A Sudden Letter
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I had turned 15 years old.
After turning to that age, I didn’t do anything special and enjoyed everyday life. I was able to learn Telor language up the everyday conversation level, and my practical skill trainings were alright. Perhaps I should say, I had finished taking most credits except for practical skills, and I had spare time.
When I thought about it, 120 out of 200 credits to be taken in lectures were exempted, so there were only 80 credits remaining.
‘If you do it seriously in five years, it is natural to have spare time.’
‘Speaking of things that have changed, one of them is Harold said ‘I’ve already had enough with Telor. So, goodbye.’ six months ago, and left the lesson.’
Harold and I had a relationship similar to friends in the university’s lecture, but he became like a middleman in various ways since he was related to the right to use the port. Harrell Company was in conflict with a Witch Household, and it seemed that it was hard for them to get into the port of the royal capital, so I gave him a permit to use the southern port within the Hou Household territory.
Then, he departed a short time ago. He hadn’t come back for six months, I supposed it had considerable life and death risks.
Then, that opportunity arrived. When I was spending the spare time from the afternoon in the dormitory as always, Carol came.
“This is for you.” (Carol)
She threw an envelope and gave it to me.
“What is this?” (Yuri)
When I asked her…
“Okaa-sama wants to see you?” (carol)
“Okaa-sama… are you referring to the Her Majesty the Queen?” (Yuri)
“Yes, you’re right.”
“Why the Queen wants to see me? Did I do something wrong?” (Yuri)
‘I have a bad feeling that I am called by the most powerful person in the country.’
“It’s written in it.” (Carol)
Then, Carol pointed at the envelope I had.
‘I see. Since the content is written, it’s quicker to read it.’
The letter was written on a finest parchment, and it was put inside the envelope. The opening was sealed with sealing wax.
It was also a beautiful Vermillion-colored wax. This must be a luxury item.
‘I think it’s because of my preconceptions.’
When I peeled off the sealing wax, I looked inside.
Yuri Hou, the student of the school of Knights.
In honor of the development of a specific drug to treat smallpox disease, you would be given grace by Her Majesty the Queen. The Queen grants audience to you. You must come at this date.
‘…What, is it about that?’
‘I heard from Rook that the method worked and he told it to the house next door. It seems that it reaches the Queen’s ears.’
‘Hmmm. Should I ask for money?’
“I don’t understand.” (Yuri)
“About what?” (Carol)
“It is written that I must come at a certain date, but the date isn’t written. Does this mean that I have to make an appointment for an audience at the royal castle and decide the date of the meeting?” (Yuri)
“No, that’s not it.” (Carol)
“I was told to bring you.” (Carol)
“Am I going with you?” (Yuri)
‘Will it be alright to do it without an appointment?’
“Yes. It’ll be fine with the school uniform too.” (Carol)
“What? Are you sure this is good enough?” (Yuri)
‘Isn’t this an audience with the Queen?’
“And, wouldn’t it be at the place where the guards and ministers lining up?” (Yuri)
‘I want to complain from turning my dream upside down.’
“No. I was told to baring you through the rear gate. It will be in a guest room facing the garden.” (Carol)
“What? Is that how it is? That is better for me. So, it’s fine.” (Yuri)
“So, what time do you intend to do?” (Carol)
“I’m free these days, so I’m fine anytime.” (Yuri)
“Then, can you come today?” (Carol)
‘Today. Today, is it? It’s not like I’m going to see Obaa-chan of mine.’
“Are you sure that is alright? Then, please excuse me.” (Yuri)
“You don’t need to mind it.” (Carol)
‘This girl… what does she think about me?’
“Anyway, it’s just an audience with the Queen.” (Carol)
“Well, that is unexpected, you know.” (Yuri)
‘It’s really unexpected. Did she consider my feeling? What would happen if they think that I am a conceited man trying to pick up fight the Queen?’
Carol seemed to be well known in the royal castle. The imperial guards allowed us to pass when they looked at her. It was a great experience.
I thought that I would go up the stairs to the top of the castle, but it seemed that there was no such a thing. I climbed the stairs only two times, and I got to a terrace with a slight step from the ground.
On the terrace exposed to warm sunlight, flowers were planted in pots and placed there. Some were planted in moderate round pots, while others were in huge pots.
It might be because of the flowering season, the pots were replaced. All of the pots were full of leaves while flowers and buds were blooming. It seemed that there was no water supply, but there might be people diligently watering every day.
There was a round table in the middle of the terrace. It was a fine-grained table with no mold or filth, which was often found on outdoor standing tables. They were often taken indoors and cleaned every time they were served.
On one of the chairs around that table, there was a woman who I kissed the back of the hand at the entrance ceremony.
‘I can’t say that she is young or old. She looked somewhere in between, but there is a feeling of dignity and a sense of quietness. The reason why I think so probably because I am unconsciously overwhelmed by authority.’
“Well, I’m glad you came.” (Queen)
It was a voice that was similar to Carol.
I got on one knee, took the pose of salute.
“Thank you for granting me the opportunity of an audience. Your Majesty the Queen.” (Yuri)
“Oh my, ehehe.” (Queen)
“Don’t feign friendliness, you fool.” (Carol)
A severe voice heard from over my head.
I stood up and removed the sand on my knee.
‘This is awkward.’
“What is it…” (Yuri)
It was an embarrassing greeting that I thought about for a little while.
“This is not the throne room, so you don’t have to do that.” (Carol)
“There is no way I can avoid doing that.” (Yuri)
“Well… you’re right. Are you having fever?” (Carol)
‘You’re too rude. It’s fine since we are equal in this regard.’
“You’re really close, isn’t it?” (Queen)
The Queen was smiling cheerfully.
“Hey, have a seat.” (Carol)
Carol sat in a chair.
“What’s wrong? Sit down.” (Carol)
“Are you a fool? Do you think I can sit if the Queen hasn’t given the permission yet?” (Yuri)
‘I do mind about this thing, you know.’
“Please, have a seat.” (Queen)
“Then, please excuse me.” (Yuri)
I sat in a chair.
“You’re a very polite child, aren’t you?” (Queen)
“Thank you.” (Yuri)
“This guy is feigning.” (Carol)
‘This fool, she’s been doing whatever she wants from a while ago.’
“Don’t assume so, Your Majesty Carol.” (Yuri)
“Stop it, I’m getting goosebumps.” (Carol)
“I’m jealous, I also wanted a friend like this when I was a student. I wonder if I should have entered the school of Knights.” (Queen)
“Only foolish people are there.” (Carol)
‘This girl has been doing stuff like this…’
“Tea’s here.” (??)
A maid in a maid cloth appeared.
“Please excuse me.” (Maid)
As the maid said so, she put the tray with the tea utensils on the table.
When I looked at the tea cup, I understood that it was expensive in a glance. The thickness was thin, and the pattern drawn was beautiful. This kind of delicate and stylish tea utensils weren’t popular among General households, so I had never seen it at home.
Then, the Queen was reaching for the tea.
“Okaa-sama, I’ll do it.” (Carol)
Carol stopped her.
“You sure? Then, please.” (Queen)
‘If nothing was said, would it be the Queen preparing the tea? That would be a rare experience as well.’
Carol’s way of handling tea utensils was skillful. The tea leaves and the teapot were handled in a familiar manner, and the tea for three persons was vividly made. A cup was placed in front of me with a small plate of teacake.
‘Preparing tea seemed like a job for a newbie or a maid, but why is she so familiar with it? At least in my household, there is no culture in which Satsuki pour tea personally.’
The Queen, then, drank the tea.
“It’s delicious. You have improved, Carol-chan.” (Queen)
“Thank you very much.” (Carol)
When I drank the tea, it was certainly taste delicious. It was a kind of herbal tea, not barley tea that was generally brewed. Currently, it was early spring, and it was a bit chilly. So, it was just right.
“…What do you think?” (Carol)
‘What’s with eyes of expectation? Why are you looking at me like that? Are you asking for my impression? Is there a custom to express impressions like in the tea ceremony? Yeah.’
“I think it’s delicious.” (Yuri)
“What’s that?” (Carol)
She smiled. It was somehow strange.
I really thought it was strange.
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When the Queen finished drinking tea…
“We can talk for a long time, but I’m going to cut to the chase.” (Queen)
…she said so.
‘The main issue, is it?’
“I wrote a letter to Rook-san during this time and I wanted to give him a reward, but he insisted that it was his son’s achievement. Is that true that you came up with the way to heal the disease, Yuri-kun?” (Queen)
‘Yeah. As I expected, it seems I can’t lie anymore.’
“Yes, I did.” (Yuri)
‘Although Rook could take the credit for himself…’
“How did you come up with it?” (Queen)
“When I thought about it, I was originally a son of a rancher. So, I asked the cattle herder. It seems that it has been a famous story for a long time among these people. Therefore, it’s not an invention. If I have to say it, it is a rediscovery.” (Yuri)
It was an excuse that I thought when I was on the way here.
“I see~. It’s strange that it hasn’t been widely spread until now.” (Queen)
“Yes, I did.” (Yuri)
‘I wonder why. Even if someone notices it, it would be impossible if someone with a position like Luke shows an understanding.’
‘If you don’t know the mechanism of infection, you can certainly prevent it by imprinting the unpleasant mucus from the cow in the wound. Then, no one would believe it. If people look at what we are doing, they would think that it is a creepy and suspicious folk remedy.’
‘If that method doesn’t spread diligently, people wouldn’t believe even if it is done by Rook.’
“Nevertheless, many people were saved because of you. Thank you.” (Queen)
“You’re welcome.” (Yuri)
‘As for me, those who were saved are just lucky. They can use the method without permission.’
‘I just wanted to prevent them from getting infected with my family, and it was good to be helpful, I don’t think I would ask for anything.’
“So, I would like to reward you, but what do you want?” (Queen)
“Reward, is it?” (Carol)
‘Is it something like a product or pardon? What should I ask? If I ask, she may give me a certain amount of what I want.’
“Is it alright if it’s not a thing or money?” (Yuri)
“Oh my. It’s fine. As long as it’s sensible.” (Queen)
‘Sensible, huh. I wonder if I should go for that?’
“What I want now is a patent.” (Yuri)
“Patent? What kind of patent?” (Queen)
The Queen’s eyes became sharp.
A patent was a special permission granted by a local or state to monopolize a business of a certain item. There was no way to monopolize something like wheat but it was practiced in this country to monopolize salt, copper, wax and so on, and to give concessions to certain merchants and nobles.
Once it was implemented, it was illegal for new entrants such as shops to handle the items. So, profits would be monopolized.
“It’s not what you think it is. When I invent some creative thing or method from now on, I want you to protect the benefits that arise from the invention.” (Yuri)
“…Hmm, what does that mean?” (Queen)
‘How should I explain this?’
“For example, I will try and error over the next ten years and make a great invention. Of course I can commercialize it and make money. Well, let’s assume that it will be an extremely popular invention.” (Yuri)
“Yes, alright.” (Queen)
“However, when people understand that it is possible to make a lot of money out of it, it will be obvious that other people will produce same product. Then, the same product made by other people circulates. In that case, what’s the meaning of me spending ten years? Therefore, the first inventor is in a state of loss.” (Yuri)
“Well, indeed. However, wouldn’t it better if you keep the manufacturing process of product a secret?” (Queen)
‘So, she reaches this point, is it?’
“Sure, if what you invented is a bottled medicine, it would be difficult to figure out the manufacturing method out of the liquid medicine. But, for example, what if I invent the system to improve the accuracy of the clock dramatically? If you buy what I sold and disassemble it, the mechanism will be immediately understood, so concealing the process is synonymous with not selling.” (Yuri)
“…Yes, that’s true. But, in that case, people won’t be able to use what they invented. You won’t be able to use other clockmakers or anything.” (Queen)
“No, if you use the mechanism, and it contributes to your profit, you just have to give me some share from your sales. If it is the previous example of the clock, the way it works is a part of the whole, so it would be good if I get about five percent from the whole profit. If this is a medicine, then the invention is everything, so you will need to pay more. However, it is rather unfair not to pay at all since the money is to cover the cost of developing the medicine.” (Yuri)
“That’s true…” (Queen)
The Queen looked troubled for some reason.
“However, it is also considered unfair if the patent has no expiration date.” (Yuri)
So, I followed up.
“Hmm, what’s that supposed to mean?” (Queen)
“For example, it would be a strange story to have a patent given to someone who invented a spear, and that family would receive a lot of money for every spear for thousands of years. For that reason, I think that the expiration date should be about two to three decades. After that, inventions are made public, and if they are made available to everyone, it is only for the nation to gain.” (Yuri)
“Oh my, you have no greed.” (Queen)
“Yes. That is not something I want to do.” (Yuri)
I told a lie.
“Sure… I’ll think about it. But, please excuse me. I can’t give you the answer in this place. I need to consult with a lot of people.” (Queen)
“Yes, of course.” (Yuri)
“Let me tell you this, I may not be able to afford to issue patent only to you.” (Queen)
“Of course, I understand that. It doesn’t matter. I just want to protect the benefits of my inventions from now on. As long as I’m one of those people that can be protected, I have nothing to complain about.” (Yuri)
‘It’s because I’ve been free recently. There is a way to learn anything, but without a patent system, it is only vain.’
‘In this country, the Seven Great Witches households has become a huge capital that has high authority power. So even if something groundbreaking comes out, they immediately steal the idea. If it just end until that, it’s fine, but it’s possible that they will put pressure to crush my market, breaking the share market. So, even though it’s the one I have developed, it’s possible for them to suck all the sweet juice.’
‘It can happen, or rather, it has happened in reality in many cases. As a result, nobody makes an effort, and it is no use trying. A society like that has been developed.’
‘If they do it to me, it is like turning the Hou Household to an enemy. So, since they can’t do it openly, they will come out with similar product proudly. If there is a patent system, it is safe.’
‘Well, if the patent system doesn’t materialize, it’s fine to get money from the Queen.’
“Hey, what are you trying to achieve?” (Carol)
Carol was looking at me with suspicious eyes.
She was asking that.
“Making money is never better. No matter how much I have it.” (Yuri)
“You are a Knight, and you will serve as one.” (Carol)
She started saying things like a stubborn old man.
“Even Knights can’t live as it is. They need to make money.” (Yuri)
‘Rather, for most Knights, if you change the term of ‘making money, earning money is the most important things.’
“Uh… it may be so.” (Carol)
“Unlike you, I’m almost done with my classes, so I’m too bored in the afternoon. Instead of taking a nap, it makes more sense to make money.” (Yuri)
“If it is a spare time, it will be good to wield a spear, isn’t it?” (Carol)
She said it with a serious face.
‘Are you a fool? If it’s training spear, I swing it every day in the morning. Why do I have to swing it until the afternoon?’
“I’m not going to be a martial artist.” (Yuri)
‘Martial artists of people who aren’t so good looking, but who are improving their fighting skills. It feels like Yui Nausicaa-sama. When it comes to war, they are organized and hired like mercenaries, so there are a lot of specialties in the Hou Household’s territory.’ (TLN: The raw is ナウ○カのユ○様, so I assume is Yui Nausicaa. Unfortunately, I can’t find any information about it.)
“Well, yes, but… making money is…” (Carol)
She seemed not convinced yet.
“Carol-chan, making money is important, you know?” (Queen)
Her Majesty’s follow-up came in here.
“We don’t have much trouble with money, and we have a lot of money, but most people are working to make money. It’s not something that makes you foolish.” (Queen)
“I didn’t mean that, but…” (Carol)
Carol had a slightly crying face.
‘Is the Queen in preaching mode?’
“Surely, it’s not alright to abandon the duty as a student of the Academy just to make money, but Yuri-kun is an honor student in classes, so I can’t say much about it.” (Queen)
It was an adult opinion in general.
‘However, when it comes to the opinion of the parents, I think that there will be something different again. Her Majesty the Queen is a parent, but she is not my parent. It’s probably good to talk about this with Suzuya and Rook.’
“It is not good if you do bad things for money, but originally, making money is a good thing. If everyone makes money, the country will become rich. Carol-chan, do you understand that matter?” (Queen)
‘Dang, the preaching hasn’t ended yet. This person is unexpectedly a preacherous mother.’
After that, some preaching continued, and Carol was sobbing every time.
“I-I understand…” (Carol)
When the preaching was over, she was in tears. Even though it was her fault, I pitied her.
“Don’t mind it.” (Yuri)
I encouraged her.
While biting her lips, she got up and kicked the chair in anger.
‘Oops, she is more angry than I thought.’
“What’s wrong with you? I didn’t do anything…” (Yuri)
“You definitely do it on purpose! You’re making fun of me!” (Carol)
“I’m not making fun of you, you know. Didn’t I say don’t mind it?” (Yuri)
“That’s making fun of me! I was angry because of you!” (Carol)
‘Is it because of me? I think I got what I deserved.’
The Queen had spoken sharply.
“Don’t point finger your friend. That’s not nice.” (Queen)
‘Did she point finger at me? I didn’t notice.’
“Uh… I’m sorry.” (Carol)
“Please apologize to Yuri-kun.” (Queen)
Carol made a disgruntled face.
‘As I expected, it is too much for Carol to say sorry to me. I’m not a savage, you know.’
“You don’t have to apologize.” (Yuri)
I said that to Carol.
“Oh my, are you sure?” (Queen)
“This is like a play, Your Majesty. If she has to apologize every time, it’s no longer interesting.” (Yuri)
“…Heh. You really are a good friend, aren’t you?” (Queen)
‘Is that so?’
“Well, I’m not sure about that.” (Yuri)
“Yuri-kun, if it’s alright with you, why don’t you become my son-in-law?” (Queen)
‘…?? What’s up with this Queen?’
Carol was spurting out the tea.
“Cough… cough… what are you talking, Okaa-sama? That’s impossible.” (Carol)
“It’s rare to have same opinion as you.” (Yuri)
“If you are worried about your household, there is an example in the past, and I don’t mind it. You can keep your surname. If you have a girl, she will be given our surname, and if it’s a boy, he can keep Hou surname. So, there’s no problem.” (Queen)
‘Oi, really? Don’t be so excited when talking about it.’
“I’m not thinking about getting married yet.” (Yuri)
‘I’m not sure what’s going on, but let me say that for now.’
“Oh my. But, please consider it, alright.” (Queen)
“Okaa-sama, I will choose my husband.” (Carol)
“I hear you.” (Queen)
After about twenty minutes having tea, Her Majesty’s errand entered, and the tea party of the day ended.
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