Chapter 25 - First Day at Work
“I couldn’t find you within the capital, so I thought you were a regional noble and gave up. I didn’t expect you to be Count Harrant’s daughter. Chess with him was interesting, as he was my only match. I never thought I’d feel that way again from his daughter,” commented the Chancellor.
I was flattered by his words. It was pleasant to hear him placing me on the same level as my father, who I look up to.
“I heard the rumor that you broke your engagement a while ago? And it was with the man that you even tried to bet against me. It’s surprising you managed to pass the exam without being frustrated,” added the Chancellor.
My little break-up wouldn’t have been so well-known if it wasn’t for Elise. I took a sip of the tea in front of me, smiling quietly at the chancellor’s words. This smells wonderful. Then, I replied, “I realized I didn’t want to give up on my dream. He was a narrow-minded man who wasn’t enough of a guy for me, so I dumped him.”
The Chancellor suddenly began to laugh at my answer. I continued to sip the tea despite his long-lasting laughter. Soon, his laughter eased, and he said, “That is remarkable. A dream is better when it’s a big one. I also read your answer on the exam. It was intriguing.”
I swallowed an empty throat with tension. The answer I wrote was quite radical in perspective.
The Chancellor continued, “You wrote that if we don’t develop the agriculture industry, we’ll have fewer farmers and more merchants, which will result in food shortages. You also said in the future, only big merchants will survive, and smaller merchants will be oppressed. Those big merchants will dominate the entire economy.”
I silently stared at the Chancellor. Then, he looked into my eyes with his blue eyes and said, “You went too far. Even if it is true, the hierarchical system of our world will remain, and your thoughts are too radical. I think you should be careful about getting ahead of yourself.”
“Thank you for the advice, Chancellor.”
Even though he rejected my answer, his eyes seemed to have revealed that he had thought deeply about my theory. But soon, he turned normal as nothing had happened.
“Anyway, I am glad to have a competent worker. Let’s play chess sometimes when we’re bored,” said the Chancellor.
It was a suggestion made out of self-interest, to which I answered with a smile, “My apologies, but I refuse.”
Of course, it’s a no. The Chancellor was now treating me as an interesting game for him. If so, there was no way I would get caught so easily, making things boring. His eyes became large and he wore a frown, apparently surprised and unhappy by my rejection. I just smiled at his reaction.
“And why is that?”
“I wish not to be interrupted with my work for something that has no profit for me.”
The Chancellor then tapped his finger on the desk as he watched with interest, then smiled. “Hmm… This is troubling. You’re too smart to handle. But I strangely like you. What about this? I’ll give you my son. Why don’t you become my daughter-in-law?”
I almost sighed when the Chancellor claimed that he would give his son, one of the most sought-after groom candidates of the country, away so easily. He seemed to have a strong desire to win. To the point, he would even give away his son for it.
“I’m sorry, Chancellor. I don’t want my freedom restricted by marriage and be unable to pursue my dream.”
“I like you the more you talk. Tell me anytime if you change your mind. I’m sure my son will like you too.”
I’m not sure about that. I’m known to have been abandoned by my fiancé, who has fallen for another woman. I doubt Prince Siccain, one of the most sought-after grooms, will even be interested in me. Besides, why would he even care about a daughter of a fallen count family but not a duke or marquis’s family?
Anyway, I hid my wounded pride and pretended to be happy that he thought so highly of me. “Thank you for your kind words, Chancellor.”
“And you’re also very modest. I sure have good eyes for people! I gave a perfect score on the answer that saw through the policy and also foresaw a result, only to find out that she was the lady who won me on chess! I am looking forward to working with you.”
And I think it’s going to be tiresome, Chancellor. Also, I’m not humble. I just know my place. I know that it’s pointless to be greedy for something that’s out of my league. Honestly, it’s self-defense against something that might hurt me. I no longer want to suffer for feelings like love that are pointless once it ends or one-sidedly sacrifice myself. The love that I unilaterally gave for five years had eaten me away in that way.
I didn’t want to forget about myself and be swayed by emotions again by sacrificing myself for someone. But unlike my cowered mind, I acted as calmly as I could to act as if I wasn’t swayed by emotion. This was the way I chose to survive in the competitive world of nobles.
The Chancellor looked at me with interest, then turned to Count Clove and asked, “Count Clove, who is our new Associate Secretary Harrant’s senior?”
“It is Senior Secretary Harsen, sir.”
“I see. Tell him that I’m expecting great things from our new recruit and that he should promptly train her.”
It was as if the Chancellor was threatening me that ‘there will not be any slacking,’ and I swallowed an empty throat in nervousness. Ugh, it’s the beginning of my suffering.
“Here now, go and meet with your seniors and hear more about your work, Secretary Harrant,” said the chancellor.
“Yes, Chancellor,” I answered.
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