Chapter 1: The Engagement Is Abruptly Ended
There are piles of papers on the table.
Materials are in boxes, disorganized like junk.
Looking back, weapons and armor are neatly arranged in rows.
I’ve been here so long that I’m used to the smell of steel and dust.
With a squeaking sound, the old door opens.
The person who arrived was the secretary in charge of the court’s staff.
She raises her glasses and says it with her usual authority.
“Phyllis-san, have you completed the work I assigned to you?”
“I apologize. It will take a little longer.”
I’ll give her an honest assessment of the current situation.
There is no delay because the delivery is scheduled for tomorrow.
But the secretary always sighs deeply.
“You need to pull yourself together. That is something I always tell you. The delivery date is rapidly approaching. Finishing by that deadline is insufficient.
I’m not sure why you say that…
In my head, I’m blurting that out.
But if you say it out loud in reality, you will face immediate backlash.
So I apologize with a sorry expression on my face.
“I apologize. I’ll finish this right away.”
“You’ve asked for it. If it’s too late, I’ll notify His Majesty; there are plenty of people who could fill your position.”
The secretary slams shut the door and walks away.
And I find myself alone once more.
I sighed deeply, as if letting it all out.
I lean back and relax.
I rest my face on the table, my face reflected in the armor, unmotivated.
“The delivery date is approaching—I can’t do it alone…”
Everything in this warehouse was under my responsibility.
I work as a grantmaker at the court.
Three years have passed.
I was the center of attention when I entered the court at the age of 15.
because I was the first grantmaker to hold a position at the Court.
Apothecary, mage, blacksmith…
Those who worked at the court held a variety of positions.
Grantmakers, on the other hand, were not among them.
And why is that?
simply because they were unnecessary.
The power to bestow abilities is referred to as the grantmaking technique.
It is a type of magic that can be cast on a variety of objects, ranging from humans to inorganic objects.
While there is some variation, the effects are mostly transient, and the strength and weakness of the effects can vary between practitioners.
It is only seen as a basic power, and mages who make tools with special effects from the start are looked up to more than grantmakers.
The main issue is that the effects aren’t long-lasting.
So I worked hard to lengthen the effect’s duration and strengthen the effect itself.
The grantmaking technique would be a very useful power if the duration problem could be solved.
I’m sure the royal court would recognize it.
And I proved useful as a grantmaker, becoming the country’s first court grantmaker.
“… Everything was fine and well at first…”
A spectacular start.
A position in a court that would make anyone jealous.
And now we’re here.
Clearly, this is not a quantity that can be handled by a single person.
One woman is in charge of all the knights’ armor and swords, and she must deliver them on time and with a certain subsidy.
The Order has 50,000 knights in total, and I am responsible for 15,000 of them in the capital.
It would appear absurd to anyone.
However, this is occurring.
Fortunately, I manage to streamline my work and deliver on time every time.
Thanks to this, there is no time for rest.
I work most of the day, and it is normal for me to work on holidays.
I get about two hours of sleep a day.
I am aware that I am not leading a humane life.
“Sigh… I want to quit. But…”
I can’t stop for a variety of reasons.
I’m desperately in need of money.
A knock is heard on the door.
It’s not the secretary. Because that woman would walk in without knocking and without a care in the world.
” Phyllis, are you there? It’s me.”
“――! Please come in.”
He would make sure I was there before opening the door.
I dust my dusty clothes off with my hands and greet him as calmly as I can.
“Good day, Phyllis.”
Salerio Ratratos gives me a bright smile.
Salerio Ratratos, the Ratratos family’s next head and my fiancée.
He’s the only one who understands me.
Salerio-sama circles the warehouse from right to left.
“The place is still as dark and dusty as ever; do you feel comfortable working here?”
“Uh, yeah. I’m used to it now.”
“Is that so? You appear to have dark circles under your eyes again.”
I’m completely embarrassed.
I want to be treated as a woman in front of Salerio-sama.
I didn’t want him to despise me.
Aside from that, I owe him and his house a great debt of gratitude.
“I apologize for arriving on such short notice. You were busy, weren’t you? ”
“No, I was just taking a break.”
I didn’t have time to take a break, but I wanted to talk to Salerio-sama as much as possible.
“Okay. How’s work going?”
“Of course…I’m doing everything I can to repay Salerio-sama and the Ratratos family for everything they’ve done for me.”
I’m deeply in debt.
My house used to be one of the capital’s most prominent nobles, but when my parents died in an accident, all of our business ventures were ruined.
I didn’t have time to mourn.
When I was held accountable and demanded a large sum of money, the Ratratos family handled everything for me.
It was probably because we had been close friends for a long time and had been engaged to Salerio-sama from the start.
They saved my life when I was about to be sold.
That is why I want to pay them back.
I became a court grantmaker in order to work and repay the money I was given.
“Well… I know you’re busy, but could you spare some time for me? ”
I’ll be available for hours if it’s for Salerio-sama.
I’d also like to speak with him.
Because of all the work I’ve been doing, I haven’t had a chance to have a real conversation with anyone in a long time.
Spending time with him will take my mind off the stresses of everyday life and the secretary’s harsh treatment.
“I have something important to tell you.”
I’m not sure I understand.
Salerio-sama, who is usually cheerful, has a gloomy expression on his face.
Is there something bothering him?
Then I’d like to help figure it out.
I lean forward and listen to what he says, hoping to be of help to him.
“Phyllis… I’ve decided to call off our engagement.
The words he spoke left me speechless.