I’m sorry to bother you.
I don’t care.
I asked to see my father when he got home. My mother and Norbert are there, too, since they’re not in the office today. Norbert knows about this, so it’s okay. I wonder why he’s smiling so subtly.
I’m going in with Lily.
There’s something you need to see.
The duel was never mentioned. Or maybe he knows my mother’s been lecturing me for hours. That scares me, but I’ll stop thinking about it for now.
“This way. Lily made it for me. Lily made it for me.”
First I showed him a piece of white paper. My mother as well as my father touched it with interest, but then my father turned his eyes to me.
What do you need it for?
“I think in a decade or so it will be used as a record sheet.”
“Eventually, huh? I don’t think we have the right conditions right now.
Very perceptive. And you seem to have noticed the other problem as well, though you don’t point it out.
It is difficult to say whether the people who are using makishi now would switch to makishi or not. The price of makuhiki is lower and the quality is not worse. In short, it is a simple problem that it cannot be sold as it is.
What are you going to do in the meantime?
Yes, like this.
I had already prepared for that question. When my father saw it, he looked at me for the first time.
“You drew a pattern. What do you do with it?”
“Use it like this.”
I asked him to draw a picture on several sheets of paper, and he looked at one of them with it spread out. One of them was spread out for him to look at, and the other one I had wrapped up with a pen I had on hand for the time being. Lily handed it to my father still wrapped in the pen.
“I thought we could start by using them to display gifts like this.”
In short, it’s wrapping paper, but we don’t even have a word for it in this world because we don’t have the concept of wrapping paper. Even when you give expensive gifts, you wrap them in expensive cloth or put them in a bag, or even a whole jewelry box if it’s jewelry.
However, the box shape can’t be used for some items, regardless of the price. For example, a bouquet of flowers is at best covered with a ribbon.
However, in the form of wrapping paper, an aristocrat could have a painter draw a picture appropriate for each recipient, such as a family crest, and the box could be wrapped in wrapping paper, making it a one-of-a-kind decoration with a pattern that matches the recipient.
It doesn’t have to be a uniform pattern, since it’s not the maker’s wrapping paper from a previous life. If you need a uniform pattern, consider printmaking, but you need to consider how to make a large sheet of paper.
In this world, most of the painters are still in the employ of the nobility, but there must be people with talent for painting among the common people. If people with talent for painting could be given jobs in the form of workshops alongside papermakers, they might be able to carry out the work of derivation.
In Japan, Yamato-e came to be used for maki-e in the Muromachi period (1333-1573), and there may be room for making sculptures based on the original paintings in this world as well. In the future, it would be interesting if an industrial school specializing in such works is established in the Count’s estate, but that is a long way off.
Watercolors as well as oil paints existed in the Middle Ages, and the legume used as a fixing agent for paints was also produced in the count’s territory.
It was originally intended to be used as a binding agent for the incense used in the ceremony, but I’m sure it can be reused. It would be good for the realm’s finances if it boosted sales.
“You could wrap a jewelry box in this, with patterns and pictures, and display it before you give it away. And this.”
I also present a sample of a message card. The pattern is also lightly drawn on the card, and it looks gorgeous.
“You can write a few words of gratitude or love and give it to the person you are giving the gift to. It does not need to be as long as a letter and can be used for both men and women. The advantage is that it can be made in this size from the start.”
Parchment and machete have to be cut from larger pieces in order to be used in smaller sizes. The problem is that the rest of the paper is wasted.
In the sense of the nobles’ value, such a piece of wood is not so important, but the problem of size variation is important from the point of view of production and distribution. But the size variation is important from the point of view of production and distribution.
By the way… a single sheep produces about six A4-size sheets of parchment. Because there are more demons than sheep, the number of sheets of parchment that can be taken from a single sheep is smaller, but the amount of parchment in circulation is larger.
“I smell something.”
Now that my mother has seen the card, she’s interrupted me, so I’ll answer that first.
“Unlike makuhiki and parchment, it is easy to add fragrance. Normally, perfume would be better, but for today I used citrus peels to add fragrance.”
“You didn’t buy Lily any perfume by any chance?”
Ugh, I think I pulled a big snake out of the bushes. But it’s my fault that I’ve been busy, and it’s definitely my fault that I haven’t done anything. And that wasn’t perfume.
Lily’s following me on the side, but it’s my fault, so I’m sorry.
“You want me to write letters.”
You don’t want the sermon to start here. My father helped me out. And he seems to have noticed from the way I say “letters” instead of “also” that the main point of this is actually the cards, to let people know that they can be used for writing. That the cards are actually the main part of this, to let people know that they can be used for writing.
If both the giver and the receiver know that it can be used for writing, it will be talked about in both households. It will naturally spread the word that it is also useful as a writing tool. If it is not good, there is no way to sell it, but if it has advantages, we can add value to it and sell it.
In part it’s self-preservation. A heir with a reputation as a spendthrift viscount who has no regard for the realm would make the people of Zehrfeld, who don’t know what’s going on, uneasy about the future and destabilize the rule of the realm.
On the other hand, if I start doing something that threatens the vested interests of the other territories in internal affairs, I could get flak from some strange source. I can’t deny that I’m a hot topic, but if I do anything conspicuous in the territory’s internal affairs, it could lead to other problems.
I’d like to keep it to a few rare luxury items that won’t cause any friction with the people around me and the territory’s finances. At least for a while.
I understand what you’re trying to do. The rest depends on the volume of production and the cost of materials.”
“Yes. It depends on the human resources needed to produce it, as well as whether the materials can be produced in the Count’s territory or whether they have to be purchased from other territories.”
“Do you have a plan in place for that?”
“To be honest, it’s just the beginning, but it takes time, especially to train a craftsman. Considering the budget and time it will take to train them, I thought I would first ask your father’s opinion on whether or not this item itself is worthy of his attention.”
If you can’t sell the product in the middle of the process, you are wasting not only the time for training the craftsman but also his time. The time spent to learn a skill is a part of a person’s life, and if it is not expected to be a product, it is sometimes better to give up on it from the beginning.
I’ll have to check with my father who’s the head of the Countess family first since we’ll have to clearly separate these things. I’m looking at the paper for a while and then my father nodded.
“It needs a little more quality, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s good. What do you call this?”
“Well, since it’s made from plants, how about decorative paper?”
It needs a name because there’s parchment and parchment and parchment and parchment. I wonder if they’ll be called just paper. In this world, makuhiki is cheap, so I doubt it. It’ll be a long time before it’s common paper. Maybe in my great-grandchildren’s generation.
I’ll bring this to your attention when the time is right.
“We hope to be able to produce something a little better by the time we submit it to the royal family.”
“Norbert, gather information on the materials you’ll need.”
Norbert bowed his head. I mean… he’s been consulting with Lily… so I guess he’s already made some predictions… It’s like he’s being led astray.
And Lily’s standing there beside me, looking surprised. She must think she’s made a big thing of it. But it’s a rule of nobility to present a new product of your realm to the crown as a token of your prowess.
It’s an appeal to say that we rule seriously and that we’re better than other nobles in this respect and not to take us too lightly. In this world, nobles must develop their abilities as nobles.
It’s hard to know how much to take, though, because if you take it too far, they’ll stare at you.
Be that as it may, there is no way to go any further as a product as of today. There are more things to be done, such as quality improvement, materials necessary for mass production, and methods for training craftsmen, but it would be better to find good people and leave that to them.
I don’t have the luxury of being involved in every step of the process of increasing the territory’s production. I don’t have the time, but I don’t have the brain capacity or the processing power.
And I have other things vaguely in mind as well, so I’m more inclined to emphasize its use as an appeal to the royal family for the realm’s technology.
“Thank you for your time.”
“No… I never thought you’d say something like this.”
I looked at Lily for a second because she reacted strangely. I turn to face her, and her father’s eyes dart to Lily for a second. Oh, so that’s what this is about.
“Thank you, Lily.”
What? Huh, yes. You’re welcome?
Lily reacts with confusion. It’s understandable if you don’t know what’s going on, and I should know what’s going on.
My first priority was the attack on King’s Landing and after that it was at most until our hero Mazel defeated the Demon Lord. But whether it’s the domestic problems or the new productions in the territories we’ve just talked about… they’ll come after we defeat the Demon Lord. Problems that we would’ve put off until now.
I’ve started thinking seriously about ruling after we defeat the Demon Lord because Lily’s going to be standing right next to me from now on. I’m sure my parents think so too. Can I call this growing up?
Just as I’m thinking about that, there’s a hurried knock at the door. My father gave the go-ahead and the man who’d replaced Frensen as assistant butler entered. My father saw the look on the man’s face and spoke first.
“Thank you for your help. Werner and Lily can step back. Claudia, you, too.
I bowed and Lily bowed beside me. I’m getting used to the fact that I don’t get upset in situations like this.
Then everyone except Norbert left the room, but Norbert came to call me back. Something must have gone wrong.
“Come on in.”
I hear a voice and go into my father’s room, where he is dressed in the clothes he would wear on his way to work. He doesn’t seem upset, but he’s dressed like that at this hour, so something must have happened.
“I’m going to take Max to the palace now. You’ll guard the pavilion until I get home.”
Okay. May I ask what happened?
“A messenger has just arrived from the royal court. Count Garmlich has died of illness.
What? What, it’s yesterday. I mean, the emphasis on the illness and death, that’s…
“The exact situation will be confirmed at the palace, but from now on, Count Garmlich’s wife and children and the rest of his family will be treated as if they were ill. You are to bear that in mind.”
So not only the Count but his whole family is dead. And the fact that we’re supposed to guard the house with such a tight perimeter means that the situation is very suspicious. Was it a mass suicide?
But ostensibly, it’s just a countess who’s taken ill. We can’t afford to be alarmed. The fact is we’re only at the first report stage. My father won’t know any more. I’ll do as you said and be prepared.
Let’s have Augen stay in the pavilion. Barkei will stay outside just in case.
In case of emergency we’ll need Valarkey to lead the knights who sleep outside the hall to reinforce us. We’ll both be up all night.
“Lily’s been invited to a tea party tomorrow, and you should expect it to go ahead as planned.”
It seems that I’ll have to keep my mouth shut for the time being. I’ll have to think of a countermeasure.
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