Bridget was reading a letter while bobbing in a rocking chair after dinner. She had a difficult look on her face.
“Can I help you?”
Ray approached and sat down in a chair diagonally across from me and I showed him the letter I was reading.
The letter was a single sheet of paper, with a date and a set of numbers next to the date, followed by a dozen lines with no text on it.
“It was addressed to me at my former quarters. I believe it is likely an accusation.”
The back of the envelope was stamped with a wax seal, but there was no stamp, and there was no sender to be found anywhere.
“I can’t tell who the sender is, but do you have any idea who it might be?”
“No, I don’t. There are often whistle-blowers who send letters to the Audit Office, but this one is addressed to me personally.”
Bridget shook the envelope and pointed to a sign indicating the location of the sender.
“But I have a hint. The letter originated in Glossier, where I used to work as a district auditor.”
“Oh, where your nickname ‘Iron Lady’ originated from”
“Yes. And there’s something strange about the fact that wax seal was used. Typically only some senior aristocrats use a wax seal to prove the sender of the letter. But there is no indication as to who this seal’s owner is. I’m not sure if the wax seal itself has any meaning.”
A wax seal was used to indicate that a letter was unopened, but few people use it these days because the postal system has developed and wax seals often rubbed off.
“If sealing wax has any meaning, I think it refers to a company in Glossier called Lynx.”
“Are they a famous company?”
“Yes, they are a very large company in Glossier. The Lynx Company distributes many lighting candles to the Royal Palace and also deals in wax seals. If this is an accusation letter, then someone who knows that I was a district auditor may be trying to inform me in the Royal Capital of any irregularities related to Lynx.”
“Who is in charge of managing the lighting candles in the palace?”
“The Royal Court Administration. However, is there a reason to send me this accusation letter when I’m all the way out in the Royal Capital? This information alone doesn’t make sense to me.”
Bridget held her temples in distress. Surely you can’t go into an audit with just a list of dates and numbers that don’t make sense.
“I have an acquaintance in Glossier who gave me a lot of information when I was a district auditor, so I’m thinking of writing to him.”
“Oh, well, let’s go ask them directly.”
“Eh, it’s a bit far.”
“But we didn’t even go on our honeymoon. There hasn’t been an audit in a while, and things are fairly calm right now.”
“But Ray’s work is…”
“We can do whatever we want.”
Ray laughed softly and returned the letter he was holding to Bridget.
They called it their honeymoon and were heading to Glossier by carriage, after adjusting their work schedule.
It would have been nice to go to Glossier in one fell swoop using Ray’s transfer magic, but it’s a trip after all. Ray and Bridget set out leisurely.
When Ray told Daniel, the deputy division commander, that they were going on a honeymoon, he replied loosely, “Yes. There is almost no urgent work in the Magic Division at the moment. Daniel will be able to attend meetings and do the paperwork in a reasonable manner.”
Bridget was bitter when she told her group she was going on her honeymoon and her squad members applauded her off.
“It must be refreshing to have a superior officer like me away for a while, I’m sure.”
“Well, I’m sure there were no ill intentions in their applause.”
Ray chuckled, but Bridget still seemed to disapprove.
It would take two full days by carriage to get to Glossier, so they would spend the night in a recently opened port town on the way. When they arrived in the port town during the evening, they left their luggage at the inn and decided to take a stroll through the marketplace for dinner.
“Not long ago, one of my men accompanied the princess on her provincial duties and bought a lot of souvenirs here. I’ve always wanted to come here.”
Ray chewed on fried food that he bought from a food cart. It was freshly fried and still steaming. Bridget bought a small bowl of noodles and they ate together on a bench under a tree.
“It’s nice to see a different atmosphere than the royal capital, it’s quite lively. I’ve only lived in various territories and Glossier, but the territories are rural and Glossier is an industrial area, so there’s really nothing there.
“Let’s stay here and buy some souvenirs on the way back.”
We slept together in one room as a married couple, but as usual, we built a magic wall for our bed.
Bridget secretly thought it was more like an overnight excursion than a honeymoon.
The next day, they left early and arrived in Glossier in the evening, as the roads were clearer.
“A well-informed friend of mine works at a restaurant,” Bridget said, “I’ve been in touch with her, so let’s go there as soon as possible.”
Glossier is indeed an industrial area, and the only busy area is near the main street of the city. However, due to the large number of workers, there are a number of eateries and inns, as well as stores and taverns.
When Bridget opened the door of one of the stores, a woman’s voice was heard from inside.
“Excuse me, it’s not opening time yet!”
There were no customers, and the store was still dark. The woman who came out was flabbergasted when she saw Bridget.
“It’s been a while, Lyra.”
“Bridget, it’s been a long time.”
The woman who’s name was Lyra was a little older and taller than Bridget. She looked at Bridget fondly and then looked at Ray with a start.
“Who is this guy, he’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen?”
“Uh, I’m married. My husband.”
“Nice to meet you, my name is Ray Miller.”
Ray felt uncomfortable as Lyra stared at him and looked up and down. I don’t know what she was thinking, but after saying she was impressed, she said a few words to the kitchen and led us upstairs.
“Was this letter sent by you Lyra?”
The second floor of the restaurant had several private rooms, and the three of us sat at the table in one of the rooms.
“No, no. Bridget, how much of it do you understand?”
“As far as I can tell, the numbers in the letter list the amount or quantity of goods that are fraudulent between the Royal Court Administration and the Lynx Company.”
Lyra laughed and clapped.
“That’s right! That is mostly true. But I’m not the one who sent it.”
“Can I see the sender?”
“You can but they might be afraid to meet you in person as someone around here may remember your face.”
Bridget hmmm and pondered,
“Where is the caller?”
“She’s a dancer. Anyway, it’ll be hard for you to find her regardless.”
Dancers dance on the stages of taverns and are also sometimes invited to perform dances at individual banquets. Young women like Bridget would rarely visit restaurants that had dancers and would stand out.
“Shall I go?”
At Ray’s suggestion, Bridget and Lyra looked at him.
“….it’s too conspicuous for you to go.”
“You’re too flashy,”
Ray chuckled, ruffled his hair and chanted a spell. Then a small breeze blew and Bridget involuntarily closed her eyes. When they opened, Ray’s hair and eyes had turned black.
“How do you like it?”
“You! You’re a magician! I’ve never seen magic before!”
Bridget was thunderstruck by Ray who now had black hair. It was less noticeable than the blonde hair and blue eyes, but it still boasted a different dignity than the blonde.
After hearing the name of the dancer, Ray went straight to the bar to make a reservation.
“You should ask the dancer for more details, but the officials of the royal capital are pretty bad, and they come to town and do whatever they want under the guise of inspection.”
“The knights don’t stop it?”
“They don’t really try to stop it. Maybe the knights are in on it.”
The audit of the Royal Court Administration alone may not be able to hit everything. We need to enlist the help of Glossier’s regional administrator.
Ray returned quickly. The caller dancer’s reservation was made, and it seemed that it would happen tonight.
“I was able to get a reservation right away, but it was hard to say no to a lot of dancers since they said they were coming in for service.”
It was easy to imagine the scene. The dancers must have gotten excited when they saw Ray.
Bridget felt a little uncomfortable and regretted that she didn’t go in a disguise.