travelling. It will stimulate the movement of people and goods in the whole city.” (Hifumi)
“How unexpected, to consider the population of the city.” (Pruflas)
At the exaggerated agreement of Pruflas, Hifumi laughed refreshingly.
“It is different. After this, I will have you make further rails having segments diverging away from this city to other places. In the direction of the national border.” (Hifumi)
“Not in the direction of the royal capital?” (Pruflas)
“Obviously not. Won’t these be used in order to quickly transport materials for the war? Goods and people as well. That alone is already advantageous for swiftly preparing.” (Hifumi)
The young feudal lord talked about dangerous things while smiling brightly. Prulflas had his breath taken away.
<This is the rumored hero “Knight of the Slender Sword”?> (Pruflas)
As for Prulflas, rather than a hero he felt something even more dreadful.
But, thinking back on his own position, there was nothing for him to do but displaying his skill here. He acted as if he didn’t hear Hifumi’s indications and renewed his attitude.
While he had a hunch that this city would become a battlefield someday.