Oscar’s come all the way from Fort Jugfena to become my knight, and it’s been about a month since he’s arrived, but before I realized it, Bellway’s become busy running all around Arxia setting up a meeting between the Jugfena region domains of Kaldia, Jugfena, and Genas, and on Earl Terejia’s end, there’s an astonishingly even greater amount of work to be done.
I have to write the budget proposal for the knight order’s activities for the next two years, training plans, and regulations for future knights, all of these are things I must tackle immediately. Then I also have to create some new forms, design the garden for the mansion, make some proposals for new pumpkin recipes, decide the type of feed for the horses, and so on.
The truly frightening thing is that somehow Oscar is managing to help me take care of all this work in between traveling so much between the royal capital and the Jugfena domains.
How did this happen.
I clutched my head. I thought that he was just a serious person before, but is he actually another unbelievable person like Claudia? The speed at which he goes about things is Claudia’s level.
“Everything’s finally been completed.”
Oscar said so with such a proud expression on his face, but all I said was “I see” with a nonchalant tone of voice. It’s nice that his eyes are sparkling with eagerness, but I can also see fatigue in them. He’s overworking himself.
“We’ve almost finished making the arrangements with the Jugfena royal domain and the Genas domain, the meeting with them should be scheduled sometime late this summer. It’s been agreed upon that we’ll all meet at Margrave Genas’s mansion.”
“Ahh, it went smoother than I expected. I’ll leave the follow-up to you. Even though you haven’t officially become my knight yet, it pains me that I have to ask you to do so much unrelated work for me……”
“No, I like doing these things.”
Meaning, he’s a workaholic. He must take after Earl Terejia in this, but unlike the earl, Oscar even enjoys working and has a strong sense of accomplishment when getting things done. I’ve only noticed this recently, but it seems Oscar has the same face that Claudia has when twirling her spear, whenever he’s working on something. I wonder what’s so fun about it all, but I won’t say anything. If it’s something I don’t understand about feelings, all the more reason not to ask.
“It’s a great help that you finish your work so fast, but do remember take a break once in a while, and move your body about……”
Oscar’s eyes quite remind me of dead fish floating in a pond. I tried to suggest that he refresh himself, but,
“Please do not worry. Whenever I have spare time, I train as much as possible together with Claudia-dono in spear practice.”
Even though he was smiling, I felt like the color of his eyes got even more stagnant. Of course I’d been referring to light exercise, and not the type of all-out training that training together with Claudia would entail.
I swore to myself that I would stop interfering with Oscar and his reasons for liking to work so much. If I get too close, I’ll catch his addiction to working. I’m just going to pretend I don’t see anything.
However, why is it that he still has the free time to train with Claudia even though he has that much work to do every day…… I twisted my neck trying to think about it, but even though I felt like I would get a headache from overthinking all this, I couldn’t stop myself.
Having a new capable subordinate join me is the best kind of news. Congratulations to me. Oscar’s been able to take over some of Earl Terejia’s work, so my hope that the Earl’s workload will decrease has finally come true as well. As expected though, I’m still short on personnel, and once again I realized through my fatigue that human resources are of vital importance to me.
Outside the window, the sun is beginning to set. I lit a candlestick, and began calculating the tax income sheets for Kaldia that I had laying on my desk.
In Arxia, we use a type of paper money called Arcs, but since Kaldia is mostly a closed domain with little outside contact, we use mostly a barter system. Trading for food and other goods with domains that are better off , as well as exchanging goods for cash, is all considered the job of the domain lord. I must collect the goods given by each village as tax, trade them for other necessary items with other domains, and anything left over after giving what’s needed to each village is my profit.
In Kaldia, the domain lord’s share is currently 30%. This is a lower rate than most other domains, but it’s not a problem. In addition to the tax income, I also receive 60% of the sales revenue from selling the wheat crops raised by the Kaldia army. In eastern Arxia the land is less suitable for cultivating wheat, and rye is the main crop, so wheat’s price is higher.
And as for a new source of tax income, I’m thinking about the pumpkins that my new citizens brought. Last summer, I tried cultivating pumpkins around the mansion, in Claria village, and the new Pioneer village, and it was a success, so this year I’m thinking about having two more villages begin to raise pumpkins.
I didn’t want to start so big at first, because I would need to set prices and a system for the pumpkins, but starting next year I definitely want to add some more fields and begin fully developing. Wheat crops are limited by areas where they can grow and can’t be grown in the same field all during the year, but rye is a hardier crop that grows in more difficult climates and infertile lands for longer periods of time. Also, I think that I’m going to use crop rotation between wheat and pumpkins in order to prevent any major crop disasters one year from affecting the next year as well. I’m just an amateur in farming and only have my common sense to go off of, but I think it’s better than not doing anything at all.
Besides crops, I also want to increase the number of livestock in Kaldia, since the Shiru tribe has taken the trouble of bringing livestock with them. I want to increase the number to where it’s feasible for me to start trading in dairy products. But there’s many things I need to consider first, in order to not place too much of a burden on my citizens.
Last year, thanks to Lord Carson’s carpenters, life in Pioneer village has finally begun stabilizing. This year they’ve been greatly successful at making traps to catch fish in shallow water, so I also need to think about distribution methods for fish. Since we don’t have the means to preserve raw fish and transport it to other domains, this will probably have to be limited to sending raw fish to other villages.
Although Oscar’s reduced my amount of work as well, there’s still so many improvement projects to work on for the domain. I used to write down whatever ideas I had on paper, and I’ve filled up six entire pages. I wonder just when it will be that I’ll be able to finish turning all of those ideas into reality.
Earl Terejia’s age is also getting up there, so my work is increasing every year, but with the increase in living standards in my domain, it brings more work to me as well. One of the biggest problems is that few people are literate, so only Earl Terejia, Bellway, and myself, as well as Oscar who just joined us, we’re the only ones handling the entirety of the paperwork as there’s nobody else to do it.
After I finished going over the paperwork, I laid down on my desk weakly, drained of energy. A groan-like sound managed to escape my throat without my permission.
……Should I talk to my governess Mrs. Marshan, to see if she would be interested in a direct post under me as a civil official? Because she’s also nobility, she can register directly for a civil officer post. I can have her take on the simple tasks such as calculating tax income first, to decrease the overall workload.
When I thought about how Earl Terejia might not be around for much longer, my stomach began hurting. It doesn’t matter who, but maybe I need to start searching for my next guardian. I don’t need help running my domain anymore, but as a minor I still need an adult around for various things.
The root of all my problems is that I don’t have enough personnel……
Once again I sighed, and another groan escaped me.