This time the recap isn’t that long, fortunately. However should there be longer recaps in the future again, I will enclose them with a marker so that people can skip past it if they desire, like this
Sometimes I really wish I had a punching bag close by while translating this novel. You’d think the author should have understood after almost 30 chapters that you DO NOT alternate descriptive text and characters describing things mixing the two together. Either you use a text block of regular description OR you let your characters do the describing!
As a result I forgot at some points to put an end to someone talking, because it was an ongoing description anyways! XD
Well, this chapter could have the title “Audience with His Majesty” now, at least. Enjoy reading it.
“(After arriving in the royal capital, to suddenly have an audience with His Majesty, huh …?)” (Wendelin)
During summer vacation, we decided to travel to the royal capital to participate in Erich-nii-san’s wedding and to likewise do some sightseeing.
On the way we were attacked by an ancient dragon, who we defeated in the end.
Although it sounds quite simple, the matter didn’t continue quite as simple afterwards.
When the magic airship arrived in the harbor of the royal capital, there was a knight-sama dispatched by the royal palace waiting for us. I had to sorrowfully postpone my reunion with Erich-nii-san as I was dragged off to the royal palace.
Me, with the outward appearance of a child and the interior of a petty bourgeois. A quite cruel story indeed.
To be frank, I was troubled how to properly deal with it.
Tentatively speaking I am the child of a noble, however I didn’t receive any education for such occasions. Our household was similar to commoners in comparison to the royalty and important nobles of the royal capital.
“You are indeed very young. Although the talent in magic has nothing to do with the age …” (Helmut-ou)
For a while polite greetings were exchanged. And now His Majesty was listening to me telling the story of how I defeated the ancient dragon.
The duty to protect the magic airship from the ancient dragon’s breath attack had been entrusted to Burkhart-san. Flying towards the ancient dragon while also defending myself with a magical barrier against the breath attack, I used Holy magic to let the ancient dragon pass on in peace.
I tried to tell the story as detailed as possible.
“Flight, Magical Barrier, Holy Light. Were those three magic spells deployed simultaneously? I see, you appear to be the possessor of an magnificent talent.” (Helmut-ou)
“That’s right, Your Majesty.” (-)
Thereupon a person who approved of His Majesty’s word appeared. That close to 70-years-old man was wearing gorgeously decorated priest’s clothes. Undoubtedly he was a church official. Moreover he was in a position of being able to freely enter the royal palace. He was sure to be quite the big-shot at the Head Church1.
“Does Cardinal Hohenheim think the same?” (Helmut-ou)
“Yes. Furthermore, a magician to cast such amount of Holy light is quite rare.” (Hohenheim)
Holy magic, the number of people being able to use it was quite few.
Even without talent in magic, the clergyman of the church decided to proceed with disciplining. Oneself possessing a microscopic amount of magic power with the Holy attribute didn’t seem to be as unusual and unheard of.
Naturally, evil spirits didn’t approach someone who is following the scriptures in this world. To eliminate such beings it also was possible to use magic tools imbued with Holy power.
Even so, most of the clergy were not as capable as magicians to cast Holy magic of the strategical ・ tactical class.
There was the issue of talent in the long run, too.
Particularly powerful Holy magic was not needed for diligent “honorable poverty”2 for those clergyman aiming to support society.
In reverse, clergyman full of greed for money and lusting for power looked at the society with cold-hearted eyes.
However, it was all just trouble of such a degree.
“Putting it like that, Wendelin-dono should receive the real baptism at the sacred assembly hall of the Head Church in the future.” (Hohenheim)
“Real baptism?” (Wendelin)
“Wendelin-dono is still a youngster born in the southern lands. It is only natural that you wouldn’t know about it.” (Hohenheim)
To put it simply, you could call me a country bumpkin.
According to the explanation by Cardinal Hohenheim, the real baptism was one rank above the baptism that was occasionally performed at the local church of one’s birthplace, to put it simply.
Furthermore this baptism could be received even if one had already been baptised in a local church.
As for its tangible effect, the society only regarded such people as exceedingly devout believers. It’s not like undead will crumble to dust by only touching them, just because you received that particular real baptism.
Incidentally royalty, important nobles and major merchants could receive that real baptism as well by donating a high amount of alms. It was a compromise between rich people wanting to be given dignity as believers and the church’s side wanting to obtain money. Of course, one shouldn’t say it like that.
Simply put, calling it 『Baptism for the wealthy』 would be correct, wouldn’t it?
“(The aim was enclosure and endowment, huh?)” (Wendelin)
“(The endowment isn’t the major aim. In short, it is the enclosure within the denomination itself.)” (Artur)
Artur-san informed me by whispering.
Apparently the point was to scramble for believers for the denomination. The likes of famous and successful people within society, such person like myself, belonging to that denomination would be a very good advertisement.
In addition, apparently Cardinal Hohenheim aimed for his denomination to become the state religion of this nation, just like a catholic cardinal of the orthodox church.
Besides, to increase the believers nowadays they returned to the starting point of using the antiquated dogma of “honorable poverty,” just like the protestants of the Protestantism.3
Moreover, this was the beginning of radical fundamentalism recalling the old days. This primitive religion of rural areas could be deemed to be connected to dozens of native schools each having its own faction.
The statement that God was a single entity was disputed by people of various affiliations. Just to which world was this similar?
Truthfully, religion was a bothersome matter.
“(If you receive the real baptism once, other denominations won’t try to approach you with ridiculous persuasion attempts any more either. Receive it once you have some free time.)” (Artur)
Although the relations between denominations were bad, it was an unspoken rule that the act of poaching believers was prohibited.
Artur-san confirmed this with a 『Yes』 whispered into the ear.
“(Understood) I shall humbly accept your invitation during my stay in the royal capital.” (Wendelin)
“Wendelin-dono is a pious Son of God as well? Good, good.” (Hohenheim)
Since I accepted his invitation for the real baptism obediently, Cardinal Hohenheim beamed a smile on his face.
However, to say one thing: The point of me being a pious Son of God is wrong, isn’t it? The other side shouldn’t have too much expectations from me either I’d like to think.
“With this settled. Very well, We happen to have a request for you.” (Helmut-ou)
“Yes, what does His Majesty desire from me?” (Wendelin)
“We wish for you to sell the bones and magic core of the ancient dragon you have obtained this time.” (Helmut-ou)
I see, now I understand the reason why Artur-san said there would be no auction for the items. It wasn’t merely because of its high price and value. He saw through the fact that the royal family would definitely try to secure the materials which could be treated as strategical resources.
“To tell you the truth, those bones and magic core are a necessity to move the gigantic magic airship.” (Helmut-ou)
“Gigantic magic airship?” (Wendelin)
According to His Majesty’s explanation, with the exception of the current magic airships in operation, there also was a ship hull excavated from the ancient ruins. However apparently that hull couldn’t be moved with a moderately-sized magical crystal.
Just how many ships are there?
“Within the suburbs of the royal capital there is an ancient ruin of shipyard remains from the era of the ancient magical civilization.” (Helmut-ou)
Four times as big as the magic airship we used to get here, the over-all-length was exceeding 400 meters. It seems such a super-gigantic ship was sleeping in the remains of a dock.
“There also was the idea to merge as many small magical crystals as possible together to move it …” (Helmut-ou)
It looks like they couldn’t adopt as it was too unstable due to abnormal heating of the coupling parts and an extreme decline of the fuel efficiency.
It seemed to be commonly popular in the era of the ancient magical civilization.
The method to produce a big magical crystal using a great number of small magical crystals was nowadays a lost technology though.
Even if the current research was advancing, it could be said that as of yet there were no results to be reaped.
By replenishing the mana within exhausted magical crystals, small magical crystals had quite sufficient application, too. Or more precisely, the result was the same whether one person with a great amount of mana or several people with average amount of mana did the replenishing.
However, manufacturing a big magical crystal using magical crystals as materials as well, such an experiment had never been successful up until this day.
If you wanted to obtain a big magical crystal refusing to excavate it from the things laying dormant within the ancient ruins, you would have no other choice but to obtain a huge magic core from a powerful monster with the dragon attribute class and process it into a magical crystal.
“Also in addition, because the ship was in the dock various components and armor parts have been removed from it.” (Helmut-ou)
It’s not like the manufacturing required any highly-sophisticated technologies or complex structures, but as material strength is a must either way, the most suitable material, the bones of an ancient dragon, was apparently indispensable.
“The processed bones of the ancient dragon will be used to replace the missing components and armor parts in an effort to ensure the safe operation of the gigantic magic airship. Well? Will you sell them?” (Helmut-ou)
“Yes, certainly so. It will be my pleasure to offer them to His Majesty.” (Wendelin)
First of all, no matter how you think about it, a refusal isn’t possible in such situation.
Furthermore, even if I refused here, there would be no one willing to buy it either.
If the kingdom marked me because of that, it would cause trouble for my parent’s home, too. Even though that home didn’t treat me with kindness, it still wasn’t a reason to expose them to persecution.
I should properly become independent without causing trouble at the same time.
“I see. That is good. In that situation We will buy the bones and magic core for 1500 platinum coins.” (Helmut-ou)
“Your Majesty! No matter what, this is too much!” (-)
An elderly noble standing next to His Majesty who you could be considered a chief vassal, yelled in protest against the amount of money for the purchase. Apparently this person was in charge of the financial affairs of the kingdom.
“Well then, what’s the market price? Nou, Artur?4 Since you are a merchant who regularly sells items the kingdom requires, We are certain you know the correct price, isn’t that so?” (Helmut-ou)
His Majesty inquired the market price from Artur-san, who was next to me.
“Yes. A magic core of such size will not sell for less than 1200 platinum coins. The bones are about the same.
The likes of dragon bones are rarely taken out of the ancient ruins as artifacts because they can’t be reused after tearing them off. To obtain a complete set of bones of such size several thousand years later, I don’t think anyone could have imagined that to happen.
The bones too, I think 300 platinum coins are a proper assessment.” (Artur)
“However, the situation of the budget …” (Finance noble A-kun)
“The restart of that gigantic ship was included in the calculations of the budget. We heard it was 2500 platinum coins. The 1500 platinum coins are part of the material cost. Although We don’t know how much the other sundry expenses cover, you don’t really want to say the amount exceeds 1000 platinum coins as well.
It should be well in range of the budget.” (Helmut-ou)
Still tenaciously facing towards the person in charge of finances, His Majesty declared there was sufficient funds within the budget.
I didn’t interrupt their deliberation.
“I must opt for economizing here. The subject of other budgets having insufficient funds is the reason for the delay in carrying out operations.” (Finance noble A-kun)
“Nou, Finance Minister Ruckner. Certainly, the budget isn’t infinite. If it was possible to even save 1 copper coin while doing the same thing, there would be no need to concern Ourselves with exceeding it either. ”
“Well, Your Majesty.” (Ruckner)
“However, acting here similar to being stingy with the reward towards someone, who has distinguished himself with meritorious deeds, will dampen the morale of the next person who might try to contribute to the glory of our kingdom afterwards.
If such a person tries to put magic cores and bones up in an auction … Artur, what do you think will happen?” (Helmut-ou)
His Majesty asked a question of Artur-san once more.
“Ha! The standard estimated value of such magic core and bones is 1500 platinum coins. However, considering the many expectations when it is put up in such an auction, there will be people who will want to obtain these items at any price.
It is not within my reach, however there are wealthy people here and there who easily have a surplus of 2500 platinum coins or more to bid with.
And then, while complaining about the hardships in obtaining these items, they will charge a huge commission fee of the kingdom.
Usually merchants commission goods while keeping the prices low. The arrangement is for 5-10% of the amount of money to be gained as profit.
Therefore adding in the commission fee, the calculation will already have exceeded the budget.
Artur-san explained to His Majesty that paying only 1500 platinum coins would be a bargain for the kingdom.
“Finance Minister Ruckner, all materials will be obtained for a price of 1500 platinum coins. How much more is necessary to start the operation (T/N: of the ship)?” (Helmut-ou)
“Yes. Processing the materials, the work of equipping the engine with the magical crystal, the work of equipping other components and armor parts, test runs and the final fitting of the ship. Approximately 300 platinum coins.” (Ruckner)
As one would expect of a super-gigantic airship spanning a total length of 400 meters. Merely hearing about the budget covering the cost for resuming operations, one could get dizzy from it.
“Saving a share of 700 platinum coins, the budget reduction was successful, Finance Minister Ruckner. We would like to allot sufficient priority to the preponderate items.” (Helmut-ou)
“Ha! ha!”5 (Ruckner)
With these few words, Finance Minister Ruckner would not once speak words of rebuttal again.
The Minister of Finance successfully cut the budget for the restart of the gigantic magic airship. This budget reduction allowed him to distribute the funds to the previous priorities.
The force of personality displayed by His Majesty was admired by the other courtiers as well, just like by Artur-san and me, too. It became impossible to say anything else any more.
“That’s right, the matter of dealing with the raw materials is no more than pure business. In another matter, We haven’t yet bestowed you a proper honorable reward as We ought to.” (Hemut-ou)
“An honorobale reward?” (Wendelin)
“That is so.6 You have protected the magic airship, which cost 800 platinum coins to restart operations, from the ancient dragon’s breath attack.
Hearing about it in the report, the contribution of Burkhart of the Breithilde margrave area was large. But if you haven’t been there, the ship would have sooner or later be sunk by a direct hit.” (Helmut-ou)
Certainly, as His Majesty stated, Burkhart-san’s magical barrier defended against the breath attack of the ancient dragon. While serving as defense against the ancient dragon’s magical attacks, dealing a lethal blow to it was impossible though.
Since the magical barrier would gradually have been worn down due to the exhaustion of mana, the ship would have been destroyed by a direct hit of the breath attack at some point.
“Afterwards this royal capital would have incurred heavy losses by the following attack. Also thinking about it normally, you definitely are a dragon slayer. Besides, we couldn’t bear it to not bestow a suitable reward.” (Helmut-ou)
While His Majesty stated such, a civil official appeared from the back holding a tray with something placed on it.
“For defeating the ancient dragon who turned undead and the meritorious deed of protecting the magic airship, We present Wendelin von Benno Baumeister this Twin Dragon medal.” (Helmut-ou)
The audience hall suddenly turned into a conferring of decorations hall.
I accepted the medal, which was an arrangement of two dragons made out of gold and emerald, from His Majesty and attached it to the left side of the chest.
Thereupon a great applause resounded from the surroundings at the same time.
Apparently it was a quite honorable medal.
Given that I was not fated to receive a public awarding in my previous life, truthfully I didn’t inquire about what to do in such case. Rather than spending time thinking of investigating about receiving a medal, I spent my time with special magic training.
Because that’s who I am.
“Continuing, Our Helmut kingdom’s king Helmut the 37th, grants thou, Wendelin von Benno Baumeister, the title of 6th rank associate baron grade to devote oneself to. Come, Baumeister-kyou7” (Helmut-ou)
“(Wendelin, the words of oath on occasion of a conferring of decorations. Since they are short, can you remember them?)” (Artur)
Suddenly petrified by the current situation, Artur-san whispered from beside me and thus throwing a saving lifeline.
“I shall wield My sword8, for His Majesty, for the kingdom and on behalf of the people.” (Wendelin)
Come to think of it, now I remember having heard these words from my mother. Thus I hurried to speak them.
By no means I expected that there would ever come a time in my life to state these words. Simultaneously to not leaving any significant accomplishments by swinging my sword and such either. Even pondering about it, it was a quite ridiculous situation.
“Now then, with this Sir Baumeister became a retainer of the kingdom. Be that as it may, We do not intend to particularly tie you down with civil service. It is fine to attend your brother’s wedding, enjoy the royal capital and walk the path of an adventurer freely.” (Helmut-ou)
Despite such unforeseen events happening in a row, I feel like I was just washed away by the flow.
Anyway, I have obtained a large amount of money again. A medal and peerage as well. And for some reason Artur-san was smiling bitterly next to me. This left a big impression on me. (T/N: Uo~ Welcome to the ebil world of politics *kukuku*)
1 Direct translation would be “church headquarters/main office” but the clerical organization is not like a company so I opted for “head church.”
2 清貧 – I have lightly read up on it and it seems to mean the bare life close to the minimum needed of clergy which one could probably call poor.
3 Since I am no person interested in religion and its history, I won’t guarantee on the correctness of the authors claims here.
4 “market price in society” would be the literal translation, but well, that sounds too stiff. “Nou” is an address indicating the speakers attention shifting to someone specific. I don’t know of any English equivalent for that though .. maybe “Well” or “Hey”, but not quite either.
5 No, he is not laughing … its an expression of obedient agreement towards the decree of royalty and their likes.
6 My fingers were itching to write “Umu” here! xD
7 In this case either Lord Baumeister or Sir Baumeister. Preferred to leave it like that, this once at least. ^^
8 “waga ken” .. “waga” is a formal way of addressing oneself, I think. Thus the “My.”