The toast of you and me.
There were many people entering and exiting the lord’s room. That felt fresh for some reason.
One after another, people passed and there wasn’t any time for them to greet each other. They had documents, and after they finished checking something more people came in. There weren’t many people during the days of father. Also, since the meetings were all scheduled, who and when they came were being properly managed.
Everyone was used to it, so they went straight to the point without greeting the lord properly. I guess they’re familiar faces. Kaid processed the flood of issues in succession. Sometimes, he would stand in front of the huge bookcase and fetch some books and then discuss the issue with the person who brought it.
The morning was spent like that and it became noon in a blink.
Somehow, a little past lunch, we could get a short break.
Kaid had been signing and drawing slashes on documents some hundred times.
As he leaned back against the chair, I served him tea.
He made a carefree thanks and drank it, so I ended up frowning.
What if I had put in poison?
They probably make strict inspections before hiring people, but it’s still careless. He shouldn’t be having something from someone that hadn’t been hired for long. Rather, I shouldn’t even be the maid of this building to begin with.
Even if I didn’t do it, if there’s poison in the tea I brewed I’ll be caught. I don’t want to be framed and executed, and if Kaid’s not here anymore, everyone will be troubled.
“Do you want to say that I am too careless?”
Noticing my gaze, Kaid shook the empty cup at me.
“When I didn’t have anything to eat, I ate even leather soles and sometimes even slightly toxic plants to substitute food. It’s better if I try it than if people without resistance have it. So I won’t die from a little poison. I recall getting scolded, ‘Why won’t you die!’ from a spy. I almost died from eating a worse mushroom than that, he should mixed that in.”
Kaid coolly said something absurd. I gulped and gripped my index finger and middle finger.
It’s a poor land already, but when there are heavy taxes, the land becomes impoverished beyond prepare. They end up having to eat the seedlings for planting next spring and have to dig up the roots of their fruit trees to survive from starving to death. The trees wilt and the untilled land becomes harder, and the land become even poorer.
I can’t imagine how it would have been during the two years he’s been with me. He wouldn’t cross such a dangerous bridge while he was infiltrated.
That’s in the past. It’s when he was fourteen. No…… it’s two years before that, so it’s when he was twelve.
Kaid who was narrowing his eyes at something raised his head at my voice.
“When had you been close to death?”
“Even if you ask when…… it’s not once or twice………… The first time was when I was six? There was an epidemic so there were not many workers available, but there was an increase in taxation. Having to face winter without enough food, I almost didn’t make it. However, thanks to that I ate a mushroom that was thought to be inedible. It’s only the stalk that can’t be eaten. The cap was harmless. We managed to survive that winter with that, so it ended alright. Well, I was scolded quite harshly though.”
Ending with just a scolding is a miracle. Not getting surrounded by sobbing people in black clothes is a miracle.
He was someone that infiltrated the lord’s mansion that might get him for a petty reason even without getting found out as a spy. So he was reckless from a long time ago.
The force that clenched my fingers grew tighter.
Kaid stood up and poured some tea into another cup and offered me that.
“Plus, you’re not a spy, am I correct?”
Where does that confidence come from.
Seeing my puzzled look, Kaid made a completely exasperated face.
“What can a spy do if she stands out? Normally, spies blend in to not get noticed. There aren’t any spies that say ‘don’t approach me’ from the beginning”
He’s indeed a former spy. It’s very convincing.
“I’ve no idea about saying something about reincarnation to get out of trouble. It’s unheard of. However, if I’ve offended you, I could hold an investigation. Maybe you might be able to do something amidst that.”
After hesitating a little, I took the cup that had no pulling strength to it. Slightly cooled, it gave off a foreign scent. Kaid fixed himself a cup of tea too. The clear red-brown liquid slopped back and forth.
“Whatever you are, it doesn’t change the fact that you are my subject. I wish for all the people to be happy. Even if that might be a reckless dream and an idiotic wish, I still think that. If I don’t, there’s no point in robbing this land from the previous lord. I’m not wishing for everyone to have enough money to play for the rest of their lives. But at the least, I wish no one will starve. I wish that people won’t have to feel worried about surviving the winter. I wish that people won’t have murder their babies from despair. I wish that there won’t be a need to judge people for the crimes they committed to survive. Then, after there are no more worries, I wish that people can live while smiling.”
His wish are the minimum rights. The rights that people should have at the least.
That which did not exist in Laius before.
“I believe that it is a very wonderful idea. For the sake of Laius, I will serve as you, my master’s hands for a year. However, I have already been blessed from your wish in my previous life. Please offer your wish to someone else that had not received it yet.”
“That’s unfortunate, Shirley. I’m arrogant. Two rather than one, three rather than two, the more the better. At the least, I won’t forgive you if you starve to death in front of eyes. Anyway, I would like to begin by putting some fat on you, but well, I guess I’ll make a toast for now.”
“About what, sir.”
Kaid pondered a while. I looked up at that. He really grew tall. It’s almost unbelievable that I wore low heels to match his height. Rather, my neck hurts.
The cups clashed.
“To the happy future of the young lady in front of me.”
“To the future of our Laius. “
With Kaid who made a bitter smile, I sipped some tea. It was a tea that I didn’t have back in those days, but it was easy to drink, not too bitter and with a sweetness.
Seeing me blink, Kaid laughed.
“Is it good? It will become the special produce of a village to the east. It seems like that land is poor for other crops, but good for these tea leaves. Next year, it will spread to other places in Laius. It would best if it could spread to other fiefdoms, but that might be tough. There’s too much rain in those lands so the ground is unstable, making it hard to expand farmlands.”
I wonder if I ever heard about such things from father, or from grandfather.
My family bought only from the royal capital and from famous stores. The money exploited from Laius was not spent in Laius. I could have easily understood what would happen then if I pondered a little, I thought.
Isn’t it pretty, isn’t it cute. It’s a top-quality good.
It looks good on you. It looks nice. It’s cute.
I had trusted the smiles of my family without considering the process leading up to it.
Aa, you are right.
Seeing Kaid, I wanted to burst into laughter. I couldn’t tell what these feelings that sprang up after a long time were.
Pleasant, cheerful, dismal and unsightly. I forgot the name of this emotion.
I wonder what kind of face I’m making. The golden eyes widened and murmured something, but I couldn’t even catch that.
Fifteen years after gained a new life, feelings started gushing out, bursting out. It swirled all around my body and it was worse than blood. Blood gives life but this will kill me.
We were unclouded evil, evil so pure that it almost shone. We were the parasites bleeding Laius. We were the evils that rightly had to be murdered.
His resolve was a wise one that rescued Laius from ruin, raising it back to glory and protecting the people.
You are right.
You are strong, wise and kind, fit to be called a hero. You truly are the saviour of Laius.
That is why, you made a mistake.