“We’re going out. Reka, Tira, please make the preparations.”
I got a reply from my guardian that I contacted for the first time after I came to noble school. After I confirmed the contents of Earl Terejia’s letter, I placed it in my desk drawer, and Tira who thought she would just prepare my school things like usual raised her voice in surprise.
“Out? Does that mean we’re going outside the school?”
“Yep. First we’re going to Earl Terejia’s residence, then the House of Lords, and after that will depend on the situation. Elise will come as ‘Ratoka’ today. He’ll act as my personal attendant.”
Saying that he’s going as Ratoka today, means that he’ll be wearing men’s clothing this time. With an expression that said he was tired of having to wear annoying maid clothes all the time, Ratoka quickly left the room to go change together with Reka.
“……Wait a moment. We’re going to the House of Lords as well?”
“Arktoria Castle which contains the House of Lords only permits nobles to enter. You guys can just wait for me at the entrance. There’s no need to be so nervous, Athrun.”
“Nah…… It’s not that I’m nervous. Are you going to be alright, taking us with you? Taking us Shiru tribe members close to the royal palace, won’t it be a problem?”
“It won’t be a problem,” I answered the anxious Athrun as I looked him over from head to toe. The Shiru tribe that originally lived in the plateau have slightly darker skin than people from the Jugfena region, but their facial features are just about the same. Besides, I wondered why Athrun thought it would be a problem.
In my domain, I’ve successfully kept any negative feelings about the Shiru tribe under control. In fact, my original citizens have positive feelings towards them, as they’ve helped spread domesticated meat, milk, and dairy products in Kaldia. Even though we’re not in Kaldia now, there really shouldn’t be anyone holding such negative feelings toward the Shiru tribe here. And when the war with Rindarl begin, many Shiru members joined my army for the war effort, and the current atmosphere in my domain is that discriminating against them is taboo.
Athrun’s line of sight moved to Tira standing behind me. Tira is the only pure Shiru kid among us, and it’s a bit evident that her skin is somewhat darker than the farmer’s child Reka and the half-Shiru Athrun.
“Arxia has many people with darker skin. There’s plenty of people from the southwest with even darker skin than the Shiru tribe. Your features may be considered rare in the eastern part that we reside in, but it’s common for nobles’ servants to come from all over the place, so nobody will find you strange at all.”
Athrun nodded, but it still seemed like he wasn’t in full agreement. ……Well then. In noble school, there’s very few people that know just where Tira and Athrun came from.
Maybe those who are extremely well informed will figure out from their skin color that they came from the Artolan refugees that Kaldia accepted, but like I just explained to Athrun, it’s common in Arxia for there to be tan skin even darker than theirs. With no evidence, not counting children, any nobles with an education wouldn’t make a fool of themselves without proof.
I turned from Athrun and looked at Tira. She was still smiling calmly and softly, but since Athrun seemed to be so worried, as their guardian I feel like I should say something about this.
“Tira, in the end Mrs. Heideman is just someone from outside Kaldia. No matter what she said that day, don’t worry about it. You’re always my citizens first and foremost, and I won’t let even the Terejia family insult you guys. I don’t mind even if I have to issue a formal protest to Marquis Rittergau. I’m going to meet his younger brother today, anyways.”
“Oh, I didn’t mind it. Personally, I think that I can trust my lord, Eliza-sama more than anyone else, and believe what you say. ……Um, you know, for us Shiru tribe, the word of an outsider is worth less than the baying of our livestock. That’s why, it doesn’t really matter what other people say.”
I nodded at Tira’s words. Servants usually have different ranking systems divided by gender. For Mrs. Heideman who was the head housekeeper, it must have been a blow to her pride when she learned that Tira who’s only my maid had a larger room given to her than what Mrs. Heideman probably had.
Since the Terejia family has profited from the demands created by war, for them to send her for the purpose of disparaging the Shiru tribe couldn’t have been their intention. If Mrs. Heideman had been using the Shiru tribe as an excuse to attack Tira, it’s because she couldn’t find any other faults. Tira’s such an excellent maid.
“……Shiru women are so strong.”
Athrun finally seemed relieved as he muttered that. Ratoka finished changing and came back at this time, and just like that this matter was settled.
I suppose I need to start paying attention to Mrs. Heideman’s movements, and judge based on the situation if I need to fire her. For the Terejia family to have saddled me with such a useless person, it’s a good chance that they’ve given me. The Terejia family isn’t a solid rock after all, maybe this will become a useful attack card in the future.