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In just a couple more days, my stay in the Royal City will end. Today is the day I am scheduled to visit Baron Messi’s house. According to the information provided by mother, Baron Messi typically returns to his fief early when it’s about to be off-seasons. Hence, the party. In other words, it is to say farewell to his associates.
The members of the First Prince’s faction, who have their own fief, are devoted to land management and often stay in their fief. In other words, they don’t have many opportunities to gather. On the contrary, during a season, their attendance rate is quite high.
Because it’s that kind of party, is it really acceptable for me to attend…? I started having those kinds of thoughts.
In the morning, I started doing yoga for mental concentration. Beside me was mother who has completely gotten into practicing yoga and was wearing an outfit similar to mine.
“Well, Iris-chan. Your expression is looking stiff. If you keep that up, you’ll get tired.”
“Is that so…?”
“Yes. Since you’re going through all the trouble to loosen your body, you should work on your expression as well… That’s right, that’s how it should be.”
After I finished practicing yoga, I took a shower and changed my clothes. Since today’s party will take place at night, I’m still wearing my everyday clothing.
Because there’s still some time, I decided to take a look at the reports sent by Sei and Sebastian so that I can immediately send necessary instructions as a reply if needed be.
Hmmm… As I thought, location is important. Since it takes time for the letter to arrive, when I have completely grasped the situation, it might have already changed. When I consider these things, I shouldn’t continue to involve myself in any unnecessary things and quickly return to the fief.
While I was scuffling with the documents, I heard a knock coming from the door and Tanya entered the room.
“Young mistress. It is about time for you to make your preparations.”
Oh, it’s that time already? As I thought, when one is concentrated on doing something, time flies by quickly.
Because I cannot be late, I began my preparations at once. Because the party is being held at night, unlike the dresses I wore to Dranbalt and the Marquis’ mansion, I wore a dress similar to what one would wear at an official function. However, as I expected, I am not used to wearing heavy dresses, and I wore something that feels refreshing.
After Tanya finished arranging my hair, I put on some accessories. Today’s dress is dark blue in color that matches the color of my eyes. As for accessories, because my hair is silver, white will not compliment it, so blue sapphire was used instead. Hence, my dress is considerably embroidered with silver thread, making it stand out splendidly.
I finished my preparation in good time. Although the people in the world say that women take too long to prepare, but it takes even more time to put on a dress. In the first place, if someone doesn’t help, one won’t be able to put it on by themselves.
In the present condition, I rode the carriage and headed to the Baron’s residence. Fuuu, I’m feeling really nervous… In the Royal City… since the mansions of aristocrats are all in one sector, there is not much distance between our mansion and Baron Messi’s. However, because I’m feeling nervous, I feel like the distance was even shorter.
* * *
While I was frozen stiff with tension, we arrived at Baron Messi’s mansion and greet our host, Baron Messi.
“Thank you very much for your invitation to today’s event.”
“I, as well, would like to thank you for your attendance.”
Baron Messi, as expected of someone who was once part of the military, his physical build is proportional. …In addition, every single one of his body movements isn’t coarse, but quite beautiful. He gives an impression of an attractive older man with silver-gray hair.
“Grandfather also felt regretful. To not be able to attend this gathering.”
Even though grandfather wanted to attend, he couldn’t make it. He said something about having official business elsewhere. Although he didn’t talk about his business in full detail, he felt that it was quite regrettable. …Well, compared to myself, grandfather has closer relations with Baron Messi.
“Please let me humbly say that I also felt extremely disappointed when I heard it. Please tell him that if another chance arises, please come by all means.”
“Yes. Without fail.”
After I finished greeting the host, I entered the hall and looked around. Wow, this is amazing. …That was the first impression I had. There were many well-known figures here and there.
When it comes to aristocrats, there were many who received their title after some distinguished service. They started out as commoners, but after a meritable service, they were bestowed a title and became an aristocrat.
I have heard various names of the people who works as a bureaucrat from father. To actually see many of those famous people gathered in this place, it can’t be helped if I’m astonished.
“…Lady Iris, it has been a long time since we last met.”
“Oh… Earl Sagittaria, it has been a long time.”
Earl Sagittaria serves this Kingdom as its Finance Minister. In plain words, he is one of father’s subordinates, and I’ve met his acquaintance before.
If I’m not mistaken, when the Queen Dowager was still the Queen, thanks to his abilities, the Earl received a recommendation and was appointed to his position.
Although he has the appearance of a good-natured old man right now, but to be able to handle the hard to deal with people in the Royal Castle… I don’t believe he is what he appears to be.
“I did not at all expect Earl Sagittaria to make an appearance.”
As someone who has an important position in the administration of the Kingdom, I didn’t think that he would choose one of the Prince’s side… This is my real feelings.
“Having a mere official such as myself will not make a difference in the fight for the throne.”
Well, not directly, but it’s not like he can say that. I’m sure that he has considerable influence… since he holds the purse strings of the Kingdom. And that is influence itself in its own way.
“However, whatever the Kingdom decides what’s best for the Kingdom… it should also benefit the people. And I believe that it is the duty of the people part of the government to think about those things.”
“Indeed. For you to think that way, it will definitely benefit the country.”
When Earl Sagittaria heard my words, he said nothing and deepened his smile.
“Come to think of it, Lady Iris. The clothes you are wearing tonight looks quite splendid.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Are they also obtain from the trade with the East…?”
“Not at all. I ordered these clothes at a clothing shop in our fief.”
“Is that so. The fief of Armelia is filled with many people of exceptional talents. It is also facing the sea, I’m quite envious. Refinement of salt, obtaining foreign currency from trade with other countries… because it’s facing the sea, there are plenty of ways to enrich the fief. It also seems like the trade is doing favorably well considering the quantity.”
“Y-yes… Well. It’s all thanks to the people.”
As expected of Sagittaria-sama. He has completely grasped the movement of each and every individual fief.
“How humble. I heard that it’s no small thanks to the instructions you’ve made, isn’t that right?”
For the time being, I responded to that question with just a smile. How should I put this, I found myself lost for words. Although my mind doesn’t feel painful, but it’s quite troublesome to be probed.
“Also, I heard that you are considerably involved in the fief’s politics. Reforming the taxation system, protecting orphans, as well as establishing a powerful security force. …Exactly what in the world are you aiming for.”
To sum up his statement, earning foreign currency through trade, doing business in other fiefs to earn money, establishing a strong army, exactly what are you plotting? I guess that’s what he meant to ask. When I think about it now, I’m quite surprised. Be it Earl Sagittaria or someone else, they would want to take precautions.
“My only aim is to give the local people a peace of mind and a better life. To put it more finely, I want to provide a stable livelihood for them in the fief and give them a secure place to live in. That kind of target… No, it is more proper to call it an ideal. And how close I can get to achieve that ideal. However, this is something one must pursue for eternity… Thus, a ‘goal’ does not exist.”
“I see… I am exceedingly impressed. A government for the people… Even though you are still young, it seems you are already a public servant. However, please be careful. Because the remarks my lady made today, ‘a country for the people,’ might be perceived ‘baring your fangs.'”
“I am thankful for your advice.”
I have no intention of raising a revolt against the country. As a person of the Duke of Armelia’s House, I have more or less swore my allegiance to royal family.
However, I still believe that I should defend the people. Therefore, depending on the situation, the possibility of confronting the country still exist. On a final note, that last thing I said is a card I definitely do not want to play if given a choice. …Nevertheless, I cannot say it out loud.
* * *
Formally addressing a noble’s daughter:
Duke’s daughter: Lady
Marquis’ daughter: Lady
Earl’s daughter: Lady
Viscount’s daughter: Miss
Baron’s daughter: Miss
Baronet’s daughter: Miss
I want to move to Iris’ fief… can someone show me the way?
On a more serious note, there will not be any releases for the first week of May. For more information, please read May 2016’s announcement.