You, be my colleague (6)
T/N: Big thanks to Egg and chenmoizm for sponsoring this chapter on Ko-Fi
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Ritlen blinked in disbelief when he saw Aristine who had come to his residence.
Then he was startled awake and got on his knees.
“Thank you, Princess Consort.”
The face looking up at Aristine exuded gentleness. This thought had crossed her mind before, but he really reminded her of a big dog.
Maybe it was because of his light brown hair which looked golden in the sunlight.
“I apologize for my late greeting. Please forgive me for not thanking you earlier.”
“No, it’s fine. It must have been hectic earlier.”
After giving that response, Aristine studied Ritlen. Her purple eyes were filled with curiosity about her long-awaited first employee.
Contrary to his dropping eyes and gentle impression, Ritlen had a very huge frame and muscular body. Then again, even when he was struggling with those threatening men, he didn’t completely lose.
Ritlen was also a skilled blacksmith so there were obvious traces of that, all over his body. His pectoral muscles that peeked through his shirt were taut, and the protruding veins on the back of his hand extended to the inside of his rolled-up sleeve. It was easy to tell that the part covered by his clothes was also packed with muscles.
Aristine was satisfied.
Volatun called him a naïve scholar, but his body was that of a blacksmith who handled fire and iron every day.
‘Then again, he did say that that Ritlen mostly makes things other than swords. In other words, he must have been smelting or hammering every day.’
His body showed for certain that his skills hadn’t rusted.
At Aristine’s greedy gaze directed at his talent, Ritlen turned away slightly. His cheeks flushed red with embarrassment.
‘Oh no, I stared too long.’
Aristine looked away and said, “You may rise.”
“Thank you, Princess Consort.”
Ritlen quietly stood up.
“Is your hand alright?”
“Yes, it is fine.”
“Thank goodness. They didn’t bother you after I went inside, right?”
My precious employee!
Aristine asked with blinking eyes.
At her words which were filled with worry about him, Ritlen grew even more embarrassed.
He lowered his head and nodded, unable to look Aristine directly in the eyes. The tips of his ears were red.
“I am fine. I am sorry to have worried you, Your Highness.”
“Don’t apologize. Those guys are in the wrong here.”
Ritlen lifted his head slightly and looked at Aristine. Then as soon as their eyes met, he was startled and quickly looked down.
Those purple eyes.
Their color was like a clear amethyst that had been perfectly polished without any mistakes. It was dazzling and beautiful.
Ritlen didn’t know what to do with the Princess Consort who suddenly appeared in his room. Furthermore, although he wasn’t sure why, General Mukali was fiercely staring him down.
No, this wasn’t staring but glaring.
‘Hmm, he’s pretty handsome.’
Mukali assessed Ritlen with unhappy eyes. If he had a tail, it would be slapping the ground, showing his obvious dissatisfaction.
‘But he is nothing compared to Milord.’
His lord’s beauty could be called the best in the universe. His divine level of beauty couldn’t be compared to an ordinary human.
As he thought of his master, Mukali reflexive puffed out his chest.
“What is this? Can I take a look?”
Aristine asked, pointing at the handicrafts laying in the room.
“Oh, of course. That is a rabbit statue…”
Happy that the attention on his was torn away, Ritlen began to explain the handicrafts.
Aristine’s eyes scoured the room as she half-listened to his explanation. Exquisite metal handicrafts lay around the room on display.
A rabbit, squirrel, long-tailed bushtit, dog, and cat.
‘Does he prefer things like these to swords?’
Aristine tilted her head when she saw several handicrafts of the exact same shape and size.
‘The finishing feels a little different though.’
The sensation was different when she touched it. So even though the same technique was used, the finish was hard on some and soft on others.
‘The smell of iron.’
When she inhaled up close, she could definitely smell it.
‘It smells like iron but has different properties and weight…is it a steel alloy with a different composition?’
It seemed like an attempt to compare the properties by crafting it in the same shape. When she took another look around, she realized there were many other metals besides iron.
Gold, silver, copper, bronze, lead, and many others.
Aristine was flooded with realization.
‘He’s experimenting with precision processing!’
All these countless handicrafts were Ritlen’s experiments.
《Ritlen has great senses, keen eyes, and a bright mind. You can only be born with that.》
Volatun’s words flashed through her mind.
‘Indeed, he really is.’
The corner of Aristine’s lips rose.
Volatun was right. But he was also wrong at the same time.
《If he sits around like a naïve scholar, his spirit as a blacksmith is bound to die! Maybe that’s why he doesn’t even make swords anymore, just some strange and crude things…》
‘Volatun must have seen these and thought Ritlen was wasting his brilliant talent on useless things.’
He likely never even considered taking a closer look because just looking at them made him feel frustrated. A glance alone showed that Ritlen’s crafts had excellent workmanship. He must have wondered why Ritlen wouldn’t invest even a minute or a second to make a sword with this outstanding ability especially since Ritlen was at the prime of his age. He must have truly lamented.
‘The other guys also recognized this talent so I’m sure it frustrated them even more.’
It would have been better if Ritlen had made one sword. He had outstanding talent that they couldn’t have even if they tried. But with that talent, he was only doing things they considered useless. There was nothing more infuriating that that.
‘I was worried for nothing.’
Aristine had been worried that Ritlen’s talent might have been awakened through some sort of trial. And that his genius might not bloom due to her intervention.
But that wasn’t the case at all.
His brilliant talent was growing on its own. Without succumbing to the numerous disregards, opposition, and pressure around them.
“…so I made it like that. That way, the weight is lighter and it’s stronger. But the processing rate falls…”
“The processing rate dropped but don’t all these handicrafts look quite intricate?”
“That was pretty hard. The efficiency dropped too so for a few days, I was walking around, holding it.”
“I think the black one is fine though? It doesn’t need to be cut that precisely and it’s a great alloy.”
While Aristine was letting Ritlen’s words blow over her ears, Mukali seemed to have listened.
The two of them were having an in-depth discussion while looking at the wares together.
‘He surprisingly gets along well with Mukali.’
Although the atmosphere coming from the both of them was very different.
‘To be fair, Mukali likes to study. He’s interested in science too.’
He acted like he wasn’t but once you started talking about it, he made it very obvious.