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Chapter 25 Act 4: Good relationships, bad relationships

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Author: Starving Wind Original Source: Joara Word Count: 4228 characters
Translator: Anonymouss English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2228 words
Editor(s): Silva

There was a commotion for a while, but as expected of officers for a giant guild like Volcano, no one overstepped in their reaction.

It was all thanks to Katalina keeping her eyes wide open and making sure that no one would be able to rush me, however.

“Do you and the guild master ‌know each other in real life?”
“Are you thinking about joining the guild?”

Still, she wasn’t able to stop the flood of questions that flew at me. It was difficult for me to answer all of them. But, I answered the two questions above at least.

“Yes. I ‌know Merlin1 in real life.”
“Wow! So the guild master’s lie turned out to be true!”
“You’re right.”
“Yeah, ‌try to say I’m still lying!”

Seeing Katalina’s cold expression pointed towards them, the officers made an awkward smile. It seems like they couldn’t say anything since they seemed to have been denying it as the truth this whole time.

“G… Guild master! I believed you all the way!”

At that moment, one of the officers stood up and shouted. It was a very, very familiar face. Anubis. The person I had a slight acquaintance with. Since he is one of her officers, he’d obviously be here. So why is his complexion looking deathly pale?

“Heh. Actually, I recall that there are people here who made a bet with me! The amount should be around 10,000‌. Please deposit to my account as quickly as possible. I’m sure you also know that every day you are late in your payment, a 5% interest would be added!”
“Urk!”

Throwing her accusation into the crowd, I saw that there were several people whose expression became troubled once they heard her words.

That’s why I always say you shouldn’t make bets so easily.

“Now, this is my answer to the second question.”

As the commotion died down again, I opened my mouth. The crowd immediately focused their attention on me right away. They ‌had more focus and courtesy than the average people.

“Unfortunately, I do not have any intention of joining this guild. I ‌do not favor joining any guild, nor do I know much about the Volcano guild. I also don’t want to sow chaos into the guild by joining it when Merlin and I have a real life relationship. I ‌wish to make sure that our relationship is just one of amicable friendship and nothing more than that.”

As soon as I finished speaking, Katalina continued my sentence.

“For reference, I tried to offer Miss Artoria as co-ownership of the guild, but she rejected it. It’s for the best, so don’t misunderstand.”
“Pfftahahah!”
“I guess we should all thank you for this!”

And so the slight interview process was over, and the meeting had begun with a very positive mood.

“Then we’ll stop all questions about Miss Artoria here temporarily, and head into the actual meeting.”

With Katalina’s smiling expression turning serious, the meeting had officially begun. Seeing how she draws the line between public and personal affairs, ‌I understood just how effectively they had taught her as the gifted child of a high-ranking family. She was still only 18 years old. I couldn’t help but be amazed by how she could speak ‌with no hesitation in front of many people who were all ‌much older than her, some even multiplying her age.

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“Then let’s first receive reports from the lord of each territory. Since I hold the position as the lord of Liverpool, I will give out a simple report. Are there any objections?”
“There is none.”
“Good. Then I shall begin.”

“All right then. First, the population of Liverpool city is at 656,534, and has increased around 8,000 in numbers since last month. Second, the territory tax revenue is 330 million gold, tariff revenue at 220 million gold, state revenue of 200 million gold. In total, it comes up to 750 million gold. It’s an increase of around 30 million gold compared to the previous year.

Currently there are plans for extension as well as defensive weapon installation on the outside wall, and will cost around 100 million gold. The extension of the residential area will happen, costing 50 million gold, as well as 20 million on putting in extra sculptures around the city. 350 million gold was used for payment of the guild members placed around Liverpool, and around 50 million gold was used for purchases of magic scrolls and potions. There was also 50 million gold in cost for the maintenance of NPC soldiers. In total, the costs came upto 600 million gold and the remaining 150 million gold will be put back into the Liverpool city’s safe for spare use.”

Seeing as how she could effortlessly go over her reports without a single mistake, her skills surprised me. The amount of money she was referencing didn’t affect me, however, since I had been seeing higher numbers this whole time.

I heard that the management costs for even a small city were ‌high, but a large city like this is on a different level. Since the information about such things are closely guarded secrets within the guilds, I wasn’t able to hear about such reports, but now that I ‌heard it for myself, the amount wasn’t too far off from what I had expected.

It just felt like one of my long-term curiosity was solved.

“… And I will finish ‌my report on Liverpool there.”

After reporting even the trivial troubles and disciplinary matters, Katalina nodded lightly. While hearing the applause, Katalina sat down as she turned her gaze towards one of the people sitting right at the first row of the hall.

“Then, would the lord of Manchester Mr. Venice please start their report?”
“Yes, guild master.”

A middle-aged person with quite a strong physical appearance stood up. Looking at their equipment, they seemed to be more affiliated towards productions rather than combat or war. Soon, they began their report about their city, which was basically the same as Katalina’s, only the figures being on a different level.

And this repeated 23 times. I was glad that I didn’t fall asleep by the end.

“Thank you for all your work, lords. I wish for your continued support, and now we’ll move onto the next subject.”

After the reports from all the lords finished, Katalina moved onto the next subject.

“Now, I would like to give notice about the changes in personnel and their positions. Yuris?”
“Yes, guild master.”

Hearing Katalina’s call, one officer that was sitting down stood up and went up to the podium, then bowed her head as she greeted the audience.

“Nice to see you all, officers of Volcano. I am Yuris and I’m in charge of personnel staff. I will now inform you about the personnel changes that occurred after receiving approval by 10 governing bodies and the guild master.2

Although her voice was clear as a charm in the wind, because of the contents, everyone’s expressions became serious and worried.

“First, Mr. Karma, who had just recently joined the ranks of top 100 players, will be promoted as the leader of the 15th fireteam that had been recently vacated.”
“Congratulations.”
“Congratulations!”

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The audience congratulated the person, and the man who seemed to be the one being promoted stood up and bowed before sitting back down. His expression looked quite satisfied about the outcome, perhaps because of the great position he landed in.

“Hm. Looks like being the leader of a fireteam is ‌high in terms of hierarchy.”

I lowered my voice to make sure only Katalina could hear it.

“Yep. It’s one of the most important positions in our guild. You can even argue that it’s a position higher than being a lord. They are directly responsible for managing the guild’s firepower‌.”
“The guild’s firepower?”
“That’s right. You can say it’s something like being a leader of a group of knights from the middle ages. There’s around a thousand soldiers for each fireteam, and to ‌command them directly is a ‌high status. It’s not enough that you are high ranked, you also has to have an amicable personality and great relations with lots of people to get there.”

She then smiled as she looked at me. I was about to start feeling annoyed…

“And yet you were going to just give me the position of co-owner of the guild just like that, huh?”
“Hehe. Sorry, sorry. But the position of being a co-owner of the guild doesn’t mean that you’ll direct the guild or have any power, it’s a position of honor more than anything. You’re the type to go charging in by yourself rather than leading. So that’s why I thought it would be the best position for you.”
“You’re trying to honey me up, but you’re going to be making a big mistake. I don’t think being a co-guild master would be right for me.”
“Oh~ Quite sharp there. But it’s also possible because it’s you.”
“Because of the fact that I am ranked number 1?”
“Hmm, well that could also be a reason, but I just believe in you‌.”
“…”

It was definitely a compliment, but I also felt quite embarrassed in ways as well. She’s ‌talented at making people unable to come back with their own opinions.

“… And so, the announcement of personnel changes will end there.”

The announcements ended while we were chatting around between ourselves. I felt stings of people glaring at me from here and there, but Katalina is the one who makes sure that no one is making any objections, so it didn’t really matter.

“Thank you for that, Miss Yuris. I would like to once again extend my congratulations again to all those that were promoted, and wish for them to continue focusing on their work as well. All the important announcements are done. Now, only the officers that have an emergency or very important matter please raise your hand and brief us on the situation.”

It looks like Katalina was trying to make sure the meeting goes smoothly since it seemed like it’s going to take a long time.

“I work with the guild’s intelligence department.”
“Please speak.”

A middle-aged man with sharp facial features stood up. I wasn’t sure whether it was intentionally set that way, but his tight lips and terrifying eyes made him look like he has a strict personality.

“Recently, the provocations from the guild Majesty and Tempest have been getting worse. There are more frequent occurrences of small battles between the guild members, and the disputes on the hunting fields are getting very serious.”

I remembered that I once read about the guilds ‘Tempest’ and ‘Majesty’ before. Although it’s partly because of Volcano’s influence, but the two guilds are distinguished and are vying for territories of England. However, that’s as far as I knew about them.

“Are they vying to move into actual siege warfare?”
“Not that far, no. But they seem to have more negotiations with large guilds surrounding them, and also aiming to have a significant share of the funds in the gold market, according to the intelligence team’s analysis. We cannot let out the possibility of a war occurring in the worst case.”
“A war!?”
“My goodness, was it that bad!?”

Astonished gasps went around the audience.

Katalina also looked very tense. A single siege may be bad, but to have an actual war means life or death for the entire guild, so it would be weird if she wasn’t worried.

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“For now, we’ll be on guard for such a possibility to happen. Although it’s not definite yet, the entire guild must be ready for a war, and officers, please make sure any unrest or quarrels among the guild members are dealt with as soon as possible.”
“I understand. That is all.”

And so the intelligence staff sat down, and everyone in the crowd all had a tense expression as if thinking of something.

“Then I will finish the official guild conference here. If there are any questions or items to bring up, please put up your hand now.”

Speaking formally, Katalina looked around to close things up.

“Now then, the conference is ov…”

And just as the conference was about to be over, someone suddenly lifted their hand, and naturally everyone’s gaze turned towards the person.

“Ah. Director Vega. Please speak then.”
“Then I will ask a question to you, guild master, knowing that you have given me permission to ask. Will you answer it?”

It was an aggressive tone. Seeing Katalina’s expression become ‌stern, it seemed like their relationship wasn’t good at all. It felt like they practically considered each other as enemies.

“Of course, I will answer.”
“Will you promise to answer truthfully?”

Even as a third party, he seemed to overstep his line.

“Are you not being too rude to the guild master?!”

Many criticisms against the person rose from the crowd, and Katalina raised her hand to stop them. The people who quieted down looked slightly frustrated, but it was the Guild master who had stopped them, so they didn’t talk any further.

“I will answer truthfully whatever question it is. Will you ask now?”

Katalina wiped away her stern, expressionless lips and replaced it with a smile. Although she was smiling, ‌that her eyes curved showed that she was completely enraged within her mind.3



References

  1. Lilith: I kinda feel like there should be a fem version of Merlin.
    Robinxen: I can’t think of one…
  2. Robinxen: She runs her guild like a company.
  3. Robinxen: Mutiny!

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