Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
There were already other aides and people in charge of each task in the office.
They were having a heated discussion without knowing that Baron Wizard and I were here.
“The damage to crops is severe. If it stays like this, there will be no crops left for the fall harvest.”
“Not only downstream but also the riverbank upstream is collapsing little by little. As a result, the damage caused by floods is increasing. It must be stopped immediately.”
Philen, who listened to the various opinions of the aides with a serious expression, nodded.
“Let’s repair the riverbank first.”
“Don’t be ridiculous!”
I tried to follow Philen’s words as much as I could, but I couldn’t stay still when I heard him say that.
Only then did the aides realize that I was here and looked at me in surprise.
Philen looked at me with displeased eyes.
“Why is the Lady here?”
“Is that important now? The important thing is to prevent flood damage!”
I strode over to the table they were sitting at and pointed out the window, where the rain was pouring down.
“If we send people to repair the riverbank when it rains so much, there will be more casualties. So now, instead of repairing the riverbank, the priority is to evacuate people and wait for the rain to subside.”
“Then what about the crops?”
Worrying about crops when people are dying.
“You can grow crops again, but you can’t bring people back to life if they die!”
I raised my voice out of frustration, and Philen looked at me in bewilderment.
The same goes for the other aides.
After a while, Philen, who came to his senses, nodded.
“All right. Then, as the Lady said, let’s discuss how to save people…”
“There’s no time for discussion! People are dying even at this hour!”
It was frustrating, it was very frustrating.
Unable to wait for Philen’s decision, I looked at the guard commander of the territory.
“Sir Rohen, gather the guards into the mansion’s hall right now. We’re going to save people.”
“Understood, My Lady.”
As Sir Rohen walked out at a quick pace, I looked at the butler next.
“Take out all the carriages we have in the mansion and bring everyone who can drive them. The guards will bring the wounded, who cannot walk on their own, to the carriage.”
“Yes, My Lady.”
After the butler was the maid, Misa.
“We will let the victims who lost their homes in the flood stay in the mansion’s annex until the rain stops. Clean up the annex right now, and call all the doctors for the wounded.”
“I will do it right away.”
After Misa went out and I was thinking for a moment about what to do next, I suddenly turned to Philen.
He was looking at me with utter absurdity.
He seemed to not like me doing his job.
I was told that I should never go into the duke’s work anymore. And now, it wasn’t enough that I meddled, I even took the lead on my own. He couldn’t have liked it.
But what could I do?
I had no time to explain it to him, to convince him, and to wait for his approval.
Every minute and every second was precious.
“If it’s a punishment for breaking the order, I’ll gladly accept it later. If a problem occurs, I’ll gladly accept the punishment for it too.”
I bowed my head towards Philen.
“Right now, saving people is our priority, so please be generous.”
Philen didn’t answer my request, but there’s no time to wait for his answer.
At this time, I had to save as many people as possible.
I hurried to the mansion’s hall where the guards were gathered.
Unexpected floods in the early rainy season.
Although there’s series of bad news, the damage wasn’t significant thanks to Leila’s quick response.
Was that all?
She took care of the flood victims by letting them stay in the mansion’s annex.
People praised Leila as it spread widely among the people that it was Leila, not Philen, who led all this.
“As expected of Young Lady Leila! It’s really reassuring to have her here.”
“I hope she will soon become the duchess officially.”
“Right. I hope she takes care of us for a long, long time.”
“By the way, why did the riverbank burst suddenly?”
The sudden question that popped up out of nowhere spread widely among the people.
It was the maid, who worked at Williot’s mansion, who answered their question.
The maid told the people that it was Philen, not Leila, who prepared for this rainy season.
She told them.
That Philen told Leila to never interfere with the duke’s affairs.
Everyone who heard the news clicked their tongues altogether.
“Oh my, the foolish lord almost killed a lot of people because of his needless pride.”
“The Lord, really. If he doesn’t know anything, just leave it to the young lady.”
“That’s what I’m saying. How competent our young lady is.”
The more competent Leila was, the more highlighted Philen’s incompetence was.
Some joked that it would be better for Leila to become the lord and rule the territory.
The jokes that people spat out unintentionally became a sharp weapon to some.
The weapon that tore someone else’s pride apart.
It wasn’t as big as the main building, but it was still the annex of Duke Williot’s.
It was big enough to accommodate hundreds of flood victims.
I was just worried that we didn’t have enough manpower to take care of them all.
Thankfully, the worries disappeared thanks to the support from healthy people.
After the flood damage had been dealt with to some extent, I investigated why the riverbank burst.
That way, the riverbank could be repaired and any deficiencies could be filled in as soon as the rainy season was over.
It was originally Philen’s job, but I wanted to take responsibility for what I had decided to do.
I carefully looked at the document about the preparation for the rainy season that Baron Wizard brought.
I didn’t see anything that could be a problem.
It was just as I remembered it.
Then what’s the problem?
Was it simply because it rained a lot this year?
Or poor construction?
As I checked the last chapter of the document, thinking about various possibilities, I found a part that was different from my memory.
The riverbank collapsed not because it rained a lot this year, nor because of poor construction.
“Why is the budget halved?”
No, poor construction was right.
There’s no way they could do a proper construction with half the budget than what I had set.
“Who cut the budget like this?”
“…it’s the Duke.”
Baron Wizard answered with a gloomy expression.
“I wanted to talk to My Lady about that, but I couldn’t say anything because the Duke kept interrupting me. I apologize.”
“The Baron has nothing to apologize for.”
Because I knew the fact that Philen interrupted me too.
Maybe the reason you tried to talk to me before was this.
“If the budget had been reduced, a new document should have been prepared.”
“Yes. Here it is.”
I checked the new document that Baron Wizard gave me.
Most of them were similar except for the budget, but there were two notable differences.
The wizard’s employment was canceled and the stone used to build the riverbank had changed. It was that.
I couldn’t believe he turned the stone into Ahnam, let alone the wizard’s employment.
“Did you not explain to the Duke that there’s a lot of ‘Quan’ in our territory’s water vein?”
“I have explained. However, there are many Quan components in other rivers as well, and saying I’m making a big fuss…”
Baron Wizard didn’t finish his words, but I could guess what he was going to say.
Obviously, Philen ignored his words and pushed ahead.
It wasn’t unreasonable for Philen to not understand Baron Wizard’s words.
Because no one knew, even the former duke and his wife, that the Williot territory’s water vein contained a lot of ‘Quan’.
I also found it by accident while analyzing various things to solve the drought in the territory.
‘Quan’ was harmless to humans or animals and plants, but unfortunately, it had very poor compatibility with ‘Ahnam’.
The main factor that rapidly corroded the Ahnam was ‘Quan’.
For this reason, I chose Doreseok instead of Ahnam, which was commonly used to build riverbanks.
Doreseok was several times more expensive than Ahnam, and it was difficult to handle, but there’s nothing we could do about it.
It’s better than floods that caused flood victims.
…am I the only one who thinks so?
“So you did the repair work with Ahnam?”
“All the repaired parts must have been punctured.”
It was obvious even if I didn’t say it.
Baron Wizard smiled awkwardly and nodded.
If they removed all the banks made of Doreseok and rebuilt them with Ahnam, they would have withstood even if they were corroded once.
However, as only the repair work was done with Ahnam, the thin Ahnam would quickly corrode, resulting in flooding.
The amount of damage was several times the amount Philen had saved.
The time it took to put it all back together was incalculable in money.
It was a disrespectful word to say to the Duke, but there’s no other way to explain my feelings and the current situation other than these words.
Baron Wizard thought so too, as he sighed silently.
“I need to tell this to the Duke first.”
This was the work for Philen to do in the future.
So it would be good to let him know where the problem came from and what to do in the future.
“Shall I go with you?”
“No. I’ll go alone.”
That way, we can talk comfortably.
I took all the previous documents and all the new ones that Philen had done.
Ah, in case he didn’t know, I had to bring the report about Quan as well. The report just happened to be in my room.
After I had everything, my hands were heavy.
I left the room with documents in my arms.
When I asked the servant where Philen was, he said he was at the indoor training ground.
“Um, My Lady.”
As I briefly thanked him and was about to go to Philen, the servant called me carefully.
“I think you better be careful.”
“Careful. Of what?”
“The Duke. He seemed to be in quite a bad mood.”
Philen was in a bad mood? Did someone offend him?
“Thank you for telling me in advance.”
After thanking the servant once again, I headed to the indoor training ground where Philen was.