On the days when Werner is working on the front, Lily helps him with the smallest of paperwork, but more often than not she is at Count Zehrfeldt’s house learning all sorts of aristocratic lessons.
In a world where women are more socially active than in Werner’s medieval age, there is much more to learn than what belongs to manners, such as dancing and embroidery, rules for meals and tea ceremonies, attention to aristocratic phrases and topics related to fashionable dress.
The income of the territory, the size of the estate, the condition of the farms, the water mill and the forest, the amount of produce and the income from the trial, the relationship with the neighboring territories, the presence of demons and the adventurers’ comings and goings, etc. should be checked.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have a good understanding of what you’re doing and how to do it.
“Oh, thank you.”
No, no, no. Lily’s doing very well.
Norbert is not flattered, but he honestly appreciates Lily’s diligent study.” “You’ve learned better than Werner did when he was a boy.” I can’t tell whether he’s joking or not.
After taking a break from drinking tea, Lily looked at Norbert as if she remembered something.
I don’t know.
“I was wondering if you could tell me more about Lady Claudia.”
From Lily’s point of view, the noblewoman closest to her is undoubtedly Claudia. And it’s also true that she frankly admires her for the work she’s doing at the moment. I can’t deny that I think she’s not a natural-born noblewoman.
I asked this question casually out of such interest, but Norbert’s reply was somewhat oblique.
“Oh, Lily didn’t know that. The Count and his wife, well, I suppose it’s more like a marriage of attrition in the common parlance.”
After a few moments of silence with a puzzled expression on her face, Lily tilted her head. The actuality that she understood the meaning of the word, but she couldn’t make the connection between the Count and Countess Lily knew and the meaning of the plundering marriage.
The only thing that is important is that you have to be able to see the difference between the two.
“but I’m not a married man. But it’s rare for a nobleman to steal his beloved away from her betrothed.”
Which one of you is…
The Count, I presume.
“… Um, what?”
Lily sees Ingo as a man of few words but calm and thoughtful, a minister of the liturgy of a civilized aristocrat, a man of human weight, so to speak. It’s still hard to imagine.
He looks at Norbert with a more confused expression on his face than when he was learning the manners of a nobleman.
Norbert began to explain while looking at Lily like that. Claudia is originally the eldest daughter of a baroness. The family was a baroness, but it had fallen into decline, owning only a single village, and was in debt to a family inferior to even the richest barons.
The viscountess had a younger brother and Claudia came to King’s Landing to make herself a lady knight. She met Ingo, the son of a count, while serving as an apprentice female knight and assisting with security duties at the academy.
“It was love at first sight for the Count.”
At first Claudia didn’t seem to have the slightest intention of doing so, and whenever Ingo came to visit her she would turn him away saying that she would make herself a lady knight and that she wasn’t fit to be a noblewoman. She couldn’t dance and didn’t know much about manners and etiquette.
At first Count Zehrfeldt’s family thought it was just his son playing with fire, but after a year and two years of this, Ingo’s father began to get worried.
At that time, Zehrfeldt was only one of the counts in the province, and he was rather on the other side of the count family. Therefore, he wanted to have a relationship with a woman from a better family, who was closer to the center of the country, if possible, so he was puzzled by the attitude of his bastard son.
Claudia’s parents also wanted a relationship with a military family as was the case in the Kingdom of Vine. It seems that Claudia herself had not shown any interest in marriage, but she also thought that she would not be able to join in a civilian countess’s games with fire.
“So I’ve consulted with the counts and viscounts to find a suitable match for you, my lady.”
The other man was the third son of a military count who had established himself as a knight. It would be a lie to say that he didn’t intend to strengthen his own position by making a connection with the viscounts, even if he was a weakling. And the other count would have preferred to have a partner he could push his third son into.
Claudia herself had resisted, but the counts on the other side had pushed for the engagement, using the viscounts’ debts to finance it.
But when Ingo heard what his family was doing he acted more vehemently. She herself went to the Viscount’s house first and challenged Claudia’s father, the previous Viscount, to a duel to force him to marry her daughter.
“Um, the Count, is it?”
Maybe her brain is refusing to understand. Lily’s words are getting more and more choppy, but Norbert doesn’t seem to be bothered by it and continues.
“I see. He had to fight with his father’s predecessor to convince him, and eventually fought a duel with the then Viscount, his fiancée, and his wife to prove that he was a knight, and finally got them to agree to the marriage.”
But on their wedding day Claudia told him: ‘I gave him away. Only Claudia herself could have known if it was true or not.
Lily is speechless, her eyes black and white.
“It wasn’t talked about much at the time either, probably because the Zehrfeldt wasn’t very big and was married to a provincial nobleman.”
“I can’t believe it.”
“I can see your point. You don’t know this, Werner, but you won’t believe it.”
Ingo then worked diligently to convince his father and the other barons that he was a count, and in recognition of his achievements in domestic affairs, he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the capital.
The king appreciated his honesty and his firmness in dealing with the arrogance of the military nobles and he was given his present position.
“So you were never familiar with it as a noblewoman. I learned that later.”
Perhaps when Werner had declared his intention to take Lily as his wife, Ingo had remembered his former self and Claudia had remembered the look on Ingo’s face.
While his opinion of Lily was not low, she must have had the impression that her refusal would be futile.
Norbert, there you are.
Is there something wrong, My Lady?
“I’d like to invite the Marquise de Schramm to dinner at a later date to thank her for her hospitality, and I’d like you to take care of the arrangements.”
Norbert bowed reverently. Claudia nodded and turned her gaze to Lily.
Lily, you’re gonna have to sit in.
Lily’s reaction made him look at her strangely for a moment, but he nodded and quickly left the room. Norbert tried to stifle a laugh.
“As a former lady knight, I can’t say I don’t find it a bit of a drawback that you’d have to go yourself on such an errand.”
This story was never told to Werner by Lily, and it was only recorded in the diary of Claudia’s brother, the head of the Viscount family, and remained for posterity.
The evening is always lively at the tavern. The topics of conversation often change, but on this particular day the Viscount Vogel was the talk of the town.
Of course the mysterious potion is still top secret, but the rest is already known in outline since the adventurers took part in the siege. Besides, rumors have a way of following one another.
“So vicious. Even Werner would be angry.
“He’s really a knight.”
He would have resisted if he’d heard it himself, but that’s exactly what the current public opinion is. The rumors about the dueling trials had a great impact on the fact that he had accepted the role of a proxy for his brave friend and his sister, a role that other nobles might hate him for.
And people in the world are tempted to divide good and evil.
“You’re talking about a man whose father was murdered and his mother and brother held hostage.”
“And then he made a play on Master Werner, blackmailing him into drinking poison in the dead of night. What a bunch of traitors.”
“I heard that the culprit, Viscount Something, had a secret crush on the hero-sama’s sister.”
Sometimes good intentions run amok. Before you know it, Clara’s real father has been murdered. And the way they’ve done it, with all the tricks and tricks of the trade, would have surprised not only Werner and Clara but Viscount Vogel as well.
The incident happened right after the dueling trials and even Lily is involved in it.
“And you got the family of the girl who tried to kill you back to safety.”
“On the contrary, he’s taken his entire family to the safety of the Count’s estate.”
“I heard from the Countess that Werner-sama refused the threatened girl’s confession because he’s engaged to her.”
You’re a serious man, even for a nobleman.
Frensen cowered in a corner of the bar. There are a lot of rumors spreading about the counts and their acquaintances.
Rafed sits in front of him, happily opening a mug of ale.
“Well, well, Werner, you’re quite the celebrity.”
“Isn’t that what you’re doing?”
Frensen half glances at Rafed for confirmation, but Rafed shakes his head.
“It is Count Zehrfeldt who is spreading rumors. He seems to leave the rumors to the citizens.
Rafed cowered as Frensen gave him a surprised look.
This incident simply enhances Werner’s reputation. He is generous enough to attend the duel as a proxy, to serve drinks to all the participants in order to secure the criminals, and to sympathize with and save the perpetrator of an assassination attempt on his life.
He even looked like what the people expected an aristocrat to look like, enough to make them wonder if the rumors of him being a spendthrift viscount were true, despite the fact that they were true. It has become difficult for other noblemen to attack him on this point.
The mastermind must be in a panic.
“No name will be mentioned.”
“As soon as your name comes out, you’re going to get a lot of criticism.”
It doesn’t matter who’s behind Viscount Vogel’s actions. I can assure you that as soon as his name is mentioned as the mastermind you’ll find yourself in a very awkward position in King’s Landing.
In that sense, Viscount Vogel has moved at the wrong time, Frensen thinks, but Rafed’s view is somewhat different.
“I feel like we’ve cut off the part that could slow us down.”
“Tail cut off.”
Frensen nodded. There must be someone who encouraged Viscount Vogel from behind. Rafed said that this rumor could be useful in our search for that person.
“Either you don’t want to hear these rumors and refrain from even showing up where you used to show up, or you’ll try to start a new one to quash the rumors. Whether you move forward or backward, there will be moves to be made.”
“So you’re here asking around about rumors.”
“Well, that’s part of it, but we’re simply amused by it.”
Rafed said with a clear expression and held out the parchment to Frensen.
“Do you know what happened to the Countess of Yering?”
“The Countess Yering’s family also trades with a certain country…”
Rafhed whispered, and Frensen, who had heard what he had to say, looked at him with difficulty as he read what was written on the parchment.
“… I understand. I’ll let Werner know.
“Please, sir. A generous employer needs his employees to survive.”
Rafed ordered his second ale, which he ordered without hesitation in front of Frensen, who was looking at him with a sullen expression on his face.
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