Extra chapter thanks to Patreons~
Chapter 0118 Kenneth Hayward
A few days after Abel read the report.
“What does this mean!”
A voice was raised at the Royal Alchemy Workshop Design Office near the east gate of the royal capital.
“Chief, as it is written …”
A subordinate answered the angry voice of the man he referred to as the chief.
Of course, he knew that the chief was not rebuking him.
He was angry at unreasonable orders in the documents …
“Temporarily freeze for the payment on development costs for 『Vaedra』…”
The chief read aloud through clenched teeth and his subordinates nodded with a look of mortification.
“Are they even aware!? That 『Vaedra』 is the trump card we hold in our overwhelmingly inferior position in the battle against the Empire!”
The chief couldn’t endure it and raised his voice again, and his subordinate answered with a face that said there was no way around it.
“In the first place, this development is under the direct control of His Majesty the King!”
“But last year, it was transferred to the direct control of the Minister of Home Affairs …”
His subordinate calmly pointed out the change to the chief who was now muttering angrily.
“I know … I know but …”
The chief whispered while frowning.
And then, he stood up.
“I’m going to the Ministry of Home Affairs!”
Then, Chief Researcher Kenneth Hayward charged out of the design room.
“Your Excellency, Baron Kenneth Hayward, Chief Researcher at the Royal Alchemy Workshop, wishes to see you with an urgent need.”
“Let him in.”
The Minister of Home Affairs Harold Lawrence asked them to receive the guest.
Upon entering the office, Kenneth immediately spoke.
“Your Excellency, I’m Kenneth, Chief Researcher. Today, I’ve heard a notice that the development cost of 『Vaedra』 will be temporarily frozen.”
“Baron Hayward, of course, I was planning to explain. Well, please take a seat in that chair.”
Harold said and moved towards the reception table and sat opposite Kenneth.
“Your Excellency, the development of 『Vaedra』 is the most important means of solving the urgent problems of our defense. To be honest, without『Vaedra』, we cannot compete with the Empire.”
“Baron, I think you’re right, but you shouldn’t say that in a loud voice, especially in the royal castle.”
As expected, Kenneth realized that it was a sentence that the Knights’ Order and the Order of the Magic would find antagonistic.
“I understand what Baron Kenneth wants to say, and I think that’s true, but there are some people in administration who do not understand that … This freeze will channel the development funds to cover the cost of restoring the Rho Bridge.”
“Rho Bridge …”
Kenneth knew that the Rho Bridge had collapsed, disrupting traffic and distribution of goods between the south and east.
He also understood that due to its huge size, the restoration of the bridge would require a large amount of money.
But still …
“Yes, but still, national defense is important. That’s why the development of 『Vaedra』 was expedited. I’m sorry, but I do not have enough influence and can only swallow my frustrations this time.”
Harold bowed when he said that.
Indeed, if the Minister of Home Affairs, Count Harold Lawrence bows his head, even an upcoming aristocrat like Kenneth would understand the significance of its meaning.
“No, Your Excellency, please raise your head. I was too agitated. I apologize.”
“Yes, Baron Kenneth, do you understand now?”
Kenneth also bowed and Harold smiled and took his hands.
“And Your Excellency, can I confirm that the budget for the purchase of the second magic stone was still approved, right?”
“Yes, that Wyvern magic stone. The second one was successfully purchased. But it seems that will be the last one. It’s supposed to be sent here from the City of Rune within the month.”
Kenneth was delighted to hear Harold’s answer.
It was great that they managed to secure the second stone.
That was because the prospect of solving the small output, which could not be solved by all means until now, had been found.
“Okay. Thank you for today. Excuse me for this.”
That said, Kenneth left the Minister of Home Affairs office.
Harold Lawrence saw Kenneth off with an indescribable light in his eyes.
“Oh, it’s been a long time, isn’t it Kenneth!”
Upon leaving the Ministry of Home Affairs, Kenneth was called from behind.
“Hey Zack, it should be Baron Kenneth Hayward to you. Ba-r-on! I am different from the second sons who can’t succeed to the aristocratic rank. Make sure to give me my due respect.”
“Oops, that’s right. Baron Kenneth Hayward, it has been some time.”
The man called Zack performed a very forced and polite bow.
“Zack … that’s too forced. And you’ve been saying that joke for the past year … In the first place, I’m a baron because my invention just happened to be recognized and I was given the title, but I’m just an upstart for now.”
Kenneth shook his head and approached them.
Zack Cooler and Scotty Cobook.
Both were the second sons of aristocrats and belonged to the Knights of the Kingdom.
In addition, Kenneth had been their drinking companion for several years and was a member of the informal drinking party organization 『Second Son Union』.
“We want to be upstarts too.”
“I’m just grateful that I’m getting paid by the Knights.”
Knight Scotty sneaked in a murmur for Knight Zack.
“Even so, it’s unusual for Kenneth to come to the Ministry of Home Affairs.”
“Now that I recall, was the alchemy workshop placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs now?”
Zack spoke his thoughts aloud and Scotty made a guess why.
“Yes. I had some complaints about my budget …”
Alchemist Kenneth said with a sigh.
“It’s hard to be the chief researcher.”
Zack placed his hand on Kenneth’s shoulder and nodded many times.
And he continued as if he just remembered it.
“By the way, Kenneth, Abel is on his way to the royal capital now. Did you know?”
“Yeah, the chairman of our 『Second Son Union』.”
Zack said and burst into laughter.
“By the way, I’m in the 『Second Son Union』, but I feel like I’ve never met the ‘Chairman’…”
Kenneth cocked his head and traced his memory.
“Oh, that’s because Abel is active in the remote City of Rune. You won’t see him unless he happens to come to the royal capital like this time.”
Scotty answered Kenneth’s question.
However, Kenneth’s reaction was unexpected for both of them.
Alchemist Kenneth’s responses were occasionally exaggerated.
“Now that I think about it, Kenneth was from Rune.”
Scotty recalled the story he had heard from Kenneth before.
“Okay! Then, let’s all four drink tonight! The three of us can invite Abel. Abel and Kenneth probably have things about Rune to talk about. You can’t be a part of the 『Second Son Union』 and not meet our chairman once.”
Zack decided on a drinking party on his own.
“Hey now Zack, I don’t think Abel is that free.”
“If it doesn’t work, the three of us can have a drinking party together instead!”
Alchemist Kenneth complained about the arbitrarily decided drinking party, Knight Scotty expressed concern, and Knight Zack even planned for Plan B.
“Just down a drink in one go and you can dispel all your gloom, Kenneth.”
Zack said and laughed loudly.
Alchemist Kenneth Hayward arrived at the tavern the 『Second Sons Union』 always used at exactly 19 o’clock, the promised time.
『A drowning man will drown in alcohol』
The name of the tavern was quite distinctive, there were plenty of private rooms, the alcohol was delicious and the food was amazing. Therefore, it was a very popular shop with some people.
Private rooms were important for noble people to drink or for knight-like professions who are said to have to maintain good manners.
Kenneth opened the door to the private room with the fourth table, thanking the familiar proprietress after he raised his four fingers and told her that he was here for the fourth table which she guided him to.
“Hey, he’s here.”
The first to notice was Zack Cooler.
Scotty Cobook was staring at the menu so his reaction was a little delayed.
“You’re both early.”
“No, I’m just reached.”
Scotty answered by raising his face from the menu.
Almost at the same time as Kenneth took his seat, the door to the private room was knocked.
“Your companion is here.”
When the proprietress said so, the door was opened and a man came in.
“We were here just three days ago? Zack, Scotty, it’s been three days.”
It was Rune’s B-rank adventurer Abel who entered.
“Today is the first face-to-face meeting of Abel, the chairman of the Second Son Union, with Baron Kenneth Hayward, who became a member of the Union, grabbed the Baron rank with his abilities, and is known as a genius alchemist in the royal capital.”
“A baron with alchemy? That’s amazing!”
“Zack, you said too much …”
Zack’s strange introduction gave way to Abel’s honest impressions and Kenneth’s embarrassed counterargument.
“What are you saying, Kenneth? You are the first and only aristocratic member of the Union. There’s no need to be shy.”
For some reason, Zack replied proudly.
“In other words, the other … 14 people haven’t gained aristocratic rank yet.”
“Um, that’s right. Including Abel.”
Abel confirmed and Zack affirmed it. And they laughed out loud.
“Well, let’s drink for the time being. First of all, beer.”
Abel replied to Zack’s words, tilting his head.
“Fufufu, Abel. Now, the trend of the royal capital is 『beer first』. After that, we move on to wine, ale, and so on.”
Zack explained in a teacher’s tone while raising one index finger of his right hand.
“I did not know……”
Abel was reminded of the passage of time.
“The three of you met here three days ago?”
“Oh yeah. Abel had to give us this secret information, so he secretly gave it to us here. Because it was such a dark meeting, even the beginning of 『beer first』 was omitted … it’s such a sad story.”
The Knight Zack answered Alchemist Kenneth’s question in a very deliberate manner.
“What the hell is with that ‘The ringleader is all Abel’ kind of development …”
Abel looked at Zack with an exasperated look.
“Kenneth should also be careful because Abel will forcefully rob those he dislikes.”
Zack acted like he was sneakily warning Kenneth but he said it all with a normal voice.
“Okay. Zack is looking for a fight. Scotty, I’m sorry, just think of it as though Zack never existed. He’ll be gone by the end of today.”
“That’s a shame. Zack, we lost a good person …”
“Hey, you guys don’t sound like you’re joking, so please stop.”
Abel threatened, Scotty played along, and Zack apologized.
Kenneth was laughing hilariously at it all.
“By the way, Abel is an adventurer in the City of Rune.”
“Oh, that’s right.”
“He looks like this, but he’s a great B-rank adventurer.”
Kenneth asked, Abel responded, and Zack put on airs for some reason.
“Actually, my family also lived in the City of Rune.”
“Oh! To find that kind of connection in a place like this … I based myself in Rune … seven years ago.”
“Oh, then we just missed each other, because that’s about the time I left Rune and came to the royal capital.”
Abel and Kenneth found that they wouldn’t have seen each other in Rune.
“I called my parents to the royal capital about a year ago.”
“You have your parents living in the manor that came with the Baron rank, right?”
“Yes. He was originally a farmer, but my dad’s legs were getting worse and it was difficult to work on large farmland, so I asked him to act as the acting manager of the manor instead of me. He’s currently living an enjoyable life with the people in our fief.”
Kenneth happily answered Scotty’s question.
A 『manor』 in the Kingdom of Knightley was simply a village bestowed to a nobleman.
The history varies, from being under the direct control of the royal family to being part of the territory of a crushed aristocratic family, but the land was generally not large.
However, the tax collected from the manor belonged to the aristocrat, the 『Lord of the manor』, so if they do not lead a luxurious life, they can live a comfortable life with the tax from the manor alone.
In the case of Baron Kenneth Hayward, he also earned a lot of income as the chief researcher at the 『Royal Alchemy Workshop』, so he had quite a sizeable income for a new baron.
“That’s a big deal.”
Abel was impressed by Kenneth’s filial piety while eating grilled bird.
“The house I left in Rune was finally sold recently, and I feel that my anxiety about the future has completely disappeared.”
Yeah, Abel nodded and didn’t stop eating while listening to Kenneth’s story.
“Oh, that house. The one with the rustic stone used in the kitchen.”
“Yeah. My mother likes cooking, but she said she wanted a large cooking table, and my dad asked a mason he knew to cut it as a special order.”
When he heard that, Abel, who had been moving until now, stopped.
“What’s wrong, Abel?”
“Wait a minute. Kenneth, does that kitchen have a big, imposing black stone called ‘Granite’? And the house has three doors …?”
Abel asked Kenneth, ignoring Zack, who wondered why Abel had stopped suddenly.
“I don’t know about that ‘Granite’, but it is a magnificent black stone. There were certainly three doors to the house. Why do you know that?”
“Oh, oh … well, the person who bought Kenneth’s house was probably my friend …”
Abel somewhat had difficulty saying it.
When Kenneth heard that, his eyes opened wide and he was surprised.
“Is that so! Well, please convey my thanks to the person who bought it. I was talking to my parents that I couldn’t sell it for more than half a year so I might have to cut the price. He bought it … … and with full immediate payment too.”
“Oh, well, because he has money …”
“Somehow Abel looks strange …”
Scotty pointed out when he saw Abel sweating.
“That … the guy who bought Kenneth’s house … he remodeled the house a little … no, but it looks the same!”
“See, Kenneth’s house didn’t have a bath, right?”
“Yes. The river runs right next to my house, so everyone washes their bodies there. In the winter, we put a barrel in the garden and pour hot water in it …”
Kenneth remembered and answered Abel’s question.
“The guy who bought the house couldn’t live without a bath. So he turned a part of the house into a big bathroom. Kenneth might have a fondness for the house … but he remodeled it so ……”
“Oh, I see. I don’t care. He changed it to make it easier for him to use, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”
Abel was overtly relieved.
“Abel’s friend in the City of Rune huh …”
“Yeah, he saved my life, and twice at that.”
Abel resumed eating again, constantly moving his hands and mouth, even while speaking.
“Yes. A very rare Water-Attribute Magician and adventurer.”
Zack was surprised and exclaimed.
“Is it that rare?”
Alchemist Kenneth, who was not very familiar with the field, asked Zack while looking at the menu.
“Yeah, it’s extremely rare. Water-Attribute Magic isn’t suitable for combat. There shouldn’t be many in the Royal Magic Corps either. As for adventurers … isn’t there zero in the royal capital?”
Zack answered while looking up and remembering various things.
“And he saved your life … Oh, helping in combat isn’t the only way to save a life. You need water to survive too.”
Scotty speculated that he might have saved him outside of combat.
“Well, that’s the thing … he purely saved me in battle. By the way, that guy is addicted to alchemy too.”
Kenneth heard Abel’s words and raised his face from the menu.
“He bought the house and is addicted to alchemy! Oh, I’ll help him as much as I can.”
Abel smiled wryly when he saw Kenneth full of excitement.
“If you get the chance, do help him. His name is Ryo. Ryo, an adventurer in the City of Rune, a Water-Attribute Magician.”
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