Drop!! ～A Tale of the Fragrance Princess～ Chapter 1
Act 1 Cordelia
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 Duke 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 Duke 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 Duke families, she had no regard to how much of an honour 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 whose social position were lower than hers to her as things to be used. She was in love with the prince, and she despised the Heroine who was the Duke’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 out of insanity Cordelia murders herself. 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 much 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 ambience 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 everyday,」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, Duke 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 Duke and Duchess, 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 Duke Pameradia.
The Duke 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 happened.
「I-is that so……」
The Earl 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 Duke 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 Duke 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 an 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――