After greeting both families, the next day, I filed the marriage papers and then went to work at the Magic Division. Bridget would be coming home tonight with her luggage.
As soon as Ray took his seat, the members of the corps gathered around and Daniel asked excitedly
“Is it true that you got married, Division Commander?” (T.L. Note: I will be changing Division Leader to Division Commander as it sounds better in my opinion)
“Yes, but I just submitted the forms. How did you know?”
The group members cheered and applauded.
“The general manager surprised me by telling me. And then what? Who is your partner?”
“Ms. Taylor, the auditor”
There was a louder shout of surprise that followed the previous cheers. Everyone was asking how, why, and when.
“The other day I had a chance to talk to Auditor Taylor personally and we hit it off, so we got married. That’s all. Now get back to work.”
When Ray made a shooing gesture, everyone returned to their seats, complaining.
Looking at the usually quiet sorcerers being so outgoing all of a sudden, Ray wondered if Bridget was okay.
The news of Ray’s marriage had spread throughout the royal court, but Bridget was not as worried as Ray was.
Bridget wanted a day off to pack that afternoon, and no one could talk to her because she was finishing up her work at lightspeed.
Bridget, who was finished with her work, told her squad members that she would be taking the afternoon off and that all future emergency communications should be made to the house of the Magic Division’s Commander and not to her dormitory.
The squad members were a bit jittery, but before they could call out to her, Bridget quickly left the Audit Office.
When Ray returned home to finish his work as usual, Bridget’s move seemed to be mostly finished.
When Ray looked in her room, he was surprised.
“An awful lot of books, it’s like a library.”
“Ah, Division Commander, welcome back. I’m sorry, as you can see, my luggage is full of books.”
Bridget, who had been on the stepladder to arrange the books on the bookshelf, came down slowly.
“And thank you for getting me a dress, as well as loungewear.”
“Of course. Let me know if there is anything missing. I’ll show you around the rest of the house at a later time.”
When they finished cleaning up to a certain extent and took their places at the table, John, the cook, began to lay out the food. Anyone could tell that he was far more enthusiastic than usual.
Bridget cheered at the beautiful dishes.
“A wonderful dish! I’ve been living in a dormitory all my life, and since they’re all knights there, their motto is cheap and plentiful. It’s been a long time since I’ve had such a nice meal!”
John was very embarrassed, but also very happy. Bridget began to eat happily, and ate so well that she was afraid of where it would fit in her thin body.
“…I hear that Auditor Taylor’s alias is ‘The Iron Lady,’ but she doesn’t look very much like it.”
Bridget swallowed the chicken in her mouth and drank the water.
“The original meaning isn’t the ‘Iron Lady,’ that you’re thinking of.”
“Is that so?”
“Before I became an auditor at the Royal Capital, I worked as a regional auditor for a short time. At that time, I uncovered a large scale tax evasion in the largest ironworks in the region, and that’s why I became an auditor in the royal capital.”
“Eh, I mean…”
“That’s right. My nickname is actually short for ‘The Woman Who Detected Tax Evasion at the Ironworks.’”
Ray laughed out loud.
“Maybe it’s called that in a general sense now, though. Rumors are really quite appropriate.”
Afterwards, Bridget continued to eat and talk a lot.
Ray usually ate in silence, but tonight he talked a lot and laughed a lot with Bridget. Connie, Miranda, John, and everyone in the house laughed heartily.
After a very satisfying meal, Bridget used the hot water recommended by Miranda and returned to her room, when she realized.
Where will I sleep?
There was no bed in her room. Normally, the bedroom next to the door would be the couple’s bedroom, but they are in a contractual marriage. It would not be such a relationship.
Bridget opened the door to the next room fearfully. No one was there. She walked in quietly and sat down on the large bed. It was soft and fluffy, much different from the bed in the dormitory.
Then the door on the other side opened and Ray walked in. He was wearing loungewear, as if he had just finished taking a bath, and his blonde hair was still wet. Bridget had to look away as it was too much for her.
“You must be tired after the move, and you have to work tomorrow as well, so you should get some rest soon.”
Ray then held up his hand towards the bed and muttered something. Then a thin wall appeared, splitting the bed in half.
“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to bear with this for a while to disguise the fact that we’re in a contract marriage. We’ll have a bed for you in your room after a while.”
“…Thank you for your concern.”
Bridget breathed a sigh of relief as her shoulders relaxed. Getting into bed from the side near her room, she found Ray lying down next to her across the magic wall. The bed was still quite sizable even though it was cut in half. And even though Ray was sleeping right next to her, the wall between them reduced the burden on her mind considerably.
“Um, can I talk to you about something?”
Ray spoke to her from behind the wall.
“Can you call me Ray? We’re now husband and wife after all, so just in case.”
Indeed, I called him the divisional commander and he referred to me as auditor.
“Yes. You can call me Bridget, too.”
“Yes, good night.”
Ray was right, I was tired from the move and it didn’t take long for me to feel sleepy. Bridget stretched wide and slipped under the covers.
The next day, when Ray woke up, Bridget was already out of bed. Last night, Bridget was able to sleep right away, thanks to the wall he had put up.
Ray erased the magic wall on the bed. He then got dressed and went downstairs. He could hear laughter coming from the dining room.
“Oh, Ray, good morning.”
Even though it was my own suggestion, it still embarasses me to hear my direct name being called.
“Ray, I have a meeting in the morning, so I’ll be leaving first. Thank you for the lunch, John.”
Bridget hurriedly drank her tea in one gulp, grabbed her brightly patterned bag and left the dining room. Connie saw her off.
Miranda smiled and began to lay out the food in front of Ray.
“It’s just so much fun to have a young lady here,”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t as glamorous as I should have been.”
“You know, you sure look gorgeous on the outside but are quite plain on the inside, little boy.”
At Miranda’s relentless criticism, Ray silently put the bread in his mouth.
After arriving at work as usual, Ray was called by His Majesty the King to his office. An unscheduled call. I wonder if it’s work.
“I hear you’re married,”
After all this time, I found out that I was unexpectedly influential. Even though I was just the head of the Magic Division, to think the king would call out to me when I got married.
“Aren’t all of the country’s women in tears? I thought Ray was going to remain the darling of women for a long time.”
It’s a completely amused tone of voice.
“I apologize for this after-the-fact report. The Marquis Taylor’s…”
“I know. That would be Miss Bridget. I didn’t think she’d get married either. I haven’t seen her in a while. Ray, remember to bring her to my birthday evening party next week.”
Ray was surprised and tried to refuse somehow, but the king reminded him to bring her along, and he had to back down.
He returned home a little later than usual that day, as he hadn’t gotten any work done, since he was busy wondering how to convince Bridget to go with him to the party. Bridget was already home, and she and Connie greeted me.
“Welcome home, Master Ray.”
“Welcome back, we have a letter from the Royal Palace.”
An Invitation. It sure arrived fast. I feel the king’s strong will to bring her to him at all costs.
Ray brought it up during the meal.
“Bridget, His Majesty actually asked me to attend the evening party for his birthday next week with us both…”
Bridget is happily gobbling up again today. She thanked John happily for her lunch, saying she enjoyed it very much.
“I saw what you wrote to me earlier.”
“Are you sure about it?”
“If you’ve been told in person by His Majesty, then it would be in the ‘bare minimum job of a noblewoman.’ However, there is a problem.”
“What is it?”
The dress and jewelry should be manageable. Bridget wiped her mouth and looked straight at Ray.
“I’m devastatingly bad at dancing.”
After dinner, I decided to give it a try and dance. Nearby, Connie and Miranda are watching.
Ray took Bridget’s hand and put his hand around her waist. Come to think of it, it was the first time I’d touched her since our first meeting since we shook hands. He was thunderstruck by the same cold, thin fingers as he had felt then.
Connie took a slow count, and Bridget began to giggle and dance along with it. It is true that she has no sense of rhythm and her movements are stiff.
After a little bit of dancing, Bridget was breathing on his shoulders.
“…As you can see. I don’t mind, but I’m going to embarrass you, Ray.”
“Shame. Shall we practice until the day?”
Ray chuckled at Bridget, who made a rare protest. Like a child who didn’t want to do homework.
Every day thereafter, they practiced the dance after dinner. There was no significant improvement in Bridget’s movements, but they got used to the distance between their bodies, and the day quickly arrived.