The Vampire Empress.
We soon reached the town where we were immediately greeted by a battalion of guards saluting before us which kind of surprised me for a bit as I walked out of the carriage carrying Ayaka who was a bit drowsy despite sleeping the entire ride.
“I suppose that all of you have completed your assigned tasks, is that correct?” I looked at the knight who didn’t reply which most likely meant affirmative since they were all saluting anyway, “How about Leo and Iona, where are they?”
“Sir Leo arrived a few hours before, Your Ma—My Lady! He is currently waiting with Dame Iona at the town hall,” one of the knights near me responded.
“Please notify them of our arrival. To be specific, tell Leo to wait for me outside the town hall. Iona can continue with her work if she has one assigned otherwise she can continue resting for now,” I commanded while looking at the knight who immediately straightened himself.
“As you wish, My Lady!” he shouted before running off.
Turning my attention towards the three new guests of mine, I showed a little bitter smile as I said, “This is where the three of you will be working from hereon. It may look awful for now, but I know the state of this town will change drastically if given one to two more months.”
“We don’t mind!” the twins both spoke simultaneously which surprised the two of them for a second as they laughed before one of them looked at me with a smile, “It is our pleasure to become one of the people who will help in the revival of the once infamous town, after all!”
“You can leave the designs of the house to us, Your Majesty!” the other twin placed her hands on her hips with a confident smile.
The two of them are a bit talkative which is a complete contrast from the male designer who should be Kyle if my memory serves me right. I don’t know how to differentiate between the twins, who is Aitsuki and who is Mitsuki which is why I could only refer to them as twins.
“Felice, do you mind if you bring a few knights with you and start the distribution of equipment and materials to the general populace?” I looked at Felice, “Make sure to tell them specifically that this is not kindness given by me but a debt that they will have to eventually pay with their hard work.”
“I don’t want them to think that I am doing this out of kindness. That is only something to be used as an excuse, tell them if they don’t want us to take back their equipment and materials as well as food then work… the only exception will be the children.”
“The children will receive what they are capable of. If a child can sew then find someone who can accompany that child and guide the child of the same occupation, I will implement a new system which will reward the people who will mentor the children properly,” I said in one go.
“What will be the basis of the reward, my lady?” she asked.
“A reward will be given depending on how well they taught the children and how favorable the children think of them. They will receive two weeks' worth of salary immediately if they pass the minimum criteria and if they surpass the criteria by a large margin then we will give them two months' worth of salary and a stake of the harvest we will gain,” I replied before she saluted.
Her salute only lasted a second as she looked at Kyle with a smile, “Thank you for the pleasant talk back then, it is time for me to head to my work.”
“Likewise,” Kyle responded while bowing down a bit. The feel around him is way too noble that my intuition from reading too many novels makes me think that this person is some kind of first prince from another kingdom who is going incognito to hide from the second prince. I’d be so damned if my intuition is correct.
After the two of them waved themselves goodbye, Felice soon left together with the carriage, riding it inside as I looked at the remaining knights with a straight face, “All the remaining knights will take turns in watching over the town.”
“In two hours, the first group of knights will find either Iona or Felice and ask for their share of the meal then after five hours of break, the second group will move in and repeat the cycle, do you understand?!” I shouted before all of them saluted at the same time.
After saying out my orders, I looked at the remaining three companions of mine before nodding as we entered inside the town where many people gazed at us. There was a little bit of difference between the first day I arrived here and today.
The largest difference being they didn’t look like they are starving much. It seems like they received a good amount of meal from the first hunt we did with the knights. It may not be a large harvest but the number of boars we hunted should be more than enough to sustain them for a little longer.
“Mama…” Ayaka suddenly mumbled with a smile on her lips, her eyes were closed as her ears continued to twitch.
“There, there… sleep more, my dear,” I mumbled before she moved her head a bit more onto my shoulder, continuing with her rest as my eyes turned towards the twins and Kyle who were talking a little bit about ideas they thought of, “That reminds me… are the three of you perhaps acquaintances?”
“Yes, Your Majesty. We were acquainted with Kyle since he first arrived on the guild around two years ago, he did look a bit novice back then, but his skills were entirely in another level that he rose quickly and managed to catch up to Mitsuki and me within a year,” the younger twin from my memory, Aitsuki responded.
“I wasn’t that much of a novice back then, to be exact, I had around four years of experience with architecture and was guided by a master before entering the guild. My story isn’t that much impressive compared to Aitsuki and Mitsuki who rose without any external help,” Kyle spoke.
“Mitsuki and I were only doing this as a side-hobby though~!” Aitsuki responded.
“Then I suppose the two of you won’t let me do with this side hobby of yours, right?” I smiled before Aitsuki immediately saluted with a childish look.
“Naturally! Elder sister and I are more than confident!” she replied.
“Aitsuki is correct, even though we consider this as a side hobby, our skills won’t lose out to Kyle,” Mitsuki said as I nodded before the four of us soon reached the town hall where Leo could be seen waiting with his letter.
He soon walked towards me and offered the letter which I took. The letter had the seal of the royal family which was a simple cross-swords with a bright shining star and moon on the sides. Opening the letter, a beautifully scented paper revealed itself.
The paper smelled like roses as I took it out from its envelope which I handed back to Leo, unfolding the paper revealed beautiful cursive handwriting that said: “To my dearest Que—Hero, the royal family has officially received your request and will be dispatching an officer in charge of the embezzled funds.”
“The funds were not touched within its entire period but fearing that the funds would be misused, we decided not to release it under certain circumstances. The officer in charge will ask for your plans for the funds and all sort of questions which is required for the officer to determine whether you are worthy of receiving the funds.”
“Your Royal Majesty, Ferze IX Kaleid.”
My hands were literally about to rip the letter into pieces from the first four lines… thankfully my consciousness kept it from happening, though to think that His Majesty himself would be the one responding to the letter surprised me a bit.
Despite the first four lines being more of a joke, the remaining parts of the letter were indeed serious which made me sigh in relief as according to what he said, an officer who is in charge of the funds will arrive here soon.
It may be tomorrow or the next day after tomorrow but either way, that means we might be able to secure the second round of funding for the town which is not needed right now but if we want to expand more then it will be crucial.
“Please place the paper back and shelf the letter somewhere, an officer will arrive here either tomorrow or the day after and will inquire us about our plans for the funding. Make sure none of the knights acts out of ordinary, tell them to do their assigned work the same as usual, and don’t even bother with the officer,” I said while folding the paper before handing it to Leo who saluted.
“Is there anything you will need from me, my lady?” Leo asked.
“Right, bring some knights with you. I want you to do another round of survey about what kind of occupation the people can do and what kind of materials do they need to work as well as a proper wage for them, make sure to list the names of the ones who answers an unfair wage,” I said before he nodded.
“As you wish!” he said before leaving.
“That also reminds me, the three of you will be sharing rooms with someone. Preferably, I want Aitsuki and Mitsuki to share the same room which is why I will be asking Felice and Iona to share a room while Kyle and Leo can also share a room with one another or could decide to sleep on the sofa which is a lot more uncomfortable,” I looked at Kyle who looked like he didn’t mind.
“I can sleep on either, don’t worry, Your Majesty,” Kyle replied.
“Will the three of you immediately go to work or do you want to look around the town for some inspiration and maybe get a little bit used to the scenery here?” I asked.
“Aitsuki and I will look around the town for a bit if you don’t mind, Your Majesty. We want to think of some design concepts to make in preparation, in particular, we want to see what kind of resources is native here and is cheap to use,” Mitsuki answered.
“I will follow after the two,” Kyle responded, “It’s dangerous to leave two girls on their own…”
“Hey! I am more than capable of wielding a sword, you know!” Aitsuki took a step forward and glared at Kyle who flicked Aitsuki’s forehead as the poor girl pouted. The two of them indeed look like they were acquaintances which made me feel relieved.
After all, there is a saying within the vampire clan that the people who are closer to each other, works better together. It sounds romantic but the meaning behind that is friendship can make work easier and faster since all of you can share your burdens with one another.
Had I recruited Aitsuki and Mitsuki together with someone they don’t know, the time they will take will increase since they also have to coordinate with one another and get to know one another’s styles, philosophy, and all those kinds of stuff.
“I will leave the three of you to your own reins but be sure to come back before evening, that is a rule I impose to not only the three of you but to everyone who is working under me. Do you understand?” I said before the three of them saluted.
“We understand!” Aitsuki replied childishly which made me giggle a bit inside.
Aitsuki was the livelier one among the twins, if the person replying does something childish then that should be Aitsuki otherwise it will be Mitsuki… well, not that it matters. They were still adorable people to be with.
“Then, show me your results! Go!” I said before all three of them left together as Ayaka suddenly wrapped her hands around my neck, kissing my cheeks as she looked at me with a smile.
“Good morning, Mama…” she greeted while rubbing her eyes adorably.
“It’s noon, Ayaka. You can continue sleeping if you want,” I kissed her forehead before she shook her head.
“I want to see Mama work,” she replied.
My heart felt warm from talking with her as I kissed her one more time on the forehead before saying, “You can watch me work until you sleep then, let’s head inside first. Iona might be waiting for us with some documents.”
The Vampire Empress.