Act 52: A New Journey
An unexpected person greeted Cordelia when she came home from the castle.
“I heard about it, Cordelia! You’ve had a dreadful experience!!”
Cordelia’s aunt, Nirupama, hugged her before she could ever say hello.
“Oh my, you’ve gotten more beautiful. I’m happy you’ve grown into a niece whom I can boast about. But, good job with that annoying matter.”
“Th-thank you very much.”
Nirupama spoke in a clear voice, as always, and Cordelia could tell that she was healthy, even if she didn’t ask. Nirupama nodded in satisfaction at Cordelia’s reply, then pondered.
“However, I can’t believe you got involved in something like that… I’m happy that you saved a girl, but I’m worried about you as an aunt. I wish I had come to pick you up sooner. But I can’t take you with me until Cyrus’s wedding ends, so it wouldn’t have made a difference.”
“Huh? Pick up… you say?”
What is she talking about? I didn’t hear anything about going out… She thought, and Nirupama’s eyes sparkled.
“You didn’t hear anything from Elvis-sama?”
“Hmm, did Otou-sama have something to tell me?”
“Hmm, I can tell you about it if you haven’t heard about it from him… Say, Cordelia. Why don’t you train to be a lady in my fief until you reach adulthood?”
Cordelia widened her eyes in surprise at the sudden offer.
The details would be explained after Elvis came home, so the conversation was left as it was until dinner.
Then, as soon as Elvis came home and started eating, Nirupama smiled widely and questioned the expressionless Elvis.
“Say, Elvis-sama. Why haven’t you told Cordelia about that yet?”
“It wasn’t important.”
“It’s already been three months. THREE MONTHS. It’s not like you didn’t have time to talk to her about this, right?”
Nirupama continued to smile as she said that in a rough tone, and Cordelia wanted to calm her down. However, she couldn’t say anything because she thought she would be adding oil into the fire.
“Her sister was excellent, but she’s had a hard time since she didn’t have a model around her, right?”
“Or, do you also want Cordelia to face those same troubles?”
Nirupama was extremely angry, but she didn’t show any sign of backing down.
“O-obasama. Otou-sama is also worried about me living in an unfamiliar place…”
“Oh my, he doesn’t need to worry about that. Of course, you’ll feel confused at first, but you’re adaptable. And, you know she won’t complain, don’t you, Elvis-sama?”
“Fights between women, ――― Opps, I mean, the tactics women use are different from the ones men use. Unlike the royal capital, I can do what I want in the fief, and I can gain influence with the feudal lords’ wives whenever I go to greet them. I think it would be useful for her if she wants to compete with essential oils, and you’re bad at socialising, so I need to show her how to socialise, right?”
“E-l-v-i-s-sama, are you listening?”
“… I can hear you.”
From his reaction, it seemed like he agreed with the idea.
“Cordelia, do what you want.”
Elvis answered in a somewhat annoyed tone.
However, even if he said the decision was up to Cordelia, she still hadn’t heard enough about it to make a decision.
“How long will I be there for?”
“I don’t mind if you stay with me forever… Hey, Elvis-sama, don’t glare at me like that. Well, I think it’s better if you celebrate your adulthood here, so I guess until then?”
Sixteen was the age of adulthood in this world, so two years. That was longer than Cordelia had anticipated.
Nirupama continued since she had predicted that Cordelia would be confused.
“You have a lot of things to do, so it might be difficult for you to give me an answer straight away. However, if you think about it positively, I’m sure it’ll be of use to you.”
Nirupama was quite right.
What I learn from Otou-sama and the tutor are useful, but I still haven’t seen a lady who would be my role model in the Pameradia House.
It’s been two years since I’ve started sending flowers to Okaa-sama. She hasn’t returned the flowers, but she doesn’t speak to me either. I’ve heard that she asked for flowers when I was at the fief, but she hasn’t asked me about them herself.
(I can understand why Onee-sama had a hard time when she first debuted in high society because she didn’t have a model.)
It may be easy to practice what I have learnt so far, but knowledge is just preparation, and practice is different.
In that case, I’ve decided on my answer.
“Oba-sama, may I ask for your guidance?”
This is a once in a lifetime chance.
I also have the choice of staying in the royal capital for two years, worrying about Shelley. She might continue to use her dreamer power, but she won’t appear in high society right away. In that case, I want to do what I can before her influence grows.
(I have more acquaintances than her while we’re still children. People probably wouldn’t believe things as they are when they’re clearly different from the facts.)
I’m more worried about what will happen once we step into the world of adults. Even if a strange rumour circulates, I can dispel it with my actions. In the first place… I will probably need to gain abilities that don’t require me to ensnare a person.
(Even so, I really don’t want people to say that I’m a lady who is bothering the Prince.)
To be honest, I can’t even imagine that love would bloom between Shelley and Sylvester-sama right now, so I don’t think I can get jealous of their love, and have my magic run wild like the in-game『Cordelia』.
However, I have to fall in love with Sylvester-sama first to get jealous, but he’s the target of my fear, so I don’t have to worry about it, from that perspective, since I won’t fall in love with him.
(But I’ll become a troublesome lady if I ignore Shelley’s words and actions. If that happens, then I’ll cause problems for my family… And, if rumours are going around about me being a relentless lady, then it might harm my future marriage!)
That’s right… I still want to experience love.
At least, I want to do the things I couldn’t in my previous life, in this life. I’ll have more opportunities to meet the person of my dreams when I become an adult, but if Shelley keeps attacking me, then I might miss the chance. I’m not interested in her love life at all, so I hope that she doesn’t approach me; but at present, she probably will.
(It’s really different from what I expected, but… Shelley is a danger to me, after all.)
For now, the things she said could be taken as a joke, but if things heat up, then she might frame me and say that I’m trying to trick the Prince. We may have to settle this matter eventually, at this rate, but… I should hone my skills for that time.
However, I want to live as peacefully as I can.
Cordelia looked straight at Nirupama, who smiled wider.
“I’m the one who invited you, so of course. But I wonder if it’s alright for you to make this decision now.”
“I have to get ready, so I can go a month after Onii-sama’s wedding.”
“Alright. I’m looking forward to it. Cordelia, look forward to it too, okay?”
“I have to get your room ready too,” Nirupama’s tone changed from angry to happy.
“Elvis-sama, don’t stay quiet. Don’t you have encouraging words to say to her before she leaves?”
“… She’s not leaving yet.”
“Argh, you can keep saying it to her until she leaves, can’t you?!”
Still, Nirupama didn’t conceal her pleased tone.
Cordelia was grateful that she was so loved. She talked to Nirupama about the fief while eating, then Elvis suddenly opened his mouth.
“I have something to say too. Cyrus will retire from the Imperial Guards after his marriage, and will live in Ertiga for a while.”
“Oh my, that’s sudden… or maybe not. He wants to learn things from Zeke-sama, the acting feudal lord, doesn’t he?”
It was also Nirupama’s first time hearing that, but she didn’t seem surprised like Cordelia. Cordelia hadn’t known about this, but it must have been decided a long time ago.
“The deputy commander of the first unit will take over as commander of the second unit.”
“Oh my, then the person who will take over as the deputy commander for the second unit is…”
“Yeah, it’s Isma. There was also talk about him succeeding Cyrus, but they concluded that it was probably better for him to get used to commanding his own unit first.”
Nirupama raised her voice in surprise when she heard that.
“Rumour has it… So that means Cyrus and you didn’t support this decision?”
“I don’t need to interfere with the army now. Cyrus also hadn’t opposed or supported this decision. I recognise Isma’s abilities, but I know that it would be troublesome for him if people think it’s because of his lineage.”
Were Isma-oniisama and Cyrus-oniisama talking about this matter in the corridor the other day?
In any case, big changes are happening in the Pameradia House.
“But, if Cyrus is gone, and Cordelia comes with me, then you’ll be a little lonely.”
“They’ll be back straight away.”
Elvis replied instantly, and Nirupama shrugged.
“It seems like things will be tough when Cordelia gets married.”
“It’s still too early.”
“Or, you can let her come to me for a groom?”
“That’s the same.”
“Argh, you only reply quickly in times like this.”
Elvis remained expressionless, but Nirupama seemed to be enjoying this.
“So, I’ll be going to Weltoria fief for a while since things have settled down.”
A few days later, Cordelia briefly explained the situation to Vernoux, and he looked a little surprised as he drank his tea.
“That’s sudden. Well, I guess it isn’t, since the Earl knows about it… But I’ll miss you.”
“Oh my, are you unwilling to part with me?”
“Oh, I’m disappointed that I won’t get to eat this Sachertorte for a while. So, I’m taking another slice.”
She had thought it was rare for him to make a serious remark, but his real aim was the cake. I might have to consider that all the things he says have a hidden meaning.
“You don’t have to worry about the mobile library. I’ll assign the proper positions as long as I take over.”
“Thank you very much. It’s awkward for the person who proposed it to pull out.”
“Thanks to someone, it’s alright to leave people out, so it’s fine.”
“Thank you for your compliment.”
She replied as Vernoux was reaching for the second piece of cake, and he shrugged.
“Oh yeah, I heard that Miss Clydereine is hard to please.”
“Did you hear about her from Clive-sama?”
“It’s because it’s unusual for him to be annoyed at someone other than me.”
This time, Cordelia couldn’t help but shrug at what Vernoux had said.
“Please be kinder to him.”
“I’ll do my best. No, I am doing my best.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Well, I’ll contact you if that girl does something, it seems like they’re looking for an excellent tutor for her right now. On another topic, can you make some time before you leave?”
“Huh? Sure, I can.”
“Then, I’ll get Gille, and we’ll have a farewell party. Of course, you can bring Ronnie with you too.”
Cordelia was surprised by her friend’s encouragement and smiled.
“Thank you very much. I’ll be happy to have a farewell party with you two.”
The edges of Vernoux’s lips lifted up when he heard Cordelia’s reply.
The Flantheim House’s carriage came for Cordelia when she had finished getting ready for her trip next month. Vernoux and Gille were inside the carriage.
Cordelia hadn’t asked about their destination because she was looking forward to seeing it on the day, but she guessed that they were probably going somewhere in town… But then she noticed that they were going out of the capital walls.
“Are we going to Oulu Village?”
“Well, just look forward to it.”
Judging from the way Vernoux had spoken, it didn’t seem like they were going to Oulu Village.
“I’ll give you a hint, Gille chose the location.”
“Oh my, Gille-sama did?”
She had taken Ronnie along, so Gille and Vernoux were sitting face-to-face, but Gille was quietly staring out the window today.
“Gille, calm down. The place won’t change, even if you worry.”
“I-it’s not like I’m worried or anything…”
“Honestly. Don’t complain when you get sick because of your tension.”
Gille stared out the window again without replying as Vernoux shrugged.
Gille had only said a few words today. Cordelia felt happy to be going to that place, since he had thought so much about it.
“I feel relieved to know that Gille-sama was the one who picked the place.”
“Dilly, that’s adding pressure.”
However, Gille was still looking out the window, and Cordelia couldn’t ask him how he felt.
(But… if so, then I shouldn’t look out the window until we arrive.)
Gille-sama had chosen the location.
I’m sure it’s better not to see it until we get there. I’m sure it’ll be amazing.
Vernoux and Cordelia chatted as Gille stared out the window. The carriage finally stopped after some time had passed, and Vernoux and Gille got off first. After that, Cordelia slowly got out. It was a meadow filled with colourful flowers.
The meadow was gorgeous. There were light flowers and primary coloured flowers.
The stem was about the length of her elbow to fingertip, and the flowers were multi-layered. She bent down in curiosity, and a light scent tickled her nostrils. Looking closely, there were also some baby’s-breath mixed in with the flowers.
“Do you like it?”
“Yes, it’s a very lovely view, Gille-sama.”
Cordelia could slightly hear the sound of running water, so there was probably a river nearby. It was a very peaceful place, and she could also hear birds chirp from time to time.
“I haven’t heard you talk about this place before, so I thought you probably hadn’t come here yet.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Gille, Dilly. Go take a walk. I’m going to take a break,” Vernoux said, as he sat down in the shade of a tree. The breeze was quite pleasant, so it was probably a good place to take a nap.
“But why are you taking a break? We’ve just arrived. And, it’s still before noon.”
“I didn’t get enough sleep. Ah, but you don’t have to worry about me and just go where I can see you.”
I don’t think it matters if you can see us since you’re sleeping, but I guess he meant to say that he wasn’t interested so we can go wherever we want.
“Then, Gille-sama, would you like to take a walk?”
“Thank you very much. Ronnie…”
“I’ll stay here. I can’t sense any monsters, but please stay where I can see you.”
It will probably be difficult for Ronnie to join in on the conversation, even if he comes with us. It’s not a bad idea to let him rest here for a while.
“This is nice. The shade over here is pretty good.”
(No, Vernoux-sama. Ronnie won’t feel at ease if he’s next to you.)
There are other trees aren’t there, he doesn’t have to share with you, but it’s hard for Ronnie to refuse anyway. I think I should return as quickly as possible for Ronnie, but I also want to enjoy the scenery until I’m satisfied.
(Ronnie, I’m sorry. Just wait for a bit, alright?)
Even Ronnie would let me be this selfish.
Cordelia walked around the meadow with Gille and noticed a single flower.
“What is this flower called?”
“It’s called Lug. They’re great charms for both studying and martial arts. By the way, it grants divine protection for both wisdom and martial arts, and there was a time when it was used as a charm to protect travellers.”
“So, that’s why you took me here…?”
She tilted her head, and Gille laughed shyly.
“I heard this from my mother. She often makes pressed flowers from this, but it’s difficult to grow them, even if you transplant it, because of the magic in the soil. So, I thought you probably hadn’t seen them before either.”
“Thank you very much.”
Gille-sama definitely picked this place.
She thought again.
“I understand your mother’s feelings, since this flower is so cute. It would be nicer if you could transplant this flower.”
“Hmm. But I don’t think mother really wants to transplant it either. If she succeeds, then she wouldn’t have a reason to come here anymore.”
“This is definitely a great place. I’d like to come back here again.”
It’s a really calm place, and it makes me want to stretch.
I think it’ll look beautiful in a garden as well, but people probably think it’s beautiful because it blooms here.
“Then, I won’t say it here.”
Cordelia tilted her head a little, since it was rare for him to be even a little mean, and Gille laughed.
“Tell me when you come back to the royal capital. I’ll bring you here again.”
Cordelia widened her eyes and laughed a little.
“Aren’t you a little surprising?”
“Don’t apologise. Then please bring me here again when I return.”
“It’s a promise. I feel a bit sad since I won’t be able to see you for a while.”
Cordelia’s reaction was a little delayed since his words were a bit different from what Vernoux had said the other day. She knew that he was sincere, but she couldn’t find the words to answer right away. She was happy that she was valued as a friend, but she felt embarrassed to accept those words.
However, it would remain silent if she didn’t reply.
“I’ll become a splendid lady by the time I return. So, please be surprised.”
“I think you’re already a wonderful lady, but if you’re that enthusiastic, then I’ll do my best so I won’t lose either. I heard that the climate there is a bit different from the royal capital, so take care of yourself.”
“Yes, you too, Gille-sama… What’s wrong?” Cordelia asked, since Gille looked like he wanted to say something.
Gille stayed silent for a while before shaking his head sideways.
“No, it’s nothing. The flowers here look pretty when they’re cut too, and it’s easy to dry them. I’ll pick some flowers that will suit you before we go back.”
“Okay, thank you very much. Then, you’ll have to start picking those flowers now.”
“You’re right. We still have a lot of time since I also brought us lunch. The ham sandwiches from the Flantheim House are very delicious.”
“Oh my, I’m looking forward to eating them.”
I’m sure he has something to say.
But I won’t force him to say it, if he doesn’t want to.
“Please take it easy. But I hope that you’ll fulfil your goal.”
“Thank you very much.”
I’m lucky to have friends who support me.
I’ll tackle everything that appears before me.
Cordelia smiled widely with determination.