I Became the Madam of the House - Chapter 9
“At least I want to make sure that the subject of The Leire County wouldn’t be anxious due to the long absence of their lords, ”
Archel said as she walked through the corridor of the mansion. Elaha was leading her to the Oval Office half a step ahead. It was also the office of Gael Von Zenat’s late mother. It’s been a long time since she used this office since she prefers the island.
“I’m sure there are already many anxious people after the funeral.” Archel entered the Oval Office at Elaha’s guidance naturally as if it was her own office. Then she glanced toward Elaha.
“Sir Elaha. Have you ever dealt with the Duchy affairs?
“That,” Elaha paused at her sudden inquiry. He was a knight, not a butler. No, even the butler can’t touch the family’s important matter. That’s how it usually was.
“I know some people are given authorization over the handling of Zenat’s family business on the island.”
Elaha stopped breathing. She was right. As a knight, it’s not something he normally does, but as Zenat’s loyal subject, it was something he could get his hands on.
Knowing how inefficient it is to only pass down the information verbally without any proper documents, Gael only shared the family’s business with a few trusted people. One of them was Elaha.
“..For a moment, I’ve dealt with it.” In the end, Elaha confessed. How far does this person know?
“You’re The Duke’s most trusted knight, after all.” Archel chuckled lightly. Elaha lowered his gaze unconsciously.
This lady in front of him is surprisingly skilled to have someone in the palm of her hand. He couldn’t raise his head due to the tension. Even though he knew that she’s less than 20 years old and had no physical force at all.
“Then can you help me?”
Clack-! Archel who reclined her chair and sat down pulled out a blank sheet. The girl smoothly writes down the matters of her territory. Since Leire’s documents are not here, she wrote a rough draft.
Elaha slightly opened his eyes in dismay. Although the format was not well composed, it comprises everything required to be included. From the tax management of the County to instruction on public security. She marked the map neatly. Though it wasn’t exactly a well-drawn map, the way she smoothly marked the map showed her familiarity with the terrain.
“Please go through it from the start to make sure there’s no mistake.”
Archel quickly put down the pen and spoke, as she had a little hands-on experience in this field. Of course, before she possessed the body, she didn’t have any experience in managing territory. She only saw the main character who managed the estate. Fortunately, she had seen it a few times after she came into this world. It was because Count Leire and his wife taught her things with all their heart, not long before she became an adult.
It was only for a short time. Now she had to jump into these work right after their funeral ended. No matter how hard she tried, there’ll be a loophole somewhere.
“For now, we have to maintain the basic system, but…”
She didn’t mean to touch the established system that the Count and his wife had built during their reign. However, since the head-of-family has changed, an adjustment is unavoidable.
Right now, as she saw in the book, those bandits who looked down on the young lords would begin to lay their groundwork. Of course, they’ll be extinguished quickly.
“You have to pay extra attention, particularly to public security. Of course, there’s a high probability that even the knights have been bribed by other families, but please proceed accordingly.”
Archel pointed from place to place on the map and explained it. Elaha frowned at the word ‘bribe’.
“Are you saying that you’ll utilize the knights that were bribed by other families?”
“Yes,” Archel replied without a hitch. Elaha couldn’t digest her intention.
“If they were bribed, they’re no longer Leire’s knight. So why-”
“Because they’re going to be good at managing public security,” Archel spoke moderately. Elaha tilted his head, “…Pardon?”
He couldn’t comprehend her actions. Archel stopped writing the document and looked up at Elaha.
“Sir Elaha. I know that you’ve invested in the business. When you’re expected to make a profit in a few months, what do you think you should do when your business is nearing a danger?” Elaha answered her question without much thought.
“I think I’ll try to prevent the danger as much as possible.”
“Right?” Archel raised the corners of her mouth. She then pointed to a map of Leire’s territory.
“Then what about people who invested in Leire’s estate?” Archel tapped the map with the tip of the pen, “The nobles around Leire, especially the blood-related families, are all eyeing at Leire’s estate.”
She looked over and over again to see if there was something she missed. She marked out all the places she saw in the book thoroughly. Particularly, she checked the mountain area that would be the enemy hideout several times.
“But the pie that you’re supposed to split up shouldn’t be rotten and worn out. What they want would be the prosperous Leire territory,” Elaha opened his eyes wide at Archel’s words.
“That’s not an investment…”
“Isn’t going to be a power dispute between those who want to acquire the land?”, Elaha couldn’t keep up.
The young lady in front of his eyes was somehow the lord of Leire. She shouldn’t feel pleased about the fact that her estate is about to get coveted. But Archel De Leire seemed a little different from what he thought.
“The result will be an investment. They believe that they’ll succeed. And for me,”
Archel tapped the paper. Then she looked straight to Elaha.
“The investment that could take care of the land without having to put up a large amount of money.” She handed the documents to Elaha, “I already know where the bribed knights and servants anyway.”
She opened her hand as she spoke, “And under the imperial law, it is not necessary to pay salaries to those who betray their owners. Moreover, they will be managing the Leire estate with great care at the order of the owner who bribes them by now…” Archel laughed. “Then I’ll just have a delicious pie, right?”
Elaha unwittingly accepted the document as if he was being enchanted by magic. This was different from his master, Gael Von Zenat, who gave his neck a cold feeling as if he had a sword pointed at him. This time, there’s no threatening air. But there was a soft charisma that seemed to tighten the logic and eventually lead her to the path she wanted.
“…I understand. But you don’t mind if I know about Leire’s affairs?” He asked, trying hard to keep his eyes off the documents. Archel nodded as she looked at the figure.
“Even if I wrote an order, I have no choice but to send people periodically to manage the estate.” She pointed to Elaha as she tidied up her pen,
“It will be Sir Elaha from now on.” Elaha hesitated. That’s the problem. This young lord seems to easily trust people. However, he couldn’t disregard her just because of her young age. It was when Elaha was about to open his mouth.
“Sir Elaha is a reliable knight. Reliable enough to be entrusted in Zenat’s affairs, even knew about both island and mansion affairs,” Elaha swallowed a short sigh. As expected, she’s too young.
“In other words, not my knight, but the knight of Zenat.”
Elaha becomes dumbstruck at the cold voice, ”Right now, there’s no one reliable to be entrusted in managing Leire anyway. Not to mention, The Duke of Zenat and I have a temporary alliance until Michael graduates. In other words, as long as we’re bonded in an alliance, you are at least a more reliable knight than those people who have been bribed by other families.” Then she unfolded her hand.
“Of course you’re Zenat’s knight, not my knight. So I can’t say anything even if you opened and skimmed through the documents for his sake. There’s no way I’d know.” She shrugged casually.
“But anyway, the words that came out from my mouth are not a secret. That’s what I believe.” She pointed to the documents Elaha was holding. “Even if it’s not the case, if it was a secret, you’d still have to deal with it very closely. Isn’t that right?” She handed over the documents in Elaha’s hand.
Even if he didn’t want to see it, it was close enough for him to inevitably be aware of Leire’s internal affairs.
“I’d like to borrow Sir Elaha’s skill,” She ended her words with a smile. Elaha, whose body hardened, opened his mouth slightly in awe. She has the power to lead people in a different way than his master. She’s the one who can never refuse, but leads people without resistance and brings them to do what she wants.
If this was really a talent of a 17 years-old girl, it would have been fair to say that it was her natural talent. Because he didn’t have the confidence to reach this level of power even if he spent 17 years of his life.
“…Yes, I understand.” In the end, Elaha bowed his head. Archel smiled.
“Thank you. If you meet any difficulties, please let me know. And after you deliver them to Leire, please pick a blue Silvecia flower in the back garden of Leire’s mansion.” At her words, Elaha became puzzled. He is an islander, but he often comes to the land and sees a variety of common flowers.
“Isn’t Silvecia famous for its silver color?”
“That’s right. But in Leire’s back garden, we have a blue petalled Silvecia flower.” They were the flowers that changed color in response to Michael’s mana. The fact was only known by Archel, who read the book. And if Elaha brought the flowers, it would be proof that Ellaha had stopped by Leire properly and carried out his work.
“Then I’ll leave it to you.” Archel smiled softly. Elaha lowered his gaze to the documents. In the end, he had no choice but to comply.
It was only two days later that Archel and Gael headed for the island. Elaha, who had originally intended to drive the wagon, had been away for his mission to Leire. His vacancy was occupied by Rosé Taga, the mansion’s maid.
*Rustle* The carriage shook slightly. It was not an annoying disturbance. Archel was silent, looking out the window. Looking at her, Gael questioned her feelings for the first time.
Don’t you want to ask a question instead of being so compliant to follow me to the island? Those tiny lips that were closed without asking anything bothered him.
After a long silence, they could see the sea from afar outside the window, which was gradually visible. He was going to take the carriage to a small port, and transfer to the ship to reach Zenat’s headquarter. After that, when you’re completely disappeared from the sight of inland people, that’s when you can freely reach the island of Zenat.
“It’s unusual for inland people to go to Zenat’s island,” Gael said. Archel, who was looking out the window, turned her head.
“I know. Because it’s Zenat’s secret headquarter.”
“Really,” Gael’s answer was a beat faster. He took a sigh and continued to talk,” You know a lot about Zenat. Then do you happen to know that the sea in front of the island is extremely rough?” Archel opened her eyes a little wide. She shook her head instantly.
“I don’t know to that extent,” She couldn’t have known, for the book didn’t explain about the sea surrounding Zenat’s island. Gael nodded slightly.
“That’s only natural. The inland lady who went there, either became the islander or,”
Gael, who was sitting the opposite of Archel, knocked on the carriage door. Slowly, she can feel the carriage slowing down, so Archel glanced out the window. The sea that looked distant just a while ago was in front of her. And she could see a big ship approaching the port. The ship was adorned with brilliant blue cloth and silver decorations that belong to Zenat’s family.
“…Because they couldn’t return to the land,” As he finished his words, the carriage’s door opened.