The day after Zakharov was arrested, Cordelia was talking to Isma and another knight at the castle again. She had already briefly explained the situation the day before, but she was called again today because she had entered the Zakharov mansion.
They told her that they would visit the mansion if she couldn’t go out because of the shock she had received, but she wanted to visit the Big Bookcase, so she went to the castle, since she didn’t want to waste time.
“I’ve also examined the plant, but it’s just normal grass unless you dry the leaves and use it. He wanted to keep his money-making tree a secret.”
Isma said, and Cordelia tilted her head a little.
“He was so careful about that, but he looked down on me.”
“He might have been financially cornered. It seems like this was his last chance.”
Cordelia indeed agreed with that.
Then, they talked for a while, and the other knight stood up from his chair.
“Let’s stop here. I’ll go get some drinks.”
After seeing the knight off, Isma slowly got up. He had loosened up a bit.
“After he was arrested, he said in the interview ‘I was threatened by a noble in the north to kidnap the girl, so I approached her to protect her because I thought she would be in danger. That noble pushed the narcotic plants onto me as advanced payment, so I didn’t have them because I wanted them’.”
Cordelia was surprised when she had heard that because Zakharov wasn’t in any position to say that.
“Then, he didn’t need to kidnap me to raise those narcotic plants.”
“Yeah. He shut his mouth once we pointed that out. But he only kept silent until father got there.”
“Otou-sama went to see him?”
“I don’t know who called him, but when he felt father’s wrath, he quivered and confessed a lot of things. He said that he went to look for that noble in the north in search of narcotics and that noble asked him to kidnap the Dreamer Girl. But he also said he refused since it was impossible to kidnap the girl while avoiding the knights. There are still some inconsistencies, but he couldn’t stand father’s pressure and fainted, so we’ll be interviewing him again tomorrow. He’s of no importance compared to the things he did.”
Isma’s expression as he said that stated, ‘he deserved it’.
“Catching that beast is a big deal. I think you’ll catch more attention in the castle than ever before, but don’t worry about it too much.”
“Thank you very much.”
Cordelia smiled wryly at what Isma had said.
Cordelia’s name spread to more people in the castle than ever before because of the incident.
A small group already knew about her because she had won the competition show, and the noble ladies knew about her through Vernoux’s mother and her aunt, Countess Nirupama Weltoria, but that was only a small group of nobles. But rumours about Cordelia had quickly spread because she had just thwarted an Earl’s conspiracy. The rumours were a bit exaggerated, and some people even said that she was following her brother and father, and belonged to the military faction, but they have never said anything to her directly, so she hasn’t been able to correct them.
However, no one would complain if she behaved appropriately, even if she was in the military faction.
She understood that fame could become one’s power, and the importance of boasting about one’s name and pride. Of course, her ultimate goal wasn’t to chase after only that and clung to one’s reputation like Zakharov did.
『There are a lot of people who take action for justice and falsehood, and show off their vanity.』
『If you don’t have something you can truly be proud of, the pride you hold is only for show.』
She still remembered the words Elvis told her when she was young.
At the same time, she hadn’t forgotten 『If you don’t have power, then people will make light of you』.
(Even I want to bring as many smiles as I can to people’s faces.)
Of course, I want to work more and more on the things that interest me, and I want to make aromas my weapon. But those things would be impossible if I can’t imagine making someone happy. I want to raise my reputation because of my actions, but I will think about what methods to use to build my fame.
(But… Zakharov didn’t say that he had a connection to Ghost.)
Did Ghost threaten Zakharov that badly that Zakharov didn’t even mention Ghost, even though he fainted? Zakharov may mention him in the future, but at least he’s gotten away with it for now.
(I can say that I was able to stop Shelley-san’s kidnapping this time because of Ghost’s ruse…)
Ghost really isn’t on the side of justice. I can’t let him get away with taking delight in people’s reactions towards crimes.
I’ll definitely catch him the next time he appears, Cordelia swore firmly.
As Cordelia thought those things, Isma gave a small sigh, then looked at her.
“They formally proved that she is Earl Clydereine’s daughter this morning.”
“I’m surprised that they got the results so fast. So, she is his daughter.”
Cordelia was going to stop by the church to check up on Shelley on her way home, but she was confused since she didn’t know what expression she should make now that Shelley’s identity had been confirmed.
“I heard that he will be conducting the formalities to welcome her new home today. Still, she really is an energetic young lady, like you said she was. I think it’ll be hard for her to adjust to our world.”
“Yes, I think so too.”
Cordelia probably didn’t have to worry anymore, since Shelley was now under the protection of Earl Clydereine. On the one hand, she was glad, but on the other, she felt complicated.
(I had no choice, but I ended up being the one who introduced the heroine to the world of nobles.)
If she continues to act the way she does, then I can predict that she’ll be disliked by those around her. At least, she’ll definitely clash with Vernoux-sama and Clive-sama.
(Well, this is as far as I go. After this, it’s best that we live our lives without getting involved with each other.)
I know her name, but we didn’t introduce ourselves to each other, and she didn’t ask for my name. I’m probably someone not worth worrying about to her.
I hope it’ll stay this way forever.
“Oh yeah, Cordelia. Can you buy some sweets on the way home for father?”
Cordelia tilted her head at Isma’s sudden request, and Isma smiled and put his index finger on his mouth.
“This is a secret. Father knew that something could have gone wrong if things weren’t handled properly, but he was worried since you had to battle.”
“It’s not that big of a deal.”
“You may think so, but father was quiet and depressed. So, if you cheer him up… no, isn’t it fine for you to depend on him?”
Isma was half-joking, but Cordelia frowned.
“Do I look that unreliable to Otou-sama?”
“He wouldn’t have let you handle this if you weren’t. However, trust and worry are two different things.”
He couldn’t express it clearly with words, but Cordelia could understand the word ‘worry’ a little. However, I wonder if Otou-sama will really be distracted just by me depending on him, but since Isma-oniisama said this, should I try to ask for something?
(But what on earth should I ask for? I hope I ask for something that would make Otou-sama happy too…)
Cordelia looked at the knight who had just returned with the maid who was pushing the cart as she thought, I’ll lightly mention it at dinner tonight. Then, the conversation changed to trifling topics.
The maid who was serving tea smiled at Cordelia.
Cordelia responded while taking care not to smile awkwardly.
After drinking tea, Isma walked Cordelia to the Big Bookcase, where Ronnie was waiting for her. She had already gotten a bit used to walking around the castle, but it was difficult for her to relax because she could encounter someone unexpected.
Cordelia walked to the Big Bookcase while asking Isma what sweets she should get, when she heard an unexpected voice.
“What a coincidence to meet you at a place like this, Isma-dono.”
Turning back at the voice, she saw a man, along a girl who she had gotten accustomed to seeing in the past few days, Shelley. Isma bowed lightly at Earl Clydereine.
“Hello, Earl Clydereine. You’ve finished with the formalities?”
“Yes, it’s troublesome to be indebted to the Pameradia House, but I’m grateful to you. Hey, Shelley, say hello.”
But, Shelley stared silently at Isma, even though Earl Clydereine had prompted her to greet them.
She should be used to seeing knights at the church, so why is she acting like that? Cordelia thought, and Shelley smiled widely.
“You’re a knight in this castle, right? Do you know the Prince? I want to meet him as quickly as I can!”
Shelley was reprimanded by the Earl, but she continued to behave as she usually did, and tilted her head as if she didn’t know why he had done so.
Cordelia’s face twitched involuntarily.
She hasn’t changed at all since she’s just been taken in by him, and hasn’t received any education. However, formalities aside, greetings are themselves a form of courtesy for humans, and don’t just apply to nobles. She guessed that Earl Clydereine must have been feeling awkward and felt sorry for him.
However, Isma didn’t even seem surprised at Shelley’s sudden question and looked at Earl Clydereine in a friendly way.
“It must be different from the life she’s used to.”
Isma said, and Earl Clydereine coughed.
“W-well it’s important that she gets used to it. But if this child is allowed to have an audience with His Highness in the future, then he might fall in love with her at first sight. She’s adorable and has a mysterious power. If that happens, then I feel sorry for Earl Pameradia.”
“You don’t have to. I’m sure my father would be happy as a retainer no matter who His Highness chooses. However, he would surely get lonely if this child becomes a bride, so he might want His Highness to choose someone else as his queen. Cordelia, your greetings.”