Princess Shu - Chapter 12
There are three things that a noble family must go through: the conferment of the head of the house, the marriage of the head of the house, and the death of the head of the house. When Schuden was conferred with the title of a Marquess, he did not even come home and immediately went to war. No party was held at all. The death of the late Marquess Garth was not very long ago, but it was still the death of a person, so it was hardly a celebration. In other words, this wedding was the first celebration for the House of Garth in a long time.
The Marquess, who was the only holder of the Garth name, was a man of few words. So it was the subordinates’ ability to immediately notice what their owner was asking of them. In this aspect, Garth’s general butler who had a formidable sense immediately replied.
“Yes, Milord. We are preparing for the wedding step by step so that it can be completed within a month.”
It was only a few days ago that orders were issued to prepare for the wedding. And Schuden designated exactly a month later as the wedding date.
In truth, a month was ridiculously short. As a noble’s wedding was an important event, it was common for most nobles to invest on average half a year, or at most a full year to carefully prepare. Three months was the bare minimum. Moreover, it was the wedding of the Marquess of Garth. If they could have a year to prepare, they could have done it more leisurely.
But the Marquess’ word was law. Furthermore, he rarely reversed his decisions. It had to be perfectly prepared to keep the date on time and for the wedding to be second to none. All departments were preparing for the wedding as if their lives were on the line.
Schuden called a meeting for all of the departments. He looked through the documents that were recorded by each of the departments and had been compiled by the general butler. After observing the detailed progress that had been made thus far, he put the document down.
The faces of his subordinates who were standing nervously brightened up at his words. Schuden was an owner with clear rewards and punishments. He was not a person who excessively gave compliments, but he knew to appreciate others’ works.
“Change the wedding date. Pull it within one week.”
And with only a few words, the warm and comforting atmosphere was shattered.
His subordinates doubted their ears at the moment. They had to reduce their sleep and work like crazy for the one-month preparation and still barely managed to deliver. But a week? The general butler spoke up on behalf of those who could not even open their mouths due to shock.
“But Milord, if you do that, your retainers in the Marquisate will not be able to attend on time.”
Schuden tapped on the desk. It did not matter to him whether his retainers attended his wedding or not. However, the problem was that this wedding did not solely belong to Schuden. There was no previous instance where the retainers did not attend the wedding. If he had such a wedding, the gossip would be immense.
Though Schuden did not care, he did not know if Valia had the same thoughts as him. She was already from another country so her support base was weak. He could not guarantee that there would be no other incident like today. It was only right to properly make an effort from the beginning.
“We can use a road warp.”
A road warp would allow them to attend the wedding on time. However, the cost of using said road warp was very expensive. It was an amount that commoners could not even dream of.
Of course, the cost was not enough to be burdensome for the nobles, but considering the number of retainers in the Marquisate of Garth, it would be a large amount. In addition, the retainers would not come alone. Spouses, children, relatives, escorts, maids, servants, and coachmen… The general butler, who quickly did the sum in his head, carefully dissuaded him.
“Milord, if you do that, the cost…”
“Will it make me go bankrupt?”
“Not at all.”
The general butler answered seriously. Schuden spoke as if that was already enough for him.
Garth’s wealth was beyond imagination. So even though a huge cash flow was to be expected, his aides showed little sign of surprise. In fact, the general butler only tried to stop him out of courtesy.
But then again, Garth’s predecessors were particularly interested in increasing their wealth. Many families accumulated wealth after first building their honor, but the House of Garth took the opposite route alone. It was only now that money was an indispensable factor in power, but just a few generations ago, it was recognized as a vulgar act for a noble to increase wealth.
Even then, the House of Garth swept in money as if they were indulging in it. Their business tactic was to buy a house, renovate it, then sell it again and gain profit. They deliberately bought land and formed an urban area, then received a lot of rent money through it. At that time, many criticized them for being a vulgar family that was blinded by money. However, the House of Garth continued to grow in size.
In the end, the terrifying capital strength would have played a part for them to be a prestigious family. It was also a thing of the past when people politely shunned the House of Garth for loving money more than honor. Now, only overwhelming wealth, reputation, and power remained.
“Let’s have another meeting the day after tomorrow.”
The meeting was over. The general butler and other subordinates politely expressed their courtesy and left the office. Having another meeting the day after tomorrow meant that they had to proceed prominently. Before this, they could at least sleep, but now, it seemed that they were going to stay up all night for a week.
“Let’s do our best.”
“That’s right. Let’s think we’re dead for this week.”
“Since we’re already here, let’s have a short meeting.”
“There’s a suitable meeting room at the end of the hallway on the left on the first floor. You can do it there.”
“Thank you, general butler.”
As they went through hardships together, there was a strange sense of fellowship among the aides. Perhaps after this wedding, a black shade would sink under everyone’s eyes. As a symbol of their limited time, the aides forgo walking at a reasonable pace and ran down the stairs. Every minute and every second seemed to be precious for them.
‘I will have to tell His Lordship later and request for their vacations.’
The general butler thought he should lay soft carpets on the stairs in case they fell. He also made a mental note to instruct the kitchen staff to make a pot of juice that could get rid of sleepiness.
However, no matter how much they stayed up all night, there was only one thing that was inevitable.
‘We cannot order a tailored dress.’
They have already asked around for skilled and available designers. As wedding dresses worn by high-ranking nobles would be trending for a while, the wedding of a high-ranking noble was an important place to assess the trends and flow of wedding dresses. So each family worked very hard to prepare for that. Everyone was eager to come up with original and beautiful designs.
‘It would be too much even if we force the boutique to do it.’
No matter how good the designer was, they could not come up with a new design and make the dress in a week.
It was customary to follow the existing dress trends unless it was a completely original design. The current wedding dress trend was the dress worn by Marchioness Joanne at her wedding. It was a dress that anyone could wear because it was simple and had stuck to the basics, but it could not be compared to the joy of showing one’s own wedding dress.
‘What if the future Marchioness is uncomfortable?’
It was only natural for the general butler to have these worries. No one in the household including him had met the lady who will be the Marchioness. They would have known from the rumors if she was a noble from the Empire, but there was no such thing because she was a lady from another Kingdom. She was simply a mysterious existence to the employees of the household.
‘I will have to see her tomorrow.’
The general butler, who acted quickly, immediately returned to the Marquess’ office. He knocked before entering.
“Milord, it’s me, the butler. Could you please spare a moment? I have something to tell you.”
“What’s going on?”
“I plan to meet the madam-to-be tomorrow. The time is overwhelmingly short regarding the wedding dress so I think it would be better to prepare as early as possible.”
“Did you find a designer?”
“Yes. I’m going there with the designer to fit the dress.”
“And, Milord, I have one more thing to tell you.”
“What is it?”
“The madam-to-be has no family members or relatives. But shouldn’t we invite the elder who raised her?”
Schuden took his eyes off the documents. He did not think that far. Sometimes the affection of fostering could overwhelm the affection of giving birth. Even if they were not of the same blood, Carl could be an existence that meant more than father to Valia. His red eyes stayed in the air for a while.
“Ask her opinion tomorrow and decide whether to issue an invitation.”
“Anything you say, Milord.”
The butler bowed his head. When he said he would go out if there was nothing else, Schuden raised his head.
“Bring me a small jewelry box.”
“I will get it right away.”
The general butler gestured at the servant who was following him with his eyes. The employees who perfectly understood their master quickly got a jewelry box to meet his needs. Schuden took a glimpse of the palm-sized jewelry box. Then, he said in an indifferent manner.
The general butler and the servants went out. When the door closed softly without sound, the office became quiet. Schuden put down the documents he was reviewing. Instead, he looked at the sleeves of his shirt with the cufflink. It was a part that he had never seen carefully throughout his life. The ruby, which was half the size of a nail, was quite vivid in color.
[Because it is similar to your eyes.]
Schuden took the cufflink off his sleeve. And he put it in the jewelry box that the butler brought. His desk was not a suitable place to put the jewelry box because new documents were piled up every day. He opened the last drawer.
But then again, he had never kept something like jewelry in his office. He had a separate warehouse and manager to store his jewelry. Schuden’s drawers were mainly packed with property-related documents such as land documents. The same went for the second and third drawer that he opened just in case.
Where do people usually keep things like these?
Expensive jewelry was just one aspect of his wealth. He never had to choose a tie pin or boutonnière that decorated his suits when he went to a banquet. It was up to the employees to choose such a thing. They would choose jewelry that went well with his suit. Even if Schuden did not recognize the jewelry, if he attended the banquet, people around him would say he had a good eye. Only then did he know the name of the jewelry on his suit that day.
Schuden contemplated for a while and opened the top drawer. Unlike other drawers, there were no documents in the first drawer. However, there was a small, old straw hat and a rusty dagger. Both were dirty things that even the servants of the House of Garth would not use.
It was also things that had always existed in this drawer.
Property-related documents increased day by day and even made their way to the bookshelf, but this first drawer had never had anything put in it.
[The lady is going to give that cufflink to her lover. It is not just a mere cufflink.]
A flash of concern briefly came to his mind, disappearing as sudden as it had appeared. Schuden secured space by pushing the straw hat and dagger to the back of the drawer. He put the jewelry box inside. The clicking sound rang in his ears. Schuden looked down at the items and pushed the drawer back inside. His movements were filled with hesitation, it was a strange occurrence that was very unlike him.
Soon, the drawer closed.