Act 60: Determination Intensify
Thank you patrons for this chapter /o/
Seven days after her encounter with Sylvester and Shelley at the night party.
Cordelia invited Clifton to her store after it had closed.
“I’m sorry about this.”
“Don’t worry about it. I have a lot of time.”
Cordelia didn’t need to rush since the other employees went home early because they had the day off tomorrow. Instead, Cordelia was worried about how a man would choose a present. She also wanted to know how he would react to small accessories he wasn’t used to seeing and what kind of set up would make it easier for men to browse through them.
“Please take your time. There are a lot of accessories and miscellaneous goods.”
“I’ll take you at your word.”
Clifton said, then started looking through the shelves.
“What’s this flat can?”
“That is hand cream to prevent rough hands. There are samples too.”
Clifton took an appropriate amount from the container that Cordelia had held out and looked at it curiously as he spread it on his hands.
“This is also scented, isn’t it?”
“Because it’s our selling point. There are products without scents as well, but those who come here will still choose this kind of product.”
“It’s nail polish. It doesn’t have any scent, but it’s a little unusual in this kingdom. Please wait a moment.”
She said as she painted the sample onto her own nails.
“You put it on your nails like this. This coral colour is preferred by those who wear bold colours.”
“I feel like I understand somehow. Doesn’t Countess Weltoria like it too?”
“Yes, she does.”
However, Clifton’s gaze moved onto the next item, so it seemed like the person he liked didn’t like to wear bold things.
Items such as cosmetics, cameos, cosmetic boxes and jewellery boxes weren’t very interesting for him, and Clifton passed through them half-hearted. Then, he finally stopped at the corner.
“What’s this flower? It’s a beautiful vase, but… did you put the bulb into it directly?”
“Yes, this is a sample, but it’s a flower that grows easily with just the bulbs soaked in water. You can watch over the growth of the flower every day without worrying. The semi-transparent ball below that is the fertiliser.”
“Oh, it’s beautiful.”
“This is a major flower in Weltoria. Even in the royal capital, they could be grown in any season, and there’s a lot of colours.”
It was a flower similar to hyacinth, but unlike hyacinth, it can bloom even if the bulb was completely soaked in water, or even if it was placed slightly slanted. Cordelia thought that this stubborn flower was similar to Nirupama somewhat. It was fun for Cordelia to grow delicate flowers like hyacinth and check on their growth, but nothing fit better than this flower for ladies who weren’t interested in growing flowers in the first place.
Clifton pondered for a while then walked away from that shelf. He seemed to have considered the flower, but he hadn’t made up his mind.
Cordelia continued to guide him in the store while explaining things, and Clifton tilted his head curiously when he saw one product.
“What kind of design is this?”
“This is a water clock.”
“Water clock? It looks like liquid for an hourglass, but… does it not need air?”
The liquid glass container that Clifton was holding was divided into an upper and lower portion. The lower portion contained a thick blue liquid, but other than that, it looked like normal water.
“Please turn it over once.”
When Clifton turned over the water clock, the blue liquid in the portioned section began to slip through the slight gap like a drop and into the transparent water. When it fell through the portioned section, it slid on the surface, fell through the gap again and began to gather.
“This is… water?”
“To be more precise, it’s an oil clock.”
“But, it’s just like water. Amazing. These are all the colours it comes in?”
“Yes. It’s an elaborate design, so the prices vary, but it’s a very popular produce so we’re a bit out of stock.”
Clifton liked the water clock better than the flower. He turned it over and examined it.
“I thought I’ve collected a lot of items that have to do with water, but this is the first time I’ve seen something like this.”
“If you don’t mind, I’d be happy if you promote it even if you don’t give it as a gift.”
“By any chance, did you also think of this, Cordelia-san?”
Clifton shrugged when she only replied with a smile.
“As expected of you. I wish you’d share a little of your business skills with me.”
“Please stop flattering me, I’ll get carried away.”
“I wish it was flattering, I wonder if I lose to you in business skills as well.”
“Oh my, I would like to ask for your cooperation.”
“It’s amazing to see that you’re already so experienced since you could say things like that. Alright. I’ll ask you the same.”
Cordelia and Clifton both smiled a little.
“Now then, what do you think? I can see that you like the oil clock.”
“Well, she likes things to do with the sea and water. I think she’ll be happy with cosmetics too, but I’m not too sure.”
“The sea and water…?”
Cordelia drew her eyebrows together at those words.
The water clock might be good since it was associated with water too. But she felt that Clifton could prepare something that would be even more surprising since his family’s business was related to marine trade. And that was what Cordelia wanted in a new product as well.
“Clifton-sama. In that case, I think a storm glass would be better.”
A storm glass was an instrument made out of a liquid sealed in a glass and the liquid was crystallised. It was a tool for predicting the weather in a few hours. It was made from chemicals like camphor in her previous life, but in this world, it was a kind of magic tool.
“You and Myles-sama might be familiar with it since you both do marine trade, but it’s rare for people who aren’t familiar with ships, and I think it’s quite fun to watch the crystals lose their shape and form again every day.”
“Really…? But the shape is a little… It’s not a gift if it’s ship equipment.”
“Yes. Therefore, if you’re giving it as a gift, then it’ll only be used for enjoyment. So, it’s fine to put the contents into a pretty glass container.
“It doesn’t need to be exact. Since it’s not like she’ll go on a sea voyage. For example, how about putting it in a sphere or cone shaped glass container?”
Clifton groaned at her suggestion.
“I never thought of that. But it’s a good idea to try out. Can I see it if you make the prototype?”
“Yes, of course. But there’s one more thing I would like to ask.”
“What is it?”
“If it goes well and it looks like I can commercialise it, then please let me sell it here.”
Clifton widened his eyes at her words, then laughed.
“Cordelia-san, I feel relieved that you’re already thinking about it. I’m glad I talked to you. Thanks.”
“No, thank you.”
Clifton purchased hand cream to gift to his mother and left the shop. Cordelia saw him off with a smile. She sincerely hoped that the gift would be completed and that it would work out between Clifton and the lady he was interested in.
“Now, shall I clean up and go home?”
She finally had the day off tomorrow.
She wasn’t competing with Clifton, who will be working on designing his gift for the girl he likes, but Cordelia was a bit excited since she wanted to create something to gift to the employees, who worked at the store, to thank them.
Using the shop’s regular day off, Cordelia created nail care cream.
As long as one worked, there was a chance that the nail polish would get chipped, but if they had nail care cream, then the servants wouldn’t be too worried about chipping it.
I hope they will be proactive because of the scent. Cordelia prepared the finished product for distribution.
The next day, Cordelia was planning on visiting Fulvia and going to the café that had opened up for the masses, so she showed up at 『Cordelia’s Fragrance』before the shop opened.
Everyone who was preparing to open the shop was very happy with the nail care cream, so Cordelia felt relieved. If they’re like this, then Kaylie-sama, who is in the back, will be happy too ――― she thought as she headed to where Kaylie was, however Kaylie was in the room by herself and her shoulders quivered in surprise when Cordelia called out to her.
“I’m sorry for surprising you.”
It was meant to be a greeting, but Kaylie looked away from Cordelia and shook her head.
(It’s like when we first met… She seems kind of nervous…?)
Cordelia felt like Kaylie had opened up to her quite a lot from their conversation the other day, so she had no idea why she went back to her distant attitude.
“Are you perhaps not feeling well?”
“N-no, hmm… it’s nothing…”
However, Cordelia couldn’t accept what Kaylie had said.
“Excuse me for a bit.”
“You don’t… have a fever.”
Kaylie’s forehead temperature which was transmitted through the hand that she had placed there felt quite normal.
However, even if she didn’t have a fever, there might be a part of her which Cordelia couldn’t feel that wasn’t feeling well such as a stomach-ache of feeling sluggish. She had regular days off on top of the days she got off when the shop was closed, but she was a lady, and this is her first job. She might be unable to relax.
“Kaylie-sama, please take a day off today. You might be feeling fatigued since you work so hard.”
“No… It really is nothing. However, um…”
“No, it’s, nothing…”
Cordelia frowned at Kaylie who kept mumbling her words. Kaylie wasn’t good at lying.
“Then, I’ll believe you. However, please tell me if it gets really bad. I’m worried that you would faint.”
“Th-thank you very much…”
However, she couldn’t meet Cordelia’s eyes even though she had said that.
Cordelia wondered what the heck was going on, but if Cordelia stayed for too long, then it could put more pressure on Kaylie. I’ll let the other employees know that she isn’t feeling well and let them keep an eye on her.
Cordelia thought, and recalled that she had come here to give Kaylee something.
“Kaylie-sama, please take this.”
“I just gave this to everyone just now. It’s cream for nail care. I’ll be happy if you like the fragrance as well.”
“Th… thank you very much.”
Kaylie seemed surprised, but she carefully picked up the container with the cream.
(I’m glad. It doesn’t seem like she hates working here.)
It pained Cordelia to think that Kaylie actually hated working here and was just being considerate. So, she was relieved that that didn’t seem to be the case.
“How was… the evening party?”
“The evening party?”
A lot of time has already passed before she asked me about it, Cordelia thought while tilting her head in confusion. She was planning on attending a few evening parties soon, but she has only been to Myles’s one in the past.
“No, hmm, umm… I’m sorry for asking something strange.”
“No. But, it’s just… a lot of things happened, and I don’t know where to start… Kaylie-sama, did you hear some rumours?”
“Ah, hmm… I’m sorry, I don’t listen to rumours. But I was just wondering if you were on good terms with Gunnel-sama and Hack-sama.”
“Eh? With Myles-sama and Clifton-sama?”
Cordelia blinked her eyes at Kaylie’s unexpected question.
“I met them at Hazel-sama’s birthday party when I was younger. I was also nervous so I’m really glad that I knew a lot of people at my first evening party.”
If Kaylie hadn’t heard the rumours, then she didn’t have to forcefully talk about Sylvester and Shelley. Kaylie will most likely misunderstand if she talked about Sylvester, and Cordelia didn’t want her to feel distressed by talking about Shelley since the Clydereine House had given her family a loan.
However, when Kaylie heard Cordelia’s reply, she spoke in a gloomy voice, “I see…” Cordelia couldn’t think of why she was acting like this, but she was worried about leaving Kaylie alone.
“Kaylie-sama. If you feel alright tomorrow, why don’t you go out with me?”
“I’m going to develop a range of products that we can sell to commoners, and I’m also setting it up in a corner of the café I run. I’m going to prepare for it, but let’s also get fresh air by visiting the mobile library office and eating sweets.”
“… Thank you very much, Cordelia-sama.”
Kaylie smiled apologetically and accepted, and Cordelia felt relieved.
The next day, Kaylie, who had gone out with her, seemed reserved, but she had hidden her anxiety. Still, Cordelia was concerned about whether she was really sick yesterday or if she had acted like that because of something else.