Chapter 462: The Selfish Princess
At about 10:30, Stearleana was walking around the streets of Goa, guiding Jin and his friends. They were joined by Ehr, Edgar, and Reiko. Selene was a bit too showy, so she stayed at home.
“This is a relatively new district. Don’t the buildings look rather new?”
Just as she said, the stones used for building were very smooth. It was considerably different from the weathered buildings of the old Lenard Kingdom.
“But the way the streets are laid out isn’t very precise. I wonder if someone who visits here for the first time wouldn’t easily get lost in here.”
In the case of a new town, the roads would be either made vertically and horizontally like a grid, or extending radially around the lord’s castle and making the town concentrical. There were many cities that served as examples of those two building archetypes.
However, in Goa, large buildings and small buildings were lined up in a cluttered manner. Instead of being straight, the streets drew arcs as if they were bent like a key, making them very difficult to understand.
“The reason for this is that the lord… Duke Eubert Bertin Du Perchamps said he didn’t like townscapes that looked too much like grids.”
Stearleana concluded by adding that the duke was a dictatorial lord.
“Ah, but I find this kind of townscape easier to get around.”
That was Jin’s honest impression. A cluttered townscape made him feel that the town was lively. Even if a town seemed like it had been carefully fitted into a grid, Jin would feel that there would be a lot of open space everywhere. That’s why he prefered the former.
“…I feel I can understand what brother Jin means.”
“Yeah, I also like the unorganized atmosphere of this town.”
Even Saki agreed with Jin, but he quickly retorted.
“Haha, well, your room is very unorganized, Saki.”
“Ugh! I-It’s not like that anymore, Jin! Ehr makes sure it’s tidy every day!”
“…Sis Saki, that’s not something you should be too proud about, is it?”
The party went on the main street in a harmonious manner. As the number of people started to increase a little, Jin held hands with Hanna.
“It’s so you don’t get lost in the multitude.”
“Thank you, big brother!”
Seeing that from the side, Stearleana murmured.
(…Though little kids can fuss about that kind of treatment, a little girl will always find it refreshing…)
Jin and Hanna seemed to not have heard her murmuring, and went on walking on the streets while holding hands.
“Jin, Hanna, it’s getting crowded here, so let’s turn right.”
Stearleana called out to them, and the party left the main street and entered an alley. After walking on that alley for a bit, they came out into another street.
It was a quiet street, completely devoid of all the noise of the main street.
“This is commonly known as the ‘Material Street’. There are various shops that sell from food ingredients to Magi Crystals.”
“Oh, that sounds fascinating!”
It seemed that Saki’s interest had been piqued.
“Look, that over there is a shop I always go to.”
It seemed to be a little smaller than the other shops around it, but once they went inside, they were surprised to realize that it extended quite a bit to the back.
“Ah, Miss Stearleana, welcome. What are you looking for today?”
The elderly shopkeeper politely greeted them.
“Ah, no, today I’m showing some friends around. …Though she’s an alchemist, perhaps you have some ingredients you can show her?”
Seeing Saki wandering around the store, Stearleana ended up asking that to the shopkeeper with a bitter smile.
“An alchemist! You don’t see one of those every day. Well, there’s this stone I just dug out of the mine the other day.”
The shopkeeper took out a black, flat stone from his still unorganized luggage.
“It’s quite interesting. You can peel thin layers out of it.”
Just as Jin said, it was biotite. The muscovite from the north of Kaina Village was either white or transparent, but the biotite was jet-black.
Other than their color, their properties are extremely similar.
In this region, it was regarded as a toy-like mineral that children could peel layers off from and play with.
“And then there’s these.”
“Oh, those are wonderful!”
There were several stones of various colors such as orange and purple. Their shape was similar to a regular octahedron.
“These are fluorite. I like these a lot, so I collect them.”
Saki also knew what flourite looked like from the scientific knowledge she had inherited from Jin. She also had a lot of similar stones in her collection.
To commemorate this, Saki bought a small amethyst.
“Next up is… Let’s see… Ah, how about that place over there?”
Stearleana pointed to a store that sold accessories. Some items were on display outside the store.
“Big brother, I’m thirsty.”
It was unusual for Hanna to say something like that. They had all been drinking juice back in Stearleana’s house, but it seemed that Hanna had been rather shy about it, and ended up drinking just a bit of juice.
On summer days, the closest the radiance of the sun is to the surface of the planet, the more one could feel the heat from it. It was no wonder that Hanna, who was the smallest of them, would complain about being hot and thirsty.
“Okay, where should we get you something to drink?”
“In that case, it might be a bit far ahead, but there’s a store at the end of the street where you can get something for Hanna. We’re going to go see accessories.”
“Okay. We’ll meet you there later then.”
Jin, Hanna, and Reiko went to the store recommended by Stearleana, while Elsa, Edgar, Saki, Ehr, and Stearleana went to an accessory store.
As Elsa tried to enter the store, she bumped into a girl that was coming out of it.
The both of them flinched, but neither fell.
“Watch where you’re walking!”
It had been no one’s fault, but the girl’s menacing attitude forced Elsa to lower her head.
Then, something fell at Elsa’s feet.
It was a folding knife that Jin had given her before. The blade was made of aluminum, and the handle was made of thinly processed sham dragon horns and studded with fine Magi Crystals.
It seems it had collided with something hard that the girl had in her in a pocket in her clothes. Elsa quickly picked it up.
The girl stared at the knife that Elsa had picked up.
“L-Let me see that for a moment!”
After almost snatching the knife from Elsa’s hands, the girl seemed surprised.
“Don’t tell me… It’s from the same artisan? No, it couldn’t be that easy… But this is definitely…”
She was mumbling, but then she turned to Elsa, and…
“You! Where did you get this knife!? Who made it? Speak quickly!”
…Started speaking in an overbearingly commanding voice.
The girl was a little smaller than Elsa, but she had an indescribable vigor, and Elsa, who was confused and overwhelmed at the girl’s pace, fell silent.
“Hey, you, why don’t you calm down a little?”
Saki pushed herself between the two of them.
“And who do you think you are?”
The girl glared at Saki.
“I’m Saki. What’s your name? Why are you talking to us like that?”
“How annoying! You said your name is Saki? And you would order me, Beatrix, around? I’m looking for the artisan who crafted a certain short sword. I was wondering if this dagger was made by the same person.”
This time the girl lashed out at Saki. However, she had more or less told her her name. Though she was still shocked and anxious, Saki responded while looking calm on the outside.
“So, Beatrix, could you please return that knife to her?”
“I won’t take orders from you!”
The girl named Beatrix was still holding on to Elsa’s knife.
“…Beatrix? Blonde hair, green eyes… Could it be you’re… ‘The Selfish Princess’?”
Stearleana, who had been thinking about it since the girl said her name, raised her voice a little as she suddenly remembered.
“Oh, so you called me “Selfish Princess”, huh… Well, I won’t deny that.”
Beatrix turned to Stearleana and glared at her as well.
“That’s right. I am Beatrix Bertin Du Emeraude. I’m sorry for being so selfish. But that’s some nerve you have, to speak to me like that face to face.”
“Eh, ah, no, um…”
Stearleana was overwhelmed as well.
She was the daughter of a lord, and although she was in the tenth or twentieth place, she also had the right to succeed to the throne of this country. And there were many more troublesome rumors about her. Stearleana didn’t want to be glared at too much.
“What are you doing, Beato?”
A young man came out of the store and talked to Beatrix.
“Brother, I have found a clue to finding the one who created this short sword!”
“What is it?”
“Here, look at this.”
Beatrix showed the young man the knife that still was in her possession.