Refuse Harem

Translator: Tsukii

Editor: Prius

Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!

Chapter 137 – Dear Tenma, This is the First Hurdle III

Nert hurriedly read the document. After he looked over it for a while, he muttered, “That’s cunning of her…” in a whisper.

“The annual cost estimate calculated almost reaches the possible limit of the budget for the silver star’s public project …”

As Nert declared that, Sophie replied with a smile,

“I’ve already consulted His Highness regarding that matter.”

If Ferio were here, he would say that Sophie threatened him instead of asking him for that, but Sophie didn’t divulge such a detail as she continued to explain.

“We are aware that the water pumping facilities can’t be constructed immediately. However, we could begin by adding water to the supply for several days, then requiring them to filter it with sand or gravel, and then boil it before drinking it. I think such a method should be stipulated as a law as soon as possible.”

The water that aristocrats drank was relatively clean because it was pumped from upstream, but the water that commoners drank came from an area that was near the capital. The quality of the water there definitely couldn’t be considered good.

“Eh, you’re going to make a law out of it?!”

Marcus was reluctant about that matter out of fear that once it was enforced by the law, the price of the water would increase, effectively hindering the life of common citizens.

“Even if we say it’s a law, it’s more of a caution. It’s more to instill a strong sense of awareness to avoid drinking dirty water.”

The sooner such consciousness was ingrained the better. And it would begin in the area where enforcement is unnecessary.

Such matters were included among the documents that Sophie gave to Lorenzo and Nert.

Nert turned over the documents while listening to Sophie, and he read the section about a simple filtration system written there and said, “If only to prepare this much… Well, I guess we can manage,” with a relieved tone.

As Firth watched the series of exchanges, he timidly asked Nert,

“Um… Nert-sama, may I ask for something?”

“Yes?”

“Is Nert-sama the one who did such a budget calculation?”

“Yes, I am. I didn’t do it alone, though.”

“Even though you are a silver star?”

“We made use of national funds, so of course we did such calculations.”

Firth’s eyes opened wide as Nert’s blunt reply.

It was because Firth always thought all the silver stars did was research while all the gold stars were responsible for calculating the money.

“Of course, there are tons of people among silver stars who can only do research without being able to do such calculations. —Well, there is a certain person who won’t do it even though he could and keeps pushing such responsibility to others, though.”

Nert glanced at Lorenzo as he said that.

The person in question played dumb and didn’t seem to feel he had done anything wrong.

Oh my, that’s unexpected. So Nert-sama acts quite casually with Lorenzo-sama.

Sophie thought all silver stars worshiped Lorenzo as the “Genius of the Generation”, but that didn’t seem to be the case. Perhaps that was exactly why Nert could serve as the deputy director of the institute despite his relatively young age.

“The majority of silver stars can only do research without considering anything about funds, but you need to at least learn about the market price of the necessary materials you use, or else you would be sucked dry by the merchants of other nations.”

“Sucked dry…”

Nert Barth was a member of a count family. Firth’s mouth hung open as his body stiffened when he heard such a person actually spoke like a gold star.

“You could request a gold star to participate in the business talks with the merchants if you make the contract accordingly, should you wish to, but if your relationships with the gold star are bad, that would be hard to do. They would definitely spout sarcasm for your incapability to do what they see as a simple task.”

Lars, who belonged to the gold star, had his eyes opened wide when he heard that.

However, Lars seemed to think he would definitely do such a thing if he was in said gold star’s position, so he awkwardly looked away.

“Silver stars and gold stars have always been on bad terms, after all.”

When Nert laughed as he said that, he didn’t feel like a silver star but a gold star instead.

“Things are better now, though. During the era of the previous director, the relationship between the gold star and the silver star was so terrible that they exposed their own ugliness as they fought during the aristocratic council.” 

According to him, the director of the silver star prior to Lorenzo and the director of the gold star at that time had a flashy battle during the aristocratic council.

“That was a great shame, really.”

As expected, Sophie was surprised at how Nert talked so casually about it, and Lars, who sat near Sophie, whispered the circumstances.

“Said director of the silver star back then was Nert-sama’s father… and the director of the gold star then was said father’s actual brother who left the family to be adopted away, which means he was Nert-sama’s uncle.”

It turned out both of them were Nert’s relatives.

His father and uncle actually fought during the aristocratic council… Of course he would feel bad as a younger member of their family.

Perhaps the reason Nert’s personality seemed like a gold star, despite belonging to the silver star, had something to do with said father and uncle.

Although Nert said it cheerfully, his eyes revealed a tranquil rage, seemingly still holding a grudge over it even now.

In the end, the other gold stars and silver stars who were participating in the council back then also began to hurl insults at each other, dragging other aristocrats into the conflict, to the point the king himself had to intervene.

As it had escalated that much, neither could take a step back. In the end, the former director of the silver star took responsibility by retiring and was then succeeded by Lorenzo, who had already earned five silver stars by that point and made him the youngest person to earn the post of director.

After Sophie heard the series of events, she thought,

I guess all salarymen had it hard regardless of the world.

Things the boss did would affect those who worked under them.

By that time, Nert already earned three silver stars, but it seemed that he was still working as a common researcher back then. However, since there was no other person who seemed to be able to support Lorenzo, Nert was forcefully promoted to be deputy director. His words conveyed how much he didn’t like how it happened.

It’s amazing he could say it bluntly despite the person in question being in front of him…

Contrary to Nert’s meek appearance, Sophie was surprised to see how daring he was, but then Firth hurriedly changed the topic since the conversation began to divert in an uncomfortable direction.

“A-actually, at the suggestion of Sophie-sama, we began to interact with the gold star now.”

“Heeh, that’s great! The people of the gold star are familiar with the price of logistics and the trends of other nations, so having such connections make things easier. Both Lorenzo and I had a gold star friend during our school days, and it was really a great help.”

That would mean the other party was a gold star in the golden era of “The King’s Sword.”

Sophie was curious about that as the daughter of the Linier merchant group.

“Since he’s Lorenzo-sama’s friend, I guess he must be a very capable and wonderful person.”

Expecting someone like Alan Aubin, the Golden Lion, would be too much, but since it was Lorenzo’s friend, he should be in his twenties.

As Sophie’s eyes shone as she asked to be introduced, Lorenzo seductively smiled with his thin lips,

“—No way, I didn’t trust that man at all,”

and declared so.

The cool beauty brought a sub-zero blizzard into the room.

As expected, the relationships between gold stars and silver stars were bad.

It seemed such a thing hadn’t changed for the current director as well.

Lars and Firth, who couldn’t endure the cold atmosphere, looked at Nert as if to cling on him. Nert said with a deeply dismayed expression,

“Please don’t worry about the things he said. Both of them just have a troublesome relationship.”

Apparently, it wasn’t just the people who earned five gold stars, but the people who went to “The King’s Sword” during its golden era weren’t people that could be treated in a conventional way.

Anyway…

To think he wouldn’t even show they got along well even just for appearance’s sake… it makes me wonder if gold stars and silver stars are cursed in that matter.

Sophie glanced at Lars and Firth, who stiffened from the words the two peaks of the silver star said as she sincerely wished they would get along well.


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