“Permission? Are you saying you don’t mind if she calls you that, Commander?”
“Do you assume I’m lying?”
“That, that’s not what I mean. I just don’t understand…… No, I made a mistake.”
Lord Vessel clenched his teeth.
His expression appeared as if he wanted to say something but couldn’t, thus the atmosphere quieted down a little.
In this scenario, I couldn’t even ask a question. Should I ask him later?
Caleb opened his mouth first as I stared quietly between him and Lord Vessel.
“May I ask what you were trying to talk to me earlier?”
“Ah, I thought I heard Sir Vessel was coming tomorrow, but he arrived today…… I was about to check if I had misunderstood.”
“That is true, as you are informed. But he finished the subjugation sooner than I expected and returned today, so I brought him here to introduce you.”
That’s exactly what it was.
Now the question was solved.
‘He was supposed to return the next day. Isn’t it a vacation if he arrived early? If it had been me, I would have gone back to work the next day.’
I felt it was admirably responsible of him to leave his vacation alone.
It was when I was respectfully staring at Lord Vessel.
Oops. Eye contact…… Huh?
Lord Vessel averted his sight from mine.
What was it?
A weird emotion surged through me, but I tried to ignore it.
We had only recently met, so there was no way he didn’t like me. Perhaps it was just how I felt.
* * * * *
…… was what I thought.
I kept my gaze on the desk, trying not to glance at Lord Vessel across from me as much as possible.
It’s been a few days since my initial encounter with Lord Vessel.
And those several days were spent convincing me that Lord Vessel hated me.
It was odd that he covertly disregarded my words and pretended to look at me without saying hello, even though I had said hello first, but I’m not sure why.
I didn’t expect everyone to like me, but I was surprised to learn that someone hates me so soon.
I was concerned that other members might hate me as a result of Lord Vessel’s reaction, but for the time being, it appeared that Lord Vessel was the only one who hated me.
The others greeted me despite the awkwardness, and some even apologized to me the last time, stating they were sorry for scaring me.
‘Of all things, Lord Vessel.’
Lord Vessel frequently visited Caleb in the Oval Office to assist him with his duties.
It was awkward for such a person to hate me.
Lord Vessel, fortunately, would be gone in the afternoon since he would be accompanying Caleb to the training ground.
As a result, I longed for the afternoon to come.
It felt lonely being alone in the office, but it was better than being in Lord Vessel’s view.
‘By the way, Lord Egon should be here right now……Why isn’t he coming?’
I looked at the time and pondered.
Because that was so strange, given that he was always on time.
‘Does anything else seem to be going on? That might be the case.’
I thought I’d be able to do my work without paying attention, but after an hour, my mind became confused.
‘Does Lord Vessel have any idea?’
I stole a glance towards Lord Vessel.
Should I ask? Sir Vessel would not like it if I talked.
But I’m curious……
So, I’ll just ask him. I’m curious if Lord Vessel didn’t like me, but what should I do?
I pushed myself out of my chair, determined.
Lord Vessel may have glanced up as a result of the chair dragging.
I approached Lord Vessel despite a harsh glare.
“What is it?”
“I would like to ask you a question.”
“You mean to me?”
Lord Vessel frowned and sighed for a minute.
What, I haven’t asked you a question yet?
“Let’s hear it for what it’s worth. What do you wish to ask about?”
“Lord Egon, on the other hand, is yet to arrive. Do you have any idea why he isn’t coming?”
“…if you’re curious about the Commander, he’ll be at the weekly Imperial regular meeting. He won’t be here until this afternoon, so don’t worry about it and just do your job, Lady.”
He wouldn’t show up till the afternoon?
So I had to spend the entire morning with him?
A sigh escaped my lips.
It was a time when my mind was numb to the reality that I didn’t want to believe.
Boom, boom, boom!
Someone noisily knocked on the door and opened it without saying anything then came in.
“Please excuse me!”
It was my first encounter with the man.
The man gasped as if he had run a great distance without stopping.
“Here, pant pant, is the Commander here?”
“He is currently absent, but why are you looking for the Commander?”
“It was mid-morning, and I came here because I had to deal with this……”
The man approached us, his unsteady legs exposed.
What he handed out was a fairly thick document.
“Isn’t this the month-end report? I know it’s due next week, so why are you bringing it now?”
“Initially, it is, but, gasp, the supervisors have told me to bring it by this week……”
“Without even announcing it?”
“We were told all of a sudden…… I’m, I’m sorry! Then I’d like to request that you complete it by 1 o’clock! I need to tell other departments as well, so bye……!”
The man bowed to us and exited.
He exited swiftly and made sure to shut the door behind him.
There was a loud noise.
Lord Vessel’s face was flushed as he looked towards the closed door.
“How am I supposed to do this when the Commander is not here……?”
“Can’t we just walk to the front of the conference hall and wait for it to end? It’s just till 1 o’clock, so wouldn’t it be near enough if we gave it to Lord Egon as soon as he comes out?”
“It’s not that simple to solve. Do you have any idea how long it takes to organize this document? I’m not sure if I’ll be able to manage this and get the Commander’s approval.”
Shouldn’t we just organize it and present it to him for approval?
Lord Vessel remained still, despite having stated the solution himself.
‘Don’t tell me he doesn’t know how?’
When I questioned it, I remembered what the Count had told me.
‘It was only the Duke who was working there. The Vice-Commander is incompetent when it comes to administration and paperwork.’
Was this what she meant?
I could understand why Lord Vessel has such a pessimistic attitude now.
I took a glance at the documents Lord Vessel had placed on his desk.
What would happen if I couldn’t process that document?
Would it be harmful to Lord Egon?
No, of course, there would be indirect harm.
Lord Vessel would not have responded in such a manner if it didn’t matter.
‘There is no other solution.’
I couldn’t sit still because I was afraid Caleb might be harmed as well.
“I can do it.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Organizing the documents. I assisted Count Van Der before coming here. In addition, I have some previous education while taking successor classes.”
“Do you mean…… you’re going to do it?”
Lord Vessel’s expression was half astonishment, half uncertainty when he glanced at me.
“Are you lying because you want to be acknowledged by me?”
“Why would I do such a thing? If I lie and get caught, you’ll despise me much more than you do now.”
Lord Vessel stammered, as though in panic.
Did he think I wouldn’t notice?
“Anyway, it’s true that I know how to do it. Of course, I’ve only been here a few days, so it won’t be perfect, but isn’t it better than giving up entirely?”
Lord Vessel didn’t respond quickly either.
There was a little pause before he opened his mouth.
“Do you truly know how to do it?”
No, this guy?
What did he make of what I’ve stated thus far?
Why not just do it?
‘No, let’s calm down. Consider Caleb’s position.’
I took a quill pen and blank paper from Lord Vessel’s desk.
I didn’t normally recklessly use other people’s stuff, but let’s make an exception for now. I was in a rush.
“For a second, I’m going to use a pen and paper.”
“What are you doing……?”
Lord Vessel opened his lips in a dissatisfied tone, then closed it.
It was due to what I had written on paper.
What I wrote was a formula that was required for dealing with data in the report.
“You…… really knew how to do it.”
I thought the response I received was fortunate.
Because if he didn’t know what I wrote, I’d have to explain how it’s utilized, which would be inconvenient in a variety of ways.
“Of course I can, but there’s still a lot I don’t know about the Knights. So I need someone who can make sure I don’t miss anything and find the data I need.” I looked at Lord Vessel. After a brief glance, he stepped back.
* * * * *
Edmund Vessel stole a glance towards Lena, who sat in front of him.
Without hesitation, the girl jotted down the relevant formulae and grouped them one by one depending on the data he provided.
Despite witnessing everything in person, he couldn’t believe it.
The end-of-month comprehensive report necessitated a wide range of computational methodologies and applications, necessitating specialist training.
This was an educational subject that was primarily taught in the successor class, but even if individuals were educated, it was common for them to not comprehend.
Edmund was in the same boat.
He, the eldest son of Marquis Vessel and the next in line, has also been compelled to undergo similar education, which everyone should be aware of.
Edmund, however, was unable to.
He was smart and has been studying aristocratic culture since he was seven years old, but when he looked at the documents, he couldn’t comprehend anything.
When he reached the age of majority, his studies came to an end.
It wasn’t because Edmund was doing well.
However, because a nobleman’s education was generally completed by that age.
As a result, he was incompetent when it came to paperwork.
It wasn’t just for him, but for the other Royal Knights as well.
Except for Caleb, the only Commander.
As a result, Caleb was dealing with all of the reports that needed complex procedures from the Knights on his own.
It was unusual to see such a document handled by a temporary deputy who had previously worked as an actor.
Because of the rumours, everyone believed that Lena had studied as a family successor before becoming an actor.
But it was the rumours that she was an actor and a yobu that really got to him.
Furthermore, after being punished because of Lena from the first day of his return, he couldn’t think favourably of her no matter how hard he tried.
This scenario was saved by a lady who was rude and critical.
Edmund thought this amusing, but on the other side, he was thankful to Lena.
‘If it hadn’t been for this woman……I’m sure I’d still be rolling my feet.’
‘If it weren’t for that woman……I must have been still rolling my feet.’
And he wouldn’t have had the decency to see Caleb.
That report was a document to determine the budget in two months, which was especially essential for the Royal Knights, who were regularly assigned to remote regions.
Regardless of how essential the documents were, they couldn’t get Caleb, who had gone to the Imperial Conference, to work on them.
The Imperial Conference was an assembly of all the Marquis and above family members, including the Emperor.
He, who was still the successor of the Marquis, could not enter.
“It’s all over.”
Lena placed a quill pen on the pedestal while she was thinking about something else.
Only when he heard the noise did he come to his senses.
“Could you just double-check it one more time? There might be some details that I overlooked.”
“I’ll do it.”
Edmund verified the paperwork that Lena had handled.
He couldn’t manage the paperwork personally, but he could determine if it was correct or not.
Edmund, who had seen all of the papers, admired it.
At the same time, acts against Lena sprang to mind as a result of his own resentment and prejudice.
His cheeks reddened with embarrassment at his own ignorance and remorse.
Edmund’s last blunder was that he bit his lips without saying anything.
Lena cocked her head as the silence lingered.
“Does something lack credibility?”
Edmund barely opened his mouth in a raspy voice at that point.
“The paperwork is excellent. Thank you for your efforts, Lady.”
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