Act 09: Recruiting Ojou-samas as Testers
It was a while after Cordelia had gotten the promise to visit the fief together with Elvis.
Cordelia set out to recruit the female servants, who worked at the Pameradia House, as testers.
She was asking people to be test subjects for the prototype cosmetic products.
Only five conditions were required of the testers.
(1) Those who can receive a massage using the balms that are currently in circulation for one month.
(2) Those who can receive a massage using a new medicine after the period for (1) is over.
(3) Those who are not likely to come in contact with infants.
(4) The payments for testers will be hourly wages based on the duration of the treatments.
(5) In the unlikely event that any harm comes to the tester, the Pameradia House will bear responsibility and provide them with medical treatment.
Cordelia judged that these conditions weren’t bad.
It wasn’t like the wages of the workers at the mansion was low, but first, there was the appeal of earning extra wages.
And the other more significant appeal was that『they could use balm that only higher rank nobles could use and receive massage treatments』. It was a luxury that was definitely hard to obtain with just their regular wages.
However, she couldn’t get good reactions from those conditions, and she didn’t meet anyone who put their name forward for the trials.
Cordelia thought that one of the reasons for this was probably because there were people who thought, “This is too good to be true.”
At the same time, another reason could be that they were restraining themselves thinking, “Other people probably want to apply for it.”
(If they have other reasons, then it’ll probably just be that they don’t know how serious I am. Too bad, I’d expected these reasons.)
They probably assume that she wouldn’t announce it herself and, considering the atmosphere of the mansion and the subject that she wanted to transmit, it wasn’t unreasonable for them to think that. No matter how good the conditions were, she could understand that people would be perplexed by it.
(Well, it starts from now. It’ll ease my concerns if I can convey to them that I’m really working on this and if I could at least leave an achievement to my name.)
Yes, for example, if someone could become the sacrifice…… Or not, if someone could set the precedence then the problem should be solved.
At that time, she believed that it would be good to inform them, “I’ll be recruiting from now on.”
“Hey, Ronnie. Do you have any plans on becoming a woman?”
“I don’t. Geez, please don’t say absurd things just because no testers have appeared.”
Ronnie spoke in shock, but it wasn’t like Cordelia was serious when she said that. About 80% of it was said as a joke. The remaining 20% was out of mischief.
There were reasons why Cordelia, herself, didn’t become a tester.
The first reason was that it wasn’t preferable for an 『Ojou-sama』to use things that haven’t gone through the so-called 『poison testing』. Even if it had undergone analysis, to the very end, the results were only an assumption. There weren’t any poisons in the herbs, but if something were to happen then Ronnie’s job would be on the line.
The second reason was that the effects of the essential oils were a bit too strong for children to use. Especially mint, which caused young skin to get irritated. Also, it wasn’t like it was a fad for children, so there was no meaning for Cordelia to be a tester.
“So what are you going to do? Even though you’ve finally completed the peppermint essential oils and balm at a stable level, there won’t be any progress if you’re hesitating about recruitment.”
“You’re right. But, it’s not really a problem.”
She never thought that applicants would appear just because she had shown that she would receive them warmly. That was why she also thought of other ideas, ――― or rather, she had predicted that it would happen, so she picked some testing candidates before she’d even started recruiting.
Cordelia grinned at the maid who was waiting beside her.
“Hey, Emina. Would you help me with something?”
Emina was actually of noble birth, but apparently…… she has been away from home due to her family circumstances. Cordelia also heard that Emina was serving the Pameradia House because Cordelia’s older sister had helped her out. Cordelia didn’t know about the matter in detail, because she didn’t talk with her sister much, and she never really felt the need to ask about it.
Not even the servants knew that Emina had a noble background. Her conduct was so refined that it passed those of the servants, and sometimes they would say, “She’s like a noble,” but they only said that as a joke.
Cordelia also maintained a master-servant relationship with Emina. Emina also only served Cordelia as an excellent maid, so she probably wouldn’t refuse Cordelia’s request.
However, Cordelia didn’t nominate Emina just to be a tester.
It would be nice if Cordelia could offer Emina an environment where she could relax, as thanks for everything she had done. Also, Emina was a very beautiful lady. Therefore, she wanted Emina to undergo an experimental treatment to maintain that beauty.
Of course, she couldn’t deny that fact that it was convenient for her that Emina was of noble birth.
Being a noble, Emina was accustomed to using fine goods. The servants at the Pameradia House were used to seeing fine goods, but it was a different thing for them to be accustomed to using those goods. Cordelia could probably obtain the impression of the products from the viewpoint of a noble. She probably couldn’t get a win-win situation from anyone but Emina.
“Me, you say?”
“Yes. I believe that it will surely bring good results for you as well.”
“Yes, as Ojou-sama wishes.”
Cordelia was satisfied and smiled in response.
“Right, I’ll be counting on you then.”
Ronnie saw that and muttered.
“That’s a good one.”
“…… What is, Ronnie?”
“『As you wish』. I’ve never said it before, but when I hear it being said, it really feels like I’m talking with an 『Ojou-sama』. I’ll use it from now on.”
“Ronnie, Ojou-sama is always an Ojou-sama.”
Emina replied calmly to Ronnie, who was getting a little excited.
Cordelia was used to Emina saying such things.
However…… it wasn’t like she didn’t feel embarrassed when they are spoken by Ronnie.
“Ronnie, before saying something like that, are the goods that you’d said would be 『done soon』finished?”
“Ugh…… We-well, they’re coming along little by little.”
“I’m counting on you!”
“Yes…… Well, it’s as Ojou-sama wishes, isn’t it?”
He averted his eyes, but why does he look like he’s having so much fun from saying that? No, Cordelia also knew that. He was probably happy that he was able to say the words he’d declared he would, straight away. Good grief, I’m glad that he’s always having fun.
Cordelia was asking Ronnie if the storage bottles she’d ordered from the tool shop’s Master were finished, in other words, making the lids and such.
Essential oils degraded easily. Therefore, she was using coloured bottles to store them, but she also couldn’t neglect them being airtight. The lid was important. Also, at least when the bottle was unopened, she wanted the air to be expelled from it and prevent further oxidation because of the gas; she asked Ronnie to research such things…… Well, but him saying that it was coming along little by little meant that his research wasn’t going too well.
“Well then, should I give you another job since you’re late with your research, Ronnie?”
“Huh? What is it?”
“Even though we’re testing the efficiency of the essential oils, one person’s help wouldn’t be enough to test everything we want to, right? In short, we’re going to persuade someone else.”
Only Ronnie followed after Cordelia when she left the room. Cordelia had asked Emina to do something else, so she wasn’t coming along with them. In the first place, their destination was the magician’s wing so Emina wouldn’t have been very familiar with it.
The person who had greeted Cordelia at the magician’s wing was the head magician, Cecily.
She was a female magician with a slightly fit body and carried herself with dignity. Cordelia believed that she shouldn’t ask a woman for her age, but she also knew that Cecily was quite old, since Ronnie informed her that Cecily often talked about her 10-year-old grandchild in private. Incidentally, she was in charge of supervising the water quality and the water reserves used by the Pameradia House. That involved tasks like preliminary testing for poison and being in charge of developing devices that utilised magic crystals, which were similar to waterworks.
Cordelia grinned and informed Cecily.
“I’m sorry for interfering with your work. I came today because I have something to ask of you.”
“Something to ask of me? What is it you wish to ask me?”
“I’d like you to participate in my experiment.”
“Is this about what Ojou-sama…… Is recruiting for?”
“Yes. But what I would like to ask of Cecily is a bit different from the recruitment terms. Your shoulders have been feeling stiff recently, haven’t they? I think I have a way to solve this so I would like you to try the aroma bath.”
“Aromabath?” Cecily says it in a way that’s unfamiliar to her.
“Yes. I should be able to prepare it in a few days so I would like you to put the essential oils into a tub of hot water and take your time to soak it in.”
Bathing wasn’t a custom in this kingdom.
The people of this world had a very faint concept of soaking in a bath, so the concept of mixing something into a bathtub was the same. The bathtubs that existed in this world were steam baths and functioned like a water jug by pouring water onto your body from the bathtub. It existed mainly as something like a washbasin to draw water from.
“Take my time soaking in it……?”
Cecily asked curiously in affirmation.
Of course, Cordelia only replied with a grin.
“Yes. Please take your time to soak in it.”
It wasn’t difficult to prepare an aroma bath. In her previous world, they had a method to mix small amounts of peppermint and lavender essential oils in hot water.
Using the essential oils of her current world, Cordelia thought that perhaps she could gain the same effects with half that amount. Peppermint could increase blood flow and act as a muscle relaxant, and lavender could accelerate metabolism as well as help people relax.
She still hadn’t finished extracting the essential oils from lavender, but if she could harvest some more flowers, then she could still conduct the experiment.
(The reason why it’s good for Cecily is that it improves shoulder stiffness, but I can’t tell her that it also acts as a countermeasure against menopause.)
Peppermint was undoubtedly an excellent essential for Emina to use.
At the same time, it was certainly the best essential oil for Cecily to use.
Besides, she was pro at detecting water quality. She was good at seeing whether it would be harmful or beneficial to her. If she deemed it to be beneficial, then the other servants can’t help but admit that it was.
Of course, it wasn’t like Cordelia didn’t have anything to be worried about. The essential oils that suited each person differed from person to person. She didn’t know if the effects would work well for them or not.
The vitality of the plants was originally strong. Her goal was to keep that vitality when extracting essential oils, but there was also the risk of strengthening unwanted effects, or effects that she didn’t need at that moment.
However, Cordelia had already learnt the ability to see whether an essential oil was suitable for a person or not.
The biggest hint was the flow of magic power surrounding a person. If she thought about the magic power that caused the bad condition and combined it with the magic power that surrounded essential oils, then she could match someone with essential oil that suited them…… She noticed that while she was learning analysis magic. If there was an effect that she wanted to suppress, then it was probably possible to control that at the creation stage by using magic power. Cordelia still wasn’t good at analysing plants, but if she could only use that power, then it was worthwhile to learn analysis magic.
So, Cordelia read Cecily’s magic flow and would try to prepare a mint compound, as well as lavender essential oil, that suited only her in three days. Weakening the effects of some components and strengthening those of others, ――― was really time-consuming. Doing that for each and every person was probably not suitable for business purposes. However, if she were to give a made-to-order product to someone that held unique information, then it might be useful in the future.
If she had any other worries, then it would be that the preferences for scents varied from person to person.
No matter how good the effects were, people won’t feel comfortable using scents they didn’t like. She could also understand a person’s taste in fragrances from their magic, but she wasn’t confident that she knew their tastes.
(But, if I get good feedback from Cecily…… I still don’t have enough ingredients, but I want to try making bath salts in the future too. I’ll change the effects and methods little by little and make that into an excellent opportunity to let everyone know about my experiments―――.)
Cordelia strongly reminded Cecily, “I’ll leave it up to you,” while Cecily was confused.
Cordelia was merely delighted that her experiment was progressing forward.
|↑1||Cecily says it in a way that’s unfamiliar to her.|