Solar glanced over, the corners of her lips fighting a smile, her eyebrows slightly raised. Elody looked away before that mischievous look of hers spread.
Even though she knew of her noble status, she still found it entertaining to tease the young duchess. Her reactions were cute and she was the same age as her sister. She simply could not resist teasing her.
A grin spread over Solar’s face as Elody started approaching her.
“Solar, were you injured?”
Solar shook her head saying, “No, I’m fine. Ren was the one who got injured during training.”
Ren, who was Solar’s lover and a fellow knight, rose unsteadily to his feet and winced to cross the floor.
“Does it hurt a lot?” Elody asked.
“Yes, madame. Fortunately, I was the only one who got injured,” he whimpered as the pain spiraled all across his body.
Purple welts were scattered across his abdomen like a disease. It hurt to breathe and he wondered if some of his ribs were cracked.
“Use this,” Elody said as she gave him a dose of the medicine she made.
“Um… May I ask what this is?”
“It’s a medicine that I made.”
“Will it cure my wounds?”
“It won’t heal them, but it can relieve the pain. Go ahead and try it.”
“Oh…” said Ren. After a short pause he went on “It’s… it’s not poison, is it? Are there side effects or….”
“…and why would I give you something like that?” Elody said, disappointed by his reaction.
“Hey, this is from the duchess! You should at least take it even if it is poison!” Solar ranted as she nudged Ren. Nevertheless, he was still hesitant.
Ren let out a shaky breath. “It doesn’t hurt anymore. Maybe you should give it to the other knights instead…”
Ren looked away. He couldn’t help it, he was scared that something bad might happen to him.
“Solar, feed it to him,” Elody said.
Elody gave the medicine to Solar, who immediately took it and caught Ren.
“Ahh! Let go of me!” Ren yelled.
“Do not rebel in the presence of the duchess!” Solar said as she forcefully fed it to his mouth.
Caville stared at the duo with an empty expression. It was unusual to see him looking so bored.
“Alright! Alright! I’ll eat it myself!”
Ren did not want to eat the medicine, but he knows that Solar won’t stop pressuring him until he accepted it. So he decided to give in and took the pills from her hands.
“…just a bit,” he said as he chewed the medicine.
“Have you swallowed them?”
“Yes, well… Are you sure it’s working?” Ren asked suspiciously, touching his bruised abdomen.
After a while, the medicine took effect and he could no longer feel his bruise throbbing with pain.
Elody’s medicine worked surprisingly fast compared to other magic pills.
“It doesn’t hurt anymore……? What is this? Is this magic?”
His mouth dropped open, and disbelief crossed his features. He punched his wounds to see if he could still feel the pain, but he felt nothing.
“Don’t do that! It’ll worsen your injury. The medicine does not heal your wound, it only reduces the pain and the effect only lasts for about 24 hours.”
Due to Elody’s warning, Ren stopped beating his wounds, afraid that it might become worse over time.
“You’re a genius! Shall I give you a kiss and a hug?” praised Solar.
Elody sighed at her remarks.
‘Solar is beautiful, but it’s a shame that she acts like this…’
“Anyway, I’m glad it works,” Elody said as her soft lips stretched into a smile, she was proud of her success.
Brien, who watched the whole thing, sighed in satisfaction.
“After studying magic pills every day, did you finally succeed?” he asked with a grin on his face.
Brien didn’t warm to people instantly, nor was he easily impressed… but Elody was different. At first glance, everyone would just see her as an intelligent child. But Brien knew there’s more to her than meets the eye. She was also hardworking and perseverant. She never stopped studying. She diligently pursued the practice of her profession and immersed herself in books. Needless to say, her determination and wit impressed him that he could not help but feel proud of her achievements.
The other knights, including Solar, smiled at the duchess’ success.
“Caville, are you proud of me too?” Elody asked.
Caville, who was holding her hand the whole time, finally brightened his expression. He no longer looked bored.
“Yes, I’m proud of you, wife.”
His smile lit up the room. A person smiles with more than their mouth, and Elody could hear it in his voice, the choice of his words, and the way he relaxed. It was beautiful.
* * *
The long-awaited day has finally arrived.
The chef presented a very special dish and layered the tabletops with the most delicious food.
“I came here to repay your grace, but I was welcomed with such hospitality instead. I’m very grateful indeed.”
“You’re welcome.” Elody smiled while drinking her tea. Then, she gets straight to the point, and said, “You said you wanted to reciprocate my kindness, yes?”
“Oh, yes. I’ll definitely pay you back.”
“Well, could you do me a favor instead?”
“What? Oh, of course!”
Sirka shrugged at Elody’s words. He thought her request shouldn’t be too big of a deal because she was just a young girl.
“I’d like to supply items for Rhondia.”
Sirka was dumbfounded at her unexpected request.
“What kind of item?”
The merchant guild consists of traders who obtained rare goods and luxury items desired by the nobility. So he couldn’t just distribute any random item.
Elody presented a small pill and laid it on the table.
Sirka, who had no expectation, asked, “What is it…? Is it a dessert?”
‘Could it be chocolate?’ Sirka thought as he lifted the pill and stared at it with a blank expression.
“It’s a painkiller. It’s made with magic.”
“You are a mage? No, these are all… magic pills? Really?”
Medicine was usually in the form of liquid potions, so Sirka was surprised to see the magic pills as he had never seen them before.
“Can I test them?”
“You can test it on your body, would that be alright?”
“…yes, of course.”
Elody smiled at his response.
* * *
“Ahh!!! What is this? I’m terrified!”
“You have to get hurt if you want to see the results,” Elody said calmly.
Sirka glanced at the two soldiers that were holding him hostage.
”Arghhhhh!” he yelped.
He was so afraid that he’d only allow them to give a small injury on his puny little finger.
“Why do you have to make such a big fuss?” Brien groaned as he stared at Sirka’s horrified face.
Seeing Brien’s harsh expression, Sirka became even more frightened.
‘Why does he have to do it?!’
“It’s just a small cut! So why do you have that look on your face?!” Sirka wailed.
A smirk spread over Brien’s face. At that moment his motives were laid bare, he was a mocker, one who enjoyed whatever torment he could inflict on those he didn’t like.
“If you move, you’ll get hurt, so stay calm,” Brien said as he took a small dagger.
Sirka closed his eyes tightly, getting ready to bear the pain.
“Ahhhhhhh!” he yelled.
Sirka dropped to the floor, writhing in agony as his finger bled. The wound was small but he kept complaining as if it was a serious injury.
“Whew…… it hurts so much, isn’t this a poisoned dagger?”
Brien looked at Sirka with a distressed look. He was clearly over exaggerating.
Then, Brien and the soldiers left as they had finished their duties.
“Here, eat this,” Elody said.
She handed the medicine to Sirka and he took in a polite manner.
‘Come to think of it, he reminds me of someone…’
Elody saw that Sirka had the same manner as Norman, the butler.
As the effects began to circulate, Sirka’s eyes brightened.
His expression reminded Elody of Norman, who had eyes full of trust whenever he stared at Elody.
‘How do you trust someone so easily?’ Elody thought.
“…Are you really the owner of the merchant guild?”
“Why of course! Well, most of the business is done by my younger sibling… but I’m the one who makes the final decisions.” he bragged while pounding his chest.
“By the way, to be a mage at such a young age is incredible, you’re even quite skilled.”
“Thank you,” Elody said, “so do we have a deal?”
“Yes! Of course!” Sirka assured, “This medicine is worth a lot… it can be sold at a high price.”
“You don’t have to sell it at an expensive price.”
“These pills are more necessary for commoners and farmers.”
“Yes, but these are better than the average high-grade magic pills.”
“Still, I would like to offer it at a cheap price for the commoners.”
“But… if we don’t have enough supplies, the price will naturally increase.”
“You don’t have to worry about that.”
Mass producing the pills was very easy as Elody had invented an automated device. It was an old machine powered by magic, but it still works well.
However, the machine produced a very loud noise…
“Alright then,” Sirka said.
“Oh! And I plan to make the pills a little smaller than this.”
“That’s a good idea, it’ll be easier to carry.” he agreed, ”Well, I’ll drop by again after I finish my work in the capital.”
Rhondia had branches all over the West, and they were operated separately. They were very famous and most of the items they sold were luxuries for the nobility. So, there should be no problems in distributing it to the commoners.
Without beating around the bush, Elody immediately switched the topic to her main goal and said, “How much are you willing to pay?”
“What?” Sirka asked with a puzzled expression.
He soon corrected his posture and laughed nervously.
‘What could a young girl like her possibly do?’
Little did he know, he would soon take back those words.
“You’re not the only merchant guild that has come to my mansion. I’d like to make a decision based on the down payment.”
It appears that the relationship between the two has changed.
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