Act 50: Dreamer Girl
After leaving the castle, Cordelia didn’t head to the confectionery shop like they had planned, but instead, went to the church where the heroine stayed, with Ronnie. Fulvia’s house was close enough to the church that she was able to hear the choir, so Cordelia and Ronnie walked down the same route they did when they went to her house.
(I’m going to see the heroine so I can grasp the situation… I’m sure Ghost will be close by for a while to check on my progress.)
If it’s a place with lots of people, then he can just blend in, but if it’s a place with few people, then he’ll hide so he can observe me. However, if I take a route guarded by knights, then he might get caught.
She had been thinking the whole time they were walking, so they reached the church in no time.
However, Cordelia saw an unexpected situation when she arrived at the church.
(Knights in front of the church…?)
This church was small. She had heard that there were guards in large churches that have people visiting a lot, but there probably wasn’t any disorder in a small church that was located in a quiet place.
(And, it looks like the knight’s flag is hoisted on one of the buildings next to the church, but what is the meaning of this…? Huh?)
She looked at the building, wondering what it was, and saw someone familiar.
“Is that Clarice-sama…?”
Although they weren’t close enough for Cordelia’s whisper to reach Clarice, she immediately noticed Cordelia because there weren’t many people around. She looked surprised and walked towards Cordelia.
“Long time no see, Cordelia-sama. How are you?”
“I’m fine. How about you, Clarice-sama?”
“Me too. I’m too healthy and have extra strength, so I’m working in perfect condition.”
Clarice showed a calm and elegant gesture. She was a female knight in the Imperial Guards and was Cyrus’s subordinate. Cordelia had met her when she had first encountered Ghost. She hadn’t joked the first time they had met, but she was making jokes now, so this was her real personality.
“Where are you going today?”
“I’m on my way to visit Pharmacist-sama, but I read about the stained glass in this church, so I thought I would stop by to see it.”
“I see. Oh yes, I heard that you won the competition show. Congratulations.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Actually, the knights have been talking about the edible paper. The knights use a magic medicine to restore their strength… it’s effective, but it smells terrible and is hard to swallow when it’s mixed with water, and if we eat it in its powder form, then we almost faint from the prolonged bitter and astringent flavour.”
“Th-that’s… People say that good medicine is bitter, but I’m happy it could be of use.”
The medicine itself may require a taste improvement, but Clarice’s voice indicated that there was little hope for that.
(I haven’t heard anything about this at home, but my Onii-samas might be happy with this as well.)
It’s necessary to check whether the timing of when the oblaat melts will obstruct the effects since the medicine works inside the body, but if I can check this, then I want to mass-produce the oblaats as soon as possible.
(If I make it into capsules, then it would be easy to carry, but that’s just a plan right now.)
There’s something I have to prioritise right now. When she thought that, Clarice gave Cordelia a surprising proposal.
“Cordelia-sama, would you like me to show you around, since you’re going to the church? I’ll tell you a bit about what I know.”
“Is that alright?”
Cordelia was surprised because it looked like Clarice was still working, but Clarice laughed a little mischievously.
“I was actually on the night shift, so I’m already done with work.”
“Th-then, aren’t you tired…?”
It’s already past noon. If she’s done with work, then she probably wants to go home and sleep.
However, Clarice laughed softly and dispelled Cordelia’s anxiety.
“You don’t have to worry about me. I might be free from the bitterness of that medicine, so please let me do what I can.”
“Ojou-sama, why don’t you accept it?”
Ronnie urged Cordelia to accept since she was still hesitant.
His expression said, ‘you’ll regret it if you refuse’.
“Then, please do.”
“Yes, of course.”
The stained glass was just an excuse for her to see the heroine, but she couldn’t refuse Clarice’s goodwill, and Ronnie, who Clarice should thank for the oblaat, had told her to accept. I think I’ll let her show me around.
“Mm, I’m sorry, Clarice-sama. I forgot to introduce you two. This is Ronnie Eris, a magician who works for us.”
“My name is Ronnie Eris. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Clarice Keighley.”
After they introduced themselves, Clarice entered the building next to the church and said, “I’ll tell my colleagues first,” before coming back out.
“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting. Shall we go in?”
“Come to think of it, why are you here today, Clarice-sama? Is it because of your job?”
She didn’t intend to force Clarice to talk if it was a confidential matter, but she wondered why Clarice, a member of the Imperial Guards, was doing a night shift here.
Clarice laughed as if it was not a big deal.
“We’re here for support. The jurisdiction in this area is wide, so a new garrison was set up. The station was opened up a month ago, but we still have a lot of moving and recruitment to do.”
“Thank you for your hard work. Is there a knight standing guard at the church because the station is next door?”
“Yes. We also want to deepen our relations with our neighbours. The station usually has two guards stationed outside, but the road here is close, so we can deal with any trouble that occurs even if we have a person stationed in each place. We surprisingly have a good reputation here.”
Cordelia smiled as she listened to Clarice. It’s rare to talk with knights, so I somehow understand how they feel. But at the same time, I have a question.
(If the Heroine is near the knights, then she shouldn’t get kidnapped easily from the church, right…?)
Even if they’re not here to protect the Dreamer Girl, the heroine will be safe.
But if they’ve been here since last month, then Ghost should know about this.
(What is the meaning of this? Do the kidnappers have a plan that even the knights won’t be able to stop?)
The knights will share information amongst themselves if they see anyone suspicious. Is Ghost hinting that the kidnappers are on the inside? Cordelia walked through the gates of the church while being confused by the information she had received from Clarice.
The church was cool and quiet, and there weren’t any other people except for Cordelia, Clarice and Ronnie.
“The priest told me that this church is small, but it has the oldest history in the royal capital. The architectural style and sculptures in this church are important cultural assets. The stone statue on the right side of the altar…”
When Clarice began explaining that, the door behind the stone statue opened, and an elderly man appeared.
The man looked at Clarice and seemed surprised.
“Oh, Clarice-dono. Are they guests?”
“I’m sorry for interrupting you while you were showing them around. I don’t have to worry about suspicious people because the guards are nearby, but I can’t get out of my habit of asking.”
“No, security is important. Please keep doing so.”
“Guests, I’m sorry for interrupting.”
“It’s alright. Have there been suspicious people around here?”
Cordelia’s voice sounded more uneasy than she had wanted it to be, but the priest shook his head.
“Suspicious people have never visited this church but a lot of people visit the royal capital. So, I think we should be on our guard since we look after children here.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
“But I don’t need to worry too much since the knights are around.”
The priest smiled gently to reassure Cordelia. Then, he said before leaving the room, “Then, I’ll go out for a bit.”
After the door closed, Clarice swore to Cordelia since she was worried.
“I’m sorry, we talked about something scary. But don’t worry. We pledged to strive ourselves to protect those who live in the royal capital every day. We won’t break our pledge.”
“Clarice-sama is very cool.”
“I’m delighted you think that way.”
“I have a friend who wants to become a knight. I’m sure she gets very excited because knights are like this.”
If Dahlia-sama saw Clarice-sama right now, then she would shriek in joy.
Cordelia and Clarice smiled at each other, then they heard children shrieking outside. It sounded as if they were quarrelling like the children outside the Oulu poorhouse did, instead of playing.
“Are they fighting?”
“The knight outside will probably meditate if they were fighting…”
Clarice frowned. She seemed to know why they were fighting.
Cordelia thought that the children who lived here were fighting, but the screams were coming from the gate, instead of from inside.
However, Cordelia knew one of the voices.
“I’ll go out a bit to see what’s going on.”
Ronnie also thought of something and went outside first. Cordelia also wanted to confirm this with her own eyes.
“I’m a little bit worried, so I’ll go out.”
“Then, me too.”
Clarice was also worried, and they quickly headed towards the door.
When Cordelia went outside, Ronnie was already there, and he looked shocked.
A boy who Cordelia knew was standing there.
“Mick. Why are you screaming in a place like this?”
“Oh. It’s Dilly. What’re you doing?”
“I’m the one who’s asking you that.”
Mick was the one who was screaming, but there were two other children from Oulu’s poorhouse here. They were holding sweets they’d brought.
(I wonder if they were on their way to Obaa-sama’s house from the market.)
They’ll have to walk past here to get to Obaa-sama’s house, but I don’t think Mick would raise his voice since he’s in a good mood from buying sweets. He doesn’t look like he’s in a bad mood either, so I’m not sure why he’s yelling.
But there’s something I have to warn them about before asking this.
“Everyone, Sensei said that you can’t eat and walk, right?”
The two children hid their sweets when they heard Cordelia, but Mick didn’t seem scared.
“It’s fine. She can’t see us. We were talking about buying these again because they’re yummy, and then she interrupted us. She’s the one with the problem since she wants to pick a fight instead of buying sweets.”
Mick said as he pointed at the girl, who Clarice was lecturing.
“――― We told you that you can’t go out on your own. The priest is worried about you too.”
“But they’re going to get wet because it’s going to rain soon! I saw it in my dream, so it’s definitely going to rain! I didn’t see the kids, but it’s going to rain. They’re going to get wet!”
It was the first time Cordelia had heard this girl’s voice. However, she couldn’t help but widened her eyes when she heard what the girl had said. She couldn’t see the girl fully because Clarice was in the way, but Cordelia knew that figure.
The pretty girl with light pink, soft and slightly wild hair with bright blue eyes looked younger than the one in Cordelia’s memories. But, she wanted to avoid the girl just like she did with Sylvester. In the game, she was 『Cordelia’s』opposite and was the『Heroine and Dreamer Girl』, Shelley.