Chapter 1: A Royal Architect’s Melancholy
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
You spend a lot of time on that sort of thing.
You should just fill up that sort of thing with clay.”
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.”
“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.”
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…”
“That material cost is way too high! What’s with this Manacrete and other incomprehensible materials!”
Manacrete is a material that mixes mana, which supplies magic power, and conventional concrete.
It is one of the most basic, yet very important, building materials for magic architects.
It is only by using this Manacrete that magic architects can properly apply architectural techniques to a building.
As one can see, things handled by magic architects are large in scale.
It is impossible for a magician or sorcerer1 to engrave a magic circle for a building of this scale using their usual methods.
The only thing that makes this possible is the work of a magic architect, which I inherited from my master.
However, in order to utilize the techniques of a magic architect, you also need the appropriate materials.
If it was just me living by myself, I could manage to be self-sufficient, but on a kingdom-wide scale, that’s not possible.
Furthermore, there are many buildings in this country in which magic architects were involved, such as this palace and castle, the various roads, and of course, bridges, forts, boundary towers, water and sewage pipes, arenas, ports, multipurpose halls, temples, cathedrals, fountains, and so on.
But they were all built more than a hundred years ago.
Naturally, they are close to the end of their lifespan.
The previous generation’s work can certainly be described as that of a master craftsman who showed no signs of cutting corners, but even so, there are various parts that need to be reworked, now that new technologies have been developed over time.
It’s about time for those architectural techniques to be deemed obsolete.
And next year, the Grand Festival of Sorcery is scheduled to be held in this country.
The Grand Festival of Sorcery is a magic festival held every four years and attracts various important people from all over the world, and gets important-seeming sages and sorcerers to come.The festival also includes large-scale events like magic competitions.
In the first place, it’s an honour to be chosen for the venue, however, if things are left as they are, it’s going to have an effect on the biggest event.
That is why I decided that drastic and comprehensive renovation work was necessary.
It’s not just about this palace.
The whole kingdom faces this problem.
“In any case.
I can’t accept this stuff.”
“But if you do that, we’d have to keep making minor repairs as we have been doing.
What we just fixed would cost 50,000 Corz.
If you consider things like this occurring in multiple places, this palace alone would cost 52 million Corz each month at this point.
Moreover, if we leave it as it is, the situation will worsen and it will cost triple what it does now.
If we consider the entire country, I think it’s better to put together a budget and do something about it while we still can.”
At my feet, Uni raised his hands in the air as if to say, “that’s right, that’s right”.
“Shut up, shut up! I can’t take it anymore! I’ll have to report this matter to His Majesty!”
The Minister of Construction Dowal left while walking with large strides.
However, the situation has declined.
A magic architect is a special profession, and not just anyone can do it.
Now that my master has passed on, it’s inevitable that I’d have to take a main role.
Even so, I sort of ask other craftsmen to do what they can, but the skills of this country’s craftsmen are honestly not that high.
In the end, I’ve had to ask Uni to lend a hand.
“This isn’t going to be easy.”
So, what do you think?
It hasn’t been mentioned in the story yet, but our MC’s name is ワーク, which means… Walk? Work? Waku? I have no clue.
None of those sound good to me.
For now, I’ve translated it in the description as Volk, but let me know in the comments if you’ve got any better ideas.
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