The inside of the castle was quite splendid. It was filled to the brim with extravagant ornamentation, and it was too extravagant, so much that my eyes hurt. Chiffons eyes were sparkling, and she kept going [Wow!]. Ariadne was as cool headed as always while watching the insides of the castle.
The Madam returned after a short while. Following her were a woman dressed in the same type of clothes we were.
[Your job is going to be to clean the inside of the castle. This person is going to be your manager so make sure to listen to what she says.]
[Well met, all of you. I am the one managing the cleaning inside the castle, and my name is Milena. I look forward to working with you three.]
With light brown hair arranged in a ball behind her and orange irises, she was a kind-looking woman in the second half of her thirties. Cleaning the inside of the castle, laundry or garden work were also managed by her, but as expected we would only be allowed the most basic of jobs in the beginning. After we introduced ourselves in turn, we were immediately guided towards our rooms.
On the way she taught us various things. The inside of the castle were complex, so we had to quickly remember the way. That when encountering persons of a high social standing we must bow. The persons of high social standing here were royalty and nobles. I had the mental image that inside the castle there were only royalty, but apparently nobles could simply petition and they would be allocated rooms in the castle if any where free. Right now twenty noble families lived here is what I heard. Just how huge is this castle? It seems the simple fact of living inside the castle is considered as status. I’d hate it. I mean, wouldn’t living close to royalty be stifling?
We were also taught that we should be punctual with our times.
We were under no circumstances to leave our rooms after nine o’clock in the evening.
We should as much as possible avoid causing any disturbance that would lead to an uproar.
And lastly, that each month we would have a few days off.
In short, perform your work as if you were air! is what she meant. I understand. I personally don’t want to do anything that really stands out, and as long as I get what I need to live and a decent salary, I won’t easily let go of this job. If there is anything that worries me, then it is how to handle my eating as a dragon, but right now I’m still not very hungry, so it’s fine for now. Before I left the mountain, I made sure to stuff myself just in case.
When necessary it would probably be fine to take leave for a day and fly away to somewhere far away to resupply. I can fly, after all.
I ended up in the same room as Chiffon. Ariadne ended up alone in the room adjacent to ours. Originally the number of servants was supposed to be even, so that’s probably how it ended up with this arrangement.
That’s so nice, having your own room. I’ll make sure to visit.
The rest of the day was spent with Milena who told us where we would be working and other information. On the way, we met with a noble for the first time, so we bowed like we were told until he had passed. My back ached from muscle pain.
At first I was nervous, but when I began to work I realized that the time we were working and the time the nobles were active didn’t really overlap so I hardly got to meet them.
But the one time I happened to encounter royalty really surprised me. He was only a young prince, but I felt that they had really taken advantage of everything when raising him.
But that’s not the important point. The auras of nobles and royalty is terrific. I’m sure they keep their marriages within their relatives to keep their blood pure. Their magical power were astounding. So delicious… Oh no, although it’s fine as long as I don’t go berserk.
So far I haven’t met anyone that looked so delicious that they caused me to rampage. If such a person existed I’m going to make sure that I can taste them. Without question, eating them. Even if not immediately, I’m going to wait for my chance.
My job was as follow.
When neither nobility nor royalty were active, to clean the hallways and stairs of the castle. The stairs are amazing. Spiral staircases and ones that looked like they belonged in theatres were everywhere, so the cleaning was quite a hurdle. My seniors were also complaining while cleaning. Since they also were of common birth, I could easily talk with them which was a blessing.
But meeting the maids of noble birth gave me a bad feeling. Because they looked at us as if we were some sort of vermin. Not all of them were like that, and some even gave us cakes though.
It’s that, women desperate to find a husband are scary. They see everyone as enemies. And what’s more, when their chosen noble or royalty appeared they would instantly change their face into a smiling face and try to curry favor… Women are scary!
I don’t want to get involved in their fighting. For them, love is something like a job, making me wonder from what era they came from, but sadly this was a daily occurrence. I couldn’t stand quarrel between women in particular. One early morning in front of a certain room, I was surprised when a classy looking lady ran out of it only her panties. What surprised me even more was when another woman, stark naked with a red face came out of the room and began to chase her. Even though I thought that women of this world didn’t particularly enjoy showing skin. Struggling with such a desperate expression, I wondered just who the man they were fighting over were, but the man in question was actually kind of dull. His clothing and social position was good, but his face was very average. As expected, it’s because of his social standing. I see.
Miss Milena told us to act as if we didn’t see it. Being told that made me smile and feel peace of mind. It seems Chiffon is starting to develop a phobia to love, so mom is getting worried… No, I only wanted to try saying that. When things like this kept happening, we grew used to it whether we liked it or not. Right now we say [Ah, again huh-] while smiling bitterly when talking to our seniors while trying to ignore it.
After the morning job I ate a late breakfast whereafter I was to clean windows in the corridor while being as invisible as possible. After that I earn a small break. What a lifestyle without any wants! I can’t complain about the money that I receive either. After I’ve saved up money, I think I’ll move somewhere far from here. Build a cabin in the middle of a forest and live together with Saus, Rau and Whitey, oh what a peaceful existence that would be.
Even I had moments where I thought like that.
It’s been about half a year since I began working in the castle. As for my food, I simply changed back into a dragon and flew some place far away when I got hungry.
Today I had the roll-call duty, so after collecting everyone’s presence I had just arrived outside Milena’s office, but for some reason there was a busy atmosphere inside.
[This is no good. There’s no girl who could adapt to that place. What should we do?]
[I thought that if it was her she would be able to continue though… I have no excuse. It seems that my personnel decisions were wrong.]
[No, it’s not your responsibility. I believe you have done as well as you could. And furthermore, they are only young women, so they could probably not stand it. It’s something that couldn’t be helped.]
Miss Milena and the Madam looked troubled as they sighed.
THinking that I shouldn’t disturb them, I timidly say [Excuse me-…] and close the door behind me, when I completely catch Madam’s eye.
Milena also noticed and looked in my direction.
Oh, is this Deja vu?
[Ah, could it be that you came with the roll-call?]
[Yes, I’ve collected everyone’s roll-call and came to report.]
[Thank you very much for you work. Please make sure everyone is working.]
As I was about to say yes, of course and exit, Madam stopped me.
[Vito Vienna. I have something I’d like to ask of you.]
Upon hearing these words, not only I but also Milena was shocked, saying [Madam!?]. Aah, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
[Wh-, what could it be?]
[The thing is that the servant in charge of the fourth knight corps dormitory has suddenly resigned. We must by any means find someone to take over her duties, but regrettably we can’t find anyone suitable.]
And you want me to do that? That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it, Madam? I understand it very well. Once you’re caught by her scary face, it’s almost like you’re a frog stared at by a snake.
Damn it, in this case isn’t it a dragon stared at by a snake?
[Still, Vito is still in training. I don’t know if we can trust her with it…]
[It’s fine, Milena. This girl can do anything averagely. She doesn’t excel in anything, but she’s good at riding with the tide.]
Are you implying that I’m good with my hands but in the end won’t amount to anything? I don’t know if you’re praising me or speaking badly of me…
[Eeh, that is… She suddenly decided to resign?]
Isn’t being in charge of a dormitory of knights one of the most sought after positions? Chiffon’s sister is in charge of the first knight corps dormitory and she is admired for that, and the knights who protect the kingdom are, even among the servants, able to evoke shrill shrieks.
There’s even a rumor that the girl in charge of the third knight corps dormitory managed to get together with one of the knights. Yet, with all that, why did she resign? Something must have happened or this doesn’t make any sense.
The Madam sighed softly.
[Even if we try to hide it at first, it won’t matter. I’ll be frank. The girls assigned to the fourth knight corps dormitory resign one after another. The girls of the first, second and third knight corps dorms are doing fine, but people like them who are good at adapting are quite rare. That’s why the assignment at the fourth knight corps dorm is constantly getting replaced.]
[What’s the reason why they resign?]
When talking about a knight corps dorm, what comes to mind is bored knights and soldiers, and being the only girl working in that condition is certainly rigorous. And for a young maiden, the burden is even greater.
[I’ll tell you what, that is… Truthfully speaking, it’s the stench of sweat.]
[You see, they are training every day in order to better serve the kingdom, and in addition, the fourth knight corps are solely consisting of dragon riders. They wear different armors compared to the other knights in order to ride the dragons, and especially at this time, their armors can become were stuffy. ]
In short, I’m to clean this filthy dormitory. The knights clean the dining hall, the bath and their own rooms, but the windows, floors and the lounge are cleaned by servants sent by the Madam. It’s not as big as the castle, but cleaning their dormitory while they temper their bodies day in and day out seems like quite a burden.
[Ehm, must one do this job by themselves?]
I had a question. If the job was that painful, wouldn’t it be better to send more people?
[We once sent three people to do it. But they resigned even quicker than the people who were sent in alone.]
[When one says they want to quit the others follow. If that continues, then no matter how many helpers we have here, it won’t be enough.]
Aah, one of them says [Hey, I can’t take this anymore. Let’s quit.] [Eh, but I’ve finally managed to get a work inside the castle.] [… Truth is, I’m also at my limits.] [… That’s true, it seems that quitting might be for the best anyway.] and this pattern appears. If you have someone to discuss with, you make choices quicker. But if you’re alone, you doubt if it’s really for the best to quit and you end up staying slightly longer…. In the end, they both quit, huh.
[If you think it’s impossible I won’t prevent you from returning here. I don’t want to lose my personnel who I have gathered with great trouble unnecessarily. But please wait until the next assigned person has been decided is all I ask. Since it’s so sudden we’re also feeling lost.]
What! That Madam actually asked a favor of me!
Said like that my spirit as a japanese person won’t allow me to decline, or it could perhaps be because I’m too softhearted. Nay, the truth is that I’m very interested in these existences known as dragon riders. Some time ago I saw some humans riding dragons in the skies. Perhaps they were that type of people. If I’m assigned there, could it be that I will be able to get glimpses of dragons? Truth is, I’ve never met a dragon other than myself. I’m quite curious.
Concerning the smell of sweat, well, I’m also concerned with that. But the fact that washing their clothes is not part of my duties makes that slightly better.
That why I nodded towards the Madam’s words.
Wait just one moment. Rather than emergency personnel, I’m more like an emergency dragon?