Atelier Tanaka Volume 4 Chapter 4 part10
Territory Pioneering 4
It was now the beginning of a new month and the first payment was due to be sent to the capital.
Sophia-chan had calculated the balance and a clerk brought from Tricklis by Ester-chan had confirmed her numbers yesterday.
The office that had been built for Christina had now become home to Sophia-chan, Edita Sensei, Ester-chan, Gonzalez, and the mohawk man while the intended owner had yet to even set foot in the building. I haven’t even seen Christina since she left to Kalis, but I suppose that’s a good thing if she’s been with the noble mage this entire time.
All that’s left to do now is go over one final check with everyone here.
“Sophia-san, could you bring me the ledger?”
Sophia-chan handed me a bundle of papers bound together with a string.
It was about as thick as a typical magazine. The weight of it was a great, physical representation of everything that had happened over the last few weeks. The fact that all of this was handwritten by Sophia-chan increased my respect for her.
It’s something I can’t even comprehend doing as someone born in the PC generation.
“Our end of month report shows we’ve earned 172 gold, thirty-nine silver, and two copper coins.”
The minimum goal to meet was 150 gold which means we only passed that mark by a measly 22 gold. It’s not at all impressive when you consider how conservative I was with the original estimate. I wasn’t even accounting for the cost of everything we need to buy each month or my own living expenses.
In addition to this fact, I also received thirty-nine gold last month from the Manson Group. That money was the rent for this month that I asked them to pay in advance.
When I take this into consideration, I realize that we only managed to make it through this month by the skin of our teeth. After reading out the report from Sophia-chan, I could tell that everyone was tense. But, this is enough.
We’ve bought ourselves another month.
“We cut it quite close, didn’t we?”
“Yeah, dangerously close to be honest.”
I would’ve failed if it wasn’t for Sophie-chan’s performances. I would’ve failed if the noble mage didn’t bring that first group of nobles. I would’ve failed if Ester-chan and Gonzalez didn’t advertise our town in Tricklis. If it wasn’t for the contract with the Manson Group, I would’ve failed.
Looking back, the only reason I made it out of the first month was due to everyone’s help and a lot of luck.
It’s hard to say whose contributions helped the most.
“The only reason I’ve made it this far is because of all of you. Thank you all so much.”
I gave them all a deep bow.
And the lolibitch took no time to speak up.
“That’s not true at all! It’s only because of you that each of us is here! You should be proud and happy of what we’ve all accomplished here! But, I also find your humble attitude a-attractive as well!”
As usual, the blonde loli gets restless if she goes too long without speaking.
But, thanks to her, I have a good reason to raise my head.
“It’s thanks to you that I was able to avoid putting a black mark on your reputation, Ester-san.”
“I wasn’t worried about that! It wouldn’t matter if my name was dragged through the mud or even excrement, I’d readily accept it for you! W-Would you like a hug!? C-Come here and lay your head against my c-chest!”
“No, I don’t think that’s necessary….”
The loli bitch’s was even more tense than usual.
It feels like it’s at least 70% higher than normal.
“So, Tanaka-san, what is the plan now? If things remain like this, we should be able to continue for a while, and, to be frank, I’ve had a lot of fun helping build the town. I’ve already spoken with my comrades and they agree with my sentiments.”
“I’m happy to hear it.”
“If you have a plan for the future, let us hear it and me and my men will get straight to work.”
“Thank you, I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve come up with something.”
But first, I still need to go to the capital to pay the taxes.
I can’t decide anything until that’s taken care of.
“Ester-san and I will be heading to the capital to give them our payment. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll have to leave the city for a while and I’d like to ask you, Gonzalez, to take control of the city while we’re away.”
“Of course, you can rest at ease and leave everything to me.”
“Thank you. I was worrying about what to do if I ever needed to leave the city, but it’s good knowing I have you to count on. In regards to the fee owed to the Twilight Company, would it be okay to discuss that at a later date?”
“Whenever works for you.”
I can leave for the capital without worrying about how our city will manage without me.
I glanced over at Ester-chan and saw her looking below my waist with an excited look in her eye. Perhaps she’s making plans for what she’ll do when we’re alone in the capital or maybe she’s just excited for when I’ll princess carry her through the air.
Her lust filled gaze started to poison my own thoughts.
No, I can’t let that happen.
When we get to the capital, I need to arrange a meeting between her and Allen as quickly as possible.
“U-Umm, what should I do…?”
Sophia-chan looked like a baby that had been abandoned by the side of the road.
I’d love it if she came with me.
However, her bookkeeping is essential to this town.
“Right, sorry Sophia-san. You can stay behind and manage the finances of the town.”
“Oh, of course, I understand.”
Does she miss life in the dormitory? I’d love it if I could push everything aside and just enjoy time with her alone for as long as possible, but I know that isn’t an option. I’m sorry, but please, look after the books while I’m away.
“So, w-when will we be leaving?”
“Let’s head out tomorrow.”
“Good! Great! The earlier, the better!”
“Yeah, I think we should get an early start as well.”
Ester-chan, tone it down a little.
She’s breathing heavily and her nostrils are flaring.
“What time do you plan on leaving?”
“As long as we leave in the morning, we should be able to make it to the capital by the time the sun starts to set.”
“Is that possible? As usual, you speak about doing something impossible with such a casual attitude.”
“Right!? He’s amazing! He’s so cool!”
The lolibitch is as noisy as ever.
And in stark contrast, Edita Sensei has been completely silent since arriving here.
It’s not like she usually talks a lot, but she’s even more quiet than usual. When I looked over at her, I could see she was sleeping soundly on the sofa. I instinctively wanted to run over and pinch her cheeks.
I’m sure she’s been hard at work on the book. She hasn’t left her room much over the last few days. Sophia-chan has been bringing her meals while she’s been hard at work. She’s like an otaku that’s obsessed with a new game that just came out. I can’t wait for her to enter the stage where she starts peeing in bottles.
“She’s been sleeping the entire time, hasn’t she?”
“She’s tired. Let her rest.”
“You’re right. She also helped Sophie (Sophia) out back in Kalis.”
“Yes, that’s right. Your alchemist teacher has been busy.”
“Then, I’ll need to thank her when she wakes up.”
There was a warm feeling in my chest as I looked down at her sleeping figure.
When, suddenly, Edita Sensei started twitching in her sleep.
Sudden, abrupt twitches in her sleep. It’s something that’s common among animals as well as humans. I remember hearing in a lecture that this type of twitching is caused by sudden, involuntary muscle contractions.
I don’t know anything about the biology of the creatures of this world, but the elves appear to suffer from some of the same ailments as humans. And her spasms were even enough to wake her up.
Her eyes slowly opened before she looked to the left and then the right at each person staring at her.
“W-What’s going on? Is the meeting over?”
Immediately after waking up, she spoke.
“Y-Yes, everything has been settled.”
“I see. Th-Then, that’s good! Right!?”
She looks like such a pitiable figure that I feel like I have to just let her be.
Everyone else was silently watching her.
“Well, while I’m gone, you can reduce the number of operating facilities and take a short break for yourselves.”
“Don’t worry about us and just focus on what you need to do.”
“Thank you all for staying by my side as I try to fulfill my own selfish goals.”
At least for now, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.