Chapter 61: Even if there’s a Sense of Foreboding that Something Bad is Coming, Sometimes there’s Nothing You can do but Go on with Your Day
I’m sitting there rigidly in front of two silent ladies. The mother, Lady Henrietta, is deep in thought, scowling, and the daughter, the loli-hi – I mean, Lady Filessa, is sitting there quietly, head hanging.
This … this probably isn’t what they called me over by myself to talk about … Although it’s an uncomfortable atmosphere, and although I probably let my interest in magic weapons go a little out of control, I don’t regret it at all. What kind of person would allow a weapon like that to exist?
Hmph. I’m seriously getting kind of angry.
Aah… but this heavy atmosphere is really uncomfortable…
Right when I was about to say whatever foolish thing I could think of, a sniffle sounded in the quiet room.
Big, translucent drops are dripping from the ojou-san’s face, hidden behind her bangs, into her lap.
Lady Henrietta is startled out of her murderous – I mean, deep thoughts.
“Filessa, dear …?”
“Nn…*sob* Even though I was trying so hard not to be something that would drag f-father’s name down, and I thought I finally found something that would help me, in the end, I was just being used to hurt him anyway.”
She’s crying quite hard now. I feel like this is something I shouldn’t be here, listening to the ojou-san’s breakdown.
“I’m just … a … f-failure … I can’t be as strong as f-father, or m-mother … I’m only someone who will ruin our house… Everything I try to do…”
Lady Henrietta holds her daughter close. Even though the ojou-san can’t see her, I, who can see Lady Henrietta’s eyes, can see that she doesn’t know what to say.
Mother-san, if even you are holding those thoughts in your head, there’s little wonder that the daughter will be so sensitive to this idea.
There is no child that starts out as a failure!
“Isn’t it ok? You’re still a child after all.”
The ojou-san turns her face towards me, covered in tears and snot, and yells
“I’m not just a child-! There’s more to being a Noble’s child than a commoner’s child!”
Yeah, I can see that … there’s little doubt that the pressure is getting to her.
“Ah, sorry. That’s not how I meant it. I meant that, before a certain age, people can learn all sorts of things easier, so right now, you should take advantage of it. Instead of forcing yourself to take on responsibilities beyond your ability, what you should do now is just build up your abilities.”
The ojou-san hiccupped once or twice as her crying lessened. She seemed to be thinking it over carefully. Finally, she said,
“Isn’t it just fine to go down to the Labyrinth and train your strength slowly every day? With magic too, and politics; you have time to study and learn a little bit of everything. And as you steadily learn more and more, you will be able to see a bigger picture than you can now. What’s the most important thing you need to focus on, what you can do to improve your house’s situation; if you don’t know that right now, if you feel helpless, just learn.”
Though I’m just quoting my homeroom teacher from middle school … His words stuck with me all this time, so I hope they will have some effect on the ojou-san too.
“But … I don’t have any talent for those things…”
“Ojou-san, a teacher I greatly respected told me this about talent; talent is only just a shortcut to being good at something. Although you might have to work twice as hard, someone without talent can reach the level of someone with talent. As long as you have the determination to never let anything get in your way, to work through all the tough spots, and struggle without giving up, at the end of your journey, no one will be able to say that you didn’t have talent.”
This too was something from that same middle school teacher. Although I wasn’t any good at the liberal arts courses and wanted to give up, he kept coming to me, and in the end I managed at least a 53 in English… Haa … if only learning a language was as easy as just memorizing the alphabet … My learning of Lorwian in this world is also stalling after I remembered the characters …
The ojou-san pressed her lips tightly together, then gave a small nod and a hiccup.
“Tomorrow, you will rest, dear. You, you are still in a little bit of pain, are you not?”
Lady Henrietta smiles tenderly but firmly at her daughter.
“If you destroy your body, you can’t do anything. My dear Filessa, your father and I want you to grow up strong and wise, but that strength isn’t just for the military. The strength to know your limits, the strength to know when you must rely on someone else; that is also an important role of a Noble.”
Oh, so you can say good things too, Mother-san.
The ojou-san finally nodded as her mother sent her upstairs to rest. That’s right, you have to start with a healthy body and healthy mind. … Though it was Lady Henrietta’s hinting that Ragnall and Seimei-san might come down soon that finally sent the ojou-san scurrying to her room, ashamed of her tear-streaked face.
Lady Henrietta turned towards me, then bowed her head from her seated position. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us catch that before something irreversible happened. Although I was only curious in the girl my husband has spoke highly of, to have you speak with my daughter, I am grateful for your attentions.”
“No no, please raise your head …”
Ah, that’s right, there’s no custom to bow to people of higher status, so maybe it’s not an embarrassment for a Noble to lower their heads in deep gratitude to a commoner. I wonder how these people would react to a dogeza…
Lady Henrietta sighed, picking up a cup of somehow-still-hot tea. There’s a strong magic glow around the cups; looking closely, there’s a magic circuit, huh … hm… there’s a lot of mana leaking from the circuit though, so I don’t think it can keep the tea hot for more than half an hour … ah. My bad habit.
I quickly shift my attention back to Lady Henrietta.
“This is completely my mismanagement. A man from a trader’s organization said he had hoped to make Sir Ilyos’ acquaintance, and yet he came at a time when Sir Ilyos was occupied with other matters and could not meet him. Though it should have been alright to return another time with the gifts he had hoped would please my husband, he left them with the excuse that it would be too much trouble to bring them back … I had thought it strange that he left them behind with only a promise to come again, and no name of the organization he belonged to, but the lance pleased my daughter… I am such a fool, thinking that there’s no way a weapon that had no visible affects would harm her…”
So they dote on her, these two parents… Even if it didn’t explode into flames or have some sort of booby-trap, there’s no excuse for letting down your guard.
But aside from that…
“Did that man ever come back?”
“No. It’s been a month, and I’ve become more and more worried about it… And although she felt pain, I thought it no more than simple muscle aches …”
Lady Henrietta seems very vexed at herself for not noticing the danger her daughter was in. Well, I suppose I would be upset too.
Because she’s in front of a guest, she’s trying to hold it in, but Lady Henrietta’s hands are trembling.
“She doesn’t seem to have too much trouble moving, so I believe Ojou- Lady Filessa will recover well, and her experiences in real combat in the Labyrinth should serve her well, so as long as she doesn’t continue to use the lance, there is nothing but good that came out of it.”
In response to my words, Lady Henrietta gives a small smile.
“I also thank you for giving her new hope. Ever since she’s gone to the Magic Academy in the capital during the spring and summer seasons, it seems the influence of other Nobles’ children have begun to give her a complex … her father was originally a commoner, and her pride doesn’t take the teasing all that well.”
“I see. Um … this might be over-stepping my boundaries, but … is it alright for her to want to make Ragnall her husband despite her status…?”
Lady Henrietta’s eyes went wide, then she laughed.
“Oh dear me; so she’s still thinking that … Ah, that girl. It’s because her father is impressed with Ragnall’s abilities and holds him in high regards, so I suppose she has it in her head that he’s someone Sir Ilyos hopes will succeed the family.”
“… I can only see it as being disastrous, though…”
“Filessa has some time to grow up before she has to understand what she’s looking for. She is truly fortunate to have a father who started as a commoner, and prioritizes his daughter’s heart over a Noble’s duties.”
I wonder how Lady Henrietta’s situation was, to be married to Sir Ilyos, but I decide not to say anything. There’s no good that will come out of being too nosy …
Maa, I tried to help Ragnall out, but it looks like Lady Henrietta is just going to wait and let the ojou-san grow out of her obsession with him. My condolences.
“Jun-kun… the atmosphere was kind of strange when we came in, and the ojou-chan wasn’t there. What happened?”
As we strolled along Nyl City’s steep streets, Seimei-san asked that question, curious about what had occurred while they were away.
“I wonder … something kind of serious, though it’s also kind of a family matter, so …”
I mean, if Lady Henrietta had told Sir Ilyos about the mysterious man, or if they didn’t indulge the ojou-chan before they had everything completely appraised … I sigh and continue, saying,
“Well, the ojou-san’s magic weapon was a bit dangerous for her, and so it seems there are some concerns… Also, I think she was bullied when she went to school, and had a lot of pressure put on her.”
Seimei-san frowned, then sighed.
“Well, as long as nothing bad happened between the 3 of you, I suppose I don’t need to know the specifics.”
“No, wait, it kind of concerns you, because the conclusion we reached is that there’s someone targeting the people from Carnus after all…”
Seimei-san makes a sour face.
“Ah … I see. That makes me more nervous, if they were targeting the Ilyos household’s daughter. Haa… I wish I had the full use of my magic.”
Seimei-san says that last part while purposefully turning “Translate” off. No, well, I get that it’s better to be cautious, but there’s no way Ragnall doesn’t already know, you know …
“Then if we can stop by the glass manufactory, I can do something about that …”
Ragnall shrugs, although he didn’t understand a part of that conversation, and says with a laugh,
“It seems like that’s important, since Jun keeps saying it, so maybe we’ll go there first.”
My plan is to change the settings I had used to hold the stones in the rings. Right now, some of the rings are prong-set and some of them are channel set, to make them appear like they come from different makers, but I think I will have to change the prong set to be something like two edges of the stone are encased in metal.
I’ll modify them so that the metal bits are lined with a thin layer of glass, and then for the glass covers, I’ll facet them a little bit too.
I also have some ideas for draining the stones, but that will be for later.
With the help of Old Man Harulf and the other glass fanatics at the manufactory, it didn’t take long before I had a small sheet of very thin glass, and a small sheet of a little thicker glass.
They weren’t sure what I was going to do with it, and were downright shocked when I began to cut the pieces. I kind of knew how to do it, but with Seimei-san’s help, I scored the part I wanted to cut, then broke the glass along the line. Mm, it worked nicely.
Along the tops of the stone, I cut and polish the glass like I would with a gemstone, making a really nice, gemstone-in-gemstone effect.
For some reason, the glass workers are acting like this is something amazing…
“We’ve always just made things the exact right size…”
“That’s right, to think it would clean up so nicely with a polish…”
“Khrystel loses its transparency along its cut or scraped edges, and you can’t buff it out at all…”
Did they really not investigate glass to this degree?
“The structure of glass is different from khrystel, after all. Thin blades of glass are used for precise cuts in surgery and nano-technology.”
Seimei-san, there’s no way nano-technology is going to translate well.
“Because of that, the way light bounces around inside the glass, it’s also possible to make things like magnifying glasses and telescopes that can make far away things seem nearer, or tiny things appear bigger without the use of magic.”
Uun… I didn’t think about that earlier, because there are magic tools that take the place of those things, and Skills like Farsight, but now that I think about it, not having to maintain a Skill to see far away might be beneficial for long-term reconnaissance. Also when working with sensitive magic circuits, using something that doesn’t need magic to magnify the view would help in reducing magic contamination.
But those things are still going to be products for a minority. Although they have their benefits, the people in this world trust something with magic far over something without. Even though the glass ossans are getting all worked up about trial-and-error-ing telescopic lenses, in the end, I can’t see there being a lot of demand …
Seimei-san seems to think the same. Although he’s smiling at the ossans’ excitement, I can see his eyebrows twitching in dissatisfaction.
It seems like Seimei-san, too, has some interest in making glass succeed, as a former citizen of a world where glass became commonplace.