Chapter 12 - The Exam
My mother, however, opened the fan in her hands and replied, “Then we’ll be the first to have it. Hahaha!”
I thanked my mother for putting me above her son, but I didn’t want to waste my life at this estate anymore. I want to become a government official and pursue my dream.
“Mother, you can’t do that! If that witch becomes a count, I’ll have an enemy inside the house on top of an already fallen family!” argued Harry.
Mother glared back at him, graciously closed the fan, and smacked Harry’s head. There were tears in his round eyes to which she glared again and scolded him, “You fool! How dare you call your sister a witch? Even though she’s uglier, terrible with swords, and has a temper worse than me, and the only good thing about her is that she’s almost as smart as me, she’s still my precious daughter! You should never call her a witch! You’re grounded for weeks, Harris!”
The words that she said to scold Harry hurt my feelings too. I’m sorry I’m not a good enough daughter for you, Mother! That’s right. She always helped to lower my self-esteem. Hahaha.
“Waaaaah! I hate you, Mother! I hate all of you!”
Harris ran out of the room as he cried. It was silent, but my mother soon turned cold and held my hand as she spoke, “Listen, Marina.”
I became nervous and began to think about how to fight back on her words. ‘Mother, I think a central government official have lot more pros than Lord of the countryside estate-’
“The Empire is still outdated to meet your mother’s sophisticated standards, but a woman needs to know how to stand on her own. We’re now entering an age where women enter politics. It’s foolish to rely on a man for everything in such a day and age. Look at your mommy! I trusted your worthlessness, useless father, and became what I am!” said Mother.
What she just said was the complete opposite of what I expected. Was she saying I should set out on my own? Is it really okay to tell her my dream to become a government official on my own?
“Dear, you’re going too far,” commented Father.
It seems her words hurt my father’s feelings too. Despite my father’s complaint, my mother continued to dig into my father’s weakness, “What? Am I wrong? If only you didn’t reject his majesty’s plan to increase taxes, we wouldn’t have been kicked out to this countryside!”
I sighed as my father sadly looked at my mother. He might say he’ll leave the house again. But then I felt my heart getting warm. They were different from Kyles. The reason why they say harsh things to me isn’t that they hate me. Rather, they’re worried about me. Yeah, I should trust my parents.
“Oh, stop you two. I understand what you mean, Mother. I was thinking of taking the exam anyway,” I replied.
“Marina, what exam are you talking about?”
It was as expected. Mother’s mouth was turning into a smile as she asked. It meant that she liked my idea of becoming a government official. That was fortunate, but it was only the beginning. I had to persuade them, so they could trust and support me. I let out a small sigh of nervousness and answered my mother, who was looking at me in anticipation.
“I’m going to take the exam for middle-ranking officials in internal affairs. Of course, I’m aiming for first place. That will put me right into the highest rank of the middle-ranking officials, a secretary.”
The exam for middle-ranked officials is held twice a year. When passed, the title is given by rank for people who took the exam. First place was appointed to a secretary, then from second to the other top ranks were appointed to a deputy. These positions were senior positions that had control over other employees, so they were called officers.
Then middle to lower-ranked individuals are appointed to chief positions, where they are ordered to do their superior’s work. The deputy position was a position with the possibility of being promoted to a higher rank, so many nobles without the help of their parents started there.
I also didn’t have parents that could back me up. Parents with the Chief Commissioner or higher position could have their child appointed to a higher ranking position, so those people didn’t need to take the exam as they got the job. I would have had an easy time being appointed to a ranking official if my father was still a secretary to the Emperor. But with him being dismissed that opportunity had disappeared into thin air.
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