Chapter 28: Do not raise your expectations
I slowly open my eyes, listening to the birds chirp.
This isn’t the ceiling I’m used to seeing.
Blankly staring at the nostalgic scenery.
I slowly shifted my gaze to the side…
“He isn’t here.”
His Highness was gone.
Last night, I slept in the same bed as him.
Nothing noteworthy occurred. We were talking about each other, and before I knew it, I had fallen asleep.
My body was probably tired from the unaccustomed carriage ride.
I became drowsy as soon as the tension subsided, and I think it was a moment when I closed my eyes.
I got to my feet.
“You’ve woken up.”
I hear a voice at the window, and I look at His Highness.
He was already dressed formally, not in his nightgown.
“Oh, good morning. I see you slept well.”
“Yes—Your Highness is an early riser, doesn’t he?”
“It simply happens. I awoke early this morning. I occasionally get up late.”
His Highness says so, but perhaps his late hours are ordinary people’s early hours.
I used to be an early riser myself.
I had to get up at a certain time to go to work because I would have less time to sleep otherwise.
I no longer have to rush after I moved to this country, and I can sleep more comfortably.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been sleeping better lately.
“I’ll go out first and give the soldiers orders. You are free to dress and come down to breakfast.”
With those words, His Highness exited the room.
I get out of bed and gather the clothes I prepared the night before.
Perhaps His Highness prepared himself first so as not to disrupt the women’s preparations.
I’m beginning to see him as a man of such consideration.
I leave the room after dressing following his Highness.
Even though this is my first visit, the structure of the mansion is simple and easy to understand in comparison to the royal castle.
The bedrooms are located on the second floor, while the dining room is located in the first floor hallway.
At the dinner table, it’s just me and His Highness, and the knights are eating at different times.
“Phyllis, as I mentioned yesterday, the real work begins today.”
“Yes, we’ll begin with the inspection.”
“That’s the plan. There’s someone in charge of the city, and he’ll show us around and let us know what’s going on.”
Every town and city has at least one administrator.
They are chosen from among the nobles who serve the royal family and are effectively kings of their respective cities.
The royal family rules the land, but it is difficult for them to directly rule each town and village.
What a person can see and accomplish has a limit.
As a result, a trusted individual is appointed to lead the territories on their behalf.
Every country follows the same procedure.
“As soon as we finish eating, we’ll leave.”
His Highness and I will leave the house after breakfast.
We met the Knight Commander on the way, and the three of us set off.
The City Hall is a structure in the center of the city.
It is a government agency tasked with a variety of duties, including tax collection and problem resolution.
They say there’s a nobleman here who rules over Suerre.
It is similar to a court in a royal city.
“We have been expecting you, Your Highness Rayne.”
“Good to see you, Duke Verrière; how are things going?””
“Yes, as you can see, everything is fine.”
“I see; have you gained any more weight than before?”
“Hahaha… I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m out of shape. My knees have recently deteriorated.”
They begin to make small talk.
The Duke of Verrière was an elderly man, over fifty this year.
He resembles His Majesty with his beard and gray hair.
He appears fearsome from the outside, but when you talk to him, he appears friendly and kind.
“Sir Knight Commander, you as well! You’re still in excellent shape.”
“Thank you very much.”
Suddenly, the Duke’s gaze is drawn to me.
“And who is this? I’ve never seen you before.”
“She’s my wife.”
“My God! So this is the woman who has won His Highness over, as I’ve heard! My name is Verrière Boritian, and please make your acquaintance.”
He bows graciously and politely.
My face and name have become familiar in the capital, but many people outside the city do not recognize me.
You can’t tell what the face is unless you see it.
I respond firmly, as a royal wife should.
“I’m Phyllis, His Highness’s wife. Pleased to meet you.”
“Phyllis-sama is also here. I have heard that she is a very good grantmaker.”
“She’s really good.”
“I can assure you that the Phyllis-sama has been of great assistance to our Order.”
They both compliment me.
When he hears this, the Duke nods and smiles at me.
“There is no doubt about it if you both say so. What a comforting assistance.I have high hopes for this defensive operation.”
“She might not meet your expectations, but in a good way.”
“Oh my goodness! I wasn’t expecting so much.”
He’s really lifting me up.
While I’m flattered, please don’t set unrealistic expectations.
I’m not particularly that good…
“So let’s start with a report on the current situation and what we can do about it. This way, please.”
We follow the Duke all the way to the back of the compound.
I whisper to his highness’s ear on the way there.
“D-Don’t set unrealistic expectations for everyone.”
“Don’t worry about it; if you do your job as usual, they’ll be surprised.”
“E-Even if you say so…”
He’s a little mean.