The Civil Officer Can Have Sweet Dreams 516 min read
He felt calm.
Recently, whenever Cleatt woke up, his head would often throb with a dull, and light pain, but for a moment, his head cleared as if the haze completely cleared from his mind. It’s been a while since he woke up like this. He opened his eyes as he thought for a moment, ‘It’s probably because I napped even though it’s just for a bit,’ but there was a weird, out-of-place feeling on his head.
Cleatt’s eyes met someone’s when he opened them, and was surprised, but he didn’t let it show. The other person’s probably surprised as well. Opening both her light brown eyes, she met Cleatt’s gaze.
Cleatt, and even this woman, looked at each other without saying anything like statues. Both of them silently looked at each other like wild animals that’s ready to bolt at the slightest movement.
In the brief silence, she quietly removed something warm from Cleatt’s head. When Cleatt noticed, Ah, so it was her hand, the woman who had seemingly had her hand on his forehead quietly stood up without a word, took her cleaning tools, and moved to leave.
“Please excuse me.”
She bowed her head at Cleatt once with just those words, and left the room. Cleatt gazed at the door as it closed with a click, and without knowing how he should have responded, could only see her off.
Cleatt, who was slightly absentminded, noticed that his head just now had been clear more so than it had ever been, and hurriedly took out a pocket watch from his breast pocket. That’s because he only planned on resting for a bit, but must have slept for a long time. But when he looked at the watch, not much time had passed just as he estimated, and let out a sigh of relief. Well, if they really needed me for something, somebody would send out a Calling Bird to me.
Cleatt slowly got up, sat on the chair, and thought about what had happened just now. He’s seen that girl earlier. Cleatt, whose memory is good, mostly never forgets a face he’s seen once. She’s probably a new court lady who came in this past year or two. He’s passed by her multiple times in the corridors. But of course, they’ve never talked to each other.
Seeing her cleaning tools, she must have come to this room to clean it, and noticed him there. And freely touched him. Normally, one would think of this kind of incident as unappealing. There was also the possibility of her attacking him in his sleep, making it into an actual truth, and pressing for marriage. In the kingdom of Lucott, there are many assertive women, so one has to be on their toes about it. Especially for Cleatt, whose position is high, and is of a good lineage. There have been many women who approached him back then, but Cleatt doesn’t particularly like strong-willed, assertive women. Because of his family’s military lineage, there were many strong-willed people in it, and if it’s to play around with, he’d rather not choose a wife like that. That’s why he’s still unmarried even until now.
“Am I so careless now from fatigue…?”
Cleatt muttered to himself, but he wasn’t uncomfortable at all. That’s because that woman didn’t have an assertive air to her. In fact, it’s as if she was air. It looked like she wasn’t expecting anything from Cleatt. Usually, when people aim for him, they’d talk to him after he wakes up. It seems that the woman didn’t think he’d wake up. Her wide-open eyes were filled with surprise, and embarrassment.
Her soft, and warm hand. When that hand separated from Cleatt, it felt like he lost something wonderful.
Cleatt was sitting on a chair, absent-minded, but snapped out of it, and stood up. He’s had plenty of rest. Furthermore, his head is the most refreshed it’s been. He might possibly be able to efficiently do his work now.
After so long, Cleatt was in a good mood, and also left the room.
Cleatt was tired today as well.
A few days ago, his mind was working perfectly probably because of having taken a nap, and Henry praised him on the plan for the river maintenance –Work that day went swimmingly.
But that was just on that day.
From the next day onwards, Cleatt’s mind turned dull from the amount of work again, and he glared at the documents with a difficult look on his face. Cleatt has been feeling like this recently. It’s not because his fatigue has been increasing due to his age. It’s because the work he’s been dealing with has been getting more difficult. Doing this level of work day and night might strain oneself, Cleatt calmly thought. But on the other hand, work has been piling up.
Since then, he’s only met that young court lady once. She lowered her head, and greeted him, but looked a little uncomfortable. Cleatt could only quickly greet her back. Especially because he has nothing to talk to her about, nor does he plan on bringing up about that time.
And yet today, when he thought to rest for a bit since he was tired, why did he start heading towards the usual reference room? Thinking about it afterwards, Cleatt thought it’s because he wanted to meet that woman — Priscilla, again. But the him at this time didn’t realize that.
When the tired Cleatt opened the door, the court lady dusting away the top of the documents inside the room turned around, and showed a slightly surprised expression. And afterwards, lowered her head. Elegantly greeting him without fail. Cleatt thought, She has good manners. Even though Cleatt would walk through the Royal Palace distractedly, he would still unconsciously glance at the state of the people passing him by. Even among those people, her posture and behavior were impeccable. His impression of her is that she’s used to being precise, and having good manners.
“I’m sorry, I’ve already finished cleaning so…”
She tidied up the cleaning tools with an apologetic face.
“It’s fine, you don’t have to mind me. Feel free to continue. It seems like I was also in the way last time.”
“…The dust is all over the place, is it not?”
She smiled wryly at Cleatt’s words, and looked at a small, open window. Her facial expression looked as if she wanted to quickly fly away, just like the dust fluttering above the documents since a moment ago.
Cleatt sat on a chair, and watched her. Her light brown hair was carefully put together, but it shined like blonde hair when hit by the light coming from the window. It’s probably brown hair that’s closer to blonde.
“I’m Cleatt Brody, but…”
When Cleatt introduced himself, she turned around, taken aback, and elegantly gave her name with a sweet smile.
“I apologize. I know of you, Lord Brody. I have been working here as a court lady since last year. My name is Priscilla Land.”
“Isn’t the Land house a noble house?”
When Cleatt said that as he rummaged through his memories, Priscilla was taken aback, and smiled after.
“To know of a small house such as mine.”
“The Land family has been a steady, and good noble house since long ago.”
“My family would also be extremely happy receiving such kind words from Lord Brody. I’m truly grateful.”
Priscilla looked really happy. Cleatt felt a little embarrassed. Cleatt’s Brody house and Priscilla’s Land house have big differences when it comes to status, and wealth. Even for Cleatt, who remembers almost all the names of nobility, the Land house’ name lingers in his ears. Steady, modest, and sincere. But that’s the basis that allowed the Land house to survive even until now despite the violent rise and falls among the nobility.
“You’ve been working here in the Royal Palace since last year?”
“Yes. It has been exactly a year. Someone from the etiquette school I attended got in touch with me about it.”
“I see, that’s excellent.”
“Ah, no, it’s not…”
Priscilla gave a troubled smile at Cleatt’s words. Cleatt felt that it’s been so long since he’s last chatted with a young woman like this so soon after their first meeting. But he didn’t feel bad about it. With how fresh it was, his mind that had gotten tired from work slightly cleared up.
“The Royal Palace has been busy, right? It’s nice that nobles are allowed to work here.”
“The eldest son in our family is my younger brother, so I am truly grateful that both my parents allow me to do as I please. Because nowadays, many doors are being opened for women.”
“That’s true. There have been more women in various agencies. Which is good.”
“That it is.”
In front of Priscilla who nodded, Cleatt slightly hesitated to ask.
“By the way, from before…”
“I apologize for being rude.”
It’s as Cleatt thought: When he brought up about the other day, Priscilla gave a big bow.
“Oh no, you have nothing to apologize about, just why…”
While saying that, Cleatt regretted asking something so foolish. As for why, isn’t there only one reason? To touch a sleeping man. Her real intention was nothing more than just her ‘good will.’ He doesn’t know just how deep this so-called good will goes. Is it just mere flirting, or something as heavy as having been in love with him since long ago?
And yet, there’s no such person that exists that would touch the opposite sex with no interest whatsoever. Especially since Cleatt is someone high up that Priscilla wouldn’t be able to talk to him leisurely. If a person like that touched another with no other meaning to it, ordinary people would understand that it’d be a problem. Especially looking at it from Cleatt’s point of view, this Priscilla doesn’t look like someone who doesn’t know about that kind of thing. She looks like a woman who knows right from wrong.
The reason for such a woman to impolitely touch the sleeping Cleatt. He regretted what Priscilla would answer. This kind of thing was embarrassing even for women. Moreover, even if she were to confess to him here, I have been in love with Lord Brody since long ago, Cleatt can only be troubled by it. In that type of awkward atmosphere, even he would be reluctant to say words of rejection.
As he thought this, he heard Priscilla mutter in a small voice, That’s… you seemed tired, Lord Brody, so…, and when Cleatt raised his head and looked at Priscilla, she looked apologetic, trying to make her pitiful body look smaller.
“I sincerely want to apologize for being so rude… I had no other intention behind it… Just that you looked so tired while sleeping, I just unconsciously…”
He smiled bitterly at the woman who was probably 10 years younger than him, and when he asked her with a tinge of sarcasm, Priscilla made her body look even smaller. Cleatt coughed slightly to gloss over the fact that he seemed to be teasing her. After Priscilla knitted her eyebrows as she avoided his gaze to think, she bravely stared back at Cleatt, and said, ‘Uhm, this may seem like an absurd thing to you, but!’
“That is, my hands seem to have a healing effect to them, and uhm… I thought, Why don’t I relieve Lord Brody even just a bit of his fatigue?“
“Are you a magician?”
Cleatt knitted his brows. It’d be impossible for a valuable magician to work at a place like this doing servant work as a court lady. His voice unconsciously was tinged with suspicion, and Priscilla shook her head.
“No, I have been confirmed to have no magic powers. But even so, it seems that my hands have a slight power to them for some reason… Though I have not told this to anyone aside from that of my family.”
Ashamed, Priscilla tightly gripped the cleaning tools, and stood where she was. Not telling anyone outside of her family might be a secret. But she seemed to have concluded that if she didn’t say that, she wouldn’t be able to explain herself to Cleatt. Cleatt rested his jaw in his palm, and stared at Priscilla.
A normal woman.
Having worked for a year after school, was she around 20 years old? Her good manners and posture are moreso because of etiquette school rather than being a noble’s daughter. There’s a limit on the people who are able to work at the Royal Palace. It seems that for her to be recommended by her school, it was just pure skill. The school should also know the intensity of the work that’s required at the Royal Palace. One wouldn’t be recommended just because they say they’re a noble. And it’s because of that, people who have been recommended quit within a week, and would cause the Royal Palace to find the school disagreeable.
His impression of her was that she was calm for her young age, but aside from that, she looks like an ordinary woman. But he has a good impression of her. And above all, Cleatt thinks that rather than saying she was common enough to not have a bad impression, it’s better to say she’s unique.
Even looking at how respectful her speech and manners were towards her boss, Cleatt, she wasn’t flirting, and her appearance was neat. Even at the fact that she was cleaning this rundown room all by herself, you could see that she was a diligent person.
It didn’t look like she was trying to catch Cleatt’s attention by lying to him.
“You said they have a healing effect?”
Having felt Cleatt’s gaze on her hands, Priscilla uncomfortably grasped them.
“Rather than healing, they cannot cure but, I have been told by my family that when I touch them with my hands, their pain and fatigue disappear. I have also been told by my family that I have this power because I have been nursing my younger brother since long ago.”
“Your brother’s sick?”
“No, he’s already healthy now.”
“That’s good –This sounds interesting. Can I touch your hands?”
Cleatt wanted to confirm by touching the young woman. From the very beginning, if there was a problem, Cleatt was the type to investigate it until he’s fully satisfied. This is exactly why people say he’s excellent.
Priscilla nodded, and approached Cleatt. And then held out her hand towards Cleatt as he sat on the couch.
“Uhm, is it okay for me to touch you? It would be useless if I were to touch you in a place that had no problem.”
“Ah, that’s true. Go ahead.”
When Cleatt nodded, Priscilla timidly reached out with her hand, and softly touched Cleatt’s head. She hesitated before slipping her right hand’s fingers around his temple, and softly touched them.
Cleatt unconsciously opened his eyes. The moment Priscilla touched him with her warm hand, the dull, throbbing pain from his head disappeared. Resting his jaw in his hand, Cleatt began to sound out the condition of his own body. He thought that it might be because one’s mood changes the moment another touches them with their hand, but even as he consciously concentrated, the pain never came back.
“Can you remove your hand?”
Priscilla obediently removed her hand. After several seconds, the dull pain returned to his head.
“Can you touch it again?”
As Priscilla said that, she softly touched his head with her hand. The pain instantly disappeared.
Cleatt pondered, his jaw in his palm. Whenever Cleatt was pondering something, this was his habit. Cleatt understood that Priscilla’s words were the truth.
Certainly, it looks like her hands have some mysterious power to them. Even now, he’s personally still experiencing it. He understood it was the truth when they quickly switched it, and also understood that from Priscilla’s speech and conduct.
The other day, Priscilla reached her hand out to the sleeping Cleatt due to her kindness. She said that she nursed her younger brother since a long time ago, so she possibly couldn’t leave Cleatt who looked tired. Being treated like a younger woman’s younger brother made him bitterly smile, but thinking of how kind she was, Cleatt looked up at Priscilla standing in front of him. Priscilla firmly touched Cleatt’s head with a tense expression on her face.
This was certainly pleasant. It seemed as if her hands were absorbing all of his fatigue. Cleatt thought, ‘I’d like for her hands to stay there forever.’
In other words, Cleatt was extremely tired.
“When you touch with your hands, does it not injure you in any way? Burdening the fatigue in exchange.”
“No, it has no influence on me. Rather, it feels very calming.”
Cleatt was worried that Priscilla was actually absorbing his fatigue, and asked, but his worries were for naught. Thinking that, Cleatt’s judgment came quickly. That’s because Cleatt was a rational man. Everyone around him often say, He’s too rational, and has no emotions to him.
“How much more time do you have after this?”
“If it’s ten minutes…”
When Priscilla timidly answered his question, not knowing what his intention was, Cleatt took out a pocket watch, and held it out to Priscilla.
“If that’s the case, accompany me. If someone asks you, tell them you’re helping me with my work. Wake me up after 30 minutes have passed.”
Cleatt pushed the pocket watch towards Priscilla, and lied down on the couch. Priscilla hastily took the pocket watch, and put her hand back on lying Cleatt. As if he was satisfied, Cleatt let out a sigh. And just like that, closed his eyes. Priscilla crouched down beside Cleatt, and dumbfounded, stared at his face. Cleatt didn’t take note of Priscilla’s gaze, and was completely relaxed. He might have already fallen asleep.
(Is this okay…?)
Dazed, Priscilla tightly gripped the pocket watch in her left hand. Her right palm was warm, and numb. It’s proof of Cleatt’s fatigue. He was sleeping on what looked to be a narrow couch, but even so, he looked peaceful. When Priscilla looked at that, her mouth lifted into a smile.
It wasn’t much different from when she voluntarily touched him back then. Cleatt asked for her to touch him. Cleatt knew of the power of Priscilla’s hands, and was using its effectiveness.
That’s because Priscilla is a young woman, it’s not as if she think this is hateful. The other person is older, but is a young, dreamy man. Moreover, he’s distinguished enough to be out of reach, and and excellent person. To have someone that amazing need her hands’ power, it’s inevitable that her heart would be this exhilarated.
Priscilla smiled while watching Cleatt’s sleeping face, thinking, Even if it’s just for now, I want him to have a peaceful sleep.
FINALLY! THEY MEET DAMMIT.