After changing clothes, Alexis decides to go to the workshop in the basement, leaving Fransisca to take care of the rest of the work.
"Dorothea," Alexis says as soon as he steps into the workshop.
Dorothea is in the middle of polishing and cleaning a sword, and she wiped the beads of sweat from her forehead. When she does so, she looks at Alexis with a vacant stare and says, "What's the matter, prince?".
Alexis is upset by this completely indifferent attitude, but he presents the bill to Dorothea, asking, "What is this?"
Dorothea is not upset to see the bill held out in front of her.
She held up the blade of her sword and looked at it, then put it on the whetstone again.
「The production of the armor couldn't keep up, so I sent the blueprints and materials to the blacksmith guild back home for an outside order. Is that not good?」
「What?! External order...?!」
Alexis looks over the bill again.
When he confirmed that it was indeed the amount of money needed to equip hundreds of soldiers, he relaxed his shoulders.
「At least give me an explanation! You just send me a bill, I'm surprised!」
「Uh...yeah, I guess you're right. I'm sorry. Hahaha...」
Dorothea smiles with a troubled look on her face.
But she still seems to be missing a lot of things.
Alexis lets out a sigh.
「...But still, I understand that it will take time for you to prepare for hundreds of people by yourself. If you had told me that, I would have made the arrangements for you. It took you a lot of time to place the order, didn't it?」
「Oh, really? Is Prince going to do it for me? But if I asked you to do it, won't you say something like, "Let me hold you for the trouble..."?」
Dorothea gives him a wary look.
「What kind of a character am I in your mind...?」
Alexis is taken aback, but he is aware that his first attack on her in her sleep is still lingering.
「...Well, that's okay. If you're going to place a large order like this, please send the bill to our country from now on. Just put my name on the order and address it to my father. After all, I don't have much money, so even if the bill comes, it will be sent to the home country anyway.」
「Uh-huh. I understand. I'll do that next time.」
Dorothea answered, 「Yeah,」 and Alexis nodded.
「Well, I'm going to go now. You're always holed up in your workshop, aren't you? Don't be too hard on yourself, okay?」
As Alexis says this, Dorothea's eyes flash up and she turns to stare at him with her big cat-like eyes.
「Hmm, what is it?」
Alexis is puzzled, and Dorothea's gaze wanders, "Uh, no...", and she says.
「...Prince, why are you being unusually kind to me today?」
「Really? I'm always nice to you.」
「Yes. I'll see you later.」
And Alexis walks away.
Dorothea looked at him as he walked away, still puzzled.
* * *
「Let's arrange a maid.」
That's what Alexis said as soon as she returned to the command center.
「...Saying something out of the blue...」
Fransisca, who was writing at the table, replied with a twinkle in her eye.
「If you want a maid, I'm a maid.」
Fatima, who was sitting beside Fransisca with a book in her hands, says to her.
「No, not a fake maid like you.」
Alexis said this with a straight face, which made Fatima very hurt.
「What fake?! Y-You're terrible Alex... I've been Her Highness maid for more than ten years!」
「That's right. Fatima is my maid.」
Fransisca protests with pursed lips.
"That's what I mean", says Alexis.
Fransisca and Fatima's voices joined in.
「Fatima is only Fransisca's maid. Even though Fransisca, who is lower than me, has one, I don't have one. My maid!」
「Lower... no, I don't deny it. But please don't forget Her Highness' former identity...」
Now Fatima looks at Fransisca with a sullen expression on her face.
「No, I know that the Princess-maiden is a very important person.」
Alexis's words did not convey any sense of reality.
Next to Fatima who sighs, Fransisca says, "You know.".
「This fortress doesn't employ any servants at all, does it?」
「Yes. That's right. After all, we can't bring non-combatants to the front line base. I think you're the one who's been involved in the Avalon invasion from the beginning and you know more about that. This fortress used to be nothing more than a prostitute shop, right?」
「What is a prostitute?」
Next to Fransisca, whose eyes were flashing, Fatima said with a grim look on her face.
「There is no way I would put such a thing in there. It's disgusting.」
「...You guys should realize why the Krangal soldiers were looking at you sexually.」
Alexis started to feel sorry for his countrymen.
He also mumbled, "A woman who doesn't know how to treat a man shouldn't be in charge".
「Well...enough about that. Anyway, this fort is no longer a frontline base now. I think it's time to bring in some non-combatants, don't you?」
They nodded at Alexis' suggestion.
「I agree. It would be a more comfortable place to live.
「Yes, it would be great if we could get a cleaning lady or something to do the cleaning. I'm not very good at cleaning.」
Alexis wanted to say to Fatima, who looked relieved, that she was not a good maid.
Well, in the case of Fatima, she is a maid of honor, which means that she comes from a good family and does not do any chores such as cleaning, although she knows that she is a maid of honor.
「If we also invite the cook, scullery maid, keeper, and merchants, it will be more convenient and the soldiers will be able to concentrate on their main work.」
「If so many people are to be invited, we'll need houses. The space in the fort is limited.」
It was Fransisca who said.
「So you are going to call a carpenter to build a house?」
Fransisca smiled at Fatima who asked a question.
「It looks like a town is about to be built.」
「Hey, that's not a good idea, no matter how you look at it.」
Alexis folds his arms in front of their eyes with a difficult expression on his face.
「Even though the situation is devastating, this is Sagrado territory. Bringing in Krangals and building a Krangal town would be an invasive situation, wouldn't it? Nobody is going to agree with that...」
「Oh...is that so? The international community is a very complicated one.」
Fransisca's reply was so matter-of-fact that Alexis' shoulders slumped.
「You know...it's your country. You should have a sense of urgency!」
「But neither you nor your father have such a feeling, do you? It's true that many of the soldiers may be unreliable, but I trust you and your royal family.」
Fransisca smiles, too innocent.
Fatima followed up Alexis' confusion.
「I don't know about Krangal, but at least in Sagrado, the royal family is more important as the head of the priesthood. Political matters were run by someone else. So it's not surprising that you don't know much about it. Well, I'm not an expert myself...」
「Do you really think you can restore Sagrado?」
Alexis wanted to hold his head. No, rather, he did.
Alexis then pointed at Fransisca, who was still staring at him.
「Hey, I'll give you a word of advice. Keep in mind that my father is not helping you out of the goodness of his heart. No, not my father, but any country that comes forward to help.」
Alexis then suggested that for the time being only the minimum number of people be called to the fort.
He added that it would be better to wait to report the situation in Asarea, which he had seen yesterday, to the home country.
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