Category Archives: Drop!!

Drop! Act 2 40-ish%

I… won’t make any excuses. I drop off the face of the planet often. I’m sorry.

For those who are tired of waiting and don’t mind crappy quality (not that it’s never been good). Read through the JP text.  Give corrections if needed please.

I really dislike giant walls of text. Really not suited for this. I’m sorry if some of the translation confuses you. I’m confused myself.

If someone wants to give translating Drop a go then by all means, please do so~ I don’t have the right or ability to! ;-;

Anyways, will update it if I translate any more tidbits of text.

Again, sorry.

 

Act 2 The Noble Girl’s Outing Plans

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n7983cw/3/


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 コーデリアの手紙に対する思い出は、前世で『ヨウチエン』の時に流行った『オテガミコウカン』が最後の記憶だ。

 The last time Cordelia remembered using a letter was in the previous world when she was in『kindergarten』and『exchanging letters』was still a fashionable thing.

 

 元々筆まめな方ではなかったし、手紙でなければ連絡がとれないような相手はいなかった。だから良い記憶も悪い記憶も持っていない。

She had never been good at writing them, and there was no longer anybody who could only be  contacted by letter. That’s why she didn’t have any bad or good memories regarding the experience.

 

 だが、今、コーデリアは受け取った手紙に非常に感動していた。

 However, now Cordelia was very impressed by the letters she had received.

 

(ハーブ、本当にたくさんある――)

 (There are really a lot of herbs――)

 

 コーデリアは高揚する気持ちを抑えるため一呼吸おき、再び料理長から受け取った手紙――もとい報告書――に目を落とした。そこには『香りが高い野草の一覧』、つまりハーブの生息地の一覧が記されている。その中でもミントやセージ、カモミールにラベンダーというなじみ深い品種は比較的邸宅のある首都から近い山に多く植わっているとの記載がある。コーデリアは口の端を上げた。

Cordelia took a breath to calm her excitement, and once again took the letter she received from the head chef―― More like a report―― and looked through it once more. There, a『summary of wild grasses with strong fragrances』was listed, in other words a list of where she could find these herbs was written down. It recorded herbs like mint and sage, chamomile and lavender that could all be found within a mountain nearby the capital city where her mansion resided. Cordelia raised the corner of her lips.

 

(上等だわ……)

(This is excellent……)

 

 記憶の中の自分が得意とするハーブがいくつも記されているその手紙はまるで宝石箱だ。喜びしか感じられない。これらの薬草を手に入れることができたなら、きっと上々の滑り出しも可能だろう。だとすればどうやって研究を始めるかが肝心だ――コーデリアは思ったが、次の瞬間最初の難関にぶつかった。

 The letter that contained information about many of the herbs she was experienced in handling from her previous life was like a treasure box filled with jewels. She could only feel joy. If she could get her hands on these herbs, then it would definitely be the best start she could wish for. If that’s the case, then it’s crucial to decide how I’ll begin my research―― Cordelia thought, but the next moment she bumped into a difficulty.

 

 そう……ハーブの生息地は、山なのだ。

That’s right…… The habitat of these herbs, is a mountain.

 

「……貴族の令嬢が山に野草摘みなんて……行けるの、かしら?」

「……Is it very cultured for a young noble lady to go picking herbs and wildflowers in a field……I wonder if I can go?」

 

 そう、近いといえども魔力が豊富な山の中。魔力が溢れているお陰で植物がよく育つのだが、同時に魔物の出現も考えられる。だからいくら娘を可愛がっている父親でも――いや、むしろ娘を可愛がってくれる父親だからこそ危険だと許してもらえない気がする。使用人に命じればいくつかの株を持ちかえらせる事は出来るだろう。しかしコーデリアはどうしても自分で足を運び、野生の状態を確認したかった。現地に足を運ぶことでここに記されている以外のハーブも発見できるかもしれない。

 だがそれ以上に単純に屋敷の外に出て見たいと言う好奇心もあった。

 Yes, even though it was close by to home, the mountain was abundant with magic. Thanks to the magic the plants grow well, but for the same reason, it’s plausible that monsters will appear as well. So even if her Father loved to spoil her rotten――no, in reverse it was because he loved her so much that he would bar her from going and argue it would be too dangerous. If she ordered the servants to go, they could bring back a fair share. But Cordelia wanted to head there herself with her own feet and confirm the status of the growth in the wild. If she went there herself there was the possibility of discovering other herbs not written in the list.

 Even more so though, she was purely curious about what lay outside of the mansion and wanted to see it for herself.

 

 コーデリアは生まれてこのかた殆ど外の世界に出た事が無い。

Ever since she was born Cordelia had almost never stepped outside.

 

 直接外出禁止だと言い渡されている訳ではない。だがそれはそもそも『普通は出歩かない』からだろう。もしそうでなければコーデリアも世話役の侍女から何らかの提案を受けることもあっただろう。しかしそんな事は今まで一度も言われた事が無い。そもそも例え建国祭で大きなパレードがあっても「今日はお祭りですので、授業は無しです。バルコニーから外を眺めましょう」と言われる程なのだから、恐らく外に出ないのが普通なのだろう。(ちなみにバルコニーからは良い景色は眺めれたが祭りの様子はさっぱりわからなかった。)

 It wasn’t like she was formally banned from going outside. But in the first place, she『did not go out usually.』Had the maid who had taken care of Cordelia ever suggested to, she would have followed. But she had never been told such a thing. For example, even if there was a parade celebrating the National Festival, she would be told「Today is the day of the festival, so classes are cancelled. You may look out from the balcony if you wish.」It was likely that not going outside was normal. (Incidentally, the view from the balcony is great, but I was unable to comprehend the state of the festival in the least.)

 

 もちろん子供の外出が全面的に否定されている訳でもないのだろうが……書庫で読んだ本の中にはいくつか婚約者に会いに行く子供(但し保護者付き)という話があったので、もしかするとそういう目的があれば認められているという事なのかもしれない。

Of course, it wasn’t as if all children’s outings were prohibited, but…… In the books she had read in the archives, there were many children who had gone out to meet their fiancés and such (accompanied by a guardian,) so if it was for a reason like that then it might be acceptable.

 

(……婚約者ではないけれど私の運命の草花に会いたい……なんて、無理があるわね)

(……It’s not my fiancé, but I would like to meet my fated plants…… Just kidding, of course that would be a stretch.)

 

 さて、どうしようか。

 コーデリアは困ったとは思う反面、諦めるつもりは全くなかった。

 Now then, what to do?

 While Cordelia was troubled, she had no intention of giving up.

 

 前世の自由に街中を歩き、自由に研究した記憶が『屋敷に閉じこもっていてはダメ』と言っている。自分はこの世界の常識外の事を行おうとしている。ならば人に頼るだけでは良い結果が出せるとは思わなかった。前世と現世で状況が全然違うのは分かっている。だが実験の成功と好奇心を満たす為にもそんなつまらない理由で目的を妨げられる訳にはいかないのだ。

Her memories of walking around as she wished in town and freely researching in the previous world were telling her『it wasn’t good to stay cooped up in the mansion.』She was operating according to the common sense of that world. That’s why she did not think that it was fine for her to depend on others to come to an acceptable conclusion. She knew that her situation from the past and the present were two entirely different things. But to resolve her experiment and to sate her curiosity, she could not let such trivial reasons disturb her objective.

 

 だがつまらない常識でも立派な令嬢を目指すならば単に無視する事も出来ない。それならば考えるのは決して令嬢としての振舞いから逸脱することなく、しかし外に出るという目的をきっちりと叶える方法を考えなければいけない。

 身辺警護もおろそかにならず、父親も納得させられる方法――……。

 But if she was to aim at becoming a proper lady, then it would not be fit for her to ignore the trifling common sense outright. Then without fail, she would have to figure out a solution that wouldn’t deviate from the behaviour of a proper lady, but would let her fulfil her objective of going outside.

 Without neglecting her escorts, a method that would convince her Father――……。

 

「あ」

 「Ah.」

 

 コーデリアはそこまで考え、たった一つの可能性を思いついた。

After thinking in depth, she realized that there was one possibility.

 

「イシュマ兄様の遠乗りに御一緒させてもらえれば……」

「If I were able to accompany Brother Ishma on his long ride……」

 

 パメラディア家第三子にして次男、イシュマ・パメラディア。

 その人を思い浮かべ、コーデリアはその可能性に賭ける事にした。

The Pameradia family’s third child and second son, Ishma Pameradia.

 Recalling this person, Cordelia decided to stake her chances on the possibility.

 

 コーデリアの兄姉には14歳年上の長兄、そして既に公爵家の次男に嫁いでしまった長兄の双子の妹である姉、そして12歳年上の次兄の三人がいる。

 Cordelia had three siblings; her eldest brother, who was fourteen years her senior; the younger  twin of her eldest brother, who had already been promised to the second son of another Duke’s family, her elder sister; and her second elder brother, who was twelve years older than her.

 

 長兄と次兄はそれぞれ15歳で国軍騎士団の任用試験を通過した騎士である。二人共入団後は騎士団の見習隊である若獅子隊に属し、18歳で近衛隊に入隊したと聞いている。そんな兄達の出世速度は『疑うまでも無く早い』らしい。

 Both of her elder brothers had each taken the entrance examination to the National Chivalric Order at the age of fifteen, and successfully became knights. After joining they were assigned to the apprentice unit called the Young Lions, and afterwards she heard they entered the Imperial Guards at the age of 18. It seemed that the speed of those brothers’ success were『without a doubt, fast.』

 

 コーデリアの教養の師いわく兄達がかつて属した若獅子隊は通常の訓練部隊とは違い、一定以上の身分有る者ばかり集められているという。このような言葉だけを聞くとエコヒイキに聞こえるのだが、若獅子隊の訓練が通常の見習い部隊より厳しい事は騎士の中では常識だ。通常の体術や教養に加え、通常部隊では基本的に行われない魔術応用の演習まで行うなど、不眠不休の鍛錬で2年間みっちりと修練と実務訓練を行う。そのように二年間の課程を終えると一年間、自然が猛威を振るう国境警備隊へと出向し、その後復命した際に若獅子隊員としての総合評価を受ける。その評価によってようやく配属が決定する。

According to Cordelia’s teacher, the Young Lions unit had been a generic practice squad until that point, but after her brothers had joined it became an assembly of only those with high status. Hearing those words caused her to think that they were only being biased, but it was common sense in the Knights that the Young Lions training was much harsher than a normal practice unit’s training. In addition to the general martial arts and studies, unlike normal practice units they trained in applying magic and more, and forging themselves through restless days and nights, they diligently went through drills and practical training for two years. Like that they completed the two year curriculum in only one year, left for the naturally intense work of the Border Patrol, and after returning received the captain of the Young Lions’ comprehensive evaluation. They would finally be assigned accordingly determined by the assessment that they received.

 

 もちろん厳しかろうが身分制度を色濃く反映していることで非貴族階級出身の騎士……主に訓練部隊養成課程所属の騎士から不満を抱かれる事もある。だが高濃度の魔力を秘める高位貴族の出身者を通常の訓練部隊に留めるのは実力の上でも無理が有る。例えば下手に混同させ魔術の演習等しようものなら怪我人が出かねない。故に現状が最適だとされている。もちろん高位貴族が皆一様に高い魔力持ちと言う訳ではない。しかし高位貴族で騎士になろうとする者の家系はほぼ確実に高い魔力を秘めているのだ。それに最終的に実務部隊で若獅子隊出身者と手合わせをした者は、制度そのものに反感を持っていようとも大概認識を改めざるを得ない状況に追い込まれる。実力に差がありすぎるのだ。だから本格的に制度改革が叫ばれたことはこれまで一度もなかった。

 Naturally it was severe, but it deeply reflected the caste system of non-aristocratic knights…… The main offenders who held dissatisfaction were knights affiliated to the Training Unit in the training course. However, claiming that the nobles hailing from dignified families with high magic concentration were holding back the normal Training Unit would be unreasonable. For example if they were to poorly merge the magic training sessions together, there would be many injured people as a result. That’s why the current situation was the most optimal. It’s not like all high ranking nobles are equal in having strong magic either. However the high ranking nobles who went on to be knights were pretty much those who possessed strong magic. And of those from the practical units who went to challenge the Young Lions’ unit, even if they had resentment against the system itself, they were in a situation that forced to recognize them without being able to change anything. There was too much of a difference in their abilities. That’s why there hadn’t been any full blown cries for system reform yet.

 

 しかしそんな特殊部隊養成所の若獅子隊出身でも、若獅子隊から隊員が近衛にそのまま入隊する事は稀であるらしい。普通は早くても1,2年別の部隊に所属するそうな。だがその“稀”を兄弟共に遂げて見せた第一近衛部隊副隊長の長兄、そして第二部隊所属の次兄はそれ程に強い、歴代上位の実力者……ということらしい。

 But even within the Young Lion’s unit from the special forces training school, there were seldom members chosen to become Imperial Guards. Generally, even if it was hasty, they would be attached to another unit for one or two years. However, achieving that “seldom” was the sub-commanding officer of the First Regiment, the eldest brother, and the second eldest attached to the Second Regiment, showing that they were that powerful, and successors of superior ability holders……Or something accordingly.

 

 話は少し逸れてしまったが、その第二部隊所属の次兄、イシュマは現在10日に2日の非番が有る。兄は二人共通常宿舎生活を送っているのだが、その日ばかりは実家に帰宅する。そして帰宅するとイシュマは必ず遠乗りに出かけるのだ。彼にとって過酷な勤務を一番癒してくれるのは馬らしい。

The conversation has slightly strayed, but that second brother of the Second Regiment would have two days off duty in ten days time. Both brothers lived their lives in the general lodging house, and only on those days would they return home. Once he returned home, Ishma would head out on a long ride without exception. To him, the best method to heal him from his rigorous work was a horse.

 

 当然実力が実力なので護衛は必要なく――とはいえ一人で行かせる事も屋敷の者としては出来ないらしく、いつも誰かが後を追っているのだが――山深い所へもしばしば赴く。

Naturally he was very capable, so he didn’t require an escort―― And while saying that, it seemed that no one from the mansion was able to keep up with him, and there would always be one chasing after him―― And he would often head towards the area deep in the mountains.

 

 そんなイシュマは以前戯れのようにコーデリアに尋ねた事が有る。

Once before, Ishma had inquired Cordelia something in a playful manner.

 

「お前もついてくるか?」

「Do you want to come along too?」

 

 その時のコーデリアは突然の事に驚いて返事が出来なかったが、言われた事はよく覚えている。

 恐らくイシュマもその事を覚えているだろう。兄達の記憶能力は非常に高い。例え冗談で言っていたとしても、行かないと答えるのが前提の誘いで有ったとしても、一度誘った手前コーデリアが行きたいと希望すれば付いていけないことはないはずだ。

 At that time, Cordelia had been too surprised at the suddenness and was unable to reply, but she clearly remembered what she had been told.

 It was likely that Ishma remembered that incident as well. The brothers’ memorizing ability was extraordinarily high. Even if he had said it as a joke, and even if he had the assumption that she would refuse, if Cordelia, who was once invited before, said that she wished to accompany him then he couldn’t possibly say that she couldn’t go along with.

 

 そう判断したコーデリアは早速便箋を取り出し、可能な限り丁寧な文字で文を綴った。

 字は得意ではないのだが、検閲を受け他人の目に触れる手紙なのだからパメラディアの娘としても美しい文字をしたためなければならない。例え見た人が口外することが無くても、何人にも隙を見せないのが理想と言うもの。

 そもそも兄に対する初めてのお願い事なのだから荒い文字なんてとんでもない。

Concluding that, Cordelia immediately pulled out some stationary and composed sentences with carefully written letters.

 She wasn’t good with writing the characters, but because her letter would be inspected by another person’s eyes, as a daughter of the Pameradia family so she could only show the most beautiful characters. Even if the person who saw it did not disclose the contents, it was ideal to show the least openings as possible to other people.

 In the first place it was her first request to her brother, so roughly made letters were out of the question.

 

(さて、お兄様のお返事はどうなるかしら)

(Now then, what will Brother’s response be?)

 

 期待を込めて綴った苦手な文字も、今日ばかりは少し生き生きとしてのびやかだった。

 With the letters she wrote filled with her hope, while a little restless, today she lived another carefree day.

 

 だが、そんなコーデリアの手紙に兄からの返事は来なかった。

But Cordelia had yet to receive a reply about her letter from her elder brother.

 

 一応近衛の最年少隊員であるイシュマは雑務も多く忙しいらしいと聞いている。だから返事が来ない事もコーデリアには想定出来ていた。そう、承諾はもらえないが返事が無いからと言って断られている訳ではない。結果は兄の帰宅と共にもたらされる事になるのだろう。

She had heard that Ishma was more or less the youngest member of his unit, and was very busy with his assigned duties. That’s why Cordelia was able to predict that she might not receive a reply. Yes, although she hadn’t gotten an acceptance, due to the fact that she had not received a reply, it didn’t mean that she had been rejected. It ended up that she would have to bring it up once her brother arrived back at home.

 

 だからコーデリアはイシュマの非番日をひたすら待ち望んだ。ようやくその日が来ると朝から彼の帰宅が待ち遠しくて仕方が無く、エントランスで外を眺めながらジッと待機していた。

That’s why Cordelia intently waited earnestly for her Ishma’s off duty days. At last the morning of the days when he would return home came, and she had no choice but to await anxiously while staring outside, stationed on standby at the entrance.

 

 本当ならこの時間はレッスンや勉学に励んでいる。しかし手紙を出した翌日からコーデリアは返答が無い中でも頑張ってペースを上げた。そのお陰で今日と明日の二日間は授業を免除されている。

In reality, she would be endeavoring in lessons or studies at this time. But the day after she sent out her letter, while yet to receive a reply, Cordelia did her best and raised her pace. Thanks to that, today and the day after, she was exempted from classes for the two day duration.

 

 父親に関しては作戦を思いついたその日から三日をかけて説得した。

 お兄様の遠乗りについて行きたい。コーデリアがそう初めて言った時、父親は非常に渋る様子を見せたが「馬に乗れるのか」という疑問を呟いた程度でそれ以外は了承も却下もされなかった。だからコーデリアは諦めずに許可が下りるまで父親にお願いを続けた。

In regards to her father, she thought of a plan and after three days, she was able to convince him.

 I want to accompany Brother on his long ride. At first when Cordelia said those words, her father showed an extremely reluctant appearance and questioned in a murmur,「Can you even ride a horse?」but other than that he didn’t acknowledge or reject her. That’s why without abandoning hope, Cordelia requested from her father until he gave his consent.

 

 そしてそのお願いに父親であるエルヴィスは非常に頭を悩ませていた。

 Her father, Elvis, greatly considered her wish in his head.

 

 山は危ない。魔物が出現してもコーデリアでは上手く逃げる手段を持たないだろう。しかしイシュマが同行するのであれば問題は起こらない。実力は知っている。流石にコーデリアが行動範囲を誤れば危険はあるが、娘が聞き訳の無い子供でない事はエルヴィスも把握している。それにイシュマが幼い妹から目を離す程、警戒を怠るとも思えない。イシュマの視野の広さと魔力感知は熟練者を圧倒する程だ。魔物の気配はかなり離れたところからでも気づけるはずなのだ。だから――そのように懸念が無い状況で有るのなら、むしろエルヴィスもこれはチャンスではないかと思うのだ。

The mountain is dangerous. If a monster appeared, it was unlikely that Cordelia had the means to run away skillfully. But if Ishma accompanied her, then no problems would occur. He knew of Ishma’s capabilities. All the same, if he erred in judging Cordelia’s area of activity then it would be dangerous, but Elvis understood that his daughter was a child who rarely asked for things. And, it was unthinkable that Ishma would be negligent in his vigilance to keep an eye on his young sister. The extent of Ishma’s field of vision and his magic perception was at the point that it would overwhelm an expert. Even if a monster was far away, he would be able to feel its presence. That’s why―― If it was a situation like this where there were no worries, rather, Elvis thought that this was a chance.

 

 そう、エルヴィスはコーデリアに乗馬を習わせるきっかけを作りたいという考えていた。遠乗りをしたいと言う自発的な発言をエルヴィスは「馬に興味がある」という意味に受け取っていた。

Yes, Elvis wanted to create an occasion where Cordelia could get used to horse riding. When she voluntarily said that she had wanted to go on the long ride, Elvis took the meaning as「she has an interest in horses.」

 

 この世界では馬は基本的に男性の乗り物であるが、極僅かな騎士の女性以外の貴族女性でも馬に乗る事は許容されている。特別に推奨されている訳ではないが、高貴な趣味の一つとして見なされているのだ。実はこの趣味は年頃になると役立つ。そう、男性と会話をする上で話のきっかけになることだ。男性貴族の場合は女性と違い乗馬スキルが必須とされている。これは馬に乗れて一人前と見なされていた時代の名残である。女性同士で有れば化粧や服飾、観劇や刺繍の話が出来るだろうが、男性相手だと同じようにはなかなかいかない。共通すると言えば食事の話くらいだろうか。もちろん外交や政治の話も悪くはないが、肩の力を抜く事が出来る話も大切だ。きっかけが作りやすい。顔を広めるためにも会話の引き出しは大いに越したことは無い。

 Those who ride horses in this world are primarily men, but other than the few female knights it was permissible for noble women to ride horses as well. It wasn’t particularly recommended, but it was overlooked if treated as a high class hobby. As a matter of fact, this hobby was useful when they became of age. Yes, while interacting with a man it could become the start of a conversation. 男性貴族の場合は女性と違い乗馬スキルが必須とされている。これは馬に乗れて一人前と見なされていた時代の名残である。女性同士で有れば化粧や服飾、観劇や刺繍の話が出来るだろうが、男性相手だと同じようにはなかなかいかない。共通すると言えば食事の話くらいだろうか。もちろん外交や政治の話も悪くはないが、肩の力を抜く事が出来る話も大切だ。きっかけが作りやすい。顔を広めるためにも会話の引き出しは大いに越したことは無い。

 

 しかしこのように利益があるスキルである反面、この特技は早めに会得させなければなかなか身に付くものではない。

 単に上達までに年数がかかると言うだけの話では無い。もちろんそれもあるが、貴族女性は往々にしてお淑やかな教育を受けている。だから有る程度成長してから初めて馬の背に乗ると、慣れない視界の高さに恐怖を覚え恐れおののき全く技術が向上しないことが多いのだ。だから一人で乗るのではなく例えイシュマに乗せて貰う形をとろうとも、コーデリアをその高さに慣れさせる事が出来るのであればそれに越した事は無い。

 

 

 まだまだ早いとは思っていたが、いつかは覚えさせようと思っていたその技術。本人が自発的に望むのであれば、それに越した事は無いだろう。もしも乗馬の技術を会得する事が出来れば、それは間違いなくコーデリアの将来にも役に立つ。それをエルヴィスは確信している。それは、いつかコーデリアが為政者となることを想定しているからだ。

 

 エルヴィスとしては当初は……いや、今もコーデリアを王太子の妃にと考えている。だが今は想定通り行かなかった場合は妻の姉、つまりコーデリアの伯母に養子へ出す事も考えている。彼女の伯母であるニルパマ・ウェルトリア女伯は代々女領主が治める領地を持つ伯爵家の現当主。彼女は夫との間に子は居らず、近い血縁関係で言えばコーデリアか公爵家の次男へ嫁いだ長女かの二人しかいない。だからコーデリアが王太子に嫁がなかった場合、女伯が迎える養子としてはコーデリアが最有力だ。コーデリアの姉の夫は次男とはいえ、多く爵位を持つ公爵の息子。公爵とはいかずとも何らかの爵位は継承する事になるだろう。もちろん例え夫が爵位を賜ろうともその妻が爵位を継承できないという事はない。だがコーデリアを王家に嫁がせないのであれば、彼女に継承させ婿をとらせれる流れが一番スムーズだ。

 無意識のうちに自身が「どうすればコーデリアが正当な理由で手元に残るか」という事を計算していることを考えず、エルヴィスはただ彼女の将来の為に情報を得る術を与えておきたいと考える。

 

 

 ……だが前提としてこのエルヴィスの考えは一般的な貴族の思考から少し外れている。そもそも女性が伯爵を継ぐのは稀なケースなので、一般的に『年頃に役立つ』といわれている所以は結婚を考えたときに相手と会話を弾ませることが出来るようになるからである。そしてそれは単に『結婚相手の候補と弾む会話を楽しむ』ためだけではなく、『デートの口実に遠乗りを提案する』『親密になれる』など色々な特典が付いてくるからなのだが、エルヴィスはまだその事は考慮していなかった。それこそコーデリアにはまだ早過ぎるという事が無意識のうちにそのような思考を妨げていたのだが、そもそもエルヴィスは乗馬が出来ようが出来まいが、互いに馬が好きであろうが埋まらない溝が有ると言う事を知っている。だから例え知っていたとしても考えることもなかったのだ。もしもそれが本当に心通わせる原因となるのであれば、現在パメラディア夫妻がこれほど距離を置くはずがなかたのだろうから。

 

だから例え乗馬を覚えたとしても打算的な付き合いの、それも表面上のきっかけ程度にしかならないだろうという事はエルヴィスも理解している。だが、それで良い。きっかけさえ作ることが出来れば、その後どう繋がりを持つかという判断を下す事が出来る。後は交流を持つにふさわしい、信用有る発言をする相手かを見極めるのは当人の力量次第だ。きっかけすらなければ繋がりを持つか、完全に切るかを判断する事も出来ないのだから。

 

 

 もちろん純粋に馬を好むエルヴィスとしては娘が同じく馬を好むとなればそれも悪くないと思うのだが、やはり少々危険性についても不安がある。『やはりまだコーデリアは幼い。考え直すべきか』等色々思う事はあるのだが、自身が馬に初めて乗った時の年齢を考えれば問題無いとも思う。自分よりも利口であろうコーデリアなら尚更問題はないだろう……そう、エルヴィスは多少の親馬鹿を含めつつ最終的に結論付けた。こうしてエルヴィスはついに折れ『イシュマが良いと言えばかまわない』という答えをコーデリアに与えた。

 

 もっとも此処までエルヴィスが考えていようともコーデリアはそんな父の胸の内なんて知った事ではなかったのだが。

 

 

 ちなみにエルヴィスはコーデリアに答えを与えると同時に、要約すると『連れて行くのであればくれぐれも危険の無いよう』との手紙をすぐにイシュマ送ったのだが、その事はコーデリアには伝えられていない。手紙を受け取ったイシュマが半ば脅迫じみた手紙に見えたと思った事も、コーデリアには知らされていない。

 

 

 何がともあれエルヴィスがその判断を委ねた事により、コーデリアが外出できるか否かは全てイシュマ次第ということになった。

 

 

(早くご帰宅なさって下さらないかしら)

(Won’t he return home sooner?)

 

 いつも通りならイシュマが午前中に帰宅するという事はまず無いのだが『もしかしたら早めに帰ってくるかもしれない』と言う期待からコーデリアはただただ動かずイシュマを待ち続けた。珍しくエントランスから動こうとしないコーデリアに使用人達は『お嬢様が子供らしい行動をされるのは珍しい』と微笑ましく思ったのだが、彼らは何も言わなかった。コーデリアがその様子を知っていれば話し相手になって欲しいと思ったかもしれないが、生憎パメラディアの使用人は基本的に使用人の鏡で有り、例え相手が子供でも無駄口を叩かない主義である。だからコーデリアはイシュマの帰宅を今か今かと時が長いと感じながら待ちわびていた。

 

 結局イシュマがその日帰宅したのは何時も通り、昼を少し過ぎてからの事だった。

 

 

 当直明けに書類を片付けてきたらしいイシュマはただでさえも赤い目を更に赤くしているようにコーデリアには見えた。

 イシュマは瞳以外の見目は長兄とは違い父に似ず、少し垂れ目で髪は栗毛、長身であるものの着痩せもするようでやや線の細い印象を受ける。そして前世の記憶に頼る言い方をするなら『チャラい』ようにも見える。きっちりと騎士服を着こなし、髪を後ろに撫で固めている正真正銘の騎士様なのだが、何故か空気が必要以上に柔らかく見える。その様子からコーデリアはもしも城下町にイシュマにファンクラブなるものが出来ていても何ら不思議ではないと思う。

 

 

 だが流石にイシュマもパメラディア家の者である。浮ついた噂は今のところひとつもない。

 心配するほどに、ない。

 

 それはさておき、そんなイシュマも体力は十分すぎる程にあり、今はこれほどに疲れた様子を見せていても二刻程眠れば十分に体力を戻し動き回る。見かけによらず実に頑丈な兄である。

 

 

「随分首を長くして待っていたみたいだね。コーデリア」

「お勤めお疲れ様です、イシュマお兄様」

「You seem to be on quite the alert while waiting, Cordelia.」

「Good work, Brother Ishma.」

 

 どうやらコーデリアの出迎えの意味を察したイシュマは苦笑いを隠さなかった。

 

「手紙の件は本気かい?」

「Is what the letter said true?」

 

 背の低い妹に合わせ片膝を折るイシュマは唯一そっくりな赤い目でコーデリアの真意を探る。

 少し細められた目にコーデリアは思わず息を詰めそうになるが、

 

「ええ、もちろんですわっ!」

「Yes, of course it is!」

 

 負けじと大きな兄の右手を両手で持ち上げるとそのままコーデリアも勢いを落とさない。

 

「ねえ、お兄様。私も連れて行って下さいませ。シーヴェルフの森に行ってみたいのです」

「書庫と父上にべったりの妹が俺を指名してくれるとは。しかも森とは……母上に影響を受けたのかい?」

「母上?……お兄様はお母様にお会いされていますの?」

「Say, Elder Brother. Please take me along with you. I would like to go see the Seaverph Forest.」

「To think that my sister who was attached to the library and Father would designate me for the job. But the forest is…… I wonder if this is our Mother’s influence?」

「Mother? ……Have you met Mother before, Brother?」

 

 想像もしていなかった問いかけにコーデリアは驚きイシュマに尋ね返してしまった。

 

 

 滅多に会うことは無いが、もちろんコーデリアは母親を知らない訳ではない。母親はイシュマや姉と同じ柔らかな栗毛の髪を持つ美しい人だ。歩く動作ひとつだけでも気品が漂っておりその存在感は凄まじい。コーデリアの行儀作法の先生も美しい動作を教えてくれるが、先生と比べても……いや、比べられない程に洗練された美しさを携えている。何処がと口に出す事は難しいが、いうなればその存在そのものがという所だろうか。

 

 

 コーデリアが美しさを追求するというのなら、彼女のような“お手本”が身近に存在する事はどんなレッスンを受けるよりも本来ならば意味があるだろう。だがその『本来ならば』と言葉が付いてしまう事が問題である。コーデリアは自らの母親とほとんど話をした事が無い。

 

 コーデリアと母親の関係は極めて希薄で、屋敷で稀にすれ違う程度の関係だ。3歳の大病を患った時でさえ見舞われた事もない。すれ違ってもコーデリアが礼をとる程度で、母親から声を掛けられた事は無い。

 だがそんな母親に対しコーデリアは幾度も接触しようと試み続けて来た。その理由第一の理由は恐ろしい未来を回避するためだ。パメラディア伯爵夫人となればパメラディア家で第二位の発言権を持つはずである。もしも彼女が父親と同じようにコーデリアに対し未来の王妃の座を求めるのならば、あるいは当然の事項として考えているのであればコーデリアとしても接触しない訳にはいかなかった。

 

 

 だがそんな思いとは裏腹にコーデリアは未だ彼女への接触を成功させていない。会おうとアポイントメントをとろうとしても、いつも母親の侍女が断りの伝言を持ってくるだけだった。結局そんな事をしているうちにコーデリアも母親との接触を諦めてしまった。

 しかし諦めたのは決して自分の未来を諦めるからではない。その逆だ。

 コーデリアは自身の未来に母親の存在は何ら影響しない事に気付いてしまたのだ。

 コーデリアは彼女との接触成功の為に子供らしく侍女に母親の話をせがんだりもした。だが少しずつ得た情報をまとめると、どうやら母親は『根本的にパメラディアの家に興味が無い』ことが分かったのだ。愛も憎悪も全て父親が対象、という具合で、家には興味がないようなのだ。

 侍女から聞いた言葉は非常に遠まわしで、そして大分遠慮がちではあったが、要約すると『母は騎士だった父に惚れて母の父に頼みこむ形で自身を売り込み、婚姻を成立させた』『しかし父は物語の騎士のようには女性に対して優しくレディファーストな訳ではなかった』『おまけに陛下を護衛した際に負った傷が原因で騎士も辞してしまった』『騎士を辞めても父親は相変わらず夫婦らいし様子を見せようとしない為ツンとした態度をとっている』というのだ。むしろ『何か困ったことでも起きればいいんだわ』といった調子で夫人としての務めはしないらしい。

 

 

 だから四歳になる前にコーデリアは母親と接触することをあきらめたのだが、どこかで『ゲームのコーデリアの我儘な振舞いは母親譲りなのか』と妙に納得してしまった。……いや、父親にも『お前は王太子に嫁ぐ』と言われ続けていたから『私がなって当然』と思っていたのかもしれないけれど。ただ、厳しく言い続けたとしても父親はヒロインを陰湿に苛めろとは言わないだろうとコーデリアは思った。

 

 

 しかし母親も気に食わないのならばいっそ離縁したほうが良いのではないか。少なくとも父親は気にしないだろうとコーデリアも思ったが、それは母親のプライドが許さないのだとも推測される。恐らく父親が妻に逃げられたと周囲に見られることは無く、逆に母親が離縁されたと映る可能性の方が高い事は想像に難くない。対外的に父親はデキる人なのだ。社交界に一切姿を見せない母親の方が奇特に映っても不思議ではない。

 けれど彼女の仕草は貴族のそれそのものだ。だから周囲にそのようにみられるのを嫌うだろう。例え式典であっても『病欠』する有様だが、家の中……例えば廊下であろうとも絶対に高貴な空気だけは外さない。プライドが高いのだろう。だから現状維持に努めている。そうとしか考えられなかった。そう考えるとコーデリアが生まれたのは奇跡に近いのではないか。……まぁ、『父親に興味を示されない事に拗ねている母親』であれば父に声をかけられればそれだけで機嫌が幾分マシになるのかもしれないが……そんな事はコーデリアには分からない事であるし、あまり分かりたいとも思えなかった。

 そんなに気になるなら、自分から話しかけるように努めれば良いのに。そう思ってしまうからだ。自分が母親に会えれば橋渡しにもなれるだろうが、あって貰えないのだからどうしようもない。幸か不幸か父親に気にした様子がないのでそれ以上気を遣うつもりもないのだが。

 

 

 とにかくコーデリアは前述の理由故に接触ミッションを一時中断させた。ひたすら拒否される状況下で打開策が見当たらなかったし、自分の不利益になり得無いと分かった以上、嫌がる相手に無理やり会おうとすることも気が引けた。もしも自分が会いたくないと言っている相手にしつこく面会要求をされるのは気分が良くない。

 もしもコーデリアが本当に純粋な三歳児なのであればどう考えていたのかは分からない。だが前世の記憶のあるコーデリアはある程度人付き合いの雰囲気を感覚で覚えている。嫌がる相手に突進を続けた所で良い方向に転ぶことはまずないだろう。

 

 

 ちなみにコーデリアの記憶は全てハッキリを覚えているという訳では無い。特に家族や友人に至る人間関係及び人物像……それから自分がどのように前世を終えたのか、ヴェールをかぶったようにハッキリ見えない。ゲームの登場人物を覚えていたのに、学校での様子や何をしていたかは覚えているのに、何故なのだろうと思う。しかしそのような事も深くは考えないようにしている。前世の記憶で使えるものは遠慮なく使うつもりだが、知らない記憶を無理に掘り起こすのは気が進まない。現在はこの世界が自分の生きる世界だ。仮に前世の人間関係を思い出しても……何も出来ることは無いだろう。思い出したことを後悔するようなことになる可能性だってある。

 

(前世は前世。仕方がないことだわ)

(The past is the past. It can’t be helped.)

 

 そもそも思い出した記憶事態に自分が『死んだ』記憶がない。そう思えば思い出したいとも思えなかった。

(……って、今はそうじゃなくて)

(……Now is not the time for this.)

 

 今は兄から聞いた母のことが意外な情報だったのだ。

 まるでイシュマはコーデリアと母親が充分にコミュニケーションをとれる関係にあると思っている風である。それは少なくともイシュマが母親と会話をしている故の見解なのだろう。しかしイシュマが母親に会っているとなればコーデリアの考えは『母親はパメラディア家に興味が無い』という事自体が間違っていると言うことになるからだ。

 

 その驚きのままにコーデリアはイシュマに尋ね返したのだが、イシュマはそんな妹を見て表情を硬くした。

 

「……お兄様?」

「いや、何でも無い。遠乗りへは明日行こう。朝露のきらめく森は綺麗だから、出発は早い時間だよ」

「え、ええ」

「悪いが少し寝てくる。コーデリアも部屋に戻りなさい」

「……Brother?」

「No, it’s nothing. We’ll set out tomorrow. Because the woods sparkling with morning dew is a beautiful sight, we’ll leave early in the morning.」

「Y-yes.」

「Excuse me, but I’ll be heading to sleep. You should also return to your room, Cordelia.」

 

 コーデリアの期待とは対照的に言葉を濁したイシュマはコーデリアの頭を一撫ですると立ちあがり、屋敷の奥へと消えて行った。

 

 

(……やはり聞いてはいけない事だったのかしら)

(……As I thought, maybe that was something I wasn’t supposed to hear.)

 

 明らかに子供相手の誤魔化しに走ったイシュマを見送りつつ、コーデリアはこっそりとため息をついた。

 ……まぁ、どんな理由であれ幼い我が子を避ける母親の話を聞きたがる娘相手に理由を説明する事は難しいだろう。母親を非難するわけにもいかないし、コーデリアが悪いと思わない言い回しでなければいけない。

 

 コーデリアは自室に戻りながら、自分がどこか落胆している事に気がついた。

As Cordelia was returning to her room, she realized she was feeling dejected.

 

 自分がというよりは、『本当に3歳のコーデリアが』というような……身体の、心の一部が痛むような不思議な感覚で有った。そして驚いた。顔を合わすだけの限りなく他人に近い相手だと自分で思っていたはずなのに、落胆する自分が……自分では無い、自分が身体の中に存在することに。コーデリアは口を引き結んだ。

 

「“貴族たるもの、時に感情を押し殺す事も必要です”だったっけ」

「”For those who are qualified as nobles, there are times when you must suppress your emotions,” something like that.」

 

 そしてパタンとドアを閉めながら、何度も言われて来た嗜みの一つを小さく呟いた。動揺は顔に出してはダメだと、駆け引きも負けるし相手に見下げられる原因になると言われていたのに、今はそれが出来ている自信がなかった。むしろ恐らく全て表情に出てしまっているだろう。完璧な令嬢になるにはまだまだ道は険しそうだ。そう思いつつ、コーデリアは先ほどとは違い深くため息をついた。

 

(今日はレッスンが何も無くて良かったな)

(It’s good that there aren’t any lessons today.)

 

 もし見つかっていたら恰好がつかないところだった。そう思いながらゆっくりと部屋の中を進み窓に寄ると、薄いレースのカーテンをすっと閉めた。

 

 今日は朝からはしゃぎ過ぎ、少し疲れてしまっただけだ。そんな時に母親の事を兄に出されたから、少し動揺してしまっただけだ。深く気にしている訳ではない。そう思いながらゆっくりと、それでも貴族の令嬢としては非常に行儀悪くベッドに倒れ込んだ。

(大丈夫、眠って起きたら頭はきっとすっきりする――)

(It’s fine, once I go to sleep and wake up my head will feel better――)

 

 だがそんなコーデリアの思いを邪魔するかのように、瞑った目の奥の暗い世界から小さな声がコーデリアに語り始める。

 

 

 ねえ、お母様は家に興味がないんじゃなくて、貴女の事が嫌いなだけじゃない?

 ――うるさいなぁ。

 Hey, if Mother isn’t interested in the house, doesn’t that just mean that she hates you?

 ――You’re noisy.

 

 あなたのお母さんでしょう?お兄様には会ってるっていうのに、寂しくないの?

 ――だったらどうしろっていうのよ?

 

 She’s your mother right? Even though she met with Brother, aren’t you lonely?

 ――Then what are you saying I should do?

 

 煩い思考を振り払うかのようにコーデリアは一度寝返りを打ち、うっすらと目を開いた。たなびくカーテンが何かを訴えているようにも見えた。

 To shake off the noisy thoughts, Cordelia rolled over once and slightly opened her eyes. It looked to her as if the hanging curtains were accusing her of something.

 

「………」

「………」

 

 ばさり、ばさり。窓を閉じずに閉めたカーテンは声を立てていないのに、何かを強く訴えようとしている。

 Rustle, rustle. Without closing the window, the shut curtains were not raising any voices, but they were strongly accusing her of something.

 

(……そうよ、何も思わないわ。寂しいような感情は嘘、私は一番彼女を反面教師にしなければならないのだから。自分の思い通りにならないからと意地を張る女性になんてならない。自分で障害を取り除く女性になる。それが例えこの世界の普通でなくとも――私は私の手で幸せを掴みとる)

 

(……That’s right, I don’t think anything of it. These feelings of loneliness are a lie, because I must learn from the best woman’s negative example. (?) Just because things don’t move as I want, I will not become a woman who exerts her will. I will become a woman who removes her obstacles. Even if it’s out of the ordinary in this world――I will grab hold unto happiness with my own hands.)

 

 ようやくやって来た眠気にコーデリアは身を任せた。

 Cordelia succumbed herself to the long awaited drowsiness.

 

(……はやく立派な令嬢になろう。感情に惑わされることなく、前を見据えられる令嬢に――)

(……Let’s become a proper lady quickly. Without being confused by my feelings, and keeping my gaze in front――)

 

 薄れゆく意識の中でそう小さく決意しながら。

 In her dimming consciousness, she made her small resolution.

 


 

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Drop – Act 1: Cordelia

Act 1 Cordelia

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n7983cw/2/

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Platinum blonde hair and white skin. The girl who had specially colored red pupiled eyes with light pink irises, exclusive to her family and indicating magic characteristic. Those who saw the special features of Count Pameradia’s family would unanimously say「Truly, she is just like a fairy」in praise.


That girl is Cordelia Ena Pameradia.
She is the youngest sibling of four in Count Pameradia’s household, and the second daughter.

She was raised showered in words of praise ever since she was born, and it was whispered that she would one day marry the Prince who was close to her in age. It didn’t matter how young Cordelia might’ve been at the time, or even if the person herself had absolutely no intention to do so.

That’s right, Cordelia had no intention whatsoever to marry the Prince. Even though she was born as one of this country’s nobles and she was the daughter of one of the most prominent Count families, she had no regard to how much of an honor others told her it would be…… In fact, they even told her that it would be her duty to do so.

But Cordelia was aware that 「she was not normal」―― That was because she possessed the “memories of her previous life,” and thought that she was probably far from being a “normal person.” Even if it sounded outlandish, she believed that this conclusion was not wrong.

Yes, Cordelia possessed the memories of her previous life.

Cordelia was about three years old when she remembered her previous life. Trapped in the nightmare throes of an epidemic, as her consciousness was in a haze, memories of being a 『Nihonjin』began flowing into her one after another. As a result, her brain raised a scream and she was in the difficult position of wandering the border of life and death for about ten days…… It could be said that Cordelia’s life was saved thanks to that experience.

Because she was able to recall those memories, she was able to realize that she had now become the『cold egoist, Cordelia』who had appeared in a game she played before. She had a feeling it was a game that fell in a mix of genres of 【find true love and a little SRPG】or something similar.

The Cordelia inside the game was incredibly disagreeable, and a very petty person. She had a princess type temperament with high pride and saw those with lower social positions than hers as things to be used. She was in love with the prince, and she despised the Heroine who was the Count’s illegitimate child, born to the same household. To put it simply, she was『mannerless and had no common sense,』and people would happily speak badly about her. With an extraordinary lovely appearance that seemed to fit right in with small, playful birds, “Cordelia” would say『I don’t need any chicklings who won’t sing for my sake』with a distorted smile and she plotted many schemes to take down the Heroine.
The thoroughness and complicity of her plans caused the game fans to refer to her as, rather than princess, but 『Mother-in-Law,』or even『Queen.』
Naturally “Cordelia” isn’t chosen by the Prince, and the goal of the game is to push for the Heroine’s happy end.
It could be said to be a deserving end to a third-rate villain, but  Cordelia kills herself out of insanity. The incident in which Cordelia hurriedly caused when seeing that the Prince and the Heroine were furthering their relationship along…… She raised mayhem with magic, and trying to raise her stock by suppressing the matter……but that was where they caught her. The incident itself didn’t seem to influence the original story however, but it also briefly mentioned that because of her deed her family had indirectly received punishment as well.
There is not much to be said about what kind of house in the girl was raised in, but she was indeed an unparalleled annoyance of a daughter.

Cordelia was horrified. What a person I have reincarnated into, she lamented.

But luckily for her, Cordelia’s memories returned when she was a mere three years old. Her innocence had not yet been distorted, so she was still a relatively normal young noble girl. She had no memories of having committed any wrongdoings either. To the point of where she did not even have memories of gorging herself on sweets, she was a “good girl.”

Therefore even though this was a life without hope, as long as she was able to avoid the Prince, she would likely be able to avoid the worst outcome as well. It was for the sake of survival. She would definitely be told to seek the position by the Prince’s side in the future (in fact, she felt like they were already pressuring her to do so), but this was the only thing she would not budge one inch on…… No matter what would happen, she would determinedly avoid the Prince. She would eliminate any seeds of anxiety. If she didn’t then her life would be forfeit.

Thus a feverish three-year-old Cordelia made a firm, resolute decision.

But, even so. What fun would there be in dedicating her entire life to just avoiding the Prince? Wouldn’t that be a very wasteful way to live her life? Cordelia ran into this question after a few days.
The Prince marries another girl, and she gets to live out the rest of her life in safety and peace. If she did not choose her methods, that is―― Even if it was not the malicious methods of the in-game Cordelia, for example if she did not match up to the Prince’s liking while in a conversation, she could achieve her goal. While it was not possible for her to refuse a royal invitation, it was definitely doable for her to lower their impression of her as she wished in this way. It’s not likely that the Prince would go out of his way to make a girl without similar values into the Queen either. After all, as the Prince he had the choice of any girls in or outside of the kingdom. Of course, there might be times where she would have to adjust to him so as to not lose face, but there should not be many problems as long as she avoided him to the utmost of her abilities.

But if there is nothing left to her but a peaceful life, then there is a big problem. Even if she poured her all into avoidance, she would still end up with free time. Avoidance is not her life’s goal. Avoidance is simply a path that she must travel through.

Then―― What else should I do?

While thinking those thoughts, Cordelia casually glanced into the mirror and found an answer.

(Cordelia is cute. It not a problem to say she will grow into a beautiful girl.)

Saying that she will turn into a beauty when she is just three years old is a little premature. But it was definite that “Cordelia” would grow up to become beautiful, and besides her parents were also handsome and beautiful people. Even her elder siblings grew to good looking, so using the past examples it was evident that she would also grow beautiful without exception.

(If it’s like that, then――)

 

An urge emerged in Cordelia that she very much wanted to attempt.
That is―― She wanted to polish the beautiful appearance that so beguiling she was tempted to twirl without thinking.
It was not a very childish thought, but it was better to begin refining yourself as soon as possible. As soon as the idea came to her, she took action the same day. Her outward appearance was important but so were her postures and her gestures, and other things like her ambiance would enrich her beauty, so she resolved herself to learn them. To be not only beautiful but also refined―― that was what she was determined to do.

Like that Cordelia began her journey down the road of being a diligent child.
That’s why after being afflicted with sickness and her treatment, a difference showed in what she asked for and what she wanted, but that too was cleared up with them saying「young miss is very intelligent」and「you are growing more and more every day,」and no one ever grew suspicious. The ones who noticed the changes most in Cordelia were the servants and the home tutors, but her family members, who usually had little contact with each other, did not notice the changes in Cordelia from the start.

But still, even to those vague family members―― the head of the family, Count Pameradia was informed of the information.

Cordelia had self-practiced her “Lady Training” for about a year.
When she became four, her father ordered her with a stronger tone than usual, and using clear words he told her, 「you must endeavor to marry into the royal family.」

For a normal noble girl of high standing, her father’s orders were undefiable.
However, no matter how much Cordelia sought to be the 『ideal young lady,』here she had no choice but to shake her head.
She desperately made an appeal to her father.

Frankly, the Pameradia household wasn’t the type to give an ear to a child’s nonsense. Unlike her sister years away in age, Cordelia was born in the same generation as the Prince and would be his future Princess,  and she was to obtain the position of Crown Princess, and her parents had no doubt that she would be chosen by the Prince. That the future Crown Princess would be from the Pameradia family was virtually set in stone.

But when her father discussed his sentiments to her Cordelia loudly yelled 「I don’t want to!!」in return. It was not a talk where a joke would be unpardoned.
The exceedingly impatient Cordelia also served to alarm the maid who had taken care of her. Just as the maid expected――no, even more so Cordelia’s indignance had incurred the rage of her father. He slapped her across the cheek…… And it was at that time with eyes red, Cordelia declared.

「Cordelia will marry Father in the future! That’s why the thought of marrying the Prince is disgusting!! 」

Of course, these were never Cordelia’s true feelings. These were just simply『excuses.』

As stated before, Cordelia and her family did not have much interaction. In the first place, it couldn’t be said that their relationships in the family were on a good level. The relationships between the siblings were fine, but it was strictly “fine” at best. Her soon-to-be-married elder sister seemed busy at work being a proxy for their mother, and her brothers were not at home very often. So it was a situation where it wasn’t bad enough to not be able greet them, but it wasn’t good either. However in the case of the Count and Countess, it was imaginable to be even more disastrous. They were not even in a state where they could face each other. But that is only from Cordelia’s imagination. Since Cordelia has not met her mother enough to count their encounters, and she only ever met her father when he had『something to discuss.』

So there was no way for Cordelia to have gained that much affection for her father…… If she had to give her impression of him, it was to the point of『someone I don’t see often but who seems to live in the same house,』but the excuse was something she had to make up for the sake enduring the conversation. If something was usable, then she would use anything.

If she had more time to think about it, she could’ve come up with a better excuse, but this time her time was limited and she couldn’t think of anything else.
But surprisingly, these words were very effective on Count Pameradia.

The Count who had previously been unbridled with his anger lost his composure, stared at Cordelia with round eyes in a dumbfounded manner, and this was the only time it had ever or would ever happen.

「I-is that so……」

The Count said with embarrassment and hastily left. This surprised both Cordelia and her maid. That was because it was the first time that the usually stern Count was unable to mask his troubled feelings.

Although Cordelia herself understood the feelings of『I’m so happy I want to hug my own child,』but once she realized the Earl had them too, she thought「Eh, this person at this age, what a cute way of thinking!?」and from then two days had passed from the『I want to be Father’s bride incident.』Henceforth, at every opportunity Cordelia launched the『I love Father』appeal whenever she could. In actuality, she was really cute. But even more than how Cordelia thought that her Father was adorable, she was spoiled by her Father.

In front of the other siblings, her Father was the same strict man as ever, but when it was just the two of them alone conversing with each other, there was a clear difference in his words―― Concretely speaking, it was an attitude hard to imagine from her regular Father, being a little sheepish while wearing an awkward smile. Cordelia’s feelings of wanting to marry her Father was not her honest opinion in the beginning, but now Cordelia thought that『if a man like Father ever appeared before me, then let’s propose right away.』

But even though Cordelia hung onto the『I love Father』filter, she began to think and gradually sense for herself,『isn’t Father doting on me a little too much?』

The first time she truly realized it was when she was eight.

At that time, the thing that held Cordelia’s interest the most were medicinal plants.
The Pameradia’s magic characteristic was to boost the properties of plants. That’s why one day after elementary school, she sneakily snuck into the garden to suck on flower nectar and was surprised by the sweetness. It seemed like it was a convenient magic where if you could just touch the plant and think about the magic, it would work.

There Cordelia thought,『if there really is the ability to enhance the powers of plants, then if I use more effective medicinal plants I might be able to make an amazing medicine.』Even though it was just a rough idea of『I might be able to make an amazing medicine,』she sneakily hunted for books in the library, and each time she went to the garden or through alleyways, she would search in the boundaries for wildflowers and plants with great interest. In her past life she would have regarded these plants as nothing but wildflowers, but the idea『there is the potential to make an amazing product with these』was charming to her. That, and if she really did have powers then it would be a waste not to use them to her utmost.

One day with tears in her eyes, to her workaholic father with stiff shoulders from many years of work Cordelia said『there might be something beneficial for Father’s body, so in the future I would like to study medicinal plants,』but he was so touched by his daughter’s words that surprisingly, he promised that he would give her a glass paned greenhouse to grow medicinal plants in as a present. Cordelia could only think of his words as jest. But ten days later, she was startled when he really presented it to her. There shouldn’t be any greenhouses in this country…… Or so she thought, but it seemed like it was designed and supervised by her Father. The greenhouse was constructed with all the latest technology. Even though the building time was just ten days, it was able to withstand all types of the latest magic. Her Father had even used his first annual leave to construct it for her. Is there even a yearly paid vacation in this world? is what Cordelia thought with far off eyes, but this much spoiling was definitely out of her calculations. It was really prepared much too quickly considering the future was still far off. To present something so lavish like this was too much for an eight year old.

Incidentally, in this world with neither gas nor electricity, magic tools similar to electrical appliances that consumed magic power were usable. But the luxurious price was nothing compared to Nihon. If converted into money, the price of a hair blower would be approximate to  that of a kei car. None of the magical tools had the long term use or heavy duty capabilities as modern electrical appliances had, and at the same time there were not many innovations in the field. That was why there was very little variety. If there was just even a little variation in the magic tool, then the price would skyrocket. That’s why Cordelia was unable to even fathom the cost of the greenhouse that utilized all the sophisticated magic tools. It wasn’t supposed to be Cordelia’s responsibility to feel lightheaded first rather than be joyful over the matter.

But it would be wasteful to not use the building she received. She hated being wasteful.

Having the situation rapidly change on her, Cordelia, who had thought that it would still be a long ways away, began to think about what she should begin researching…… First she decided on working with the wild plants referred to as herbs in her previous world. She had some issues with the cosmetics of this world, and she had a little experience studying them in her past world. There was no lie that she had wanted to research medicine for her Father’s sake, but for now she would focus on laying the groundwork so that she wouldn’t become troubled in the future.

She knew that there were books in the archives, but it seemed that it was common to refine the oil from nuts with hard shells that looked like the walnuts from her previous world. Just that level of stimulus would be lacking for scented balms or perfumes, but combined with the effects of magic she could make products that were beneficial for the skin…… But ever since it had been announced about 200 years ago, the manufacturing method had been patented.

However, since it’s announcement 200 years ago, there had been no innovation on the manufacturing method. The largest reason being that the variety of tree nuts that were able to be refined were few, also because the trees were able to produce only a few kilos of nuts at once, and that the trees themselves were very hard to raise were all factors that influenced the lack of innovation. Above all else, the refining process required a high amount of mana to be injected and was very difficult.

Unlike when using a magic tool, it was necessary to be able to apply advanced magic on the tree nut directly. But in reality tree nuts with fragrance and an affinity for magic were few in number, and it was only possible to use a magic tool in the very beginning, so there was no choice but to be able to apply magic directly. Therefore the people themselves who were actually capable of refining were rare. Rather than a problem of artisan creativity, it became one of whether a worker had to ability to refine it or not. Consequently, the price remained high. Regardless of the use or the type or the scarcity, even for high ranking nobles it was a product very difficult to procure. Some say『there is value in it because it can’t be obtained,』but…… even in that situation, there is not a small amount of nobles who substitute perfume and cloak themselves in rose potpourri. However for those using the potpourri, the rose’s essential oils is missing in the dried flower state. Meaning the extent of consolation was only to that degree.

But in contrast to the hard to obtain tree nuts, the herbs without magical preference seemed to have not even been considered. Why do they continue to ignore the herbs with high magical affinity…… The reason was most likely『because they are wild grasses.』Excluding the few that used herbs in cooking, the masses tended to believe that herbs were nothing but『weeds that didn’t particularly contribute to research.』That’s why the nobles did not even think of being able to enjoy their fragrances. In the first place, in this world the herbs used for cooking and the one with fragrant scents only grew deep in the mountains. The others did not seem to be needed, so only the herbs for cooking were grown at the foot of the mountains or cultivated. But it is quite easy to make a fertile plot of land rich in mana to grow flowers in, and even without the assistance of human hands they can grow independently in that plot of soil.

Although the herbs did not often mix in with the life of nobles, Cordelia was able to find something closeby by chance.
To begin with she knew that edible herbs like basil had a scent from cooking, but she didn’t know where other flowering plants were located, no, she did not know if they even existed on the mansion grounds. Disappointingly she was not able to find a book specializing on herbs in the archives that was supposedly filled with all sorts of knowledge either.
So Cordelia cast aside her sneakiness and boldly asked the head chef about the herbs they used in cooking…… That, and she strongly inquired the cook to tell her if they knew of any other fragrant herbs. The head chef was inexperienced in the field, but they asked their acquaintances and gathered the information for Cordelia. As a result, Cordelia discovered that there were many herbs that she recognized growing wildly in this world. She asked the head chef for even more favors, got the chef to obtain edible mint, which had not yet been used in cooking, and experienced the high magical affinity of the herb first hand. Without the head chef, Cordelia would have likely had a hard time collecting information about the herbs. She was persistent, but she was still just a child. Her intelligence network also had a limit to it.

In any case, Cordelia jumped on the chance. If she was able to grow easily manageable plants then the costs would be greatly reduced, and also the distribution price would also be able to be lowered. Of course, for it to be a high class good, it would have to priced adequately, but…… If she was able to make her product distinct from others, then it would work out somehow. Above all else, nobles were the type that liked new fads. If Cordelia could make an essential oil that only she was capable of making, then it was inevitable that she would be contacted in the future. The more people she knew the better it would be for her later. Even if she had no personal connections to use, the chance that she could use her Father’s connections were high.

Since she was born beautifully and decided to polish herself, she had no reason to let go of this chance to build her personal connections, which may become a weapon in her arsenal later on.

Thus, Cordelia raised the curtain to her rebellion――

 

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TL Corner: Otou-san kawaii. ( ´ ▽ ` ).。o♡

Anyways, I didn’t realize HOW LONG these chapters were! It took me a long time just to finish chapter 1! ;A;

That being said, I should really focus on stockpiling translated chapters then. Maybe I’ll try to stick to a weekly/bi-weekly schedule, and release on the weekend or something.

There are some stuff I should probably explain in translator notes, but I didn’t mark them anywhere so if you’re interested (or have one of your own to add) then feel free to look below.

  • Cordelia/Narrator changes from using Chichi-sama and Otou-sama. Chichi-sama is more formal, and Otou-sama would be the equivalent of Dad or something like that. But I just kept it as Father.
  • I changed how Cordelia refers to Japan into Nihon, and Japanese into Nihonjin. Because in the actual text, rather than using Kanji, they use katakana which are usually used for foreign words.
  • A kei car is a small car that is used in Japan, pretty much exclusively because it is designed for Japanese streets and such. Wiki explains it better. 

Again, if you want to check out the translation and nitpick, be my guest. Or if you’re a grammar nazi, then feel free to comment as well.

JP + ENG Trans

Also, I did not realize what huge walls of words there would be! I’ve been trying to keep the formatting as close as possible, but would you rather have more space in-between paragraphs (the indented ones)? Or no?

Hope you enjoyed! Off to work on CH 2 now. ;v; Hopefully there will be something to upload next weekend.

** Reading this again, there are a ton of grammatical errors. >.> Anyone interested in helping me with editing?

Drop – Prologue

Prologue

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n7983cw/1/

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My head is heavy, it hurts, I don’t understand why… The world is pure white.
Where am I looking?

Cordelia memorized the feeling as if the atmosphere around her were warping, and slowly closed her eyes. However, it wasn’t as if the assaulting feeling would disappear just because one closed their eyes. It felt disgusting. The nausea was terrible.

It was after winter that the world began to be inflicted by this infectious disease.
In the blink of an eye, the illness had invaded what was referred to as the fertile country of Christa without exception. Many people would refer to this period as the Dark Winter for many years to come.

And in the world blanketed by darkness, in the house of a noble family from the Christa Kingdom, the symptoms of the illness appeared in the Pameradia family’s youngest daughter Cordelia.

A shock ran through the Pameradia family.

We can’t afford to lose the daughter who we raised to be the future queen here, they said.

It wasn’t that there wasn’t any treatment for the quick hitting disease. But no matter the abundance of assets or the doctor obtained through connections or cutting edge technology of treatment methods and medicine, Cordelia would not recover her health. The doctor muttered quietly. This was not just the recently prevalent disease, there must be some sort of other serious illness that was complicating the process, or so he said.

For Cordelia who only showed a vague reaction to the constant nursing and treatment, and around the time when the people around her began thinking『it might already be too late』towards her, rapid changes began to occur inside Cordelia’s body.

In all honesty, the infectious disease had already disappeared from her body. But with similar symptoms, and from different origins…… Unimaginable things were happening inside her.

That change began when in the girl’s previously white vision, a big ball of light appeared before her. Not long after, the light condensed and became smaller, but when it became the size of a fist, it swelled and burst open.

At the same time as the light scattered and fell like rain, a tremendous amount of footage and audio surged into Cordelia’s brain.

Gently flowing wavy platinum blonde hair was projected into the girl’s mind, as was the signature of the Pameradia family’s magic power, the red pupils enclosed in the pink irises of her eyes.

But almost immediately the impression of that figure would change.

The girl’s eyes were very cold, and from her open mouth spewed incredibly cold, biting words.

『Know your place.』

That appearance, that voice. Cordelia realized.
She is『Cordelia.』And she is the future me.

When I was in Nihon, I knew about her from a game.
She was the rival to the protagonist of an otome game.

The moment she understood the things being processed into her mind were things she had never seen before, the familiar mountain of buildings, the station, the school, the cars flowed into her.
It was such a huge amount of information that Cordelia’s brain raised a scream.
But even within her dazed consciousness, Cordelia firmly understood her standing.

I was reborn into an incredibly terrible villainess noble girl.

Accepting this truth as her final act, Cordelia was once again swallowed into the whirlpool of information.

 

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TL Corner: You don’t have to read this part. I just got a boatload of attention on this so now I’m a little nervous about it ahahaha. Anyways, here is the prologue to hold you guys for now. I’ll try to stockpile on translating chapters so I can do a more regular release, if possible. There’s not that much chapters so hopefully it won’t be too tough.

Also, if you find any mistakes, or would like to compare to the Japanese version along side to nitpick at my translation, please feel free to and mention anything you think is odd or off. My Japanese is not the greatest and sometimes I do take a little liberty, but I’ll try to be more faithful to the work from now on.

JP + ENG Trans

Also, it seems like there might be some first person perspective mixed in with the third perspective, so I’ll italicize it just to make it stand out more.