“Aah, Seiren Garmena, huh.”
“Y-You know her?” (Makoto)
“It is the type of girl that you would end up confessing without realizing, right? Most people in Academy Town know about this.”
Not only people related to the Rotsgard Academy, but also the general populace and merchants know about it. In that case, it must have been quite suffocating for her.
The motion aria of Izumo, support for her research, and explaining that our relationship isn’t bad might not be enough…
“I recently heard she has been facing quite the hardships because of her episode with me.” (Makoto)
“Kinda. The savior of Academy Town with a saint-like personality, an admirable merchant with many major powers at a young age. A person that, as long as you close your eyes and don’t look at his appearance, you wouldn’t find any faults. I would say she is being seen as the top fool and target of hatred for darting off when given the chance of being with the most successful gold digging target.”
How can this be?
If Zara-san says so, it is most likely the truth.
On top of that, listening to their own evaluation of me is making my back feel itchy, and it is even being taken as an ‘it can’t be helped’ situation.
There’s only one truth, but it is not certain that the people who hear about it or see it will be able to perceive it correctly.
I had Tomoe, Mio, and Shiki move in order to thoroughly increase our profits at that time, so their impression must have been manipulated to our convenience to an even higher extent.
“Even so, Seiren must have given you quite the bitter experience too. Running away full-throttle after being confessed to, your position as a man, and maybe even as a temporary teacher, might have been at risk. It is not like you were the one who spread this rumor. Worrying about it is a waste, you know.” (Zara)
“That ‘confession’ had a lot of circumstances to it, so I don’t want to count it either, but even if I wasn’t the one who spread it, I do feel a certain degree of responsibility.” (Makoto)
I don’t know who ordered it, but it was probably one or several of our employees spreading that rumor so that it wouldn’t be harmful to us.
“…No, the one who spread that was Seiren herself, saying: ‘I was confessed to, but I ran away’, because she didn’t want others to misunderstand the relationship between you and her, you know?” (Zara)
I was feeling pretty heavy due to the guilt, but that’s how it was, huh. Seiren-san was the one who spread that herself.
Then, I feel a bit better.
The Variant Incident and the growth of Jin and the others because of my lectures ended up bringing a strong tailwin onto me.
So it is lightly her just self-destroying.
For some mysterious reason, that self-destroying part of hers reminds me of myself in some way.
Even though I feel no love for her at all, my affection points towards Seiren rose a little bit.
“I thought for sure it was one of our employees that spread that.” (Makoto)
“Like Eris-san? No way. Her loyalty towards you, in foundation, is pretty sturdy, you know? You should trust your subordinates more.” (Zara)
“Yeah, I will. And so, Zara-san, I am thinking about assisting her a bit as an apology. What’s the best way to go about things when a merchant wants to provide assistance to a researcher in the Academy?” (Makoto)
“…Apology. You are the one who should be given an apology…is what I want to say, but let’s leave that aside for now. You can just go through the normal staff member channel. In this case, there’s no technique for profit or finding loopholes, it is simply an act that you are performing as an apology, right? Then just be straight about it. You don’t even need to meet her face to face.” (Zara)
Normally, when receiving support, money, or things, showing your face is the standard, but it seems like there’s no need for me to show up personally. Just giving the things to the staff members by using the name of the company is enough to deal with it without any problems.
Zara-san explained to me politely.
“Oh, so there’s no problem with that, huh. I had no intentions of making it a trade or anything, but I thought that there would be some sort of etiquette as a merchant.” (Makoto)
“In joint research, when you get a profitable result, you have to make the profit division and the details of the research rights clear from the very beginning or it will surely be troublesome later. It is an incredible pain, and it is almost always the Academy. Unless you properly know the faction, research cost, research time, to the point of perfection, you will definitely end up regretting it later. In those kinds of matters, the guild can provide support by making a contract.” (Zara)
“I will keep that in mind for the future.” (Makoto)
“But…are you really going to support Seiren? You would be putting money on her research, you know?” (Zara)
“Uhm, that was my intention. Is there a problem with that?” (Makoto)
Seiren-san’s specialization is aria foundation.
It sounds pretty normal for magic research, and I don’t think it is connected to dangerous experiments and mad scientist thoughts.
“Don’t you know her field of study?” (Zara)
“I have an idea of it. Basic foundation of arias.” (Makoto)
“That’s right. It won’t turn into a single coin.” (Zara)
I did think I wouldn’t be able to get big money from basic field research.
Judging from the tone of Zara-san, that’s a hard reality.
“I see…” (Makoto)
“It is still in the magic field that’s connected to money, but -in my opinion- digging out old pieces of literature and poems from the library, and running a background check on the author and what their expressions meant; researching those kinds of pointless stuff in detail won’t change anything. What everyone is looking for is the recreation of those outstanding works, not the analysis of them. And yet, they don’t listen at all! Even when the sponsors tell them to quickly work on the project, they get way too concentrated in just poking each part of the pages!” (Zara)
He got pretty heated there.
He must have had an experience like that before.
“…You had that same painful experience in the past, huh.” (Makoto)
“It was the worst! I am not putting money on those guys so that they can indulge in their hobbies. They are the type of people to immediately forget such a basic thing. The type of people that offer themselves to research that doesn’t make money.” (Zara)
“By the way, what research did you put money on?” (Makoto)
“It may not look like it, but I like books. There was a time when I wanted to preserve the work of a certain past literary master.” (Zara)
T-That’s way too unexpected.
This is like a critical ‘I may not look like it’ case.
Zara-san likes books.
Since he mentioned literary master, is he the type to read novels?
I am interested in the genre!
“You like novels?” (Makoto)
“Hm, yeah. At first, I read through things that were centered around travelling journals, since I thought it would help me out in my work. As an extension of that, I passed my eyes through the most popular work of a famous author that I was reading to get acquainted to the culture of other places, and ended up completely into it.” (Zara)
“I see.” (Makoto)
“And so, for my hobby and to contribute to that field, as well as a slight expectation of selling, I proposed to some researchers to make a whole series.” (Zara)
“But it didn’t sell.” (Makoto)
“Even though it was supposed to be a complete series, just as I told you before, it didn’t progress properly. In the end, we just released the first volume that was half the planned thickness, and it finished with that.” (Zara)
That’s a terrible result.
“Well, it was from a person of a long time ago, and it is doubted if she even existed. Just trying to pinpoint which ones were her works was really difficult, was one of the excuses.” (Zara)
“You were expecting specialized researchers would be able to identify all of her works, and yet, that was the result. It certainly sounds rage inducing.” (Makoto)
“That’s how it is.” (Zara)
“Can you tell me the name of that author for future reference? When I have the time to, I might try giving those books a read.” (Makoto)
“…You read books?” (Zara)
“The hell?” (Makoto)
“Ah, no, sorry about that.” (Makoto)
It was completely opposite to what I was expecting, so I ended up retorting reflexively.
I certainly haven’t read a lot lately.
But before coming to this world, I read quite a whole lot!
That’s why Tomoe can dig out book contents that even I have forgotten about!
“Well, that’s fine. I am happy even if it is flattery. Some say she is the first priestess of Lorel. She is like a legend.” (Zara)
“Her name is Hitsuna.” (Zara)
“Is something the matter? Making that weird face.” (Zara)
“Aah…actually, I recently went to Kannaoi in Lorel by the invitation of the Empress-sama.” (Makoto)
She is alive.
Like, really lively.
That long past literary master of yours.
“Yeah, I heard about that. Also that you are allowed to come and go from Kannaoi whenever you please by the feudal lord household.” (Zara)
“As expected of Zara-san. I have been given the permission to freely transit Naoi and Kannaoi.” (Makoto)
“…Naoi. Even the capital? I didn’t know that. Looks like you have done quite the impressive business job there.” (Zara)
Rather than calling it business, it was more like stopping a coup.
The supporting role of the tomboyish princess and her husband in a boy-meets-girl romance?
Let’s stop that.
I am already being called sad nicknames like the merchant of destruction and the landmine merchant.
There’s no need to widen my wounds myself.
“I was helped out by my surroundings.” (Makoto)
“I wonder about that. I am beginning to feel like you have been born below a star that turns meetings into your own strength.” (Zara)
“I hope that’s the case.” (Makoto)
“By the way.” (Zara)
“About that damn researcher I was referring to before.” (Zara)
“Ah, yeah?” (Makoto)
“He was called Pence Garmena.” (Zara)
“Yeah, a Garmena.” (Zara)
“Uhm, could it be…” (Makoto)
“Seiren Garmena is his niece.” (Zara)
“…What a small world.” (Makoto)
“Totally. This must be fate. I will give detailed instructions regarding the apology and the support matter.” (Zara)
“That would help me out a lot. I will be counting on you!” (Makoto)
Zara-san suddenly made an X with his hands in front of his face while sitting behind his desk.
Ah, he did it again.
What is it? Is he going to hit me with a cross chop all of a sudden?
I haven’t messed up anywhere, so I would rather not.
“Sorry about that, ran into some issues with the person that I was having a thought transmission with.” (Zara)
“Thought transmission? Zara-san, you can directly use thought transmission?!” (Makoto)
Meaning that Zara-san is a mage and merchant?!
That’s an impressive track record then.
“Ah, no…well, a relay, kinda thing? Uhm, anyways! Keep it a secret.” (Zara)
“? Got it.” (Makoto)
Zara-san was weird there.
We managed to wrap one matter up, so it is fine though.
“R-Right! What kind of support will you be giving Seiren? Have you already decided?” (Zara)
“Yes, I have. My subordinate Shiki has knowledge about the money it takes for aria foundation research, so after plenty enough calculations, 500 gold coins would be enough to push any topic she would want. Also, one of my students knows an interesting aria application…no, it would be more of a technique. I got his approval that, if we confirm with her if it serves in her research, he will explain it to her in detail…” (Makoto)
“…You idiot. Making all of my pains pointless…” (Zara)
I explained to Zara about the support I would be giving, and then, a closet at my left opened up with a bang.
At the same time as that, a lab coat woman jumped out from it.
I returned my gaze to Zara-san, and he had a bitter expression.
Wait a bit here.
A lab coat woman jumped out from Zara-san’s closet?
“S-Sorry! Could it be that I came at an incredibly bad time?!” (Makoto)
“…You are wholly wrong. Hm? If you are trying to be considerate on that front, does that mean…Raidou, could it be that you…with a woman…” (Zara)
“Eh, ah, no no! Then, who is this woman?” (Makoto)
Why is it that his intuition works that well?!
This time, the lab coat woman shouts.
W-W-What’s the matter?!
“Aah, Raidou.” (Zara)
“Yes, yes?” (Makoto)
“This is Seiren. Seiren Garmena.” (Zara)
“Aah…about this time’s…uhm, painful experience…my condolences.” (Makoto)
For now, let’s sympathize with her.
We are in a strange position to introduce ourselves here anyways.
“Thanks for the hospitality!” (Seiren)
“Raidou, you really forgot the face of Seiren, didn’t you? …In a sense…no, you really are impressive.” (Zara)
Leaving aside the reason why, it seems like Seiren-san had come to Zara-san’s place before I came here.
I managed to meet the person I should meet, so I guess that’s fine.
“My deepest apologies for making you suffer with that confession matter. I am truly sorry. It may not be much, but I would be grateful as well if you were to accept my apology.” (Makoto)
I go straight to the topic.
“Uhm…it is about that!” (Seiren)
I was prepared for her to be in hysteric anger and become a machine gun of insults, but Seiren-san was looking at me with a strange mood.
“The aria that Izumo Ikusabe is using, are you telling me I will be able to get a…thorough…explanation of it from him?” (Seiren)
She speaks slowly as if confirming every word she said.
“Ah, yeah. I requested that of him just recently. The person himself has accepted.” (Makoto)
“Even though he snorted at me when I asked him?” (Seiren)
“So that happened.” (Makoto)
“Also, you will be providing 500 gold coins to my research? Is that true?” (Seiren)
“Yeah, if this helps you out in your research. About your surroundings, it may not be immediate, but I will do my best to return it to the state of before the confession at least.” (Makoto)
“I can’t believe it… You are going so far? You, for me? Why?” (Seiren)
Mostly because it doesn’t sit right for me.
But I have learned to not say that out loud.
I honestly don’t know how to respond to that though.
I am fine with her just continuing her aria research as she has until now.
That’s all there’s to it.
“…Even if it is hard to believe, Raidou is the type of merchant that can pull that off, Seiren. Now that it has come to this, don’t you also have something to say to him?” (Zara)
“The victim lowered his head and is showing you his hospitality, you know? I have told you several times already, but regardless of who suffered the most out of it, Raidou is actually the victim here in this matter, and you are the perpetrator.” (Zara)
“…Yes. Raidou-sensei, I should be the one apologizing. I am sorry.” (Seiren)
Seiren lowered her head to me, and then, apologized for the matters regarding the confession.
It seems like Zara-san has served as the intermediary, and so we have mollified things in a pretty smooth manner.
A word of Tomoe I have been contaminated with has smoothly come out of my mind again!
Her way of speaking is sometimes like that of an old man from the edo era or chivalrous, so it is scary to get infected by it.
Good thing I have at least noticed it.
“And so, Zara-san, I have one more thing I would like to ask about. It is regarding the appraisal team.” (Makoto)
“Nechikitos, huh.” (Zara)
He obviously knows this too.
“R-Raidou-sensei, if you don’t mind, can you tell me in more detail about the research funding and the aria…no, about Ikusabe-kun in detail…?” (Seiren)
Seiren-san also plans on staying?
Izumo has married and entered the family of Iroha-chan, so…he isn’t Ikusabe right now, but Osakabe, I think?
Or will he be running with Ikusabe when at school?
Ah, should have asked him beforehand.