54: Good Girl
“Now, I have a successful career in the guards. I’m the second corps deputy captain… I also have a bit of money and influence. So, well, I thought I could help you out. Even so, I’m just a commoner so I probably won’t get promoted further than this.”
“You’re so amazing. I’m so jealous of you. Not even a month has passed since I’ve been able to tell people my opinions like this. But, it’s so much fun to talk to people on equal terms. I really enjoy it…… So, I really want to continue with my current lifestyle,” I stared into Dick-san’s deep-wine coloured eyes and said earnestly.
Yes, a month hadn’t even passed since I’ve lived while being sensitive to people’s expressions and just kept my head down.
And this time, my expectations as a noble was swirling around in the Royal Palace, and I must serve the royal family alongside the higher ranked nobles. I will be met with jealousy and ill-will.
I breathed and added, “Even you couldn’t tell I was a noble straight away, could you Dick-san? I’m just a half-baked noble. In fact, it’s more fun for me to work as a commoner. Even though I’m like this, I was trained properly as a noble. I couldn’t go against my training…”
Dick-san patiently listened to me.
My chest hurt when I realised that I was being treated as an actual person.
I carefully picked out my words, “I decided to be prepared. I would like to continue my life here, but I have been taught as a noble to serve His Highness Ludens. If I do so, then I think I can become Ayesha without any complaints from anyone.”
“You look happy now…. I see, so you’ve already decided. His Highness Ludens does whatever he wants but he is amazing. I’m sure he put a lot of thought into this before deciding that you would be of use to him.”
“I’ve been thinking about this ever since you started talking, but are talented people treated better?”
“Well, of course. In my case, I was promoted to a higher position because I protected the lives of some big shots in the guards.”
“Then, I will also protect His Highness Ludens. Oh yes. Dick-san, please teach me how to defend myself. I’ll, probably, be in a lot of danger. I want to return here alive.”
His Highness Ludens thought of me as a useful pawn and I was also someone who he could easily get rid of. Even if I was gone, no powerful person would look for me.
I would definitely become a target for those who wanted his affections if they notice that I am often around him. They’ll definitely notice me.
A woman who stayed by His Highness Luden’s side would probably be thought of as his mistress, since he was a good-looking and talented noble. It’ll be fine if we get her… If they thought like that, then they’ll probably attack me. It was also possible for them to approach His Highness so that they could get to me.
I’m really great. I can’t believe that I’m determined to serve His Highness Ludens.
Mother, being a noble is troublesome. You understand why I chose to be a commoner, don’t you?
My hands had stopped moving before I’d even noticed.
Petals fell onto the scarf.
He patted my head gently.
“You’re amazing. You’ll become a good woman, Ayesha. Well, you’re not my type though… They gotta be busty and have a nice jiggle to them, if you know what I mean.”
(I don’t feel like he’s complimenting me. Even though I should have been complimented since I haven’t in a long time…)
Dick-san was very helpful.
He knew when I had spare time and taught me how to defend myself. He always taught me in the front yard, near the cherry trees.
“Ayesha, how were you taught to defend yourself?”
“I was taught that if I felt endangered by men around me… then I should kick them between their legs.”
Dick-san looked at me as if I was pitiful and shook his head.
“That’s no good. They might assault you more.”
“Aim for their eyes, neck and joints. The back of their hands is fine too. Attack with the intention of tear off things that can’t be trained. Step on their feet with all your strength. Run away as soon as they flinch. Anyway, just run away.”
Dick-san’s lessons continued.
I have to pay attention to the dangers around me even while at the guards’ building. He said I’ll attract the attention of men or something… Thankfully, I was protected because I was Roberto-sama’s acquaintance, under Bobles-san’s protection and being taken care of by Dick-san.
There were certainly an overwhelming number of men here.
“You’re too careless. You think too lowly of yourself!”
Ah, Dick-san’s language towards me is getting worse.
I hugged Dick-san under the pretence of practice. Bobles-san watched us from afar whenever I was taught how to defend myself. I was pretending because it would be a disaster afterwards.
I bent down, took his shoes and kicked him in the shins.
“Ouch, argh,” Dick-san said.
“Ahaha,” I laughed.
Time passed peacefully.
These short five days passed in the blink of an eye as I worked at the dining hall, practiced self-defence and spent time with Emery-san and her children.
My gorgeously embroidered scarf was sold for 10,000 G. “Is this the rumoured scarf from the Royal Capital?” The person who brought it was very happy. It seemed that they hadn’t produced enough to circulate them to the surrounding regions. It was unfortunate that I could only make 2.
I got 40,000 G from working at the dining hall. This amount was a combination of the work I did before going to the Royal Capital and the work I did in these 5 days. I only worked at breakfast and I also got staff meals, and I am only an assistant, so this was probably enough.
… If I put money aside for the inn and carriage and put a little into the guild for savings, then I can buy a dress with the amount I was left with. I wasn’t poor enough to sell the ring for cash yet.
I gave Bobles-san and his family as well as Dick-san a handkerchief with their initials on it as a farewell gift.
I felt bad since I could only do this much every time I left.
The other thing I could probably do now was only to bow and say thank you.
If I had a little more time, then I could have also helped them take care of the fields. Helping out at the dining hall and taking care of fields were both things nobles didn’t do.
Last time, I had secretly left the guards’ building, but this time a lot of people were seeing me off. There were a lot of guards working in the morning.
The secretary, Marche-san drove me in the wagon all the way to where the carriages were. Dick-san was also with me for some reason.
“It’s so lonely to eat in a dining hall without Ayesha-chan!”
“Ayesha-chan, your meals were delicious!”
Erm, I didn’t make any of the food myself.
I could hear a lot of regret in their voices and it was embarrassing. I’m really glad I worked here. I’m really grateful to the Master of Hen Inn.
“It was a short time, but thanks for working here. Come here again to work once you finish with your work at the Royal Capital.”
Spiraea thunbergii’s were blooming near the guards’ building. I burnt the image of the fresh, vivid white flowers into my mind. The wind that was hitting my body was no longer cold.
I bowed deeply at everyone.
I left everyone with a smile so that they wouldn’t worry about me.
I boarded the rustic wagon and didn’t look back because I was filled with regret.