Otoko Nara Ikkokuichijou no Aruji o Mezasa Nakya, ne? - novelonlinefree.com
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Year 7442, Month 12, Day 28
After splitting up with older brother and the others there, I asked a soldier on guard duty to give a message to Molin. Obviously older brother, Zenom, and the others asked, "Why did his majesty the King and her highness-es the Queens call out for you? but I just washed it away by saying, "I'll talk about it tonight." Well I told my family about it in a letter so there's no problem. However, as expected you wouldn't think that it was about the delivery of condoms in that place.
After a short while I was called into a room in the second citadel. After going to the room that was designated to me there was a guard soldier there but it seems that it had already been passed on to them so they just let me through without saying anything. Marin and Yulu were inside of the room but the King, Molin, and Becky weren't around.
If you were to ask me these two who rose up as soldiers are easier for me to talk to.
"It's Greed. It's been a while since we last talked."
After entering the room I said that while kneeling and taking the pose of a retainer.
"Oh~ Greed, and what those goods?"
Without any greetings Yulu said that. Ah, this bad. The stuff to be delivered to the royal family is still loaded on the carriage.
Ah there's one bag in my wallet. I guess this is fine for now.
"Ha, right here. The goods for the formal delivery are still in the carriage so I'll deliver them when I appear in the castle at a later date but in that place, that is..there were a lot of people from the knight group therefore, I couldn't lower them from the carriage. That's why there's only one bag for now. I'll bring the larger quantity according to your request to delivery at a later date so please pardon me with jsut this for today.."
After saying that I presented my last bag.
"I don't mind if you raise your head. I'm grateful. The number we have remaining is already starting to feel unreliable. This is helpful to us."
After Marin said that she took the last bag from me and held it in her chest. Hmm, I'm happy that she's treating the product we make in our village so importantly.
"By the way, Greed. You, said you came to make deliveries of equipment to the knight group right. Was it the delivery of some armor?"
Yulu asked me that question. She seems to find it strange.
"Yes. The first knight group ordered almost the same thing that I'm wearing right now and we had the pleasure of delivering 10 suits of it today."
After I replied like that and,
"Eh? It was really 10 suits of armor?"
I was told. Why would I lie about something like that?
"Huh? Yes. It's true we delivered 10 suits of armor but..his excellency commander Logan, and fellows in the second company totaling 10 suits of armor."
"Marin, what's going on with the register of the first knight group?"
"Yes, I thought you would say something like that, so I've already prepared it over here. Yulusufol-sama."
Eh? What is it? Is this an on the spot inspection? But aren't they buying armor on an individual basis? Isn't fine for them to buy anything? I heard from older brother that they provide the weapons for the Webdos knight group but you have to prepare your own armor. Sister didn't say anything either...
"Ah, Greed, you don't need to worry about anything...This is strange. There was an application at the end of August for assistance on 6 suits of plate-mail armor..Eh? Just a mere 97,000,000 Z (97 gold coins)?
This should only be enough to buy about 3 suits of armor.."
After Yulu said that I was relieved for the moment but I heard some unnerving statements after that.
"97,000,000 Z is it? Greed, did you really deliver 10 suits of armor? Would you tell us the circumstances in detail?"
Marin had some doubts about it as well and questioned me. What is it?
"Yes. We certainly delivered 10 suits of armor. We took the measurements from the gentlemen who ordered in August and finished delivering all of those orders today."
There's no other way of saying it. It's somehow started to feel like trouble. Like corruption or that sort of thing.
"Listen well. Greed, Yulusufol-sama said it would be fine for you to relax but this isn't such a simple problem. For starters, respond to my questions. First, how did you deliver 10 suits of plate-mail armor in just a mere four months? Please excuse me on it but your hometown of Bakuddo isn't famous as a producer of armor. I'm sure there aren't that many artisans as well. Second, you said that you delivered 10 suits of armor but there were only applications for assistance on 6 suits of plate-mail armor, and the price is abnormally cheap. Show me the proof of sales. Third, it's related to just now but tell me the sale price of the armor you supplied this time."
In contrast to Yulu's listless face Marin started to demand an explanation with a strict expression.
What in the world is it?
"Ha, first off, in the case that we produce armor in Bakuddo Village, and completely manufacture the armor including detailed adjustments..we can produce roughly 3-4 suits of armor in around 4-5 days. However, this is only in the case that we have plenty in our stores of raw materials. After that, this is the proof of sales for the armor delivered this time. The sale price is 30,000,000 Z (30 gold coins) per suit of armor. Other than that there's also kite shields at 6,000,000 Z and buckler shields at 3,000,000 Z. Please excuse me. Since Bakuddo is in the back of the Jindal peninsula far into Marquis Webdos territory... that is, the transportation cost is quite high so..it's become quite expensive."
I replied honestly. There's no other roads than that and it seems like I'm getting involved in something troublesome but I'm just a simple supply merchant. I want to remain the third-party with good intentions. Well, if we were to seriously put all of our effort into producing armor then we should be able to do it even faster with a bit more numbers.
Yulu and Marin both seemed to have raised their voices in doubt of that but what are they doubting about it? No matter how you think about it, it's not my responsibility that rubber armor is listed as metal plate-mail armor for accounting purposes. While I'm obeying respectfully with a composed face because I have no reason to be criticized and,
"Marin, call commander Logan and sub-commander Bittwaz here."
After saying that Marin went to say something to the soldiers guarding outside and then returned.
"Greed, you haven't said any lies right. There's several major problems in your statement just now. Depending on the statements of Logan and Bittwaz they might become even more important."
Yulu said with a slightly strict voice.
"Ha..I swear that I have not said any lies. It's all the truth."
After saying that I lowered my head.
After a short while the commander and sub-commander entered the room. Marin quickly noticed them and put the rubber bag she was playing with into her pocket.
"Did you call for us, your highness Queen Yulusufol, your highness Queen Marinen."
After saying that they took the same pose of a retainer as me. Yulu opened her mouth.
"There's something I want to ask you two. First, the six suits of plate-mail armor that applications for the expense of that were made in August, is this the armor that you ordered from Greed's company?"
Baron Logan replies.
"Ha..Since it's new armor, I made such applications because the classification is close."
"I see. I'm sure the classification is fine. However, according to what I just heard from Greed, you were supplied with 10 suits of armor this time isn't that right. Why is the number different?"
Yulu questioned him again.
"Ha..Since the application for assistance funds on individual armor and equipment is only accepted once in every seven years...I applied for it when I order brand new plate-mail armor five years ago and three others also had already made such applications, so we subtracted those numbers from it and only made applications for six suits of armor worth this time."
Baron Logan replied. He~ so they offer assistance with the cost of ordering new armor? As expected from the first knight group. Including their high salary they're quite rich.
"I see, then, that's fine as well. Next is the price. I just heard the sale price from Greed. It's clearly, abnormally cheap compared to the metal plate-mail that I know. And I feel that the delivery date and quantity are unusual as well but, you, it can't be that you used threats when negotiating the price and made and forced them to make an unreasonable delivery date right?"
Yulu's tone of voice gradually gets stricter as she said that. I guess she's saying not to bully the supply merchant?
"Wa? Ha..Of course we haven't done anything of that sort.."
I guess Baron Logan understood the reason why he was called so he responds with a feel that vaguely seems to be criticizing me.
I haven't said anything like that.
"Just now, you said you purchased new metal plate-mail five years ago. What was the sale price at that time? And, the period between making the order and the delivery?"
This time Marin asked.
"Ha....If I remember correctly it was 74,000,000 Z...Also, the delivery was made about one year and two months after the order."
Baron Logan replied. So high-end metal plate-mail is expensive. It's true that the plate-mail armor of the Baron I saw before seemed expensive looking. And it takes quite a bit of time as well.
"Logan, aren't your words from just now and the order made of Greed inconsistent? 30,000,000 Z per one suit of armor and ten of those suits in roughly four months. Do you really think that metal plate-mail can be prepared so easily! Furthermore the armor you're wearing right now has even been dyed black just the same as Greeds! If the price and delivery time we're really that different then all of the armor merchants up until now will go bankrupt! I'm sure it was quite a burden on Greed's place as well! What in the world are your intentions!"
Along the way Yulu started to get enraged. This is bad. I just said what the production rate of my place is though. The one who brought up the sale price was me as well. I guess I need to interrupt even if I buy a bit of her displeasure.
"With all due respect, your highness, Queen Yulusufol. May I please receive your permission to speak?"
I can't say anything but that.
"I allow it. What is it?"
Yulu said that while looking at my face. Her expression said that she was saying it for my sake, that sort of feeling.
"I must humbly say, your highness Queen Yulusufol. It seems that there was a misunderstanding. First, me armor might seem like metal plate-mail at first glance but this isn't metal plate-mail. It's armor made of rubber. And the production rate in Bakuddo village that I just said isn't a lie but we don't have an infinite supply of the material that is rubber. Right now producing 10 suits of armor in four months is our limit in terms of raw materials."
I said that bowed respectfully. Baron Logan was blatantly relieved as he took a breath.
Yulu and Marin's voices matched up as if they had both heard something unbelievable.
"It's not metal plate-mail armor? Rubber made? Isn't rubber soft. Can that become armor? And from what I can see..Greed, your armor, is it alright to touch it?"
Marin said that and crouched down to me as I was respectfully obeying.
"Ha, please feel free...And, if you're fine with the gauntlet, I'll take it off though"
While saying that I undid the rubber belt fixing the gauntlet of my left hand to my arm.
"Eh? Just like that..It comes off unexpectedly easily."
Incidentally, starting from the second generation of the rubber protectors I designed the parts to be simple to put on and take off. If I were to simply explain how they're equipped and it's as follows.
First off there's the parts of the substructure that cover the abdomen and back and go down the waist and legs which are fixed with rubber belts on the flanks. It's fine not to tie this part too tight. Next you put on the upper arm parts. The parts for the upper arm plates and the part that's close to a hemisphere for the elbow guards are one piece that are fixed to the belt.
After that the upper parts of the chest and back parts are connected to the shoulder (just think of it like wearing something like a sleeveless shirt that goes up to your chest with just the armpits cut), then it's fixed to a belt that surrounds your body fixed around the right armpit. The reason why it's only open on the right is because the sword is most often worn on the left side and no other reason than that. The armor parts of both shoulders is connected to the entire body through some rubber belts and is worn above the chest part. The part from the shoulder to the arm is once again fixed through a thin rubber belt to the upper arm.
Simultaneously the long rubber belt that comes down the back and abdomen parts connects to a hook on the inside of the chest portion. It's easier to have someone help with the back portion here but if you get used to it then you can deal with it by hooking it in advance. Originally I had made it so the abdomen parts were connected to the shoulders with a rubber belt but that's already been improved in the current generation.
Next is the waist. I mentioned it before but there's a part that's not connected under the armpits which is like wearing an hourglass of belts and you can connect to the hooks on the abdomen and back. Since just that makes you feel uneasy about your waist and flanks so along the sides of the abdomen parts I have several waist parts that are hooked on like tassets but since all of the waist parts are gathered together into one belt you tighten this up as well. There's quite a few parts overlapping on the body so there's no gaps.
The leg portions are boots and greaves that are fixed to the upper legs with a rubber belt. In regards to the top of the feet but this is a problem of taste but in my case since I have my homemade boots which are ebonite down to the tips of the toes so I haven't attached anything there. In regards to the trunk of the body there's also other parts fixed in place by the rubber belts but these weight quite a bit. Simultaneously it's hooked onto the abdomen with rubber belts as well. There's a gap of about 5 cm where the belt stops behind both the upper and low leg parts. I'm calling it shin guards but it's not a large curved plate like the shin guards in Japan. It fits a bit closer to match the legs. I just don't know any other way to call it so don't mind it.
There's leather gloves that cover up to the elbows. Then you put your hands into the gauntlet parts and put your fist around the brass knuckles inside of that while fixing it to the arm with a belt and tying it on the inside. The gauntlet portion is made to cover close to the elbow and all of the fist. There's a separated portion in the center of it so there's some gaps in it but by tightening the belt you can pretty much completely adjust the gaps to disappear.
Furthermore, it's ideal to connect the under-armor to the various holes made in the armor but even without the holes for belts on the under-armor there's no major problem as long as you aren't equipping it for long periods.
And then just like a rugby athlete you wear an inner helmet and after fixing it by the jaw parts, just like the German or self-defense force used in the past you cover it with an outer helmet and fix it to the jaw just the same way as the inner helmet (though I don't have the inner or outer helmet on right now). The outer helmet has something similar to the old Japanese headpieces where there's ebonite boards going out of the top of the head on both sides. The plume is also a matter of taste so I don't have it attached.
Since it's like this you start from removing things like the greaves and gauntlets and if you get used to you removing them is easy. I quickly handed the left gauntlet I took off to Marin. Since Yulu was looking at that of great interest as well I quickly took the right gauntlet off and handed it to her as well.
They tried knocking on it and twisting it to various angles. My gauntlet is exclusive to me, normally there's some iron rods put it to work as a simple shield but instead of that in mine there's a compartment for throwing needles 10 of them in each one that Myun taught me in the past. They're iron needles with a width of about 3 mm and length of about 20 cm. They can be used as a shield as well but in order to make it easy to take them out I have a notch where the needles are stored and you don't pull them out but if you lift up the edge you can take it off easily. Marin noticed that.
"They're iron wires that are normally fixed on the outer part of the arm to be used as a simple shield. If you want to put more emphasis on defense then you can use four thicker metal rods on the outer part of the lower arm. If you're seriously going to use that as a shield then it becomes heavy so I haven't put them inside."
I don't know if she understood from my explanation but she's nodding so she probably understood it. However, I was letting off a cold sweat. I completely brought in a weapon. I was relieved since it was exposed that they were throwing needles. I'll be careful starting next time. There's also the brass knuckles so if I tell the guard at the entrance that the gauntlet is a weapon as well it shouldn't be a problem.
"Is this all made of rubber?"
Yulu asked me.
"A portion of it is made with leather strings and there's metal portions as well but fundamentally it's made of rubber."
After I replied and,
"Eh? Is that so. I did think it was considerably light iron but in the first place it wasn't iron I see.."
Said that and started knocking on it again.
"Let me humbly say, both of your highness-es. It's true that armor is made of rubber, and the defensive capability itslef doesn't match up to metal plate-mail. However, just as you can tell, the weight is extremely light, and it's easy to move your body as well. Just as you already know Lord Greed of the third company and the squires Amzel and Gurhoretz are using it as well so it's ability has already been proven. And above all else it's cheap. The repair cost is unexpectedly cheap as well. The problem is that in the first knight group right now there was the commander and 9 others who got a head-start ordering in August and this time 10 from the third company who"That's unrelated right."
Sub-Baron Bittwaz explained about the armor but before he could accuse the Baron the Baron stopped him. The sub-baron is glaring resentfully at the baron but the baron is just acting like it's nothing at all.
After hearing that Yulu and Marin laughed as if they found it funny and said.
"It seems that it was our misunderstanding. You're allowed to forgive us. And, highly efficient and cheap equipment is always welcome after all...However, for it to have been made of rubber.."
Yulu said that while playing with my gauntlet still.
"I thought it looked like metal plate-mail that had been dyed black but..Certainly if you look closely it's different."
Marin said that as well while putting her hand inside of my gauntlet.
"However, Bittwaz, it seems you have a problem with the commander getting a head start on ordering the armor but is there really a need to be so specific about something like armor? If you're the sub-commander then have a bigger heart."
After Yulu said that and,
"Ha..However..However..even if this armor doesn't have the defensive capability of metal plate-mail it gets close to that and furthermore it weighs several times less than that. Since we can't always be fighting while on horseback, if it comes to the lives of knights and squires.. the commander starter ordering something like that with himself and members of the second company and after pointing that out the third company was the only ones to make orders the next time. I only found out about this right before the delivery this time. It was last week, when I found out. And I only found out because those guys from the second company accidentally leaked it. Not to mention after that Lord Kendus of the third company tried to hide the delivery location from me this time. I can't simply excuse this."
Sub-Baron Bittwaz said that while looking resentfully at Baron Logan. The first knight group, sure is stingy, is what I think but it's true that if it's something that your life is dependent on it, it's not like I don't understand the feelings of wanting to blame them or get as stingy as possible.
"Fufu..So you're saying that, Bittwaz. Isn't it fine for you all to make orders next time?"
Marin said that find it amusing.
"Ha..However, it seems that the commander is overseeing the orders starting next time and...And..if you'll forgive my words both of your highness-es have already left the actual scene. For the sake of the knights working on the front line"Bittwaz! That's rude. I was the commander of the first company of the first knight group until 10 years ago. I understand your feelings...However, is it really something that good?"
Yulu interrupted Sub-Baron Bittwaz's words and said that.
"Ha..Please excuse my rudeness..Mu, there's just the right matter related to this. This afternoon, we have some entertainment taking place along the knight group's riverside training area. That Greed, his brother and sister, and then the commander, myself, and Lord Kendus will perform some practice matches. The only ones among us that won't be wearing the armor this time are Lord Kendus and myself. Will you try watching it?"
Sub-Baron Bittwaz said that Yulu with a challenging expression.
"Hey, we haven't done enough preparations on the training area to welcome her highness-es."
Baron Logan tried to warn him in a hurry but,
"Ho~ that sounds quite amusing. The same armor as Greed huh..Hmm, let's go and watch it. And the cold is fine, since we were originally from the knight group after all. It's just the right occasion since we've only seen practice matches between units and not one-on-one matches lately. And, Lord Greed's older brother is..if I remember correctly originally Lord Greed was the substitute for the recommendation he had received to enter the first knight group. That should be fine."
Yulu said that and decided it. I need to give it my best to make sister look good. Ah, that's right, I should tell older brother, the squires, Zenom and the others about her highness-es royal visit as well.
"Greed, you're taking part in it as well? Be careful not to injure yourself. Your primary occupation is an adventurer and you're normally taking on monsters in the dungeon of Baldukk right? The body is an adventurer's capital. And, you also have the company as well."
Marin said that while worrying about me. However, I can't hear anything more than her worrying about the goods to be delivered next week.