For the time being, since I’ve achieved my objective today of meeting Feria, I toured their garden for long enough to be polite, then excused myself and made my leave of the Rogshia residence as soon as I could.
Viscount Rogshia and his daughter Feria are the complete opposite of all Greenfield customs. Thanks to all the strange contrasting things within the Rogshia mansion, I know now that I lack too much information.
First, that sparkling accessory I saw on Feria’s ankle accidentally – this is such a great piece of information that fell into my lap. I can already guess at why Feria wants to cancel her engagement to Viscount Ogren’s son.
What it means is, Feria most likely has someone that she’s seeing romantically right now. And, she probably wants to get married to that person instead. That’s why she has to break the engagement on purpose.
It’s all very simple to understand. But, anything related to feelings is complex to deal with, and I also felt rather angry inside.
Marriages between nobles aren’t made just for mere status. While they are sometimes made for alliance purposes or power struggles, it’s mostly about trade.
To go on a bit of a tangent, merchants in Arxia don’t hold all that much power. This is because most of the largest transactions are directly conducted between domain lords. When I arranged for the new citizens to get critical supplies such as food and materials from other domains, since most of these products can’t be produced in Kaldia on a large scale, Earl Terejia and I basically bought the products directly from other domain lords, before distributing them to my citizens.
The largest merchants don’t have power because, they mostly deal in luxury and high-class goods, so their customers are almost exclusively nobles, and they’re kept completely under control by the nobility. Even the Sacred Code, our law system, decrees that regulating imports and exports is part of the domain lord’s work. This is probably all to prevent some merchants from disrupting the country’s balance if they have too much money and power.
Alright, back to the main topic.
One of the most convenient methods for doing trade between domains is to arrange a marriage. In the Greenfield region, it’s common for daughters to get engaged early, but on the other hand, it’s also known to be common to break engagements if someone comes along with better conditions.
By the way, since this time I’ve formally had to accept a request from Viscount Ogren, I’m forced to take his side and actively work to preserve the engagement. It will be a big problem if I’m seen to promote breaking the engagement instead.
Engaged families are also formally treated as relatives. There are various benefits to this, such as lower tariffs between the two domains, and relaxing restrictions on goods that are only allowed to be brought across domains in limited number.
This is why the church went out of its way to order me to preserve this engagement. Their trade involves daily necessities, so if the engagement is canceled, it may directly impact some citizens negatively if they can’t get enough goods, and the church’s role is to preserve order.
I’m angry because, Feria’s already at an age where she’s almost about to graduate from noble school, and she’s still ignoring all these things for her own selfishness and trying to break her engagement.
While it’s clear to see that Viscount Ogren’s request to me is entirely meant to harass me more than anything else, and that he’s a nasty character, still. This engagement affects a great number of citizens’ lives in both domains.
Domain lords’ income mostly come from taxes in their own domains. And I don’t know the specifics in this situation, but whenever an engagement is decided, usually it will come with many trade benefits for the citizens. And yet, this girl whose food, clothes, and shelter all come from the people’s taxes, she’s prioritizing her own love interests over that of her people’s well-being?
Well, I still don’t know the full story yet though, so I shouldn’t be getting angry just yet, maybe I’m making a mistake.
Viscount Rogshia’s behavior really caught my attention. Of course I told him in advance what reason I was visiting him and Feria for. He also knows very well that I was requested by the Ogrens to mediate, so that the engagement can be preserved. And yet, he just lets Feria do whatever she wants. From what I saw today though, Feria probably doesn’t know anything. She doesn’t know the consequences of breaking her engagement, nor does she know why I’m here.
“Eliza-dono, I’ve brought you some drinks. How about resting for a little while?”
When I returned home, I was about to begin investigating Viscount Rogshia by candlelight in my study when I was suddenly interrupted unexpectedly. When I looked to see who it was, I saw that it was Oscar, who was already being invited into the room by Claudia. There was also a maid with a tray in her hand behind him, who walked into the room gingerly. Come to think of it, I’ve never called any maids to my study before.
“Ahh, thanks. Hope you don’t mind the mess here.”
“I don’t mind at all. Rather than that, what are you investigating? Is there anything I can help with?”
With his nature of taking everything seriously, even worrying about me, I could only smile wryly. He had left with Bellway to go back to Kaldia immediately in order to take care of all the knight order establishment procedures. It would have been difficult to ask him to do anything else for me right away, and even if he could help, I would prefer it if he’d help Earl Terejia first instead of me.
……Is what I had thought.
Poke, Claudia gently poked my side. Stop it, don’t pinch me next. My muscles aren’t hard enough, and have many soft spots. What is it, when I looked at her, she mouthed “Kaldia army” to me under her breath.
Kaldia army? Ahh, reorganizing the army. It wasn’t an immediate problem, so it didn’t come to my mind.
“Mmm, sorry, Oscar-dono. There is one thing I would like your help with?”
“It’s not a great hurry, but I would like to leave you and Claudia-dono in charge of reorganizing the Kaldia army. There are some unique things about the army’s current system…… You can hear the specifics from Claudia-dono later.”
Mmm, Oscar simply nodded and responded that he accepted. So this is one less thing off my mind, wonderful. I felt more relaxed already, and I took a sip of the black tea he had brought for me.
My nose immediately felt such a strong, sweet, cool and minty sensation. Um, what’s this…… It actually feels like I’ve smelled this already recently just today.
“……Did you change the usual tea blend?”
“Ahh, it seems that some Renvia flower petals were added today.”
Renvia flowers again. The flowers in the Rogshia mansion’s garden, where I chatted with Feria only about unimportant gossip, with a strange and uncomfortable atmosphere that was probably mostly my own fault. I must have been smelling these flowers at that time, so this is what Renvia is.
Renvia flowers sure have popped up a lot today.
“……I’m sorry that you went to all the trouble of bringing this to me, but please just stick with the usual.”
I stood up as I said so, and Oscar was tilting his head at me quizzically, while Claudia who knew about everything that happened at the Rogshia mansion was grinning like a cat.