Chapter 40 Hagglese and Roasted Chestnuts
Shortly before I trained with Miles.
The children seemed to understand the basics of Randalian, so I started Master Clark’s Hagglese class.
I wondered if Nonna was still okay, but she said, ‘I’ll study together’. At the age of six, could she understand three languages? Even though I like studying languages, I learned my third language when I was ten years old.
“It’s enough for Nonna to be able to listen and speak.”
“No. I want to learn together with Master Clark.”
“I also enjoy learning with Nonna.”
I wondered if Master Clark was unusual for a noble boy to not be reluctant to learn with a girl who is six years younger than him.
“Then, let’s study Hagglese by talking with travelers and townspeople. First, I will act as a person of the Haggle Kingdom. I’ll act as people with different occupations and eventually act as a tourist, so try your best to keep the conversation.”
Nonna probably didn’t understand it well, but she looked like she was looking forward to it, so it’s okay.
That day, the children and I became bakery clerks in Haggle’s royal capital. We practiced the interaction when buying bread many times by changing roles.
“Give me one of these buns and two loaves of raisins.”
“Okay, three copper coins please.”
“What time does this shop open?”
“From six o’clock in the morning. The shop is open until six in the evening.”
Master Clark and Nonna worked on the conversation-style class while giggling. Mr. Clark asked a question after finishing.
“Teacher, isn’t it cold in Haggle Kingdom?”
“Yes. It’s colder than Ashbury. I read that it snows in November.”
“Then, spring would be later too?”
“In the Ashbury Kingdom, spring flowers start blooming in March, but in the Haggle Kingdom, they say they start blooming in mid-April.”
“Teacher, when my father goes to Haggle Kingdom on business, he said he’ll take me with him next time. It would be nice if teacher and Nonna came along too.”
“We’ll look forward to hearing about Master Clark’s journey.”
“Vicky, how far is Haggle?”
“Hmm, let me see, it’s far away. It takes three weeks just to travel there with a carriage.”
“It’s okay then. Ms. Susan is teaching me how to lace.”
Yes, Nonna knits bobbin lace little by little every time she stays over at Susan’s room. It is a time-consuming lace that is knitted by crossing the threads wound on bobbins without using knitting needles or crochet hooks. Susan is good at it so I asked her to show me her work once, and it was gorgeous.
Nonna loves to move her body, but she also likes to do detailed work. She could single-mindedly polish a silver spoon. She’s a bit like me in that way, and even though we’re not related by blood, that made me happy.
Jeffrey and his mother Courtney were having a conversation in the former Countess Courtney’s room.
“Jeff, I’m very happy that you’re worried about my health, but when you’re busy, you should prioritize time for yourself.”
“I’m a carefree bachelor, so I don’t have much to do, Mother.”
The former Countess Courtney tilted her blonde head and smiled.
“I heard from Edward that you are close to a lady, but when will you introduce her to me?”
“That’s… please wait a little longer? Nothing has been decided yet.”
“Oh dear. The brave and courageous Second Knight Commander is very cautious, isn’t he? If it’s about their status, I can do something about it for you?”
That wasn’t the problem.
Victoria didn’t seem to hate him, but when he take a step forward, she takes a step back. It’s probably…
Jeffrey almost sighed at that, but he held it in. It was still between evening and night, but Jeffrey bade goodnight to his mother, returned to his room, and sighed out loud this time.
At the evening party, she was the first to notice the man’s suspicious movements. Now he believes it was Victoria who knocked the man unconscious in the garden. She cornered and fractured the bones of the armed Prince Cedric, but was unharmed herself.
Victoria is fluent in four languages, is good at cleaning and cooking, beats Prince Cedric in physical and swordsmanship, and is good at climbing trees. He was probably the only one who knew all that.
There was only one answer he could come up with.
Operatives are brainwashed from a young age to be loyal to the organization and receive high rewards so it is unheard of that they choose to escape. But there are exceptions to everything.
“There’s nothing to be gained by getting close to me or my uncle. She was invited to be a tutor for the Anderson family. I don’t think she retired at that age. If that’s the case.”
If he considers her as having escaped from an organization, everything made sense. She never wants to talk about her past and never says what she’s afraid of. Victoria Sellers is probably a pseudonym, then.
Every time he reaches that train of thought, his thoughts go in circles.
If he chooses to live with her, the best way was to leave the house and become a commoner so as not to cause trouble for his brother, his sister-in-law, and his children. Naturally, he will resign as Knight Commander too. He was prepared for that.
“Better yet, how about taking her and Nonna and going to another country, just the three of us?”
He thought about that many times. Luckily, he has a sturdy body and can handle the language of the surrounding countries, so he should be able to work and make a living.
However, the crucial person in the equation, Victoria, seemed to be appealing to him to not take that step.
He had a feeling that as soon as he confessed ‘Live together with me’, she would disappear with Nonna.
He didn’t think he’ll ever find her again if she really disappears.
Sweeping his silver hair with his fingers, Jeffrey looked up at the ceiling.
At Victoria’s house, Nonna put down the book she was reading and talked to Victoria in the kitchen.
“Vicky! When is Jeff coming next?”
“I don’t know. The Commander is busy.”
“When Jeff comes in, I’ll say, ‘How much is this loaf?’”
“I’m sure Commander will be surprised.”
“Jeff, I hope he comes by soon.”
“Must be Jeff!”
Saying that, Nonna rushed to the door but stopped. One of the few rules in the house was to check the other person’s voice before unlocking the door.
“Good evening. I bought some delicious roasted chestnuts.”
Hearing a familiar voice, Nonna hurriedly opened the door.
“Jeff! Good evening! Wow, roasted chestnuts!”
“Oh my, Commander. Thank you as always.”
Jeffrey, Victoria, and Nonna ate roasted chestnuts and laughed as they conversed leisurely.
Jeffrey savored this moment lovingly, which threatens to disappear if he steps forward too aggressively.