Chapter 27 - First Day at Work
Yeah, well. In the case of the secretaries, who are directly below the high-ranking officials, it was common to review and manage plans or reports when working in other departments. It was more suitable for those in management positions than to work in practice. But the department under the supervision of the Chancellor was the central department of the entire Internal Affairs.
My job is in general practical business. Even though it was necessary to work, I had access to key issues and had more advantages by becoming a high-ranking official. Like this, the same secretaries had different roles per department.
“Oh, and I’m just saying this but listen well. You might have to run errands for his majesty or his highness. You have to be especially careful when going into his highness’s office. The Crown Prince is prejudiced towards officials,” said Rave.
Come to think of it. I have never attended a party in the Royal Palace since the collapse of our family. Thanks to that, I had never seen the Crown Prince myself. And that was natural as I wasn’t in the league to run into the Crown Prince if it wasn’t for a party. Although I did run into him on the examination day, I doubt he would remember me for such a short moment. Now that I can run into him by chance, I should study royal etiquette. The etiquette of the palace was stricter than the etiquette of nobles.
“I’ll be careful.” After hearing all this, it certainly felt more real now that I was at Internal Affairs, the center of all administration.
“But I’ve never actually gone by myself. Hahaha!” said Rave.
And that made my nervousness feel foolish. What’s up with this man anyway?
“Oh, by the way, Marina.”
I refocused when he called me so suddenly. I wanted to listen carefully in case he gave me another piece of advice. Instead, he asked me teasingly with a big smile, “Don’t you know who I am?”
‘Ugh, is he starting this again?’
“We just met,” I replied coldly because of my annoyance and added, “And I prefer we don’t meet privately outside of work.”
“You’re slow, I see. But you’re still cute when being so stuck up! Is it because you’re the only female associate?”
He didn’t seem to care even a bit about my cold attitude. Do you think I’m going to fall for it?
“Are there no female officials in the departments under the chancellor?” I casually changed the subject after Rave’s obvious flirtation, and I was actually curious about that a while ago.
“Nope, not a single woman. It’s to the point that this place was called “the No Girl Zone.” We were so happy when we heard that you were coming. Even the Department of the Treasury people, who have the most women officials, were envious of us.”
So, it was that serious. Women officials were indeed rare, with the ratio of men to women being 50 to 1. That’s because most noblewomen preferred being a palace maid to an official.
The fact that there aren’t many women officials felt a bit uncomfortable. If I were the only woman, then most events or schedules were going to revolve around men, even if they try to be considerate of my presence. With that aside, why did the treasury people envy us? Was it because I’m the record top scorer of the exam?
“Envied us? What for?” I asked.
“You know, a rumor spread throughout the entire palace on the day of the exam that an incredibly beautiful woman came to take the exam. Everyone wished you would come to their department. It is because you are the prettiest woman working in the entire palace.”
He flicked his finger as if he was dumbfounded by what I said. In my mind, I frowned and thought, ‘He’s over-exaggerating.’
Besides, it felt terrible to be evaluated by appearance rather than my ability. And I’m not that pretty either. I just thought it was Rave’s attempt to flirt once more that made me feel down.
“I don’t feel good about this.”
Rave sighed at my stiff words, then smiled again. He sure has some nerves. Then, he replied, “You’re more stuck up than you look, Marina. By the way, did you find a place to stay in the capital?”
“Yes, I am staying at my uncle’s place.”
“Yes, Marquis Reclaim.”
Rave turned pale when I told him about my uncle. Hmm? I became curious about his reaction. What was wrong with him? He seemed concerned even as I looked at him that he took back his hands that he was about to place above my shoulder. Then he became polite.
“You know, I would be grateful if you don’t tell the Marquis about what I did to you today…”
His actions confirmed my suspicions. I wasn’t sure why, but Rave seemed scared of Uncle. The Minister of Defense and my uncle don’t have a good relationship, but was that why he was afraid of him? I should find out why later. At least I can be freed from this punk’s flirtation, thanks to my uncle. Heh.
“Well, like what exactly?” I asked with a smile as if I did not know anything. Rave became even paler.
“Uh… like that I asked you out for some tea.”
“And that you called me by name like we’re friends?”
“Yes, that’s right, Associate Harrant.”
I spoke to him as if I didn’t know anything to tease him, and he quickly corrected how he addressed me. But I’m not going to let this slide so easily. Yet. “Well, I’ll think about it from now on.”
“Hahaha. Marina… Associate Harrant can be quite scary, I see.”
His words made me laugh. It was better to be scary and uncomfortable than easygoing and being a pushover. But Rave seemed a bit numb.
‘What’s up with him?’ I felt uncomfortable by the blank stare he was giving me and calmly responded to what he just said, “I didn’t even start yet. Anyway, thank you for teaching me about work.”
My words made him come back to his senses, and he responded, “Yeah, feel free to ask any questions from now on, so you don’t have to cry when things don’t work out.”
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