I Reincarnated As A Noble Girl Villainess But Why Did It Turn Out This Way? – 249
Part 4 “Appropriation” – Introduction
Episode 27 Accompanist Contest – 1
“Lady Eliza, we have received a request to receive a guest from an attendant of a lower-ranked earl’s house from Dianthus. What would you like to do?”
“Again? I tell you, this happens every time we’ve just finished with our lessons…”
“Well~ …What should I tell them?”
I tilted my head to the side as well, and Reka unconsciously did the same thing.
Chamberlains of houses I didn’t even know about seemed to be eager to keep on coming here for a visit, making me wonder just what was so special about today.
“A lower-ranked earl, huh. …No, I don’t have time to deal with this today, so please ask them to send me a letter…”
“Are you sure?”
“Ah, no, that won’t do…”
Normally, when it comes to lower-ranked earls, I would at least listen to their attendant’s message directly, but I’m afraid I might not be able to do that for a few days.
It was only yesterday that Emilia’s song was completed and I was officially designated as her accompanist in the presence of a priest. After today’s lesson, Rachel –who was in charge of the arrangement– was planning to coach me intensely on the performance for the next three days.
The score itself was lightly skimmed last night, but as I had expected, it was quite difficult for a mere accompaniment. The right hand is constantly moving and the left hand repeatedly jumps from the middle of the keyboard to the side… And it was something made to be played at the prelude of the song… It made me feel as if it was a complex orchestra piece that had been modified to be played solely on the keyboard.
“I really don’t have time. I’m sorry, please deliver my sincerest apologies to them.”
“As you wish. Ah, I also have a letter from an earl’s house from the far region of Farinasea.”
“Where are all these earls coming from all of a sudden? Please read and summarize it by the end of the next lecture. I’ll skim over it later if I need to.”
Was this the sixth one already? The Farinacea region was a territory on the southwestern edge of the continent, and even the House of Lords has no memory of ever dealing with them for any purpose. I started to get the feeling that I’d be reached out by more and more of these distant houses with which we have no actual ties to.
“If there’s nothing else, I’ll move on to my next lecture… By the way, what happened to Vanita?”
After I started walking, I noticed that there was no small boy standing behind Reka. I wondered if he had left him in the waiting room, but he shook his head so as to reassure me that everything was okay. When I asked him, Reka told me that he was preparing for the next lecture with Ratoka.
“How is he doing?”
“He’s been doing great for his first day so far! He looks at the academy with great interest, but seems to be either afraid of being too inexperienced or too nervous to actually make a move. And he seems to know quite a bit of fascinating stories, which has caught the interest of everyone he has met in the waiting room.”
Nodding, I concentrated on quickly making my way through the corridor. The next lecture was about Foreign History, which will be given to the entire class. In other words, I had to go to the central grand lecture hall, which was quite a walk from the far end of the left wing building. I also had to pick up Emilia and take her with me, and I didn’t want to end up getting there late and having to search around for an empty seat.
After meeting up with Emilia, who was waiting in the lounge near the central building, I felt I could finally relax.
“Thanks for waiting. Let’s head to the lecture room.”
Emilia nodded, and after taking my hand, got up from her chair, and I could see several students around me looking at me being completely swayed by her actions.
As a result of her special training as a priestess candidate, Emilia’s movements have become more sophisticated. Her behavior was now suitable for the status of an archduchess, and could silently attract people’s attention with a single move.
“I wonder what today’s lecture will be like… I’m really looking forward to it.”
With a frivolous giggle, Emilia started walking without worrying about the eyes directed at us.
Foreign history is basically a subject that has to do with the history of Rindarl, and Emilia is particularly good at it. It seems to be her favorite subject, aided by the fact that its large number of attending students makes it so she doesn’t stand out among the crowd as much as with other lectures.
“What kinds of books have you prepared for today, Lady Kaldia? I have prepared two books on cultural history. One of them is a book about the cultural exchange between Arcsia and Rindarl through trade, and the other one is ‘History of Trade’ by Fobio Terejia.”
She then went on saying that those books were a little heavy, but that Aslan was carrying them for her… And then I stopped listening, as I seemed to remember something from the previous lecture.
That’s right, the teacher told us to borrow about three books from the library to decide the theme of our dissertation. Sure enough, I had asked Reka to choose a suitable book about technological development after the war. Oh, so maybe Reka left that task to Vanita? If he gets to pick the book, he might be able to find something very interesting indeed…
“Well, I’ll be going with the boring topic of technological development. But Lady Emilia’s choice sounds very good. There are things that one certainly cannot find out unless they’re familiar with Rindarlian culture. But in your case, you’re in your element.”
Perhaps it’s just that the aristocrats of this country haven’t been too interested in the culture of other countries so far, but now seem interested to keep up with the times as most about this topic was almost unheard of. If Emilia manages to pull off a good essay about cultural exchange, that is, anything related to common culture and culture that can be shared, there is a good possibility that it will be used as a reference for diplomacy with Lindar.
“Do you really think so? I thought it would be interesting to just make a comparison about the history of trade of both countries, but the trade itself is rather sparse…”
“Good morning, Countess Kaldia. I’m sorry to bother you while you’re between your lectures, but do you think you could spare a brief moment?”
Suddenly, a voice from behind them cut into my conversation with Emilia.
As I turned around, I found a red-haired lady looking straight at me, without even paying the slightest attention to Reka, who was completely on alert.
Who was her? Her face seemed familiar, but I couldn’t remember her name. She was probably not in the same grade as I. Was she a third grader? Her outfit seemed to indicate that she was the daughter of a higher-ranked nobleman, but I still couldn’t remember. Maybe I was just having some strange déjà vu, and I’ve simply seen someone that looked like her pass by before?
As I continued to wonder how to respond to her, the lady quickly gave me her name.
“I’m Stephania, from the house of Marquis Schuttzeloier.”
Was Marquis Schuttzeloier the captain of the Imperial Knights? He must be a prestigious nobleman who has produced many capable knights, but he’s also definitely a face that isn’t seen showing up in the House of Lords very often. I can’t say I can call him an acquaintance of mine.
Talking directly to an aristocrat with whom one has no connection outside of a social event is not a violation of etiquette, but it is a bit ill-mannered. Usually, this kind of exchange would be made via a chamberlain, or a letter would be sent beforehand.
“…I’m very sorry, Lady Schuttzeloier. As you can see, I’m currently escorting Archduchess Rindarl. I’m afraid I won’t be able to stay here to chat, since I’m on my way to taking Her Highness to her next lecture. How about we leave it for another, more ap-pro-pri-ate time? Now, if you’ll excuse us…”
For the time being, I held up Emilia as a shield.
Lady Stephanie would then notice the subtle sarcasm mixed into my reply, and promptly leave this place… Or at least that’s what I thought.
“So, Your Highness Archduchess Rindarl Emilia… Could I have a word with your escort for a moment?”
Without a moment’s delay, Stephania had switched her target to Emilia.