59. Time changes
“Thank you for your cooperation today.”
Until the interviewee left the room. Minayo kept her head lowered.
“Phew… we’re finally done with today’s schedule.”
When she looked at her palm, it was moist and sweaty.
In order to promote the Special Ward Neo plan, Minayo had been interviewing collaborators.
This was to make the plan more flexible by soliciting a wider range of opinions.
But that wasn’t all.
She was also given the task of eliciting the requests of their collaborators.
Of course, the interviews were to be summarized in the form of articles, and if they went public, they were to be published in magazines.
In addition, she was also entrusted with the task of secretly summarizing the requests implied during the interview and submitting them to the director.
“Is this, really a PR job?”
Minayo tilted her head, but when she thought again about which department would be best suited for this job, she couldn’t come up with a definite answer.
In the first place, many interests and expectations were intertwined in this Special Ward Neo.
So much so that they could vanish into thin air if not coordinated in advance.
“The Minister of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, will place a local branch office in the Special Ward Neo and….. Ah, about the residence permit for the nobility……”
Minayo wrote down the things she needed to do and report and put the memos in her bag.
“You’re going to Kyoto next month for coverage, aren’t you?
Minayo met with many collaborators under the guise of interviews, but somehow, she was asked for confirmations from here and there, saying,
『”It’s okay to cooperate just for profit, right?”』
Minayo nodded with an ambiguous smile, but she lost confidence that what she was doing was the work of a government official.
She thought that there might be a secret agreement that she wasn’t aware of.
“Well, maybe that’s what big projects are like… but still, I’m worried.”
What if this leads to me ending up behind bars…… that would be terrible.
After trembling a little at this thought, Minayo decided to return to the office.
Minayo’s desk is now located in the PR Department of the Central Office.
“Welcome back. How was it?”
Over the past few days, Minayo had gotten along quite well with the other PR staff.
“Today, I’ve met with the ministries. After tomorrow’s break, I’ll go to the Technical Research Institute and Development Bureau. Then, it’ll be the third party, and various members of the Diet.”
“I see. Well, just take it easy. The Special Ward Neo, is nothing more than a stepping stone for Chief Shino.”
“A stepping stone… is it? Isn’t it planned in order to manage the dissatisfaction and contradictions that couldn’t be resolved in the current Special Ward?”
When Minayo asked this question, several employees chuckled.
“Come to think of it, she came in the middle, so she doesn’t know the early stuff.”
“Chief Shino’s family originally came from the nobility. But, in the past, something happened, and her family was “dismissed”.”
“Dismissed? If I’m not mistaken… that means, falling into commoner status.”
“Yes. But, unlike “terminated”, where she can never return to the nobility again, getting “dismissed” seems to be a kinder measure, since they’re still somewhat connected. She was banished from paradise, but if she does her best, it’s said that it’s possible to reenter paradise.”
“So, using this plan, she’s……”
Unconsciously, Minayo’s voice shrunk.
“It seems that Chief Shino wants to return to the Kazoku. That’s why she’s been working in Kyoto for a long time. The planned site is also in Kyoto, isn’t it? And even lately, she seems to have been visiting there many times.”
“But she said, she wanted to create a special ward where men could live with peace of mind.”
“With many concessions from many parties? In the first place, special wards aren’t under the influence of the Kazoku and Zaibatsu, so the ordinances are quite strict, you know that right?”
“That’s right. I learned at school that the members of Diet who are from the General (General Party Association) worked very hard for it.”
“And because they overcame the opposition of those from the Kazoku, that’s why it’s the Special Ward. And yet, this time, we’re trying to get approval using the power of the nobility. Don’t you ever wonder, why, what’s going on?”
“In the first place, I heard that the number of houses that offer men is decreasing in this era, so, I guess the Kazoku is in a panic right now.”
The people of the provinces, who had long been subject to the ruler, had wholeheartedly accepted the rule of the nobility.
It was said that when a man was born, he would be presented to the nobility once.
The family would then pledge to hand over the man after finishing his education to the nobility.
Offering a man was synonymous with the development of the house. And the man would live happily with their rulers. A win-win relationship they believed.
This custom had been around for a long time.
But now, things began to change. As the men and their families chose to live in the special ward, the sense of belonging to the countryside almost disappeared.
Unless he was a strong believer, the man who had completed his studies choose where to live and work of his own accord.
The town where Minayo and her sister lived, was small, and no nobles lived there.
Perhaps because of that, her sister was able to move immediately to the special ward without showing the born boy to the nobility.
If it were a town where a noble lived, she might have succumbed to the neighborhood pressure and knocked on the gate of the noble’s mansion.
And if she made a pledge there, the prosperity of the whole family would be promised. But, the commoner, who unilaterally made a pledge with the noble, couldn’t rebel and break the pledge. Or something bad would happen.
“Looking at the collaborators list, it feels like a one-sided relationship. And it’s possible that the ship will sink. That’s why, I think it’s fine to take it easy.”
A staff member who had been in the PR Department for a long time said this, patting Minayo on the shoulder.
『”You have two children, right? Alright, let’s use my power to get them into a co-ed middle school.”』
『”Yes, I have to reward you for your hard work, after all, HOHOHO.”』
Minayo remembered the conversation when she first met Chief Shino.
“That’s right, that’s… just like the nobility’s way of doing things, you know.”
When Minayo learned that Chief Shino was originally from the nobility, she was able to come to a conclusion.
Profit first and reap the ripe fruits later. That was their way.
Once again, Minayo’s body trembled, and she felt a shiver run down her spine.
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