The party I’m attending at the archduke’s residence is on a much larger scale than any I’ve ever been to. Only the royal family would be able to host a larger party, but they’re usually more frugal, so the archduke family’s party is the grandest in all of Arxia.
The venue where the party is to take place is so large that I feel my huge mansion back in Kaldia could easily fit into this huge courtyard, that has plenty of space for all the nobles to gather here in its hallways, its dining hall, salon, and even game room. ……It’s a bit dizzying to think about, I believe just this place’s maintenance costs must exceed Kaldia’s annual tax revenue. These were all originally constructed into Dovadain castle as this place was intended to entertain foreigners that wouldn’t be taking part in Arxia’s evening parties.
“Eliza-dono, they even have the incredibly rare Barcova meat here! As expected of the archduke’s party.”
“I know, but please act a little more restrained, Claudia-sama. Don’t forget that you’re supposed to be a maid here……”
This place is so large, that I haven’t seen any nobles I’m acquainted with yet. Bellway was scolding Claudia whose eyes were sparkling at all the food available here, while I had Ratoka bring an appropriate amount of food for me and I sat down in an empty area to rest.
Before the time comes to greet the archduke’s family, there’s still a few things I need to take care of. I might as well fill my stomach while I’m at it. -I’m not used to this type of venue, my red eyes definitely won’t sparkle like Claudia’s.
“There are waiters that will bring food to your table.”
Ratoka who was dressed as my male servant today, brought us back some juice and drank together with us. It seems that there are servants just for the purpose of being servers for tonight’s party so that the nobles can enjoy their food in luxury without having to move. If the master gives permission, it seems that they can even join the dance.
The rules are quite different at a party of such a large scale. This is because most of the invited guests have brought their family members and servants tonight.
In Arxia, according to law titled nobles and their close relatives are the center of legal relationships, for example before Claudia being my knight, she’s still a member of the Rolentsor family, or that knights’ daughters and younger sisters will also be recognized as nobility. Bellway’s from a noble background, but he’s from a branch family that’s too distantly related and thus doesn’t have noble status, and since several generations have passed in his family without a noble title, his family’s been deprived of noble status.
These strict laws are in place to prevent the needless expansion of the noble class and diluting its worth, but it also complicates the relationship with servants in noble society. Considering that some servants are also the younger children of noble families, it’s impossible to prohibit all servants from participating in eating and drinking. But just because a servant is highly educated, it’s still difficult to tell if the servant is from a noble family. So that’s why, at most evening parties, servants are also allowed to eat and drink, as well as dance, while serving the guests at the same time.
“Well, since Eliza-dono usually lets me eat whatever I want, this is just normal for me. We really have such a good boss, don’t we, Bernard-dono.”
“Ahh, yes, indeed so. Eliza-sama is such a generous person. By the way, my name is Bellway.”
I felt almost nostalgic listening to their interaction, as I began trying some of the food the servants brought to me. Ratoka also tried something he was interested in, sticking his silverware into the food, and it disappeared instantly down his mouth as he ate ravenously.
Considering the special task I’m about to have him do for me, I have to give him this kind of allowance. After we ate and drank whatever we wanted, I handed my glass of juice to Ratoka, and lightly tapped his arm.
Ratoka stood up while continuing to eat, and took a step backwards. Then, he just happened to collide with a servant passing by, and both of them tripped and fell.
They only fell on their butts lightly. The sound wasn’t loud, but the remaining juice from my glass splashed out from Ratoka’s hand with a splishing sound, onto the clothes of two people sitting on the marble floor.
Bellway hurriedly jumped up and assisted in place of Ratoka with wiping off the juice. The servant seemed a bit stunned. Bellway asked the two people if they were injured, while making his face red with embarrassment as he kept bowing apologetically. Then, he roughly dragged Ratoka up, as Ratoka was still sitting stunned on the ground, looking at the servant.
“This is all because you were way too careless. Making such a mistake like this – how dare you stain our master’s name with mud.”
Because of Bellway’s loud scolding, curious gazes were beginning to look in our direction.
“I, I’m so sorry -”
“This is his excellency the archduke’s castle, don’t open your mouth without permission, you low commoner. -It was a mistake to have someone as stupid as you become a servant. You’ve caused the clothes that you were given to become dirty. Don’t show your face in front of me again, until these two nobles’ clothes, and your own have been cleaned of any stains!”
He’s saying those words quite naturally. I used my deceased father as a reference for Bellway’s lines. His attitude of treating his servants like this without losing control of his emotions, always felt so harsh and uncaring, rather than just being cold.
The servant seemed confused as Bellway kept apologizing and asking for permission to use the archduke’s castle facilities to clean the clothes, but he ended up showing Ratoka the way. Ratoka continued to fake being in a daze, as he disappeared from my line of sight.
Now then, his communication skills have surely improved from a few years ago, so will Ratoka be able to achieve my goal today, I wonder.