Kaylie came back faster than Cordelia had expected.
When Cordelia guided Kaylie to the office, Emina and Lara were working there. Kaylie was surprised for a second, but the two bowed and moved to another place to work, so she was relieved.
“I think those two will help you quite a bit, so I’ll introduce you to them later. Please use that desk over there.”
“Th-thank you very much. Hmm, Cordelia-sama… what do you want me to draw?”
“I want a gentle drawing, like a plant or small animal, but I’ll be happy if you draw anything you think would suit the menu.”
Kaylie nodded nervously at Cordelia’s request, and spread out her art supplies. Her art supplies were stored in a few glass cases.
She was interested in Kaylie’s art supplies, but she thought that Kaylie would be too nervous if she were to watch, so she decided to leave.
However, she realised that Kaylie’s attention was no longer directed at her.
As Cordelia stared at her silently, Kaylie picked up her brush and soaked the brush. Then, after she wiped the water away with a cloth, she directly tipped her brush into the colour case. With colour on her brush, she brushed it a few times on a plate instead of a palette, then ran her brush over the paper. She didn’t mix her paint, and when she wanted a lighter colour, it seemed like she adjusted the shade with the coloured water that was left on the palette.
(It may look like that, but it may be completely different…)
She wasn’t confident because it was completely different from how she learnt how to paint in her previous world’s art classes. In the first place, it seemed mysteriously magical that Kaylie hadn’t done a rough sketch and had just started painting directly.
Meanwhile, the picture that Kaylie had finished painting was of a red clover flower and a green clover. They looked very soft and gentle, and the colours made the menu stand out. Above all, Kaylie had barely taken any time at all to paint this.
“Kaylie-sama, you’re amazing! And it looks wonderful!”
“Th-thank you very much…”
Cordelia was charmed by the painting, but Kaylie’s voice cracked despite it being small.
“It’s kind of a waste to have you draw the daily menus.”
“N-no… As you can see, I can paint them quickly, and… It’s a special skill that I don’t have much use for elsewhere, so if it can help you…”
“You must have magic hands since you’re able to create such a wonderful thing straight away.”
Kaylie’s ears turned red at those words, and Cordelia came up with an idea.
“Umm… If you’re alright with it, would you like to use your skill more?”
“I thought about offering a message service for people who might buy our products as souvenirs or gifts. I was going to prepare an art relief for the card, but since you have such talent, how about we sell special cards painted by you as well?”
Kaylie widened her eyes at those words, then shook her head vigorously.
“No, but, I can’t…”
“That’s not true. I can’t do it, but it’s wonderful because you can. Of course, I don’t mind if the profits from this are added to your income.”
Cordelia watched as Kaylie nodded lightly and was relieved.
She was curious about why Kaylie didn’t have much confidence, but she was able to find something that Kaylie excelled in and was happy that they could work hard together.
“It seems like your shop is thriving.”
It has been a month since 『Cordelia’s Fragrance』opened.
Cordelia stopped by Marquis Flantheim’s mansion on her way back home from the shop, and received hospitality from Vernoux, even though it was she who usually entertained. However, the sweets and tea in front of them were gifts from Cordelia.
She came here to deliver Sara’s balm, and also give Vernoux some sweets since he loves them.
Unfortunately, Sara was sick and was sleeping, but she encountered Vernoux, who had just returned home, while she was leaving the items to the maid.
“It’s thriving, and it seems like you have plenty of stock.”
“We barely have enough, but I have been preparing for the opening for a long time, so we’re managing somehow.”
“Oh. Are there a lot of female customers?”
“Surprisingly, we have a lot of male customers too, but they have their items delivered to them.”
“I used to send essential oils to Isma-oniisama from time to time, so I befriended the other knights as well. However, there’s an overwhelming number of females that actually visit the store.”
Cordelia was stunned when Isma had asked her if she could deliver since there were a lot of knights who were looking forward to the products being sold.
They wanted to purchase the products as gifts for the wives and lovers, as well as for personal use. Cordelia welcomed a large audience for her products, so she conducted deliveries and out-of-business trade during the knights’ lunch break.
“Well, they have more time to think about it like that. When mother visited your store, she said she had met a lot of acquaintances. You’ve become the woman of the hour in the blink of an eye.”
“Don’t tease me too much.”
“I’m serious. If it’s good news, then I should share it, right?”
Judging from her childhood friend’s expression, he was half-serious and half-joking, but he was outspoken like usual.
“However, mother said that the products she requests from you directly are better.”
“That’s because the magic I use to collect the essential oils belongs to the Pameradia House. I don’t offer bad quality products at my store, but there’s still a difference. Of course, that difference is reflected in the price.”
“Then, mother was lucky. I’m glad that you can make mother happy, but don’t you think it’s time for you to deepen your relationship with other nobles?”
“If you’re referring to evening parties, then I’m thinking of attending them soon. I thought it would be difficult to go to them this month since I’ve been tired, but I do think I should participate in them soon.”
She wanted to be in perfect condition at the evening parties, but her situation was still hectic, and if she continued to be absent from the parties, then she feared that people might view her as unsociable. She had the excuse that her shop had just opened, but even under normal circumstances, Elvis was unsociable, Cyrus was training at the fief, and Isma was working every day as the deputy commander. If Cordelia continued to be absent from the evening parties, then it was possible that people would say, 『Well, she is from the Pameradia House after all』. She wanted to avoid that at all costs.
“Actually, Onee-sama told me that I should find my own partner if I want to get married. In a way, that’s a battle as well.”
“Ah, so you want to slip through the Earl’s iron guard?”
Vernoux wasn’t surprised and raised the corner of his lips.
“The invitations are coming one after the other, aren’t they? Which one are you going to?”
“I don’t know. I’d like to talk to a lot of people though.”
“How about going to the evening party at Myles’s place? The Gunnel House’s evening parties are gorgeous and filled with people. They also talk a lot about business. You won’t be that nervous at the party since you know Myles, right?”
“That’s true… Viscount Gunnel invited me directly when I met him.”
He might have just said that to be polite since it was at her coming of age ceremony, but still, she wanted to answer the invitation since the head had invited her directly.
“I’m sure Clay will be there too.”
“Oh my, Clive-sama will? I haven’t seen him in a while, so I’m looking forward to meeting him.”
“Unfortunately, there’s nothing to look forward to. He hasn’t changed at all.”
“Does that also include the fact that you still put him on the spot?”
Vernoux lightly whimpered when he heard Cordelia’s words and turned away.
She had expected it, but it seemed like Clive was still having trouble with Vernoux.
“Well, this will actually be my first time going to Myles’s evening party. Anyway, why don’t you attend with a dress that has a lot of impact?”
“A dress with a lot of impact?”
Cordelia tilted her head and Vernoux nodded seriously.
“It’s better to stand out if there’s a lot of people, right? For example, how about a crimson dress? I feel like Countess Weltoria also wears a lot of dresses with red on them, but I think that colour would suit you.”
He must be referring to her eye colour and favourite roses.
“I’ll think about it if the opportunity arises.”
“You can create as many opportunities as you want. It’s a colour with a lot of energy, right? It’s not like you to not try something that will probably look good on you.”
“… I might choose to wear a crimson dress if I find myself in a situation where I have to be strong.”
I might need to make myself stand out if I find myself on a stage where I can’t back down.
(Besides… if I can get the best result by wearing a red dress, then I might be able to separate myself from the dreadful shadow of 『Cordelia』.)
I don’t think her personality and mine are the same, but it still bothers me.
“I don’t care either way, but red is a lucky colour isn’t it?”
“Yes. But only on dresses.”
“Hmm. Then should I watch carefully if you appear in a red dress?”
She couldn’t judge from Vernoux’s expression whether he was curious or worried about his childhood friend. However, if he were there, then it wouldn’t take a turn for the worse even if he was only curious.
“Well, either way, I’m going to Myles’s.”
I’m sure I still have about ten days.
“Then, I’ll look forward to it.”
“Is there something for you to look forward to, Vernoux-sama?”
“Yeah. Something interesting might happen.”
“… Those words give me a bad feeling.”
“Rude. Well, I’m just anticipating that you won’t be able to do anything because a lot of people will crowd around you. If you’re surrounded by women, then you wouldn’t be able to have two blessings at once, now would you?”
“That’s too much of an exaggeration.”
A woman who makes another woman wait upon them, ――― is that what he’s imagining?
(If it’s just that, then it’s not something I have to worry about.)
Even if he had said that she was a disappointment, then it would irritate her, but it didn’t trouble her.
“I’ll be leaving now.”
“Alright. It’s not good for you to go back too late. I’ll give the items to my mother.”
She handed the items that she was going to give to the maid, to Vernoux. In the small basket was a card which stated the name of the product that she had brought today and how to use it.
“That’s a nice card. The picture looks faint, did you draw this at the shop?”
“Yes. A wonderful woman drew it for me.”
Vernoux was unusually interested and Cordelia laughed.
“Vernoux-sama, please talk to me when you want to gift someone something.”
“Well, I hope there won’t be a day when I have to rely on you.”
“Oh my, that’s rude.”
Cordelia lightly shrugged and brushed off his comment since he was probably just trying to hide his embarrassment.
“Come to think of it, this is rare. I never see you wear bracelets.”
“Does it look good on me?”
“Well, it probably does, doesn’t it?”
Shouldn’t you compliment me at a time like this even if they’re just empty words? She thought while gently brushing her hands over the slender bracelets on her left arm.
One of them was delivered with the other products on the day of her shop opening, and Cordelia wore it with the bracelet that she had received from her mother. The package said it was from the Flantheim House, but she knew straight away that it was from Gille because the letter inside had said 『Congratulations on opening your store』. However, Gille probably hadn’t told Vernoux anything about the store since Vernoux hadn’t said anything and he looked like he was hearing it for the first time.
(I’m happy he’s congratulating me, but he should have said it to me directly.)
However, Cordelia liked that the design was simple, elegant and went with any type of clothing. Moreover, she always wore it on her because it mysteriously healed her whenever she felt tired.
When will I be able to thank him? She thought vaguely as Vernoux walked her home.