GDoc here! A short, laid back conversation…
Nobles and Commoners (3)
AN: This time is a bit short.
“Count Royce van Elstead, is it?”
Cornelia set down the cup of tea, and tilted her head as she thought.
“Of course, I remember that he started working in the capital two or three years ago. I think Count Elstead’s territory is near the border.”
They were in the palace’s courtyard.
Cornelia waited for Wynn and the two others at a garden table, which was prepared with various sweets and a tea set.
The tea party consisted of only four people.
Since Wynn was completely unrelated to the castle, it would have been very likely for him to have gotten lost.
Wynn was finally able to feel somewhat relieved from that tension upon being surrounded by familiar faces, even though his clothing and situation were a little different.
That being said, there were several maids attending to them, so it wasn’t only the four of them.
Under that open sky— The feeling of that open air in the garden, it must have helped him feel relieved from the tension.
The lawn was covered in soft grass, and countless trees were planted there.
After being carefully picked by the palace’s exclusive gardener, fresh flowers bloomed beautifully and elegantly, giving the surroundings a completely different atmosphere compared to within the palace.
Seeming to forget about the maids waiting on them, he exhaled in relief.
As expected of the maids who work in the castle.
They enjoyed the freshly baked sweets and the tea.
The tea and sweets were definitely high-class goods.
Even an ordinary commoner like Wynn— though he had deviated from being one recently— upon seeing the appetizing sweets before his eyes, couldn’t resist reaching his arm out towards them.
Meanwhile, Leticia, as a Duke’s daughter, and Locke, as the son of a merchant family, had both often associated with nobles, and were composedly sipping their tea.
He didn’t know the appropriate etiquette because he wasn’t taught it, but such a firm action was definitely a faux pas.
At first, Wynn had reached towards the sweets half in desperation, but Leticia moved the sweets out of reach, enjoying her chance to tease him.
He couldn’t merely spew thoughtless words. He would lose if he didn’t eat.
His commoner nature was laid bare.
While eating and drinking, they talked about mundane topics, but the conversation shifted to the recent incident.
“It seems that Count Elstead was elevated to Count of a frontier territory a few years ago, but, as I started investigating him, it seems that many terrible rumours have sprung up.”
“It’s because he’s a fat bald toad. Just judging by his outward appearance, he’s bad, but it seems that he has some shady dealings in the underworld.”
“Fat bald toad?”
Cornelia tilted her head upon hearing Locke’s words.
“The Count. It’s what I named him. He’s slimy, fat, and bald.”
Remembering the moment when their hands touched, Locke rubbed his hands against his clothes with a disgusted expression.
Not understanding his gestures, Leticia looked slightly confused.
“You’re being rude to the Count. Well, even I don’t think much of him. Fat bald toad, was it?… Well… I think it’s a fitting way to describe him in a few words..”
“Wynn also thinks that way?”
Seeing the three different reactions, only Cornelia, who hadn’t met Count Elstead in person, smiled wryly.
“Come to think of it, I think that I received a portrait of Count Elstead several years ago.”
The maid bowed, then returned to the castle.
After a short while, she returned with a painting.
“Ah, here it is. One of the portraits sent to me as a fiancé candidate.”
The maid laid the painting on the garden table, as the other three peered at it.
“Who is this?”
Then, Leticia spoke in confusion—
“Woww, the artist’s amazing!”
Locke roared with laughter upon seeing it, slapping the table.
“Hey-hey-hey, who is this? Isn’t this too much beautification? What the heck!? How much money did he shell out to get this painted!? The artist who painted the portrait is truly amazing! If I told my dad, the Marine house would gladly patronize this artist.”
The person in the portrait was a beautiful youth with blond hair, blue eyes, and a well-proportioned body
The person in the portrait sported a soft, warm smile, and did not resemble the actual Count Elstead, the fat bald toad, at all.
“This, could this be a portrait of some other person?”
“No, Onii-chan. It’s signed right here, see?”
Leticia pointed at the bottom of the painting, and sure enough, the name ‘Royce van Elstead’ was inscribed there.
The frame was also engraved with the Elstead coat of arms, so it shouldn’t have been a different person.
“This is on the level of fraud. If in the one-in-a-million chance Cornelia-sama summoned the actual person, I would like to see how he would gloss it over. I really want to hear his explanation! I also want to see your faces when you meet!!”
Locke continued laughing, to the point that tears were flowing from his eyes.
“Is he that different from the person depicted in this portrait?”
“It’s a completely different person!”
“Wait a minute, Locke. If you look closely, the face does slightly resemble the actual person.”
Locke looked at the place Wynn pointed at—
“Isn’t that only the hair!? Well, the hair certainly is drawn thinly. It’s only the feeling. What a brute that Count is! I could die of laughter!”
“Anyways, what is the status of your engagement?”
Pulling away slightly from the laughing Locke, Leticia asked Cornelia.
“I declined them.”
“Well, that’s good.”
“I have said it before, but I investigated the bad rumours about that person… He brings young maidens that live in his territory into his estate and…”
“Why do we leave those sorts of nobles be?”
“The Count two generations ago had contributed greatly to the empire, and so he inherited that power. The previous Count died a sudden death, but the Count before him had risen up the ranks to become a general. Besides the Count two generations ago, the Elstead Family had produced other generals.”
“Speaking of… when we shook hands, his hands were surprisingly thick. So he came from a degraded military family?”
“In addition to these constant bad rumours, the Countdom’s financial state is also steadily declining.”
Locke recalled that Count Elstead’s messenger was in debt to the Marine house.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t only the knights that had rotted, the whole country’s upper echelons may have rotten away.
After that, they returned to more mundane topics, and by the time the sweets had cooled down, the sweets were wrapped up, and they dispersed.
AN: Next chapter is Abel’s side. Update is the day after tomorrow.
- an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation —back
- sfx: Dondon —back
- Most of you know what a bishounen is, but this is a biseinen —back
- Don’t actually fat-shame anybody IRL!!! —back
- actually used ten thousand in the raws, since chinese and japanese numbers do the equivalent of putting commas every four digits. —back
- brute, in the sense that he is a deplorable person —back
Happy New Year (Eve)! I’m back with another chapter(one of the last/first ones of the year, depending on where you are)!
The adfly experiment was a case study in the free rider problem. I’ll just have to get a real job to fund my own manga/LN buying. On the other hand. I’m discovering that I’m already less beholden to the scanlators, as long as it is a manga published online. Yay!