This was also Cordelia’s first time making a flower crown in this world, so she carefully made it while tracing her memories. Gille staring at her hands also made her nervous.
She was able to complete the crown without losing to pressure. She also praised herself, I made it quite nicely, and Toto’s joy was dazzling. She even went to show it off to the other children who also wanted one. Thus, Cordelia continued to make some more flower crowns for the other children. Fortunately, Gille learnt how to make one just by watching her, so he helped make the other half.
While Cordelia and Gille made the flower crowns, girls older than Toto surrounded Cordelia and looked at her in curiosity.
“Hey, Dilly-chan. Does the Prince really go incognito? Can you meet him wherever he goes? We haven’t been to the Royal Capital before.”
I hope he doesn’t, and I would have to obtain information in advance so I can avoid him if he does… Cordelia resisted saying that. But even without Cordelia’s answer, the question was quickly brushed away by another girl.
“Argh, Lana you’re always like that! Say, is it true that in the Royal Capital there’s a crystal ball that allows you to go anywhere just by peeking at it? Can you do that if you get a job at the castle? Have you heard about this Dilly-chan?”
“Lana and Tina… look at reality. It’s impossible, isn’t it? The strange thing about the Royal Capital is that some shops stay open until the next day, right? I heard that people drink alcohol there.”
“Why are they opened until so late? The Royal Capital is such a mysterious place.”
“I don’t know, but there’s a lot of people there, and it’s definitely a great place! There are also chivalrous thieves like Robin Hood, who throw money into the streets, right?”
“There isn’t. Chivalrous thieves are thieves. The knights in the Royal Capital are amazing, so the thieves would be caught even before they could steal money.”
Their conversations didn’t stop. Cordelia didn’t even have time to interject before the topic was changed again. They always had conversations like that.
(But the children’s stories are a mixture of fiction and reality.)
『A crystal ball that allows you to go anywhere』was a play performed in the Royal Capital. I don’t know how it’s related to a chivalrous thief, but I feel like the storyteller could have mentioned someone like that. If they’ve never been there, then everything is hearsay; so, they probably can’t judge what is fact and what is fiction.
“Ah, sorry. What’s wrong?”
Toto called Cordelia, who was lost in the conversation.
“Dilly-chan, Toto also wants to hear about the Royal Capital. I read lots of picture books.”
“Toto-chan, can you already read?”
“I can. But not difficult ones. Amazing? Everyone has to learn how to read and write and make calculations before they graduate from here. Toto is doing her best too.’
Toto crossed both hands embarrassingly and glanced at Cordelia when she heard Cordelia’s reply. Cordelia placed the flower crown she was making on her knee and patted Toto’s head.
“I’ll bring you a picture book next time.”
“You will? Dilly-chan’s? You’ll come again?”
“Ok, I’ll be waiting for you!”
Toto nodded when she heard Cordelia’s answer and smiled widely. Cordelia looked at her and wondered what book she should bring.
(Should I bring a simple history picture book?)
As far as I can tell, Lana-chan and the others, who are older than Toto, seem interested in the Royal Capital. If Toto-chan will be like that someday as well, then it’s a good idea to teach her about simple history first. We should have a picture book about the founding of this kingdom at the Pameradia library.
(Picture books related to national holidays will be helpful too. Most of the events at the Royal Capital are closely related to the history of the kingdom.)
I’m sure some of the information would be useful to Toto-chan in the future. Even Lana-chan and the others might be able to understand the state of the Royal Capital better if they read those books.
(No, Lana-chan and the others might not be satisfied with picture books. I wonder if they’ll like historical drama books like the ones Onee-sama left in the library.)
I can probably take out the books that Onee-sama left behind in the library if I get Otou-sama’s permission. Honestly, they should choose their own books but unfortunately, they can’t.
(It would be quick and easy if I buy a lot of books and donate them to the poorhouse, but there’s no telling what would happen after I donate once. There isn’t any reason for a noble daughter to support them that much. And the poorhouse doesn’t accept any external support.)
But it’s difficult for them to rent books from the Royal Capital. In addition to the loan fees, they will also have to pay for their fare since it’s a little far from here. How do I get rid of that? Time passed quickly as she pondered.
In the end, Cordelia continued to ponder on the coach ride home. Gille asked on behalf of Cordelia, who was too busy pondering to talk much.
“The director calls Sensei ‘Green’, doesn’t she?”
Cordelia couldn’t help but lift her face and stare at the Witch when she heard that. There were no other passengers on the return trip, aside from Cordelia and the others, and they were basically sitting with the cargo. The Witch answered gently.
“She’s been calling me that since before she became the director.”
“Does she call you Green because of the medicinal herbs?”
“Yes. It’s already been nearly 30 years now, but there was a very contagious disease going around back then. That disease had fewer deaths than the 『Dark Winter』10 years ago, but the prices of medicine jumped up, and it was something that we couldn’t get our hands on.”
“Sensei… did you perhaps develop new medicine?”
The Witch smiled at Gille’s question.
“I was actually living a bit more south during those times. But after I found out that the medicine I made was effective against the disease, I travelled around to different places. And when the disease came to an end, I was in Oulu. After that, I moved to the Royal Capital to set up my shop.”
“So that’s why you still have a friendly relationship with the village.”
“That’s right. When I arrived at Oulu, people called me 『Lady Green』and it was so embarrassing. I told them, 『If it’s like that, then witch would be better』, and only the director said, 『Witch doesn’t suit you!』… But she compromised and called me 『Green』instead.”
The Witch spoke happily, but Cordelia’s mind had already drifted away from her conversation.
A pharmacist who creates substitutes for existing medicine. The name which was given to her out of respect was 『Green Witch』. I don’t doubt her, but if her story is true, then she’s a skilful person who has worked everywhere… She dared to put herself away from authority.
(If not, then there shouldn’t be any reason for her to live quietly in town.)
People would probably reach out to her if they knew that such a talented person existed. Does her keeping her distance also have to do with why she doesn’t like nobles that much? She pondered and met the Witch’s eye.
“Have you gotten a feel of that place?”
“Ah, yes. Maybe just a little bit…”
“Really? That’s good.”
The Witch nodded lightly at Cordelia’s honest reply.
“The poorhouse is full of children who have lost their parents to disease, no matter where they’re from. From major illnesses to illnesses that could be cured if they had a doctor… That’s why I want to reduce the numbers and also help the children who are left behind.”
The Witch’s voice was clear, and it also reminded Cordelia of what the director had said about Mick.
At the same time, however, Cordelia felt uncomfortable with the Witch’s tone. The Witch’s voice sounded strange; as if she was pressuring herself. And the Witch’s gaze had fallen to her feet before Cordelia had realised.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I was a little dazed. You guys also have to maintain a healthy body so that you don’t get sick, okay?”
The aura which Cordelia had felt earlier from the smiling Witch had already disappeared. Cordelia couldn’t ask her about it any further.
When Cordelia and the others returned to the Royal Capital, the sky had already been painted red.
“You can come with me to Oulu Village again if you don’t mind. But it’s a little far, so I won’t force you to.”
The Witch informed them when they got off the coach, and they separated from the Witch.
Cordelia, Vernoux, Gille and Ronnie were all going to the front of their meeting place, the fountain, before separating and going to the Pameradia and Flantheim mansions, so they didn’t say anything and started walking.
Then, Vernoux muttered.
“… Speaking of 30 years ago, the situation with the North got pretty bad as well. Even the prices of general goods soared.”
Gille agreed with Vernoux and continued speaking.
“I also looked a bit into the former Baron who used to support Oulu Village. In conclusion, he was using various ways to make money, so that he could buy political power. He gave almost no real support to the poorhouse, and he falsified expenses. He used it as a camouflage so that people wouldn’t think that he was a greedy Baron.”
“But it seems that his downfall wasn’t caused by the falsified expenses. Apparently, someone complained anonymously.”
Vernoux frowned as Gille continued. Cordelia finally understood after she heard all this.
“So that’s why they wouldn’t accept outside support, even though the Baron has met his downfall.”
“Probably. Nobles who used them as slush funds aren’t worth believing. The voices coming from the kingdom might also sound the same to them.”
“If you find one rotten potato, then you’ll try to find if there are others around too. But if it’s a rotten noble, then that village has no means of confirming whether there are others. It’s natural for them to be suspicious of all nobles.”
However, Vernoux’s voice didn’t sound as if he had accepted that; instead, he sounded irritated. His aura felt different from the usual carefree Vernoux.
But his appearance was reliable as a friend.
“But Sensei invited us there even though she had realised that we are nobles. I don’t think she was expecting us to agree, but I don’t think it’s without meaning either. If so, then she must want us to think about what we can do… right?”
Cordelia smiled at the two. Gille nodded, and Vernoux shrugged.
“… You’re really eccentric.”
“Yes, but so is Vernoux-sama who accompanies me.”
I don’t know what I can do yet, but nothing will happen if I don’t think about it. Cordelia decided that she had to understand it first and think about what she could do. Then, she suddenly remembered.
“… Which reminds me, I discovered something surprising today.”
“What is it?”
“Gille-sama seems surprisingly used to seducing women.”
With those words, Gille and Vernoux stopped moving. She felt as if she could hear a sound that she didn’t often hear even if she didn’t speakas the phrase, ‘could hear a pin drop’. However, Vernoux first broke the silence. He burst into laughter at Gille, who was still frozen, and held his stomach as he laughed.
“Hey… Why are you laughing, Vernoux? Deny it!”
“Ca-cause… if I don’t laugh now, then when should I laugh?!?! Hey Dilly, where’d you see that?”
“Mm… When he was talking to Toto. He just naturally said 『Princess』. It’s a word you don’t use in everyday conversation, right?”
“Did he say that? Ah, too bad I wasn’t there. But, kuku… don’t worry, he’s never seduced anyone before.”
“If he said it unintentionally, then it makes me feel uneasy…”
What if he grows up to be a pick-up artist? No, what if he accidentally picks up girls without meaning to? It’s good, to be honest, but I’m anxious. I will just pray that he won’t suffer from a woman’s grudge and get stabbed.
But Cordelia’s reply made Vernoux laugh harder.
Finally, Gille pouted and opened his mouth.
“That’s my mother’s favourite phrase… I’ll be careful.”
So, it is normal for him to say that. I didn’t want to say anything wrong, but I feel a little sorry for him, since he seems a little depressed.
“B-but you made Toto smile with your words.”
“… That’s sly of you to say.”
Gille still seemed a bit depressed, but he smiled in a troubled way. Then, he exchanged glances with Cordelia and raised his voice as if he had suddenly remembered, “Ah…”
“Oh yeah, I’ll give you this.”
“A book? For me?”
“No, that’s my notebook… But it’s not the notebook, I put this inside.”
Gille said while flipping through the notebook. Then, his hands stopped, “I found it,” as he picked up something from the page. Cordelia tilted her head while wondering what it was and Gille held out his hand.
“This is… a four-leaf clover?”
“Dilly, you might already know this, but it brings luck. But if you just take the leaf, then it’ll get damaged, so bring it home together with my notebook.”
“Th-thank you very much.”
Gille, who was basking in the light of the reddening sun, looked gentle. Cordelia received the notebook while feeling that he was a little restless, then she looked at the notebook again and thought.
(Gille-sama’s airheadedness might get worse.)
She looked at his face, and he was smiling happily. What is this? She felt strangely embarrassed.
However, Vernoux destroyed those restless feelings.
“By the way, rumours are saying that if you throw it away, then you’ll be unhappy.”
“… Vernoux, you don’t have to say that right now.”
“No, she would be shocked if she knew about that after she’d throws it away.”
“… Don’t worry, I won’t throw it away. I’ll make it into a bookmark when I get home.”
“Thought so. Aren’t you happy, Gille?”
Vernoux ran away while teasing Gille, “See you later, Dilly.” Gille also quickly chased after him, but he quickly turned back.
Cordelia waved as she saw them off.
After they left, she turned around.
“Ronnie, shall we go home too?”
“Oh yeah, you were really quiet today.”
“My turn never showed up. Well, it’s a good thing as an escort.”
Ronnie said as he quickly walked home with Cordelia.
Dusk was already falling.
Extra part/chapter for drop this week and next thanks to patrons! Maybe next month as well if the goal is met at the beginning of the month ^^ v