Act 2 The Noble Girl’s Outing Plans
I’m going to post only what I translated, so if you want to read the first 40%~, please read it at mojotranslation’s site.I’m truly sorry for the delay of the release of this part. I admit that it was 100% due to my laziness, but it did need some tweaking here and there, and also some fair organizing, so…..
Ahem, now it’s here so, please enjoy!
Before you start reading the chapter, here is some guide so that you don’t get confused:
– Text in purple was translated by mojotranslations. They did translate random sentences here and there in this part, so I opted to keep them.
Those who ride horses in this world are primarily men, but other than the few female knights it was permissible for noble women to ride horses as well. It wasn’t particularly recommended, but it was overlooked if treated as a high class hobby. As a matter of fact, this hobby was useful when they became of age. Yes, while interacting with a man it could become the start of a conversation. In the case of noble men, unlike the ladies, horseback riding was an indispensable skill. This was a remnant of the era in which riding a horse was regarded as coming of age. If among fellow ladies, then they would be able to talk about cosmetics, clothing and accessories, about the theatre or embroidery, but it won’t go as well with a man as an opponent. If speaking of common things, it was perhaps about meals only. Of course, conversations about diplomacy or politics weren’t bad too, but conversations that would allow one to relax were important as well. They were easier to create opportunities by. In order to spread her face around as well, there was nothing better than adding to her chest of conversation topics.
However, while this was a beneficial skill in this world, on the other hand, this special skill wasn’t something that was easy to master, unless it was mastered earlier on.
It wasn’t as simple as just taking many years to improve. Of course, there was that too, but noble women often receive ladylike education. So when they get on a horse’s back for the first time after growing up to a certain extent, it is common that they would feel fear from the unfamiliar height of the field of vision, tremble with fear, and not be able to improve in the skill at all. That’s why, even if she was not riding alone, but for example it was in the form of getting Ishma to let her ride with him, if it would let Cordelia get used to that height, then there would be nothing better.
He did think that it was still a bit early, but it was a skill that he intended to let her learn someday. If the person herself voluntarily wished for it, then there was nothing better than that, was there? If she was able to master the skills of horseback riding, it would without any doubt come in hand for Cordelia’s future as well. Elvis was convinced of that. That was because he assumed that Cordelia would become a ruler one day.
To Elvis, he at first…… no, even now he thinks of Cordelia as the crown prince’s princess. However now, in the case things didn’t go as he planned, he’s also thinking of giving her to his wife’s elder sister, in other words, Cordelia’s aunt, as an adopted child. Her aunt, Countess Nilpama Wertiria, is the current head of an earl House in possession of a territory governed by female lords for generations. She has no children between her and her husband, and if speaking of close blood relatives, there were only Cordelia and his eldest daughter who was marrying the second son of a duke House, those two. That’s why, in the case that Cordelia didn’t marry the crown prince, Cordelia was the top choice as the adopted child welcomed by the Countess. Even if Cordelia’s elder sister’s husband was the second son, he was the son of a duke, who had a high court rank. Even if he wasn’t going to become a duke, he will most likely still inherit some kind of court rank. Of course, even if the husband was bestowed a title, it wasn’t that his wife won’t be able to inherit a title. However, if Cordelia wasn’t going to marry into the royal family, then the course of events of making her inherit the title and get a son-in-law was the smoothest.
Not even subconsciously thinking of calculating “how to make Cordelia remain at hand?” Elvis was only thinking of wanting to give her the means to obtain information, for the sake of her future.
…… But this assumption of Elvis differs a little from the general nobility. In the first place, it is a rare case for a lady to succeed as an Earl, so the common reason that horseback riding is said to be of help “when they come of age” is that, when the time came to think about marriage, it will aid in making conversations. And not only just to “enjoy the conversation with the marriage partner candidate”, but it will also “become an excuse to propose long rides as dates”, and such many benefits in order for the two to “get closer to each other”, however, Elvis still wasn’t taking such considerations in mind yet. The thought that it was still too early for Cordelia subconsciously prevented him from doing so, but also in the first place, Elvis knew that aside from whether Cordelia could master horseback riding or not, and whether they mutually will have an interest in horses or not, there existed an obstacle that might not be able to be overcome. Therefore, even if for example he knew for sure, he still didn’t consider it. If horseback riding could truly become a reason for breaking through to the heart, then there wouldn’t have been such distance between the current Pameradia husband and wife.
That’s why, even for example if Cordelia managed to learn horseback riding, Elvis understands well that in a calculated relationship, this cannot become more than an opportunity on the surface only. However, even if that’s the case it is still fine. If you can create an opportunity, you can decide after how to go about making a connection. After that, for the one making the conversation, the decision of whether the other party is befitting to make trusted conversation with, is up to the abilities of the other person. After all, without an opportunity, it won’t be possible to determine whether to have a connection with them, or completely cut them off.
Of course, for Elvis who genuinely loves horses, if his daughter came to love horses as well, then he would think that it wasn’t bad at all, but would still in the end be concerned about the dangers involved. He has various things to think about, like “As I thought, Cordelia is still young. Perhaps I should reconsider” but, thinking back to the age at which he himself started riding horses, he would think that there wouldn’t be any problems. If it was Cordelia who was even smarter than he was, then probably all the more there wouldn’t be any problems…… Right, including some doting in, Elvis eventually came to a conclusion. That’s how finally Elvis gave in and gave the reply “If Ishma said it was fine, then I wouldn’t mind” to Cordelia.
But then, even if Elvis had thought all the way till there, Cordelia didn’t know what went through the heart of such a father, though.
Incidentally, at the same time Elvis gave his answer to Cordelia, he immediately sent a letter to Ishma that said, in short, “If you’re going to take her with you, don’t let any dangers befall her”, but that wasn’t told to Cordelia. The fact that Ishma thought that it looked like a threat letter half way through, also wasn’t told to Cordelia.
In any case, rather than leaving it to Elvis’s decision, whether Cordelia could go out or not, it all became dependent on Ishma.
(Won’t he return home sooner?）
If as usual, then Ishma coming home in the morning almost didn’t happen, but hoping that “maybe he would return home early” Cordelia didn’t move and just kept on waiting for Ishma. Seeing Cordelia who was unusually not moving away from the entrance, the servants thought, “Ojou-sama acting like a child is rare” heartwarmingly, but they didn’t say anything. They might have thought that if Cordelia knew about this situation, she would want them to become her conversation partner, but unfortunately, the Pameradia’s servants were the reflection of a servant, and wouldn’t strike up idle talk on principle, even if the other party were a child. That’s why, while feeling that the time wasn’t passing fast enough, thinking maybe now… maybe now, Cordelia continued to wait impatiently for Ishma’s return home.
In the end, Ishma’s return home that day was as usual, a little after noon.
Isham, who apparently came after taking care of official documents after his duty, looked to Cordelia as if his originally red eyes were even redder.
Ishma’s appearance, with the exception of his pupils was, unlike their elder brother, similar to their father, with slightly drooping eyes and chestnut coloured hair, and was tall as well as slender, slightly giving off the impression of a thin line. And if she was speaking in the terms by relying on her memories of her previous life, then he looked like a “player”, too. He was a genuine knight-sama, dressed sharply in a knight’s uniform with his hair slicked back, but for some reason the air surrounding him looked softer than necessary. From this appearance, even if the castle town had a fan club for Ishma, Cordelia wouldn’t find it strange.
But as expected, Ishma is also a member of the Pameradia House. There were no rumors floating about him at the moment.
None, to the extent that makes one worries.
Leaving that aside, this Ishma has enough stamina as to be too much, and even if he showed this much exhausted appearance right now, if he sleeps for as much as he can, he would have recovered enough strength to be up and moving around. He’s a really sturdy elder brother, despite his appearance.
「You seem to be on quite the alert while waiting, Cordelia.」
「Good work, Brother Ishma.」
Ishma, who apparently guessed the meaning behind Cordelia’s reception, didn’t hid his bitter smile.
「Is what the letter said true?」
Folding one knee to match his shorter younger sister’s height, Ishma searched Cordelia’s unique red eyes, similar to his, for her true intentions.
At those slightly narrowed eyes, Cordelia involuntarily caught her breath, however,
Not about to lose, Cordelia lifted her elder brother’s big right hand with both of hers, and just like that didn’t let her spirit drop.
「Say, Elder Brother. Please take me along with you. I would like to go see the Seaverph Forest.」
「To think that my sister who was attached to the library and Father would designate me for the job. But the forest is…… I wonder if this is our Mother’s influence?」
「Mother? ……Have you met Mother before, Brother?」
The relationship between Cordelia and their mother was extremely thin, as it was only a relationship to the degree of rarely passing each other in the mansion. She didn’t even visit her when she was suffering from the serious illness when she was 3 years old. Even when they pass by each other and Cordelia greets her, her mother never called out to her.
At the unexpected question, Cordelia asked the surprised Ishma a question in return.
Although it is not that they seldom meet, it is not like Cordelia doesn’t know her mother. Their mother was a beautiful who had the same soft brown hair as Ishma and their elder sister. She had an amazing presence that exuded elegance with even just a single step she took. Cordelia’s etiquette teacher is also teaching her how to walk beautifully however, compared to her teacher, too…… No, she carried a beauty so refined that it cannot be compared. It would be difficult to put to words which part of it exactly, but if someone would, then it would probably be her very own existence itself.
If Cordelia was to pursue beauty, then making such a close existence a “role model” would be, under normal circumstances, more meaningful than taking any lessons. However, the problem poses itself here with the words “under normal circumstances”. Cordelia has almost never spoken with her own mother.
The relationship between Cordelia and her mother is extremely thin, and does not go past rarely passing by each other in the mansion. She did not visit her even when Cordelia was suffering from that severe illness when she was three years old. Even if they happened to pass by each other, and Cordelia went to the extent of greeting her, her mother never said anything to her.
But even for such a mother, Cordelia continued to attempt contacting her. The most prominent reason for that was for the sake of avoiding a terrible future. If she were to become the Pameradia Countess, then she would have the second largest right to speak in the Pameradia House. If her mother, like her father, wanted Cordelia to obtain the position of the future Queen, or perhaps even thinks of it as a matter of course, then it wouldn’t do for Cordelia as well to not have any contact with her.
However, contrary to such thoughts, Cordelia is still yet not successful in contacting her. Even if she tried to make an appointment in order to meet with her, it was always just her mother’s maidservant who would bring back her mother’s refusal. In the end, while doing this, Cordelia gave up on contacting her mother.
But, giving up was by no means because she gave up on her own future. It was just the opposite of that.
It was because Cordelia realized that her mother’s presence did not have any impact on her own future.
In order to succeed in contacting her, Cordelia had childishly pestered the maidservant for stories about her mother. But when she put together the information she was able to obtain little by little, she understood that apparently her mother has “fundamentally no interest in the Pameradia household. The subject of all of her love and hate being Cordelia’s father, in such a condition, it seemed that she had no interest in the House.
The words heard from the maid were very indirect, and were said with great reserve, but to summarize “Mother who fell in love with Father who was a knight, requested earnestly from her father while appealing herself, and got him to arrange their marriage”, “However, Father was not the gentle to all women, ladies-first, fairytale knight”, “On top of that, because of the injury he suffered while escorting His Majesty, he had to resign from being a knight”, “Father, who quit being a knight, as usual, in order to not show his uncertainty to his wife, took a cold attitude with her” is what she said. Rather, saying, “It would be good if something bad was to happen”, with this attitude, she doesn’t fulfill her duties as a wife, it seems.
That’s why, even before turning four years old, Cordelia had already given up on contacting her mother, but somewhere in her mind, she came to the weird understanding that “the in-game Cordelia’s selfish behavior was inherited from her mother, huh”. ……No, perhaps it was because her father also kept on saying that “you will marry the Crown Prince” that she came to think “It is natural that I will become his wife”. However, even if he continued to speak strictly, Cordelia though that it can’t be said that he treated the Heroine unkindly.
Nonetheless, if her mother too were unable to stand the way things are, then wouldn’t it be better to sooner get a divorce? At least, Cordelia thought that her father wouldn’t mind, but estimated that her mother’s pride didn’t allow that. Most probably, that her father wasn’t seen around her mother wasn’t because he was running away from his wife, conversely, the likelihood that her mother was projecting being divorced, being higher wasn’t hard to imagine. On the outside, her father was a capable person. It was no wonder that her mother, who has never once shown up in high society, appeared to be more praiseworthy.
However, her temperament was something nobles would have. That’s why, she would hate that it was seen by those around her this way. If there was a ceremony, she would still give an excuse of being “sick”, but inside the house…… for example in the hallway of the house, no matter what, she would never drop her high class air. She has a high pride, after all. That’s why she works hard at maintaining the current state of things. She didn’t think of anything other than that. If you think about it in this way, wasn’t Cordelia being born something that was close to a miracle? ……Anyways, if it was “her mother who was pouting by not showing interest in her father”, then calling out to her father, with that alone it might somewhat improve her mood, but…… it was not something that Cordelia understood, and didn’t think about wanting to understand it either.
If she was bothered by it this much, then it would be better if she made the effort to go talk to her herself. It was because she thought like that. If she herself could meet her mother, then that itself might become a bridge between them, but it was because she couldn’t meet her that there was nothing she could do. Since for better or worse her father didn’t seem to care, she didn’t intend to worry about it more than this.
Anyways, due to the aforementioned reasons, Cordelia had to suspend the contacting mission for the time being. She wasn’t able to find a breakthrough under the circumstances of being continuously rejected, and aside from coming to understand that it won’t become a disadvantage to herself, she also felt awkward trying to forcefully meet an unwilling person. If the person themselves were saying that they didn’t want to meet, then persistently requesting to meet with them wouldn’t feel good.
If Cordelia was truly a genuine three-years-old child, then it was unknown what she would have thought. But Cordelia, who had the memories of her previous life, remembered to a certain extent in her senses the atmosphere of socializing. Continuing t rush an unwilling opponent was unlikely to end in a good way.
Incidentally, it is not as if Cordelia’s remembered everything clearly. Especially the people she was close with and what they looked like…… that, and also as if there was a vail covering it, she couldn’t remember clearly how her previous life ended. Even though she remembered the characters that appeared in the game, even though she could remember what her school looked like and what she did, she wondered why. However, she decided to not think too deeply about the matter. She intended to unreservedly use anything that could be used of the memories of her previous life, but she didn’t feel inclined to try and forcibly dig up the missing memories. This world is the world that she lived in now. Even if she did remember the people she had been close with…… there was nothing she could do. The possibility that she would regret remembering existed, after all.
（The past is the past. It can’t be helped.）
In the first place, within the memories she remembered currently, there was no memories of “dying”. Thinking of this, she never thought of wanting to remember.
（……Now is not the time for this.）
What she heard from her elder brother just now was unexpected information about their mother.
It was in a manner as if Ishma thought that Cordelia and their mother were in a relationship where they had plenty of communication. At the very least, it was an opinion that had to have originated because of Ishma having conversations with their mother. However, if Ishma had indeed met their mother, then Cordelia’s idea itself that “her mother had no interest in the Pameradia House” would have to be wrong.
With such astonishment, Cordelia returned a question to Ishma, but seeing his little sister like that, his expression stiffened.
「No, it’s nothing. We’ll set out tomorrow. Because the woods sparkling with morning dew is a beautiful sight, we’ll leave early in the morning.」
「Excuse me, but I’ll be heading to sleep. You should also return to your room, Cordelia.」
Ishma, whose words were heavy as opposed to Cordelia’s expectations, stroked her head once and stood up, then disappeared to the inside of the mansion.
（……As I thought, maybe that was something I wasn’t supposed to hear.）
Seeing off Ishma who clearly ran away in order to deceive the child her, Cordelia sighed inwardly.
……Well, whatever reason a mother had to avoid her young child, it would be difficult to explain that reason to the daughter who wanted to hear about her mother. Since it wouldn’t do to blame their mother, it wouldn’t have don’t not to express to Cordelia to not feel bad about it.
As Cordelia was returning to her room, she realized she was feeling dejected.
Rather than herself, it seems that the “truly three years old Cordelia”…… felt a strange feeling similar to pain in a part of her body, her heart. And she was surprised. She was supposed to have only thought of her as a stranger with more than just a similar face who was close to her, but her dejected self…… not herself, it was the other existence within her body. Cordelia pulled a mouth.
「”For those who are qualified as nobles, there are times when you must suppress your emotions,” something like that.」
And while letting the door slam behind her, she muttered a piece of common sense that she had been told many times. Even though she had been told that she shouldn’t let her agitation show on her face, and that letting her strategies show would cause her opponents to look down on her, right now she had no confidence that she would be able to do that. In fact, more likely it would all show on her face. The road to becoming a flawless lady was still very long, it seems. Thinking of that, Cordelia let out a deep sigh that was different from the one she let out just before.
（It’s good that there aren’t any lessons today.）
Because if she was found out, then she wouldn’t have been able to keep her composure. While thinking like that, she slowly crossed the room and approached the window, then quickly shut the thin lace curtains.
She was only a bit tired because she had been in high spirits since morning today. She was only a bit upset because her elder brother had brought up their mother at such a time. It is not as if she was deeply concerned about it. Even while slowly thinking like this, she still collapsed on the bed in a way that would have been considered bad manners for a noble lady.
（It’s fine, once I go to sleep and wake up my head will feel better――）
But as if to interfere with the thought of Cordelia who was like that, a small voice from the dark world behind her shut eyes started to speak to her.
Hey, if Mother isn’t interested in the house, doesn’t that just mean that she hates you?
She’s your mother right? Even though she met with Brother, aren’t you lonely?
――Then what are you saying I should do?
To shake off the noisy thoughts, Cordelia rolled over once and slightly opened her eyes. It looked to her as if the hanging curtains were accusing her of something.
Rustle, rustle. Without closing the window, the shut curtains were not raising any voices, but they were strongly accusing her of something.
（……That’s right, I don’t think anything of it. These feelings of loneliness are a lie, because I must learn from the best woman’s negative example. (?) (mojotranslations put a question mark there because they weren’t sure of the sentence’s translation, so I decided to translate it as well. My TL: because I should learn the most from her negative example.) Just because things don’t move as I want, I will not become a woman who exerts her will. I will become a woman who removes her obstacles. Even if it’s out of the ordinary in this world――I will grab hold unto happiness with my own hands.）
Cordelia succumbed herself to the long awaited drowsiness.
（……Let’s become a proper lady quickly. Without being confused by my feelings, and keeping my gaze in front――）
In her dimming consciousness, she made her small resolution.