Liana was scolded by the Duke of Grantz for asking to invest in us.
Harriet had gotten into a fight with her father.
The last time I’d seen her interacting with her father, she’d seemed like a constantly yapping dog.
The Grand Duke of Saint-Owan had probably said something like “My dear daughter, what nonsense is this?” That reaction was only natural.
And then she’d probably responded with “I don’t know! Give me money! Invest in us! We can make all of this!”
Still, it seemed like Grand Duke Saint-Owan was rather strict with things like that. I thought he was simply an idiot for his daughter, but when his daughter told him to give her tens of billions of gold coins for something weird, he’d clearly told her that there was no way that was happening.
I could fully understand the positions of the people who didn’t want to invest in us.
Even the kids I’d asked to develop those items thought it was impossible, but it sure was fortunate that they didn’t get offended when asked to put their own money into the projects..
Anyway, because even immediate family members had rejected our request for investment, it was pretty much obvious what would happen if we asked an outside party to invest in us.
In the end, it just reminded me how amazing it was that Temple had actually granted us a budget of 5,000 gold coins.
It seemed like Mr. Epinhauser and Mr. Mustrang had worked hard in places we couldn’t see.
At the end of the day, I wasn’t actually that disappointed that we didn’t get more money.
While it was an unconventional method to approach others for investment, it was also rather risky.
The Duke of Grantz and the Grand Duke of Saint-Owan…
If those two families had agreed to invest, they would’ve held some stakes in Moonshine and the Power Cartridges. We would have had to have shared our findings with them so that they could create more and sell them however they saw fit.
In other words, even if we were the ones to develop the items, they weren’t actually ours.
They were very dangerous goods that would cause a rapid increase in strength all across the continent.
We had to never lose control over those objects.
The cooperation of those two prestigious families…
Regardless of how advantageous it might have been, it was also more than dangerous to take their money.
So even if we didn’t receive any investment, it was fine, as we would take on a huge risk if we actually received the money.
However, it was still true that we needed more money.
A lot more money than we had.
Apart from their study time, everyone was also working hard on their research.
As such, we started to organize everything into items that had already been purchased and items that still needed to be purchased.
As a result, a necessary event had taken place within the club.
Louis Ankton, the smartest among us, had taken on a new post as our general secretary because the amount of work was simply too much for me, the president, alone.
That guy was like a human calculator, so he was able to handle numbers quite quickly, and he had stuffed a lot of knowledge about magic into his brain.
Louis’s role was actually rather important.
I had no clue about magic, so I’d given the members permission to use some of the budget money if they needed something.
However, Louis knew why they needed those things, and he also knew if they didn’t actually need some of those things. Louis was a non-wizard version of Harriet—he had knowledge of almost all fields of magic, so he was able to pin-point the intentions behind their demands and verify whether they were valid.
When Louis Ankton listed all necessary equipment, supplies, the members’ reasons for requesting them, and finished talking to each member, he would bring the list to me and I would approve the use of the budget and request Temple to buy those supplies.
I was in charge of the external affairs, while Louis was in charge of internal and specialized affairs.
In the end, that was more than necessary because the members were already spending their money quite fiercely.
“We don’t have enough information to create a statistic to show our average expenditures, but at this rate, our budget will be exhausted in a week or so after our next group mission.”
“Is it really that bad?”
“Yeah. There are a lot of materials that need to be prepared, and while we don’t have to buy a lot more new equipment, there are still some things we need. Our expenditures will be a lot less after everything is bought, but they won’t completely stop.”
No. Could it be that the signs of an impending financial crisis were already visible?
I mean, we had five billion won?
No? When did it turn into 4.5 billion won?
How did that make any sense?
“You’re the one who told them not to worry about money and just buy whatever they needed first… Should I limit their spendings?”
Louis looked me in my eyes as he spoke, but I simply shook my head.
“No. Let them buy it if they need it. I made them develop some ridiculous things, so I can’t just tell them to save money.”
Louis predicted that the required budget had already far exceeded what we had. There was still some room, but it would soon be completely gone.
“I’ll do something about this.”
Daddy’ll get you some money!
If not, I’ll make some!
* * *
After preparing various things and having been kept busy with a lot of things other than training, I could finally ditch the crutches. Of course, I still couldn’t go for runs or do strenuous exercises. That, too, was an order from the yoga master teacher.
It seemed that, just by receiving some treatment, I had already learned something about Magic Body Strengthening, though I of course didn’t feel anything different.
Anyway, I was slowly recovering.
The Orbis Class’ problem seemed to have gotten prolonged. In the end, that was also trouble that I had caused, but as it revealed the internal absurdities of the Orbis Class, I wondered whether they would still say what I’d caused was trouble.
Because if they couldn’t resolve those absurdities, there was a possibility things could have only gotten worse.
I felt a bit anxious.
However, the Orbis Class issue had already left my hands.
What I needed to focus on next was the Magic Research Society’s problem.
Couldn’t I just make some money through Self-Suggestion?
No matter what, money will come our way.
I sure wished that something like that would work, but there was no way it actually would.
“This is an absurdly large budget increase you’re requesting…”
…So I went to the student council room.
There were two people there.
Temple’s Student Council president, the fifth-year Rain Kali.
And the Vice-President, the fourth-year Hermann von Rogarius.
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Well, while it was certainly possible, it was still rather interesting that the president was actually a commoner and the vice-president was an aristocrat. The vice-president seemed to be a noble and high-ranking aristocrat of Kernstadt, while Rain Kali was a commoner directly under the control of the Empire.
That was all stuff I had heard from Ceres.
She didn’t come with me. She said that it could be interpreted as the Royal Class trying to put pressure on them if she came along.
She went on her own first and said that if things didn’t go well, I should go on my own and ask them to think it over again.
The president, Rain Kali, was a beauty that gave off quite the cold impression.
The vice-president, Hermann von Rogarius, similarly seemed cool-headed and calm.
Both had faces suited for their positions as student council executives.
And there was one more thing they had in common…
They both had thick, dark circles under their eyes.
‘There are more than 100 students in the student council. It was almost the same amount of students the Royal Class had.’
‘There could only be one reason why they had so many members, right?’
‘They just have that much work.’
‘That’s why the work of the student council president and vice-president doesn’t allow them to properly take care of their studies. As such, just being the student council president and vice-president for one whole year would replace all the first-year curriculum.’
The student council presided over more than 100,000 Temple students.
The vice-president and president didn’t visit classes at all because they just had too much work to do for the student council. They couldn’t, to be exact. Therefore, just working for the student council was considered to be a completion of the curriculum.
Nonetheless, dark circles still formed under their eyes.
‘They are a lot busier in the second semester, so both of them should be very sensitive at the moment.’
‘Because of the festival.’
The school festival… Planning and implementing it was the student council’s main task in the second semester. Therefore, it was obvious that the two of them would be really busy at that moment.
And there I was going there to make quite an unreasonable request to drastically increase our club budget to those two people. Rain Kali glanced over the papers I handed over with a rather businesslike expression.
“I read your statement. There is a shortage of research and development funds. However, for your existing budget to be insufficient even though you received about 5,000 gold coins, which is most of the Royal Class club support budget…”
She didn’t just tell me to go away because she couldn’t be bothered to deal with it.
“Of course, the Royal Class clubs are also able to receive support from the student council, but this is an unprecedented issue. Originally, each special class has to solve these issues with their internal budget.”
“Are you refusing then?”
“I’m not saying that we won’t do it just because there isn’t a precedent. If there’s a valid reason, there’s no reason not to agree to a budget increase.”
They seemed quite businesslike, but their attitudes and the way they thought were actually rather flexible.
I couldn’t help but to silently stare at her.
What the hell?
“President, your nose is bleeding.”
Suddenly, while wearing an expression befitting of an iron mask, blood was dripping from Rain Kali’s nose.
The vice-president took out a handkerchief and handed it to her as if he was already familiar with that situation, and she used the handkerchief to wipe away the blood.
“Hey, erm. Are you okay?”
“It happens a lot.”
I thought as much, neither of them seemed surprised.
What the F*ck.
Didn’t that seem kind of weird and sad? I mean, wasn’t she actually in a pretty dangerous state?
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Of course, Rain Kali continued to speak smoothly while holding her nose with the handkerchief, not seeming to care about it.
“The amount requested is 15,000 gold coins. There is no other club that has received that high of a budget before.”
“I know that magic research requires a large amount of money. However, even the largest magic research club in Temple only receives a budget of 5,000 gold coins.”
“You might think that it’s just a bit bigger than the Royal Class’ club, but their club actually has 200 members. It’s by far not as small as your club.”
“Also, that club has achieved excellent results in their magical research, which is why it receives support to such an extent. They didn’t get that level of support right from the start.”
“Even if your members are a part of the Royal Class, the club has only six members. It’s just a newly-created club that hasn’t accomplished anything yet.”
“I mean, there is nothing. No results. Nothing at all.”
“It’s completely impossible for us to provide financial support on such a scale just because you are part of a special class.”
“A budget of this size is only handed out to specialized graduate research institutes. They are ‘labs’ that couldn’t even be compared to a mere club, overviewed by a professor whose prowess in magic has already been officially verified. Of course, if you meet these conditions, you would be able to get even more than 15,000 gold coins, but you do not.”
That was right.
Both of them just said that it was impossible.
In the end, the newly created club hadn’t accomplished anything yet, and it was impossible to receive such a large amount of funding just because we had big plans.
“We need the money for our research, but we’ll only get funds if we have a good track record? Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? In order to achieve results, we need the research funding.”
“It’s not like you don’t have any research funds, though, you say that it’s lacking. I can’t grasp with any form of common sense why you need more even after receiving such a large amount of support.”
“Don’t you think we need a budget going beyond any common sense when we plan on developing things that go beyond any form of common sense?”
The president and the vice-president stared at me after I said those words.
I felt like they really wanted me to give me a mouthful.
“Temple is a place which enjoys the Imperial family’s great support and thrives through the tuition fees paid by its students. However, we do not have unlimited capital.”
“I suppose so.”
“We can’t spend money on things that are not well-founded. It seems unlikely that the items you are planning on developing will actually be developed. That is a fact. The reliability of your ability to create such items is also very low. This, too, is a fact.”
Rain Kali didn’t seem to be criticizing me.
She was the one who’d protected Exodium, a club for kids suffering from 8th-grade syndrome, quite a lot when they were getting suspected for being worshippers of the demon gods.
I could predict to a certain extent that she was a good person with a good heart, but that didn’t mean that she was a pushover.
“People lean on possibilities. Because there is no way of knowing the future, we can only judge matters based on their probability. You insist that you will make items with a very low likelihood to be made with a group with unclear capabilities for which you require a large budget. The student council simply cannot afford to sink its money into such a place.”
“Of course, if you were just a hobby club that didn’t actually have any serious club activities, we could support you with a club room, take over your dining expenses, and grant you the supplies needed for your activities.”
“However, such clubs usually have small budgets to begin with. With that scale of support, they are able to do whatever they want to do.”
“However, faced with a huge focus such as magic research, the necessary budget has to be very, very large.”
“What I mean to say is that I can’t grant you a budget of that size without any grounds. Do you understand?”
Her answer ended up being very long, but I had expected as much.
We can’t give you anything. You have nothing with which to prove your ability other than being part of the Royal Class.
If we didn’t have any achievements, we wouldn’t be granted more research funds. However, we required research funds to achieve good results.
“Then you need us to have achievements, right? Proof of our capabilities, to be precise, right?”
“We would review your request then.”
In other words, they wouldn’t even consider it with how things stood.
I took something out of my pocket and placed it on the president’s table.
“…What is this?”
It was a blue bracelet.
“It’s a bracelet with a disposable protection magic cast on it.”
It was Ceres van Owen’s last piece of advice.
‘Oh, right. There’s something you need to know about the student council president…’
‘Rain Kali is majoring in magic.’
The protection bracelet.
Ellen had used hers, but I still had mine.
“What is this about?”
“It was made by a first-year in my class.”
Rain Kali’s face showed a slightly surprised expression.
“In two days.”
Those words were enough to turn slight surprise into astonishment.
* * *
Rain Kali looked at the protection bracelet on her desk with her eyes wide open.
“…You said they made an enchanted item in two days? A first-year?”
I had no idea just how amazing that achievement was. However, I could predict to some extent what those members from the student council would say.
We hadn’t achieved anything yet… I was 100% sure that they would talk about our performance.
So I had asked something of Harriet.
‘Hey, you remember this? This here.”
‘Yeah? Uhm, Why?”
Before going to the student council, I’d asked Harriet about the protection bracelet.
‘Is something like this hard to make?’
‘Oh? E-erm… Well…’
Harriet was extremely proud of her skills, but she wasn’t one to boast, so her face seemed to shrivel up at my question.
‘In how many days did you make them?’
‘How long would it usually take? Let’s say… the other first-year wizards who are in your class, how long would they take?’
‘Oh, uhm…Ththat’s… Urg…’
Harriet couldn’t speak properly, just mumbling slightly while wiggling her fingers, too embarrassed to say these things with her own mouth.
‘Ah, this is important, so hurry up and tell me. What’s wrong with you now?’
‘I-is that so…?’
‘Are you going to talk properly now? How long would it take for the other general class students to make an item like this?’
‘Why are you getting mad, you idiot! They can’t! Alright!’
Harriet screamed at my urging and went away in a huff.
The disposable protection bracelet was produced in two days.
Her classmates were not only unable to create something like that in that period of time, they were completely unable to create it.
That was why Rain Kali was so dumbfounded.
“They made two, to be exact. It was a collaborative work between two magic major students from Class A: one who specialized in magic crafting, the other only had introductory-level knowledge in the field.”
Harriet and Adelia.
While she was pretty much overshadowed by Harriet, Adelia was also one heck of a genius. Adelia had been in charge of the basic designs of the bracelets while Harriet had helped.
They both majored in magic, but they were both first-years and still beginners in the field.
They’d both managed to make something like that.
“Making something like that… In two days…”
Rain Kali murmured blankly.
“Ms. president. Your nosebleed.”
That was when her nose started spilling blood again as she stared blankly. She wiped her nose with the handkerchief again.
No, that girl… Wasn’t what she needed a serious rest? I felt like she might die if that went on.
“You said it’s disposable, so I can’t just activate it to check its effect. But if it’s like that, I won’t be able to judge whether the protection actually worked properly. Two days is just too short of a production period.”
The president’s doubts about whether the magic worked properly were reasonable.
“You said two were made?”
“So that means you used one.”
“In the Darklands.”
That meant that we had already verified their ability.