The preliminary tests went by without trouble. Leguna thought that he could use his knifework to get a place in the kitchen, but he didn't think the butler would spot another quality in him.
"How much of noble etiquette do you know?" he said with surprise after staring hard at Leguna.
"Umm--" He was caught a little off guard, but thankfully, he had a setting to go with the disguise he donned. "--I used to work as a server in a few high-class restaurants, so I'm rather familiar with it."
The butler naturally wouldn't just take his word for it, so he asked Leguna a few basic questions, such as the words used by the nobles in their interactions and the precise movements when pouring wine or bowing.
Those weren't hard for Leguna at all. After all, he was the head of the bureau. Though he didn't have to deal with many nobles himself, he would often participate in banquets and was well aware of such customs.
So, he was able to answer every question the butler posed.
"Pass--" the butler said with a nod after his last question. He handed Leguna a metal badge shaped like a wine glass. "--You look rather good and you're very lucky that we happen to lack a server, so you'll do. You'll be paid 70 silvers and your food and stay will be provided. Is that alright?"
"Yes, thank you!" Leguna beamed.
He wasn't just acting, though. How could he not be happy after being complimented for his looks?
"Keep the badge well. That's proof you're hired as temporary staff," the butler said.
Leguna wasn't in a hurry to enter, however. He stood there and waited for the girl.
Since he had already helped her out, she could only rely on herself from now on.
The results were rather surprising, however. Even though the girl looked fearful and timid, she knew how to do almost everything ranging from cleaning, washing dishes, sewing, and so on. The girl could already run a whole household. She was definitely comparable, or even better, than Eirinn at those tasks.
The butler naturally wouldn't turn down a well-rounded talent like that. He assigned her to the cleaning team. As the scope of work was simple, the pay was only 50 silvers.
Though her pay was 20 silvers fewer than Leguna's, she was nevertheless really happy to be accepted. She thanked the butler and almost seemed like she was kneeling and only left when the butler waved her away in annoyance.
"Congratulations," Leguna chirped.
The girl couldn't help but blush at his smile. After some hesitation, she bowed deeply to him.
"Thank you very much. I'm Sasha."
"No problem. I'm Jaehart."
Leguna picked this name because it was one he would never forget. That way, he would always respond to this name when others called him by it.
"Thanks a lot, Mister Jaehart. If not for you, I wouldn't know what to do."
"You seem really desperate for the job, though."
He couldn't help prying at seeing how grateful she was.
"Yes. My mother is sick. We're not rich, so I want to make some money."
"What about the others in your family? Say, your father or siblings or something?"
A wistful look flashed across her face as her eyes reddened. "My father joined the army when the war started… Even though he was almost promoted to squad leader, he lost his life to the northerners three years ago. I have one elder brother who also enlisted to earn some money for the family, but… but he was posted to defend Seatide…"
Leguna's expression changed immediately.
"When Seatide was taken by the northerners, my brother died just like that."
She wiped her tears away.
Leguna's mood was all sorts of complicated. Two men of her family perished because of the war. Even though it should've been a happy family, they were taken apart by the cruelty of the battlefield. Most insultingly, Leguna played a part in the destruction of that family, a conclusive one at that. He knew that if not for him, General Manhattan would find it really difficult to take Seatide which was defended by magic cannons.
When he was made aware of that fact, he could no longer face her. In some sense, he was the killer of her loved ones and the ruiner of her bliss. Leguna hated others taking his precious things the most and he would no doubt give his life to get it back.
That train of thought was something that he had cultivated since childhood. Given that he had had nothing, anything he found was worth protecting with his life.
He didn't know how Sasha thought about it, but Leguna felt really bad and sympathetic for her.
After hearing her story, he resolved to help her in the next few days and give her some money before leaving. He did bring quite a sum with him this time around and helping her wasn't a huge problem.
I'll consider it charity then! he thought.
Since he made up his mind, he warmed up to her considerably. He took her sack and said, "I'll send you off to your quarters then."
Sasha didn't refuse his kindness. Given her timid personality, she wouldn't refuse no matter what others did to her anyway.
Leguna was shocked by the weight of the sack when he held it. It was probably around ten kilograms. How could the petite girl carry something so heavy on her back for the whole morning? He felt even worse for her upon the realization.
The women's quarters were not hard to locate. The moment he entered the dorm, quite a number of others had begun making their bed. They seemed to go about their own business without interacting, since the post was only temporary anyway.
But Leguna knew that given Sasha's personality, she might be picked on even if this didn't last long. He decided to do something about it.
"Is it this place?" he said, raising his voice intentionally and catching the attention of many.
"Y-yes…" she whispered when she saw the others looking in their direction.
"Wait a sec."
He smiled and tossed Sasha's sack to the side. He looked at the bed and saw that the frame was a little off balance.
Without another word, he stretched his hand out and squeezed with his fingers.
He broke off the unnecessary part of the frame and tossed it in the trash. Anyone paying attention would see the finger marks Leguna left on the frame. How powerful did he have to be to do that?
Doing that was already beyond the limits he set for himself. After all, there was only so much power muscles could produce and anyone without impetus couldn't do what he did even if they were hardcore bodybuilders. Doing so would expose some of his power and others might suspect him if they noticed.
Though, suspicion alone wouldn't do too much. No matter how great their imagination, surely they wouldn't think he was the famous Dark Requiem, head of the Hockian bureau of military intelligence.
As far as the normal folk were concerned, while his equipment was important, it wouldn't justify him coming all the way personally to retrieve them. He could easily get more armaments from the Hockian imperial family's armory.
But Leguna knew the secret of his weapons. They weren't just a normal sword, dagger and leather vest. The most important one was Lighteater, in which the soul of his teacher inhabited.
Regardless of what reason Gahrona had for stopping him from using Host of Darkness at full force, Leguna still felt indebted and thankful to her. Without her patient teachings, he would've died a few times over.
So, he had to get Lighteater back no matter what. That was something nobody could conjecture. Fewer than five people knew about Gahrona's existence, though Leguna thought only he knew.
So, he reasoned it wouldn't be too troubling to reveal some of his power. Sasha's plight was caused in part by him, after all, so he wouldn't feel good about it if he didn't help her out.
After making sure people were looking at him with a hint of fear, Leguna knew his goal was achieved.
He patiently made Sasha's bed for her and approached the girl who was at a loss. He stroked her golden hair as an elder brother would.
"I'm off now. Tell me if you need any help alright?"
"Thank you, Mister Jaehart…"
She lowered her head obediently and closed her eyes, looking like a kitten enjoying a good stroke.
Leguna looked at her before giving those around a warning gaze and leaving.Previous Chapter Next Chapter