“… This time was truly difficult, wasn’t it?”
While we were drinking tea, I heard such words. Mimoza, who was reclining in front of me, expressed her condolences. We are currently in the villa of Duke Armelia… in other words, my home in the royal capital.
“Well, that is true… I was almost branded a heretic, after all.” [Iris]
“Your life is too hectic.” [Mimoza]
Hearing those words, I gave a bitter smile… But it surfaced rather involuntarily.
“So, you didn’t reply to my letter…? Or meet with me because of your stay in the capital after publicly proving your innocence…?” [Mimoza]
A week has passed since the audience. Although I craved to return home, I cannot yet.
In the first place, I need to resolve the chaos of our employees resigning from our royal capital branch store left and right t; and then I need to see if the firm can be exempted from tolls..
To be frank, because the fief is surrounded by people from the second prince’s faction, the efforts regarding the tolls are not going well.
Everyone forced me to take a break since I had been working non-stop for the week after the interrogation, so my meeting with Mimoza today was the first of us meeting in a while.
“I am genuinely sorry about all the hardships you have suffered.” [Iris]
“There is no need for an apology The way I spoke was too harsh. I have also heard that you have been pushing yourself without rest… I should be thanking you for giving some of your valuable time to me.” [Mimoza]
“The same goes for me. Even if you were to stop caring about me, it couldn’t be helped. You have my sincere gratitude for always taking care of me.” [Iris]
Despite my expulsion from the academy, she still kept in touch with me. Even when I was interrogated before, she also sent a letter that full of concern. And even when I was going through the interrogation, she sent a letter full of concern for me.
… I truly appreciate her remaining my friend.
“Come to think of it, the branch store in the capital has resumed business, right?” [Mimoza]
“Tentatively, however. Right now, people from my fief are operating the store, but once the new employees get used to the work, they will take full responsibility for running the store.” [Iris]
More than half of the people who came from the fief to help were focused on product development. I tried to let them experience the flood of a business, because I thought that it would be a good idea to give them the feel of an on-site environment. If the new employees got used to the hard work, I will give the workers from the fief a raise and send them back home to do their usual business.
“Yes. The store became quite crowded since e we were closed for such a long time.” [Iris]
“Oh my, did you go there yourself?” [Mimoza]
“Not quite. I was considering going but… I gave up halfway, due to the crowds. It seems that it will settle down within a week.” [Iris]
“Oh… while I am happy about that, will it be okay? If I’m not mistaken, Melida has come home dead tired every day.” [Mimoza]
Indeed… even if I were to go, there wasn’t anything I could do. However, I want to see the situation with my own eyes…
“…… Shall we go to the firm?” [Iris]
“Would that be alright?” [Mimoza]
“Yes. The store is open again, yet I haven’t witnessed the situation first-hand before… I wonder if I would ever get another chance to see it I could. Tanya, prepare fruit juice for the employees to enjoy.” [Iris]
“… Are the employees allowed to drink something like that?” [Mimoza]
Tanya quietly acknowledged my order by nodding, but Mimoza tilted her head in curiosity.
“Yes, as a refreshment. A reward for their labors.” [Iris]
“So you also do things such as that…” [Mimoza]
Her eyes rounded in surprise.
“I am not aware if other firms act in such a manner, but a store cannot function without its employees s, right?” [Iris]
… The incident this time was truly scathing.
“Especially because the store seems so busy as of late.” [Iris]
And then, Tanya, Mimoza, and I departed from the mansion with many trustworthy guards to escort us.
“It has been a while since I went outside like this.” [Iris]
I dressed in an inconspicuous manner, similar to when I did my inspections, and also dyed my hair. My hair is now a reddish brown, instead of its usual silver. This dye was also a new product from the Azuta firm. The dye is made from various plants, and will wear off in two to three days.
This new product from the research and development department left me in awe . This product was naturally a part of that. Will they become ecstatic when they eventually can make a black hair dye that can mask grey and white hairs?
But with how colorful the natural hair is in this world, white hair isn’t deemed a problem. Rather, if I were to think of a grey haired old man… mhm, perceived to be elegant and striking. That being said, there wasn’t a high demand for that anyway…
While considering those things during our walk, we arrived at the store.