It was wild ginseng.
For the first time in a while, Elody finally showed an expression that she had long forgotten. Her eyes brightened and her lips curved into a smile.
“I finally have it….”
She could see why the simmanis were so ecstatic when they harvested wild ginseng.
Wild ginseng is an herb that’s commonly used as traditional medicine. It usually grows in East Asia and the United States. They are also hand-picked by gatherers known as simmani.
‘I can’t believe I’ve never seen it before in my previous life.….’
“Madame, what is happening?” Anna, who came running late, asked.
Anna seemed surprised to see Elody making an unusual fuss.
“This is… a panacea.”
“What? Is there such a thing?”
As far as she knew, wild ginseng had considerable efficacy.
Cultivated ginsengs were also great supplements.
‘But wild ginseng is on a whole different level!’
“Let’s harvest them! Anna, help me.”
“Yes, madame!” Anna said as she nodded vigorously.
After Caville left, Elody’s facial expression was cadaver-like, not just sagged but lacking its usual liveliness, if not completely.
That’s why the sight of Elody smiling truly warmed Anna’s heart. It had been so long since she last smiled.
“You have to be careful not to damage the roots. The roots are its life.”
In her previous life, wild ginseng was highly valued for its cooling and sedative medicinal effects. Also, it was expensive due to its very specialized growing environment and high demand.
If she could commercialize them well in the market, she could make an entire fortune!
The wild ginseng will be able to help Caville too.
‘My baby’s in trouble, and I’m going to help him!’
* * *
Elody’s days became hectic.
She was so busy that she stuck inside the lab and greenhouse all day long.
She had to deal with various tasks on behalf of the lord. In some ways, it was even more important than her research.
“Madame, if you’re tired, I can lessen today’s schedule….”
“It’s all right,” Elody said as she shook her head.
She stayed up all night reading a book yesterday so she felt tired.
“Your Grace, your complexion does not look too well…” Norman said, anxiously.
After Caville left, the servants were all worried about Elody because she was in poor condition and wouldn’t take care of herself properly.
“Should I eat the wild ginseng…?”
Yesterday, after checking the security in the territory, new guards were deployed.
And today, Elody had to carry out the punishments for those who committed crimes within the duchy. No one had committed a felony, but even the smallest sins had to be fairly punished.
Tomorrow, she planned on visiting the knights.
Right now, Elody cared the most about security. The knights were needed to keep order and to make sure everyone was safe, they made sure the laws were upheld and that everyone was treated fairly.
‘We need to hire more soldiers.’
As the populations grew, those needed to be protected increased as well, and with a large number of knights and soldiers leaving, it was only natural to care about the security of the land.
Only when the land was safe could the people of the territory live in peace.
The day after tomorrow, Elody was going to look around the farmhouse. She was planning to distribute the turnip seeds to the farmers.
Her goal was to make sure that the people of the duchy would be able to live safely and in satiation.
Elody had no intention of squeezing their money through tax like other nobles. She could be rich if she did that, but she thought of such acts as absurd.
On top of that, the abundance of the people could also help enrich the land.
‘I’m wealthy as well, but I’m so tired….’
Elody rubbed her heavy eyelids.
She had a tight schedule, so she was tired… very tired. Her body needed to rest yet her mind forced her to move, to burn the anxiety right out.
‘Maybe it would be better to eat one wild ginseng…’
Elody studied the wild ginseng after discovering it not too long ago.
Wild ginseng grows naturally in the mountains.
After checking it multiple times, the ginseng she had in her greenhouse was indeed similar to the authentic ones that grew in the mountains.
With a magic tool, she confirmed that the herbs were not poisonous. Then, she fed it to the knights in the mansion and recorded the results.
Though truth to be told, she never tried it herself.
She did not dare to eat it because she thought it’d be a waste.
‘I’ll just take a nap or something.’
Elody quickly took care of the rest of her work. Then climbed upstairs to take a nap…
“Madame, Sirka from Rhondia is here.”
“What? Again? Without an appointment?”
“…yes. He’s waiting in the parlor right now….”
The man had no courtesy. He had been visiting the mansion without making an appointment and it irked Elody.
Elody headed to the parlor with her creased forehead.
At that moment, she funneled all her strength into her feet and used it to walk out of the door with an angry expression.
“Little miss, it’s been a while.” He said, smiling.
Elody sat down and glared at Sirka.
“Not so little anymore…,” his words trailed off, “aren’t you? Hahaha…,” Sirka added as if embarrassed by the awkward silence.
Before he realized it, she’s grown too big to be called a child, her sudden change in appearance had surprised him.
She was utterly beautiful.
“I brought the settlement, so don’t make that expression.”
“…show it to me.”
“Here you go.”
Elody checked the documents carefully. All the drugs she invented over the years were sold by the merchant guild.
The reputation of Rhondia rose because they sold the pills at a cheap price for the commoners.
But there was also a problem.
“Ah! Madame, another visitor came from the Temple of Thysser.”
“Yes, they were quite persistent. It won’t be easy to hide anymore.…”
“I see. They won’t come here, right?”
“There’s no justification and I haven’t sinned. So I’m sure it won’t happen.”
The fact that Elody was the developer of the pills had to be kept a secret. But they won’t be able to hide it for long.
The Temple of Thysser had shown great interest in her medicines, but Elody was not pleased….
On the surface, the temple seemed to have a good relationship with the mages.
But that was all a lie.
‘I can keep ignoring them, but….’
The Thysser religion worshipped Tvekra, the God of Nature.
Priests possess the ability to use divine magic; a sanctified and sacred form of magic that uses holy forces to achieve extraordinary feats such as offensive magic or healing powers. Their conviction grants them strong powers on behalf of their faith.
Mages like Elody on the other hand mostly used elemental magic. The user can utilize different elements as a form of magic. They can use different spells to formulate their elemental quantities and energies for many uses but everything was based on their knowledge regarding ancient languages.
To tell the truth, elemental magic also used natural forces, so the essence of both powers was more or less the same.
Unfortunately… most priests looked down upon mages.
‘No, it’s more like… they put their guards up?’
They didn’t want the mages to increase. Therefore, books in ancient languages were monopolized by the temple and designated as forbidden books. They thought of their existence as a threat to their divine powers.
A long time ago, there was a legendary mage who was able to extract magical energy from all of the elements.
His name was Magna Ponithesia.
He is said to have extraordinary powers and ruled the spirits of all elements.
However, most of the priests twisted the truth and dismissed the achievements of the archmage.
They insisted that he only had such powers because it was a blessing from God. They argued that divine magic was the only teaching of God.
In front of others, they’d say, “We don’t reject elemental magic!”
But what they truly wanted to say was, “What? Mages? Oh, the incompetent magic users! Such amateurs!”
They had terrible personalities.
‘And when the mages invented something, they’ll interfere and take credit for their work.’
So of course, the mages didn’t like the priests either since there was too much bad blood between them. But like most people in the Friar continent, the mages also believed in the Tvekra God.
They, however, did not want to be involved with temples nor priests.
Just like Elody right now.
“It’s going to be quite noisy if they find out the truth.”
“We can’t help it though.…”
Elody shook her head at his words.
When the medicine that Elody made first became popular, it was immediately sent to the temple.
There was a rumor that spread amongst the people and it ruined the pills’ reputation.
According to the rumors, the pills were not proper medicine.
However, the medicine was fine, and there were no addictive or harmful ingredients.
The efficacy of the drug was undeniably outstanding.
So the temple began to question who made the medicine.
“I wanted to keep it a secret until the end.…”
Sirka kept quiet because of Elody’s demands, but as the medicine became more and more popular, it was getting harder to hide the truth.
“It’ll be fine,” Elody replied.
Sirca sighed and continued, “I’m telling you it may be fine now, but the truth will come to light soon. They’ve been following me recently. I thought the people of the temple were civilized?” Sirka said with a sigh.
“Not exactly, the temple does a lot of dirty work.”
“Well, I’ve made sure no one followed me today. So no one knows I’m here, not even my younger sibling! Madame is the only one who knows,” he smiled.
“Yes, and… the maids of the mansion know about it as well.”
Elody stared at Sirka with a worried look.
‘The truth will soon come to light…’
The priests would not openly persecute Elody, but it was certain that she would be on their watch list after her name became known.
The mere thought of it bothered her.
“Speaking of which, your skin is looking a little rough, madame.”
“Is it because the duke left? Do you want me to give you some lotion?” he said playfully.
“If you’re going to annoy me, just leave,” Elody rebuked.
Sirka shrugged at her words.
“Oh! I should have said ‘I love you!’ one more time before he left. Goodness gracious, how silly of me to forget!”
Elody’s face fell faster than a corpse in cement boots.
He reminded her of a memory she long tried to forget.
It was years ago…
‘Caville seems a bit gloomy these past few days.’
Elody wanted to cheer him up so she thought of ways to lighten his mood.
Caville often had nightmares. He kept dreaming of bad adults who abused him and verbally assaulted him in the past.
‘What can I do to help him?’
Young Caville had very low self-esteem. Elody was heartbroken when he called himself a useless child.
She thought it was because he had never received proper affection from people.
And so, Elody decided to launch the so-called ‘I love you, Your Grace’ campaign.
Elody forced the servants and knights to say ‘I love you’ whenever they made eye contact with Caville.
“I love you, Your Grace!”
Unfortunately, Caville’s reaction was quite chilly.
His response was not good. The servants got embarrassed instead…
But ever since then, Caville seemed to be a little happier. He no longer degraded himself. Elody’s efforts worked unknowingly.
“I love you, Caville! You are my most favorite person in the entire world!!!” Elody shouted, far louder than anyone else.
Sirka, who visited at the time, also actively participated in the campaign.
“I love you, Your Grace!” Sirka exclaimed in glee.
Alas, Caville could only feel his insides curdle and chose to ignore Sirka with a wry expression…
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