He did not speak at all. But I was quite relieved to watch his brows stretch out in comfort since he always had his brows furrowed tensely. I felt glad. I watched him let out a shallow sigh as he placed his teacup down the table. Then, he focused on his documents again.
It would be nice if you could say if it was sweet, bland or something!
But I did not hate his personality and attitude. After all, that was the reason why I read the book to the end and ended up having less sleep.
He was tough and stubborn by nature and he was also a self-righteous man but he ended up getting his character broken down by the author. I also loved the way that he put everything down even lowering himself for the sake of his love. And knowing his personality, his attitude and reaction right now was not that disappointing at all.
He must have liked the cinnamon tea. But even though his face did not show much his aura felt vastly different. I couldn’t explain it exactly but it felt more comfortable and healthier compared to before.
But above everything else, my heart fluttered after confirming that the knowledge from the original novel was actually very useful.
I gazed at the Duke’s desk and spoke.
“May I help you? You look like you’re busy.”
Duke Kyron’s eyebrows furrowed even more compared to before.
I couldn’t believe that I spat out words that she would never say just because I felt excited. Cold sweat poured down on my back.
In the original, Ariel was a silent and timid maid who was like a shadow. She looked like she wouldn’t even get picked up from the picture if no one looked closely at her. This meant that she would never dare to bring up words that would interfere with Duke Kyron’s affairs on her own.
But the water has already been spilled! There’s no way for retreat so all I can do is move forward!
I glanced at the books that had been opened and stretched out below as I opened my mouth quickly.
“I can help you if it’s about calculation.”
Oops. I tried to make my voice sound more timid and softer.
“I, if it isn’t too hard.”
Duke Kyron only hummed noncommittally saying ‘Hmm? Is that so?’. I wasn’t the type to flounder over my words but I was too flustered that I spouted nonsense one after another like dominoes falling one by one.
He removed his hand from one of the books as he glanced up at me. I could see the distinct displeasure that was radiating off of his face.
Cold sweat coated the entirety of my palm. I could understand the language and the numbers written on the books so I could figure out the problem just by looking at the notes that he had written out on the paper. The only problem was that I willingly jumped out of my element. I broke character with those words.
“It seems like you’re having a hard time with the inventory of the warehouse and the tax books.”
Duke Kyron narrowed his eyes at my unexpected answer. It would have been nice if he could show just a bit of admiration but the only thing that he showed me was doubt and displeasure. I believed that it was only natural. After all, someone who had undergone painstaking education and had been the top of his class ever since he was a child, was suddenly told by his maid that she would help him with the problems that he was struggling with. Even if it was me, I would also think that it was ridiculous.
But instead of lashing out to me in anger, all he did was speak stiffly.
“Storing the grains would mean that there is a natural decrease in volume. But the loss in amount caused by the rats is considerable. So far, we have gone to the warehouse this spring to inspect and we have found that there was a hole. We have dealt with the amount that was lost but I want to get rid of that hole.”
“So we can’t tell if the loss was caused by rats or if it was stolen?”
He looked straight into my eyes as he nodded his head. I thought that I was right about his intentions. The moment I felt relieved, he spoke as if it was just something that was extremely simple.
“If you’re not able to do it then I will definitely punish you.”
Sigh. This character.
But since I was the one who dug my own grave, I put aside my grievances and concentrated on the books in front of me. Slowly looking at the numbers, I was able to grasp the situation.
Duke Kyron was auditing the books that were written by the administrators. The loss of grains was quite an important issue since the taxes that we received from the grains were already short of becoming a currency.
But this was not calculus so I could work around it.
When Duke Kyron saw me grinning, he stood up and vacated his chair. He was looking at me with his eyes narrowed sharply as if he was contemplating the punishment that he would give me. However, all I did was sit in the Duke’s chair. At that moment, I felt like I was possessed.
My heart thumped wildly when I felt the warmth that was left on the chair that he had sat on. But I shook my head and tried to concentrate on the books.
The general mathematics of this world was not far beyond that of the basics of arithmetic. This was the reason why figuring out the missing grain in the books was quite a tricky problem for them. I first checked to see if there was any artificial loss of grain. The books were much more organized than what I had expected so I found the number that I needed.
Meanwhile, Duke Kyron was sitting with his legs crossed comfortably on the sofa as he sipped the cinnamon tea that I had made.
His gaze on me was a bit acrimonious but when I focused on the books, I realized that this was a simple matter of proportions. When I calculated everything, I found out that the rate of loss of the grains was almost the same in each warehouse. If someone touched the grain then there would definitely be a higher percentage of loss in one warehouse but that wasn’t the case at all. One might think that they could steal a certain percentage from each warehouse but the warehouses were far apart and there were different administrators. And it was also a bit hard to assume that the thief could accurately know the percentage that Duke Kyron could not calculate to steal that much.
Not long after, I was able to figure out everything and there weren’t any more problems with the stocks of grains in each warehouse.
“I’m done, Duke.”
Duke Kyron furrowed his brows as he placed his cup of cinnamon tea down. Despite his obvious displeasure, there was no sound of clattering when he placed his teacup down on the table.
I quickly stood up from the chair as he returned to his desk. After sitting on his chair, he looked at my table. It was a table of the income from the tax books as well as the expected rates of losses and the actual inventory. I explained everything as best as I could with Arielsa’s character.
“The average grain loss is about 30%. Right now, you’re currently spending as much as you have lost. I think it will be convenient for you to manage your warehouses in the future if you keep a record of your estimated losses when you receive taxes in the future…?”
“There’s no thief in my home.”
“Who would dare deceive the Duke?”
I tried to back off with an awkward flattery but the look that he threw at me made me stiffen in shock.
“How did you figure this out?”
I forgot to think and plan ahead on how I would explain myself after this chair bluff but it was more like I was being condescending and arrogant when I did that so I did not do any planning at all. I want to knock some sense into my head so badly.
“Don’t tell me that you counted well. I know that you weren’t able to do the addition table until you were ten years old.”
According to the memories that I had recalled when he said addition table, it was more like a multiplication table of some sort.
While I was panicking, Arielsa’s childhood memories with the shining male lead came back a bit. The memory felt quite positive. It was the life of the extra and a memory that was something that could not be found in the original work.
But Arielsa’s delightful and happy past was largely blank for me. It was completely blank. Heuk. My face turned red in shame but I had to get out of this crisis.
“Y, you shouldn’t say such a shameful thing!”
But the sheer amount of doubt that was swimming in Duke Kyron’s eyes did not waver or decrease at all.
“Arielsa. You have never been ashamed of your ignorance before. Did you forget that you even brought your embroidery as you started embroidering while you stayed in class with me?”
Arielsa had no interest in studying at all! I had nowhere to get out of. I spoke with tears in my eyes.
“I, I heard everything while I was embroidering! I can concentrate better if I use my hands, Duke!”
“Were you taking classes while embroidering?”
It was a lame excuse no matter who heard it. Even Duke Kyron was speaking cynically at me without a hint of laughter in his voice.
“It seems like you’re a genius.”
I suddenly recalled the original story.
The Little Duke started his classes at the age of four, all of the tutors were seriously worried about him. This was because he never showed interest in the class as he stared out of the window all the time. He even pretended to not know the children who came to become his playmates.
The Little Duke seemed to have spoken to the tutors in a language that needed translation when they wouldn’t leave him behind. It seemed like his words were ‘Don’t bother me.’. The reason why he never paid attention to his playmates was because of the difference in their intellect and intelligence.
Naturally, the tutors ran happily to the Duke to report that the Little Duke was a genius. It was also at that time when the boys had a scuffle with the Little Duke, so after much consideration, the late Duke decided to cancel the addition of playmates in his classes. Due to the concern of the Duchess, she chose a girl that could be together with him. That was Arielsa.
Ever since then, the contents of the classes were personalized to the Little Duke Kyron’s level. Arielsa joined the Little Duke during his classes but she did a separate lesson that discussed the basic level of common sense when doing housework.
It was no wonder that a shy and timid girl got tired of taking classes with the Little Duke. She even got sick of it.
Anyway, I sweated like crazy when I heard his sarcastic remarks. It seemed like he was telling me… ‘I’m a genius but I did not recognize that you’re a genius?’. Since all my skills had failed to let me avoid it, I decided to just push through and become impudent.
“You said that you’ll only punish me if I don’t do it. But you’re still reprimanding me even if I did it well…”
Duke Kyron shut his mouth when he saw me speaking with tears in my eyes. The tips of his eyebrows looked like they were crooked and twitching. It seemed like he was kicking himself a bit. Then, he stood up to reveal his fine figure as he spoke to me.
“Arielsa. Romney, the administrator of the Forslan Warehouse, had been accused of cheating. You just proved his innocence.”
What he told me was something that was completely unexpected.
This wasn’t just a matter of simple inventory management?