There are eight different gates in the royal capital that connect the nobles’ district with the commoners’ district. In the center is the royal palace, then eight streets spread out from it like the spokes of a wheel, forming the noble district, and the gates are on the outside edges.
My townhouse happens to be in the vicinity of the southeast gate, and the Rogshia family’s residence that I’ve been invited to today is close to the south gate. We’re closer neighbors than I expected, but unfortunately there’s many streets that aren’t wide enough for carriages, so I had to ride there myself by horse.
Since I’m riding a horse, I put on my usual knight attire. Riding clothes for women in Arxia haven’t been developed yet, and wearing some formal dresses or skirts would range from impossible to incredibly inconvenient for riding. For maids and teachers, their clothes are softer and easier to move about in for the sake of their jobs, but clothes for nobles are so heavy and difficult to move around in. Honestly, it’s really so inconvenient…… I’ll just wear what I like instead.
“Well, aren’t we feeling quite casual today, Viscountess Lady Kaldia.”
And the result is, the servants of the Rogshia family got such a negative first impression of me. The Rogshia noble family is from the Greenfield region, which is a bit backwards in regards to women’s social standings. While Arxia is a bit slightly patriarchal, Greenfield exaggerates this to another level entirely.
So they insulted me with sarcasm, and I thought back to my time with Mrs. Galton. I must say though, it’s unbecoming to get angry over this degree of snubbing, so I slowly and elegantly tilted my head.
“This is formal wear according to the law, is there a problem?”
“This isn’t an official venue like the House of Lords. Don’t you think that it would be polite for women to wear clothes that make them look like women?”
“Since I’m meeting your master for the first time, I believe that it would actually be more polite for me to wear such formal attire.”
Has he already run out of words to counter me with, the male servant just stood there silently with a look of annoyance. Behind me, I could hear Claudia who was wearing maid attire doing her best and failing to muffle her sounds of laughter. Since she’s a girl that wants to become a knight despite her gender, of course she would also be against such fixed ideas about gender.
The servant guided us into the Rogshia family residence, and on my way I only saw male servants inside. Even the work that maids would normally do, male servants were performing instead. It seems that rather than disdaining work that some would think are supposed to be left for females, they think it’s more important for women to not work at all. They must be very rigid in their beliefs.
“Master, Viscountess Lady Kaldia has arrived.”
“Ahh, welcome and thank you so much for coming, Lord Kaldia.”
The servant guided us to a reception room with a large window that allowed the room to be brightly illuminated. Outside the window I could see a garden, and the room was nice and warm thanks to the unobstructed sunshine.
“Thank you very much for inviting me today.”
“Not at all, I should be the one apologizing, troubling you to come all the way over here for my family’s troubles.”
Viscount Rogshia had a soft smile, and his age showed through the many white hairs on his head, he seems to be a gentle person despite the atmosphere of this residence. When I took a seat, he immediately had his daughter, the problem child in person, called over.
Compared to the servants’ attitudes, there’s a startling discrepancy with how agreeable Viscount Rogshia seems to be. It’s a strange and unsettling feeling.
“……Father, you called for me?”
His daughter showed up soon after she was called for. She has light blue hair, which appeared almost transparent when bathed in the sunlight from the window. I think that she’s quite a cute girl. I know that she’s supposed to be 15 years old, but she has her father’s gentle demeanor, and looks younger than her age.
“Lord Kaldia. This is my daughter, Feria.”
While putting his hand gently on her shoulder, Viscount Rogshia introduced his daughter to me. Maybe she didn’t expect to be introduced to a child much younger than she was, there was a look of confusion on her face.
“Feria, this is Lord Kaldia. Go ahead and give your greetings.”
“O, okay. My name is Feria Rogshia, Lord Kaldia……”
Although she stuttered a little, her voice was clear. She looked directly at me, and I could tell she had a strong will. I sensed that she was probably the lively, active type of girl rather than quiet and obedient, and I mentally sighed.
Her father seems to be a calm and gentle person, and at least he doesn’t seem adhere to the special customs of the Greenfield region just yet. Feria is probably a similar type to Claudia, the most difficult for me to deal with.
“……My name is Eliza Kaldia. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Honestly, how annoying. Even if Feria doesn’t want to be engaged to Viscount Ogren’s son and wants to cancel the engagement, my job is to negotiate Feria into accepting the engagement somehow, but it won’t be easy with her father’s personality that probably lets Feria do whatever she wants.
Once again, I cursed the northern nobles that thrust such a troublesome matter onto me.