Chapter 68 – Slowly Settling In (2)
Having completed her rounds of the inner castle, Max returned to her room to sort out the items she had to order. Thus, the rest of the day was spent peacefully in the company of papers and food.
The next day, right at sunrise, she ran to the library with the papers, handing them over Ruth to make sure there were no problems. The wizard, who was lying on a worn-out carpet and sleeping using books as a blanket, frowned at being disturbed. Even so, he quickly straightened himself and started checking the order sheet sans complaints.
Reviewing the list from the top, he dipped a pen in ink and crossed out some spots.
“The butler has already prepared enough oil and candles. I’m sure we have silverware and dishes stored in the warehouse. Also, where on earth are you going to use all these soaps and fragrance oils?”
“I tho-thought the kn-knights enjoyed ta-taking bath an-and sau-sauna so….”
“What the… Do you really think those men would use such luxurious soaps and fragrances? They would all frown if they even get near something with floral scent. It’s enough to just order the amount you need.”
Ruth relentlessly crossed out items from the list. Then, giving it a once over, he spoke as if he was doing her a favor.
“The rest seems about right.”
“S-so sho-should I… ju-just order them no-now?”
“Let’s just add in a few more items.”
Max’s eyes opened wide as it was the first time he had wanted to buy something. She curiously looked at what Ruth was writing down and saw a list of names. Max was taken aback as she thought he was planning on purchasing some slaves.
“Wha-what ex-exactly are you wr-writing do-down?”
“Names of scholars. Please ask the servants to purchase writings under these names as it is.”
Max looked at him blankly.
“A-are y-you trying t-to buy someth-thing you per-personally wa-want right no-now? Mo-moreover, it-it’s an ex-expensive lu-luxury item li-like a boo-book ….”
“Madam, knowledge is an incomparable asset.”
He spoke with absolute seriousness and solemnity.
“These writings are not for meeting my desires. They are what this library needs, what I’m trying to say is that anyone can come in and read them freely.”
Max’s jaw dropped at his brazen words. This wizard absolutely hated it when anyone, other than himself, was in the library. He even hinted to her, the lady of the castle, that he was annoyed when she came to the library. Frankly speaking, occupying the castle tower was not enough for Ruth, without authorization he had also taken over the library.
“I-I’ve never seen… an-anyone ex-except for y-you and me use the li-library be-before.”
“There will be more people using it from now on.”
He talked big. Max squinted her eyes, doubting his words. The knights were busy training all day and rarely walked around except to dine at the Great Hall, so what more people. Max was very annoyed by Ruth, who was extremely picky and nosy with items that she planned to buy but was so thick-skinned when it came to things that he wanted. Max snatched the pen from Ruth and crossed out his list. Ruth flipped out and took away the parchment from her hands.
“I am the wizard of this castle! Improving my skills is not only beneficial for me but Anatol, too!”
“A-as ex-expected! Yo-you’re ju-just trying to order th-them be-because y-you nee-need them! A-and these boo-books…. Th-they’re not e-even wi-wizarding books!”
“Ho-how did you know?”
“Fo-for tw-twenty-two ye-years… I ba-basically lived in a li-library like you. I-I can at le-least re- recognize phi-philosophers like Ge-gerad and Ka-kazaham!”
Ruth’s blue-grey orbs shook violently, he was agitated. There was clearly a mix of books that had nothing to do with magic. Max smiled knowingly.
“Ha-hand it ov-over. I he-heard the-there will b-be a ro-road co-construction ne-next year! W-we ca-can’t manage t-to b- buy thi-this ma-many…”
“Then… then are you fine with your child growing up as a fool who knows no better than how to swing a sword?!” He exclaimed urgently.
Max, who was stretching her arms to take the paper away, turned red as if someone had poured boiling water on her head. It felt like steam was coming off the top of her head.
“Ch-ch-child… Wha-wha-what are you… wha-what are you say-saying!”
To the extremely agitated Max, Ruth said nonchalantly,
“What are you so embarrassed about? It is natural for couples to have children. Unless Lord Calypse goes on another expedition, in the next year or two, the castle will probably be filled with the cries of a child.”
She was burning up so much the whole area around her eyes was scorching hot. She wrapped her hands around her face and after much effort cooled off. Her heart started thumping when she’d just thought of hugging her baby with black hair. Ruth grabbed the squirming lady’s hand.
“Don’t you want to raise your child to be smart and intelligent?”
“Th-the ch-child is-isn’t ev-even born yet….”
“It’s too late after he’s born! A child feeds on wisdom to grow! We need to establish the environment in advance!”
She didn’t know what was late, but the wizard’s momentum prevented her from making any counterargument. Ruth quickly wrote down a list of orders on the parchment while she was distracted.
He handed her the parchment with a face full of satisfaction after he had filled out nearly five lines. Max took it with a sullen look.
“I-if we buy so many books and when Ri-riftan gets angry….”
“Lord Calypse doesn’t care about paltry pennies like this.”
Max gazed at him dumbfounded. Even though she wasn’t that worldly, she knew how expensive books were. If it weren’t so expensive, why would her father keep certain books in the display closet so nobody could touch them? Glass couldn’t even compare. Not only did it take a lot of effort and time just to carefully write line by line on the expensive paper, but it also cost a lot to carefully sew it all together, not to mention covering it with leather and gilding it.
On top of that, it was not easy to get books that weren’t heroic epics about knights, such as poems or romantic novels filled with minstrel songs, as they were written by a small number of authors and even when you did somehow get it the seller could set any price. She protested with a loud voice.
“You’re the one who said sa-save.”
“Madam, you know what is more precious than gold? Knowledge.”
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