Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
There’s an awkward silence.
The baron stared at the floor, not at me, and opened his mouth heavily.
“Sir too also knows… It is the first time since the founding of the country that a woman became an aide to serve His Majesty.”
The baron glanced at me and continued.
“That’s why other nobles don’t recognize Sir as an aide.”
“Even if I passed the official test and became an aide?”
“…some nobles consider that to be cheating.”
I was taken aback and shouted.
“I never cheat or anything like that!”
“I know. I, His Majesty, and the scholars who held the test together with me do not think so.”
“But other nobles think so.”
The baron agreed with me and sighed deeply like a sinkhole was going to form.
“That’s why the nobles call Sir a fake aide. They just, they just think what they want to think and say whatever they want.”
It was like that, huh?
Finding out something I didn’t know made me feel relieved and heavy at the same time.
I expected the nobles wouldn’t recognize me, but I didn’t expect it would be this much.
“I’m sorry, Baron.”
“Why are you apologizing, Sir? They’re the ones who did the wrong thing.”
“That’s true, but…”
“Sir is doing well enough.”
The baron looked at me and smiled.
“Please just do as you do now. Then those foolish nobles will realize what they’ve done wrong and acknowledge you.”
“Is that so?”
“Of course. I guarantee it.”
The baron’s warm words were a great strength to me.
Yeah, right. No matter what other people say, I just have to do what I have to do quietly.
My heart, which had been so heavy, became a little lighter.
I smiled and thanked the baron.
“Thank you, Baron.”
“Don’t mention it. So shall we go again? The books are a bit heavy.”
“Ah, give it to me. I will hold it.”
“It’s not heavy enough to hand it over to you, Sir.”
The baron gave a playful wink and walked ahead.
I aligned the slightly disorganized book and followed him.
“Come to think of it, how is Hutton’s business going?”
Hutton was a huge port city on the east side of the Empire.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that all the trade of the Empire took place there.
However, in recent years, pirates had been rampant, and they had been causing many troubles.
“You don’t have to worry. Since Hutton is fine now.”
“Is that so?”
That’s a relief.
“The problem is Khan.”
As soon as I swept my chest in relief, the baron added.
“Khan? Are you talking about the island located in the southeast of Hutton?”
At my reply, the Baron looked at me as if he was surprised.
“Khan is an island that most people of the Empire are not familiar with, but you know it.”
“To my shame, I also didn’t know about it until recently.”
As such, Khan was a very small island and was often not marked on the map.
Only about 20 Imperial people lived there, and there were no lords to manage it in particular.
“I was worried about Hutton, so I looked for it and found this by accident.”
“That’s actually amazing. There are still a lot of idiots who don’t know in Ministry of National Defense.”
The baron was cynical.
“Do you know that Khan is often used as the pirates’ den?”
“Yes. That’s why there have been a few times that it has become an international problem. That’s what I heard.”
“That’s right. Since the founding of the Empire, there have been exactly 10 problems so far, and this time the 11th problem has occurred.”
Oh my gosh.
I was surprised at the unexpected remark and asked the baron.
“Which country did it have a problem with?”
“It’s Natsha Kingdom.”
Natsha Kingdom was an island country consisting of seven islands on the east side of the continent.
Although the kingdom itself was not very large, Natsha Kingdom had powerful warships.
Compared to all countries on the continent, including the Empire, it was a country with the most powerful navy.
Even the late emperor, who declared the conquest of the continent, avoided Natsha Kingdom.
That’s why I couldn’t believe there’s friction with such a place. I was worried.
“Will it be okay?”
“To be honest, it’s not.”
“Because they’re making a preposterous demand.”
What kind of demand are they asking?
As we talked, we arrived at the office.
Baron Delrond put the books down on my desk and smiled.
“I’ll stop talking about this here. If it becomes more public, I’ll let you know then.”
I was curious, but it’s not like he didn’t want to tell me. He said he would tell me later, so there’s no reason to ask him anymore.
After seeing the Baron off, I went back to my seat and focused on what I was doing.
“Sir Thebesa has heard of the rumor among the nobles.”
Kalian, who was working in the outer palace’s office, stopped at what Ver was saying and looked at him.
“I think she heard it from a Lady.”
What kind of idiot spilled words recklessly?
Kalian clicked his tongue in annoyance.
“Well, fortunately, she doesn’t seem to know about the mistress rumor, but… at this rate, Sir Thebesa will know before the banquet.”
“Crackdown the ladies, who were entering and leaving the palace. In particular, the palace, where the aide’s office is located, is further cracked down.”
Ver handed the approved document to Kalian and said.
“You can’t stop it just by blocking the rumor, Your Majesty.”
Kalian, who received the document, replied while reading it.
“You just have to block it until the banquet. I’ll take care of it then.”
“With the way you said before?”
When Kalian nodded, Ver frowned a bit and shook his head.
“I apologize, but Your Majesty, do you really think that method is going to work?”
“You seem to think it’s not going to work, am I right?”
At the firm answer, Kalian looked at him.
“Why do you think so?”
“They don’t even acknowledge the aide, so there’s no way they’ll acknowledge her.”
“Didn’t they acknowledge you?”
Ver replied as if he was asking what was so obvious.
“I’m basically a man, and I’m an exception. But that’s not the case with Sir.”
“Even if there’s no legal problem.”
“That’s right. It’s just against the common sense of old-fashioned people.”
When Ver blatantly criticized the nobles, Kalian smiled a little.
“If they don’t acknowledge her, we can make it happen.”
“You must be confident.”
Kalian stamped the seal at the bottom of the document that he looked through while talking with Ver.
“So trust me and follow me, Ver. As always.”
The meeting continued until late at night due to problems with Natsha Kingdom.
Kalian, who was on his way back to the palace just after finishing the meeting, stopped when he saw the light from the window of the aide’s office.
As far as he knew, Ver was still working at the outer palace.
That meant that it was Leila who was now in the office.
It was close to midnight. The moon hanging in the sky also tilted.
What is she doing that she still hasn’t gone home until this late?
Kalian clicked his tongue and turned away.
The attendants quietly followed Kalian.
Upon arriving at the aide’s office, Kalian ordered his attendants to wait and entered the office alone.
He deliberately opened the door loudly and came in, but Leila was still buried in her book without noticing that Kalian was there.
She seemed to have been organizing the data because she occasionally transcribed it on paper.
What is she working so hard on?
Kalian quietly approached Leila and took the book she was reading.
“How to raise a child properly.”
Only then did Leila notice Kalian, opening her eyes wide and jumping up from her seat.
She looks like a rabbit.
Kalian smiled a little and put down the book he took back.
“I definitely told you to write a report on the child care institution, but why are you reading about child care guidelines?”
Leila, who was looking at Kalian with a bewildered face, soon regained her composure and answered calmly.
“Child care institutions are places where children are cared for until they reach adulthood. I thought it would be good to have proper child care guidelines…”
“It’s not too late to look for that after the establishment of the child care institution is passed.”
A mischievous smile was drawn on Kalian’s lips.
“Or do you believe that the report you write will pass no matter what?”
Leila was startled for a moment and then answered with a steady voice.
“…even if the report doesn’t pass, the child care guidelines can be applied elsewhere.”
“Are you talking about the temple for example?”
Leila expressed her affirmation in silence.
The temples had raised children according to the rules and methods they had set so far.
And Kalian knew well the fact that big and small problems were occurring because of that.
It would certainly be nice to have child care guidelines.
Kalian agreed with Leila inwardly and glanced at the data she had carefully organized.
At first glance, the amount was considerable. It meant that she was working hard.
That was good, but the problem was that it was too late.
I told you not to work late, but you still do it.
If you do this, it seems like I’m overworking you.
Kalian, who didn’t like that Leila worked so late, turned around, clicking his tongue.
“It’s too late. Hurry up and go home before the day changes.”
“Yes? The day changes…!”
Only then did Leila, who checked the time, was shocked.
Apparently, she didn’t know that time had passed so much like this.
Kalian sighed inwardly and ordered the attendant outside to prepare a carriage for Leila.
In the meantime, Leila, who had packed her things, bowed her head toward Kalian.
“I apologize. I didn’t mean to stay this late…”
“Because you were working, you probably didn’t know that the time had passed like this, right?”
“It’s because you’re working hard. You don’t need to apologize.”
Kalian responded bluntly and turned around.
“I just want you to keep in mind one thing. If you collapse while overworking, I’m not responsible for it.”
“Yes, I will keep that in mind.”
It was a faithful answer, but it wasn’t a heartfelt answer.
“At times like this, the answer should not be ‘I will keep that in mind’, but ‘I won’t do it again’, you know?”
“I won’t do it again.”
Leila quickly changed her answer.
Pleased with her answer, only then did Kalian’s expression change gently.
While they were talking, the attendant reported that the carriage was ready.
“I’ll take you to the carriage.”
“You must be tired, so you don’t have to.”
“It’s just like taking a stroll at the same time, so don’t worry about it.”
Kalian urged her to go quickly, so Leila had no choice but to leave the office with him.