Episode 18: Secretly…button (1)
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“As amazing as I expected!”
Aristine exclaimed as she turned the scalpel back and forth. The blade shone with a silver luster under the sun.
Unlike a dagger, the cold iron sensation stuck to her hand when she held it like a pencil.
‘Yes, this is it.’
It felt far more stable.
Aristine traced the paper on the table with the scalpel. She didn’t just draw a straight line but drew her desired shape with it like she was using a pencil.
The scalpel moved without creaking at all. And smoothly too, with no hiccups. It was also so sharp that it even cut the thick fabric under the paper.
Aristine moved carefully because she felt like even the table might get scratched if she applied a little more force. The table arranged for her was carved out of huge carnelian so it was a luxury that money couldn’t even buy.
The scalpel that Ritlen made had excellent grip and cutting power, so it seemed ready to go into production right away after a simple test.
‘Then I can rake in a ton of money.’
She felt excited.
Aristine put down the scalpel and turned to Ritlen who was standing beside the table. Even after creating such an excellent piece, Ritlen looked nervous.
It was an interesting sight, so Aristine beat around the bush.
“Yes, Princess Consort.”
Ritlen got even more nervous. A wrinkle appeared between his brows, looking out of place on his amiable face.
Aristine looked at him with a stiff expression, “I’m not sure how you’ll take this but after using this myself…”
Ritlen gulped loudly.
“I like it a lot!” (Aristine)
A wide smile bloomed on Aristine’s face like her stiff expression was an imagination.
“It’s so much lighter than I expected so it’s easy to use and the sharpness is outstanding!”
Aristine said while waving the dissected paper around.
Ritlen could only utter that word. And one beat later, he bowed his head in appreciation.
This is what it felt like to be recognized. He hadn’t felt like this in a long time.
“I should be the one thanking you. Thank you for making such a good product. I’ve never used a blade, yet I have no problem handling it so it will be even easier for the doctors.”
“Yes. Like Your Highness wishes, more patients will be able to survive with this.”
Aristine gave a vague smile, neither affirming nor denying.
“I lightened the weight because I thought it would make it easier to handle more delicately.”
“Mn, that’s probably right because there’s pressure added to the weight too. I see you didn’t just make what I said but thought about it too.”
Always immersing himself and researching. This was a trait of Ritlen that she had seen through many of the alloys in his room.
A trait that honed his talent more and led him to a higher level.
‘And it will develop even further in the future.’
Aristine nodded with satisfaction.
‘Sure enough, I did a really good job choosing my employee.’
An employee who went above and beyond doing what their boss asked them to do and adding their personal touch.
“I knew it; you will definitely become the best blacksmith.”
Ritlen’s cheeks reddened slightly with joy and embarrassment.
“…If I can be of help to Your Highness, that is enough for me.”
“Haha! Of course, with that being said…!”
Aristine confidently raised a finger.
“There should be a reward. Isn’t that so?”
Ritlen’s eyes widened at those unexpected words.
“Ah, there’s no need for that…I really want to help Your Highness…and I already have the payment you gave me earlier.”
Aristine didn’t just scout Ritlen with empty words. She paid him a jaw-dropping amount as a down payment.
Ritlen, who had always been treated as the forge’s shame, desperately tried to refuse but how could the employee win against the boss?
He had no choice but to receive a huge amount of money at his boss’ will.
“That’s the down payment, and this is a performance bonus!”
Aristine proudly opened the drawer and took out the gold pouch she had prepared.
What was the best way to lead people?
Great character? Overwhelming charisma? Excellent ability?
Since time immemorial, people are driven by money!
For continuous and progressive exploitation of your workforce, you must feed them with profits whenever the time is right.
“Here you go, excellent work.”
Ritlen looked at loss for what to do.
When he said, ‘If I can be of help to Your Highness, that is enough for me,’ Aristine seemed to have just taken it as flattery or lip service.
But he truly meant it.
Taking this felt like he was admitting that it was really just lip service.
“My arm hurts.”
Ritlen was startled to hear to that and hurriedly took the pouch. He always felt worried because Aristine’s arms were so thin.
But the moment he felt the weight of the pouch, he went ‘Oh no’. But it was impossible to return something that was already in his hands.
In addition, it wasn’t very good for him to refuse something that the Princess Consort personally granted.
Ritlen had no choice but to take the pouch.
It was pretty heavy.
“You can open it here.”
It was a suggestion but either way, it was his superior talking.
Ritlen cautiously opened the pouch. He felt a little gloomy because Aristine’s misunderstanding of him seemed to be deepening.
But the moment he saw what was inside the pouch,
His eyes were the size of saucers. His expression was like a puppy who found a chewy bone made of turkey tendons.
‘…I have to work hard.’
Ritlen clenched his fists.
He was human too.
This was too large of an amount to refuse.
Aristine looked at Ritlen with satisfaction as his invisible tail wagged frantically.
‘Yup, I did well extorting…I mean, getting that settlement money.”
As soon as the knights arrived in Sylvanus, they sent Aristine a huge amount of compensation and settlement money. They probably scraped everything they could find.
‘Well, it’s cheaper than their life.’
They were eunuch-ed, stripped penniless, and even lost their knighthood. Furthermore, the emperor’s wrath was unavoidable so their life would be quite difficult in the future.
She couldn’t be happier to see their wealth go into the coffers of her treasured employee.
‘Sure enough, feelings have to be expressed with money!’
Both apologies and gratitude!