Volume 6 Chapter 11. The Battleship, Decapitated
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Even though our workplace is inside the palace, it sure doesn’t look like one.
The building prioritizes functionality over appearance, and the people working inside are wearing suits as well.
I thought they’d wear something that fits better with the palace setting, but they apparently wear suits except during ceremonies.
Several departments exist within the palace, and it’s a mystery as to whether or not there’s anyone overseeing all of them.
In fact, most of the people here have no clue what they’re doing.
I’m currently at my desk, slowly organizing my work for the day and making the final touches so that I could leave right on time.
It would be ridiculous for me to put in actual effort since I’m not even sure what it is that I’m working on.
It’s like being shown a small portion of a bigger picture.
As for what that bigger picture entails, I have not the slightest idea.
Turns out this so-called ‘elite department’ is nothing more than a group of clueless people who have no idea what they’re working on.
“It’s a department with nothing to it’s name beside its flowery reputation.”
There’s a story that goes like this:
There was once a serious and talented man who worked for the palace his entire life and was getting ready to retire.
When he was summoned by his boss and praised for his years of hard work, the man said he only had one question that he wished to hear an answer to.
What was that question, you ask?
It was, “What was it that I’ve been working on for all these years?”
He had done the job that had been assigned to him, but he had no idea what it was all about.
Despite being a serious worker, and an excellent one at that, he had failed to grasp the bigger picture.
What’s laughable is the boss’ response.
“I don’t know either.”
What a joke!
“Using artificial intelligence would make things far more efficient.”
It feels like they’re making us do some useless work.
What a waste of talented personnel. I couldn’t help but wonder what I could have done with all this talent.
The fact that they’re serving inside the palace is proof of their excellence.
They would either have to be really skilled, have deep connections, wield immense authority, or possess extreme wealth.
There are people out there that think nothing of connections, but that’s where they’re wrong.
Having connections is a form of power.
I would’ve also taken advantage of it if I could.
Unfortunately, because of my parents and grandparents, the Banfield Family had no decent connections to speak of.
Thanks to them, I’m in the middle of forging my own connections.
They’re really a hateful bunch.
Marion approaches me with a drink while I’m slowly working.
“Liam-senpai, you’re so serious with your work.”
I reply sarcastically to that remark.
“You’re right. The others are slacking off so much that it looks like I’m serious in comparison.”
The aristocrats around me are lazing around without doing what they’ve been assigned to do.
The diligent bureaucrats next to them are going through mountains of paperwork while they’re chatting about where to play later in the day.
I receive the drink from Marion.
“How’s work on your end?”
“I finished it already.”
“If you finish too early, the boss might assign more work to you.”
Either that, or others will beg him to help with their work.
Never mind… I doubt anyone would ask an aristocrat, of all people, for help.
It’s technically possible if there’s a huge difference in status and ability, but at that point it would be easier to make use of the people that have been hired here solely for their capabilities rather than their status.
I also intend to make use of them at some point in time.
“The boss is so scared of Liam-senpai that he hasn’t been coming out of his office. Senpai, you apparently wiped out your boss and your boss’ boss during your previous training?”
“It’s their fault for trying to take advantage of me.”
“–Will you be doing that here as well? The boss is a member of the Calvin Faction, so the people around us think Senpai will do something similar against him.”
There’s a reason why I’ve been assigned here where members of the Calvin Faction reside.
Most members of the Cleo Faction are local lords, which means there aren’t as many Cleo Faction officials working within the palace.
That’s why I failed to enter a department that’s controlled by the Cleo Faction.
I wanted to join a department under our faction to make life easier for myself, but there’s too few bureaucrats under Cleo.
If I wish to expand my influence within the palace, I will have to take action.
“If he goes against me, I’ll crush him. If he obeys, I’ll give him lots of love.”
“I wonder if that statement is appropriate here. It almost sounds suggestive.”
Our boss is a middle-aged man with a big belly.
He should be able to slim down easily enough with all the education capsules and other pieces of technological equipment lying around, but he hasn’t done so.
There seems to be a lot of people who think even that is too much of a hassle.
There’s always a group of people that don’t care about their appearances and do nothing about it, right?
Our boss belongs in that category.
Saying that I’d give him lots of love does indeed sound inappropriate.
“If he obeys, I’ll make sure to exploit him thoroughly.”
Hearing me correct my previous statement, Marion smiles.
“That’s better. Also, can I borrow some of your time tonight? Let’s go out for a drink.”
Rather than inviting your colleagues, you should really be sucking up to your boss and your seniors.
But then again, he’s not here to form business relationships. Rather, he’s trying to get close to those with enough authority to help his family.
Randy’s voice rings across the room during the middle of our conversation.
“You have problems with my work!?”
“I-I’m terribly sorry! H-however, unless Lord Randy makes these corrections, the application forms cannot be passed. So please! Just this once!”
“Hmph, how annoying.”
It seems like Randy made some mistakes on his paperwork, but the one apologizing is the senior assigned as his workplace educator.
He’s someone that’s been working in this department for decades and has shown definite results in the past. It’s just that his luck ran out after being selected as Randy’s educator.
For some reason, Randy the newcomer, looks more imposing than the senior.
The reason why excellent personnel do not flow out of this department, despite such a working environment, is because it comes with the status of being an official at the Capital.
As officials, they’re respected by those around them. In return they cling on to their workplace, however bad the environment might be.
“As always, Randy-san doesn’t seem to be in a good mood.”
Shouldn’t they isolate the aristocrats and assign them to a separate department?
–Or perhaps this department is serving that very purpose?
There was another building for officials near the building where Liam worked.
Those in different departments worked in different buildings. Even within the same department, separate buildings were prepared for each section.
Intergalactic nations were so huge that things tended to get out of hand rather quickly.
Rosetta was working in one such building.
However, unlike Liam, she had attendants around her that provided her with solid support.
Her two female attendents arrived at her desk just as Rosetta was getting finished with her morning tasks.
“Lady Rosetta, it’s lunch time. For today’s lunch, we’ve reserved a table at a nearby restaurant.”
“You did? Is Darling coming as well?”
“Lord Liam told us that he couldn’t come.”
“Is that so. It’s a pity, but I guess it can’t be helped.”
Just as Rosetta stood up from her seat, one of her workplace seniors called out to her, almost as if she’d been waiting for this moment.
That senior of hers was a woman wearing a flashy suit, and she was accompanied by six attendants.
“My, oh my. The newcomer has no manners. To think she’d take a break before I do!”
She was the daughter of one of the aristocrats under the Calvin Faction, and she was hiding her face behind a heavily decorated fan.
Even though her training period was over, she had decided to remain in the workplace and continue her career.
The more diligent bureaucrats around her were annoyed by her presence, but it didn’t help that there were so many women in the deparment that Rosetta had been assigned to.
As many aristocratic ladies were gathered here, their workplace contained very few men.
In fact, men were forbidden from stepping foot on the floor where Rosetta and the others resided.
If they tried to force their way in, they would be cut down by the knights guarding the elevator.
As a result, it had a reputation of being a safe workplace where people can leave their daughters with peace of mind.
Unfortunately… it was also under the control of the Calvin Faction.
In essence, Rosetta had been thrown into enemey territory.
“Oh, but no one told me that it’s a breach of manners. Shouldn’t you stop imposing your own rules on others?” Rosetta replied with a smile.
If she backed down now, she would have a hard time in the future.
“My… How fierce. Are you feeling assured because your reliable fiancé is nearby? Sorry to break it to you, but you don’t have many allies here.”
The woman folded her fan and pointed it towards Rosetta’s chest.
Those around them reacted very differently.
Some women looked the other way.
Others watched their interaction with a grin plastered on their face.
Others still were observing them carefully.
If it was the Rosetta from the past, she would have shrunken back, but she was different now.
“That’s a shame. Anyway, girls, let’s go have lunch.”
Rosetta left the office with her two attendants while having the woman glare at her from behind.
The moment they left her field of vision, she let out a scream.
“What’s with her attitude!? Who does she think I am!?”
Her scream was loud enough for Rosetta and her attendants to hear from the hallway.
“Lady Rosetta, was it alright to provoke her like that?” Rosetta’s attendants asked in worry.
“This can’t even be considered ‘provoking’. She’s just easily agitated. Nevermind that, we should contact Eulisia.”
Openly, she only had two attendants with her, but Eulisia had been tasked with supporting her as well.
While all this was happening, Eulisia was busy at work at her desk inside a hotel room.
Several screens were being projected in the air, each displaying different information.
One showed the screening process of selecting Rosetta’s personal guards.
Another screen was about the orders placed for the fleet’s equipment.
It was too much work for a normal person to handle alone, but Eulisia was a competent woman.
She was easily forgotten, but nonetheless competent.
She was handling various affairs by herself, and one screen displayed information about Rosetta’s workplace.
She had been investigating during her free time.
“A~a, it’s also problematic when a workplace is filled with only women.”
Due to their unique status and position in society, things could easily devolve into a tangled mess within the workplace, which was essentially a gathering of many aristocratic ladies.
Not to mention their position within aristocratic circles, they had to consider things like feuds between certain households.
Conflicts and joint struggles happened for various reasons, and things were subject to change on a day-to-day basis.
As for Rosetta, she was in a bad position as the fiancée of Liam, the leader of the Cleo Faction.
“Lady Rosetta has been handed a lot of work, and it seems the amount of miscellaneous work is gradually increasing.”
While checking the information about Rosetta’s workplace, Eulisia began to categorize the type of work that she was being given.
It was clear that some of the work assigned to her were purely there as a form of harassment.
“This, this, and that are unnecessary work. Ah, but this one’s necessary. Hmm~ these documents here have been tampered with. I wonder if I should contact them to have these fixed.”
The six screens before her were being processed with incredible speed.
It was then that Ciel, Rosetta’s aide, came into her room with her meal.
“Lady Eulisia, I’ve brought your meal.”
“Oh, can you put it over there for me? I”ll eat it when I’m done.”
Her face was glued to the screen as she replied back.
“So Lady Eulisia is someone capable?” Ciel asked.
Eulisia’s hands jolted to a stop, but some of the screens continued to move as they were being processed by her thoughts.
Eulisia turned back to face Ciel.
“Eh? What are you trying to imply here? The fact that Lord Liam took me in is proof of my excellence.”
To begin with, only those who survived fierce competition were given the opportunity to serve as adjutants for aristocrats.
Those deemed incompetent had no right to become one.
“But Lady Eulisia normally does nothing but play around inside the mansion.”
“T-that’s only when I haven’t been given any orders.”
Because of how terribly Eulisia behaved during her daily life, Ciel just assumed that she was incompetent.
Ciel looked over at the screen where Eulisia was selecting the potential members of Rosetta’s personal guards.
“Pardon me, but I think Lady Rosetta’s knights should be selected based on their seriousness rather than their skill with the sword! It would be in her best interest to select serious knights who do not tolerate injustice.”
Eulisia reached out for the meal that Ciel had brought and contemplated while munching on a sandwich.
(This kid’s been trying to chuck in her ideas here and there during the selection process. Is it because she’s from a military household? Well, I do agree that their personality is more important than their combat skills.)
In the first place, Eulisia didn’t expect much strength from the members of Rosetta’s personal guards.
After all, Rosetta’s ultimate goal was to assist knights who were in need of help.
As she had once been in a position of helplessness, she wished to save those who were struggling to make ends meeet.
“Fine, but it’s going to be a problem if you interfere too much.”
Liam could very well order Ciel’s execution if he suspected her of trying to raise an army by manipulating Rosetta.
Even at this critical juncture, Liam could have a fallout with Baron Exner, Ciel’s father, without facing much repercussion.
Baron Exner’s household was pretty much being sponsored by Liam after all.
Hence, cutting them off would only lighten the burden.
“The knights under the Banfield Family are very powerful. This time, we should gather knights who are serious, however mediocre their skills may be.”
Eulisia agreed with Ciel’s words.
Rather than having knights like Tia and Marie, who were powerful but had problematic temperaments, it would be easier to take command of knights who were mediocre but serious.
“I agree with your opinion, but I was going to choose based on their personalities anyway, so there’s no need for you to worry about it.”
Rosetta was doing this as a means to provide the knights with relief, so she wouldn’t care much about their abilities either.
Ciel looked visibly relieved hearing this.
Eulisia began to suspect Ciel after seeing her expression.
(She should have already heard about Lady Rosetta’s plan. Did she come here to check up on me? –This child is more dangerous than I initially thought. I should report this to Lord Liam.)
Eulisia judged Ciel as a source of danger and decided to report her to Liam.
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