Act 59: The Evening Party Brings a Stormy Premonition
On the day of her first evening party since her coming of age ceremony, Cordelia was at her shop until noon.
The female magicians at the shop told her to quickly go home and that she was exactly like Elvis because she worked too much, but she smiled wryly because she was still doing what she liked compared to him. Also, she needed to redouble her efforts in terms of ability.
In the midst of this conversation, Cordelia saw that Kaylie was having her first conversation with a customer.
Normally, she would work behind the scenes and was told what the customer wanted, but she seemed to have a new idea, so she wanted to talk to the customer. She seemed nervous throughout the conversation, but she looked satisfied when the conversation ended, and her tension disappeared.
She hadn’t gone as far as handing the card directly to the customer after she had finished it in the blink of an eye, but she did open the door a little to see the delighted reaction from the customer and raised a small voice in joy.
“You’re very popular, Kaylie-sama.”
“Th-thank you very much, Cordelia-sama.”
Kaylie quickly looked down when Cordelia spoke to her, but she steadily looked at Cordelia and spoke in a small voice.
“Hmm… Mm… It makes me want to do something when I know that someone like me has created something that makes someone happy.”
“I understand that feeling.”
Cordelia agreed and Kaylie relaxed a little.
“This shop… is amazing after all. I’ve only seen a little… but still, the customers are smiling, and they come every day… As I thought, your charm is apparent in this shop as well.”
Kaylie seemed happy as if she was talking about herself and Cordelia felt very embarrassed. Of course, she was happy that the customers were happy and even more so when a worker at the shop could experience this directly.
However, there was something that Cordelia couldn’t let go.
“Kaylie-sama, can you stop with the ‘someone like me’?”
“Your work is great and it’s wasteful for you to attach words like that to your work.”
Kaylie was puzzled by Cordelia’s words.
“The customers are happy because it’s art that you have made, Kaylie-sama. I’m sure those people will be sad if they were to hear you say something like that.”
However, Kaylie slowly shook her head.
“I’m… I’m really happy that you found something that I could do to make the customers happy… But I really can’t do anything else… So, someone like me, is the correct way of speaking.”
“Even though you think like that, I think you’re wonderful.”
At those words, Kaylie looked up as if she had snapped and looked at Cordelia a little flustered.
“Hmm, if it’s alright with you…. Can I ask what part of me is?”
“Of course. But, do you mind if I tell you a lot?”
“First of all, you’re a very kind and caring person. Even if you’re not good at speaking with others, I can tell that you’re kind and caring since I saw you prioritised the customer’s happiness today. And, I also feel like you’re smart. Your dark hair is also very nice.”
“Huh… Hmm, this hair?”
“Yes, it’s a very nice and calming colour.”
“Hmm… Umm… Really…?”
Kaylie was upset as if she had misheard Cordelia’s words.
However, what Cordelia had said was true and not flattery.
There weren’t many people with black hair in this kingdom, and it was a colour that Cordelia was very familiar with.
“I, I, I wish I had a nice hair colour like yours, Cordelia-sama… If I had a hair colour like yours, then I would… I might have a little more confidence than I do now.”
“Do you hate your own hair colour?”
“… I was told 『it looks like a wet crow caught in the rain』when I was younger… I thought that I looked like that because I’m gloomy…”
“Everyone in my family has black hair. But I’m the only one who was told that… Perhaps, if my personality… was a tenth as bright as Cordelia-sama’s… then I might not have looked like that.”
Cordelia was speechless at the words 『wet crow』.
(No, I’m certain it’s not a word from this kingdom―――.)
Suspicion welled up within Cordelia, isn’t she horribly misunderstanding something?
“Kaylie-sama, just to be sure, but were you told 『wet crow』?”
“Huh? Hmm… I wondered if wet crows were this colour.”
Cordelia sighed in relief when she heard Kaylie’s answer.
“Kaylie-sama, that was probably a compliment.”
People didn’t avoid or honour crows in this kingdom. So, it wasn’t strange for Kaylie-sama to take the words 『wet crow caught in the rain』as is.
(But this world probably has that expression too.)
There are several products in this world that were liked in Japan. Like the fox mask that Gille-sama has and the glass pens. It wouldn’t be strange for that expression to exist here since there were things in this world that are associated with Japan.
“In the first place, there aren’t any nobles who would say bad things about your hair colour. I mean, doesn’t His Highness Sylvester have the same hair colour?”
“I don’t know who told you that, but does that person hate the royal family?”
Kaylie shook her head vigorously at Cordelia’s question. Then there’s almost no mistake.
“I know the words 『wet crow』as a compliment. It also means that your hair is jet black. It is a saying that refers to beautiful, glossy hair. I think that person read some kind of book and said it to you.”
Cordelia smiled at Kaylie since she felt that it was possible that it was a bad pick-up line. Kaylie didn’t seem to believe her and looked puzzled, but she couldn’t argue since Cordelia had brought up Sylvester’s name.
“I would like to propose something to you, Kaylie-sama.”
“Wh-what is it…?”
“Why don’t you style your bangs? I’m sure it’ll make you look brighter.”
Kaylie’s wish of wanting to be brighter can change with her appearance with a little adjustment. Kaylie’s bangs were really long right now, so her aura can change just by her sweeping it to the side even if she doesn’t cut it.
“I, I’ll think about… it…”
However, it must be embarrassing for Kaylie. Cordelia was a little disappointed that she didn’t get an immediate answer, but Kaylie hadn’t rejected her proposal. I’ll just hope secretly, Cordelia thought.
“But as I thought… I still don’t have enough knowledge. You realised that it was a compliment straight away… I’m still inexperienced.”
“I just knew this by chance. And, it’s the person’s fault for saying something that was hard to understand.”
Even if Kaylie-sama won’t tell this to the person who said that to her, I’m sure she doesn’t get that I’m speaking ill of them.
(I’ll be careful too. It’ll be terrible if something outrageous happens because I was careless.)
I know that the meaning changes depending on the culture, but I can’t help but think that when I see that she’s been hurt for so long because of some words.
“Hmm… Cordelia-sama. You’re going to the evening party tonight, aren’t you?”
“Hmm, take care.”
“Thank you very much.”
Even though Cordelia thanked her, she didn’t know how to react.
She can’t be worried about my basic mannerism, right?
However, I only pray that her nice words don’t become a strange omen.
At night, Cordelia visited the Gunnell mansion.
Cordelia hadn’t appeared at a night party since her coming of age ceremony and Myles called out to her.
“Good evening, Myles-sama. Thank you for inviting me today.”
“No, I’m glad you came. I thought it would be impossible since you’re busy.”
She was relieved when she heard that it was the voice of an acquaintance. She didn’t think she was nervous, but it turned out that she was so nervous that she hadn’t noticed she was.
“But, are you alright? I heard that your shop is thriving too. You’re not tired?”
“It’s a little hard, but I’m thankful that it’s busy. And if I always stay away then everyone will forget about me.”
“They won’t forget about you if your shop is thriving. In fact, it’s still getting a lot of attention. Mother also said she wanted to visit your shop, so she might talk to you later.”
Viscountess Gunnell, who was a little further away, was surrounded by women her age and they seemed to be talking excitedly, so Cordelia might bother them if she were to interrupt. However, if Viscountess Gunnel was interested in her products, then she would like to find the opportunity to talk to her before she left.
“Please have fun. I would like to ask you to dance with me, but I’m sure the women will hate me for it.”
Cordelia also looked around when Myles did and she noticed that the guests… especially the women, had their gazes on her.
“If I talk to you for a long time, then they might think that they have less time to talk to you.”
Cordelia remained quiet for a bit after he joked around, then sighed.
I’m happy that they want to talk to me, but it isn’t good in this situation.
It’s worth it to come here just to be able to talk to women and build connections with them, but I also came here to look for a future partner. I’ll have to make adjustments if even the organiser, my friend Myle-sama, thinks that it’s hard to invite me to dance. I want to at least dance with him once to show people that I’m not hard to approach.
“Oh my, are you unsatisfied with me being your partner, Myles-sama?”
“Huh? No way!”
“Oh, my bad. I thought you were refusing me politely.”
Myles was surprised by Cordelia’s joke and quickly shrugged.
“But… Hmm, that’s right. It’s rude to not invite you for a dance when you took time out of your busy schedule to come here. Well, Milady, may I have a dance?”
Cordelia put her hand on the outstretched hand and headed to the centre of the hall.
She hadn’t been worried about dancing, but then she suddenly noticed while halfway to the dancefloor.
(Somehow, it’s embarrassing…)
She didn’t think that there was something wrong with her dancing.
She knew that her dance partner would be close since this wasn’t her first dance, but she noticed that she was nervous even when dancing with a relatively close friend like Myles.
I have danced with Gille-sama before although no one was around. But if I were to dance with him now… then would I be able to dance calmly like I had back then?
(Is this… what they call growth?)
The only thing I can do now is believe that I would get used to it the more I do this.
Cordelia returned to her original place with Myles after the dance was over. She really respected those who could dance with multiple partners in one night since she was more fatigued than she thought she would be.
“Nice dancing, Myles and Cordelia-san.”
“Clifton. You came.”
“Of course, I would. I’m free after all.”
The first time Cordelia had met Clifton, the son of Duke Hack, was with Myles. They both belonged to families that had a marine-based business, and they also got along well because of their calm personalities.
“I’m sorry for asking this when you’re tired, but I would like to ask you something, Cordelia-san… Is it alright?”
“What is it?”
“I want to send a woman a gift. Can you help me?”
Clifton asked lightly, but Cordelia could tell his true feelings from how he was acting. She didn’t expect anyone to ask her for help with love here, but if he trusted her and wanted to rely on her for this, then she would like to support him.
“I’ll be happy to help. My shop also sells cute items. Since it’s you, Clifton-sama, it would be alright for you to come look at the items when the shop is closed. You can take your time to view the items this way.”
“Thanks. I really didn’t want to talk about this with mother or sister.”
“Somehow, I can understand your feelings.”
Even Cordelia would be embarrassed if she had to consult Elvis or Isma about love. No, in Elvis’s case since he refused to talk about her marriage interviews, she felt like he wouldn’t give her any advice to begin with.
“Then, I’ll let you know later. It seems like the women’s patience has reached their limits.”
“Ah, you’re right.”
Clifton and Myles looked around and smiled.
Then, on that signal, the women began approaching Cordelia. At the same time, they said before leaving, “Have fun.”
“Cordelia-sama, it’s been a long time.”
“You’re beautiful today too.”
“Your clothes look nice, but you also smell amazing.”
“I visited your shop yesterday. I was surprised to find out that there was spinach in the chiffon cake. The bright green colour was gorgeous, and it didn’t feel like I was eating vegetables even though it was made from vegetables and it was delicious.”
The women surrounded Cordelia in the blink of an eye.
At that time, Cordelia recalled Vernoux’s expression from the other day. Did he guess that this would happen?
She knew some of the ladies, but at present, the only person who she could say that she was friends with was Hazel. Unfortunately, she wasn’t here today, but if other ladies talked to her, then she had to respond.