Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
「Filmina-dono, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know what I would have done.」
「Please, Letishela-sama. Please raise your head. I didn’t do that much to begin with.」
Seeing someone lowering their head before me like that was making me feel really uncomfortable. To think that I saved this person’s neck was simply preposterous. Rather, it should be me who should be bowing her head. But since I knew it would be rather awkward to do that right now, I just stood there, not sure what to do.
「If it’s you two that I’m bowing down to, then I don’t really care.」
We look at one another and start laughing after a moment.
–– It’s been two days since I recovered. Counting from that feral night, today would mark the fifth day. I was even told that everyone was worried that I might not wake up at all if this continued.
About two days ago that man used the Wind Spirits to contact the Governess to report about my current condition. Hence the meeting with her just now. At least that’s what I’ve been told.
We were currently inside of my private quarters. However, I was still relatively weak and didn’t quite understand some things that were being said. But even after my recovery, that boy was still by my side, which was making me feel kind of glad but also a little sad at the same time. Anyways, after that I wanted to talk to the Governess privately, just the two of us.
Normally I would brew us some tea, but since I was so weak right now, that usual routine had to stop. But even so I was gradually trying to go back to doing some of the easier chores by myself, so today marked the first day in a while when I was able to brew tea by myself (although I was still a little bit clumsy with that). I was worried that my sense for it might have gone dull, but I’m glad that was not the case. Thanks to that, I was able to give the Governess the delicious tea she liked so much. I was wondering if we should have coffee this time around, but I decided otherwise. Herbal tea would be good for right now.
As I quietly sipped on my own cup of tea the Governess returned her cup to the saucer and reached towards a file of documents, which she then passed to me. Oh, what that’s? I thought while putting my own cup back and taking the documents in my hand. I then briefly give them a read to see what they were about. Hmm, I see, I see, this is.
I began to read the documents more carefully, and thankfully the Governess didn’t rush me, allowing me to make myself familiar with the contents at my own pace. For that, I was grateful to her. After a while I finally reached the last page, closed the documents and put them back on the table. Then I could see what the title of the whole file was written on the first page in large, bold letters: “About Elizabel’s curse and its cause. Of course, this report was not yet made public, so I’m the only one who knows about its contents.”
「As you can see, the results of the investigation show that the reason for the sickness you contracted, Filmina-dono, was the result of the poisoning caused by the pollen of a particular flower. The remedy was concocted from the petals of the very same flower. Incidentally, we believe that the same flower pollen was the cause of the mass sickness that happened here three hundred years ago. And that this disease was the actual Elizabel’s curse.」
After saying that, the Governess closed her mouth and an awkward silence fell between us. Yes, that’s right, in other words, that’s what it was all about.
I could feel that the Governess was once again looking right at me. After a brief moment of silence she finally opened her mouth.
「Is there anything you would like to say?」
I asked while looking at the Governess as if she told me something quite incomprehensible. Could it be that after reading through this report I may have looked distress or like I wanted to say something?
Of course, the Governess was born on this island and must have known about that flower all her life, but somehow she decided to keep it a secret. However, given her status and position, I knew that it was only a natural thing to do.
This island was mainly a tourist attraction, but the town was also a crucial marine spot on the map, one that flourished thanks to the trade with various merchants from other countries. Which is why at that time the Governor must have decided to keep this information a secret. Speaking of three hundred years ago, according to the history books this island managed to win its independence for itself around the same time as an era of peace came to the world, after the defeat of the Demon Lord. So given the fact that for the Islanders the stakes were so high, it’s small wonder that they decided to keep the true nature of the events of the past in the dark. But to sacrifice women for keeping that status quo? That was indeed something that was causing me to raise my eyebrows high.
「Are you fine with this, Letishela-sama?」
「Fine with what?」
「With the contents of this report. With the fact that Elizabel had nothing to do with the epidemic, that it was caused by something that was totally unrelated to her. With the fact that the Islanders are deliberately kept in the dark about this, which makes them grow distrustful to outsiders.」
There was so much more that I wanted to say…… but looking at the Governess’s face, suddenly I found myself at a loss for words. Her current expression was really bitter, as if she was forced to chug down a whole mug of drink that she wasn’t fond of. As soon as she realized what kind of expression she was making, the Governess shuddered.
「Oh, I’m terribly sorry for that. I am also sorry for asking you this, Filmina-dono, but could you leave the information you just learned to yourself?」
Those words were certainly unexpected. In response, I could only stare at the Governess with my eyes filled with confusion.
「 –––– No, that is something I cannot do, I’m afraid.」
Rather I really wouldn’t think that a woman such as the Governess would really ask me to do something as selfish as that. However, it seems that the Governess was also surprised by my words, but she immediately masked that shock with her usual, gentle smile.
「Is that so? Please forgive me then, for trying to exploit your kindness like that. I really wouldn’t think that you would be so kind to me, especially if you’ve learned that I knew about the illness that overtook you from the start.」
Well this is, I would never do something like that. Especially since the Governess helped me so much on at least several occasions. Even though she might have known about that flower from the start. It was fine because no one really died during this incident, but it was a really close call. If it was literally anyone else, things might have played out differently. But.
「I realize that you can’t disclose the existence of that flower because of your care for the Islanders’ well-being, Letishela-sama. I also realize that it would be extremely hard to be the one to disclose a secret that was being maintained for more than three hundred years. So why would I ever wanted to blame you?」
To my words the Governess remained silent. Her expression was rather complex and difficult to actually describe. It seems that she wasn’t quite convinced by my words.
「 –––– Besides. Didn’t you tell me that you shall do anything in your Governess power to help me get better when I fell ill? You wouldn’t be able to do that if you didn’t know about the petals effect, right?」
If the Governess wasn’t a good person at heart, she would never allowed her own position to be put at risk to help someone who she met just recently. And if she didn’t know as much as she did, she would be unable to do her job right for as long as she was doing it. Such a thing required a completely different kind of strength than we could imagine.
Hearing my words, the Governess’s eyes lightened up and eventually she smiled.
「Goodness gracious, it’s like nothing can faze you, Filmina-dono.」
「Oh well, I shall take it as a compliment.」
That being said, the Governess was also a woman that shouldn’t be underestimated. I think that while looking at her face and smiling as well. She can always remain calm and composed. She can mask her worries with a smile. I wish that I could be just like her, so that people wouldn’t be able to read me like an open book all the time.
Eventually, the Governess starts laughing out loud. She covered her mouth with one hand to try to hide that fact, but that one gesture alone was so feminine that it would be enough to make any man go crazy for her. And with her current attire more feminine than usual, I highly doubt that any woman would be able to compete with her in the charm department.
While I was thinking that, the Governess giggled more and more.
「On the contrary, it seems that the initial distrust that people had for me is nowhere to be seen right about now. I could even gamble that if I were to expose that secret now, people would feel nothing but sympathy for me. Something along the lines of: “The Governess had to shoulder such a heavy secret all on her own.” Surely there would be some political or even territorial repercussions, but I don’t think it would be something that I wouldn’t be able to handle, given enough time.」
Then the Governess let out a sigh, as if a great weight was taken off of her shoulders. She gazed at me quickly and then continued as though she was talking more to herself rather than to me.