Side story 9 – About what happened to “that”
(Translator note: This first part of the chapter takes place from the perspective of an unnamed villager.)
“Oh~! That, it’s amazing~! Daddy, I, I want it!”
My son who had come to town this time with me, kept pulling on my hand, and pointing to something in a store window. I’m familiar with this shop, it mainly deals with things made of wood.
It’s said that this shop has both high quality and a great quantity of goods to choose from, and even nobles are rumored to buy and sell goods here, I wonder what item could have caught my eight year old son’s attention, causing his eyes to sparkle?
As I was wondering, and looked to where my son was pointing – I saw a snake.
I was shocked to see a snake sitting quietly on the store’s table, but…… when I looked closer, I finally noticed that it was fake.
My son seems to be completely enamored with the toy snake sitting on the table, and his eyes kept sparkling starrily.
This snake really has quite the exquisite workmanship. I don’t think that it’s only me, most other people would probably be fooled into thinking that it’s a real snake as well at first glance. My son was now kneeling in front of the table with the toy snake, and staring intently at it.
The shopkeeper noticed us and greeted us.
“Ahh, sorry for the bother.”
I also happen to be friends with the shopkeeper, so I asked him about the toy snake that my son is going crazy about. His reply was,
“Ahh, what you’re interested in is something that a certain noble sold to me. It’s quite amazingly well made, it seems that a servant made it. She said that she was in a bit of trouble and she absolutely had to sell it.”
“Ohh, so it’s from a noble.”
I wonder if some noble with too much money had it made on a whim? At any rate, it’s really well made. Then –
“Hey, daddy. Buy this, please??”
My son was desperately begging me with those shining eyes of his. Just like the real thing, something about the toy snake seems to attract children’s hearts.
I asked to see the toy snake from the shopkeeper, and borrowed it from him. It was much lighter than I expected, and it fit surprisingly well in my hand. It’s almost as if it was intentionally made easy to hold, for someone’s hand. I thought about it for a moment, and decided to ask the shopkeeper.
“Hey, about this toy snake. Could you let me have it?”
“Ahh, if you really want it, sure.”
As I thanked the shopkeeper for immediately saying yes, I asked him another question.
“By the way, which noble did this toy snake come from?”
“Ah, it’s from Duke Claes’s family. Even though they’re high ranked, everyone there, including the servants, is really friendly.”
“Ah, I see. So it’s from Duke Claes’s family. By the way, what does a toy snake have to do with being in a lot of trouble?”
“Ahh, if you’re asking that much…… You, could it be, you want more toy snakes?”
I grinned and laughed at my shopkeeper friend who seemed a bit surprised.
“That’s right. Look, at how my son’s eyes are so bright! Something like this that’s so lifelike really gets the children going! What’s more, it’s so light and easy to hold in your hands. This really makes a great children’s toy. It’ll be really popular if it’s sold in town!”
“Well, I don’t really know the most influential merchants around here that well, but if it’s you, the richest person in these parts saying it, it must be true.”
That’s right, I’m one of the most influential merchants around here, and not to be too arrogant, but I’m probably the richest person in town, most likely. All my new products are usually extremely popular. My intuition is telling me that this will sell really good as well.
“Alright! I’ve decided, I’m going to go visit Duke Claes’s mansion right away!”
Saying so, I took the toy snake that was given to me in my right hand, and held my son’s hand in my left as I left the store.
I kept looking at the toy snake I just obtained. The more I look at it, the better its craftsmanship seems to be. I really feel like it seems a little too realistic.
But anyways…… Although I’m pretty sure this toy snake will sell well, I wonder what exactly it was created for in the first place.
Suddenly, my nose itched, and I sneezed mightily. Keith who was watching me furrowed his eyebrows.
“Nee-san, it’s unbecoming of you as a noble girl to sneeze like that.”
“Hey, I can’t help it. If it wants to come out, it’s going to come out.”
Together with my sneeze, my nose had become runny as well and was dripping. At seeing so, Keith furrowed his eyebrows even more, and sighed deeply, and this time he brought out the crystallization of many years of effort by me and Tom-san, which I had placed on my shelf.
“……Also, nee-san. These past few days, I’ve been finding these toy snakes scattered all over the mansion…… Shouldn’t you give it a rest already?”
“H, how could you say that! Keith, really, how hard do you think Tom-san and I have been working on these! I absolutely won’t throw them away!”
“……Even if you say that, having them all over the mansion…… I feel like we’ve been getting strange looks from visitors to the mansion.”
“I mean, since I went to all the trouble of making all of these, it would be a waste to not use them……”
Since I felt it would be sad for them to not see the light of day, I couldn’t help but decorate the mansion with them…… But unfortunately it seems that everyone in the mansion is against it.
Even though at first they all said “how cool,” now they’re all saying “they’re in the way, get rid of them,” it hurts……
I started feeling a little down, while Keith subtly looked in my direction.
“In the first place, you made one of these first a really long time ago…… Exactly what are you using it for?”
There was no way I could tell him whatsoever that I intended to throw it at Jared in case of an emergency, so I could only stare at Keith in silence, and he sighed yet again.
“Anyways, you’re going to have to throw them away. If mother returns and sees the mansion like this, you’re going to get lectured again.”
Well…… indeed, father and mother just happened to be out on vacation right now, but when they returned, they would probably complain about seeing the mansion like this.
Not only that, I remember that I decorated one of mother’s favorite flower vases with a toy snake as well…… at this rate, it’ll probably get quite dangerous. Well, I understand that, but……
“……Mm. But, since I went to the trouble of making them, throwing them away is a bit…… At least, if anyone wants them, they can have them.”
I mean, for the fruit of my efforts to never see the light of day…… it would hurt too much.
“……If only such a person would ever appear.”
Keith seemed to be looking off in the distance as he said that.
This was a story about some toy snakes that were considered to be in the way right before they became a huge hit in town.