br>Moreover, since that Wirk has been expelled, there have been frequent tremors recently.
Is that not, in other words, proof that that tool doesn’t work at all?”
 ”But… Wirk said that the tools were getting old in the first place, and said that it was coming time to have them replaced—”
 
 As for the Minister of Finance, he seemed to want to say “isn’t that why the equipment’s effect has faded, and why there’s been so many small tremors recently?”, but Dowal gave him a glare, and so he didn’t say anything else.
 
 ”It seems it’s just a coincidence that the tremors are happening now.
Besides, it’s only a small tremor, a trivial one that doesn’t have an effect on the country.
After all, this country is originally a calm one where only earthquakes of that degree occur.
That silver-tongued Wirk deceived the previous generation, saying that he’d make that thing for an exorbitant cost.
What an outrageous man, that guy was.”
 ”Hm! Truly! I’m getting angrier and angrier! If he were still alive, I wouldn’t forgive him!”
 ”Huh? Ehm, what do you mean, “if he were still alive”?”
 ”Hmph.
After that fool left the harbour by ship, he was given a watery grave by the pirates.
Well, he got what he deserved.”

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 Dowal smirked when this was said.
As a matter of fact, the pirates hadn’t returned yet and, although there was no proof, in the mind of Dowal and the king, he had died.
 
 ”Anyways.
The Grand Festival of Sorcery is coming up next year.
We need a golden statue of the king to let the rest of the world know of our power! The Minister of Finance must draw up a budget immediately.
Dowal must immediately demolish that worthless garbage called barrier towers and such.
Put that pointless thing called a stratum stabiliser up for sale immediately!”
 ”Acknowledged.”
 ”U-, understood….”
 
 The Minister of Finance had various misgivings, but if the king said so, then there was nothing to be done.
He didn’t know how far he could stick his nose in it before he got the chop.
[TL: Honestly, I don’t know whether the phrase used is literal or not.
Just like in English, the words I translated as “get the chop” can be interpreted both as literally being executed, or figuratively as being fired from one’s job.
I wouldn’t put either past this king…]
 
 ”Oi, get on with the budget.”
 ”Tsk, I know.”
 
 Dowal pointed that out after leaving the audience chamber.
 
 ”… hmph.
Don’t give me that face.
I’ll make things easier for ya.”

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 ”Huh?”
 
 The Minister of Finance, who had a somewhat disgruntled look on his face, was told that by Dowal while smiling.
 
 ”B-, but, can you really do that?”
 ”No problem.
The only thing that matters is that it’s less than Wirk’s.
Conversely, if you just keep that in mind… you know the rest, right?”
 ”A-, aah! If you put it like that, then I’ll get busy on the budget right away.”
 
 The Minister of Finance then went back to work, looking so jubilant that one would wonder what his gloomy expression had been all this time.
 While steadily watching the Minister of Finance, Dowal had a dark smile upon his face, and then went back to work himself.
 Doyal’s mind was occupied with how to cheat the budget and warm his own pockets.
He also thought that the operation would be more perfect if he could get the Minister of Finance to cooperate with him.
 That’s why he did not realise it.
He didn’t realise that every one of those actions would lead to an incident that would shake him off his feet.
 
 ”Ugh, another tremor.
Really, what’s that nonsensical stratum stabiliser.
We keep having a lot of tremors recently.”
 
 And Dowal didn’t realise here either — that the stratum stabiliser was the reason why it was only this bad…

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