They just needed to figure out the rules within the unit after that. They anticipated that it would take some time, so they decided to come back to it later.
And so, next on the agenda was the gambling issue.
As the three of them all felt that the arena matches turning into a source of gambling was inevitable, they started there. Even with the sudden plan for there to be an arena built in Lunéville, even if it went beyond their expectations, given the deep trust between the citizens and guild members, they believed that the influence of the fixed match turmoil would be mostly dampened.
This was because there existed not a small number of aristocrats who, rather than managing the gambling themselves, preferred to have the warriors they employed fight.
As the gambling was essential for the proxy wars fellow aristocrats waged between their employed warriors, if they publicly banned it, it would only earn their antipathy. On the other hand, they would end up with the citizens’ antipathy if they simply allowed it this time as well.
That said, there was a serious risk of people turning to crime after losing their livelihood to gambling if they left the matter alone.
It was a weighty political problem, so it wouldn’t do to just silence all parties. As the three of them were searching for a peaceful solution to the problem, Frank came up with an idea.
“What if, rather than prohibiting it, we managed it ourselves?”
“Are you saying that the branch would manage the gambling?”
Frank nodded in response to Hector’s bewilderment.
“Rather than the branch, the arena will manage it. All other forms would be completely banned.”
“… If we do that, we’d even be able to prevent malicious betting rates and the like.”
“Assuming it would be done either way, we could control it this way.”
They would be using the parimutuel betting system, a method common for horse races. Parimutuel betting was a betting system in which all bets of a given type are pooled together. Taxes and the house’s cut were taken from that, then the payout odds would be calculated by sharing the pool among all winning bets. It was a method that would always benefit the system’s management.
Not finding any problems that stood out about it, they decided on the policy of publicly managing the gambling.
The Prime Minister, seeing Ilya listen in as she played with Haku, was somewhat dissatisfied that she hadn’t joined in on the conversation and steered the topic towards her.
“Ilya, is there anything you have to say from what we’ve talked about so far?”
“… Hmm. The topic has strayed somewhat away from talking about the patrol group, but how about setting up rewards?” 
Seeing the three gesture as though to continue, Ilya swallowed back her dissatisfaction at them not thinking about the rest themselves and continued.
“For the sake of having participants comply with the rules, I believe that it is important to not only penalize them when they break the rules, but also reward those who follow them. Think of it as a carrot and stick.”
“It’s a bit obscene for you to be saying that, isn’t it. Un? Sorry.”
The Prime Minister’s sexual harassment was shot down with a glare.
“Although I said ‘follow them’, it being something simple would be fine. However, since it is not unlikely that there would be those trying to falsely gain those rewards, I believe that it would be wise to set penal regulations to prevent it from happening.”
Frank and Hector aside, even the Prime Minister, someone who was routinely interacting with laws and policies, appeared to be thinking quite heavily on that. Seeing him look as though he might have forgotten something like that, Ilya wondered if she shouldn’t tell the king to immediately start preparing another successor.
Setting aside her sense of impending doom for the country, their agenda proceeded smoothly enough and they clarified their plan for Lunéville’s expansion, the arena included.
Given that this was originally meant to be devised between Hector and Frank, it might have been a good thing that the Prime Minister came. Although she felt that she might have only guided them in a way that suited her, since she didn’t want this town to suffer, Ilya decided to look the other way.
Then, as they were taking a short rest to sip some black tea and appease their thirst, Frank spoke.
“By the way, I have some worrisome information concerning the arena’s operation.”
The two people sitting on the sofa turned to look at Frank, but as they were in the middle of an intermission, they weren’t tense.
“We have plans on how to deal with the dissatisfaction caused by that fixed match uprising, but as for monster captures… I gained some information saying that monsters can sense nearby monsters and can be called by them.”
It was what had been worrying Ilya.
Frank had obscured the source of his information, but both the Lord and Prime Minister turned towards Ilya.
For those two, this was a reflexive response from when she had pointed out the increasing monster issue from before. However, considering the fact that Frank had concealed who gave him the information, they decided to look back at him before continuing.
“So then, you’re saying that more monsters will begin to appear near Lunéville?”
“Yes. Previously, it had simply ended at their numbers increasing. This time however, it appears as though they will gather towards the captured monsters.”
This wasn’t about thinning them out after they multiplied.
Setting aside how Lunéville was enclosed by walls, setting aside the surrounding villages with the Lord’s soldiers stationed in them, there were places that had absolutely no one who could wield a sword properly.
As there was a possibility that monsters would cross through villages like that on their way to Lunéville. With that, it would become a problem of whether it should be taken care of by the Lord and their country in increasing the number of soldiers stationed there or whether they should dispatch guild members.
As the maintenance costs and expenses would be nothing to sneeze at, Hector and the Prime Minister fell into silence.
Even if it was profitable from the guild’s standpoint, not being too happy with the danger involved, Frank watched over the two’s attitudes.
“… What if we have each town and village elect watchers?”
The Prime Minister glanced at Ilya after giving his proposal, but she didn’t respond.
If it were her choice, she felt that she would go with having watchers chosen from each town and village stationed to request aid from the guild or soldiers immediately upon seeing any movement.
However, as they would be unable to confine any monsters by going with that route, both sides would have to react quickly, with the villagers taking refuge.
Ilya felt that deciding on a policy and taking its merits and demerits into account was the duty of those who govern, that they had to endure an equivalent burden of responsibility.
Catching on to the fact that Ilya didn’t intend to speak further as she simply continued to pour the three their tea, the three decided to keep talking.
“We can measure the influence range of monsters we capture and station soldiers in villages that distance away beforehand.”
“That’s right. Let’s test it in another city during its construction… Branch Manager. Do you have any more information we should consider?”
“There’s one more thing. Monsters that stay among human habitation for an extended period of time begin to change. This shouldn’t be a problem if we strengthen their cages and our security.”
After considering it for a moment, the other two nodded. The meeting ended not too long after that.
It looked like they would be hiring new staff for the arena’s reception and its management. As for how this directly related to Ilya, it was to the extent that the branch’s annex could have a second shop. While thinking that it would be mostly alright since it was standardized, thoroughly training them in things such as hygiene was important to her.
- This and every following mention of ‘reward’ might actually be ‘medal’. It doesn’t specify and has about the same chance of being one or the other. Haven’t read ahead, so I don’t know. Return