Chapter 38: Hermann Artonen’s Activity Report.
Volume 1 — The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife
Spring has greeted our lands.
That was what was written on the letter from the lord. The snow in the city had melted, so I had thought that the place I would be assigned to was getting warm too.
However, the port I arrived in still had some snow and the blowing wind was one that had a biting cold.
What part of this is spring! I retorted to the lord that I had not seen yet in my head.
Just in case, I opened the letter of appointment and checked where I was going to.
—— To Hermann Artonen.
We inform that you are hereby appointed as the fortress captain of the County of Revontulet, Lappland. You are to start working from the first phase of spring.
When I asked a sailor nearby where this was, he told me that we were in the County of Revontulet.
This was definitely the place.
I gave up and paid money to a merchant travelling to the village to get there.
Not far away from the Arctics, this place was famous as a place of exile for those who caused trouble within the military.
It’s a simple job of patrolling and keeping watch for any beasts that my harm people, but there are no records of the village, protected by thick, tall walls, receiving damage from beasts. Because there is the fortress in the village, I don’t think that there is any need for a garrison to be stationed, but there is also the story that back then the king and his mistress from the village agreed to station troops in the area.
Rather than that, I cursed my ill luck.
I came here because my superior’s corruption was pinned onto me.
One is a noble, and one is a commoner. It’s clear who would win if both deny the act.
It was a fruitless life, I thought.
After spending those years chased by work, even losing my chance at marriage, I was turning 55 this year, going into my sunset years.
Now, I was going to the remotes lands where extreme cold dominated.
My term in office was not set, and the soldiers there are a ragtag group of troublemakers.
My life too was soon about to end anyway, or so I almost gave up.
Not a long time later, I arrived at the village.
The rumoured fortress was impressive. One could hardly imagine that it was for this village of only a few hundred people.
I heard that this fortress was built a few centuries ago when the king’s favourite mistress, who was from this village, worried about the damage her people received from beasts. This military facility felt very out of place in this village surrounded by the forest.
When I got off the wagon, there was someone standing by the fortress gates.
A young man, who had white hair braided down to his waist, wearing traditional clothing of bright blue and red.
He had a soft atmosphere to him.
That appearance did not fit with the bleak fortress walls.
Indeed. He was like a fairy. He felt fantastical, out of this world.
“Hermann Artonen-dono, right?”
From his words, I confirmed that he was a being of this world.
And this man was the ruler of these lands, Count Revontulet.
I never thought that anyone would greet me, so I was very surprised and felt appreciative that the lord himself came out to greet me.
However, he was a kind person, giving me a guide through the fortress facilities such as my room, the dining hall and the training facilities.
Finally, we visited the staff lounge where the soldiers were on standby.
The lord looked apologetic as he said that I shouldn’t expect much and opened the door.
I did have a bad feeling even before the doors were opened, but it was much worse.
There were two soldiers glaring at each other, about burst out at each other.
There were soldiers jeering and egging those two on.
One was asleep, with a bottle in his hand.
Bad work behaviour, and they were ignoring the lord and me.
I unconsciously stared up at the ceiling in disbelief.
Without waiting for anything, the fistfight started. The surroundings heated up. The drunk man woke up.
It was pandemonium.
“Hey, stop that!”
Recklessly, the lord went in to stop them. However, they did not stop.
While the two were wrestling each other, the lord was hit on the cheek by one the men’s elbow. Because there was quite a lot of force, he collapsed on the floor.
Because the lord who intervened to stop the fight was knocked away, the soldiers who were fighting looked agitated. The spell was broken and the fight quickly stopped.
The lord quickly stood back up, while saying that he was okay, but the large bleeding wound on his cheekbones looked pitiful.
Even then, the lord was not enraged, and merely told them off with a warning. He then proceeded to introduce me and give words of encouragement before leaving.
The soldiers were mocking him as the sissy lord, but I couldn’t really accept that.
The next day.
The soldiers were already drinking in the morning and started the day off with vulgar jokes.
Of course, they didn’t even notice that I, their boss, came to work. Unable to do anything, I decided to just be at the reception desk.
I sort of expected it, but everything here done carelessly.
On the reception desk, the pot of ink of was empty. There wasn’t even a pen.
Sighing, I started organising the documents.
While I was working, a person came from the village. It was still dark, so when I peeked out, it was a rather tall woman.
She named herself as ‘Sieglinde Salonen Revontulet’. No need to say, she’s the wife of the lord.
She asked me to take her to the soldier’s lounge, but there are only poorly disciplined soldiers inside. It’s no place for a woman to go into.
However, the countess visited this place sometimes, and apparently it wasn’t something special today.
Because she insisted, I relented and guided her in.
Though they did not react much to my appearance, they reacted greatly to the countess.
While crude jokes flew about, the countess took their drinks and properly scolded.
“Oi oi, what’s this. If it isn’t the lady, here to do her usual meddling again!”
“Heheh, she’s probably here for revenge.”
“What did you say?”
“Huuhh, you didn’t here~? Your weak husband got hit here.”
Upon hearing that, the countess expression changed into a menacing look. Her glare was fierce, and had a sharpness resembling that of a carnivore.
“Oi, Ars, it was you, right?”
“Aa, I didn’t he’d collapse from just that.”
“So you did do it on purpose.”
“Haha! As I thought the lord didn’t tell her beloved wife!”
“Of course he wouldn’t, getting injured by trying to stop us fighting, it’s shameful!”
The countess stopped cleaning the room and glared at the soldiers.
I wanted to tell her to go back, but even I could feel her rage that words did not escape my throat.
“What’s up with those eyes.”
“Wanna go at it!?”
I shouted at them to not lay a hand on women, but as expected I was ignored.
The lady too did not look as though she was going to let that statement go.
Then, for some reason, the countess beckoned them to come over, provoking them.
Easily provoked, the soldiers charged at her.
I shut my eyelids tight to prevent myself from witnessing the worst possible event.
-Blam- The sound of a punch connecting echoed in the room along with a scream. There was also a dull sound of something hitting the wall, but more importantly the scream was a low one, from a man.
When I cautiously opened my eyes, the countess was in a battle stance, bouncing about as she prepared to face her second opponent.
I heard that one stepped like that to raise one’s physical abilities.
I was relieved that it was not the countess that was hurt, but she was about to attack her second opponent.
As I was saying that feebly, two shadows moved simultaneously.
The countess swung out first. The soldier deftly avoided the uppercut and then tried to hit her fist away with his elbow, but he received a blow to his knee and collapsed.
The knee is one of the weak points of the human body, and it’s weak to blows from the side. She understood that well. The first punch was a feint to approach closer.
Still enraged, the soldiers lunged at the countess, but being the unfortunate drunkards they were, they could not win.
The countess’s countenance then returned to normal and she continued to clean the room as if nothing happened.
For the soldiers that were collapsed on the floor, she kicked them away into a corner as she cleaned.
After throwing away all the alcohol in the room out the window, the countess left with a cold expression.
The soldiers moaned in the corner, looking humiliated.
The next morning, the countess came again.
This time, not drunk, the soldiers were in proper condition.
I told them all to stop but no one listened.
Today, the soldiers are not drunk. I tried to stop them saying that it would be bad if anything happened to the lord’s wife, but one of the soldiers restrained me.
However, I was worrying unduly.
The countess won again.
The soldiers, feeling even more vexed, started training.
A few days late, the countess came over and fought, and the results were the same.
The soldiers, who used to be drunk and unmotivated, asked me, their captain, how to become stronger.
I could teach them the basic theories of martial arts, but applying it to practice was a different story.
Truth be told, I did not have a good physical ability, so I only did paperwork in the military.
As we continued to train, the countess came over to see the situation.
The soldiers did not become agitated at once. I bowed my head down and asked if she could teach us the basics of martial arts.
The magnanimous countess granted our wish.
From then on, the countess came over everyday and taught the soldiers how to fight.
One day, the village women who admired her came over and brought some snacks. The soldiers did not seem to dislike that either. Thanks to those snacks, there eventually no soldiers who rebelled against the countess.
After a month, a few talented soldiers became better than the countess.
From there on, those people taught the other soldiers how to fight.
The countess stopped coming to the fortress after that.
However, the women continued to bring over snacks, and the soldiers were putting their back into training.
In a blink, the disorderly soldiers became diligent soldiers.
“For some reason, everyone’s gotten more diligent now.”
“I-Is that so?”
While watching the soldiers, the lord tilted his head.
I felt relieved that his bruised cheek had recovered fully.
I was told to not tell how the soldiers improved by the countess so I couldn’t tell him.
The lord too left without prying into it.
This remote land is an interesting place.
It’s a far and fantastical place where people who look like fairies live, where there was a kind-hearted lord and a friendly lady.
I took a liking to this place.
I couldn’t help but feel that there will be good things in the future.