47-Give and Take Episode 45

'Then I will arrange for personnel, warn the inhabitants of the territory, check the situation, and arrange for the materials needed for the filtration system.

Natalia tells Estella and bows her head.
It's hard to believe she's so sick.

'Natalia, you can use the umbrella I brought with me.
'But, then, ......'.
'We're all here, and besides, we don't want Natalia's cold to come back.
'...... Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Thank you for your concern.

Natalia bows her head deeply. Her face seemed to be filled with contentment.

'The rain has weakened a little.

Ginette, who was looking out the window, said this.
Indeed, the sound of the rain against the window had become a little quieter.

After Umaro's arrival, we had a full-scale meeting.
It was a good time, so we had a breakfast prepared by Ginette.
I invited Regina to join us, but she insisted on eating in the children's room, saying 'I can't eat in front of so many strangers.
I think he needs to work on his communication skills a little more.

So, after the discussion about the structure of the filtration system and its future movements, Natalia returned to the lord's mansion to make preparations.

For now, the first priority was to prevent any more casualties.
The next priority is to secure drinking water for the people.

'Yashiro-san. This filtration system is pretty big, isn't it?

Umaro raises his eyebrows, holding the design of the filtration system I drew.

'It's so big, you need a big space to make it. Of course, it has to be indoors where the rain can't get in.
'Don't you have a workshop at your place?
'Yes, but it's quite difficult to transport something of this size to the 42nd district. If possible, I'd like a place in the 42nd district where I can work on it.

The filtration equipment we requested from Umaro is quite large.
It consists of a tank 2 meters high and 80 centimeters in diameter, and four filtration units 80 centimeters high. They are connected by a gently sloping channel.
First, the tank is filled with water. After a certain amount of dirt and debris is deposited in the tank, the water passes through a sealed channel with a gentle slope at a slow speed. During this process, the fine impurities that cannot be removed are allowed to settle, and only the supernatant, which is less contaminated, is sent to the filtration system.

This filtration system consists of a barrel filled with fiber, charcoal, sand, gravel, and pebbles, and a cock attached to the bottom of the outside. The reason for the cock is to shut off the water in the event of a problem with the filtration system. The reason for the cock is to be able to shut off the water in case of a problem with the filtration system, since it would be unbearable to have the filtered water ruined by the "problematic water" poured in later.

So, I asked for a rather large-scale device called a "water filter". This device would be installed in places such as the lord's mansion and churches, and water would be provided.
Of course, it will take some time to complete, so I will only build the filtering system for the barrels first, and provide the water this afternoon.
This system will then continue to filter water automatically until the post-disaster treatment and reconstruction is complete. We'll have to fill the tanks manually, though.

'Can we rent the lord's mansion?
'I don't think so. There's not enough space in the room to build something this big.

If we were to build a device, we would need a lot of space to work with, bringing in the wood and assembling it.
When I was in Japan, I once made an assembled bookshelf, but I remember that it was too small to be made in a six-mat room. The space for spreading out the materials is quite wide.

'How about here then?

If we use the common room and kitchen of the church, we might be able to make it.
But ......

'The children are still asleep, so please refrain from making too much noise.

Bertina politely but firmly refused.
Well, I don't know how many days it's going to take, but it's going to be tough not being able to use the kitchen and common room in the meantime.
It's not fair to force children who are sick to endure more.

'Um, Yashiro-san. Would you like to use the sunlit pavilion at ......?In this situation, the store will be closed for a while. ......'

I think what Ginette is suggesting makes the most sense.
...... It's no use, let's use the sunlit pavilion.

'If you damage it, fix it for free?
'It's almost as if we renovated that place for free.

What do you mean?We're paying you properly!
He's got a bad sense of humor.

'Even if we use the filtration system in the sunny pavilion, that one is not enough. I'll need at least two more for now.
'That's right. If it's only drinking water, I think we can cover it to a certain extent, but if it's water for daily life in general, it's as good as .......'

Drinking water will be provided for drinking, but water for cooking will be necessary.
Laundry and bathing will require a little more patience.
Food and drink come first.

'Then there's the ingredients.

Estella mutters with a difficult expression.

'I'm sure we can get rocks and gravel by going to the river. ......'
'But I heard that the river has been swollen by this rain and is now off-limits. Delia told me this before.

Estella, who was struggling to procure the materials, her expression clouded even more when Ginette pointed it out.

'Don't worry, Ginette. There's Omero in the river fishing guild.

'Mr. Omero, are you a good swimmer?'

'Well, Ginette doesn't know.

'Omero, he's the one who can handle anything that might happen!
'No, sir!

Because the other day he was washed in the river because he couldn't swim.
What?Wasn't he being taught how to swim?

'Hey, can I have a word?

I was about to explain to her that Omero's position was the same as that of a chess pawn or a chess player, when Loretta raised her hands in unison.

'You can get it in my neighborhood, stone, gravel, and dry sand.
'Yes, yes!

Loretta's body trembles as Estella approaches her rapidly.

'Loretta. I'm fine. She's incredibly flat, but she's a woman.'
'Oh, no. I know. It's just that I was startled by the loud voice.
'Anyway, Yashiro ......, it's raining, shall we go out?
'Sorry, Estella. My natural hair shrinks when it gets wet.'
'What are you talking about, straight hair?

Estella groaned.
He's ...... so annoyed by the little things that I'll ...... tell him once and for all.

'Estella. Don't get upset over something small.'
I'm not sure what to do.

Oh, I'm sorry. I misspoke just a little.
"Don't get upset over a small thing.
"Don't be annoyed by small things.
It's almost the same. ...... That's weird.

It's funny. There's a cave in our neighborhood that my brothers dug. ......'
'A cave?'

I couldn't help but ask.
I mean, what kind of cave did my brothers dig?
What are they digging?

'There's a cliff between us and the 29th district. My brothers are using it as a playground.

Digging holes?
Well, I guess it's fun, like a secret base.

'In there, the rain won't come in and we can get sand.
'Well, let's go take a look.

'Then let's take a look at it.' Whether it's usable or not, we can decide after we see it.
When we left the church, the rain had weakened a little. At this rate, it might stop raining by this afternoon.
It would make it easier for us to take various actions.
Thinking that we should have made a teru teru bozu, we made our way to the slum.

''Here we are.
''Wow, yeah!

Umaro and I shouted when we saw the cave that Loretta had led us to. We couldn't help but raise our voices.
It was a huge cave, just like the Underground Kingdom.
I'd believe you if you told me it was the home of dragons.

'This was made by your brothers?
'Yes, sir. We have time for it every day.'

Estella lets out an exasperated but impressed breath.

The space was so huge that a concert hall could fit in it, and it made me wonder if the buildings of the 29th district on top of it would sink into the ground.
The ceiling was so high that I wanted to ask, 'How did they dig it?

'The drainage in this area is not that good, and the houses are shabby, so if it rains hard, we'll evacuate here.

When I looked around, I saw that there were indeed household items lying here and there.

'So, where's your family now?
'...... When my brothers come, they'll run wild, so I've ordered them to stay home.'

I see. That might be a wise decision.

'What do you think?Can you use the rocks and sand around here?'
'Oh, no problem. This should be enough.'
'...... Magda will carry it.

Magda, who can be relied on more than anyone for heavy lifting, thumps his chest.
'I'm sure he'll be able to do the work of a ten-ton truck.

'Also, if we have firewood, how about we burn it here in bulk and produce a lot of charcoal?That way, my brothers will be warm, and we can kill two birds with one stone.

If it's as big as this, there might not be a problem. ............

'Let's not do that. If you happen to get carbon monoxide poisoning, you're in trouble.
'"Carbon monoxide poisoning" ......?

I'm not sure if you've ever heard of carbon monoxide poisoning.
It's dangerous.

'When you burn a lot of fire in an enclosed place like a cave, the oxygen decreases and carbon monoxide is produced. If you inhale too much of that carbon monoxide, you'll die.
'What?We have fires here all the time!
'A little goes a long way.

This cave has a wide entrance and exit. However, because it was dug out of a huge cliff, there is no other place for air to pass through. That's what makes it a little scary.

'It's no problem to do a little bit near the entrance. But it's dangerous to start too many fires.
'Oh, ......, that's my brother. You know everything, don't you?

It's not everything.
Don't give me that 'dependable character'.

'Let's leave the charcoal to the church. I'm sure the sisters are making it with the matrons by now.

The Church's kitchen has a proper chimney and vents. It's much safer there. But I'm sure it's hot as hell.

'But we have all the ingredients now, don't we?
'Yeah. We can wash used clothes and underwear for the fibers.'
'Um, Yashiro-san ......, used underwear is a bit .......'

It's not surprising that Ginette's and Estella's have special fees,......, but if it's Umaro's, it's going to be poisoned water.

'I'll have them prepare the cleanest, pre-clothes fabric possible.

I'll make sure the fabric is as clean as possible before it's made into clothes,' says the fat, thin-breasted Estella.
That's what the rich say.

'Yo, thin breasts!Oh, I made a mistake. Yo, fatty!
'That was definitely a deliberate mistake, wasn't it?

He cares about every little thing. In two ways.

'If the filtration system is completed, will the people of the city be happy?
'Of course, Ginette. I'm sure it will save a lot of people a lot of grief and suffering.'
'Yes, sir. That's right.

A lord who is responsible for the lives of his people and a philanthropic member of the Spirit Church are working hand in hand to save people.
Is this what they call salvation for those who believe?
If so, I don't know why I'm being kept on the down low. I have no duty or responsibility to protect the lives of the residents, nor do I have the spirit of benevolence.
If this doesn't turn out to be profitable in the future, I can't do it. If things go according to my plan, I'll be able to make some profit. ...... Please, God. When the time is right, save me and give me your generous blessings. I believe in you, too. I just hate you.

But ......, I think.

Can we really say that people have been saved just by securing drinking water? ......
In the first place, the structure itself is wrong to contaminate the well. ......

'Oh, um, Yashiro-san!

It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your time and money.
I'm not sure what to do.

'Here, here, here, here, here, here, ......'.
'You want a girlfriend?
'No, I want one, but not like that!
'I can't get over my habit of exposing my lower abdomen in public'?
'I don't have that habit!

Fuming, Umaro seemed to have regained his composure for the moment.
Taking a deep breath, he said in a clear tone.

'I'd like to rent this place to Torbeck Engineering!We can do some pretty big things here!

Well, sure. There's plenty of space here, rain won't come in, and we won't have any problems making noise.

'Oh, um, this cave is currently a refuge for my family. ......'
'Do something about it, please!
'No, but my house is leaking badly. ...... It's fine if you want to go home temporarily, but ...... it takes a lot of time to build that device, right?So, as expected, it's a bit ......'.
'I'll fix the leak!
'Oh, no......, the leaks are one thing, but the floors and pillars are also damaged because of it. ...... I was thinking of repairing them when the rainy season is over. ......'
I'll do it!I'll make the house comfortable to live in!
'Yes, ...... and .................., big brother... ...'

With Oumalo's momentum, Loretta looks to me for help.
I'm sure you're not the only one who can do it. It's certainly a place where you can do some shipbuilding.

'Umaro. Trubec Engineering is out of work right now, right?
'It's partly because of the rainy season, but we can't do any work until Lord Wishart's mess in the 30th district is settled. ......Wishart-sama doesn't seem to care about the time because he's someone else's problem. ......'

You can't let other work interfere with the work you've already done. I think Umaro once said something like that.
If the other party was not a nobleman, he would have turned it down quickly. ...... If you offend a nobleman, you might get into trouble later on. No, you will certainly be harassed in some way.

'Are there only self-centered people in the nobility?What do you think, Estella?
'Why are you talking to me?
'I just wanted to get your opinion for reference.
'It's not all about ....... Some lords put their people first. Is that okay?

If I ask Umaro and the others to do a new job now and Wishart's work resumes in the middle of it, Estella won't condemn me for interrupting my work.
She is capable of responding flexibly.
That's why we can squeeze the work into this gap now.

............ Hmm.
I think I may have come up with a pretty good idea.

'Attention prizes!

Raise your right hand straight up and say it loudly.
They all shake their shoulders and stare at me with a half-amused expression.

'......, what's going on? What's with the sudden loud voice? You scared the hell out of me.'

It's true. You're so surprised your heart is shrinking, Estella.

'I have a very wonderful story to tell you.
'............ When Yashiro has that look on his face...'
'............ Well, it's usually when the profits are coming to you.
'......And the wrinkles are on Umaro.
'Magda called my name!I'm thrilled!
'...... No, Umaro. Are you sure that's the right reaction?The wrinkles are coming to you. ...... Well, okay, as long as he's happy.

Loretta looks a little uneasy.
The only one with a brighter expression was Ginette.

'What is it, a very wonderful story? I want to hear it.

Yes, yes. You're so honest.

'First, Loretta.
'Yes, sir!

Loretta can't hide her nervousness, wondering what he's going to say. Her back is straight.
Well, don't be so nervous. It's good news for you.
Because it's a great plan that will solve all your problems.
Everything, everything.

Well, you're gonna have to pay a little price for that.

'I want you to give this cave to the Torbek Corporation.
'Huh?But, but ......'
'Loretta. In my country, there is a very wonderful story called 'Kasa Jizo'. I'll spare you the details because it's too much trouble to explain, but as the story teaches, I want you to give up this place.
'If you leave out the details, I can't accept it at all!
'Ah, ......, the point is, if you do something good at the beginning, it will come back to you many times over.
'Is there such a thing as a convenient story that Yashiro often tells?

Hey, Estella. When did I say anything about convenience?
My proposals are always good for everyone except me. I'm just the one making the most profit.

Yashiro-san. I'd like to hear that story!
'No, I don't have time. ......'
'...... Magda, I want to hear it too.'
'Me too. It might make sense to me if I hear your story!
'Yeah, .......'

I had no choice but to tell the story of "Kasa Jizo" to all the people I knew, just like a kindergarten teacher. What is this shameful play? ......
Well, I took the opportunity to emphasize how the protagonist, an old man and an old woman, are good people who live modestly despite their poverty, so that they can feel catharsis at the end.
As a result, ......

'Uncle ............ Grandpa and Grandma ............ were good! ......That was good. ......'
'......I never thought I'd see the day when Yashiro would make me cry. ............'
'Ah, Magda-tan!I'm not sure what to say.

I'm crying.
I didn't think that even Estella would shed tears, leaving the back two aside.

And the important thing about Loretta is ......

'What we lacked was the compassion to give charity to others. ...... We were small people who thought only of ourselves. ......... ...I am ashamed of myself!I'm not sure what to say.

He was kind of furious about it.
Well, the most embarrassing thing is your parents, who are poor but keep having more and more children and abandoning them.

'I understand, sir!This cave!I'll hand it over to Torbeck Construction Company on the authority of the main pillar!

Umaro was overjoyed with all his might.
It's good to be in a good mood. It's good to be in a good mood.

'So, Umaro. I want you to rebuild Loretta's house.
'Yes, sir!I'll give her a brand new house!
'Well... I think we can get by with about five houses for now.
'Is .................. building ......?
'It's a housing complex. I'd like something that can house about eight families in one building. Two stories or so.'
'And five ...... buildings?
'No problem. I'll pay you well.
'Another free ticket to the Sunken Pavilion?A large building of that scale would take a lifetime!
'Don't worry!I'll pay in cash this time. It won't be a lump sum, but I'll pay the proper fee. ............ Estella will''
'Huh?Why me?

I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it.

'Even if I were you, I can't freely spend that much!
'No, you can. This is a charity.
'There's no way the current lord will agree!
'You just need something to convince him, right?
'Do you have ..................?'

In an instant, Estella's eyes switched to seriousness.
I rather like your perceptive nature, you know.

'I'll explain it to you step by step.

I stood up and made all the people who had been crowding me sit down on the ground.
Listen calmly.

'First of all, this cave is essential for building the filtration system. So we'll take it. But then Loretta's family won't have a decent life. So I'm asking Umaro to build us a house. That will cost a lot of money, so Estella will be in charge of that.
'Right now, it all comes down to me, doesn't it?
'Well, don't be so uptight. The plan won't start without something to start with. You're the only one with a head start.'
'What a theory. ...... I suppose you have veto power.'
'Of course I do. But you'll definitely benefit from the investment. And it's a pretty big gain.'
'...... like the Kasajizo?
'Oh, yes. Just like that.'

I puff out my cheeks in disagreement, but as if to encourage me to continue, Estella points a lined finger at me with a 'please'.

'This is a little off topic, but securing drinking water alone will not save the 42nd district. Securing drinking water is only a stopgap measure. It is only a measure to prevent further victims.
'......It is true that if there is another heavy rain, something like this could happen.
'......An annual event.'

Ginette makes a pertinent point, and Magda sets up a nasty vision of the future.

'So, I'd like to propose a drastic solution.'

All eyes are on me.
It's like a corporate presentation. If I had a PowerPoint presentation, I might have been more convincing, but that's okay.

'Let's make a sewer.
'...... 'sewage'?

Ginette tilted her head at the unfamiliar word.
I'll explain it to you from the beginning, just listen.

To begin with.
This happened because there was no sewage.
If there had been a sewer to let the rainwater escape when it rained heavily, the water would not have flowed into the well.
The damage was worsened by the accumulation of excrement. This could not have happened if the sewage had been properly disposed of!

That's where the sewage comes in!

'Sewage is collected in one place through a channel buried in the ground, a huge filtration system is used to remove the dirt, and the cleaned water is discharged into the ocean beyond the wall.

It may not be as perfect as modern Japan, but the fish in the sea will take care of some of the bacteria.
Masha, a member of the sea fishermen's guild, said, 'It's okay if it's a little bit, the fish will eat it.
If we don't accumulate sewage, we won't have such a disaster.
At the same time, we should build manholes and discharge rainwater into the sewage system as well.

'If that were to happen, ...... certainly, the lives of the residents would change dramatically. ......'
'Wouldn't it?The whole city will be cleaned up and we'll be rid of floods. It's just that the 42nd district is the lowest point in the city and is prone to flooding, but the fact that no measures have been taken so far is just negligence on the part of the lord.
'...... That's harsh.'
'There's a good thing, too.
'What is it?'

I'll give you the perfect pick-up line to woo Estella, who is starting to show an interest in sewage.

'I'll give you all the rights to this sewage to my lord. I'll give you all the profits and authority I can get from the sewage.
'The rights to ......?'
'Ah. If the 42nd district becomes a model case, and people in other districts start asking for sewage, the lord can use his authority to negotiate with them. If we do it right, we might be able to gain an advantage over the other districts.
'............ I see. That's tempting, isn't it?

That's a pretty big deal. It will yield huge profits in the long run.
I'm saying we can have it all.

'So you're saying that the lord should take care of all the expenses related to the construction.
'Including the construction of this district.
'This city is constantly hit by disasters caused by heavy rains. It's a great product to sell to the rest of the city.
'The filtration system is almost the same as drinking water. We just need to add one more step in the final process. ......'
'So it's possible to run a simulated test with drinking water filtration.
'That's what I mean. If you build a drinking water filtration system as a charity project first, and then make a presentation on sewage after seeing the results, even the dumbest of lords will shake their heads. If not, it would be better to leave a deer in place of the lord.

A deer will shake its head if you show it a deer cracker.

'You've put a lot of weight on my shoulders.
'You've never had stiff shoulders, have you?It's a good opportunity.'
'...... You don't have to have breasts to have stiff shoulders, right?'

Estella stared at me with a grim stare.
She won't be able to answer right away, but she'll probably be able to pull out the funds.

Now, next...

'So, Umaro.
'All right!I'll take the job if I can get paid for it!I'll do my best to cover up Wishart-sama's work while giving priority to this one!

If you can do that, why don't you just do it from the beginning?
Well, it's the duty of those in charge to avoid dangerous bridges.
This time it's Estella who's in charge. Umaro should feel free to do the same.

'Since Yashiro is in charge this time. I'll take it easy.'

...... What?
It's not what I was expecting.

First, we're going to repair the current house and then build a new one. But the main members of the team will be here to work on the filtration system at a rapid pace.
'Yeah, that's the thing, Umaro.'

Currently, Umaro is only enjoying the good times.
Naturally, with the good news comes a little pain.

'You, set up a branch in District 42.
'A branch?
'Yes. We're about to start sewage construction. It'll be a big project for several months. It would be a waste of time to go back and forth every time, wouldn't it?
'But then we'll have to go to ...... for a place to live.
'That's why you guys are going to build it now.
'The house we're going to build now, it's ours, isn't it?

If we establish a branch of Torbek's construction company, it'll be easier to ask them to do various jobs.
We can save on transportation costs and have many advantages.

'So, we're going to do the sewage work too?
'Yes. I'll leave all my skills to you.'

I put my arm around Umaro's neck and whispered in his ear as if we were having a secret conversation.

'When Estella negotiates with the districts, and the demand for sewage grows louder, you are the only ones who have the technology for sewage. Naturally, the requests will be focused on Torbeck Engineering.'
'That ...... sounds appealing.
'Eventually, you might get a request from the royal family of the Central District, you know?
'Oh, the royals are coming to us?............It's like a dream. ......'

Umaro smiled half-heartedly, envisioning a bright future that he had yet to see.

'However, there is one condition for providing the technology.'
'............ compensation cut?'

He thinks I'm only thinking about money.
...... Well, he's mostly right.

'Estella will pay for it, there's no need for me to be stingy.
'I hear you, Yashiro.'

I ignore the annoying voice coming from behind me.
I don't need to worry about that. I have an important contract to sign right now.

'I want you to hire a large number of Loretta's brothers.

Loretta was the first one to react to my words.
But I didn't care, I continued my negotiations with Umaro.

'From now on, the construction in the 42nd district will require manpower. You may not be a full-fledged man, but you can be useful in numbers. No, you would rather have any kind of manpower you can get.
'Certainly, with five housing complexes and sewage ...... systems all over the city, there's never enough manpower.
'Moreover, Loretta's brothers are quite handy. They have a good memory, and above all, they're motivated. You've dealt with a few of them, so you know them well, don't you?''
'Yeah, sure, they've worked hard.
'In addition, the mining ability that created this cave. We're going to need this for the sewage works.'
'......, yes.'

Umaro was prejudiced against slums at first.
But he's the kind of guy who sees people he's actually met and talked to as people.
Under him, my brothers can work honestly.

'All right. If we can get a motivated person and a technology that no one else has, there's no reason for us to refuse!

Loretta shouted with joy, her voice as loud as fireworks.
No matter where she goes, she can't get a job, and the ones she finally gets don't last long.
Having experienced such hardships, she must be happy that her younger brothers have found work.

'My younger brothers are not very good, but I will make them work with all my might!Please train them hard!
'Ah, um, yes!

When Umaro's hands were held and he was smiled at at close range, he became very nervous and froze.
The only reason he was fine earlier was that he had forgotten about it because of the tension of seeing the cave.

'Good ......, now your brothers and sisters and everyone in the city can be happy.

Ginette smiled compassionately.
Yes, we can all be happy together.

Seeing her hard work in disaster relief and sewage construction, the prejudice of the city people against slums may disappear.
In addition, being a part of the trusted Torbek Construction Company will change their views.

Then these siblings will be accepted and ...... and ............

The mobile popcorn sales will increase again.

It's a great way to boost the profits of the Sundaari Pavilion.
And with Estella's money and Umaro's skill and trust, I don't have to spend any money at all, the system will generate sales without me even having to do anything!

Come on, you guys!
Work hard, for my profit!

Well, I'm just saying.
I'd be happy to lend you a bit of wisdom to make this town a little more livable.