The Two Who Met
There were only three schools that trained tax officers, which was why lots of assistants and tax officers knew each other when they met again. Irena was never systematically educated. Her knowledge came directly from Lin Dongqing’s pointers and her own studying. As a consequence, Irena was nervous to face her assistance on her first day.
“Hello, I am Irena. I will be your partner from now. I hope we can get along happily from now,” Irena quavered.
Irena had the impression that the man before her was somewhat similar to Lin Dongqing, except the latter wouldn’t carelessly show his frustration and annoyance. The young man froze when he saw Irena. His frustration and disdain instantaneously turned to surprise. He apologised, “Sorry, sorry, Your Highness. I did not think it was you.”
“Don’t mind it. I’m not a Princess here. Just treat me as Tax Officer Irena. So, what was your name?”
“Oh, right, sorry, Your Highness, I should introduce myself first… I am Jira… Jira Jakar,” replied Lin Chucheng.
Lin Chucheng didn’t plan to reveal that he was Lin Dongqing’s son for the reason that he didn’t consider being Lin Dongqing’s son something to be proud of. He also didn’t want to give himself trouble and inconveniences. The people at the tax bureau were very respectful to Lin Dongqing for some bizarre reason that eluded him. Lin Chucheng, in contrast, would be more than happy to have someone else for a father.
“All right, we will be partners from now Jakar. Let us get along.”
“Yes, Your Highness. I mean, Miss Irena.”
Lin Chucheng didn’t understand why the Princess would work as a tax officer at the tax bureau. What confused him even more was why his damned father would appoint him as the Princess’ assistant. He assumed that he might’ve done so to have the Princess control him with her status.
Princess Irena was an excellent Princess who many respected. She wasn’t a girl who sat home, waiting to be spoon fed. She went out, explored and risked her life. That was one reason Lin Chucheng envied her lifestyle. From his personal perspective, he couldn’t defy the Princess or deliberately instigate trouble. If he didn’t have to deal with a Princess, he planned to sabotage things…
Lin Chucheng: I guess my old man is a pushover around others and can only bully me.
“Now that you two are done with self-introductions, there’s no need for me to provide you with time to build your relationship. This is the tax bureau, not the blind date centre. You’ll have chances to get to know each other as you work. Now, Irena, since you’re a tax officer, you need to take charge of a district. This area is yours. You need to locate these places on your own. According to the report that the previous tax officer in charge of the area left, this household didn’t pay enough taxes last quarter, and they definitely pay won’t this quarter. All of the information related to them is located at the back of the archives room. You can look through them; however make sure to put them back. Now, let’s get to work. The quarter’s end is right around the corner, while the situation outside isn’t great, so you must shoulder more work as a tax officer.”
Irena: What do I do? What do I do? Jakar is supposed to wait on my orders, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do… I thought I’d have a month or something to familiarise myself. Jakar is clearly a proper assistant. He won’t look down on me, will he…?
Lin Chucheng: The empire’s Princess is right here. I think she’s waiting for me to make the first move… I guess it’s only fair that I hope the officer with everything since I’m her assistant. It’s just… just I don’t have the faintest idea about what a tax office needs to do… What exactly do I need to do? Princess Irena is going to look down on me at this rate…
They occasionally glanced at each other nervously to scan the other while suggesting they initiate. Then, they’d look away again…
“I said this is not a place for your blind date! Get to work, right, now! Don’t stand there with stupid looks on your face. Go to the archives room. Find the household’s information. Then, go and find out why they haven’t paid their taxes. Bring me what they owe!” Sulina knocked the two of them on their heads.
Fortunately, Sulina hadn’t gone too far. Unfortunately, she was mad. Apparently, patience was a non-existent trait at the tax bureau. The two came to their senses after the pain snapped them out of it. Irena nodded and apologised before hurrying to the archives room. Lin Chucheng quickly ran after Irena in spite of not knowing what to do.
Lots of tax officers split up areas in the ever expanding empire to take charge of. Irena and Lin Chucheng were in charge of a district where commoners lived. Their luck wasn’t too bad. The worst areas for tax officers to tackle were slums and where nobles resided. Both of them shared the same trait: neither wanted to pay taxes. The former lacked money. The latter purely didn’t want to.
Irena ran her finger along the folders before finally stopping at the one for her district. She grabbed it and passed it to Lin Chucheng. “Find their information then make a copy. This is our first job, so we need to do a good job. I will fill the role of a tax officer; you fulfil the duty of an assistant.”
“Okay…” Lin Chucheng was quick to acquiesce, but what he truly wanted was… to know what in god’s name an assistant was supposed to do.
MYSD Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wjzmysd