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I Reincarnated As A Noble Girl Villainess But Why Did It Turn Out This Way? – 245
Part 4 “Appropriation” – Introduction
Episode 23 Learning About Rumors (continuation)
“That’s wrong! Don’t touch the tea utensils. Cups in Arxia have handles, you know?. The reason why it seems it’s going to be thrown off balance is that your ring finger isn’t holding the bottom of the handle properly. Don’t try to grab it with just your first three fingers.”
“Stretch your spine more, and don’t lower your head. Your posture when playing will also be looked at during the examination. Don’t be distracted by your hands. Ah, there. The sound fades because your little finger is lying flat. You’ve done it again. Raise your finger firmly before playing.”
“When writing letters, you need to use more feminine expressions… If you can’t think of a good seasonal greeting, it’s safe to talk about flowers and birds. Now, meals… are not something a lady should be using as a greeting. Of course, it’s not a problem if it’s part of your main topic, but meals as a greeting is something that is more often used by men.”
“Ah, okay, I see…”
The three students’ guidance, which took place after school and on days off, was more demanding than anticipated.
There were bound to be questions about manners, so counting Miss Julia, the manners instructor, and me, who was playing the part of a young man, it took five people to tackle the table manners needed for a tea party and an evening party.
Keeping in mind the various challenges that would be imposed on the participants, Miss Rachel would take care of dancing, instrumental music, songs, and so on, and Elise would take care of the recitation of poetry and writing, making up for her shortcomings while looking at the details.
By the way, we still needed to cover things such as how to combine clothing items and accessories after those other topics were covered. It seems that there were quite a lot of tasks involved in hosting a tea party.
To be honest, these days must have been just as problematic for Emilia as well.
I had been trying to see what was going on and helping as much as possible, but it was very hard because I actually realized that my own education as a lady was no higher than Emilia’s.
Since both men and women would be about the same in regards to table manners and culture, it was a big mistake to think that there would be no big differences in all other things except for dancing and maybe horse riding.
I’ve since learned that there was a great need for characterization as a woman in both her thoughtfulness, and, so to speak, those other parts.
For example, the piano-like instrument that Elise was teaching her seemed to be intended to play a different kind of music than the one I knew from when I was taking piano lessons. It is said there could be many pieces that could be played with both hands by flowing through a series of fine sounds, and those pieces with few bass chords that gave a profound feeling to the sound were preferred. I didn’t know that, and hadn’t noticed it.
The primary instrument she was learning was something that looked like a violin, which though it would be used to play the same pattern several times and would serve more as an accompaniment instrument, women actually didn’t like playing this instrument very much. I didn’t know that, and hadn’t noticed it.
The reason for that was simple: their sleeves would get in the way. Many women’s clothes do not do well when moving one’s arms vertically, move their arms vertically, and their sleeves would get swollen.
Wasn’t that completely different from what a sleeve was supposed to do?
“Why, it was a rather depressing piece, wasn’t it?”
“It’s not depressing.”
“Well then, what is it? Are you sulking?”
“No, see, you are sulking!”
I couldn’t express such feelings in front of Emilia, but it would be easy for Ratoka and the others to understand and to feel connected with her.
“Even so, Lady Elise, it was very beautiful.”
Speaking of Ratoka, though I haven’t been able to actually meet with her yet, I’ve come to be close to her rather frequently, which made me feel in an uneasily good mood, so I wouldn’t mind her being noisy at all.
…After all, I might need to ask Elise to teach the minimum necessary things for behaving like a lady later.
Of course, she would have a lot to work on.
After doing this for half a month, a strange rumor began to spread strangely within the school.
According to it, several female students were apparently doing regular visits to the Kaldia residence.
“What’s with these rumors? Like there’s some kind of shameful man in there…”
Zephyr, who told me about these unpleasant rumors, bursted into laughter as if he had found them funny, and then smiled mischievously.
Standing beside him, Sieghart raised his face for a moment, but soon returned to the topic of territorial legislation. He seemed to be using what Zephyr and I used when writing the laws of our own territories as reference, but it appeared that he was struggling quite a bit.
“Well, there sure are some gentlemen here that are unpopular with the ladies. So, what’s really going on?”
“…They’re friends of Lady Emilia.”
I was a little vague because it would have been bad to say that she’s being taught by people that were around the same age as her. I didn’t think it was convincing enough, but Zephyr’s reaction flew out of the window.
“Oh, so it’s really true that Emilia, the daughter of the Archduke, is living in the Kaldia residence?”
“Huh? Yeah, it was a royal order. It’s like a live-in escort job.”
Confused by the unexpected information, Sieghart raised his face again after I briefly explained the situation.
“What is it? You didn’t know?”
“I didn’t. It was a plausible rumor, but I didn’t know it was actually true.”
“I should have received the news from Alfred… But it seems they weren’t handed down correctly…”
He spoke to himself, then once again returned to his work.
He seemed to have reached a roadblock, since when he pulled out a report summarizing the faculties needed for the Kaldia domain from his bag, he let out a slight growl as if he had reached his wits’ end.
“So that information got warped along the way and became that rumor?”
“Yeah… That must be it.”
Zephyr was hesitant to speak for a while, but eventually he said, “Just so you know, this is not my own opinion, but…”, and finally explained the content of the rumors.
“It’s rumored that the daughter of Archduke Rindarl was given to Lady Kaldia as a war reward…”
“…Huh? What’s up with that?”
I unconsciously raised my voice. It was an incredibly sloppy rumor.
“The one who welcomed Emilia was the Archduke Dovadain’s house, wasn’t it?
She should then be under the custody of the royal family, right?”
“Huh? But after that, she was entrusted to you, so I thought she had been given out as a grant… I’ll say it again though, this isn’t my opinion.”
“A grant? To me? …Lady Emilia? To me?”
Normally, offering someone as a grant is something that would happen when either repaying some kind of favor or looking to arrange a marriage. This is because a public relationship was required to obtain the blood ties and rights of the gifted person.
In other words, it was a story that didn’t hold at all between Emilia and I. She couldn’t be that kind of grant for me, since there was no way for me to make use of Emilia’s position.
There was a chance that Emilia had been sent to me out of contempt for her, but then there would be no need for her to go to the academy. If they had wanted to do away with her, they could’ve thrown her into a convent or something like that.
“Yeah, but you are…”
“You can gossip as much as you want, but don’t you think we should continue working with the territorial legislation?”
Zephyr tried to explain something to a perplexed me, but Professor Marc Terejia had come to see me at the worst possible time.
Even though he seemed to be feeling uncomfortable, the professor smiled, took out several papers that were in front of Sieghart, and scolded him by saying, “If you’re done here, please go help you fellow students.”
Sieghart still had no progress toward a logical study of the military law regarding the Marquis de Lorentzrell.
…Unfortunately, for someone who had an upfront way of thinking and was trying his hardest to form an armed forces for the sake of his domain’s population, it was impossible to explain how to design territorial laws for the first time.
Somehow, Zephyr and I managed to give Sieghart some sort of advice by using a far-fetched and distorted idea as a means to get out of the uncomfortable situation.