Reincarnated into a Game as the Hero’s Friend - Chapter 175.2
“I understand your intention. The rest depends on the production volume and material costs.” (Ingo)
“Yes. It also depends on whether the materials can be produced in the Count’s territory or whether they will be purchased from other territories.” (Welner)
“Do you have a plan in place for this?”
“To be honest, we are just getting started, but it will take time, especially to train artisans. Considering the budget and time required for training, I wanted to first ask Father’s evaluation of the product itself to see if it would be acceptable to you.”
If the product did not sell well, it would be a huge waste of the county’s resources including money and personnel. Thus, I needed to get the approval of my father, the head of the count’s family, first before I start any work.
Father looked at the paper for a while and then nodded as he said, “It seems that the quality needs to be improved a little more, but the general idea is good. What do you call this product?”
“Well, it’s made from plants, so how about ‘plant decoration paper’ or something along those lines?”
We needed a name for it, because there were many different kinds of paper, like simple parchment or makishi paper.
I wondered if it would eventually just be called paper, but I doubt it. Because in this world, demon parchment was cheap.
Even if this paper became common paper, it would take some time before that happened. It might even be in my great-grandchildren’s generation.
“I will bring this to His Majesty’s attention when the time is right.” (Ingo)
“I will try to produce something a little better by the time you submit it to the royal family.” (Welner)
“Norbert, gather information on the materials needed.”
“Yes, sir.” (Norbert)
Norbert bowed his head after Father ordered. I think he had already made some preparations and was simply waiting for confirmation, because Lily had been consulting with him. I felt like things were being set up without me knowing.
Lily was surprised. She probably didn’t think that it would become such a big deal. However, it was a rule for aristocrats to present new products of the territory to the royal family, and at the same time, it would also be a way to show their dependability.
It was to make an appeal to the royal family that aristocrats like us were serious with our ruling, and that resulted in creating a new product. This was also a show that the noble who presented the new product was superior to other nobles even if only on that aspect, and that they should not take their positions too lightly. In this world, aristocrats must develop their skills as aristocrats in order to survive.
It was difficult to judge how much or how little to let out, because if you overdid it, everyone wouldn’t take their eyes off you. In the worst case scenario, someone might even snatch your product.
That being said, we could not proceed any further in this day’s product presentation. There was more work to be done, such as quality improvement, procuring materials necessary for mass production, and methods to train craftsmen. But well, I think it would be better to find good people who could do this and leave the production in their hands.
It was not as if I had the luxury or time to be involved in every aspect of increasing the territory’s production. I wouldn’t have the time for sure, but also I wouldn’t have the brain capacity to do it.
And since I also had other plans in mind, I was more inclined to focus on using the territory’s technological improvement as an appeal to the Royal Family.
“Thank you for giving me some of your time.” (Welner)
“No, rather. …I didn’t think you’d come up with something like this.” (Ingo)
When I turned to face him, my father’s gaze turned toward Lily for a moment. Lily and I looked at each other for a moment because of the strange reaction. Oh, so that’s what this was about.
“Thank you, Lily.”
“Huh? Yes, yes. You’re welcome?”
Lily responded in a puzzled way. It was understandable that she didn’t understand, and it would have been better if she had.
(T/N: Ingo was indirectly praising Lily.)
My first priority was to prevent the attack on the Royal Capital, and after that, it was just a matter of Mazell defeating the Demon King. However, fixing domestic issues and new production plans would have come after Mazell defeated the Demon King. Most of the other issues that I had dealt with were usually done at random.
The reason I started to seriously think about the administration of the territory was because Lily would be next to me for a long time and I wanted to provide her with the best living standard. I was sure my parents already feel the same way. I guess it could be said that this was also a sign of my growth, right?
While I was thinking about this, there was a hurried knock at the door. My father gave his permission, and a man who had been made an assistant butler in place of Frenssen entered the room. Seeing only the expression on the man’s face, my father spoke first.
“Thank you, Welner and Lily, you may step back, and Claudia, you may step back as well.”
Lily and I bowed to him and left the room. It seemed that I was getting used to the fact that I was no longer upset in situations like this.
Then everyone except Norbert left the room for a moment, but Norbert came out to call me back into the room immediately. Something must have gone wrong. I knocked at the door.
“This is Welner.”
I entered my father’s room in response to his voice and found him dressed as if he were going to work. He didn’t seem upset, though I was sure something had happened for him to be dressed like that at this time of the day.
“I’m going to take Max to the royal palace now. I’ll leave you to guard the mansion until I return home.”
“I understand. May I ask what happened?”
“A messenger just arrived from the Royal Court informing me that Count Gramlich… died of an illness.”
Eh? What? He was still alive yesterday, right? What happened so suddenly?
“The exact situation will be confirmed at the palace, but it seems like the entire family of Count Gramlich, including his wife and children, became ill… that’s only according to the report, so what actually caused this is unknown. So be sure to take note.”
So not only the Count, but his whole family suffered. And the fact that Father explicitly asked me to guard the mansion means that the situation was very fishy. Was it a mass suicide or a murder?
However, since according to the report, only one of the Count’s family members who fell ill survived, Father decided to show extreme vigilance. The fact remained that this was the only report that was sent for this case and no further report had been made. My father probably did not know any more details than what was given to him. I should be prepared for any possible incident that might happen just as he warned.
“Let’s have Augen stay in the mansion. Behnke will wait outside the mansion just in case.”
In case of emergency, Behnke would lead the knights who were sleeping outside the mansion to go inside the mansion as reinforcements. It was going to be an all-nighter for both of them today.
“And assume that tomorrow’s tea party, to which Lily was invited, will still follow as scheduled.”
It seemed that for the time being, I would have to go along with the schedule as if nothing happened. Maybe I should think of some countermeasures while I was at it.
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