From the port city gate, I walked through the familiar cobblestones to a street with the sea right next to it.
The shopping street facing the sea and the bustling line of stalls looked the same as when I first saw it.
I remembered the time when Zak took me by the hand as we walked around looking at the rows of stalls, as if it were just yesterday.
I remembered how delicious the skewers we had eaten together back then were, and how he bought me a simple snack on the way home when I was just thirteen years old.
I was the one who told Sister Marielle that I wanted to go to this port city, because I had other things on my mind, such as the reconstruction of the Eastern Country, and I wanted to know what kind of things were in circulation there. I was told that this port city was full of shops with foreign imports, and many of the shops were related to the Adalard Trading Company.
I really wanted to take a closer look at the port city with my own eyes.
“Let’s go around the shops after stopping by the Trading Company first. There is an escort, but you’ll feel safer with Sörth by your side. I’ve heard that Fiara-chan is very important to His Excellency, so it would be terrible if anything happened to you.”
“Thank you, Sister.”
I smiled and thanked her for her concern. I had been treated very well by everyone in the Tizar family. I was even surprised in a good way at how they treated me as a sibling without isolating me.
The shops in the port city were not defined as aristocratic shops, but there were still places where the shops for the aristocrats were lined up, and those shops were full of luxurious goods based on their appearance.
If I went in alone, I might be told something about the color of my hair. I didn’t intend to do such a thing. Although, even if such a thing happened for some reason, I’d just have to explain it, but I didn’t want to go through that kind of trouble.
There was a corner lined with shops that were exclusively for the nobility, and there were shops in that area that looked as if they dealt with high-class goods. The only customers that came in and out of that store were those with shimmering hair who claimed to be aristocrats.
Nobles who were very aristocratic did not eat standing up, nor did they go around the stalls to look, nor did they sit on the chairs and tables outside in cafes. Considering that Zak and I had bought food and eaten here together the first time, I thought about how amazing it was that he ate his food with me, standing up without any hesitation. He probably had never done such a thing before, but he went along with me and did it anyway.
Also, when a nobleman enters a commoner’s café, he knows that it is a commoner’s shop, so he does not do anything tactless. It was also good manners not to be pompous and arrogant.
The office of the Adalard Trading Company was located around the corner near a row of shops dedicated to the nobility. I suppose that made sense because the Adalard Trading Company did business with the nobility.
When I got out of the carriage, about six people from the Trading Company came out to greet me, and then they led me and my sister into the office and showed us into the visitor’s living space with a view of the sea on the third floor.
“Sörth will be here soon, so let’s have some tea and wait for him.”
“Yes. Sister, this room has a very nice view.”
Outside the large window, you could see the ocean on the horizon in the distance. The blue sea reflected the sun’s light and white waves could be seen. I could also see merchant ships and fishing boats. It was a very open landscape.
“Isn’t it nice? I like this place because it has a great view. The windows are huge, and the view of the ocean is wonderful.”
It would have cost a fortune to put in such a large glass window. I wondered about that too.
As we were talking about this, two maids came over immediately and made us tea from a tea set carried in a wagon. Then they served us a small plate of “shade bee honey cakes.”
“Ufufu, it’s become such a popular product nowadays that we serve them to our important customers. But the date syrup cake and the raw caramel that I got as a souvenir today, I think…is a cut above the rest. It was kind of…well, it was a complex flavor that I hadn’t had before and it was incredibly delicious.”
My sister had her hand placed on her cheek as if thinking about something.
The cake I gave her today was easy to make, and it doesn’t take long to bake because it is spread out like a thin board in the oven. However, it’s still delicious because it’s lavishly made with a variety of rich ingredients. And in this world where my knowledge of sweets is infinitely less, I was adding my previous life’s knowledge to the mix. Also, because the main ingredients were things that only a few people in the east could eat, they were not well-known. So they were probably a rarity.
For the time being, I wondered whether or not it would be okay if I ended up changing the history of sweets and such in this world without permission. I had even spoken with Zak about it.
“It doesn’t matter. The future of this world will be made in the future. Fii doesn’t want to just make good food here and eat it by herself, does she? It would be difficult for the current Orgent to develop the area of luxury food items anyway. But wouldn’t Fii be happy if she could help make the world a place where all the common people could easily eat such delicious food? If you make them out of the ingredients of this world and release it as something new, accepting it or not is another matter. Just try it and see.”
“…Yeah. That’s right.”
My heart had been filled with warmth at his words at that time. I want to move towards that kind of future together with Zak. It was just the kind of story that would lead to what I was thinking about these days.
Soon after, Brother Sörth came over, accompanied by one of his friends.
“This guy is my friend from the same Knight Order.”
The man, who said he was in the same First Order as my brother, had the usual platinum blonde hair that went all the way down his back, bound with a thin ribbon the same color as the blue of his eyes.
“It’s nice to meet you, my name is Valerie Roynas.”
I greeted him back and smiled kindly. Hmm? I had a faint feeling of discomfort. What was it?
When it comes to the First Order, I heard that only the elite were selected within the royal castle. But this Valerie person seemed more like a civil servant than a military officer. He was not very different in height to Sörth-sama, but his body was thin and slender.
“I am his sister Marielle. Nice to meet you.”
“I am his sister, Fiaragent. Nice to meet you.”
“When Sörth talked about walking in the port city with his sisters earlier, I insisted on coming too, so I came along. I’m from the territory and have never been to the port city before. Oh, and I was told about the color of Fiaragent’s hair. I know the situation, and I’m rather familiar with your work in the 5th Division, so I don’t mind. I think Fiaragent’s hair color is very beautiful.”
I liked the way he seemed a little embarrassed, just like Brother Sörth. Even though he had a big, fine physique, he seemed to be quite pure and refreshing.
“The story of the 5th division’s Saint-sama is well known. I’m very happy to meet you today.” Valerie said so immediately.
No, no, no, no, what is it–but Saint-sama?…Does the purification power come from the idea of holy power?
Every time someone said something like that to me, I almost sighed in distress that I wouldn’t be able to connect with them.
“Thank you. The hair thing is a special case, and I know it can be confusing to those around me, but it’s nice to hear you put it that way.”
“No, I’m actually a commoner myself, but there’s no way I can easily say it, so I’ll just say it in a normal place.”
The Tizar family had explained that I was from the Tizar family’s branch line, and because I was born with the rare ‘purification eyes,’ I was raised early on, a hidden way for my safety. The details were omitted from the explanation.
It seems that my general impression as a poor child who was born with a rare power, but was also separated from my parents because of a weak body, is quite well known. I’m sorry to say that it’s a lie.
He believed that the color of my hair was really the result of an accidental mutation caused by magic elements. And he also believed me when I told him that I was physically weak and spent time at the Valmonter house. That hurt my conscience…
Every time I met someone who said that my hair color was beautiful or good, my brother and sister praised them, so I felt sorry to be wary. There was no one in the magic division who was used to the hair color that my Brother spoke about.
I have always been protected by the name of the Valmonter and the Tizar families, so I haven’t been told anything directly by anyone. Although, I suppose there were still people who said things behind my back. And since I didn’t go to the usual all-female social gatherings, I was never exposed to any ill will.
“Well, then, with two people from the Order, we’ll definitely be safe.”
“Yeah, leave it to us.”
Today, the men were dressed in shirts and vests, with trousers and short-boots underneath, all of which were of good quality but not too different from the average commoner man.
Brother Sörth has normal blonde hair that reaches down his back and is tied tightly around his neck with a thin leather cord. He said that he had cut his hair short once, and it was a hassle to get up every morning to spend time fixing his horrible bed hair.
My sister has the same normal blonde hair and deep green eyes. Her hair was always neatly tied up in a gorgeous shape, using it to her advantage. My sister’s maid appeared to be very skilled.
Then, the four of us walked around the port city. They took me to the marketplace I had wanted to see. Various goods from other countries were all lined up here. One could not enter without a merchant’s permit, so I was glad my sister brought me here.
“Since we’re here, I’d like to go to the ‘Eldora’ shop that I heard about in the Order.” Mr. Valerie said this as he was looking around.
“Eldora? Do you really want to go to Eldora, Mr. Valerie?” My sister exclaimed in surprise.
“The other fellows in the Knight Order said that it was a beautiful shop, so I wanted to take a look. If possible, I’d like to get a souvenir for my sister…”
“Yes, well, it’s a beautiful place, but…”
“Sister, nothing is better than experience, so why not, let’s go.”
Brother Sörth spun his body around and headed to a street lined with high-class shops that he hadn’t even thought of going to before.
“Sister, is ‘Eldora’ a famous store?”
“Ufufu, famous is famous, as they say, but it’s said to be the most expensive store in Elementia.”
“Is it really such an expensive place?”
“Well, the prices are an order of magnitude different, in any case.”
Somehow, I had thought that this Valerie guy wouldn’t really like those stores. There were plenty of normal shops that carried luxury goods for the common people who lived in the intermediate area. If you didn’t care much about being an aristocrat, I think there we’re many other good stores out there.
One couldn’t enter a shop as a commoner if it specialized in serving aristocrats. But that rule didn’t matter if you had a nobleman with you. There was no particular barrier, so they could enter the shop, but the clerks probably wouldn’t take kindly to them.
Commoners would not bother to go to a noble specialty shop only to have such an unpleasant experience. Besides, it also didn’t mean that there would be no trouble with the noble guests.
At first glance, from the color of my hair, I was probably a wealthy merchant’s daughter at best, but the other three people with me definitely looked like aristocrats, so there should be no problem.
The shop called ‘Eldora’ had a particularly magnificent storefront among the line of high-class shops. As expected, the large glass windows and wooden frames with gold designs on them gave it an air of luxury.
There was no family crest on the carriage stopper made in the front of the store, but a magnificent carriage was still in place, which suggested that a nobleman was inside.
When my brother pulled the door open, the bell rang, and immediately, the store’s vendor came out to answer the door.
“Welcome, welcome to Eldora.” He greeted us reverently.
Inside the large store, there were antiques, dresses, jewelry, and other items lined up. After a quick look around, I didn’t see anything of interest, and I looked at Valerie’s movements.
He was looking at the jewelry. He said it was a souvenir for his sister, but all the items there were large jeweled objects that older people might like, and I wondered why he was looking at them.
Both my sister and brother just looked around the store and didn’t move where they entered, as I did. They seemed to be asking about the store.
There were several sofa sets and tables placed at the back of the large store, and although there were signs of people, they were just hidden behind a partition, and I couldn’t see them.
Then, a man who looked like a butler came from that direction and called out to Brother Sörth.
“Tizars, the Duke of Eldin over there was wondering if you’d like to have tea?”
A vertical wrinkle formed between my elder sister’s eyebrows.
It was probably because it was extremely unnatural to have someone who knew the situation here and would still make such an invitation. The gaze of my sister and brother went to Valerie-san. In particular, my sister’s gaze seemed sullen and moody, and she wasn’t even trying to hide it.
You couldn’t refuse a Duke’s invitation to tea.
And, from the situation, it seemed like Mr. Valerie intentionally created the opportunity for this unnatural tea invitation.
T/N: Hopefully this ‘meeting’ goes okay… Also, I kinda wish I could see a picture of Sörth…
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