You, be my colleague (3)
T/N: A drawing room is a room for receiving visitors. Sometimes I translate it to receiving room but just keep that in mind.
As Aristine walked inside with Mukali, people’s attention was drawn towards her.
‘No way, is it really…?’
Everyone looked at Aristine in disbelief, then they hurriedly lowered their heads.
“Greetings to the Princess Consort.”
As she responded to the greetings with a smile, she heard the sound of urgent footsteps from somewhere.
It belonged to Volatun, the master of the Catallaman Forge.
He was very startled to hear that the Princess Consort had come to visit the blacksmith forge and quickly ran out. It was quite common for royalty to visit the Catallaman forge.
But for them to visit without any advance notice?
On one hand, he was worried that there might be an issue but on the other hand, he was also somewhat excited.
After all, Princess Aristine was the number one person that people wanted to see in Irugo right now.
“Welcome to Catallaman, Princess Aristine.”
Volatun greeted Aristine politely.
“It is an honor to meet you. I was not aware Your Highness was coming, or I would have made preparations.”
He wasn’t saying that to point out that she had come without notice but to convey his sincere regret.
Then again, a smithy was always open to having customers.
“Please follow me inside.”
Volatun led Aristine to the drawing-room.
Aristine looked at the swords, shields, and various weapons that decorated the room, with a gaze full of interest.
‘As expected of Irugo.’
It wasn’t as if there weren’t any ornaments, but the number of weapons vastly outnumbered those. Furthermore, each one could be called a masterpiece.
They were so well-made that even Aristine who didn’t know much about weapons could tell at a glance.
‘Sure enough, the reputation of the Catallaman forge is not for show.’
Irugo, the land of fire and iron.
From those words, you could tell that the blacksmiths who dealt with fire and iron were naturally treated the best.
Blacksmiths did not try to string together families like nobles did because they were connected by apprenticeships rather than blood ties. Instead, the blacksmith forge played the same role as a noble family.
The best blacksmiths received royal warrants from the royal family. And the masters who led such blacksmith forges were in the same position as the head of a prestigious aristocratic family.
Among them, Catallaman was a forge that had maintained its position as the number one blacksmith forge for the past 100 years. In other words, although Volatun seemed otherwise, his position was similar to a Duke or a Marquis of a powerful and prestigious noble family.
“…hence, I am confident that our Catallaman forge alone can manufacture the best items possible for you, Princess Consort.”
Volatun spoke in a voice full of confidence and pride.
After they arrived in the drawing-room and made some small talk with refreshments, Volatun gave a brief introduction about the Catallaman Forge.
In summary, he was saying there was no place better than Catallaman.
Aristine nodded her head.
“As amazing as I’ve heard. I have known of the Catallaman forge’s fame ever since I was in Silvanus.”
“Is that so? But I heard Irugo-styled swords are not liked in Silvanus.”
That was a pretty sharp question.
He was saying they didn’t like it but was really asking if they looked down on it.
“Anyone with an eye for good things will recognize them.”
Aristine gave a smile as she leisurely passed it off.
Her remark elevated herself for having a good eye and everyone at Catallaman for their skill.
Volatun’s eyes lit up.
‘Indeed, what I saw at the welcome banquet that day was no coincidence.’
He smiled with satisfaction.
‘Yes, with His Highness Tarkan as one half, the other half must also be competent and wise!’
Tarkan was an outstanding warrior with countless distinguished medals and naturally, he was popular among blacksmiths. The blacksmiths supported Tarkan just like the warriors.
This was also one of the backgrounds that helped Tarkan, who had no family backing, to maintain balance in the fight for the throne.
‘And she came to our Catallaman forge rather than anywhere else!’
This was clear evidence that she was a wise and discerning person.
“Ehem, someone might think you’ve fallen for the Princess Consort.”
Volatun turned to Mukali and flashed a smile.
“Should I look at your sword while you’re here? You seem to be doing just fine with it, so I am satisfied.”
Volatun pridefully looked at the sword Mukali carried. That big attitude showed that the sword was Volatun’s work.
“It’s fine. I already check this guy’s condition every morning and evening.”
“Haa, you know, it would be nice if everyone used swords like you, General.”
Volatun smiled wryly.
“Ah, come to think of it, I have a present for you, General.”
“I heard you made major distinguishment in the last…battle.”
Volatun glanced at Aristine to study her expression.
Aristine understood that the battle he was referring to was during the war with Silvanus and nodded her head to indicate it was fine.
“Since our two countries have united, discussing the past is just the process of reconciliation.” (Aristine)
“It is as you say.” (Volatun)
Volatun once again admired Aristine’s remark.
“At any rate, such a heroic tale is an inspiration to a blacksmith like me.”
“Calling it a heroic tale makes me feel embarrassed.”
Mukali said with narrowed eyes. However, his chest was proudly puffed out.
He wasn’t against being praised like this in front of Aristine.
‘You should know I’m better than that egg-breaking Durante!’
He secretly took that incident to heart.
“On the account of General’s victory, I have made something exclusively for you.”
At those words, Mukali’s only eye lit up.
A present made by the best blacksmith himself!
As a warrior, he couldn’t help but look forward to this.
The servant who was waiting for Volatun’s signal came up to them with a small box. It was incredibly small when put next to Mukali’s physique.
That made it even harder to guess what was inside.
Aristine looked at the box, her eyes also full of curiosity.
The moment Mukali saw what was inside the box, his face hardened.
It was an eye patch made of gold and malachite, attached to a piece of black velvet.
“General, come on, try it on.”
Volatun said with anticipation. There was no sign of ridicule in his tone or expression.
He was sincerely just giving Mukali a present.
However, Mukali was confused as to whether Volatun had heard a heroic tale, or the story of Silvanus warriors mocking his appearance.
It was probably the latter, so he felt pity and made this kind of eye path.
Mukali was at loss for words.
His chest tightened like someone was squeezing it tight.
“Here, there are no straps so you can just insert it in the eye hole like this. Straps don’t look as cool. I designed it so that it wouldn’t overshadow the General’s charisma.”
Volatun inserted the eye patch into Mukali’s left eyes hole. It was the perfect fit like it was made for it.
The blend of the luxurious malachite and pure gold was overwhelming by itself.
Volatun nodded with satisfaction and turned to Aristine.
“What do you think, Your Highness? I think he looks much more splendid! Ah, of course, General Mukali has always looked handsome.”
He wanted to grab Volatun by the neck this instant and yell for him to stop. No, he just wanted to disappear.
He could feel Aristine’s gaze slowly scouring his face.
He didn’t have to see it to know.
Since his disgusting and hideous wound was covered with such a cool-looking eye patch, it probably looked much better.
*I always have to put a disclaimer when chapters end like this. It’s not me. It’s the author XD.