Chapter 172 – Office
“This is a list of new recruits joining this year. Mark the ones you want for your unit and return it to me.”
1st Unit Central Command Office.
It was with a feeling of great uncertainty that I answered Mr. Marius, who was responsible for personnel.
(I have to choose…)
Not only was I at the bottom at the Magic Artificer guild, but I had not even been in the Royal Magicians Order for very long.
(I still feel like a newcomer myself.)
This was all happening so fast.
However, I knew that this was something that I had to do anyway.
(I’m the Vice-captain, after all.)
Even though it would be a small-scale unit, I was in a similar role to Ms. Leticia.
On top of that, I wanted to repay Luke for helping me. And in order to do that, I had to make this the best unit yet.
“Luke! Mr. Marius has given me a list of new recruits.”
In the 7th unit office.
The room was slightly larger than the previous one. Luke was currently taking books out of a box and placing them on the shelves.
In a corner of the room, there was a desk and chair for me.
Until my own office was prepared, I would have to work in this one.
“Thank you. May I see it?”
I carried my chair over to Luke’s desk.
The Vice-captain’s chair was leather-covered, and looked luxurious.
I rarely had an opportunity to sit in such chairs, and felt happy every time I experienced its comfort.
“How many will join the 7th unit?”
There were about one thousand magicians in the Royal Magicians Order.
Each unit had between a hundred and thirty to two hundred, but since the 7th unit was an experiment of sorts, it would be lower.
Luke looked down at the documents as he answered.
“The plan was twenty, but I think it will be closer to ten.”
“Why only half?”
“Because of the opposition towards the creation of this unit, as well as me being captain. The kingdom is facing financial problems. Many people think the Royal Magicians Order should be reducing personnel, before abolishing the tax exemptions. Having the unit even smaller than planned will hopefully keep them satiated.”
“You always have so much information.”
Luke had his own information network among the noble class.
I didn’t know why, but there seemed to be quite a few who could not go against him.
How did he turn into such an evil monster?
As someone who knew him well, I could not help but worry a little for his future.
“I don’t just have information.”
Luke said with a hint of a smile.
“What do you mean…?”
But just as I thought that, a certain possibility appeared in my mind.
“Could it be that this whole idea of a smaller scale is…”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Why would you want such a disadvantageous situation?”
“Lowering the hurdle will make things easier. Besides, it’s more convenient like this. And I won’t have to manage as many people.”
“But having a smaller fighting force will affect your results.”
“Not when it is me and you.”
He said it as if this was obvious.
“Having an over confident partner…my stomach is starting to hurt.”
“And you have a bad habit of underestimating yourself.”
“Your habit is still worse.”
“I am merely being accurate.”
“That being said, there is no harm in bringing other brilliant people in. And so we must think carefully and choose.”
“But it will be quite difficult to do that based on documents alone. It does have a detailed profile and test results, but we can’t know a person’s character without speaking to them.”
“When there are so many, it’s too easy to only look at and compare test results and education history.”
“That’s just it. I think I now understand why that is often the deciding factor.”
It was much easier to decide based on that.
A person’s character was not something solid. And so you end up thinking that if someone is educated to a certain degree, then it would hardly be your fault if it ended up being a mistake later on.
“Oh, no… This is part of being an adult, isn’t it? Being someone who cares about one’s background…”
“Well, that is a value that many share. I don’t really see the problem.”
“No, I want to be the kind of adult who says, ‘what is important cannot be seen!’ I want to be able to find that child who has a hidden talent, and boast with folded arms that I was responsible for raising them.”
“Well, the obviously talented ones will be taken by the other units. So perhaps that should be our strategy.”
We discussed the matter while marking the ones who we felt might be good to work with.
“Surprisingly, you seem to like the good and proper ones, Noelle.”
“Yes. It seems like you are just marking the ones who have high test scores on written exams.”
“Oh, now that you mention it…”
I looked back at the profiles of those that I marked.
“Well, it’s probably because I can be very forgetful that I rate such people highly. I prefer practical tests.”
“I suppose it’s things that you lack that are more appealing.”
“I think you are choosing the strange ones, Luke.”
“You might be right. I do like strange people.”
“That is a nice way of looking at it. But you should be careful. Don’t get tricked by any strange women.”
Luke looked at me and laughed.
“Huh? What is it?”
And for some reason, the image of his smile was burned into my mind for some time.
◇ ◇ ◇
As the Captain, there was a lot that Luke needed to do.
Administrative procedures. Arrangement of necessary equipment. Meetings regarding personnel matters.
However, Luke was also good at such things, and had been preparing for when he became captain. And so he was able to take on such tasks without a problem.
In fact, as someone who had been in the Royal Magicians Order for many years as the head of the personnel department, even Marius was surprised by Luke’s skill and efficiency.
On that note, he revealed to me that Captain Gawain had been the exact opposite.
The words were accompanied by a heavy sigh. I could easily imagine it.
Luke had authority to make many of the decisions concerning the unit, and he continued to act in a steady, reliable manner.
He was the youngest ever captain.
In order to minimize the objections within the palace, he decided that it would be best to avoid any actions that would draw attention.
However, there was one thing that he pressed for strongly.
‘What about Ms. Noelle’s office?’
Normally, a Vice-captain would have their own personal office.
However, we were a small, perhaps temporary unit. So things were a little different.
“There will be less animosity towards her if she doesn’t have her personal office. Arrange it so that we can share the same room.”
While he meant what he said, there was also another reason.
He wanted to spend as much time with her as he could.
Luke was aware that this was selfish of him.
(I don’t even need the others. As long as you are here.)
However, he could not do that as the captain of the Royal Magicians Order.
The person who would be 3rd in command was already being selected.
(Everyone knows that the nobles do not look kindly on this new unit. And so few will wish to join. We cannot hope for too much. It would probably be best to prioritize character and compatibility over ability. People who are easy to work with.)
While he continued with the procedure, he tried to delay it as much as possible.
“This one looks promising. Ah, but their written test scores are too good. I won’t be able to take much credit for raising them…”
Noelle said seriously as she perused the papers.
A room with just the two of them.
The excitement of starting something new.
If only time would stop.
But he kept such true feelings deep within.