On the way to Fulvia’s house, Ronnie sighed after being silent for a long time.
“It was bizarre. That girl and how Ojou-sama acted that is.”
“You were restless.”
“I can’t deny that. I mean, she’s a rare type of girl.”
I really want to deny it, but it might seem like I’m hiding my agitation. She shrugged and agreed by making it a joke.
“Well, she’s a very strong girl. Isn’t there a high chance that Ojou-sama will meet strong people?”
“Maybe. But being strong isn’t bad.”
“Well, confidence can often lead to success but conceitedness also leads to failure.”
I was certainly troubled that Hazel-sama didn’t listen to me when we first met, but that matter was related to her, so I can understand her desperate feelings.
On the other hand, Shelley was angry that Mick and the others wouldn’t listen to her allegations, even though she had said it for their sake.
(She lost her temper because things didn’t turn out the way she wanted to, even though she had said it for their sakes. She’s different from the heroine I know from the game.)
If Shelley is different from the heroine in the game, then it might not affect my future even if I’m not scared. It’s not like I don’t want to have this hope, but I feel like another problem will occur even if I’m involved or not. I’m also worried about what she said about the prince.
“But words said based on dreams. She’s like an oracle.”
“I could live an easy life if I could dream about how to get rich fast.”
“Oh my, do you want to see that kind of dream, Ronnie?”
“Hmm… No, it’s troublesome if I think about it carefully. I feel like I’ll be asked for lots of things from different people, and it’ll be a lot of trouble in the end.”
Cordelia sighed, is it alright for him to understand with that kind of reasoning?
“Well, that girl doesn’t seem to be able to dream about what she’s going to do, so she might not do that. At any rate, she said that 『her powers can make everyone happy』.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Like Ronnie said, Cordelia didn’t think that Shelley dreamt of herself. If she did, then she would dream of a way to convince someone like Mick, who doesn’t believe in her dreams, and from the rumours that Cordelia had heard, it didn’t seem like Shelley’s dreams helped what Shelley did.
(But I don’t think she’s like that. I wonder if she’s like the game heroine, where she doesn’t use her powers for herself.)
The heroine in the game might not have any need to see a dream like that, according to the scenario, so it might be possible, and Shelley might actually see dreams like that even though she doesn’t tell people about it.
There are too many uncertainties, and I feel depressed and scared, but I decided that I would protect her. If I can’t leave her alone, then I’ll just have to help her.
“Hey, do you think people can enter the church and kidnap her?”
“Kidnap? Are you worried about what Keighley-dono is worried about too, Ojou-sama?”
“I don’t think it’s impossible, but it’ll be difficult. Even if the knights are around, there are a lot of blind spots. The church is a place where people can freely enter, so it’s hard to prevent crime there, therefore it’s easy if they just come into contact with her.”
“I knew it… But they have to come into contact with her, right?”
“Yes. People will know even if a little commotion is caused, so it’s difficult for the perpetrators to secure an escape route. It would be fine if they just escaped themselves, but it would be difficult for them to escape with that girl. However, the situation is different if she sneaks out of the church all the time.”
Certainly, they might not need a guide inside if Shelley continues to act the way she does. If they’re waiting for the chance to kidnap her, then there’s no advantage to them letting others know about their plan.
(… It’s really a headache-inducing problem.)
It’ll be fine if she recognises the danger of her peculiar power. Still, if she’s welcomed into noble society with her attitude like that, then I’m worried that she would cause problems because she misjudged a situation and acts inappropriately.
Cordelia thought that and suddenly someone spoke to her.
She turned around and saw a familiar boy with his attendant.
“Oh my! This is a surprise, Myles-sama.”
Viscount Gunnell’s son, Myles. She had become friends with him, and he was also good friends with Vernoux. He was also in the mobile library planning group. However, this was her first time meeting him by chance in town.
“How do you do? We’ve met in an unexpected place.”
“I’m glad you look well, Cordelia-san. But I’m surprised. I thought that Vernoux would be the only one who I would meet like this.”
Cordelia smiled wryly since Vernoux strolling around town was common knowledge.
“Come to think of it, I’ve heard about it. You got a good result for the competition show. Congrats.”
“Thank you very much. This is also thanks to you.”
“I was surprised because I didn’t think that seaweed could become something like that. I have to make sure that father doesn’t learn I discussed the seaweed with you since the beginning. If he finds out, he’ll definitely get mad and yell, 『Make better deals』.”
Myles joked, but his tone conveyed his heartfelt blessing.
I feel bad, but I still wouldn’t have talked to him about it because of the benefits. Perhaps, Myles-sama understands that and congratulated me, so that’s why he can laugh.
“Where did you go today? No wait, are you going somewhere now?”
“I visited the Big Bookcase in the library a while ago, but I’m on my way to visit a pharmacist I know. I also stopped by the church.”
“I see, that’s a shame. I got an interesting book, so I wanted to ask if you would drop by the office with me if you have time… Maybe another time.”
“Yes, another time.”
Cordelia thanked Myles, who withdrew his offer while laughing. She felt bad and thanked him.
“But the church? Which church did you visit?”
“The one famous for its stained glass. It’s the oldest church in the royal capital…”
“Oh, you must be talking about the one Earl Zakharov visits a lot.”
“Oh my, do you know about that?”
Cordelia widened her eyes in surprise because he had guessed correctly, and Myles continued while smiling.
“He’s famous for his charity work, and he used to work in the same marine industry as my House.”
“… Used to?”
“Yeah. He lost two ships in the summer and went out of business two years before we were born, but he’s still doing charity work. He doesn’t appear much, but he has done a lot of charity work. If you can speak to him, then you might be able to learn something. ――― Having said that, I’ve never met him either.”
Cordelia was surprised by what Myles had said. Myles-sama has information on him but has never met him before. Still, I wonder if I can get more information from him… Cordelia thought, but his attendant blocked her from asking.
“Young Master, it’s nearly time.”
“Oh, okay… It’s unfortunate, but I’ll see you next time.”
Myles waved his hand as he left, and Cordelia heard, “Young Master, you should stop.” Then, she spoke to Ronnie, “Let’s go.”
(I don’t know how much damage losing two ships can cause, but I’m sure it’s not small.)
Earl Zakharov was a man who had a friendly smile. From what she heard from Clarice and Myles, he did a lot of charity work, which meant he’d been supporting the church for a long time.
(I don’t think I should doubt that person, but I wouldn’t know what type of person he is until I investigate him.)
I don’t have any clues right now, so I have no choice but to look at every possibility.
On the one hand, I hope I that find something, but on the other, I hope that I don’t find anything, and that everything is just Ghost’s lie.
After that, she received herbs from Fulvia and explained why it would rain to Mick and the other two. Then, after she got home, she headed straight to the library to look up information on Earl Zakharov.
(I’m sure it was around here… Oh, found it.)
Cordelia picked up a book and turned the pages.
(His fief doesn’t have anything special about it after all.)
The main industry of Earl Zakharov’s fief, which extended from the sea to inland, was considered as agriculture, but they sold it for cheaper because the quality was inferior. The harvest there wasn’t bad, so he could secure income, but there wasn’t any extra money.
(Even so, he’s actively maintaining his fief. As expected, he puts a lot of effort into charity work… is what I would like to say, but if I think about the income his fief makes, he might be overspending.)
She thought that, as she picked up another document. The document contained transactions his fief did on marine trade, as well as their top products in the last two decades. The income he earned from the marine trade seemed higher than the income he earned from agriculture. She continued reading and reached the year when Earl Zakharov lost two ships. It was written that he had purchased two ships with state-of-the-art magic tools at the beginning of that year.
(The two ships he lost were new ships, weren’t they? But he couldn’t get any more money, so he had to give up on buying new ships, or something like that…?)
Cordelia couldn’t imagine how much the latest ships would cost, but this was a world where the cost of a magic dryer was the same price as a carriage. Buying two ships would require a lot of money, and if it was powered by magic tools, then she could picture that his financial situation would deteriorate the moment he loses them.
Cordelia turned to the next page and frowned.
(But the Earl’s donations haven’t changed… No, is he donating more money every year?)
Although the donation amounts weren’t written down, their destination was, and that increased as the years went by. I don’t think he would decrease the amount donated so that he could donate to more places. Nobles don’t want to lose face so they won’t reduce the amount they donate so that they can make other donations.
However, what does it mean when he continues to donate more money after he loses his ships?
(I’m curious, but I didn’t think it would bother me in a lot of ways.)
If he wasn’t increasing the amounts he donated, then it was possible that he would kidnap Shelley for money. But he doesn’t seem like a money-grubber when he does charity work which doesn’t bring in income. Earl Zakharov seems like someone who would donate more money if he had any, and he could just stop donating if he wants money.
(And, I don’t think he would need to announce that he wants to adopt her if he wants to kidnap her.)
It’s possible that people would be suspicious of him if it’s known that he has a strong interest in Shelley. Normally, you would want to avoid that if you’re trying to kidnap someone.
Having said that, his behaviour is incomprehensible since his income and expenditures don’t match up, and I’m curious about his relationship with Shelly.
“I wonder if I need to observe their progress.”
She couldn’t get information on Earl Zakharov like she had wanted, but she was going to the church again tomorrow. If things went well, then she will see Shelley again.
(Does she know that she is Earl Clydereine’s daughter? Or if I can find something that hints that she is, then this problem will come to an end.)
Without that, even Cordelia couldn’t obtain proof.
“I wish I could remember what happened in the game…”
What would be enough to prove that a town girl is an Earl’s daughter? There might have been a scene in the game about it, but unfortunately, I can’t remember. But if I can find that, and get Earl Clyderine to discover the possibility, then they can work things out somehow with a magic test which is similar to a DNA test.
“I wonder if the hint is something that can’t be separated from her body, since others haven’t found it. I wonder if I can find something like that.”
Cordelia wasn’t confident that she could guide the conversation in that direction. One of the problems was that Shelley was strong-willed and didn’t seem like the type to listen to people, but the other reason was that she hated having to talk to Shelley and the Prince, ever since her memories returned at the age of three.
“I already made up my mind… I can only say that these are my instincts.”
Cordelia gave a long sigh. My body will continue to refuse now that I’ve decided to do this. She prepared herself again while putting away the books that she had read, and Lara appeared in the library.
“Ojou-samaa, dinner’s ready!”
“I can’t believe you’re in the library when you already went to the library in the castle. Ojou-sama, you really love books and flowers,”
Lara said, as she picked up the remaining books and helped Cordelia put them away.
“Oh, Ojou-sama. Can I have the day off tomorrow?”
“Day off? That’s fine. Were you able to rearrange your work?”
Cordelia tilted her head at the rare request, and Lara spoke proudly.
“Perfectly! Actually, the merchants who came today told me that there’s a circus in town. I don’t have a pre-booked ticket, and it might be hard to watch the show because there’s a lot of people, but I heard there’s a lot of rare animals around the tent, so I want to go and see them.”
Lara said as her eyes shone, and Cordelia laughed a little.
“Alright. Have fun.”
“Why don’t you go with Ronnie? It’s not fun to go alone, right?”
“You’re also going out tomorrow, aren’t you Ojou-sama? I talked about it with Mentor, and she’s interested, so I’ll be going there with her and her grandchild. Ronnie should be doing his job.”
“And, does Ronnie look like someone who would be happy at seeing animals?”
“… That’s also true.”
Cordelia laughed lightly, so that’s why she didn’t seem disappointed. She was a little surprised that Lara had become friends with Mentor’s grandchild.
“Ojou-sama, why don’t you go there for a break? You might come up with something new if you go.”
“Hmm, I’ll think about it.”
I’m interested, but this isn’t the time to be visiting the circus.
“If you want to go, then I’ll show you around, so don’t hesitate to tell me.”
Lara proclaimed boldly, and her mind was already on the circus.