Reincarnated into a Game as the Hero’s Friend - Chapter 59
Translator: Nisarah Editor: Fleeting
“Let’s move to another subject.”
The Crown Prince initiated the conversation this time. Of course, I’m just a listener.
“This has yet to be announced, but the kingdom had decided that half of the students in your academy will take a leave of absence.”
“Yeah, half of the entire school including the nobility department, knight department, magic department, and other departments. This is because the kingdom lacks manpower.”
Ah, even if we won the war we still have some casualties. It’s not easy to fill the hole caused by the casualties. Of course, the kingdom currently lacks manpower.
Though the student might not be professional, they can still help with simple things. For example, the kingdom can’t send the students of knight departments to the battlefield but it can still deploy them as guards that maintain the public order of the capital. In that case, won’t I and Mazell, who are both students, also be given that kind of easy work?
By the way, students of the knight department are only apprentice knights after they graduate. They need to gather more experience as apprentices for a few years before they can become official knights. Apprentices who didn’t have suitable skills to become knights usually become knights in their mid-twenties and vice versa.
Let’s talk about other departments next. First nobility department. Actually, the department name is just an old relic from where the school was founded, in reality, the students of the nobility department will study things related to national policy like politics, administration, and diplomacy.
Next is the mage departement . Like its name, the mage department is to rear the next generation mage. By the way, priest magic can also be learned in this department. Things related to faith as a priest are taught in the church but magic for the priest’s practical use is taught in this department. I mean it’s not like you can use offensive priest magic in a church, right?
If nothing happens, Laura will also enter this mage department. But since it’s Laura we’re talking about, I won’t be shocked if she graduates by skipping grades.
There are other departments that I barely have any connection to like the art department, the medical treatment department, the commerce department, the engineering department, and the servant department. This academy is pretty grand, right?
By the way, the noble heirs and their assistants need different skills so no matter which department they are in, they will be taught noble manners.
The literacy rate of the people here is not high despite the existence of such a grand academy, which is strangely the medieval part of this world.
“Even the children of nobles’ families, with a few exceptions, will be working together with their families for our country.”
The noblesse oblige, huh? Is this why Schunzel and Neurath ended up as my subordinate? No, I don’t think so.
“The hero, Mazell-kun, no, Mazell, will also be taking a leave of absence from the academy.”
A sudden chill ran down my spine. So this is what he is after. Before other noble houses (probably including the Zeavert house) successfully chained Mazell, the royal family gave him freedom and simultaneously the royal family prevented the other nobles from doing anything regarding Mazell since he was ‘requested by the royal family’ to fight with the demon army.
This way, it would be more difficult for other nobles to randomly invite Mazell to their mansion. In short, the royal family implicated half of the academy’s students for Mazell.
Using authority to achieve one’s goals without hesitation is how royals will do things, I suppose.
“Yes, I understand. I will pass the message on to him.”
Up until now, I was only the contact person between Mazell and the royal family, but from now on, I am officially working under the royal family. Though personally I will keep supporting Mazell. Talking about Mazell, the royal family will probably summon him tomorrow so I should tell him later.
“Also, can the country give an official compensation for the hero’s companions?”
“Can they be trusted?”
“Mazell himself seems to trust them, and I, personally, also believe they can be trusted.”
“I understand. I will set aside a budget for the compensation of the hero’s companions.”
Relief flooded inside me as His Highness accepted my offer smoothly. Mazell was also concerned about the compensation. Still, to think that His Highness has already taken care of what was originally my job, to protect Mazell from nobles. Is His Highness just too smart, or is it me who’s just too slow?
“I will also give you a few days holiday, after that I plan to assign you to be the guard at the aqueduct construction site.”
This time, it was the Duke that talked. Well, I understand that guards are needed to protect the construction site, but this means I will be doing another military-related job. I want to complain, but I can’t do that here, can I?
“Speaking of which, is the aqueduct itself fine?”
“Yes, we somehow have enough barriers stones.”
Barrier stones are stones used in some towns, villages, and bridges to repel demons. It’s a simplified version of the capital’s anti-demon barrier. Since the aqueduct itself is far from the ground, it seems like just installing the barrier stones on its piers is enough to protect the aqueduct from demon attack, at least for now.
But despite being a simplified version of the capital anti-demon barrier, these barrier stones need to absorb surrounding mana for the whole 10 days to be activated. Also, barrier stones work against wandering monsters, but it doesn’t work against stampede-level demons.
For the demons, the effect of these barrier stones might be akin to them walking in a pitch black forest, hence they won’t get close to the barrier stones unless someone commanded them to. It’s not a perfect solution, since Triot, who probably also used it, still got destroyed. If we are only talking about the effectiveness, the anti demons drug that will make you not encounter any wandering monster in the game is probably more effective than the barrier stones.
Still, having barrier stones is better than having no protection, so the barrier stones are often used in settlements and encampments. Also, it is used in villages in rural areas where guards are scarce. I now understand why in the game there were villages that weren’t destroyed having no proper combatants and were located in the middle of a high level demons zone. It must be because of these stones.
“Well, using barrier stones will be able to minimise the needs of guards, so we can use the manpower to do other things.”
“It is as you said.”
Another place that needs more manpower is the Veritza Fortress. Though we succeeded in recovering the fortress, understandably the fortress was damaged in several parts and it’s difficult to say if we can still use it as a fortress. But that doesn’t mean we can just abandon it. If we did, the fortress might end up becoming the bandits nest this time. That’s why we need someone to monitor the fortress. I don’t know who or how the fortress will be monitored, since this isn’t my or rather the Zeavert’s house’s job.
A realisation suddenly dawns on me, making me utter the following words.
“Couldn’t barrier stones be placed at the gates of Veritza Fortress as well?”
“If we could gather enough stones, then yes, I suppose it will be possible.”
Because of the Duke’s questioning looks. I explained my idea.
“If we lack manpower, I was wondering if we could just employ Triot’s refugees to clean and repair Veritza Fortress.”
At present, the refugees are camping on the outskirt of the capital, but continuing doing that might cause them to be attacked by demonic beasts and the like. That kind of thing would not likely take place if the refugees were inside the fortress. The children and the elderlies who are incapable of fighting can be moved to the fort, and they will be asked to work while staying there.
“I was thinking that we can have refugees who have enough physical strength work at the outskirts of the capital, whereas refugees who are lacking physical strength can be assigned to clean Veritza Fortress.”
Plus, we would be able to prevent the refugees from rioting by separating and placing family members in different places. The capital needs to provide rations, but that would be better than the refugees rioting or becoming the kingdom’s illegal occupant. Politicians would find it desirable to minimise unpredictable elements in the vicinity of the capital.
“What work will the refugees do on the outskirt of the capital?”
“How about building an orchard?”
After I said that, the Duke looked at me with a strange gaze. To tell you the truth, any work is fine. Mazell will defeat the demon king in a few years, so all we need to do is to prevent the refugees from rioting by giving them work.
Just like what happened to the Roman wheat law  if the kingdom gives food to the refugees for free, then in the future the kingdom will also need to give food to the poor capital citizens for free. That will obviously put a strain in the kingdom’s economy. That’s why we need to make sure the refugees work to earn their keep.
(Note: The ancient roman have a law to distribute their staple food, wheat and eventually grain to 200,000 male citizens. Originally this law was just an emergency measure to feed a growing number of indebted and dispossessed citizen-farmers.)
But the remaining problem is what work should they do?
“I think there will be a surplus of water once the aqueduct’s construction is finished so we will not have to worry about water requirements for the orchard. Moreover, we would be able to enjoy the fruits from the orchard even after the refugees were gone. Even if the trees failed to bear fruit, they could at least be processed into firewood.”
If we let the refugees farm, for example, things won’t be this simple. A farm needs to be tended year after year. Compared to that, bluntly, fruit trees can grow on their own accord and even if the tree didn’t bear any fruit after the refugees are taken in by the nobles, there is still a use for them.
If the refugees will stay in the outskirts of the capital for a long time, it’s true the kingdom will need to think of a complicated plan, but the refugees will only stay in this kingdom for a few years since Mazell will defeat the demon king. I know that, but I can’t explain this to His Highness or to the Duke.
“If we want refugees to create a farm, then we will need to have someone instruct them and also arrange farming equipment. However, we can let them manage the orchard themselves to a certain extent because it is easier to plant and water fruit trees.”
The reality may not be that simple, but the burden of a supervisor for an orchard is probably lower compared to a supervisor of a farm. Right now, we lack manpower so we should try to cut the number of needed people in this sector as much as possible. That’s why I suggested the refugees build an orchard. It’s definitely not because I have an obsession with orchards or fruit in general!
In any case, the kingdom needs to make sure that the food we give to the refugees is earned, not given for free.
“Regardless of what we will make the refugees create, it wouldn’t be a terrible move to send about half of them to Veritza Fortress.”
“Guards are necessary, of course. If a demon attack killed the refugees in the fortress, it would provoke an outbreak of fury against the kingdom among the refugees.”
I keep silent as His Highness and the Duke are exchanging such conversation. Since the demon didn’t recover the Veritza Fortress in the game, I assume it will be alright, but I cannot be certain that the situation will follow the game. So taking a measure in case the situation deviates from the game is necessary.
“I will regard this as a suggestion. Thank you for your efforts, Sir Welner.”
“Yes, please excuse me then.”
Oh, my stomach hurts again. Talking with them is truly nerve-wracking. If I was an idiot noble, I wonder if I wouldn’t need to suffer like this. Aren’t I too young to be constantly having a stomachache because of anxiety like this!?
T/N: One thing led to another so I’m moving out on Sunday. Wish me luck.
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