242 I Reincarnated As A Noble Girl Villainess But Why Did It Turn Out This Way?
Part 4 “Appropriation” – Introduction
Episode 20 Mandatory Rest
I spent the following month living very cautiously.
Melchior was nothing but a dangerous element for both Arxia and me. Both Melchior and the affiliated Nordsturm were the two opponents I should be vigilant toward.
However, Melchior seemed to have disappeared into thin air after the opening ceremony. Nordsturm had been absent in the House of Lords as well. Occasionally, he would turn up with an overwhelmingly exhausted appearance and sat quietly like a silhouette.
I was curious about it but had no means to inconspicuously investigate it.
It seemed that the House of Lords was not the only entity I should be cautious about.
During this past month, while the nobles attending the House of Lords’ opening meeting were intensely focusing on the royal capital, the adopted baby boy was transferred to the Domain of Kaldia.
He was still a newborn infant after all. I was worried about possible assassination attempts as well. Despite disguising as a fairly wealthy traveling commoner, it was imperative to stay alert since the journey was long.
Although I was not the one traveling in disguise, I could not help but worry and constantly anticipating new reports regarding their journey.
Like always, I had to maintain my interaction with Emilia while worrying about the surrounding prying eyes. My state of mind was perpetually on edge.
Nevertheless, Emilia’s education went smoothly. She had been putting in her desperate effort in swallowing everything about the culture of Arxia. Subsequently, she achieved a better comprehension of the culture, an accomplishment befitting of an Archduchess.
However, her self-belittling mindset remained and yet to be fixed. This side of her had occasionally jeopardized her status through her actions and behaviors.
I kept a close watch on her while being careful not to be too obvious in the public eyes. It might sound simple when put into words, but to be honest, I felt like I could lose my lid any moment from the psychological exhaustion.
Indeed, I was already at my wit’s end.
About a month after the House of Lords’ opening meeting, I was bedridden due to a fever.
“You’ve pushed yourself too hard, haven’t you?”
Claudia appeared just in time with the documents from my domain, while refreshingly smiling.
“I have … too many things … to worry … about ….”
Smiling lightly at my groan, she nodded and said, “You don’t say!”
Well, of course, I realized that from long ago. But no matter how blessed I was with these reliable people around me, I could not just leave all my worries and rely on them constantly. Like the matter concerning Emilia, I had no choice but to face it head-on.
“Do you honestly think so?”
Claudia leaned toward me and smiled gently.
Her golden hair falling over her shoulders reminded me of the hot lemon juice with honey. Perhaps due to the fever that I suddenly felt the overpowering urge of thirst for it. Mrs. Hortensia would prepare and left it at my bedside table every night, whenever I caught a cold back home. Speaking of which, it had been a while since the last time I drank it.
“Under the king’s order, you are indeed responsible for the Archduchess’ safety as her bodyguard. But regarding other concerns, you can approach them in a more relaxing state of mind.”
“Are you talking about my mindset …?”
“Certainly! Especially regarding the adopted child, you should leave it to the people back home. Terit’s wife will be his nursing mother since she has just given birth herself. My husband had to resolve all the disagreements that arose, but managed to persuade each of the Shiru tribe to agree.”
That was news to me.
Teo got married last spring, didn’t he? If everything went proper, this would surely be about the right time for their baby to be born.
… I heard about the custom practiced by some clan members of the Shiru tribe that avoided the mentioning of their pregnancies as a charm against the evil spirits until their babies were born safely. Perhaps Teo did not mention about being pregnant because of this very reason. I would hate to think about the possibility of being estranged from him ….
“The adopted child has obtained protection from the whole Shiru tribe. In any case, there’s nothing else you can do for the child now, even if you fret about it, Eliza. I think you should entrust them with the baby completely.”
“… I understand.”
He would become a foster brother to Teomer’s son. Undoubtedly, he would be flawlessly protected in the domain. Just as Claudia mentioned, I had no more role to play in the adopted child’s life for the time being.
“However, regarding Melchior ….”
“I heard that Priest Faris will do something about it.”
My jaws dropped upon hearing the name. From my bed, I stared blankly at Claudia.
“… How did you come to know such information?”
The fact that Priest Faris would personally take action was not so surprising in itself. The one who once pulled the strings behind a church in the western region of Alfena and obliterated the corruption of a church in the Evetnis region was none other than Faris himself. The terrorist infiltration of the church in the western region of Alfena was reason enough to investigate Melchior and Diferis*/Diferius/Diferias’ collusion.
However, with Earl Terejia currently being away, there was no means of communicating and knowing regarding the movements of the priests in Domain of Kaldia.
“Even if you ask me how – a letter from the person himself was delivered to your mansion, Milady.”
“The letter requested you to pay Earl Terejia a visit instead of wasting away worrying about petty things.”
What he was trying to convey completely eluded me. However, it was unthinkable that Priest Faris would take action without a good reason.
Most likely, his mind’s eye could practically see through various things and come to possess indescribable information. It was about time my bitter memories from the age of six to gradually ease.
“… Um, okay, I understand.”
I nodded with mixed feelings, to which, Claudia also nodded.
As such, she grinned ear to ear indicating that there was nothing for me to worry about. With a slightly teasing tone, she continued.
“Well, Milady. For now, please focus only on the happenings in the academic hall. The Advent Festival is coming up in two months. I expect the Archduchess would appeal to announce the candidacy of ‘Shanaku Priestess’.”
Oh, dear! … That had completely slipped through my mind.
That would be the biggest event in the academy; I mean, “the biggest event” in that “maiden game**/otome game”.
“Shanaku Priestess” of the Advent Festival.
Symbolizing the Holy Mother Priestess Kusha Femma, Shanaku was selected from among the female students in the academy as the physical embodiment of Goddess Misorua.
Well, in other words, it would be the beauty pageant of the academy festival.
* Diferis –> supposed to be Diferius or Diferias (I put Diferis/Diferius/Diferias in my translation for the editor to decide).
** maiden game/otome game: in the previous translations, it had been “otome game”. I thought I should introduce a translated term for it here, so the editor can choose whether to continue with “otome game” or change it to “maiden game”.