Chapter 62 – Her Unofficial Help (2)
Upon hearing that Max wanted to cancel most of the orders, Aderon wore a worried look and tried to persuade her with his glib tongue. She almost fell for it but remembering Ruth’s glare and how he treated her like an extravagant woman, Max was able to keep her opinion. Realizing there was nothing he could do, Aderon sighed and handed over a new written statement.
Max tried to estimate how much the price Aderon wrote was worth in her head. Imagining the gold and silver coins Ruth showed her in a pile… she was able to grasp that the price she was paying was never a small amount of money. She devoutly signed the paper and left the room.
When she told him that things have gone well, Ruth relaxed his brows a little.
“Can you show me the statement?”
She handed it over.
“Well, this man isn’t completely unscrupulous,” the wizard finally said after reading the paper top to bottom.
“H-he ca-can t-try to fo-force you in-into bu-buying but he i-isn’t a ba-bad person…”
“No one is bad in front of their sacrificial victim.” He spat a cold comment which contrasted his rather gentle mien and pulled out a chair in front of him to sit down.
Max also sat across him and rolled her eyes. She had known this before, but this man was extremely ill-tempered and liked to make blistering remarks, unlike his soft and kind looking face. His crooked way of seeing things was somewhat similar to Riftan, apart from his talkative and nosey side.
“I’ll take a look at it. Try writing it in the ledger.”
She didn’t pose a question on how he’d naturally become her supervisor and merely toed the line.
“Here, the calculation is wrong again.”
“Oh, I-I’m so-sorry.”
He looked at her numbers and tapped the corner of the parchment paper again, massaging the middle of his brows. She hurriedly corrected her mistake. He then pointed at the section below.
“Here, the unit is wrong.”
“And it will help to have your statements written in detail. That way, you can avoid any confusion when you tally the accounts in the future.”
“Here, you have misspelt. This will be a document left for generations, so please restrain from scribbling the words.”
The tutor her father had assigned hadn’t been this strict. Neither was he patient. The result was what it was now. She wrote the letters clearly, fearing that he was going to point them out again. After she was done, Ruth checked the ledger as if going through her homework.
“This is good enough,” he said arrogantly as he closed the ledger. His face looked easy and lax.
“With this, every problem has been solved. Now, I would appreciate it if you stop coming to the library and interrupting my sleep.”
Max rolled her eyes.
Was he thinking of continuing to sleep here? Riftan clearly said this man was using the tower in the backyard… No, it was not something for her to interfere. After thinking for a while, she slowly opened her lips.
“W-we de-decided to la-landscape the ga-garden next sp-spring…”
Ruth horrendously contorted his face. Max pulled out the shamelessness she didn’t know she had and pleaded. The hours she spent trying to work out things she had never done before alone flashed before her eyes. She didn’t want to go back pulling her hair, unable to make out heads or tails. Since she had already been embarrassed, she thought there won’t be any more harm asking for more help.
“A-and the mai-maintenance in the annex…”
Ruth grabbed his head with regret.
After that day, Ruth officially became Max’s helper in organizing the ledger. When she quietly approached him sleeping on the floor of the library, he woke up mumbling how he regretted helping her in the first place, but thoroughly went through the book, nevertheless. Furthermore, he advised her on purchases for the castle. It was more of a nag than advice, but they were valuable words. Since then, Max started to ask for advice on even little things.
“I think the servants will be thrown off if you order them to pull out the tree next to the gazebo,” Ruth said after quietly listening to her plan on redecorating the garden. She tilted her head to the side.
“I-It’s dead a-and do-doesn’t sprout le-leaves an-anymore.”
“People of Anatol believe that spirits lie in trees. For that reason, people here do not uproot trees simply because they’re dead and regard logging as sacred work. The servants will be shocked at your order to remove the tree just because it looks bad.
“Bu-but…” Max was befuddled. She had never known of such a custom back in Croix.
“I-if we te-tell them i-it will b-be used for fi-fire, then wo-would i-it be ac-ac-acceptable? I-I mean, i-it’s hi-hideous…”
“They might accept it.” He frowned and stroked his chin.
“But I’m worried that the tree by the gazebo is an oak.”
“Wha-what about oa-oaks?”
“People here deeply believe in the legend about the first knight who rode a dragon and flew into the sky. The hill where Uigru hopped onto the dragon is the hill right there.”
Next week we are going to learn about the legend of the oak tree finally :))