08: Turning Point
I was still copying documents and doing calculations for my father even when I was 15 years old, but it seemed that my work gained a lot of popularity; so the documents handed to me now covered a lot of topics.
It didn’t even take half a day to get to the fief my father managed from the Royal Capital by carriage. It was smaller than the fiefs managed by other nobles, but the rivers were rich and the fief gained profits by agriculture. It was relatively close to the Royal Capital, so Guerlain and father went there once a week.
When they returned they put reports together of information they received from the fief and it has recently become my job to help them out.
I didn’t have any friends, so the information wouldn’t leak to other people, since I didn’t go to tea parties or balls.
Well, I was a member of the Thousand House, so I’ll protect what I have to protect. I was raised like that after all.
It was unfortunate that I had less time to embroider. The things my father asked me to do was first priority.
… Even though they were simple statements, I became able to understand the statements while dealing with similar ones, even if I didn’t have enough information. However, I didn’t show that I understood these statements. My specialty was finding important information even if I didn’t have a lot to go on. Because I’ve lived in various ways.
I gained the trust of my father and older brother by doing my job properly.
Guerlain’s eyes were still cold, but sometimes he would instruct me on how to write the documents. It had been a long time since my older brother has talked to me directly so I was really surprised and couldn’t answer him back. He clicked his tongue at me.
I was even asked to go to the Royal Library.
My father must have known that I went to the estate library whenever I had spare time. I only went to find things I couldn’t understand. He may have thought I liked booked because the catalogs were filled with my name.
If he’d looked closely at the catalog, he would see: Encyclopedia of Plants, Stain Removal Tips, or the standard classic Noble Almanac. Basically, everyone in the Thousand House had important books in their rooms so they wouldn’t go to the library like I do.
I guess it was also a reward.
When I went to the office after lunch, my father gave me a note and said, “Borrow this book from the Royal Library. Return before it gets dark.”
“… I understand.”
“You can go by carriage.”
I was surprised at my father’s unexpected words and couldn’t reply straight away. My feelings appeared on my face at times like this. I’m sure I looked very surprised.
I got dressed and went to the entrance. The coachman was waiting for me with a reluctant look on his face. If he had displayed this attitude to a noble then they would berate him, but I’ve stayed at this estate for a long time and couldn’t talk in a stern manner.
It was the first time I’ve ridden a carriage since my debut. Furthermore, I was riding by myself.
I was the only one in the carriage. Even being in here motionlessly was too good for me. I peeked at the city from the curtain gap. No one was here to rebuke me or tell me that it was rude. It was my first time to see these kinds of sceneries. I was really excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like this.
The Royal Library was midway between the upper district where many nobles lived and the lower district where many commoners lived. Anyone can use the library. I heard that they had a range of books there from picture books to technical books. An ID was needed to borrow books.
I also knew where the library was, but it was far from the estate and I didn’t have enough time to walk there. Whenever I snuck away, I could only go to the lower district, which was a 30 minute walk from the estate. Did you know how excited I was?
The carriage stopped and I got off.
“Please be here at 4 o’clock.” I nodded my heads in reply to the coachman.
I walked along the stone pavement that ran between the lawn and appeared in front of the Royal Library.
I stopped and looked up at the building. How big…
I also knew that I was smirking. I hastily looked down. No matter how out of fashion my dress was, people near me would still think I was a noble’s daughter. It was bad to smirk, wasn’t it? I entered the library with a look that said ‘nothing was wrong’.
The rustic stone building didn’t have many windows but it was bright inside. I wonder how many tens of thousands of books were here. There was a smell of unique books.
I looked at the guide map and saw that there were also 2 basement floors.
The only nobles I saw were my family so I was nervous whenever I passed someone that looked like a noble. We passed each other with a bow. But it was amazing that I could remember who they were from the descriptions in the noble almanac.
The book my father wanted me to borrow for him was in a section that only nobles could enter. I started walking after deciding that I would quickly get the book and then look in other sections.
I showed the letter of introduction from my father and entered the section that only nobles could enter.
People rarely went in and out of this section unlike the other sections.
The book my father asked for was related to tax yields and seemed to be placed under the law section.
There were a lot of books lined up on the shelves. This section occupied eight rows on a large shelf.
I found the book I needed straight away, but there was a thick book near it which looked like it had been used a lot. I inadvertently reached for the thick book. I sat down on the chair that was next to the shelf and turned the pages.
It was a law book on nobles.
“… I found it.”
I didn’t know why that page was opened.
I thought that my breath would stop.
When I’d noticed, I was waiting for the carriage while holding the book my father asked for. There was still time left before the carriage came so all I could do was stand there.