Act 8 The dignity of a noble
As far as Cordelia could remember, Ronnie should have told the magic tools shop’s Master to come to the mansion in the afternoon. At that time, he said a remark to the effect of “Forgive Master even if he came reeking of alcohol”. However, what could the meaning of this be? The magic tools shop’s shopkeeper, who appeared on time, and was right now in front of her eyes, was a completely different person from the appearance she saw the other day. To put it more accurately, he was wearing a jet-black robe, his hair was tied up in a bundle at the back, and was wearing the outfit that could be said to be the magicians’ uniform…… in short, he was dressed nicely. Naturally, he didn’t reek in the least of alcohol or the like.
If you ask, in the end what does Cordelia want to get across?—— It would be that, in short, “he was a different person”.
“I offer you my most heartfelt thanks for choosing my shop on this occasion.”
Although Cordelia replied to Master, who stated so, with “Same here, I offer you my gratitude for accepting such a difficult request” out of reflex, it didn’t erase the awkwardness. It seems that was also the case for Ronnie, who was there with them, as well.
“Master, what’s the matter? This doesn’t suit you!”
Master, who heard those words of Ronnie’s, caught Ronnie by the scruff of his neck then continuously lowered his head, and shouted, “What are you saying to the daughter of an Earl House!” in a low voice. Even if it was said it was in a low voice, it was loud enough for Cordelia to hear, but…… apparently, even if he would stir up alcohol at the shopfront from noon for example, he was “a man with general common sense”, it seems.
“Master, please don’t pay mind to it. Ronnie is normally “like this”, after all.”
“But, Cordelia-sama…… this guy is,”
“It’s fine. This guy, he has talent. That’s more than enough.”
She said that, but Master seemed to still want to say something. However, the one who wanted to object more than him was Ronnie.
“What’s with this, both Master and Ojou-sama are being rude. Rather, Master also told me just a while ago to go to the Earl’s mansion, and even now you said you wanted to try coming, didn’t you!!”
“Do you think that I’d believe that you were telling the truth in that situation?!—— Uh, please excuse us, Cordelia-sama.”
“It’s alright. More importantly, where is the glass container?”
“Y-Yes, it is here……”
While saying that, Master presented the glass container in front of Cordelia. Perhaps the glass was affected by magical power, but it wasn’t perfectly transparent without any tints, but had become a glass tinged with a slightly pale pink colour. The reason why Cordelia judged that the colouring was the effect of magical power was because when she touched the glass, the movements of the magical power dwelling within her clearly changed.
“Well then, I’ll be checking it.”
Cordelia said this and then placed the glass container on the already set up instrument. After that, she put mint into the container. The distilled water and cooling system were already prepared, so all that was left was to add heat and pour in magical power, and she could do the checkup.
“From here on out, I will have Master see whether my magical power will reach the medicinal plants inside the glass container or not. However, I ask of you not to let a word out to anyone about what is being done.”
“Well then, I’m going to start.”
Cordelia exchanged a glance with Ronnie, then lit a fire in the lamp and started superheating. Before long, slowly but steadily, vapor formed and moved to the distillation kettle. There, Cordelia held her hands towards the glass container in order to deliver her own magical power to the mint. And then, she turned her attention to the magical power flowing inside of her. When she did, curiously, the magical power wasn’t only pouring in, it was moving as if it was attracted to the mint out of its own will. Without even a feeling of the magical power being pushed aside by the glass, that power was easily sucked into the glass container.
It passed through the glass as naturally as if water flowing down.
“Wa~h…… As expected of Master! What’s this, this is a completely new type of tools, isn’t it?”
“It was a magical power that I have never even seen before, so I didn’t know what path I ought to make…… but, ‘tis…… it is the result of trial and error.” (TN: hmm.. did it get across? Master here first used the informal/casual “da” to end the sentence, but then corrected it to the formal/polite “desu” when talking in front Cordelia)
Master answered Ronnie’s question, mixing in a weird way to end a sentence. Cordelia smiled a little wryly at that. Thinking, even though it was fine if he wasn’t so nervous. Nonetheless, this glass really suited Cordelia. However, since she thought that if she were to say that, Master would get unnecessarily nervous, she thought that she wouldn’t say anything today, but wait for a chance and then tell him. Nonetheless, since it’s this glass container, she could supply magical power stable enough to entertain such thoughts, let alone being able to smile bitterly. With this, it seems that she would be able to have simple conversations even while refining. While thinking of this, Cordelia asked Master.
“How much would the cost be, I wonder?”
“No, the cost is fine. However, I will be collecting it starting from the next order.”
“What you mean by you don’t want the cost, is?”
“To tell you the truth, in the process of making this glass container, I finished developing some goods that are selling really well. Although it is a lamp, but by pouring in magical power in a way that is different from up until now, the hood transforms in ripples…… This, too, is a coincidental product that wouldn’t have been completed if not for Cordelia-sama’s commission. As thanks, I would like you to accept this time’s item as a service.”
While saying that, Master handed Cordelia a list that he seemed to have prepared beforehand, saying, “In the case of your next commission, we will be accepting it at the prices listed here”. In outline, it seems that the fee for each glass size differs, so the costs are varied. In addition, the price for the lamp was written first from the bottom. This most likely must be the byproduct that Master was speaking about just a while ago. The stance of “if you want it, buy it!” in this area was all the more funny to Cordelia.
“I understand, thank you.”
“Not at all, here as well, thank you very much.”
“What I’m conducting right now is an experiment to extract the ingredients from medicinal herbs, but much later I would need small bottles for storage purposes. Would it be fine to count on you for this as well?”
“Of, of course……! Please choose a time that suits you, Cordelia-sama, for a detailed meeting.”
“Fufu, thank you!”
It was interesting how Master’s nervousness level was different by a few degrees from the other day. Cordelia was observing him while thinking that, but Master being Master, he was observing the state of Cordelia’s mysterious-seeming experiment.
“This experiment, is it evangelism from foreign countries?”
“This is a new experiment from Ojou-sama’s own devising. Amazing, isn’t it?”
Instead of Cordelia…… or rather, before Cordelia could answer, Ronnie who had interjected confidently praised Cordelia as if it was his own achievement. At least to an extent that Cordelia wanted him to be a little bit more moderate. It was embarrassing. But as Ronnie wasn’t just praising her but just saying that without thinking about it, he continued, “……I had heard that high-class people liked to follow precednts, but that’s not the case, is it?” and replying to the words that Master said, saying “Even though it would be fine to change the way you speak. It’s along the lines of, even though you thought that nobles had hard heads, right?” he grandly declared some rude things.
Grandly, to the extent that Master said: “Mind what you say, Ronnie!”
However, this situation too was something that Cordelia had become used to. Used to, to the extent of ending it with “It’s Ronnie, after all”. As one would expect, if such a thing was told to a visiting noble, they won’t stand it, but fortunately, Ronnie knows the method known as instant escape if his opponent was a noble. That’s why there was no problem. It was just the usual. That’s why Cordelia agreed with him without blaming him.
“I do think that Ronnie’s words are not necessarily wrong. I, too, am not all that knowledgeable about the noble society yet, but from what I hear, in actuality, it seems that there are many who hate unprecedented things.”
Master looked surprised at Cordelia, who had agreed. Cordelia continued her words while smiling.
“In the first place, even if something did happen, everything still goes smoothly—— otherwise, in times when there is no dissatisfaction, there are rarely any who go out of their way to search for other methods. However, isn’t this the same for anyone, regardless of whether they were nobles or not?”
“……You sure looks at things in quite the calm manner, don’t you, Cordelia-sama?”
“It is not good enough to be called calm or anything.”
“You’re too humble. As expected of a daughter of the Pameradia House, I should say. Cordelia-sama, the timing of bringing new things into the world is a business opportunity. Just like my lamp from this time around. I pray for good results even before your experiment, Cordelia-sama.”
“That I of course what I aim for,” was what Cordelia didn’t say as well.
It was an advice given precisely because Cordelia looked young…… because she was actually 8 years old. It was a matter she knew about this time, but Cordelia didn’t have the knowledge of a merchant. Therefore, from here on out, there might be various things about business she would need to be taught. Cordelia just smiled slightly.
However, on the side of such Cordelia, it was Ronnie who, with an “Ahh!” let out his voice in a carefree manner once again.
“Ah, so that’s it! That’s how it is, isn’t it?”
“Really, Master is amazing, isn’t he? I didn’t think about such a thing, but Ojou-sama succeeding in business means that there is a chance that in the future she will be earning a fortune, isn’t it? I’m really looking forward to what Ojou-sama will be using the profits for! It seems interesting.”
Cordelia, who couldn’t grasp what Ronnie wanted to say very clearly, raised her eyebrows.
However, Ronnie continued speaking with a smile.
“Because, you see, both the greenhouse and the experiment building…… and even dresses and jewels, the master is buying Ojou-sama’s things for her, right? So, wouldn’t what a noble Ojou-sama, who generally has everything she wants, desire with her newly gained wealth greatly spark your interest? Putting it in a savings box like we do, even though it would be amusing, Ojou-sama wouldn’t do something like that, right?”
Saying, “You have some bad taste, you know” Master chided Ronnie who was laughing like that. Ronnie immediately objected with “Please say that I’m being honest!”, however Cordelia thought that indeed, she wouldn’t say that he had a nice hobby.
However, beyond that, Cordelia’s words got choked by those words.
“What I seek, with the riches I get……?”
She had naturally though about gaining profit. Raise her market share in one push with the perfumed oils that would have lowered the distribution costs. And then make connections with influential nobles, and obtain information. In the beginning, she had set this as her goal. She also of course thought that the profit would rise. However, what she really wanted in the end was information. She thought that if she could conduct negotiations, with perfumed oils as a weapon, it would be excellent. However, since she was born, she had never thought much about what to do with the profits.
It was just as Ronnie had said, her necessities were all always prepared for her at the hands of her father. Jewels, dresses and shoes, merchants had been arranged to come to the mansion for when she feels she wants them. Even laboratory tools, she could mainly borrow them from the magicians and the like. There are probably also not many things that she needs to make an exception for, like the one from this time. Even if there was one for example, there should still be plenty of profit.
(……If so, then it’s money I can afford to be flexible with, huh)
Nonetheless, thinking about this and then finding an answer quickly is a difficult thing.
For example, paying for all the things that her father had given her up until now…… or such a use was not out of the question. However, that is undesirable. It would be seen as though she was trying to make all the experiments that were started with her father’s assistance as if they were her own, single-handed accomplishments, and even thought of as her trying to return back presents with money. Above all else, when considering the Earl’s position and pride, it is an unthinkable choice.
However, even if it was said to think about it, she currently couldn’t estimate how much profit she would make, and in the first place, the essential oils themselves were just at the experimental phase. It was still ahead of becoming perfumed oils. It was difficult for Cordelia to make a plan with the budget unknown.
(But, if I were to get my hands on large sums of money—— by all means, responding to the expectations, I would like to try using them in ways only possible for nobles, maybe)
In the first place, even Cordelia herself understood the fact that she was only able to start these experiments because she was born as a noble. That’s why, it would be good if she used the money to do some kind of services as a noble. Thinking that, Cordelia started to want a new goal, a direction she should aim for, as even a rough one would be fine.
Anyhow, what could the services that she could give as a noble be? Cordelia stumbled at the very beginning of her thoughts. In the first place, Cordelia who had no knowledge other than what was in the books, was too ignorant about the state of affairs in the world. The common sense of nobles had been drilled into her, but—— it was difficult to immediately answer to questions like who were the nobles to begin with, and how exactly did they differ from commoners. She didn’t know much about the outside world. That’s why, if she were to say it clearly, she was unable to determine just what kind of existence were the nobles.
Of course, it wasn’t that Cordelia wasn’t taught what nobles were at all. For example she was told that “They are the King’s loyal retainers, who had an exalted status to become the people’s role models” by her tutor. Therefore, they were respected by the people, and possessed many privileges. However, if that is so, then there were many aspects that Cordelia couldn’t accept. Even for making time for the experiments, in order to avoid quarrelling with her, she didn’t persuade her deeply, but in the first place, what is a role model for the people? What does it mean for a noble to be the people’s role model? The words “the King’s loyal retainers” were also hard to understand due to their lack of concreteness.
Cordelia, who sometimes requested help from her to search for the books that she herself wanted, didn’t want to doubt her, but recently, she started to doubt that maybe her own tutor actually wasn’t too good at dealing with things, aside from etiquette. What she said sounded as if she was randomly saying something she had heard from somewhere, or perhaps something that she wasn’t able to remember correctly and had omitted it at appropriate places. Although, if she were to make the worst assumption, it would be that she meant what she said, but anyhow, Cordelia was not taught a “nobles” social status she could agree with.
(What’s for sure is that they are privileged people who are making use of the system that keeps social positions in bloodlines. ……But, that shouldn’t be only it)
It wasn’t like she was out in the society, so she couldn’t say anything for sure, but she didn’t think that the Pameradia House could be supported with only just such words. There were people like her tutor and self-centered people like Ronnie, but the Pameradia House’s servants basically didn’t only serve, but they were worked to the bone.
“Say, Ronnie. The existence known as nobles, what kind of existence do you think it is?”
The opportunity was just convenient, and thinking that, Cordelia tried asking. There was no doubt that Ronnie was an exceptional one among the servants. However, it was also unthinkable that he would give her the same answer as her tutor. Since he was hoping to see a way of using that was only exclusive, he should also have an image of nobles within him to an extent. It was a question while keeping this in mind, but Ronnie titled his head as if he didn’t understand.
“Ojou-sama, this, I’m the wrong person to ask about it, you know?”
And while saying this.
“If you’re going to ask about this, there is one great senior, isn’t there?”
To Ronnie who continued as such, Cordelia finally understood the meaning he wanted to say.
Cordelia, who realized Ronnie’s proposal, was currently facing her father. “The great senior” Earl Pameradia…… Elvis was doing the work from the territory at home today, so through Hans the butler, she tried asking if she could get in touch with him after that. Cordelia asked Hans to tell her at the time when her father had some time, but as her father replied “any time is the same” she could meet him immediately. But as usual, he looked so busy. She did also feel bad about making him spare some time for her in the middle of that, but as she thought, she didn’t have the option of not asking him.
It’s just that Cordelia wanted to get an answer not only from Elvis, but from Ronnie as well. What she will get from Elvis will be the noble’s way of thinking. Her tutor as well is a daughter of nobility, so she wanted an answer from the perspective of a genuine non-noble person, but…… Ronnie said, “I decline, it’s too embarrassing!” and didn’t give an answer. ……Just what exactly do you say was too embarrassing? At any case, Cordelia was right now in Elvis’ private room, facing him across a table.
“So, what business did you come for?”
Elvis directed some unfriendly words at Cordelia in their first father-daughter conversation in a long while. However, Cordelia also knew well that even if this was his attitude, it was how he normally behaved, and that he wasn’t displeased or anything of the sort.
Therefore, Cordelia made up her mind, and tried asking.
“Nobles, what could they really be?”
Elvis answered immediately to those words of Cordelia.
“Nobles are the people of the ruling class.”
This answer was too sincere and natural. On top of that, if you listen to just the words, he sounded as if he was criticizing. At the very least, they weren’t words that someone who was the head of a noble earl House would say. However, as if not caring about Cordelia, who looked puzzled for a moment, Elvis continued on.
“In other words, nobles have a responsibility. A responsibility to support the country, and to maintain public peace and order within the society. Those who have the obligation to pursue the ideal under that cause…… those are the nobles.”
Elvis, who had stopped talking for a moment, looked directly at Cordelia. Cordelia unintentionally held her breath, and felt tension running down her spine. The atmosphere was different from usual. “Earl Pameradia” is here, that’s what it she felt.
“For example, if there were no people in the territory, it would be just a prairie. But wealth is born because there are people residing there. It would be fine to also think that the territory is protecting its people. In other words, we, the nobles, must protect the people’s livelihoods.”
Just like this, as a matter of fact.
“Among the nobility, there exists also not a small number of families who work for their own causes and false sense of selves, and who will show vanity. Those are just the same as beasts. If our selves aren’t something we can be truly proud of at all times, then the dignity we possess is nothing but rubbish.”
Elvis said it as a matter of fact, but his voice was certainly resonating with weight. It was most likely the heavy atmosphere he shouldered, in addition to that tone of voice, what let her believe that there were not just mere empty words.
“……What kind of ideals do you have, Otou-sama?”
While feeling interested as if she was seeing her “noble father” for the first time, even though she should have been seeing him for years up until now, Cordelia asked this. But perhaps because Cordelia had interjected with her words, the air surrounding her father somewhat softened.
“My ideals are far away. A short time isn’t enough to tell you about them, see. For the time being, I’m mainly thinking about reforming the territory’s agricultural lands.”
Saying that, Elvis stood up, picked up a bundle of the documents piled up on top of his desk, and handed it over to Cordelia. When her eyes fell on that bundle of paper, Cordelia affirmed that even while they were written hastily, beautiful letters were lined up. Showcasing the neat letters that were just like her father were the fine properties of the land and its improvement plans, similar crops of the land and other comparison data. When she flipped over one paper, what came next was a design sketch of a waterway. An experimental proposal to transfer the magical power in the air to the water using a water wheel and such were also described. Again, many names of plant researchers and geography researchers were also written out.
“The Pameradia territory, when it comes to trade and commerce, has a lot of major roads, and if it is the prosperity of the urban areas, then it most probably ranks among the top even in this country. The mountains are as well unusually abundant with magical power, and the quality of the wood is top grade. The grade of the agricultural crops is also high. However, on the other hand, I can’t say that the harvesting of the crops is efficient. There are also surpluses due to the lands being vast, but the area has a local lifestyle where it wouldn’t be strange if there was more harvesting than there originally is.”
“To this point…… for example, at the time of your predecessor-sama, did the fields not get that much attention?”
Since the Pameradia magic that had a good affinity with plants was there, she wondered, was it not possible to select plants that suited the soil, or perhaps improve the fertilizers by mixing magical power?
However, Elvis unexpectedly opened his eyes wide at Cordelia who had asked this, and then narrowed them down.
“That tutor…… at least with regards to studies, it seems she is quite incompetent, I see. You weren’t taught the origins of the Pameradia, huh.”
“This is a good opportunity. Let’s touch on the history of this House a bit.”
As he said that, Elvis started talking roughly about the history of the Pameradia.
That is to say, the Pameradia were originally a former equestrian tribe who settled in the present territory long before the nation was established. The area was a crossing point of the east and west trade since those days, but the land itself was extremely infertile and was also a land they were unable to let the horses rest as they would have liked on, and so it did not prosper. However, the clan of the equestrian tribe’s chief were people who had originally inhabited the prairies, and were good at growing plants.
“……The clan used their powers, and improved the land so that they could grow plants even in the surrounding area. It took many generations, and the varieties of the grown crops also increased. Eventually, even people from other than the equestrian tribe also gathered, and together with fame, the chief’s clan got to rule the land as the lords. Afterwards, the lands until the overgrown green mountain forest became their territory, and became on a scale roughly similar to the current territory.”
“In other words…… the land became something adequate that the people recognized the clan for, even at the situation that Otou-sama right now has taken to be insufficient.”
“Yeah. The improvement isn’t just a story from a long time ago, and it seems that the heads of successive generations had also done some, but that also has been stagnant there for about a hundred years. At the very least, it didn’t seem that the previous head had any interest.”
So that’s how it is. If she were to put it in a bad way, it would be that the previous head was resting on the laurels of the past’s influence. She knew that they had met with the equestrian tribe, but this was the first time that she heard something like this. And it was the first time too that she knew that the Pameradia’s magic built up the town, and triggered the improvement in the people’s livelihoods.
Just what kind of place was the territory like? Elvis’ voice, saying, “I’m sorry” reached Cordelia, whose head was running with various thoughts about this.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know the previous head’s thoughts. And I don’t think that I want to understand his thoughts either. Therefore, I don’t feel it’s necessary to think about it.”
Cordelia felt that the final words that Elvis said, as if to cut the topic off, were colder than usual. Even his eyes, which should have been a warm colour, seemed as if they were a freezing colour.
(……Now that you mentioned it, when Otou-sama was struck, maybe had had this same face)
At the very beginning, when she defied her father for the first time—— the day she originally commenced the ‘I Love Otou-sama!’ attack. Cordelia faintly felt that at that time, he must have had this same expression. 5 years have already passed, but the atmosphere felt the same.
The former head of the family and his wife…… in other words Cordelia’s paternal grandparents had already passed away, Cordelia as well knew this. However, in consideration of her father’s appearance, coupled with the fact that she had never heard anything about the previous family head, she understood that most likely they were not very good stories. It might be a more taboo topic than her mother.
“……However, it’s also a rule of the nobility that nothing gets done with only the beautiful things. Cordelia, you also should remember this. You need power in order to achieve your aims. Authority is not something to display recklessly, and neither is it something to use exaggeratedly. But sometimes, it is necessary to show it.”
“For example…… at evening parties and the like?”
“There is that too, but…… for example, the greenhouse I gave you—— it is bringing together the Pameradia’s technology and knowledge. If you look at it, you can fully understand Pameradia’s power, don’t you? To the point that the Queen too sneaked over to have a look……It is something that possesses technology that not even the royal family has, and is also a proof of the power of Pameradia.”
(……Eh, the Queen?)
In the middle of a serious conversation, Cordelia felt like she heard some words that considerably bothered her. However, she naturally didn’t interrupt what Elvis was saying.
“You’ll be looked down upon if you got regarded as not having power, and be forced to expand unnecessary efforts. It might be a good idea to keep this in mind. ……In any case, it might still be a bit early talk for the young you though, I guess.”
As he said this, Elvis’ expression somewhat softened than a while ago. Cordelia was somewhat relieved by this facial expression. That she was like she was paralyzed in front of her father, who by no means was as if he never turned malicious, will remain in her memories from now on…… so even she herself thought, but Elvis’ expression from a while ago was just that much freezing. From here on out, will a heart that does not waver even in these kinds of situations be necessary, in order to contend in high society?
Although if you think about it like that it would feel like a difficult task, but first, she should do what she could right now, and so Cordelia showed Elvis a child-like smile.
She had confidence that she could employ tactics of an age older than 8 years old. But against the earl with many life experiences, there were no tactics that she could win with, no matter whether she excelled at them. However, this was only at her current state, and was not to say for the future. If necessary, she will do it until she mastered it. Holding down such feelings, Cordelia said to Elvis.
“I am not as much of a child as Otou-sama seems to think!”
“Is that so?”
In the end, she felt that even the answer she got from her father was rather abstract. But as a principle…… she did think that she got to understand the course of actions that a family head of Pameradia should aim for, even if only vaguely. It would also probably serve as a standard for the actions she herself should do. However, to Cordelia, at the same time, it became also a point of concern with regards to herself.
“However…… Whether I can become like Otou-sama, I don’t have that confidence.”
She could understand the concept. But if she was asked whether she could at all times be like this, then it was a different story.
Especially with regards to the things that make up the belief that made Elvis, by himself, state what nobles are with no hesitation, the awareness that Cordelia has was in the end from things she had learned in classes, and did not come from inside of her.
Just how much would an awareness that did not come forth from inside of her take root?
However, to such worries of Cordelia’s, Elvis just said, “Nonsense” in a small voice, and placed his hand on her head. It was a very big hand. And then he said this.
“I just responded as a senior noble. It is important to remember that such thoughts also exists, but you should search for an answer that you, yourself, accept. Trying to imitate me would also be useless.”
“There might be a meaning in trying to imitate someone in the beginning. But if you stick with that, then there won’t be any progress past the starting point.”
As expected, there was no hesitation in the words of Elvis, who stated that.
“You’re clever. If you do not get caught up in excessive self-awareness, then as a noble…… no, as a person, you probably won’t lose your way.”
Having declared so, Elvis removed his hand from on top of Cordelia’s head.
“……I’m relieved to have Otou-sama say this.”
What Cordelia said was neither flatter nor out of courtesy. Just by having this one phrase from her father, she too felt that she could become someone she, herself, could be proud of. This most probably because Elvis’ voice resounded with the tone like it was a matter of fact. Of course, there was guarantee or anything of the like in what he said, but it sounded like the best guarantee. Not putting on airs and saying everything in an extremely matter of fact way, Cordelia had a feeling that she strongly felt the feeling of “nobles” coming from him.
“Well, be that as it may…… It would probably be impossible to completely understand what you want without actual experience. If I get a sizeable break in a little while, let’s go to the territory. By broadening your experiences, you might find the answer you seek.”
“Is that true?!”
“Yeah. The books on those shelves are about matters concerning the territory. You can take them as you please, I don’t mind. There are descriptions about the wild grasses you like so much there, as well.”
“Thank you very much!”
Her father would return to the territory regularly, along with his beloved horse. The reason for that was because it was the fastest like this. It would be difficult to go using a swift horse if he also brought Cordelia along with him, so as a result, a span of a few days would probably be needed. This is most likely quite difficult for Elvis, who cannot easily increase his holidays. But she also knew that it was not like her father to break his promises. Right away would probably be difficult, but Cordelia who got a promise that made her heart dance naturally had smile on.
Elvis saw this with a side-glance, and returned to the desk that had documents accumulated. Cordelia, while being careful as not to bother him, approached the bookshelf. At that time, crisp knocks resounded through the room. The one who appeared after getting Elvis’ permission to enter was Hans.
“Excuse my intrusion, Master, Marquis Frantoheim is here.”
“…….I have nothing but a bad feeling. Send him away.”
“That is impossible, Master.”
Elvis gave a long sight at the Marquis who apparently just like his son, never gave advance notices before the day. It goes without saying that that even Elvis, to the point that he disliked it, knew that sending him away or the like was not possible. But he probably couldn’t help saying it.
“Tea is unnecessary. It must be a troublesome matter, at any rate. There is no need to entertain him. You don’t have to come.”
The respectful Hans saw Elvis off. In the room that was now without its occupant, Hans said, “If you have any books that are out of reach, please tell me” smiling gently to Cordelia. Cordelia had been at a loss for a bit, so she said, “That over there, then” and pointed at a book that was at a bit of a high place.
“Say, Hans. I have something I would like to ask you, but would that be alright?”
“I heard that the Queen came to the greenhouse, but when was that?”
“The Queen had come the day after Ojou-sama went out together with Ishma-sama. She came together with His Highness the Crown Prince.”
Hans, with a gentle facial expression as usual, lightly stated some words that were extremely ominous to Cordelia. The Crown Prince! While on one hand, she thought it was as expected, Cordelia was relieved that it ended without her meeting them. At least with this near miss, she didn’t need to worry about having stepped on a land mine without knowing. There should be no such thing as shortening one’s lifespan without knowing, but it was still bad for the heart.
“The greenhouse is a splendid embodiment of technology, isn’t it?”
“As expected of Otou-sama.”
“Yes. Master just couldn’t help it because Ojou-sama is very cute.”
Cordelia who was relieved made a questioning sound at Hans’ words, and tilted her head at them. The flow of the conversation changed a bit? As she was wondering about this, Hans continued his words while grinning.
“Master had one day suddenly quickly finished up all the matters he was dealing with, gave a reason of grasping the current state of the technology, and as if to push it into the schedule, he started the construction of the greenhouse he had planned a few years ahead of time. At that time, as you might expect, even I was surprised.”
“To the extent to make you, Hans, surprised?”
“Oh my, this was a soliloquy. And I do not do not bother to lie during my soliloquies, you see.”
It appears that Hans was not only a good person and an excellent butler, but also had a cunning personality in his own rights. As if to say, “This is a secret” Hans put his forefinger to his mouth.
“Master also knows that Ojou-sama is working hard from the reports he had gotten from Ronnie. The separate renovations were also probably the results of his expectations.”
It’s Master we’re talking about, though, so he definitely must have had other reasons attached, too. At these words from Hans, Cordelia felt her face growing hot. Ronnie!! There should still be “almost” nothing to report about, shouldn’t there!! Otou-sama, it’s going to pressure me if you expect too much!! I’ll be much more at ease if you be just a doting father!! ……These complaints were the first to come to Cordelia’s mind. And then, what came next were the thoughts that she couldn’t afford to betray the expectations.
When she heard her father’s talk in relation to the construction of the greenhouse and the power of authority from just a while ago, she did think that the reason she was given the greenhouse wasn’t only because of some doting. She had to reconsider her thoughts that his actions were solely because he thought too much that his daughter was the cutest by far. Wondering if it might have been self-conceit, and so on. However, from what Hans said, it seems that her original thoughts weren’t wrong, apparently. To top it off, if she were to recognize the laboratory as an additional load packed with expectations, then she strongly thought that she must present results amazing enough that they would surprise him. Rather, her thoughts were strong enough to the point that she probably wouldn’t call anything but that as an experimental success. As she thought that, the tips of her mouth too naturally rose.
“I would like to decorate Otou-sama’s room with flowers, so that they would help heal his tiredness. Hans, please help me select some flowers and vases.”
Hans respectfully gave a bow to such Cordelia.
“Otou-sama’s heart seems to be breaking for the people, but he doesn’t seem to take much care of himself, so I would like to take of him in his place.”
While saying that, Cordelia smiled slightly at the chair that was without its occupant.
I won’t make any excuses..
I did promise to try and release this one faster, but..
Right after the first midterms, our professors seemed to suddenly recall that they haven’t given us enough assignments, quizzes, and labtests, and also remebered that our projrcts needed presentations (which, in the end, got scheduled after the finals. Is that normal?), so there you go..
Anyways, now that all of that is out of the way, it’s finally Summer Holidays!! So expect the next one much, much fatser. This time I mean it. For real.
Well, enjoy the chapter~