Chapter 1: A Royal Architect’s Melancholy

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“There’s some damage in the wall around here.”

A brown-haired creature stared at the spot I pointed out.
In his hands, he was holding a hammer.
He’s my brownie familiar, Uni, who helps me out.

“Unyu?”

He tilted his small head slightly, not because he doesn’t know, but rather to make sure of what to do.

“Ah, here I would use pottasium slime putty, then paint it with mythril paint to fix it up.”

“Unyu!”

Uni showed his eagerness by tightly clasping his hands together into a round ball.
Now then, let’s go around with Uni and fix up the cracks and scratches around the palace.

I am a royal architect employed by the royal court.
My foster father, who took me in and raised me when I was a child, was the one originally in charge, but he passed away two years ago and since then, I’ve taken over.

In the beginning, I learnt by watching and imitating him, but then my foster father told me that I had a talent for it, and from then on, I studied with him as my master.

He was both strict and loving at the same time.
I am still glad he chose to become my master.

He also taught me all his skills, as he had no children to succeed him.

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But I am still inexperienced.
There was more I wanted to learn.
He used to flatter me by saying that I had already surpassed him, that there was nothing he could teach me, but to be honest, I don’t think I’m even close.

“Humph.
What the h**l are you doing here?”

“Minister of Construction Dowal.”

When I was called out to, I turned around and saw Dowal standing there in a loose-fitting robe.
He was looking this way with a stern expression, while scratching his reddish-brown beard with his hand.

This man is the kingdom’s Minister of Construction.
He is, rather literally, in charge of all construction matters.

“The wall here is cracked.
I’ve also been repairing some of the other damaged areas.”

“Humph.
You spend a lot of time on that sort of thing.
You should just fill up that sort of thing with clay.”

“No way.
Clay would only be a stopgap measure.”

I think he was joking just now, but I had to object, just in case.

“Just fill it with clay and paint over it.
It would even look better.”

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“Even if it only looks good in appearance… if it isn’t repaired properly, the damage will only spread.”

I couldn’t believe that the Minister of Construction would say something like that seriously, but even as a joke it wasn’t funny, so I answered seriously.

Then his expression turned sour, and his words intensified.

“Shut up! I can see what you’re plotting! You’re pretending to work so you can extort more money.”

“I wouldn’t pretend to do such a thing.
And as I said before, this palace and the main buildings in the kingdom were already built two generations before my master.
I’ve already told you that it is in need of a complete renovation and that I would like you to approve it.”

“Oh, I have certainly heard about that.
I’ve also seen the estimate you’ve asked for.”

“I see.
Then, how about it?”

“Don’t ask me, “how about it”! You’re asking for 25 trillion Corz for the construction cost! Don’t joke with me, you fraud!”

Dowal yelled at me, shaking his fist.
Corz is this country’s currency, and a family of four can live on about 250,000 Corz for a month.

25 trillion Corz may seem like a lot, however, I have my reasons for it.

“However, this keeps the cost down a fair bit, you know? There are places where it’s almost only the cost of materials…”

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