Like the first floor, the basement was filled with many books. 

And the plants corner was arranged in an easy to understand way; ornamental plants shelf, wild grasses shelf, and trees and shrubs shelf. 

First, Cordelia chose a book from that selection and flipped through it. Then, she returned it to the shelf and took another book. She repeated that process several times. 

(The contents are a little different, but it seems that the books my family has on plants are also excellent.)

The Big Bookcase has an overwhelming amount of books in other fields, but for plants, the Pameradia collection is just as wonderful… The moment she thought that.

“… Clove?”

Cordelia, who had stopped turning the pages, widened her eyes at the nostalgic herb name. She steady looked at the picture of the tree drawn next to the name and the drawing of the leaves. There’s probably no mistake. This is the same Clove that I know, which I haven’t been able to confirm exists here.

(Of course, I won’t know until I get my hands on the real herb…)

Clove was the main ingredient in herbal medicine, and was called caryophyllus clove in Japan.[1]Eugenia Caryophyllus, oil from the leaves is known to have antiseptic properties.

Because its scent could still be strongly smelled from a hundred miles away, it was called the hundred-mile incense or caryophyllus clove. It often appeared in history in my previous world.

For example, in China’s Han Dynasty, the ministers would hold the clove in their mouth to perfume their breath during audiences with the emperor, and some say that in the Age of Discovery, the spanish king ordered the explorer, Magellan, to make a voyage to secure routes for cloves. 

When she learnt about the Age of Discovery in school, she heard that they had specially picked pepper out of all the spices, and its value was the same as gold, and honestly, she was surprised to find out that clove was ten times more valuable than pepper in Europe at that time. 

(I’m sure that cloves were only produced in Maluku Islands in those days, and the price was high because of its rarity… Did I remember correctly?)

Such cloves were popular amongst royalty and nobles and were served at the end of parties with sugary sweets, before the spice boom. 

There were many other things, including records of it being used to prevent rust on Japanese swords, but in the age that Cordelia lived, most people knew the scent from dental clinics, due to the clove oils. 

If such a clove exists in this world, then I want to confirm its existence first. Cordelia thought as she read where it grew and was surprised. 

“This is… part of Nirupama-obaasama’s fief.”

I can’t believe that cloves grow in Nirupama-obaasama’s fief!

Cordelia couldn’t help but think.

Weltoria, where Nirupama rules, is a relatively warm area located to the southeast of the royal capital, but the temperature wasn’t as high as Maluku Islands. 

(However, even in the mountains near the royal capital, seasonal plants grow all year round due to the magic in the earth, so it’s not weird if there’s a place influenced by magic in her fief.)

For the time being, I want to confirm this with Nirupama-obaasama the next time I see her. No, I should send her a greeting letter before I meet her. She might not know about cloves themselves, but if I ask her about it, then she might think about it as some kind of benefit instead of a request from her niece. She’s a lover of my essential oils. I’m sure she’ll investigate this for me. 

“It might be difficult to turn it into a good business opportunity, like in the Age of Discovery, but I can probably increase my essential oil variations…”

She said and suddenly realised. 

She had been staring at the books and talking to herself like she did in her home’s library, but she wasn’t alone. 

Dammit, she thought, as she slowly turned her face towards the direction where Clive was standing. 

Clive remained silent as he stared at Cordelia. 

“I’m sorry, was I a little noisy?”

Clive looked offended since the beginning, so she didn’t know if he thought she was noisy right now. However, he stared at her silently and made her feel uncomfortable.

“… There’s no one else here.”

However, his reply was quiet, albeit unfriendly.

Does that mean I don’t have to worry about it? I’m not quite sure, but he didn’t caution me for the time being, so I don’t have to worry about it. 

(I have to be careful, so he doesn’t think I’m a noisy person.)

Cordelia noted. She read through the clove description and returned the book to the shelf. The book didn’t have any useful information on cloves and treated them as trees and scrubs. 

I might be able to find more details about cloves if there are books on plants in Weltoria. She thought as she looked up at the shelves, and found a book spine that looked like something that fit that description.

“…”

She wasn’t afraid of high places, but she didn’t want others to see her climb a ladder in a dress, and it could look as if she was dirtying her dress.

Cordelia pondered while hesitating, and decided to give up this time. She was afraid of asking Clive to get it for her. It’s disappointing, but I don’t mind reading it at a later day. I can come back soon. 

“Thank you very much. I’ll go home now.”

“I see. Then, this way.”

That was all Clive said before he turned his back. It seems like he’s going to show me the way back, but judging from his attitude thus far, he probably thinks that I’ll return to where the Prince is. However, it’s a blessing no matter what his reasons are. 

“Thank you very much.”

“It’s fine. Anyway, why do you think I’m from the Eames House? I don’t think we’ve ever met before.”

Cordelia was surprised that Clive had continued with a question because she thought he was just going to give her a brief reply. She recalled that he certainly hadn’t introduced himself. 

“Because His Highness called your name. I heard that the Eames son is serving by his side. I apologise for calling you that on my own.”

“Where did you hear about that?”

“At the tea party hosted for the ladies. I attend them sometimes with my aunt.”

To Clive, who kept on asking questions, Cordelia hid the fact that she had also heard about him from Cyrus. However, when she thought that he was questioning her in detail, an unpleasant possibility suddenly crossed her mind.

(Clive-sama thinks I’m aiming for the seat of the Queen. In other words, he thinks I’m obsessed with power, doesn’t he? If so, perhaps I can see Clive-sama as a husband candidate for when the Crown Prince is useless, and so he considers me as a dangerous person?)

No, that’s too crazy. 

That was how Cordelia thought, but the possibility wasn’t zero. 

(If he has such doubts, then I understand why he’s so persistent. I’m sure Clive-sama wants to understand people who he considers as dangerous.)

However, if it was precisely like Cordelia imagined, then it was a big misunderstanding. 

It’s fine if he misunderstands, but it’s an extremely troublesome situation. I want to change the topic quickly, but I can’t find anything to talk about this quickly… When she thought that, she recalled a question she had.

“Come to think of it, why does Vernoux-sama call you Clay-sama?”

Even though she knew that Clive served by Sylvester’s side, she couldn’t make the connection between Clive and Clay. It may be a nickname, but Clive and Vernoux didn’t look like they got along at all. Vernoux probably saw Clive as a friend…

“I don’t know.”

“… I see.”

Clive replied to Cordelia’s question as if he was discarding it. 

She didn’t know if it was because he was uncomfortable with the name or because she said Vernoux’s name.

However, when she mentioned Vernoux’s name, she came up with another way to show that she wasn’t interested without saying Clive’s name.

“Clive-sama, please listen. It’s a private matter, but Vernoux told me that Otou-sama looked scary today and seemed like he was angry.”

“Did something happen?”

“I think that Otou-sama is a very calm and wonderful man. When I was younger, I troubled him by saying 『I want to marry someone like Otou-sama』. And yet, Vernoux-sama was rude, wasn’t he?”

Elvis had been unresponsive when Cordelia made that remark when she was four years old, so it might be a bit misleading to say it like that, but it wasn’t a complete lie. She heard from Hans that Elvis had been troubled inside, and her dreams were also real. However, even if she deducted those factors, she knew that it sounded like a questionable remark. 

(But it can’t be helped. If things continue like this, then we won’t be able to talk.)

It’s convenient for me if Clive thinks that I’m unsuitable to be Queen; and I can turn my eyes away if he only made a few rude remarks. However, others might misunderstand and think that there’s a problem with my attitude if he treats me any colder than this. 

She thought. I need him to change his opinion of me after all. 

(If I declare that I like men like Otou-sama, then it would show that I’m not interested in Clive-sama or Sylvester-sama.)

For Cordelia, it would be enough if Clive understood that she wasn’t a dangerous person, and wasn’t a Queen candidate. 

However, Cordelia’s remarked seemed too surprising for Clive. He widened his eyes large enough for the crease to disappear from between his brows and whispered.

“You have really weird tastes.”

His tone was clearly different from before and didn’t seem harsh. 

Cordelia desperately tried to keep her smile and stop her face from twitching when the cautious voice from before sounded a little worried, or sympathetic. 

(Clive-sama said I was like Vernoux-sama, but isn’t he just like Vernoux-sama!?)

Honestly, saying that I have weird tastes… Just what on earth does everyone think of my Otou-sama?

Cordelia couldn’t help but think. 

Translator: Blushy
Editor: SenjiQ

References

References
1 Eugenia Caryophyllus, oil from the leaves is known to have antiseptic properties.