Chapter 26: A Rainy Day
“Have Claudia join your domain’s army?”
“Yes, rather than always being a freeloading house guest, have her join the army as a way of repaying my favor, and become my bodyguard. What do you think?”
The weather had changed this morning, and right now it’s raining heavily. Despite the Kaldia domain being water rich, it doesn’t rain that often. As the rain made tapping sounds against the windows of the domain lord’s office, Earl Terejia blinked several times at my sudden proposal.
“……Once a little more time had passed and you’d gotten to known each other better, I was going to suggest something like that as well.”
“Then I believe, we can send Kamil east for developing the lands there?”
If Claudia becomes my bodyguard, then I can move around Kamil who’s been my bodyguard up until now. Moving Kamil at this timing, it’s convenient because someone will be needed to take charge of constructing the village for the refugees. With an understanding of cultures other than Arxia’s and the ability to get along with others easily, Kamil who should have Earl Terejia’s complete trust would be the perfect person to take charge of constructing the village. Since I wouldn’t have a personal bodyguard if I send him off somewhere else, I plan to have Claudia take his place.
Earl Terejia nodded repeatedly, and agreed as I expected.
“Claudia-dono’s already hanging out at the barracks quite often. For the soldiers as well that had seemed a little down at my birthday celebration, having Claudia officially join them would probably raise their spirits.”
There were many soldiers that were deeply impressed with Claudia’s prowess with a spear. In the first place, the soldiers in my domain have a bit of an attitude of respecting the strong. That’s why there were no complaints about the young Gunther being an officer above the older veterans.
And since most of them had been former bandits, Gunther included, they have very little resistance against women. There had been many women amongst the bandits, it seems there had been people following some strong women as well in the bandit group where the strong ruled.
If I’m not mistaken, Claudia will definitely be helpful for me controlling my domain’s army.
“I want to allow the refugees currently suffering outside Fort Jugfena to be able to become citizens of my domain as soon as possible. I would have no objections to having Claudia become my bodyguard and sending Kamil to be in charge. If it’s Kamil, with his skills, he would definitely be able to oversee it successfully.”
As I summed up my thoughts on the matter, for some reason the earl suddenly seemed a bit confused. As if to peek into my mind, Earl Terejia’s black pupils looked directly into my eyes. I felt as if he could see straight into my heart, and avoided his gaze by looking at the window, while Earl Terejia shut his eyes, and seemed to be thinking about something for a while.
“……Nothing. Mmm, you’re right. I’ll immediately have a word with Claudia, and instruct Kamil to take charge of constructing the village.”
“Very well then. I’ll go and call Claudia-dono right now.”
I bowed, and exited the office. From behind me, I could hear him saying “you don’t look well, you should get some rest after this.” I know that more than well about myself. After all, my stomach and head have been aching since this morning, and if I’m not careful I feel like I could throw up at any moment.
Even Claudia was actually staying inside quietly on a day such as this when it’s raining so heavily, so I visited the room given to her, and she greeted me back in a voice that seemed to be much lower tension than usual.
Claudia’s room had almost no personal possessions in it at all. When she came here, she had basically almost nothing besides the clothes on her back. Since her room is basically the exact opposite of Elise’s, it left an impression on me. The iron spear wrapped in cloth leaning against the wall was the only personal possession of Claudia who’s currently rolling around on her bed.
“What would you happen to be doing, Claudia-dono?”
“I can’t be any more bored than this. Usually it doesn’t rain this heavily, but today I’m stuck in the house with absolutely nothing to do.”
Claudia was the very personification of having nothing to do, and she was now sitting along the edge of her bed while kicking her feet. She had a totally dissatisfied expression as she complained about her boredom to me, and the way her lips were protruding made her seem like a little kid.
“If you would like, I’ll have a maid prepare the items necessary so you can sew.”
I couldn’t help but tease her a little to get her back for her thick headedness, as I proposed something that would be very ordinary for most girls’ hobbies, sewing when it’s rainy outside. Although, I’m absolutely sure that Claudia won’t be interested in something like that at all.
“……That’s, could it be? Did you find out that I hate sewing more than anything else so you’re teasing me with such a suggestion?”
“No, of course not.”
I figured that she would only reject me without noticing my intent, but I was surprised that it turns out Claudia absolutely hates sewing. I turned slightly red, and was rather shocked inside. Claudia’s surprisingly good at reading others. If this had been the normal Claudia that’s always hyperactive, not only would she not be able to read the atmosphere, she sometimes might not even notice what other people are saying.
She had stopped kicking her feet, and now, with her lower lip slightly sticking out, just the fact that she’s stopped moving really makes her seem like a lady from a good family because of her elegant features. Usually I can’t see her like this…… Somehow, it’s actually disappointing that I don’t see her like this more often.
“Jokes aside, Earl Terejia would like to talk to you. Could you go to the domain lord’s office?”
“Alright, let’s go!”
Claudia seemed glad to have the chance to get up and move around, when I told her that she immediately jumped off her bed lightly. I wonder just where exactly that earlier bored appearance of hers went off to. The lady that I had seen earlier must have just been an illusion. She’s a girl that has to move, why did I allow myself to get fooled.
And so Claudia briskly left her room, looked right, looked left, then looked right again. What is she doing. It’s not like traffic’s going to come down this hallway and hit her.
“Erina-dono…… Where’s the domain lord’s office?”
……It seems that even in this small mansion, and what’s more, in spite of running around every day, it seems that she still doesn’t know where the domain lord’s office is. Now I’m feeling a little worried about letting this person be my bodyguard. She’s so foolish, there’s too much to even sigh at. When I think that after sending Kamil away to construct the village that I’ll be accompanied by Claudia every day, I felt an indescribable feeling at what I was going to put myself through.
Even Claudia seemed to be a little embarrassed at least, her face was unmistakably turning slightly red. My indescribable feeling doubled in strength.
“My name’s not Erina, it’s Eliza. I’ll take you to the office.”
“No, you only have to tell me where it is. Eliza-dono, please rest for a bit in my bed.”
“Your complexion looks terrible. Letting such a child do as she likes when she’s in such a bad condition, is against my code of chivalry. Now, go and rest. When I return, I’ll take you to your room.”
Claudia smiled widely as she said so and pushed me into her room, and she half closed the door on me, and gallantly went on her way towards the left hallway.
She said and did something cool, but Earl Terejia’s office is actually on the hallway to the right. What a no-good girl……
This time, I deeply sighed, resigning myself to the fact that there’s probably nothing I can do about her.
At the same time, I laughed a little. Mysteriously, my headache seems to be better than it was as well, that’s probably thanks to that no-good girl as well.
As Claudia insisted, I threw myself onto her bed. Even though I had been feeling so terrible all morning, my consciousness easily retreated from me and I fell asleep.