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Chapter 160 The maiden prepares for war
The morning after that, Dean left in a hurry.
I didn’t get a chance to see him off.
This was also because I was going to the merchants’ guild to talk about enacting an insurance policy.
If Dean could come with me, I’d be more confident in myself. But I couldn’t tell him my wish, not when he was so busy.
Surprisingly enough, it passed quickly enough.
After that, it was time to talk to the principal.
He gave me quite a lot of feedback, and gathered up several knowledgeable folks.
First of all was establishing a guild for insurance.
Of course for that end, we would need to find out the amount of doctors in the area and focus on increasing the quality of that healthcare.
And then was making sure that the cost of healthcare, currently controlled by the market price, would come down to more or less a unified number. If the pricing was too high, then the policy would be ineffective.
If the wealthy wanted to receive additional, more expensive services, they could pay for it themselves.
All doctors in the territory must become part of the healthcare association. They’ll deliver their diagnoses and resolutions to the association, which will then confirm them and pay for the portion that the patients hadn’t.
Once a year, the association would talk over what kind of medicines should be covered by the insurance fee.
…After all, medicine was a constantly evolving field.
Doctors also had to attend several meetings and gain a basic understanding of what treatments qualified for insurance and which didn’t. As for the specific choices, that was up to the patient.
…This was more or less what we had talked over.
The remainder was just gathering up the intellectuals that the principal knew and correcting whatever oversights we may have had.
After our conversations had ended, I sighed a breath of relief and returned to my room.
There, I faced the work that had accumulated.
This was the work I had given myself, so there was nothing to do about it…The true victim of this additional work was the officials.
Especially the financial and civil departments. They were so busy they could barely rest at all.
Even so, the financial department employees’ eyes were glowing. Not shining or shimmering, but glowing with killing intent.
…Honestly, it was quite frightening.
I went over and watched them taking care of the additional paperwork. While their hands moved at high speeds, they giggled and shouted: This time we won’t lose!
Of course, I pretended that I hadn’t seen anything and left immediately.
Shall I say that everyone in the financial department was a certified workaholic…
When I accidentally said this out loud, Tanya immediately responded with the assertion that they were “just like you, milady.”
Coming in after the knock of a door was Sebastian.
“Is this a bad time, milady?”
“What is it, Sebastian?”
“Invitations for you keep coming in.”
“Ah…true, it does seem to be a social season coming up. I can’t believe time has passed so quickly.”
I had forgotten about it completely.
Because of how invested I was in my work, I had completely forgotten about socializing.
…Even someone like me could see that, for the daughter of a noble family, this was a bit over the top.
“What are your plans?”
“Even under these circumstances there are really those families that dare hold banquets.”
The king was sick. In the palace, the first prince’s party and the second prince’s party kept battling it out. Right now it seemed like a better idea to stay hidden in one’s own territory.
…It’s not just that I was comparing work and socializing and thinking that socializing was much more effort.
“Exactly the opposite, milady.”
Sebastian smiled slightly. His smile was dashing.
“Under these circumstances, every single family is trying to gather people up so they can glean the current situation fully. Plus, a gathering at one’s family villa is a great opportunity to show off wealth and connections. Every family will be judging the other at gatherings like these.”
“…Couldn’t we have Mother handling all the important families?”
“What are you saying? You’ve already presented yourself to the social world. If you don’t attend any banquets, your reputation will be damaged. This relates to the reputation of the whole Armenia family…Considering that the current atmosphere of the capital, it’s probably better that you visit before we are damaged by other without even realizing it.”
“I was just suggesting it, just a thought.”
I understand the importance of the social sphere.
The world that my mother called a battlefield, was most definitely an arena for nobles to test one another, limit one another.
Now that I had been handed the territory by my father, there was the necessity of understanding other families, how they planned and moved, and of demonstrating the strength of Armenia family.
…It’s just that, somewhat…only a little bit, I hoped for a way to resolve things without actually having to go.
“Because of that, please clear your schedule for the day after tomorrow. I have booked Madame Klager here for measurements so she can custom tailor a gown for you.”
“Ah, it’s her. I can’t believe you could make an appointment with her. I hear she’s been quite busy?”
Since the discovery of silk, it had been quite a while. The goal of selling silk had been accomplished.
Although the method of production had been protected very well by its exporting country, I knew the ingredients that went into the process. During history class I had always been interested in the stories of the silk road, so that had helped me a great deal.
…Although I didn’t really know what good that would do me. I stared blankly into the distance.
After repeated failures, we had successfully established a way to manufacture it.
The problem was how we could guarantee materials of a specific quantity. Although the country that exports silk seems to have put a limit on the exportation of silkworms*, to countries that don’t know how it’s manufactured, those are nothing more than bugs. That’s why we buy silkworms from countries that don’t manufacture silk and breed them. When we get to a certain amount, we start manufacturing silk.
It’s just that there’s still a very small amount that we only sell at designated Armenia stores.
Madame Klager was prepared with a stock of it. That, and the fact that she made several garments fashionable enough to be the talk of the season, meant that she was quite busy at the moment.
“She’s also busy because she’s coming up with new ideas for your gown and preparing all sorts of materials. She said anything you want is her top priority. In fact, she came up with a few new ideas just recently.”
“I-is that so.”
…Two days later, she came as arranged to take my measurements.
Because I didn’t really understand clothing, all I could really do was set out a few orders…but Tanya piped up by my side to ask for “a gown that can really show milady’s beauty perfectly!” After that spirited exclamation, she started a heated conversation about the exact qualities: from color to stitching to decorations…
Although I liked dressing up, I could only stare as the two went over what worked, what didn’t, a long conversation that went on and on without any results.
In the end all I could inevitably think was that whatever they could come up with would be fine.
Madame Klager had the air of a capable woman who knew her wares well…but when it came to these conversations, her whole personality seemed to undergo a transformation.
Not only that, but she had met someone like Tanya to share her passion with now.
…Ah, that was all for the recollections.
Anyways, measurements were done.
Of course it took a while to actually make the thing. I didn’t know if it could make the deadline…despite all my worries, Madame’s workshop increased speed on the production and made it.
But of course that was also thanks to the flawless streamlined timeline Sebastian had made for the whole thing.
Just like work, but in a different way, this made my shoulders sore…thinking that, I went back to work.
*This reads as stupid in English because the silkworm’s name is literally silkworm, but the original name isn’t so closely related.