“Have you seen the newsletter?” Sirka asked.
“Yes, I have,” Elody replied.
“I think the war is going to last for a long time.”
It lasted for ten years.
Ten painful years.
“I’d rather not discuss this topic… Let’s talk about business instead,” Elody said with a solemn expression.
“Business? What else is there to talk about?”
“I’m currently working on a new project.”
His eyes lit up at her words.
“Yes, though it isn’t finished yet,” Elody replied calmly.
“I look forward to the results! What kind of medicine is it this time?”
“I see…” Sirka replied, “Then I shall devote my life to the duchess.”
Elody grinned at his words.
‘Yes! More money! I’ll make lots of money until Caville comes home!’
Elody had made a resolution.
If Caville brought back the princess, then Elody would need to earn some money to leave the mansion.
‘But where will I live?’
Elody wanted to live nearby, but she didn’t want to seem like a nosy sister-in-law.
Then, she realized something.
She had to leave the mansion as soon as Caville came back from war. To separate again when they’ve only just met, the mere thought of it saddens her heart.
“…We’ll continue this conversation later.” Elody said as she rose from her seat.
“Yes, I have to go…” Elody said in a subdued tone, “I’ll tell the maids to prepare you a meal before you leave.”
Sirka watched her leave, a bit irritated by her bizarre mood swings.
Elody just wasn’t in the mood to chat.
* * *
Soon after, Elody constructed another greenhouse, specially made for the wild ginseng. She also studied ways to grow the herbs in a short amount of time.
‘I’m so tired… I feel like I’m going to die.’
She was worn out because her schedule was packed with the lord’s duties.
When times get tough, she will start thinking of Caville on the battlefield. That way, she could channel her energy right back up and work twice as hard again.
Moreover, she’d send letters to Caville on days she felt the most lonely. Writing letters seemed to help ease up her mind.
It felt like sending her little brother to the military when he’s only ten years old.
Elody gathered her strength and began to study the panacea.
The most well-known herb traditionally used as a drug is the root of the ginseng species.
If the results turned well, she could earn plenty of money, and it wouldn’t compare to the earnings she got from her old medicines.
There was only one thing she could make.
Six-year-old red ginseng!
‘It will take care of Caville’s health!’
Elody intended to develop the ginseng seeds by studying wild ginseng obtained from their natural habitats. Fortunately, the ginseng she cultivated was as effective as those grown naturally in the mountains! So she’ll continue to cultivate them, and she’ll process them to be red ginseng.
Like the painkillers she made, she’ll process them as pills and then send them to Caville along with a letter.
‘I’ll work hard.’
And so, Elody sowed plenty of the ginseng seeds in the newly constructed greenhouse.
A few days later…
“What is this?” Elody said, squatting in front of the field where the ginseng was planted.
In front of her was an unusual grass growing beside a field that was ready to reap. It looked just like clover, but it was a little different.
“Madame, what kind of plant is this?”
“Well… I’ve never seen this before.”
“It’s not poisonous, is it?”
“No, poisonous plants won’t be able to grow here. I used an elixir to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Elody decided to separate them so that she could examine the ingredients.
The stem was green, but the leaves were red. It was unique.
With the mysterious herbs in good care, Elody turned her eyes to the field.
“The ginseng is growing well.”
The herbs looked healthy, but Elody was worried whether to call it cultivated ginseng or wild ginseng.
For now, she decided to call it ginseng.
Ginseng root is used more often than other parts of the ginseng plant, but they could only be harvested after several years’ cultivation. The herbs took too long to grow, so Elody used her magic powers. She made ampoules of liquids that were able to speed up its growth and injected them on the ginseng.
Growth-promoting ampoules were very rare, and they could only be used in small droplets, so it was a waste to use them for other crops.
But doing this could also help her research ways to grow the herbs in large quantities.
Elody’s crop farming was no different from the natural type. Because through magic, the environment could become similar to that of the mountains.
Her mouth curved into a smile as she thought of processing them to be red ginseng.
“Madame, is this herb that great?”
“Yes. After it’s harvested, I’ll give some to you so you can try it later.”
“Really? Thank you, madame! So…Shall I keep it a secret from Marie?”
“No need, I was planning to give it to the other maids anyway.”
‘What a pity.’ Anna thought as she clicked her tongue.
Elody chuckled at her funny response.
* * *
Shortly after that, Elody harvested the ginsengs after using magic to speed up its growth.
“The roots look astonishing.”
Elody was excited as it was time to harvest the plants.
She dug up the herbs then planted the seeds again. They were washed, peeled, sliced, and some were soaked in honey.
The leftovers were given to Elody so that she can process them to be red ginseng.
‘This might be difficult.’
The ginseng root was used as a natural remedy in supplement form. The root that had been steamed and dried was called red ginseng.
The process of steaming and drying the ginseng was quite extensive. After steaming, it had to be dried in a well-ventilated area. The drying process was also important.
Elody steadily injected her mana during the process.
After repeating this, the finished red ginseng was turned into a capsule. It’s a jelly-like soft pill, but after swallowing it, it melted instantly and permeated inside the body.
She made it portable and easy to eat.
“It’s not bitter, it tastes good.”
Elody tried one herself to check its efficacy. The effect occurred rather fast.
Her body was full of energy. It wasn’t like she miraculously gained strength, but it indeed reduced her fatigue. By eliminating the side effects through magic, people with high fever could also take them.
Elody contemplated on how to mass-produce the pills.
“I’ll send a letter to Caville along with the pills.”
Although separated by distance, Elody wanted to support Caville.
* * *
“Madame, how’s your research going?”
While touring to the barracks with the butler, someone spoke to Elody.
“Sir Therion. Thank you for your concern. It’s going very well.”
His name was Therion, and he was currently in charge of the knights. He was a great knight who had blond hair and a tall figure.
Therion was able to attain the rank of a knight due to his extraordinary skills. He, however, did not join the war.
The decree said that only one man per family was needed to serve in the Imperial Army. So his family chose Therion’s brother, William, to join the war in his stead.
Therion seemed unhappy about not being able to participate in the war, but his brother’s words persuaded him, he said that the land’s security was also important.
“That’s glad to hear.” Therion smiled, “To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”
“I’m here to ask if the knights require any supplies or reinforcements. Is there anything you need?”
“Well, there’s a lot of newcomers. So we are in dire need of more wooden swords.”
“Really? Then it means that there’s a lot of reinforcements, that’s good news.”
“Yes, they’re all the more excited because they can be knighted by the Duchess herself,” he grinned.
“Pardon? Why would they be excited?”
Elody was puzzled, and so was Therion. He genuinely thought Elody would realize what he was talking about.
“We adore you a lot. The children in training, apprentices, even full-time knights…. Did madame not know that?”
Elody blushed, “Sir Therion…”
At his direct words, the butler Norman gave him a look as if telling him to be careful of his words.
Therion shrugged and said, “It’s alright even if madame isn’t aware. Well… since you’ve come all this way, would you be so kind as to watch us train?”
“I would, but I’m afraid my schedule does not permit me to…,” her words trailed off, “I must get going now, Sir Therion. Thank you for greeting me and keep up the good work.”
Elody smiled softly and proceeded to check the rest of the remuneration with the butler.
“Let’s finish this quickly and go.”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
After inspecting the facilities inside the barracks, Elody settled herself on an outdoor table to rest her feet.
Then, she took the documents that Norman gave to her and began to organize them herself.
“Um… Norman. Do the knights like me that much?” Elody asked.
“Well… honestly, I thought that madame might have guessed it even a little. Everyone here adores you, and some knights would even try to capture your heart. Quite a lot, actually.”
Elody was dumbfounded.
Of course, she was conscious of her beautiful appearance as she stared at the mirror every day.
However, there was not a single person in the original story who liked her.
It was because of her evil deeds.
Elody will soon turn twenty.
The young males might try to court her as she was a beautiful lady with high status.
‘Caville will be the same when he meets the princess…’
In the novel, the two fell in love at first sight and felt a strong connection towards one another.
Elody was depressed. If they come back together like in the novel, then she may be forced to leave the mansion!
Elody, who had been lost in thought, finally raised her head.
A young boy was approaching her. Norman was on his guard for a moment, but Elody dissuaded and calmed him down.
He was about fifteen or sixteen years old. He seemed to be a knight in training.
“Well, uh… please accept this.”
He bowed and shyly thrust them into her arms.
It was a bouquet.
“I picked them from the field for you,” he blushed, “I know it’s not a big deal, but….”
The boy could feel the heat growing in his cheeks.
“Thank you. I’ll put it in a vase.” Elody smiled as she accepted the bouquet.
“No, it’s no problem,” the boy said as he scratched his head and ran back to the training grounds.
Elody stared at the bouquet for a while.
Norman looked at Elody and asked anxiously, “Madame, you don’t look good. Are you all right?”
“…I’m all right.”
The flowers reminded her of her memories.
It was months before Caville’s departure…
As usual, Elody went out to the fields with Marie and Anna to harvest more herbs.
During that time, Caville was training.
After a long time of collecting herbs, Caville came running, calling her from afar.
“Wife, look at this!”
Caville, who tried to catch his breath, held out what he had hidden behind his back.
It was a bouquet of wildflowers.
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