Chapter 72.1

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Founding Festival
“Listen, you absolutely have to attend. Don’t make that unpleasant face. It’s an obligation for those in positions to attend. I, too, can’t protect you forever.”

Despite being busy, my Father, who attacks every morning, suddenly asked me to participate in the Founding Festival a few days ago.

I’ve been participating every year… as a commoner.

Apparently, if you hold a position, you have to attend as a noble. Unbeknownst to me, the positions were decided, and I became the new chief of the Bureau of Technological Development. Without any formal introduction, the bureau that was previously known as the Armament Procurement Bureau has now been integrated under my command. Additionally, Mr. Grantz, who was the chief until now, pushed through opposition in the parliament and declared retirement.

“I’ll leave it to you, Missy. I have no objections to entering as an engineer.”

Ignoring the pleas of the parliament’s important members who begged him not to resign and passing on the title to his son, he completely retired. As he has received numerous medals from the country, he won’t have financial troubles with the pension, and since he only spends money on tools and alcohol, he surprisingly has a lot of personal assets.

Now, the problem lies with me. The operational side is handled by the nobles from the Armament Procurement Bureau, who continue their work as it is, and my Father is serving as the supervisor on my behalf. However, it’s busy. We were planning to unveil an airship before the Founding Festival, and now, various tasks, such as greeting the nobles, have come up. For now, I’ve delegated the work to Alicia while developing, but it seems the nobles have sensed that I’m doing something here. They are persistently pressuring to meet me.

“Hang in there, Father. The success of this project depends on your perseverance.”

“They’re persistent, those guys… They probably just want me to yield.”

If I were a Duchess, I wouldn’t be able to refuse to meet them, but for now, Father has activated the Royal authority. He has managed to deflect them with a message like, “Don’t interfere with my daughter. I will think about it when things settle down.”

“It’s almost finished… I’ve had enough of rushing projects…”

With the overwhelming busyness, the amount of alcohol the engineers drink has been increasing day by day. Either their tastes have improved, or my homemade alcohol has become a constant demand. By the way, I keep it secret from Father that I’m treating them to alcohol. He’d just complain or do the same things he always does, chasing after Knights or citizens, so it’s better not to bother him. I’ll bill him later.

“Well, I’ll manage somehow, and this is Gil’s specialty. Keep working with peace of mind.”

“We might just make it.”

“The old models are already finished. It’s this engine that took time to produce. Only Dwarves of combat engineer-class caliber can handle its production and maintenance. We’ve been too ahead of our time. The biggest question is what’s going on inside your head.”

The newly developed airship with a 4-engine setup is finally nearing completion and has entered the detailed work phase. The deadline is just two weeks away. Normally, it wouldn’t be feasible, but Dwarves excel in magic craftsmanship, allowing them to rapidly assemble it.

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While the old model is about 50 meters in length, the new model, equipped with four engines, is twice that at 100 meters. This increase in size requires more time for the work, especially considering the need for rust prevention.

The old model, inspired by the sailing ships of the Age of Exploration, relies mainly on wind for basic propulsion. However, with the presence of magic users, its operation should be relatively easy.

In contrast, the new model lacks masts but features chimneys instead. It continuously triggers small explosion spells using the magic power from magic spheres. This aspect proved unexpectedly challenging. The appearance might give the impression of wings and propellers attached to the ship. Similar to airplanes, it will be controlled using flaps and other mechanisms, and in the best case, it can be piloted by a single person. Full automation is still not feasible.

“I hope we make it in time.”

On that day, Arland was bustling with so much excitement that it could be called a commotion. The Founding Festival is a commemorative day for the citizens, marking the survival of another year. It’s a day of celebration, where they rejoice and renew their determination to protect the country in the coming year, while also honoring those who died in battles.

However, the people of Arland are lovers of festivals. They prefer laughter over somber atmospheres, believing that those who have passed away would be pleased to see them celebrating rather than mourning.

On this day, social status is irrelevant. Even members of the Royal family, after giving speeches in the Capital square, can often be found drinking with the commoners. The current King is known for such casual interactions, even outside the festival.

But this time, something was different. First, the disturbance occurred among the nobles.

“The princess isn’t here. What is the meaning of this on a day of remembrance!”

“Being late is unacceptable. This is why I opposed giving positions to children.”

The commotion mainly stemmed from the commoner nobles.

Next, confusion arose among the commoners.

“Princess is missing? She’s usually walking around this area.”

“If she’s not in our information network, it means she hasn’t left the castle. Maybe the rumors about her severe injury are true…”

“Nonsense! Princess is a master of healing magic. If it’s a minor injury, she would have healed herself. But I haven’t seen her since she returned to the country.”

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