4-1: What Happened to the Snow (Part 2)

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Author: Natsuni Kotatsu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Isn’t he the one abusing authority the most!!”
“Yeah. He’s the worst.”
“He is! Agh, where’s Frank when you need him?!”

Even Haku cried as if matching the atmosphere.

Frank, who’d served as a deterrent force, was not at the branch now.

He was away to attend the general meeting at the headquarters where every branch master took part, but the contents discussed were kept secret even from him.

I turned down accompanying him partly because I had Haku, but also because I found that suspicious. It was best to avoid trouble.

“Augh… It’s too much responsibility for me.”
“It’s okay. Ector is aware of the overall situation, so he’ll react accordingly.”
“Right… I hope so…”

I soothed Elize while deciding to rely on Elize and Cynthia if it was necessary.

I just wanted to say one thing. The older times aside, you shouldn’t underestimate the receptionist work now that the commissions increase so much.

…Oh how I miss the old idle days.

After a few days, when the snow started to melt faster than it piled, the irritation at the branch was already reaching the eruption point.

“Illya, can I just kill that guy?”
“Stop saying disturbing things, Bard.”

It doesn’t sound like a joke when you say it. Perhaps finding me scary still, he started sulking in silence, but another voice came from the other side of the counter in exchange.

“But it even spoils our mood when we see it.”
“There’s no one who’d take his side here. Maybe we should just strike him out sooner than later.”

As someone spoke up at the counter seats, the other people in the hall also raised their voices in agreement.

“…It seems that we have bothered you too. My apologies.”
“There’s nothing for you to apologize for, Illya!”
“Yeah! Everything is his fault!”
“…Well, we can’t work in this weather anyway so that adds to our frustrations.”

Yeah, right.

That’s not exactly convincing when it’s coming from a regular that’s been constantly hanging around here. Their gallant figures from during the ice dragon subjugation were nowhere to be seen now as if they were blasted away by its Breath.

That said, they only made merry about the rare snow at the beginning. It limited mobility so it was still a fact that they were stressed.

As I was wondering what to do, men entered the branch dressed in full anti-cold clothes.

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Everyone but one of them all snuggled up close to a fire crystal that was set up for warming up.

“Illya, I confirmed that the snow has been properly removed from the roofs.”
“Oh, thank you for confirming it.”

The roofs in Luneville where it didn’t snow were flat, so they aren’t suited for snow unlike the slanted roofs from where it would fall off when it accumulated. New buildings aside, the older ones could get crushed under it.

We couldn’t consume the fire Factors that were limited as is, and magic wasn’t versatile enough for minor adjustments, so we’ve even been issuing snow-removing commissions too lately.

…Snow, huh?

“Daren, what happened with the removed snow?”
“Removed snow? It was moved away from the streets and entrances… But was there some specific instruction to follow?”

But this was convenient.

Once I finished processing the completed commission, I headed to Ector’s house in my break time.

Though they finished shoveling the snow off the street, it was still ankle-high of it left, so humans would find it hard to walk.

I headed to the lord’s mansion with Haku while inspecting the degree of snow, and fortunately, I arrived without the vice-branch master finding me…. Just kidding, I used a skill so no way he’d find me.

It was a sudden visit but it went without problems and I now sat in the reception room with Ector.

“It has been quite some time since we met like this, Illya.”
“Yes. It would be bothersome if someone started finding faults with me, after all.”

We’ve only covered using letters lately, so the conversation naturally headed there.

I got back to the main topic at the first opportunity. When he heard it, Ector looked very confused.

“The plan seems solid, and I don’t mind if you borrow my name… But are you planning to issue the reward yourself too?”
“Yes. I came up with it, after all.”
“I don’t mind using my budget for something like that. It’s not like I’m unrelated to the lord, and if everything goes well, I can earn it back, right?”

I nodded my head in consent.

But my words were the opposite.

“However, I can’t tell how people would react without trying. And this will most likely be the last one.”
“…Makes sense.”

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After saying so, Ector shook his head.

“No, I still can’t accept that. I’ll issue the reward myself.”
“Don’t worry. I’m not doing it from the lord’s but my individual budget.”

We discussed it further, but he didn’t go back on his decision to invest.

I feel like I saw Ector’s stubborn side that Frank always talked about.

We made the commission paper that day and put it on the bulletin board. People who saw it exclaimed as if seeing something unbelievable, and others got attracted by it, forming a crowd.

“Illya, the commission our lord has issued… what is this?”

Someone couldn’t hold back and asked, and with it, all the gazes focused on me.

I met their gaze and replied with a smile.

“Those willing to participate will be competing in snow monument craftsmanship.”

The qualified people were any Luneville citizens regardless of age, gender, and guild. You could register with ten people at max and create a monument at the designated location. There was no restriction on what you could mold. Interfering with others would give you a monetary penalty and a ban on entering all branches in the future, and the top three winners would be given a monetary prize.

In Japan’s terms, it was…

“It’s a snow festival.”

“What is the meaning of this…!”
“What could you be meaning?”

I was being interrogated by the vice-branch master in the third-floor reception room. He was frowning to the point his eyebrows were about to connect to each other. He had bulges on his temples, making it clear that this wasn’t normal anger.

“Stop playing dumb!”

He smacked the window frame as he yelled.

Outside of it, the citizens were desperately… yet somehow happily, building snow sculptures.

“A staff member shouldn’t issue a commission that involves the citizens and could paralyze the city function.”

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I was surprised that he had a proper objection.

But I was also offended that he thought I didn’t consider all that.

“With all due respect, this commission was issued under the lord’s name. Moreover, the participants are obliged to do their official duties before taking part, and building outside of the designated time period is also being penalized.”
“That’s just sophistry!”
“I shall take full responsibility. But until some problem arises, I request that you stand by.”


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