Isaac’s hires weren’t limited to regular employees who would work together in the long term. To restore the long-neglected mansion a substantial number of workers were needed. He also hired a large number of temporary laborers for this purpose.
The temporary workers and regular employees collaborated to clean the interior of the mansion, replacing wallpaper, windows, some furniture, and utensils. Fortunately, due to the initially well-maintained state of the building and furniture, extensive replacements weren’t necessary.
The once-overgrown garden, resembling a jungle, was also thoroughly tidied. They pulled weeds, planted trees and flowers, maintained the fence, and replaced broken tiles. Isaac’s ability to efficiently organize and allocate personnel made all these tasks progress surprisingly quickly.
“For Miss Cecille’s exclusive use, I completely renovated the bedroom, playroom, and study. A bed adorned with lace canopy, cute dolls and toys, and books within reach everywhere! Isn’t it the best space?”
“I’ve created a space for Miss Cecille to play in the garden. Look, a slide made of shrubs and a wooden seesaw! We laid grass on the ground to prevent injuries, and we also created a flowerbed that blooms all year round!”
Isaac and the gardener proudly presented their work. Cecille observed the well-maintained appearance of the mansion with a satisfied expression. There was a sense of accomplishment in thoroughly cleaning a place that had been more of a ruin than a home. Perhaps it was because her main occupation before the regression was more about destruction than organization.
[Are you happy, Cecille?]
“Well, if I had personally done the maintenance, it might have been better than this. Still, it’s not bad to have others lend a hand.”
[Considering what you’re saying, your face seems quite flushed. Your ears are entirely red.]
Startled by Nebula’s words, Cecille touched her ears. Indeed, her face and ears were entirely warm. Although she might appear overly excited to others, she could only be seen as an intensely blushing 8-year-old trying to act mature.
As evidence, both Isaac and the gardener were looking at her with proud smiles, their faces filled with paternal warmth.
She seemed genuinely, incredibly happy, almost unsure of how to handle it.
‘No, it’s not that big of a deal!’
[Sure, sure. I get it, Cecille. Your words are all correct.]
Nebula spoke as if consoling a child. Cecille vowed that she would put Nebula to sleep with a little more magic and never wake him again for the rest of her life.
Isaac’s final task was to organize the accumulated accounting books. Fortunately, apart from some food expenses, hardly any money was spent during the neglect of the mansion, making it a quick task compared to others.
“Is everything done now?”
“Yes, everything is done.”
It had been a whirlwind three weeks. What once resembled a decrepit mansion was now transformed into an enviable noble estate in less than a month. Cecille meticulously checked the to-do list two or three times and finally concluded that everything was perfect.
She looked up at Isaac, standing beside her. He smiled at her and then bowed deeply, extending a hand toward her. Cecille raised her hand, and they exchanged a firm handshake.
“You deserve to hear that you’ve done a splendid job, Isaac. You managed the tasks admirably.”
“Oh, it’s all thanks to you, Miss Cecille, for introducing me to a job that suits me so well.”
As he spoke, Isaac’s voice was strangely calm. Cecille soon realized the reason for his subdued tone.
‘The time has come for him to leave.’
Isaac’s original contract was to “rehabilitate the Bartholomew mansion.” Now that the mansion was back in good condition, his mission was, in essence, complete. If he were to cross the threshold of the mansion today, Cecille might never see him again. It was only natural; Cecille and Isaac were enemies even before the regression. They had crossed hands only to take each other’s lives in numerous battles.
Although they had joined forces this time, fundamentally, Cecille, a dark mage, and Isaac, a knight in service of the divine, were polar opposites. So, instead of witnessing an unpleasant scene, it was best to part ways like this and never meet again.
Cecille knew from the beginning that she and Isaac would part ways, and it wasn’t a situation she found regrettable or sad. However, why…
‘Something’s strange. Why does my chest feel tight?’
Cecille lightly clenched and released her chest. It felt heavy for no apparent reason. Looking at Cecille’s perplexed expression, Isaac smiled gently. He affectionately ruffled her hair and gestured at a folder in his hand.
“This is the real last task I’ve just completed.”
“What is it?”
“Choosing a butler.”
The folder was filled with dozens of resumes and introduction letters.
“While I hired other employees first, choosing a butler was more critical than any other employee. They will command all the employees, manage the mansion and valuables, and handle the accounting. So, I took some time to decide, but I’ve made the selection just now. Now that I’ve informed the Duke and sent messages to the job applicants, my tasks are truly complete.”
“Shall you come with me then, Miss?”
Isaac extended his hand to Cecille. She hesitated for a moment before accepting his hand. Although it was just for an instant, holding his hand felt like a farewell. Yet, there was no other way. She had no reason to feel sad or regretful; after all, Cecille knew from the beginning that this was the end. With a smiling face, she took Isaac’s hand.
The two of them headed toward the Duke’s office together, and Isaac knocked on the door.
“Duke Bartholomew, it’s Isaac.”
Isaac and Cecille entered the office together. Duke Bartholomew was seated at his desk.
[No way… Bartholomew…!]
She of course heard Nebula’s shocked voice upon seeing him, but Cecille couldn’t respond in the current situation.
Isaac stepped forward and spoke.
“I have completed the rehabilitation of the estate as per your instructions, including hiring employees, renovating the mansion and garden, and organizing the accounting books. Additionally, I have chosen the future butler for the mansion.”
The Duke’s imposing presence was still formidable, but Isaac held his own. He handed the resumes to the Duke and continued speaking.
“The selected candidate is Robert Blade, 47 years old, with experience…”
Duke Bartholomew interrupted Isaac, who quickly closed his mouth.
“You’ve performed splendidly according to the contract. As promised, give him the agreed-upon fee and triple that as a bonus.”
Isaac, and even Cecille, were astonished. With the contract fee included, it essentially meant giving four times the originally promised amount.
Cecille glanced at Isaac’s face.
‘The mental calculator is working overtime.’
Even without saying a word, she could tell that fireworks were going off in his head.
“T-thank you! For such an excellent working environment and this treatment… I will never forget this kindness.”
Isaac’s voice seemed choked, as it should. He had exceptional abilities but had lived a life unrecognized due to being a heretic. Originally, the first to acknowledge his abilities should have been the Holy Knight, Valentine Cerberus, but… thanks to Cecille’s intervention, he received recognition a bit earlier.
‘Even though we were enemies, it didn’t look good for him to go unrecognized for unjust reasons. I hope he realizes his true worth sooner than before, even though he’s my foe.’
“Also, regarding the hiring of the butler.”
Duke Bartholomew briefly glanced at the resume Isaac handed over before flicking it away with a finger. The resume floated down to the floor.
As the tear-stained resume landed on the ground, Isaac’s face showed a shocked expression.
However, more shocking than that were the Duke’s next words.
“There seems to be a more suitable candidate. Why haven’t you presented that one? Is it because you lack confidence?”