Altina the Sword Princess Volume 11 special chapter...
Altina’s Part Time Job
Editor: Darkdhaos, Seir K
“Let’s study economics today.”
It was morning, and the place was the personal chambers of the Commander of Fort Volks.
Regis headed to the capital alone, and Altina led the unit back to their base. After that, she wanted to study—— As she read books that were right for her level, she received strict swordsmanship instruction at the same time.
Her teacher was the maid Clarisse.
Unlike normal maids, Clarisse was well educated. Regis even acknowledged that she was capable of discussing economical and religious topics.
Altina sat before her desk and looked at the books stacked on top of it.
“I have to read all this?”
“You are not motivated? Let’s stop studying then.”
Hufufu, Clarisse smiled.
“Your Highness is the one who wanted to do this, it has nothing to do with me. Your Highness is the one who will be troubled in the future…”
“Even so, that would be the Princess’ choice. No matter what, the Princess will be my most important person.”
“I will do it! I will do it alright!? It’s just economics! I will read it no matter how many books there are! Tch, come at me book!”
“... Books won’t come at you. And this will probably turn into napping time like last time, so let’s have a practical lesson.”
Altina blushed after being pointed out that she fell asleep before finishing even one book.
“Okay, I will leave it to you then.”
“Alright. Well then——”
Clarisse clapped her hands and proposed another plan.
“Then for today, Your Highness will start a business in Fort Volks~”
“Ehh… Business huh…”
Altina didn’t really get what that meant, but was still intrigued.
She leaned forward.
“Speaking of which, I haven’t earned any money before.”
“... Well… Your Highness is a Lieutenant General of the Imperial Army and the commander of the Fourth Army. Your monthly salary is 150,000 Deniers. By the way, when Regis was a Fifth Grade Admin Officer, his weekly wages was 200 Deniers.”
After his promotion to Third Grade Admin Officer, he would have subordinates and his salary increased to 8,000 Deniers a month. First Grade Admin Officer would be paid 40,000 Deniers—— 50 times that of a Fifth Grade Admin Officer.
Altina shook her head.
“I do have the salary of a Lieutenant General. But I didn’t become a soldier through hard work, but was bestowed this position by Latreille right?”
It was a position many aspire to be but would never reach. But because she was a princess, she got the rank of Major General in spite of her wishes.
It wasn’t fair, but that was the current system in the Empire.
Although rising to the rank of Lieutenant General was the result of Altina’s actions…
“I don’t know how it feels to earn money through my own efforts. Although I do need to be a commander in order to be Emperor.”
“That’s right… Soldiers are a very special type of occupation. If you want to learn about economics, it would be better to gain experience in other jobs.”
“That sounds interesting! That’s the best way of learning for me!”
Altina smiled brilliantly.
Clarisse was smiling too.
“Well then, let’s start by trying to be a maid.”
And so, it turned out like this.
Fort Volks, Officer’s Mess——
Altina lifted one side of her skirt and twirled one round.
The skirt full of laces fluttered with Altina’s movements.
Eehee, a smile appeared on her face.
Clarisse was mesmerized.
“Ahh… How cute, Your Highness is really cute.”
“Maid attire is not like dresses. It is easy to move in, I like it!”
“It suits you very well.”
“Fufu, is that so?”
“It’s a pity we can’t show this to Regis.”
Altina suddenly stood stiffly and immediately blurted out without thinking:
“W-W-Why did you mention Regis!? What has my clothes have to do with Regis!?”
“Ara ara, let’s leave it at that for now.”
“Well then, let’s start with cleaning the tables.”
“Leave it to me!”
“Ah—— Use this.”
What Clarisse prepared for her was a wig.
It was long black hair with long fringes.
It was put onto Altina, narrowing her vision slightly.
“Hmm? What are you doing?”
“If the Princess cleaned the dining hall in maid’s clothing, it would be detrimental to the dignity of the commander. Please put on a disguise.”
“Ah… I see. Well, it’s for the sake of studying. If anyone dare look down on me, I will smack them up. But it’s better to not surprise everyone.”
“Yes. You will be the new maid Alina then!”
“Whatever. Let’s start cleaning now.”
Clarisse tilted her head.
“You are the new maid Alina now, right?”
“I am your senior Clarisse.”
“Where’s your greeting?”
Clarisse was still smiling, but she gave of a scary aura now.
Altina was a little slow, but she finally noticed:
“Ah right—— Erm, please take care of me…?”
“Yes, well done. Remember to use honorifics to the officers okay?”
“I get it, no—— I understand.”
So she needed to start using honorifics and greetings huh—— Altina nodded. Now that she thought about it, there wasn’t any maid who spoke crudely.
I learned something, Altina thought.
She drew a bucket of water from the well, and soaked her rag. By the way, the rag was made from worn clothes.
As it was a rag, it would break apart if she used too much strength.
When Altina broke one, Clarisse chided her immediately.
She started wiping the tables again.
“Hmm—— how dirty.”
“That’s why everyone wipes twice.”
All the food was served on large plates inside the Officer’s mess. The portions were large, but there weren’t any leftovers. Unlike the etiquette and delicate table manners of the courts, there was only war here.
Fights would even break out sometimes.
After wiping half the tables, a rowdy group entered.
There were about ten knights.
“Fuahhh! Maids, give me a meal!”
Clarisse bowed. When others were around, she would not smile.
Clarisse who was bowing glared at her sideways… Altina bowed quickly too.
The knights sat down.
“Because Sir Abidal Evra ordered us to recon the Fahrenberg territories, so we are here to have dinner beforehand!”
The other knights shrugged.
“It will already be late into the night when we get back.”
“Tch! He is acting like he is some great knight commander. Aside from the general and Evrard, Sir Kruger was strongest.”
The general—— Jerome had left to reinforce the east with the Black Knights.
As Evrard was the Fort Commander, he didn’t have direct command of the cavalry.
Kruger had already died in battle. He was a veteran of the Black Knights, and was highly evaluated.
Right now—— Abidal Evra was the first generation Knight Commander of the newly formed ‘Flying Sparrow Knights’, reporting directly to the Fourth Army Commander Altina.
They numbered 500.
They were a combination of new recruits, remnants of other units and former mercenaries. They were still lacking in both training and loyalty.
They seemed dissatisfied with the Knight Commander Abidal Evra who didn’t have much accomplishments.
They vented their trivial complaints.
Guu… Altina clenched her fist.
They were not like her. Be it the ambition to be Empress or the goal of making the Empire a nation of peace, those were just personal aspirations, not something shared with her subordinates.
Someone like Regis who understood her was special.
Soldiers weren’t her limbs, but an organization made up of people. They had their own desires, fear, objectives, preferences and position.
She needed to pay attention to this.
Altina wasn’t mature as a commander, but she wasn’t stupid. She could accept values that differed from her own.
She couldn’t get angry because they were unhappy, resolving their dissatisfaction was her responsibility.
—— That might be so, but this is difficult. The one in command of the Black Knights is that Jerome afterall.
He was one of the few heroes of the Empire, and kept the knights and troops in line with intimidation.
Asking Abidal Evra to do this will be too cruel. He was just a very competent knight with good common sense.
—— If I performed better, would the knights be more willing to follow Abidal Evra’s command? Or is there another way?
What would Regis do if he was here?
“Alina, don’t daze off now.”
Altina was shocked by the sudden voice.
Clarisse handed her a large tray.
“Yes, please take this. There are still a lot more.”
“Uwah… Is that so… I have to serve them the dishes huh…”
Altina wasn’t the commander today, but a maid.
With the large tray in hand, she walked towards the knights.
They were chatting about other things cheerfully. Such as the shops they visited while on leave.
One of the knights said with disgust:
“Just my luck to visit that shop! There isn’t any good chicks there!”
“Fool, you are just unlucky. Jenny from that shop is the best!”
“Hahahaha!? That woman who is heavier than a horse?”
“That’s the best part! Fool! You can’t appreciate——”
“Don’t wanna, I prefer girls who are more toned. Speaking of which, that’s the kind of feel.”
The knights shifted their gaze to Altina who was carrying a large tray.
—— Are they talking about cafes? Altina thought.
Mimicking the silent Clarisse, she placed the tray onto the table quietly. She had been issuing commands to the troops all these time, it would be bad if she revealed her identity because she spoke.
“Hey, I have never seen you around before. You new here?”
A knight asked.
What should I do?
She looked towards the kitchen, and saw Clarisse clench her fist. Was she asking Altina to work hard?
Today’s lesson was economics and experiencing how to conduct business. This was part of her job.
Altina nodded and answered softly, mindful of her volume.
She was always ordering the troops around with a loud voice. Altina judged that she wouldn’t be exposed if she used such a calm voice.
One of the knights licked his lips.
“That’s great, I like you. Please take care of me from now on.”
“If possible, take care of me at night too.”
He mean dinner huh.
When Altina was thinking that—— The knight reached his hand out with a smile.
Her butt was groped. It was done through her skirt, but Altina’s back still tensed.
Crack! Altina’s chest heated up.
“Bitch... what are you doing!”
She kicked without thinking.
The knight flew all the way to the wall.
His back hit the wall, and made the sound of a frog being squished.
Bloop bloop, he was foaming at the mouth.
The other knights stood up agitatedly.
“What.. What is with this maid!?”
All of them drew their swords.
Altina threw the wig on her head away.
“You idiot! How dare you touch a girl’s body, this is an outrage! Even if the gods forgive you, I won’t!”
The knights were petrified.
Forgiveness or whatnots, the subject was already knocked out after being kicked to the wall.
Also, the girl who they thought was a maid——
They said with a quivering voice:
“... Crimson eyes and vermillion hair…? Could… Could it be… The Princess!?”
“That’s right! If you forget my face, I won’t let you forget again with my fist! En garde!”
“W-We won’t dare!”
All the knights knelt.
The commander was a royal. If they brandish their blades at her, they wouldn’t just be guilty of treason, but also lese’ majeste.
And this girl did something unimaginable despite her slender appearance—— She won a duel against the Black Knight Jerome, and defeated the Mercenary King.
Recently, she seemed to be practicing against the Emperor Sword Eddie Fabio de Balzac everyday.
All the knights prostrated before her.
“O-Our deep apologies——!!”
Fuu, Altina crossed her arms.
“You lot have been doing that to the maids all along?”
“Absolutely not! We won’t do that! Just now… that… that guy just lost his head, or maybe his hand slipped… and did something unforgivable for a knight! Please spare his life!”
“You have lots of complaints about my unit?”
“Ah, no… absolutely not! We swear our loyalty by our swords! On our very lives!”
“I see, I will believe you since you said that much. Use your results on the battlefield to redeem your shameful actions.”
“Thank you very much!”
The knights bow deeply as if they were falling forward.
Sigh… Altina sighed deeply.
She returned to the kitchen.
Clarisse frowned with a complicated expression. The other maids looked the same.
“Their attitude changed when they realized it was me, how troubling.”
“Your actions are troubling too Your Highness. There are no maids who will send someone flying because her butt got groped.”
“That’s just like a greeting.”
The other maids behind Clarisse showed a face as if this couldn’t be helped. This happened a lot.
“N-No way! This is too unreasonable! I can’t forgive this!”
“This is our job.”
“How could this be…”
Clarisse closed one eye in a wink.
“Well, but… that was nicely done~?”
The other maids also laughed out loud.
“Thank you Your Highness.” “I'm glad that you got angry for us.” “I’m so touched.”
Everyone gave their thanks.
As expected, they didn’t feel happy about this.
Altina promised them she will issue an order to prohibit ‘molesting the maids’.
Clarisse patted the Princess’ head.
“Fufufu, you worked hard, Princess.”
“Wait… that tickles. Don’t do that, Clarisse~”
“But you fail as a maid.”
“You are fired… alright?”
She was urged to look at the dining hall. The knights didn’t touch the dishes, and remained genuflected. That one knight was still unconscious.
It is impossible to be a maid after creating such a mess.
This time, Clarisse led Altina to the store inside Fort Volks.
The numerous shelves inside the spacious room displayed the merchandise.
“Do you know? Luxury goods are sold here. Such as desserts, pretty clothes, and the books Sir Regis loves.”
“I buy the tea leaves Your Highness drinks here too.”
“Oh I see.”
“After all, it’s meaningless to have salaries but nowhere to spend it.”
“I got it.”
Especially for Fort Volks located at the borders. Even the closest town Tuonvell was a day’s journey back and forth.
That’s why this shop was large with a wide variety of goods.
There were many staff too.
“The merchandise here are from the Tuonvell merchant guild and the southern merchant guild. Their staff are sent from there too.”
The southern merchant guild refers to the ‘the council of Gaillard's garden’ formed by the southern new nobles. Which was the group formed with Duke Tiraso Laverde at the core.
With several thousand soldiers, if you add in the servants, it could rival a city. They set up commerce here because of the privilege they received too.
Regis selected people who would receive permission and set the rules for operating their shops here, although the details were unknown…
They went deep inside the shop under Clarisse lead.
“Well then, you will work as an employee here this time.”
“Sales of merchandise is the basics of business, and the heart of economics. Please learn well.”
“Don’t kick the customers okay?”
“No problem! If they reach out their hand, I will slap it away before they touch me!”
“... Well, that’s fine.”
Altina wore the uniform they bought.
It was clear with a glance at her striped shirt that she was an employee. She wore a hat with the same stripe pattern.
—— This appearance made her feel tense.
She wore her wig as a disguise as usual.
“Pleased to meet you! I am a new employee Alina! Please guide me along!”
She got much more used to it.
Her senior pointed to the entrance.
“Well, Alina, a customer is here. Let’s greet him—— Welcome!”
A soldier took two snacks from the shelf and headed to the counter.
“What is the difference between these two?”
Even if he asked her that, Altina wouldn’t know.
—— What should I do?
Altina who didn’t have any experience in buying things, much lest product knowledge turned stiff. The employee besides her gave a detailed explanation.
Simply put, they taste different.
The soldier pointed to one and said: “I’ll take this one then.”
The employee replied: “One denier please.”
After leaving one copper coin, the soldier left with the merchandise.
The employee bowed to the back of the soldier and said: “Thank you for your patronage.”
She then placed the unsold item back on the shelf.
—— One denier!?
Bow, explanation about the product, inform the price, bow again, tidy up the shelf—— All that for one denier!
Its 1/500,000th her own salary.
Altina studied the copper coin they received closely.
“Doing business… Is not simple!”
After lunch, noon——
A man who looked a bit indecent came into the shop.
He then gave a snack to Altina who was standing besides the shelf.
“I want this.”
You should make payment at the counter—— Altina thought, but she still replied:
“Erm… That will be one denier please.”
“Too expensive. How about two of them for one denier?”
Did she miscalculated? Altina looked to her senior with this in mind, and her senior crossed her fingers to form a small ‘X’.
She finally noticed, this was bargaining.
That thing Regis often did to merchants.
“Erm… I don’t think that is possible.”
“No no no, think about it. It’s thanks to the efforts of us soldiers that you can operate a shop here. It’s fine to sell just a snack or two cheaper right?”
She turned back and the store employee still showed her an ‘X’.
That was only natural.
They only earn one denier for every snack they sold.
It was really difficult to earn that copper coin.
If she sold two snacks for one denier, that would mean giving one of it away for free.
They couldn’t take such a loss.
“Why you wench! I am a soldier! I protect this fort! This——”
He cursed out with terms Altina didn’t even know.
After showing such an ugly sight——
The man threw the merchandise onto the ground.
“Who will want to visit this damn place again!?”
Pluck! A string inside Altina’s head broke again.
Another person flew to the wall. This time, she used her fist.
As the store employee thanked Altina, she promised to ‘prohibit verbally abusing store employees during bargaining’.
Clarisse patted Altina’s head again.
“Fufufu, you worked hard, Princess.”
“Ugh… But… That guy went too far right? I think I did the right thing though?”
“Yes, you are right. But as an employee, you will still be fired though?”
“How could this be——”
Under the watchful gaze of all the staff, Altina headed to the next location.
“You will be working in a church next.”
“... This is economics? Isn’t this religion?”
“Churches in the Empire also perform bank savings and loans services. But there are some infuriating people who don’t return the money they borrow. Your job this time is to get money back from such people.”
“Why aren’t they returning the money they borrowed? How troublesome.”
“That’s right. This is the list of people who had missed repayment for a long time. Ara ara, there are officers on here. Let’s start from the big fry.”
In the end, she threw the fools who refused to pay their debts onto the walls.
Altina slouched her shoulders.
Clarisse was patting her head again.
“Fufufu, Princess, the priest is very grateful for your help.”
“I guess so…”
She would withhold a part of their salary as payment towards the debts they owed—— She made such a promise with the church.
Altina looked at Clarisse begrudgingly:
“... But you are still going to fire me right?”
Altina returned to the officers mess and leaned onto a wooden chair.
“Fuah! I’m beat!”
“Ara ara, that’s a rare sight Your Highness.”
“This is more tiring than sparring practice against the Emperor’s sword (Eddie) and the Mercenary King (Gilbert)!”
“Fufufu… It will be dinner soon. Would you like some tea before that?”
“Thank you. Ah no, just water will be fine.”
Altina said with a wry smile:
“So tea leaves are that expensive. I already know the price, but it didn’t feel real to me… And it could be gotten very easily in the courts—— No, what I didn’t understand was… the value of money. I never knew that working is so hard. Just earning one denier took so much effort...”
“Thank you Clarisse. It must have been hard on you all this while.”
“I’m already used to it.”
“Earning money is really hard.”
“Because you need to complete the tasks requested by others.”
“Yes, being needed by others is really amazing!”
“I’m glad you learned something today.”
Altina nodded firmly.
“I think this is the most important thing I learned! I want to be someone needed by others too!”
“Fufu… Your Highness is already a commander they need alright?”
“I hope that is true… I wonder how the soldiers of the Fourth Army thinks…?”
“Not just the people in this fort, all the citizens in the country looks forward to Your Highness’ performance.”
“Ah… Is that so?”
During the war with High Britannia, they placed hope on her to stop the enemy invasion.
And now, they were depending on her to protect the Empire from the Germanian Federation.
Altina looked at her hand closely.
“I always wanted to be Empress, and to change the Empire— That might be so, but the role I’m playing right now is also needed by many others.”
Clarisse patted her head again.
But unlike before, her hands were really gentle.
Altina felt itchy, but still entrusted her body over comfortably. She said cajolingly.
“Hmmp… You’re still treating me like a kid.”
Kaka, burly officers walked briskly into the mess.
It was dinner time after all, so it wasn’t strange for the officers to come here. But they were all walking towards Altina with a serious expression. There were twenty of them, which was a bit much.
“Hmm? Something happened? Is it movement from the Germanian Federation!?”
“No! The vicinity around the fort is peaceful and quiet! Actually, we heard that Your Highness is conducting business.”
“Eh…? A-Ahaha… Well, erm, I’m learning about it?”
The officers then took off their shirts
That surprised Altina.
“W-What are you all doing!?”
The half naked officers said together in a loud voice:
“Your Highness! We heard that if we pay, you will provide the service of hitting us!” x3
“I’m not doing that kind of business!”
Gugu… Clarisse was holding back her laughter by pressing onto her mouth. It was so funny that she was in tears.
“Pfft… Fu, fufu… How about it, Princess? They are requesting for you to work. Look there are so many of them.”
“Please hit us!” x3
“I am not doing—— that sort of business————!”
Appendix: The World of Altina the Sword Princess
fabrication de l'acier 3
Digging up iron ore from mines and refining them into iron was known as smelting.
As explained previously, the fuel used for smelting was coke, and steam engine was used to pump air in.
Pig iron were made by using blast furnace.
As coke was used in the process, there were 4% carbon in the iron, so it had a lower melting point. It could be shaped by pouring it into casts.
It was easy to mass produce items from pig iron, and it was cheaper than copper. And so, iron weapons and farm tools became more widespread, and changed people’s lives.
However, pig iron had a big flaw. It was too brittle and cracks easily. It couldn’t be used to make items that were too big.
In this era, pig iron was already used to forge cannons, but bronze cannons were still more sturdy and reliable. Although pig iron products had the advantage of being cheaper than bronze items.
(In this work, the cannons used by the Empire were made from bronze. Swords and armour were forged by blacksmiths, this was different from the norm of ironwork history.)
During mass production, people started thinking of ways to remove the carbon in pig iron.
And that was by stirring in a reverberatory furnace.
Coke was burned in the firebox, and the radiated heat would be reflected by the red brick ceiling (Back then, furnaces were built with red bricks) onto the pig iron. It burned the carbon and remove it from the pig iron (decarbonization).
However, the heat radiated from above, so heat couldn’t be transferred through convection. The bottom would become cold.
That was why a rod would be inserted into the hearth to stir the pig iron in a boat rowing movement.
As stirring needed to be done manually, the production rate was lower—— but it was possible to forge wrought iron with low carbon and impurities content (carbon content below 0.02%).
The mass produced wrought iron was the building material for giant towers, and also used in locomotives, steamships and railroads. Cannons made from wrought iron also had better performance than bronze.
A hundred years later, new inventions allowed the mass production of steel with the appropriate amount of carbon content (0.02% - 2.1%). But before that—— wrought iron was the driving force behind industrial production.
Volume 11 End