"Secret Appraisal is an appraisal service in which the appraisal tag doesn't get transcribed and the appraiser keeps the resultant knowledge to their grave for the huge fee of one big gold coin. There is a sitting observer, but that observe is also sworn to secrecy to whatever unfolds in the room. Now I ask you, does Marquis of Tsubolt is to be kept from that secret as well. Or is it all right if he knows?"
"Of course it's all right if Marquis of Tsubolt knows. He has the duty and right to it."
"Yeah? Then why do ordinary appraisals get their tags transcribed."
"In order to put them on records."
"Then why aren't Secret Appraisals left on those records."
"In order to keep the appraisal result confidential."
"Confidential to whom."
"That's... Everybody who has access to the records, adventurers and all other persons."
"And the marquis is an exception to all that, is that what you believe administrator-dono."
"But I wasn't told that the marquis would be the exception when I inquired about Secret Appraisal, in fact, the marquis was the one person I wanted to keep the secret from. Once the marquis knew, he could tell his underlings, anyone about it. Secret Appraisal entirely loses its meaning then."
"Any attempt to keep his excellency the marquis from knowing what comes out of Dungeon Tsubolt is an act of treason."
"I'm not asking for your opinion Chief Administrator. I'm speaking from the viewpoint of someone buying into the secret appraisal service right now. I was led to believe that the secret in Secret Appraisal applies to all, the marquis no exception. Hence why I paid the one big gold coin fee."
"That's just sophistry."
"Then why's the old man mad."
"That I don't understand."
"The old man told me that the result of Secret Appraisal is kept between the client and the appraiser, the appraiser is obliged to keep it until their death. I could feel pride in his words, that he would absolutely hold his obligation steadfast to his grave. Steadfast even to the marquis."
"That's nothing more than your speculation."
"The old man even went out of his way to write down answers to my questions. In order to keep it hidden from the observer. He wouldn't have done that if he didn't think the observer would go report to the marquis."
"We do not divulge how his excellency the marquis gets his information to the appraisers."
"Aren't you practically deceiving appraisers then."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"They are merely not told."
"Then, answer this. Would any adventurer pay one big gold coin if they knew the results of Secret Appraisals are laid bare to the marquis?"
"Not a lot of adventurers would pay for it I suppose."
"So you do get it. Nasty girl."
"I shall have you cease calling me with that rude label, thank you."
"The exorbitant one big gold coin fee, the lack of tag transcript, the private room, how the observer stands somewhere they can't read the tag from, the vow of secrecy, every one of those is nothing more than a ploy to make adventurers let their guard down, and entice them into using the service, and the old man must believe he's an accomplice in the scheme. He feels he's had a hand in a fraud. Hence his anger."
This one seemed to have touched upon something in Eliza, she got lost in thought.
"Then is it a sin for Marquis of Tsubolt to want to know about what gets dropped in Dungeon Tsubolt?"
"That's a whole different matter. Fine, I'll ask something else. The agreement to keep appraisal results confidential is shared between who and whom?"
"Eh? Of course between the client and the appraiser."
"Then the appraisal payment belongs to the appraiser then."
"No, how could that be. That belongs to his excellency the marquis of course."
"Yeah, thought so. The acts of appraising may be carried out by appraisers, but they do that in their capacity as servants or employees of the marquis."
"That is not wrong, yes."
"And the sitting observer themselves aren't there out of self interest. They're there as a representative of the marquis. Both appraisers and observers work under the marquis's name, and the trust people hold toward their work is the trust directed toward the marquis."
"That is only natural."
"Which means the agreement in the Secret Appraisal was done by the marquis himself. The marquis violated that agreement on his own volition. No, the whole thing is a lie from the very start. Would any self-respecting appraiser be willing to work under such a marquis?"
Eliza fell silent. She's trying to digest the words thrown at her.
"The job of a townlord is to set up rules for the people to follow. Yet so many times they end up believing that those rules don't apply to them. But a facade can only work if you keep it up."
"Yeah. If Secret Appraisals are nothing more than a facade, you should have never torn it down. You boasted about my secret appraisal result to me. That the observer saw it clearly. But that was the one word you must have never let out of your mouth. You should have done everything you could to keep it shut."
"I merely showed the proof since you tried to worm your way out. How would I overcome your attempt if I kept the fact that Gwislan saw it unspoken."
"You should have never said it out loud even if you knew the truth from Gwislan's report. If you want proof, just gather them on your own with that knowledge as a clue, then you could tell me 'you must have gotten this and that', 'you must have reached this floor'. The word you were boasting is the very word that affirmed yourself as a shitty human who can't be trusted to keep their word."
Eliza turned downcast and fell silent. After quite a long while, Zoltan spoke up.
"Young miss. You should understand what to apologize to elder Termin now. Go tell him right away."
"But I have yet to receive Lecan-dono's forgiveness."
"It's not something you can easily acquire either way. You should truthfully tell him about your dialogue with Lecan-dono, what you said, what he told you. After which make a sincere apology. Do not try to sugarcoat it. Just apologize. Only then you can start thinking what comes next."
"I got it."
Eliza stood up and thanked Lecan.
"I am grateful for the enlightenment you gave me. But still, Lecan-dono, you're really familiar with how an adventurer thinks and behaves. It even felt like I'm talking with a real adventurer for a moment there. Truly impressive. Well then."
"Ah, young miss. I shall remain here."
"Eh? Ah. You want to catch up with the innkeeper, are you not. I got it."
"Hold it. Almost forgot one thing."
"What would it be, Lecan-dono."
"The old man returned one big gold coin I paid him. That likely came out of his own pocket. Go check it, if it is, then you should pay him back."
"Understood. Thank you."
As Eliza left, Zoltan stayed.