The next day, Cordelia went to the church with Ronnie and met up with Clarice.
Clarice had said she had the day off today and was wearing a simple outfit: a blouse with a brooch, a long skirt and armed with a sword.
“Thank you for showing me around today, Clarice-sama.”
“I’m looking forward to it, Cordelia-sama. And, Eris-san.”
“Well, let’s start with the stained glass and leave the stone statue for later. There are a lot of things to see from chairs to candlesticks.”
Clarice started her explanation without any idle chat because they had been interrupted yesterday. Cordelia looked around the church as they moved to the stained glass in front of the church. She had been nervous yesterday, but in addition to chairs and candlesticks, as Clarice had stated, there were also rare stones in the floor.
(There really is a lot of rare items. I’m thankful that Clarice-sama is showing me around, but do we have enough time for her to explain everything?)
Cordelia panicked a little in front of all the cultural assets. How long would it take for her to explain all these cultural assets? I might not have time to see Shelley.
(But it should be easy for me to notice something strange if I’m close by.)
In addition to the knights on guard, Clarice and Ronnie were also here. They should be able to fulfil the minimum role for crime prevention. Cordelia also thought that she needed to meet Shelley, but it was too hasty of her to say that now. If she gets the timing wrong, then people might suspect her of scheming something.
“Cordelia-sama, you said you read about it in a book, so I don’t think I need to explain the basics, but the name of this stained glass is 『The Descent of the Saint』. It depicts the Saint who descended from the sky to help the first King build this kingdom.”
Cordelia also knew about the history that Clarice was talking about.
Just like history in Japan, the kingdom had a lot of myths from its early days. The kingdom had a history of about a thousand years, but it was a thousand years behind Japan, where people used smartphones freely, so it wasn’t weird for them to think that ghosts appeared in front of them. She even believed that there might be ghosts in this world, since it had magic.
She was someone who was born with her previous life memories, so it wouldn’t be strange for a saint to descend from the sky.
“――― Now then, I’ll talk about the stone statue.”
She had only intended to think for a short while, but she had pondered for so long that the topic changed. Cordelia reflected because she had done something rude.
“This stone statue is of the evangelist who looked over the First King and the Saint.”
“We don’t know the evangelist’s name or gender. However, it is said that the official records from the period in which the evangelist lived was mostly written by the person themselves.”
“I heard that the evangelist had a diary, separate from the official records they wrote. However, their diary isn’t counted as an official record, and not a lot of manuscripts were printed because they wrote a lot of bad things about the church, but you might be able to find a copy at the Big Bookcase. I’ve never seen it before, but I hear that they wrote a lot about the interactions between the First King and the Saint.”
Cordelia wasn’t interested in the legend between the First King and the Saint, because, even if she didn’t know about their story, it was fine as long as she knew about how the kingdom was founded. However, if that diary had a lot of things written about the Saint, then she might be able to find some hints to Shelley’s power, and she might find what Ghost meant when he said 『The ominous end of the Saint』.
(The Heroine’s power aside, 『The ominous end of the Saint』might not have a big impact on me, but…)
Like when I heard that Shelley might be kidnapped, I want to prevent this ominous end if I can.
My first priority is to ensure my own safety, but I don’t want to pretend that I don’t notice others misfortunes just so that I can be safe. And, if the person who had the power to see dreams in the past destroyed herself and 『died』, then I can’t ignore this. I don’t know whether Shelley would listen to me or not, but I think I need to tell her about it, depending on the results I get.
(I’m sure Shelley would want to avoid anything that would cause her to die, like me.)
Cordelia slowly stared at the stone statue of the evangelist and decided that she would definitely look for their diary the next time she goes to the Big Bookcase. Then, she heard the front door open.
She looked towards the door, and she saw Earl Zakharov and his attendant.
“Earl Zakharov. It’s rare for you to come two days in a row.”
Clarice said in surprise, before Cordelia could speak.
Earl Zakharov smiled in a friendly manner, like he had yesterday, and raised his hand.
“I got something rare today, so I came to invite Shelley out.”
“Yeah, a ticket to the circus. I heard that they show animals, birds and acrobats not seen in this area. Would you two like to come, Cordelia-san and Keighley-dono?”
Cordelia was a little surprised by the word, circus, and looked at the ticket in his hand. They were probably from the same troupe as the show Lara was talking about yesterday. However, the ticket itself was luxurious, and was definitely for good seats.
However, Clarice’s expression clouded over at Earl Zakharov’s invitation.
“Keighley-dono, do you not like animals?”
“That’s not it. I’m glad you invited me… but, I don’t want to get close to animals in the cat family.”
“Ah, that’s a shame. I hear they have a lot of large felines.”
“I’m very sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. My friend was going to go to the circus with his family, but he couldn’t, so he gave me these tickets.”
Earl Zakharov looked at Clarice as if it was too bad, and Cordelia shook her head.
“Mm, Earl. If you go with Shelley-san, then wouldn’t the other children be jealous?”
I know that he sees his late wife in her, but is he allowed to give her special treatment? If the ticket was for his friend’s family, then it wouldn’t be enough for all the children who live in this church.
(If possible, I don’t want Shelley to go to a place with lots of people…)
But the Earl continued to smile.
“I received a wonderful birthday present from Shelley the other day. This is thanks for that, so it should be fine.”
“Birthday present, you say?”
“I got a lovely flower. The priests will probably listen to my selfishness this once. But I think she’ll have more fun if she was with someone who is around her age. Keighley-dono can’t come, but how about you, Cordelia-san?”
If Earl Zakharov, who has had a close relationship with the church for years, says so, then it must be true. But I’m also worried about why he’s giving special treatment to one child. His special treatment towards Shelley will create discord among the children in the church and will create rifts.
(In any case… I can’t ignore this.)
Cordelia’s wish won’t come true if he wants to take Shelley out.
She glanced at Ronnie, and he looked as if he didn’t care either way.
(Otou-sama didn’t tell me I have to be careful around the Zakharov House.)
Then, there was only one answer.
“Then… if Shelley is going, then I will too.”
Earl Zakharov smiled happily at Cordelia’s reply.
As Earl Zakharov had said, Shelley was given permission to go out.
Cordelia thought that she had done something terrible to Clarice, who had shown her around the church on her day off, but Clarice said, “I’m glad you’ll be with them.” Although Clarice might have her reasons, she might have been worried that she had refused an invitation from an Earl.
Afterwards, Shelley quickly greeted everyone before flying towards Earl Zakharov.
“Earl Zakharov! Are you really taking me to the circus!? I’ve never been to the circus!”
She had dressed up a little in second-hand clothing that the Earl had donated to the children of the church. However, when the Earl told Cordelia about this, he said, “Actually, her clothes are new,” so she knew that he favoured Shelley. It’s normal if he thinks she might be his daughter or wants to adopt her, but this is bothering me.
“Are you looking forward to the circus?”
“Of course! But I’m sorry. I don’t have any dreams to tell you today.”
“I came to see you, so you don’t have to worry about your dreams. Children should smile.”
Shelley was the same as Cordelia and couldn’t be considered as a child anymore, but she still seemed young to Earl Zakharov.
(She looks like an innocent child like that.)
There were many things about the Earl and Shelley that bothered her, and she couldn’t relax. When her feelings grew heavier, Shelley finally noticed Cordelia.
“Oh, you’re the girl from yesterday.”
“It rained, right?”
Cordelia nodded at the unyielding girl. It seemed like her mood was bitter after Mick and the others angered her.
Shelley talked the whole time as the four sat in the carriage and headed to the circus.
She talked about being able to sing well, about being able to draw well, about finding lost items thanks to her dreams, and about receiving sweets in exchange for finding the objects.
She continued to talk, and Cordelia didn’t even have room to interrupt. If Cordelia opened her mouth a little, then Shelley glared at her as if telling her to shut up.
(But she doesn’t think she’s Earl Clydereine’s daughter at all, with the way she acts.)
She wants her fame to reach the Prince, so if she knows that Earl Clydereine is her Otou-sama, then she would happily go with him.
Is Shelley really Earl Clydereine’s daughter, like she was in the game, or is she Earl Zakharov’s daughter?
Cordelia hoped that she was Earl Clydereine’s daughter, since Earl Zakharov didn’t have enough power to protect Shelley.
“Hey… Hey, I said!”
How long has she been calling for me? Cordelia raised her face when she heard Shelley’s voice, and Shelley laughed happily.
“Hey, did you know that the church has a stained glass?”
“Yes. It depicts the encounter between the First King and the Saint. It’s magical.”
“Oh, you actually know a lot.”
Cordelia laughed vaguely at Shelley who had uttered words that showed she was looking down on Cordelia.
(Even if Shelley wasn’t the heroine, I might not be good at dealing with her.)
However, Shelley didn’t care about how Cordelia acted and spoke loudly.
“I’ve been thinking. I’m sure the encounter between the First King and the Saint was a miracle, but their strong feelings created this kingdom. It’s wonderful that I have the same power as the Saint!”
Shelley put her hands together and looked enticed, which made Cordelia shiver.
(Does she already think she’s the same as the Saint?)
Although people have been talking about this on the streets, Cordelia never imagined that the person herself thought of herself as the Saint. She never imagined that Shelley would adore the Prince either.
“Say, Shelley-san. Why do you want to be of use to the Prince? Is it because you have the same power as the Saint?”
“Of course! But the Prince saved me once when I was little. I never thought that the person who saved me was the Prince, but I saw him in a dream afterwards. So I’m sure it was him.”