12. Researching the Enemy (2)
—43 days remaining.
“In this case, it’d be better to plant sprouted seed potatoes.”
Baron Aljerk, who had a difficult time answering my father’s question, answered with a smile.
Baron Aljerk wore a suit, but at a first glance, he looked no different from a commoner. In a nutshell, he was a friendly man. He was in his late thirties, and he was also tall. His short hair was also charming. Compared to my father, his physique was dignified, and his lack of elegance was complemented by his friendliness.
As of the present, his expression was as if he was looking at something unreasonable.
Basically, I was only accompanying the two as they were having a conversation in the field. Until the end, I would devote myself to preparing my family. After all, I’d soon disappear.
The explanation was long. To simplify it, potatoes were a plant that was inherently susceptible to diseases and attracted pests. If we were to plant common, edible, potatoes, pests may spread to the fields. Therefore, there was a kind called ‘sprouted seed potato’ which was thoroughly maintained and specially raised. It was used instead of seeds. In short, we wouldn’t be able to get edible potatoes from mere seeds.
Furthermore, sprouting meant exposing it to sunlight during the day and letting it sprout, as the word said. If we were to do the work in advance, the germination would be completed, and it’d grow beautifully.
The easy-to-understand explanation impressed my father who let out a voice of admiration.
“I see… so it isn’t something that’ll just bear fruit overnight. How embarrassing.”
“It’s your first time! It’s only natural that you didn’t know! Everyone usually buys potato seeds, too! If you plant large potatoes as they are, it’d be inefficient, so I’d like to cut them. Can you help me?”
“I don’t mind, but… should we cut them here?”
Oh my, father!
Even though you’re in the position of being taught, you already look so promising!
Well, since we’ve brought the seeds anyway, who is anyone to say that we can’t use them immediately?
I couldn’t see how Baron Aljerk would have any objection regarding such a positive attitude—
—or so I thought.
Then, in a gentle tone, the baron spoke;
“Pardon me, if you cut them in advance, the cut ends will rot. I’d like you to apply wood ash to the cut ends and dry them in the sun for a day before planting. It’s also important to note that if they are too dry, they’ll shrink.”
It took two days to travel from the residence of Aljerk family to the residence of Elcage family. Due to the legitimate explanation, father rubbed his chin. There seemed to be no choice but to do it while he was here.
“How complex… alright then, if you may, please show me how to do the cutting.”
“Thank you! To tell you the truth, I’ve also brought other kinds of potatoes. This one is called sweet potato. This crop is suitable for beginners. So, if you like, why don’t you try growing it alongside your potatoes?”
“I appreciate your insight! I’d like you to give me guidance, if you’re alright with that?”
Father’s concern was also reasonable. No matter how high our rank was, if the baron kept adhering to us, he might face some troublesome requests later.
However, Baron Aljerk only smiled.
“I’m glad that the duke is interested in agriculture.”
“Yes, many people look down on agriculture because they deem it as a low-ranking labor.”
“But, without agriculture, aristocrats wouldn’t be able to eat.”
“I agree. That’s why, I think agriculture will develop if the duke, who is interested in it, were to spread its importance and goodness.”
As he spoke, the baron’s eyes became ecstatic.
Ah, what a change…
The baron spoke of agriculture as if it was his lover. By the way, he was already middle-aged, but was still single.
Oh, so that’s the reason…
“If you like, could you tell me more? I’d like for you to pass as much of your knowledge as possible during your stay!”
“Of course! I’d be extremely glad to do so!”
I’m glad… Father and Baron Aljerk are likely to get along.
If possible, I’d have to ask my father to find the baron a potential suitor, as well. That would strengthen our relationship with Baron Aljerk, right?
Excited, I clasped my face with both hands.
“This way, even if our house collapses, we’ll be fine!”
“Y, young lady!?”
Baron Aljerk immediately turned pale.
I intended for it to come off as some kind of a witty joke. It worked for my father, at least.
“Haha, that’s right. If something happens to my house, I’d like to ask the servants of the Aljerk family for help! Your field is of an incomparable size, right?”
“Uhh… well, it isn’t about how much manpower you have. However, if you have any problems, do remember this Aljerk.”
Alright, I shall remember that!
I wanted that to happen. That was exactly my aim. Having successfully completed the initial goal, I remembered my next promise.
“I’m sorry, Father. I have an arrangement after this.”
“Only now do I recall it. That’s right, you may go. Be mindful around His Highness. Be sure to ask him to choose a nice one that he likes.”
While it was a day off, that day was busier than usual. I had to visit the castle.
I only said, “I promised to take look at some dresses with His Highness.” To my father. As a result, he misunderstood. He thought I was referring to my fiancé.
Unfortunately, my partner that day wasn’t Sazanjill, but his younger brother—Zafield. We would be looking into the dress Sazanjill would be giving to his affair partner.
In front of the shopping district, I alighted from the carriage. Since it was close to the aristocratic district, it was alright to go to the store with a horse-drawn carriage.
However, that day, I wouldn’t be entering the store as ‘Lelouche Elcage.’ As such, the carriage was changed.
After all, the fiancée of the first prince couldn’t be seen spending her free time openly with the second prince.
Thus, I tucked my hair in a hat with a wide brim. Today I shall be Zafield’s playmate.
“Luna, you have a refreshing appearance.”
“To be honest, I just don’t want any insects to approach me.”
I usually tried not to wear flashy clothes. I had black hair. There were times when pale colors and flashy colors didn’t match, but… the fiancée of the first prince was in a natural position to be scorned. As such, there was no need to unnecessarily provoke others.
Elegant and beautiful, without any flair. I didn’t have to dress up beautifully, because that was already enough to silence them—oh my, how rude of me—I meant, to get along with them.
Hence, at such a time, I tried to wear a trendy, bright yellow, dress.
However… Zafield, who was wearing a stylish vest and middle boots, knelt in front of me.
“Truly, before the incarnation of the Moon Goddess herself, I’m but an insect.”
“…Could it be, the name itself, Luna, was taken from the Moon Goddess?”
Zafield was the one who bestowed me with that name. It was for today only.
I thought he had merely chosen it as a name because it was similar to ‘Lelouche’…
…To think that it had such an unexpected and magnificent origin. I couldn’t help but avert my gaze.
Towards that, Zafield chuckled. He also calmly dropped a kiss on the back of my hand.
“Isn’t it perfect?”
Before I could ask, however, Zafield stood up and drew me towards the carriage he was riding.
You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?
Even so, it certainly had been a while ever since I had been treated like a woman, even more so with such politeness.
—When was the last time Sazanjill had escorted me?
I couldn’t recall.
***T/N: Srsly what has Satanjill been doing the entire time they were engaged…?
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