Glont had just come into the Adventurers’ Guild’s director’s room with hot, freshly baked cookies.
"Ohohoho, you've been waiting a long time, haven't you? These are special cookies that I made myself."
The Duke of Asteria burst into laughter from the guest seat as he put the plate of cookies on the table.
"Huhu, do you still go around wearing that weird apron?"
Glont smoothened out the pink apron with a light lace he was wearing that had a heart-shaped cushion on the chest. "Hmmm, Your Highness, the Duke doesn't seem to know, but it's a rare limited edition apron that's hard to acquire. Don't you think so, Rosellis?
"Poot!" Rosellis spouted out the tea she was drinking. "Keck! Keck! Why are you asking me that?"
"Well, that’s because I saw you at the boutique that was selling these limited edition aprons.”
"You, you must have seen it wrong." Rosellis avoided his gaze while the hand holding the cup of tea trembled.
"Hey, Bloody, your hands are shaking?"
When the young man sitting across from her pointed it out, Rosellis sharply glared and put the cup down strongly.
"Shut up! Debt-ridden Knight! If you’re a guard, shut up and stand outside the door like a guard!" Rosellis cried.
The young man called ‘debt-ridden’ and Glont were angered.
"Hey! I've almost finished paying off my debt!"
"Oh my god! Rosellis! That's my favorite tea set!"
The Duke of Asteria clapped his hands hard at the situation where everyone was just talking over each other. The applause shut everyone in the guild director’s room.
"Ohoho, excuse me." Glont apologized.
The Duke of Asteria smiled and gestured with his hand. "No, it’s fine. Anyways, I'm still not used to your polite manners. Do you not yell and break things like you used to?" he asked with a playful smile.
A seemingly perplexed Glont raised his hands in surrender. "Why are you bringing up such an old story? It's already been more than 25 years since I broke things in front of Your Highness."
"Ahahaha, I'm telling you now, but at the time I had a mind to cut your throat and hang your head on that pine tree."
Glont broke into a cold sweat at the curt words. At that time, as the third son of a viscount, who had just advanced from a squire, causing a disturbance in front of the Duke wouldn’t just affect him, but also the fate of his family.
"Ahaha, if Anemone-nim hadn't stopped Your Highness, the Duke, then my life would truly have been over at that time.” Glont stroked his neck.
The duke stared vacantly as if seeing the past in the empty air. "Yeah, Anemone told me that I'd better let you live and clear your debts because you'd become a general in the future. Although I didn't know you would grow to the point of being called the hero of the country.”
"Hahaha, I didn't know either. At that time, I was just a brat who couldn't even tell the difference between the front and back and I couldn't stand injustice." At some point, Glont's eyes became lost in memory as well.
"Huhuhu, wasn’t it when you announced your retirement a decade ago that you suddenly changed your temper?" The Duke of Asteria tried to feel him out slightly.
Glont’s face slightly stiffened, then he turned around with his usual relaxed face. "By the way, is it okay for you to leave the leader of the White Tiger Knights behind and bring Damian with you instead? His pride is abnormal."
When the director pointed to the Debt-ridden Knight, the Duke of Asteria answered albeit after finishing the tea he had been drinking. "He's the commander-in-chief of the regional defence force, guarding the boundaries of the Demon’s Territory. Me personally bringing him around would be a loss to me at the least and a loss to the whole empire at the most."
Glont burst into a peal of insidious laughter. "Hohoho, is that how you managed to get him off your back?” he joked.
"Hahaha, that's right. He's so inflexible that he bothers me about everything." The Duke of Asteria slapped his knee and laughed.
"On the other hand, this guy who only cares about money works only as much as I give him, so it's more convenient.”
When the duke hit the Debt-ridden Knight on the shoulder, he smiled awkwardly.
"Oho, that's why you're continuously tying him up in debt and bringing him around?”
"Yes, there's no tool as easy as money to handle people with."
As she listened to Glont and the Duke of Asteria, Rosellis looked at Damian pitifully and thought to herself to never fall into debt.
"So, let me borrow Roseland again this year."
Glont expressed disapproval at the Duke's words. "Your Highness, that's excessive authority. Shouldn’t Your Highness be able to go sightseeing in the capital by yourself now?"
"Uh-huh! You think I'm just looking for a tour guide? When you go to a state affairs conference, you normally get a dedicated civil servant with you."
The imperial family had assigned civil servants exclusively for the convenience of the upper-class nobles, at least count level or higher, who were attending the state affairs conference for their convenience every year.
"As I said last year, it's under the jurisdiction of the Central Ceremony Department. Do you know how much I get glared at by the Director of the Ceremony Department every year?"
In fact, the reason for appointing dedicated civil servants was to monitor every move of the high-ranking nobles that gathered in the capital. Under the condition that the temple had fallen, it was not an exaggeration to say that the enemy of the imperial family were the nobles who had developed their strength while standing together against the temple.
The Duke of Asteria, who was well aware of the fact, chose his own civil servant to bring around with him. It was excessive use of power by the duke to ignore the rules, but no one could say anything.
"Anyways, so you don't want to?"
Glont sighed at the sharp eyes of the Duke of Asteria. The old politician did not mention the mistake of his youth for no reason.
"That’s not the case."
"That's good." The duke picked up a cookie with an attitude of a matter of course.
Glont sighed again after grabbing his head at the difficult situation. "But it can’t be Roseland."
"Why? Is there anyone as amiable as him?"
"Roseland is too busy after being promoted. Isn't it too much to pull someone who is frantically busy adjusting to a new job?" Glont said.
The Duke of Asteria stroked his chin as he replied, "Hmm, certainly, I do owe him something, so I would feel bad to ask him again this time."
Glont pretended to be surprised. "Oh my, did Your Highness have a conscience?”
Seeing Glont feigned ignorance, the duke laughed, "The hair on my conscience may be thick, but it exists. I feel like a chunk of hair on my conscience is being ripped out if I ask to take Roseland. Well, should I just hang in there for about ten strands of hair?"
Glont surrendered at the playful remark, "I was wrong. So I'd like you to pick a different person."
"Huhuhu, you should have done that earlier."
The duke looked at Glont as if he were a child.
"Do you have anyone in mind?"
"Yes, it is someone named Fiona... But I imagine Your Highness, the Duke would prefer to see and decide for yourself, yes?”
The duke flicked his finger at Glont's conjecture. "As expected, you know me well." He stood up from his seat and said, "Stop eating and get up, you debtor, it’s time to work."
"Woong!" His mouth was filled with cookies and ended up mumbling.
"If you're going to speak, do it after you finish eating. Tsk tsk, if someone else saw this, they might think I’m making you work starving."
As he spoke, he found Glont’s cookies to be delicious and picked one up.
Shortly after I got a promise from Hillis that she would never talk about me, I put on my uniform and went to work. "You’ve arrived?"
Organ welcomed me when I arrived at the Adventurers’ Guild. But rather than Organ, my eyes went to Demuir, who was lying on the floor next to the desk.
"What's wrong with Demuir?"
It wasn't Organ that answered my question, but Demuir who was lying on the floor.
"Heuk! The bakery lady in front said I gained weight!"
The lady at the bakery in front was the one Demuir was interested in and was trying to seduce. He was a first-class groom material, bestowed nobility with a safe job of being a civil servant. The lady seemed to be interested, but maybe it wasn’t going well?
"Of course, you’d gain weight if you only eat chocolate like that."
Who told you to distribute the military supply of chocolate to the children without permission? It was punitive justice.
"Uheuk! It’s a diet then! Help me, Den!"
"The exercise that I’ll make you do will be very harsh. Are you really sure?”
Demuir hesitated. "Uh, how hard is it?"
It was hard enough that even Lisbon, a knight school student, was barely managing to keep up with my schedule.
"You may not be able to come to work because of muscle pain for a while."
"Then I can't. Work is precious."
Demuir suddenly avoided my gaze. I laughed and wrote down some good exercises and ways to do it on blank paper.
"I only wrote things that were easy enough for you to do. If you do this, it’ll make you lose a lot of weight.”
"Uh... will this really make me lose weight?"
As if looking at something strange, he looked at me distrustfully.
"Yes. But it's pretty tough, so you'll really have to resolve your heart.”
The exercise methods I wrote down were running and a few from my past life like planks, squats, and so on. It would have been nice if I drew it as well, but because my drawing skills were zero, I wrote down the explanation in as much detail as I could.
"What about you, Flam and Mr. Dano?"
I didn't see them even though they weren't the type of people to arrive at work later than me.
"They went to the Druval Market to purchase all the by-products that got pushed back as soon as they got to work."
"The only ones that can handle all the by-products acquired from this recent battle are either the Druval Market or the Asteria Market."
As Demuir spoke, I put my bag down at my seat. Although I had already swept the demon by-product market for the past two days, not even a quarter of the volume generated by the flood of demons had been released yet. It just showed how intense the flood of demons was and how much damage was suffered.
I stretched and tried to start paperwork as usual. Then Fiona opened the door from the counter outside the office and came in.
"Do the three of you have a moment?"
At Fiona's call, the three, including me, stopped what we were doing and got out of our seats, and approached Fiona.
"Are Flam and Dano not back yet?"
"No, they are not back yet."
Fiona looked perplexed at Organ's answer. "Really? Then we can’t do anything about that. The guild director ordered everyone to call in. Let's just have everyone here go up and the two people can go up separately later."
She sighed and led us to the guild director's office.
"But what about Mr. Roseland?"
"He is really close to getting promoted, so he will be busy for a while learning about his new work starting today.” She answered my question with a smile.
Oh, then if Roseland leaves for a promotion, will a newcomer be coming?
If things went well, I will be able to escape being the newest member in a few months. Of course, being the newest didn't mean more or less work, but it was a matter of mood.
Fiona arrived on the fifth floor and knocked in front of the guild director's office.
"Guild Director-nim, it's Fiona."
A voice was heard from inside, and she led us inside.
Inside the guild director's office were not only Glont, but also Rosellis and a young man that I hadn’t seen before, and the old gentleman I saw last morning.
Unlike yesterday, the old gentleman was wearing luxurious clothes and carrying an expensive-looking cane.
The old gentleman recognized me and smiled welcomingly.
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