Act 45: Good News Comes with the Storm
That morning, Cordelia woke up earlier than usual. But it was already too late to go back to sleep, so she decided to read a book until breakfast and went to the library.
Even if it was early for Cordelia, if she looked down at the garden from the corridor, she could see that there were servants already at work. The servant holding the flowers were probably going to decorate the vases in the mansion. She watched them and was looking forward to seeing how they would decorate the vases.
Cordelia, who reached her destination while occasionally greeting the servants she passed on the way, noticed that the library was already lit.
She thought it was strange as she entered the library and saw that Ronnie was surrounded by books.
“Morning, Ronnie. You’re really early.”
“Eh, huh? Ojou-sama? It’s time for good morning…? Don’t tell me it’s already morning?”
“Yes. It’s still a bit early for breakfast, but it’s a pleasant morning.”
However, when Ronnie heard those words, he looked troubled and appeared clearly regretful.
“Did you accidentally stay up all night?”
“Yes… I was careless. I didn’t feel drowsy, but now that I know it’s morning, I suddenly feel sleepy.”
Cordelia smiled wryly at Ronnie, who yawned as soon as he’d said that, and looked at the book he was reading. It was a book about magic combat, but it wasn’t written in the language of Crista Kingdom.
“This is rare.”
Ronnie reads books of any genre, but Cordelia had never seen him read foreign magic combat books. In the first place, he didn’t like combat that much that he would stay all night reading about it.
“Well, I don’t hate reading… but, I heard a rumour that bothered me, so I thought I would review.”
“I don’t think it’s true, but in the north… I heard at the bar that there have been strange movements in Dulaus Kingdom recently.”
Cordelia blinked. That certainly is a rumour that would worry people.
Dulaus Kingdom had a cease-fire agreement with Crista Kingdom, but it was difficult to say that it was a friendly kingdom. Since its founding, Crista Kingdom has been invaded by Dulaus Kingdom many times, and a lot of people have negative feelings towards the King Dulaus. And, Crista Kingdom was being resented in return, as Dulaus Kingdom probably had a less than favourable opinion towards a kingdom who made them turn their heels many times in the past.
However, for Cordelia, she was cautious towards that kingdom because it was the stronghold of the Dark Guild member 『Ghost』.
“Strange movements? How reliable is that rumour?”
Cordelia had never set foot in a bar before, so she couldn’t determine how useful the information was. However, if there were really such strange movements, then the Kingdom’s army would have sensed it, and Cordelia would have noticed something, even if she didn’t go to a bar. Then, Elvis and her two brothers’ holidays would be affected, and they wouldn’t come home much, but that wasn’t the case right now. More importantly, Ronnie, who had heard the rumour, didn’t seem serious, and he didn’t seem panicked.
“Of course, it’s not like they’re going to attack straight away. However, I heard that there is movement from the anti-royal faction in that kingdom, and I remembered that the north’s magic is different from the mainstream magic of this kingdom, which I learnt at the Magic Academy.”
“… In other words, you remembered that because of the rumours and got curious, so you read up on it?”
“Yes. Even if there’s magic I don’t understand somewhere, I think I can manage somehow if I understand the foundation. Well, it would be better if I don’t encounter it though.”
Seeing that Ronnie was joking and shrugging, she concluded that he was concerned, but he was also saying that the current situation wouldn’t become serious straight away.
“But it would be best if it doesn’t become serious. Cyrus-oniisama’s wedding, which had been postponed, is already around the corner.”
Christina and Cyrus postponed their wedding because Christina had to review the union and the organisation because of the Flora Silk incident, and Cyrus had to work. They were finally… going to get married, but if another problem occurred, then who knows when they would actually get married.
However, if such a significant incident really happened, then they wouldn’t have time to worry about that matter… but, the best solution would be if nothing happened at all.
“Well, if anything does affect the royal capital, then Master wouldn’t let you stay here. Ertiga is further away from Dulaus.”
Cordelia smiled wryly at Ronnie, who joked around and shrugged. Elvis probably wouldn’t tell her things that had to do with military affairs, but it was possible that he would send her away under the pretence of inspections or studying.
However, even if we’re talking about a foreign kingdom, the world of the royal families is complicated.
(… I’m a member of a feudal lord’s family, even if the scale is different. I have to be level-headed.)
I’m not directly involved with the royal family, but I must support them as a noble. We must contribute via the peace of our fiefs, but I also want to do something for the citizens of our fief.
“Say, can I read that too? I’m curious about magic that is different from ours.”
“… Ojou-sama, you can’t read this.”
“Oh my, why not?”
“I don’t know what you would do if you learn something new, and I’m too sleepy to answer any questions. And you don’t have enough time because you have other things you have to learn, right?”
“『It sounds like a hassle』. Is it my imagination, or can I hear your real feelings?”
“Ahaha, you imagined it.”
It was apparent that Ronnie was trying to deceive her, but he was right. Research, magic, studying, and other things… she barely had any time.
“Do you agree?”
“Then, I’ll ask you next time. But will you accompany me today with the little free time I have?”
“Were you doing something today?”
“I want to go to the mobile library office because I have a document I want to deliver. I don’t mind if you sleep when we get there.”
“Well, I’ll go if I can sleep. I’ll go! Shall I arrange the carriage?”
“Please do. We’ll leave after breakfast.”
Ronnie, who had a smile on his face, quickly put the book away and flew out of the library. An invitation to get rid of his sleepiness was really attractive. Cordelia smiled wryly as she picked some books and returned to her room.
She hadn’t meant to, but she had also taken the Dulaus book with her.
After breakfast, Cordelia, who had quickly gotten ready, headed to the office with Ronnie.
The sky was so clear that she thought it would be nice to go on a walk too.
Cordelia, who had arrived at the office and opened the door, was soon met by a middle-aged man holding a wooden box.
“Oh, Cordelia-sama!! I’m sorry for how I look.”
“No, don’t worry about it. I’m sorry for bothering you.”
The man, who was smiling friendly, was the manager and librarian of this office.
When Ronnie saw the man, he approached him straight away and took the box.
“This goes over there, right?”
“Thanks. Then, Cordelia-sama, please come this way.”
Cordelia was invited to sit on the window table she always used when she was in the office. She sat down and spread the documents that she had brought with her on the table.
“Here is a list of the books that were donated this time. Some need to be repaired, so I’ll deliver them as soon as it’s finished. I think it’ll take 10 days.”
“Alright. I’ll prepare the bookshelves. Oh, yes, I’ve received letters of thanks from the children again. I’m sure they were here… Ah, here it is.”
“Thank you very much.”
Cordelia, who received more letters than usual, glanced over them.
It was an important job for Cordelia to summarise the children’s feedback. A happy impression can motivate the supporters and can be used as a reference for new books. Unexpectedly, there were a lot of opinions from their parents, so the information they received was broad.
“Manager, I’d like to take my time today. Also, do you mind showing me the handicraft corner?”
“Of course, take your time. The wood-carvings of animals that Cordelia-sama proposed is really popular. The villagers are happy to deliver addition goods.”
The wood-carvings that the manager was talking about were cute figurines that always came back to an upright position. All of them were small and round, and the eyes were filled with small, crushed and polished natural stones.
(Wood-carvings are already cute on their own, but will they be more popular if it’s combined with natural stones? I thought it would, and I’m glad that it is popular.)
Cordelia, who was fascinated by the cuteness of the roly-polies, suggested that natural stones be inserted in the eyes, and the trial product was given to the women who worked in her mansion. She had stocked up a lot at the handicraft corner based on the excellent feedback she had received from the servants… If it needed restocking, then she felt relieved that it had been a success.
(I think I’ll be able to sell kumiki puzzlesinterlocking block puzzles too… But I’ll ask Otou-sama if we can sell it in Ertiga. They already have roly-polies in Ertiga, but they don’t have kumiki puzzles yet, so it should be alright to sell them at the fief.)
High-quality wood is the Pameradia fief’s forte. If so, then they could also become a new fief speciality.
“Come to think of it, Cordelia-sama. I heard that there is a reasonable and beautiful shop in the port town, Welf, which offers snacks and sweets that aren’t seen in this area. I heard it’s famous because you can catch a glimpse of noble pleasures, but are you planning on opening a shop around here?”
“Huh? Have the rumours already reached here?”
He was talking about the shop that Cordelia had received advice from Cyrus about, and proposed to Elvis to start selling crepes and galettes.
She opened a stall with Welf’s galettes at the Harvest Festival in Ertiga, and a stall selling Ertiga’s crepe desserts at Welf’s Good Haul Prayer Festival, and both sold incredibly well.
Later, Cordelia set up a shop in each town in response to the reaction the stalls received. Both shops weren’t very large, but careful attention was paid to the interior design and furnishings, so that no one would suspect the Pameradia House’s social status. However, she was troubled by the initial investments because she wanted to make the price reasonable so that commoners could visit without much difficulty… She never imagined that the rumours of her shops would reach the royal capital.
“There are some who chose Welf as their travel destination because they want to visit the rumoured shop.”
“This is the first time I’ve heard of this. But I’m very happy.”
If this is true, then I’ve received more publicity than I imagined. In the future, it might be useful to open a store under the Pameradia House’s name when I sell the balms. Should I put a questionnaire in the store as soon as possible so I can know the trends of the customers?
“If you do open a shop in the royal capital, then I can introduce you to a good location. It isn’t well-ordered like the noble district, but it’s a place where people with good palates gather, and the shop will be famous if it’s delicious.”
“I would love to hear about it when the time comes.”
The unexpected information nearly made Cordelia rejoice, but she had to be calm. First, I have to calm down and understand the current situation. I have to be down to earth or success can quickly change into failure. I’m terrified that the things I have built up will collapse in an instant… Cordelia thought, then she heard the front door open.
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