Act 12: First Battle Invitation
Four years had already passed since Cordelia received the greenhouse and laboratory from her father, Elvis.
At first, various plants were grown in the spacious greenhouse. Similarly, the laboratory was neatly lined with a lot of equipment; so much so that she struggled to fit more in.
Cordelia Enna Pameradia, the spring of her 12th year.
She returned to the mansion after a long time carrying a lot of luggage in the refreshing weather. Of course, she wasn’t alone. She was with Elvis and the servants who were carrying their luggage. Cordelia had accompanied Elvis on his inspection to the south until then.
After the inspection at the fief, Cordelia would often accompany Elvis on his inspections. As with this time, they didn’t just inspect towns in the fief, but also towns out of the fief, as well. During the inspections, Cordelia had the opportunity to practice the basic trading skills that she’d learnt from Elvis prior to leaving, and she traded for various things. She had made quite a good profit from the mushroom and fruits which could be collected from the fief, and she had also made a big profit from cameohttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameo_(carving) related products, such as engraved stones and shells.
When Cordelia had first seen cameo in this world, it hadn’t been recognised as a typical accessory yet, and were only sold in small qualities as traditional crafts from across the sea in stalls of port towns. However, it was very beautiful and Cordelia thought that it might sell well if she brought it back to the fief, just as it was.
There were a lot of simple flowers and birds on cameo designs, but then she suddenly remembered that there were cameos with young ladies’ face profiles. So, she asked the merchants, who sold the cameos at their stall, 『if they could, as craftsmen, carve the profile of young ladies onto the cameos』 via wholesale traders.
Her request was accepted and the result…… They sold at a tremendous rate. The cameos were sold out as soon as they arrived.
Of course, that was also because the cameos were beautiful and rare, and it came in many forms, such as brooches and necklaces. However, that wasn’t the only reason; another reason why it sold so quickly was because of her request to engrave young ladies’ face profiles onto them. That design created a fad amongst the ladies, 『I want something that resembles my face』. Cordelia never imaged that such a fad would be created from carvings that weren’t especially modelled after anyone, and had lit the ladies’ desire to purchase it. The fad, which spread vigorously in Ertiga, also reached the Royal Capital. Now, cameos were recognised as an accessory and were in demand, even in the Royal Capital. The price of the cameo depended on labour time and colour of the materials, so commoners could also purchase some designs as luxury items, while nobles could boast about the cost of the cameos. It could also be said that the cameos were popularised by a broad variety of buyers, and became fashionable.
However, merchants, who follow fads, also appeared. But, in the first place, it was difficult to receive a large amount of hand-carved items, and, in addition, Cordelia had contracted the skilled craftsman first, so the cameos that went through the Pameradia House were recognised as the ones with the most value. And, even when the fad started dying down, the new accessory called cameo had been established.
Moreover, the merchants who had originally sold the cameo were also thankful, after the fad died down. The merchants, who up until then, had only sold flower and bird cameos, became more marketable thanks to that recognition.
She didn’t just purchase things from others, she also tried exporting the jewellery boxes, made from the wood which was a special product of the Pameradia fief. The classy jewellery boxes, which had deep bottoms and a slightly reddish tint, were highly sought after across the ocean and she was able to build a good relationship with the traders there. Sometimes, the exported jewellery boxes would be decorated with cameos and then exported again.
And, Cordelia decided to put the money she’d accumulated from the profits towards repaying her loan for the establishment of the school in Caina Village. She had saved enough money to repay the loan she’d received from Elvis four years prior.
“…… You paid it off extremely fast.”
That was the first thing Elvis told Cordelia when she reported to him that she could pay back the loan. She bowed deeply in thanks at the usual flat-toned Elvis.
“It is thanks to Otou-sama’s continued guidance. I don’t know when I would have been able to return this money if I had to do it myself.”
“I certainly gave you advice, but you would have made a loss if you didn’t understand what I taught you.”
Elvis had said that in a plain tone, but Cordelia understood that he was giving her a compliment. She heard him imply, “You did a great job.” Therefore, naturally, the corners of her mouth loosened.
“I would also like to make small contributions to support them in the future. I know…… It’s just Caina Village, but I would like to watch over the place that I influenced.”
“I’m not planning to object to your personal backing. It’s my job…… To equally give support to the public.”
Elvis said that and received the money from Cordelia.
She was relieved.
Now, the pictures that were drawn with charcoal by the students, who were good at drawing, were hung up at the school in Caina Village. 『Ayesha-sensei』, 『Feudal Lord』, and then『Cordelia-sama』. In addition, next to those drawings was a drawing of a baker with a long explanation written, 『The Baker who makes delicious bread with the wheat from Caina Village』.
Out of those four drawings, Cordelia felt that hers was the only one that wasn’t being praised based on her ability. Of course, it wasn’t like she wanted compliments, but she felt guilty for having her picture up there with the others. Therefore, with that, there was no need for her to feel embarrassed anymore, even if the pictures were lined up like that. And, apart from that, she was happy because she felt like Elvis had praised her a little.
Cordelia also heard that the school was a running well.
She didn’t go to the fief a lot, though she visited Caina Village every time she did go. But, the number of times she has visited Caina Village could only be counted on one hand. However, other than the regular reports she received, she also received letters from the 2nd teacher who took over from Aisha, the daughter of the acting lord of Pameradia fief, Zeke Gargotta. She also received letters from the students.
Also…… The fact that they had no choice but to accept that education was important was made known to the villagers when the school opened.
Aisha had visited her at the Pameradia mansion, without any prior notice, to bring her information about the three months after the school had opened.
When Cordelia first saw Aisha, she thought that Aisha was visiting her since she was going to her fiancé Warren’s place anyways. That was why she had been surprised to see her; she was delighted to be reunited with her and had hoped that they could talk over tea…… But, she couldn’t relax at all because of what Aisha had to talk about. It was rather cute and surprising that Aisha had visited her.
She talked about the day the village chief visited the school.
The village chief, who could read a little, showed a wheat contract to the children and asked them questions.
“If you’re really studying, then read this.”
The village chief probably wanted to know if there was any point for the children to suddenly start going to school, and if the children were really absorbing the information they were taught.
The contract was written with formal words and the children couldn’t understand everything. However, even if they connected the parts which they understood together and read it, they would say, “There’s something weird about this contract,” and tilt their heads in confusion.
The children were all stuck on the same part.
『When B purchases wheat exceeding the fixed amount from A, B will be entitled to purchase the excess amount at 30% of the estimated value』
The children didn’t understand who A and B referred to.
They really felt something wasn’t right because 『Standard values appear in the problems Aisha-sensei makes, but this sentence didn’t have them』. Some children were particularly clever and they questioned whether the price changed considerably depending on the amount of wheat purchased.
The answer was one the children gave while feeling like it was simple.
“If you ask Aisha-sensei then you’ll know the correct answer!”
The village chief was reluctant at first when he’d heard the children’s proposal.
Aisha wasn’t someone from Caina Village. The village chief knew what kind of person Aisha was, but he still felt opposed to giving village information to an outsider. However, the children insisted that the contract wasn’t good so, in the end, he showed Aisha the contract.
Then, it was discovered that the wheat was bought at an unreasonably cheap price.
Aisha read the contract and appealed to how unfair it was to the village chief. “Small amounts of wheat were purchased at a reasonable price, but otherwise it was sold cheaper than wheat in other fiefs,” she’d said. Aisha told her that the main reason why nobody noticed that it was being sold at such a ridiculous price was probably because it was being purchased at incredibly large amounts and that the other party knew that the contractor wouldn’t notice that fact.
The village chief knew that he had caused his village a big loss, was upset for a while, and couldn’t speak. However, he approved of the school when his brain started moving again.
“Education is certainly necessary,” he’d said.
And, the adults of the village agreed with the village chief’s words.
Cordelia muttered while drinking her already cold cup of tea in the middle of the report.
“As expected of Aisha-sama’s students, to be able to detect a fact that the village chief couldn’t in just three months.”
“No, it’s really a coincidence. If the village chief hadn’t tried to test the children, then the contract would have never made it to me.”
“But the children didn’t let that chance get away. It’s the result of your teaching, Aisha-sama.”
Aisha’s desire to 『teach the children』saved the village. Desire becomes power, she was the person who embodied this. Cordelia felt a lot of respect for her when she thought that.
“…… If you’re going to say that, then it should be as expected of Cordelia-sama, right?”
“Because, I would only be dreaming about teaching if it wasn’t for Cordelia-sama’s help. Therefore, I really think that Cordelia-sama is the one who saved the village.”
Cordelia tried to deny it. If she were to admit it, then she thought it would be Elvis’ achievement.
But, she stopped when she saw the look in Aisha’s eyes. Aisha wasn’t just flattering her. She really thought that way, just like Cordelia did.
“Then…… Should we toast?”
“It’s nice to toast with tea, isn’t it?”
They knew it wasn’t good manners to do so, but it felt perfect since they were both praising each other.
Hello! I’ll be releasing the chapters in halves now depending on how long they are… QwQ Sorry!
I’m also starting to work on the manga of this (I’m really bad at redrawing but I am trying to practice, so the first few chapters might be really bad… Or the whole thing might be bad kek).
The pre-release of the manga is on my patreon right now… Waiting on a credit page >.<
Hope you enjoyed the chapter!