Author: Chewyy

“Swordsmanship…It’s my favorite.” 

 

“what? Are you already learning swordsmanship?”

 

“Yes. I’m still only wielding a light wooden sword.”

 

“Still, it’s amazing! Well, now that I think about it, I think my brother has been wielding a sword since he was your age.”

 

Then curiosity appeared on Noah’s face for the first time. 

 

“Has he also learned swordsmanship?”

 

“Yes. Now he is a knight. Do you know the Red Lion Knights?”

 

“Yes. I know that they are a group of knights in charge of security in the capital.”

 

“Exactly. The year my brother graduated from the military academy, he participated in the Gryphon swordsmanship held by the imperial family and placed in the top four. Thanks to that, he was able to join the Red Lions right away.”

 

The top three winners among those who participated in the Gryphon Swordsmanship Competition are eligible to join the Gryphon Division. A total of five winners, from fourth to eighth, will be eligible to join the Knights of the Red Lion Knights.

 

There were some people who regretted that they could have joined Gryphon if they had done a little better, but my brother was very satisfied with his performance. 

 

In the first place, my brother’s dream was to become a Red lion knight, not a Gryphon.

 

“My older brother was mischievous, and I was stubborn, so we fought often, but I still think my brother is really amazing. Because he had a dream he wanted to achieve since he was young, and he achieved that dream. I didn’t really have anything like that. How about you, Noah? Do you have a dream?”

 

“ah…My dream is to become a worthy successor to my father.”

 

As Noah said that, he lowered his head to avoid my gaze. 

 

‘What on earth is he thinking with that small head…?’

 

I pretended not to know anything and placed a plate of bite-sized steak in front of Noah.

 

“That’s a wonderful dream. Other than that?” 

 

“yes?”

 

“The more dreams you have, the better. Don’t you have a dream for the near future, other than the distant future? For example, if you want to go somewhere and eat something delicious that you’ve never eaten before.”

 

Suddenly, I remembered what Leonhard had told me earlier, so I leaned my upper body towards Noah and covered my mouth with my hand, as if sharing a secret.

 

“You know, your father said that when he was a kid, his dream was to be a knight riding a dragon and flying through the sky.”

 

“What?”

 

“It’s a wonderful dream, right? When I was young, I also wanted to see a dragon. Of course not now.”

 

A monster that is above the highest level. Just hearing those words makes me shiver. 

 

“But the dragon…It’s extinct.”

 

As I said that, Noah was still looking at me. so I purposely exaggerated my voice.

 

“That’s why it’s a dream! When it comes to dreams, it doesn’t matter whether they are possible or impossible. In the world of work, you gain more from the process than from the results.”

 

“I want to travel.” 

 

“Yes?”

 

I opened my eyes in surprise at Noah’s sudden words. 

 

Then Noah shook his head as if surprised.

 

“Oh, of course I’m not saying I want to leave right away. Someday in the distant future…” 

 

“Same as me! I ended up giving up because I needed a lot of money and was scared of monsters and bandits, but I wanted to travel everywhere when I could. The capital of the Kingdom of Canel, called the city of canals, the Eldwarf Forest where elves and dwarves gather, and Aries Island, where mermaids were last seen.…How about Noah? Where do you want to go?”

 

“Well, I don’t have anywhere in particular I want to go yet, I just want to look around the world….”

 

“Then, would you like to take a look at the map with me later? Let’s decide in advance where you want to travel when you grow up.”

 

“Later?”

 

“Speaking of traveling, you’re halfway there if you’re already planning.”

 

My playful remark made Noah stomp his foot and let out a small laugh.

 

The way his eyes widened in surprise at the sound was adorable, that I burst out laughing without even realizing it.

 

Looking at him, see the way he looked at me and turned red to the tip of his ear looks just like Leonhard.

 

* * * 

 

“hah..”

 

Noah, who returned to the room, finally relaxed and sat down with his back against the door.

 

Then, realizing that he was sitting on the floor instead of a chair, he quickly straightened my knees, but his mother’s voice, which he heard in the dining room a moment ago, lingered in his ears.

 

‘At your age, it’s natural to joke around and make mistakes.’ She said so.

 

Unlike other people who emphasized that he should never make mistakes anytime, anywhere because the honor of the Marquis depended on His actions.

 

‘She was a good woman. She was a very warm person, like the shawl he gave me as a gift…’

 

Noah, who was standing there blankly thinking about His mother’s bright smile, suddenly raised his head when a thought crossed his mind.

 

“The shawl!”

 

Ruby had disappeared, apparently tired of the room without her owner. Only the shawl sticking out of the top of the bookshelf.

 

Noah, who had been jumping in front of it several times, brought a chair and placed it in front of the bookshelf. When he stood on it, his height was just right.

 

‘please please…’ 

 

Noah held the end of the shawl and managed to pull it down and let out a light sigh of relief.

 

But soon Noah’s expression became as pale as a sheet of paper. Ruby had played with the shawl while he was away, and the shawl had been torn into such a mess that its original shape was unrecognizable.

 

* * * 

 

“Ugh….”

 

The moment I laid down on the bed, the tension that had been consuming my entire body disappeared like a tide.

 

I crawled over the bed, brought the cushion I could reach, and hugged it in my arms. 

 

I rubbed my cheek on it and thought of Noah’s face again. 

 

Long, shining amber eyes with jet black hair that slightly covers his cheeks. Since he is still a child, the only thing that matches the description in the book is that much.

 

There was no languid mood, a mysterious smile, or a gloomy eye smile. rather.

 

“He was so cute.….”

 

Because it was our first meeting, I was excited and worried, and I was so nervous that I couldn’t take a closer look at the child’s appearance in the dining room. Now, I belatedly looked back on the child in my memory.

 

Chubby cheeks with baby fat and soft eyes. I remember the tiny lips that moved in a pout and the small hands that were tightly holding a knife and fork.

 

“Ugh, cute, cute. I can’t believe such a cute boy is my son.”

 

For me from the past! Can you hear me? No need to worry about not being able to change the future! That kid is so cute!  You don’t have to worry at all!

 

I let go of the cushion I was holding and looked up at the ceiling.

 

Every time I said something, things like the way he looked at me and the way he spoke kept coming to mind, 

which made me feel uneasy.

 

I don’t know if he is just looking at what his ‘stepmother’ thinks, but no matter how much I think about it, I don’t think it’s true.…

 

“My dream is to become a worthy successor to my father.’

 

‘If he had just said that His dream was to become a great person and inherit a title, I wouldn’t have been so upset.’

 

‘From the mouth of a five-year-old, “become a worthy successor to my father.” Does this make sense?’

 

“Maybe I should try observing his class.….”

 

I need to see with my own eyes and ears what it’s like to be in a class where you have to learn from the age of five.

 

I need to know who put so much pressure on that little child. 

 

“For now, just sleep….” 

 

‘As a mother, what should I do first to become closer to Noah?’

 

While thinking about such things, I fell into a hazy state of consciousness. 

 

Noah is just Noah, I completely forgot that it was a situation where I had to take care of myself first.

 

* * * 

 

No matter how many times I look at it, the number of documents does not decrease. The numbers spin around before my eyes.

 

“Ugh, my head hurts.….”

 

“It’s already been so long. Shall we rest for a while?” 

 

At first glance, I am being generous, but I found out in just a few hours.

 

The treasurer of Ajas Castle, Count Langifer, is a bloodless bastard!

 

“Marquess was such a sincere and meticulous person that this old man was relieved. I don’t have to worry about Ajas’s internal affairs.”

 

“The Count’s praise is missing something special….”

 

Amy and Hannah quickly brought refreshments and tea and set up the tea table.

 

Even though we were in the same office, I was able to take a breather just by being away from the desk full of documents.

 

“If you want to hear a special compliment from me, you have to hear one thing and know ten things. Forgive the old man who can’t be sweet because I am old and have lost my sense of taste, Marquess.”

 

“I’ll forgive you for your honesty.…”

 

Various taxes collected from direct territories and fiefs. Metals and salt mined from various mines in Hiyela, and by-product water obtained from clearing monsters in various dungeons in the north.

 

The proceeds earned by processing them and selling them through various merchants or the Blood Horn Auction House. 

 

Various merchants and businesses invested in the name of Ajas. 

 

Monthly salaries paid to vassals including Heilang knight and wizards, servants employed at the castle, and mercenaries under contract, as well as maintenance fees for Ajas Castle.

 

Money used to purchase grains and crops to be given to the villagers living in the countryside. 

 

Expenditures are made up of various consumables, including food, weapons, cloth, cotton, firewood, and oil for use in the castle. Even taxes sent to the imperial palace.

 

In addition, the number of documents recording the incoming and outgoing flow of money easily exceeded one hundred pages in just one month.

 

Even though the documents I looked at to get a rough idea of the internal affairs of Ajas Castle were almost one book long, I had not yet grasped the overall size of the castle’s treasury.

 

When I close my eyes, the numbers spinning dizzyingly across my black retina make me desperately long for the benefits of modern technology.

 

‘A calculator!’

 

“Once you get the big picture, you can leave the detailed calculations to the finance officers. You can trust the provincial treasurer and tax collector. I guarantee it in my name.”

 

Looking at the castle’s well-run operation even without a hostess, it seemed like Count Langifer’s assurance could be trusted.

 

But what’s not particularly comforting is that cleaning up these documents doesn’t make me free.

 

“I told you that when spring comes, the list of people will be full with dozens of letters….”

 

“The messengers will be running around until the soles of their feet are on fire. If you line up the people you wish to meet, the line will start outside the door of this office, all the way down the hallway and stairs, and all the way to the castle gate.”

 

I just thought of that image for a moment, and it made me shudder. I lightly touched my goosebump shoulder with my hand and picked up a cookie.

 

“Are there really that many people who come here?”

 

“Not that many normally, but…”

 

Count Langifer smiled very kindly. 

 

“There are rumors all over the country that the Marquess supported poor artists in the capital.”

 

“ukh!”

 

I almost spit out the cookie I had in my mouth.

 

I prevented the disaster by covering my mouth with my hand. 

 

After quenching my clogged throat with hot black tea, I raised tearful eyes and looked at him. 

 

“What do you mean, all over the country?”

 

“I should explain this first. Usually, it is the wife’s responsibility to take care of the household, but this is only within the allocated budget. It’s up to you to decide the budget. Naturally, the wife does not have the authority to spend money on business, investment, or sponsorship. Unless the Lord allows it.”

 

“But you said I had that authority.… Is it because the Marquis entrusted me with the Lord’s Ring?”

 

* * *

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Comments (2)

  1. Can’t wait for Noah’s situation to be turned upside down and for any abusers to be kicked out on their a** 😎👍