Act 30: Conclusion, Reflection and the Future
After getting home, Cordelia quickly ate dinner and prepared for bed. But, it was difficult for her to sleep soundly because she was still nervous… Or so she thought.
However, her body was tired, since she had used magic, and she had fallen asleep quickly, without any time to think.
Then, she realised that she was dreaming.
In the dream, Cordelia was looking at a paper puppet theatre.
The play was 『Cordelia’s End』.
There were no other plays that made her want to wake up so much. But, unfortunately, she couldn’t even stand up in her dream. Her body had been frozen by a mysterious power.
Cordelia sighed, this is just a dream anyway. If I have to watch it, then I might as well burn this into my mind for my future, she thought and quietly watched until the end.
When the play was over, Cordelia consciousness suddenly emerged.
Cordelia woke up and first took a deep sigh. It was troublesome to get up, so she put her wrist to her forehead while lying down, and then she let out a slow and pointless voice.
“It was a nightmare.”
Yes, a nightmare.
The last moments of 『Cordelia』, who had gone mad from jealousy and was swallowed up by her own magic, weren’t something Cordelia wanted to see. 『Cordelia』may have been passionately in love, but that was a little too violent. I definitely don’t want to end up like that, and I will absolutely not get close to the Prince because of the bad omens… she firmly vowed.
But, that didn’t mean that she hadn’t gotten anything from the nightmare.
“I might have remembered a possibility.”
The villain who had appeared in her dream wasn’t just Cordelia. There was a man next to her.
(The name ‘Ghost’ never appeared in the game… But, there was a red-eyed man who tempted Cordelia.)
She had no proof to confirm that Ghost and that character were the same person, but she had to be on her guard since they were too similar to each other.
(If not, the man in the game should have been easily killed after 『Cordelia』died.)
In the game, there shouldn’t have been anyone who could easily escape from Cyrus. Is this the difference between a game and real life? Or is he a completely different person?
“… In any case, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s a suspicious character.”
If possible, she didn’t want to meet him again, just like the Prince. However, unlike her feelings towards the Prince, she also felt anger towards Ghost. She didn’t want to meet him, but since he was an annoying person who amused himself by involving other people, then she would probably have to confront him someday.
(Therefore, it would be pointless if he just runs away all the time.)
I have to obtain more information, become quick-witted, and become someone who wouldn’t do exactly as he wants. Cordelia decided and got out of bed.
“Actually, I don’t think I will be the one who would confront him, it would probably be Onii-sama and his unit… I want to be of help to him if something happens.”
Even though I’m angry at Ghost, I can’t just chase after him because that would cause trouble to those around me. So, I want to find something that I can do behind-the-scenes, like the spies of the Pameradia House.
But, even if I could find something, I’ve already caught his eye. So… I’ll have to ask Otou-sama if I can learn a little more self-defence. Cordelia thought, as she changed and left the room.
She couldn’t learn self-defence without an instructor. If so, then she wanted to do what she could do right then. It’s still dark outside, so I should still have some time before breakfast, she concluded and headed towards the library with a light in hand.
“It should be around here…”
Cordelia said as she took some books, but she couldn’t find the information that she was looking for. I hope it’s not in a place where I can’t reach, she thought as she once again reached for the books.
After doing that numerous times, she heard the door open.
She peeked to see who it was and saw Ronnie.
“Good morning, Ojou-sama. What are you doing so early in the morning?”
“Morning, Ronnie. As you can see, I’m looking for a book.”
“You look well, considering what happened yesterday.”
Ronnie looked a little sleepy, so he must have been on security duty all night. He returned the book that he must have been reading to keep himself awake, and spoke as if he’d just remembered, “Ah, my gift.”
“I can’t go out for a while, so I’ll ask Lara to get it.”
Cordelia said, and he replied in a voice that clearly stated that he wanted to skip work, “Then, I’ll be her guardian.”
“Anyway, Ronnie. Have you seen a book on the average life expectancy and risk of illness around here?”
“Average life expectancy? What are you looking for this time…?”
After he’d put his book away, he moved to where Cordelia was. Then, he took several books from the shelf above her and gave her one.
“I think it should be in this book.”
“What are you thinking about now? This data is quite different from the ones you usually want.”
“I thought it would be nice if I could set up an insurance regime. So, I want to discuss this with Otou-sama.”
“Yeah. It’s a system where we collect money from the insured person little by little, and when that person dies, then they get compensation. The instalments vary depending on the person’s age. First, I want to set up life insurance, but I hope that it could also be used when someone gets sick.”
Free medical care… is something unlikely to happen with the current tax revenue. But in Ted’s case, if he had extra money… or if he could consult a teller about his situation, then he might have been able to hold his ground.
(I don’t think it would be easy to think of a system when I have to start from calculating the death rates… I want to do this even if it takes many years to implement.)
First of all, I want to see how much the instalments have to be to get people to join. I also don’t want it to be a heavy burden on them, and I want to see their reactions towards this system. There is a problem of how to manage the collected money, but in the future, I might be able to establish social insurance and improve public health care.
“I’ll help you. I’m good with numbers.”
“It’s fine. If you behave yourself, then I can do this much.”
Ronnie said as he withdrew some more books, and Cordelia glanced at him.
“… Did Otou-sama ask you to guard me? Or was it Onii-sama?”
“I’ll leave it up to your imagination. It’s just a precaution.”
I don’t know who instructed him, but apparently, they think I’m going to act rash because they told him to guard me at home.
“I plan to behave for a month so that they don’t lose faith in me.”
Perhaps Ronnie reminded her because he had already started doubting her. But Ronnie laughed.
“You don’t have to worry about that. Christina-sama didn’t get hurt because you made the right decision. I heard that from Emina’s report.”
“That’s because Emina was there.’
“But, Master and Cyrus-sama also agree with it. Well, but I guess he’s still worried. Master loves Ojou-sama, after all.”
Ronnie teased her, and she got a bit worried about him. He had said that he’d leave it to her imagination, but he accidentally told her that it was Elvis who’d instructed him to do so. But, she was happy that he had pointed out that he cherished her instead of losing confidence in her.
“Oh, you might have forgotten because a lot of things have happened. But, my family is expecting you to start the negotiations soon.”
“I haven’t forgotten, I wouldn’t. But I want to review the data again…”
“Alright. Then I’ll tell them that negotiations will take place in 10 days, so please finish the details by then.”
Ronnie briskly handled everything and Cordelia shrugged her shoulders as though she knew that well.
Christina visited Cordelia as eight days passed, while she was putting together the documents and data.
“How do you do, Cordelia-sama?”
“Would you like to eat these… while we go over the report?”
The gift that Christina had brought with her was chocolate bought from the store which Christina wanted to visit on that day.
“Thank you very much. Actually, I heard that you would be visiting today, so I had tea prepared in the greenhouse.”
“Oh my, that’s wonderful.”
Then, Cordelia guided Christina to the greenhouse.
When they both sat down, Lara brought out the chocolate and tea. Emina was having a late holiday today, so Lara was performing her duties. This was the first time that Lara had served a guest, but she fulfilled her duty well, even though she was a little nervous.
Then, Lara left the room after she’d finished her task.
“… In the end, Ted was supposed to be convicted for fraud… But, I paid for him, and the incident ended.”
“… What do you mean?”
She thought that Christina would probably tell the result of the incident, but the punishment that Ted had received was lighter than she’d anticipated.
Christina continued while looking conflicted.
“Ted had declared that he’d tricked everyone, but the people who had purchased the dress didn’t admit that they were deceived. They said, ‘I wanted this dress even if it wasn’t made from Flora Silk’.”
“Therefore, they feared that the women had been deceived even though there had been no real harm, and he was going to be processed for attempted fraud… But, the purchasers claimed that the store clerk had explained that it was a completely different product. They all said that.”
No, that shouldn’t be true.
In fact, Christina-sama’s friend had said that she had purchased a floral silk dress. And yet…… Cordelia tried to think of the reason for this, but could only come up with one answer.
“… Is it because of their noble pride?”
“Yes. I think so.”
Christina answered clearly, and Cordelia got dizzy for a second.
Good or bad… No, it’s not good. I can’t say that it’s good that they can’t recognise their own failures. Pride is important, but I can’t help but think that it’s because of their vanity.
But Ted had undoubtedly gotten off with a light punishment. She felt a little mixed over that. Like this, they wouldn’t question Ghost about the crime he instigated, even if he is caught. Unfortunately, Ted would just be sprouting nonsense if he insisted that he was instructed to scam the women, and the victims insist that they weren’t scammed.
“Finally, the store was fined for ‘displaying products that weren’t sold in store and selling similar products’, and Ted was fined for ‘ignoring that there was a mistake in the store’s listings and selling them substitute items’. They agreed to better themselves.”
“…, I see.”
“I heard that this came as a great surprise to the store and that they were disappointed. Still, I heard that they knew that the materials hadn’t been obtained through a legal route, so they didn’t have any objections. Of course, this might be because they’d only received a light punishment.”
“But, flora silk hadn’t received any damage from this incident. Fortunately, not many people had purchased the fakes, and father and I knew one of the people who had… So we settled it by presenting her with a dress as a thank you.”
“She might be hesitant to refuse if it’s a thank you present.”
“That’s right. The silver lining is that the damage was minimal. Even so, it’s quite expensive,” Christina laughed.
However, her expression gradually dimmed.
“But… Ted’s actions are a betrayal towards the people of Flora. Given his family’s position in the association, it would probably be hard for them to welcome him back. Of course, Ted understands this, but I feel a little bit conflicted over it since he hadn’t done it for personal gain.”
She couldn’t forgive him since she was the daughter of the feudal lord, but she was still worried about him. Cordelia put a piece of chocolate into her mouth.
She enjoyed the sweetness as it melted in her mouth while thinking about how she could help Christina.
She spoke as soon as the chocolate melted down her throat.
“If he’s good at judging fabric in general, then I can introduce him to a job which would allow him to live comfortably. I also trade a little, so I want talented people.”
“It’s also better for you if he stays somewhere you can keep an eye on him, right? Of course, I won’t force him if he says no.”
Cordelia said, and Christina whispered, “Thank you.”
“Let’s stop talking about this now. You also have business with Onii-sama, right?”
Christina was surprised by Cordelia’s words and her face immediately turned red.
“Mm… Well, I brought him some sweets and the reply to his diary entry. I know this isn’t the time to be doing this…”
“It’s fine. You wrote him a reply because everything’s been wrapped up, right?”
Cordelia said as she received the diary and sweets from Christina.
“Do you have anything you want me to pass on to him?”
“It’s okay, I’ll tell him the next time I see him.”
Christina smiled bashfully, and Cordelia laughed.
“Alright. Then you can tell him today.”
Cordelia paid no attention to Christina’s dumbfounded question and lightly rang the bell that had been placed on the table; then the door opened, and Lara appeared again.
“Lara, can you call Onii-sama here?”
Christina gradually became more confused while Lara was leaving.
“Eh, mm, is Cyrus-sama home?”
“Yes, sorry. I heard that you would be coming yesterday, so I told Onii-sama about it.”
“But won’t this… get in the way of his work?”
“Don’t worry, sister-in-law. Onii-sama has his priorities sorted.”
Christina-sama should know this, she thought and smiled. She planned to leave once he got here. Cyrus suddenly took a break, even though he had accumulated his days off. Cyrus, who had been hoarding yearly leave and even compensation leave, had suddenly taken time off. They should have a lot to talk about.
However, Lara returned to the greenhouse again.
“What’s wrong, Lara?”
“Cyrus-sama has summoned both of you.”
Me too? She had asked Lara without saying it out loud, and Lara confirmed, “Yes, Ojou-sama as well.” However, Lara also seemed a little confused because that was different from what had been arranged.
But, even though she was confused, she had to go, since she had been summoned. Cordelia and Christina headed to the parlour.