Drop!! ～A Tale of the Fragrance Princess～ Chapter 9
Act 9 Recruiting Ojou-samas for testing
A while after Cordelia had gotten the promise to visit the territory together with Elvis.A very troubling story was going around among the female servants of Pameradia. The contents of which were that "Ojou-sama is looking for testers for cosmetics".
That Cordelia, accompanied with Ronnie, was conducting experiments was a well-known fact. However, other than that it had to do with medicinal herbs, nobody knew what she was doing, and as a result, nobody was aware that Cordelia was trying to deal with cosmetics until 4 days before the announcement that Cordelia was recruiting. You could say that's why they were enveloped in surprise, but even if it was known that she was trying to deal with cosmetics, probably nobody could have predicted that she would recruit testers.
The conditions for the recruitment of the testers were clearly indicated. There were only 5 conditions.
(1) Those who can receive a massage utilizing the currently distributed for a period of one month.
(2) Those who can receive a massage utilizing a new medicine, after the period for (1) is over.
(3) Those who are not likely to come in contact with small children.
(4) The payments as testers will be hourly wages based on the duration of the treatments.
(5) In the unlikely event that symptoms that are harmful to the testers appeared, Pameradia House will bear the responsibility and provide them with medical treatment.
With regards to this, the servants harbored some doubts like "Just how much of this application is real?" so to say. This application had an appeal to the ladies. It was not like the wages of the workers in the mansion were low, but the appeal of extra wages was but one part. And the other, bigger appeals were probably that "They can use perfumed oils that only the higher class nobles could experience" and "They could receive massage treatments". This was a luxury that definitely could be said that it was difficult to have with only their normal wages.
However, there was a reason why nobody brought their name forth as a tester, despite the favorable impressions they bore. First were the aforementioned "We don't know if this is for real of not" doubts. That was because at the same time, there was the thought base that "No matter what, it was just too awesome". If they were to think of something other than this, then it would probably be the refraining contest of "If they are really recruiting, then others should be hoping, too" between the servants. But mostly, their thoughts do not progress far enough to reach the second reason. They get the cold feet.
Cordelia, who had set up the recruitment, also understood that current situation. It is likely that you will be told that "It's probably not true" if you announce the recruitment yourself, but that was within expectations to a certain degree. Cordelia too didn't really like putting it this way, but it was because the servants knew their standing that the problem occurred.
(——It's only, I wonder if I were to voice just a bit of complaints, will it be taken as me not being serious?)
It wasn't that she had no complaints, but by no means was she nervous about this situation. She too understood that it couldn't be helped. As well as the fact that it won't take long before it's resolved.
For example, if only someone could become the sacrifice…… or not, set the precedence, the problem should be resolved.
This time around, it would be good if they were to think that she was announcing that "I'll be recruiting from now on too, you know?"
"Say, Ronnie. You, do you have any plans on becoming a woman?"
"I don't. ……Geez, just because no testers appeared, please don't resort to absurd things."
Ronnie said it in an exasperated way, but it wasn't as if Cordelia was being serious as well. About 80% of it were said with the intention to play around. The remaining 20% were out of mischief.
There were reasons why Cordelia herself didn't become a tester.
The first was that it wasn't preferable for an "Ojou-sama" to use things that haven't gone through the so-called "poison testing". Even if it is said that it has undergone analysis, at the end this is nothing more than an assumption. The second was that the effects of the essential oils were a bit too strong to be used by children. Especially that mint causes irritation to young skin. Also, it wasn't as if it was fashionable among the children, so there was no meaning in Cordelia being a tester.
"So, what are going to do? Even though you finally completed peppermint's essential oils as well as perfume at a stable level, if you're going to hesitate about the recruitment, there will be no progress, you know?"
Saying, "You are right, but there are no problems specifically" Cordelia showed a flexible attitude in response to Ronnie's words.
She didn’t have great expectations that applicants would have appeared if she had shown greater hospitality than she originally did. That's if it is helpers, then she had thought of others—— or rather, there already existed some tester candidates that she had thought of even before the recruitment.
Cordelia grinned at the maidservant who was waiting on her beside her.
"Say, Emina. I wonder, will you lend me a hand?"
Cordelia's maidservant, Emina.
While she also was born to nobility, due to the circumstances of her House, she had to leave home because of some course of events…… it seems. And she also had heard that it was at that time that Cordelia's elder sister, Malvina, had lent a hand, and so she became the Pameradia House's servant. Both her elder sister and Emina don't really talk about it, so Cordelia too hadn't heard anything beside the surface of the matter.
That Emina had come from the nobility wasn't known even among the servants, was something that even Cordelia had noticed. As her conduct was outstanding among the servants and was refined, it seems that it was said that she was "like a noble" among her colleagues, but that was only to the scope of jesting.
That's why Cordelia too maintains the stance of a master-servant relationship with regard to Emina. Emina as well, she was just serving Cordelia as an excellent maidservant. That this Emina couldn't refuse the wishes of her little mistress was evident was something even Cordelia was aware of. There was no effort missed.
However, it wasn't as if she nominated Emina only to get her involved as merely a tester.
If she was able to offer her an environment where she was able to relax, as thanks for all she has done, then Cordelia as well would be very happy. Also, Emina was a really beautiful lady. That's why, in order to maintain that beauty, she wanted her by all means to undergo that experimental treatment.
And again, it was a very convenient thing for Cordelia that Emina was of noble birth. The she who was a noble was used to fine goods. Pameradia's servants were used to seeing fine goods, but it would be a different story if it was about servants who were used to using them. She would also probably be able to obtain her impressions as a noble.
There probably also didn't exist any tester who will have a more win-win relationship than her. Although, in the first place, that point of view would also be "as seen by Cordelia".
"Me, you say?"
Cordelia once more affirmed Emina's words of confirmation.
"Yes. I believe that it will surely bring about good results for you as well."
Emina showed surprise, just a little bit, at Cordelia's words, but then she immediately acknowledged with "As Ojou-sama wishes". Cordelia smiled at that and replied, "Right, I'll be counting on you then" satisfied.
Ronnie, who saw that appearance, muttered in a small voice.
"That's a good one, isn't it?"
"……What is, Ronnie?"
"'As you wish', I meant. I, have never said anything like that before, but how to put it, it gives a real 'Ojou-sama' feeling, doesn't it? I'll use from the next time on."
"Ronnie, Ojou-sama is always an Ojou-sama."
Emina replied calmly to Ronnie, who had his tension raised a bit.
Cordelia was used to Emina saying such words. But…… she didn't think that it wouldn't be embarrassing if Ronnie said them.
However, if she were to deny it here, it would appear like she was showing discomfort at what Emina was saying as well, and that isn't what she intended……
"……Ronnie, before something like that, are the goods that you had said that "They will be done in no time" finished?"
"Ugh…… W-well, they're coming along little by little, I guess."
"I'm relying on you, you know?"
"Hmm…… well, it's as Ojou-sama wishes, right."
Even though he was trying to divert his eye, just why it is that he gave a reaction as if he was having so much fun? No, even Cordelia knew it. He's most probably pleased that he got to say the thing he had declared right away. ……Good grief, more than anything, it's good that he looks like he's having fun all the time.
What Cordelia had asked of Ronnie was the finishing touches for the storage bottles she had previously ordered from the tool shop's Master, in other words, making the lids and so on. Essential oils lose their quality quickly. For that reason, she was going to use coloured bottles, but at the same time, she couldn't neglect them being airtight too. The lid was important. Also, to say, at least when the battle was unopened, she wanted to drive the air out, and further prevent oxidation because of the gases—— such was the research that Cordelia had asked Ronnie to do. ……Well, it seems that the progress that was moving along at around the pace of little by little was not very good, though.
"Well then, shall we have Ronnie cooperate once again to make up for being late?"
"Eh, what is it?"
"Even though we're trying to test the effectivity of the essential oils, isn't one helper not enough to try all the things we want to test?"
And so, the one who hurriedly followed Cordelia who left the room was none other than Ronnie. Since she had asked Emina beforehand for another matter, she was not coming. In the first place, since their destination was the magicians' building, it was not a place that she was really familiar with.
Cordelia had visited the place many times before to borrow stuff for her experiments, but the magicians' building itself was not particularly an odd place. Other than the research laboratories and an easy to understand interior, its exterior also conformed to that of the main building, and so there was no out of place feeling.
And the magicians inside as well, all of them from the head magician downwards, are having the same attitude as the people from the main building. To the point that she was still worrying whether the only exception, Ronnie, was impudently not working.
"I apologize for disturbing your work. However, I had a request, so I came."
"A request? What kind of matter could it be?"
The one who welcomed Cordelia, the head magician Cecily, was a female magician with a slightly fit body, and who carried herself with dignity. Her stance was that you shouldn't as a lady about her age, but the fact that she had a grandchild who would be turning 10 years old was well known privately. In passing, she was in charge of supervising the water quality, and was responsible for the water reserves used by the Pameradia House. This involved various tasks like the preliminary testing for poison, and being in charge of the development of the devices close to the "water supply" that utilize magic crystals.
And to this lady Cordelia informed with a grin.
"I would like to ask for you to participate in my experiment."
"Could this be about what Ojou-sama…… was recruiting for?"
"Yes. But what I would like to ask of Cecily is a bit different from the contents of the recruitment. Recently, you have been feeling that your shoulders were stiff, right? I think it will become the solution for this, so I would like you to try the aroma bath."
"Aromabath, is it?" (TN: Ahem. No typos here. The words 'Aroma bath' were just new to Cecily, and as opposed to how they were written in katakana when Cordelia said them, they were written in hiragana here, indicating that the words were unfamiliar to her, and so I opted to write them as one word, in order to show that)
"Yes. I would like you to use it in a bathtub. ……We should be finished with the preparations in two more days, so if you'll fill a bathtub with hot water, put in the essential oils, and take your time soaking in it, I will be happy."
To the head magician, who saying "Aromabath" had once again recited the words she wasn't used to hearing, Cordelia had once again informed "Yes" with a grin.
It wasn't as if there was no custom of taking a bath in this country.
It's just that there was no concept of mixing something in the bathtub, or in the first place, no concept of soaking in it. Although bathtubs existed, the mainstream were steam baths, and bathtubs existed only as things to draw hot water using something like a washbasin when washing the body with hot water. That was why Cecily asked "Take my time soaking in it, is it?" again, confused. Of course, Cordelia only replied with grins.
Preparing an aroma bath wasn't difficult. In her previous world, they had a method of mixing small amounts of peppermint and lavender essential oils with hot water in a bathtub. Using the essential oils of her current world, Cordelia was thinking that perhaps roughly the same effects could be obtained with half those amounts. Peppermint has an effect of increasing blood flow, and acts as a muscle relaxant. On the other hand, lavender has an effect of increasing blood flow in addition to a relaxing effect.
Lavender's essential oils were still incomplete, but if she was able to pick the flowers in a few more days, the prospect of an experiment would still stand.
(……That's a convenient reason if it's Cecily, there is the improvement of shoulder stiffness too, but I won't say it acts as a countermeasure against menopause as well, though)
There was no doubt that peppermint was one of the good essential oils for Emina, whom she had asked earlier to participate in the experiment. And at the same time, it should be without any doubt the best essential oil for Cecily. On top of that, she was a magician who detected the quality of water. It should be at her disposal to see through whether it was harmful of beneficial for her. If she deemed it beneficial, the other servants will have no choice but to admit it saying "there is no doubt about it".
Of course, it wasn't as if there were no causes for anxiety for Cordelia. The essential oils that suited each person differed from one person to another. It was unknown whether using them would work as intended or not.
However, Cordelia had already learned the ability to see through whether an essential oil was suitable for a given person or not. The biggest hint was the flow of the magical power surrounding the person. The drift of the magical power covering the body that is causing the bad condition, can be negated by the magical power surrounding the essential oils. It seems that this is an effect of the essential oils of this world.
In addition, there is a strong point to Cordelia's…… Pameradia's magic itself. She recognized that the decomposition ability, which applies (or rather, resulted from failing) the analysis ability, should have a role in deriving an essential which is suitable for a given person. Cordelia still couldn't use analyzing abilities, but she ended up polishing the decomposition ability, which she ended up detaching, quite a bit. The life force of plants was naturally strong. The purpose of the utility is to turn it into a way to make use of those strengths, but inversely, there was also the risk of strengthening unwanted effects, or effects that ere unneeded at the moment as well. That's why Cordelia saw Cecily, read the flow of her magic, and will try to prepare a mint compound, as well as lavender essential oils that suit only her in three days to begin with. Weakening the effects of some components, and strengthening those of others—— this takes time and effort, and doing it for each and every person wasn't suitable for business purposes. That said, if it went well, and if she gave the "special" to a special person…… for example, if she gave it to someone who had special information, she thought that it might come in hand for the future.
Nonetheless, the remaining worry would be that the preferences for the scents very from one person to another, after all.
As expected, people won't feel comfortable using scents they don't like. She could somewhat understand the tastes in scents, but Cordelia didn't have that much confidence.
(But if Cecily gave a good reply with this…… I still don't have enough ingredients, but in the future, I'll have her try bath salts too. I'll change the effects and methods as well little by little, observe my experiments and see what I find out, and make it a good opportunity——)
Cordelia showed the slightly perplexed Cecily a whole-faced child's smile.
And so, this experiment spread among the servants in no time, to the point that it could be said to be "the greatest reward for the mansion workers". And then transmitted vaguely from the servants to the townspeople, it turned into a rumor that "the Pameradia House has a secret medicine, and even the servants could use it."
And just like this, it came to be that Cordelia's essential oils gathered the attention of the people even before it was officially announced——