Chapter 15: Lord Proxy Liddellina 1
As soon as she entered from the Northweller territory to the Sylvan territory, the forest suddenly increased. She had heard that the territory was narrow, but it was a lush green land and the forest area was spreading.
But as Howard said, the cold of the night was extremely severe, and the cold penetrated into the bone. The turnip soup with ginger in the camp was welcome.
Two days later, she finally arrived at the Sylvan territory lord’s mansion.
It was a small castle, and she was immediately led to the guest room. She warmed up in the room with a large fireplace.
After the greeting, she gave a gift of textiles.
“Okusama. Thank you for the beautiful textile gift.”
The lord, Johnson, and his family seemed to be unexpectedly happy, which relieved me.
In the Northweller territory, they raise a lot of sheep and goats that produce high-quality wool, so it doesn’t cost much, but the ones sold in the capital city also include transportation costs, so they become quite expensive, they said. They can’t afford it.
“It’s true that things from the Northweller region are warm. Thank you very much.”
Johnson is a kind gentleman, and she was relieved.
“No, she came here to ask for some firewood.”
Of course. Since we are both northern territories, we are each other’s when we are in trouble. We have helped each other like this over the generations. However, that’s not the only reason.”
Looking at this territory and the lord’s mansion, it is clear that they live a modest life. This is a trade.
She heard the appropriate price from Howard. She was nervous at the first negotiation, but Friedrich had made arrangements, so it went surprisingly smoothly. Johnson was also a sincere person as he seemed, and he didn’t try to bluff me.
On the contrary, she was led to the guest room and invited to dinner with “Please, stay and rest.”
Howard was surprised and said, “It’s the first time I’ve stayed here. The gift of textiles must have been very much to their liking.”
“There aren’t many good inns in our territory. There aren’t even any tourists who visit this borderland.”
He laughed wryly. The Northweller territory is the same.
She had intended to return as soon as the negotiation was over, but she was relieved that the tired servants could rest while warming up.
When she arrived at the castle after a five-day journey, she was exhausted and chilled by the cold. She learned for the first time that coldness, not just heat, also consumes physical strength. She wonders what will happen if it snows.
She understands Friedrich’s priority of procuring firewood. If this continues, the subjects will freeze to death.
When she returned to the castle, she took a break at the hot spring. The fatigue seemed to melt in the hot water. The castle’s hot spring bath is even larger than the separate residence. She heard that the soldiers also use this hot spring. It’s really a wonderful facility.
In this spacious castle, they burn firewood in large fireplaces, but they use hot springs for heating, so it’s warm and helpful. It seems to be something that is not available in the Sylvan territory, and she thinks it is a wonderful resource.
The next day, she had a sudden thought and asked Howard during her duties.
“By the way, are there any hot springs in the territory other than this castle?”
“Yes, there are some places where it springs up naturally.”
“Do everyone use them?”
“Only some people use them. There are times when dangerous gas comes out, and it requires a lot of money to maintain it. There are also ones that are too lukewarm or too hot to use. By the way, the natural one that spouts out near the capital’s river is used by hunters.”
“Is there a facility like a hot spring inn?”
“A hot spring inn? No, there is only one small inn in the capital. The river hot spring is only occasionally used by hunters and the men in town, and there are no buildings or anything.”
“It’s a shame. If they created a place like a rest area there, more people could use it. They can build such a wonderful hot spring bath. You have the technology, right?”
“Of course we do.”
Howard nodded proudly. He has affection for this territory and respects and admires Friedrich. She could see this in the corners of his conversation.
“What do you think if we do it here?”
“Create a hot spring inn. Will her husband get angry?”
“No, I think it would be okay because part of the management of the territory is entrusted to Okusama’s discretion, but if the war continues to drag on, even now, our sources of funds may become scarce.”
Liddellina also thought about this. The war costs more money than she expected.
“In that case, let’s do it within the range of her allowance.”
“My husband gives me more than enough allowance. I don’t particularly like socializing and don’t need clothes either.”
Liddellina rarely touches her allowance. She only orders sweets when she pays for them for the servants who always take care of her.
“Okusama is going to invest her own money? Why just take a vacation in her townhouse in the capital city when the weather gets warmer? Danna-sama also said that as long as she does her duties, she can hold a tea party, go shopping, or spend time as she likes…”
It’s a nice offer, but Liddellina is not fond of extravagance. The inn is not along the road, so she has to camp out for two days to go to the capital city. That is also a concern.
“Yeah. If I don’t go to the capital city, I won’t have to pay for the travel expenses either.”
Howard was surprised and looked at Liddellina curiously. However, she was unexpectedly interested in the hot spring.
If everyone can use it, she thinks it would be great.