A few days had passed since Ms. Schwarz arrived. Even if I had my eye out for her, I couldn’t possibly neglect my work as the domain lord, so I was doing all the paperwork with Lady Violet. I’ve left the job of monitoring Ms. Schwarz to Gray and Cyan. That said, all Gray does is play games with her.
A town in a countryside like this has comparatively less paperwork… but occasionally the antics of those wayward nobles make paperwork flood in.
I wish they would try to strengthen their foundation rather than harass others , but I can’t completely ignore it either. While dealing with it in a haphazard manner, it sometimes leads to weird contracts. Huh… what’s this? Was it part of the arrangement?
“Ah, Lady Violet. Sorry to disturb you, I wanted to ask you about this sentence here…”
Lady Violet was leagues superior to me in matters of this sort.
It could probably be attributed to years of education she received as the prospective queen, for she was well-informed on matters of law, noble affairs and she was also quick at pointing out errors in written documents or contracts. Lady Violet assists me with work that would originally fall on me to finish, as if it were only natural she does so and I’ve allowed myself to be spoiled by her willingness.
“Hm, let me see. Ah, it’s a new law that came to pass in the capital recently. Concerning the issue of permissible extent of territory Marquis and Margrave families can possess…”
“I see, it makes sense that I don’t know about it.”
After receiving a thorough explanation, I made my way back to my table in the study which was some distance away from the small desk Lady Violet was working from.
In the silence of the room, the only sounds that echoed were pens scratching on paper and seals being stamped. Maybe it’s a given in the midst of work, but apart from verifying a few things here and there, we barely talk to each other.
“…Hmm, done with this pile.”
Lady Violet finished looking over one heap of documents and moved on to another pertaining to a different field. She did show some exhaustion, regardless one could see the elegance in her bearing and expressions even if they weren’t too extravagant.
Lady Violet always carried herself elegantly. Her movements were that of someone conscious of being in the public eye. Her back was seldom hunched and even the way she brushed away her bangs was careful and concise. I suppose it was her way of expressing her femininity, so to speak.
Her mannerisms wouldn’t change even in my absence, as it was her way of asserting her sense of self even in private. She has the pride of a noble, something that’s missing in me, which I very much like.
… I was under the impression she had eased up a bit.
However, she seems to be throwing herself more into work lately. It looked like she immersed herself in work, as if she was trying to break free, as though she was afraid of the eyes on her. I’d be glad if it was just me overanalyzing things and she’s simply earnest in her endeavor to help me with my work.
But if that isn’t the case, maybe I should decide on how to celebrate the one month anniversary of her arriving in Shiki that I had been planning. If she’d rather it be a private affair, then maybe I could give her the gift from Gray and me, that was delivered secretly today and decorate the trees in the garden…
“Sorry to disturb you, but there are many matters I can’t come to a decision on my own, Lord Clo.”
“Eh, ah, yes. Sure. Where do we start?”
I was completely lost in thought when I suddenly found Lady Violet next to me. Ack, this won’t do. She can be absentminded at times, but she’s fundamentally very sharp. If I’m so distracted, forget surprising her, I could end up making her angry instead.
I stopped writing, turned around to face Lady Violet and waited for her to speak. She had on a very earnest expression, but is the matter at hand that complicated?
“… It’s about this, ‘Robot Dispatch Fee’, an invoice to the next town over.”
“Ah, it needs nothing but a signature. It’s not the first invoice of its kind and somehow a sign is enough for an approval.”
Yes, I don’t know why but that’s enough. Occasionally, the repair expenses cancel out the dispatch fee, which is a huge help.
“What about this Devil Descent Day of the Dark Magic Congregation?”
That’s a letter of summons to a real dark mage, Orchid. Just in case, it was sent to all the towns in this area. I know it says devil, but it’s just an association that worships a black cat. They apparently get together to sing praises of a black cat owned by one of the members of the congregation.
“What’s this listing adorned by a cross on both sides…”
That is a written request from the delusional edgelord, Apricot, titled ‘♰Hell’s Lament is my Armor♰’. Long story short, it’s a request asking for a magic testing lab, that’s both sturdy and large, to be built using town funds. Naturally, it’s to be dismissed.
“About this request to create resuscitation pills…”
It’s nothing new. Feel free to ignore it.
“‘Bring into town more females ranging from the apparent ages of 10s through 70s,’ it says…”
It’s nothing new. I’ll go beat him up later.
“The job of a domain lord is complicated and strange…”
“Not really, I think that’s only because it’s Shiki—hm?”
“A knock and someone’s voice?”
As Lady Violet was occupied with matters of a world entirely new to her, there was an abrupt knock on the door. It sounded impatient as if the person was in a hurry. Who is it…? Gray would simply enter without knocking and if it were Cyan, she’d even break the door down if she had to.
We took a break from paperwork and left the study. As we neared the front door, the voice got louder, making it apparent that something was wrong, so I rushed to open the door. Whereupon, I found Ms. Blue, a resident of Shiki, standing outside.
“My… was…m…kid was…!”
“Calm down, Ms. Blue. First, explain what happened.”
I’d never seen Ms. Blue look so terribly flustered. Realizing something was wrong, I ran up to her and Lady Violet soon followed looking worried.
Lady Violet rubbed her back in an effort to calm her down. Ms. Blue slowly stopped hyperventilating and regained some of her composure, or so I thought—
“My kid… was abducted by a monster!”
And proceeded to inform us of the incident happening at that very moment.