Chapter 64:

The Noble Blues

Atk 0 Crit All ~My attack stat is negligible, so I can't help but rely on critical hits to succeed!~

With a heavy sigh, Eryn stepped off the coach in front of the Faulkner residence. Having taken care of the standard duties of a senior magic knight, namely sifting through the high-priority jobs and delegating them to the appropriate people, she returned home mid-afternoon to take care of her other official duty.Bookmark here

Her butler, Pietro, was at the door, waiting for her with a smile and a tray of tea and refreshments.Bookmark here

“A pick-me-up for my Lady.” He beckoned her inside.Bookmark here

Grabbing one of the pastries on the tray and a cup of tea, Eryn scarfed it down in an unladylike manner. There was no one else present to see her improper manners, so she had gotten into the habit of it to save time. Though Pietro gave her an upturned brow in response, he let it pass seeing as his master has been stressed as of late.Bookmark here

Suddenly becoming a Viscountess and gaining her own domain was quite the challenge, especially since she had been left with the duty of building and managing a new town from scratch. This was certainly not what she had expected as she began her new life as a proper noble. That was on top of the knight duties that she normally had.Bookmark here

Though Cornelius had offered to re-distribute her workload to lighten her burdens, it felt improper for him to do so just for her sake. What kind of example would she set for the junior members if she slacked off right upon returning, regardless of the cause? The last thing she needed was for others to think that she was a stuck-up noble that waded in her own power.Bookmark here

No, if she was going to do something, she was going to be open and clear about it. No more games or hidden agendas. She would trust those around her to back her. That was why she couldn’t slack off either.Bookmark here

As she got to her study, she sent a Magic Pigeon to contact Dengel, who had essentially taken charge of the business side of her affairs in the recent months. Being faster and more efficient with the work than Eryn could hope to achieve, he was a man that easily adapted from managing the trading company to coordinating the construction and well-being of the entire town. It was no wonder that the Duke had relied on him. Eryn felt like everything would continue to progress just as smoothly even if she didn’t exist.Bookmark here

Once, she jokingly told him to be the Lord of this domain in place of her.Bookmark here

“But my Lady, you are the face of this domain. The people look to you for their safety and prosperity, not a commoner such as I who only knows how to plan,” Dengel said bluntly.Bookmark here

“Wait, does that mean that she’s like a mascot for this town? As in, have her go around and show off to the public?” Claude chimed in.Bookmark here

“Hmm, it is true that the common people like to see and hear from the person who governs over them. How can they appreciate a lord who hides behind closed doors?” Dengel said, rubbing his chin.Bookmark here

Eryn sighed. She didn’t like the thought of being merely an object of adoration for the townspeople. Though when she started walking around town and conversing with the people that resided there, she ended up not minding it so much. It was also a nice break from all the new things she had to learn about being a proper lord.Bookmark here

Since she had achieved her longtime goal of becoming a noble, there was no longer a need to chase after every rabbit in order to succeed. She tried to delegate as much as she could to capable hands, especially since Cornelius had offered some of his trusted servants to come work for her.Bookmark here

But old habits die hard. With every report of an interesting guild job, her finger itched to draw her sword again. She had to fight off the urge to go adventuring again, like she did when looking for an excuse from her merchant responsibilities. However, she couldn’t be away for an extended period, not when her town was finally in a good state. Moreover, she didn’t know how to pull her familiar away from the restaurant that she had gifted him. Sure, she had him help run some errands that required his expertise, but for them to go traveling around once again? She wondered if she could be that selfish. Though knowing him, he would likely drop everything and agree to go.Bookmark here

Secretly, she missed those times since she didn’t have the liberty to do such things anymore. How did her friend Cornelius deal with such a life?Bookmark here

A soft knock interrupted her thoughts.Bookmark here

“Come in.”Bookmark here

The door opened to a sharp-looking man with raven hair and glasses. He had the air of a proper servant, and his eyes gave off an impression of wit and intelligence.Bookmark here

“My Lady, I have the reports for today ready. Would you like to hear them?” Dengel responded cordially.Bookmark here

“Yes, if you could.”Bookmark here

“The construction of the town is nearly at its completion. I believe that it will only require another month. We had to hire another set of workers due to the higher than predicted influx of people seeking permanent residence. We have my Lady and Sir Claude to thank for that.”Bookmark here

“Yes, yes. If I had known that this would lead to extra work, I would have waited to show myself. Did you think that this town would end up becoming so popular?”Bookmark here

“It was within my calculations,” Dengel said while adjusting his glasses. “Or rather, as Sir Claude would say, ‘keikaku doori’.”Bookmark here

That was apparently one of Claude’s random weird phrases that he would pull out from time to time, especially when he had sealed the deal on some arrangements. Eryn shook her head. Now, he had Dengel saying it sometimes. Though Saki had told her how it meant ‘all according to plan’ in her native language, neither one of them could figure out why Claude said it with such a sinister smile.Bookmark here

“In any case, the trading company has managed to take advantage of the former Duke’s supporters by backing some of their businesses. We are fostering healthy business relationships as we speak, mostly arranged by Sir Claude.”Bookmark here

When he wasn’t cooking at the restaurant, Claude had been going around to the other nobles who had suddenly been left struggling after the demise of the Duke. With his knowledge of otherworldly goods, he could find new opportunities for the products that they marketed. In truth, it seemed like those people would follow anyone as long as they could profit from the relationship.Bookmark here

It had actually been quite a while since she had spent any time with her familiar. After the brief glimpse of his ability during the wedding ceremony, there hadn’t been any battles. They were both doing all they could to adapt to this new life. It was rather unfortunate as she wanted to see more of his newfound capabilities.Bookmark here

“My Lady, I sense a bit of displeasure in your current state. Am I boring you?”Bookmark here

“No, Dengel. You do excellent work. Work that is too good for the likes of me. I find it odd that you didn’t choose a better lord to serve.”Bookmark here

“Who I serve is not determined by the greatness of their title. You should know as much from my former Lord. You will grow in time. My intuition rarely leads me astray. Besides, your familiar is a knight and hero of the kingdom, not to mention that you have a former captain of the Royal Guard and another Electi as servants. I don’t exactly see this position as a disadvantage.”Bookmark here

Putting Ludmila aside, she hadn’t known Pietro’s history until then. He had simply never told her anything about it. As long as she had known, Pietro had been a servant of the Faulkner family, and she had never thought to question why he was so strong.Bookmark here

“Then, if I had to guess, the life of a Viscountess is not what you dreamt of?” Dengel gave her a sharp look, which caused Eryn to draw back. He had clearly hit the mark.Bookmark here

Eryn still had a thirst for adventuring, as any knight her age possessed. But more than that, her previous lifestyle seemed more interesting and chaotic, whereas the life of a noble was very contained and structured.Bookmark here

“Then, might I suggest a change of pace? It is not necessary for you to be here all the time. I realize that you are trying to be dutiful in your responsibilities, but no one would blame you if you wanted to stretch out your sword arm a bit.”Bookmark here

“But-“Bookmark here

“If you say that you can’t leave your responsibilities to me in your absence, then I’m just going to have to prove you wrong,” Dengel interrupted. In these few months, he already had a firm grasp of his new Lord’s personality.Bookmark here

‘What should she do though?’ Eryn contemplated, as she had never considered taking some time off from her goals.Bookmark here

“How about some monster hunting with Sir Claude? I’ve heard of some strong beasts that live on the outer edges of the kingdom. There may even be a request from the guild to slay one.”Bookmark here

“A job, huh?” Eryn wondered if she really had much reason to get more powerful at this point. Getting strong had really been a way to increase her standing.Bookmark here

At that time, she heard the cry of a Magic Pigeon outside. Opening the window to let it in, the pigeon dropped a letter in front of her before giving another cry and extinguishing.Bookmark here

Eryn unrolled the letter and scanned its contents.Bookmark here

“It’s from Cornelius!... A request, specifically for me?...”Bookmark here

Dengel walked over and looked over her shoulder.Bookmark here

“A sea voyaging escort mission for Princess Katalina to the Southern Isles? I see…a marriage meeting to promote relations with the country of Macali and establish friendly ties.”Bookmark here

“A trip across the southern waters? Oh, that sounds like fun! I should go get Claude and head out immediately!” Eryn excitedly exclaimed as she trotted out the door.Bookmark here

Dengel thought it was quite the difference from her previous attitude.Bookmark here

“Wait, my Lady!” he tried to stop her.Bookmark here

Dengel shook his head as he watched his Lord disappear already. A job escorting the Princess was not what he had in mind when he wanted her to take a break. If anything, that was likely going to hinder his plans.Bookmark here

He had been well aware of the feelings that the two masters he served held for each other. Using the vacation as an excuse, he hoped that the two of them would find some time together to sort them out.Bookmark here

However, he could also tell that something was up with the princess as well. Given all the times that she sneaked out of the capital to dine at Sir Claude’s restaurant when he happened to be there, Dengel had to guess that she, too, held feelings for him.Bookmark here

In all honesty, he had no idea who to root for, but if he was going to minimize the drama in the future, it would probably be best for Lady Eryn and Sir Claude to be together.Bookmark here

Dengel sighed as he pondered what to do. Though he was well-versed in business relationships, relationships of love were a completely different story. Was he reaching too far into the snake pit?Bookmark here

Still, he greatly preferred it to the dilemmas he had in the past, decisions which he still regretted making and sought personal atonement for. Marquis Reichenstein had handed him a merciful judgment, hardly accusing him of any wrongdoing. In return, he pitched in efforts to resolve as much of the Duke’s past actions as he could.Bookmark here

Dengel dashed after his Lord.Bookmark here

One day, when he had done enough to wipe his plate clean, maybe he too would take a break.Bookmark here

Until then, he had a few greenhorns to raise into proper society.Bookmark here

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