Chapter 145: Albert's Depression
"Zest-sama, you are an important nobleman, you know? Therefore, you must be careful so that this does not happen again. Going out in the city is not what nobles do."
'I'm more shocked that you thought I would get angry because of this, than of the subject itself.......I must become a little more gentle, otherwise he'll hate me!'
(Dad, is the mongrel still alive?)
For the sin to have mistook men for women when he guided us to that shop, Albert received my punch and collapsed.
I didn't do it because he exposed our secret incident though.
"You're right. I'm sorry. I'll weight the situation better from now on......."
"Also, do you always feel like going out because you don't want to drink with me? Well, you probably lost your interest in me already, since I come from a countryside noble household."
'I really want to drink sake with him sometime.......Maybe I am not charming enough......'
(!? He moved! Amazing! The mongrel sure is sturdy!)
Toto, that was a convulsion, so it's rather a dangerous sign, you know?
Since I'd be troubled if he died, I used healing magic on him.
"Losing interest in you, Bea, is impossible. Let's take our time and have a couple of drinks together this evening. I can stay here for one more day or so."
".......Right. It can't be helped then, I'll keep you company since I'm your wife and everything. So, we'll be together this evening......Only thinking about it made me feel sick, therefore you'll have to excuse me now."
'Yeeeey! I must go prepare for tonight!!'
Bea said and took Toto with her as she quickly left the room.
Will she prepare some evening snacks or something? In this case, I must be careful not to eat too much this afternoon.
Since I finished healing the mongrel, I sat on a chair.
I have not done any work yet, so I must finish this now.
"Fuu. He looks considerably better now, but it's still scary-nya."
"Your excellency, I was very close to death this time......Excuse me, but it appears that I lack sufficient training!"
Katalina saw the whole incident from beginning to end, so she was now pulling back a little. And there was Albert, who just made a recovery.
You, that's what you apologize for?
"From now on, everything will slowly return to normal. I will trouble you for a little while, Katalina, but I'm relying on you. Albert, you must think a little before talking."
"Don't worry about it-nya."
"Your excellency, there are thing I can do and things I cannot do. Thinking before speaking is extremely difficult for me!"
With a rather fresh and clear expression, the mongrel just called himself a fool.
It can't be helped now that he said this.
"I see.......Then, I will entrust Meril with this. It appears that she's quite an excellent woman, so I'll have her train you."
"We can safely leave this in Meril-sama's hands-nya."
"Wha!? Will you tell this to my wife too?"
When I was about to tell him that this wasn't the case, someone knocked on the door.
It seems like she arrived.
"Excuse me. Meril-sama is here."
"Let her in."
A few minutes after we heard the reply, Meril entered the room.
Albert's face turned ashen......Are you that scared of her?
"Meril-sama is a very strict person-nya. She's actually famous for being particularly severe with men-nya."
"That is wonderful! She's perfect for your education, Albert. You're becoming a marquis after all, so you have to give up."
Even his ears hanged down, and I felt that this despondent and defeated Albert was kind of charming.
I have no interest in men, but I might have animal instincts or something.
Thinking about such stupid things, the woman who was strict with the above-mentioned man entered the room.
"It's been a long time, your excellency Zest. I am Meril, Albert's wife."
She said and lowered her head.
She had reddish blond hair and loose curls.
Her face was gentle and she looked like a nurse.
Is Albert perhaps strange for fearing such a woman?
"It's been a while, Meril. Is everything going smoothly with child raising? Isn't it too much for your physical condition?"
"Thanks to you, everything is going smoothly. My son and I, we're both too energetic even."
"I see. Health is the most important thing. Don't hesitate to call me in case something troubles you."
"Thank you for your words, it is an honor for me."
It doesn't matter that she's Albert's wife, first we must do some idle talk.
This was the noble people's conversation flow.
On the contrary, talking about the main topic all of a sudden would be too impolite.
It's safe to do this with your subordinates, but this woman was still nothing but the wife of my subordinate.
"By the way, Meril. I have various things to discuss with you today. Also, it's not going to be a bad talk."
The four of us sat at a table, and I waited for the right timing to break the ice and talk about the main problem.
Since she has a small child, she probably doesn't want to be away from home for too long.
"The truth is, I am thinking to make Albert a marquis......However, there are no problems with his armed might or loyalty, but........."
I only went to say this far, but Meril lowered her head energetically.
So, did she already understand the problem?
"Because this mongrel is a fool, you're probably worried about internal politics and social life, am I right? Please rest assured. I will work as a civil official. Also, I will firmly educate him at home."
"Err, when you said mongrel did you refer to me?"
"Who gave you permission to talk? If you want to talk in front of his excellency, you must first ask for permission. If you don't even know this, you will cause problems for his excellency."
"Besides, do you even know why this was no good? That's because a superior is having a conversation. Interrupting it from the side is very disrespectful, you know?"
I watched as Albert got scolded, and checked Katalina too.
She drank tea as she nodded continuously.
I see now. This woman is very strict when it comes to manners.
"You did understand, right? If you did, then start preparing for that!"
The nurse-san glared at the troubled Albert and took something out.
.......Urm, isn't it a breach of manners for a woman to take something out from a breast pocket?
This troubled me deeply, but I didn't say anything.
That's because I never thought she would take out a thorned whip from that spot.
"Zest-sama, do you know about the kemonobito folk's expression of affection?"
"Yo-you use a whip for that, right? Go ahead, go ahead."
"I don't mind it either-nya. Please go ahead-nya."
Because the permission was given unanimously, the mongrel had no other choice but to sit on the floor in a seiza position.
Are you all right? Your face is ghastly pale, you know? Do you hate it that much?
"Then, excuse me. Well now, let's confirm our affection as you repeat what you just learned!"
"......I'm counting on you."
With a smile on her face like that of a holy woman, Meril wielded the whip, and as she hit him vigorously enough that blood oozed out, Albert kept on replying 'Thank you very much!'.
I drank tea as I watched this strange spectacle.
"Say, Katalina......Was this within your expectation?"
"As one would expect, this was unforeseen-nya. But, this way he'll definitely remember this-nya."
I looked at Katalina, who kept her calm but was in fact trembling, and I thought again.
The reason why there are few kemonobito nobles is also for this strange practice.
At first sight, it looks very abnormal.
I must hurry Suu to finish that handbook.......But I didn't have time to keep thinking of this......
"Then, the last repetition."
"I cannot interrupt the conversation of someone who has a superior court rank!!"
"You did good. Let's stop here then."
"Thank you very much!"
The animal training......I mean, the expression of affection ended.
Meril sweated a little, though she soon returned to her gentle smile.
You can't even imagine that she just a moment ago hit her husband with a whip.......Which is her true nature, I wonder?
"For the time being, we'll go with this plan. Also, I don't mind if you bring your child to the office with you."
"Eeh!? Something like that......Is it really all right with you-nya?"
"My child? Your excellency, that is.......but........"
Aah, so you don't usually bring your children to your work place in this world?
Then, I'll add this to the features of my dominion.
"A nursery school......Let's make preparations to build a place where many children are taken care of and where people work as educators. A territory with few children has no future. Let's put this in practice on my dominion, so that people won't worry about having children anymore."
"I see-nya. Your excellency espresses the importance of population-nya."
"A nursery school?.......Leaving nobles aside, this is more than welcome for commoners."
"I will also introduce the maternity leave. Such trivial concerns will bring prosperity to my dominion......"
We were about to have a very unlikely good talk, when someone knocked on the door with just the usual timing.
Incidentally, the mongrel used up all his strength and was currently knocked out.
"Your excellency, the sister came to see you.......What shall we do?"
........Since I troubled her during Bea's delivery, I can't ignore her now.
I ordered for the junky sister to be led to the reception room.
.......Again.......It is time for a cryptanalysis.