One month has passed since the attack. Once the bodies were delivered to the policemen, there was no evidence found from the corpses. Haruto reported to the Governor the involvement of Samaras Shokai once, but since there is no physical evidence, he was told that he can’t charge a person for a crime if I don’t have a testimony from a third party. The attack incident was settled as a burglar case on the surface.
Haruto took measures in response to that incident. One is screening the mercenaries. If the mercenary guarding them has been bribed, they’re not even worth considering. At the same time, Pudding, Rusk, Rang, Tart, and the others are monitoring the other mercenaries for them, so he increased their salary by 100,000.
What he did next is to strengthen security. But even if he increased the number of mercenaries, he can’t expect much effect. He had enough mercenaries. Even if he increase them, the salary expense is the only thing that’ll rise. Also, if he increases their number, he won’t be able to grasp the mercenaries’ behavior. After all, he also wants to avoid a traitor in his home.
When Haruto was troubled about what he should do, he heard a knock.
「Haruto-san. Is it okay? 」
When Haruto says so, Roa opens the door slowly and enters.
「There’s a visitor. It’s Adonis-san」
「Adonis? I’ll receive him now」
Although the other party has recently declined, he is still the Chairman of a big Shokai. Although his influence has been reduced, he is still the head of one of the three major factions. He can’t mishandle this. Haruto headed to the reception room in a hurry.
「Aahh, hello. What’s your business today? 」
They sat on the sofa and started talking.
「It must have been hard, right? To think there’s a robbery and to think you’d be attacked. Even so, to believe that this kind of evil deed happened in Claris. Such a rude robber」
Adonis says while drinking tea.
「It was really hard. The only salvation is that no one died. We are currently reviewing our security」
When Haruto says so, Adonis laughed as if he’d been waiting for it.
「About that security matter……in fact, we have a new product」
That said, Adonis began explaining about the new alarm system. It’s a story telling that the performance has dramatically increased.
Haruto thought while listening. Haruto purchased all his magic tools, including the latest alarm from Wolfstan Shokai. Lately, there are things with good performance made by the Empire, but he was still buying Wolfstan Shokai’s products. This is called socializing. He intends to buy the new alarm system even without such a description, and Adonis should be aware of it.
「And the most significant feature of this alarm is that information is instantaneously conveyed to the police. Do you know about the communication machine that’s recently in practical use in the Empire? It’s an application of resonance magic. We are using that technology. If you had this, you wouldn’t be afraid of thieves, right? We’re trying to sell this system with the alarm. Can you please purchase it for testing? We will attach it to your home, free of charge」
Haruto thought about it. The important thing is not the alarm, it’s the security system combined with the alarm. If there are no rivals, it would be profitable. First, bring the product to Haruto since Haruto was just attacked. The burglar incident also made a bit of news. So Haruto buying it will become good publicity.
「I can’t decide until I know the price. How much is it? 」
Hearing Haruto says so, Adonis’s face distorts a little.
「The transmission between the resonators is a little stretched. It depends on the distance, but it will roughly be 50 million. If it’s in the suburbs, 60 million. If it’s outside the wall, 70 million. When it’s as far as Asuma Shokai’s second factory, 100 million will be necessary. If the prospect of mass production is settled, the cost can be reduced by about 40%……Kirishian’s technology is a little lower compared to the mainland of the Empire」
Adonis said as if making an excuse.
This system is not bad, and the security will rise dramatically. It also doesn’t hurt that this means selling a favor to Adonis. Still, the price is the price. Haruto answered after thinking for a while.
「I understand. I’ll buy it. Aside from Asuma Shokai’s branches, please also install it in the factory」
He can’t do it since he can’t build relationships with police officers other than Claris. That’s what he means.
「It’s what I expect. It will also be an advertisement to the outside. I’ll do my best. By the way, about the price……」
The result of price negotiation, the total construction cost reached 450 million.
「Did you have to pay so much money? 」
Roa is furrowing her brows when she heard the figure of 450 million.
「Asuma Shokai’s policy is to cherish their life. It’s cheap if you can buy lives with 450 million. ……It will be a lie if I say that I don’t regret it at all」
Since he already signed the contract, it’s too late to pull back now.
「Security is perfect now. By the way, did you gather information about that Sword Saint Serius? 」
「No……I asked Eugene-san and the other Congressmen, no one seems to know. I thought he was famous since he called himself a Sword Saint. Well, that person is not a Kirishian because he’s speaking in the Romagu language with an accent. Maybe that’s why he’s not famous here in Kirishia」
Haruto only now realized that Serius talked in the Romagu language. Haruto has the『Blessing of Speech』, so it’s hard to notice if the other party is speaking in a foreign language.
「I feel like since he’s so strong, he shouldn’t be anonymous. Why don’t I ask the Governor? Since I made that donation, it’s better to ask the source」
「I understand. I’ll get you an appointment then」
Roa said that and headed to the Governor’s office.
「I’m sorry. You’ve been waiting for three days」
「No, I’m not in a rush」
Recently, the Governor’s Office seems busy so it took him three days before he could meet Governor Gray.
「So, what can I do for you? 」
「There’s someone I’d like you to look into. A man that is known as the Sword Saint Serius. Do you know him? 」
「I know of him. He’s rather a celebrity in Romano. Didn’t you know? 」
Governor Gray replied. He seemed to be surprised at the fact that I don’t know.
「Sword Saint Serius is a mercenary from the Snowy Fields. He served the traitor Pentax, and he was called a Sword Saint based on his skills with the sword」
「A person from the Snowy Fields? Roa, do you know? 」
Haruto asked Roa who was sitting next to him.
「E~tto, they lived in snowy fields! 」
In short, she doesn’t seem to know. Haruto moved his gaze to Governor Gray.
「There’s no need to ask since I also don’t know. They have never been in the history of the West. Anyway, they live in a permanently frozen barren land further North of the Northern lands we know of. You won’t know unless you’re an anthropologist」
Governor Gray laughed.
「What is a permanently frozen barren land? Is it perhaps a land where the ground is icy all the time」
Roa leaned forward. Governor Gray nods.
「That’s right. I have never seen it, but it seems that the ground is covered in ice all throughout the year」
Roa rounded her eyes. Kirishia is relatively mild, and snow rarely falls. For Roa who has never been outside of Kirishia, she cannot imagine earth enclosed with ice all year round.
「According to anthropologists, it is said that they were originally a minor ethnic group who lived in the Western part of Romano and Gallia. However, due to the pressure from the Romanos and Gallians, they escaped to the North and the East. Those who escaped to the North became the Snowpeople, and it seems that those who escaped to the East became the Desert people. So they have excellent physical abilities like the desert people」
In other words, the snow people have the『Blessing of Battle』like the desert people. It’s no wonder that he has that enormous strength.
「Did he also participates in the civil war when he served Prince Pentax? Is he wanted? 」
Those who were involved in the previous civil war were wanted and killed on sight. If Serius is wanted, the story will be quick. He can just report it to the Governor here and let them eliminate him.
「No, he did not participate in the last revolt. He refused and said that he has no reason to do so. Even if he’s strong, he’s a mercenary after all. Even if he served Pentax, it’s only a relationship of money so he would not do something that would make him guilty. That’s why he’s not Wanted」
Unfortunately, he doesn’t appear to be wanted.
「If there’s no cause……that’s awesome! 」
Roa has shining eyes.
「It’s only a rumor. There’s also a rumor that he’s just a miser」
Governor Gray shrugged.
「By the way, why would you ask? 」
Hearing Governor Gray. Haruto and Roa explain their circumstances.
「I see. That must have been hard. Serius seems to love money. I’ve heard that he would always attach himself to the dominant one. Depending on the negotiation, it might be okay」
「Is that so? Thank you」
Haruto bowed to Governor Gray.
「So, what do you want to do? 」
「I’d like to pull him to our side. It’ll be reassuring if that’s the case. I think we can make him turn around depending on the negotiation since we have the upper hand……but we need to make contact to make the negotiation」
Haruto recalls the strength of Serius. They did not win even with five desert people on their side. It’s not even worth considering.
「Just think about it, won’t you? At least in Claris, he won’t be able to do anything」
「You’re right. We’re planning to establish the Shufelt branch in the New Year. Because then we will move in earnest. I’d like to make contact before then」
Sales from Ringa, Alto, and Reim are strong. They plan to go to Shufelt in the New Year as planned. During New Year, they’ll have to secure some customers. Because Shufelt is the enemy’s territory, it’s quite different from the other cities, so they have to be careful.
「I’ve been working hard with Grandpa. He’s already getting old」
「Is that so……that person will get old too huh? 」
「He’s still healthy. He said that he can’t die until he sees his great granchild」
Roa smiles a little. Haruto kissed Roa’s lips.
「In the end, it became New Year before we could contact Serius……are you going to be fine? 」
「Aahh, please leave it to me. I will do it without fail」
Leon meaningfully smiled. Leon is familiar with Samaras Shokai, so he was appointed as the Branch Manager since he knew the situation in Shufelt.
「Is it okay? You’ll be living with the Albertini family. Please don’t make a mistake and go to an inn. And make sure to go home early」
Roa said anxiously.
「That’s too much. Even though Samaras Shokai has a strong influence, it’s still a Shokai after all. I won’t do anything overt. Please leave it to me! 」
Leon proudly lifts his chest. He looked confident. But on the contrary, Haruto and Roa became even more concerned.
After two months, Leon asked for help.
「It’s a big deficit. How did you get these numbers? 」
Roa asked Leon. Leon answers with a sigh.
「The damage to our reputation from the rumors is terrible……Asuma Shokai uses slaves to make soap, and make employees work with meager wages. What’s worse is that the soap is made from the rotten corpse of a pig and that we used decaying olives」
「That’s pure accusation. The treatment of my slaves is much better than usual. And the wages to workers are higher than usual. I also haven’t used any rotten things as materials」
Haruto furrowed his brows. It’s very uncomfortable to bear these false charges.
「How did such rumors come about……isn’t it strange? 」
「Samaras Shokai’s employees are saying that. It seems that there are quite a few stakeholders involved. And the issue isn’t whether the rumors are true. It’s enough as long as someone believes it」
Many people like this kind of rumor. People who would treat rumors as just rumors are rare. There is also the saying that there’s no smoke without fire. People will become vigilant even if they don’t believe.
「It hurts that Samaras Shokai is also manufacturing soap」
「Ours are sold at only 500. Our quality is also higher」
Roa is dissatisfied and complained.
「It can’t be helped. Let me go directly. I can advertise with Grandpa. There’s also the billboard from being an Imperial purveyor. Let’s go at it steadily」
Haruto said with a sigh. It is, after all, a rumor that is entirely false. Once they know that it is false, they’ll manage somehow.
「I will go too! 」
「No, you can’t. It’s too dangerous」
「No problem. It’s impossible for him to break into the Albertini’s mansion. Since I’ll stay at the villa all the time」
Haruto is troubled. If it’s inside the Albertini’s estate, they’re safe. However, not entirely reliable. For Serius can also invade the mansion and kill Roa.
「I will also go. To protect Roa and Haruto. It’s okay like this, right? 」
「But Serius is strong」
「I’m pretty strong too. At any rate, I have the Patriarch’s blood in me. Besides, the blade of my spear is made from the fangs of a Fang Dragon. It can even cleave that man’s sword into two. I’ll lose regarding power, but when we include weapons, I can fight fairly」
「You will also meet danger」
Haruto said. The ideal of Haruto is to win without Roa or Aisha dying. There’s nothing worth in victory if someone dies.
「I’ll be with Haruto-san forever」
It hurts to be told that.
Roa and Aisha stared at Haruto. Haruto said after hesitating for a while.
「Alright. Then come along」
In this way, Haruto, Roa, and Aisha headed to Shufelt.
「Okay, Aisha. Please don’t talk about our relationship while in the Albertini household. Absolutely don’t embrace me or tease me」
「I know. Even I can read the atmosphere」
Aisha said smilingly. He was worried even if she said she understood.
After being shaken in the carriage for a while, they arrived at Shufelt. The three people are waiting since there was a long traffic jam when Aisha pulled the sleeve of Haruto’s clothes.
「Ne~, is that the carriage of Samaras Shokai over there? 」
Aisha pointed out the carriage entering the city after a brief inspection.
「That’s right, so? What’s wrong with that? 」
「From there, I can smell demon grass」
「What, what is the name of the plant」
Roa answers Haruto’s question.
「It’s a drug. Something that can be used for medical care is not banned from cultivation like opium, but demon grass has been entirely prohibited. The effect is too strong. It’s called demonic grass since it has too much toxicity. Demon grass for short」
Roa proudly told him.
「What will you do? Do you want to reveal it? 」
Aisha said with a look like a child trying to make mischief. If the contents were really demon grass, it would be a big scandal.
「No, let’s not. We can do it at any time. And if the gatekeeper’s been bought, it’s going to be hushed. There should be a better timing so let’s aim for it」
Haruto stops Aisha. This is a trump card. They can’t use their trump card here. And he doesn’t know if the contents are really that demon grass. There’s also the possibility that only the smell is attached. In other words, it just carried demon grass before, and there’s a possibility that the contents right now are only bubble-berries. Also, perhaps they’ve purposefully added the smell to attract us since there’s a desert person here. No, isn’t he overthinking it?
「But this is powerful information. Thanks」
Haruto told Aisha. Aisha broadly smiles.
「Then pat my head」
Haruto reflexively pats her head. Roa inflated her cheeks.
「That’s unfair! Please pat me too. I also showed off my extensive knowledge」
「You’re the only one saying you have an extensive knowledge」
Roa and Aisha began fighting across from Haruto.
「Oi! Hurry up」
A man behind them unpleasantly said. The gatekeeper at the front is also irritated. It’s already their turn before they notice it.
「Ahahaha, I’m sorry」
Haruto took Roa and Aisha towards the castle gate.
They introduced Aisha to Bertrand as Roa’s friend and a mercenary. When Bertrand heard she’s a desert person, he welcomed her with open arms. Haruto may be killed if he found out that Aisha is Haruto’s mistress.
Three days after arriving at Shufelt, they immediately began to work. Nonetheless, he did not directly say that he’s the Chairman of Asuma Shokai. He claims to be a Claris merchant and has connections to the Governor. Because he was introduced by the Congressman, Bertrand, they readily believed him.
To be safe, they started talking about the Governor. Specifically, Governor Gray’s personality and favorite things. Currently, the merchants and the Governor’s Office are wrestling for power in Shufelt. The Governor’s Office is struggling to promote their policies.
For the Congressmen, it’s about their work and career advancement, so they eagerly listened to Haruto’s answers. He gave honey soap as a souvenir when they got close to each other to some extent. After saying that it’s a luxury good that the Emperor is also using, the other party will be happy to receive it. And if they like it, they can call on the Albertini household where he’s been staying.
They can visit Haruto to ask where they can buy it after one week. So for the first time, he introduced himself as the Chairman of Asuma Shokai, telling them that the honey soap is a product of Asuma Shokai. And say that all the rumors are lies. It’s after they’ve realized the effect that they can believe it.
Throughout a month, Haruto wiped out the rumors. After a month, there is a widespread recognition among the wealthy people that the rumors about Asuma Shokai are false. At the same time, the orders for soap from the wealthy people to Asuma Shokai has increased. Honey soap is too expensive to sell, so luxury soaps and milk soaps are slowly sold out.
Conversely, ordinary soap is not as popular as expected. Samaras Shokai selling similar products is also the cause. Even after lowering the price, it’s still considered dangerous and was not sold as expected. Some people believed the rumors easily since they have no knowledge like rich people. They have no choice but to do this since they can only appeal that it’s not dangerous.
At the same time, they also did not forget to launch a negative campaign against Samaras Shokai. This is in answer to the negative rumors. There are various scandals about the Samaras Shokai, and most are about Roa. Haruto is looking for those who are acquainted with Roa’s father and mother and introduced Roa to them. The evidence that she is really Roa is based from the face, hair and eye color. However, since she really looks like her mother, most people believed. Some were suspicious that Roa’s hair may be dyed and accepted without question once they realized that it’s not dyed.
Everyone has suspicions about Reinard in their hearts, so many people believed in Roa’s story. Roa’s crying is also real, and a miserable story that included a little exaggeration has a considerable effect.
Thus, Reinard’s criminal theory began to emerge again.
Next, Haruto sheds rumors that Samaras Shokai is engaging in slavery abuse. After all, Reinard is a person suspected of murder, so this rumor was very convincing.
In Shufelt, the two factions of Samaras Shokai and Asuma Shokai are gradually formed.
Expense 140,000,000 (Personnel cost) + 50,000,000 (material cost) + 300,000,000 (taxes) + 450,000,000 (alarm machine) + 60,000,000 (equipment) = 10,000,000,000
Income – Expense = 0
Real Balance 3,800,000,000
Accounting Officer and Slave Director Roa Samaras
Accounting Assistant Dennis →salary 450,000
Supervisors Ash Brothers（sisters）→salary 200,000
Regular employees 20 people→salary 150,000
Mercenaries Rusk, Pudding, Rang, Tart, Aisha, 5 desert people, 15 other mercenaries
Workers 700 people （400 people in second factory・600 people in third factory）
Freed slaves 9 people