Assistants to the King (王様のお手伝い Ousama no Otetsudai ) is the twenty-second chapter of the Oushitsu Kyoushi Heine manga.
Heine tries to wake Leonhard up for his and Bruno's special lesson, but to no avail. However, when Bruno sternly tells him to get up, Leonhard immediately rushes out of bed and gets ready.
The group heads to Viktor's office, where Heine informs Leonhard and Bruno that they will be helping their father with his duties. The purpose of this lesson is to teach them some of the duties they would need to do when they ascend to the throne, and Heine tells them to treat it like work. Bruno is eager to use this chance to prove to his father that he is fit for the job, but Leonhard is more worried that he won't get any work because of his perceived unfitness for the the job. Bruno tells him that he must use this opportunity to restore his reputation.
When they enter the office, Viktor tries to hug his sons but they avoid him, much to his distress. He asks Heine where Kai and Licht are and Heine responds that he decided to bring them here another day since he believes that it would be too crowded if they were all there. Bruno and Leonhard look around Viktor's study, as Heine informs them that he will be instructing them on Viktor's behalf. He first tells them to sort documents that were signed by Viktor today. They work for a while, as Leonhard thinks to himself that he will use this to restore his reputation, until Viktor informs the room that he needs a book. Leonhard and Bruno are confused as to who shall go, but Viktor sternly tells them that either one will do, and Leonhard volunteers to go to the library, as Viktor silently cries over how big his children have gotten. However, when Leonhard runs back he got the wrong book, so Bruno is sent to the library. Heine tells Leonhard to go back to stuffing envelopes, and Leonhard does so before asking why Heine isn't helping, to which he replies that this is still a lesson and he is still a teacher. When Bruno comes back with the book, Viktor asks him to fetch documents. Later, Leonhard apologizes to Bruno for making him do all the work. Viktor compliments Bruno for his hard work while Leonhard looks down dejectedly.
After, Viktor leads everyone to the audience chamber, where he receives audiences. Leonhard and Bruno are intimidated by the number of adults in there. Viktor explains that the audience chamber is a space where anyone could exchange ideas regardless of social status and that he listens to everyone there. Heine instructs the princes to stand behind and observe the king. Bruno is eager to learn while Leonhard is still shocked at the number of people. They watch as Viktor receives his first audience, Rudolf Karl Lichtenstein from the calvary, who wants to talk about the cavalry's budget. For the second audience, a count who wants new legislation to improve working conditions in town, Viktor asks his sons about what to do. Bruno immediately launches into a complicated answer, confusing Leonhard. For the rest of the day, Bruno helps Viktor with audiences, and Viktor compliments him on how learned he is. Meanwhile, Leonhard is dazed from being unable to keep up with them, and feels disappointed from not being praised by Viktor.
Finally, the last audience of the day arrives: Marie Grass, the owner of a fabric shop. She asks the kingdom to loan her money to repair the wall of her shop where she makes and sells lace, which she had learned to make from her mother and is likely the only person in Granzreich who knows how to make it. However, she has no money to fix the shop and none of the other shops have any to spare either. Viktor says that the kingdom cannot loan money to private businesses and any new laws to correct that will take time, so he cannot help her. Marie dejectedly thanks him for his time and leaves. Leonhard asks Bruno if there is anything that they can do, but Bruno says that they cannot make exceptions for one person and they'll have to hope that the other shopkeepers loan her money. Heine notices that Leonhard seems to have something he wants to say and asks him to say it, but Leonhard refuses because he is sure that it is a silly idea and he does not want to embarrass his father. Heine admonishes him, saying that he wouldn't know that unless he says it, and that he wants to hear it.
Encouraged, Leonhard runs after Marie and proposes to her the idea of all of the shops in her neighborhood pitching in a bit of money every month so that someone could use that money if they need it. He gives an example of him saving one torte in a cupboard everyday so he could eat them all at once. Marie finds that a great idea and says she will discuss it with everyone when she gets home. Leonhard also asks if he can have her piece of lace for his sister, and if she likes it the palace will order more from her. He tells Marie to be proud of what she makes. Marie tearfully thanks him and leaves.
Viktor addresses Leonhard, saying that the idea of insurance has been adopted in other countries but not theirs because of their stabler economy, and that he would like to consider his idea on a national level. Heine informs him that the king is praising him and that he did good work. Leonhard cheers in joy, and Bruno tells him that he is impressed as well. Viktor decides to have a lunch break, and then they'll get back to work in his study after. As they walk away, Heine thinks about how Leonhard's simpleness helped him see past complications and come up with unconventional answers. Though his grades make him seem like the least likely to win the throne, it seems that the future is still not set in stone yet.
In Bruno's room at night, Bruno thinks about how he thought Leonhard would always be behind him, before collapsing in despair on his desk.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Leonhard von Granzreich
- Heine Wittgenstein
- Bruno von Granzreich
- Viktor von Granzreich
- Kai von Granzreich (mentioned)
- Licht von Granzreich (mentioned)
- Adele von Granzreich (mentioned)