77. The Result’s Announcement
I successfully completed the test.
It seemed that scoring and paperwork would take a day. The successful applicants would be announced the next day.
I returned to the royal castle at once. I was both thrilled and excited for tomorrow’s announcement.
On the day of the announcement…
I went to the previous day’s exam site to see whether or not I had passed.
Or so I planned…
“Eh, isn’t that His Highness Nigel?”
“Why is the prince in such a place!?”
“Also, the one beside him… could it be, Duke Vincent?”
“I heard he was in the kingdom, but why would they come see the results of the pharmacist’s exam!?”
The surroundings were fixated on me—or to be more precise, us.
That was quite natural.
I said that I’d go alone, but Nigel and Vincent insisted upon following!
“U, uh, Nigel… I’m fine by myself?”
“What are you saying? Eliane did her best. I’m interested in the result.”
I had such an exchange with Nigel.
Apparently, he wanted to know my exam result. He wanted to see it along with me.
Well, Nigel coming along was not a problem…
…The real problem was…
“U, uh, why is Vincent coming along?”
“Kukuku, those words make me feel lonely. I’ve finished my businesses in this city. Basically, I’m free. Seeking entertainment isn’t a crime.”
You just want to see me dejected, don’t you!?
I’m sure you think I’m going to fail!
Too bad, that wasn’t going to happen!
Because I was pretty confident in my result!
You’ll regret your words!
…Despite that, when I thought about it, I grew anxious. What if I did fail? I’d be ridiculed by Vincent…
I, I should be fine!?
“H, hey, the results are being posted!”
Someone uttered that.
When I turned around, some of the examiners I had met yesterday were in the middle of posting a large piece of paper on the bulletin board.
“Oh, it’s finally announced. Hmm…? Eliane, until a while ago, you look very confident. Why do you seem uneasy, all of the sudden?”
“T, that’s not true!”
“I, I see…”
Because I screamed, Nigel became a little meek.
If Vincent hadn’t accompanied us, I wouldn’t have been that nervous!
That person came along, and I lost my composure!
“My exam number is 65…”
The number of successful applicants would be written on the paper.
When I scanned the numbers from top to bottom—
“—There it is!”
I was able to find the number ‘65’ immediately.
“You did it! Well, I already knew you’d pass.”
Nigel also rejoiced.
Phew… I was glad I passed.
That was the first time I had experienced a test that could truly be called a test. My heart was about to burst with excitement.
I immediately showed him the proof that I had passed.
“Well, now I’m qualified as a pharmacist. It may not mean much, but this proves that I can do something too, right?”
Hearing to me, Vincent made a baffling expression.
His reaction was different from what I expected.
“What are you talking about? If it’s only this exam, then of course you’d pass.”
Towards his unexpected reply, I leaked a strange voice.
“Even so, why did you suddenly decide to get a pharmacist qualification? Even if you don’t have that, you’re already good enough, aren’t you?”
“B, but you said, I’m unworthy of Nigel… hence why, I tried to get this qualification to prove that I am…”
Ah, I blurted it out.
For some reason, I felt that I was on the losing side.
For a moment, Vincent’s eyes widened in astonishment.
“What a shock. So that was the reason? That’s not what I mean.”
“Eh, but at that time…”
While Vincent and I were talking, Nigel interjected from the side.
“What did you say to Eliane?”
“I didn’t say anything to her in particular. Your fi… I was just trying to figure out what kind of woman she was.”
He was about to say ‘fiancée’, however, there was no way he could say that in such a crowd.
“…You said something that was be misunderstood again.”
“I just talked the way I usually do.”
Vincent had a sullen expression.
Soon, he turned to me.
“I heard that the holy water was thanks to her in the first place. Thanks to that, I was saved. She also set up a barrier around the territory. I wasn’t saying that you’re incompetent.”
“You aren’t saying that I’m incompetent!? Well, that’s a news for me!”
“Is that so?”
Vincent tilted his head.
Ah! Enough already!
No matter how close he was with Nigel, there was no reason to do such a thing!
But then, why did he say such that?
While I was confused, Vincent continued talking while stroking his chin.
“But in the end, I saw something fulfilling. I feel satisfied—I should be returning to my territory, soon.”
“You’re going home?”
“Yes, I was just thinking of leaving this city for now.”
—hearing that from Vincent should have made me feel relieved, right?
But for some reason, my heart only grew agitated.
“I, is that how it is…”
“That’s right. I’m off to return to the castle and pack my bags. I’ll leave the two of you be. Have a nice chat.”
Vincent turned on his heels and left.
As I watched his back, Nigel put his hand on my back.
“Eliane, I’m sorry. I didn’t explain Vince’s personality to you. He’s not a bad person. It’s easy to misunderstand him due to how he speaks…”
“No, no, don’t worry, that’s not what I think at all…”
That said, Nigel was probably right. I didn’t fully understand Vincent.
“That’s right, there is something I need to say. That amulet was given—”
While Nigel was trying to say something.
Examiners came to us all at once from the venue.
“You’re here! I have something to discuss!”
“Yes! Do you know Mr. Bart, the pharmacologist?”
“Well, that name was often mentioned in the book I read…”
He seemed to be a fairly famous pharmacologist.
“Your written test got a perfect score. During the practical test, you also made holy water! Mr. Bart wants to praise your achievements… and also want to hear about the holy water.”
Such a famous person wanted to praise me… if he were lying, then I hoped he’d stop!
Because of my former kingdom, I still wasn’t used to being praised!
Besides, it felt like I’d be having a long discussion. I felt slumped.
“Eliane, let’s escape.”
Nigel took my hand.
“You don’t like it, right? Let’s return to the castle at once!”
“Y, yes. That’s right.”
As expected of Nigel!
He knew me well!
Pulled by Nigel, I left the examiners.
“Wait, Eliane! His Highness Nigel, also! We just want to talk to her!”
The examiners were screaming. However, probably because Nigel was with me, they didn’t dare give chase.
***T/N: Well, that WAS pointless… Sure, she re-ignited the passion of a researcher to concoct holy water, but at that point, said holy water has already been mass-produced…
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