After a tasteless breakfast, I was left with enough free time to watch our gardener tidying our lawn and shrubs downstairs from a window, while the maids were busy indoors. Although the imperial capital was the most prosperous city, very few people passed by our entrance.
I lived in worry everyday while in the South as the concern of somebody finding out about my plan and throwing a wrench in it always loomed overhead. I finally had what would be considered a normal day for myself today.
Before I could think about much upon sitting down in an armchair, a maid approached me and courteously handed me a small card: “My Lord, Mr. Oaksvid has arrived. Would you still like to see him even though he did not make an appointment?”
I tried to recall the aforementioned man. I searched through my list of people I had set up or partnered up with. I soon confidently concluded that I didn’t recognise him as I commonly met businessmen but barely crossed paths with any nobles. Queen Sisi would never senselessly confer people noble titles. Achilles never held any post.
“Ah. He asked me. A few days ago,” relayed Veirya, who happened to pass by during our conversation. She sat down in the armchair next to mine then elaborated, “He asked. If you were home. I said. You’d be back soon. He asked if he could discuss. Some things with you. I said yes.”
Frankly, I might’ve been angry if it wasn’t Veirya who informed me for I didn’t appreciate others setting up my schedule without my input. I wouldn’t thoughtlessly invite strangers to my place, especially a noble with something he wants to discuss with me. There was no way he was going to ask me to buy something on his behalf. I had no doubt that it was something troublesome. Before I had a good grasp on him, I wouldn’t allow him into the house. By allowing somebody with a request in, you are essentially saying that you have agreed to accept their request. Nonetheless, since Veirya agreed already, I had to go along with it. Moreover, if she used too much strength at night…
Not long after I gave my approval, a middle-aged man with dark red-hair and a visible penchant for maintaining his thick beard energetically sauntered to us and passed Veirya a present. With a smile, he addressed, “Thank you for inviting me in, Countess. This is a gift for you. Count Lin, it is a pleasure to meet you. I am Oaksvid Clarke, Her Majesty’s high-ranking officials’ chief.”
I was aware that Queen Sisi had a chief for her high-ranking vassals but had never met him before because Queen Sisi had already stripped him of his power. Nobody actually asked for his opinion on important matters. The truly powerful post was Queen Sisi’s assistant, a post reserved for me, only that had yet to bring it up.
“Welcome, Baron Oaksvid. I was in the South before today,” I politely greeted.
Oaksvid smiled back and then took a seat opposite to me. He then looked to Veirya and dryly chuckled. “Is it all right for Countess Vierya to listen in?”
“I don’t mind. If you mind, we can talk somewhere else.”
Hopeless, Oaksvid sighed: “All right. That is fine by me, then. This has to do with Her Majesty and the colony in the South. Since you rejected Her Majesty’s request, we have been forced to accept your job. However, as you know, I do not usually work alongside Her Majesty. Despite being the chief official, my authority lies in Her Majesty’s hands. I do not plan to fight for anything. It has been so long that I have my qualms about managing the colony. That is why I have come to ask if you really do not plan to take on the governor post at the colony.”
“I don’t want to, obviously. I’ve made my stance on the matter very clear. If my assistance is required in the future, I will lend Her Majesty a hand but not now. I’ve just settled in with my family. I don’t want to move again. Oaksvid, since Her Majesty instated you as chief official, it proves that you have what it takes to fulfil the role. Her Majesty is the most important person in managing the colony. Her prestige is the key to ruling the colony, so there’s no need for you to be worried. Just fulfil your duty as a representative.”
I had a strong suspicion that Sisi sent him to force me to go. Unfortunately for her, I refused to submit; I refused to part with Veirya again. Though Veirya and I had finally slept together, she wasn’t pregnant yet.
Oaksvid awkwardly chuckled and then stood up: “All right, then. If I keep pressing you after you have said that, then it would be rude of me. Having said that, can I write letters to seek your input if anything pops up at the colony? Additionally, if something serious happens, I hope you can come over.”
“I can accept letters, but I won’t go. Only Her Majesty can make me go there. I won’t go there, otherwise.”
“I understand. That being the case… I also came to deliver an invitation. I will be heading to the colony in one week’s time. I hope you and Countess Lin can attend our banquet. We really like Countess Lin. Although she does not like to speak, she is trustworthy and passionately helps others.”
I was genuinely surprised to hear that so many people liked Veirya for I always thought she was boring. Perhaps life in the imperial capital suited her better than I presumed.
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